June 30, 2010

Grace-Hope's Birthday

Grace-Hope celebrated her 6th birthday yesterday with her first birthday party! She was so excited. Several families and friends joined her in her celebration for a swim party, and she really loved it. There was balloon tosses (which Tiffani and myself lost, in case you wondered... because my now-six-year-old sister decided to catch some and throw them at us instead of to us). After the balloon toss, there was an impromtu water-bucket fight, in which kids dumped the leftover balloons and buckets of water at us. Then we fell in the pool... actually Tiffani and I were pushed in... I won't mention any names... in our skirts:) Oh, well~! The only problem with the whole thing was that the younger girls picked up an idea about pushing us in the pool, and continued to try to do so almost the rest of the afternoon:P All in all it was a marvelous day! Here are some of the pictures of our fun time together:

Getting ready... can't wait to open that door~!Happy birthday to you...

The beginning of the water balloon toss. (L-R: Preston, Lexi, and May)


"Ready... aim... toss!" (Alexandrea, with Grant, myself, May, and Lexi in the background.)


Still on the waterballoon toss...

The mommies:) Miss Traci and Miss Marny


All the girlies trying to push Tiff and I in the pool... notice Devony's elbow sticking into my side? Aha, gooood times! (Grace-Hope, Tiffani, Devony, me, Alexandrea and Preston)

A last attempt by Kelli and Devony to push me in the pool!
 Tiffani and Alexandrea in the pool.


A strong attempt by yours truly to keep my friend from being mercilessly tossed in the pool by wild and crazy children! (Okay, so I kind of exaggerated...)

There she goes!


Grace-Hope in anticipation...


Thank you's!

Tiffani, and Alexandrea and I dancing "Blessed are You," and "Chai Hashem," the perfect end to a fabulous day!

Pride and Prejudice!

From Haley...

Signs that you've been watching Pride and Prejudice too many times...

Six hours no longer seems like a long time.

You begin to wonder why all movies are not six episodes long.

You have memorized where the commercial breaks come as well as the order of the commercials in each break.

You watch the movie all the way through non-stop - then rewind it and start all over again.
The movie just keeps on getting better every time you watch it.

On a recent visit to a local lake, you were inspired to dive in and go swimming fully clothed.

Your relatives and friends no longer think that you are strange for asking them to call you "Lizzy".

You sing along with the background music.

You find ways to quote Pride and Prejudice in daily life: "That shirt is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me."

After hours of studying the dance scenes, you held a party and forced all your friends to learn the dance steps so that you could pretend to be Lizzy at the Netherfield Ball.

You are saving up money to go to England to visit the filming locations.

You made a special trip to England last year just to visit the filming locations.

Your itinerary includes a special trip to Pemberley where you plan to stand at the window and say, "Of all this I might have been mistress" - and you are devasted when you find out that this is not possible since the Pemberley interiors and exteriors were filmed in separate locations.

You think of time in terms of the number of Pride and Prejudice episodes you could watch in that amount of time. For example: "I’ll see you in four episodes" = "I’ll see you in four hours."

You have pets and stuffed toys named Lizzy and Darcy.

You name your first two children Lizzy and Darcy.

Right after you splurged and bought the P&P video boxed set, you made two copies of it. The original videotapes are now in your display case (along with all your other precious objects and silverware), one copy is at your relative's house in case of a fire, and the third copy is for your daily viewing.

Others refuse to watch P&P with you because they find your habit of reciting the whole movie in unison with the actors annoying.

Even though you have never lived in Britain, you now regularly speak with a British accent.

You find yourself often saying that you are "excessively diverted", "quite put out" or "most seriously displeased".

You dance along with Lizzy and Darcy every time you watch the Netherfield Ball scene.

You have played the whole movie in slow motion to prolong the ecstasy of watching the movie. (Unfortunately, the music and the sound doesn't work on slow motion so you don't do this very often.)

You commonly use the "frame-by-frame" advance function on your VCR so that you don't miss any miniscule detail of your favourite scenes.

Upon discovering that some characters wear their costumes more than once in different parts of the movie, you were inspired to draw up a large table in order to search for possible correlations between the costume worn and the mood of the character.

You have drawn maps and layout plans of the rooms and the buildings in the movie.

