Catching Up

Boy, has November been busy! We spent a nice Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's Day Parade and eating a yummy breakfast made by my Dad. Then at five we had dinner with our grandparents on both sides, some cousins, and a family friend, and it was a lot of fun. The food was DELISH as always (and so was the PIE!!!), and the leftovers the next couple of days were just as good :D. You can't really beat pumpkin pie for breakfast, can you??!? Thanksgiving was great. I realize God has blessed me and I have so much to be thankful for♥. I usually take for granted what I should be SO thankful to God for :P.

My cousin came to visit for a week (same cousin I went to Hawaii with - we're, like, best friend cousins), and we had a lot of fun! We went to Winter Jam with my youth group, which was amazing (see this post)! The next night we had a sleepover at my grandparents'. We did each others' hair (she's way better at doing hair than I am), took pictures, watched Captain America (she had never seen it before), and ate our "traditional" late-night snack of zucchini bread, ice water, and buttered popcorn! (Okay, so it's not really "traditional," cuz we've only had it one other time, but I think we plan on making it a tradition) At the beginning of my cousin's visit, I'd told her I was a really bad cook. "But I can make popcorn!" I said with a laugh. I proved myself wrong the next day, though! We were making popcorn for our "traditional" snack, and the popcorn bags were smaller than typical bags, so we didn't know how long to microwave them for. My cousin said, "Just press the popcorn button!" I pressed the button, and there were still a bunch of kernels in the popcorn when we took it out, so we pushed it again and the popcorn burned! Needless to say, it tasted gross!

Later in the week, my cousin and I went shopping together, which was really fun! We tried on crazy dresses and took lots of pictures! We also had another sleepover, this time at my house, and watched a movie I love - "You Again"! It made us laugh a lot!

This past week, I've been hurriedly trying to finish NaNoWriMo! My word count goal was 30,000 words, and I am proud to announce that I finished my novel yesterday! It's called "Speechless," and I really like it. I love NaNoWriMo! It is such a great experience! I'd totally recommend it! My novel is about a man named Aaron who was in the U.S. Military and was serving in Iraq when a bomb exploded, damaging his vocal chords beyond repair so that he can no longer speak, distorting his face, and removing his legs. "Speechless" is his story :).

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is December 1st! Does anyone else find that crazy? Whenever Christmas time comes, I always think, "Wow! That year went by fast!" The years go by so much faster as I get older :P! AHHH! Slow down, years! Haha :).

What did you do for Thanksgiving? What's your favorite kind of pie (I love apple and pumpkin)? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food? Does your family have any special Thanksgiving traditions?

HAPPY DECEMBER, GIRLZ!!! GOD BLESS YOU!!!

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as of late...

reading: "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson
eating: an apple
smelling: an apple
wanting: a new iPod and a new Christmas dress, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, & surfing some way somehow.
eagerly anticipating: Thanksgiving and Black Friday
watching: The Voice, and hopefully soon "Arthur Christmas"
writing: my NaNo novel, which I decided to call "Speechless."
enjoying: warming up inside the house when it's cold outside (♪cuz, baby, it's cold outside!! ♪)
listening to: "Listen" (Dreamgirls), "Home" (Phillip Phillips), anything Jamie Grace, "Me Without You" (Tobymac).


and just a little ♥post love♥...
Writer's Confession #2
What Makes You Beautiful
scrumptious, i think!
let's take a pause.
42nd and Columbus
Smashbook Pics

Have a wonderful November day, girls :). God bless you! 
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Winter Jam

One day, I was looking up Christian concerts online, and I randomly decided to look up the tour dates for Winter Jam (a big Christian concert). I was so excited to discover that a concert would be coming to my state! Plus, I noted, the tickets cost only $10 at the door! It was too good to pass up. So, I messaged my youth pastor about thinking about taking the youth group. Within a couple days, he had a whole overnight trip set up for the youth group! I was extremely excited.

The bands/artists that played/sang in Winter Jam included Tobymac, Jamie Grace, and Group1Crew. I'd seen those three artists/bands before, but I enjoyed them so much this time too!




Phones aglow! (the unintended blurriness created cool bokeh! LOL!)

Chris August
Red (they kinda scared me, but their set was cool. It had fire we could feel the warmth of!)

