Thursday, 31 July 2008
Deciding whether or not they wanted to play... now that there was about forty people watching them.
My piano teacher, also a violinist and violist. But we don't really talk about the last one much, because everyone knows her as a pianist. As well as baker-extraordinaire and giver of chocolate to all her students!
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Things may be stressful, but it's always nice to take a few things down and lay in the sun - which has finally decided to grace us with it's presence - for a little while betwixt running all over the place. And it's fun to be the only people at the beach who are not dip-netting, along with commenting on the visible differences of locals and non-locals.
"He's got his sleeves rolled up and stains on his pants."
"Well, that's because he's from around here."
"She's wearing a knit hat, scarf, gloves, and hasn't got any stains on anything. And she's wearing boots."
"And she's not from the state."
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
There is a community orchestra, which grew out of a student one, which I often 'ring' for. By now, I think I've played most of their pieces at least once. Then the conductor of the group surprised me with a few new numbers, but I figured that there wasn't any problem and practiced them at home.
Of course, it wasn't going to be that easy. I arrived for the rehearsal shortly before the actual concert and it was decided by popular vote to change one of the pieces - which I had down - and they substituted it with one I'd never seen before. Apparently I'm a good sight-reader: no one noticed that I bluffed my way through, and NEVER made a mistake. I didn't get any pictures of the larger group performing; however, I managed to get a few shots of the cello group, Cellocracy. And I noticed a little sign above the area where we were playing...
Monday, 28 July 2008
I might mention that we're playing a really cool set of pieces which are actually sets of dances from the Renaissance. Currently, they are my favourite pieces. I'll let you know more about the music later!
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Friday, 25 July 2008
Today, as we were working at weeding, we took a break and I sat for a few minutes in the branches of the felled willow.
As I jumped down, I saw that there was a little one growing up beside where the previous one had stood. "From the ashes, a fire shall be woken" ran through my mind. Perhaps later I'll post pictures of the willow, for Jhaniel's sake.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Harrison: Why would there be splinters in the toilet paper?
Mum: Well, what is toilet paper made from?
Harrison: From... paper?
Mum: Yes. What is paper made from?
Harrison: Uh. Wood.
Mum: What does wood come from?
Harrison: I don't know!
Theophilus or Dad (I don't remember which) : From trees... *this was kinda quiet*
Harrison looked up at them with a strange, but typical him, expression: They make wood from CHEESE?
And that was the last attempt today to be logical or productive with our conversations. It went downhill radically after that. Life at our house is always interesting, never dull, and usually someone's talking about making a movie of our lives...
By the way, Dad got a great movie last night that I love, it's very fitting. Anyone seen "What About Bob?"
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Due to things at court and with the foster system, my family was once again stressed. Theophilus, in effort to make light of a certain comment, brought about the following.
Theophilus: Belle! Are you having fun here, playing with Harrison?
I guess they had so much fun that Harrison quite forgot who he was. Or why Theophilus would be talkin about him. But he is very random. I love him for it.
Also, I have a habit of when I'm cold, I wrap a small blanket around my shoulders like a cape and run around with it. When I was little, Theophilus and I thought we were super-heroes, unless I was using my red blanket, which meant I was a Roman general. Today, Tink started running around and I overheard her. "Where's my flyer?"
"I lost my flyer thingy!" Then diving onto her bed, she produced a blanket. "Here it is! I can fly now."
"How's that, Tink?"
"When you're cold, you wrap this around and fly, 'cause flying makes you warm."
I guess in her own logic, it works.
This afternoon, I wrote several letters, each with my blue pen. Belle asked me why humans don't have blue hair. After trying to explain a little, she then asked why she couldn't have a hairy face like Theophilus (who is getting a beard going). Finally, to appease her, I asked if she would really want to have a blue mustache or beard. She said yes. In a crazy whim, I drew her a mustache, which she duly admired in the bathroom. Mum isn't a fan of drawing on people, so I washed it off immediately. Only to have Belle ask why Theophilus' beard wasn't blue too. Sometimes, I just should not respond to my quirky sense of humor. At least Belle likes it. After all, she's the only girl I've ever known who got to sport a blue mustache. (Quite a full one too!)
