26 February 2011

Au revoir!

It is with great regret that I inform you, ladies, that I will be taking a blogging break for a while. I don't think it will be for very long--only 2 weeks at the most. The reason for this sudden departure is as follows...

My father will be taking my book's edited manuscript to a friend of his who is interested in seeing it. Isn't that exciting? I am thrilled, to say the least. But this amazing opportunity will force me to push blogging to the wayside for a bit o' time. I must have my book completely finished--editing and everything--by the end of this week. That way, my father can read over it a final time, make sure it's ready, etc., before he takes it to his friend. Between that and finishing my regency gown (the English country dance at my tutorial is in but 5 weeks!), not to mention my usual schoolwork and responsibilites, I fear I shall have little time to blog. Rather than make you think I care little for you by publishing short, not-so-good posts, I have decided to simply stop posting for 2 weeks. That way you know what is going on, for I do not wish to leave you hanging.

I mentioned my regency costume for the first time in months, did I not? What has been going on in that area? Well, I am sorry to say this, but my mother, sister, and I had to put aside our sewing ever since the end of summer. We simply didn't have the time to complete them at this point in our lives. Now we are once more picking up our projects, which means as soon as I return, you shall be hearing more from that quarter and seeing more photos of our progress. Currently, we have finished our chemises and are nearly done with the short stays--all that is left after we complete the short stays is to make the gowns themselves. I have already read over the instructions, and I found them quite simple--it shouldn't take us too long. 

One last thing: my father will be showing my book to his friend on March 9th. If you remember and have a moment that day, please pray that everything goes smoothly, if it is according to His will. I would dearly love to be able to release Violets Are Blue on April 14th, 2012 (the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic--epic, no?*), but I don't know if that is the direction He wants me to take. All I know is that I want to follow His plan more than anything else, whether that means my book will be sucessful or not. 

Au revoir, sweet ladies! Fare thee well. I shall see you again soon. 

*If it does work out that I can publish my book on April 14th, 2012, you can expect a grand surprise. :)

22 February 2011

Blueberry Cobbler

At my house, there are many daughters. And we ladies love to bake. Cooking is fun, but baking is one of our specialities. :) This recipe for a delicious blueberry cobbler is one we just tried, and it has swiftly become a favorite! 

Blueberry Cobbler
*Recipe (c) CookingLight cookbook

Ingredients~

Filling:
6 cups of fresh blueberries
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind

Topping:
1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
5 tablespoons of chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup of fat-free sour cream
3 tablespoon of 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon of sugar

Directions~

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


- To prepare filling, combine filling ingredients in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.



- To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next four ingredients (sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

- Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. 


- Stir in sour cream to form a soft dough.


- Drop dough by spoonfulls onto blueberry filling to form 9 dumplings. 


- Brush dumplings with milk, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. 


- Place baking dish on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and dumplings are lightly browned. 


The finished cobbler..


We paired our cobbler with some vanilla ice cream--yum!


Let me know if you decide to try this recipe at your home! 


EDIT @ 1:57 P.M. You should be able to see the photos now, but let me know if you still can't see them. 

20 February 2011

Sunday Blessings

(disclaimer: not my photo)

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 

 Worship the LORD with gladness; 
   come before him with joyful songs. 
Know that the LORD is God. 
   It is he who made us, and we are his; 
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
   and his courts with praise; 
   give thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; 
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

Have a blessed Sunday, ladies! 

18 February 2011

Isn't Life the Sweetest?

Gratefullness is a hard thing: it's easy to tell others to be grateful for what they have, but it's not so easy to be grateful yourself, is it? I love linking up with Ara's Life Is Sweet, because it helps remind me of all the beautiful, lovely, and simply-sweet things in my life for which I am grateful. 

Life Is Sweet


10 Things For Which I Am Grateful

1. Warm(er) weather! Cold, cold, I'm glad you've gone away (for a few days, that is), please don't come back another day...
2. Red shoes. Specifically ones that show off your newly-painted red toenails. :)
3. The smell of homemade bread.
4. Being a week ahead in my Spanish homework--yep, that's a nice feeling. :)
5. The little cookies they give out for free at the grocery store--mmm, chocolate chip is the best. 
6. Plenty o' chocolate kisses left over from Valentine's Day.
7. My momma's camera, which she always allows me to use, even if I might be taking pictures of my cereal (I must ask--do all photographers receive those queer glances from their family when they jump up and down because they just succeeded in capturing a really good photo with a point-and-shoot camera? Or am I the only one?). 
8. Friends who willingly give us bunches and bunches of lovely clothes that fit us perfectly... for free. Thank you so much, Lord--you never cease to provide. 
9. Videos like this that make me laugh and laugh and laugh because they remind me so much of my sister Bree and I. Really. It's almost scary. :)
10. Struggling with the plot for my second book, Autumn Roses, and then--in that moment of realization when I knew I couldn't do it on my own--giving it to God. And in that same moment, He brought a quote by C.S. Lewis to my mind:
"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."
I don't have to make my plot original, or brilliant, or somehow more wonderful than other really good books. All I have to do is tell the truth. And you know what? Through seeking to tell the TRUTH in this next book, God spoke to me and gave me a plot that my little historical-fiction-loving heart adores. Isn't that beautiful? 

