Westgate Spirit Week Wrap Up!

wrap up collage

Thanks for joining us for Westgate Spirit Week last week in honor of the release of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? We had a blast! If you didn’t check out the fun on instagram, make sure to do that! (You can find us @girlsinplaidskirts.)

You also want to check out our Looks From Books, PJs inspired by WTRPCPSU, and some throwback photos of us in high school!

And don’t forget to buy Ella Martin’s Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? when it goes on sale tomorrow! (Get a sneak peak here.)

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WTRPCPSU Cover

Right fairy tale. Wrong guy.

Happily Ever After only happens with the right guy. It’s a tiny but important detail most fairy tales choose to leave out. But what happens when the princess rides off into the sunset with Prince Charming, only to discover he’s not so charming, after all?

Bianca Sullivan thinks she’s a pretty average girl. Sure, her brother may be the super-stud captain of the football team, but that’s her only claim to fame –- until her friends’ social experiment turns her into the new It girl of the Sophomore class, and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade. Ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend, she’s trying to enjoy being wooed by the ultimate heartthrob. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky misogynist. And as if deciding whether to trust Prince Charming, her friends, or her own instincts wasn’t hard enough, being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, too. Oh, if only love was as simple as fairy tales make it out to be…

Click here to add this book to your Goodreads!

Cuddle Up with Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

Pajamas inspired by Will The Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? by Ella Martin

Nothing beats curling up with a good book in snuggly PJs, huh? Unless, of course, you have a cup of hot chocolate. And a puppy.  And it’s raining.

Here are some cute PJs inspired by Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

t-shirt | Support the Westgate Wolverines! Okay, so maybe their mascot isn’t a superhero, but still. Close enough.

pants | What’s the best thing about prep school? Plaid. Plaid skirts. (Most people would probably say that good education is more important. It’s a close second.)

socks | Bianca and her friends are fans of Bond. James Bond. Who, I’m pretty sure, would approve of these tuxedo socks.

iPad decal | Make sure your ereader is looking cute when you download WTRPCPSU!

tiara | Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget your tiara.

WTRPCPSU Cover

Right fairy tale. Wrong guy.

Happily Ever After only happens with the right guy. It’s a tiny but important detail most fairy tales choose to leave out. But what happens when the princess rides off into the sunset with Prince Charming, only to discover he’s not so charming, after all?

Bianca Sullivan thinks she’s a pretty average girl. Sure, her brother may be the super-stud captain of the football team, but that’s her only claim to fame –- until her friends’ social experiment turns her into the new It girl of the Sophomore class, and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade. Ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend, she’s trying to enjoy being wooed by the ultimate heartthrob. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky misogynist. And as if deciding whether to trust Prince Charming, her friends, or her own instincts wasn’t hard enough, being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, too. Oh, if only love was as simple as fairy tales make it out to be…

Read the first chapter here.

Looks From Books: Westgate Prep Spirit Week

It’s another Looks From Books! This time, we’re taking our inspiration from Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? by Ella Martin. Bianca attends Westgate Prep, and, since their colors are green and gold, we decided to dress in school colors to show our Westgate Wolverine spirit!

First up is Julianne with a gorgeous green blazer.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetNext is Rachel, with sparkly gold shoes!

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Lastly is me! Fun fact: my high school’s colors were actually green and gold!

DSC_0002rWhat do you think? Do/did you enjoy dressing up in school colors?

Read more about spirit week here and check out the first chapter of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? 

WTRPCPSU Cover

 

Westgate Prep Spirit Week: A Blast from the Past

It’s the second day of Westgate Prep School Spirit Week! Today on Instagram and Twitter, it’s Toga Tuesday! Don’t forget to check the hashtag #WGPspirit to see us wrapped in bed sheets. (We pull it off better than Sherlock.)

But here on the blog, we’re sharing…

high school photos!

First up, here’s a pic of the three of us. I labeled us, so you know who’s who! Enjoy!

