Sunday, January 12, 2014

What If You Could Live Forever?

Tuck Everlasting
By Natalie Babbit
Book #1
The first book completed in my 50 Books In 2014 Challenge is Tuck Everlasting.
It was relatively short, 139 pages.  It's been one of those books that I've meant to read for a while but never got around to it.  I'm very glad I picked it up again because its a beautiful story and is written in a very cozy, yet straightforward and matter-of-fact way.  I found a homey little paperback copy at the library with an illustration of Winnie on the cover holding her toad.  I really love the black boots she's wearing by the way...
For a slim book it packs a hard punch.
The heroine, ten-year-old Winnie Foster, is a sheltered and thoughtful child who wanders into the wood near her home and finds a beautiful boy drinking from a stream.  Through a series of events she meets the boy, Jessie's, family, the Tucks, and must make a choice of whether to live a normal life...or drink from the stream that offers immortality?
Quote of Note:
“You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.”  
Would I choose to live forever on this earth until the end of time if I could?  A part of me would certainly like to do so.  I'm in the prime of youth but I'm sure that would get tiresome after a while.  How awful it must be to out live all of your contemporaries.  One of the most basic parts of life is the passage of time, what must it be like to be out of it? 
My great uncle went to be with Jesus yesterday morning.  He has begun to fully live forever.  With his parents, his brothers and sisters, and his Lord.  It's going to so terrific to live forever with the people we love, in a place that is more gloriously beautiful and exciting than we can imagine, in the presence of our greatest Love for all eternity.
Thoughts anyone?
{Books I Want to Read}
The Good Earth
Catching Fire
The Entrepreneur Mind

Friday, December 13, 2013

att&t Technology For Tuition Scholarship Essay

The New View

The ability to watch virtually anything online has changed the way we entertain and educate ourselves, and has had a profound effect on the way we live.  The young people of my generation are the first to experience this shift from consuming entertainment on the traditional tube to now viewing it through an ever- increasing variety of TV packages and online resources.  This is a completely new way of consuming media and it has been beneficial for me and for my education in several ways.

First, it has freed me from watching typical entertainment.  The internet has provided the ability to watch anything at any time.  I’m not bound by a television channel schedule; I don’t waste time viewing shows that I see as irrelevant or negative.  It’s about being able to benefit from what I am interested in, and delving in and learning from it. I am able to enjoy historical dramas, documentaries about health and nutrition, and watching experts discussing the latest discoveries in science.  A world of information is available to me, pouring forth onto my computer, tablet, or phone screen at the single touch of a finger.

Since I was a little girl I’ve loved British television shows.  There weren’t many available for me when I was very young, but the DVD’s with my favorite historical dramas were played over and over again.  As a young teen I would spend evenings in my room watching classic works of literature made into movies.  It shaped my idea of history, gave me a love for learning about the people who came before me, and period costumes inspired me to learn how to sew. 

I now have the luxury of watching these films and others like them with the touch of a button.  I get to see television shows that are aired in other counties and I learn about their culture, their history, their industry, and their way of life.  It broadens my view of the world and I see that there are joys to be discovered and lessons to be learned from all types of media.  Yes, primetime TV shows are enjoyable and we still have them available to us, but that’s not the only thing that is out there.  A world of news, sports, arts, sciences, history, mathematics, and amazing stories are available to me.  Like never before I am able to not only watch media, I am able to contribute to the conversation through reviews, comments, social media, and blogs.  This is the new way of consuming media, a dramatic change, a never before enjoyed luxury, and a brand new avenue of learning.  The easy access to online media provides unlimited information for the first time in history.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If the Shoe Fits "Birkenstock Essay Scholarship" Entry

“Prosthetic Toenails”

