Friday, September 16, 2011

Short Little Update

Hello, friends!

Fall is almost here, and summer is gone.  My brother and I started school on August 16th.  That was very early for us (we normally don't start until the day after Labor Day)!  It has worked out well, though.

I'm still taking piano, and Irish Dance!  We get to use hard shoe in Irish this year!  Should be tons of fun!

I will helping out with a girls Bible Study by leading music, sharing my testimonies, and helping where I'm needed starting next week.  :)

Today I saw that people from various countries such as China, Iran, and the United Kingdom have stumbled upon this blog!  I know most (if not all of those) were probably a mistake, but it was still really cool to see!  Hopefully, they will remember that they clicked on my blog and come back sometime!  :)

Well, more later!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Two New Blogs

I have started two new blogs! :)  I will still have this one, though.  If you have a chance, please check them out!  Click a link below to visit:

A Life Worth Living for Jesus: A Blog for Young Women

Bethany Photography

So... I haven't posted in awhile

Hey, there!  I have a lot to catch up on, huh?

In June, we took a two week vacation to Oregon and Washington!  We got to see a bunch of family and friends!  We had a great time!  While I was in Oregon, I got to go horseback riding, shooting, canoeing, to Cannon Beach, and to Sunriver.  We spent a few days in Sunriver at a house we rented with family!  Also, some friends had a party for us, and all our closest friends from that area were able to come! :) That was fun!  We even got to do some English Country Dancing at the party!

In Washington, we went shopping, to Pike Place Market, spent time with family, and even met the Doublemint Gum twins (we were even on camera at one point)!  We also went to the first Starbucks, and a Mariners game!

We also had some interesting airport experiences.  When we arrived in Oregon, I ran into my best friend from when I lived there at the airport!  We knew it was possible because they were coming home from a trip, but we didn't think it would actually happen!  But it did! That was cool!  When we landed at the airport to come home, we had another fun experience.  There were two guys running to catch the train to their next destination, but one of their phones dropped. My brother picked it up, and tried to throw it to them through the closing doors of the train.  It was flying... clunk!  It hit the closing door! The two guys were whisked away on the train.  The friend of the guy who lost the phone, called that phone.  They got off at the next stop, and we headed there (we needed to ride the train anyway).  They stepped on the train for a moment, D.J. handed them the phone, and they handed D.J. $5, the doors closed, and we were off to our destination and they were off to theirs.

Over the 4th of July, we had some friends who used to live here stay with us for a few days.  So, on the 4th of July, we had a little welcome/4th of July party for them!  That night we went to see the city fireworks!  They were really neat!

On Wednesday, we just got back from a little-less-than-a-week trip to Montana.  It was good to see family there! :)

We hit the ground running, with a busy (but fun) day yesterday, and a busy (but fun) day today!  This whole next week is going to be very busy with a lot of events, but it will be very fun!

The summer is going by so quickly!  Enjoy it while it lasts!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Bit O' Irish Dance

The last notes of a song play, and the light dims.  The soloist walks to her spot on the stage.  The spotlight turns on, and the crowd cheers!

The high notes of a fiddle begin to play along with the steady beats of a piano across the speakers.  The dancer jumps and twirls to the music, then leads four little dancers in a row onto the stage from one side, then goes to the other side to bring four more on.  She jumps and twirls, her feet are flying, and brings yet another four dancers onto the stage.  The excitement builds!  I'm in the fourth and last row of dancers.  Bright lights on either side of the stage reflect off the costumes, making the red sparkles shimmer.  Here she comes to lead us on to the stage!  We come out from behind the curtain, our arms (hopefully) glued to our sides... and dance!

I feel so happy!  I smile.  I look out to the crowd, and soak it in.  Bliss.

The crowd even claps to the beat!  We finish that dance, and wait for the other dancers to complete their steps.  We watch from the side behind the curtain, and listen as their feet hit the floor in unison sounding like drum beats!  They leave the stage little by little, until only the soloist is left.

