Thursday, September 29, 2011

life is good.

Today’s one of those gorgeous autumn days that you wish would never end.
I’m a creative person, and the side of God that appeals to me most is His craftsmanship, His creation, His love of beauty. I am so blessed that He ordained for me to born in this most beautiful of seasons…our God is good.
I’m sitting on my bed right now. Our room color scheme is pink and pale green and white. The windows are open, the fans are going, a light wind is breezing through my window across the room to the big windows. My iPod is playing Michael Crawford’s rendition of “You’ll Be In My heart”. Life and love. Right now, both are good. *wink*
Today at class, we had fun. We listened to music and talked about Mexico. I got to hang out in the study room again for a while. I ate a few cookies. My cousin and I left two rather cryptic comments on a friend’s wall. (*giggle*) I’m going to a tailgate and football game on Saturday. I bought a UVA shirt at Belk. October is in two days. My baby brother is almost five. Middle Earth is real. Life is good.
Just so you know, I haven’t been this lighthearted for a good while (which is why I haven’t been posting…).
Just a few days ago, I found out why.
I was holding onto something. Something that was taking *too* much of my thinking time. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but it was something I probably shouldn’t have been thinking too much about right then. Yes, I was praying that God would take it away, but I didn’t really want Him too. I’m sure you know what that’s like.
But then, on Tuesday night around 11:30 or so, I was writing in my journal, and instead writing my “normal” entry, I started writing a prayer, walking through the relationships I have with the four most important people in my life right now. There were things I wanted to say in that prayer, but I can honestly tell you that I know I did *not* write it all by myself. Things came out under my pencil that I had not intended, and I knew the Spirit was with me.
By the last sentence, I was in tears. Instead writing more, I realized where I’d been guided. It was time to give up what I’d been holding onto. Onto the paper came,
“And Lord, I give you ----. Help me. You know what I need.”
And that was all. Five minutes and a bucket of tears later, I felt complete peace. After that, my heart’s been free. The sun came out, both in my heart and outside.
Since Tuesday, that particular thing has come three times. I haven’t heard it mentioned since early in the summer, and then as soon as I gave it up, it came back into my life. Sort of. But now I feel completely different, and I know, and praise God, that I’ve been given that supernatural strength to handle it. YHWH is so good.
So I’m happy. I’m at peace. I feel like I could take on the world. Actually, come to think of it, give me Legolas’s bow and arrow I probably could.
Speaking of Legolas, I’ve been working on a few character profiles over the last ten days, and I’ll hopefully be getting a few of them up here in the next week or so. No promises, we have a lot going on. I also have a lovely little post one of my favorite love stories – a post sparked by a discussion I had recently with dear Rachel. *wink* And….don’t forget the October blog party! Lotsa stuff goin’ on ‘round here…that’s for sure.
And, before I go, I have to share these two songs with you. Michael Crawford’s voice is melting my heart inch by inch, and since I love y’all too, I have to pass it on:


"You'll Be In My Heart" from Disney's Tarzan
sung by Michael Crawford
Why can’t they understand the way we feel?
They just don’t trust what they can’t explain
I know we’re different, but deep inside,
We’re not that different at all.

'Cause you'll be in my heart
You'll be in my heart
From this day on, now and forevermore
You'll be in my heart,
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart always
Beautiful. *teardrops*


"Medley from the Lion King" from Disney's The Lion King
sung by Michael Crawford
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done


There's far too much to take in here

More to find than can ever be found

Sun rolling high through the sapphire sky

Keeps great and small on the endless ride....

Epic-ness.

xoxoxo.

Me!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

who am i?

Who am I? 
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I? 
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.

Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.

Who am I? 
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again.
Who am I? 
That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours. 

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
Cause I am yours..

I am yours...



song "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns
photos by various members of our family

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

zachary moon

Zachary is very possibly my favorite literary hero ever. Yup. You should definitely read this post :)

To start, since I'll probably be using the word quite a bit in this series, let's define "hero":
hero |ˈhi(ə)rō|
the chief male character in a bookplay, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.
Now that that's settled, we'll move on.

Zachary is one of two main characters in Elizabeth Goudge's book Gentian Hill. Elizabeth Goudge is one of those authors you either love, or you don't. I happen to love her. So does Mama. Leia does not. *grin* Anyway, Zachary is a "Goudge creation" - just so you're aware.

The thing that I love about Zachary is that he's young. This isn't a story about adults, even about "young adults", it's about characters who are practically children. Zachary is fifteen when the book opens. The other main character, Stella, is only eleven or twelve. They're young, but they carry the story with a humanness that is very compelling.

