Sunday, February 27, 2011

conglomeration

[uno]
Conglomeration.  Such a fun word.  I have this thing for words.  Words are magical.  But besides the obvious reasons, every once in awhile I come across one that just makes me happy.  Just because it's fun to say, means something special, or brings back a memory.  Conglomeration would be the first on that list.

[dos]
This week, I get to do the necessary drudgery of turning in essays and giving speeches.  However, the topics are not so very bad after all.  First off, I'll be writing an essay on Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.  One of her best and one of my favorites.  If you've never read it--or never read Austen at all (sniff...I'm sorry for you)--you should.  It is, in a word, hilarious.  It's a total parody of the danger/romance/adventure/Gothic novels of the day, and it's greatly amusing.  Jane Austen was brilliant and I wish I could have known her.  Secondly, I have to give a speech.  Aarghh, right?  Well at least it will be a fun subject to talk about--Narnia!  I did a whole research paper last semester about C.S. Lewis's Christian allegories throughout the Chronicles, and now I'll be using that information to give a speech on it.  Lewis...another brilliant person who I would have loved to have a conversation with.

[tres]
Aren't you all super proud of me for not talking about Les Mis at all for a couple posts?  I sure am, but I'm breaking the streak as of right now.  I am officially halfway through the book!!!  718 out of 1432 pages down, with only 714 pages to go and less than a month if I want to finish it before seeing the musical.  I'm on a role.  I'm determined.  It can--it will--be done.  I'm in love with this story, this music, this amazing piece of beautifully written and sung magic.  Gaahh.  I'm going to pass out at the theatre from the sheer excitement of it all.

[cuatro]
Food is a marvelous thing.  In fact, I don't think I could survive without it.  (*ahem* okay, I'll stop with the lame jokes now.)  These two pictures remind me of the phrase "two great tastes that taste great together" even though they're not Reese's peanut butter cups.  I don't even like Reese's peanut butter cups.  But, 1-my professor says this in reference to two philosophies that compromise to become one and thus this little phrase comes to mind for me at random intervals; and 2-they really would taste great together, although unfortunately I didn't have them at the same time.  But seriously, these are two of the best things in the world right here.


[cinco]
Whoever would have thought that the Spanish words for 4 or 5 were written like that?  Not I.  I confess, I know nothing of Spansh except counting (but not spelling) to 10 and "hello" and "thank you."  That is the extent of my knowledge.  French is way cooler; what can I say?  I had to look up how to spell these numbers in Spanish (pathetic, I know).  I probably would have written this as "sinko."  ;]

[seis]
Remember that short story I mentioned that I was writing?  Well, I finished it.  I'm not quite sure what to think of it myself.  Half of me feels very proud of it, and the other half feels quite ridiculous.  It's the idea I had that I couldn't decide whether to make a poem or a story out of it, and so I made it into a strange little "poetical story"--in prose, of course, but explaining very little like I do in my poems.  And it's kind of...I don't know...I would say it's sappy, but it's not, because it's very melancholy.  I don't know.  I'm thinking about posting it up here, in two parts perhaps just to hold you in suspense more.  Whatcha think?

[siete]
Aaannd I have nothing more to say.  But 7 is a good number to end on, don't you think?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A light

Hmmm.  <--- That is often how I feel during Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, after returning from class.  Just, thoughtful...in a complex sort of way.

So what are Tuesdays and Thursdays, you ask?  Well, even though I'm still in high school, I'm taking a class at a local community college for both high school and college credit.  Awesome, right?  Heh.  Well, sometimes.  This quarter, I'm taking a philosophy class.  It's been interesting.  To say the least.  Honestly, as much as I complain about it [because some of it is ridiculous and other parts just make no sense], I've actually enjoyed the class as a whole.  Our professor is the best.  He doesn't just lecture; he teaches.  He asks questions, he lets us ask questions, he makes us talk and discuss and tell our own opinions.  And oh, there's a diversity of opinions, trust me.  This class has been a challenge, yes; but it's made me think.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Because our professor encourages us to have class discussions (indeed, that's what most of the class is), we get to hear everyone's opinions on everything philosophical.  And it just so happens that the past two weeks we've been focusing on the study of the philosophy of religion.

We've had some good debates about some of our readings.  The readings have presented arguments for and against the existence of God, and we're all able to say whether or not we disagree and why [in philosophical terms, of course, so it's a bit complicated].  But today, it came down to it.  We weren't even into a big discussion yet, and someone out and said it.

"So, who believes in God?"

