Spring and Summer Bucket List!

Heya everyone! Are y’all ready for spring? I AMM!!! (Not to mention summer … *barely restrains myself from screaming* Okay, I’m settling down, don’t worry … XD

The first time I saw a blogger’s bucket list was Ainsley Beth’s Summer Bucket List, which totally inspired me to start one! I am so excited to finally be posting this, hopefully y’all can draw some inspiration from this and I can refer back to it to see how much I actually got done!

  • go backpacking in the mountains
  • go hiking several times
  • practice and play volleyball with friends
  • picnic at the beach
  • host a party and invite all my friends that I never see XD
  • go camping with my girlfriends
  • sort out old toys
  • wear zero make-up (sunscreen? It’s optional!)
  • apply for an internship
  • take a night walk through a city
  • legit just sit down and watch a sunrise .. and a sunset!
  • don’t be afraid to talk to people … introduce myself in a friendly and confident manner, and ask them about themselves.
  • go horseback riding
  • learn to dance *covers face*
  • build a night bonfire on the beach
  • sit on swings and talk with friends
  • take a kayak trip
  • get to Lesson 100, Grade 11
  • write rock, country, pop, and worship songs (2 each, all with a unique melody) and six non-lyrical tunes
  • organize my blogging a bit more, divided into my three blogs
  • read allllll my electrics books (I think there’s about … 30?)
  • go on a solo hike
  • bake something I never have before (like a lemon meringue pie …)
  • go berry picking
  • do fireworks … just because!

Here on, my bucket list consists of some things that are snitched from Megan’s 50 Things To Do This Spring! 😜 Go check it out, its an amazing post! 🤗

  • Walk first thing in the morning
  • Make smoothies
  • Go to a farmers market (yesyesyes!!)
  • Braid my hair with flowers in it (I have never done this, but now that Megan’s inspired me to, I’m going to have to try it! XD)
  • Do a field photoshoot

Well, that’s it for now! (Maybe I’ll come back and add more later, haha! I hope you all have an amazing spring, and an amazing summer, and an amazing day, and an amazing week … and an amazing life! Just be amazing, okay? XD

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies!

I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but just looking at that headline makes my mouth water! I love peppermint in literally everything, but add chocolate to the mix and I will have to restrain myself from hugging the life out of you! (Don’t worry, I don’t squeeze that tight …)

I don’t remember when I got this recipe or where from, but it’s one of my favorite cookie recipes ever! Incidentally, though, the dough is better than the finished product! Especially if you eat it chilled … but the cookies are best when they’re warm from the oven.

I lowered the sugar amount and swapped out half the sugar with honey instead, and I think you could do either sugar or honey, whatever ratio you like!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey (or coconut sugar, or a mix of both … )
  • 1 egg
  • a few drops of peppermint essential oil, OR 1/4 tsp peppermint extract.
  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter and honey (or sugar, if you decided to use it.)
  2. Add egg and peppermint with electric mixer, and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour to the wet bowl, and in that order for the easiest mixing.
  4. Chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Form into balls and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes. (These cookies are really easy to burn because of their dark color, so be sure to feel them while baking to make sure they’re not getting too hard. You can make them crispy or soft, but my family prefers soft.)
  6. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • I find this recipe can be a little dry, so you could try adding an extra egg and using entirely honey to moisten it up a a bit, and/or baking it for a slightly shorter time.
  • Using peppermint essential oil results in a sharp and clear taste, so add a drop at a time! Too much peppermint can wreck a whole batch of cookies …

As always y’all, stay awesome!!

Makayla

May Goals + Inspiration!

Hello everyone! It’s May, and it feels so good to be back on the blog! My break was so amazing, and I learned so much through it!

But first, a recap

Most of my goals from April were routine-based, and I was surprised to find that I’ve been doing really well with all the goals! Currently, I’m reading through Numbers, am on Lesson 52 in History and English (woohoo!), and I have a way better morning routine! Lately, I’ve been doing my schoolwork at the kitchen table, which has been an interesting switch and a bit of a jump start to help me get into the mindset of “okay, I’m working on my new routine now!” XD

