Saturday, April 30, 2011


If you want to join me, CLICK HERE and follow the instructions :)

Date... April 30, 2011
Starting time... 12:16pm
Mood...pretty normal. I was in the doldrums yesterday, but I'm over that now :)
Outside my absolutely gorgeous day!
I'm thinking...about my Spanish exams this week - but the good thing is that once they're over, I'm done with CC until August!!!
I'm currently reading...Witness by Whittaker Chambers 
I'm listening to...our washing machine - it's got a good rhythm :)
I'm wearing...jeans, Walk4Life T-shirt
I'm looking forward to...first Sunday lunch tomorrow and being done with exams!
I'm hoping...that next week will fly by *very quickly* so we can get piano recital week ASAP :)
Yesterday, I...watched William and Kate's wedding! It was lovely, I enjoyed every minute of it. What a cute couple! Did y'all notice that Kate's brother read Romans 12 at the beginning of the service? What a witness....

I'm hungry for...a milkshake. Random, yes. Serious? Absolutely. :)
The song stuck inside my head is...a little children's song I learned *ages* ago. I think it's by Steve goes, "In my Father's house are many mansions, many mansions in my Father's house. In my Father's house are many mansions, many mansions in my Father's house. I go (I go) to prepare a place for you (for you) for you (for you). I go (I go) to prepare a place for you (for you) for you!!!! In my Father's house...." etc. Some of y'all may know it. Anyway, it's been driving me nuts :P
I love...piano recitals! Once I got over "stage fright" when I was eleven or so, I've reveled in the adrenaline rush and the powerful feeling of playing your piece in front of an audience who appreciates it. 
I loathe...long hair all over the bathroom floor. Blech. But that's what you get when you have four girls sharing one bathroom - and all of them have long hair :)
This week, my goal study diligently and score well in my final exams.
Did I meet last week's goal?'s been a while since I did the daybook, but I believe my most recent goal was to buy the fabric for my Liesl dress - which I have done and I've begun to work on it. So yes, mission accomplished there!
Ending time...12:26pm (so what if it's afternoon :P)

Friday, April 29, 2011

what I watched *live* this morning

The music at the wedding was spectacular - we loved the choir of little boys. Adorable. Speaking of adorable, aren't those little bridal attendants sweet? Pretty as a picture :)

The cheering got a little monotonous after a while, but you could excuse it since everyone was so happy :) But I know that my arm would get tired if I were Prince William or Princess Catherine - they waved at thousands and thousands of people!

Doesn't Kate have a gorgeously modest wedding gown!?!? I was thrilled. And that tiara? Lovely! 
It was totally worth getting up at 5:15am to see :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


song in my head: "my heart will go on" from titanic (fyi: i haven't seen the movie, but i love the song *wink*)

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to y'all this wonderful new blog! My dear friends Elizabeth and Bree (who also happen to be sisters) have been working *very* hard to set up an event that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. They have a giveaway planned for each month leading up to April 14, 2012 - starting this month! Yeah!

In addition to giveaways, they also post up facts about the Titanic - fun trivia that I didn't know before!
I *highly* recommend that y'all head over to this lovely blog and join the voyage! There are no icebergs in sight, so don't worry.

Great work, Lizzy and Bree! I'm really looking forward to all you ladies have planned for the next twelve months :D

Monday, April 25, 2011

musings of a girl half-way to seventeen

song in my head: "i see the light" from tangled
Today is my "half-birthday!" It's hard to believe six months have flown by so fast...quite a bit as happened since that long-awaited sixteenth birthday. Let's take a look, month by month:

Month #1 (October 26-November 25) - Settling into the life of a new sixteen year old....that took all month :D Also I realized how many things I have to be thankful for....something demonstrated by those twenty-four "song of thanksgiving" posts that I did that month :D

Month #2 (November 26-December 25) - Finished my first semester at the community college this month! Here's a link to the semester review post I did back then. That semester was incredibly eye-opening. Taking a class away from home in a secular environment helped me learn to stand up for my faith and beliefs about life on my own. No background support. God did bless me greatly by giving me a like-minded, sixteen year old girl to partner with, that helped. Very challenging - LOADS of fun!

