Friday, June 28

Hey y'all. So if you've seen any Wacky Wednesdays videos, first off, you're awesome. Secondly, in case you didn't know already, there's now an official Wacky Wednesdays BLOG. So go check it out.
If you HAVEN'T seen any Wacky Wednesdays videos, you are missing out. Go check out that blog ANYWAYS and watch them. 
I love you guys.
You keep me blogging, honestly.
If I didn't get such sweet feedback from you all, I don't think this blog would still be going like it is now.
I would have been left in a crumpled heap back in July of 2011, crying over my lost friend and constant companion: My Blog.
If not for you guys.
I like to think that you enjoy reading my ramblings at least fifty percent of the time, and thusly I keep posting them.

So thank you.
All of you. You are awesome. <3

Wednesday, June 26

Youth Group Games

I've been looking at group games for teenagers.

It has been an entertaining experience.
I've found a couple that have been particularly interesting, and I thought I'd share them with you.

Top Ten Worst Group Games EVER.

1. Ultimate Cantaloupe - Ultimate Frisbee, but with a cantaloupe. Please tell me you see that this is dangerous, potentially very messy, somewhat wrong according to the laws of physics, and very, very stupid.
2. Slip 'n' Slide Kickball - Kickball, but with Slip 'n' Slides in between the bases. The game description even recommends keeping a first aid kit on hand during play. Is this not an obvious enough clue that THIS IS A BAD IDEA?
3. The Human Knot - Now, I have heard stories from some of you about the notorious untangling game...and this sounds pretty similar. Really. "Let's have all these hormonal teenagers with low standards and no sense of personal space link hands, arms, legs, and who knows what else and then try to get apart from everyone else! That sounds like a fun, wholesome, safe activity!"
4. Thread the Spoon - Take a frozen spoon, tie yarn to it, and thread it through your shirt and pants. Pass the spoon to the next player, who will also thread the spoon through their clothing. This one is just gross.
5. Duct Tape Head - Two players compete at once. Mummify the players' heads with duct tape, sticky side out. Dump a box of plastic spoons on the floor in front of them and have them roll their head in the spoons. Whoever picks up the most spoons in a minute, wins. Yeah. Cuz I LOVE rolling in spoons while my head is wrapped in duct tape.
6. Kill Ball - Players stand in a circle with a volleyball. They start a volley. The first person to miss goes and sits in the middle of the circle. The other players start a new volley, hitting the ball three times. After the third hit, the next player must kill the ball into the middle, trying to hit the player in the middle. If they succeed, play continues. If they miss, they must go to the middle. (Honestly I'm not sure if this is one of the worst games ever or one of the best.....)
7. Frisbee Dodgeball - Dodgeball, but with Frisbees instead of balls. Last time I checked, I prefer NOT getting hit with the Frisbee, don't you?
8. Silent Telephone - Like the game of Telephone, but instead of whispering the word to the player next you, you write it with your finger on their back. Be sure to gently trace the word while laying your soft, warm hand on the other player's arm (to be sure they hold steady). When you finish the word, let your hand linger just a helps the game, really.
9. Trust Fall - No explanation necessary, right? Okay, good.
10. Anything involving chocolate syrup, marshmallows, or toilet paper.

Avoid these games at all costs. Please.

Tuesday, June 25

The Lens Behind the Lens

Monday, June 24

On an unexpected friend

Have you ever had one of those friends that you never expected to be friends with?
I have a lot of friends like that....probably because I have a tendency to be very judgmental by first impression.
However, have you ever had one of those friends where you not only didn't expect to be their friend, but the two of you hated each other at first?
I have.
And it's weird, but that person ended up being one of my best friends ever.
Funny how that works, isn't it?
I honestly have no clue when we stopped hating each other, and I don't know why we stopped, and I don't know how we ended up so close now, but at least one thing I do know: I'm so stinking glad it all happened the way it did.
And yup. What else is there to say really? God's blessed me so much, and I just wanted to share one of my blessings with you. :)

You're invited to my pity party

Guys, you have no ideas how many times I've opened up the window to write a new blog post and drawn a complete blank on what to say....
So I'm going to just throw a pity party.
I'm trying to be a good blogger, I really am. :(

Sunday, June 23

"Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Thursday, June 20

Meet Gracie

This is Gracie. 
(She says hello)
I know lots of you have probably met Gracie, but also many of you haven't.
You are missing out. So I would like to introduce you to the love of my life, my fuzzy blessing, my reason for living - also known dog. :)
Now, those of you who have met Grace know that she Outspoken (to put it nicely. And therefore, I will insert her commentary in italics, so you can hear both sides of the story.