  • Finish History and English Lessons 50-80.
  • Finish reading through Numbers and Deuteronomy, and then read through Joshua, Judges, and then my very favorite book, Ruth!
  • Get through 5 Math “Lessons”.
  • Walk every morning (every morning I have off from work)
  • Add affiliate links to my website. (I made a website!! (With a lot of help from others, including time-generous friends!) On it I’ll be posting articles related to the Ron Paul Curriculum, and why you should sign up! Here I go sounding like some internet freak who just wants to make a buck, but seriously y’all, I’ve been recommending this curriculum even before I got my affiliate website set up. It may not work for all students, but it sure has a lot of advanced and interesting courses and materials, and I definitely recommend checking it out!)
  • Practice piano for 1 hour, 5 days a week.
  • Nitrotype. Every day. 10 min. *sighs the greatest sigh in the existence of the universe* If you know me personally, you know that I have an extreme non-like for video games. Nitrotype, however, is what my family recommends for my, shall we say, less than satisfactory typing skills. 😉 So, its car-racing I go … but only as much as I absolutely, positively must. *sighs an even bigger sigh*

I’ve got a lot of goals this month! Never mind the busyness of life, or the unexpected day to day happenings, now I’ve got personal and educational goals than before! I guess this is where my word of the year comes in … Determination. And that’s part of where my motivation post (read it here) will come into large play this month, because not only am I lacking motivation, I am also feeling procrastination – a lack of desire to do the work in order to succeed – which is a killer of hopes and dreams and everything in between.

In addition to that, I’ve also been feeling a lot of pressure coming at me, career-wise. Well-meaning people asking me what I want to do after high school, telling me to go ahead, that God would keep me from that which wasn’t his Will … but that doesn’t sit right with me. I feel a pull to do something I don’t want, and every time I read a passage about surrendering my life to God, I feel as though I haven’t yet.

I’ve found myself wishing and wishing that God would somehow yank me out of the now and place me into the then. Impart His Will without me having to worry about whether or not I’m doing the right thing. But God doesn’t impart His Will without consent. We each have to CHOOSE our way of life, and try our best to align it with what God has said to us all that He wants us to do, and what He wants us specifically to do, personally. So, that part of my life (my future) is kind of “on hold” right now, and while I’m thinking and preparing and praying and waiting for a sign, God is still preparing me for His Plan. I just need to trust Him.

So what does the Bible have to say about these struggles; not knowing where you’re going, and procrastinating in carrying out the steps? I found plenty of sayings in Proverbs which really seemed to hit the nail on the head.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9, NKJV

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3, NKJV

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21 NKJV

“But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”

Isaiah 32:8, NIV

” For as he thinks in His heart, so is he.”

Proverbs 23:7, NKJV

These verses serve to remind me that my thoughts are powerful, that God’s plans are better, and that, in time, all will be resolved. But, as I’m sure many of y’all know and understand, it’s still hard! 😌


(I know, really motley bunch they are, don’t judge! XD)

That’s it for today, everyone!! What are some of your May goals? Have any future/life advice for me? And, most importantly, how has God worked in your life recently? Feel absolutely free to share in the comments below!

Motivation To Help You Stay Strong Through The Rest Of The School Year!

“Hail, the end of the school year! All salute!!”

I am so excited for spring and summer! As the snow melts into the ground, I am inwardly bouncing around just thinking about wind in the trees, sun on my back … yep, this is the good life!

One thing is a little difficult … coming back to earth to think about school, and finishing up the grade! Most of us are going to take a summer break, and for those of us who are, it can seem like that break is sure a long time in coming! But there are a few things that we young people can keep in mind when eagerly anticipating the end of the school year.


It’s not just about finishing up school. There is a lot more to it than that. Just think about it … why are pretty much all of us are getting a little demotivated with school or feeling overwhelmed with the amount of end-term work we have?

Because the issue is not only external – what we are struggling with is PERSEVERANCE.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”

Hebrews 12:1

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Romans 5:3-4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

James 1:2-4

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2 Peter 1:5-7

So, although you might have thought that this whole motivation thing was only about school, it’s not. Its also about perseverance – finishing what we’ve started – running the race set before us – building character – and “faithing it” throughout life.

So, let’s have perseverance.

Let’s remember to live FULLY.

We’ve committed to this school year – let’s finish it strong!

Our parents are counting on us – let’s make them proud!

Some of us are graduating this year – make this a month that YOU are proud of!

And most of all, let’s make God proud!! Let’s show Him how grateful we are for the blessing of education, by making the most of every moment we have (even if it is a difficult subject or topic!) Let’s not drag simply because our stagnant natures want to slack. Let’s motivate ourselves! We can do this!

