Movie Review: The Nativity Story

It’s Chrstmas time! I sit and listen to Celtic Christmas CD as I write this post. There are some Christmas movies we like to watch as a family. Last night, we watched “The Nativity Story”. Here is my movie review on it!

Rating: PG for some violent content

Age: 12 and up could watch the whole movie. My little brother (7) watched it, he just covered his eyes in some parts.

Things to watch for: The first scene in Herod killing the babies, it doesn’t actually show a baby being killed but it gets pretty close. There are also two births (Mary and Elizabeth). Mary’s birth scene is pretty mild but the one with Elizabeth is a little more vivid (again, nothing too bad). The last thing to watch for is it does show John (the Baptist) getting circumcised but it is not too vivid.

I really liked the movie. It is not biblically correct on every point but I think it does capture the nativity story very well. Joseph might be my favorite character. He was really portrayed as a noble, strong man who thought of others before himself. When he, and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem he takes good care of her, protecting her and keeping her safe.

The scene where Mary has Jesus is very sweet and special… It might make you cry. :)

Mary’s character was overall played well. The one thing I wished is that she would have been more joyful in some parts. But I think the scene when she tells her parents and Joseph she is pregnant with Jesus she shows lots of character and stands strong in her faith even though it might mean her death.

I also liked how they showed how the townspeople shunned Mary and Joseph after finding out about the baby. I don’t usually think of that part.

The wisemen were good. They added just a touch of humor to the movie but not enough to take away from the beauty and seriousness of the story.

In all I think it was a great movie and it really brings the story to life. Perfect for Christmastime!

Merry Christmas!
Priscilla Joy

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Journal Entries- My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 16 years old. I sometimes can’t believe I am that old but I like the sound of both 15 and 16 so I am still happy. :)

I had a really fun time yesterday so I will reveal what I did in this journal entry blog post.

When I woke up I had my devotions like usual. I had been reading in Isaiah but I took a break from that and read Phillipians because that is one of my favorite books of the Bible and you always do your favorite things on your birthday, right?

We had breakfast together (my dad and Jace took off work) and looked at my baby book. I always love looking at that. It is fun to see our family when I was born, my little brother Jace (almost two at the time of my birth) is SO cute! I opened gifts and then we all got ready and dressed for the day.

We headed out on the road to Stone Mountain about 9:30 a.m. We arrived there at about 10:45 a.m. I like to go hiking on my birthday because it is something I love to do but we don’t get to do a lot. We had never been to Stone Mountin before so we were all looking forward to it.

I decided we should do the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. It was 4.5 miles but we probably hiked about 5 miles in all because you had to hike .3 miles to get to the trailhead.

Stone Mountain Summit

Stone Mountain Summit

It was very pretty. Not too long before we started there was this HUGE stone slab that we stopped at and just hung out and explored and ate lunch at. It was cool. We hiked up some more (up and up and up) until we reached the Stone Mountain Summit. It was 2,305 altitude! It was sooo high up!

The view from Stone Mountain summit

The view from Stone Mountain summit

We saw lots of Hawks (maybe 100?) circling in the air right about our height. It was cool that we were the same height as the birds. Also the mountains around us were about equal with us. We were high up. After experiencing that awe inspiring work of God we continued.

This next leg of the journey was through the forest so it got cool and damp in there. We went down lots of steps and we were all very glad that we were not going up the steps! It was about 1.5 miles between each attraction. We stopped at a “comfort station” (a wet bench) and had granola bars and apples. Then we got to the Hutchinson Homestead. It was pretty cool. There was an old barn, cabin, corn crib, outhouse, garden, smokehouse and more. You know me… I love the pioneer/frontier times!

Hutchinson Homestead

Hutchinson Homestead

After that the trail went through a field and then into the forest again. There were a lot of gurgling brooks on the side of the trail and we soon came to the source! The Stone Mountain Waterfall! It was a huge slab of stone with sheets of water just careening down it! William, Celia and I went to the bottom of it and watched it for a bit. The trail then went up the waterfall so there were lots of stairs. Lots and lots and lots.