-raises hand-  That would be me, sir.

Not a whole lot of people raised their hands--maybe not even a majority--but there are those few, and it was good to know who they are.  Even if they're not Christians, even if they're not saved, even if they're not following...they believe there is a God.  And that's a start.  So then, the next question comes along, from the same person.

"Why?"

Whoa there.  That one is a little tougher than a yes-or-no answer.  Listen, we'd already been arguing about the proof for God's existence for two weeks.  I think most of us had an idea where everyone else stood.  And philosophically--logically--it's hard to prove God's existence.  I've officially tried.  Enter my friend Reanna, who is also in my class.  Last week, she wrote me an encouraging message just to say, "God doesn't need you to prove him.  God doesn't need to be proved logically at all, because that's where the element of faith comes in.  And hey, you don't need to have all the answers; you just need to be a light."

And I thought to myself, thank goodness.

Not that I was ever worried about knowing everything or trying to preach at people.  But being in this class has made me realize just how little I know, and how little I am.  And it's opened my eyes to questions and doubts that the world really has...not just random philosophers who decide to devote their whole lives to proving that God couldn't be real...but everyday people.  Average college students.  People who have questions but no answers.  And it's made me realize that I can't have all the answers on my own either.  Because when that tough "why?" question was asked...well, enter Reanna again.  She believes in God--I believe in God--because she has encountered him.  I have encountered him.  Call it revelation.  Call it insanity.  Sure, I'll gladly be an insane maniac who has encountered God.

So the discussion ensued.  Arguments for believing in God, as well as those for not believing in God...they were all presented.  We debated.  From morality to evil to design to logic to faith to history and back.  Funny thing is, some of the people who have said outright that they don't have any belief in God have actually made some of the best arguments for why it makes sense that he exists.  We can't begin to stratch the surface of the matter.  But it makes me think about why I believe what I believe, because that's just as important.

The one guy who asked everyone whether or not they believed in God and why--he was sitting right near me.  This entire quarter since the beginning, this guy has done nothing but cuss every other word.  He often brings seemingly irrelevant things into the conversation and makes awkward and sometimes crude comments.  I didn't like this guy.  I've talked about how annoying he is and how I wish he'd shut up.  So after his question, after the discussion had taken off, I turned to him and said, "Do you believe in God?"

He nodded.

Yes?  Really?  He said he was Catholic.  Sure, I have no idea of this person's life.  He may not be following Christ actively, and he may not believe in Jesus as his personal Savior.  But the person who I would have least expected to answer yes to that question...did.  My conclusion?  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Who am I to judge people at all?

Sitting on my bed tonight, I was overcome with a wow-ness.  Thank you, God, I said.  Thank you for life.  Thank you for music and stories and blasted algebra.  Thank you for philosophy, and for the opportunity to be a light.

I pray that I am a light, and that my Savior continues to make me a brighter one every day.

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
1 Peter 3:15

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moses supposes his toeses are roses...

Any other Singin' in the Rain fans out there?  =D

These are the roses my daddy got my mommy for Valentine's day...they're loverly.  Well, they were.  Now they're dead.


 This second one is one of my favorites. :)
I'm entering it in the "Happy Monday" [Tuesday...] photo challenge.



 This one is SOOC--straight out of the camera--with no editing except to slap on the watermark:
 I was sooo happy with this way this one turned out...the lighting and angle and...gahh, c'est magnifique!






Sunday, February 20, 2011

thirty-nine

I love finding several things that tie together to create a neat little bow in the form of a blog post title.  :)  Because, my friends, that is exactly what this one does.

Ever heard of Rupert Penry-Jones?  For those of you who are Jane Austen addicts (*high five*), you may remember him from Masterpiece's version of Persuasion.  Weeeell.  I had never heard of him being in anything else worth watching (in fact, I don't quite care for the movie Persuasion, although the book is stupendous).

Until now.

Last week, I watched this incredible movie with him in it, and I fell in love with it.  It's titled 39 Steps and if you know what's good for you, you'll go treat yourself to watching it right now.  It's set during World War I, which is schaweet.  It's about this dude (Rupert...or Richard in the movie) who gets framed for a murder that he knows two German spies committed.  Before he died, the man who was killed gave Richard these papers and told him to get them to this government guy because it contained confidential national secrets having to do with the growing conflict in Europe (which is exactly why the German spies wanted him dead).  Suddenly, Richard is running for his life--from the English because he's being blamed for a murder he didn't commit, and from the Germans because he's carrying a top-secret coded notebook.  Thence, a super-duper awesome plot to figure out the code in the notebook and get it into the right hands, all while having Brits and Germans both at his heels, and a war commencing during it all.  And a girl enters the scene, besides. <winky face, winky face>

Sooo, I liked it.  A lot.  There was some stuff that frustrated me, but all in all, 'twas grand.  Plus, I got to watch it with my fantabulous fivesome, and that makes everything just that much better.  Just to give you more reason to go watch it yourself, here is a "preview" of some of it's awesomeness.

