Hello Blog


It’s been awhile.

I practically feel like I’m starting a new blog!

So far 2014 has looked like this for me:

January- I housesat 14 days, we celebrated my parents 25th Anniversary (woot!), and participated in a Civil War reenactment across town.

February – I started leading our HighSchool worship team on Wednesday nights and went with Jordan to Pheonix for 5 days to participate in a Justice For All training and outreach.

March – Enjoyed fellowship around a bonfire, as well as at our Church picnic a couple days later!

April – Performed with a band in our homeschool group’s talent show and celebrated Joshua’s 7th birthday on the 10th along with my Dad’s birthday at the end of the month. AND we went to the Grand Canyon and stayed in a trailer (but that’s a long story for another time)

May – Choreographed Musical Bootcamp and taught 50+ teens in one week!

June – Left for the Dominican Republic on the 6th, Jordan’s 22nd birthday, and had an amazing 2 weeks there working hard, building a great team, reaching out, loving on children and sharing God’s love. I missed Father’s day with my dad, but made him this song. 3 days after arriving back in the states my Dad and I drove my sister to Kansas, her new home! She is now working as an intern with Justice For All!

And that brings us to July! The coming weeks are packed for me, so it’s likely I’ll disappear again, though not so long this time! Family coming into town and a lot of housesitting for my sister and me!

Hope that helps get this blog up to speed 🙂 I’ll be posting about a highlight from my trip to the Dominican Republic soon, so stay tuned…

❤ Riahjoy


PS How do you like the new blog look?


NaNoWriMo 2013

Yes! It is November once again which means I’m racing to write 50,000 words in 30 days. AND ten days have already gone by, which means we are one third through the month! I was hoping to catch up to par by yesterday, but that didn’t happen… Today perhaps?

My start was a rough one.

Day one was busy and I only got 1,000 words written. And they were written in the car at a quick stop on our way out of town.

in car

I was only able to write at this stop you see because I was driving 😉

On day two I realized I would never be able to continue with my fast paced storyline without more planning. I switched to another idea.

It went well, though writing was still slow (always is in the beginning of Nano for me), until I reached day five…

writing with baby

I got a babysitting job. The picture shows me with “my” lil nine week old girl. What the picture doesn’t show is her twin brother. ^_^ Best job EVER! But I only got 100 words written that day. The babies weren’t that bad, but I was having severe writers block.

That night I was at a friends house and she asked how I was doing for Nano and if she could read anything. I said a very quick “no”, but let her read another story I had started earlier. She loved it and when my mom came in and saw her reading it she suggested I switch to that story.

The next day I began writing on that story which has caused me little writer’s block and much more enjoyment then the other two stories had!

So although I still have lots more to write before I’m all caught up I’m finally on my way. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. Plus I have awesome writing friends that are pushing and encouraging me to keep going!

Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Ophelia – Marie at Opinions, Thoughts, and General Ramblings. Thank you so much Ophelia for  awarding me!

For this award I have to:

*Link back to the blogger who tagged me.

*Answer the ten questions she gives me.

*Nominate ten others (or as many as I do) and ask them ten questions.

*Let those nominees know they were tagged.

The questions from Ophelia to me:
1) What is your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
Probably a short story I wrote about a year ago… it never got a good title, but you can read it at It’s About Story. And after you read it give me some title ideas!
2) What blog post on your blog has the most views?
3) If you could meet any currently living author, who would it be?
I’d say Chris Fabry, but I already have met him and get the chance to talk with him about every month… Probably Dr. Harry Kraus because he’s a doctor in Kenya! Oh, and I love his writing 😉
4) What is approx. the most words you’ve written in a day?
5,000. I did it twice during Nanowrimo.
5) What is the last book you read?
Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira (which was given to me by Chris Fabry )
6) If you could demand a rewritten ending to any book, which one would it be? 
Probably Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry! (Boy is he popular today!)
7) Do you have any books/blogs on writing that you’d recommend? 
I love Opinions, Thoughts and General Ramblings by Ophelia not a specific how-to writing blog, but I definitely learn a lot from her 😉
Go Teen Writers is also very helpful and I love Rachel Coker’s blog. Look around and find her videos, she’s very good at them 🙂
8) What book to movie adaptation do you find the most annoying? 😉 
 I’m annoyed by the changes they made on the last two Narnia movies 😕 I also didn’t like that the book Courageous that was written after the movie Courageous was way better then the movie.
9) What genre are you least likely to read? 
10) If you could write a book based off of one song, what song would it be? Why?