You special ordered a CD so you can listen to "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot" (over and over again) even when not watching the Netherfield Ball scene (eg. in the car, on the bus, while washing dishes, on the airplane, while taking a walk, while going for a jog, while vacuuming the house, while painting a fence....)

You own two copies of Pride and Prejudice - one for the bedside, and one for downstairs reading.

You own three copies of The Making of Pride and Prejudice - one for the beside, one for downstairs reading, and an extra copy in case either of them gets lost.

You giggle whenever you see Mrs. Bennet or Mr. Collins, before they even open their mouths.

You find yourself constantly quoting your favorite lines from P&P and you feel sorry for your family and friends when they give you confused looks since they have only watched P&P once (horrors!) and can't recall the lines.

You start thinking of excuses to wear muslin dresses in the Regency style so you can look like Lizzy and Jane.

You spent the past five months researching Regency fashions so that the "Netherfield Ball" dress that you will be wearing to the next formal occasion is historically accurate.

You no longer need an excuse to wear Regency style clothing - you now wear it everyday as your own personal fashion statement and as a indication of your progressive sense of style!

Your family and friends put a limit on when and where you can talk about P&P because, unbelievably, they are just so sick of it. (For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays are designated P&P-free days.)

The above happens and you resort to saying lines that you hope they won't notice are from the movie (such as: "no, no, the green one.")
You searched everywhere for a script of the movie and finally wrote your own (by studying each scene in detail) when you couldn't find one. With your new script in hand, you often recruit all your friends and force them to be a part of your P&P play while you simultaneously star as Lizzy (or Darcy) and direct it so that it matches the movie exactly.

You have a complete list of all the differences between the book and the movie.

Your list of differences is cross-referenced to the script of the movie that you wrote earlier.

Every time you open "The Making of P&P" book, you immediately have to start watching the videos all over
again!

Saturday night finds you and your best friend putting your hair in buns and curling your bangs into ringlets in an attempt to imitate Regency hairstyles.

You realize everyone in your life fits a character in P&P, and you start desperately asking your "Colonel Fitzwilliam" if he has any cousins.

When your friend declares a dislike for P&P, you seriously consider and re-evaluate the basis of your friendship.

You have written your own stories to conclude the lives of the other characters in the movie.

You are very proud of your most recent story, called P&P: The Next Generation.

You tape a picture of Lizzy (or Darcy) to your ceiling so it's the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning.

You download pictures of the movie from the internet to put in picture frames in your living room.

As an excuse to watch P&P more often, you contact every friend and acquaintance you can think of and offer to loan them the P&P tapes (the backup ones, of course) with the understanding that you need to be there for the viewing.

You can relate to most or all of the signs mentioned above!


So, do you relate to any of the signs mentioned above? Maybe one or two, such as the tolerable shirt, and dancing along with the music. The rest? Not so much. Although, I love the book and the movie, I can't say I do. :)

June 26, 2010

All of Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI8koEcOBh0
This is an amazing piece played at my piano recital, called All of Me, by Jon Schmidt. I'm working on it for this summer. It's simply beautiful, and sooo passionate. Enjoy! (And sorry I couldn't get the actual video to post, just the link. Even though it's a bit more troublesome, watch it anyway.)

June 25, 2010

VBS

Hi everyone! Tonight is the end of VBS Summerblast at my church! I'm sooooo sad! Isn't it weird that after only a week, you have such connections with people, and built such high friendship standards with kids so many years younger than you? I love that!

Dean-O was there! I've known him since I was four or five, and he did many of the vbs's at other churches we've been through over the years. It was an amazing time, and several of the kids in my crew accepted Jesus as their Savior, which is always so touching to witness. I got a picture with my new "Christ sisters," and I'll be posting it later. It's been an awesome week:) G-d is so amazing and full of wonders.

June 21, 2010

Prom Again

Miss Tiffani, Miss Elissa, Moi, and Miss Karah <3
My pictures came in from prom~!

June 17, 2010

I'm Buried in Research...

