Forgiveness in the Bible



Curious What the Bible Says about Prophesy?

Reading the Bible - Revelation 17 - The Woman on the Beast

7 Angels & 7 Plagues - The Tribulation in the Bible

The Angel of the Lord at Bokim - Reading the Bible

666 - The Number of the Beast - READING THE BIBLE

Joshua's Farewell-Reading the Bible this Year

The Woman and The Dragon - READING THE BIBLE IN 1 YEAR

The Two Witnesses for God - Revelation 11

The Angel & The Little Scroll - Revelation 10

Misunderstandings Can Start Wars - Joshua Chapter 22

Cities of Refuge: Joshua Chapter 20


The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation 5

READING THE BIBLE IN 1 YEAR: Joshua Chapter 21

Revelation Chapter 2 - Angels, Stars, & the Future

HAVE A PEACEFUL WEEKEND - Read the Bible With Us

Reading the Bible in 1 Year: Joshua 18

Revelations Chapter 1 - Hope in Crisis

Reading the Bible-The Division of land of the Children of Israel

Our Daily Reading of the Bible

CHAOTIC TIMES - READ the Bible with Us for Peace

Join Us As We Read Through the Bible This Year

READING THE BIBLE IN 1 YEAR: Lies, Trickery & Deception

Reading the Bible in 1 Year: Ai Destroyed

READING THE BIBLE IN 1 YEAR: Joshua 7 - Greed, Theft & Punishment

Reading the Bible- Talking about Atlantis, Math & More

Angels...? We're Reading the Bible Today: Joshua 5

Reading the Bible in 1 Year: The Death of Moses

Generosity and Divorce are themes as we Read the Bible this year

Reading the Bible in 1 Year: History of the Children of Israel

The Nation of Israel - Reading the Bible in 1 Year

Monday, October 29, 2018

THE TURNING - an interview with Emily Whitman

A selkie boy’s quest for a seal pelt takes him into the bewildering world of humans. When you’re born between worlds, what does it mean to belong?

Emily Whitman is a true Portlandian. She uses myth and magic in her stories for kids and teens. Her latest book, The Turning, is based on Celtic folklore and  is a Junior Library Guild selection. 
When I heard she had a new story to share, I had so many questions I wanted to ask her that I decided  to do an interview so I could share it with all my KidLit friends, both readers and writers.
So, here it is, my interview with the awe...mazing Emily Whitman, a local Portland author (and her answer to #7 is my favorite). 

Tell me something unique/unusual that isn't in your bio.

I was raised on so much poetry, I can talk in rhymed couplets off the cuff. Dactyls a specialty!

 Tell me how you drink your coffee (or what you drink instead)

Black. Or with cream. Or, for special writing outings, a cappuccino. I’m a little hard to pin down.

Then I asked Emily to answer the following:

1. Tell us about your novel's main character.

Aran is a selkie boy raised at sea, but he’s different from the rest of his clan: he was born without the pelt that will transform him into a sleek, powerful seal. His quest for a pelt really takes him out of his element! He encounters humans for the first time and has to reevaluate his preconceptions about them, and about himself. He finds bravery and self-discovery in a totally unexpected way.

Why did you want to write about him?

I was entranced by the mystery and magic of selkies. They’re both animal and human, ocean and land – the essence of constant change. But to be a selkie without a pelt! To think you’ll never truly belong unless you can be like everyone else, and then to have to find your own way of belonging! I experienced every step (and stroke) of this journey with him.

2. Do you write with an intended audience in mind? ie levels of violence or romance.

I try not to impose any self-censorship when I’m writing a first draft—I just want to let the story come. I can trim things like the violence level later. This book takes place over the year when Aran is 11. Honestly, the hardest age-related challenge was finding the places I used my words instead of his! For example, I loved a line where Aran described human clothes as “a travesty of a pelt.” As perfect as it was to capture the feeling, “travesty” had to go. As for romance, I enjoyed that in the two YA novels I wrote, but with this book I was eager to explore the friendship between Aran and a human girl, Nellie. The nuances of that deep, profound connection. How friends help us both survive and become strong enough to be our true selves.

3. Once the first draft is written, what do you do next?

It’s so hard to say it’s done enough to call it a first draft! I finally force myself to that point, and then I take a break. After a bit, I pull back and look at it from a wider story lens, asking bigger questions. How does the pacing move across the book as a whole? What are the moments everything changes—are they the right ones? Have I made the most of them? What’s getting in the way of the story? Do the important story lines ring out at the right places and does each have its own arc?

