Saturday, June 30, 2012

Counting My Blessings

...blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.
Luke 11:28b

What a bust week I've had! Church, reading, chores and errands kept me busy as a bee, but I enjoyed it.

On Tuesday, I helped my mother look after the toddlers of our church during the prayer service. The little ones are learning the story of Jonah. Almost everyday, my little sister tells me the story like this, "The LORD prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah." She is learning so much so quickly. I thank God for blessing my with such a sweet sister. She always puts a smile on my face... even when she's doing something mischievous:)

As many of you know, I am homeschooled, but I wasn't always homeschooled. On Wednesday, we took the car to get registered and my old elementary school is right across the street. My mom decided that I could go visit my teachers from the previous years. What fun that was! They were all surprised to see me and I was glad to see them! I haven't been to that school since I graduated in 6th grade (I'm going to 10th grade) and so much has changed. I even found out that the principal retired.

instagram photo : kianna_rose
After the visit to "my school" I went to a book discussion at my local library. I admit, I was nervous. All types of thoughts whirled through my head. "What if no one shows up?" That was the case... only me and the librarian participated, but it was so much fun. We talked about books and I found out that we both like to read:)

Within a week, I have received six books from the companies I review for. I am so excited to read them and hope to have the review up soon!

I also went to a garage sale and found a few wonderful items.

instagram photo : kianna_rose

After getting our new camera, I have taken so many photographs. Here are a few recent photos I've taken:

How was your week?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Modesty Series: Am I Always Presentable?

I am a young lady, as are the majority of my readers. We, young ladies are blooming into women hood and have to look like it. By this I mean that we have to be presentable. Being presentable requires being well-kept and well spoken (in speech and not gossiping) Today, we will focus on being well-kept. 

When you go outside, is your hair a mess, are your nails un-trimmed and do your clothes look like you squashed it into a ball before you got dressed? These are all signs of being un-presentable. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not encouraging anyone to become vain, spending hours at a time ironing and grooming, but it's important that we look like children of God. Our father is the owner of all things and as His children, we lack nothing. The Bible says,

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds 
and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

I believe that this verse applies to spiritual things but also to the day to day aspects of our lives. If you haven't washed your face this morning, can I see the light of Jesus? Maybe, but first, I will most likely notice last nights traces.

So how can you look presentable when you go out side? Here is a little check list to remember:
  1. Wash your face
  2. Brush your teeth 
  3. Do your hair 
  4. Put on a fresh set of clean clothes
You're  probably thinking, I know that already, but are we always doing them? Those things on the list are the BIG and obvious things, but proper grooming goes beyond that.

Bad habits:
I know many people that bite their nails (I was once part of that group). Some pick their hair for split ends, while others are constantly touching their faces and putting their finger in their mouths.  Can you think of any gross habits you have cultivated over the years? Well, now is the time to break those habits. 

Bad habits are easy to form and difficult to break but with Jesus' help, all things are possible.

Good habits:
Make it a goal if you must, but make sure that you are always looking your best. Be sure that your lips aren't chapped by moisturizing them with lip balm and make sure that your hair is combed. Remember to apply lotion to your hands and wash your face daily. These things can all become habits, good habits.

Why is it important to be presentable? 
First impressions are lasting impressions. When others see you, like I said previously, they are supposed to see Jesus first. If they don't, how can they tell the difference between you and those who aren't children of God.

Wrinkled clothes isn't presentable in the same way that a wrinkled life isn't presentable before God. God is so merciful that He provided a way to smooth out the wrinkles in our spiritual lives.

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, 
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:25b-27

He gave us His love and through that love, we have grace.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Counting My Blessings

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13

I've  had a blessed week indeed!

When we were shivering in the cold of winter season, I wished that summer would come soon. I wanted to wear sandals and flowy skirts without having to worry if I had enough sweaters, shirts and socks to keep warm. Now summer is upon us and temperatures have soared. (100 degrees or more!) I am enjoying the warm weather and it's benefits. (No homeschooling:)

On Saturday, we went to another craft fair. (click here to see photos from the first fair) It was a blast! We sold out of so many items and I was able to see God's hand in the midst of those sales. 
The layout of our table was similar to last time, which was good because many people 
recognized us and our products.

There was a raffle and the prize was $25 worth of Mary Kay products. Guess who won? Me!

