Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Recording Studio

    The other day we went over to Aunt Donna and Uncle Stephen's friend's house. Their dog was adorable! He carried around a little soccer ball in his mouth and urged anyone who was willing to toss it for him. His owner, Jayne had a recording studio in the basement. We went down to take a look and she gave us a glimpse of what it's like to write and record a song.
    We brought the violin and Claire recorded a snippet of a piece she has been working on. After a bit of editing, it sounded absolutely beautiful. Then we did a little bit of improvisation with the violin and piano and were able to create a melodic piece. Sadly we didn't record it. :)
    Finally, Claire and I sang the old hymn It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford. I have always loved that song, partially because of it's intriguing backstory, which you can read about here. 
    It sounded weird listening to my own voice play back through the speakers.
    We went back upstairs and Jayne told us stories about people she had worked with in the past and that had gone on to become very prominent singers. Click Here for a link to her website where you can see some of the songs she has played a role in the writing and producing processes.
    After that, we went home and it got the wheels in my head turning. I have always been interested in music, but I've never really seen it as a possibility; mostly just a dream.
    Learning about all the people that Jayne helped find their voices made me realize that we are all people with certain talents and gifts that God has given us. What right do we have to keep them for ourselves?
    It was a wonderfully enriching experience and I hope somewhere down the road I will have the opportunity to do it again. :)

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tallulah Gorge

    For a vacation this year we headed down to Georgia to visit my Aunt Donna and Uncle
On the boat
Stephen. We made the trip with my Uncle David on Monday, and Tuesday we dived right in. Since they live on a lake we spent the day swimming and Uncle Stephen took us out on the boat.
    Everyone successfully made it to their feet on the wakeboard and Claire took a nose dive into the lake on one of her rides. I rode the wake board back to the dock, which was quite a distance and my muscles began to cramp. Yet, I still loved every second of it.
   Yesterday morning I was roused early for our trip to the Tallulah Gorge State Park. After extensive wakeboarding on the lake the day prior, all of my muscles were sore. Claire had an especially tight neck after her face plant into the water.
    However, we woke with the ambition of a hike. We packed our lunches and loaded up the car early, arriving at our destination at roughly 8:30 and hitting the trails shortly afterward. At first the hike was easy. We descended a large amount of steps and I began to wonder if this was really going to be a hike, anxious for an adventure.
    Then we reached the bottom of the gorge and the hike began. We were greeted by a river and were charged with the task of hopping from rock to rock in order to cross it. The excursion was loads of fun and I crossed it severally times reaching the other side only to turn around and scurry back across the massive rocks.

    Finally, we continued on and the hike only grew more intense. We navigated our way along the side of the river over huge boulders and on tiny paths. The large river ran along beside us leading the way and we chased after it as best we could; scaling massive rocks and sometimes having to crawl upon the slick surface of others.
    The trek of course was beautiful and we found ourselves just a few feet away from a gorgeous waterfall.

    After a long time of hiking and climbing and crawling, we reached another waterfall of sorts. The rock slabs beneath it were slick and we slid down them into the bottom of the river.
    It was loads of fun and all of us were soaking and laughing as we repeatedly went rocketing down into the river. After sliding down it numerous times, we continued on. Working to exit the gorge, we hiked up the side of the mountain. The trip was steep, working along at such an angle that all doubts of this being easy completely vanished. However, the trip back was short. Before long we were out of the gorge. We worked our way around the gorge and back to the visitors center where we rested briefly and ate lunch.
    Inside the visitors center was all sorts history from the gorge including the story of Karl Wallenda, who crossed the gorge on a tightrope, performing two headstands along the way. With our adventure complete, we went back to the lake; entirely spent.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Monday, June 5, 2017

