30 November 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016...done!

All finished with NaNoWriMo 2016! Final word count of 50,166, written in 28 days! 
I'm so glad I got my third book written...but man does it need editing! The agenda for next semester is revisions, revisions galore! 

It was so cool to participate again in a project that is so intimately related to a huge part of who I am. I think I will miss it next year, but in college maybe I'll be too busy to notice!

29 November 2016

Last Quiz Bowl of the Semester!

Last Monday was our last high school quiz bowl until January. We had a different team than usual, and it was really fun. We won second place!

28 November 2016


What a busy five days!
Patrick arrived on Tuesday and Isabel and Matt arrived on Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, I received a lovely package in the mail including this letter:
So yay! It's official!
On Wednesday evening, the fam threw a surprise birthday party for Tessie. 
Thanksgiving had the usual festivities, none of which I have pictures of. Claudia had us over to her apartment, and of course we played games.
picture from Claud
Then, on Sunday, it was Tessie's actual birthday. I can't believe she is sixteen!
The only picture of the two of us on her birthday!
So it was a weekend full of celebrations! Now we are settling back down and enjoying Advent!

18 November 2016

Things Galore

November always seems to be a busy month. What with NaNoWriMo, quiz bowls, choir rehearsals, standardized tests, and other random events going on, there hasn't been a lot of downtime. Today was a snow day for the high school so we had a relaxed "sweatpants day." The musical, Beauty and the Beast, opened yesterday, but they had to cancel tonight's performance because of the weather. Tessie was glad for the break.
On day 18 of NaNoWriMo, my current word count is 34,287. It's been a pretty steady climb. The most I've written in a day was 4,200-something, so I'm well ahead of the daily quota, but not crazy-ahead (like some of my writing buddies are). This book has definitely been more of a challenge to write than last year's, but I'm hoping the finished product will make it worth it. It's so cool to have time to write books in high school.
We have had three high school quiz bowls this year so far. My team has placed first, second, and third at each one, respectively. There were 46 teams at Monday's, so the competition was heated! The one scheduled for Monday will have 34 teams, so it shouldn't be quite so overwhelming.

Our first-place win in Brookings.

Both our teams at Roosevelt--we got third, our other team got second.

Yesterday we went to the opening night show of BHS's fall musical, Beauty and the Beast. It was a fantastic production, as always. I'm looking forward to going again tomorrow. 

She was such a cute piece of silverware! This is her smile after three performances in one day!

I've dug out the Christmas music books to start practicing for the season, and I'm enjoying it! We have some good repertoire in concert choir, and the Youth Choir Christmas program at church is going to be adorable. Now I just have to learn that music...

Next week is the flood of siblings for Thanksgiving. We're excited to have all seven kids together for the first holiday in two years!

08 November 2016

Freedom, Conscience, and Law

On this Election Day, I've been thinking about some of the things I learned in Moral Theology recently.

The chapter I just finished was about moral conscience. The one before that was about freedom. And the one I began today is about law.
As human beings, we are subject to eternal law. Eternal law is "the cosmic order established by God," or in other words, the set of rules by which God governs the universe. Everything in the universe is subject to eternal law, by nature or by reason.
Human beings have a special relationship with God because we have immaterial souls which share in His immortal nature, and we possess intellect, the ability to reason. We are self-aware, are capable of self-reflection, and hold dominion over all other creatures because of our rational souls. This special likeness to God we have comes with its own set of responsibilities.
Every human possesses both freedom and free will. Freedom is our choice between right and wrong. Free will is our God-given ability to recognize and choose the good. By freedom, we are not puppets of God. By free will, we can conform our will to God's and grow in a relationship with Him.
We also possess a conscience, which is one's faculty for making moral decisions. We have an obligation to form our conscience according to, among other things, natural law. Natural law is that part of eternal law which pertains to human life. It is inscribed in our hearts and forms the basis for moral knowledge.
Conscience is subject to law, which is subject to truth. The purpose of law is to protect the common good of a community, which means protecting each citizen's freedom of conscience and other inalienable rights. If a law goes against what is true or good, it is void. Right conscience prevails over unjust law.
All this means that one's civic duty is also one's moral duty. To separate matters of civil law from matters of morality would be to deny the nature of both the former and the latter. We have a civil obligation to participate in the government in various ways (such as voting) and a moral obligation to do all in our power to help the government maintain only that which is necessary for the common good. Law is necessary for the organization and harmony of society, but society does not exist as a result of or a vehicle for law. Therefore civil law is subject to moral law. Moral law informs civil law and ensures its justness.
That was just some of my rambling about this fascinating topic. Moral theology is one of the most interesting things I've ever studied.
May God continue to bless this country, regardless of the election results.

03 November 2016

Some Art

The twins had asked me for some art for their birthday, so I took the opportunity last week to do some art with books. I got a book from the antique store and had fun doing things with the pages.

 First I tried different styles of "blackout poetry." I plan to do more interesting versions of these in the future. It's hard to choose the words, but looks pretty cool once it's finished.

For the twins I made quotes on the book pages, which I'd done a watercolor wash on first. I was really happy with how these turned out.