4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

3 NovemberΒ  2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

I was eleven years old when my mom thought it would be a neat idea if my younger sisters and I joined 4-H. So we joined the Silver Lake 4-H Club in our hometown, named after a lake in the area. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first, being shy and all, and I wasn’t up for joining “clubs.” But once we started, I learned to like it, love it, and then, years after graduating from high school, missing it.

 

When I was fourteen, my family and I attended an event that gave honors and awards to those at the Fargo, ND college, NDSU, for those who had made lives and careers that all began with 4-H, and who also had been greatly involved at NDSU. My late uncle, Jerome (remember him? Click here if you don’t), had been greatly involved in NDSU, which began from his deep love of 4-H. He’d loved it so much he’d made a career out of it, and that night, Jerome had received an award of his dedication. We all looked on, proud smiles and matching pink flowers pinned to our chests. My family and I took the award in his place and in his honor. The gentleman presenting the award had many great things to say about Jerome. I had proud tears in my eyes when the man mentioned that Jerome’s family was there, and everybody looked over at our table where we sat, applauded, and even gave us a standing ovation. Because Jerome had been that brilliant of a person.

 

Ever since that day, I worked even harder to present myself as a worthy participant in the nearby 4-H county fair. My sisters and I presented sheep, chickens, and rabbits as animals nearly all the years that we performed. It was a TON of work every year from 2001-2008. I cannot even fully express in depth how much work it truly was, particularly with the sheep. It was even extra work when you chose to take non-livestock items to the fair, which included food, sewing and construction projects, painting projects, and the like. In theΒ  year 2003, I got a Reserve Champion award for my writing project novel that I put into the fair, which brought me to the state fair in the Twin Cities, MN. It was very much an exciting experience, although unfortunately, I received a red ribbon (compared to the best blue ribbon award) for my participation. My book deserved FAR better. But in 2004, I received a Grand Champion ribbon for the best wether lamb (which is a young ram) in the open class showing. Along the way, I became disappointed, unhappy to happy, excited, and proud. Along the way, I had a deep adoration for the animals I presented every year. It was especially the hardest and saddest when we had to sell our young rams every year. Working our hardest from when they were newborns to after the fair; it was a yearly struggle that was difficult for all of us.

 

The following are ten things that I learned about 4-H throughout the years:

  1. Remember that it’s not the awards that you receive, but what you learned from the experience and how it has affected you as a person.
  2. Animals are God’s creatures, and they have individual,Β  unique personalities all their own.
  3. Don’t let anybody just go around and tell you that your animal or your work of art that you placed into the fair is meaningless compared to theirs. Make sure to defend yourself, but do it in a way God will be proud of.
  4. Trust that God has a beautiful plan for your life, which far exceeds any awards you might receive.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, for everyone’s story is different and everyone’s way of learning is different.
  6. The amount of money the state takes away from 4-H’s funds that they receive in 4-H animal auctions is highly unfair. The 4-Her worked HARD for that animal. They deserve every penny of it.
  7. As my mom used to say, “there’s always next year.” Don’t give up. Keep trying to work hard and keep learning everything you can about 4-H and the 4-H projects you work on. You never know, it might turn into a career one day.
  8. Don’t get mad if someone got a higher award than you, for it will not get you anywhere in life, and such attitudes are filled with nothing but selfish desires.
  9. Don’t forget to smile as much as possible. If you’re all hot and sweaty from bathing that sheep lamb and you don’t want the judge to think that you hate 4-H, because you don’t, it’s really just the hot weather – just keep smiling!
  10. Keep going back to county fairs every year, no matter how old you are, and keep telling stories about the 4-Her you truly were.

 

Recently, I attended a county fair, and as I walked through the corridors of the non-livestock 4-H projects such as gardening, sewing, and painting, I kept smiling to myself. That had been me at one point in my life. A person who may have never been involved with 4-H can walk through such projects in the fair and think, “oh, that’s nice. That must have been a lot of hard work,” and will never TRULY realize the depth of that hard work like us 4-H admin do. I saw every stroke of the paintbrush, every piece of tightening thread, and watering of the flowers that day. I KNEW what it was like to work hard like that, because I lived it. And you know what? I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about putting their kid through a club or special activity. It’s free, and the amount of work that it amounts to will be SO worth it in the end. Trust me, it WILL be worth it.

