Posted in Highlight & Contest, Willowfield Falls

Highlight & Contest: Unsigned Valentines Winner

8 Valentines

And the winner is…………………..Charlly! Charlly correctly guessed three out of eight right! Not bad. The correct answers are…..

Han gave Vera Valentine 1; Austin gave Vera Valentine 2

Austin gave Amelia Valentine 1; Ben gave Amelia Valentine 2

Todd gave Jordan Valentine 1; Austin gave Jordan Valentine 2

Austin gave Phoebe Valentine 1; Austin gave Phoebe Valentine 2

Surprised?

The prize for this contest is a digital copy of the Elgen Guard General Handbook which should help prepare you for our next book club book Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25! Plus all the Valentines! Charlly, please contact me on what E-book format you would like your prize to be (Amazon or iBooks)

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day (February 25-27)

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Proverbs 19:2

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Isaiah 25

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down. On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill. And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands. And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

 

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Psalms 32:1-7

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Matthew 5:1-11

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day (February 15-22)

1 Samuel 17

Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.” Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.” Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

John 2:1-12

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers  and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

Psalms 7:10-11

My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

Ephesians 5:1-21

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Jeremiah 20:8-13

For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, forgotten. let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 Samuel 18:1-16

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on. The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORDwas with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

Posted in Highlight & Contest, Willowfield Falls

Highlight & Contest: Unsigned Valentines

Last year, I hosted my first contest EVER on the blog, and if you’ve been following you might have noticed I haven’t hosted one since. It was a lot harder than I expected it to be and I was a little reluctant to do it again this year, but I had a lot of fun writing making the Valentines and I want to give contests another go…so we’re doing a contest again this year! Only this time, this contest won’t be in anticipation of Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t read All I Want For Christmas Part 3, you’ll probably be very confused!

Contest Info: Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but love is still in the air at Willowfield Falls. Vera, Jordan, Phoebe, and Amelia all received two unsigned Valentine’s this holiday. One sweet Valentine and one prank Valentine. The girls have complied a list of possible senders to each girl. Can you figure out who likes who and who the prankster (or pranksters) is?

Rules: I promise that this contest will be easier than the last one. This time there is a four person sender bank for each girl and you must chose you’re answer from that bank. Your answer should be commented like this: Harry gave Mary Valentine 1 and Frank gave Mary Valentine 2. Whoever gets the most right first wins the contest. The contest closes on Friday, February 21, 2014 and I will announce the winner and PRIZE on Friday, February 28, 2014. Good luck! 🙂

All the Valentine's!
All the Valentine’s!

Vera’s Valentines

Sender Bank: Han Nelson, Austin Richardson, Todd Stewart, Ben Richardson 

Vera's Valentine 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

I’ve searched high and low

For the sweetest, bestest Valentine in the world

I tried to find one online

But the words weren’t mind

I tried to buy one in the store

But they always said too much more

I’ll keep it simple and sweet

Be my Valentine 

Vera's Valentine 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 2

Roses are Red

Violets are You

I don’t even know what that means

You should sue

Amelia’s Valentines

Sender Bank: Austin Richardson, Jonathan Willow, Han Nelson, Ben Richardson 

Amelia's Valentine 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Roses are Red

Violets are You

Ice Tea Rocks

But you don’t make me sweat in my socks

photo 5 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 2

With any other name, you’d be as sweet

You could not have been made any other way

I spend my days thinking of ways to get you to say hey.

I finally can say. “I like you in that special way!”

Jordan’s Valentines

Sender Bank: Han Nelson. Todd Stewart, Austin Richardson, Jonathan Willow

photo 2 (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Honey tarts when you’re in the room

Roses don’t bloom

Sugar turns into salt

and you melt my heart. 

photo 1 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 2

Roses are Red

Violets are You

Somebody will give you a mushy Valentine

But it won’t be mine

Phoebe’s Valentines

Sender Bank: Jonathan Willow, Han Nelson, Todd Stewart, Austin Richardson

photo 5 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Roses are Red

Violets are You

I must be a fool

Because I’m bound to get a smack from you

photo 3 (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 2

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

I would give you flowers

But you’d faint, if you knew who has a crush on you!

