Happy New Year!

I relished the last 45 minutes of 2009 with the new Avatar soundtrack (James Horner)...to say it is brilliant would be an understatement. I only wish that the last 45 minutes weren't also spent with a wheat heat on my head because of a splitting headache. Ick...but if we expected life to be all fairies and fireflies, we'd be severely disappointed. As it is, escaping in the serene soundscapes of Avatar, makes me able to feel at peace, and momentarily forget about the throbbing in my head.

I think the highlight of 2009 for me was the realization that creative expression is really a way of life--not just a zone you can slip into, or a moment you have while viewing/creating works of art. It's a channel of vision that once entered can't be escaped.

Now, I'll end with this solemn and serious video of enlightening awesomeness. I hope you are moved to tears.

Harry says, "Ok...you can laugh now." :D

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.


This & That...

Christmas break is going splendidly. I've had lots of time to read and do fun stuff with the family, and all of the Christmas celebrations have been utterly fantastic. :)

I got my orchestra music for this semester in the mail last week, so I'm keeping busy with that. I'm not totally psyched about the chosen piece, so if you could be in prayer for me about that, it would be SO appreciated. I like to enjoy playing what I'm playing, and I think I can warm up to it eventually, but it's just not my cup of tea really. Besides that, I'm getting nervous about chair auditions. (...already, and they're still about a month away--Oh, dear...) I want to get into the next level of orchestra (Youth Symphony) this next year with everything in me--If I don't get in, I think I'll melt. lol. :P I guess all I can do to get there is play like crazy, build the passion, and pray without ceasing. Isn't it cool how passion has a synergy like that? If I can just channel the passion I feel in my heart for Christ, then my violin has so much more personal meaning--and a lot fewer nerves attached to it.

Sorry for the random post--just wanted to let you all know what's been going on. :)

I'll try to visit you all here pretty soon! I've been really bad about being "on the ball" with my computer stuff since break started. But I should get better about that soon. :)


Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones! This is a duet that Jared wrote for he and I to play together at our Christmas program last week. I'm always in awe of his talent to create such emotion in his music--it's even more beautiful knowing the One who inspired it. I'm so blessed to have a brother who can provide this beautiful music for me to play!

Love you all!


I Can't Decide Which is Funnier. . .

The fact that Mom and I went to the zoo--trying to get some exercise--with venti Starbucks, or that fact that we were trying to get exercise with the camera. Counterproductivity abounds.

We may not be the best at working out, but we could make Starbucks ads, right?

Trying to get creative shots is a lot easier said than done...especially when it's just Momma and I....alone...with no one to stifle our uncontrollable laughter and calm us down. We tried--but can't you just see the sarcastic seriousness in mom's eyes?

It didn't take long for us to succumb to the alluring scent of "spaz".

I'm learning that Mom likes to climb things.

Like trashcans...

...and random wooden poles...

I think Bernard had had quite enough of our noise--he looks annoyed.

Chimpanzee looks good on her, don't you think?

Now I realize....being fat is the LEAST of my worries. I'm going InSaNe!

My mom's recalling of the day (and more crazy, spastic, and slightly deranged photos) can be found on her blog. Enter if you dare. ha!


I Can See His Name in Lights...

We borrowed "Veggie Tales: Larry Boy and the Bad Apple" from the library the other day, and Harry absolutely LOVES the Larry Boy theme song at the end! Too bad his shirt was a disaster from the chocolate chip cookies he ate, but somehow he always ends up looking adorable anyways. ^^

Power Stance

Here come the skillz!

Oh yeah...I'm awesome

Please note that DURING this photoshoot, Harrison kept pausing the video and telling me where to go to take his picture, then he would purposefully pose for the camera. Afterwards, he would run to me and demand "I see! I see!", taking the time to chuckle at all of his studly poses before returning to his dancing--I think he knows how cute he is. lol.

P.S. I didn't win the Divine Caroline Blog Award, but thanks so much for all of your votes! Thanks to you I managed to stay within the first three pages of entries through the entire contest! Rock on, my friends! ^_^


Winter Zoo Tales

The fam went to the zoo today--it was an odd time of year to go weather-wise, but we just lingered extra long in the heated indoor exhibits. Momma and I have noticed that zoo trips are about 32 BILLION times as fun since we've had a good camera! So, without further ado...here is my photographic documentation of the day.

This is Harold. Harold is my adoring frog prince. Every time I looked into the tank at him, he stopped swimming around and sat just like this in front of the glass, staring at me. And to think...the other day I was saying that frogs were gross! No siree...this frog is undeniably dashing.

Mohawk Merlin--check out the feather-do! And those fantastic eyes.

Is this not the weirdest looking turtle ever?!

The Chinese alligator, to my utter delight, took a swim right next to the glass; as if posing for the camera. Ah beauty.

Speaking of beauty...my mother looked dreadfully adorable in her new coat and hat.

And I was going to close with Tweety's (um...I meant Porky Pig's. Lol) "*whateverwhateverwhatever* THAT'S ALL FOLKS!", but as you all know (now), I can't even start to say that. So, I'll close with a humble...