Taping my nails back onto my toes had become a habit.  I’d take the toenails from the plastic bag I kept them in, fit them on to my toes, and bandage them back in place.  It may sound like an exaggeration but when I was a young girl it was part of my routine.  Why?  Because I’m a ballet dancer and wearing hard tipped pointe shoes with all my body weight resting on my toes can kind of leave some wear and tear.  But it wasn’t weird to me, it was my badge of honor, proof that I had danced enough to warrant the protective, dead tissue on the ends of my phalanges to bruise from the pressure, turn blue and finally, to fall off.  It was an attention getter, that’s for sure.  My classmates would get a squeamish look on their faces and tell me how tough I was.  It wasn’t as bad as it sounded though.  By the time the nail would detach completely, the tissue below had already begun to grow so that there was half a toenail already in the works underneath. But this didn’t make it comfortable, far from it.  But I do look back with fondness to the memories of that uncomfortable, albeit amusing, routine.

Once, I forgot to take my toenail off after dance class and return it to my bag.  I wore it while I was swinging in my backyard and when I was walking back toward my house I realized that the bandage I was using to keep it on my toe was gone.  My sister and I then went scrambling on our hands and knees searching through the dirt trying to find the necessary bit of protective wear.  I laughed as I picked it up out of the dust and showed it to my sister in all its dirty glory and promised myself not to forget about it in the future.

Sometimes during pointe class as I was dancing, I would feel the toenail slide around.  The edge of it would press into my cuticle and I would wiggle my toes in the hopes of coaxing it back into place.  I would look at my feet in the mirror.  Long, extremely narrow feet that in pointe shoes, standing in first position, were the shape of French baguettes the color of shiny, pink salmon.  My muscles would contract, pulling my ankles up, willing the toes to extend and working to point my foot as I turned across the floor in circles.  If I “pulled up” enough it would relieve me toes of the pressure and keep the nail from digging into my skin.

When I had gotten strong enough to perform in pointe shoes, I was in a ballet recital and my grandparents came to see me dance.  I was in my pointe shoes almost constantly for two days and having only been on pointe for a couple years I was very tired.  My toes became sore, went numb, and retained the shape of the pointe shoes when I took them off.  I got home late that night and my Grandma massaged my feet for what seemed like ages.  It felt so wonderful.

I kept the toenails in my ballet bag for a long time.  Seeing them made me feel good, like I had truly accomplished something.  They made me feel that I was resilient and long enduring.  Pain that was purposeful and brought forth beauty in the dances I performed.  When I was fourteen, my family moved and during the packing and unpacking I somehow lost the baggy that held my toenails.  It made me sad to know they were gone.  Thankfully after I had built up calluses and strength I graduated to more supportable toe pads. I no longer have to keep “prosthetics” in my dance bag but I won’t forget losing my toenails and the blue badges of endurance and hard work they represented.

*The voting button is located at the bottom of this page.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Perks of Being the New Kid

Tennessee was a state I've always thought I would enjoy living in and it has absolutely been proven true.  I love our town, I love living so close to one of the coolest cities in the South.  I love being is such a close proximity to Whole Foods and Trader Joes and a decent book store.  I love food and book shopping, its so much easier for me than clothes shopping.  I've got to watch my budget.

Being the "New Kid" is something that I have a pretty good experience with.  I've dished out the things I dislike about it but here are the nice parts.

1) A chance to worship in a variety of settings.
When moving to a new place "church shopping" is a fact of life.  This offers some great opportunities to worship with many different people.  I get the chance to spend time with Christ in churches where people praise Him through vibrant songs or where they sit in quiet reverence.  It takes me out of the box of thinking God can only be praised in a certain manner and that is a very good thing.  Everyone is different and the beauty of that is special.

2) I'm not involved in clickish relationships.
There's always those people who have known and fought since 6th grade and their friends have been dragged in to their arguments.  Nice to not be involved in that....yet.

3) New library
I had long since exhausted the cookbook section of our Kentucky library.  Fresh books! Yay!

4) New job
I'm a ballet teacher and I've had the opportunity to start a new ballet school here.  I already have more students than I did after teaching for a year in KY.  And I love my students, they are so much fun!