She dances another solo, jumping and twirling about, and once she is finished, my group goes onto the stage again to dance "The Walls of Limerick."  Up, two, three, four, five, six, seven, hop back, two, three, and back, two, three... Advance, retire, advance, retire, up, two, three, four, five, six, seven, hop back, two, three, and back two, three...

We complete this dance and leave the stage.

Last Friday and Saturday night (13th and 14th of May), I had an Irish dance performance.  I said last fall that I'd write about it sometime, so it seems I should do so now!

In case you weren't aware, I've been taking Irish Step Dance since September.  It has been a very fun experience!  We dance with soft shoes called ghillies, and we keep our arms glued to our sides unless a step calls for them not to be.  When I take Irish 2, I will be learning to dance with a hard shoe and really make some noise! ;)

The class I was in this year mainly consisted of 15 girls (mostly around 4th grade, however, thankfully there was a teenager and two moms, so I wasn't the only "tall one"), and one boy (also 4th grade).  I love kids, and it was fun to get to know them.

I am SO glad I've done Irish Dance!  I had some of the most fun I've ever had those two nights we performed!

So, grab your ghillies, and let's dance!

Flowers in Spring

I took these pictures on Mother's Day!  It felt so much like spring that day!  Enjoy!

To a Far Away Land

This is a story about a teenage girl who lives in Ireland during the potato famine (1845 -1852), and moves to America.  No promises that I will post a continuation of it, I'll have to see about that, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!


The sun was just beginning to rise over the mountains.  The air was cool, and fresh.  The breeze gently played with my long, curly, red hair.  I could nearly taste the salt from the Irish sea the breeze blew over.

Aye, the sea.  The beautiful place where the huge waves crashed until they got smaller and smaller and rolled upon the sandy shore, where the seagulls flew above and greeted each other as they flew by...  Aye, this was where I wanted to be that new day in Ireland, but I was not.  Instead of the seagulls, the chickens squawked as they ran around trying to get their breakfast as I threw down bits of corn for them.  The cow mooed in the barn beside me where my brother was milking.  We made little money from the milk and eggs we sold.  We had been potato farmers, but when the famine came, well, there just weren't anymore potatoes.

My thoughts turned back to the sea.   My family had been saving every spare coin to buy a passage to America. 

America. I thought.  Will it be anything like here?  Mama says it doesn't matter 'cause we'll all be together...

I thought of the massive ships I had once seen at port when I walked by them with Papa.  They had boasted tall white sails, and the Irish flag had been flapping bravely in the wind as if waving good-bye.

Aye, I thought of that sea - that big, loud, frightening, exciting ocean, compared to my favorite, peaceful beach I enjoyed so much.

In ways, I was excited to travel to America.  Papa said we would have a new start there.  We wouldn’t be so poor anymore, and maybe my brother and I could get a good education.   I was not excited about making the long voyage on that dirty ship with a whole bunch of people I didn’t know.  There were diseases and rats and I do not like being in a small place with no other place to go or see for a long time. 
I was going into the unknown.  I was excited for the adventure, but wondered what it would really be like.  I was sad to leave the dear people I had known nearly all my life.  It brought me to tears every time I thought about how I’d probably never see those I’ve loved most ever again on this earth.
"Kalina!" I woke up from my daydream.  "Come into the house, please!"  

It was my Mama calling.  I ran into the house, dropping the left over corn bits that I held in my apron on the ground.  

"I need to run into town and buy a few last items for our voyage across the sea.  We only have a few days left here, ya know," she said with a sigh. "And I need you to make the bread this morning."

"Of course, Mama," I said.  Things had been quite hectic around here, now that the days were getting closer and closer to our departure.  "However, I don't know how you make it taste so good.  I'm sure mine just won't be the same!" 

She patted my cheek, and said, "Oh, my little darlin'.  I'm sure you'll do a fine job of it!" She smiled. then said, "Now, I better get a runnin' down to town.  No need diddle dabblin' round here!" 