To start, Zachary's name isn't actually Zachary. It's Mr. Midshipman Anthony Louis Mary O'Connell. At the start of the book, he's working on his uncle's ship in the navy, and being very roughly treated. After only eight weeks, he's ready to be done. When the ship lands in Torbay, he escapes the first chance he gets.

**I don't want to spoil the story for you, but I will have to tell you some so you understand the progression.**

So Anthony escapes, and starts a new life as "Zachary" in the little costal town. He starts exploring the countryside, trying to find work. Father Sprigg, Stella's foster-father, won't take him, thinking he's escaped from a chain gang or something along those lines.

That night, while Stella is feeding the cats, she happens upon Zachary, hungry and looking for a place to stay the night.

"My name is Stella Sprigg, " said Stella. "What is your name?" To her, as to all children, names were tremendously important. Your Christian name, joining you to God, your surname linking you to your father. If you had both names you had your place in the world, walking safely along with a hand held upon either side. If you had neither you were in a bad way, you just fell down and did not belong anywhere, and if you only had one you only half belonged.
"Zachary," said the boy.
"Only Zachary?"
"Only Zachary."
"Just a Christian name?"
"That's all."
Stella looked at him with concern. Only God had hold of him. He was lopsided. She had noticed it in his gait when she first saw him walking. Then she remembered that but for Father and Mother Sprigg she would have been lopsided too, for her nameless mother had died. This memory deepened her feeling of oneness with Zachary, and she put out a small hand and laid it on his knee.
"Do you know where you come from?" she asked wonderingly.
"From the moon," replied Zachary promptly. "Haven't you seen me up there?" .....
"Zachary Moon," she said with pleasure, and felt she had got him a bit better supported upon the other side.
(note: isn't the writing scrumptious?! Love it.)

Stella helps Zachary figure out what he's going to do next, and he's given a chance to work and starts his life over. He's "adopted" by Dr. Crane, a noble, strong man with  no family. It is the strength of character of Dr. Crane that helps Zachary get on his feet, the first true father-figure in the young boy's life.

But then, guilt sets in. Zachary is haunted by the fact that he deserted his post in the Royal Navy (this story takes place in Great Britain, by the way.) The doctor has grown to love him like a son, and hates to see him go. But he's been preparing Zachary, waiting for him to be strong enough of character to make this choice himself.

And so the story continues.

We follow Zachary through the war with "Bony" (that'd be France. Think Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson, etc. and you'll know the time period), watching how much he's changed from the rather grumpy, spoiled midshipman in Chapter One, to a dependable seaman and patriot. But his biggest trial is yet to come. On a leave of absence in London, his "friend" Mike gets into a fight, and to keep Mike from killing the other boy, Zachary enters and knocks Mike cold. Dead? Maybe. Zachary finds himself in jail, not knowing if Mike alive, unable to contact Dr. Crane, resigned to miserable life or miserable death regardless.

I won't tell you happens then, but I just wanted to give you a little taste of this fascinating book. There's a lot more to the story (think....Stella? *grin*) but I'll let you explore Gentian Hill yourself :)

Characters who suffer grab my attention. Characters who have been affected in some way by evil in the world and have to work to overcome it. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't. Zachary is young and human. He goes from a desperate, tired, afraid young boy with no role-models to a strong, moral, determined, noble young man with a life purpose and a father to help him through. His biggest enemy is fear, and he [Zachary] comes out victorious. That's strength.

There's a little quote that is used throughout the whole book, weaving all the characters together, carried in lockets and pockets and books, and I thought I'd end with it. It's a little strange, but any post about Gentian Hill should include it :) (the quote itself is by Shelley, I believe.... *go figure*)
"Love is the divinity who creates peace among men and calm upon the sea, the windless silence of storms, repose and sleep in sadness. Love sings to all things who live and are, soothing the troubled minds of gods and men."
Ah, Gentian Hill. Has anyone read it? I believe it's out of print...I could be wrong. Anyway, if you have, I'd *love* to hear your thoughts! And if you haven't, any questions?

Monday, September 19, 2011

a series!

So, I'm starting a blog series. Really and truly. This isn't a joke, some kind of hoax to get you to read this post *grin*

This series is going to run on no particular schedule for no particular set length of time. There are no set number of posts in this series, since it could very possibly be quite high.

This will be a series of posts highlighting my favorite characters from movies and literature, covering every genre, good guys and bad guys, gals and guys, fiction and non-fiction, and possibly even some stage characters. Who knows? This'll be fun, something I've been wanting to do for quite a while.