4. How much rewriting or self-editing takes place?

So much! Too much! Perfectionism is a curse. I can hone a paragraph—a phrase—a word!—over and over again. There’s a fine line between redoing it because it’s not quite right, and beating it into a bloody pulp. I’m so obsessed with getting the words and lines right, it’s hard for me to step back and say: Now look at the big stuff! Another problem with rewriting so much is the words wear grooves into my mind so it’s harder to imagine it differently. I try to remember that old saying, “The best is the enemy of the good.” I made it to the first full draft by chanting “Don’t get it right, just get it written!”

5. Do you use beta readers?
Yes. Before I start digging in on the revision I get feedback from a trusted reader or two. I’ve learned to limit the number of readers, no matter how amazing and gifted they are, so I don’t have too many other voices swirling around in my head!  At the end of the day I have to hear my own voice, and find and trust my own vision.

 6. Do you use promotional materials? swag, bookmarks, etc.

For The Turning I have bookmarks and stickers.

7. Are they effective?

I have no idea! I just know I like having something to put in someone’s hand. Especially for school visits. Not every kid can buy a book, but I want them all to walk away with something—a connection both to the book and to the time we spent together.

 8. Do you have places you recommend (this can be any place bookstores, travel sites, restaurants)?

The spark of this book came to me on a visit to the Skellig Islands off the coast of Ireland. You climb 670 steps to the top of a steep pinnacle and enter stone huts built by monks who were there as early as the 700s! Nature, spirit, and beauty combine in an awesome experience. And there are puffins. If you ever have a chance, go!

10. Quick answer questions:
a. What are your top 3 favorite tv shows: The Avengers from the 1960s with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, The Great British Baking Show, and dark Nordic mysteries
b. If you suddenly couldn't write anymore, what would you do instead? I’m loving teaching writing workshops. I do workshops on writing MG and YA novels at The Attic Institute in Portland. I’d do more of that.

c. Favorite season of the year: Autumn. Crisp, cool bright days. Shimmering golden leaves. And I get to bake and make soup.
d. a book you could read over and over: Skellig, by David Almond.
e. favorite kind of ice cream: Vanilla—because of how it melts on berry pie and pear tart and pumpkin pie and blueberry shortcake, and… You get the idea!

Keep connected with Emily:

Social Media Links:, Instagram: @emilywhitmanbooks
 Amazon Page:

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Thor and Sif - DIY Viking Halloween Costumes - here's how we made them

So anyone who knows me, knows I love holidays. I love to decorate for all of them. I might even decorate  for Ground Hogs Day, if I could think up something cute and fun enough to spend my time making the decorations because decorating does take a little time. 

And, one of my favorite holidays to decorate for is  Halloween. This year I thought, "How would Lars and I like to dress up ...?"

Quickly, Thor popped into my head and Sif wasn't far behind.  I thought, "that should be EZ-Smeazy to do".

First I needed a couple of capes but I didn't have  a pattern sew I thought - again - "that should be EZ enough."

I pulled out some  butcher paper and started sketching what  I was thinking. Then I cut out the fabric, leaving a little extra fabric for the seams...just in case.

 Of course the Nordic people live in a cold  climate so I figured we needed a little fur to keep us warm.

But I only bought one-fourth of a yard because that fake fur is expensive ($60 a yard). I figured $15.00 was plenty to spend on an accent. But even thought it was expensive for only a touch of the fur fabric, I think it was worth it because that fur added a lot. Luckily, the fleece for the capes was only $5.00 a yard and I had a coupon for Joann Fabric and Craft so the capes only cost me about $10 a piece to make. Then I needed some armor and there was no way I was going spend any money on metal I'd use once.

So, I bought this cosplay fabric also at Joann Fabrics. It was spendy too but of course I had another coupon.  Still, I had to spend $30.00 for the material but split between two costumes it was only $15.00 a piece and I thought that was reasonable enough. 

Then we needed a few a hammer, which Lars made using some Styrofoam and a dowel. 

Then he painted it and added some tennis racquet tape to the handle.

Still, it seemed a little one-note in color, so he dry-brushed some black paint on the "stone" and touched up the edges with a faint hint of gold to give it a three-dimensional effect. Still I needed a shield and a sword. So I took a floor tile and with a little help from my son and his heat gun, I had the beginnings of a shield.

I added some embellishments that I stuck right into the thick foam and with a little paint and a handle (that I duct-taped on the back), I had a shield. Then, the morning of the party, I asked Lars if he could make me a sword. "No problem," he said. I've got some extra 1X3 CVG (clear vertical grain) out in my shop. And, lucky for me, he can make things fast. 

With a few jewels glued on and a little Danish Oil,  I had a sword in my hand.

