Monthly Review: March 2022

Hello, friends!

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Happy April! Today, I bring you my Monthly Review for March. I hope you enjoy reading!

Writing

As writing goes, my friend Anna and I finished the project we’ve been working on for months now called Love Times Two – It’s a little over 10K, which was about the word count we were aiming for. As of right now, we’re working on editing. We may indie-publish it later down the road, but we’ll see. This project has been so much fun to write, and I am blessed to have such an amazing co-author. ❤

I’ve finally made some progress in my main work in progress (WIP), The Bensons – I’ve been trying to get the motivation to just sit down and write on this project, and I finally did that. I wrote almost 5K on it the past two weeks. (Which is a low word count for me, but I’m getting somewhere I think!)

I finished my article for The Young Writer Blog and submitted it! Right now, I’m just waiting for it to be published, I’m hoping it will be sometime this month, but we’ll see. That’s been a lot of fun and hard work to write, but I’ve really enjoyed the process.

That wraps up writing for this month!

Reading

I’ve done a lot of reading this month again; I just got some books from the Library too when my younger siblings went to get their library cards. A few of my favorite books from this month:

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

This book was amazing! A friend recommended it to me a few months ago, and I finally got around to reading it.

The wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

I had to read this for school; I was kind of dreading reading it because I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the books I’ve had to read this year, but wow. I was wrong! This book might be one of my new favorites, at least one of my favorite middle-grade mysteries. If you’re looking for another historical fiction, middle-grade mystery, this book is for you. I also really enjoyed the audiobook version of it too.

the teacher’s funeral by Richard Peck

This book was really hilarious in a lot of different ways, but with a good plot too. Like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, I was not expecting to enjoy this, but once again, I surprised myself and I did! Apparently, I need to slow down in my judging books by their covers, yes?

Annie’s war by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

I’m not yet finished with this one but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It has a really interesting plot, and it carries an intriguing message. I’m really excited to finish it and see how it ends.

Doing

Goodness, a lot happened in March! A few highlights:

Our trip to Lutsen! This was a super fun trip, and it was such a blessing to be able to go and ski there again. You can check out my blog post on it if you want to hear about it more.

We also had our last ski trip of the season too! We snuck in one more trip the week after we went to Lutsen, it was so slushy; there were puddles at the end of a lot of the runs, but I guess that’s what it’s like when you ski in the Midwest in March. :p By the end of the day, we were skiing with no gloves – And Malachi and Tyler, our cousin, skied in short-sleeved shirts the whole day. It was so warm!

We made pretzels one afternoon which was quite fun! I’d been wanting to bake them again for a while, and I finally got my chance.

All the younger kids enjoyed helping roll them out and getting them into pretzel shapes.

Ahh, they turned out amazing! Some of them lost shape in the baking soda bath, but other than that, they were great. We used this recipe in case anyone is looking for a good pretzel recipe.

I’ve also helped a lot with tapping trees for making syrup! I’ve already done two posts on this, so I’m not going to go into detail. You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. (Keep an eye out for the third and final post coming up along with signs ups for the syrup give-away.)

It’s been awfully cold the past few days, we’ve gotten a lot of rain, snow, and hail, with few sunny days. One time we had all four of them together! The weather here can be so weird at times. But the cold weather hasn’t discouraged my younger siblings from getting out their bikes. I even have had to face the cold because I was so tired of being in the house all the time. So Mercy and I have taken a lot of walks, and there has been multiple soccer games and capture the flag too.

I wrote a lot of letters this month too, around 10 I think. I also got a second penpal too which is super fun.

I got a new set of watercolors too which have been a lot of fun to try out too. :’D

That’s about it! I ended up having a very busy March, hopefully, April will be slower, but I doubt that with Track starting up for my older siblings. 😜

How did your March go? Have you ever baked soft pretzels? What’s the weather like where you are, do you have Spring or are you still waiting?

Thanks so much for reading, friends! ❤

A Family Vacation at Lutsen

Hello, my friends!

Last week, my family and I went on a vacation to Lutsen, Minnesota to ski, enjoy God’s wonderful creation, and have a bit of an escape from everyday life. We had a lovely time and it was wonderful to ski up there again. Today, I’m going to be posting some of the photos I took, as well as a few of the adventures we had. It’s going to be quite a long post, so get ready!