These little post it note key chains were a hit with the little girls.

On Wednesday, the heat was nearly unbearable! We had to turn on the air conditioner! Earlier in the day we went thrifting! I scored some great finds including Janette Oake books and Lori Wick books.

instagram photo : kianna_rose
In the evening, I went to church to practice for the service that the children direct. 

My mom cooked a delicious meal on Thursday. (She cooks delicious meals everyday)

Yesterday, my mom took us girls to the beach. I had so much fun, even though I didn't swim (I don't know how to swim...) I even collected a few beautiful sea shells. 


Today, my grandmother is going to make an Ecuadorian specialty for dinner. 

What did you do this week? How are you dealing with the summer heat? For great tips on staying busy and cool this summer, read my summer series every Thursday.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour: Lucy Come Home

About the book: 
Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan's sugar beet fields in the early 1940s -- the "war years" -- until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate -- and a dead field boss-- sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she'd ever known. 

Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday.

Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle aging mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her -- unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn't let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold... Lucy disappears again. How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy's murky past. But... why won't Lucy come home? 

My Review: 
What a great read this was! A friend of mine told me that Dave and Neta Jackson were talented authors and I can say that their combined brilliance was undeniably seen in this novel. 

By far, the highlight of this book was the humor. Little jokes were generously sprinkled throughout making my reading experience wonderful. I found myself laughing more than once at “the bag lady’s" jokes. 

Another highlight was Lucy’s story. Readers get to know 80-year-old Lucy and of her rootless ways all while reading of events that occurred 65 years prior. Lucy’s life is one of bitter trials that in my opinion were a bit too much. It seemed as though suffering was heaped upon her and she couldn’t escape its clutch. I do not look at that point as a downfall in the book. Books that end in ways you hoped it wouldn’t, are the best reads because oftentimes, your “endings" are perfect and in real life, nothing is perfect. Lucy’s life is a reminder that we all face heartache, but in the end, we will find peace in God.

Dave and Neta are masters at creating imagery and writing with authority. I felt as though I was an onlooker, watching Lucy’s life unfold. The plot grabbed my attention and the closing moments were bittersweet. The last words will surely put a smile on your face. 

I know, you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover and I want to enforce that “rule”, because if we did, we’d miss out on great reads… like this one. When I first picked up this book, the cover did not intrigue me. It wasn’t very artistic in my opinion. What probably deterred my was that it didn't look like the other books I read. Also the blurb of the book was written in gigantic font that made it look strange. I can look beyond that, though and am glad I did ! 

I rate this book 5 STARS! It was a compelling read, one that is sure to grip your heart, get a laugh or two, and possibly make your cry. I think that each person who reads this book will take something from it. I received this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

About Dave and Neta:
Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.

As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books. Visit for more info.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Series: A Refeshing Start To Summer

Summer is my favorite season. All of the flowers are in full bloom. Birds seem to be chirping at the top of their lungs. I can hear them from my window and their song is pleasantly melodic. With all of the pretty scents and sounds of summer come hot weather. The temperatures soar high into the 90's, leaving us all feeling sticky. Summer also beckons Mr.Softy. For those of you who don't live in the city, Mr.Softy is the ice cream truck that drives around with a catchy tune playing. On those humid days, the last thing I want to eat is a heavy, hot meal or a so sweet cone. I crave fresh salads, light lunches and homemade fruit juice. There is no need to eat those unhealthy things when wonderful fruits and veggies are at their peak.

Here are a few ways to spruce up your summer menu.

Have a favorite tropical fruit? Maybe two or three? Blend them all together with water and a little bit of sugar. Pass the mixture through a strainer (if you picky about pulp) and enjoy! To make things even better, pour the juice into ice pop molds, freeze and serve as ice pops. Skip sweet ice cream and have your favorite fruit flavored pop. So refreshing!

Berry Bonanza: Swap that bag of chips and a Capri-sun pouch for a bag of berries. Choose your favorites, put them in a baggie and munch in those throughout your day. If you want to add a punch if sweetness, add a dollop of cool whip and dip your berries in. YUM!

Drink water. Trust me, I know that water is not the most tasty beverage out on the market, but it is the most healthy. Drink a few cups of water throughout the day to feel refreshed. It also does wonders for your skin and leaves you feeling refreshed!