I still wanted some wrist guards and I used some leather-look-alike ribbon with studs on it and simply sewed some snaps on the edges of the ribbon. I think that ribbon gave a neat effect.

And then there was the hair that needed styled. Thanks to Fatina and her skilled braids we were in business.

 I also picked up two child-size armor breast plates at the dollar store for $1.00 a  piece and with my son's heat gun again, we had some shoulder armor for Lars to wear. 

All in all, I think this was a fun project that we really enjoyed doing together and the final effect was so much fun. 

So tell me, are you dressing up? Do you make your own costumes or do you rent or buy them? Or do you even celebrate Halloween?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Making, Baking and Creating

I love to bake and when one of my kids' birthdays rolls around, I'm all about baking,  making and creating. It's not to say that I'm great at it but I love to do it. So, whenever there's a birthday, you can find me in the kitchen trying to make something sweet for one of my kids, my husband, or a friend ;D

I think baking is easy. All I do is run to the cupboard--like Old Mother Hubbard--but instead of bones, I pull out cake pans and I don't always know what I'm going to make in the beginning but once I get going, something pops in my head.

It's easy to do. All I do is stack layers and cut and shape or simply decorate until I have what I want.

And, I have a BIG family so this fall I made more than a few cakes.

Here's how I did it.

I started with a couple layers of cake (this one was two pineapple upside down cakes that I stacked  together) because my son loves Pineapple... then I covered them with fondant.

And started to decorate.

I was only thinking of this is where I began. But then I had  to add a little bit more.

But Luke's birthday is in October and this didn't seem very Halloweenie . . . and I was thinking of scary on the backside I added a couple of Oreo eyes

But that still didn't seem like I baked a couple more small little cakes...just in case
And I stacked those together to make pumpkins. Then I frosted them with some orange cream cheese frosting.

And to top it off, I used a PayDay Candy Bar as the stem. I guess I shouldn't have added the fondant leave because my husband said that made the cake look like an orange apple. Oh well, I never said I was  great.

And then we sang and ate and ate...oh, but first,  Luke had to blow out his candles.

I think this photo makes him look like he's breathing fire... and that  inspires  me  to make a  dragon time, I think.

Anyway,  I'd  love to hear about the cakes  you make,  bake  or create. 


Friday, October 12, 2018

GHOST GIRL - How to Make One "Appear"

I’m still working on my Halloween decorations. I'm trying to create a Spooktacular Shoctober.
I have my Ghost Girl haunting the front lawn.  But this wasn't enough so I had to do a little bit more.

She’s made out of chicken wire to make the shape of her dress. Then we draped cheesecloth over the frame. I’m still working on her. I’m thinking of making arms and a head from chicken wire and draping more cheesecloth over the frame to create the illusion of a woman in white floating through the yard.

Any other Halloween lovers out there? What do you think? Any ideas on what else I could do to make the Ghost Girl “appear” ?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Quilting and Homemade Stuffed Animals

Those of you who know me, know I love to make, bake and create. I just can't seem to help it. "Sew" when I saw this little elephant fabric, I thought, "I'd love to make a little stuffed elephant for a friend's baby shower." Of course, I'd never made a stuffed animal before but again I thought, "How hard can it be?" 

Lucky for me, I was thinking in 2D not 3D. If I'd had to make four legs, that would have thrown my making into another dimension entirely...thus, 3D not 2D.

But, if you're like me and have never made a stuffed animal (without a pattern) and you're curious how I did it, just keep reading.

First, I was inspired by this fabric, which I used to make the backside of a baby blanket for my friend's shower.

But like everything I do, inspiration comes from many sources. Do you see the yellow and gray polka dot ear on the front side of the baby blanket? Well, immediately I thought an all gray elephant just wouldn't do. Imagine that. But I was also inspired by Mike Curato's Little Elliot - Big City books.

 I just heard Mike Curato give a presentation in L.A. at the SCBWI Summer Conference. I thought, "I want my little elephant to be all polka dotted--like little Eliott." So I went in search of some more fabric - this time polka dotted. And I figured I only needed about one-fourth a yard for a stuffed animal. 

Then I thought, "I really like the shape of the little gray elephant above." So I drew the shape on a piece of paper (and I'm not an illustrator or an artist) so I drew it lightly, in case I made mistakes (which is super silly because it was paper and I was using a pencil--duh, I could have erased a mistake-but whatever, that's what I did). 

When I got that done, I drew the shape right on the fabric.

Cut it out and laid the front sides together and sewed around the edges. I left a little section open so I could stuff it (I made a mistake here--I left the trunk open to stuff, I should have left a foot open to stuff so it wouldn't be noticed as much--but that's the way I did it.)