Gracie is a chocolate and white American cocker spaniel. And I am very pretty. And she is very pretty.
She's also VERY spoiled. AM NOT!!! Um. Yes you are. AM NOT!!!!!!
We got her in July of 2010, and I was very very happy to bring her home as I had been wanting a dog for a REALLY long time!!
We were really excited to have her, and she has been a constant joy. Oh, stop it you.
She's also a huge pain in the cheerios, as she hates....well. People in general, it seems. Our dog is a psychopath. Am not. 
Ignoring that.....
Give me food.
No! I'm in the middle of a -

I hope you all have enjoyed getting to meet Gracie, and I'm sure that she would love you all if she got the chance to meet you and once she stopped being a psycho puppy. ;) 

Wednesday, June 19

Is it curling the hair
Or painting the face?
Pinning on bows,
Pink ribbons, and lace?
Flounces and frills,
Bracelets and rings?
Polishing nails?
Is it all of these things?

No, you can't pin it on
Like a bow in the hair.
You can't put it on
Like the garment you wear.
It's deeper than ornaments
Gracing the skin.
For true femininity
Comes from within!

It glows from a heart
That is gentle and kind,
A soul that is chaste,
An honest, pure mind.
Without inner goodness
How futile the bows,
For "pinning on petals"
Can ne'er make a rose!

-True Femininity, by Emily Hunter

Tuesday, June 18

My piano camp

Well, for once I am living up to my talk. Here is my post about my piano camp at the University of West Florida, if you care. ;)
Okay. So it started last Monday, and we were there every day from ten to five, except Friday which went later cuz of our concert. There were eleven kids besides me. (It was awkward at first.)
We had ear training first, which started out torturous. We were taught to sing using do-re-mi (it seemed a lot easier on Sound of Music...) We also learned all the different intervals and how to recognize them by sound. We did melody and rhythm dictations, which were terribly tedious and torturous.
After ear training class, we went to collaborative piano, which was my favorite class. :) We got to sight read some music and were assigned duets and solos and trios to learn over the week and, ideally, perform Friday night. In collaborative piano we also learned some about accompanying for choirs and such.
This is Geoffrey and me with our collaborative piano teacher, Professor Riley, who reminded me of Cinna from Hunger Games. He was stinking awesome.
After that came piano painting. Which was fun. :D And also kind of stressful. But everything turned out okay! 

 And the completed masterpiece. I'll let you guys know when I find out where it gets put and you should go check it out. ;)
After that we had lunch. Which I liked. :D
Then we had theory class, which I was scared about but ended up loving. I was scared because before this camp, I really truly knew next to nothing about theory. But my awesome teacher helped me greatly and I feel like I learned a lot!
Our awesome theory teacher, Dr. Coleman, Geoffrey, and yours truly!! ;)
After that came music tech. Which was boring. :P
And then we practiced. And practiced a little more.
And went home.
And practiced a little more.
After five days of that, it was concert time!
Our WONDERFUL teachers for the week: Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt, Professor Blake Riley, and Dr. Michael Coleman. :) These people know their stuff...
My awesome duet partner x)
 This woman is amazing. I loved taking lessons from her. (even though she almost punched me in the is a dangerous field) She was also our ear-training teacher. And she is fantabulous. I could go on and on and on really....but for your sake, I shall stop.
And yeah! That was my week! It was educational, yes, but also very very VERY fun. :)
I want to go back next year.

Monday, June 17

When I'm trying to watch what I eat....
Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

On motivation

I've been feeling a really odd feeling lately. And it's kind of cool! It's not a feeling that I get a lot, but when I do, it's usually a very strong feeling. And it is almost always induced by listening to awesome music. (In this case, a lot of Rachmaninoff and the Les Miserables soundtrack.)
Trust me, I feel the same way.
I've felt like doing things lately, and doing things well, and planning for my future, and all kinds of stuff. The only problem is that I am a selectively motivated person.

"Oh, I feel really motivated to eat those brownies!"

"Oh, geometry...uh. I feel really meh."

However, my motivation has accomplished a few things at least.
For one, my performance at piano camp went quite well. (post probably to come about that)
Second, I have at least picked my classes for the fall semester at Pensacola State, and have preferences for teachers too. All that's left is working out all the nitpickery of my schedule.
Thirdly, I have finally gotten back into running. Although in all fairness, stopping wasn't from lack of motivation, just injury. My ankle feels fine though, so I think I should be able to pick back up and regain whatever ground I lost.
Fourthly, I signed up for a Florida driver's safety course. In other words, I took the first step towards getting my learner's permit. In other words, I could be driving within a year.
And this has been your daily dose of terrification, graciously provided by yours truly. ;)

But yes! I have been enjoying my motivation; however, I need sleep so I kind of hope it wears off soon.
A few random blog announcements: I am hoping to do a post (or six...) about my family reunion, similar to the way I did last year. We shall see. There's an awful lot to say and I don't want to bog you guys down. Also, I will be going to camp again in three weeks so unless I schedule posts throughout that time, I shall be a nonpresence for a bit.
Okay. I hope you guys all have a wonderful week! <3

Sunday, June 16

Do you guys want to meet my boy?
Yup. That's him. x)

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15

Wednesday, June 12

Piano camp: Take 1

Okay. It's a REALLY bad idea for me to be blogging so late at night, especially when I KNOW that I'm in one of those moods where I just go a little loopy.

