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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3 Things To Help You Celebrate CHRISTmas

Remember to focus on Christ this busy holiday season.

Remember to focus on Christ this busy holiday season.

It’s not about the lights or the presents or the snow….blah blah blah. We say that but what are some real, practical ways to celebrate Christ during the Christmas season? It is easy to get distracted with Christmas parties, gift giving and holiday busyness. Below I have three ways for you to celebrate CHRISTmas.

1. Bible reading leading up to Christmas
So instead of just reading the Christmas story start reading things leading up to it in the month before Christmas to give you a big picture of what God was doing. This year I am reading the book of Isaiah and then I will read the Matthew, Luke and John version of the Christmas story. I picked Isaiah because that prophet foretold a lot about Jesus’s birth. Below are some other ideas.

-Isaiah, then the Matthew, Luke and John version of Christmas story.
-Genesis, then Christmas story (from the beginning of time look for promises like the “He will bruise the serpents head” passage and others.)
-Revelation, then Christmas story (look at the mighty lamb slain for us)
-A gospel read the whole way through then double back and read the Christmas story again. (See how Jesus came with the purpose to die)
-1-2 Kings then Christmas story. (Look at the different kings and then look at King Jesus born in a manger)
-Psalms (selected) then Christmas story (Find psalms that point to His birth and read in a poetic style)

With any plan you do try to look for the truth about Jesus coming as well as the promises of His coming.

2. Give your time (and money)
This time of year there are so many opportunities to serve and give so take them! Here are a few ideas:

-serve at a Soup kitchen or homeless shelter serving a Christmas dinner.
– volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child processing center
-order something from the Samaritans Purse, or Food for the Hungry gift catalog
-buy gifts for needy kids/families (I have heard good things about or a local project works well)

Just remember to focus on giving not getting and look to Jesus’s example-He gave His life!

3. Enjoy some good ol’ Christmas carols
Christmas carols are awesome. They proclaim the truth of Jesus’s birth and the gospel. So dwell on that truth. Below are some ideas:

-Go Christmas caroling with friends
-Learn Christmas carols on an instrument if you play one
-Listen to Christmas CDs. (Chris Tomlin and Andrew Peterson’s are some of my favorites-very worshipful)
-Go to a Christmas concert and enjoy the music (We went to a Celtic Christmas concert this year- what a treat!)

I hope you found some good ways to keep your eyes focused on Jesus during the holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

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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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My Journey to Womanhood

Today I am writing a testimony from my life about my journey to womanhood.

I grew up as a shy girl. I could play rough with my brother. I could be tough. But I also like my baby dolls, dresses and other “girlish things”.

Around 11 years old, I became a tomboy. I hated the color pink, left skirts behind, and loved to show my toughness.

I would only wear darker colors and didn’t like ANYTHING girly. I wouldn’t paint my nails for the world!

If you knew me when I was about 11 or 12 you would know, I was a tomboy. I was forsaking my womanhood.

I realize now, that was a mistake. You see, I thought girls were wimpy, they liked talking and painting thier nails and other wimpy things. My adventurous spirit had no place in that.

Then my mom started doing a devotional with me and my sister. It was called “Becoming God’s True Woman” by Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian. The book was pink, the pages had flowers all over them and I was skeptical.

But as the book progressed, I learned something about womanhood.

I learned that women are equal but different than men.

I saw examples of womanhood in Eve, Mary and other women from the Bible.

I learned that women are helpers, life-givers and support pillars.

All of those are very strong positions, pillars? life giver?

You can’t be a wimp to be those things. Now I strive toward womanhood.

Now instead of fighting my womanhood, I embrace my God-given roll.

I am not perfect but God has done a great work in me.

God convicted me that I need to start wearing skirts and dresses more. I don’t wear them every day but I wear them to church, nicer events and on days where we are out in public a lot. I found that I love to wear denim skirts. (I love denim!)

And the thing is I am still not your typical woman.

I still don’t like painting my nails, the color pink is not my favorite color and I don’t wear make up, fancy clothes or beautiful hair styles.