Stone Mountain waterfall

Stone Mountain waterfall

There wasn’t too much more. After the waterfall there was only less than half a mile to go. We went back to the car and headed back to Statesville where we stopped for dinner at Crackerbarrel. It was a really good time as a family. Very precious.

We went to a friends house for dessert. We played Risk and had ice cream sundaes and brownies. Then we came home and since we were all very tired went to bed soon after.

I stayed up and looked at my baby book one last time and then I went to bed. I had a great day! Thanks to all who made it special! I look forward to see what God will do in me this next year!

-Priscilla Joy

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On Teenagers and One in Particular

Me and my beautiful thirteen year old sister, Celia.

Me and my beautiful thirteen year old sister, Celia.

Last Saturday was my sisters birthday. She turned 13. Wow! My lil’ sister just turned thirteen! This post will be half about how great God made my sister and half about teenagers.

First off, I made a C-E-L-I-A acrostic for Celia.

C- Creative: You are such a talented young lady and even though you don’t think that you are very artsy or musical I do think you have a creative side to you.
E- Eclectic: You define this word, Celia. I don’t think of this word in any way but with you in mind. I love your stars, stripes and polkadots and who but you would put red and pink together. Although it makes choosing a color for our room difficult I love this crazy quality of you.
L- Loving: On the toughest days you are there with a kind word of encouragement or a thoughtful note. You give great gifts and the people you love know that you love them, which is great knowledge.
I- Interesting: If a stranger started talking to you, they would come away amazed. You are such a cool person. With your cupcake business, love for kids and special needs kids and other things you make a very interesting young lady.
A- Always smiling: Or in other words very cheerful. Your disposition is always sunny and you brighten peoples days.

Second, I want to say 13 quick things I love about Celia.

1. your laugh
2. your hugs
3. your gifts
4. your initiative
5. your verse 4 the day
6. your loyalty
7. your cuteness
8. your ease around people
9. your love for others
10. your thoughtfulness
11. your joy
12. your faith
13. your love for Jesus

So there you have it. And a big hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTER CELIA!!!

Now on a different note I want to tell a quick story and move on to the topic of teenagers.

When someone was talking to our family and found out it was Celia’s 13th birthday the next day, this was her remark. “A teenager! Now I can’t talk to you until you are 20!” She quickly recovered with a quick…”Not ALL teenagers are bad, but…”

This story saddens me. She could have been joking but the main truth remains. Our culture doesn’t look too fondly on teenagers. Why?

First, let us start with the common perception of teenagers. (Fun fact: the word teenager was originated rather recently… in the past 65-75 years)

When people think of teenagers what do they think of? Some popular answers may include: lazy, rebellious, sleeps in, adolescence, punk, drugs and many others. Why does our culture think this?

Lets look at some history…. Think of some of the great people in the Bible and world history. Lots of them were young. Here are some examples: Daniel, David, Esther, Mary, Josiah, (moving into history) Joan of Arc, George Washington, Clara Barton and Alexander the Great.

Your average young person say on the frontier could manage a household, protect thier family, go on long hunting trips and more in thier early teen years. They were mature and responsible. Hard working and not wimpy.

I am not saying that all teenagers were perfect then and horrible now. What I am hinting at is that the culture back then (frontier as my example) expected more of their teens. Nowadays as we learned from the above conversation the teen years are expected to be bad.

Lets take a final look at how the Bible talks about teens (young people).

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

Teenagers are supposed to set an example!

What about this one?

“The glory of young men is thier strength.”
Proverbs 20:29

The teenage years are special years to serve the Lord. You are young and strong and God wants you to use your teen years for something special!

the teen,

P.S. A lot of the ideas about teenagers I got was from the book “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. If you are intersted feel free to read that book to learn more. Or go on their blog:

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First off, I am sorry this is late. I am writing this ater thanksgiving. But hey thats ok. :)

Second off, I want to tell you about my thanksgiving. We went to our grandparents house in Asheville NC. We slept in on thanksgiving morning and then watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Then my mom took our school pictures and we had the big lunch. We had all the classics plus zuchinni casserole (a new menu item).