What the Bible Says About War

    As a Christian there seems to be an unclear line as to whether or not we should participate in the wars of the world. Some sides argue that Jesus teaches us to love our neighbors and to turn the other cheek when they wrong us. Others point out that if we did not stand up we would not be able to exercise our freedoms and may be forced to compromise our beliefs.
    As it reads in Ecclesiastes 3:8: [There is] a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Some wars are inevitable. We choose to fight them or submit our freedoms to governments who hold no intention of respecting them. Sometimes, this is not the most appealing choice to be forced to make, but we must make it nonetheless.
    Luke 17:3 says: So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
    In this passage I believe Jesus is telling us that we must forgive our neighbor, but we also must not sway in our faith. Some believe that if those who do wrong are not opposed or punished they will likely do wrong again, but Jesus teaches that although we must rebuke their wrongs we must forgive those who repent from them. There are plenty of confusing passages in the bible that seem to contradict each other when it comes to the topic of war.
    Matthew 26:56 tells us: "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." However, in the same book it reads in 10:34: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
    As Christian's we may be looking for a direct passage where the bible either condemns war or promotes it. I believe you cannot be so straightforward about such a varying topic. It comes down to what wars you are fighting. If you are fighting for the Lord, defending your faith and striving to complete His will you must carry on. Timothy 6:12 reads, "Fight the good fight of the faith." In this way we can be sure that Jesus is not willing to compromise his views and the word of Matthew 10:34 is true.
    Consequently, not all wars have this goal in mind. Some are fought to gain more land, more power or to promote certain leaders or world views that will soon fall away. In these instances, we must be weary to pick up our sword, and we must heed the word of Matthew 26:56.
    In the end not everyone will agree upon when a fight is just and reasonable. In this way we must respect the view of others as Romans chapter 14 teaches us to do. "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister." -Romans 14:13
    Let us, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" -Mark 12:17 for, "We must obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29

    -Katherine Rose

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Collection of Stories From My Past Week: May 21-27

    It's been busy, that's a given and now in the middle of my dreary Saturday I'd like to take a moment to review a collection of stories from my past week.

Sunday - May 21
     I went to church and of course, folded my bulletin into paper boat(s). Then I came home and spent a little bonding time with Cehlyn (the horse) and although she was very against it, we went for an enjoyable ride. She was very ornery as we traipsed about up and around the fields. Finally I allowed her back into her field and went in the house and hung out with Paige and Claire.

Monday -May 22
    The day portion was of the uneventful sort and in the evening time we went over to the school and attended the athletic banquet. I received my varsity letter, and a pin for both soccer and track. I was thrilled to hold the symbol of all my hard efforts this past year in my hand.

Tuesday -May 23
    Tuesday was a relatively long day. Claire was babysitting Gabby in the morning and I spent time playing with her until I had to leave to go to track -uniform turn in and clean up day. The boys took to spiking the mice that had been secretly living peaceably beneath the pole vault pit. It was rather gory and I tried my best to avoid the situation after catching sight of a mouse laying with it's intestines spilled across the ground beside it.
    Afterwards, Rachael, Maddie, Jewel, Claire and I all went to Sheetz and then hung out at the school playground where we rediscovered the lost art of hopscotch. Then Claire drove Maddie, Jewel and I over to where the youth group was performing yard work as a fund raiser. We helped with that until Jewel, Claire and I had to leave in the middle for the soccer meeting.
    At the soccer meeting I again became psyched for the upcoming soccer season. It was weird to think that this time around I will be a sophomore. After collecting the paper work that mom needed to fill out to allow us to play again this year we went back to the youth group function and cleaned with them until completion. Then, finally, we went home!

Wednesday -May 24
    This day was less eventful. Claire watched Gabby in the morning, and in the evening we had a group violin lesson. I also made oatmeal cookies. Recently I have been obsessed with oatmeal. I don't know why, but is so much fun and has such a great texture. I found oatmeal cookies were extremely easy to make (and to clean up) and I was sold. Now I'm not exactly fond of baking or cooking generally and a lot of people were confused when I took to making oatmeal cookies, but they are so delicious I almost don't mind the baking part (almost).

