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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day - Dad

Happy Father's Day to tall the dads out there, and a special shout out to my own dad! I love you!

Dad

~A Poem by Livi Jane~
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever had, came from God, and I call him Dad.
Before we even met, you loved me from the start,
No love is more special, than the kind that comes from the heart.
You always love, you're always there,
You show how much you really care.
Though I might not always say it, I appreciate all you do,
And I cannot believe how blessed I am to have a dad like you!


~Livi Jane

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

D-Day...

June 6, 1944 dawned overcast and stormy. The weather wasn't ideal, but it was good enough. It was now or never.

*From Pinterest

The invasion had been carefully thought out and planned, and now it was time.

As the Allied troops prepared to storm the beaches of Normandy, they didn't know whether or not they would be one of the many ushered into eternity that day.
Would it be them or the man standing at their side? Would a one of them live to step off of the foreign soil and return to their homeland? Would they see their families again? See the war come to an end?
The answers to these questions were uncertain, but the troops knew one thing: 

Freedom wasn't free. It would have to come at a cost. And they were willing to pay that price.

#NeverForget #DDay

~Livi Jane

Goodreads Tag!

Good morning, all you lovely readers!! I hope you are doing fantabulous!

So.... Faith over at Stories By Firefly was awesome and tagged me for the Goodreads Tag! Thanks, girl!

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~Rules ~
 -Thank the person who tagged you 
-Answer the questions 
 -Tag at least three people 

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Let's get started, shall we?

Let me just  begin by saying I only made a Goodreads account sometime last year, and haven't been super active on it, especially before this past March or so...so...it's pretty lame. XD Plus, I use the app, and I have so much trouble with it. I still can't figure out half of anything on there. Is it just me?

A n y w a y, onto the questions!

1. What was the last book you marked as read?
A Question of Courage by Jesseca Wheaton. That was actually an alpha read. And it. Was. AMAZING.

2. What are you currently reading?
Um, I actually don't have any books on my 'currently reading' list. *grimaces* Well, I did pick up a book I found on one of our many bookshelves the other day. It's called The Whole Guy Thing by Nancy Rue (a favorite author of mine). But, I do need to go to the library, because I have a list of books to check out!!

3. What was the last book you marked as to read?
Choosing Courage: True Stories of Heroism from Soldiers and Civilians by Peter Collier. A friend (wait a sec, that was Faith!!) marked this as 'reading', and I thought it looked super interesting!

4. Do you use the star system?
Sometimes. :)

5. Are you doing the 2017 Reading Challenge?
No, but I'm doing my own Book a Week challenge!!

6. Do you have a wishlist?
Um...I don't think so. Not on GR, anyway. *is feeling lame that I know literally next to nothing about GR* 
But OF COURSE THERE ARE BOOKS I WISH I HAD *wonders who doesn't want more books*

7. Who are your favorite authors? 
Well, see, I read a ton of books from a bunch of different authors, sometimes only one or two from one author, so...these are some recurring faves:

Nancy Rue
Susan K. Marlow
Franklin W. Dixon
Jesseca Wheaton
Faith Potts

8. Have you joined any groups? 
Yep! I'm not active really, though... Like I said, I'm not on GR often.

9. How many Goodreads shelves do you have?
Just the four with which I started...I honestly haven't had the time to go on and mark ALL the books I've read in my lifetime...yikes. That would take a LOOOOONG time. XD

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I tag:

(Shh, no one will ever know that Kate was already tagged)

*~*~*~*

And that wraps it up! Thanks again for tagging me, Faith!

How is your week going? Are you enjoying summer so far?

~Livi Jane

Friday, June 2, 2017

June! + May Highlights

HAPPY JUNE!!!!!! (One day late.)

Guys. We are SIX months into 2017!! Like, whaaaaat?

June means summer, which means unbearably hot temperatures here! (Although, I sadly won't be taking a break from school.

