It’s the Little Things in Life

It’s the little things in life.

 

A few weeks ago, our church had its annual Jubilee (revival meeting), which was amazing, by the way. We had a singing tour group come through and I told Kenzie, my cousin, that I was excited to hear the group because when I had heard them sing during previous years they had sang one of my favorite songs. I don’t know the song on CD or anything so I was super excited because I thought they were going to sing it. I was disappointed when they had an entirely new lineup of songs and it wasn’t on the list.

 

Then, yesterday, we were sitting in church and our pastor asked for the special music. The man got up to sing and as he was playing his guitar and going through the first verse I thought “Hmmm, this sounds familiar. I know this song.” He got a little bit farther into the verse and it hit me. This was my song. I glanced over at Kenzie and she beamed at me. She had noticed, too. I was finally going to get to hear my favorite song again, this time sung Bluegrass style. I loved it.

 

It really is the little things.

 

–Abby

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My Summer+Photography Post

IT”S AUGUST.

School starts in a month.

I am not ready for this.

But here I am, typing away on Spike (my laptop–I watch too much Flashpoint) when I should really, really be sleeping. But, hey, it’s only 12:02. The night’s still young.

Ahh, summer. The three months of freedom that every elementary and high school student relishes alike. Usually packed full of vacations, birthday parties, soccer games, camping trips, and trips to the pool. In an effort to actually blog, I will tell you how my summer has gone-so far-in one word:

Quickly.

As every summer does, this one has flown by. I’ve gone to the ocean. I’ve watched fireworks and an airshow. I’ve stayed up late watching movies and playing board games. I’ve survived a trip to an alligator farm. I’ve cried tears of anger and tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I’ve endured spending almost half of my bank account to buy Spike (It was a painful ordeal). I have watched people laugh and cry, rejoice and mourn. I’ve been cooped up in a house full of people and in a tiny room by myself. I’ve sorted through hundreds of books and videos and magazines and sat behind a desk and answered childrens’ questions and marked off symbols on cardstock with Sharpies. I’ve written and I’ve read. I’ve played volleyball and mini-golf and went to the gym. I’ve chatted with friends casually and also have had some pretty serious conversations. I’ve driven a vehicle bigger than a Lincoln Towncar for the first time. I’ve explored ruins of forts and walked through nature reserves. I’ve been to gift shops and Walmarts and souvenir stores and Winn-Dixie and museums and art galleries and libraries and churches and hotels and historical sites and malls.  I’ve attended revival meetings and have been revived. I’ve made life-changing decisions and goofed off with other teenagers. I’ve lived.

 

In a few short weeks, my summer will be gone. School will start. So will strict schedules, early rises, microwaved lunches, long lectures, lots of highlitings, speed-readings, flashcard making, equation solvings, homework beginnings. But will it be good for me. And I’ll wait for the funny teachers, the recesses, the weekends, the moments when I can live again.

 

And now (drumroll, please) it is time for the long-awaited photography post!!!!!

I am very much an amateur who hasn’t had very much practice. My bestie and her ‘brother’, though, are also photographers, so I can get a few pointers. If you want to check out her photography board, click here.

And so, without further ado, here goes:

DSC00331DSC00548DSC00537DSC00524DSC00521DSC00329DSC00509DSC00508

 

–abby

 

Career Choices

You guys know the drill. You, as young teenager, are more worried about when your pizza will be delivered and when Incredibles 2 is coming out on DVD than about your future and ‘what I want to be when I grow up.’

And then an adult looks at you, cocks their head, and asks the dreaded question:

“So, what do you want to do with your life?”

You blink. Why do people always ask this? Why don’t they just realize that, for the time being, you want to stay as childish as you can for as long as you can and don’t want to think about college and taxes and adult things? But now you have to answer, so you beg off with the words “I don’t know.”

Well, my friend, now I know.

Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to be a scientist. A vet was the first thing. I loved animals. Then it was a chemist, a marine biologist, etc. Above all, of course, I want to be a stay-at-home mom, but I’ve always wanted to get a nice education. When I reached my tweens, I dreamed of studying astronomy or computer science. I still would love to work for NASA and music is always a possibility. But I think I’ve found what God wants me to be.

For the past few years, I’ve heard a lot about the medical field. I’ve read books that housed characters that were doctors and watched shows where nurses were the heroes. I’ve had friends go off to college for nursing. I’ve heard of missions trips with large focuses on the medical side of things. My aunt is an RN. My cousin is an RN who works in the ER. Several people in my church have experience in the medical field. I’ve had to do a little bit of medical research for my novel, which I found fascinating. I liked studying the skeleton in biology. The more I think about, the more things in my life are pointing flashing neon lights towards the field of nursing.

I believe God wants me to be a nurse. It was never something I really wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to do something big, to make my mark on history. You know, like the first woman to walk on Mars or something. But I can’t get away from nursing. God won’t leave me alone. I’d much rather be an actual doctor or an astronaut or a concert pianist (haha I have no music skills) or college professor.