Keep your eye out - they'll be starting this week :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

{interview #6: samantha}

I can't believe it - our last interview of the summer! It's been wonderful getting to know each of you lovely ladies, and I hope my readers enjoyed it as well!


Our final interviewee is Samantha from the lovely Simple Delights.


Who's Samantha?
......................................................................................................................................

My name is Samantha. I've been homeschooled all the way through, and am now a high school senior! I live somewhat out in the country where I am surrounded by horses on one side, sheep on the other, and farm fields on three sides! My interests are many and varied. I love being a "stay-at-home" daughter and helping out around the house. Believe it or not, I actually like to clean and organize! Besides liking to keep an orderly house, I enjoy reading, watching movies, spending time with friends, playing the piano (I've been playing for 11 years), cooking and baking. My favorite things to bake are bread and muffins, but my specialty would have to be desserts, which I love to make. I also have my own online shop on Etsy.com called Emariecreations (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Emariecreations?ref=si_shop), where I sell handmade jewelry, charms, pushpins and more, all made from polymer clay. I am the shortest member of my family. My "little" brother is taller than me, and my mom, who was the shortest member of the family now has a rival. =) I don't really mind being short, except when it comes to finding clothes, which is really hard!
.......................................................................................................................................

The Interview:

If you have a free evening to do whatever you want,  what do you normally choose to do?
Most nights I will read, blog, or work on making jewelry for my online shop.
I also enjoy watching old TV shows like Andy Griffith, Sue Thomas: FB Eye (currently my favorite "newer" show!) and good movies, though I try to keep it to no more than once or twice a week. Our family also likes to read together, so we try to have at least one book going each week that we can read aloud at nighttime.


What is the most comfortable outfit that's currently part of your wardrobe and why?
Casual wise, it would be a pair of black knit pants I found at a consignment store for just a few dollars. I try to exercise for 30 minutes each morning, and these pants are just sooo comfortable for exercising! My favorite dressy outfit would be a black and white knit dress I also got a a consignment shop. It is so comfortable and fits me perfectly, which is a rare thing for me!
What literary or movie heroine(s) do you admire? Would you want to meet any of them in real life? Why or Why not? What character traits do they possess that you like/dislike?
One of my literary heroines would be Christy, from the book "Christy" by Catherine Marshall.
When she first heard about the poor people of Tennessee, she felt moved to go, even though she had  purely "romantic" thoughts about their way of life. When she got there she definitely had a rude awakening! But even though she faced so many hardships, she was determined to make a difference in the lives of the people, instead of running away from the poverty that she faced everyday. I admire her love for the people- even though they were so different than what she expected, she learned to love them and encourage them to pursue their hopes and dreams, even if those dreams seemed impossible.
A movie heroine that I admire is Eleanor Dashwood from "Sense and Sensibility". While I like Marianne's spunk and love for life, I definitely relate to Eleanor much more.  Eleanor was pretty much the pillar of her family once her father died,  and even though her circumstances were hard, she did her best to make do, even when those around her complained. She also was kind and loyal to her friend, even after her friend revealed that she was engaged to the man Eleanor loved. I admire that fact that even though Eleanor was hurting, she strived to put the past behind her and accept the future, even if it meant watching her friend marry that man that Eleanor had hoped to marry. And in the end everything turned out so beautifully for Eleanor, even though she was prepared to continue in the life that she had always known.
What color combinations do you like? Favorite color?
I love yellow and grey, turquoise and white and black and white.
I don't currently have a favorite color, and don't believe I ever have. I do have preferences, but I love so many colors that to say that one was my favorite wouldn't be true.
Which would you rather have on a hot day: a Popsicle, an ice cream cone, or a bowl of frozen fruit?
If I am on a "health kick" I would eat fruit. Otherwise I have a strong weakness for ice cream. =)
Which do you love most: The mountains,  the prairie, the ocean/beach, the forest, rolling hills farmland?
Can I love all of them?? I have only lived where there is flat farmland, so whenever I am somewhere where the land is rolling and hilly I am in love with it. I have never been to the ocean or beach, though I hope to visit someday. I'm sure I would love it.
What is your preferred style of footwear in the summer?
Sandals and flip flops, the tennis shoes- they are so hot in the summer that I only wear them if I absolutely have to. 
favorite quotes and verses:
Romans 8:38-39


Psalm 139


"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does" William James


"Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant"  Robert Louis Stevenson 
...........................................................................................................................................


Thank you so much, Samantha! It was great to meet you for the first time :) I love your Etsy shop - donuts make me happy :) 


xoxox


Jo

Friday, September 16, 2011

because birthdays are on my mind...