She left the house, and everything seemed quiet, for awhile.  My brother was in the barn, and Papa was already down at the port tryin' to get everything settled for our journey.

I kneaded the bread up, and down, like the waves of the sea...    
I could hardly bear to leave my church, but it helped to know that God would always be with me.  Even if I had to leave all my friends, He was a Friend who’d always be with me.  

It was so hard to leave my home that Papa had built with his own hands, and where I had grown up.  It was hard to leave our dear animals that I’d known for so long and loved.
It was hard to leave my country, especially knowing I would probably never return.  I had always wanted to visit other places.  All the stories I’d heard about the beautiful places and how the people there lived their lives differently made me very interested in visiting, but I never thought I’d have to leave my home forever.
All the dreams I’d had of raising my own family here, in my own country, were dashed.  

I worried about being considered an outsider.  Did Americans look like us?  I hadn’t seen many pictures, so I wasn’t sure.  How did they dress?  Did they talk like us?  Would we be welcomed? It would be very difficult.

I knew there were Christians in America, but were there people who thought like us?  Would I have many friends?

Just as I was rolling out the dough, a tall young man, with dark curly hair, opened the door.  It was my brother.  He came in, and sat at our little table.  

"What do you think America will be like?" I asked,, still rolling the dough.

"Oh, stop worryin' about that!  I'm sure it will be quite nice!  You'll make lots of friends - I don't see how anyone couldn't like ya! Well... maybe..." He stopped and smiled.

"Oh, you stop!" I said with a smile.

"Well, you'll always have me!" He said, grinning. 

I smiled and said, "And you'll always have me."   


Those last days passed much too quickly.  Before I knew it, I was on that big, tall ship off to an unknown land. I waved good-bye to my friends on the shore, the sea misting my face, until I could no longer see them.  

Good-bye. I thought.  I will miss you all ever so much, but may we meet again sometime soon. Aye, sometime very soon.

Then I turned West, and faced the vast unknown.  The sea spread wide before me.  The air was cool, and fresh.  The breeze gently played with my long, curly, red hair.  I could taste the salt from the sea the breeze blew over.  Aye, the sea.  I was now on a most exciting journey to a far away land that I would learn to call home.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any comments, please let me know!  Thanks!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Put on Your Dancing Shoes! :)

My family hosted a dance for my birthday on Friday the 15th! :) It was very fun!

We had it at our church gym.  The day before the dance, we decorated it with streamers (pink, green, blue, and purple) and flowers and butterflies that were all sparkly!  We even had streamers streaming across the top of the gym.  It was very pretty and rainbow-like!  We also had balloons over the snack table.  Here is a picture of the balloons over the table:

The dance started at about seven.  The first dance we danced was the "Duke of Kent's Waltz".  Some of the other dances we danced were the "Virginia Reel", "Hole in the Wall", and a dance where one of the steps was to "Dip 'n Dive!".  :)

In the last dance we did, the guys were in the center in a circle, and the girls were in a circle outside them.  You'd start with your partner, skip forward, skip backwards, change which way you were facing, skip back, skip forward.  Then, jump in, jump out, then the girl would swing over to the middle, jump in, jump out, then the girl goes under the guy's arm back to the guy behind her, ending up on the outside of the circle again.  Then, repeat! :) Whew!

The caller had to leave a little after nine, so the dancing was done then, and we cut the cake and took a little break (hey, that rhymes!).

Then chairs were set up in a circle, and some people shared some encouraging words.  We closed with a prayer and sang "Amazing Grace" then we cleaned up.

We had 74 people attend the party.  I feel so blessed that all these people came and love me.  I moved here with empty hands (no friends here), but God has filled them with some wonderful people.  May He always be honored and glorified in my life.

 ...And music fills the night 
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then dance for Jesus...
~"Untitled Hymn" by Chris Rice