Saturday, December 20, 2014

They'll All Be Home for Christmas

Guys. Five days to Christmas.

Five days.


I'm not excited at all. ;) Just kidding.

Last weekend, my sister-in-law, who is one of my bestest friends, came home from college for winter break! So excited to see her! Bekah and I have been friends long before she became my sister. This was her first year off at college, and I missed her so much! You don't realize how much you take your friends for granted until they live on the other side of the country.

My baby brother also came home last weekend. Happy he's home for the holiday. I actually haven't seen my brother, Sean, since last Christmas. He's in college, and instead of coming home last summer, he went on his first missionary trip to China! That's right! I know missionary folks. :) Anyways, shortly after Christmas he is going on a missionary trip to Mexico, and then back to China this summer. Sean has always been one busy guy!

Then this past Thursday, Sean picked up my baby sister Christine from college. So happy to see her. My baby sister is one of my heroes. This past June, she had open heart surgery. She's only nineteen. She was born with a heart condition, and underwent heart surgery as a baby. Thank God, she didn't need another surgery until this year.

God's hand was upon her. My sister is a strong young woman. Christine was released from the hospital four days after the surgery, and another week or so after that, she quit taking pain medication.

Next up is my brother-in-law and his family. They will be arriving next week with their two sons for Christmas.

(Side note: Man, all I got is nephews! We really need a little girl in the family. Baby girl clothes are the cutest! My husband and I are at the stage in our marriage where we are being asked about kids a lot. Asked, or on the receiving end of "subtle" hints from the future grandparents.)

Here's what we got my nephews for Christmas.

Yeah. This is happening. ;)

The other nine guns are so the adults can play with the kids defend themselves. Sam insisted on picking out his own nerf gun. He likes it because it looks like it's being held together by duck tape. Bekah and I have been eyeing the bow and arrow nerf guns. We are all looking forward to their visit, and it's going to make for a busy, nerf-filled Christmas! :)

This is my nativity scene.

I love this nativity scene. It's made from olive wood from olive trees from Israel. How cool is that? Anyways. Our cat, Angel, likes it a lot too. She's taken up rubbing her face on baby Jesus.


I have to pick out the chunks of gray fur that surround the wise men every couple of days.

So I was writing a kid blog for Snack Pack for Kidz, and I was thinking about Mary, mother of Jesus. Man, she was cool! Right? Really think about this. Most historians believe Mary to be around 14 years old when she had Jesus. Can you imagine finding out at 14 that you have to have a baby, and by the way, he's the Son of God?


I don't know about you, but I would have flipped a lid.

But what does Mary do?

"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'" Luke 1:46-47

Her immediate response was to rejoice! She thanked God! Her soul magnified him! She could have been worried about being a mommy, or what people would think of a 14-year-old, unmarried girl having a baby. Instead she choose to thank God and rejoice in Him.

I want to be like Mary!

This young woman was, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest examples of faith we could ever see. She didn't question God on the topic. Once she got over the shock of being a virgin mother, she accepted God's will for her life.

And in a bizarre twist, praised God.

I think this Christmas, we should remember to be more like Mary. This girl was not given an easy task, but she accepted it with such dignity and poise. She was happy to do it! We all should be happy to do the tasks God has give us. Goodness, we should even rejoice and thank God for them!

Well, guys. This is the last time we are going to talk this year... I always feel a little nostalgic at the end of the year. What big things happened in my life this past year?  What things am I hoping for in the coming year? How has God moved in my life? Will this finally be the year Friends comes to Netflix. You know...important questions like that. I can tell you one thing for certain: I so look forward to the year to come, and I can't wait for all the fun stuff I have in store for you guys!  This is only the beginning...

I hope you all have a blessed, happy, and merry Christmas! Thanks for hanging out with me today! I will see you all January 1st!

Next year. ;)

Merry Christmas!

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Is Coming!

Hello again! How have you guys been?

Christmas is right around the corner. My husband and I have been preparing for Christmas, buying presents and getting ready for relatives! Starting this weekend, family will start to arrive. :) We are looking forward to it! I've missed all my brothers and sisters a lot.