…. And that’s what I love about summer most. Because all the regular school subjects are done, you have the freedom to study what you love, and what you choose. (Okay, so maybe I don’t love math, but oh well.) I’m buried in the Constitution. It’s wonderful!
Today, in my wonderful studies, I was looking at three types of government:
• Republics: Where elected bodies have all of the supreme power.
• Monarchy: Where a single person governs by fixed laws.
• Despotic: When a single person governs by his own will, and by it alone.
Besides this, I was looking at the principles of each type of government, the necessary education for each type of government’s people, and how each type of government is corrupted. Here is what I came up with~

 Monarchy:
Principle of Government: Honor. The Monarch must create incentive for people to want to be obedient to him. Because not all people’s highest desire to be obedient to the government’s each and every wish (people like myself), the monarchy awards those who conform with higher positions of honor. Honest? No. Actually honorable? Not.
Necessary Education: How to excel over other citizens. “Be more noble!” “Be of higher morals!” “Be more polite!” Why? Because of the HONOR!

On a side note, when I was in Shakespeare’s King Lear as of last year, there was one character that stood out to me in this form of government: Edmund, the evil, bastard son of Gloucester. Because he was not an actual honorable person because of his father’s bad choices, he decided to act polite, to act like he had higher morals, and to act more noble, even though on the inside he was bad. In return for this display of honor, he was put in an even higher, more powerful position. (Just a mental comparison.)

How “Monarchy” is Corrupted: Dis-honor is rewarded in the name of honor, (If you’re confused with this seemingly-contradictory statement, see my above example of Edmund, and then continue reading.) and good men are degraded. Now I’m thinking of the good character Kent, in King Lear who was banished for speaking up for what he believed in. He was dishonored because he knew how to think, not what King Lear wanted him to think. (Another mental comparison.) When honor to the prince of the country becomes the object of honor instead of the country through the prince, the country becomes especially corrupt. Simple as that.


 Despotic:
Principle of Government: Fear. The Despot (or tyrant) must maintain his power, and in order to do so, must keep his people in constant fear. Reminder of Joel Rosenberg’s book The Last Jihad, where someone with a life in front of him was shot and killed for only a warning to others to not make a mistake that was not even based on the life of the killed one’s.

Necessary Education: Education? Forget the education! “Debase the human mind and make it servile!” Elimination of education is the goal here. The Despot wants to make the people only know what to think, not how to think. Sound familiar?
How the Despot is Corrupted: The Despot is corrupted from inception, and is always undone by its own corruption.


 Republic:
Principle of Government: It’s simply virtue. The law will only be enforced to the extent the people are virtuous.

Necessary Education: Promote Virtue. Education in the Republic sector of the government is most important because virtue is a self-renunciation, which takes constant education on the topic to instill. Let’s say your speeding down the road, and you’re pulled over by a police-man. You could be fined… or you could just slip him a twenty dollar-bill, and be put back on the road. It takes virtue to think about the public’s safety and benefit, not your own personal gain. Are our students being taught to love America or material possessions? I don’t know if we ever realized it, but it came to me today, education is the thing that most tyrants or dictators take away first.

How Republic is Corrupted: From either too little equality (aristocratic/monarchial rule, leading to monarchy), or too much (when people want to make every decision themselves). When corrupt rulers appeal to the corrupt poor, and the all corrupt together. When the officials are corrupted, and when power is hereditary, we are on the verge of slipping into one or the other of the above governments.

Rank is incentive enough to promote honor in a monarchy. Fear arises naturally in despotism. And virtue is hardly ever taught any longer. So, tell me, where are we today in America?

June 16, 2010

Business Cards

I have an entrepenurial spirit- and being raised in a home where I have been taught that it is a woman's job to have her own business instead of going out to work and make her own living, I'm excited about all the doors opened  to me because of this.

I've had a couple of people asking me about piano lessons. As I've been playing for 8+ years at this time, I was extremely excited about the idea. Plus my mom teaches MusikGarten for kids, and so we thought this would be a great idea to entwine into the business. So, I ordered my business cards the other day from VistaPrint, a company that prints free business cards (yeah!). They came in soon afer, and, oh, how I love them. Because I am teaching beginning/intermediate piano-players, I decided to do something fun, cute, and musical at the same time. The result?

A green card with music notes and a red elephant on it. Cute? Yes. Musical? Check. Kid-Friendly? Aren't elephants just that?

I feel super professional and terribly excited that I had to write a post on it. So ta-ta!