Month #3 (December 26-January 25) - We joined our church this month....well, walked up and said we wanted to pursue membership. Big turning point here, as I began to feel more and more accepted by the young adults and the ladies of the church and making deep friendships. I love my church...I love the body of believers God has brought together to be a part of my life at the this crucial growing-up time. 

Month #4 (January 26-February 25) - Remember that scary fire? That was here. Looking back, I can see that here was really when God began preparing me to change my "lifestyle". As the threat of losing our home began a scary reality that afternoon, my mind went through everything that was truly important to me. I was able to let go of my anxiety about a piano competition (of all things, honestly!) as I saw how little weight it held in the long run. I probably played better because of that, but that's not the point :P Letting go without's a hard lesson to learn. 

Month #5 (February 26-March 25) - During these thirty days, I went through a short, two week roller-coaster of emotions that was rather confusing but left me in a very good place :D I don't even know how to explain it....but I basically learned that siblings are only annoying when you think of them that way, and that it's *very* possible to learn to love (not just tolerate) their idiosyncrasies. The strangest thing about this realization is that it happened almost overnight and I'm still not quite sure what triggered it. I'll give the Holy Spirit all the credit - it was certainly Providential. I began to really work to love and live *with* my siblings, not *around* them. What was I was supposed to "do" for school also fell in perspective this month - a welcome relief!

Month #6 (March 26-April 25) - This would be the biggest month. All of the six previous months were building up to this. March 27 was one of the biggest turning-days of my life - it was the day our friend began a new life with heaven....forever. This past month has been one of evaluation as I thought through different parts of my life, purged unnecessary things and began to focus on the things that really count in life: relationships. I was so thankful that I'd *already* been convicted that I needed to spend more time with my siblings and was working on a solution. Having to re-order *everything* would've been too overwhelming. God is so good. 

My love for my Savior and my knowledge of His love me has grown so much since my birthday. Overall, I can say that I have most *definitely* matured in the past six months. I have six more months of being sixteen left. While I'm looking forward to being seventeen, I'm ready to squeeze out all I can in the next six months - really living. With God's help, I'll build wonderful testimonies of His faithfulness and love in every part of my life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

christos anviat!

Adeverat Anviat!!!!

Christ has risen! He has risen indeed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

two sisters - fourteen years

song in my head: "when will my life begin" from tangled
On July 6th, 2009 - during the summer before my fifteenth birthday - I was blessed by a *very* special little blessing. After six years of little boys in the house, we finally had another little girl! Fourteen years separate me and my little Zuzu in age, but we are definitely kindred spirits and I am *loving* watching her grow up! Because we're so far apart in age, I'll probably be out of the house before she's even in middle school, but we're still buddies and always will be :D

I *am* a little jealous of her actually, 'cause she's going to have "grown up" sisters to have fun with and (Lord willing) little nieces and nephews to take care of at a rather young age :)

My little Zu *loves* pink, playing dolls and pretend kitchen, can sing the Tangled soundtrack and *hates* bugs with adorable abhorrence. But, with three older brothers, she's also tough as nails, enjoys fighting with swords and light sabers and can stand her ground in a fight. She's certainly got spirit.

The way she calls out my name every day would melt your heart - but I can't tell you how she says it because she says my *real* name. Not "Jo". Oh, well. But still, those of y'all who have little siblings know the way it feels to hear your name called out by a baby from across the house. :)

I love you, Zuzu!

Even though today isn't her birthday, or even her half birthday, month birthday or quarter birthday, I just felt like posting up something about this adorable little fireball that has changed the dynamics of our house so much :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

good friday

"He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." ~ Isaiah 53

Monday, April 18, 2011

life defined - a packed saturday

Hey y'all!

I know I haven't been on here as often as I used to be - but that's what happens when priorities get re-arranged. It's been a hard silver lining to see, but God is using this phase of my life for good! We've done a lot in the past week - and rather than try to describe it to you, here's my "life defined" for Saturday, April 16, 2011:

too early is...waking up at 6:30am on a SATURDAY!

wet is...what we were all morning as we "walked for life" downtown :) But we didn't mind, since it was for the best cause anyone could walk for (the Sanctity of Life) and we did it with friends!

aching is...walking by the building that redefined your life, letting a few of your tears add to the water streaming down from the sky, praising God for your friend's life, singing the line "I trace the rainbow through the rain and feel the promise is not vain, that life shall endless be!" with your sister and feeling peace fill your heart. God is good.