And finally, as one of my friends says …

“You can do it! You can do it! You can do it! You can do it!” (By the way, you CAN! 😉)

(Disclaimer: None of these pictures are mine. All credit to creators and owners.😊)

See the source image
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I hope these quotes and my words inspired you to keep going strong throughout the next month or two of school! What are all of y’all doing for summer break?

April Goals (+ Other Thoughts)

Hey Y’all, it’s goal-setting time again!

So, I began writing this in March, and I honestly have to say that I am so shocked that it’s APRIL ALREADY, Y’ALL!! It’s so crazy!! And I figured that its time for me to start telling y’all my goals again, just to keep me more accountable. This last month of March has been SO nutsy. I spent at least 10 days at the local pool swimming laps, which is totally weird because for me, swimming is a chore – I just do it to get where I want to go, then I stop. But I’ve been thinking about moving up and taking some more advanced classes, so I’ve been practicing.

And already, amazing things have come of it!

  1. I learned eggbeater!
  2. I can swim front crawl without totally dying.
  3. I can execute a wobbly, slow, and pathetic wall flip. 👏

But, joking aside, there was one thing that really affected me.

By the middle of the month, when I started winding down swimming, things were getting busy and I decided to only go twice that week. But then, my Mom persuaded me to swim another time that week, so I agreed to do it.

Over the first two days that week, I had met an older woman (in her sixties, probably) in the change room. She is always just finishing up when I get there, so we have a few minutes to chat before we part ways. The first day, she complained to me about how she’d rather swim from 8:00-9:00 AM, as opposed to her 2:00 PM schedule, but the pool wouldn’t let her. I felt badly for her, but of course there was nothing I could do. Then I found out that if she doesn’t swim, her arthritis acts up more for her, which made me feel more sympathetic. But then came Thursday, the day my Mom had convinced me to go on.

I walked in and saw her there, and asked her how her swim had been. She said, “Well, I found out that its possible to cry and swim at the same time!” Oh dear, I thought, that’s awful. (Take note: I have been there, done that, so I knew what she was talking about!) I asked her what was bothering her, and she said it was her schedule again. She even started crying. She was just so frustrated that the pool wouldn’t budge its schedule for her.

You may be thinking, “Well, I do feel bad for her, but she’s overreacting.”

Well, this lady wasn’t just upset about swimming times – she told me that her husband had cancer.

Hold up! Rewind!

It would have been so easy to brush her off as emotional and overreactive, without bothering to dig deep underneath and discover that she was really hurting on the inside, knowing that her husband’s bone tests loomed up on the horizon and waiting to know whether he would live or die … that overwhelmed her, to the point where she broke down about a swimming schedule! Sometimes going through something really tough, makes everything hard!

I was super nervous, but I tried to listen compassionately. When it seemed right, I said, “When I’m really struggling, I usually pray about it.” She said she also did, and I asked her if I could pray for her.

(Now, some of you guys might know, I have been trying to pray more, because I feel like conversation is where relationships start, and I want a deeper relationship with God. So now, it’s a huge leap to tell someone I hardly know, that I will pray for her. So I was super nervous to say it but I felt so glad afterward! And she said she really would appreciate it.)

Looking back, the only other thing I could’ve done better, is to pray with her, right then and there. (Which I didn’t do, I don’t think the thought really crossed my mind fast enough.) I want to offer her love and hope – and saying that I would pray for her was a big step, but now I wish I had taken that other step, just so she’d know that I was REALLY serious – that I DID want to pray for her.

But there’s a limit to every teen’s courage the first time they do something, and I think I hit mine! 😄

But anyway, the point of my telling you this story was that you never know when something crazy and unexpected will happen, and you’ll get to be God’s witness to the world. I mean, I wasn’t even going to GO swimming that day, and SHE didn’t want to go at 2:00! But somehow it worked out that we were both there, at the same time, and that she opened up to me a little about her struggles, and that I had the courage to ask to pray for her. I absolutely did not expect that to be part of my day, but it made it better.


Mini Life Update: This past month, I finished almost all of my Grade 10 English and History, which I’m SO glad about! I’ve begun Grade 11 English and History (again, with the Ron Paul Curriculum,) and am hopeful to finish those courses by the fall.


I read my friend Jasmine’s April Goals recently, and they are SO GOOD! I really love what she said, so please go check them out! It’s inspired me to work harder on my own character (and school assignments, of course!), and I’m so excited for this month’s goals!!