[pictures not mine, but I put the collage together]




Now onto part two of this post.  Random facts about yours truly.  I could probably go on and on with these forever, and I didn't know how many to do.  So what ended up being the perfect number?  Why, 39!  Perhaps it is a bit too much, but the number fit in so well!!


1.       I am directionally challenged.  VERY directionally challenged.
2.       My three favorite fictional heroines are Lizzy Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Jo March from Little Women, and Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series.
3.       My three favorite fictional guys (don’t laugh =P) are Faramir from LotR, Mr. Tilney from Northanger Abbey, and Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series.  Ohh, and I love Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.
4.       I love love loooove Broadway musicals—I’ve been to several and they’re SO amazing.  It’s my rather impossible dream to be on Broadway someday.  ;)
5.       I have a good memory that catches onto things quickly—like learning song lyrics or random historical facts.
6.       I can be very indecisive.  Maybe.
7.       If I’m writing (or typing, rather), I often don’t use correct capitalization, but I am very paranoid about using proper grammar and punctuation.  Sometimes, however, I start to feel like a nerd, and I purposely make a mistake.  =P
8.       I’m a Lord of the Rings geek.  I know so many random facts about it, it’s truly frightening.  If you don’t want to get into a super long discussion about it—books and movies—chances are you shouldn’t risk raising the subject with me.
9.       I like mashed potatoes.  In fact, I like potatoes period.  Mash 'em, boil 'em, stick 'em in a stew.  (see above lol)
10.   I have an alternate reality that I write about sometimes.  I haven’t created and developed it all in my mind yet.  One of my favorite friends there is my cloud, Rupert.
11.   I’m engaged.  To Captain Jack Sparrow.  That’s right, be jealous.
12.   I’m rather vain about my handwriting.  But you can’t blame me…I’ve had lots of people tell me that it’s nice.  I guess I just let it go to my head.
13.   It sincerely bothers me when people are cliquish.
14.   I have a tendency to notice how people use their eyebrows when expressing themselves.
15.   I like inside jokes, but only if I’m in them.  Horrible of me, I know.
16.   Actors or actresses’ “characteristic looks” make me laugh (ya know, like Gerard Butler’s little thing where he talks out of one side of his mouth, Johnny Depp’s smirk and raising eyebrows, Zac Efron’s helpless look, Keira Knightley’s “well I’m upset and I don’t like you so be afraid” glare, Christian Bale’s open mouth before he purses his lips together, Cate Blanchett’s condescending smile, etc.)
17.   I break out with random French words and phrases at times.  I also occasionally start speaking in an accent, which I consider absolutely normal, but other people give me odd looks.
18.   I’ve started a list of songs that—should I ever get married—I would like to play at my wedding.
19.   Whenever it’s windy, I like to stand with my face to the wind and let my hair blow back and pretend I’m a supermodel.
20.   I can probably quote and sing my entire way through The Lion King.
21.   If anybody says, “I had a dream,” I start to quote Marin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech (“I have a dream that one day our children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  heh…and it must be said it an accent, more like, “coluh” instead of “color,” you know).
22.   I love paper.  I love stationery.  I love notebooks.  I love letters.  I even have one of those awesome wax seals with a “J” on it to seal letters!  It makes me super happy.  :)
23.   I hate it when I hear a song and love it, and then go watch the music video and it’s dumb.  It’s so disappointing.
24.   C.S. Lewis is my hero.
25.   I like making up nicknames for people.  Chances are, if I like you, then you won’t like your nickname.  Deal with it.  (:
26.   It really bugs me when I recognize an actor in a movie, but I can’t remember where I’ve seen them before.  Usually that results in Cassie or me jumping up in the middle of a movie and yelling, “It’s SO-AND-SO!!!”
27.   I like listening to movie soundtracks.
28.   I name inanimate objects—from my piano, Florence, to my iPod, Mo, to my lamp, Chloe, and my friend the moon.  =]
29.   The memory I have that goes farthest back is me being devastated when I grew out of my rainbow tie-dye matching onesie and dress.  Yeeessh, that was way back.
30.   Whenever I try to draw a face, I can only draw one half of it, because the symmetry of it all messes me up.
31.   Pet peeve: I don’t like it when people write “Happy Birthday”—with birthday capitalized.  Happy is the beginning of the sentence.  Birthday is not a proper noun.  It’s “Happy birthday” people.  Get it straight.  Also, ever noticed that there is a very small number of people who can actually spell "definitely" correctly?  Grrrr.
32.   Ever since I was little, it bothered me that no one I knew could put on mascara without opening their mouth.  So I have trained myself and can proudly say that I can put on mascara with my mouth closed.  =P
33.   I would marry Josh Groban in a heartbeat.  And probably Michael Buble too come to think of it.
34.   I have a tendency to lift up one of my feet when I give someone a hug—and that can lead to off-balance awkwardness, let me tell you.  I also have a tendency to put my arm on top when giving side hugs—even for people who are taller than me.  Yeah.  Awkward’s the word.
35.   I can read out loud very well (I flatter myself), but I’ve always had trouble looking at a number and then saying it out loud.  Like, if I see 83,722, I’d have to sit there, pause, and think about it before I’d come up with eighty-three thousand, seven hundred twenty-two.  Even reading dates like 1746 or whatnot gets me tongue-tied for a second.
36.   In books, I think it’s hilarious when certain characters have their own characteristic phrases that they say repeatedly (such as Rachel Lynde’s “That’s what” in Anne of Green Gables).  But when people in real life repeat a certain phrase every other sentence—gahh!  I want to slap them.
37.   I detest/am frightened by anything Dr. Seuss.
38.   And my only other big fear is old ladies, specifically if they are in rocking chairs or knitting.  Especially knitting.  *shivers*  Go read A Tale of Two Cities…you’ll see what I mean.
39.   My guilty pleasures are swing dancing and cheese puffs.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today is the Day

