Wednesday, January 25, 2012


When you're young, you have plans. Don't pretend you don't - everyone does.

Plans about what you're going to do with your *whole life*. Plans about where you're going to continue your eduction. Plans about where you're going to live, what career you're going to go into, even who you're going to marry.
Pinned Image
[picture via pintrest]

But there are other plans that aren't so...big. Like which of the two Friday night parties you're going to go to, what day to go see that new movie, what day you're going to finish school for the year, how you're going to spend the summer, which Sunday School class to attend this quarter, whether you should work nursery or not, what jobs you want to apply for.

There are even rather silly-ish plans that girls in particular seem to enjoy: planning that dream house, where to go on your honeymoon, what your wedding will be like...even though you're not even remotely close to getting married. :)
Pinned Image
[picture via pintrest]

Life is full of plans and decisions. Some are small and can be as simple to set up as "eeny meeny miney mo"...others loom so large we just curl up in a ball and pretend they don't exist.

Sometimes *other* people have plans for us. And they are annoying, si? There are times, yes, when we are happy for their *suggestions*, but we don't want them to plan what we do next. Come on, it's OUR LIFE.

But it really isn't, you know. I mean, it's not our life. It's God's life. He MADE us. And He has a very specific plan for each person's special life.
Pinned Image
[picture via pintrest]

So instead of stressing about what's next, or forcing your way through hurdles on your own, ask Him a very simple question:
"What do You want me to do next?"

He will always answer. It may not be exactly what *we* were planning...but it is always the best way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


All of us kids love Jostie Flicks. We've seen them all (some *many* times) and of course were thrilled when the most recent season started up this month.

[^^watch the above JF for context^^] We went to Target yesterday. As Leia and I passed the baby aisle, I poked her and said, "Wonder if there's a 'Try Me' button anywheres?" There wasn't. :/ And I kinda forgot about it.
[not my picture]

...Until twenty minutes later as we let the boys visit the Lego aisle on the way out. Across the way from them were the school supplies, and at the end of one of those rows was one of those music sample speakers. Out of curiosity, I pushed Zuzu over to take a look. That's when I saw it:
And I thought, "WOW! It's 'Rhinestone Cowboy'!!! I haven't heard that song in a while. Awesome." And without thinking, I hit the picture of the cover.

If you want to hear what the ENTIRE store heard blaring across the speakers the very next second, skip the song to 1:09, and turn up the volume. All the way up.

As soon as I realized what had happened, I just kept nonchalantly walking down the aisle, and when my surprised and highly amused Mama looked out from the Lego aisle, all she saw was some random old man walking by, and she had no idea it was her own daughter who'd triggered it....

All the way in the bedding section, Leia heard the song and *immediately* knew who had triggered it. *sigh* Is nothing a surprise to them anymore?

The boys thought it was awesome, and came dashing over.

*deep sigh* But really, I was kinda proud of myself. :) It takes nerve and courage to tell the whole store something! And that song sounds great on a loudspeaker. Just glad I didn't know all that *before* I hit the button.

Well, maybe I learned a lesson.

But probably not. :) I'd do again in heartbeat.


crazy old me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

thought processes

Sorry for the lack of paragraphical (is that word?) posts lately, and the overabundance of random sentence posts. Just comes from having a lot going on everyday, plus school, plus exciting things going on, etc. This weekend was weird 'cause Dad was gone from Friday to Sunday so we had to do church and all that without him.

It snowed some more on Saturday night! It hasn't looked this white for over a year.

We had ice on the trees until this morning, but now the world is wet and green and brown again. Oh, snow! Please stay longer next time! No matter what the local DJs say, *we* like having you around!

Oh, yes. Umm....Marie took this picture. ^^^ That's how I spent a great deal of the weekend :) Although normally I was drinking a mocha or reading a book or watching the two hundred and fifty million Stratego games that were being played on the hearth :) And of course, piano practice. (see the piano leg  near my head?) I have been having nightmares about the Minute waltz. It's an incredible piece, but I've literally had two weeks to learn it all. It needs to be done by Thursday *nervous chuckle* haha, not happening.