  • Read the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) again. At this point, having read the whole Bible all the way through (YES!) I’m going to be more focused on really studying the passage, and thinking about connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  • Only do what gives me joy, and rejoice about the things I cannot change. Basically, I want to feel good about what I’ve done in the day, so I’ll be really thinking about what matters most to me. And even if I’ve done school and chores all day (which I can’t escape!) I want to be able to have joy through THAT too.
  • Get to Lesson 50 in History and English, and Lesson 180 in Business 1. I am so excited to finally be in Grade 11 (after catching up all year! *facepalm*) I, like Jasmine, am determined to get ahead, so I’m going to really work at it.
  • Spend more time outside! As its getting warmer here, I am SO. EXCITED. to go barefoot, start running around and playing tag on the ground (as opposed to on top of hay bales, hehe …), and playing volleyball! I have to balance it with school though, so we’ll see how this goes!
  • Practice piano five days a week. Self-explanatory.
  • Get up early and be productive in the mornings! I unashamedly stole this one from Jasmine (🤣), but I really do need it! My goal is 6:00 or 6:30.

Happy April, y’all!

What are you most excited for in April? What are your goals? What are your big plans for the warm weather? Let’s talk about it! Honestly y’all, please tell me. I need ideas for what to do over the summer! 😄

Let’s Talk About Brothers And Respect …

Yep, I’m another one of those girls with a heap of brothers! Today, I want to talk about respect .. respecting our siblings, and helping them to learn to respect us. My brothers are fun-loving, mischievous, loud scamps who drive me crazy, but they love me and show their love by respecting my personal space and my opinions. I have a brother who is very close to me in age, and he is one of my best friends! As a teen, he has begun to mature in ways that amaze me. Not only does he respect me, he has also protected my heart, protected my body, and kept my secrets. Not every girl is so blessed as I am.

Thoughtless comments, rough physical touch, ridiculing, teasing, bugging on purpose … how does any sibling, and child of God, deserve to be treated this way? Some brothers treat their sisters with carelessness, not with care. These brothers might not bad guys – they just have a bad habit of treating their sister with less respect than she deserves, not only as their sister, but as a woman, as a daughter of God.

This makes me wonder … why do brothers fail to respect their sisters? I understand occasional kind-hearted teasing, (goodness knows, my brothers have dished out their fair share often enough!), but what about when it becomes an epidemic of unkind words and actions? What drives young men to treat their sisters this way?

I’ve learned that for some boys, they don’t feel like their sister deserves respect. They feel that she is a baby, or that she’s mean to them, so why should they be nice to her? They might have bad examples in their parents, who treat their daughter with less care than they should. Or, they might feel that they don’t measure up to their sister, and the only way to deal with their bitterness is to act out of it, rather than releasing it. Whatever the reason, our brothers need to understand that respect is not necessarily deserved (because of course we will fail and disrespect them sometimes) but respect is something that you give freely, like love.

We love because Christ first loved us – so why don’t we respect our siblings the way Christ treats His brothers and sisters in the faith?


Another thing that we girls need to realize is that, although we may crave our brother’s respect and kindness, we may be making it difficult for them by treating THEM unkindly. In the same way that girls can show kindness to our guyfriends by dressing in a way that does not provoke them to immoral thoughts, so we should act in a way that makes it easier for our brothers to love us back.

  • We need to respect THEM first. Although there is no excuse for our brothers to disrespect us simply because we disrespect them, we cannot expect a major life change to occur in their hearts unless WE change first. Maybe your brother will change on his own, but as an older sister, I can tell you that our brothers will, to a certain degree, mirror our actions. Respecting them is a great way to show them the kind of respect we want.
  • Our brothers are the men of tomorrow. If these young men don’t learn to respect us as their family and the people they live with, then what kind of respect will they have for their wives, sister-in-laws, and even their own daughters? I’m not saying that their fate rests on your (and my) shoulders alone, but I am saying that we can be the change in their lives. Encouraging them to respect us in their words and actions will prepare them for the day they realize that their wife wants to be respected too.
  • Even though it hurts to be disrespected, you must know that you’re not in this alone. Your parents are the ultimate enforcers in your house. If the situation has come to a place where the line has been crossed between simple teasing and ridiculing, then don’t be afraid to ask your parents for their advice, or ask your dad to talk to your brother. Communicate clearly with them that you love your brother, that his disrespect makes it difficult to respect him back, and that his attitude hurts you. Not every brother is man enough to take it humbly, and to actually change the way he relates to you, but some WILL own that responsibility.
  • Don’t forget to PRAY. If you’re a sister waiting for your brother’s heart to change towards you, don’t wait without doing anything. Pray that God would touch his heart and his responses towards you. God can do anything, even fix your relationship with your brother, so don’t be afraid to bend the knee every once in a while to seek his help in mending the fences.