"Good evening."


Freedom in Self Control

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Galatians 5:22-23
Sometimes I feel like spontaneity is my greatest ally. Somehow just doing something is refreshing--rather than planning it out, poking around, procrastinating, re-planning it, and then changing my mind altogether about it in the end. Isn't that just an unneeded hassle in life?

I can honestly say, at this very moment I feel more at peace than I have in months. I don't have anything nagging at the strings in the back of my mind, I don't have anything weighing on my conscience, and I'm not stressed out. And you know what's happened because of it? I'm more efficient, I'm more fun, I think clearer, I'm more creative, I'm more motivated, I feel more in tune with my family, and I don't always feel distracted. What an amazing feeling that is!

I went out with my momma this evening...we went to see "Julie & Julia". I realized why I was watching it just how lucky I am to have a mom who has encouraged me to always simplify rather than over-complicate. I mean, how many moms would be able to spur of the moment jump in the car and go see a movie? And if we weren't doing that, we probably would have been sitting at the dining room table laughing our way through a game of Boggle. It's people like my mom that keep this world alive. New York City would just be another busy, grumbling metropolis; Kansas would be another brown, boring spread of flatlands; and the list goes on, if it wasn't for people like her who can keep the beauty of ordinary things alive.

And you know what...a richer life means more of this!

Life. is. Sweet.

So then, why do I try to over-do everything? One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control...and on my part, I think that's been fairly ignored. I've realized that I often make excuses for myself because "it's just my personality", but that's not a legitimate excuse. The only excuse for lack of self-control is not giving Christ all control. I go through these weird times where I think I can conquer the world; not surprisingly, that's always when I end up feeling the smallest. Because everything that I am...everything that I yearn to be...and everything that I need to be to achieve my goals is found in Christ.


Don't just hum it...Live it...



Random outbursts of awesome dance moves...

Isn't it amazing how music can prompt such a variety of responses? I was listening to Alexandre Desplat's brilliant score for New Moon the other day, and I was surprised to find myself--in the midst of doing my school--aching on the inside from the pure power of the music that reached my ears and moved straight to my heart. I've had experiences like this before...it just never ceases to amaze me how something as simple as a combination of instruments and ingenuity could produce such a moving product.

I've written several posts and poems about the power of music before...our affinity with it...our relation to it...and so on. What has been striking me as particularly interesting lately is how each melody is truly a reflection of a character--whether it be the person who created it, the story it is portraying, or a combination of the two, there's always a very definite sense of humanity in it.

I don't think this is just true for the works that elicit deep and passionate emotion--I think this is true for every aspect of music. The lighthearted, as well as the complex. Almost like the contrast between eye colors; one person might have crystal blue eyes while another has black--neither is more profound, but the wide spectrum of colors all connect to the soul in relatively the same way. It's beautiful.

“A melody is not merely something you can hum”
--Aaron Copland


Decking the Halls & Fun Christmas Traditions

Well what do you know...I got my sleeping quarters and my blogging quarters decorated on the same day! ^_^ I decided that this year I wouldn't do the Charlie Brown display--you know what that looks like...lights hanging from the ceiling on long strips of tape, beads strewn here and there, etc. Nope...I've done that a bunch of times, and this year I decided I would try to decorate a tree for the $15 that I had. Thank goodness for Dollar Tree!

We have an old 5 foot tree that my family used when I was a baby. It's got a lot of quirks (for instance, it stands slightly tilted), but I rigged it to stand fairly sure of itself. I bought several packs of red, green, and gold ornaments at the Dollar Tree, and then went to Wal Mart for a pack of 400 lights (because who wants those cheapo lights that don't last more than a week?). In the end, I spent $16 on everything, and I think it turned out so well! I love it.

I decided to put my shoes underneath it...makes it "me".

Now, my mom is doing a link up on her blog of Christmas traditions. Of course, she mentioned a bunch of the ones that we practice as a family, but I'll just mention a few more here.

We stay at home

- I think we can all agree that Christmas is absolutely best when spent in a familiar and comfortable place...so, when we can, we don't leave home on Christmas day.

Read the Christmas story

- Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and it's so beautiful to be able to share that with my younger siblings as they're getting older!

Looking at Christmas Lights

- Every year, my family picks one day to hop into the van together--maybe with a tub of caramel corn or some other holiday treat--We listen to Christmas music, and drive around looking at various and beautiful Christmas displays.

Reminisce about past gifts

- Jared and I do this more than anybody. We'll dig through his media shelf and pull out random things that Mom's gotten for us in the past. It's traditions like this that make things like Ratatouille (mine ^_^), The Office, & Shrek Christmas classics.

Watch classic Christmas movies

- Mom mentioned this, but there have been a couple of recent additions to our Christmas movie list that are definitely worth mentioning. We love Shrek the Halls, and Merry Madagascar! All of that cheeky animated movie humor is just completely awesome. And Veggie Tales shall rule forever.