...and y'all will love this  - especially if you love contemporary music *and* classical stuff :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

::coming soon::

Guess what, y'all?

You'll never guess.

Not in a thousand years.

Something is coming up!

Something exciting.

It's so exciting, I'm already counting the days.

I've *been* counting the days. Since June.

Nope. You'll never guess.

I'm one of those people who doesn't ever tell anyone what they're excited about. I just keep it to myself.

That's why you'll never guess what is coming up in just 42 days.

Ready?

my birthday!

Like, wow. You didn't see that coming, did you?

In all seriousness, I am excited, but not obnoxiously excited and I just wanted to make you laugh by building up to this big....anti-climax. Anyway.

Last year, I did a tremendously large blog party with a lot of giveaways. It was fun, but it was also crazy. But then, turning 16 *is* crazy.

Turning 17....turning 17.....

Turning 17 is just awesome.

So, I decided to something *awesome* instead of something *crazy* to celebrate.

But, since it is a birthday, and birthdays are full of surprises, I will keep my awesome idea a secret until October 1st.

Bummer for you. *grin*

But, since you'll have to wait so long, I'll show you a picture of that little something we found in the garage this weekend.


t-shirt vlog from Jo March on Vimeo.


Thoughts?

Monday, September 12, 2011

forever changed.

Yesterday marks the tenth anniversary of an event that changed America forever, an event that made us stop - freeze really - and re-evaluate our lives, our choices, what we were thankful for, what we lived for, and what we'd be willing to die for.


Yesterday, we remembered.


We watched the events again, re-told the stories to the younger generation, so they'd understand.


We honored those who sacrificed.


We remembered what God did through the horrific events of that September morning.


We are proud of what our country has accomplished since then.


We are proud of our country.


And we will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

con que pagaremos

Fernando Ortega has long been a favorite choice of music in our home. His songs are so peaceful, so worshipful, and beautifully arranged for piano. Also, he sings quite a bit in Spanish. Now that I can understand a lot of those songs, they become more and more beautiful. There's something about worshipping in a different language that adds to the experience in a way that I can't describe.

Con que pagaremos amor tan inmenso, 
Que diste Tu vida por el pecador? 
En cambio recibes la ofrenda humilde, 
La ofrenda humilde, Senor Jesucristo, 
De mi corazon. 

Y cuando la noche extiende su mano 
Mis ojos en llanto en ti fijare 
Alzando mis ojos vere las estrellas 
Yo se que tras ellas, Cual Padre amoroso 
Tu velas por mi 

No puede pagarte con oro ni plata, 
El gran sacrificio que hicisto por mi 
No tengo que duarte por tanto amarme; 
Recibe este canto, mezclado con llanto, 
Y mi corazon.

(translation)
With what can we repay this immense love
That you gave your life for a sinner?
In exchange, you only receive this humble offering
This humble offering, Lord Jesus Christ, 
of my heart

And when the night extends its hand
With my weeping eyes, I will focus on you
Raising my eyes, I will see the stars
I know that behind them, such a loving Father, 
You watch over me 

I cannot repay you with gold or silver
The great sacrifice you did for me
I have nothing to give you, for loving me so much
Receive this song, mixed with this weeping 
And my heart

Friday, September 9, 2011

thank you *cough* thank you

Thank you, all you lovely ladies who had me laughing yesterday!

Following Nän's advice, at supper during babysitting last night I spread my piece of artisan bread with cream cheese and then topped it generously with hot pepper jelly. Yummy! And then there were the Horrible Histories, the Star Wars in 30 sec., LOTR in 60 sec., and numerous other things that had me giggling. Y'all are awesome!

I'm pleased to say that my nasty little cold is almost over - just a deep chest cough left. Ick. I feel like my....well....no need to elaborate. It's just not a nice cough.

Something else that is making me happy right now....

"Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables

Speaking of Les Miz, Leia and I found something in garage that some of y'all will find very amusing....but I'll save that for another time *haha*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

under the weather

Hello, dear, darling peoples.

Yours truly is suffering through a nasty cold. Stuffed up, deep coughs, earache, the whole works. I've been in bed most of the day, and am now feeling partially recovered. I may even try to sneak out to church tonight...if I don't look to ill. *coughing fit*

However, I'm left feeling slightly in the dumps, due to the fact that my schoolwork piled up while I was feeling the worst, and I have a whole hunk of Spanish homework due tomorrow and a test. And just the general ickiness that sickness brings.

So, here's what you need to do.

Well, actually, what I'd like you to do. Please?