After the meal we ususally go on a thanksgiving walk and take family pictures. It is such a pretty area! Most of the family watched the Panthers game but I read a book. We served the pie (I made an apple pie) and then played a game of family football. We also shot off the bb gun in there somewhere. We had leftovers for dinner (of course) and all in all we had a great day.

Next I want to tell you five things I am grateful for:
Nature and beautiful weather on Thanksgiving!
I love the beautiful nature God made and it continually shows me the awesome power of God, the Creator!

My amazing family and friends
Celia, Jace and William, you are the best siblings a girl could ask for. Mom and Dad, you guys are the best parents, teachers and friends in this whole wide world. My friends, you know who you are and know that I thank the Lord for our friendships!

Books and stories
You all know I am a book-lover! I am so grateful for the good stories and books out there that enrich my life and give me a window into other worlds.

A Bible
I get updates from Wycliffe Bible translators and every time I see an update I thank the Lord that I have a Bible in my languaage that I have the freedom to read. My faith always grows stronger when I am in the Word!

The Grace of God
I saved the best for last. :) I thank God that I do not wallow in my sin anymore but I am saved by grace and this is not my own work but it is a gift from God.

There you have it! Five things I am grateful for. Comment below with five things you are grateful for!

Lastly I want to give you some ideas for how you can celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving.

1. Make placecards/placemats.
We have a tradition of making the placecards or placemats each year. It is really fun to do fall crafts and you can make simple ones to do with little kids or more complicated ones to do with older kids. Maybe I will post about some ideas later…

2. Study the Pilgrims
So the Pilgrims started the first thanksgiving. They worked really hard to get there though! It is always fun to study the Pilgrims and thier hard journey to that Thanksgiving day. We can learn a lot from those amazing people.

3. Sing a hymn
Sing a hymn around the table. We chose “For the Beauty of the Earth” this year.

4. Start a gratitude journal
Thanksgiving is a great time to start a gratitude journal. Just get a memo book and write down a few things you are grateful for each night. It will help you develop the habit of gratitude. I think it is a great way to really focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving- giving thanks.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

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To My Younger Siblings: On Growing Up

Celia- I saw you yesterday go on a long shopping trip with a friend. Perfect because you come from a family of no-shoppers. :)

I saw you come home and talk about how you eye-bounced through the mall.

You are so wonderful and I love you and I am so proud of you. You are growing up.

(read this girls blog!

William- I saw you hosting your friends, wrestling with your buddy and I smiled. I love seeing you being a boy with other boys and being a boy with other girls. You are respectful with girls and tough with boys.

You are sweet, tough and funny. A perfect combination. You also are leaning so much and growing so fast. You have a deep sense of conviction and I love that.

To both of my siblings: I love you!


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Living Like A Pioneer: A Homecooked Meal

So today I made dinner for the family. I was in the kitchen for 2 1/2 hours with my mom helping me. I am glad to say it turned out and was well worth the time and preperation. The menu? Chicken pot pie, scalloped potatoes and apple pie.

Below I have attached the recipe for my pie crust and links to the recipes for chicken pot pie and scalloped potatoes so you can try it yourself.

Pie Crust

2-3 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)
10 tbl cold water

Mix it all together and enjoy! I made a double batch and I had enough dough for both the chicken pot pie and the apple pie with a little more to spare! Add about 5 diced apples, a generous dash of apple juice, cinamon and sugar to make apple pie! Bake the apple pie for about an hour on 475F.

Here is the links: Thank you allrecipes and!

Everything turned out great and I hope you enjoy!

Your little Pioneer,

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Journal Entries- Road Trip to Texas

Before I start telling you what we did I will tell you about what we went to Texas for.

Basically, my big brother Jace has been doing a program called College Plus! since he was 14. In those three years he developed a relationship with his coach, took amazing courses like Comparitive Worldviews, Signature Leadership 1 and 2 and study skills, and tested out of college with CLEP tests. He has gotten involved with CP community, become a CP ambassador and made great friends.

