December 31, 2008

Last post for 2008!

     ....I think. :)  Hannah Rose at Waiting Rose had a story contest this past month, so I decided to stick my neck out and enter.  Whoops!  Well, I won.  Thank you Rose!  So, here it is.  Happy New year everyone!

The Hidden Violin

Jacob was breathless when he reached his room. “Why does having a lame foot have to be so hard?” his mind lamented. His room was on the third floor, so it was a lot of work to get up all the stairs with his cane. Jacob was not an orphan, but neither of his parents were home. His mother died when he was 3 years old, and at the age of six his father had moved to Spain for his business. Jacob could not go because of his foot, or at least that is what everybody told him. He lived with his aunt and uncle in the outskirts of Grandy, North Carolina. There he went to school and had lived all of his life. He was treated as one of the family, and loved all of his little cousins. He was fourteen, and the oldest, so all of his cousins looked up to him as a big brother. He did not look anything like his cousins, or his aunt and uncle for that mother. They, as well as his Dad had sandy brown hair and hazel eyes, while he had jet black hair, and “sky blue” eyes. He always wondered about his mother’s family, but no one wanted to talk about it.

At the age of seven Jacob had begged to play the violin. He was fascinated with the violin and loved music. His uncle Tim thought it was great, but aunt Lily wasn’t so sure. Jacob had overheard one of their conversations.

“Tim! You know what my brother said, he does not want the kid to play music. Especially the violin, you know why.”

“But Lily, it is probably just a kid thing, he will grow out of it. Just let him try.”

“He won’t grow out of it! The child loves music.”

“Come on, at least it will give him something to do while his friends play sports; that foot will never get better.”

So, he started the violin. He was a fast learner, and when his aunt was going to take him out of lessons, he would beg to do it just a little bit more. Even though she knew her brother over in Spain would command it to stop, she always relented and let him go on. She was secretly very happy about it, and hoped that when James Patten finally did come home, his broken heart would have healed and he would enjoy it along with everyone else.

Seven years later, Jacob was still taking lessons, and he was very accomplished for his age. He had already played at many concerts and would have been first chair in the orchestra if his Aunt Lily hadn’t intervened. But he didn’t mind; his foot wasn’t strong, and it probably would have given him a lot of trouble during those long practices. He knew that his aunt knew what was best.

When Jacob came back from his reverie, he rubbed his foot. It had been feeling better lately. Maybe he could go to his father’s mansion tomorrow. It would be Saturday, and his uncle had been promising to bring him for a while. They would have to get some hired help to clean it out and open it up. Father would be home for his fifteenth birthday, only days away… in fact.. 10 days away. Wow! They had so much to do! He also had to pick some music for the upcoming concert. He also was in the habit of practicing three hours a day.

“Let’s see,” he mused, My Dad will be here for the concert. I hope he doesn’t mind.” The words of his aunt from years ago came back.. “he doesn’t want him learning music, especially the violin…” Why would he want that? Uncle Tim said he loved music.


James got on the plane at 2:00p.m. sharp, just like everything else he did. He had a week of business in Boston, then he would ride down to Grandy. As he leaned back on the seat, he mind drifted home. He was there last three years ago, but a difficulty arose, and he only stayed one night. What would Jacob be like now? Almost 15, he would be taking drivers ed soon. Would still have sky blue eyes like his mother? Of course he would; you can’t change eye color. He looked just like Fanny. Everything about him was just like Fanny: his character, his looks, maybe even her talent. Had he done wrong in forbidding music lessons? After all, he could not play sports like I did. James thought and tried to go to sleep. Sleep did not come. If I had let him have lessons, would he have become famous like his mother? But no, I was too hurt by losing her to ever look at her precious violin, or any violin, ever again. I had it all put in the attic.. Finally he fell asleep as they flew over the Atlantic Ocean.


On Saturday morning, Jacob talked his Uncle Tim.

“Uncle Tim, do you think we could go down to the mansion today?” he asked while shoveling his breakfast into his mouth. Uncle Tim thought about it.

“Sure, I mean, today is as good as any day, and we have just over a week till your Dad comes.” He took a drink of coffee. “Let’s head over there right after lunch.”

“O.K. I’ll be ready,” Jacob said.