Today is just one of those days where the adults in our family need to see there is something to smile or laugh about still. It isn't always going to be dealing with politics and petty regulations. After all, these kids just seem to want to make us smile.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
As a family, we try to have devotions on a regular basis, but don't always succeed. In our hymnals, it calls for the singing of a hymn before the reading of Scripture, and usually everyone groans and it is a painful process. However, last night, after the end of devotions, I began playing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and singing by myself. Lance piped up that it was one of his favourite hymns, and he and Theophilus joined me in singing.
This ended up with Mum, Dad, Theophilus and Lance standing around me while all of us were singing. It didn't matter if we didn't always know the song, or if we were changing which hymnal we were working with, or anything really. Mostly, it had to be old, and usually minor (if Theophilus or I had much to say about it. As the pianist, I did have much to say). Finally, nearly midnight, our voices began to give out and I believe we'd been singing for about two hours by that point.
I began thinking shortly afterwards about how sad it is that we don't sing some of the older songs in church on Sundays. Some of them were several hundred years old, had gorgeous melodies and meaningful words. Mum said that some Christians now-a-days wouldn't like how much the words challenged easy faith. My family, especially my brother and I, have a love for the older traditions. My thoughts soon turned on how I might introduce some of the older things back into our church. Perhaps, just perhaps, my family including my parents, might become a more musical family and sing together - with some practice like when I was little - and sing at church. Whatever comes of late-night singing and inspirations, I still have the ringing "Alleluias" in my mind.
Monday, 21 July 2008
Belle shows you just how you're supposed to learn to stand on your head and relax.
Theophilus is her budding student. He's going to hate me for adding this photo, but I couldn't help but put it up too. Lance is very approving in the back-ground.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
However, yesterday, my mother was accused, and thus the family with her, of being racist. I won't go into details here, but it left my whole family, especially Mum, very hurt. Tonight, we all got a little crazy at the dinner table, one thing being that we were all very tired after a busy week and another was all the pent up frustration. Well, we vented some of that through ranting in what would look like to anyone who didn't know us as absolute insanity.
After a while, I was down giving the girls their before-church bath, and the girls were happily drenching each other into drowned rats. Tink, for some reason, turned extremely red all up and down her arms.
"Why, Tink! You're a regular little red Injun!" Belle giggled.
In an attempt to stop things like that, (since if they repeat it anywhere, we'd be suspected of even more racism) I quickly said "Oh no, honeybunches, we don't call people titles like that."
"You mean, we don't say you're a white girl and I'm a red Injun?" Belle asked.
"I was told by somebody that we were blue-bloods. But we're more red than blue." Belle looked thoughtfully at her own arms.
"But it's not nice to give people labels like that, okay?" I hoped they'd drop the subject soon. That's when Tink expressed her views on racism.
"And that's because we're all PURPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Friday, 18 July 2008
Tink: It's 'noing, it's 'noing!
Laura: No, Tink. It's not snow. It's ash.
Tink: It's snashing, it's snashing!
Oh, for the adorable things that kid comes up with. Any kid, for that matter...
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
As Theophilus and I prepared food for dinner, Harrison occasionally brought up some of his projects to be duly admired. I realized that we have very few pictures of those that were built years ago by the soon-to-be engineer Theophilus (we have less than one month together now) and decided I'd start snapping shots of Harrison's work, before he or the girls tear them apart. When I went downstairs, I was happy to see that Belle was busy at work constructing her own fort from legos. Tink was the only non-engineer, as she told me that she was at work on her 'nobble' like me. I don't think I can make her understand that I'm at work on a novel, since she thinks that 'nobbles' are far more interesting and more people read them.
Life has little pleasures hidden for us. Here's to finding them in the simple things! ~Laura
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
I will sing His name, I will praise Him still.
When dark trials come and my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt, I will praise Him still.
For the Lord our God, He is strong to save
From the arms of death, from the deepest grave.
