Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hiking Up A Mountian

When my mom told me we were going hiking up "A Mountain" this morning, there was some confusion as to "Which mountain?"  But apparently, there is a mountain called "A-Mountain." And we went hiking up it!

And the reason why it is called "A mountain" is detailed in the above photograph: there is a giant plastic A- the university's logo- right at the top. It was pretty cool. The boys went up and climbed all over it. I stayed below and looked at all the graffiti messages written along the short little wall. Surprisingly, there were very few obscenities. I wrote a few snatches of messages here and there, perhaps to use in some poetry or story later.

It was a nice day out and the hike took about an hour. Then we all went to Stacey's house to hang out for lunch and swim and play with the cats. (I may not have mentioned before, but Stacey and her husband Bruce adopted Rooftop!!! ^-^ so we go over and visit lots.)

All in all, it was a good day.

Way off in the distance, you can see a little gazebo perched on that mountain. We went there. It was nice and cool and breezy under there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Combo In the World!

You see this sandwich? That my friends is a peanut butter and chocolate cake sandwich on whole wheat bread. Yes, you read that correctly- peanut butter and chocolate cake.

It happens to be one of my starving kitchen rage creations. And it turned out pretty good! I've been experimenting a lot more with peanut butter/chocolate combinations. Becky would be so proud of me! In November, I made chocolate covered peanut butter Grahm crackers (but I am sad to say the chocolate covered cream cheese ones tasted better.).

I think I can only attribute my new experiments with this combination to Becky. Because she is awesome and she makes the best chocolate covered peanut butter balls. I could eat those for Breakfast! Yummy! And I never would have considered new extremities of the peanut butter and chocolate variety without her influence in my life.

So here's to Becky and her favorite combination! Thank you so much! <3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY Adventures

It began with the discovery of New Dress a Day. A fantastic website this woman started with a sewing challenge. Clothing budget for a year: $365. That is one dollar a day folks. One dollar. And while, I'm not about to go on a sewing rampage and vow to only spend one dollar a day on clothing for an entire year... I couldn't help being inspired!!

So you can imagine, that when I found a pile of clothes on the ground in the alleyway in our neighborhood, I snatched up the opportunity and sifted through them. I ended up picking out three pieces of clothing. In the pile, there were a lot of scrubs and miscellaneous other clothing... Like pants that are unfit for the desert, for example. (They looked like they belonged in the north pole!)

I snagged three pieces. Two of which, I have already worked on, and one of which I have evil plans for.

The first was a white collared shirt with a sleeve missing.

It was a coldwater creek shirt so I could not bear to just leave it lying on the ground, even with the sleeve missing. And it had potential, so I brought it home. I intended to turn it into a little bolero. However, like a black thumb tending to a garden, I killed it's potential! It was awful! Everything was going well as I removed the other sleeve (which I carefully ripped out the seams to do.) and then, I cut it too short. Maybe it will make a nice bolero for a 5 year old. Or a flat-chested little girl. But sadly, not for me. Oh well. At least it was free. I love finding stuff on the ground!

The next thing was a very large collared shirt:

Mismatched Button Job!

It is difficult to tell in this picture (Cam was acting as my camera man and then he quit in the middle of the job!), but it is a blue and white pattern and it's got kind of a batik feel to it. It was a pretty nice shirt, but I wanted to do something different with it.


I made it into a skirt!

I cut it just above the pocket (which is there on the right, but it's hard to see.) and  sewed up the sides. Once I had sewn a straight line, I put it on inside out, pinned the sides and sewed it again for a fitted skirt. Then I folded the top edge down to make the waistband. (And having the button right at the top there was literally a miracle. I have no idea how I managed it.) A few tweaks and adjustments later and it was done!

Tada!! I liked it so much that I wore it to church on Sunday! My friends could not believe that it was a shirt, until I showed them the pocket.

Next from the pile on the ground will be a pink plaid granny skirt, which I hope to turn into a sundress! I have really been in a sundress groove lately. That's all I want to buy! I just like them so much! =) I plan to take a lot of fabric off the bottom edge and use it to make a bodice and straps. All this DIY stuff has been very exciting. There was a rummage sale last weekend and I got a bunch of good stuff, most of which I don't even need to alter! I have been turned into a thrifting machine. All thanks to my lovely mom. I had no idea that Thrift shopping could be so much fun! Or that I would find so much good stuff! It's amazing.

So these are the DIY adventures I have been up to recently, and I am sure there will be more to come!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Club Santa Rita!

Have I talked about our awesome youth ministry before? If you want to hear my shaky voice speak about it in front of our congregation, go here. If you'd rather see awesome pictures with awesomer commentary, read on!

I really wasn't sure about this ministry when it began. Not because I didn't like the Morgans, but because I loved Jacob so much and he played a very influential role in my life, and it was hard to "let go" of that relationship, as I saw it.