Group 1 Crew
Jamie Grace

Sidewalk Prophets
My cousin and I didn't know we were supposed to stay with the group after the concert, so we went to meet Jamie Grace (oopsy!)! My sister and one of the leaders found us and they were like, "Where were you?!?!" and we were like, "What did we do?!?!" Haha :-). But Jamie Grace was really sweet & genuine! Even though there was a long line of people waiting to meet her, she took the time to talk to each person and ask their name and how they were doing :-). Plus I got a poster signed! YAYAYYYYAYAYA! :) Haha:).

In conclusion, the concert (and the whole trip!) was great! It was awesome to see so many people respond to the gospel and proclaim the Name of Jesus, and lots of people recommitting their lives to Christ! If a Winter Jam is coming to your area, I'd totally recommend it :-)!
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they day i turned my camera to *gasp* manual

I've been taking a photography class this year, and it has been SO helpful. Prior to the class, I took pictures in automatic. While that is the "easy" way, and good pictures often come out of it, I knew that in the future - since I want to be a photographer (as well as writer) - I should probably know how to take pictures with my camera on the manual setting. So, I was really excited when I learned the high school group at our co-op was having a photography class! Yeah-eah!

 For a few weeks, we've been learning what things like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are, and we've been experimenting with them and learning how to use them. Yesterday and today, I took pictures in manual mode! Yes! I have to admit that I am pretty proud of myself (*shy grin*). Plus, although not all of the pictures turn out good (der der der), I like how a lot of them are turning out!

So, without further ado, I'd like to show you some photos I snapped yesterday and today. They are completely unedited (which is rare for me), except for me adding my name to them :-). (also, I realize these pictures are not perfect - duh - but I really like them, and I am after all still learning :D!)













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Reply to "Rob in Toronto"

I typically don't write a whole post as a response to one comment, but I really wanted to for this particular comment. First-off I would like to say, thank you, "Rob," for sharing your opinion. Even though we obviously disagree, thank you for sharing. "Rob in Toronto" posted this comment on my post My Thoughts on Homosexuality:

My dear you truly just do not understand. Perhaps someday with some experience and age you will grow to understand people and how you are a part of destroying a whole segment of humanity.
Just yesterday I invited a gay friend to come to church with me. This church is inclusive and welcomes all. Still the anguish that was in my friend at the idea of stepping into a church was overwhelming to watch. Tears ran down his face as we sat there.
NO IT WAS NOT conviction... it was akin to going back to a family home where there was great abuse. The desire to be "home" mixed with the angst of all of the terrible memories and painful emotions that came flooding back.
I have seen this before...good people that grew up in the church... that want to love god, but eventually had to make the choice that was forced upon them... to either be true to themselves or to be a christian as many religious claim a christian is.
I asked him later what he was thinking. He told me that he so misses the church, but that the reminder of the wars that he battled for years was simply too much. That regardless of what the church claimed about the sin and the sinner, that the church had succeeded in convincing him of how God (and the church) hates him at core. Stepping into that buidling only succeeded in reminding him of the years that the church had succeeded in making him hate himself.
We talked of the shame that the church poured on him. How he begged god to make him straight. How he tried everything to be what the church claimed he could be. Eventually the "war" within him became too much. Eventually he understood that this was not something he was struggling "against"... this is who he is.
His freedom came when he finally realized that this was not going to change. But it came at a price. His only chance at freedom would mean that he would never again be accepted by his family, his church, or by extension their god. Still so strong is the desire for freedom that he took it. He has not looked back.
With the freedom came all kinds of lies and agendas that the church would claim that he was now living. They claimed that he was doing this or doing that... that he was now a part of some huge gay demonic agenda. In truth he has never been any different than who is has always been. Just that now THEY know about it.
Yesterday made him look back. He cannot go back there. The scars from the church are much too deep. They have etched their misery on him with a vengeance that cannot be forgotten. He does not want to revisit that war. He does not trust their intentions. He does not believe that they love him.
No my dear, I truly do not accept that you understand. You are not empathetic... you are instead ignorant to the realities of the human condition. Worse you take to the microphone as a spokesman of god.
You do not speak for god. You speak your own interpretations of religious texts. This is religion at its worst... the kind that spreads hate in a spoonful of sugar. If anything I have learned... it is how hate can be so easily disquised as love.


I'd like to break up this comment and talk about different parts of it, starting with this:

"I have seen this before...good people that grew up in the church... that want to love god, but eventually had to make the choice that was forced upon them... to either be true to themselves or to be a christian as many religious claim a christian is."