I really don’t know why God is leading me this way. I mean, I want to help people, but there’s other ways I could help people besides sticking IVs in them in hospitals. God just won’t let me get my mind off of it. I am really hoping this is of God and I’m not just somehow confusing myself, but I don’t see how it could be of me. If it isn’t of God, I pray that He’ll make that clear before I actually go to college for it.

Eventually, I think, He’ll bring Mr. Right along and I’ll marry. Then, I suppose, I’ll quit my job and become a housewife, which is what I’ve always wanted. But until then, and unless He tells me differently, I’ll be an RN.

 

–abby

Though He Slay Me Ramblings

I have decided that I really need to give an explanation for why I am writing Though He Slay Me.

 

Really, all the credit for inspiration should go to Edgar Rice Burroughs.

 

I was ten when I first picked up a copy of the original Tarzan of the Apes. I fell in love with John Clayton and was devastated when he died, along with his lovely wife. But then, there was a son who survived.

I followed that son on his journey from childhood to manhood. I loved how he was raised by apes who loved him as their own. I loved how he was smart and quick and agile, how he was caring for those he loved, especially his mother. And how he survived.

 

That was the part that really got me.

 

Survival in the jungle, I realized at age ten, was harder than I thought. Tarzan battled lions and apes with his bare hands, yet he know that being a man set him apart from the other animals. He knew that eating human flesh was wrong, so he ate deer and whatever else he caught with his rope or stabbed with his spear or killed with his strength.

 

Another thing that fascinated me was how he moved.

 

In all  the movies I had seen, Tarzan flew through the trees on vines. Not so. He climbed and leaped from branch to branch or swung on boughs, not vines. He was as graceful as a swan yet as strong as ox.

 

And when I was eleven, I decided that jungle life sounded fun.

 

I wanted to go to Africa, I told myself. I want to live like Tarzan. I want to run through the jungle being chased by apes and leopards. I want to leap from branch to branch in the treetops. I want to hunt, using only organic matter and my wits. I want to exist where few men dare to exist. I want to be in constant danger of my life and have fun.

 

And then, an idea known as Katie Riley was born.

 

couldn’t go to Africa, I knew, despite my daydreams. That was out of the question. I had no money and wasn’t born into a wealthy family. There was no way my parents were going to be able to pay my way, and probably not allow me to go, either. Nobody wants their teenage daughter in the jungle with no communication to the outside world. My being able to survive out there was highly illogical, anyway. The jungle wasn’t what I had dreamed, anyway. It was a lot more dangerous and frightful.

 

Ways I could get around this started forming in my mind. What if, for some reason, I was flying over central Africa when my plane crashed? Everyone else would be unconscious, and I wandered off, never to be seen from again, until several years later when I was finally found.

 

And then the Idea, the great, wonderful Idea occurred to me.

 

 

What if it wasn’t my plane that crashed?

What if it was a character’s?

 

I had tried to write once or twice before. I had started Soldier Boy and had written a few short stories and poems. But this was my first real inclination to write a full novel. So I started plotting.

 

Katie (or Jamie, I couldn’t decide) was a twelve-year-old girl who lived in Cairo (I was enthused by Egypt) as a missionary to the entire African continent. (How this would be possible, I have no idea. I was eleven. Bear with me.) When her favorite brother, Jack, was lost to the jungle after a plane crash in a tropical storm, Katie sets out to find him, as she cannot imagine life without him. (Talk about cliche.) Katie’s Search and Rescue chopper crashes in the jungle, also. As she is the only survivor, she must learn to live on her own, this learning many Tarzan-like skills.

 

From then on, my Idea blossomed.

 

Katie was definitely going to be her name. She was no longer twelve, but somewhere in the 14-15 age group. Her family and some others ran a small mission on the edge of the savanna. The goals of the mission were to reach ‘natives’ (for lack of a better term) to Christ. Incidents in the jungle realm changed, too. Though she was still to learn several Tarzan-like skills, her main crisis was her faith. She wanted her brother back badly, and everything she tried to do to find her why home and hopefully see her brother again (as she had a feeling he was found) seemed to be futile. Nothing was working. She was surviving, yes, but she was lost in the green abyss of the rain forest surrounding the Congo River. Finally, she would come to a breaking point where she knew she had to give it all up and give it to God. Whether she finds her family and gets home is still untold. (Mwahahahaha)

 

 

There are also several aspects to her breaking point (why she’s so afraid to lose Jack, etc.) and probably waaay too many subplots for a novel. But at this point,  I don’t really care. I plan to finish the rough draft before January 1st, 2018, and start editing soon thereafter. Hopefully I didn’t give too much away. Sometime I’ll do a post about why I like writing in general, but I love Katie’s story because it inspires me.

 

And it’s all because of a man named Burroughs wrote a novel that caught my attention and ultimately changed my life.

 

–Abby

*angry pterodactyl screeching*

I am thoroughly convinced that some plant matter was not created to be consumed by humans. This is a belief I have come to through many years of experience in my field of expertise, eating. I will not be talked out of it.