Today is a sing at the top of your lungs kind of day.

Today is a feel the wind blow through your hair day.

Today is a teasing sort of day--spring was peeking around the corner and sticking out its tongue.

Today is a day to catch up on practicing French.

Today is a read Les Mis in the sun day.

Today is a day of fresh beginnings no matter the past.

Today is a bright, vibrant, alive day.

Today is a "why the heck did I forget to bring my camera along with me?" day.

Today is a yummy food day.

Today is a day to feel powerful, stylish, and free.

Today is a laughing and crying day.

Today is a day to ride the scooter around the driveway with little siblings.

Today is this kind of day (sent to me by my bestie...listening to it all is well worth it):


Today is an easy, breezy day.

Today is a day full of dancing--dancing trees, dancing wind, dancing me.  :]

Today is a hakuna matata day.

Today is a whimsical, dreaming type of day.

Today is a day to say "thank you Jesus, for the gift of life."

Monday, February 14, 2011

I think I'm in love

Would you like to hear about the special guy?  Well, let me tell you a bit.

He's perfect, no lie.  Sometimes I wonder just how he's mine, because I honestly don't deserve him.  And I'm not just saying that.  He's in every way greater than me.

He is so good.  Often I'm selfish and near-sighted.  Never once have I known him to be.  He's always working things out for my good.  He's always teaching me.  He's always touching my heart.  I am who I am today because of him.  If it weren't for him, I could not live each day.

His heart is huge.  The enormity of his love is a mystery to me.  And to think that so much of that love belongs to me is incredible.  To think that the capacity of his love goes beyond everything I have the possibility of knowing or comparing it to is just mind-blowing.

He is so great, but so good to me--it's astounding.  He's so powerful and perfect, but he wants to know every detail about my life, every thought that flies around in my brain, every emotion that rests in my heart.  He loves me.  He loves me.  He loves me.  I can't say it enough.  How miraculous is that?

He is full of grace.  He is forgiving and merciful, even when I don't deserve to be within ten thousand miles of him begging on my knees in the dirt.  He still calls me to him, takes me in his arms, and and whispers in my ear, "I love you, no matter what.  You're mine."  And all I can do is laugh and cry and be eternally grateful for a love and grace I could never earn.

He is self-sacrificing.  Sure, anyone could make small sacrifices for people they love, but that's not what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about life-and-death sacrifices.  I'm talking about being pulled up out of a dark mire known as my sin by a hand that has a hole in it, and knowing that he is reaching his hand down into my sin, into that very mire that hammered that hole into his palm.  I'm talking about gripping that hand and forgetting everything else because I know that I am safe, forgiven, and loved.  LOVED.  By this incredible being who I can't even begin to describe.