16 February 2011

Oh, 'Twas A Delightful Day

(disclaimer: not my photo)


This day has been quite delightful. The weather was gorgeous (how I love the sun!) and we spent a good deal of our time outside, soaking up all the warmth. 

I am often asked to tell a bit more about my life on my blog, so, as I often say, I shall oblige you, by giving you a little insight into my day-to-day life. 

This morning I rose at about 7 A.M., dressed quickly, and went downstairs to make breakfast. French toast was on the menu for today (we often have a "special breakfast," i.e. pancakes, eggs, etc., on Wednesdays), and I mixed up the egg batter without much hassle. The rest of the girls came downstairs then and set the table while I fried the first batch of French toast. Alas, I had not mixed the eggs well enough, and I had soaked the bread in the batter too long, resulting in... well, almost-scrambled eggs (with a bit of bread). Not very pleasant. :( Luckily, my father came into the kitchen at that moment, and managed to save the rest of our breakfast, and he taught me the "tricks of the trade." Now I know the rules for making French toast. :)

After eating, we proceeded to continue with our schooling for the day: memorization. We are currently memoring the Declaration of Indepence as a family, and every Wednesday we spend the whole morning memorizing about 2 more paragraphs. Our method? 'Tis very interesting...

We draw little sketches to help us memorize. Yes, you heard--er, read--right. Daddy brings in the wipeoff board, and he draws little stick men and sketches on it. Here's an example of how it works: if we are trying to memorize the phrase "and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation" (a portion of our memory-work for this week), we might draw a box of Total cereal, the words "unworthy the" and then we would draw a large head with the words "nation" and "civilized" as its arms and legs. Can you picture that?

At about 11 A.M., we finished our memorization time and split up around the house to complete various chores. Emilia and Bree folded laundry, and Ethan helped Momma with the humidifiers. It gets very dry here in the winter, so we keeps several humidifiers around the house from December to March. Filling them is a daily chore. My particular task this morning was vacuuming the family van and cleaning out any spare bits of paper or trash. 

We had lunch at 1 P.M. (late for us, but we had a big breakfast), then walked up to our neighborhood's tennis court to get some fresh air. Aah, 'twas very beautiful! Bree and I had quite some fun serving the ball back and forth over the net. None of us are great tennis players, but we did have an enjoyable time. Laughter was in abundance. :)

At about 3:30 P.M., I walked back to our house to complete some neccesary science homework, while the rest of my family stayed out for another hour, enjoying the nice weather. By the time they got home, I had completed my homework--that's a nice feeling. :)

Dinner was a simple affair of potato-breaded fish (trust me--it's very yummy!) and vegetables. Afterward, I vacuumed the upstairs hall and the bedroom Bree and I share. 


Now that all my tasks are complete I plan on painting my fingernails and toenails, and then editing more of Violets Are Blue (I'm so close to the end that I can almost taste it.) Overall, 'twas a lovely day. :)


"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." ~Psalm 118:24

14 February 2011

True Love: What Does It Mean?

(disclaimer: not my photo)

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

"Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." ~1 Corinthians 13

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." ~John 15:13

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." ~1 John 4:9-11

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." ~1 John 4:8

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~John 3:16

Happy Valentine's Day!

12 February 2011

I Am Commited to Being Christ's Valentine... Are You?

What would you think if I told you that I have a Valentine? And guess what? You do, too!

The Bible says that Christ is our Bridegroom and we, as the Church, are His Bride. Make it known that you are commited to being Christ's Valentine this February by signing this petiton!

Moriah at Uniquely Fashioned For His Glory came up with this wonderful way to get young ladies really discovering the beauty in becoming Christ's Valentine until He brings your Prince Charming into your life. And the steps are extremely simple:

~Post about The Committed to Being Christ’s Valentine petition 

  {right click and save the picture below and put it within your post} 









~Then link up to this page.
~Please leave a comment here.
~Once you've signed the petition, feel free to grab this button:



Want to join? Click here for all the details. 

Have a blessed day, ladies!

10 February 2011

Books: Treasure or Trouble?


I know what you're thinking--did Elizabeth actually call books trouble? Is something wrong?

No, nothing is wrong. Please keep reading.