5) Birthdays are a lot more interesting
Because there are new places to explore instead of just going to get coffee on my birthday morning!

and of course 6) Meeting new people
I really didn't like being put in new situations for a long time.  Now I see it as a great chance to get to know interesting new long as they aren't glued to their iPhones...but I repeat myself.

I've also had chances of making a dork of myself.
My mom, sisters, and I were sitting out on a bench downtown and I had my iPod out taking a picture of us.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy walk by that I recognized from being in one of my favorite YouTube videos in a band I was familiar with.  There's always the problem of knowing if its really him or not.  Lydia, my sis, said that if I'd go up and ask him that she'd buy me Starbucks.  I did and he was and I felt like a dork and I went home.  The end.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

There are some things about moving that just plain stink.  Besides the stuff that is expected to happen {I won't mention the pain getting a new license has been} there are things that I'll simply title as New Kid Probs.
{People Use Their Phones as an Excuse Not to Talk to You}
Because its true.  It certainly isn't isolated to being the new kid since people often keep their eyes glued to their phones as a means of distraction in any situation that could be possibly awkward. It's impolite and 10 times more uncomfortable when you're the new kid and have no. one. to. talk. to.
{You usually don't get homesick until 1 to 6 months after you move}
At least in my case it's true. Once you move in and the excitement/stress has worn off it can get kind of lonely not knowing any one yet.  A phone call or text out of the blue can really cheer you up.
{People think you're out to steal their bf or gf}
Be kind.  Don't prejudge.  Or that new boy/girl might just try. *complete sarcasm*
{A Technical Problem that Could Go Wrong Is Very Likely To}
The internet and phone can't be hooked up because the guy saw brown recluse spiders under the house. (Translation: The guy can't fit in the small crawl space.)  The house gets sprayed for brown recluse spiders, black widow spiders, mice, rats, and other pesty beings and the internet is hooked up.  Except now the phone won't work.  Repairman comes.  It's still not fixed.  Another couple hours on the phone and we get a new phone number.  Oh yeah, we found out the internet on the desk top won't connect so another repairman will have to come out. 
Ok, I'm done. 
{People Like to Stay in Their Own Circle of Friends}
Leaving you standing there like, "well this is awkward."  It's very understandable that people like to hang out with friends they've known forever, who doesn't?  It's also very understandable that approaching the new kid can be awkward for them as well.  I totally understand.  But I know that the times that people have come up to me and struck up a conversation, or simply introduced themselves have not only filled up a few awkward minutes but have often lead to great friendships.
And last but most definitely not least.
{Some People May Try to Negatively Influence Your Opinion of Others}
More than once I've met someone, thought they were really nice and then they tell me not to get too chummy with so-in-so because they have -------- issues.  Only to find out that the person they were referring to was really great.  Don't let other people's opinions negatively affect your own.  You could miss out on some really amazing friends.
So there's my rant for the week. :)
 Up next..."New Kid Perks".

Sunday, August 18, 2013

7 Months+30 Books

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

When you read you can learn anything.  When you read you are educating yourself.  Banish the phone that is quickly taking control of our entire life and pick up a real, honest to goodness, smell-the-ink book. and. read.  The act of reading isn't hard except that it forces us to turn off the relentless thread of info.  Not that the internet is bad by any stretch (I'd be really lonely right now without it) but to be able to carry on a conversation without someone glancing down at their phone would be refreshing. *wink*

So here's what I've decided.

I'm going to read.

7 months+30 books

My sibs are starting school back tomorrow and for the first time since I was five years old I'm not joining them.  Since we just moved I'm starting college in January which means that I'll have some free time besides the time I'll hopefully spend working.  Those are valuable months in a season of my life that I'll never get back again so I want to do something fun and worth while that I can look back on with satisfaction.

Anyone want to join me?  Not that you have to read 30 books but if you'd like to make an extra effort to read I'd love to hear about it!! Please send me your book suggestions!

Grab the button

2 months into it and I've read several books.  I really need to get a move on.  With us finally getting settled in our house I plan on piling up on the library books.