And to those of you guys who are reading? Please, please, examine your heart, thoughts, and actions. Are you respecting your sister? Or are you putting her down? She doesn’t need to DESERVE your respect. But if you truly believe that all of us matter to God, then you need to treat your sister like you love her with GOD’S love. And who knows? Maybe she will blossom under your affirmation. And maybe not. But no matter what happens, are you man enough to respect your sister like you will have to respect your wife someday?

And while you’re at it, love them. Help them. Protect them. Serve them. Know that your actions are being seen, not only by those who will come into your future someday, but also by the One Who holds your future in His hands.

Well, sisters, you should know that my heart hurts for those of you who have been hurt by a brother’s disrespect. When my brothers disrespect me, I feel abandoned and rejected, because I want a loving relationship. So I understand what you feel like. Please don’t be afraid to take steps to love and respect them, even if they continue to hurt you. In the end, we are to love our enemies. You’re brother might not be your enemy, but the principle remains; to love all, even those who don’t love you back.

And if you have friends who get disrespected by their brothers … let’s protect them, shall we? Let’s stand up for them. Because, even if nothing changes in their lives, we have a responsibility to love the unloved and respect the unrespected. And once we do that, one thing will for sure happen – you will be a voice of hope and change in your friend’s life.

Getting Back on Track

Do you remember when you were smashing your goals every day and felt overwhelmed but amazing? I remember. I’d like to say that everything has been peachy with me the past few weeks, but I’ve really let myself go! A lot of things have been changing in my life, and many have acutally been positive changes, but I’ve allowed that to become an excuse for discarding habits that I didn’t feel that I had time for. Now, looking back and examining those habits I’ve almost lost, I can see how much happier I was with them.

Ever feel like your productivity has just gone down the drain? Not everyone can hold themselves to an amazing and responsible schedule non-stop. Don’t stress about it – give yourself a little grace, and feel free to start over and get back into a routine that refreshes you, whether that includes adding more of your passions to your life, or taking out some energy-suckers that aren’t worth the time you put into it.

So, because everyone loves lists, here’s a checklist for getting your lifestyle back on track with your happy place!

  • Hold yourself accountable to your goals! I’ve stopped myself from pursuing a goal so many times, because I “didn’t feel like it”. When other people know and will check up on you, you feel pushed to accomplish it (or merely slug your way through it!) so you don’t disappoint them or get publicly embarrassed. Sharing my goals with all of you on blogging may not have helped you very much, but it has been a TERRIFIC motivator for me, to, as Nike says, “Just Do It!” Mah fans are watching … 👀
  • Re-evaluate what you want in your life. If your plans, schedule, or priorities have changed, that goal you made last month might not be relevant to your life anymore! Being conscious of your long-term goals, lifestyle, and future plans can keep you from working on a goal that doesn’t satisfy you, or direct you towards a new goal that will take you closer to what you want!
  • Make a plan. Diving in is great, but make sure you take the time to elaborate on specifics, mark up a schedule, and set boundaries for yourself, so you are fully prepared for the changes you want to make, and the struggles you’ll encounter on your journey.
  • Pray for strength and guidance. I don’t know about you, but it lifts me up so much to know that my Heavenly Father is rooting for me in something, and gives me the will to do it. It might seem trivial to ask Him for help in chores, or selfish to pray for some alone time, but your Heavenly Father hears you and knows what you need, and is willing and loves to give good things to the children He loves.
  • Force yourself. It’s going to be very hard to get back into a good habit, possibly harder than it was to enter it in the first place. Don’t go easy on yourself, because if you do, you’ll never get around to the concrete-smashing mold you need in order to firmly cement that habit. These days, its incredibly hard for me to pull myself away from something I desperately WANT to do in order to do something I desperate NEED to do. Take the unnecessary things off your “to do” list, and get out and force yourself to ACTUALLY do the important things.
  • Consider what matter most to you in life. This is something I’d really encourage all of you to do. I have friends and family who have struggles going on, and I’d just really advise you all to get down to the basics – think about what REALLY matters to you in life. (For me, #1 is Faith, and all that it entails – but personality-wise, I really treasure friendships, writing, health, being active and in nature, and adventure-ing.)