Thursday -May 25

    Hooray! Claire's 17th birthday was on Thursday! I made sure to greet her at 12:01 am with the song uptown funk. It's pretty much a tradition. Ever since her fifteenth birthday I have been successful at ensuring that it is the first song she hears when she is her new age. She has stopped trying to fight it.
    Near the end of the day Claire and I played an AYSO soccer game. It was really laid back because we're pretty much all friends. Not enough of the other team showed up so we lent them some of our players (some of our best players actually) and we lost, but not by much.
    Following the game we went to youth group and I folded my signature origami boats.

Friday -May 26
    Let me sum it up for you.
    Four hours of Math! I completed three lessons and dappled a bit in a few others. In short it was a long day and yet I didn't mind the math. It was weird because I generally despise math, but for some reason on Friday I was somewhat enjoying solving for X. Claire and I worked on quadratic equations. She asked me to help her out with them and when I did I found it helped me to better understand them also, which was a big win!
    So yes, Friday I did Math.

Saturday -May 27

    Saturday nothing terribly exciting occurred. I woke up and did more math. It was less enjoyable, but I still managed to complete two lessons which is a great feat for myself, because I normally spend a great deal of my power on just one that by the time I have completed it my mathematical skills are dead for the rest of the day. The rest of the day passed by in a rather normal manner and that brought my week to a close.

    After reviewing I now look forward to the coming week ready to undertake the great challenge of conquering it.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Star Spangled Socks

    On Tuesday the varsity track team was required to help out with the junior high meet. I don't really mind because it means a day off from practice and it's fun to watch the meet. Ryan was competing and so Claire and I went to watch him throw discus. He did well and beat his personal record.
    While we were waiting to watch him throw javelin I noticed a boy wearing star spangled socks. Allow me to describe them to you because they truly were just that. They came up past his ankles and declared American Pride to all nearby. One sock looked like a candy cane while the other was covered in blue stars. I pointed it out to Micah who was there to support Ryan.  
    As I was looking at them (and privately wishing I owned them) I recalled a picture Emily had showed me a few days prior which I will share with you:

    It made me wonder since there was no American flag down by the field where the javelins were being thrown, if the national anthem was played, would we turn and face his socks?
    To occupy ourselves in between Ryan's throws, Micah and I made grass javelin's and threw them as far as we could. The wind resistance seemed to be a significant issue. However, we carried on with our game. Micah's went much farther than mine, but most of mine did go forward, so I was pleased.
    We would glance up to watch the competition now and again and I noticed that the boy with the star spangled socks did exceedingly well. Maybe those were his lucky socks. I don't believe items will bring you luck. However, I do believe that if you think they do, then they might help you. The mind is a powerful tool.
    I caught myself thinking about his star spangled socks even later into the evening and couldn't help giving him a bit of credit for being so bold as to wear those socks to the meet. I applaud the star spangled boy and his socks.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Ordinary Family

    Ever since I was little I have loved writing. I would take up a notebook and jot out a story that I never seemed to finish. One day, I must have been 11 or 12, I was riding up to church seated next to Claire holding a brand new beautiful composition book.
    I turned to her and presented the book. "I am going to write a story where all of my friends are part of one big family!" I told her. "Should I call it Ordinary Family or The Ordinary Family?"
    Claire looked at my notebook and said thoughtfully. "The Ordinary Family."
    I didn't waste any time, after that I began to scribble pages and stories into that notebook that included my closest friends. Time hurried passed however and I was writing the last few words onto the very bottom of the last page. It was sad I had finished the Ordinary Family.
    What a great book it had been. It was so much fun to write it. I was determined not to let it end there. I picked up another composition book and scrawled out the title on the front: The Ordinary Family 2. I started into that book and as the series progressed my writing became better and the plots grew to become more intricate and detailed. I ended the second book with such a passion for the story and my characters that I pressed forward into the third and finished within a few months.
    The Fourth was cracked open and the next part of the story had begun. The years trailed behind me as I added to the careful world I had created.
    Currently, I am at the very midst of my fourth book. Each one of my friends holding a valuable part in the story. I can't believe how far it's come since that ride up to church. Looking back through the books I have discovered they have been like a diary for me and I can pinpoint exactly what part in time I wrote what.
    I have never been a very big journal keeper I always had so much pleasure in the fictional worlds of my imagination rather than the black and white life most of us live. Finding that this was my form of journaling was not only rewarding but also rather exciting.
    Soon after I started writing I took the time to read Claire each new section as it was formed and she and I would laugh and add new thoughts and comments as I went along. In almost no time Claire and I began quoting the page's of the book and laughing when a reference would come into play and everyone would just ignore us, because they didn't understand them.
    I bring the Ordinary Family with me nearly everywhere and when there is a null in the conversation or a dip in my day I take a seat and write out the next adventure in my little composition book. This year for my birthday Paige and Nathan presented me with a stack of composition books. I was thrilled! The Ordinary Family was no where near it's end.
    So much room left for the characters to grow and so much time left for me to discover what the next page would hold for them. The Ordinary Family is far from the end.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Memory Board