But I let go of my expectations and I was pleasantly surprised when I put effort into the ministry and allowed myself to enjoy being a part of it instead of sulking over the "loss" of Jacob. (Again, as I saw it. He is still around, just not as present in my life these days.)

So last semester, we talked a lot about love and how to love people. We defined it as four things: Go, See, Have Compassion, and Act. And Jesus did each of these things throughout his ministry on earth. We talked about loving people and seeing them the way God sees them and pursuing relationships withe people, not because we want to convert them. But because we love them. Because God loves them. And because as Christians, Christ's love ought to overflow out of us and into them. And it is a beautiful thing when that happens.

The Morgans encouraged us to use these four aspects of love in our relationships with people and work on building a few new relationships. So we did.

And then this semester, we're doing a crazy awesome event called Club Santa Rita! It is based a lot off of the young life model. We play games, sing songs, do funny skits, and in the end, there's a short little message.

But the whole thing is all about the relationships. It's all about loving our friends the way God loves them. And it's been a lot of fun.
 We've done three club nights so far! A disco night
 A regular club night.
 And Country/Hick night!

 Jake looked amazing in his country get-up! It was difficult to take him seriously!

We've been meeting on highschool campus and it has been LOADS of fun just being goofy with the kids. Everyone is a great sport! This week we played "Do you love your neighbor?" "Mad Gab" and we had a Cricket Spittin' competition.We do crazy stuff and it's awesome!

This whole ministry has really grown on me over the last year and I have learned a lot while participating in it. I am so grateful to everything the Morgans have done for us and all the effort they have put into it. Youth ministry is so cool!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Love My Church Family!

Today was our Annual Celebration! (Which for those of you who don't know, commemorates the beginning of our church. We had a short church service, in which several people (including myself) gave testimonies about what God has been doing in the last year.

Then in the afternoon, we went out to the Puffers for a big party! And as I looked around, I struck me, not for the first time, how much I really love my church family.

Good old Knock out. The classic basketball game that guys get bored with while girls love it to death. The object is to stay in as long as possible. And you can get people out if you are behind them and you make your ball in the hoop before they do. (But of course, the person at the front of the line gets to make the first shot, before the second person can make theirs.)

 Lenea is a doll! She was praying for her dinner and it was so cute! My heart melted!

 The Elder Team!

 Jake keeping the little ones busy!

Praying over the elders..

All in all, it was a wonderful day full of fun and fellowship and LOTS of good food!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Fever!

Happy first day of spring everyone!

The fever has definitely hit. Today, I was singing songs such as "I don't wanna work, I just wanna bang on my drum all day" and an original composition, "I don't want to studyyyyyy because it's sunshiny outside and it feels like spppprrriiiiingggg!" in my beautiful opera voice.

And mom was talking about going to the nursery and getting some pretty flowers to plant in the backyard!! And I was so excited to go with her, that I made myself do a practice test before we went. (Motivation!)

And it was so much fun! All the pretty flowers... They made me smile. *sigh* We ended up dropping a hundred dollars on plants, soil, and miscellaneous other items while there. But it was so worth it. You know why? Because they make me happy, that's why! ^-^

The picture above is me and one of the cats that live at the nursery--his name was Auggie. Isn't he cute? Cats are the best! Apparently, this particular nursery actually has thirty cats on their twenty-two acre property.

Two things:
1. I don't care how much you like cats, but even for a cat lady, THIRTY cats is downright ridiculous!
2. The property did not look like it was 22 acres. Maybe I misheard her or something. But we drove around the side and it didn't look nearly that big. But what do I know?

Have a lovely spring everyone! And know that I'll be singing and dancing my way through fields of flowers this time next month! (Not really, but I'll be so happy that it'll feel like it anyway.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Christian's Ensemble!!

If you do not know, Christian is very talented at playing the piano. (And it's possible that that is an understatement.) Tonight was the annual Ensemble Piano Concert down by the university.

Now, this isn't your regular, run of the mill, piano recital. Oh no, this is a fancy schmancy dress-up-all-nice, five-hundred-student, twelve-piano concert. Not even kidding. It was a big deal.

This is the third year I've attended and it's all very nice and professional. This year, the theme was "Around the World on 88 Keys" and they played pieces from all over the world! Christian's piece was one of the more difficult ones, a Russian piece called "Prelude in C#." And he did a great job! Granted, I didn't hear his individual playing (since twelve to thirty six students can be on stage at any one time.), but still. All the performers were excellent.

I knew a lot of other kids who were playing in the ensemble, though I didn't get to see all of them afterward. Altogether, it was a lovely evening, despite the alleged 100% chance of precipitation (which thankfully did not fall until later that evening, but it certainly looked stormy out.)

And that dress? Would you ever have guessed that I found it in a thrift store! I have become quite the thrift shopper, much thanks to my mom. I will have to photo-document one of my trips sometime and blog about it.