If you’re a little bit confused, I’d suggest you wait until I finish All I Want For Christmas (which will hopefully be before the 21!)

Posted in Willowfield Falls

Willowfield Falls: All I Want For Christmas Part 3

“STOP! AH!”

“Don’t aim that thing at me! OOFF!”

I stare longingly out the window. Some of the neighborhood kids are having a snowball fight in the middle of the street. A light sprinkling of snow fell last night temporarily hiding the dirty snow. Jonathan rushed through his breakfast this morning, and I had a feeling he didn’t want me out there playing with his friends.

One of the girls notices me standing in the window. She smiles to me and uses her hand to beckon me outside. I quickly pull the curtain in front of the window and run away from the window. Moments later I hear the doorbell ring.

“Hello, Phoebe,” I hear Mrs. Willow say when she opens the door, “what can I do for you?”

“I would like to ask that girl if she’d like to join our snowball fight.”

“Vera?”

“I don’t know her name. All I know is she sure wants to be out here with us and not cooped up inside.”

I hear Mrs. Willow laugh.

“You’re probably right. VERA!”

I take my sweet time walking to the door. The girl, Phoebe, smiles at me and pushes away a snow covered strand of her Chestnut colored hair.

“Hi, you must be Vera,” She smiles. She offers her hand. “I’m Phoebe Nelson. I was wondering if you’d like to join us? The boys would love to have another target to hit.”

I manage to chuckle at her joke. She smiles at me.

“So what do you say?” Phoebe asks. “Will you join us?”

I can practically feel Mrs. Willow nudge me to go outside.

“For a few mintues,” I answer.

“Awesome!” Phoebe smiles. “I’ll tell the rest you’re coming out. Everyone is curious about you. Jonny refuses to tell us anything about you.”

I feel a like I’m on display as I walk out of the house. All snowball throwing stops and everyone stares at me except Jonathan. He glowers at me.

A tall girl with wild red and green hair is the first to approach me.

“You must be Vera. We’ve heard nothing about you,” The girl says. She shots an angry look in Jonathan’s direction. “I’m Jordan Richardson.”

“SHE’S CRAZY!” All the boys shout.

Jordan sends a glare in the boys direction before turning her attention back to me. She holds her hand out for me to shake.

“Vera Fleming,” I smile as she gives me a strong handshake. I nearly fall into her.

“Sorry,” Jordan laughs. “I have seven brothers. Forgive me.”

Seven?” I blurt.

“Three older, three younger, and a fraternal twin, Austin,–nobody knows who’s older,” Jordan groans.

“How is that possible?”

“I’ve been asking that question for fourteen years,” One of the bus boys, Austin–I guess, says.

“You’re siblings?” I see Jonathan roll his eyes out of the corner of my eyes.

“Sadly,” Jordan and Austin say at the same time. They roll their eyes at each other.

“Ben is also my brother,” Jordan says pointing to the tallest boy in the group. “He’s crazy, too.”

Ben says nothing but smiles.

“How rude of me!” Phoebe shouts. “Vera, this is my older brother, Han, and my older sister, Amelia.”

Phoebe points to a tall boy with a snowball ready in his hands. Some blonde hair sticks out from under his cap. He smiles and nods at me. I nod back. Phoebe also wants to a girl with long, flowy blonde hair. She smiles and walks toward me.

“Hi,” Amelia says. “Welcome to the neighborhood.” I smile unsure what to say.

“HEY TODD!” Jordan screams all of a sudden. Austin shakes his head. I look to where Jordan is screaming. Jordan is screaming at the window of the only house on the street that’s not decorated. A boy stands in the window looking intensely at Jordan.