This last week was the student conference called CPE3 in a town near San Antonio. There was a graduation for all students who will/have graduated in 2015. My brother finished his college the week before he left and though he still has to apply for graduation he is done with all his college work! Jace has a BA in History now. He is 17. Yeah. (!!!!!) :)

Our family wouldn’t miss his graduation for the world so we decided to take a crazy trip to Texas and support him in this huge milestone. Below I have my journal entries for all of the days of our trip so read below and see what our trip was like!

Day 1- Mooresville, NC
Today was a day of packing up, our Grandpa came down from Ashevelle to hitch a ride with us. We got our van inspected, packed food, clothing, books and car activities.


All my books. :) From top to bottom:
The Bible, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, my journal, Kingdom’s Reign by Chuck Black, Beautiful Girlhood by Karen Andreola, The Light and Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, William Penn by Janet and Geoff Benge, Beorn the Proud by Madeline Polland, Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien, William Penn (Landmark), Math-U-See Algebra 1 Test booklet, Exploring Creation with Biology by Dr. Jay Wile, my knitting and binoculars. Yeah its a lot.

We had a good trip but it was mostly driving so not much to tell. :) That night was a little uncomfortable but I got a good few hours of sleep.

Day 2- somewhere in Louisiana
Early today, we drove into Texas, stopped at a rest stop, ate muffins, etc. We made very good time and made it to San Antonio, TX around 8:30 am. Everyone trooped out and we headed to the Alamo. The Alamo! What beautiful, brave history there. We bought postcards and really enjoyed that time.

Then we headed to the river walk. It was very pretty. We stopped and had some nacho chips which were really good. There was a guy filming a movie so we walked in the background and made goofy faces. :) There were lots of pigeons, ducks and sparrows.

We checked into our hotel, did some swimming and went out to this authentic Texas burger place with some friends. Then we watched some TV (a rare experience) and crashed.

Day 3- San Antonio, TX
We woke up and had Texas shaped waffles for breakfast. We checked out of the hotel and met the same friends for a short hike at Comanche Lookout. There was a historic watchtower and a quarry for the kids to play in. We picnicked with them at a park and then hung out at the library before grabbing dinner at Chick-fil-A and getting ready for the graduation.

We found the resort and went in. Everyone was so nice. I got to meet Dewey Novotny, my Navigate teacher. It was a really special evening with worship a message from Mr. Novotny, the turning of the tassels and an ice cream social afterward. Lots of pictures were taken and we got to meet Eddy again.

Me and my college graduate brother!

Me and my college graduate brother!

After that, we headed home and there is not much to say because it was just sleeping, driving and reading.

Day 4- somewhere on the way home, Louisiana? Alambama?
More driving, sleeping and reading.

Day 5- Charlotte, NC
After picking up Jace from the airport we headed to Asheville, NC and spent the day resting and recovering at my grandparent’s house. My sister and I went shopping with my grandma but other than that we just hung out. We headed home that night and got to sleep in our own beds! Aaaah.

Well, that is the short journal entrie. If I see you in person I can tell you more but now I have to go.


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School 2015

Yes, today the new school year started for the Bowers, and quite honestly, I was excited to get back into a routine and work filled schedule. I like to stay busy. I thought I would give you a little peek into what we do here at Pilgrims Ford Academy (our homeschool name).

Our mornings before school starts involve devotions, breakfast together, our chores, getting ready for the day and family worship.

After that, we start our school work at the table, usually around 8:30. This school involves our math, grammer, writing, Spanish/language, Bible study and personal topics we would like to explore. Sometimes there are things like book reports and science reports that happen in the morning too.

We usually take a break at 11:00 or 11:30 and have free time until lunch, where we do a read aloud.

In the afternoon, we do our reading, history, science, geography and possibly more. It varies where we do this school. On the couch, in the clubhouse, on the trampoline, up a tree (my favorite), we have a lot of options.

Usually, we end our reading schoolwork somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00. The rest of our afternoon is usually free time, work on project time or pleasure reading time. We try to help Mom with dinner somewhere around 5:30.

Our evenings include, books read together, Bible studies, library nights, and card games.