Over the weekend, I spent a few hours carefully setting up a new blog page. You can see it up at the top of the blog beside the other pages, or just click here. What do you think? Helpful?

Today I heard this wonderful song by the Flatts. It's been a while since I'd heard it and now of course I'm in a Flatts-ish mood. :) 

"My Wish" by Rascal Flatts

School's been alright. I've felt productive every day, so that's good. I have about eight subjects I have to finish before May - in order to do that, they all need to be worked on *everyday*. Blah. But I'm pluggin away, and I like going to bed knowing that I'm on track.

*running feet* At this very moment these three hooligans are racing around the house, passing the computer about once a minute. *shrieks from living room* Craziness. Typing and carrying on a conversation with a four-year-old about how loud one to say "boo!" in order to get someone to hear you. We found it needs to be pretty loud. Who knew, right? I like having little girls around :)

Alright. Off to make myself something warm to drink and head up to finish that school.

Happy Monday!


p.s. Brownie points to all of you who guessed correctly on friday's post. the fella is Elijah Wood [Frodo from LOTR], the movie is Oliver Twist, the character is Jack Dawkins [The Artful Dodger]

Saturday, January 21, 2012

snow peace

You know that peace that comes with knowing that you're doin' what God wants you to do?
Or the peace that comes from curling up in front of the fire with a peppermint mocha on a snowy day and watching Daniel Boone and doing puzzles with 4-year-old and 2-year-old girls?
Or the peace that comes from contentment because you've chosen to be happy with where God has put you?
Or the peace that comes from enjoying life and love?
snow peace.

Friday, January 20, 2012

guess who?

Because it'll be easy for some of you and a total blank for others, here's a challenge:

Who's the guy on the far right?

What's his *real* name?

And who is he playing?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

inspiration // ragtime

I'm always looking for musicians to inspire me to higher levels of music. I found another one yesterday, and subsequently am over the moon and on the piano more often than not. :)

Current project: Weeping Willow Rag by Scott Joplin

After *several* very unsatisfactory videos watched, I found this ragtime musician who played it the way I hear it my head - definitely a win.

Meet: Wesley Reznicek from Missouri.

He reminds me uncannily of another musican friend of mine (playing style and dressing-up wise). Strange, because that friend has never played ragtime. Hm.

And of course, I wanted to see if he had any more videos. Piano-wise, there's nothing more that I love than ragtime played I enjoyed the thirty minutes I spent watching Wes play rag after rag....

Definitely inspired. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012


We spent the morning cleaning a deer. Not as yucky as it looks, actually. I skinned one whole side pretty much on my own (with instruction by Mr. Haden) and all my fingers got were a little sticky and lightly stickled with deer hair. We now have a whole bunch of venison in the freezer. *yum*
yours truly, Leia, Luke, Titiana

I just won a battle with the printer for our Christmas letters. Let me tell you - I am heartily sick those letters. They've been lying around our house for over a month, waiting for this and that and this and that and this and that. It'll be Groundhog Day before they're out! Golly. Anyway. The final twenty letters had to be printed today - and it took me about 45 minutes. Who'd of thunk?

On a random note: this morning, my friend in Ireland offered to help me with my Irish/Dublineese. After emailing me a few video links, he informed that there actually are no rules for the accent and it's one of the hardest in the world to learn. So why am I trying? Just for fun, I guess. Thanks, Benj.

Been making myself familiar with the Oliver! soundtrack. It's an old Broadway show (from the 60s with a revival in the 80s) and very popular with high school productions. Actually, another one of my friends is going to be the Artful Dodger in his high school production next month and I'm going to see it...but uncharacteristically of me, I actually don't know the songs. So I'm learning them. Because I'm cool like that.