After I had him stuffed, I sewed a couple of yellow ears on (because I had some leftover yellow fabric from when I made my Candy Corn Cushions for my benches out in my yard). Then I took some leftover material and braided a tail and sewed those on. But I still needed an eye. I didn't want to sew something on that the baby might pull off and eat so I embroidered a little eyelash around one of the polka dots (on both sides). And Voila...or, as I would say,  Wah-lah!

I had a fun little gift for the baby shower (a baby blanket and a stuffed elephant). 

Let me know if you have made a stuffed animal for a child. I'd love to visit your blog to check it out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Haunted Little Lending Library - it's Spooktacular

I've heard of haunted houses and haunted graveyards or even creepy crypts
But have you ever heard of a haunted Little Lending Library . . .? 

Well, now you have. See that ghost peering out the window at you -- or the spirits floating in the wind just above the doors? little lending library (which just happens to match my house--see the house in the background?) is haunted--at least during the month of  ShOctober ;D 

I just couldn't leave it might say I was haunted by the idea of decorating the little library. And, if you take a moment to look really closely, you'll see witches flying across the front and pumpkins and bats blowing in the breeze, just underneath the eaves. But that's not all...there's more to come.

We (as in my husband) will be installing a couple more things, including a teeny-weeny chandelier -- that will really light up (if everything goes according to plan). 

And another classic sconce on the inside wall of the library. 

I guess you can tell, I never had a dollhouse and always wanted one. But this is even better. My little library gets a lot of traffic because it's right on the bike path, next to a busy street. So, people stop by all the time to "check-out" a book. Of course it's all on the honor system. Books  are free to take and keep, I just ask that, sometime in the future, those who have taken a book, drop by one of the books they want to donate. It's a "pay-it-forward" system.

When I asked my husband to build me this lending library, he went all out. He installed hardwood flooring, wallpaper and even a chair rail on the inside. He had to handcraft the tiny siding to match the Victorian Gingerbread on our house and then he installed a cedar shake roof. I love this little library but, like I said, for the month of October it's totally haunted. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Wishing y'all a Spooktacular Fall

Halloween is lurking just like a ghost. . .around the corner. And with so many negative spirits haunting our recent past, I was thinking... (yep, I know that's a surprise) we should do something festive and fun to celebrate the coming holiday.

This is how I've been spending my energy lately...preparing our family's new "Dead and Breakfast"...for any stray ghouls who want to stop by unexpectedly.

And I just had to make a Day of the Dead pumpkin. It was super simple. I painted a regular pumpkin from the garden. Of course, I spent a little extra time trying to pick just the right one.

Then I covered the shell with black paint, which was super simple to do. But you could use the pumpkin in its original shade, or opt for a green or white gourd.
The problem with white gourds for me is that I always envision ghostly images instead...

And I paint those little gourds into characters... hey, did I mention I'm a writer? Characters are always popping into my head and inspiring me...but I digress.

And that was just the beginning. We decided to build our own family the front yard.

And it turned out pretty realistic looking. But then we added our fun sign...
Which I painted on an old piece of wood my husband shaped for me with his jigsaw.

And we  hung it out over the graves. 

But that wasn't enough. We also made a scarecrow.

And a ghostly figure out of chicken wire, which we painted with glow-in-the-dark spray paint.

And hung little scarecrows on the fence, in my little flowerpots. Then I wanted witch brooms to hang more lights. But when I found out how much they cost, I thought, I can make some instead. So, I ran to the local feed store and bought a bale of straw and stopped at a lumber store to buy some dowels. The straw was $11.99 at Side Saddle Tack and the dowels were about $3.00 a piece at Mr. Plywood. So for about $30.00, I got more than enough materials to make 6 brooms. The brooms were really easy to make. I laid out some strapping tape on the bale and placed the straw on the top of the tape and simply rolled  the dowel around the tape. I used a bit of twine and voila! I had my brooms. 

The hardest part of making the brooms was keeping my little Freya (my German Shepherd) busy by throwing her ball for her.

Then we lined the brooms up the walkway and wrapped them in lights.

And at night, they are seriously Spooktacular!
Don't they look like they're on fire? An unexpected scary little touch.

Plus, I hung a beautiful fall wreath on the front door.

And made some candy corn cushions for my benches out front (you can check out my previous post about how I made those but here's a quick picture)
 Or two...

And they're reversible, so I can use them through Thanksgiving. 

Maybe we're getting carried away, but we  keep adding to our display.
I don't know...what do you think?

Anyway, I'm hoping you have a Spooktacular Fall Y'all!!!