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Don’t forget to participate in Spirit Week activities! There are prizes to be won! Once again, here’s the schedule, and you can find more details here!

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It’s Westgate Prep Spirit Week!

A happy Monday to you all and a happy spirit week at that! In honor of the book release of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, we’re hosting Westgate Prep Spirit Week!

What does that mean? First off, we have some fun posts scheduled in honor of WTRPCPSU, such as Looks From Books AND we’ll be sharing pics of us from high school! (I’ll even share my freshman photo… despite the fact that it’s quite embarrassing!)

But we also have opportunities for YOU to participate! You know how there are always themed days during spirit week at school? We have those too! See the schedule:

Westgate Spirit Week Schedule

To participate, share your school spirit on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WGPspirit. Every participant (who uses the hashtag) will be entered in a drawing to win some WTRPCPSU swag!

We would love to see your Westgate Prep school spirit, and Ella Martin would too! Feel free to tag us in your entries!

Instagram
Ella Martin: @westgateprep
The Girls in Plaid Skirts: @girlsinplaidskirts
Twitter
Ella Martin: @WestgatePrep
The Girls in Plaid Skirts: @thegirlsinplaid

Get pumped up for spirit week by reading the first chapter of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, and don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads!

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WTRPCPSU CoverRight fairy tale. Wrong guy.

Happily Ever After only happens with the right guy. It’s a tiny but important detail most fairy tales choose to leave out. But what happens when the princess rides off into the sunset with Prince Charming, only to discover he’s not so charming, after all?

Bianca Sullivan thinks she’s a pretty average girl. Sure, her brother may be the super-stud captain of the football team, but that’s her only claim to fame –- until her friends’ social experiment turns her into the new It girl of the Sophomore class, and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade. Ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend, she’s trying to enjoy being wooed by the ultimate heartthrob. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky misogynist. And as if deciding whether to trust Prince Charming, her friends, or her own instincts wasn’t hard enough, being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, too. Oh, if only love was as simple as fairy tales make it out to be…

dots

Ella Martin Author PhotoElla Martin is a prep school survivor and a Southern California native. She writes books about spunky teenagers who are way cooler than she ever was, and she totally believes in love and happy endings. She likes sunny places and is terrified of snowy winters, so she now lives in Florida with her husband and son.

Blog: www.ella-martin.com
Twitter: @westgateprep
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorEllaMartin
Tumblr: www.westgateprep.tumblr.com
Instagram: @westgateprep

Review: Next Generation Leadership

Review of Next Generation Leader by Andy StanleyAuthor: Andy Stanley

Genre: Insiprational

Age: YA and up (Any Leader)

Read Goodread’s Synopsis here!

Rachel’s Rambles:

This books was given to me by my Aunt Teri when I graduated High School. I gave my sister a copy when she graduated High School. My personal copy is underlined, highlighted, and filled with sticky notes. It really speaks to me.

So when asked to give devotion during SALT training this year, I found a topic, then I went to go see what this book had to say on the topic. Same thing happened the previous year. It is that good.

If you find yourself being drawn into a leadership position—whether that position is at church or work—I earnestly urge you to read this book. Here are some snippets that I used this year:

” Careful is cerebral; Fearful is emotional.

Careful is  fueled by information; fearful is fueled by imagination.

Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids risk.

Careful wants to achieve success; fearful wants to avoid failure.

Careful is concerned about progress; fearful is concerned about protection. “

It’s a book that a not only suggest you reading – I suggest you actively read it with a highlighter, put it down, and reread it in a year.

Also, check out his book Visioneering. I just discovered he has a podcast, so I’ll be checking that out as well.

This post is dedicated to the Louisiana SALT team. If one of you find yourselves reading this post, I love and believe in y’all. Read and apply this book along with the Bible. I can’t wait to see where God takes us. The future generations are relying on us. 

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JB and I taught an Altar Working class and each gave a devotion: Inadequacy, Altar Working

We’re Two-Thirds Through Month of Classics!