Oh! Guess what...it's finally snowing! It started this morning, but it's going again now. I'm hoping it'll get deep enough to get some pretty pictures. :)

Welp...that's all for now I think. Lahaaaater peeps!

Isaiah 9:6b

His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince Of Peace.


How awesomely fun are these?!

You know what's great about the holidays?

I've been enjoying reading for the first time in a long time. I love all of the autumnal wine colors and all of the beautiful sunsets. Oh, and we all got a FUN package in the mail the other day. Can you guess what was inside?

Well...I'll bet you've figure it out by now. Aren't those hats just TOO fun!? I LOVE them. I can't get myself to stop wearing them.

Want one?

Well, my lovely friend Alexis has just started an Etsy shop for all of her adorable hats, scarves, and other crocheted goodies, and right now she's doing a giveaway on her blog!

All you need to do to enter is give her some good name ideas for her blog. She's got some extra entry opportunities too, so make sure you stop by and enter as many times as you possibly can...especially for you photography junkies out there--*wink*--they make EXQUISITE props! ^_^


Short Answers is NOT over!

Yay! I'm so happy! Short Answers is not gone forever! Wouldn't you know it...God worked it all out just perfectly. So, from now on, Short Answers will be hosted here. I hope you'll all continue to participate...I certainly will when I can! :)

So....snow is in the forecast for next Tuesday!!!!!

That's fantastic, except my guess is that it won't snow, and we'll have multiple frigid days before the white bliss finally makes its way to the ground. :( Oh winter...where art thou sweet essence?

Oh...speaking of snow...and *giggle* Christmas, I'm getting ready to make over my blog Christmas style! I just finished up my momma's too. Want one??? Check out my prices here.

Just so you know...I think my brother looks like a Land's End model...is that weird?

What? Am I lyin'!? He totally does!

Picture This...

You're walking down a brick sidewalk; you can hear yours and several others' heels hitting the ground as you walk. You can see your breath in the air, so you pull your seasonally colored scarf closer to your face as you quicken your pace, heading towards your favorite coffee shop at a street corner about two blocks away.

As you enter the modern, sleek, and still inviting building, warmth floods your being, sending a rosy color to your cheeks. You wait in line just long enough to make the never quite made up decision between something old and something new. You settle on the new holiday special--a triple shot peppermint mocha with unnecessary chocolate shavings on top that somehow just make it that much more appealing.

Sipping the liquid comfort, you open the glass portal to the outdoors, which now feels about half as cold as it did before. The sun peeks out from behind a tall building, sending warm rays down to meet your skin. With a renewed vigor in your step, you charge onward to your ultimate destination--the charming little book store which conveniently is only one block and a crosswalk away from your previous stop.

Approaching the store, you see a young boy turned backwards on a wooden bench and perched up on his knees so he can see inside the far window--a large and detailed toy train chugs along a world of cotton balls and tinsel on the other side of the glass. Taking one last look at the adorable curly haired child, you step inside and are greeted by the sound of a bell ringing above your head and saxophone lazily, beautifully ringing through the speakers across the room.

Welcome to my mind...my home...

As long as I have my imagination, I don't care if I live in the flatlands of Kansas, the metropolis of New York, or the thick forestry of Washington. I have a home...and it follows me wherever I go.


I know you're getting sick of this, but...

I'm pooping out on my meme again. Why do I always do this? Well, honestly I think if I had more time I would be better with these things...but having to think of all of the Short Answers questions, and then ask them to my brothers every week(Jonas doesn't like being asked random questions) is just a lot of work.

Besides those reasons though, I've really been trying to simplify my life. I'm cleaning things up so that I can have more time for what I really want and essentially need to be doing.

So, (don't hate me, Alexis!) I'm going to have to do one of two things--either give up Short Answers altogether, or hand it on to someone else. If anyone's interested, let me know!

On another subject...Harrison is OBSESSED with Scooby Doo! It's really too adorable. ^_^ He never wants to watch anything but the Scooby Doo movies--and I'm not talking about the old cartoons; I'm referring to the new, real people ones. Anyway, this kid is insanely good at role playing! We had a new humidifier set up in the living room the other day and Harry found it rather mysterious.

So, he checked it out...

...and he found the evil mastermind...

...and then Velma appeared on the scene just in time to proclaim an earth shattering "Jinkies!"

I love that little man. ^_^

P.S. There are only 4 more days to vote for me on the Love This Site Awards...so, any last minute votes would be AWESOME!!! ;) Thanks peeps!


Abundantly Blessed

My little stud-muffin...

My charming little man...

My sweetie--the only two year old I know who has posing down to a science...

My crazy and beautiful sissy...

My loyal brother and fantastic friend...

My little sister Anna, whom I will see again when I enter Heaven's gates!

My spastic and totally fun mother...

My imaginative and hilarious daddy...

My wonderful extended family...
All of you are amazing...I don't have a pic of all of you together, but you know you're loved. ;)

My precious violin...

Photo courtesy of my momma. :)

My Father's beauty everywhere I look...

And all of you...

These are a few of the things I'm thankful for, and they're all mine because of the person that I'm most thankful for--my Father and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!