I hope y’all really enjoyed these tips! I compiled them one at a time, coming back to them every once in a while to add something. Let me know if you think I should add anything, and lets chat in the comments! 👏

Hamentaschen Honey Dough Cookie Recipe!

Hello everyone!! I’m so excited to be posting this recipe on here! We make these delicious cookies as a Purim tradition, but you can make them at any time of the year! My brothers really enjoy making them, and, as I’m sure you older sisters out there know, when there’s jam involved, things can get a bit crazy! (But very, very, very sweet! 😉)

It might take a little practice to get used to folding them in the shape of triangles, but it is possible! We began making these several years ago, and I’ve only just got the knack of it, so be prepared for some funky shapes starting out! 😝

The method is to roll out the dough thinly, then cut it into circles using a widemouthed mug or jar, then drop jam into the middle of the circle, then to fold the edges of the dough over the jam. Sometimes the dough isn’t too sticky, so after baking, the edges may come apart, but you can also use egg whites to stick the edges down so they STAY DOWN!

Here’s the recipe ⬇ (By the way, I think a friend of ours found this recipe online, but I wasn’t able to find the link. So, I give the credit to whoever it is due. Thank you very much, nameless person!)


Hamentaschen Honey Dough

Ingredients:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs (graded large)
½ cup room temp. butter
1 cup honey, warmed
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Beat the eggs with the butter. Beat in the honey and lemon juice. Stir in half of the dry ingredients. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the mixture, mixing well until a dough is formed. (Tip: One time my mom and I were stirring the dough, and the wooden spoon literally broke in our hands, it was so thick! It may be necessary to use your hands to get a smooth working dough.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to ¹\8-inch thickness. Take a wide jar (or a circle-shaped cookie-cutter) and cut into 3-inch rounds. Drop a heaping teaspoon of jam (just make sure that it isn’t so full that the dough is hard to fold over it) in the center of each circle. Fold up the edges of each round to form an equilateral triangle; pinch the seams together to seal.
  3. I love using an ungreased baking stone to bake these, but you can also bake the triangles on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, (or until golden and lightly browned), then cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!!

I hope you all really enjoy making these! (I just thought I should mention, being the conceited teenager that I am, that these are my first pics to post on my blog! I am by no means a photographer, but I am ridiculously pleased with the way they turned out! 😝 What do you all think?)

A Woman Of Resolutions …

Hey everyone! Today I’ve got something short and thoughtprovoking for ya.

As I read through a friend’s post, (a Life Update with Recent Reads from Laurel Jean, at laureljean.com), my eyes stopped at a quote she had included from “The Resolution for Women”, a book by Priscilla Shirer.

“Right now – whether you realize it or not – you’re choosing to treat people a certain way, to stay committed to certain activities, to live a certain life, to be a certain kind of person. You’re already a woman of resolutions.

Immediately after I read this, I was hit with the realization that my resolutions are not as pure as I’d like them to be – not as selfless, not as godly, not as honorable as I’d like to see myself.

And I also realized that I AM a woman of resolutions. I’ve made my own opinions, formed habits, made friends, publicized ideas, and now I have to live with every one of those choices, those resolutions. But I know that where I am now is no where near where I desperately want to be … in a place of trust, success, and security.

And all of you out there reading … YOU are men and women of resolutions. You live with a mindset that has been formed throughout your whole life, and you live with habits and actions that are a result of what you value most. You might not be setting a goal to succeed, but you unconscionably develop aspirations. Aspirations that you may achieve in glory and fame – or which may simply always be a pile of dreams in the back of your mind, collecting dust.

So I challenge YOU – Make a conscious Resolution. Think hard about yourself. Are you who you want to be? Or have you given way to pressure, procrastination, or the world?

Then make a Resolution to CHANGE. To become the young man or woman that God wants you to be. Seek to align your resolutions and your character to Yah’s character.

What I’ve Learned Since Turning 16 …. (part 1.)

A few months ago … I turned 16!

I actually didn’t want to turn 16.

All my life, I’ve been dying to be older, but as I’ve actually attained those ages that were so eagerly anticipated, I’ve realized that with the perks and the privileges come a ton of responsibilities too. Now, I’m scared to be older, because that means that I have to make some big decisions about my future, who I am and who I want to be, what work I want to do, and what people I want to be around. It means remodeling my life, and it’s a really scary and uncomfortable phase.