As of today, we are two-thirds of the way through our month of classics!

How are you coming along so far? Thus far, I’ve completed A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes), and I’ve started Frankenstein. You know what no one ever told me about Frankenstein? That it’s boring.

Maybe that’s just my personal opinion, and maybe once I get further in I’ll enjoy it, but I’m 25% through it and JUST met the creature. Anyhoo, still (slowly) trudging through it, I am.

Also, confession time: I cheated on month of classics. With Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us. And it was beautiful.

I’ve only read 2 of her books (the other being Pivot Point <–click for my review<–, though I need to get my hands on its sequel soon!), but both of them have been wonderful. The second I finished Pivot Point, I added ALL OF THE KASIE WEST BOOKS to my Goodreads to-read list. I’m so glad my second Kasie West book has left me happy with that decision, and now I’m itching to read Split Second and On the Fence.

I think it’s pretty obvious that classics just aren’t my thing. But I want to read them! And read them I will, even if it’s slow going. I’m determined to finish reading Frankenstein this month and I’d also like to start Emma.

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How do you feel about reading classics? What classics would you recommend for someone who’s not a fan of classics?

bbc_sherlock_by_vladisakov-d5ngx43Want to add ALL OF THE KASIE WEST BOOKS to your Goodreads to-read list? I’ll make it simple for you:
Pivot Point 
Split Second (sequel to Pivot Point)
The Distance Between Us
On the Fence (Coming out July 1st!)

Cover Reveal + Giveaway + Sneak Peak: Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

Hello lovelies and happy Monday! We’re super excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Ella Martin’s debut book Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

We were thrilled when Ella contacted us and asked us if we were interested in helping her promote her upcoming book. She allowed us to read an advanced copy and we were hooked on this adorable story!

Our favorite part? It scores positive on our content advisory! That means that we are more than happy to recommend it without hesitation. And we recommend it to YOU!

Meet the Author

Ella Martin Author Photo

Ella Martin is a prep school survivor and a Southern California native. She writes books about spunky teenagers who are way cooler than she ever was, and she totally believes in love and happy endings. She likes sunny places and is terrified of snowy winters, so she now lives in Florida with her husband and son.

Blog: www.ella-martin.com

Twitter: @westgateprep

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorEllaMartin

Tumblr: www.westgateprep.tumblr.com

Instagram: @westgateprep

Summary

(from Goodreads)

Right fairy tale. Wrong guy.

Happily Ever After only happens with the right guy. It’s a tiny but important detail most fairy tales choose to leave out. But what happens when the princess rides off into the sunset with Prince Charming, only to discover he’s not so charming, after all?

Bianca Sullivan thinks she’s a pretty average girl. Sure, her brother may be the super-stud captain of the football team, but that’s her only claim to fame –- until her friends’ social experiment turns her into the new It girl of the Sophomore class, and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade. Ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend, she’s trying to enjoy being wooed by the ultimate heartthrob. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky misogynist. And as if deciding whether to trust Prince Charming, her friends, or her own instincts wasn’t hard enough, being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, too. Oh, if only love was as simple as fairy tales make it out to be…

Click here to add this book to your Goodreads!

Cover Reveal

Doesn’t that sound incredible? And now for the gorgeous cover! Drumroll please…

WTRPCPSU Cover

Eeeep! So pretty! I love that the colors on the cover are the school colors for Westgate Prep.

Giveaway

Ella Martin is hosting a fabulous giveaway in honor of the release of WTRPCPSU! It’s open to international entrants, and one winner will have the choice of receiving a new Kindle 6″ ereader or a new Kobo Touch.

You will receive one entry each for following Ella Martin on Twitter (@WestgatePrep) or liking her Facebook page, and you will receive 3 entries for commenting on any of the blogs participating in the cover reveal. (That means you can comment here!) Fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and you’re entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Chapter

We are thrilled that we’re able to share an exclusive sneak peek—the first chapter of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

Without further ado…

Chapter One

“The exit polls are in, guys. It’s still early, but Bianca may actually win this.”