Oh this one is too hard!! I’ve already written one based off of Letters from War by Mark Schultz but I’m not sure I could pick just one song for a whole book… Can I get back to you on this one? Maybe?

Now here are my 10 questions:

1) What is your family’s strangest tradition?

2) Where is the farthest you’ve traveled?

3) At what age were your parents married (and/or Grandparents if that’s more exciting ;))?

4) What is your favorite book in the Bible?

5) Ice Cream or Cake?

6) What language do you wish you could speak?

7) How old is your blog? How many posts have you written? What year did you write the most? (Is it okay that I asked three (now four) questions in one?)

8) What is the last movie you watched?

9) What is your favorite music video?

10) What song do you feel was written just for you?

Now I nominate …


Sam, Mari, and Risa

Calista Beth

Can’t wait to see what your answers are!

Housesitting – ALL SUMMER! {Flashback Friday}

Although Bethany and I didn’t live at another house the entire summer we did spend four long weekends, as well as a full week, at a couple different houses throughout the summer. It was fun and we loved getting to take care of DOGS (two at each house)!






Paddy (there was another dog, but I didn’t get a picture 😦 A sweet golden retriever named Bella)

It was an amazing experience for both of us as we learned a lot about taking care of houses, the responsibilities of taking care of ourselves, and how to deal with a depressed dog (Chase) after his pal (Jake) was put down the day before his family left (plus how and when to call the police!).

Yes, this is what you come home to when you leave a sad dog home alone :(

Yes, this is what you come home to when you go to church, leaving a sad dog home alone 😦



We also got a warning one day about the water being turned off in the neighborhood for a few hours!


No water!

No water!

John 4:16 - I loved this verse that hung in one of the kitchens...

John 4:16 – I loved this verse that hung in one of the kitchens…


We loved getting fresh eggs from these chickens so we wouldn’t miss our babies 😉 Thankfully no chickens were eaten while we were there, but a few were “enjoyed” between our visits! Yikes! Glad I didn’t have to deal with that coyote 😕

But it wasn’t all hard and (dare I say) deathly…

Yes! I can fly!

Hello there!

Who says you can’t have fun on the job?


sleep ;)

Or sleep on the job?


Fell asleep after finishing “Every Waking Moment” by Chris Fabry. It wasn’t even out yet! We got the pre-release copy from our friend the Author 😉


In all I want to thank the D and R families for trusting us with such a big responsibility and to Mom and Dad for encouraging us with this opportunity!

Hume SD Camp! 6/23-28/13 {Flashback Friday}

If you click on the first picture it will enlarge and you’ll be able to page through each one (and see the captions)…

Camp was amazing and a TON of fun. I was challenged and encouraged in ways I didn’t expect!

VBS! – 6/3-7/13 {Flashback Friday}

Vacation Bible School is always something I look forward to each year. I love getting to shepherd 6-7 kids around while having lots of fun!

My silly boys from my VBS  group

The silly boys from my VBS group

The boys loved making the “Kingdom” themed crafts. The shields below were quite a hit!

Game time was also always a big hit! Especially the day they turned the gymnasium into a giant Candy Land game board!

One of my favorites was music. It was fun to see how much the children got into learning the moves and words. It was also really great to see how worshipful the children could get praising Jesus!



Although VBS is an amazing week I’m always glad that it only lasts five days at the end 😉

SetApart Girl Conference – 5/31-6/1/13 {Flashback Friday}

This year’s SetApart Girl Conference was amazing!


We worked with the Ormand’s church and we’re able to use their building to reach a bigger group then last year in my small living room



I am so grateful for the Ormand family and all they did to help grow my vision and share this conference with others!


I laid in bed last night planning a blog post and, in a way, here it is. It was going to look something like this:

Pretty funny how plans can change so quickly and drastically. Take for example my plan to post some Flashback Friday’s this month to catch up on blogging all that has happened since my last post. On Tuesday though I found out I would be accompanying  a mom as she drove and camped her way to Florida with her 3 young children without her husband. So long story short: I won’t be posting those Flashbacks and by the time I get back I’ll be overwhelmed with all the new stories I’ll be wanting to share!