    A little while ago I got a bulletin board, and it has finally been hung on my wall. I decorated it with all kinds of things that remind me of my goals and of the special people in my life.
    Here is a picture:
    It's still partially empty waiting to be filled with memories of things that haven't happened yet.
    The locket hanging on it is from Paige. I got it some years ago from her as a Christmas present. The locket eventually broke but I still wear it. I never got around to putting a picture in it so I tell people it's a picture of my imaginary boyfriend -Steve.
    The valentine is from Emily. For Valentine's Day we had a competition to see who could make the other the best Valentine. I would say Emily won :)
    The pencil is from Rebecca. She decorated it and gave it to me for one of my birthday's. I never had the nerve to use it, but I held on to it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the pencil would never get it's proper use in and would stand as a decoration instead.
    The drawing with the word Mom on it is of a Deer. Keith drew it for me (he's 4). He also drew me another one on the same day and when I held out the deer and thanked him for it he looked at me skeptically and said, "Where are the other ones?" I had to reassure him that I still had them and they were simply in my bag.
    My friend Nathan (not Paige's brother; to minimize confusion I will call him Nathan C.) made the origami boats. He's very creative and attends my homeschool group, church and we were on the same soccer team last year.
    The two cards hanging up I received for my 14th birthday. The sock puppet one is from Alexis; inside it tells the story of Rufus and how he should be a motivational speaker, even though he can't talk. Then the one beside it is from Ryan and Micah; inside it are all of the important characters that have developed -including Steve, Joe (Unicorn), Juan Pedro (Unicorn) and Not Olivia (Soccer ball).
    The guitar picks stand as a reminder of how much I enjoy music and also I don't mind leaving them up there, because I absolutely despise playing the guitar with a pick. It becomes to loud.
    As the days and weeks go by I hope my Memory Board will grow more and more crowded, with fond remembrances that I will have to cherish for the rest of my life.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Friday, April 7, 2017

Who Is Ryan?

    Ryan and I haven't been friends very long, but when we met, we became fast friends. My first year of quizzing was when I really got to know him. Then he started coming to our homeschool group and we began attending the same church. Alexis, Ryan and I decided against being a part of the black light puppetry class and my mother taught a writing class for just the three of us.
    Inside the writing class I really got to know Ryan. We came up with plenty of confusing stories and the characters were frequently used in our conversations. The especially popular ones were Joe the Unicorn and Steve my imaginary boyfriend.
    Ryan is Micah's younger brother and joins me in the effort of calling Micah, Francis. This came out of another confusing effort from the writing class, which ended with all three of us onstage singing a song we wrote about the 20th premier of Quebec.
    We also helped teach a class for the little children at our homeschool group which turned out to be fun. Around that time, Ryan and I were also hanging out with each other at bible quizzing and finished side by side in the final standings.
    Having just shared another season of bible quizzing, as well as an eventful year at our homeschool group, our friendship continues to develop.
    One of my favorite things about Ryan is his imagination. He has a knack for coming up with stories of fictional places in seconds. These reasons (along with a landslide of others) are why I consider Ryan one of my close friends.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wrapping Up Another Season of Bible Quizzing

