Friday, May 28, 2010

All About the Sibs - DeCecco, Camera, and Adoption Dates

 I've said this many a time before, but in case you didn't know, my older brother Sam is an amazing songwriter! Want to see how awesome he is after all my ranting and raving? Well now you can! Under his stage name DeCecco (said dee-cay-co) he has just released his first self produced album, "The Last of the 00s!". It's amazing what you can do with garage band and a creative mind. If you like anywhere from techno to folk, there will be something for you. Some of his stuff is more experimental, but it's all pretty good. As is the album cover. :D So go here and download it for FREE and be sure to give Sam your feedback and share this with your friends, enemies, family members, teachers, robots, and dogs. 

 On other news... my sister Corina has got a camera and I'm featuring her over at my photography blog so go over to LIV Photography and check out the first little bits of her work! 

 And last but certainly not least... we have our adoption court date!!!! I am SOOOOOOO excited that my two little brothers will be officially ours in late July! After that, expect to see lots of pictures of the adorableness of my little munchkins. :) 

 Also, we had our first Community Gathering this last Sunday and it went really well. Thank you for praying and please continue to do so, especially for our house to sell and for us to get moved over. Lately it's been daily and sometimes even more then once a day 20 mile trips which isn't too bad, but we are anxious to be living in the community and establishing ourselves there. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

LIV Photography and Convents

 First order of business: I have a photography blog!! :)

I'm super excited for the photography blog for many reasons, one of the main one is that I love sharing my work, but I don't always want to make an entire post that's about just the photos. This gives me a way to just post the pictures and not have to give too much explanation. As well as not let my entire personal blog consumed with posting pictures and a place to post my freelance work. So go over to LIV Photography, follow me, and enjoy!


 Second order of business is that I had tryouts for The Sound of Music last week for our community theater and... *builds up the suspense*... I'm a nun!!
 Yes... after a year of studying the Reformation for history, I've become a nun. As I reassured the pastor at I church I go to youth group at, I'll just be a protestant nun. :) At first I was a little dissapointed to get a nonspeaking role, but then I took a look at who else is going to be nuns and got super excited! I have a bunch of friends and people I know that are nuns and it'll be really fun. My mom also is a nun and she got one of the solos. It's our first play we've been in together since I was six so we're excited.

 Also, it's a small enough part that it wont totally consume my entire summer. I'm going to camp for a total of 3 weeks (Lord willing) and two of those weeks I'm coming into town for practices since it's nearby. But the best part of it will be of course our costumes!! Haha. :D


 Also, I just ask for your prayers for the church plant. We have a crazy week ahead with our first community gathering/preview service and SO much to do! We're excited to have Sam back for the summer though and able to help with leading worship. So please continue to pray for us!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Channyn Shoot

 I blogged a few weeks ago about God's faithfulness in providing me friends and today I want to introduce one of those friends to you all. My beautiful friend Channyn is one that I've made through the Bible study I've been involved in and she also goes to our sister E Free church. As I've got to know her over the last few months, I've definitely found a good friend in this zanny, short, artistic girl.

 What first made me go up and introduce myself to Channyn was her personal story. She has gone through different struggles through her life, but in the midst of it, it's so cool to see God's faithfulness to her through it all and how her past has made her stronger. She has such a heart for God and for people and it inspires me. Last summer she went to Germany for a class trip and saw a homeless woman there and since then she's felt a burden on her heart for the homeless of Germany. Her dream is to go and be homeless in Germany, ministering to the people by being God's love to them.

 So partly because of all this, I suggested we do a little photo shoot. Some of these may be used for her senior pictures next year, but the purpose was mostly artistic. I wanted to find someone I could use as a model for some concepts I had in mind and knowing Channyn's story, she worked perfectly. Also, it was interesting from a photographer's perspective working with someone who was so incredibly short! Channyn is 4'9" so it made it really interesting and truthfully really fun.

 So without further ado.... here are a few of the pictures!
We were so excited to find a "Channyn size" door in the downtown area!

Channyn just went and grabbed a dandelion to hold and it was absolutely perfect! She's definitely a natural.

See? Doesn't it just fit?

 We found this red shed and it just screamed country rustic, but it was in an alley in downtown. 

Now we get into our more artistic, deeper meaning ones. If you can't read the notecard it says, "I AM" and the rest of the pictures are the completion to that sentence. 