 

 

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

 

JMK~

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Homemade Bread Recipe

Homemade Bread Recipe

Hello everyone,

I apologize for it being so long since a blog post. 

This past Saturday, I made homemade French bread! It was so much fun too! You can find the recipe here, because I shouldn’t get the whole credit πŸ™‚
Here are some pics:

Aside from writing and reading, baking is my all time favorite hobby. At home, my husband and I tag team the cooking, but I enjoy doing all of the baking. πŸ™‚ I don’t even use any machines; I knead it all by hand and enjoy getting my hands dirty πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 

Status on my book in print: currently waiting on when it will be in print. I’m looking forward to seeing it in book form. I’ll keep you all informed, but I very much appreciate your patience until then. πŸ™‚
Have a good week πŸ™‚

JMK ~

Start Shopping, Everyone!!

Start Shopping, Everyone!!

19 June 2016

Hello, everyone,

 

In case you haven’t heard on social media, my YA fantasy book, “The Magic Suitcase: Martha” is officially online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. You can also review it on Goodreads after you’ve read it! πŸ™‚

 

Also, within 2-3 weeks you will have access to the print version, which you can either order online to get it shipped to your house, or buy it at Barnes and Noble. I will put a blog post out there when you can officially do that. I plan to do a book reading and book signing at my local Barnes and Noble to get it publicized. The rest, of course, is up to all of you! Go out there and buy it or wait until it comes out in print! Share with all of your friends and family about this amazing story! πŸ™‚

 

BuyΒ it HEREΒ on Amazon!

 

Review it on Goodreads HERE!

 

Enjoy, everyone!! πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

A Must-Read for Graduates

A Must-Read for Graduates

Hello everyone,

 

I love the song, “Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley. Except for one lyric in the beginning, it’s pretty spot-on as far as telling your younger self to not worry or be afraid, that everything will come out right in the end. Makes me wish I could’ve read a letter of my twenty-seven year old self to myself at age sixteen or seventeen, when I was worrying about stuff I’m not concerned about anymore. It really makes you think about how precious life is, that life really isn’t about worrying or being afraid, and doing so doesn’t get you very far in life. It all comes out well in the end in accordance with God’s divine will.

 

It’s been ten years this year now since I’ve been a high school graduate, and six years since I’ve been a college graduate. Therefore, since it is the month of May, I will write a letter instead to all of those graduates for this month, and I encourage you all to share this with someone you know who is graduating from high school, college, or a higher degree this month. I know I’m only 27, but by now I’ve learned a lot and enough where I can essentially give some great advice to those graduates way younger than I am.

 

Dear Graduates:

 

What you’re worried about right now won’t matter. Are you wanting that graduation day to go well and smoothly? Don’t worry. Are you wishing that guy or girl to notice you? Don’t worry. Are you wanting nothing but to make your parents proud? Don’t worry. Because it’ll all work out fine in the end.

 

High school graduates: college isn’t about partying and having the time of your life. It isn’t about getting straight A’s. It’s about striving to do your best, discover who you truly are, and making your college career one that you will never regret. In college, don’t worry so much about dating. Don’t worry, period. Focus on doing well in college and enjoying your career, and then, everything else will fall into place. Choose a major that will not only make you happy, but where you will enjoy your classes, because college should all be about that. If you enjoy your classes, you’ll appreciate your professors. And if you appreciate your professors, you’ll get more and more excited about your major. But this is very important: research everything you can about the major. Does it excite you? Or is it only something that will pay the bills? Go to college for your true passion and love in life. Don’t go for something that may fit well with somebody else. Also, you will have a combination of good and bad dorm roommates. Seek out the good in the bad roommates, because after all, there is good in all people, and despite your limited space, one day you’re sometimes going to wish you were still in college studying for finals and such instead of facing the real world.