Soon after they left, Aunt Lily smacked her forehead. The attic! I forgot to warn Tim not to let Jacob in the attic!


As James Patten walked through the terminal to baggage claim, his mind was on home. What if he came home to stay? He wasn’t needed in Cusco anymore, or in Madrid. Maybe he should just work in the U.S. now? Maybe he should retire early?


Jacob hobbled up the steps of his father’s three story brick mansion to his childhood bedroom. It still had many of the furniture it did before he left it. But there was something missing. Where was his old photo album? His baseball card collection was missing too. Maybe they were in the attic? He would go find out. He had never been to the attic, but it took only a few minutes to find the entrance. His cane clumped as it went up the steps. The door stuck when he tried it, so he pushed harder. All of a sudden, it gave way. Jacob landed on the floor in a cloud of dust. He coughed.

“Are you all right?” he heard his uncle yell from the second floor.

“Yeah, I just fell; I’m fine. Really.” he said. Then he propped himself up and looked around.


James fiddled his way through Saturday morning. Finally he decided to order a sandwich and sit in the park. The birds sang beautifully, almost like Fanny. Why must I think about that now? Getting home as soon as possible would be the best thing for him, but he didn’t know it. He wanted the past to stay in the past, but it was the past that kept him away so long.


The attic was extremely dusty, and where light streamed through the sun-lights on the roof, it illuminated the dust and made the attic full of thick shafts of dusty sun-streaked air. The air was heavy and rather warm, but not quite stuffy. Jacob stood still for a while, then dug in. There was so much stuff here! If he was ever going to find his old baseball cards, he would have to start immediately. After looking through a couple of boxes, he noticed a green trunk in the corner.

It was a very handsome trunk, so Jacob decided to go take a look. He removed the boxes that were sitting on top and dragged it over to the moth-eaten, overstuffed chair by the door. If he didn’t sit down, his foot would give him trouble the next day. He fiddled with the brass lock. Then he slowly opened the lid. Inside there was a bunch of old photos. Jacob picked one up. There was a lady with jet black hair and sky blue eyes in every one of them. She always had a smile on. In some there was a baby, and in others, there was his Dad. Suddenly it dawned on him: this was his mom’s trunk.

Jacob dug deeper and deeper. There were letters, more photos, and a notebook. Jacob opened the notebook and just stared. There on the pages were hundreds of staffs with all sorts of music on them. There was no composer’s name of the music, so Jacob picked it up and studied it. He had never seen it before. It was most definitely violin music, but it was not like Bach, Mozart or Teleman. No, this was different. It was getting dark in the attic, so Jacob could not read more. Suddenly, he realized how late it was getting. He tucked the notebook under his arm and stuck his hand in the trunk to grab a hand full of photos. Instead of photos, his hand hit something hard. What was that? He felt around and found a handle of some sort. he grabbed the handle and pulled.


James’ mind wandered over old memories of home as he got in a taxi headed for the airport. He would get home a day or two early, but everything was done in Boston. His flight arrived at 5:00p.m. in Raleigh, then he would take a hotel that night. He would go to church and have lunch with a friend, then drive to Grandy. Everything was a day early, but he didn’t mind.


Jacob gasped. It was a violin case. He grabbed the notebook and the case and hobbled down the stairs with his cane. When he got to the kitchen, he was sore. Uncle Tim was there eating his dinner.

“Look what I’ve found!” Jacob exclaimed. His uncle looked up. He didn’t seem the least bit surprised.

“So, you finally found it.”

“What do you mean?” Jacob asked.

“That was your Mom’s violin,” Uncle Tim said.

“My Mom played the violin?” Jacob was shocked. Then Jacob started eating and Uncle Tim told the whole story.

Jacob’s mother, Fanny, was a virtuoso--a famous violinist. She even wrote her own music. That was what the notebook was part of. After she died, Jacob’s father, James, put everything in the attic and never looked at a violin. He was so sad he even wanted to prevent Jacob from learning of it.

“So, as it turns out, you not only look just like her, but you got her talent too,” said Uncle Tim.

The next day, Jacob practiced constantly, he felt as if he was in a dream. He found the favorite composition of his mother, and chose it for his concert piece. At the last minute, he grabbed his mother’s violin and left his.