June 15, 2010

Dancing With G-d

From a Friend, and by the heart of an unknown author, whose heart was clearly on track:

"When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw “G: I thought of God, followed by “u” and “i”. “God, “u” and “i” dance.” God, you, and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.
And I Hope You Dance!!!!!!!!"


And after reading this, I made a decision.  Not necessarily new, but a re-commitment: I'm going to dance, and let G-d lead the way.

On the Topic of Rights

Today was my first day of my summer study of the Constitution- which I will share with you.

"So, what is a right?" The definition is from the Oxford English Dictionary: "The ability to do that which is just; or the ability to perform a responsibility."   Here are two more questions: Do we really have a right to do wrong? (Such as murder an innocent person?) Of course not. And is there really a difference between the right to do wrong, and the ability to do wrong? A huge difference. We have no right to do wrong, even though we still do it. It is man's nature to sin. However, the ability to wrong? These are some things I'll have to expound on during my think time later on.

To contine: What are unalienable rights? (This definition also comes from the Oxford Dictionary.) Rights that are so important, nobody should be able to take them from you unless you forfeit them yourself.

At this point, we were asked another question by Mr. Ure, "Which rights are so important that you think they should be considered unalienable?" The class shared some thoughts, such as the rights of family, life, happiness, and freedom of religion, and the right of expressing oneself in an honest and upright way, to name a few.

But... "Who makes them unalienable?" Given four possibilities to refute, G-d was the only sovereign one.
1) The Governement: The concensus? If the governemnt gives you rights, the governement can take them away like that! *Snaps fingers*

2) One's Own Might: If you use your own strength for your own rights, someone is bound to come along stronger than you are, and take your rights away.

3) Nature: Nature has a mind of its own. If you manage to protect your rights from the stronger man on the tree, and from the governement, than you have nature to worry about--- what's going to stop a tornado (or an earthquake, or a hurricane, or a flood...) from coming along and ruining your rights?

4) G-d: If G-d gives covenants (or rights), no one can take them away. And no man can over-write them. They are unmovable.

Therefore, the conclusion to this is that all rights are given by none other than G-d, and, again, only He can take them away, except for Him, unless He sees fit. Aren't you glad G-d is like that? He is unchanging.

That was a good point at which to conclude, right?

June 11, 2010

Library Fines Galore!

Do you use the library often? Do you rack up large fines? Don't worry. You aren't alone. I read this on Haley's blog some time back, and thought it was worth sharing!

NEW YORK (AP) - If George Washington were alive today, he might face a hefty overdue library fine.
New York City's oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the president has racked up 220 years' worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned.
One of the books was the "Law of Nations," which deals with international relations. The other was a volume of debates from Britain's House of Commons.

Both books were due on Nov. 2, 1789.

New York Society Library head librarian Mark Bartlett says the institution isn't seeking payment of the fines, but would love to get the books back. The ledger also lists books being taken out by other founding fathers, including Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and John Jay.

The entry on Washington simply lists the borrower as "president."

June 10, 2010

Graduation

The age of graduation time is starting... the other day, two of my girlfriends graduated from highcshool! Bittersweet! One thing I have particularly enjoyed about past graduations is what one of the dad's called, "A Walk Down Memory Lane," where the senior grads put together a video of pictures from when they were babies until now, shown to a favorite song. ! I love this time. It was especially neat seeing girls I've known since we were tiny! "Move the tassels" >>>>
(Above pictures: far left, Elissa and Me, and far right, Tiffani and Me)


June 7, 2010

And G-d Said

I was looking at a plaque sitting by the computer today, and I just thought, "Oh, that should go on the record! (My blog)."  So here it is:

"G-d said.... Don't look to the bigness of your need, look to the highness of your G-d. Your circumstances are hindrances to seeing My abilities. If you keep your eyes on your cicrumstances, the devil will use your circumstances to defeat you and accuse the Word of G-d, the written and Living Word. Your Victory is in keeping your eyes on the bigness of your G-d and His ability. He has promised to take you step by step by step... not all at once, but step by step, and each step will be a miracle!"

You've gotta love that! Every time I get caught up in the circumstances of what I think should be happening, I forget that this may be happening for a reason... though I don't know how or why. I think that's why I love Jeremiah 29:11 so much as to call it my favorite Bible verse. G-d holds everything in His hands- circumstances, the whole bit.