I looked up from my salad at the lanky boy who took the seat across from me. “Exit polls?” I asked. “Finn, you can’t be serious.”

His cool cerulean blue eyes peered at me over the top of his wireframe glasses. “How often is it that one of my friends has a chance at being Homecoming Princess?”

Beside me, my friend Talia crunched into a carrot stick. “So what is she ahead by?”

I glared at her. “Don’t encourage him.”

She flipped her long ponytail over her shoulder, revealing a bright green streak in her dark hair as she grinned at me. I sighed, knowing I was defeated.

Talia Nicoletti was the only person I knew brave enough to thumb her nose at the Westgate Prep Appearance Guidelines. The green streak she sported was her way of coping with the birthmark on her scalp that turned a lock of hair white. It totally violated all the rules, but after her mom had a meeting with the principal last year, both of the school deans gave up, stopped calling out her blatant disregard for the guidelines, and let her get away with everything. We called it the Talia Clause. Not even her knee-high combat boots and larger-than-regulation silver hoops that day earned a second glance from the faculty. But it probably didn’t hurt to have a high-powered attorney who terrified the entire administration for a mom, either.

“Based on the thirty-five random people I asked, which is a sample size of about twelve percent, she’s up by almost sixteen percentage points,” Finn replied, picking up his burger. “It’s just outside the margin of error, but I’m really confident in my math.”

Of course he was. Finnegan Marks was Westgate Prep’s top mathlete and the only sophomore taking pre-calculus while most of us slackers suffered through geometry. Come to think of it, Finn was probably the only sophomore not taking any regular tenth- grade classes. He stood about a head taller than I did (which was significant since I was considered kind of tall at five-foot-nine) and, despite his skinny frame, was fairly athletic. He was the best shooter on last year’s JV basketball team, though he said that wasn’t as much skill as it was a basic understanding of physics and geometry.

“I’m only on that stupid ballot because you and Jake thought it would be a fun social experiment,” I said with a snort. “You really think campaigning will have any effect on who’ll win?”

“Well, there has to be a way to level the field to prove it’s possible to rig a popularity contest,” he said, sounding hurt.

“So I get to be the guinea pig?” I stifled a groan. It wasn’t that I couldn’t win the Homecoming Princess crown on my own because I was ugly or anything. I thought my boring brown eyes were a little too big for my face, I was never crazy about the way my small nose turned up a bit at the end, and I really wished I’d inherited some of my mom’s Latin curves, but my looks were better than passable.

No, I wouldn’t win because I mostly kept to my close circle of friends, and I was a pretty ordinary student. I wasn’t hyper- involved in a ton of clubs, I was only in a handful of honors classes, and I wasn’t one of those girls who guys were drooling over. I was the girl you saw walking down the hall and didn’t think twice about.

Finn held up his burger and studied it. “You have to admit, Bianca, this has been an interesting experiment. We’ll know for sure when they announce the winners at the pep rally tomorrow, but it seems our campaign has been pretty effective.”

“All your campaigning has done is make my name more recognizable.”

“Hey, those videos got, like, a couple thousand views each.”

“A couple thousand?” I said, mortified. “But there are only, like, three hundred people in our class.”

“I know.” Finn was ecstatic. “So if my calculations are right, which we know they are, the videos we posted and email blasts we sent boosted both name and facial recognition, which led to an increase in your popularity quotient beyond those of the other candidates, thus securing a win.”

“In English, please?”

“He’s saying their campaign made you more popular than the cheerleaders,” Talia explained.

He furrowed his brow. “Jake and I merely presented her as the best representative for our class.”

“How would I be representing our class? All the Homecoming princesses do is sit on their class floats and smile and wave to the crowd at halftime. A trained monkey could do that.” I pointed at Finn with my fork. “And I don’t like being your lab rat.”