James pulled into the driveway of his sister’s home, then noticed that all the lights were off. He took his spare key and let himself in. There was certainly no one home. He chanced to glance at the calendar on the kitchen wall and saw the notation: Mattel Theater--6:30, marked on today’s date. He hopped in the car and started driving. It was 6:27.

James pulled into the parking lot and ran into the building. To his surprise, this was a student concert. Since when did Lily and Time take their family to student concerts? As he walked in, he heard a violin tuning. He was about to walk out, but decided that it was about time he faced the past. “But,” he thought, “It won’t be anything like Fanny’s playing. It will be a student piece.”


This was it. He had practiced all day, and it was about to pay off. Jacob pulled the bow across the strings and started one his mother’s songs.

When James found a seat, he listened. Where had he heard this before? This was Fanny’s song! Who was playing this anyway? He squinted at the stage then gripped his seat. Could it be? Was it? Could it be Jacob? Yes! It was. James knew those eyes anywhere. Jacob was playing Fanny’s song. As tears fell down James’ cheeks, loads of regret fell off his shoulders.

Jacob finished perfectly and got a standing ovation. If only his Dad could be here. Would he be proud? Would he be angry? Jacob didn’t wait long. After many handshakes, Jacob hobbled out to meet his “family”. They ran to him. Everyone gave him a hug, then told him his father had been there the whole time. Jacob dropped his cane and ran as fast he could with a lame foot and hugged his Dad. James gave him a tearful hug and congratulations.

“Yes,” he sighed, “this is something worth staying for.”

    Sorry.  In my copying and pasting the indents got lost. :-)

Current Mood:

December 30, 2008

Three in one

Ok, get ready for one whopper of a post!  I have three tags to deal with.  To make it easier, I am going to put all the people I tag at the very bottom of the post.  If you are tagged, you only have to do one of the tags, for example, if you just did the '15 things I'm not afraid to admit' already, just choose a different one.  Here goes!

For the '15 things I'm not afraid to admit' tag, I was tagged by Sydeny and Lauren Ann

1. I am a Christian

2. I am flexible

3. I read way to much fiction :)

4. I have 2 best friends

5. I love to sew

6. I like soundtrack music

7. If have hot chocolate (the real stuff, not store bought mixes) I talk way to much

8. I'm homeschooled 

9. I detest talking on the phone.  I prefer one to one talks.

10. I love wearing costumes


For the 'New Year Resolutions' tag, I was tagged by Sarah

...Everyone needs to set goals that they wish to accomplish each year. Name ten of your goals for the upcoming year. Link to the person who tagged you. Then tag seven people and link to them. Tell the people you tagged that they are tagged!

1. Read the whole Bible again

2. Become a better cook

3. Be a better friend and sister

4. Build up my pattern collection

5. Learn more Spanish

6. Take a history class

7. Become more outgoing in evangelism

8. Sew a bunch of costumes

9. Sell some jewelry and start an etsy

10. Write a novel?

And last but not least, the Editrix tagged me with the 'Daily Routine'


1 - Post the six to ten things that you do on a daily basis
2 - Link to the person who tagged you.3 - Tag five other people
4 - Leave a comment on the blog of the person that tagged you letting them know that have posted this to your blog.
5 - You must tag at least one person whose blog you have either just found within the last week or some one whose blog you don’t know very well!

1. Read my Bible
2. Eat
3. Sleep
4. I'm running out of ideas..... try to write in my journal
5. Practice my instruments
6. Do my chores

I don't have time to tag people right now, so if you want to do this, go ahead!
Current mood:


Just look what happens...

I go on vacation and a bunch of people tag me! :)  We went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for Christmas.  Many of my relatives live there, so we had a bunch of fun.  As it turns out, I get home and immediately get the flu!  Of all the sicknesses I have had, I think the flu is the worst.  Thankfully, no one else in my family has gotten it...yet.  Another upside was I got to sit on the couch and watch Redwall.  Redwall is a series of books written by Brian Jacques.  When we were little(and still watched TV) it was my favorite.  Well, we found it at the library, so I got to watch it.  Now for the tags.
Sarah, Marrisa, and Lauren Ann gave me the 'Your blog is fablulous' award.