 

But Abilene, you say, aren’t vegetables good for you?

I will admit, some of them are. But most are despicable.

 

A description of one of the main offenders:

Leafy, forest green vegetables that taste like grass. Supposedly, such vegetables are ‘healthy’ and ‘make you grow big and strong’ but eating such will only make you hate yourself and have grass-like particles stuck in your teeth until you can floss. Sometimes restaurants put said vegetable on pizza. Those idiots. Do they not realize that they are wasting precious dough, cheese and sauce to create a despicable flavor of everyone’s favourite Italian dish?

Spinach. Yuck.

 

Another description of an equally hateable vegetable:

Long and stringy, this food should only be used to feed prison inmates. Usually cooked with salt and pepper (or sometimes eaten raw by da crazies), this pea-like dish is disgusting. Unfortunately, many middle class children are tormented by well-meaning parents when they are forced to choke down bowlfulls of said vegetable. That is why such children have trust issues.

Green beans. The horror.

 

A third:

Devilishly pink, this root is considered one of the most hated vegetables in America. That’s a lot of middle schoolers who despise this particular dish. Though somewhat sweet, this plant packs a flavor that mainly tastes like DIRT. I would appreciate that more if I was in the backyard eating worms, but, unfortunately, I’d be at the dinner table, cringing at what I see in the little glass bowl next to my plate.

Beets.

How revolting. 

 

The grand finale:

Small, terrifying rolls that look like mini cabbages, this is every elementary (and high school) student’s worst nightmare. Though they often are covered in melted cheese or some such product in attempts to mask their unpalatable, wretched, foul, repulsive taste, these little bombs will never cease to be on my list for the “Most Nasty Vegetable” award. And the worst part is, some people actually like them! And expect other people (those who actually have half of a sense of taste), to eat them and enjoy them. No wonder we have problems with America.

 

Brussel sprouts. *gags*

 

 

–abby

 

I’m a Sophomore??? Whhaaat!

IM GOING INTO TENTH GRADE WHAT IS HAPPENING WHY AM I FIFTEEN YEARS OLD I AM ACTUALLY SEVEN.

 

Ahem. *smoothes shirt* *worries why ‘smoothes’ is underlined with a suspicious little squiggly line*

 

In all seriousness, I am fifteen years old. I am going into tenth grade. And I’m not completely certain I like it.

 

Oh, there’s the joy of having new classes. (Abeka English 10 with Mrs. Thompson? Priceless) And the happiness of getting closer to graduation. (YAY) But soon after that will come a period where I will have to….adult.
I can see it now.

 

“Pay for me own pizza? My own pizza?  Do you people not realize that I am actually seven years old? I can’t pay for a large Hawaiian pizza with extra pineapple! I’m not even allowed to use the oven!” *narrows eyes at delivery boy (who stares at the weird college age girl in bewilderment)*

 

*sighs*

 

I’m going to be in college. In four years. I don’t know anything! I can barely tie my shoes, and I’m going to be in college!!!! Studying nerdy science stuff or something equally odd!

 

 

Okay, so maybe my estimates of myself are a little exaggerated. But college?

 

*sighs louder*

 

At least by then I’ll have a job and a car and an actual gym membership and a favourite hairdresser and I’ll have my life all figured out, right?

 

hahahahahahahahahahahaha. 😀

 

 

 

 

Wishing for Hawaiian pizza,

 

Abby

 

 

 

 

‘Bama is calling and I must go

I’m going to Gulf Shores!!!!!!
Sandy beaches, sparkling blue water, a golf course filled with gators, twenty-three people in one house for a week…what’s not to love???

Saturday or Sunday I will see the ocean for the first time. It’s exciting. 😊 Meredith, my sister, is worried about sharks. I’m trying to reason with her… here’s how the conversations usually go:

Me–Sis, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be bitten by a shark. Lighten up.

Mer–I don’t care! Shark attacks are always in the news! Eleven people have been attacked unprovoked in Alabama since 1900!

Me–THE ATTACKS ARE IN THE NEWS BECAUSE THEY MAKE THE NEWS BECAUSE THEY AREN’T THAT COMMON.

Mer–I don’t care. I want to see them coming at me. I hope the water is clear.

Me–*sighs* Whatever.
Anyway, since Meredith and our cousin Alyssa are graduating next year, my mom’s side of the family wanted to have a big vacation together before kids go off to college and start families of their own, so our grandparents, our family, and my mom’s siblings rented a house for a week. There are thirteen grandkids, ten of them girls, seven of those in the teenage years. Talk about no bathroom availability. 😂
We’re leaving Friday after Dad gets off work to drive to St. Lou to spend the night. Saturday, Meredith’s seventeenth birthday, we’ll drive the rest of the way and get in just in time for pizza. I think a party may be in the works…(Shh. You didn’t hear it from me.)😊
So, if I’m quiet for about a week, it’s because I’m building sandcastles under a summer sky. Hopefully I won’t be gone as long as last time.
Dreaming of the beautiful Gulf,

Abby