Make cold pasta salad and antipasto. There's no need to zap anything in the microwave this summer. Make a cold pasta salad (pasta, green peppers, diced chicken) and lightly dress in alfredo sauce.Or, make an antipasto with chunks of ham, turkey and your other favorite deli meats. Add olives if you like and dress in Italian dressing.

Make a salad. Throw together chopped lettuce and spinach, diced tomatoes and pepper (red, green and yellow) along with your other favorite veggies. Lightly toss in a tasty dressing or make your own. Here's a recipe:
1 c. olive oil
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl or a container with a lid, whisk (shake) all ingredients. Keep refrigerated.

Do you have a few of your favorite summer meals or ideas you'd like to share? Feel free to email me or comment below. I'd love to hear how you cope with summer heat and refreshing meals:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Awarded... Twice

Ali, over at Surrendering All of Me has awarded me... twice. The first award was the Kreativ Blog Award.

Rules: Answer ten random questions about yourself, tell ten random things about myself, and award seven bloggers. 

Do you remember your dreams? Sometimes I remember my dreams. I don't like it when I know I had a dream but can't remember what it was about.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I am a city girl, so I'd def. want to live somewhere in the country. 

What is your favorite name? I really love the name Rose (I know, that's my middle name:)

What color is your bedroom carpet? My bedroom carpet is a maroon-ish color

Bungee jump or sky diving? "I live on the wild side" I would probably do both.

What time is bed time? That totally depends on what I'm doing and what day of the week it is. I can't remember the last time I went to sleep at 11:00PM. I am usually in bed by 11:00 but read late into the night.

Are you a good cook? If you ask me, I think I am a pretty good cook. I have mastered making rice, fried chicken, hamburgers, pasta + homemade pasta sauce...

What's under your bed? I have a few scrap-booking items, loose leaf paper and journals... all neatly organized

Do you sing in the shower? Of course:)

What inspires you? Vintage things, photography, good books and God- loving people.

Random things about me:
  1. I will be 15 in 15 days!!!
  2. I am wearing a coral shirt.
  3. Just finished reading a book for a book club discussion next week.
  4. It is so hot here in New York. It's 99 degrees. Hello summer!
  5. Our air conditioner is on at 60 degrees. (trying to keep cool)
  6. I am reading The Messenger now.
  7. A documentary on the Ten Commandments is playing in the background.
  8. I want to be finished with these random facts.
  9. I have nearly finished homeschool for the year.
  10. I changed my iPod cover case to black... I think it looks more classy:)
My second award is the Your Blog Is Great Award.

Here's the rules...
1) Put a link to who gave you the award.
2) Put the award on your post.
3) Choose 5 blogs to receive the award.
4) Let them know you awarded them.
5) Make sure to post this set of rules in your post! 

To make things easier, I will award the same people.

Autumn @ Autumn Bouquet
Tangerine Tane @ Fifth out of Ten
Talia @ Girlz of God

That's as many as I can do now:)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Modesty Series: Questions and Answers About Attire

As young ladies set apart for God, modesty is very important to us. Sometimes, deciding whether an outfit or hair do is modest can be challenging. Here are my answers to the two most commonly asked questions.

Judgement-free Zone: 
As I write these answers to common modesty questions, I pray that I don't offend anyone. I want to make it unmistakably clear that I am not judging. I am only basing my answers on scripture, personal convictions and experiences. If you agree or disagree with anything I write, feel free to email me or comment below. I'd really love to hear what you all think about modesty.

How short is too short? How tight is too tight?
Think of the children’s rhyme: Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

So now, stand in front of a mirror and…
Put you hands on your HEAD. Does your waist show (front or back)?

Put your hands on your SHOULDERS. Check that your shoulders are covered, and your neckline is not too low.

Look at your KNEES
They should be covered.

Okay, now put your hands on your KNEES Can you see down the front of your top to your undergarments, chest, or even *gasp* your belly button? Yikes!

Bend over and touch your TOES. Does your back show?

Pretty good, eh? Check out more great tests to see if your outfit is modest here

I've heard that as young ladies, we must be modest with our hair. How can that be?
In the Bible we read of modesty. We read of how we are to dress and do our hair.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
1 Timothy 2:9

As you read that verse, you may have stopped and thought, "What!?! No braids?!?" Back in Paul's day, braids were the hair-do of a harlot. Now, times have changed and braids are very common among girls. When you do your hair, do the style because you like it and not because you saw the newest teen pop sensation does that do. Also, don't put your hair in elaborate styles to grab others attention. That's called vanity, girls!