Anywayyy, let's move on to last month's highlights! :D

May Highlights:
  • I went on a trip with (most) of my youth group to the Fine Arts districts! It was a super fun trip!!! (More on that later.)
  • I got promoted at work! Meet one of Chick-Fil-A's newest Team Leaders! :D
  • Mother's Day weekend was nice! Us kids put together to buy Mom a hammock...and spent the rest of the evening testing it out. B-) Then my sisters and I went to the store and bought stuff for s'mores and made a fire in the outdoor pit! :D We also visited with our grandparents, which is always tons of fun!!
  • I ran a 5k!!!! (And, most importantly, didn't die!)
  • My critique partner and a couple of friends read my draft of Sunlight and Shadows... 0.0 (AND THEY SAID IT WASN'T AWFUL XD)
I think that about settles it for highlights! ;)

Ohhh! So, technically this isn't a May highlight because it happened yesterday, but um, work today was interesting. Our power flickered and went out at 8:30 am... 0.o (This was in addition to our headsets STILL not working because they mess up every time there's a storm, which means we have one person outside at the DT speaker relaying orders over the phone to someone inside.)
Needless to say, we ended up closing and everyone got an hour break to eat pretty much whatever food (since it would go bad sitting there and we heard we wouldn't have power until possibly 11). One of the ladies even braided all of us girls' hair! ;p
Thankfully, the power came back on about an hour later, and we were able to get things back up and running! Whew! It was fun/exciting in a really bad sort of way. XD

Writing:

I think I did well with writing this month, although I still haven't really organized or written much of anything in my already-existing stories.
So, I wrote three short stories/flash fictions this past month. One was for Faith's Imagine This challenge, one came from this picture prompt:

 :
*From Pinterest
Isn't it just SO heartbreakingly amazing??

The other was a sudden idea I had after reading more in depth about 9/11 in American History and chatting with some friends about heartbreaking stories...yeah. XD

Reading:

I read the first two books in Ronie Kendig's Tox Files series. They were interesting! I didn't like the second one as much because of the romance thrown in (nothing inappropriate, I just reallyyy did not like the girl. At all.) But, I am excited for the next book in the series to come out, and plan to read more of Kendig's stories in the upcoming future. Anyone who has read books by her is welcome to give feedback on what your thoughts are on her novels!

Music:
  • Thank God For Something, Sold Out, and Live Like You're Loved all by Hawk Nelson (yes, I've had a recent obsession with this band :D) 
  • Love You Like the Movies by Anthem Lights
  • The Irish Rover, Fields of Glory, and The Rocky Road to Dublin all by the High Kings
  • Keep Your Change by Paul Ruark
Disney songs:
  • Touch the Sky
  • How Far I'll Go
*~*~*~*
Keep Your Change by Paul Ruark. Awesome song! :D

This song by Hawk Nelson has blessed me tremendously. Even when things aren't going as well as we wished they were, we can always find something for which we can thank God!!

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Verse of the Month:
(Yes, this a new section I'm adding in! What do y'all think?)

"The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death."
Psalm 118:18 (KJV)

<3 The day I read this hadn't been the best, but it reminded me that no matter how far away God may seem, or how hopeless things may be, He has not given up on us! :D
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Next up, goals!

Goals:
  • Write at least 3,000 words. Check! I'm super excited because I was thinking I wouldn't hit my goal, and then after a history lesson on 9/11, I wrote a story that surpassed my goal in two days. :D My final word count for the month was over 5k!!!! :D
  •  Do more reading than I have been recently. I did a little better! Keeping up (at the moment) with my book a week challenge!
  •  Go to Fine Arts Districts competition (prayers would be appreciated!! I'm not doing any live performances this year, but I'm still nervous about how the results for my entries will come out)! YESSSSS!! And it was soooo much fun! Story time! After competition day was over and we made it back to the hotel, us girls decided to go get ice cream. Well, about five of us took the stairs, while our leader and my sister (also a leader) took the elevator with two of the girls. So, uh, we ended up going out the wrong door (because Rachel had no clue where we were going and should not have been the line leader XD) and got locked out of the hotel...on the complete opposite side from where the van was. *grin* As if things weren't interesting enough, one of the girls accidentally dropped her phone and shattered the screen... *grimace* We walked around for at least ten minutes before we found the others XD But we got our ice cream, and that's what counts, right?? Also, I merited (got first) in my poetry category, and came in second with my flash fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited! Then they asked me to read my poem aloud in front of everyone. I almost died, but I did it! XD
  •  Finally go to a crawfish boil this year... (Hopefully happening next week for our workplace's annual crawfish boil/party. ;P) Yep!! It was fun and the crawfish was yummy!!
  •  Continue reading the bible every day. Yes! Whoop whoop! :D
June Goals:
  • Write at least 3,000 words. Thanks to a couple of my friends, I have a new story idea (possibly a sequel to S&S), so I'm hoping I will meet this goal amidst the craziness of work and school this month. :)
  • Finish planning and start writing my new story (no title at the moment). 
  • Keep up with Book a Week Challenge.
  • Survive month one of summer at work XD
  • Continue reading the Bible every day.
*~*~*~*

That wraps it up for today! How was your May? Any fun summer plans? 