Just my thoughts.

June 1, 2010

First Post of June- Awards

I got this tag the other day! This is my very fisrt time of getting 'tagged.' Or awarded by blog. I love it! The following are the 'rules.'


If you are tagged:

1. Post about the tag.
2. Pick 10 bloggers who deserve this award. (10. Waaay too many).
3. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people you tagged letting them know they were awarded.
4. Answer the questions along with your post.

I've already posted about the tag. I'll do the questions next.
So let's start.

1: Apples, Oranges or Bananas? I like both oranges and apples, but probably oranges. It's a nightmare (for your teeth) eating both with braces. I won't even mention bananas.

2: How many siblings do you have? Two sisters, Alexandrea, and Grace-Hope, who are 11 and 6 (in three weeks.)

3: How old are you? I am fun fourteen. Hee-hee:)

4: Do you live on a prairie, woodland, swamp, city or other? I live in a city... but I imagine living in the country.

5: Scissors or glue? Both. "Scissors are destructive in the hands of the innocent." Glue gets all over everything.

6: Describe your dream house. I have no dream house, but I have a dream of a big piece of land to live on instead. I have my own tastes, such as that cute country-French look that you see in kitchens sometimes. I LOVE hard-wood floors, and as to the outside, I would prefer to live by a greeeeeen meadow. Green.

7: Is your room clean? Yes. My room is comically clean. When I say so, I mean I'm changing it around for the umpteenth time. So it was clean... about a day and a half ago.

8: If you could be a movie character for a day, who would you be? Probably Elizabeth Bennet, as my friend Haley says. Or perhaps Barbara Spooner in the movie Amazing Grace. It would be wonderful to see the world changed as it was at that point in time.

9: Italy, Greece, France, Spain or England? France, without a doubt. Ever since I was small, I loved French things.. from the language, to the Eiffel Tower, to the tea-cups, haha.

10. Do you sleep with a stuffed toy (BE HONEST!)? Sometimes. I have this fuzzy blanket I sleep with 'cause it's comfortable. And when I like to grip something, I have my old bear, named Mrs. Bear <3

11: Gum, chocolate, or jelly beans? Our six-year-old neighbor was over to play with Grace-Hope the other day. Somehow or other, I heard them get into a conversation about chocolate. The neighbor-girl's announcement? "Girls will do ANYTHING for their chocolate!"   I must agree.

12: What is your favorite book? I have a huge stack of books to read this summer. So... for right now, I have to say The Count of Monte Cristo, Jane Eyre all the way, and The Princess Adelina. AND any of Shakespeare's works (I particularly love A Midsummer Night's Dream (for a comedy) and King Lear, and Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

13: Favorite ice cream flavor? When I was in Florida years ago with my aunt, I tried rum-raisin for the first time. If you want to try and imitate that oh-so-delicious flavor, just stir raisins into vanilla ice cream. Although it's not half as good as the real thing.

14: If you had to eat one type of food for two weeks, what would that food be? Hmmm... probably... I have to say Italian, right of the top of my head, even though I know I'd get pretty sick of it if I must needs eat it for two weeks.

15: What is your favorite Olympic sport? Gymnastics in summer, ice-skating in winter, and a little beach volley- ball in between in the gymnastics in summer.

16: If you woke up and discovered that you had turned into Miley Cyrus for the day, what would you do? I'd scream. And change the way kids love Miley Cyrus for the rest of the world.

17: Describe yourself in three words. I'm a bookworm, a pianist, and an actress. (I can get very dramatic at times.)

18: What chore do you hate? I dislike dusting, because in addition to dusting the surface, you must first remove all the little bits of clutter on the afore-said surface, and dust those, and then put them back. Blah!

19: If Elmo came into your room with a gun, what would you do? I'd give him a hug. I love Elmo! I used to watch him all the time. But with a gun...? I'd just take it away. I mean, it couldn't be that hard, could it? Elmo is so nice!

If I tagged ten people with this that would be everyone on my blogger list. So I'll just choose four...

Haley
Tiffani
Kalahan
Rachel.


There! The first post in June is over! I shall return later this month with more news!