I still have a fiery, adventurous, warrior spirit and I am still tough. I still love building, farming, outdoor survival, weapons and other “boyish” activities.

But now my perspective is different. I now have a strong belief in things like modesty and purity. Not that before I wasn’t modest and pure but I didn’t really care about it.

The thing is I am the becoming the kind of woman God wants me to be. God designed me to be a mission minded woman, an adventurous woman, a I-will-go-anywhere-in-the-world-for-you woman, a warrior woman, a pioneer woman, an OK-I’m-trusting-you-Lord woman as well as a gentle, kind, compassionate, gracious, pure, modest, joyful, honest, tender and faithful woman.

(Note: I am not there yet! God is still working on me but He has helped me a lot in becoming that woman!)

I am His warrior and I am His princess. I learned that I don’t have to forsake the princess to be the warrior, the two go hand in hand.

God has shown me great examples of true women and has taught me that true womanhood is running after Him all your life.

There you go!

To God be all the glory!

Posted in character, God, Living for God, me, womanhood by with no comments yet.

A Sailor Diddy

Here is a sailor “diddy” that I made up. Enjoy…. and you can laugh if you want. :)

The sun is shining as I sing this song.
The sky is smiling as I ride along.
God is with me though the days are long.
The waves are still, though the wind is strong.
The waves are still, though the wind is strong!

When God is with me, I won’t despair.
With Jesus by me I have no doubt or care.
I am smiling as I sing this prayer.
Because the winds are strong but the waves are fair.
The winds are strong but the waves are fair!

So if you ever in an ocean, remember that though the winds are strong, with Jesus, the waves are still!

Based on Matthew 8:23-27

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Changing A Life Through A Shoebox

Yesterday was a big day. For all of you who don’t know it was the start of National Shoebox Collection Week!

Millions of shoeboxes pour in every year to an Operation Christmas Child processing and distribution center. Then they are shipped out and handed to a child and then… that childs life is changed.

Operation Christmas Child was started by Franklin Graham (the head of Samaritans Purse and son of famous evangelist Billy Graham). Operation Christmas Child is a program that goes on every Christmas to give children all around the world a shoebox full of gifts. Sometimes whatever is in the box is the only possesions that child owns.

Here is how it works:
1. Individuals choose what age and gender they will make a shoebox for. You can choose girl or boy ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.
2. Then you take a shoebox (or box shoebox sized) and fill it with gifts. Items to pack include hygenie items (toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, hair brush/comb, soap and soap dish), school supplies (notepad, coloring book, pens/pencils, crayons), hard candy (no chocolate!), other useful items (flashlight and batteries, t-shirt, sunglasses, mittens, water bottles, plastic plate etc.) and toys (for boys: soccer balls are a favorite and for girls: jump ropes, dolls and jewelry)! Things NOT to pack include: army related toys, liquids, glass/breakables, chocolate and complicated toys and games kids won’t understand.
3. Write a letter to your child and include a picture (this step is optional). Make sure to include your address in case they want to write back!
4. Add $7 to the box to cover shipping, or you can donate your $7 online and they will track your box for you.
5. Take your box to a drop-off center near you!
6. Pray for the child who will recieve it. This is important!

Tips and tricks:
-Dollar Tree is a great spot to shop for shoebox items. They have lots of great stuff there and everything is only $1!
-With the $7 donation and shopping at Dollar Tree, our boxes usually cost about $20 per box.
-The older children (10-14) are good ones to pack a box for, lots of people choose the younger children so I choose the older ones a lot.
-Boys LOVE soccer balls so you can buy a deflated one and add a ball pump in for them too.
-We usually buy a pack of hard candy (smarties, lifesavers and jolly ranchers are good) and then scatter it through the box after it is packed to save room.

My History with Operation Christmas Child:
Operation Christmas Child has been a huge part of my Christmas every year. We almost always packed boxes as kids and now I always put money aside to pack at least one shoebox. Here are some other ideas that you can try.