Here's a short review of the first book I read.

1 {The Giver by Lois Lowry}
“The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without color, pain or past.”  

This book brought the reality of euthanasia startlingly to life.  Life was only life if society said it was life.  It complimented a book I read in school this year Whatever Happened to the Human Race by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Coop.  This book made me cry.

No one had any choice in what they did or how they lived.  Life was completely ordered.  Babies and the elderly and no choice in the matter of life and death.  There was no choice in what job you held.  No choice in who you married.  The reason behind this idea is that it caused no pain.  No pain, confusion, or inconvenience.  Life was perfectly ordered and under control.  The feeling of being safe was paramount to all other desires.  But there was also no love, memories, music, color, or taste.

Not what I'd call a fun read but a well thought out book discussing the basic needs of human society.

This book isn't too long and is very thought provoking.

I'd give it 3 1/2 stars :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Party Hearty

 Parties are one of my favorite things.  I spent so many hours on Pinterest, in Hobby Lobby, and in my room watching Rhett and Link videos while I worked on bunting banners, mustaches, and little things that make a party pleasing to the eye.
But no matter how cute the decorations are we all know that a party is measured by the food that is served.  I get my love of parties and hosting from my dad, he put together a lot of the menu as well as smoking the meat and making a lot of the food.
Smoked Brisket
Smoked Chicken Legs
Tortellini Pasta Salad
Baked Beans
Hot Buns ;)
Luscious Lemon Bars
And since we've moved to Kentucky no party is complete without lots Ale8 served in my good 'ole metal tub.  (Note: For those who are unfamiliar with Ale8, its a soda (or pop as its known here) that's similar to Sprite except it as a slightly sweeter taste and it is made solely in KY.
 There were showers in the forecast and we were very nervous that we would have to move all the decorations and the forty people inside.  It was so cool!  God not only held off the showers for the party but gave us a beautiful evening.  Around 11:00 pm, after we had just gotten everything put away the bottom fell out and it POURED.  The timing could not have been more perfect.
 We have a huge bush that was in bloom with boocoodles of fresh white blossoms (I haven't the slightest idea what kind of flowers they are) and our Knock Out Roses were flourishing as well making it really fun to arrange little nosegays for each table.
 Teal Blue and Light Pink were my theme colors and I stitched the bunting by hand which actually didn't take that long.
Hobby Lobby had a half off sale on glassware in April and I got so many different lanterns, jars, and little candle holders for 50 cents to $1.50 a piece.  For things that weren't on sale I used their 40% off coupons.
 {Beautiful little sister}
 No party is complete without Ultimate Frisbee. Period.
 Thankful for Lydia and Cassandra for taking so many pictures.
 I hardly ever see a picture of a group of girls without them having their hands on their hips. *laugh* I always just stand there awkwardly trying to figure out what to do with my hands, hips it is.
{Julianna and Lydia}
 Is there anything more inviting than crisp white tablecloths? Those things were a pain to iron.
 A bit of Georgia and a bit of Kentucky
 Ruthie's lovely flower
 {Cassandra who took so many beautiful pictures that evening}
 Thanks to PaPaw, Gabe, and Titus the bunting was hung in the trees and even survived the storm later that night.
 fluttering in the breeze

 This color makes me happy, its so cheerful.

 bright roses
 Memaw and Anniepie
My bunting cake!!!

one of the Frisbee teams
 One of my favorite pictures taken from that night.  Cake, lemon bars, and my rose platter.
 Thanks to my incredibly talented friend, Julianna, who had the great idea of making food tags
 Little cups of lemon bars.
 She stamped an outline on scrapbooking paper, cut them out, and pasted them on to the sign

 cake cutting

 This is awkward but the only one that turned out okay.
 Thanks so much to my parents who gave me such a fun, special, and memorable weekend!!!
Thanks to my wonderful Grandparents and all of my great friends who helped me celebrate!  I wish I could have gotten more pictures of each of you.  I feel so blessed to have so many special people in my life!