“But you have to admit, Bianca,” Talia said thoughtfully between bites of her sandwich, “it would be kind of cool to win.”

“Kind of cool?” Blonde spiral curls appeared out of nowhere as my friend Ally set a tray onto the table and slid into the seat beside me. “It would be totally epic.”

Ally Katz was the social butterfly of the sophomore class and easily the biggest gossip. She had a sweet, cherubic face with large, inquisitive green eyes, and a petite but rather curvy figure. I thought she would have been a better choice for Jake and Finn’s little experiment, but the guys told me Ally was too well-known and well-liked despite (or perhaps because of) her gossip blog. It was like Westgate’s Gossip Central Station, which Ally totally took as a compliment because she wanted to be an entertainment news reporter.

“You guys are way more excited about this than you should be,” I said.

Ally beamed at me. “You do know what this would mean, right?”

“That I can expect to be splashed with a bucket of pig’s blood at the game?” I asked cynically.

“Not if I can help it,” my brother said behind me. “Besides, no one would do that to the quarterback’s sister.”

I grimaced as he reached over my shoulder and grabbed the lone breadstick on my tray. Brady liked to remind me of his accomplishments at every turn, which often meant speaking of himself in the third person. Since this past summer, he referred to himself as “the quarterback” – or worse, “the QB” – as though I was supposed to be impressed. It was bad enough that half the girls in the school drooled over him – and were angry with me for not letting them use me to get to him. But as a senior, he’d really let it go to his head. Yes, he was a good-looking guy, and yes, he was a good athlete. But sometimes it was like he’d forgotten that I’d been around most of his life.

“Hi, Brady.” I didn’t bother to turn around.

He rubbed the top of my head with his knuckles, and I swiped his hand away.

“So why would anyone want to douse you with pig’s blood?”

Talia nodded at Finn. “You tell him.”

“Bianca’s probably going to be named Homecoming Princess. She’s leading the exit polls by about a sixteen-point margin,” he announced, his voice cracking. His ears turned as red as his hair because of it, but he cleared his throat and continued. “It’s a comfortable enough lead that I recommend she starts thinking of what she should wear to the game.”

“Ooh,” Ally squealed. “Shopping!”

“She ought to think about going to the dance,” Brady said, reaching for the chocolate cake on my tray. I slapped his hand.

“You’ve been bugging me about going to that stupid dance since the beginning of the year,” I said with a scowl. I gestured to my friends at the table. “We’ve already made plans for that night.”

“A James Bond marathon hardly counts as making plans. You guys do that all the time.”

“Not all the time,” Finn said, adjusting his glasses. “This would only be our fourth one.”

“Fine, but you do stupid movie marathons all the time.”

“Are you still bugging her about going to Homecoming?” a familiar voice behind me said.

I turned and beamed at Brady’s best friend, grateful for the support. “Hey, Tim!”

My brother lifted his chin toward Finn. “Marks over there said Bianca’s going to be class princess.”

“That’s kind of cool,” Tim replied.

“Sure, but then she’ll be the only princess ever to skip the dance.”

“I’ve already told you I’m not going to one of those stupid dances just for the sake of it,” I reminded him. “If I ever do, I’m going with someone who likes me at least as much as I like him.”

Tim ran his fingers through his sandy blond hair and rested his hand on the back of his neck. “Leave her alone, man.”

“Yeah! What he said.” I smiled up at him.

Timothy Dorscher was like my brother. I’d known him since I was about four. He was an inch or two taller than Brady’s six-foot height, and he had these really warm brown eyes that were easy to get lost in, like a chocolate molten lava cake. His straight nose and strong, chiseled jaw along with his lopsided grin made him look older than his seventeen years.

He and Brady did everything together, and I was positive they could read each other’s thoughts. I liked to tell my brother that he was only a good quarterback because Tim was his wide receiver and always knew ahead of time where he would throw the ball. But they disagreed as only best friends could, so I knew I could count on Tim to stick up for me whenever Brady gave me a hard time – which was often.