1. Packing Party
My sister and I have birthdays in early December so for a birthday party (my 10th) we wanted to do a shoebox packing party. We sold cookies all fall to raise $120 to make six shoeboxes. We each invited two friends and went shopping and then came home and put them together. It is always better to give than receive, isn’t it? You could do a packing party with your church, school, friends or family.

2. Shoebox Drive
Last year I was president of our 4H club. One of my responsibilities was to help our club leader plan activities, service projects and programs. I organized a shoebox drive for November. We had boxes, labels, and information in October and the club members brought the shoeboxes back in November. Our club made around 15 boxes.

3. Shoebox Gift
This year I had a friend whose birthday was in late October and for her gift I gave her a shoebox outing. She picked the age and gender and we went shopping together and then out for a treat. This is a great gift to give your giving friends who you want to bless with a meaningful gift.

4. Volunteer at a Shoebox center
Our youth group has gone to volunteer at the shoebox processing center for the past three or four years. It is soooo fun! The shoeboxes go through an assembly line, you take out the donations, go through the box (make sure it is full, take out any inappropiate items, etc.), tape the box up, box the boxes up and send them off. It is very fun to see all the thoughts and prayers put into each box. You must be 13 or older to go and you need to have 1 adult for every 4 youth.

I hope you have the oppurtunity to bless a child with a shoebox this year. It is amazing, beautiful and heartwarming. After the children are given a shoebox, some are entered into a discipleship program and presented with the Gospel. Lets hear it for Operation Christmas Child!


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10 Things Only Homeschool Kids Can Relate To

I have been homeschooled my entire life and loved it! Are you homeschooled? If you are then you just might be able to relate to some of these….

1. When history comes alive…
Homeschoolers history lessons quickly turn from memorizing dates to fun activities which make history come alive! When you are learning about the middle ages you make mead and meat pie and dress up like a princess. And history lessons on the American frontier find you in your buckskins building a teepee with Daniel Boone.

2. When big brother and big sister become subsitute teacher…
I remember when Jace was 13 he would teach me (11) and Celia (8) algebra lessons. Celia was always proud to tell everyone that her big brother taught her about positive and negative x. Now I am there and while Mom is busy I leave my geometry and go help Celia with factoring and fractions or finding the definition of a word for spelling or check over Williams addition problems and do word problems orally. I love having that oppurtunity to help teach my little siblings!

3. When you find yourself reading in wierd places…
You have all these awesome books and sometimes you read them in unique places. My favorite has always been up in a tree (with a laundry basket pulley system!) but you also find me in my clubhouse and when I was smaller I enjoyed boxes, laundry baskets, trampolines, swingsets, hammocks and more!

4. When you use the homeschool book catalog to find books to read…
Yes, I love you Sonlight! Whenever I am looking for good books to read I turn to you and you never disappoint.

5. When the library is your second home and the librarians are like family…
Hey you have the library to yourself all day!?! Why not make good friends out of those awesome library people! (Joe…you are our favorite) Funny story- I have been asked if I work at the library a few times but I just roll with it and help them find whatever they are looking for anyway.

6. When people ask you your grade and you don’t know…
Poor Aunt Sally doesn’t really understand homeschool and when she asks you your grade you really can’t answer. You do 6th grade math, 8th grade science and college reading! How are you supposed to know?

7. When you arrive at a homeschool event and all you see are mini vans…
This is so true! I guess we all just have big families?

8. When for art you go to a garden and do nature sketching…
Or you set up your own little studio and become little picasso.
Or if you do leaf tracing.

9. When your science book points you back to God…
Oh do I feel bad for public schoolers. My science book is always reminding me that God is the Creator and I am not random but made with purpose. I love you Apologia!

10. When your school books quickly become your favorite books…
Good school books have followed me up a tree (see #3), under the bedcovers, in the car and many other places, quickly becoming my best friends. A lot of my favorite authors and books have been school books.

Hope you enjoyed! And if you are not homeschooling…you should. It is a fun, lifetime adventure!


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