And He gave us life in His perfect will,
And by His good grace, I will praise Him still.
(c) Fernando Ortega, 1997
Yesterday, Dad, Theophilus and Lance went up to Anchorage. On their way home, they were delayed for quite a while by a severe accident. This morning, I woke up and found that Anna at Pleasantview Schoolhouse had a friend whose family had lost a son to a car accident.
This afternoon, Theophilus came down to my room where I was working to tell me that the accident last night that had delayed them had killed the man who'd been hit. Two women (I believe) who were in the car which had caused the accident were in the hospital, and not expected to live. But then he informed me that we knew the man, Jeff. He lived with us for a few months when Theophilus and I were small children. His life had been rough, but through it all, he still remained faithful to his God. Mum and Dad are torn up, and Mum put on a CD of Fernando Ortega. "I Will Praise Him, Still" will always remind me of death and mourning: she played this song when my grammamma died, and now.
We all are greatly saddened, and it makes me wonder sometimes how it seems that times of mourning come in one great lump, never spread out. Perhaps God has a reason for that. Whatever it is , I still will praise him.
Monday, 14 July 2008
On Saturday, Jessica hosted a Lord of the Rings party, and I went out with Jenn and Steph. It was great fun, and I loved hanging out with fellow Tolkien-lovers. Jessica made lembas bread, which was delightfully delicous, as were her 'tater cookies'. Everything seemed to have a Tolkien-endowed meaning: nerd's haven. I meant to take more pictures, but completely forgot until right before we left. And it was dark, so I lightened it and transferred it into sepia, since I couldn't make out the colours anyways.
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Friday, 11 July 2008
- Writing a three page letter on green paper with birds all over it.
- Hearing from Mandi, a councilor at a camp I went to over a year ago - we haven't written in about eleven months.
- Taking Belle up to the mail-box to post a letter for Keri.
- Showing Tink how to bicycle and pushing her around the drive-way.
- Looking through pictures I took in May and editting some of them.
- White roses reminding me of cleanliness and loveliness.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Actually, this is in our shared perennial bed. Such lovely colours... This plant always makes me think of Katrina. Don't know why, but it's so pretty.
I don't remember what type of flower this is, but it's right next to my King's Crown (which is huge by now.)
Our ornamental strawberries are also in bloom right now. They brighten everything up with their brilliant pinks.
I love apple blossoms. This picture was taken a while ago, because I've been meaning to post about them for nearly a month.
Here are pink apple blossoms. I can't wait until there are actually apples on them. But in Alaska, that may take a while.
After a good rain, the apple trees freshened up and put forth more flowers. And I must admit that I'm really attracted to the sweet blooms.
And this is back to our perennials. They look just blue in this picture, but they're more of a violet blue than this. It's actually quite tall too, but you can't really tell here.
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
I'm very sad, because most of my friends live very far away, and sometimes it hurts that I can't easily see them. But as we talked today, I was given a strange feeling: peace. Suddenly, I don't feel so sad when I'm reminded that the twenty-first is their last day in state. I don't feel like crying when I realize that we don't know when we'll ever see each other again.
I was given peace. I remembered: I've already gone through this with Marilyn, and I survived. Sure, I didn't think I would back then, but I found out that life, and our friendship, still went on.
Last night, my parents and I watched Shadowlands, a movie about C.S. Lewis and Helen Joy Gresham. After her death, a friend of his told him that life must go on, to which Lewis replied that it needn't but "I find that it usually does". I guess that's how one must face what one thinks one cannot.
My friends have gone on, but so have the friendships. Just because there are thousands of miles between doesn't make them any less potent or meaningful. But I had to ask God to help me: and He gave me peace to be able to get go.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Often I've run into the belief that in order not to be stressed, I ought to not be worried about cleaning. "It's okay if the house gets messy, you won't be stressed!"