We started the 7-8 hour trip off at 6 o’clock in the morning. We drove for about 15 minutes, and then we came across this sign and had to turn back around, because of water on the road. It had rained the night before and the rivers had escaped it’s banks.

After that little adventure, we were back on the road–backtracking our original route and going in the opposite direction and then finally getting headed on a road in the right direction that wasn’t flooded.

I loaned Zekey my pens, and notebook and he thoroughly enjoyed coloring, while all of the other kids slept.

After about 3 hours of driving, we stopped at a Kwik Trip to get gas, and grab some donuts for breakfast.

It was so foggy out! ^^

While we drove, I amused myself by finishing up a letter to one of my pen pals. A great way to make the time pass!

Once I finished my letter, I just sat and watched the scenery go by. Look at how tall this tree is.

We took our second stop at Olive Garden for lunch. We decided to get carry out to get back on the road faster. Eating in a car with 9 other people is a bit chaotic, but it was delicious.

Once we had finished lunch, we got right back to driving again. I’ve always loved driving through this city because of how much there is to look at it and you can see Lake Superior almost everywhere. We’ve only driven through a few times, so it’s always interesting and you are always seeing something new. We drove over this huge bridge which I thought was really cool!

There were all of these cute little cottages along the edge of the Lake.

Ooh, these factories are always something to see–Look at all cranes and that huge boat!

We always pass through this really neat tunnel called Silver Creek Cliff. (Wait, is that the name of the tunnel or the cliff? Maybe both. :’D)

The view from inside the tunnel

Once we were out of the city, and tunnel, the view isn’t as interesting. It’s wooded and you can see the lake occasionally through the trees. So, I got a turn with the iPad and read some of my friends’ blog posts that I’ve been meaning to catch up on.

After a bit, we could see the lake more! I love this picture! It’s a bit blurry, as a lot of the other ones are because I took these out the car window, but I do like it a lot still. It was so cloudy out!

Then, I worked on writing my blog post for that week!

Sorry for the terrible photo. 😦

At long last, we reached out destination, Lutsen Mountains!

Once we had checked in, we went to our condo and started unpacking. I took this random photo of lights, I LOVED the shadows//reflection it was making on the ceiling. Look at the trees!

After that, we ate supper, and then went ice skating! The rink was really nice, and it was really fun to skate since our town doesn’t have an ice rink anymore, and we haven’t tried skating on our pond yet.

It was so pretty down there! Look at all the lights!

There was also a fire going which was really nice since it was quite cold out.

Once we got on our skates, we all had to remember how to ice skate. Luke and Levi took a few spills before they caught on since they hadn’t skated every before.

I love this one of Jewel! She looks so happy. At first, she was very nervous, but the more we skated, she got a lot more confident.

We skated three times that trip! Everyone was too tired and it was too cold the last two nights we were there, so we didn’t skate those nights. Having the rink there was really fun since the other times we had come, it was a puddle!

We skied the next morning, and here is when the photos are in chronological order anymore. Mom wanted to get a picture like we do at the lake each year (Check out my “About” to see it!) I love how this one turned out.

Ahh, look at the view. It was glorious up there, God created a very beautiful world. ❤

The whole trip is quite exciting, but then there’s the gondola which adds to the excitement. It’s the only one in the Midwest too and it is the only way to get across from one mountain to the other, so we rode it at least once a day. It’s such a beautiful ride, but a bit terrifying at the beginning because it feels like you are about to drop down this cliff, but then you just coast along.

This one of Mal is probably one of my favorite photos out of this whole post. Dad wanted to try to get it with Malachi bending his skies, and I’d as he was successful. He thought it would be really fun to have the lake in the background.

Photo credit to Dad ^^

Aww, these shadows are so pretty! I believe I took them from on the gondola. They are a lot like the ones the light made on the ceiling.

One day in the late afternoon, Dad, Mercy, and I went out to get ice cream, and hopefully get some close-up photos of the lake. Getting the ice cream went fine, we stopped at this cute little general store that sold practically everything, from postcards to groceries, but getting the photos of the lake didn’t.

^^The ice cream

We wanted to go to the park we had been to the year before, but when we drove by, it wasn’t plowed at all and Dad didn’t want to risk getting stuck in there. So for about fifteen minutes, we drove looking for a place, and then once we found none, we decided to turn around. Well, apparently Minnesota doesn’t have many good side roads to turn around in, at least Hightway 61 North didn’t. We drive for a while longer and thought we were going to hit the Canadian Border before we were able to turn around.