When you get the award, you must give it to ten people.
I award:
Only ten?  I didn't leave anyone out on purpose, I'm just not completely "with it" right now!  Congratulations on your fabulous blogs!

Current Mood: Sick

December 21, 2008

Got Grapes?

Yes, I know, tossing grapes into the air and catching them in your mouth is weird.  But you already knew I was interesting right?  I think it runs in our family. :)  So here are some pictures of my brothers.  I was trying to catch the grape in midair...  They are pretty self explanatory so, have fun!

December 18, 2008

Thank you Jesi!

The Real Blog Award

Jesi has graciously given me this award.  I'm not sure I always have an uncanny knack for silver linings, but I certainly try!  Thank you Jesi!

"THE LEMONADE AWARD: The concept behind this award is that the blog creators have shown an uncanny knack for silver linings and making the best of bad situations (i.e., lemonade from lemons)."
Rules: Name ten blogs that reflect this silver linings philosophy.
And so many more!

Current mood:

How does it work?

This post doesn't really have a purpose,
 I'm just trying out the "email to blogger" 
function.  You send the email to a certain 
address and it posts it on you blog!  Well, 
if you are seeing this it worked!  hurray!

December 17, 2008

Snow on your blog

Lucie wanted to know how I got the snow to fall on my blog, so here it is.   It actually works a lot better and falls thicker on wordpress, but I don't know how to do it.  To put it on your blogger site you need to go to this website, and click on the button looking thingy and copy the html that comes up.  Then paste it in a "html/java script" gadget on your layout. So it is pretty simple. I think my mom found it on Blogger buster. Maybe they'll come out with something where you have to shovel your friends blog to read it if the snow if stacked to high...
There goes my imagination! Hope you have a blessed evening!
His mercies are new every morning.

Roses are...PInk!

Have you ever seen snow covered roses?  I hadn't.  I am used to seeing wilted flowers with snow on them, but never have I seen full roses.  Maybe this is normal, but I haven't ever seen it.  We were shoveling our neighbors driveway when I saw them.  I had to look twice.  

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
Isaiah 40:8

"She is not afraid of snow for her household,  for all her household are clothed in scarlet."
Proverbs 31:21

Here is something else I found on Ribbons of Light.  I thought it was so funny!  Be sure to check it out!


December 16, 2008

Skirt pictures I promised

My latest skirt I had some trouble with.  I had bought some denim and decided that I was going to make my own pattern.  So I sewed it up, and ripped it out.  Then I sewed it up again a different way, this time with gourds, then I ripped it out again.  >:(  Since I couldn't do it myself, I pulled out a pattern we have had for a while.  I used the "F" version from Simplicity's pattern 4881.  Since it was not a long as I was hoping it would be, I decided to experiment with a ruffle.   It turned out even better than I was hoping!  Now I'm all excited and want to sew some more.  I think my next project will be some pajama pants...


One more thing, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  For me anyway.  Hope you all have a blessed time over break!

December 15, 2008


For Today: December 15, 2008
Outside my window: Cold (4˚)
I am thinking: about how funny the movie Enchanted is
I am wearing: Long denim skirt (pictures in next post!) and a white 3/4 sleeve shirt
I am hoping: for my last day of school tomorrow will go well
I am hearing: the movie enchanted
Around the House: very clean (thanks to having guests recently)
One of my favorite things: my Bible
I accomplished since last week: Decorating the house for the sason

December 11, 2008

We all knew it...

     ...But Rod Blagojevich just confirmed it.  WE OFFICIALLY HAVE THE MOST CORRUPT STATE GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES! (I live in Illinois for those of you who don't know)  Well, maybe not.  But we are definitely the runner up!  I mean, the nerve!  Trying to sell a Obama's vacant senate seat to the highest bidder?!!  But really, I'm surprised his other dealings weren't caught sooner.  Like, for example, withholding funds from hospitals and charities because the CEO, or someone high up hasn't donated to his campaign recently?  Talk about greed!  I heard this on the radio, so, if it is not exactly true, PLEASE forgive me.