Recently, I haven't been feeling that well, and my room went to pieces, and it wasn't the only place. The kitchen had a monster growing out of the sink because I hadn't done the daily dishes. Hum, and where did my jacket, shoes, purse and hair brush go? That's the problem. If you let a place get messy and chaotic, you start losing track of your belongings, and that's one sure recipe for stress! And guess what, having my room looking like a bombed out section of London during the blitz sure wasn't helping me feel any better. And not being able to find clean dishes because they were all in the sink didn't help anyone: in fact, it makes people grumpy, as far as I can tell. And who likes having to nag just so that they have a clean, matching pair of socks?
Really, considering that doing the dishes isn't too terribly hard of a chore to accomplish in a half hour or so, I wasn't feeling so bad as to not do them. And you know what? The kitchen looked a lot nicer when there wasn't that hideous monster coming out onto the counters. And time spent straightening up a messy bedroom isn't wasted. You can actually relax in there, and you exactly where you left things. Plus, it shouldn't take too long if you daily straighten things up... trust me, I'm still working on that one!
I for one am not able to allow everything to get chaotic simply because I'm busy. Actually, I feel that I have to keep on cleaning because I am busy. It may be the opposite of what most people think sensical, but it's the truth. Allowing your surroundings to get messy can stress you more than the actually cleaning would - and that stress could weaken your immune system and make you sick. It looks to me like keeping clean should definitely be more of a priority than it is.
And now you can see what Lewis book I'm working my way through!
Monday, 7 July 2008
Some other dear musicians! Including my piano teacher...
Sue and Jack making music like they know how!
Aren't these roses just lovely?
As is Sue!
And here's the couple together again! Congratulations to Sue and Jack!!!
Saturday, 5 July 2008
And it is always good to stop and look at the beauty in God's world! And what little girl (or big girl like me!) could resist stopping for flutterbyes!
Friday, 4 July 2008
A while ago, Theophilus made Tink a 'tap-top' so that when the rest of us were on laptops, she could have one too. Well, now the girls share the laptop (an ex-box covered in duct-tape). When the girls first came to us, over a year ago, they had no imagination. It was so weird for me, but slowly we worked on them learning how to play. When we got them back, it seemed like all our work was undone. But as Mum says, you learn to play by imitating grown-ups in your life. I always thought that meant her and Dad.
As I was doing the dishes, I was listening to the iPod, but then I heard someone behind me. It was Belle. She asked for her cup of coffee which Mum had said she could have. After I made it up for her, I watched with interest as she took the cup over to the table.
Belle set the cup down next to the laptop, and opened it. Sighing, she began to act like she was typing. Curious, I asked her what she was doing. She smiled, took a sip of her coffee and said: "I'm blogging again. Silly computer takes so long to load." Um, wasn't that what I said last night when I was trying to get blogger to work?
I smiled at her, "So you have a blog?"
"Yep. It's called Belle's Blog. I write on it every day except for Sundays, mostly." She stared at the 'computer' and took another sip of coffee. "Oh, it's so slow when I'm trying to load photos."
I know for a fact that she has a pretend camera, so I assumed that's where she got them from. "What are you blogging about, and what photos are you using?"
"Oh, I'm blogging about biscadoodles and Theophilus cutting down the trees. So I took some pictures of your biscadoodles and of him out there with the trees. See?" She turned the computer so that I could see.
"Yep. That's a nice post." I said.
"Okay, well, I'm done blogging for today, I'll do another one tomorrow!" She shut the computer, drank the last of her coffee and pranced off.
Looks like I'm no longer the only blogger in my family. I have a mini-me blogger Belle!
Thursday, 3 July 2008
And they flopped. Well, I thought they flopped. The dough was gooey, and so I had Belle put more flour, sugar, and an extra egg/salt/baking powder in. Still, it was just not right. I gave up, refrigerated them, and then began to bake them.
When I took them out of the oven, they were all bumpy (unlike my usual smooth ones) and they tasted more like biscuits than snickerdoodles. I was so ashamed that I dumped them into a container and resolved not to pull them out after dinner. However, the girls got some and proclaimed them 'yummy'. I was not happy. But after dinner was over, she had me give some to Dad and Theophilus anyways.