“COME ON OUT! WE’RE ABOUT TO HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT!” Jordan screams. The boy nods and disappears from the window.

“What’d you do that for?” Jonathan asks. Jordan smacks him.

“Todd’s nice. Not all Stewart’s are murders,” Jordan says.

“Jordan and Todd sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Austin teases.

“Oh, grow up,” Jordan says rolling her eyes. Todd emerges from his house and stares at me strangely.

“TODD, THIS IS VERA! SHE’S STAYING WITH THE WILLOW’S FOR CHRISTMAS!” Jordan yells. Todd nods. Only as he comes closer do I see a hearing aid popping out from his ear.

“Hello, Vera,” Todd says offering his hand. “I’m Todd–Stewart.”

I shake his hand and smile. Todd is surprised by this response.

“MILKSOP!” Jordan shouts throwing a snowball at Todd’s back. Todd is taken aback but quickly recovers by getting snow all over Jordan’s crazy hair.

Within seconds, the snowball fight is on. I get hit more times than I throw, and most of the balls come from Jordan trying to get Todd. Phoebe gets hit the least, but throws little. Jonathan vainly tries to hit me, but I miss him every time.

“I’VE PREPARED HOT CHOCOLATE!” A woman calls from the Richardson’s house. Everyone rushes over to their house and I follow.

“Hello,” Mrs. Richardson says when I sit down at her table. “I don’t believe you’ve met.”

“I’m Vera,” I say.

“She’s just here for Christmas,” Jonathan quickly adds.

“Oh, yes. That sure was nice of your parents to take Vera in. I would have done it, but I got eight of my own,” Mrs. Richardson says.

“It would have been cruel to put Vera through this rowdy bunch,” Jordan says. Just after she finishes, two boys run into the kitchen wearing nothing but their underwear.

“JOEY! SHAUN!” Mrs. Richardson shouts. She looks embarrassed at her sons lack of clothing.

“We wanted some hot chocolate,” A boy with red hair says. “But we weren’t cold. So we TOOK OFF OUR CLOTHING!”

I try to hide a snicker, but I can’t. The enter table burst out laughing.

“What?” The little boy asks–not getting that he’s what’s so funny.

“Baby, go put on some clothes,” Mrs. Richardson says. “Then you can have some coca. Ok?”

“All right,” The boy says sadly. He runs out of the kitchen with his brother not far behind.

“Please, excuse them,” Mrs. Richardson says shaking her head.

“We’re used to it,” Han laughs. These are the first words I’ve heard him say. His voice has a hint of British accent in it. He catches me looking at him and smiles.

“Well you SHOULDN’T,” Mrs. Richardson shouts.

“Now we know were Jordan gets her noise from,” Todd says under his breath.

“HEY!” Jordan shouts. She splashes some hot chocolate in his face. Todd smiles and licks his lips. Mrs. Richardson looks at the two of them for a couple seconds longer than the show before going back to preparing coca for the other boys.

“MOMMY!” A little red haired boy runs into the kitchen. I’m shocked he actually has clothes on.

“Yes, Levi?” Mrs. Richardson asks.

“Joey just told me that you made coca and that you weren’t going to give me any!” Levi cries.

“Oh, baby, Joey was just being a brother,” Mrs. Richardson says hugging Levi. “Brothers play lie with each other some time.”

“He shouldn’t get any hot chowote!” Levi shouts.

“Chocolate,” Mrs. Richardson corrects before going on. “He really shouldn’t. But neither do you. None of us deserve coca, but Mommy gives mercy and lets you have some any way. Give your brother some grace. Sit down.”

Levi sits down next to me smiles.

“Hi! I’m Levi!” He shouts. “Jordan says I’m the baby. I don’t know what that means, but I’m three and can brush my teeth by myself!”

“Hi, Levi,” I smile. “I’m Vera. And being the baby just means you’re the youngest.”

“Oh,” Levi says. “THANK YOU!” He shouts as Mrs. Richardson places a small cup of coca in front of him.