cozy is...the feeling when you're snuggled up in blankets on the couch at your grandparents house with a whole mass of children around you watching an absolutely adorable film (read: Tangled). I think I enjoyed it more than the little folks did :D

startled is...finishing the movie and disenTangling yourself only to realize that's noon and you still have the whole day ahead of you - and you thought it was bedtime already :D

humor is...hopping out of the van at the bowling alley, looking at your reflection in the window (yes, vain me :P) and realizing that it's been a *long* time since you looked that wild in public :P And of course we saw someone we knew at the bowling alley....*sigh* Such is life.

humble is...being beaten by your ten-year-old sister in a bowling game for at *least* the third time - and she wasn't using rails! *sigh* One of these out, Miss Marie!

satisfactory is...buying all kinds of jewelry supplies (that will last me a while) at Jo-Ann's for under $10

yummy is...Chick-fil-A nuggets and the Ben and Jerry's ice cream cake that were prizes for raising money for the Walk

perfect is...watching the Absolutely Adorable Film for a second time before bed, a great way to end the evening. "Did I ever tell you I have a thing for brunettes?" *sentimental sniff*

Oh, and I can add one more tally under the "number of times I've been asked about something dating/courtship related this month" :P When it rains, it pours! Gotta love it, though :D

Thursday, April 14, 2011

someone's seventeen

Not everyone has a cousin who is just six months older than they are....

And if they do, the chances that that cousin lived only five minutes from them for 12 years, and even now lives pretty close to them, are pretty slim....

And the odds of that cousin being homeschooled all the way through school (like yourself) are also rather, well, odd...

And the fact that you've been "best friends" (not exactly, but close enough :P) your whole lives - and both your moms took gazootles of pictures to prove it - doesn't apply to everyone.....


But, despite the incredible odds, all this is true for me, and yes, I count myself blessed.

Happy 17th Birthday, Julia!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

easter parade (1948)

File:Easter Parade poster.jpg
Easter Parade (1948)
Starring: Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Ann Miller, Peter Lawford

As y'all know, I have a weakness for old romantic movies that others think are boring and pointless. Maybe they're right...but I still love 'em :)

Today's review is on Irving Berlin's musical Easter Parade. Unlike the other old movies I've seen recently, this was not about World War II :) (thank goodness!) It takes place in 1912 and does not mention any historical facts or anything like that. *sigh* A nice breather :) It covers a time span of one year in the life of a dancer named Don Hewes (Astaire), his former dancing partner Nadine (Miller), his *new* dancing partner Hannah Brown (Garland) and his friend Johnny or "the Professor" (Lawford).

This film is unique in that is the only film that Fred Astaire and Judy Garland made together. They were beautiful together! Here are some pictures to help me explain:

Hannah Brown (Judy Garland) sings "It Only Happens When I Dance With You"
Her version was *much* better than Don and Nadine's :)

"a couple o' swells"
Haha! Gotta love this number - it's the most famous song in the show

The Wizard of Oz was one of the first movies I ever saw as a child and since then I've always loved Judy Garland. She shone in this film - I loved her clothes, her spirit, her liveliness. Too bad her personal life was such a mess....but we don't have to dwell on that :D Although this film was originally in black and white, we saw it in Techincolor. I wish I'd seen it black and white (I LOVE B&W movies!!!) but it did make the costumes look quite stunning. I really loved all of Hannah's outfits - whether costumes or "normal" clothes. My wardrobe may be changing in the next few weeks... :P

*tsk tsk* I would've liked this film more if Don hadn't been in love Nadine at makes him look kinda lame, to be so "in love" with one girl and then switch to another

Poor Johnny - he took Hannah's gentle honest statement with true gentlemanlyness :) I loved his umbrella song - very sweet :)

LOL - I wonder, given the situation, would I have done the same thing? Y'all know me well enough - I probably would :P

 Fran├žois - the waiter at "the restaurant" - hilariously played by Jules Munshin (Take Me Out To The Ballgame) I'm going to try to make his salad sometime - anyone want to taste-test for me?

