Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday HodgePodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.
    I would rate the book I am currently reading for my school, The Hiding Place Corrie Ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, a 10/10. I haven't made it very far in, but my expectations were low. Since it was schoolwork I was expecting it to be a real drag. 

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
    I feel like I would be an awful Psychologist. I would say something wrong, and people would end up hating me and committing suicide and what not; it would just be messy. In short I plan to steer clear of that field of work.

3. When did you last take a
fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

    I last took a fall yesterday on the soccer field. It's not an uncommon occurrence though. I tend to fall while playing soccer all the time. I am one of those annoying kids that just flops over when you poke them, and I'm not trying to flop, I'm not that smart :) I just have terrible balance and so I flop over and then pop back up. Usually, I end up on the ground by tripping over my own two feet!
    Lately, I have been falling for the song Attention by Charlie Puth. The tune is just so catchy!

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?\

    I have never been to any of the above listed fall festivals, but if I were to go to one it would most likely be the National Apple Harvest Festival. My small town does have a fall festival called the Springs Festival, and it's a decently big deal. I go every year and am planning to attend this year.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

    I will miss you. (Emotionally wipes eyes) It's like one second you were here and now you're gone, and I spent my whole winter waiting for you, only to have you leave again. (Deep sobs) Why do you always leave? (Cue the Sentimental music) I will forever cherish the time we spent together and look forward to meeting you again next year. (Crescendo) Good-bye jean shorts, flip-flops, swimsuits, hot days, swimming pools, and lazy days. Good-bye Summer. [End scene]

6. Insert your own random thought here.
    I have all of my school books scattered across my floor and every night now for the past week Claire has made an effort to come in here and try to straighten them, but to no avail. Within the first hour of school, the books are a complete jumble on my floor again. However, I love her for trying :)

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Story of Effort

    A small soccer team of twelve girls climbed onto the bus headed to a game against one of the leading teams in the district. They were laughing, talking, enjoying each others company, but had no intentions of winning.
    Clearly, not one of them was ready to play those girls and so as they lined up on the field and the referee blew the whistle, everything but soccer was running through their heads. The balls flew and the score board climbed.
    The team was getting clobbered and they jogged reluctantly back to their position with their heads down in defeat. The game finally ended with a score of 13-1 and the twelve girls hung their heads and crawled back onto the bus, embarrassed.
    The next day, they showed up to practice with the cloud of defeat still hanging over their heads and each girl felt as though this was how their team would be all year. In just two days, they would be on their way to play another stronger, better team. A team that had beat the girls who had just put twelve goals in between their one goal.
    Coach sat them down and said, "You were physically ready. Physically, you could've beat those girls, but mentally... not one of you was ready." And every single girl knew he was right. There hadn't been enough effort on that field that night. Not enough devotion, desire, drive. A thousands words that hadn't been there, summing up into one word. Effort.
    Those girls practiced that night with that thought circling around in their head and before they left the field they made up their minds. They were going to start making an effort. They concentrated their thoughts on the game before them. They focused their free time with the imaginings of doing their jobs to the absolute best of their abilities. At practice, they threw themselves into every drill with the intention of preparing themselves for the following day, and when it arrived they were ready.
    The bus ride up was quiet, reverent. Each girl recalling her job and walking herself through the steps that she had to take in order for it to be done correctly. When they arrived, they were ready. This time, because of injuries, a team of 10 girls took the field. They had no substitutes and they prepared themselves to play a full 40 minutes of soccer before half time.
    A mist was falling around them wetting the grass, strengthening the players, and they walked out. The ball was kicked, but instead of playing the game to get through it. Each girl flung themselves at the ball as though it would be the last game they ever played. The first half they played with skill and effort. When they left the field the score was 3-2. This was the team that had beat the team they had played just two nights ago. Just two nights ago they had been gazing up at a score board reading 9-1 as they left the field at half time, and now only one goal stood between those girls and a tie.  A tie with one of the best teams in the county.
    They ran straight back out into the rain. The same 10 girls with the same amount of heart (maybe even a little more). Nearing the middle of the second half, it was evident that their skill and ability wouldn't be able to carry these girls any longer. The score was 6-2 and all that could save them was their effort.
    They could turn around and watch the ball fall off the foot of the other team and roll into the goal or they could take the ball onto their foot and charge it down to the goal. In the last 10 minutes of the game those girls had nothing left, except their effort, and each one of them spent the very last drop of it on the field. Devoting every ounce they had left to the position they had to play and they were carrying the ball on their foot when the clock ran out.
    They left the field still losers in the eyes of onlookers, but in their hearts, they knew their was more to it, because their had been a change in the hearts of every single one of those girls. They looked towards their next game, not with dread but with determination; ready to put fourth even more effort, and anticipating the day when that small team of girls brings home a win, out of sheer effort.

Until Next Time,
    Katherine Rose

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Outer Banks

    This year I went to the outer banks with my Mother's side of the family (twenty people in all). We rented a house and stayed for a week. Most of that time was spent on the beach or in the pool.
   The first few days the ocean waves were relatively calm, but in the middle of the week they turned. It was rough waters and difficult to stay in one place because the current was so strong; but it was loads of fun!
    Once the sun went down, we went out onto the beach and looked at the ghost crabs. They were all over the place! Some were very large and others were quite small.
Dad took to tormenting a few with a flashlight and I used that opportunity to take a picture:

    We managed to complete three puzzles in the entirety of our stay. The first 1,000 piece puzzle was of different classic books and it reached completion the same night it was begun. Roughly seven of us worked to speedily finish it, doing away with the idea of taking time to work on a puzzle as a way to relax.

    In fact none of the vacation was relaxing, but that was what made it fun! Amidst all the go, go, go there was never a dull moment.   
    On one of the days we went to the =urrituck lighthouse.
    It was very interesting walking through. We climbed up 220 steps in order to reach the top and the view was absolutely gorgeous.
Here is a picture taken on the staircase on my way down

    Another day I played Marco Polo in the pool with my cousins and at various points in the game play grew rather intense, resulting in back flips, dives and lots of fun.
    Other than that, the schedule included running, board games, swimming, and various meals. The end of the week came too soon and on the last night we gathered in the main room of the house and took turns working to squeeze between a wall and a pole. We finished off the night with one of my cousins impersonating another cousin and all of us sharing what our favorite parts of the house were. The next morning we woke early and parted ways.

Until Next Time,

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