But guess what! Plans have changed again. Boy am I glad God’s in control! My trip to Florida has been canceled so now things are back to what they were…

Soooo….. I’m not promising anything, but I hope to get some Flashback Friday’s posted! 😉

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

American Heritage Festival – 11/23-26/12 {Flashback Friday}

2012’s American Heritage Festival was amazing and thanks to the Paulsen family I got to participate all three days! My family came up on Sunday and brought my camera, so for the first time I got the chance to capture scenes from years ago…

Enjoy! (all pictures are taken by me unless I’m in them ;))

Red Coats Playing cards

Cellphone pictures from the first two days… We got a breathtaking sunset Saturday night. I was amazed I caught it so well with the iPhone!


Me & girl Mom and me

Lining up for the morning parade…

Redcoats Parade Parade 2 Parade 3 Parade 4 Parade 5 Parade 6 Confederate cry! Parade back Parade back 2 Family Line up

I could not get enough of these guys in their red coats. The details and color of this era are so fun to capture!

Redcoat British flag Shadows A man with his gun Drills Lined up Line up Forward! March! Shadows Taking a blow

In between battles there was lots of time for books, cards, writing and hanging out with friends!

Books Cards Learning Friends

Taking pics Serious

Union photo bomb


Union photo-bomb ^ (click to view larger)

Boot Boots

My favorite battle was when the confederate army set up camp not knowing their enemy was planning an attack by surrounding them!

Confederate "camp" Quite camp Attack Confederate camp Union Union fire Fall

It was an incredible, fun, and tiring weekend. Let’s just say it was good to have my own bed back with no loud trains passing through multiple times in the night!

National Make it with Wool Competition (part 3)

[Part 1] 

[Part 2]


After the cave we had some time for lunch before our last rehearsal. Jordan and I got to enjoy this meal all to ourselves with some yummy gluten free Mexican soups!

Walking back along the river walk to the hotel for the rehearsal

Afternoon river walk

We did a lot of sitting around at this one as they tried to figure out sound, order, lights, project, etc.,. Once again we were entertained by the talented young magician who always had a crowd formed around him…

Our entertainment

always surrounded

Let’s just say he got a lot of practice over the weekend!

After the rehearsal Jacob, Jordan and I took our last chance to visit the Alamo.

sisters at the Alamo

Not as big as I had originally thought, but not too shockingly small.

the Alamo

We then rushed back to the hotel to make sure we were ready for the fashion show!

All ran smoothly, but the excitement built as the night went on as we all waited to hear who had won!

And the winner is… Jordan Newhouse with fifth place and the top Mohair award!

After everything was over the party people went to the pool for a “party”. Okay. They sat in the pool and shivered, I just put my legs in. It was still fun 😉

Then we hung out and had pizza.

My legs hurt so bad. I probably should have relaxed and sat down in the afternoon instead of running off to the Alamo!

My legs hurt so bad. I probably should have relaxed and sat down in the afternoon instead of running off to the Alamo!

Although it was a lot of fun I had a really hard time knowing that it was our last day and that we would all be saying our goodbyes soon. That’s why we came up with a plan! The Utah people were heading to the airport at 4am so we thought we would go with them and hang out a little longer instead of catching a taxi just a few hours later. It was a late night of packing giving us only 2 1/2-3 hours of sleep; Tia didn’t even go to sleep!

After arriving at the airport we were forced to say our goodbyes since they were flying through a different airline.


We checked in and lined up for security surprised to find they were in line just in front of us! Turns out their airlines terminal was under construction so they had the gate right next to ours! That meant we had just a little bit more time to hang…

Sure glad I grabbed that travel boggle last minute...

Sure glad I grabbed that travel boggle last minute…

Airport boggle 2

Yes, we’re playing on top of the sewing machine Jacob won and had to bring as a carry-on

After they left I thanked God for the extra bit of time we got together. Only God could’ve orchestrated something like that!

San Antonio Airport

Jordan and I still had four hours to kill until our flight would be leaving… so we did a photo shoot! Jordan is so easy to photograph!

Photo shoot with sis

But after that we just sat and I have to admit I cried, a lot. I’m such a people person that I made friends fast over the weekend, which made it harder to say goodbye. I was completely overwhelmed with all God had taught me; at a NATIONAL SEWING COMPETITION! My God sure is creative.


New Mexico?

New Mexico?

Even after we landed we still had a long leg of our journey to complete. My dad had gotten sick so we had to take a shuttle back to Tucson. It was a long hard day, but thankfully smooth and safe. It was good to be back home!


I hope you enjoyed getting a peek into what the National’s MIWW competition was like and all that I learned and experienced!