Let me know what you're up to this June! :D

~Livi Jane

Monday, May 29, 2017

Some Gave All - Happy Memorial Day

Good morning! 

Who knows what day it is?

Memorial Day - Remember Our Fallen:
*From Pinterest

Yes, it is Memorial Day! A wonderful day set aside specifically to honor those who died in the line of duty.

Let us not forget this Memorial Day. Thank you to all who have served and are currently serving!:
*From Pinterest

If you would like to read last year's Memorial Day post, click here. :)

I never will forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I am so thankful for those who are willing to risk their lives just so that we could live in freedom.

It also reminds me of a man Who gave His life, so that we could have eternal freedom! <3 

Below is a poem I wrote sometime last year (also in last year's in MD post), but it is a better-edited version. :)

Freedom's Price
A Poem by Livi Jane

As I kneel before this grave,
Of a soldier, unknown, but brave,
Tears are streaming down my face,
And I close my eyes in silent thanks.
For the life he lived, the battles he fought,
Buried here, likely long forgot.
My eyes open, and I gaze across,
The tombstones of many soldiers lost.
Unknown to the world, they rest here,
And I brush away another tear.
I remember on this Memorial Day,
They’re the reason we can celebrate.
Our freedom, our rights, we owe it to these men,
Who fought fearlessly for our country, time and again.
To every soldier that paid with their lives,
There’s no way to thank you for your sacrifice.
So we salute our fallen soldiers, the ones in action too,
And all we can say to repay is a heartfelt thank you!

*~*~*~*

I recently stumbled across another Memorial Day story I wrote over a year ago. It's not very long at all, just a quick reminder on what Memorial Day is actually about. :)

Remember Why: 

“Hi! Mind if I sit here?”

Without waiting for a response, nine-year-old Addison Wheeler slid into the cafeteria seat, setting her lunch tray down on the small table.

“Um, sure," the timid voice of Callie Freeman answered, although the agreement was unnecessary.

Addison wasn't sure what to think of her fellow fourth grader. Callie usually kept to herself, and none of the other classmates particularly tried to be friends with the girl.

It had been Addison’s first year at this new school after moving to Texas, and, being the outgoing person she was, had quickly become friends with most of the others in their class. It hadn't taken long for her to realize how shy Callie was. She had attempted to talk to the girl before, but with little success. Today, she noticed the girl sitting alone in the corner table and excused herself from her other friends to join Callie.

“I'm so excited that this is the last day of school!” Addy exclaimed, trying to make conversation. “I love summer!”

Callie didn't respond.

“Are you excited for Memorial Day?” Addy asked, voice rising with her own hype.

“Well—”

“We're going over my grandparents' house,” Addy chattered, shoving a loose strand of dirty blonde hair behind her ear. “We're gonna have a huge barbecue, and our cousins will be there, too! I'm so excited!” She finally paused to take a breath. “What are you doing for Memorial Day?” This time she quieted down and waited for Callie to answer.

The dark-haired girl gazed down at her tray of food for so long that Addy fidgeted in her seat, ready to burst open with her own words again.

She was just about to open her mouth when, without lifting her eyes, Callie hesitantly responded, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Well…I think we're just going to visit my daddy’s grave.”

Addison furrowed her eyebrows in puzzlement. “Why would you do that for a celebration?”

Callie’s voice dropped even lower, if that was possible. “He was killed serving in the army.”

“Oh.” Addison clapped a hand over her mouth, for once at a loss for words. “I am so sorry, Callie.”

“It's fine,” the girl responded, finally lifting her gaze to look at her classmate. “It's just that…so many people forget what Memorial Day is truly about.”

“They think it's a time to have a cookout and get together with family,” Addy agreed with a nod.

“Not that any of that's bad,” Callie hurriedly added. “But it should also be about remembering all the soldiers who died protecting us.”

“Like your dad,” Addy said with a slow nod, the wheels in her head turning as realization slowly crawled across her young face.

“I'll remember that from now on, Callie,” she promised, her blue eyes solemn. “And I'll make sure I'll never forget it.”

A tiny smile turned up the corners of Callie’s mouth.

“Thanks, Addison.”

*~*~*~*

“Mom, look at this!”

