Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy, fun music!

So for a reaaaally long time I had gotten into the habit of listening to some pretty sappy, dramatic songs.  They fit my mood back then, but now I feel the need to practice being more thankful and happy about life.  Here's some of my favorites:


   Owl City is the man.  I mean, his music is so good.

 Hawk Nelson!  I love them.  Their songs are so fun, because they're not always about love and how terrible you feel because of it.  These songs are Crazy Love and Live Life Loud.

  Britt Nicole's music (especially these two songs, Headphones and Ready or Not feat. Lecrae)is one every single girl should listen to.  It's uplifting, not always about boys, and helps you to remember the important things in life.  What's better than that?

  So, what's your favorite uplifting, fun music?  Hope you guys have a great rest of the day! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

And so vacation begins!

      Not having to stress about anything is absolutely wonderful.  It makes me just want to skip and twirl and pick all the flowers I can find.  Well, maybe not really but it does make me feel free, free, free.  Most of my summer goals I have made I have also been working on - the only thing I can say that I'm really falling behind in is photography as well as blogging.  I can't quite find the motivation to get out and take pictures, but maybe I'll try that sometime this weekend.  As for blogging, I've honestly just been lazy.  But I'm trying!
  I have been practicing my writing though - I'm writing a story based on the Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser poem by T.S. Eliot.  For a while in middle school, I was terribly into the musical CATS and I still have a soft spot for it in my heart.  And what better way to practice my dance of words than writing about something I know a ton about?  The theme for it is Father's Day, so I can't wait to share that with you guys!
  I've been taking a break from Facebook, too.  It seemed like it was starting to take control over other things that I wanted to accomplish.  Now don't get me wrong - I still feel a need to check it, and am not stopping cold turkey.  I'm just lessening the time I spend on it, and not checking it all throughout during the day.  Confession time - I DID check it more today.  This is all a process though. :)
  So I hope everyone is having a good summer!  Have a great Memorial Day weekend, but please remember our fallen men and women in service.  Take care! ♥

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Last Day of Highschool!

  So today is technically my last day of high school, and tomorrow I graduate!  I've homeschooled my whole life.  Here are some of the perks I've learned while homeschooling (many of these are learned in public or private school, too, but since I've homeschooled that's what I'm referring to):

1. How to read well.
2. How to be responsible for my own assignments.
3. Learning many different viewpoints.
4. Learning about many different religions.
5. Having the time to truly read and think about literature.
6. The ability to spend time with my sister and mom all day.
7. Being able to go to museums or the library during the day or week when I would normally be in school.
8. And so much more!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cage the Elephant

One of my favorite bands is Cage the Elephant.  Granted, they can use some foul language at times that I find inappropriate, but many of their songs are very clean and always have such great music.  One of my favorite songs of theirs is Aberdeen, a song that got me through a really rough time in my life awhile back.


Here's a piano cover that I really love too:

If you haven't heard this band I hope that this post makes you learn to love them. Have a great rest of the day! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another photography post.

I call this picture Up up here we go.  That title is taken from a Bruno Mars I think?  Anyway, it was taken with my Holga 120 N on REAL FILM.  That's a novelty these days.

I don't like to post my face on websites (not even Facebook hardly) because I'm afraid of the creepers.  BUT I don't mind artistic shots of myself like this.  This is a digital shot. :)

This shot is called "Piglet is abducted by a swarm of butterflies".  Those butterflies aren't real - they're mechanical.  And this is a digital shot as well. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Summer 2012

  This week is my last week of school before summer begins.  Summer.....ah, just the name sounds peaceful.  And usually it is.  Last summer was not very peaceful for me, however, and this year I want it to be (although the emotions I experienced and learned from last summer I wouldn't trade for the world) .  I'm not saying that I want a "boring" summer, but I want one where I'm doing things that are pleasing to me and my education and what I want to do, regardless of what I feel I should be doing or what other people are doing.  This summer, I know I want to be a good one.  Do you know that little interval of time between being a kid and an adult?  Of course "adolescence" is the word, of which I am certainly, but I'm meaning I feel that way now.  Because when you're a teenager, you feel you can do anything.  That part of my life has past.  Now I know that I can't do anything on my own yet, but I'm slowly merging into the time of my life where I will truly have to do things for myself, and only I will have the final word (along with The Mighty One, of course).  So, I feel like this summer is one of only a few summers I have left to really not rush my life and be restless.  This is a summer to do what I want.  So, I'd like to list my summer goals below (some silly, some serious, but all me), and I encourage you do to so as well!