Has anyone read Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte?  What did you think?  I am reading it for school and have to write a persuasive paper on how Catherine (which one?) brought her fate on herself by her selfishness.  *snore*  What were we talking about?  Oh, yeah, that really depressing book.  Anyway, don't I have anything better to say right now?  Anything I can put a smiley next to?  Yes!  My grandma is coming on Wednesday!  Which means more recipes, pictures, and crafts!

     Oh and one more thing.  Only ONE more week of school!!!!   :-)  [there is your smiley]  I will miss art class, but hopefully I will make better use of my sketchbook.  The above picture is what we have been doing lately, namely school.  Actually, I was supposed to be doing school like my brother is in the picture, but the only thing I wanted to focus was a camera.  Have you ever felt that way?  Ok, before I start writing stuff that has no significance what so ever, I had better sign off.

Ever striving to be a proverbs 31 young woman,

December 9, 2008

Snow Day!

It rained all night and then it started to snow.  For all you who drive, you know that this is a recipe for disaster.  As a result, our homeschool co-op was cancelled.  In a way I was glad, because there is a lot that I need to get done at home, but I did want to turn my homework in.  
Here is my latest painting.  I wasn't sure if I should post it, because my grandma reads my blog sometimes and it is for my grandpa.  So grandma, if you're reading this, *ssshhhhhh*, don't tell please!  For those who don't know, my grandpa is an avid hunter.  He owns a cottage in Newfoundland and moose hunts up there.  This is his gift this year.
Since we are on the subject of art I posted the other picture.  No, I did not draw it.  My brother drew it.  It is a character in the story he is writing.  But I thought it was to cute to pass up.  Don't you?


December 5, 2008


Recently my brothers had there solo recitals. They did a really good job and only had minor mistakes. All of the students at the Rockford College Music Academy had recitals, and all that I heard and saw were very poised and did a good job. The last photo is of my Dad, my brothers and I at the Church where my Dad, brother and I sung Handel's "Messiah" with the Rockford Choral Union. Hudson and Nathanael were ushers. It was really a blessing to be able to sing the Messiah, the lyrics of which is all Bible verses. We did not get any pictures of either the Saturday or Sunday performances, Sorry. :(
Jamie playing "Gavotte" by Luly
Hudson playing "Hunter's Chorus" by Von Weber
Nathanael playing "Perpetual Motion" by Suzuki

(L-R) Nathanael, Jamie, Joanna, My Dad, Hudson

December 4, 2008

Recent Happenings

    Ok, so there is this restaurant towards the middle of our town that is in a very bad location.  By bad I mean it is on a downhill and there is no stoplight, and it is just plain out of the way.  Over the past 7 or so years we have been here it has changed names 4 times.  It is my opinion that it did not change owners but just changed names.  Just recently it changed again.  What is it called now?  "The Undecided", how fitting.  I know that was weird, but I got a laugh out of it.

My mother posted what I thought was a pretty funny youtube video on her blog(for all you homeschoolers :) )  Here it is.  Tell me what you thought!


November 29, 2008

The Day AFTER Thanksgiving...

My Mom always makes "Mashed Potato Rolls" out of the leftover mashed potatoes.  They are REALLY good, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  I don't know if this recipe already exists somewhere, but my Mom just made this version yesterday.

Mashed Potato Rolls


Makes approximately 24 3-inch rolls

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

3 cups of milk

4 Tablespoons butter

7 cups white flour

1 Tablespoon salt

¼ cup honey

3 Tablespoons yeast

1 ½ cups spelt (optional)


1. Heat milk, mashed potatoes, and butter together on the stove until butter starts to melt.

2. Mix white flour, spelt, salt and yeast in a mixer.

3. Stir heated mixture.  After butter in melted, pour into the mixer and mix.  This will create a heavy dough.  Add more flour as needed.

4. Mix on high for 3 minutes

5. Spray two baking sheets that have high sides.

6. Pour/Glop dough into the sheets.  Flatten so the dough is an even height everywhere.  Cut into squares and let rise.

7. Preheat oven to 375°, and bake the risen dough for approximately 25 minutes.

*You may also use sugar instead of honey

**You will need a pretty large mixer

I hope you enjoy it!
I was going to start an Etsy yesterday, but I just can't think of  a good username.  Any suggestions?  My family gave me lots of ideas, but you have to admit that "Joanna's Junk"  doesn't give a very good image!  Please tell me what you think!