Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures of our snow creations

As much as I like snow, this -28 F with wind chill weather is too much for me. It sure makes me thankful for a warm house and clothing! Here are some pictures of past creations from the last two years, in chronological order.

Our first major work and masterpiece: the Keep

Stephanie and Snow White (who, though you can't tell in this picture, has a spiked mohawk) on the spiral pedestal.

Me, Stephanie, and Valerie with the arch. The arch after some melting (it was April).

David on top of the mountain.

This year we started on a new one (not telling what it is in case it doesn't work out :P ) but the snow hasn't been real good for packing so we haven't gotten that far. Sorry, still no ice rink picture. I keep forgetting to take one during the day, and right now it's kind of hard to see with all the snow on it anyway.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ice Rink!

Because this winter is supposed to be a cold one, my dad has decided we could put up the ice rink in our backyard this year! They set up the frame right before it snowed, and on Friday they fixed the broken seam in the plastic sheet. Now it's laid in and they've started filling it. I haven't really helped at all this year, but I'm very excited... it looks like we might have it ready to use before Christmas. I think that's a first! Sorry, I didn't think to snap a picture before it got dark; otherwise I would have put one up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Post-It note for Aliisa

Hey Aliisa, do you have an email address? If so, do you check it often? If you're willing, I'd like to exchange addresses. :) If you're agreeable to that, reply to this post. If you leave your address, I'll email you and then delete the comment. Otherwise I'll leave my address and when you (hopefully) email me I'll delete the comment. My reason for deleting the comments is simply for security's sake. I don't really want either of our email addresses waiting around for spammers to find.
Hope to hear from you soon! ~*~elizabeth

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Update on school

Keep praying!
I'm basically all caught up in every subject except... physics and writing, the two most time-consuming ones. For physics, I need to work on doing some every day. It's a subject that is hard to do more than a day's worth in a day. For writing, I need to just... start! If I think about what to write for too long, but never put down the first sentence, nothing happens. (I can see the novel-length comments from Shane already... :P ) I am a couple projects behind still.
Not much of a post, but that's all for now! Thanks so much for your prayers!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 4

I got next to zero school done on Tuesday. But I had a good reason! Chris and I served as election judges. It was a very long day; we had to be at the polling site by 5AM and didn't leave until after 8. But it was a neat experience. There were 3 precinct voting at this particular site (our church, as a matter of fact) and Chris and I were assigned to the least populous precinct... hurray! One perk, besides the good pay (that's not sarcastic) was getting to wait and see when there were no lines before taking my turn to vote. There actually was no point at which 0 voters were present, even when the polls opened. The lowest it ever got to was 2 people. Turnout was about 50%, which is pretty high. I like that my first chance to vote was a Presidential election, despite the results. As it turned out though, in our precinct, McCain won over Obama. But it was close, and in the neighboring precinct Obama won by 5 votes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween and ballroom dancing.

This is my Belle-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast dress! Our next door neighbor made it for her daughter ten years ago and fixed it up for me last minute. She's the best! I wore it trick-or-treating for a little while. (Yes, even though we don't care for Halloween in general we do go trick-or-treating. As kids we like the candy of course, but it is actually a great way to see the neighbors, lol!) My brother Michael said it wasn't obvious that it was a Belle dress but numerous comments proved him wrong!
After about a dozen houses we had to head home so we could leave for ballroom dancing class. I met Samuel. No bad surprises there. He is polite, a bit taller than me, and learns at about the same pace. I think it will work fine. Dancing went well. The only bad part was my shoes kept catching on my hem and one of the ruffle-seams came untacked and it was dragging on the floor. Kind of embarrassing to deal with but I survived. :-} I can't wait to try it in my non-tripping length skirts. (To Aliisa: Not to say I wouldn't try a SiegmannSquare skirt, lol!) I think learning how to follow the guy's lead will be very interesting. I seem to have picked up a bad habit of watching the guy's feet from my attempts at round dancing with my dad. Apparently I'm supposed to look over their shoulder.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Out of the blue, a surprise for me too!

