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Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

I have been camera crazy this year, filled with intentions of having one of those beautiful blogs filled with artistic pictures that speak effortless, silent poetry. Life has kept me busy, stunned me with its picturesque every day. This is my small sample. Me in one of my creative Christmas outfits. Here in Colorado the weather has scarcely ventured above freezing for two weeks, so I’m a little bored of my usual sweaters, inspiring creative ensembles.

There’s another cause, too. In December, for several reasons, we should cancel laundry: 1. We are buying new clothes for Christmas parties anyway. 2. We are receiving new clothes at Christmas. 3. We are never at home, so laundry is impossible. 4. There’s going to be enough guilt from all the candy and baked goods we eat, and all the New Year’s Resolutions we instantly break. Why add unfinished laundry?

(To be honest, my laundry is all caught up as of about an hour from now. And I really don’t get new clothes at Christmas or make New Year’s Resolutions. Nor do I feel guilty about my sugar intake.)

For my birthday I hosted a party at which we watched the movie, Penelope (starring Christiana Ricci, James McAvoy, and Reese Witherspoon). The bright contrasting colors inspired me. For my parties I usually have either candles or flowers. These were too perfect, and looking exquisite in the daisy vase a friend gave me for my high school graduation.


Aren’t the colors so vibrant?
Fall lingered in Colorado. I’m glad I have pictures to remember it by, not only because it was beautiful, but also because now it’s so cold that I can’t believe the Indian Summer we had.

See. Winter.
For weeks I went around with my camera in the passenger seat of my car so that when I found beautiful colors, driving through the right part of old Denver, I could snap a shot at a stop sign! It turned out great!

This old house was so charming as I drove that I took a picture of it, too. Denver is a lot nicer place when you see the cozy residential areas near downtown.
It can be a frustrating place. There is something nostalgic about railroad crossings, I admit. And I’m glad I had my camera, because otherwise the wait that day would have been intolerable. Trains are such dirty, slow, loud vehicles!
Speaking of waiting, that is one of only two things that I have done this season. The other is enduring impossible stores with gifts impossible to find or afford. I’m ready to stop waiting in lines and in traffic and behind trains and for people to come or go or catch up. My idea of nice waiting is to be curled up in front of the Christmas tree with a book, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby crooning in the background, a nice plate of fudge and a cinnamon roll handy.

These are some of our family’s signature cookies. Admit it. You never want just one of those regular-sized cookies. So instead of making you go back until you’ve had three or four, we put the whole serving into one cookie. They’re amazing. And my 11 year old sister is a pro at making them, attributed to her procrastinating style.
Mom tried to recreate the salad she likes from Chik-fil-a. It was so bright and pretty that I had to take a picture.
That’s all.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn
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April 24-28 I was in Jacksonville, Florida for Awana’s Journey 24-7 (High School) national Bible Quiz and Games. They call it Summit – a rather non-original name. Anyway, it was a group of 19 from our church, 13 kids and six leaders.

The short story is: At Bible Quiz we had two teams of six, who were quizzing out of the Awana study book on the entire book of Romans. They knew about 24 verses and lots of lists and facts and definitions, plus summaries of about ¼ the books in the Bible. One team made it to the forth round of Quiz (40 minutes: 20 speed like team jeopardy and 20 team multiple choice each round), and ended up between 11 and 15 in the nation (about 130 teams). The other team earned their way to the 5th round, Platinum, and ended up 8th in the nation.


Our Games team had great fun, finishing the day doing the chicken dance. We won some exciting games, including three-way tug of war, and played three rounds. No special prizes, because we’re not the tallest or fastest group ever. It was a fun team day, and afterwards the kids ran through fountains – the good thing about being in Florida.
 


Three girls earned their Citation Awards, representing 10 years of Bible memory.

We went to the beach twice, had many wonderful late-night meals, and joined in hundreds of teenagers at the main sessions. The airport and airplanes offered their adventures. People made friends, learned things, saw God’s grace at work, worshiped, prayed, and took thousands of pictures.

So I’m back, finally sick after putting off the cold for weeks before Summit. Since I got hardly any sleep while there, I’m just recovering. But I miss people. After five days spent entirely in the company of friends, sitting alone at work, even with a good book, is unsatisfying.

When I was in grade school, I saw high school Leaders-in-Training come home from nationals with bronze medals for Bible Quiz, and I started saving money to go myself. Nothing would stop me, not ropes or money or the fact that none of my good friends went my freshman year, or the flu. Not that I ever had the flu. This year came close. Lack of sleep and a rough two plane rides in a row knocked me out and I was in serious pain and seriously ill several days. So I got to test that.

Even after I graduated, nothing could keep me home. I immediately started coaching. I’m born to be a coach. In years past that’s been my main role, that and schedule enforcer, keeper of alarm clock, you know. This year was the first year that my role really shifted to a welcomed mentor role. I got to talk with the students on our team and build relationships with them, help them remember how God fits into their lives while hopefully communicating that whatever they think of the person I am now, I went through a lot of the same experiences and feelings they are having now.

What did I love? Getting to talk to and share life with our group. I feel like this year I really built relationships with people, and got to be a friend.

What did I learn? Jacksonville sits on a tidal river, which means it flows in different directions depending on the time of day. Surely God’s goodness and mercy will follow me… Little things chanted of His goodness.

What did I like? The ocean. It was fun. Not beautiful to the sight, but to the touch.

Where was I challenged? In being an authority and what to do when rules are broken. Also in not feeling up to par for most of the trip. I was challenged to be kind and grateful and emotional and relational. It’s so easy to hide when you’re not feeling well.