Brady snorted. “Whatever,” he said, taking fries off Talia’s tray and stuffing them into his mouth. “Only a loser would want to take you to Homecoming, anyway.”

Tim punched my brother in the arm before he walked away.

“Don’t you ever buy your own lunch?” Finn asked my brother.

I snickered. Very few people were brave enough to talk to Brady like that.

“Of course not,” my brother replied. “I don’t need to.” He snatched the chocolate cake off my tray and hurried after his best friend.

“Brady!” I yelled after him, my reprimand lost in the din of conversation around me. I turned to Talia. “He is so obnoxious.”

“That cake’s probably about three days old, anyway.”

Ally knocked over my soda, covering her mouth as she gasped. We all jumped up and moved our stuff away from the spreading mess. I pulled napkins off everyone’s trays and tossed them onto the table.

“You guys,” she said under her breath as she helped me wipe up the spill. “Don’t look now, but Dante is looking this way.”

And, of course, because she told us not to look, all of us – Finn included – turned our heads in search of him. Sure enough, Dante Schwartz was staring in our direction.

I didn’t know Dante that well because he ran in a different circle than mine. Even in the one class we had together last year, I didn’t talk to him much. Besides, he only went out with the prettiest girls in our class, which put him way out of my league. He was on a whole other level of cute, with dark hair that fell into piercing hazel eyes in just the right way, a narrow face, and a slight cleft in his chin. And when he smiled, he revealed these perfect, straight teeth in a way that made any warm-blooded girl’s insides melt.

Okay, so I may have spent considerable time studying his profile last year in algebra class.

“Ugh,” Talia said, looking away with a shudder. “He’s such a cretin.”

“He’s cute, though,” Ally said.

“You think everyone is cute,” Talia retorted. “Did you know he got a bunch of kids calling me ‘skunk girl’ all throughout middle school?”

“Schwartz is a jerk,” Finn declared as he sat down and returned his attention to the half-eaten burger before him. “He goes around acting like he’s God’s gift to the girls of Westgate or something. I don’t know what any of you see in him.”

Talia made a face. “I don’t see anything in him. In fact, I can’t stand him. If he’s God’s gift, then I really hope He attached a gift receipt.”

I laughed, but I stole another glance over my shoulder at Dante. His eyes locked with mine before he grinned. I caught my breath and offered a shy smile in return before I looked away.

WTRPCPSU Cover

 

Don’t you just want to read more? Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? releases July 1st. Make sure to add it to your e-device!

 

Behind the Blog: Kids Camp 2014

You asked for more “Behind the Blog,” so we’re delivering! Behind the Blog is a new feature in which we share more about ourselves and our lives so you lovely readers can get to know the bloggers behind The Girls in Plaid Skirts.

You’ll probably start to notice soon (if you haven’t already) that we won’t be blogging much this summer. That’s because summers are always jam-packed for us! In fact, the three of us just got back from working a week at a church camp for eight to twelve-year-olds. We had a blast connecting with young kiddos, hanging out with old friends, and making new ones.

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Julianne helped build the awesome set for the drama and also worked backstage. She had way too much fun doing the special effects for the fire scene. (photo below)

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Rachel and I once again joined the Student Action Leadership Team (this was my fourth year and Rachel’s eighth), better known as SALT, and we befriended kids, taught them about Jesus, and mentored high school students. This year, we team taught a workshop on altar working for the SALT team, and there were Code Name Verity and Frozen references. By the end of the week, we had succeeded in getting everyone to call us Elsa and Anna.

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Rachel celebrated her birthday at camp (as she has every birthday for the last eight years), so we got her Rapunzel balloons and a card (that is supposed to be for a six-year-old…) and surprised her during game time in front of the kids. I love the above picture of us because I feel like it so perfectly captures us at camp. Rachel being all princess-like (the norm), Julianne filthy from working on props, me with some frizzy Anna braids, and all of us more than a little sleep-deprived.

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We ended up celebrating her birthday twice because we were lacking a cupcake the first time. But we remedied that with a strawberry cupcake that traveled many miles to be eaten by the birthday girl.1514958_772543052778282_5675935320527087491_n

Church camp has always held a special place in our hearts. We started going when we were young (I was eight, I’m not sure about Rachel and Julianne), and never missed a year until we surpassed camp age (which was 18 at the time). However, we couldn’t stay away and started figuring out ways to make it back down to the beloved campgrounds. We’ve gone as matrons, SALT, drama, and even if we aren’t working at camp, we usually find ourselves there for at least a day.

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I can honestly say that our lives have been changed and are constantly changing because of camp. We’ve had some life-changing moments with God, been encouraged and pushed to become more than we are, and have become closer friends (a by-product of sharing a bunk). We aren’t the only ones who have left changed.

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Some of the kids we work with during the week come from horrible situations. We’re honored to be used of God every year to minister to these kids, show them love, and teach them that God ALWAYS loves them. Kids are awesome. They have so much faith, and it’s beautiful to watch them pray and talk to God. And their prayers change the world.

fire

Don’t believe me? This week I saw a girl healed of blindness in her eye. She closed her good eye and was able to read with the one she previously couldn’t see out of. Last year, a hard-of-hearing girl was healed and got rid of her hearing aids for good. A few years ago, my friend’s shattered foot was miraculously and instantly healed—we have the x-rays to prove it.

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I know I said that camp was life-changing, and yes, some of the experiences and friendships greatly improve our lives, but ultimately, God is the one doing the changing. He’s the one behind it all. We come to camp, not only to have fun, but to teach kids that there is more to a relationship with God than a bedtime prayer. He is the life-changer, and we can all experience what He has in store for us.

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We’re honored and blessed that God works through us and uses us to minister to others. We’re thankful for the fun we have, the friends we make, and the amazing God encounters that we experience at camp.

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We miss it already.

Review: Here Where the Sunbeams are Green

Review and Content Advisory for Here Where the Sunbeams are Green by Helen Phillips

Here Where the Sunbeams are Green

Author: Helen Phillips

Age: Middle Grade

Genre: Adventure, Mystery

Click here to read summary from Goodreads.

A sizable dose of adventure, a dash of spunk, lots of heart and a little bit of jungle magic. While the overall plot may be somewhat predictable (for a seasoned reader anyway), there are quite a few surprises sprinkled in. We embark on an adventure with two young sisters, Mad & Roo, to the heart of a jungle in Central America. Told first person from the POV of the older sister, Mad, we see her face some internal struggles as well as muster up an impressive amount of courage. Something I love, love about books from a middle grade POV is the honesty and lingo, and the humor. This book is no exception. Phillips has so beautifully captured the thoughts and processes of this preteen girl, numerous time she had me laughing aloud. A more subliminal point of note is the lengths the father goes through to protect his family. (I won’t say anymore than that or I’ll spoil, but for real…) And there is just enough magic to further expand the natural wonder of the jungle and it’s volcano.

I only had a few qualms with this book. There is a good bit of throwing caution to the wind, which doesn’t usually have the intended result. Another this is the use of lying by the kids to adults. I can understand that sometimes they slip out, especially with kids, but I don’t feel that it should be shown as being a good thing.

Overall it was a lovely read, a delightful fantastical adventure perfectly fit to the middle grade group.

Content Advisory:
Language: 1

Mild expression of frustration, but absolutely nothing vulgar. Because the kids are the main characters and do most of the talking, I would be very surprised if there had been any swearing.

Sexual: 0
Someone gets a peck on the cheek, but I won’t say who. 🙂
Violence: 1
There is a bit of rough handling and rudeness, but no actual violence.

 

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13533690-here-where-the-sunbeams-are-green