Want to hear about the newest development in my life? Ok, here goes. Michelle and Ryan (my friends who are getting married next spring) wanted to to take a ballroom dancing class. Hannah wanted to take the class too. But she needed a partner, so she asked my brother Chris (someone safe who actually is willing to at least square dance, and will be going to the wedding besides). He agreed. Then Michelle's parents and my parents decided that they wanted to take the class too. My mom realized I would probably feel left out, which was true, but I told her to go ahead and do it. It would be fun to watch them go through it. And besides, they promised to come home and teach me everything anyway. Thus I warmed to the whole idea.
They went to their first week of class last week. When they got home they told me, "Good news!"
"What?", I replied.
"We signed you up for the class!", they said.
I was flabbergasted. "WHAT!? WITH WHO?!?!"
"Who's Samuel?"
As it turned out, they had not actually signed me up yet. What had happened was that there was a couple at the class that the Carols were somewhat aquainted with. They mentioned that their 16-year-old son had really wanted to take the class but had no partner. (*!*) You can guess what happened after that. Both sets of parents went home and asked their respective children and recieved affirmative answers. So next week I start class with someone who none of us have met yet! Should be interesting! I am excited to be able to join the class though!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Launching! with pictures

This week my brothers and Dad competed in a pumpkin launching contest at the church we're going to. It was great fun to watch! They made the whole trebuchet out of materials that we already had. Readying for a launch: The team=Stephanie, Chris, friend Matt, Dad, and Michael: Pulling back... And release! One team had a seriously cool-looking ballista: Below; on the left is a super-tall slingshot; it won in the distance competition. I think it went about 450 ft. on it's best launch. On the right is another (bigger than ours) trebuchet. It placed second, I believe. Our team was getting less than 100 ft. in the distance competition, but after that they added some length to the throwing arm, and it was getting up to 180 ft... good enough to get 3rd in the accuracy competition!

Update on school

Okay, I got the less-than-deserved miracle. I didn't plead or try to bargain for it, but I was permitted to go lessons last week. I'm still kind of surprised about it. Anyway, I am still not caught up in school, but I am feeling more hopeful. I can't slack off at all though or I will lose any momentum I had. So continue to pray!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

School: a prayer request.

For all my loyal readers out there: I have a prayer request. I need Help keeping up with my schoolwork. I knew this year would be one where I learned how to work, and hopefully grow past the indiligence that I've been plagued with for years. But I'm not "arrived" yet. I started the school year promisingly enough, but now I am falling behind in varying degrees (depending on the subject). An uncomfortably-wrapped blessing has been that my parents have done some deadline and grading reforms, that is, they are enforcing more consequences if we do not finish the week's school on time. That helps me, because I am not naturally internally motivated. But punishments are punishments, and the one that hits where it hurts is the newest: No square dance class unless school is done. So last week I didn't go, and I won't be able to this week either, barring a less-than-deserved-miracle. Short-term goal: I want to stop the trend and go next week. Longer-term goal: I want to be able to stay caught up! Please pray!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My personal testimony of God's undeserved grace to me.

Last week the secretary of our Awana club asked me, along with the other new leaders, to give her our written testimony. I was supposed to have it done yesterday (sorry Jackie!) but didn't get to it til today. I thought it would be a good thing to post:

When I was little, I heard stories about the Bible at Sunday School and Cubbies. My mom told me them at home, too. One day, when I was four, almost five, I was at home with my mom in the kitchen. She was telling me about how everyone has sin. People who sin have to be punished. The punishment for sin is to go to a terrible, painful place called hell. But God sent Jesus, who was perfect and didn't deserve any punishment, to die on the cross and pay for our sin. If we believe that He did that, then we don't have to go to hell when we die. We can go to heaven to be with God. If we don't trust in Jesus' death to save us, we will have to go to hell. Well, I didn't want to go to hell. I wanted to trust in Jesus. My mom helped me pray to God and ask Him to forgive me for my sin. As soon as I was done praying, I felt like a heavy load had been taken off my shoulders. I couldn't even describe it. I was so happy. I remember thinking that I loved Jesus more that any of my favorite things.

Well, there wasn't an immediate dramatic change in my life after that. But I kept learning about God and what the Bible teaches from church and Awana and at home. I memorized lots of verses out of my Awana books, too.

The summer I turned 11, I got to go to Awana Scholarship Camp. There I decided that I really wanted to follow Christ. I purposed to read the Bible every day, and I came home really excited. But, despite my good intentions, I couldn't keep it up, and the spiritual high passed. Life went back to normal. Sort of. This happened year after year. As the years passed, there would be times that I sensed that my spiritual life was stagnant. I would pray and ask God, "What do you want me to do?". And I would always hear that still small voice say, "Be baptized." Now I knew what baptism was: a public declaration to follow Christ. I knew it was good, and I knew it was what believers should do. But I was afraid. I was afraid of going in front of the whole church, not to mention going to the pastor to say I wanted to be baptized in the first place. So I put it off. I rationalized. And I remained discontent. There were times that I almost did it. Several times on the last day of camp I would tell myself that I was going to get up at testimony time and announce that I would be baptized when I got home. But I didn't get up. I was too afraid. It was my secret battle. Finally, when I was 15, I came home from a Christian retreat, and I was tired of fighting. I surrendered and told my dad that I wanted to be baptized. A month or so later, I was. And a most thrilling surrender it was.