Alrighty....time to fold the aforementioned doggone Christmas letters and hope nothing else happens to them before they get in the mail. *cheese n bread*

Thanks for all your helpful comments about The Sound of Music. It goes before the "board of directors" (Mama, Dad, and Leia) this week....we'll see what they say :) *wink* I'm inclined to sign up, since I don't really have to work on it until March. I have a good feeling about this. (that's a quote :D)



p.s. hope the deer picture didn't gross you out. there are more where they came from - and you'll be seeing them soon *evil laugh*

Friday, January 13, 2012

"um" is....

...when you realize this is your second post of the day. *gulp*

...when you google a celebrity to see if they're going to be starring in a movie you're looking forward to, and the drop down list of "helpful" suggestions reveals that that same celebrity is subject to rumors about dating the younger brother of one of your best friends. I'm serious. Small world, eh? Not that I care.... *coughing*

...when this little goof-ball is gracing your desktop:

...working on a worldview paper and the kitten comes to join you. And then Kitten decides that moving, typing fingers are really awesome things to try and bite. Ouch. Kitten decides maybe he should find somewhere else to play.

...spending the rest of your day smelling like Kitten.

...making the rather decisive decision to graduate highschool, and then take a break year.

...standing in awe of the doors God opens when you just say, "Here's my life."

...looking at the next year of your life and you honestly have no idea what's going to happen - you just know it's going to be great.

...when you cry quietly to yourself as you send an email, hoping to soften in some way the grief of your coach on hearing that her best friend (also a coach) is finally at rest after battling cancer.

...the feeling of surprise at learning that the great song you heard the other day is from High School Musical *craziness*

...dreaming about cellphones.

...realizing you have about a month to finish Chopin's C# minor waltz and Minute waltz, as well as re-learn Bach's Invention No. 13 and probably a Joplin rag.

Do you know something? "um" is a very expressive word.

cold. as in freezing. so help me.

A running joke through our area right now is, "Oh, you mean it's not supposed to be 60 degrees in January?" It's really felt like April for the past few weeks - definitely southern weather for ya!

But today...I am cold. My fingers are cold and get windchill when I'm practicing piano or typing, my nose is cold, my feet are cold - even buried inside my new Christmas tree fuzzy socks. *shivers* I don't know what temperature it is outside, but it's definitely not sixty.

It's definitely a peppermint mocha day. Maybe a *two* peppermint mocha day. That would help my fingers for sure!

Moving on.'s a question that I need help with: I have a pretty steady flow of school work that I have to do from now until May-ish. I will be busy, but not overwhelmed. Spanish starts up on Tuesday, I have economics, worldview, government, math, science, literature, and finance all to work on. I also have piano to focus *very* hard on this month and February - after that, not so much. In other words, I'm busy - but really only until the end of February. Then it's pretty average.

That's the background. Savvy? Now for the build-up:

I've loved theater since I was six. I did two plays with two different groups here in town while I was in elementary school, one church play when I was eleven, and then directed two homeschool productions and one church production since. I've taken private voice lessons, sung in choir, taken ballet, etc. But all years ago.

It's probably a good thing I haven't gotten back into theater - it's not the most....godly of all industries. But it is great fun, and I've secretly missed it all these years. (that explains the acting out all the musicals upstairs when no one's around)

But now, I have this opportunity that's come up. I have until early February to sign up for a local production of The Sound of Music with a group I've worked with before. They're really neat people and put on *very* good shows. Anyone can be in them, you only audition for main parts. I think it would terrificly, fantasticly fun. it a good idea? I mean, I'm trying to wrap up school, I have a lot other things going on. But rehearsals for the musical don't start until it wouldn't conflict with piano. Rehearsals are either Sunday or Thursday nights - no problem, we're already in town both nights. But would it be too much????

I really don't know.