We have 15 days before everything is wrapped and shoved underneath the Christmas tree. So the big question is this: Is anyone done with their Christmas shopping yet? Done? Ha! I bet some of you are saying, "I haven't even started shopping yet."

Yes, Mom. I know. :)

Is Christmas shopping stressful for you? Or is it fun? Do you purchase all your presants from the comfort of your couch, or do you brave the frantic Christmas shoppers fighting each other for the perfect present? I try very hard to pick something I think the other person will like. My husband and I don't have a swimming pool of money like Scrooge McDuck, so we really have to put thought into gifts for our family and friends. That's the point though, right?


And if that thoughtful gift is a Mrs. Potato Head set for a friend who shares your twisted sense of humor, more power to you.

Which brings me to Christmas traditions. We've all got Christmas traditions. Special foods, places we go, sweet things to do. One of my traditions with one of my best friends is to buy totally do I put this? Junk. We buy real presents for each other, too, but we always get a few random, strange things for fun.

My favorite place to get all this junk?

Books-A-Million, or better known as BAM! among us crazy fanatics.

If you want to find a big red button that sings, shouts, and mutters "NO!" over and over, look no further. If you have a dedicated music lover, grab the electric guitar shaped spatula. If mustaches are your thing, look no further. Mustaches cover necklaces, scarves, and note pads. You can even buy the crazy stick-on mustaches just for some laughs. If you want lip gloss that smells like bacon... Well, that's actually kind of gross, but to each their own. Oh, and the very best reason of all: books! And the coffee shop. Books and coffee - now that's the prefect present! :)

What about you all? Do you ever just see something in the checkout line and think, "Oh, that's so weird! She's going to love it!"


This past Saturday, I was in major hermit mode, then my mother-in-law called me about the time for the afternoon tea we were going to that day. The donations from this tea help support the fire department in our town. 

The tea that I had forgotten completely.


So, I got ready really quick, and went to pick up Jasmine, one of the girls from the youth group, who was coming with us. The roads were awful thanks to the snow fall. Winter is definitely here! Thank God, we had no issues while driving, and made it there and back safely. 

Here are some pictures from the tea!

The chandelier's over each table! They did a nice job with those!

Me and Jasmine!

Me and Jasmine again!
Jasmine, my mother-in-law, and I all had a lovely time a tea. My first time at this function was last May with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It was much more laid back and casual then the first time I went. Only a single course, and not as long. We had fun just the same, and I liked the actual tea served this time better.

It was fruity. That's the part that counts. ;)

So for any of you that read Snack Time Devotions or Snack Pack for Kidz, I apologize if this is the second or third time you've read something akin to this, but this topic has just been on my heart lately.

The story in 1 Kings 3 with the two woman of questionable morals. They each had a baby, but one night, one of the woman rolled on top of her baby, and the poor baby died. She woke up, and realized what had happened. Then she crept over to her friend's bed, and stole her baby while she slept!

Of course, by the time this got to King Solomon, it was all he-said-she-said. How was he supposed to know who was telling the truth? Was he supposed to pick the desperate, determined woman, or the frantic, hysterical woman? What was he supposed to do?

Well, you guys know the story. He had a sword brought out, and made a terrifying statement:

Divide the baby into two pieces. Each woman will get half.

The lying woman went right along with the plan, declaring that it was perfectly fair that neither of them got the baby. The true mommy screamed and begged for the child to be given to the other woman - the only thing that mattered to her was that the baby lived.

The reason King Solomon was able to discern who was telling the truth, the reason he even came up with this bizarre plan was because of the wisdom of God.

"But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand." Job 32:8 ESV

"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity." Proverbs 2:6-7 ESV

When I was still a kid in youth group, my youth pastor (who is also my aunt) always knew when someone was telling the truth. I was always amazed at how she was able to do that. I wanted to have that kind of discernment in me, too.

It's simple. It's God's wisdom in our lives.

There is so much to be confused about in this world, especially in today's world. What's right? Who's right? What belongs to God, and what is evil? Lies so carefully cloaked and twisted that even Adam and Eve decided poorly.