My third year of camp, my counselor had really encouraged me to be baptized. She said that after she was baptized, she really experienced blessing. Looking back, it was the same with me. The habit of reading the Bible finally fell into place. The winter I was 16, I had a hard-to-describe milestone moment with God. To sum it up, I fell in love with Him. I learned what it meant to have a personal relationship with God.

As I grow up and life goes on, I lean more and more on this great God I serve. He is constantly teaching and growing and helping me. The Bible memorization and study that I've done have been invaluable. I want to obey Him wholeheartedly, although I fail every day. This life and love I have from Him is the best thing I have ever been given, and I want everyone else to have it too. May my story bring Him glory!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Thursday!

So it's Thursday... that one crazy long day in my week. Sunday is long but not crazy. Friday is crazy but not long. Thursday is both. For a month or so this is how it goes: I get up early (I will not admit how early, lest I get lambasted for labeling it as such) so I can catch a ride to the library with my mom when she takes the little kids to storytime at 9:30. I work on schoolwork until 11:30ish when I go to the staffroom and eat my lunch. At 12:15 my shift starts. So I shelve books and all that good stuff until 5:15. Then I get on the computer until my dad picks me up on his way home from work, at about a quarter to seven. Then a welcome dinner at home. (Thank you Mom!) Last but not least, square dance lessons, where we are Angeling and Laura (and hopefully some friends!) are starting.

Right now I am still on that computer time segment. This will probably be my main posting time (and, as some of you know, my main e-mail time).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Bravehearted Gospel and dying to self.

I just finished listening and watching Eric and Leslie Ludy's second online event. They were talking about the message in their new book The Bravehearted Gospel. (To be honest, even though I got a virtual advance review copy, I have not read it yet, due to technical difficulties.) Despite not having read the book yet, I think I have an basic concept of what the book's about: returning the church to the true Gospel; fighting and standing up for the truth that is in the Word of God. The Ludys are passionate about Jesus and about calling His followers to truly follow Him. Along with their video feed tonight, there was a video clip and an audio sermon, both of powerful preaching by Paris Reidhead. They can be accessed at One of the things from the very end of the audio sermon that stuck with me was this story. (here is a excerpt from a transcript of the actual sermon.)

Two young Moravians heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist British owner had 2000 to 3000 slaves. And the owner had said, "No preacher, no clergyman, will ever stay on this island. If he's ship wrecked we'll keep him in a separate house until he has to leave, but he's never going to talk to any of us about God, I'm through with all that nonsense." Three thousand slaves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ.

Two young Moravians heard about it. They sold themselves to the British planter and used the money they received from their sale, for he paid no more than he would for any slave, to pay their passage out to his island for he wouldn't even transport them. As the ship left its' pier in the river at Hamburg and was going out into the North Sea carried with the tide, the Moravians had come from Herrenhut to see these two lads off, in their early twenties. Never to return again, for this wasn't a four year term, they sold themselves into life time slavery. Simply that as slaves, they could be as Christians where these others were. The families were there weeping, for they knew they would never see them again. And they wondered why they were going and questioned the wisdom of it. As the gap widened and the housings had been cast off and were being curled up there on the pier, and the young boys saw the widening gap, one lad with his arm linked through the arm of his fellow, raised his hand and shouted across the gap the last words that were heard from them, they were these, "MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!" This became the call of Moravian missions. And this is the only reason for being, That the Lamb that was slain may receive the reward of His suffering!

When it was finished, I was just shocked. When I read in the Bible Jesus' teachings to "count the cost and take up your cross" and to "die to yourself", it doesn't usually sink in what it means to "die to yourself". To have all my dreams, joys, wishes, comforts, inclinations and opinions not just subservient, but cast aside entirely, deserted. Dead. To really live out the song "I Surrender All". To give unconditionally without thought to self... that sounds familiar. It sounds like love. It sounds like Jesus.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My first blog! and my first post.

So... I actually started a blog! I'm not exactly sure what I'm planning to do with it, but we'll see where it goes from here.