“BOYS!” Mrs. Richardson shouts as two tall boys run into the kitchen passing a basketball between them. “NO PLAYING BASKETBALL IN THE KITCHEN!”

“I must have learned to yell in the womb,” Jordan mumbles.

“We’re going to play Snow Ball,” The oldest looking says.

“Oh, no,” Mrs. Richardson says. “Not wearing that.” Both boys aren’t wearing coats.

“Mom, We;re in college now. We can take care of myself,” The boy says.

“You guys weren’t going to play ball without us?” Austin asks slurping his coca.

“Ya,” The other boy says. Austin steals the ball from his hand and runs out the door.

“COATS! BOYS! COATS!” Mrs. Richardson shouts running after them–without her coat.

The rest of the boys join them outside leaving us girls to stare at each other.

“SO….,” Jordan shouts. We burst out laughing.

“Vera, I’m having a sleepover tonight,” Jordan says. “Austin’s having the boys over just to drive me crazier, but whatever. What I’m trying to say is would you like to come?”

“I’d have to ask Mr. Willow,” I say cautiously, “but if he says, yes. Yes.”

“Just let me ask him,” Jordan says. “He can’t stand me. So every time he sees me he just says ‘YES’.”

This gets a laugh out of us and we giggle through the rest of our hot chocolates.

**

“Should I do my nails SILVER or RED and GREEN?” Jordan asks.

“SHOULD WE GO THROUGH WATER BALLOONS ALL OVER THE GIRLS!?” The boys shout from the room next door.

“NO!” We shout back.

“Is your life goal to annoy your brothers?” Amelia laughs.

“Tell the truth. You like to make Han go mad,” Jordan says.

“She actually doesn’t,” Phoebe says. “And that’s what drives me CRAZY!”

“YES, PHOEBE, YOU ARE CRAZY!” Han shouts back.

“LOOK WHO’S TALKING!” Phoebe shouts. Her voice slips into a strange short of British accent.

“AHA!” Han shouts bursting into the room.

“Get out!” Phoebe shouts. She starts throwing popcorn at him. We all pick up an object in Jordan’s room and throw it at him.

“Not you too, Vera!” Han shouts with fake hurt as he retreats back to the boys’ room.

“We need to play a prank on them,” Jordan says after she’s closed the door.

“What kind of prank?” Amelia asks. Jordan puts her finger over her mouth and leaves the room. Moments later she returns with silly string cans.

“Surprise attack,” She smiles. She hands one can to everybody and keeps two for herself.

“Let’s roll,” Jordan says like we’re in a movie.

We burst into the boys room and surprise them with string.

“AH!” Austin shouts as Jordan covers him in string.

“SERIOUSLY!” Ben shouts as Amelia makes a swirl on his hair.

I make Jonathan my target. He tries not to scream like a little girl, but he fails.

“MEN!” One of the older Richardson boys, Tyler–as I have learned, shouts. He throws whipped cream cans to each guy.

“STOP!” I scream as Han attacks me. I start to laugh as we just stand there repealing power at each other..

“WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?” Mrs. Richardson shouts. Everyone stops.

“It’s not what it looks like,” The other older Richardson boy, Josh, says.

“Wait…what does it look like?” Austin asks.

Mrs. Richardson shakes her head.

**

“So what should we talk about?” Jordan asks after we’ve cleaned up and Mrs. Richardson has turned off the lights.

“Boys,” Phoebe tries to whisper.

“Nah, we should play a game,” Amelia says.

“Destroy a Wish?” Phoebe asks.

“No, we should play Truth!” Jordan asks.

“Don’t you mean Truth or Date?” I interrupt.

“We’re not allowed to play Truth or Dare anymore,” Jordan says.

“Why not?” I ask.

“Let’s just say we were all grounded for a month,” Amelia says.

“All but you,” Phoebe huffs.

“What do you think we should play, Vera?” Jordan asks.