1. Practice piano everyday.
2. Get better at photography; learn more about Holga camera, save money for lenses and film, watch videos on how to use camera, find good places to shoot.
3. Read my bible everyday,
4. Practice my writing everyday.
5. Take a class on world religion.
6. Lay around and do nothing but think.
7. Listen to music.
8. Read everyday, and start a new book as soon as I finish an old one.
9. Spend time on my side porch enjoying nature.
10. Blog at least twice a week.
11. Practice my driving.
12. Volunteer at library.
13. Try to get better at speaking up, even if the answer I get is no.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photography: More From My Gallery

  Here's some more of the photos I've taken.  Not great, but I'm learning!


   I thought the picture above was a pretty cool shot.  It's through my window looking onto the trees. 

 I had REALLY wanted to do a picture of a piece of paper with something drawn on it.  It had been a pretty big trend there for awhile....and what better to draw than a mustache? ;)


  I have my mom to thank for suggesting this shot!  It was early in the morning (and COLD, mind you), and she had opened the drapes and was all "Lydia!  You have to take this picture!"  So I did. :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Onward Christian Soldiers!

     I ran across this sermon about Christian soldiers by Charles Spurgeon.  I thought I'd share my favorite part, because it's very inspiring. 

  "Paul does not appear to have pictured true believers as sluggards sound asleep upon the downiest beds; his description of a Christian in the text is that of a soldier, and that means something very far different either from a religious fop, whose best delight is music and millinery, or a theological critic who makes a man an offender for a word, or a spiritual glutton who cares for nothing but a lifelong enjoyment of the fat things full of marrow, or an ecclesiastical slumberer who longs only for peace for himself. He represents him as a soldier and that, I say, is quite another thing. For what is a soldier? A soldier is a practical man, a man who has work to do, and hard, stern work. He may sometimes when he is at his ease wear the fineries of war, but when he comes to real warfare he cares little enough for them; the dust and the smoke, and the garments rolled in blood, these are for those who go a soldiering; and swords all hacked, and dented armor, and bruised shields, these are the things that mark the good, the practical soldier. Truly to serve God, really to exhibit Christian graces, fully to achieve a life-work for Christ, actually to win souls, this is to bear fruit worthy of a Christian. A soldier is a man of deeds, and not of words. He has to contend and fight. In war times his life knows little of luxurious ease. In the dead of night perhaps the trumpet sounds to boot and saddle, just at the time when he is most weary, and he must away to the attack just when he would best prefer to take his rest in sleep. The Christian is a soldier in an enemy’s country always needing to stand on his watchtower, constantly to be contending, though not with flesh and blood, with far worse foes, namely, with spiritual wickednesses in high places.

  The Christian is a self-sacrificing man as the soldier must be. To protect his country the soldier must expose his own bosom; to serve his king be must be ready to lay down his life. Surely he is no Christian who never felt the spirit of self-sacrifice. If I live unto myself I am living unto the flesh, and of the flesh I shall reap corruption. Only he who lives to his God, to Christ, to the truth, to the church, and to the good old cause, only he is the man who can reckon himself at all to be a soldier of Jesus Christ.

  A soldier is a serving man. He does not follow his own pleasure; he is under law and rule; each hour of the day has its prescribed duty; and he must be obedient to the word of another and not to his own will and whim. Such is the Christian. We serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Though no longer the slaves of man so as to dread his frown, we are servants of Christ who has loosed our bonds.

  The soldier is full often a suffering man. There are wounds, there are toils, there are frequent lyings in the hospitals, there may be ghastly cuts which let the soul out with the blood. Such the Christian soldier must be ready to suffer, enduring hardness, not looking for pleasure of a worldly kind in this life, but counting it his pleasure to renounce his pleasure for Christ’s sake.

  Once again, the true soldier is an ambitious being. He pants for honor, seeks for glory. On the field of strife he gathers his laurels, and amidst a thousand dangers he reaps renown. The Christian is fired by higher ambitions than earthly warrior ever knew. He sees a crown that can never fade; he loves a King who best of all is worthy to be served; he has a motive within him which moves him to the noblest deeds, a divine spirit impelling him to the most self-sacrificing actions. Thus you see the Christian is a soldier, and it is one of the main things in Christian life, to contend earnestly for the faith, and to fight valorously against sin.