It's the Spirit of God in a person that guides them and gives them the wisdom to know what's what in this crazy world. It's easy to get sidetracked and devastated with life, but as long as we got God's wisdom, then will be able to navigate this road.

That's my Biblical/Spiritual reflection for this week. :)

As I type, we are being bombarded with another winter-y storm. Lots of ice. Don't ever take warmth for granted! Sometimes it feels like we are living on the set of Frozen. Until we meet again, my friends! Have a good day, and I will see everyone on the 20th!

V. Joy Palmer

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter and Thanksgiving

Greetings from my snowy neck of the woods! I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was good, full of turkey and gravy, and God's blessings.

First thing on Thanksgiving Day, we got to my mom's house and spent twenty minutes throwing snowballs and icicles at the TV satellite. And by we, I mean my husband and mom. I throw like a girl. There was a heavy snow storm the night before, and we woke up with over a foot of new snow.

Winter has arrived.

This Thanksgiving I attempted an egg souffle recipe that my mother-in-law gave to me at my bridal shower.  I had to use a different cheese due to the snow storm attack, but according to my family and husband, it came out very good, despite not having the same smooth consistency my mother-in-law's does.

It wasn't until I made it again this weekend that I realized I forgot the milk.

This is my second attempt this weekend. I remembered the milk this time, used a ton of extra cheese, and too much butter. What do you think? :)

This is one of the easiest recipes I have ever done, and that's saying something. I despise cooking. There, I said it. I am the one in the family who gets all the burning water jokes. Once I made a batch of muffins that tasted like pancakes. Why? I have no idea. I followed the recipe!

Anyways. Here is the recipe for the easy egg souffle:

1 & 1/2 lb sharp, shredded cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs
salt & pepper (according to taste, diet, etc.)
4 cups of milk
16 slices of white bread
1/2 cup of melted butter

Remove the crust from the bread, and cube it.
Alternate layers of bread cubes and cheese.

Beat eggs well.
Add salt and pepper.
Add in butter.
Add in milk.

Pour mixture all over bread and cheese layers.
Refrigerate overnight.
Bake 1 & 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.


If you try it, you have to tell me what you think!!

Do you guys have some favorite recipes? What are they?

High on my Things I'm Thankful For List, is a lifelong goal that was achieved this weekend.

Are you ready for it?

This weekend.

At the store.

I was called "Ma'am," by an older woman.

Confused? That's alright. Inducing confusion is another facet of my twisted sense of humor.

I'm in my twenties and married, but with little effort, I could pass for a pre-adolescent twelve year old. I stopped growing when I was twelve, landing at 5 foot 3 inches. I have a horrid baby face, and being called cute for any reason use to result in Hulk-like rage from me. I was a classic case of 10 going on 16.

So being called Ma'am by an older, elderly adult was a very satisfying moment for me.

I'm thankful for my cute new town people.

The newlyweds!

I need help naming them. Victoria and Rohan? Lorelei and Luke? Laurel and Abram? I need thoughts, people! What do you think?

In my other blogs, I did the traditional thanksgiving message. I talked about the ten lepers found in Luke 17, and the one and only man who came back to thank Jesus. I talked about how it's important that we remember to thank God for all that He's done for us this year.

If you want to read more, here's the link:

But I was thinking about anther facet of thankfulness this year.

This is my second Thanksgiving married to Sam. Both years I've had this Hallmark idea of what the holiday should look like among friends, family, and cranberry sauce.

Both years, the motion picture was not quite up to snuff due to work and life. Don't get me wrong, they have been lovely. I have an amazing family. Things just never go the way I plan it.

I think Christy Miller from Robin Jones Gunn's beloved Christy Miller Series said it best.

"It seems that when dreams come true, they never turn out the same way you dreamed them. They twist and turn and disappoint, leaving you wanting so much more. I don't know which to blame: the dream itself or the reality that dissolves the dream."

-Christy Miller / Yours Forever by Robin Jones Gunn

I think that sometimes we forget to not just be thankful for the good things (food, a house, family, toilet paper), but to be thankful for all the other stuff. Even the bad.