God carefully made you. He decided on your hair color, your eye color and everything else that makes you unique. Ask God to tell you whether something is appropriate or not, He will clearly tell you:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour: Glamorous Illusions

About the Book:
It was the summer of 1913, and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, so is her father's health. Cora is carrying on, helping her mother run their Montana farm until a stranger comes to call, and everything changes. Cora then learns a secret that will radically change her future: she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king who has come to claim her. 

Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person's education, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France with half-siblings she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of the Kensington family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning. 

Faced with the challenge of accepting her father, new family, and the identity that comes with it, Cora also struggles to accept that she is also the daughter of the one true King-a Father who is the only One who can truly heal.

My Review:
This is the first book by Lisa T. Bergen that I have read. From reading reviews on her books, it seems as though her other works are great reads as well. I thoroughly enjoyed Glamorous Illusions! If you read this book, prepare to be swept away!

This being a historical fiction novel, I expected Lisa to do her research, and she did. The story was jam-packed with vividly written historical references to the Titanic, the Grand Tour and facts about the countries the characters traveled. My favorite parts where the historical details; they really made all the difference as far as creating imagery. I pictured myself reclining in the luxury that Cora relished.

I found the plot to be intelligently formed and realistic. It was what I like to call "a breeze read", easy to get through and it flowed. There were many exciting scenes that will get a laugh or two out of you. The main characters were well-rounded and their pasts were intriguing. Lisa depicted the personalites of a certain"evil step-sister" and a few irksome children excellently.

Cora's journey of self discovery, a blooming love and a renewed faith was gripping. Secrets about her past resurface, but she didn't let them define her. She learned "what it means to be a Kenningston and what it does not." She honestly examined herself in certain situations, like when pride, vanity and hate threaded to take center stage, and made sure that she was being faithful to the Lord.

I can only find one fault with this book. Lisa ended the story too abruptly. Oftentimes, authors ends "book one" with a whimsical ending. Lisa ended the book in the middle of a conversation. (Can I see you again?" "Sure." and that was the end, but not in those exact words:) Other than that, I enjoyed the plot, the characters and the message.

Her cover was beautiful! The Eiffel Tower ascend into a pastel colored sky while a young lady in a soft pink dress, walked the avenue. As you read the story, Lisa vividly paints that particular scene and it was written exceptionally well.

If you're looking for a historical fiction novel, this may be the book for you. Romance, intrigue and mystery was weaved throughout, without being overpowering.

I am counting the days until the next book comes out because I hope to read it. I have to know what happens next and look forward to reading on how certain relationships play out. The next two books in the Grand Tour series are: GRAVE CONSEQUENCES (comes out in March 2013) and GLITTERING PROMISES (comes out fall of 2013.) 

About the Author:
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book,Breathe, Sing and Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time.

Lisa's time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She's married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids- Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).

All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For more information on Lisa and to view other books written, please visit her website:

What is our "true" identity? Join the conversation at Lisa Tawn Begren's Glamorous Illusions Author Chat Facebook Event Page. On the evening of 6/27 we'll gather to talk about our spiritual journey, share our stories and a few laughs.

In the meantime, celebrate with Lisa by entering her Glamorous Illusions Giveaway! 

 One "glamorous" winner will receive a "Glam Prize Pack":
  • A $350 Visa Cash Card (Oh ... think of what you could do: treat yourself to a mani/pedi, a fabulous new dress, dinner for two, or even a two-night escape in a lovely hotel - you're only limited by your imagination!) Glamorous Illusions (by Lisa Tawn Begren)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 6/26/12. Winner will be announced at Lisa's "Glamorous Illusions" Facebook Party on 6/27 {Fun begins at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT}. Lisa will be hosting an evening of meaningful chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Lisa via video or phone.)

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Series: There's No Such Thing As Lazy Summers

As the last few days of school approach, it isn't difficult to picture the perfect summer. We think of fun in the sun, drinking soda pop and running through the sprinklers. Basically, we picture a lazy summer. We plan to prop our feet up and just chill because school is out and homework is a thing of the past. No, no, no. There is no such things as lazy summers. At least not this summer.