I have all these expectations of what I’d like my life to look like, but I know that YHVH’s plan is the only plan. When I can’t see His plan, I get scared and either want to shrink and hide, or take control of my life. I’m uncomfortable in a transition phase, because I don’t feel secure.

Okay, so none of you ever knew. Even if you know me personally, you would never have described me as someone who wants to shrink into a corner. You would have described me as a ‘go-getter’, a smart student, quick-thinking, creative, athletic, studious, fun-loving, confident enough to strike up a conversation with anyone regardless of their age or gender. A soak-up-info-like-a-sponge girl, a romantic, a musician. (I’m serious! People would definitely describe me this way!)

But sometimes, the people who look the most put-together and in-control, are the most insecure. We put pressure on ourselves to be as awesome as everyone thinks we are, sometimes to be even better! As an oldest child, with a competitiveness inherited from both my parents, my mindset is “finish it fast, first, and better than ever before!”

But it gets exhausting, and when I can’t do it, I wonder what’s wrong with me.

But the truth is, I don’t HAVE to be better.

I just have to do my best. Waiting, patiently, for YHVH’s plan. (Did I mention I’m not very patient?) But we don’t have to become patient people to wait. We just have to become trusting people.

What I have learned throughout the year …

1. You don’t have to do it all.

I have really high ambitions for myself and I worry about if I’ll graduate on time, will I be able to get into a college if I want to, am I smart enough to make a living, am I secure and strong enough to live alone … but my Dad advised me to just take it one step at a time. You can’t get to square three without starting on square one.

And yes, I’m still ambitious! I want to play volleyball and do calligraphy and make vision boards and complete all the math curriculum possible and write songs and go on morning runs and redo my room and make money and workout … just see my bucket list!! But those things don’t have to take first place.

First place belongs to the things that are REALLY important.

2. Honor the people you live with.

I know it seems like your family understands you and can put up with you when you get annoying, but recently I’ve had to ask my family’s forgiveness a lot for being, as two of my brothers put it, cranky. (A most glamorous epithet for a contemporary teen girl, I know! *facepalm*)

My relationship with my Dad is so close. He is my protector against the world. He deserves my trust because he has proven himself to be a man after God’s own heart. I trust him so much … even when I disagree with him, I respect him because I know he only wants the very best for me. I’m so thankful for his presence in my life, providing for me, giving me all sorts of wisdom and advice, and leading our family in a strong walk of faith with God and in ministry to a huge sector of people.

My Mom and I have the relationship every girl has with her mom – we’ve had all the long talks about fashion, boys, and the future. But that’s not the only way my Mom helps me … she works so hard to make great food, cooking, baking, gardening, drying, preserving, and canning. She takes me to piano lessons. She takes me to my friends’ houses. She has my friends over! She goes shopping with me. When my acne was bad, she literally did everything she could to help me with it. She has a great faith that gets her up in bed every morning to read the Bible and pray for hours. My Mom is Superwoman.

My parents are a team. And they love me together.

But parents aren’t the only ones who deserve respect …. Anyone got siblings? 😂

There are so many reasons to be kind to your siblings. As an oldest child, I frequently have problems suppressing my sisterly urge to tell my three brothers what to do … hehe. When I do it, it obviously doesn’t go over well. I’ve seen so many girls that have horrible relationships with their brothers (or sisters!) And I don’t have any experience with sisters (because I don’t have any), but I have a brother who is 17 months younger than me and we are best friends. I’m not kidding.

My relationship with my brother is so close and wonderful! We can tell each other anything. He is great at so many things and we share our knowledge and ideas and struggles.

Neither of us are perfect siblings, and we do get mad at each other sometimes, but our relationship is so strong that we can easily forgive and forget. I get so sad when I see brothers and sisters snapping at each other, or laughing when the other person has their feelings hurt. This is not the way it should be! We should be loving and caring, helping each other along in Christ, helping each other to become better and encouraging each other!

Something to think about …. Someday you may like someone in a special way. You need to realize that the way a girl treats her brother is the way she’ll treat her husband. The way a guy treats his sister is the way he’ll treat his wife. And trust me, people know this. When I see a boy who mistreats his sister, not only am I saddened, but that means that the boy has lost a ton of estimation in my eyes because … if he treats his sister in that way …. Then how will he treat his wife?