Things to watch out for:

  • Two kisses - one at the very beginning that I *do not* like because I don't like Nadine and it makes Don look bad; and one towards the end that is rather sweet and I pretend that it's only kiss in the whole movie :D (sorry, that's classic Jo for ya - I love changing movies to fit *my* idea of how things "should" be)
  • Nadine sings a really awful song in the Ziegfield Follies show about halfway through the movie and she's wearing a really skimpy outfit. Recommended to skip. (Titty and I did.) 
  • Oh, when Don first sees Hannah, she's singing with a group of chorus girls. Enough said. Not bad, just be aware.
  • Nadine (*again*) sings another song at the end of the movie that is just weird. Nothing wrong about it, it's just looooong....
And that's it! NOTHING like This Is The Army *rolls eyes*. We only skipped that one song, everything else was fine. Of course, you're welcome to skip anything with Nadine in it if you want :D

And now we'll end with a song, since songs are the best way to end everything :)

"Easter Parade" by Irving Berlin
Never saw you look quite so pretty before
Never saw you dress quite so handsome - what's more

I could hardly wait to keep our date
This lovely Easter morning
And my heart beat fast as I came through the door

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest fella in the Easter parade.
I'll be all in clover, and when they look us over
We'll be the proudest couple in the Easter parade.

On the avenue, Fifth Avenue,
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet, about your Easter bonnet
And of the guy I'm taking to the Easter Parade.

On the avenue, Fifth Avenue,
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.

Oh, I could write a sonnet
About your Easter bonnet
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter Parade.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

saturday morning daybook

If you want to join me, CLICK HERE and follow the instructions :)

Date... April 9, 2011
Starting time... 8:53am
Mood...just average
Outside my window...the garden that we need to work in today :)
I'm thinking...about....conversations I had last week. We'll leave it there :P
I'm currently reading...Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I'm listening clean-up noises (dishes clinking mainly) and Titty's iPod (it's playing a Glenn Miller version of "Anchors Aweigh" right now. Rather odd sounding...)
I'm wearing...denim skirt, red and white paisley shirt
I'm looking forward to...a birthday party tonight :)
I'm hoping...that something exciting will happen this week :P
Yesterday, I...baked a cake, had my nails done, and watched two movies. Why? GIRLS' NIGHT!!! The boys went out and slept in the apartment with Dad. We girls had full run of the house and boy did we have fun :) We watched the 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility. We'd already watched the first hour earlier this week, so we just had two episodes left. Unfortunately, the second DVD we were given (our friends taped it and let us borrow it) was blank. But rather than not finish it, I jumped on YT and found that the entire movie is there! Hoo-rah! So we brought the computer over and set it up in front of the TV cabinet and finish the movie :) There's always a solution, right? After that, we watched Easter Parade. (yes, the 1948 movie with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire) Mama, Leia and Marie went to bed after only about 20 minutes, but Titty and I stayed up till midnight and finished it :) Review coming - I thought it was really cute :D
I'm hungry for...nothing. But yesterday I really, really wanted a fried onion. Not sure why.
The song stuck inside my head is...the theme song from Andy Griffith
I love...Chopin!!!!! I've just tackled his Polonnaise in A flat major ("Heroique") and hope to have it done in a year :P
I loathe...when there's no soap in the shower - and you don't realize that until you're all wet. *groan*
This week, my goal buy the fabric for my Liesl dress!!!!
Did I meet last week's goal?...yes, I'm quite pleased with myself
Ending time...9:03am (took me a while today)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

in case you were wondering...

...where I got it (since I say it all the time).....and because I'm sixteen years old, in eleventh grade, taking a college course, the oldest of eight children...and because I grew up this week....and because I've been asked FOUR TIMES in the past TWO WEEKS whether I date or not or what courtship is....and because my teacher called me by one of my least favorite nicknames in class (only he didn't know it)...and because I'm a nut and I know's Charlie Brown with a special message:


See, your Jo is coming back. Yes, I'm a little different - a little older, my faith is stronger, my view of life is broader and my trust in Christ is deeper - but I'm still Jo. And always will be. 

Oh, while I'm on:

Dear PolkaDot is having another giveaway! Yeah! Here's the button:

Enjoy the lovely weather, folks! And remember, you only live once, so Carpe Diem!

Monday, April 4, 2011

reflections on the week

One week ago last night, our friend went to be with Jesus. The past seven days have ranked among the most difficult, challenging, emotional and amazing days of my life.