"And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" Job 1;21 ESV

"But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil.' In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:10 ESV

I'm not going to get into all the arguments/discussions/observations about Job, but at the beginning of his trials, Job really understood this principle. He understood that you have to be thankful in the good and the bad. This is one of the facets of Thanksgiving and thankfulness that God has been drilling into my thick skull.

Although, I suppose remembering that made everything a little Hallmark-y after all. :) I am thankful for my amazing family, and every moment with them.

I am thankful to have gotten my hands on these fabulous new releases!


I met Betsy St. Amant and Katherine Reay this past September at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. They are just so nice and fun, and so are their stories! I highly recommend all of their books. :)

These are all on my Christmas/winter reading list.

But currently I am reading:

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay!

It's been fun catching up with you guys. God bless you all, my friends. I will see you on December 10th! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bouncing/Running/Jogging from Here to There and Everywhere

Hello everyone! I hope life's been good for you since the last time we visited. :)

I've been good. Life has been busy. We are bouncing/running/jogging from one family or church event to another. But who isn't?

The kick off to my busy week.


This seemingly lovely and innocent cat, decided to eat the tinsel off my Christmas tree. (Maybe that is the reason we don't decorate early!) How do I know this? I saw her doing it, but like any sensible person, I drove her away.

Then I didn't give it any more thought.

Until later.

When my cat tried to use the litter box.

Only she couldn't...properly...go...

I will spare you descriptive details. However, upon her realization, she freaked out and ran around the house like her tail was on fire.

Getting stuff everywhere. Including all over herself. My husband had to hold her down while I whiped her off with a wet rag, which I thought was going to send her into another round of hysterics. Oddly, it did not. She liked it! I think she thought we were grooming her, because she started purring and nuzzling into my husband.

This past Sunday at youth group was just hysterical! We have a great group of kids and teens, and they are so much fun to be around. The youth pastor, my Aunt Rie and the leader I defer to in the youth group, found this awesome new game. If you thought you had trouble remembering someone's name before, play this game!

Everyone sits in a circle, but there are four chairs in a line on one side. There is one random empty chair in the circle, and you are either on team 1 or team 2. Everyone sits every other - 1, 2, 1, 2. Everyone writes their name on a piece of paper, tosses it into a bowl, and then draws out a piece of paper (Not yourself!). The object of the game is to get four people from one of the two teams in the four seats at the front. You do this by calling out names. If the empty seat was to your right, you were the caller. Instead of answering to your own name, you move when the name on your paper is called. The person whose name is called takes the empty seat, and it continues like that until a team wins.

Confused yet? We sure were! It was a lot of fun, though! You had to plot, plan, and remember everyone's fake name!

My husband taught the lesson this week at youth group, and not to brag or anything (okay, maybe a little...) I thought he did such an amazing job! His lesson was based off of a blog he did recently on Snack Time Devotions. It was about constructive criticism, and how we can sometimes take that to mean we are a terrible human being. He used Cain and Able as an example of taking that criticism the worst possible way. If you'd like to read his blog, here's the link:

This Monday, I had a nice long lunch with my Aunt Rie, my cousin Teal, and our missionary friend to the UK, Kenny MacKay.

From left to right: Teal, Me, Kenny, Rie

We had fun. We talked and laughed for a long time. The waitress was probably furious that we were there so long. Kenny, Teal, and I were actually all in youth group at the same time, and Rie was our youth pastor. Now, we are all involved in youth ministry, and Rie is still a youth pastor. :)

Plus, I got to order my bubble green tea, which to my knowledge, is only available at the Ninety-Nine Restaurant. 

It's green tea with these little exploding mango balls. It's amazing and refreshing. Go try one. But be forewarned that my friend Kenny thought it tasted like shampoo. 

Why he would know what shampoo tastes like is what we are still trying to figure out.

As I mentioned, Kenny is a missionary to the UK. If you are interested in missions, you should follow them on Facebook, under KennyandJenniferMacKay. There you can learn all about their ministry and sign up for their newsletters.