    Bible Quizzing has officially ended. It's a bittersweet good-bye until next year, because although I am relieved that I no longer have to study and memorize, I will miss the actual prospect of quizzing itself.
    Quiz camp is the last event of bible quizzing. It's basically a two day camp where all the quiz teams face off to end with one ultimate champion. This year, my team made it farther than I had ever made it before and we participated in the championship quiz.
    Quizzing was nerve wracking and stressful, but when I wasn't quizzing, I found it an enjoyable time. The first evening of camp, I wandered around a bit with Ryan and after mastering the art of making a cappuccino, I successfully beat him at a game of checkers.
    I got rather lucky since my checker skills aren't really anything to brag about, but I managed to pull out a win and I think (although this may seem childish) I will refrain from playing him again. That way I can remain undefeated between the two of us.
    The camp had a gym and I spent a good amount of my time out there tossing around a ball with no particular goal in mind. When I am not aiming at anything, I am always much more pleased with my performance. I tried to shoot a few hoops, but that ended rather badly, managing only to make them when using my signature toss "the granny throw".
    At night the conversation in our room varied, but all of it was light hearted and enjoyable. However, in a rather unfortunate turn of events I was only able to seize two and a half precious hours of sleep. In the morning (needless to say)I was very tired and during most of my earlier quizzes I do not recall what exactly went on.
    At the camp also was a large wooden maze of sorts but the maze was stacked on top of itself to form six stories of wooden tunnels. I spent a good majority of my time crawling through the tight space and participating in a fun competition to see who could crawl through it the fastest. Since it wasn't extremely large, I was able to crawl through it in 1 minute and 19 seconds. However there was a boy who managed to make it through the entire thing in 48 seconds.
    Quizzing dominated most of my time however and after facing off against the other teams in order to make it into the championships I was worn out. By dinner time I was rather nervous with the impending final quiz weighing heavy on my mind. I did not do very well in the championship quiz answering only two questions correctly and my team came in third. It was saddening, but I was still proud of us for making it that far, however it just made the loss a little harder.
    Having made it through my third year of quizzing I have successfully memorized, to the best of my ability, the entire book of Acts. I am eager to discover what book we will be quizzing on next year, but I'm not ready for another season to start yet. Reflecting on my season results, I am satisfied with my personal results, however I am reminded that I could have done much better at quiz camp.
    It's sad that the quiz season has finally come to an end, but also a rather large relief, because I now have more time to pursue my other passions.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Track and Field

    This past week has been a busy one. Monday was the very first day of track and field and I went in ready to subject my eager limbs to all sorts of forms of grueling torture. Forcing myself to struggle through our warm up each day was a small victory in itself.
    Jewel, Claire, Maddie and I all stuck together pretty well this week, but I have a feeling as we begin working on events, that will slowly change.
    On Tuesday after practice, I came to the simple resolve that my legs had officially disowned me, but I was better off than Jewel. Her legs were shaking while she was simply standing there. I admire her for pushing herself that far though.
    I persevered with the hope that it would get better. This year I am going to attempt high jump, pole vault and hurdles. On Thursday, since the weather was fair and we were outside for the day, I got my first taste of hurdles for the season.
    Jewel and I went to experience the hurdles together. Claire wanted to come and try out hurdling as well, but she is not allowed because our coach has decided she is necessary for other events.
    Maddie decided she wants to run distance. Such a brave soul. RIP Maddie. Basically, on Thursday as I was jumping over hurdles she was just running... the entire practice.
    Friday it snowed, and we were forced back inside. I felt like I was on the home stretch because laid out before me was a relaxing weekend I just had to get there. Although, now I feel a sense of dread for Monday.
    In two weeks, Junior High will join us for our practices. I have come to learn that most of the varsity athletes don't like the junior high kids very much, but I am looking forward to their presence.
    I don't know why I plan on continuously showing up to these grueling practices, but something is making me climb into the car with Claire each day. Only time will tell if all of this was worth anything.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose