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

Do We Care?

Someone new walks into your church.  They've been through all sorts of hard times, yet they smile on the outside  while still hurting within.  Maybe this person doesn't look wealthy or kind, so no one talks to them.  And everyone has their own little groups of friends anyway.  They don't want to go out of their "zone."  What is going to make this person come back to church?  They may not even be a Christian.  

How about the kid in your youth group who's parents have divorced?  And the other kid who is a Christian, but who's parents are not?

What will happen to the shy girl at school who no one ever talks to?  Do we even care?

We judge people before we even get a chance to know their story.

Something needs to change... now.

Do you realize that God has given you a wonderful opportunity to possibly help make a difference in someone's life?  Can people tell that you are different by the way you do things and talk?  

Do we sometimes just ignore what's right in front of us?  Instead, will we ignore the status quo, and take the leap and reach our hand out to those in need? 

We are the body of Christ.  My Sunday teacher once said, "If my foot hurting, I'd like to know!"  Don't you want to know if part of you is hurting? 

We are supposed to be different than the world.  We are to care for others.  

What do you think?  Is God calling you to reach out today?

Blog Award

Thanks to my dear friend Karissa of "A Daughter's Devotion" for awarding me with "The Most Stylish Blog Award"!  The rules ask me to list seven random things about myself.  So, here they are...

1.  I collect postcards.  I have many from around the world, even though I have never been to those places.  The only foreign country I have been to is Mexico.  If you know me, and ever travel anywhere (I collect postcards from the U.S., too), I would love to get a postcard from there! :)

2.  When I was little, I always wanted a dog, but my mom always told me I couldn't get one until I was twelve.  Well, my family got our first dog when I was ten! :) She's a Sheltie, and I'm happy we have her (even if it was a little "early")!

3.  I studied Latin for two years.

4.  I know people living in at least 17 states.  Some of them, I hardly know, but I've met them!

5.  I am part Native American.

6.  Last year, I visited both the East Coast and the West Coast.

7.  I have lived in three states, and five houses.

Now, I would like to give this award to my friend Katelyn of "A Life of Purpose"...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blessings vs. Luck

Blessings.  They are gifts from God to us.  St. Patrick's Day seems to highlight "luck", but what do you think about "blessings"?

A definition of luck is: "good fortune: success that seems to happen by chance."  On contrast, a definition of blessing is "God's help: help believed to come from God or another deity".  What would you rather have?  Chance, or the perfect timing of God?

God's help.  What does that mean?  Well, ok, obviously it means "help", but what kind?  Sometimes we think that only what we think to be good things are from God, and all the "bad" things aren't from Him.  God wouldn't allow the bad things to happen, right?  Wrong.  God allows all things to happen.  Of course He wants what is best, but sometimes we just don't see how the bad things are part of God's good plan.  Just think, God allowed His own Son to die for us.  To DIE.  When this happened, many people didn't know what to do.  They thought that was it.  But it wasn't.  God had a WONDERFUL plan.  Jesus raised from the dead on the third day.  He died, but rose again to set us free.    

Laura Story has just written a beautiful song called "Blessings".  Here is the chorus:

Cuz what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know you’re near
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We may not understand why things happen, but sometimes they bring us closer to God.  (Please understand that it's not that God is not able to stop bad things - HE MOST CERTAINLY IS - He has a plan and we sometimes just have to wait to see what it is).  God LOVES us so, so, so (etc.) much and is always near to help us through the hard times.  He totally understands whatever you go through.

So, can we maybe think of hardships as blessings?  This can be quite challenging.  Luck is defined as "good fortune."  Blessing are defined as "God's help."  God knows what's best for us.  He wants us to draw close to Him and love Him and live our lives for Him.  He will help us to be the people He made us to be - even if it means going through some hard times.  He is there every second of the way.

And we know that in all things God works
for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purspose. 
~Romans 8:28

Saturday, February 19, 2011

God: Your Forever Valentine

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man, that you are mindful of him, 
the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3

Can you believe how much God loves you? Just think about it for a moment.  God, the God who created the universe, cares so much about you that "he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"! (John 3:16)  He gives us sinful and rebellious people a chance to be forgiven and live with Him.  

God's love for you is greater than you will ever know.  Even if sometimes it doesn't feel like He loves you, he does.  He made you.  He knows everything about you.  He knows everything you have gone through, and will go through.  He made you for a reason, and is always there for you.

In Mark 12:29, Jesus tells us what is the most important commandment.  He says, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."  The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."  Will you love Him with your all?  Will you love others as you love yourself? This can be quite difficult to do, but God will help us.

He gave his life, his perfect life, for YOU.  What will you give for Him?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

I am sorry it has been so long since I posted anything!  I have a little catching up to do! 

We had a fun Thanksgiving with some friends that live.  We drove to their place in another city on Thanksgiving morning, and drove home that Saturday afternoon.  Our time was filled with sledding (being pulled behind the pick-up truck on sleds - very fun!), a trip to a National Monument, and of course, eating!
We had a good Christmas, too!  My dad and I got to lead worship for one of our Christmas Eve services.  That was great! :)  I also got to play guitar for the chapel my dad did at the hospital on Christmas.  On December 30, my dad and I went to a Christmas/New Year's Ball.  That was really fun!

We have gotten a lot of snow within the last two weeks.  I love the snow!  It is so pretty!  Just like how a snowflake flows freely from the sky, also, God's grace is given to us freely covering over us and making us as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 says, "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'"
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works so that no one can boast."  Where does this grace come from?  From God - no one can gain their salvation.  It is only by the grace of God.
Romans 3:23-24 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Do we deserve this grace?  No, way!   "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  So, why, then would the God who created the universe, who is absolutely perfect in every way, who has never, ever sinned,  offer "justification freely by his grace"?
Jesus came as a baby, was born in a stable, and slept on hay.  From the very beginning of his life someone was out there who wanted to kill Him.  He knew that would happen, but came anyway, and died for their sins, too.  He knows everything, but didn't go around and boast about it.  He cared for those that others did not.
He died for every person who had lived or would live on earth.  He paid for every sin.  Why?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." ~John 3:16-17
He came because He loves you, and He wants to save you from eternal punishment.
Through Jesus, our hearts can be made as white as snow.
So, next time it snows, think about the grace of God, and His great love for you.  There is no one, no one, who loves your more than Him.
"Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." ~Psalms 51:7b