At a recent Bible study, my pastor briefly touched on fasting, and how important it is for Christians.

Let me tell you right now. I fully support the concept of fasting. I believe it is very important, and like my pastor pointed out, if you look through the New Testament, it's all over the place.

It's the execution of fasting that I have a problem with.

All I could think was "Fasting: Time with God, or the makings of a homicide?"

I get cranky when I don't eat.

Like the Hulk.

But this topic got me thinking about fasting a little more in depth. The point of fasting (at least in my mind) was that set-apart time with God.

In today's culture, there are a ton of things that we could "fast." If someone watches 24 hours of television during a week, then what would happen if they took one of those days to spend set-apart time with God?

I'm going out on a limb here, but I think awesome stuff.

Anyways. That's just one of my many musing this week. If you want to read more about my thoughts on this, head over to

Lately, I've been reading The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance.

This is a great book! I had the opportunity to meet Brandy briefly at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference this past September where she gave me a copy of her book.

I won't give any spoilers, but if you like whimsy, romance, and history, then this is the book for you! The story line was truly unique with a classic type of romance. The settings were vivid and magical. The kinds of settings where you could imagine a romantic dinner party, but knew it would never be done in that type of historical setting because it just wasn't proper.

And then Brandy delivers just that!

Terrific book. Watch this author. She's new and she's going to do great things!

Speaking of authors and stories...

I wanted to give you guys a glimpse into the story I am currently writing.

You guys remember that I am a major Gilmore Girls fan, right? Well, one of the characters I am getting to know is like the Christian version of Paris Geller.

Seems like a major oxymoron, right?

Sometimes when you're reading a book, you think, "For crying out loud, get your act together! What is wrong with you? No one would make that dumb mistake. I never would!"

Well, the thing is...we do make those dumb mistakes. We make them all the time. In order for us to learn from the characters we are meeting, they have to be just like us. Including all of our fabulous flaws.

The character I am working with right now, is a little self-righteous. She can be stuck-up, snotty, and rude. She's the one who always got good grades, was dependable, and the ultimate power house.

But like all of us, she's got a past.

Getting to know this character has been so much fun! She's going to do a lot of growing before her story is over, and there is plenty of room for her to grow!

I don't want to give too much away, too soon.  So stay tuned!

I hope all of you have an awesome Thanksgiving! God bless you!

See you on December 1st!

V. Joy Palmer

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hey, It's Me Again

Hello guys! How is everyone doing?

I've had a pretty busy week. My day job has been very busy, and then my evenings are filled up with blogs, writing, and family.

This weekend was also busy because I spent a day and a half putting together my Christmas extravaganza.

Some of you are probably checking your calenders and thinking, "It's the first week of November, and she's already decorated for Christmas?"


I promised myself I would wait until November to start decorating. I didn't start until the 7th, so I considered it a personal triumph.

I am a Christmas junkie. I love the trees, the ornaments, the stars. The tiny ceramic towns with the little people. Don't misunderstand my psychotic decorating habits; I know the reason for the season, Jesus. But one of the ways I love to celebrate and be reminded of that is with my house cluttered with Christmas decorations.

So. I thought I'd share my Christmas Gallery with you guys! :)

Our 7 foot tree
Our little tree that is sitting on top of the bookshelves!
This is my little tree which we decided to put on top of some of the bookshelves this year. I totally love it. Gives a nice touch to our library area.

Growing up, my father liked themed trees, but I always loved my grandparents Christmas tree because it had all these random lights and ornaments. Now as an adult, I'm surprised to see myself trending towards themes for my trees. The little one is peacock inspired, and the big one is old school elegance. Despite that, I still stick some random ornaments on my tree including owls, peacocks, cupcakes, and books!

Some of my favorite ornaments!

This is my little Christmas town. My mother had a few of these pieces when I was little on the mantle above the fire place. I loved it! I thought it was so charming, and stories about the people in the town would just fill my head. It was always my favorite thing to set up every year. When I got married last year, my mom gave my most of her collection, which I added to the pieces I had collected over the years.