What now? I miss the constant community. At Summit I’m a different person, and it’s because I’m around those people. Things are changing. I’m starting to look at how to transition relationships from authority to purely friendship. And delighted to think that life doesn’t just end after high school; we can still hang out and be friends.

Special thanks:
That we made our connection in Memphis.
That our group got to experience Romans 12 (with a few rough patches).
That our Bible Quiz teams were blessed.
That we all felt sufficiently well to compete.
That when our van got lost we still got out of the hotel basically on time.
For finding three parking spots next to each other.
For brown t-shirts with white writing.
 
To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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 January 12 I attended a Civil War Ball put on by a homeschool group in our area. The dress I designed and made myself. So accepting some, as they say in the bus – irregularities, considering the feat, I’m satisfied. Mom had to have pictures. My brother went crazy with the camera (thus the views from the top). And I’m only uploading the good ones!
 
We learned a lot of dances, whose steps I tried to recall the week after the dance.  If I got any of the steps wrong, omitted some, or confused the steps between dances, you’ll have to forgive me.  I can’t even find any websites that have instructions I can check.  Whenever I say “arms around,” it’s a dance step, not a position.  Elbows link and the couple swings a full circle. 
Virginia Reel: Line of gentlemen, line of partners facing.  Head lady meets food gentleman in center, curtsy and bow.  Head gentleman and foot lady do the same.  Head lady, foot gentleman meet right arms around.  Foot.  Left arms around.  Two hands around.  Dosie-do.  Head couple sachets down and back, right arms around.  Separate.  Gentleman reels with ladies line.  Lady reels with gentleman’s line.  Return to the middle to reel right arms around with partner between each outside partner (left arms).  Once down to the end of the line, right arm reel one more time and make a arch.  Other couples file through, lady, gentleman, lady, gentleman, inside and under the arch, out and around to reform line.  Begin again at the top. 
You do have to think about being graceful to move in a hoopskirt. It’s a good mental exercise.  Some dances were almost impossible.  I intentionally left out the dance that shouldn’t have been in a Civil War ball, because the dresses are too prohibitive. 
One of my favorite dances was:
Military Two-Step: Promenade position (crossed hands held, side by side, girl on gentleman’s right).  Point toe outside, cross in front and touch heels.  Point toe outside, cross in back and touch heels.  Face each other, step, right kick, step, left kick.  Right arm reel, switch partners (ladies move left, gentlemen stay)
From the back… I love the lacing! At the last minute I decided to gather the extra fabric of the skirt in swags instead of hemming. Once dancing in it I learned the skirt was too long, since I and everyone else kept stepping on it. However, I only made it to barely cover the hoopskirt, so that is what was too long. In between dances I found a discreet corner in which to lower myself into repair position and replace safety pins.

My other favorite dance was:

Yankee Reel: Lady on gentleman’s right, take hands in circle, six steps to center, turn around & go back.  Right arm around first partner.  Left arm around next partner (ladies move clockwise, gentlemen counterclockwise).  Two hands around next partner.  Dosie-do next partner.  Swing around next partner (waltz position, once around), turn under (lady do a spin under gentleman’s left arm toward center, come right back) and curtsy/gentleman bow.  Face center, take hands, start over. 

With a little more work on the gown, the lacey overlay would have gone all the way around. No one expressed criticism for this point. I am my own severest critic.
The sleeves were something I fought with, and didn’t figure out until I was making a shirt for my sister (half-making; it still isn’t finished). I needed the sleeve to be basically a rounded trapezoid, and I had a fixed length for the two sides, and for the top. But I needed the bottom to be longer than the rounded top. If you’re a math whiz you know that’s impossible… unless you round the bottom edge too! That makes poofy sleeves. So I ended up doing that, gathering the top, and tucking the hem. My only problem was that the right and left sleeve were identically cut, so they didn’t fit into the armholes the same. Oops!
Rebel Stomp: Lady on outside, moves to her right.  Two steps right, stomp.  Two steps left, stomp.  Two steps right, stomp.  Two steps left, turn (face counterclockwise in promenade position.  Point outside toe out, then bring it back together with the other foot, step outside foot back, forward sweep, and two steps.  Turn around and repeat.  Back up three steps.  Come together three steps with new partner.  (Ladies move left.) 
In the end my favorite part was the ribbon, which I found in abundance among my craft supplies. The eyelets are in backwards, but you really can’t tell.
Patty-cake Polka: Ladies on outside of circle.  Gentlemen mirror ladies.  Hold hands.  Ladies right heel out, cross over left leg and point toe.  Left heel out, cross over right leg and point toe.  Step back three.  Come together three.  Right hands clap three times.  Left hands three claps.  Both hands three claps.  Knees three claps.  Lady spins under gentleman’s right arm and on to her left. 
I did my hair in rag curls without rags (used little claw clips instead) and left it up for dance practice. After I bought hairspray and got the dress on I took the hair down to make the ringlets.

Hat Dance: Line of ladies, line of gentleman.  Three chairs.  One hat.  Hat in middle seat.  Begin two ladies in outside chairs, one gentleman in middle.  He chooses which lady not to dance with by giving her the hat.  Sachets down line with other lady, gets back in line.  Lady with hat moves to center seat.  Two gentlemen fill in.  She chooses the same way.  Repeat.  

The highlight of the day was actually the culture involved in a ball.  Ladies were expected to be ladies, and men were gentlemen. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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