First of all, becoming a Christian does not at all mean that you aren't being your true, genuine self. Actually, I think becoming a Christian makes you realize what kind of person God created you to be, and each day you walk with God you become more and more that person. Does that make sense? When we're reading the Bible and talking (and listening) to God and having fellowship with other believers, we realize that there are attributes and habits in our life that aren't pleasing to God, and we realize that we need to work on removing those things from our lives and focusing on what God desires for us, which is always what is best for us (sorry, really long sentence :-)).

"That regardless of what the church claimed about the sin and the sinner, that the church had succeeded in convincing him of how God (and the church) hates him at core. Stepping into that buidling only succeeded in reminding him of the years that the church had succeeded in making him hate himself."

I do not want anyone to hate himself or think for a second that God (and Christians) hate him. God certainly doesn't hate anyone, regardless of the choices they've made (Romans 8:38-39), and just because I do not agree in the slightest with homosexuality does not mean that I hate gay people. Yes, I realized that I was somewhat harsh in the post you commented on, but a little while back I posted a follow-up post HERE, which I hope you will read. I realize that I have trouble conveying my beliefs without coming across harsh, but I do not believe that I was expressing hate in the post I wrote. This is my blog, and it is a place where I can freely write what I believe. On another note, many people say how being homosexual is wrong, etc. etc., (myself included) but neglect to really love those people with the love of Christ. I've realized that loving those people (homosexuals) will be more affective than telling them over and over how wrong they are. I don't think that people that have chosen to be gay/lesbian have lesser value than straight people or anything like that. Not at all! I just cannot and will not support them and agree with them. I don't agree with people who show hate towards them, either, just so we're clear.

"We talked of the shame that the church poured on him. How he begged god to make him straight. How he tried everything to be what the church claimed he could be. Eventually the "war" within him became too much. Eventually he understood that this was not something he was struggling "against"... this is who he is."

I have never been in this situation and cannot therefore post from personal experience, but I do not believe that God created anyone gay. I believe that if someone has truly surrendered their life to the LORD and given Him complete control, they can fight against what they want and start striving towards what God wants (although it is usually not the same as the things we humans want).

"No my dear, I truly do not accept that you understand. You are not empathetic... you are instead ignorant to the realities of the human condition. Worse you take to the microphone as a spokesman of god.
You do not speak for god. You speak your own interpretations of religious texts. This is religion at its worst... the kind that spreads hate in a spoonful of sugar. If anything I have learned... it is how hate can be so easily disquised as love."


First of all, I don't make up what I want God to say. I read what He says in His Word, the Bible. Leviticus 18:22 says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." Once again, I sincerely apologize if my post came across as hateful. I do not hate homosexual people. But that does not mean I have to agree with them or support what they are doing. That isn't the same as hate. And yes, many churches have shown hate to homosexuals, but I am saddened that your view of ALL churches is that they just hate, hate, hate and never love. Because that is certainly not true. True followers of Jesus (although they do, too, make mistakes or show rudeness/meanness at times) do not hate homosexuals. They love them with the love of Jesus, even if they won't agree with homosexuals and support them. And I hope someone shows your friend this love, because it's the love we all need - gay, lesbian, or straight.

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NaNoWriMo

As many of you know, NaNoWriMo started yesterday! I am excited for NaNoWriMo this year but am not, like, getting up before it's light out and going to bed late at night to write. Nope! I'm just writing when I have the time. This has worked for the past two years I've done NaNoWriMo (although the first year I just barely finished on time!). I don't want to stress out about NaNo. I want to work and hard, and I want to be proud of my novel when it's finished.

I contemplated over what to write about, and I finally decided to continue a story I had started not long ago (I'll only count the words I've written in November, though). The story is about a man named Aaron who served in the military in Iraq. A bomb caused him to loose his legs and his ability to speak (his vocal chords were damaged beyond repair), and his face was mutated pretty badly. My NaNo story is about him and the things he learns...which I'm not telling :) (at least, not yet). I'll just say that I think the story will turn out pretty good (at least, I hope so). It is going to be a Christian novel, too. I think it's really important to write stories that hold good morals, lessons, etc. Writing is a gift that we can use for God's glory!

Anyhoo, for you fellow NaNoers, how's it going for you?
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etiquette and such

Girlz of God Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. "Genuine," "Girlz of God," and "Tania's Faith" book excerpts Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. All pictures Copyright Talia DeAndrea, unless otherwise noted. Please do not steal or copy anything on this blog without my permission. Thank you :-).

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