See this girl? Yes. That is me right now.
Sorry. But it's true.
I just wanted to let you guys all know what I've been up to this week!
I am doing a piano workshop/camp/thing at the University of West Florida. I've been having a wonderful time, quite honestly. Not only have I been learning a lot, but I've made new friends and gained some valuable performing experience. 
For one, I'm doing like my first duet ever with a pianist who doesn't live in my house with me, so practice time is much more valuable. (Not to mention that the duet is freaking awesome)
Additionally, I have learned a new kind of painting! I stepped away from my usual medium, watercolor, and tried my hand at acrylic. Now you may be wondering why I'm painting at a piano camp. Well, do you remember my post about the public piano program here in Pensacola? 
You know, this one?
Well. I get to help paint one of those pianos, which will then go out somewhere in Pensacola for the public to look at, plink around on, and enjoy. (hopefully) Also, one of my fellow pianists and I decided that we should finger paint on the side of the piano, obviously not realizing that....uh....the paint doesn't come off. In a desperate attempt to cover our kindergartenesque masterpiece, we ended up creating something worthy of Van Gogh or someone artsy like that. (In other words, it looks really cool.) So if you should chance to see a funny looking piano around town, check on the right side for my patch. ;)
There are a couple of other things I've learned too, but they're boring like augmented seconds and the Lydian mode and such like. 
Music nerd stuff.
But yeah! I hope you guys enjoyed hearing briefly about my adventures (and misadventures) of the first UWF piano week/camp/workshop/I don't even know. 

Monday, June 10

Fill Up Your Tank

Most of you guys probably know that I went to a family reunion last week. 
And it was awesome.
And I miss everyone a LOT now. 
So yes, I think you could say that there's a sort of emptiness inside. After spending nearly every minute of four days with the people I love most in all the world, suddenly being separated from them is hard, yes.
So do I feel empty?


However, one of the devotionals that was delivered while we were in North Carolina has given me a new perspective on this situation.
Yes, we all feel the ache in the missing our loved ones, but we spent four days in Christian fellowship, sharing our love for God and each other, praising Him with our song, and trying to give glory to Him in whatever we did.

And because of that, I also have a happiness and satisfaction which nothing could bring but having a full spiritual tank.

Because we were able to share this common bond of Christianity, it is my hope that everyone in attendance at our reunion left feeling the same way. We built each other up, encouraged each other in Christianity, and learned more about our God. 
This also reminds me of the verse we Christians quote often at funerals, about not sorrowing as the world sorrows because we have hope and assurance that nobody but God can bring. I don't know what the future holds, and it's true that I may not see some of my family again in this life (though I pray that God will bring us all safely back together again next year), but I know that God holds the future, and I'm trusting in Him to fill up my spiritual tank in every situation.

Yup. It's definitely full right now. :)

Sunday, June 9

How to Get Ununinspired

I realized that like my last twenty-six blog posts have started out with "I'm really sorry" or something along those lines, so this time I'm not even going to bother.

I regret nothing.

Okay, I lied, I seriously wish that I had posted at least one more time than I did over the last almost-month (which would put me at a grand total of one post). I do, however, feel that I had a good reason for my non-presence in the blogging world.

I was uninspired.

Yep. See that right there? That was me. Sad, but true.
As bummerific as being uninspired was/is, I know that I cannot possibly be the only person to suffer from it.

So here is a top ten list for you guys!


1. Look up quotes, think about them, and write your thoughts on them.
2. Think of a random top ten list to post. (I promise you guys this one actually does not apply to this post; however, I have used it numerous times in the past.)
3. Do something fun, unusual, exciting, adventurous, silly, unique, insane, adrenaline-pumping, dangerous, special, or crazy (preferably all of the above). Take pictures.
4. Find a really old picture and post a memory it brought to mind.
5. Post something random, funny, and so completely out there that all your fans will love you forever. (I like to think I'm an expert at this one)
6. Post an inspiring message about self-motivation, beauty, love, friendship, family, or something like that.
7. Read other people's blogs. (Oftentimes I find that I am not alone in leaving my blog untouched for long periods of time, and then I feel better about myself.)
8. Sit and think for a while before you start to write. I've found that some of my best topics come to mind at a whim.
9. Dissect a fetal pig.
10. Write a journal post. Not like an "OH DIARY LET ME TELL YOU THE SECRETS OF MINE INNERMOST HEART," but rather, let your readers in to your life. Let them get to know you, your interests, how you pass your time (Half my time is spent wishing that I was a better blogger), your family, and such like. It could be fun! ;)

Another thing that I've discovered is the power of the scheduled post. When I am in an inspired mood, I find myself  wanting to write post after post after post, but not wanting to overwhelm you, my readers. So I write as many posts as I wish, but schedule each for a different day. That way, you can cheat and make it look like you are a most inspired person, when really, you just wrote like ten posts in one day and spread them out. (Life hack right there, people. You should thank me.)

Now go! Take what I have taught you! Be ununinspired bloggers!