 

College graduates: that graduation day was great, wasn’t it? It sure was. The speeches, the degree in your hands, the thought that it’s time to start job searching for a career in your degree you now have. Surprise yourself with the passions that you have, and if you are unsure, trust me, it’s okay to find a career that you didn’t go to school for. People will ask you why you made that choice of a job that you have, and why you’re not finding a job in your degree. Ignore these people, or tell them that you enjoy what you do, and your degree will help you get into all kinds of jobs, because employers love college degrees. Even if you have a college degree in science and decide to be something completely different, it’s okay. Find a career that excites you and that you enjoy. If it’s within your degree, great. If it’s not, don’t worry about it. Life is all about discovering your passions in life, and if you have a job that you love and that pays the bills, nothing else matters.

 

Choose a spouse who will make a good mate, who will bring out the best in you. Let them get to know you to the point where they know you better than you know your own self, but it’ll benefit you incredibly. Make sure they love you unconditionally, and let the man be the Christian leader of the home and family breadwinner. Don’t think that you need to change them, because you never will. Accept their flaws if they have any, and learn to love every part of your spouse’s heart, body, mind, and soul. Fall in love with each other all over again every day, and do little things for them that will make them smile or make their day. Make sure you talk about all important decisions: family, children, careers, etc. BEFORE you marry. Marriage is all about sacrifices, but more than that, it’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make.

 

Adopt a pet to change their life. Volunteer, and find hobbies you believe you won’t like. If you end up liking them, it’ll be a blessing. If you don’t, it’ll be a learning experience. But all in all, in the busyness of life, don’t forget your parents and grandparents. Call them and talk to them as often as you can. Make sure you always end with an “I love you,” because we are never guaranteed tomorrow. They will age faster when you are busy in the worries of life, and before you know it, they’re gone. So appreciate them while you have them here with you. Nothing is important as making sure you keep constant contact with those loved ones. Yes, your career and family is important. But don’t forget about them, for they were the ones who brought you life.

 

Make sure to enjoy your life, and appreciate every day the blessings God gives you. Oh, and most importantly, above all things, learn to read and study the Bible every day. Focus on the words God gives you, and discover what they really mean. Let go of everything else and become a born-again Christian. Obey the Gospel. God is holding you by the hand; he will lead you through the trials of life and always be your greatest Friend. Count on him and trust Him deeply, for He will never let you down.

 

Best of luck, Graduates πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

Setting Long-Term Goals

Hello everyone,

 

I apologize for not having written in a while–been a very busy lady! Part of this busyness has been thinking of Paul from the Bible. Over the past month, I read through the whole book of Acts and pondered his immense courage. As the apostle John relays the sometimes chilling details about the problems and obstacles that prevented Paul from preaching the Gospel, such as imprisonment, being shipwrecked, and confronting an angry crowd – to name a few, I admire him even more. Not once do you hear of Paul complaining about his circumstances or how he wished for more chances to spread the Gospel. Not once do you hear Paul fearing for his life. He seems like an easygoing guy who just takes conflict and runs with it. The courage he had was amazing, and that’s the kind of example I hope to set in my life as well.

 

My husband is my biggest support system and encouragement with me and my writing. I couldn’t do anything without him. He was the one who suggested that besides doing freelance writing/authoring, I look for opportunities around our hometown where I could get my foot in the door. Then, that foot in that door could lead to a career down the road that will have given me, overall, healthy experience. Who knows where it could lead, but I’m hoping that it’ll eventually lead me to a full-time opportunity. Therefore, on the sideline, you will see another milestone goal I put up. I plan to look for opportunities every day, Monday-Friday (since I use the weekends for spending time with my husband and family), and do it up to a year. Hopefully and God willing, I will be blessed in what I do and the determination I use.

 

Over the past month, I have also been busy with finishing writing and completely revising my romantic suspense novel, “Hush, Don’t Tell.” You can find more information about it HERE. My next goal for that is to submit query letters to 50 agents, and then 5 small publishing presses afterward if necessary.