  Paul does not exhort Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a “good soldier of Jesus Christ;” for all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not be good soldiers. There are men who are but just soldiers and nothing more; they only need sufficient temptation and they readily become cowardly, idle, useless and worthless; but he is the good soldier who is bravest of the brave, courageous at all times, who is zealous, does his duty with heart and earnestness. He is the good soldier of Jesus Christ who, through grace, aims to make himself as able to serve his Lord as shall be possible, who tries to grow in grace and to be perfected in every good word and work, that he may be in his Master’s battles fit for the roughest and sternest service, and ready to bear the very brunt of the fray. David had many soldiers, and good soldiers too, but you remember it was said of many, “These attained not unto the first three.” Now Paul, if I read him rightly, would have Timothy try to be of the first three, to be a good soldier. And surely I would this morning say to my dear comrades in the little army of Christ meeting here, let each one of us try to attain unto the first three; let us ask to be numbered among the King’s mighties, to do noble work for him and honorable service, that we may bring to our Master’s cause fresh glory. Be it ours to covet earnestly the best gifts, and as we have had much forgiven, let us love much, and prove that love by signs following.

  Before I proceed fully to open up this metaphor, let me say that though we shall use military terms this morning, and stirring speech, it should ever be recollected that we have no war against persons, and that the weapons which we use are not such as are forged for the deadly conflicts of mankind. The wars of a Christian are against principles, against sins, against the miseries of mankind, against that evil one who has led man astray from his Maker, against the iniquity which keeps man an enemy to himself; and the weapons that we use are holy arguments and consecrated lives, devotion and prayer to God, and teaching and example among the sons of men. Ours is battling for the peace, and fighting for rest. We disturb the world to make it quiet, and turn it upside down to set it right; we pull down strongholds that they may not pull down the Zion of God; we dash down the mighty that the humble and the meek may be established....." 

  Have a great day! ♥

Monday, May 7, 2012

Piano Tips: Getting back into practice.

     One of my favorite things in the world is music.  And although I go through phases of disinterest and get out of practice, playing the piano is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experience.  So, I thought I'd share some of my tips for getting back into practice; primarily, if you've been too busy to play for a few weeks or months, maybe even a year, and would like to begin again.  This is especially helpful if you are teaching yourself, like I do.

1.  Go over your previous piano books, notes, and lessons.  Review notes, names, triads, chords, scales, dynamics, etc.  If you study theory, drag out all the material you have on it, too.  Get familiar with the material you haven't returned to lately.

2.  Spend a few days just practicing scales, chords, Hanon exercises, and technic.  You want your fingers to get back into the groove of playing again.  It will warm you up, and make your fingers looser and faster too.

3.  Set goals.  Decide where you even want to get with the piano.  Do you want to be a Level 6 player?  Do you want to be a piano teacher?  Get to know what you'd like to do with your skill.

4. Create a schedule.  Now it's time to put that goal into action.  Decide how much time you need to practice a day to reach that goal.  Keep in mind - practicing everyday is the key to success.  So even if it's only a small amount to practice time that you can get in, every little thing counts!  I practic from 15 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Now go!  Know what your skill level is, and then practice practice practice! Buy books that teach you the classics.  Always review old material.  And of course, a teacher always help!  Tutorials are available online, as well as classes in your area.

  One thing my parents have always told me - even if you are tired of practicing, never ever give up the skill you have of playing the piano.  It's just too important to lose. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

   This was an idea I had a long time ago that I had posted on my old blog.  And there are a few things I would like to say about it.  First and foremost, I am a nerd.  Therefore, I like to read.  And being a reading nerd, I especially like to read a whole list of book that a made up character would read.  Which brings me to point two, Rory Gilmore.  Rory is a character on the show Gilmore Girls, a show I have watched since 2000, but haven't really loved until a couple of years back (where I watched it in reruns on ABC Family).  I identify with Rory nearly 100%.  So, I have found a list on the internet that is a list of all the books she has mentioned on the show, plus a Rory Gilmore reading list that was on the WB website wayback when.  So I am taking up this challenge, and I will finish it whenever I finish it.  Note that I will probably not read some of these books (just because I don't care to and/or I heard that they were sad or inappropriate or something), and might replace them with books I want to read instead.  I'll also be marking off the books I've read as I go.  It's a fun way to read some of the classics whenever you feel like it. But does anyone want to go along with me? Click "Read more" for the master list of books. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tasty Oat Muffin Recipe

For my birthday, my mom fixes me this wonderful batch of muffins. Filled with carrots, oats, apples, and raisins, this delicious flaky dessert can be saved for special occasions, or for everyday!

2 cups oat flour
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups oat flour
1 small, grated apple
1 grated carrot
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
A dash of black pepper
A sprinkling of cinnamon
Optional: 1/3 cup raisins

1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and raisins.
2. In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
4. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into about 12 muffin tins, filling them close to the top.
5. Bake on convection in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Tips: Add craisins, banana, almonds, walnuts, or other favorite ingredients for something a little more unique!

Enjoy! :)