Oh, what's that?  You want to know his name?  The name of that special Someone who has changed my heart and life forever till "death" do us meet?  Well then.

His name is Jesus.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39

Happy Valentines Day.  Remember, there'd be no love if it weren't for this Person.  GOD IS LOVE.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

School, Shoots, and Sisters

Click, clack, click, clack.  I called her the robot lady because she talked mechanically.  And she walked around in those distracting heels of hers, clicking on the tile floor.  Then tapping noise would come to a halt as she stopped, leaned over my shoulder, took a look, and then went off again making the same sound.

So I took the ACT today, for the first time.  The robot lady was there to ensure everybody was doing what they were supposed to, of course.  I honestly have no clue how I did.  I feel pretty confident about the English and reading sections…those are my fortes.  But math and science—bleh.  And writing, I don’t really know.  I guess we’ll see.  I did end up knowing a couple people who took it at the same place as me, so that was nice.  But after that, my brain just wanted a vacation.

But what’s the substitute when you can’t go on vacation?  Why photo shoots (ish), of course!  My little sisters and I laughed and laughed as I tried to snap shots of them.  They’re pretty crazy, but adorable nonetheless.  We had quite a time.

Oh, and before the pictures, side note:  I’ve changed my name to “Jennoelle” because I wanted to include my middle name [I’m Jennifer Noelle].  I’d been pondering it for awhile and decided to go for it.  And then I created a watermark as well just cuz I felt like it.  Aaaanyway, on with the photos.

Perhaps you think these photos are strange...
...but I think my little sisters are beautiful :)

Granted, they're pretty crazy...
...and sometimes they're at each other's throats...
...but they love each other all the same, and I love them dearly <3

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Test of Character

Wednesdays often turn out to be a test of my character.  I leave around 12:30ish and don't get home until about 8.  And even though 12:30 may make it seem as if I'd have a good chunk of time to get things done in the morning, for some reason that never happens.  Whenever I know I'm going someplace, I end up dawdling the time away until I leave.  It's awful, really.  So after getting very little done in the morning besides eating [and I can't tell you how often I even forget to eat breakfast!], I leave for classes.

I have a British Literature class that starts at 1, and I actually don't mind it.  It's pretty laid back, and it's just reading and writing, my fortes.  (:  For the next hour I have speech class.  Grrrr.  I gave my first speech today (it's just a one-semester course, thank goodness), and while it isn't so bad and I do know all the people there, still.  I'm not afraid of giving speeches, but I don't enjoy it, and I get nervous and uncomfortable just like anyone else.  The thing I'm dreading the most though is writing the speeches.  I mean, I have an online course, a college course, all my classes at home, band, literature, and then I'm going to have to prepare speeches each week?  Gahh.

Anyway, after classes, I head back to my bestie's house to eat dinner, and then we go to band.  I'd say band is the biggest test of my character.  Probably the only reason I'm even in band and don't come home crying [har har--sorry, inside joke with...myself.  =S] and mad at the world each Wednesday night is because of my band instructor, Sean.  He's awesome.  He also drives me and my brother home each week after band since he lives nearby, so I get to talk to him a bunch.  I seriously think I wouldn't survive band if it weren't for him.  He makes me laugh.  And other people there can be....trying [11 years old and up...guys that just make a lot of noise...and people who have given all us poor homeschoolers the awkward and obnoxious stereotype because they actually are]. Just sayin'.  This week, Sean and I sang Les Mis together on the way home.  Now you understand why I like him so much?  ;)

*EDIT--this paragraph*
I decided to make this post a little more substantial.  I'm a people person.  I like people.  Though you may think, "Uhhmmm...why, do you think some people hate everyone?" that's not what I'm talking about.  I have friends that just...don't like people.  I've had people who I've just met say, "So, do you like people?  Because I don't."  It sounds awful to someone like me, but it's not like they don't have friends or anything.  They just don't exert themselves to care about or enjoy every single person they're around.  Some people could care less.  Generally, I like people, and I have to come to dislike them if that ever be the case.  But others are just indifferent at first until they come to like you.  And I'm not saying either one is better than the other.  It's just funny for me.  Another aspect of that is that, even though I like people normally, I can get really bugged by people at times.  People who are not the same as me, who are annoying, who are know-it-alls or show-offs, etc.  People at band.  :/  And then, I tend to get very condescending as if I'm better or above those people.  I've begun to realize that I do this a lot, and I'm not proud of it.  I should be loving those people.  And that's hard for me.  All I can say is--how do people without Jesus get through life?