I’ve never played Destroy a Wish before so I opted to play Truth.

“All right,” Jordan says with mischief in her voice. “I get to ask the first question. Phoebe, who do you have a crush on?”

“No one,” Phoebe answers.

“Come on!” Jordan shouts. “None of my brothers impress you? Jonathan Willow doesn’t suite you’re fancy?”

The room is silent for a moment, before everyone, even me, is laughing.

“Phoebe doesn’t do ‘jerk’,” Amelia giggles.

“GO TO SLEEP!” One of the boys shouts.

“YOU GO TO SLEEP!” Jordan shouts back.

“WHY DON’T YOU ALL GO TO SLEEP?” Mrs. Richardson shouts.

“I’m not sure if I want to meet your dad,” I blurt. Jordan was the only one that went downstairs to greet him when he arrived him.

“Oh, my dad is really quiet,” Jordan says. “Seriously.”

I feel like headed.

“Now, I get to ask a question,” Phoebe says. “Jordan, do you like Todd Stewart?”

“Oh, not you too!”

“I think your mother thinks you like him,” Amelia says.

“Well, I don’t. Not like that anyway,” Jordan lies.

“Jordan?” I ask.

“Ya?”

“Are your pants on fire?”

“Why do you–HEY!”

We all burst out laughing.

“Just spill, girl,” Amelia says. “You like a Stewart.”

“I refuse to admit something that I haven’t done.”

“Face it,” Phoebe says. “She’s impossible.” I can just see her shake her head. “I’m pretty sure he likes you too.”

“And I’m pretty sure Austin likes you,” Jordan says. I can’t tell if she’s being sarcastic or not.

“You better be joking,” Phoebe says.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Jordan says mysteriously. “Since you countered by question, I get to ask a question. Amelia, do you like any of my brothers?

“Somebody’s determined to play matchmaker with her brothers,” Amelia says.

“Well?”

“If you must know,” Amelia sighs, “I like Tyler.”

“WHAT!” Jordan shouts.

“WHAT!” Someone from the other side mimics.

“BE QUIET!” Jordan screams.

“IF YOU KIDS DON’T GO TO SLEEP, YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO HAVE ANOTHER SLEEPOVER AGAIN!”

“What!” Jordan whispers.

“What’s wrong with that?” Amelia asks. “He’s only nineteen.”

“Still! Nobody’s ever liked Tyler before!” Jordan shouts.

“YOU TALKING ABOUT ME?” Tyler shouts.

“MAYBE!” Jordan shouts back.

“STRIKE ONE!”

“It’s just…Tyler’s a genius. He started college at sixteen,” Jordan says.

“So I’m not smart enough for him?” Amelia asks.

“NO!” Jordan shouts. “It’s just…I like you better with Ben.”

“EW!” Amelia shouts.

“STRIKE TWO!”

“Ok, now its my turn to ask a question,” Amelia says. “Vera, what do you think of my brother?”

“I…I…don’t know,” I say. “I just met him like twelve hours ago!”

“Do you find him handsome?”

“Sure….”

“Stop teasing her!” Jordan laughs.

“Look, who’s TALKING!” Phoebe shouts.

“STRIKE TWO AND A HALF!”

“Look, what you’ve girls done!” Jordan whisper shouts. “We’re half a strike away from never ever having sleepovers again! Why are you guys so loud?”

This causes us to burst into laughter.

“STRIKE TWO AND THREE FOURTHS!”

“We better put duck tape on Jordan’s mouth,” Phoebe whispers.

 I smile. For the first time coming to Willowfield Falls, I’m happy. But it won’t last. Cause I can’t stay.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Psalms 136

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever; and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever; and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever; but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever; and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever; and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever; a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever. It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever; he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Isaiah 8:9-17

Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered; give ear, all you far countries; strap on your armor and be shattered; strap on your armor and be shattered. Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us. For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Galatians 3:1-11

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”