3. It’s not about Me – it’s about Him. (God)

Every year, me and a bunch of other families rent a whole camp and stay there a week, staying up late, having shared meals, and studying the Bible. This year, it’s going to look a lot different. I’ve been struggling with that a lot and wishing that we could do what we always do. I selfishly want this, I want that ….

But it’s not about me. The reason we DO this campout is FOR GOD. And this applies to everything in our lives! Whatever you do, do it for the glory of GOD.

It’s not about me; it’s about Him.

4. Boundaries mean nothing if you don’t have the right motive.

How close is too close to get to a guy? Can you hold hands? Can you be alone together? The Bible doesn’t say anything about “just friends” or “hanging out” or “dating”, so how do we know what to do?

The fact that some people ask this is a dead giveaway that they want to get as close to the line as they can, without “actually” sinning. Or, some people might be just genuinely wondering. I’ll assume I’m talking to the second audience, because if you belong to the first audience, you shouldn’t be here. You should be on your knees with your Bible open.

*Anyway* To address the issue, here are a few verses that are important to remember :

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31, NKJV (emphasis mine)

(Treat others the way you would want to be loved. If another teen were in love with you but they didn’t respect your boundaries or tried to accelerate your relationship beyond what you were comfortable with, that wouldn’t be a loving act, would it?)

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2, NKJV (emphasis mine)

(I get that the context is about exhortation versus rebukes, but it also highlights the way we are to relate to the sexes in even the most tense and highly emotional situations – as brothers and sisters. Maybe not the way we normally relate to our siblings (since many of us are prone to failure in that regard,) but if you think about just how platonic and caring your relationship with your siblings should be, it presents a much clearer picture of how to relate to others “in all purity”.)

5. It’s not enough to just talk the talk – it’s not enough to just walk the walk – you have to LIVE the LIFE.

I found this truth buried in a heap of missed bible readings and ever-piling workouts. Yep. In plainer terms: I was so busy trying to build myself physically, that I forgot about building myself up spiritually. I constantly have to remind myself to go and DO things – not because they gain my salvation, but because of my salvation! If you have a light, shine it!

6. Appearances are deceiving …

Let’s be honest: when was the last time you saw someone with a zit and thought “Man, they look SO ugly today. If they didn’t have that zit, they would look SO much better.” Nobody thinks that! The truth is, we are much harder on ourselves and our appearances than anyone else is. Most people don’t even care what you look like! And yet, that truth is so hard to grasp.

What really matters is what’s going on in the inside. The most gorgeous girl can appear ugly if she is rude, shallow in character, or obnoxious. I’d rather spend my time in the pursuit of spiritual beauty, than wake up one day with the acne gone, but spiritually empty.

(All that being said, sometimes we think we suffer more than anyone else appearance-wise. But guess what – everyone thinks that! I don’t know a single person who has not been insecure about something at one time or another. So, although they may look like they’re fine on the outside, they may not be doing so good on the inside. So – let’s be sensitive to the unspoken insecurities of others, and build each other up.)

7. Just DO The Hard Thing.

You know when you have a dream, but having that dream means you’re going to have to do things that are either impossible, very difficult, or take a long time? When faced with the realities of a dream, I often give up, telling myself it isn’t worth it to me. But what if it truly IS worth it? Then you’ve missed out … Big time.

Don’t go in headfirst, without knowing how deep the bottom is. First measure the depth, then dive in … immediately! Before you have a chance to lose your nerve … or worse, let the dream slowly slip away.

8. Age is just a number.

I spent many years practically wishing away my life so that I could be 16, or 17, or 18. Then, finally, I neared my 16th birthday, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t excited. Because I’ve finally realized how fast time flies.

Life slips away so fast that we don’t realize when we are wasting our life. And dreaming away our lives, til the day we can drive; til the day we can date; til the day we can graduate high school; til the day we can go to college and blast the socks off our teachers; til the day we can get married; til the day when we *finally* have our dream body; we could waste our whole lives dreaming in this way, never stopping to enjoy the amazing benefits of right now.

Please, don’t wish the years away like I did. Age is just a number, but the years of your life are a blessing. Enjoy them while you have them! They will be gone before you know it.


Alright everyone, I hope you enjoyed these and that they were a blessing to you! Which one spoke to you the most? What’s one thing (or two, or three …) that you’ve learned in the past year?

(I’ll post a second part, as a series, sometimes in the future. No plans as to when, though!)