Loved <3

So this isn't the usual spelling of the word "Hosanna" but I do believe it is a legit alternative spelling. But misspellings are just what happen when you put 2 poets that can't spell together!

I'm pretty sure we DID spell this one right. ;)

After the weight of those intense, serious pictures we just had to go and lighten the mood a bit. 


 And that wraps up the highlights of the shoot! Also, I just want to ask you all to pray for Channyn right now. She's dealing with some serious medical issues and the doctors are in the process about finding out what's wrong and how to treat it. We're all hoping it's nothing that the doctors can't fix easily, but please pray for healing for her! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Backyard Monster

Here's another of my originals for you all! I wrote it about a month ago and it definitely is one of my favorites so far. I really like the imagery and had fun experimenting with metaphors and illustration. Still working on some kinks in the melody but hopefully someday soon I'll get a video of it up. Hope you enjoy!

Many have spoken about the elephant in the room
But I would take that any day over the current threat that looms
The more it’s ignored the bigger it grows
Feeding on the blood of the once aglow
Their screams pierce the midnight air
But we simply plug our sleeping ears

There’s a monster in my backyard
It sits right outside my door
But I’ve sound proofed my walls
So I hear the victims no more
There’s a giant running through my town
And it’s burning everything in sight
But as for now I am safe
So I won’t venture outside

The lucky ones that have escaped
Try to show us their pain
And we pretend to listen
Then we send them right back to where they were before
As long as they are outside
And we turn the music louder
We can stay inside our pretty houses
And not be touched by the horror

The monster keeps on growing
We do nothing to keep him from his prey
Just wait and someday all too soon
He will be kicking down the doors
And we will be safe no more

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Lovely Mother

     I vividly remember one day in my mind shortly before I turned seven. The rest of that summer is much of a blur, but that one day stands out to me in a heartbreaking way. My mom had gotten sick with a horrible infection that summer after a relatively minor surgery and being an almost seven-year-old girl; I was oblivious to the seriousness of what was happening. All I knew was that mom was sick and I got to hang out at my friend’s houses and now I was going to spend some time with my grandma, something I was so excited about.
     I remember standing at the hospital bed, excited and anxious for my grandpa to come and drive me half way to my North Dakota grandma’s house. All I could think of was seeing my grandma again and eating lots of candy (her nickname is “Candy Grandma” for a reason). Yet as we were getting ready to go, my mom said something to me that I’ll never forget. She explained the seriousness of her illness and said, “I could die.”
    Those words in my little mind were always burned as in two seconds I realized that I could be losing one of the dearest and most important people in my life. The tears came and I didn’t want to go anymore to my grandma’s, I just wanted to be with my mom and make sure nothing bad happened to her. Throughout my time at my grandma’s, we prayed a ton that my mom would get better.
    And she did. After a second surgery, the infection was removed and she slowly got better. I can still remember my birthday that year though, eight years later. My grandma made chocolate chip muffins that morning and we then hopped into the car for the four-hour car ride back home. We stopped at the hospital and saw my mom, who was then post surgery and recovering.
     I only got to see her for five minute on my birthday and then we had to head home where my dad, brother, and some other family were waiting to celebrate my birthday. My mom was with us via telephone, but it wasn’t the same and I’ll always remember that birthday.
     As mother’s day is coming up, I can’t imagine life without my mom. I can’t picture what life would be like right now if she would have died eight years ago. She is my best friend, confidante, counselor, shopping partner, partner in blondeness at times (when we are together, it’s horrible), and the person that makes me laugh all the time.
     So here’s to my mom! Is she perfect? No. Do we always get along perfectly? No. But do I love her more then peanut butter toast? Oh yeah! Happy Mothers day Mom, I love you tons and tons! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Four Random Facts

 I wonder when the first time I was asked so say a few random things about myself was... and I wonder how easy it was as well. Of course there is difficulty in thinking of something, but when no one has heard the random things before you can say almost anything and it could be random. But eventually you have to start repeating yourself when it comes to random things. Yet I sit here tonight attempting to not do exactly that. Behold, here are four random things about me... and hopefully they are original.