Twas a good way to end the day though with a chat with my dear friend Rachel who four years ago decided to up and leave me to move to Arizona.  :P  And I haven't seen her since, very sadly.  But we've kept in contact, albeit inconsistently, and I love to talk to her.

Philosophy awaits my attention.  Life awaits my attention.  Nachos are yummy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

wunderbar weekend and SHS

I have had so many blog posts over the weekend that I'm quite shocked at myself!  I've just been full of inspiration, I guess.  ;)  This weekend has been marvelous.  For no particular reason at all.  It's just been a really good weekend, probably the best I've had it awhile.  Here is what it consisted of, starting with Friday until the present:

getting up at a decent time :: doing French homework :: helping my sister create her blog and designing it for her :: eating chocolate muffins :: listening to Les Mis while doing Algebra [which made doing the Algebra infinitely better] :: watching a Fred Astaire movie :: blogging :: drinking lots of raspberry tea :: reading Les Mis :: sleeping in :: reading my Bible :: making dinner :: taking pictures :: leading worship for the kids at my church :: watching my little sister get baptized :: working on the dance we're choreographing with my wonderful friend :: and of course laughing, talking, and being really weird with her ["It's a most unfortunate affair, will probably be much talked of." haha!] :: editing photos :: having a random/tiredyethyper midnight conversation with Kermit :: more listening to Les Mis...and singing it too :: eating pancakes :: writing a speech about...my brother =P :: staying in my pjs for most of the day :: being "interviewed" by one of my friends :: listening to my family watch Alice in Wonderland [have you ever noticed how interesting it is to just listen to a movie you've already seen?] :: writing more in the short story I'm working on :: doodling :: mooooooore Les Mis [okay!  I admit!  I'm obsessed with this music/story!]

On a different note, this is my first week ever participating in Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  There were 5 prompts, and then I went out and took photos inspired by them.  It was good for me, I think.  ;)  So here are my interpretations.




1. Water
This was taken lying flat on my stomach on my driveway.  We got an ice storm this past week, and the driveway was a skating rink.  It's frozen water, but water nonetheless.  And it reminds me of a pond.

2. Quote
I have an awesome corkboard in my room full of quotes, pictures, and other random objects.  Here's one of the quotes I wrote out and stuck there.


3. Window
I was at a total loss for what to do with this one.  I mean...I don't just go searching for cool windows.  But then, I realized I had one right in my house at my disposal.
4. Activity
Throwing snow.  :)  This was probably the hardest for me, and the only one that I didn't actually take this week.  The subject is my lovely sister and it was taken during our photo shoot a few weeks ago.
5. Page 25 of a magazine
I flipped open the only magazine I ever look at (World) right when I read this topic, and was SO excited to see that it was a movie review on Masterpiece's Downton Abbey, which I had just recently been watching.  Unfortunately, I couldn't think of what on earth to photograph having to do with that, except for this.  Hey, you watch movies with your eyes, right?  Once again, Cassie modeled for me.


Great weekend?  Favorite photo?  Do tell!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Battles and Abandonment

So, I was reading Les Miserables last night [insert a sighhh as readers prepare to hear about this once again.  don't worry!  I'm not obsessed with Les Mis yet!  ...it's getting close though.  :)].  This post is not going to be all about Les Mis, I promise.  It just started with that, okay?

I was reading this rather slow part in the novel telling about the battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon and his army were defeated by the English.  There's a pretty good-sized section of the book just telling about this battle (and no, I have not yet figured out what it has to do with the story...I think Hugo just likes getting sidetracked).  I wasn't really into it until last night, when it got to the intense turning-point of the battle.  The leading British officers were Wellington and Blücher, and of course Napoleon led the French.  The book says this:

"Was it possible that Napoleon should win this battle?  We answer no.  Why?  Because of Wellington? Because of Blücher?  No.  Because of God."

Hugo talks of God has having the decisive power over the entire situation.  He talks about fate, destiny, providence.  He means God.  God's perfect designed plan was at work that day on the battlefield.  And it was so cool to see that the author acknowledged God's hand in it all.

I suddenly felt this urge to pick up my Bible and read, so I did.  I opened to where my bookmark was placed at Psalm 3:

LORD, how many are my foes!
   How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
   “God will not deliver him.”

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the LORD,
   and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
   I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 

I will not fear though tens of thousands
   assail me on every side.