Thankfully, we found a road to turn into, but that caused a bit more chaos. There was no dead end sign, but after about 10 minutes of just driving along, we started to wonder if it was a lane which mean it was a dead end. And of course, we didn’t have service so there was no way to look on Dad’s phone. But finally, the road ended, and we were able to get back onto the highway, and head toward the condo.

That was definitely a chaotic (and fun) adventure. Except I am a bit disappointed that we never got any pictures of the lake. Oh well, there was a pretty sunset to make up for it.

I also got post cards to send to my friends and penpals! I had a lot of fun writing them out.

Ooh, I love this sign! Moose Mountain is what one of the four mountains here is called.

The afternoon before we left, we drove up to the top of the mountain, and got a family picture. I also snapped these ones while we are there. The view was beautiful, and the ski was so blue. It almost blends in with the lake.

Ooh, you can see the gondala right there!

I love this one of the whole mountain.

This honestly doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the other photos, but there were these really pretty flowers in the snow by the top. I wonder what they look like in the summer when they are blooming and not brown and dry from winter.

We loaded up and headed home one morning at the end of the week after skiing in the morning. We were supposed to stop partway through the trip, and stay overnight so we could have more time to ski that day, but it was SO cold out that we decided not too, and just drive home. I don’t have a lot of pictures from the way home, but I do have a few.

We stopped at Olive Garden again and this time, went inside for lunch. It was really a nice way to end the trip. It was the first time we had really eaten inside a restaurant since the beginning of COVID and me and mom were wondering if any of the younger kids would remember how to eat in a a restaurant. But they did for the most part and they meal past uneventfully.

It was so sunny out and the lake was so pretty!

We drove by this really cool clock tower//building on the way home.

We had a beautiful sunset as the end of our trip set in. The last few hours of the trip seemed to go on forever, but we survived. We got a new audiobook(The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall. for anyone who’s wondering.) and listened to that. Eventually, all the younger kids fell asleep, and I tried to do some writing, but we had no service, so my document wouldn’t load. Then I just sat. We got home around 8:30-9ish, and went straight to bed.

It was a lovely trip, but I was ready to come home at the end. I am very thankful to God that we are able to go and ski. A nice break from what we usually do!

Have you ever been to Lutsen? Or rode a gondola? Or taken a long road trip? Have you read any of the Penderwick books? What did you think?

Thank you SO much for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

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Christmas blog tour stop #1: A Peek into the Ski Life in Photos

Hello, my friends!

If you saw the title, a few of my friends and I are doing a blog tour! We wanted to do it earlier, in December for Christmas, but the timing didn’t work out, but we decided to go ahead with it anyway. So here we are with a bit of Christmas in January. Check out the kick-off post by Bethany for more details.

(Also, the only day that worked for me was Wednesday, that’s why I didn’t post yesterday.)

And for my post, I decided to share a few photos from my family’s winter and ski trips. But let me give you some background before we start so you all know what this has to do with Christmas for my family and I.

About five years ago, my parents decided instead of giving us gifts/presents for Christmas, they would get us all skis and take us skiing every week. We’ve continued that tradition, and we’re very blessed to be able to ski every week. I have a pile of photos to show you all. I hope you enjoy it!

A fun ski picture well we are on the lift!

Here’s my little sister, and younger brother on one of the lifts! Aren’t they cute?

Ahh, this photo was taken a few years ago, I’m guessing on one of our ski trips up to Minnesota. I’m the girl in the blue, with my little sister, and older brother ahead of me.

Aww, I love this photo with the clouds and the shadows. I believe my older brother, sister, and I are on the lift, but I’m not 100 percent sure. It was taken a few years ago.

This isn’t necessarily a skiing photo, but it is one of one the mountains we visited so I believe it counts? I don’t know, but it is pretty.

Here’s me, my little sis, and my dad. I just realized how many times my little sister has popped up in these photos. She does love getting her picture taken. 😁

This one is just another pretty photo that we took while we were skiing.

I love how the sun reflects off the snow in this photo.

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos, let me know in the comments, which photo was your favorite?

Make sure to follow the tour, check out tomorrow’s post on Bethany’s blog.

Thank you so much for reading!