  1. My athletic skillz are seriously lacking. See that blurred image trying to catch a Frisbee and the girl swinging at the invisible ball? Yeah, that's me. I've tried the whole sports thing, I was in soccer for awhile in elementary school and tried volleyball in 6th grade. Let's just say I'll stick to being an artist.  
  2. I have an accent and it's getting stronger all the time. Most of you don't know what a Northern Minnesotan accent is so let me explain... no... you have to hear it to understand. If you want to hear it just watch the movie New In Town for a over-exaggerated (but sometimes freakishly accurate) Minnesotan accent. Mine is typically pretty subtle but man, I can do a mean strong one when I feel like it yeah sure ya betcha! 
  3. My favorite TV show is Arthur. I seriously LOVE that show even when my siblings aren't watching it! Before Sam went off to school last fall, we sat down and watched the episode that the Backstreet Boys were in and we were reminded that it's the best show ever. In general I'm a PBS girl... I love Cyber Chase, The Electric Company, Master Piece Theater (am I sounding a bit more grown up now?), and the majority of the shows on there. I love having little kids around so I have a good excuse to watch them. 
  4. I'm working on a special photography project this summer... but *whispers* it's a secret for now. It's really a set of photos that I'm working on taking and putting together, but I'm super excited to start some hardcore work on it. You all will definitely get to check it out when it's done though!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God in the Bad Days

  Today was a horrible day for me. Sometimes you just have those days where it feels like everything that could go wrong did go wrong and it takes two hands to count how many emotional breakdowns you’ve had. I couldn’t even bake brownies right today (which are usually my specialty). So as I finish up the day I am feeling worn out, tired, exhausted, and like a complete and utter failure.

   As I had tried to write a post about something totally different and I just got frustrated with even that, I took a look at a bunch of Leslie Ludy quotes that I had typed out in a document and one of them particularly struck me.

    “While American Christians are preoccupied with healing their own inner wounds, being set free to be their true selves, and fighting to be noticed and appreciated for their own unique qualities; staggering numbers of people around the world are living in such misery, squalor, and pain that we cannot even imagine.”

Now doesn't that put everything into perspective? Also another thing she said just totally hit me hard.

     “Our hearts are not the most important things in the world. The Down syndrome boy in Mexico City who sleeps on the streets and begs for food is the most important thing in the world. The nine-year-old girl whose virginity is auctioned off to a room of despicable perverts is the most important thing in the world. The impoverished prostitute who lives in the gutter and sells her body for a few coins a day is the most important thing in the world. The African boy-solider who is forced to become a killing machine at the age of ten is the most important thing in the world.”

It always seems that when I am feeling the most down, the most caught up in self-pity, the most preoccupied with self, God just totally convicts me using powerful means. Here I am, having emotional breakdowns about a bad day when 2 million children can’t sleep tonight because they are being forced to sell their bodies for sex. I am whining and fussing while 146 million kids are orphans and millions of people are going to be hungry. Is that sick and twisted or what?

 We live in a world where we are encouraged to be consumed with ourselves. From billboards that advertise, “Get what you deserve” (just a side note: why in the world would I want to get hell? Because that is the only thing that I deserve.) To consumer driven churches, it’s everywhere. And it’s considered normal and that’s wrong.

 Our entire country is filled with the consumer mindset that says it’s all about us. We want things to go our way in our timing and no one better mess with that happening. That, my friends, is sinful. Because it’s not about us… nothing in life is about us.

The very purpose man was made was to glorify GOD. We were meant to make God look good and enjoy doing that! Yet instead of spending our time, energy, and money pouring ourselves into making God look good and serving Him and others, we pour our lives into ourselves. It’s an atrocity that everything seems to be made to be about ourselves in a world that doesn’t need people consumed with self, but consumed with God and the needs of others.

 Today, instead of pouring myself totally into my younger siblings who I was babysitting, I worried about me, my stress level, my feelings, my frustration, and today ended up horrible. Today, instead of making my focus the Cross and Christ, I made my focus myself, my burdens and responsibilities, my worries, and my situations. Instead of starting my day off in communion and fellowship with God, I woke up rushed, having slept past my alarm, and my first thoughts were all that I needed to get done.

        Yet through my failures and fallings, God still is with me. He promises that His grace is new every morning or as Miss Stacy would say “tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it… yet.” He remains faithful and promises that if I simply ask Him, He will give me everything I need. Because it’s not about me, it’s only about Him.