Arise, LORD!
   Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
   break the teeth of the wicked.

From the LORD comes deliverance.
   May your blessing be on your people.


Whoa, talk about a battle theme going on here.  How awesome was that...that it totally corresponded to what I had just been reading?  God is a shield around me.  He is my protection and peace.  Even if I'm attacked from every side, God is there to deliver me and set me free.

Then, I was flipping through Les Mis and looked at the table of contents.  There's a section that I read awhile ago entitled, "To Entrust is Sometimes to Abandon."  Isn't that so true for all of us?  Entrusting things to God, putting them in His hands, and having faith that He works all things for the good of those who love Him...that means abandoning.  Abandoning our own ambitions, our pride, our disbelief.  Abandoning those very things that we are turning over to God because we know He can deal with them so much better than we can.  Because He is the only one who can save us.  Because He is the one that sets us free.  To let Him really work in us and in our lives, we must abandon ourselves.

I want to abandon it all.  I want to let God take over.  I want to become a little girl again, looking up to my Daddy, taking His hand, and saying, "I'm giving it up.  I trust you."

I Dreamed a Dream

The other night--Wednesday to be exact--I had the strangest dream.  It was so detailed too.  And sometimes, when I have dreams that are this long and detailed, they're a bunch of random circumstances all thrown together in my brain.  But this time, even though the environment changed around me, the purpose of my dream from start to finish stayed the same.  Last year, for all of 2010, I recorded every single dream I remembered having.  And that came to a grand total of...too many to count.  :P  I'm not doing that this year, but I kinda liked this dream and want to remember it, so I thought I'd write it down and share.

~~~

I was driving down the highway with my family in the car, going to visit my uncle.  There were one of those exit ramps where you barely have time to change lanes before you get off, and there were two cars in that lane, so I didn't make it.  I tried to ask my mom where I should go after that, but our car was really big and she couldn't hear me.  When I finally got her attention, she didn't answer me because she was on the phone.  So I ended up driving on this dirt road.

Switch from there to inside one of those tunnel slides, except not all of it was a slide.  Some of it was just...a passageway.  A tunnel.  :]  Anyway, I had to go down the slide and find my uncle's house, and my mom was giving me directions.  I am extremely directionally challenged and that characteristic remained in my dream, so I wasn't really sure what my mom was saying.  She offered to go for me, but I was determined, so off I went down the slide.

The end of the slide came out in this huge warehouse-like kitchen where everything was sparkling clean and silvery.  Also, when I arrived at the slide's opening, I landed in a bunch of cloth napkins.  Apparently I shrunk so that the only part of me left was my head, though I remember using my hands to hold the napkins.  =/  Anyway, the people working in the kitchen were trying to figure out what the thing under the napkins was, and they finally decided it was a bunch of old onion rings.  Thus, they picked me (or my head rather) up and threw me in the trash.  Thankfully, my whole body came back after that.

I crawled out of the trash can and tried to nonchalantly walk out as if I had just been delivering something.  And I walked right into the storage room.  Oops.  I turned around and this time followed one of the cooks around a corner out of the kitchen and up three flights of those same blue-silvery stairs.  On the very top step sat the supervisor dude, a mean guy who instead of going down to the kitchen, made the workers climb three flights of stairs to get to him to make sure their food was okay.

Now, apparently the boss of all these people (different guy from the supervisor though) had had a fiancée/girlfriend (not sure which, but I think it was his fiancée) who looked a lot like me.  She had died, but when I showed up, everyone thought I was her.  So I played along just so I could get out of there safely (still determined to find that street name my mom had given me!).  The boss was this old fat guy.  Anyway, this whole place--the kitchen and stairs and everything--were underground.  We went to this group of seven colorful elevators and decided to go up in the one that had a picture of a red-headed girl on it.  (I convinced my "fiancé" to go in that one because my mom had said something about being in that line of direction and it was the closest elevator to the middle while still being on the right...if that made any sense at all.)

Well, me and the old guy ended up in different elevators apparently, and mine got to the top first.  I was on a sidewalk (everything was still a silvery-gray), and I tried to sneek around to the road to get away.  But on these stairs I met someone whom I needed to get away from.  It was like I was trying to get away from my old guy "fiancé" but it wasn't him anymore...it was this girl with blonde curly hair, and she was everywhere.  I kept walking and kept running into her, and yet everyone thought I was her.  (My only theory is that it was the old dude's real girlfriend haha).  And all I wanted to do was get away, because I was right at the road that my mom had told me to find!

But that's not how dreams work, is it?  I ended up back by the elevators with the old guy, and I had to tell him that no, I wasn't really his fiancée, and that I was leaving.  He was sitting all lonesome-like in a chair as I walked away to escape by way of elevator (again), but as I went down in the elevator, he got really mad.  I went back up and ended coming to the sidewalk again in an elevator behind him, and tried to sneak around.  But then he was still following me...only he didn't look like the old fat man anymore.  He was Zac Efron!  Yeah, so this time I was literally running through the streets and sidwalk around that intersection because he was chasing me.  Finally he caught up with me, but he was rather hot after that, and he was wearing three shirts, so he decided to take the time to peel one layer off (and now he was wearing a blue shirt...yeah, random dream-servation).

While Zac Efron was busy with that, I slipped into little cafe/restaurant, with him soon following.  I quickly told the super nice guy that owned the restaurant the situation and that this guy just would not leave me alone.  He told me that they'd take care of it, and let me come behind the counter with another waitress.  I offered to help with any work, but he insisted that I was okay.  Meanwhile, Zac came in and sat down, threatening everyone while the nice restauarant guy and another man tried to calm him down.  (Oh, and at this point, Zac Efron kept switching between looking like...well, Zac Efron...and the old guy again.  Because they were really both the same person.)  Zac/old guy dared someone to punch him, so I reached across the table to gladly comply.  Unfortunately, it was a pretty lame punch-in-the-face because I was off-balance across the table or something.  But I did get him with my ring.  :P

After that, Zac got mad and started shouting and struggling while super nice restaurant guy and his friend tried to hold him down.  Meanwhile, I made my escape and slipped out of the restaurant to finally find my uncle's house.  Though quite frankly, I'm not sure if I ever did, because that was the end of the dream.

~~~

Pretty crazy, right?  I congratulate you if you got through all that.  I didn't make any of that up; it was all there in the dream.

So, for a second part of this post also having to do with the title...I've been listening to some of the music from Les Mis and I'm IN LOVE with it.  I've barely listened to any of it because I refuse to listen past the point I'm at in the novel (only like a fifth into it) in case I ruin the story.  But even that first part of the musical is ah-MAZ-ing and I am so very excited to be seeing it in a little less than a month.

And speaking of which, that means I don't have much time to actually finish reading the book before seeing the musical.  So, I'm off to go read.  Ciao for now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Only I

Only I bring in my Phantom of the Opera music book into my room to sing while studying and then end up singing Veggie Tales.

Only I make random videos with my sister and the webcam because philosophy has fried my brain.

Only I go outside in the freeeezing cold iceyness of my driveway (which is more like a skating rink at this point), lay flat on my stomach, and take pictures.  (and I'll post some photos of that adventure soon!)

Only I have midnight conversations with my sister [who is at the same time trying to get on the internet while the power is out] about watches.

Only I promise myself not to get on facebook today because I have a midterm exam tomorrow to study for, and then end up writing a blog post instead.

~~~

Oh my.  This week is midterms week for my philosophy class, and that means loads of studying, which is what I've been doing all day (for the most part...besides the random videos and stealing away to take pictures and all that).  =p

So, I have a couple announcements:

[1]  Life has been partially cancelled for the present because of the ice storm that hit us Monday night.  Unfortunately, despite the fact that my play rehearsal and other classes were cancelled, philosophy was not.
[2]   I have 25 followers.  Wow.
[3]  The other day, I started writing a short story.  It's based on an idea that has been swimming around in my head for quite some time now, but I couldn't decide whether to make it a poem (which I normally would do) or a short story.  I finally decided to make it a story with some of my poetic stuff in it (we'll call it a stoem, eh?)....as in, not really explaining what's going on.  I would give you a summary of it, but I don't really know where I'm going with it yet, and once I do get some more done, I'm thinking about posting it here, perhaps in segments.
[4]  I love tea.  And for some reason, whenever I have tea, I go for the raspberry flavor.  Mmhhhmmm...perfect for a cold day.
[5]  I really really really want to go see The King's Speech.  I've heard it's such a good movie, and I think that just maybe, my dad will take me sometime.  It's hard to tell, but I may have him convinced.  ;)  Side note:  I think the last time my dad took me to a movie (I usually go with my mom and Cassie or friends) was for that Nancy Drew movie.  Like...3 or 4 years ago?  Yeah.

~~~

Only I come up with the above rambling conglomeration of stuff from that strange, mysterious, and wonderful place known as my brain.