What are some Christmas traditions you and your family have? How early do you start decorating, or do you pull out those boxes as soon as possible? Do you have a favorite ornament, or do you have themes for you Christmas tree?

On to other topics...

What have you guys been learning lately?

Recently, on the other blog where I write, Snack Time Devotions, I talked about knowing what God and His Word says. It's important because when you are out in the world, people are going to say all kinds of things, and unless you are tight with God, you won't know if it's true. I compared it to the match-up game we played as children. You know, the game where all the cards are face down and you pick two, and look at the images. If they are the same, then you pull them as a pair for youself. If they are different pictures, you flip them back over and try to remember where they are for future reference and points. This was all inspired by Nehemiah 6. Nehemiah experienced a situation where he needed to know who God was and what He's said in order to discern advice from a man ultimately trying to do him harm. If he hadn't known God's Word, then he would have been in a world of hurt! I won't overload you guys. Here is the link if you would like to read more about this topic.

Reading wise, I recently finished Dixie Belle by Debby Mayne. This was a good book. I think the author stayed true to the southern flare. The main character was a little immature at times, but I actually think that was good for the story. You always want your characters to grow by the end of the book, and this character did! The ultimate message of the story was a good one, about being a Christian all the time, and not just at home and on the weekends. Over all, very good book. I will buy the sequels, but not obsess about it like I do with some of my fav authors.

What about you guys? What are things you like to read in a book? What kind of themes do you prefer or dislike?

This week will be very crazy for me, but the following few weeks will be slower at work, so I will be spending exorbitant amounts of time in front of my computer working on my next book. Stay tuned for tidbits about the story. ;)

Have a good week everyone! I will see you on the 20th!

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

I am the new kid on the block in the author world.

There are moments when I wonder how I got to "Author/Writer." When I was six years old, I wanted to be school teacher......or a bus driver. When I was twelve, I wanted to be a singer, and I started writing my own music. I know, I know. All throughout these years, I would start and stop dozens of stories without ever taking the hint. In high school, things started to change. Slowly I started to realize that I actually liked writing assignments! There would only be approximately six seconds of groaning before I started to get excited about whatever story I was about to invent or whatever topic I was about to tackle. Strange? Totally! However, it opened my eyes, and made me realize that writing was part of my calling.

So I started writing. I am a member of and American Christian Fiction Writers. I am co-author and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions ( and the spin off blog, Snack Pack for Kidz ( I have written a fun, romantic novel (think Say Yes to the Dress meets Janice Thompson, Erynn Mangum, Jenny B. Jones.) If that sounds good to you, then stay tuned!

I got married to my warrior knight, Samuel Palmer, on August 24th, 2013. That's a good story. I'll have to tell ya'll about it sometime!

I have been a youth leader at my church for almost five years! Another huge part of my calling, and who I am as a person. God has given me such a love for each and every kid that comes through those doors. This is something I never imagined myself doing, but I can't imagine life without it. The first time I did any public speaking, my right eye twitched the entire time. It's amazing how God works!

Since ya'll will be getting to know me very well in the future, I won't talk your ear off. So here are some random facts for your entertainment.

1.  I am a Jesus Freak.
2.  My favorite color is purple.
3.  Potato casserole is my absolute favorite meal. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4.  True to the writer stereotype, I love coffee. Which brings me to......
5.  My second favorite drink at Starbucks is the Caramel Apple Spice, which is not coffee. My favorite drink is the Salted Caramel Mocha.
6.  I am a native Gilmore Girls resident. The Facebook quiz said so.
7.  I used to hate reading as a kid. My parents had to bribe me to read.

My how times have changed. And that's not even half of them!

It's been great sharing with you guys! If you're not sick of me yet, you can e-mail me at, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to hear from you, whether it's about writing, God, a prayer request, or advice on those bright, multi-colored floral leggings.

Ahem. My advice would be no. I endorse solid colors for leggings.

That's all for now! Look for my author blog posts on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month!

Sorry this one is so grainy!

Well, it's a long way from bus driver, but I think I'm okay with that.


V. Joy Palmer