And, in case you were wondering, I haven't really talked about it much with Dad or Mama. I just don't know if they'd think I was crazy or not. It's just been so long since I've done anything like this.....

ANYway. That's me problem. (talkin' like a pirate)

You know what? I'm happy that the only "problem" I have right now is trying to decide whether to do a musical or not. *hehe* Oh, the silly little things that take up our brain space!!! Sometimes I wonder how old I really am.

*happy sigh* Life is Good.

(but still cold :D)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

one of those "dear" posts

Dear Sewing Project,
Boy, that was messy. Let's not do that again, okay?
I understand now that you can't make mistakes with taffeta.
Thanks for the lesson,
a girl and her seam ripper

Dear Jill,
I wish I could've known you better.
Know that you will be missed, and our prayers are with your family.
Rest in peace,
a grateful swimmer

Dear Transcript,
Who needs Science anyway?
Not me.
a belligerent student

Dear Phantom,
I'll come watch - believe me,
Wouldn't miss the Artful Dodger for the world!
Don't forget school, though.
the annoying one.

Dear Kindred Spirit,
Guess what? You'll be here to celebrate graduation!
We're waiting for the party until the fall, sort of an 18th bday thing too.
Miss you,

Dear Jacob,
You can have my pizza next time too.
In fact, let's plan on it.
not that hungry

Dear Barney,
Wanna know somethin'?
You're not just for little kids.
a member of your happy fam-uh-lee

Dear Waltz in C# minor,
We're friends now, right?
Thought so.
Next week, then.
madame no-trills

Dear Piano,
Sorry for the neglect. 
It won't happen again.
*crosses fingers*
a well-meaning musician

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

west side story

More broadway! Are you ready?
About....let's see...about five years ago, Jamie Bernstein - daughter of composer Leonard Bernstein - came to here for a fundraiser for one of our local highschools. Yes, it was early '07 I yeah, five years ago. At the end of the Peter and the Wolf concert-thinga-ma-jigger that she narrated, the band played "America" as sort of a tribute to her father. Not the from-sea-to-shining-sea one....the wall-to-wall-floors-in-America one. :) I LOVED it. I remember sitting up in the top of the Preforming Arts Center, tapping my toes and pulling on Mama asking what the song was.

That night, Dad found the WSS dvd we had, and they showed us the community center dance scene (boy meets girl) and "America."
Ever since that day, I've had a desire to see West Side Story - all the way through. 

This weekend, I finally got my wish! Mama, Dad, Leia and I sat down for two and a half hours stuffing Christmas cards into envelopes (no, they're still not mailed - oops!) and watching this very tragic musical.

My parents (Mom especially) don't *normally* sing along to anything. Just don't. But for some reason, it was different with WSS. Dad sang nearly every song along with the characters (quietly of course, to avoid the evil eye *wink*) and Mama was humming the songs all during the day leading up to that night. Very interesting.

So, onto the musical itself.

It's Romeo and Juliet - and you'd be surprised at how faithful it sticks to the story. I actually *knew* what was going to happen next. Sort of. Honestly, I thought the characters were more interesting in West Side Story.

Bernardo. You can't say it "Berr-nar-do." Try this: "Bearr-narrd-o" and roll the "r". Splendid! <3
Really the best big brother I've seen on screen in a long time. He's protective of his lovely little sister Maria (roll that "r" - "marr-eyah"). She doesn't always appreciate it, though.

He's the leader of the Sharks - the gang of Puerto Ricans trying to make their way in America. They're having a rough time of it though, because of the gang of New Yorkers who feel like the Sharks are trespassing their street. 
One rather interesting thing is the amount of spontaneous dancing by the gang members. They even fight with ballet. It took a little getting used to. *wry grin*

This is part of the American gang. See the guy flying high in the middle with the yellow jacket? It's Riff, the Jets leader. 