I can often be heard saying something along the lines of "I love books." Is there anything wrong with that? I don't think so, as long as my reading material is in line with the Bible. I find great enjoyment as I delve into different stories, discovering new, imaginary worlds.

However, there's a problem: there aren't any good books anymore.

Authors seem to have lost the sense of what makes a good book! I mean, good vampires? What has happened to good literature?

The typical top-selling young adult novel that you'll find in Barnes & Noble today normally has something to do with the supernatural... and the author tries to make it sound good. Godly, even. I don't like books about witchcraft, spells, etc., so I don't choose to look at them. Wrong is wrong. I find these types of books easy to ignore when the author is not a Believer. But when the author IS a Believer? Then it makes me sad. 

What's happened to Anne Shirley? Lizzy Bennet? Jo March? Where are the virtuous characters and plotlines we used to see in the bookstores? 

Now, I'm not saying the characters were perfect. They were human. Anne certainly made her share of mistakes. But they realized when they made mistakes, and they tried to change that! They realized that they were sinners and needed to seek the LORD's forgiveness. Sometimes it seems like the characters nowadays don't even realize when they do something wrong.

And as the characters decline, the plots do as well! Have you noticed a sort of "blueprint" for all new books that are coming out? They normally include an extremely average girl and some supernatural boy who's "perfect." She thinks he's perfect, abandones all her friends and family for him, daydreams about him, and makes him out to be a "god." 

Hmm, does that sound right? 

Well, let's look at the First Commandment:
"You shall have no other gods before Me."
There it is, in black and white. Clearly, books who idolize certain teen characters are disobeying the First Commandment. 


Why, then, do so many Christians approve of these books?


I honestly am at a loss to answer this question. It seems as if Christians go around with blindfolds on. Books are no longer "slightly bad." They are becoming blatantly evil, and we can't seem to realize that! Have we gone so far as to not recognize evil as evil? 


The thing that makes these books bad is the way they stick in your mind. They poison your thoughts. As I said in my "About the Authoress" page, books affect you after a time. What you read will eventually change you and make you who you are. That's why it's so important to put good things in your mind!
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~Phillipians 4:8
Alright, I've discussed what to avoid in bookstores. Now let us take a look at a list of guidelines for GOOD books. Keep in mind that this is my list, and your list may be slightly different. As long as you are not reading anything that goes against the Bible, or encourages ungodly behavior, it is all right to have a few changes. 


My Guidelines For All Books I Read:


- The characters don't have to be Christians (some books take the "Christian" theme a little far, and make the Gospel sound trite), although I'd prefer if they were, but they DO have to have a good moral standpoint. 
- It must have a good purpose. I don't want to spend my time reading something mindless.
- It must be approved by both my parents, and one I would not be embarrased to discuss with them.
- It must glorify the LORD. 


And finally... 


- It must have likeable characters, ones to whom I can relate. (This one is not necesarily as "needed" as the other requirements, but it helps to make the book more enjoyable for me).


What are some of the things you require in a good book?

08 February 2011

A Thought For the Day: Count Your Blessings!

(not my photo)

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown

04 February 2011

Life Is Sweet

There are many things to love about life, if we only take the time to look for them. Today I'm joining Ara's meme celebrating that very thing: all the sweet things about life.

1. Capturing good pictures with a basic digital camera--it takes a lot of work, but it's SO worth it!
2. Deleting a huge chunk out of your finished-and-almost-completely-edited book, writing a new ending, and realizing that you actually love this ending.
3. Hot cups of tea with a spoonful of sweet honey.
4. Reading a really good book and falling head-over-heels in love with the characters.
5. Spanish class. :) 
6. Being almost halfway through memorizing the Declaration of Independence.
7. Little spaces of warm weather in the midst of the chilling winter. It makes you long for spring more!
8. Getting to recite The St. Crispin's Day Speech from Shakespeare's Henry V in my tutorial's spring play.
9. Thinking that I'm going to have to give myself up for lost since Ara's closing up shop, and then learning that she's giving away one. last. makeover. Click here if you're interested in winning it. :)
10. Learning to praise the LORD in everything, even the tough times. 

I always love doing this--it's so much fun! Click here if you are interested in joining Ara's link-up. 


Life Is Sweet

02 February 2011

Privacy Matters To Me

I have decided to make my photography blog private. At least for the next few months. 

Here's why: I'd like to have a little more liberty with my photos, but I'd like to guard my privacy at the same time. I don't want The Light Through the Window to be open to just anyone who happens upon it--I'd like to choose who reads it. The very nature of photos can violate a person's privacy very easily. And the Internet's a scary place. It really is. You wouldn't believe how many creepy people can just happen upon your blog and learn much more about you than you want.

So, that's why I'm making TLTTW private. I hope you understand.

P.S. Don't fret! If you're interested in viewing my photography blog, email me and I'll most likely send you an invite. :)
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