Callie pointed down at the grass in front of the tombstone bearing her father’s name while she waited for her mother to catch up with her. “Somebody left these beautiful flowers!” She picked up the bouquet. “And there's even an American flag with them.”

“They're very pretty,” Callie’s mom agreed. “I wonder who would have put them there? Perhaps the gardener…?”

“No.” Callie shook her head firmly, a huge smile sliding onto her face as she pulled a tiny card out of the bouquet.

Happy Memorial Day! the card read. I hope you like the flowers. My mom helped me pick them out. We are praying for you and your family!

Your friend,
Addison

Callie felt tears welling up behind her eyes at the kind words. One escaped and dripped down her cheek.
“Thanks, Addy,” she whispered as her own mother pulled her close. She squeezed her eyes shut. “And thank You, God, for sending me a friend like her.”

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I think that just about wraps up today's post! I hope you all a wonderful day honoring the men and women who died for our country and celebrating the freedom for which they have fought!

~Livi Jane

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Memories - A Blogging Linkup

Happy Saturday! Hope everyone is doing well!

Today, I am joining in a Memorial Day linkup, hosted by Jesseca!


Memorial Day, as many other patriotic holidays, is one of my favorites. It constantly amazes me how many are so willing to sacrifice themselves for us and our freedom! Memorial Day is a time to reflect on those who so selflessly gave their lives for us.

And that's what this linkup is all about! This weekend, bloggers are joining together to honor those from their own state/area who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For my part in this linkup, I chose to focus on Officer Matthew Gerald.

Gerald was one of three police officers killed in Baton Rouge on July 17, 2016 by a hate-filled man purposefully targeting policemen. Several other officers were wounded that day.

The reason I chose to focus on Officer Gerald was because of the story that unfolded in the months after his death--beauty in the heartache.

Dechia Gerald, wife of the fallen officer, remembered when she was deciding what to wear to the funeral, how her oldest daughter told her, "I don't know why you're complaining, because you're pregnant."

Only days later, the younger daughter told her the same thing, only elaborated more.
"Jesus told me that there is a baby boy in your tummy."

Just a couple months later, Mrs. Gerald revealed the news that she was expecting. The baby was due in April, and when they had the ultrasound to determine the gender, they found out they were having a boy!

*Taken from a news article:

Officer Matthew Gerald of the Baton Rouge Police Department died in the line of duty on July 17, 2016. It was after his death that his wife, Dechia, realized her late husband had left her something special to remember him by. She conceived just five days before he died. His brothers in blue called Gerald "Buttons," so now his little boy will carry on the name “Baby Buttons.”

God's miracle came into the world Tuesday. Falyn Matthew Gerald was born at 4:31 p.m. He weighs 6 lbs., 8 ounces and is 19.5 inches long.

Dechia has worn her husband's wedding ring as a necklace ever since the attack last summer. When she held “Baby Buttons” for the first time, he held tight to that ring.

“It was very overwhelming... very emotional. Every emotion you could imagine comes at one time, all at once, but it's very exciting,” Dechia added.

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 :
*Photo from WBRZ

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It's amazing how God can bring such wonderful things from tragedies! <3

As Memorial Day approaches, I urge you to take some time and think on those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Thanks so much for joining me today! Check out Jesseca's blog for more posts about this linkup, and check back here Monday for a Memorial Day poem and story!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy start of summer!

~Livi Jane

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Armed Forces Day

Hey y'all!

Yes, I disappeared again. Life has been, well, crazy. I didn't have access to a computer that accommodated Blogger, hence why the posts have been scarce lately.

Anyway...

This past Saturday was Armed Forces Day, a day to recognize and show appreciation to those serving in the Armed Forces.

 :

I started the day off by running my first 5k ever to support the police officers injured in a shooting last July. It was SO much fun (even though I was dying XD), and thankfully the bad weather held off until the race finished up!

So, in honor of the men and women who selflessly risk their lives to serve our country, I have a poem to share. Hope you enjoy. 

And remember, freedom comes at a price!


Some Gave All
~A Poem by Livi Jane~

All gave some, but some gave all,
Only a few answered the call.
To risk their lives, to fight for our land,
They were the brave, they took a stand.
Our thankfulness for their courage reaches no end,
We're grateful for their willingness to fight and defend.
We pray for their protection, God’s guidance and direction,
As they keep this country safe.


*~*~*~*

What did you think? 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

~Livi Jane