The problem comes with Maria meets Tony, a former Jet, at a dance. Tony's not a member of the Jets anymore because he really just grew out of the whole gang thing and - to quote his friend - got a stinkin' job. :) But he showed up at the dance to back up his buddy-like-brother, Riff.
Tony's a delivery boy - and that's a coke he's holding. *chuckle*

Which is too bad, really.

From then on, it's Romeo and Juliet through and through.
"Tonight, tonight, it all began tonight/I saw you and the world went away...."

Beeyoutiful song!

The whole bridal shop sequence ("I Feel Pretty" and "One Hand, One Heart") is probably my favorite stretch in the whole thing. Maria is so bouncy and lively and happy. And she "plays" like I do :) Which is actually realistic, since we're about the same age. *yikes!*

"I feel pretty, oh so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and gay!"

And then Tony comes, and it's all sweet from there :) I *love* their play-acting. *This* is the part where I got a little teary-eyed and had chills up my spine. I love how they made Anita and Riff part of their wedding party. "Look! Mama's crying already!"

"Make of our lives, one life/Day after day, one life..."
But their story doesn't end with that lovely song of hope for the future.

There's a war on, and Riff wants help.

Speaking of Riff, this is one of my best victories. I LOVE spotting actors in different movies when most people can't tell that it's the same person. Hard to explain, but here's the idea. Take a good look at the picture below on the *left*. That's Riff, the Jets leader. See the picture to the right? That's Gideon Pontipee, youngest brother of seven in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Same actor: Russ Tamblyn. *bingo!*
Well, it's showdown time. Jets and Sharks agree to a Rumble. Whoever wins is the best, and the war for the street stops. Before each gang goes to the meeting place to have the council, they sing songs about why they are the way they are - sort of. Two of the funniest songs in the whole musical, I assure you!

The immigrant Sharks and their girls - lead by Bernardo's girlfriend Anita - sing "America" - highlighting the pros and cons of living in a city where they have more opportunity, but are discriminated against.

And meanwhile, the "juvenile delinquent" Jets sing "Gee, Officer Krupke" - a romp making fun of the way officials try to rationalize their behavior :) They also frankly explain why they're on the street. "I'm not anti-social, I'm only anti-work..."

Level-headed, yet in-love Tony jumps into the council in time to keep the war from being fought with guns or knives. "Fair fight!"

But both groups come armed....just in case.

Well, the "in case" part accidentally happens.

If you know your Romeo and Juliet, you know that two guys die.

Then, this is the part I have a leetle problem with. When Maria learns Tony is the one who killed her brother, she's upset, naturally...but not for very long. She doesn't even look *sad* that 'Nardo is dead. Anita is more emotional. Maria just says that she loves Tony this, and loves Tony that, and when he climbs into her room from the fire escape (!!!) she yells at him for ten whoppin' seconds and then just cries. And ummm...he stays in her room all night *polite cough*

And it goes on....Chino, Maria's jealous suitor, is enraged because of Bernardo's death and grabs a gun to roam the streets in search of Tony. At the same time, the Jets try to calm their emotion at the death of Riff and seek vengeance on the Sharks. Anita tries to deliver a message from Maria to Tony and ends up getting hassled by the Jets and, out of spite, tells them to tell Tony that Chino shot Maria. Which is false.

And we're all set up for the heartbreaking finale.

Contrary to my normal musical-watching attitude, I didn't cry at the end. I just felt sad and sorry that three strong young men had to die so young - without any of their dreams really coming true. And the reason I felt so sad about it was that there really was, and is, gang war-fare in large cities. Young people do get killed...and that's really sad.

But anyway.

West Side Story was just what I'd hoped it would be - better in some cases. There were parts I didn't like (the rumble and Antia being roughed in particular), but overall, I enjoyed it. The songs are fantastic. Some of the lyrics aren't as epic as Les Mis or Phantom, but they are right up my alley. Literally. *wink* Lots of Spanish :)
So, if you're ready, give it a shot! (but not literally! *wink*)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

dreams of the future

y'all are probably tired of me saying, "2012 is going to be awesome" or "it's going to be the best year of my life" or other things along those lines. and i can make you even more annoyed if i tell that you that i don't know why the previous statements are true, and even if i had an idea, i wouldn't tell.