I've told Leia several times already that this event has and is making adults out of teenagers, or at least giving teenagers a maturity that ranks with adults. I know I'm never going to be the same again, and I know of many others who feel the same way.

Our friend left an amazing testimony and even through this tragedy, his family is continuing to live out that testimony. Their faith is very humbling and encouraging. In the days, weeks and months ahead as we begin to move on and look to see how this fits into God's big picture, I know that I want my testimony to be like his. I want to live so that everyone around me can see Christ in my life, and with God's help, I can. Our friend really and truly lived. He loved and cared for people, made even the youngest ones feel special. He was everyone's big brother. In fact, he was one of the guys who taught me how to handle a lightsaber when I was about six or seven. *chuckle* In return, I taught him how to finger-knit. On one finger. By the next week, he had figured out how to knit on five fingers all at the same time. *grin* That's just who he was. He was funny, friendly, and made others feel important.

His college friends said that he had a relationship with Jesus that was different from their own. He lived an open, bold, strong, unashamed Christian life that everyone could see. People knew he had something different because he lived the Gospel and shared it freely.

Our friend lived. I thought I was living before, but now I see that I wasn't. This week, I'm purging. I waste my time doing so many little, petty things and not focusing on *life*. My siblings should be more important than my email or my blog or even school or reading. What if God called one of them home next? I know that I would have regrets about not spending enough time with them, saying "no" when I *easily* could've said "yes".

In the past few months or so, I began to be overwhelmed with school, relationships and what I was supposed to "do" with my life. One by one, these issues were resolved as I learned to rely on God for what I needed and not myself. Things fell into perspective, I stopped worrying. God was preparing me for something bigger, harder, more overwhelming. This week, we were reminded at how fragile life is, and that we should make every minute worth it.

No, I'm not turning into a death-fearing pessimist - on the contrary! In Christ, I have no fear of death and I should be rejoicing all day long because of the hope that I have. And yes, my sense of humor is still here. *wink* But this week has been hard. It's also been a learning process. God is showing me what's really important, and I'm readjusting accordingly. I'll still be blogging, emailing, etc., but now I know that those things shouldn't be as important to me as they used to be. Like I said, this accident has done more for my spiritual and mental maturity than I even know right now. One of the pastors at the memorial service said that we'll be feeling the "ripple effects" of this for years to come.

*sigh* We will love our friend forever and miss him greatly, but we know his is in a better place with no more loneliness, worry or fear. And, the best part is that we will see him again! *amen!*

Saturday, April 2, 2011

saturday *evening* daybook

If you want to join me, CLICK HERE and follow the instructions :)

Date... April 2, 2011
Starting time... 7:22pm
Mood...tired, a little bored, sad
Outside my grandmother's lovely garden in SC
I'm thinking...about so many things that I can't list them all here, but here are few: supper, piano, friends, our trip, etc.
I'm currently reading...Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I'm listening to...Leia playing a song on my grandmother's *extremely* out of tune piano (which we are getting - yeah!!!) I told Leia that I felt like Beth, doing my best to coax lovely music out of an old, out of tune instrument :)
I'm wearing...jeans, my brown sweater with a teal cowl-neck sweater on top of that
I'm looking forward to...eating supper in a few minutes, the rest of our visit here in the Palmetto State as well as going home on Sunday night
I'm hoping...that we'll be able to visit some with the family of our friend before they go back home this week
Yesterday, I...stayed up till 11:30 hanging out at the house of one of my mom's highschool friends. While Mama and about five of her friends chatted and ate in one room, Leia, Titty, the daughter of Mama's friend and I played Apples to Apples for hours and watched like four episodes of Andy Griffith :P We also talked to her younger brother (read: Justin Bieber :P) and his friend for a few minutes before they disappered. (really they just went outside and sat under the living room window, knocking on it every few minutes trying to get our attention. Boys...*tsk tsk*)
I'm hungry for...felafel!!!
The song stuck inside my head is..."O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" (we sang it at the memorial service on Thursday)
I friends and my life - I will never take them for granted again
I loathe...that even though Jesus has conquered death and I know our friend is with Him in heaven, we still cry, ache and grieve when someone we love is taken away
This week, my goal make some decent progress on "Clair de Lune"
Did I meet last week's goal?...pretty much - still have a few things to wrap up. We had a little change of plans....
Ending time...7:41pm (I stopped and had supper *sheepish grin*)