Theophilus has decided that no: they are not snickerdoodles. He says they are better and wants me to make them the same way next time. I'm still too vain to take pictures of my flops. But I've discovered that there is a bright side to my mistake. Theophilus will eat all of them because he likes them. So this is the offical announcement of my own invented specialty: Biscadoodles!
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
When I started this blog, it was after a long time of wanting one. I, of course, had a few purposes in mind.
- For letting my friends know what I was up to.
- For putting my photography online.
- For posting some of my creative writings.
- For hopefully inspiring others as certain blogs had inspired me.
Yesterday, I wrote several poems. I think I was majorly inspired by Rivka Rebekah Tzedeqiel. (Perhaps I should settle on just one name to call her.)
This post is the first really of the third reason for my blog, which I find rather funny: it was my first reason that I had for getting a blog, yet I’ve been too busy with the little day-to-day things to actually show any of my creative writings yet!
What They Say
They say "The sun will
Come out tomorrow."
But their promise
Never comes through.
They say "Life goes on
And you get over it."
Yet how can I
When memories come
Before me always
When the night
Is still young...
Awake, My Trees
Come on, you trees
Come awake tonight.
I hear your whispering
Trying to come alive.
Let what lies within
Come out now to me.
Dance with me
In the forest fair
With night's softest
Silver wind upon us
And the sky still
Light in the West.
Moon's weak beam
Granting us her own
Serene - mundane - magic.
So come to life
Awake, my lovely trees.
The song of the land
Is that of her people.
Birds high in the trees,
And men swinging axes
Taming the restless wild
Rushing - frothing - waters.
And the land has meadows
Where still man has not
Come for settling but
Onlyl to sit and stare
Awhile till night is nigh.
The land sings a song
Which is all its own.
Stop a while in silence
And you will hear her tune.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Saturday: I got up early in the morning, so early that it's not even nice to think about. Then at half past seven, our family, plus two, headed out to go to Eagle River for the Alaska Scottish Highland Games. See, Theophilus had invited one of his friends, who in turn brought his sister along. The van-ride up was rather slow, because the other girl was very sleepy, and Mum and Dad were in the front, and the boys in back were the only ones talking. I think they talked about almost any subject under the sun possible for that space of time. The most exciting thing for me was the twenty or so vintage cars that passed us. I wanted one.
The Games were fun, but not nearly as much as the previous ones. They didn't have a reenactment village. But we spent a lot of time wandering around, and watched some dancers too.
On the way home, we ate at Lucky Wishbone, which is a restaurant which was opened in the fifties, and still runs the same way. So the whole place was decorated in a late forties, early fifties style. I loved it. Oh, and the serving sizes were ginormous! I could barely finish!
Sunday: I spent most of the day out. The drive to Laughing Creek was pretty, but cold, like most of this summer's been. After I was done out there, I went to the coffee-shop and spent a while talking to my old violin teacher. Around two, I went over to Old-Towne to the playhouse. They had a drama camp, and it ended with them putting on a show set during World War II. It was amazing, and I cried quite often during it. I wish I had pictures to show you, but I don't.
When I got home, Namtan, my sister from Thailand, called us. It was her eighteenth birthday. I'm so pround of her, but I really really want her to come home. We talked about it, and she may come next summer!
Monday: A few days ago, we cleared a lot of trees, and yesterday we burnt a lot of them. Not me, because my back and head hurt immensely. But Theophilus was a regular axe-monkey. I just did laundry and cleaned the floors. We received a visit from an old friend, which was nice, and at another point during the day, Mum reconnected with a family she knew long before she married Dad. I think it was a day for renewing contacts. For the most, a pleasant, nice day. Although still cloudy and not very warm.
Today: It was hot and sunny! I think God decided to make up for the cloudy days at the end of the last month by starting this month very nicely. It was also my last piano lesson for the summer, and I was so distracted this morning that I went without eating breakfast. Let's just say that I was very hungry by the time I left the studio, and was really wanting the bank tellers to hurry up when I went in to cash my checks. Once I was home, I ate and wrote a little.
After the girls had their nap and woke up, we sat on the deck swing, in the full sun, and ate popsicles.
Oh the joys of simple living!