Being a teenager myself, I don't like being bored. I like to be doing something every minute of the day. "I'm just going to sit down and relax" is not in my vocabulary. Busy-bee me has thought of a few ways to enhance your summer fun, other than being a full fledged couch potato.

1. Read a book: Yes, they still print books. Not everyone has resorted to e-readers... yet. Have you considered any of these titles?

2. Clean your room. I'm sure that you've stashed a few things under your bed, beside your night table and in your closet in a mad dash to pick out your school clothes. Take a few minutes a day to tidy things up each day.

3. Spend time with your siblings. When your in school (or being homeschooled) there isn't much time for fun and games with the kiddos. Set apart a few hours to play with your little sister or brother. Let them choose a game or sport and let them dictate the rules. No need to enforce the "big sister says so" motto.

4. Learn to do something new. Try pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and try to learn something new. Maybe try learning to play an instrument or take up a new hobby.

5. Volunteer at a local food bank, nursing home, or other charitable cause. Doing something for another person is very rewarding. We shouldn't expect to receive praise from man, but from God. He will reward us.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of 
these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:40

6. Get crafty. During the summer, we take so many photographs. Print a few of your favorite shots and make a scrapbook.

What are some fun things that you're doing this summer? I'd love to hear from you! Here's a list of more great ideas.

What am I going to be doing this summer? Stay tuned for a series of fun summer time posts, photos and ideas!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Modesty Series: Modesty And Speech

We often think of modesty as a dress code. We make sure our skirts are an appropriate length and that our shirts aren't too tight or low cut. But did you ever stop to think that modesty goes beyond our dress? As young ladies, we are never at a loss for words. At times, we may even be considered as chatterboxes. For this very reason, our mouths are in need of modesty's medicine. It is imperative to reflect modesty in more ways than just in our clothing choices.

With the blessing of many words, comes great responsibility. You and I have to be mindful of the words that come out of our mouths because:

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless 
word they have spoken.
Matthew 12:36

Imagine every time you spoke because you wanted to "add" you opinion or because you simply felt like it. Can you count how many times you let a comment or two "slip" out of your mouth when it wasn't your place to share? We can categorize those words as careless. God speaks to us about careless words for many reasons. One reason is that our words can start a fire. No, not a real fire, but conversations can definitely get heated and friendships seared when you've played "spiller"

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:6

It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:8

Another reason that God warns us against careless word is:
The tongue has the power of life and death,
Proverbs 18:21a

When we engage in conversations, we need to be mindful of the impression it will have on people who hear them.'
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know 
how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

Modesty in speech also refers to not gossiping, the way we express ourselves when we try to get our point across, and complimenting others/ receiving compliments. We should measure our words and think ahead on the effect they will have on those who hear them. Tame your tounge.

Have you enjoyed this little lesson? Stay tuned for a mini modesty series, where I hope to share my thoughts and biblical concepts on all things modest.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beginning To Bloom

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for 
the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7

That little "garden" of mine is prospering. Yellow blooms have sprouted from vibrant green stems. The plant, green and grand, now stands at exactly 2 feet and 3 inches. I watch it's growth and am amazed by it. Just the other day, I was commenting on how amazing life is. This little plant has no moving parts, but it lives. It grows and "breaths" and produces fruit. Isn't God magnificent?! One of His  "simpler" creations provide us with food! Such little things plants and stems and roots are, but they are life-giving and unique in every way.

Hope you've enjoyed this little update. Check back to read my further chronicling of this little tomato plant's growth. Who knows, perhaps  the next update may include actual tomatoes:)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Memorial Day Memories

During Memorial Day, do you feel patriotic in some way? I do. Freedom isn't free and the lives of many were lost fighting for our freedom. A brother in Christ from our church was a marine years ago. I still haven't asked him to retell war stories, but there is always time for that. Thanks to brave men and women like my brother in Christ, John, we can peacefully have little BBQs in our backyards, and that's exactly what I did.

Here are a few of my Memorial Day memories:

our friends have a grapevine in their backyard 

and they've planted a garden of carrot, spinach, and tomato

lovely lemon tree

these two driving around 

Sam shooting hoops

Mary's shades

Marcos' sneakers

What Memorial Day memories do you have?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...