2011 was a growing year. a big growing year. many of y'all will remember when our friend tommy went to be with Jesus last march. that was very hard. very hard. it rearranged my priorites and how i viewed my life. it's actually a little scary how much i changed in just three short days.

we also did swim team for the first time in five years. it was exciting, and eye-opening, and fantastic. everyone thought i was older than sixteen, i got to coach and swim, and a made a whole new slew of friends.

i watched the one year anniversary of getting my driver's permit slip by in may...and then the year-and-a-half anniversary in november...and the two year anniversary is coming up....and still no license. i've become a better driver for sure, but this whole license thing is starting to get on my nerves. esepcially when friends younger than me already have theirs....*sigh*....such is life.

this year has also been an emotional rollercoaster, for undisclosed reasons. lets just say that day dreams that were cute when you were twelve and thirteen take on a whole new face when they are still in the back of your semi-consciousness at sixteen and seventeen. courage to win. even when *melodramatic singing* the phantom of the opera is here inside my mind *coughing* (sorry....remember?  i listened to the whole soundtrack yesterday :P) but i'm seeing all of this as a reminder that i'm still young, God is still shaping me (and my friends), and i need to let Him plan my future - not me.

oh, 2011. you gave me les miserables. for that, i will be forever grateful. i also listened to that soundtrack yesterday, and was surprised to have tears spring to my eyes and even spill over when the first chords of the overture sounded. the memory of the experience stayed with me during the entire time i listened to it, and i felt the same joy and sadness i felt at the actual show when the finale ended and i realized i was alone again in a theater box and cosette and marius and valjean had left me. i cried a little then because i was afraid i would forget the show too quickly...time has shown that false - thank goodness!

oh, 2011. you were good to me. actually, let's correct that: God was good to me in 2011.

looking ahead now to 2012....

i have a lot things i want to do, and i also have a few goals. i don't really do new year's "resolutions" per se, but goals and things-i-want-to-do are fun:

get my driver's license

graduate high school

learn to swing dance

make at least two more dresses for my "real-life" wearing wardrobe

go on a missions trip (or two...)

read the Bible in 90 days

get my quota of push-ups-i-can-do-at-once up to at least thirty (right it's at ten...blahhhh)

i've been thinking a lot about the quality of life i'm living. about how blessed i am. how much i have. and how much most people don't. y'all, my heart's been prodded this past six months. i'm tired of just being a Christian. i'm ready to go out and do. romania, nicaragua, uganda, ethiopia, china, and here in the united states.....the harvest is sooo great.

i'm really excited :)



Monday, January 2, 2012

lazy monday

today, i am...

...happy that we finished all the cleaning, decoration-taking-down and straightening this morning

...resting from a weekend of awesome fun and parties

...listening to my favorite shows on my iPod (all of My Fair Lady and Les Mis so far, working on Phantom now) while I am...

...working on my new sewing project! Butterick 5605 (view B), with maroon taffeta. It's not the easiest pattern I've done, but I have high hopes :)
...excited that a new year has begun! what will 2012 hold, i wonder?

...looking forward to being deck marshal at a high school swim meet on wednesday - should be interesting :P

...making a 2012 calendar

...wishing our little orange kitten would grow up very quickly and learn right from wrong (as well as how to use a litter box *every* time - not just *most* of the time)

...enjoying my last week of Christmas break

...hoping that Nana and I can start work on my new blog design soon

...quoting Gnomeo and Juliet, a new movie we watched last week: "oh, my giddy aunt, do you just hear all that what are you doing here?!"

hope you all had a great weekend, and a great break!

happy new year!