Then we go to bed, somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00 depending on your age. This year will include special times with parents in the evenings before bed too!

Then we wake up and do it all over again! Only because we are homeschooled there are always differences every day!

Your one and only,

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Loco…. muy loco

For all of you who do not speak Spanish the title of this post is “crazy, really crazy”. Yes, this post is going to give you a look into my families crazy side. Not the polite, public side or even the chilled, hangin-out-with-friends side. It is our crazy side.

Ok so back up a little, Celia, William and I were messing around with Jace in his room today. I melted into the closet hoping he wouldn’t notice me and I could surprise him. That doesn’t work when your other siblings (who adore their big sister so much they like to do everything she does) follow you into the closet, creating a surge of bodies inside the closet, which is already packed with a dresser and lots of hanging clothes!

With no place left to go I still try to pull together my “melting into the closet” act and slip between the dresser and the wall, underneath the hanging clothes into a small space which is perfect for hiding or reading a good book.

Thinking myself very clever, I get comfortable and stay quiet.


You guessed it. Little brother William (7) seeing me leave, climbs in after me. Ok, still not TOO bad, its a little smushed but more cozy than uncomfortable. And at least he isn’t sitting on me!

Well, not for long! Did I really think I could get away with this? Next time I think I will try to stick to the ceiling instead of melt into the closet. Food for thought.

Celia (12) looks around and not seeing her two partners in crime, finds them in my (what used to be) secret nook. What then evolves is a series of trying to fit my sister between the dresser with one hand and putting my little brother on my lap to make room for her with my other. (sigh) This isn’t a mansion or anything!

Ok, so we are all in. Why I don’t know because by now Jace is probably in the living room.

However, this adventure is not over yet! William is my nature rather…hmmm…how should I say it… squirmy?….active?…can’t keep still?….all of the above? Yeah thats the one, even in a closet space. Go figure.

Next there issues a stream of comments that would make anyone laugh (at least if you have a humor like me). Shall I give you a sampling?

Ok. Something like this.

“Your head is soo hard.” (directed toward William)
“Why is your elbow in my ear?”
“This would make a great blog post” (I wonder who said that… 😉 )
“Oh okay! That hurt.”
(insert random grunts)
“Is that your foot?”
“My leg is twisted in every direction.”
“I think I hit my funny bone.”
“My ankle is asleep!”
“Your head is in my mouth!” (also directed toward William, sensing a pattern…)

and on.

Please enjoy the mental picture of William thrashing around in this closet space on top of me (ahem ahem) and Celia.

Well, you might be wondering how this is going to end.

I will tell you.

This story ends with me stuffing Celia out of the closet and pushing William right behind her. Thats right folks.

Oh but I forgot to tell you.

The true end is me trying to get out without knocking all of Jace’s nice shirts off of the hangers. Its a skill. A skill I am blessed to have.

Boy, do I love my siblings.

Thank you for being crazy enough to listen and well enjoy the embellishes. :)

Your one and only,

Posted in adventures, Family, Fun Stuff, It makes me laugh, memorys by with no comments yet.

#34- Made a List of Requirements For My Future Spouse

I think it is important that we have a picture of what we want our future spouse to be like. They aren’t going to be perfect but if we know what we want them to be like we won’t settle with the first thing the world throws at us. We will only settle with God’s best for our lives and marriges. So here is the challenge. Make a list of requirements for your future husband/wife. Examples of requirements include: being a Christian, having a strong prayer life, comitted to no divorce, being a wise steward of what they are given and more. Then make a list of wants, things that are not necessarily needed but would be good to have. Examples include: coming from a Christian home, being bilingual, plays an instrument, has some of the same interests. My sister and I made a list as well as our Dad and Mom. You can then compare lists. Also, try to work on your list yourself so you can be that sort of person too.
We got the idea for the lists from the book: “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Mally.

Thank you!


Posted in 100 Hard Things Challenge, Bible characteristics, challenges, character, do hard things, faith, Family, myth of adolescence, teens, teens doing big things, the rebelution by with no comments yet.