Leave me a comment telling me something funny, asking me a ridiculous question, or leaving a link to a song or video or something else that you think I'd like, or you *know* I like. It doesn't have to be new. Just something for fun.

Pretty please?

Por favor?

S'il vous plaît?

Gracias :)

xoxoxo

Jo

p.s. this post is written mostly in good humor, due to the fact that I *am* on the uphill swing of this and feeling rather punchy. I could probably make myself laugh if I wanted too. But I'm too tired.....*yawn* Not really. Anyway. I would probably be better if I had this medicine:


....but I didn't, so I had hot pepper jelly instead. That actually worked. No more stuffy nose! But don't tell Mom. *grin*

Monday, September 5, 2011

girls and their music

Last night was rather leisurely, due to the fact that it was a birthday and day two of a three day weekend. After supper, Leia and I started playing duets on the piano downstairs. They were sort of variations of Heart and Soul and that little black-note song that everyone learns at some point (the one you play with your fist). Each time we played it through, the song would get more and more elaborate. Leia started hitting *incredibly* random notes up top (that still fit with the chord) and I sped up the bottom and made it octaves and added some extra eighths. Then Titty brought down our Broadway Hit duet books (Alfred) and we played all our Phantom favorites...plus Can You Feel the Love Tonight and My Heart Will Go On.

Then Leia went upstairs, and Titty hopped on. We played the duets again, and then decided to plug in the iPod. We have a speaker system with the basement computer that also plugs directly into the headphone jack on an iPod. We started playing all our favorite songs...and realizing what *very* random tastes our family has for music :) Because it was about 9:30pm, our punchy side started coming out. We ended up dramatically swirling around the basement, standing on the piano bench (splendid location for singing "A Whole New World" or Erik's part in "Phantom of the Opera").

Then, we started playing our collection of epic overtures:

Entr'acte from Phantom of the Opera
(gotta start with Phantom - no other way to :D)

Overture from The Sound of Music
(if this song doesn't make you want to dance, I don't know what will!)

Overture from My Fair Lady
(I love "On the Street Where You Live"....)

Overture from Mary Poppins
(watch me cry....this song starts soooo beautifully!!)

Our singing and dancing ended with the solemn announcement from the iPod:
"Low Battery."

Rats.

But it was almost 11pm.

So upstairs we went. 

Dad said, "Sounds like y'all were havin' a party down there." He was about right. Then he asked, "When was your last Susan Boyle experience?" 

It had been a while.

So we gathered around the laptop, and were inspired all over again...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk
(it's not embed-able, if that's a word)

And that was my wonderful evening. *sigh*

Sunday, September 4, 2011

nine years ago

Nine years ago, I was seven and a half. I had three little sisters, and my mama was expecting again. A month and a half before I turned eight, my first brother was born and my world was never quite the same again.

our family - september 4, 2002

my first brother

I was so proud of him - and I was finally big enough to really *help*

It's been an interesting life ever since :)

with Leia on his 2nd birthday

And today, we're celebrating his ninth birthday....unbelievable!
I love ya, you crazy dude!

one of his favorite songs :) hmmm.....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

saturday morning daybook // 9.3.11

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

Date... September 3, 2011
Starting time... 11:55am (squeakin' it!)
Mood...a little weird - not sure how to describe it
Outside my window...A beautiful summer day - just right for our last day at the pool
I'm thinking...about my life and my friends
I'm currently reading...How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
I'm listening to...Inigo shooting his new marshmallow gun, Zuzu singing and talking with Leia in the sunroom
I'm wearing...jeans, blue-flowered light-weight hoodie-thingy, and about ten silly bandz
I'm looking forward to...the pool this afternoon! Last hurrah with the pool crowd before the summer's over
I'm hoping...that there will be a lot of folks at the pool :)
Yesterday, I...did school, prepared for a supper guest, enjoyed our time with the supper guest, watched Situation Critical: Downed Pilot about Scott O'Grady (Basher Five-Two), talked to Dad for a while, went to bed at 11:40pm.
I'm hungry for...nothing to eat...but a coke in a glass bottle would be *splendid* (I'll love you forever if you get me one....*grin*)
The song stuck inside my head is..."Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
I love...silly bandz!!!!
I loathe...feeling full. Blech. Need to swim. Hard. Like, winter swimming. *hint* Right? *cough*
This week, my goal is...to finish my homework before it's due (great goal, right?)
Did I meet last week's goal?...do you know how long it's been since I did this??? Right.
Quote of the Week...
"success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." - sir winston churchill
Ending time...12:12pm