 

Then, finally, THIS MONTH you can be able to pre-order my YA fantasy novel, “The Magic Suitcase”! I will let you all know the moment you can start to pre-order it, and also when you can look for it on Netgalla so you can start reviewing it!

 

Exciting things happening in 2016 so far! I am excited and looking forward to following God’s footsteps in wherever he may lead me beginning today, and you should, too. Go to God in prayer, and study the Bible on what it means to obey the Gospel. Paul encountered many obstacles along the way, so many that you would think he would give up instead of pressing on.

 

Philippians 3: 12-16: Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Β Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14Β I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Β Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16Β however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

 

Have a good week, everyone πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

 

 

Now Offering Editing Services

Now Offering Editing Services

Attention, attention! Attention all writers! 

Hello everyone! I will now be offering editing services for those who need it. It will be beneficial for writers, because not only will they receive the same constructive criticism that publishing house editors would give, you’ll also meet a new friend: me. Not only am I willing to work with you on a business sense, but I am here for you to offer writers advice like how to overcome writers block, publishing info, etc, all for free. The only cost is if you’d like something of yours edited.

Please see below for details that are also on the “Editing Services” page above!

Are you looking for a professional to write and edit something of yours? A poem, short story or manuscript or any other documents? Are you on the verge of sending something into a publisher and need another’s eye about what you have written? You’ve come to the right place! I will edit and proofread your documents while providing free feedback and criticism to you at a single cost. 

Why Me? 

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis on Writing. I also fourteen years of my own experience, including college, to professionally give you a good writing and editing approach. 

How does it work? 
You contact me via email or social media with your attached document you would like edited. If it is a short story or manuscript, I will provide free constructive criticism in comments throughout the work. Criticism is nothing personal against you or your work, but something critics give on a regular basis. I will give you honest and creative feedback that will be most beneficial to you and your work. Examples of things I’d comment on is research done for something in the story, or POV aspects.
I will edit the following for free before you decide to accept my work: the first chapter for manuscripts, the first paragraph for poetry and one page works, or the first page for anything else. 
What do you look for when editing?

Sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, the same POV within paragraphs, and that the paragraphs are indented correctly. 

What is the cost?

Manuscripts, book of poetry or short stories – $50
Individual poetry, short stories- $20
Other documents – $20

How long will it take?
Manuscripts- 2-3 weeks
Other – 3-5 days 

Exceptions
I will not accept material of the erotic or sexual nature.

Need more info?
Please contact me via one of my social media pages (seen in the About /Contact Jenna tab above) or by my email: books_jmg@yahoo.com.  
The most beneficial way you can help me in this process is to share this information with others. Share it on your social media pages, and if you know of someone looking to edit anything of any kind, please tell them about the services I offer! 

Thank you! I look forward to working with you all! I promise you it’ll be a rewarding and exciting experience for both of us! 

2016 Fun Hobbies

Hello everyone,

Can you believe it’s 2016 already?! We have so much planned for this year, and I’m excited for it all. 

First, as you may know, my book “The Magic Suitcase: Martha” is being released  Feb. 8th! Look for it on your phones, Kindles, or Nooks first. Then, it should be in print not long after that, but I’ll keep you guys posted. πŸ™‚ Then, my second and final book  of the series: “The Magic Suitcase: Marilyn,” will be released in March. 

What hobbies are you hoping to try this new year? I wanna hear all about them! For me, my New Years resolution is to try a ton of more main dish recipes. πŸ™‚ Then, I want to take on a knitting challenge, or several of them, and finish writing at least one more book. I want to be more organized at home, to keep clutter out of the way, and find more fun wall hangings, table runners / decorations, or knickknacks to make our home much snazzier. God willing, I’d like my husband and I and our 2 cats to find a bigger home to live. But if not, I want to make it more homey and decorative. 

What about you? 

Hope everyone had a safe and fun Christmas and New Years! I certainly did. πŸ™‚ 

JMK~