I'm back.

May 31, 2010

MISSED you all so much! *hugs*. I just wanted to let you know I was back from Williamsburg, Va and will have pictures to show you real soon. Maybe even a surprise giveaway?! That is, if my mom will let me. We'll see!

In the mean time, I have to get ready for Graduation. It's this Saturday. We've got like 26 people coming (I know, a lot of people, right!?) Hehe! Anyway, I won't be on much the rest of this week either, so please keep reading and please follow if you're new! I promise, it's not that boring here. :)

Enjoy this amazing song from Jon McLaughin, courtesy of YouTube!

Remember, we're not perfect. We all have things we don't like about ourselves. But, no matter how much you try, you can never change the person God made you to be. You are a beautiful disaster. Embrace who God pre-destined you to be. Love yourself!

Love ya lots!


May 19, 2010

Just to let you all know, I will be taking a break from blogging for about 2 weeks. I am headed off to Williamsburg, Va and having my graduation the last 2 weeks of this month. So I will be BUSY!

I might have some special posts out during those weeks...just to keep you updated and/or encouraged. But, who knows what'll happen!

When I get back, I hope to do a huge giveaway...like a BLOG PARTY!!!!! But, in order to do that I need close to 100 followers. It would be even better if I could 150 followers by June, then that would be great!

See ya later. C:

Appreciate Everything God has Give You!

May 15, 2010

"As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." ~Albert Schweitzer

Casting Crowns & Steven Curtis Chapman

May 13, 2010

I have a lot of favorite Christian artists and they all sing some of my all-time favorite songs. But, I think Casting Crowns sings most of my favorite songs: Lifesong, East to West, Voice of Truth, Who Am I, Praise You in This Storm To me, Set Me Free and While You Were Sleeping. Their style of music is definitely uplifting and relevant to many of the events that are happening in the world today. It speaks to the people who are struggling, and in a strange way presents a message to the world through lyrics that touch the very depths of our hearts.

Crazy as it sounds, but Casting Crowns began as a student worship band. All amazing band have to start from humble beginnings, right? Well, this group is no exception The members of Casting Crowns had never imagines the path God would lead them down, a direction towards a recording contract and the opportunity to minister to people not just at their church, but worldwide.

The groups lead vocalist, Mark Hall formed the group while Mark was serving at First Baptist Dayton Beach in 1999. Members at that time included: Juan DeVevo (guitar and vocals), Melodee DeVevo (vocals and violin), Hector Cervantes (guitar and vocals), and Darren Hughes (production manager). After two years, two more people to join the band - Chris Huffman (bass guitar), and Megan Garrett (keyboard, vocals, accordion).

In their early years as a band (outside of church), Casting Crowns recorded two independent records that were mainly distributed in the Atlanta area. According to Hall, "There was the temptation to send our CDs to record companies, but we prayed about it and came to the realization we needed to keep doing our music our way."

Believe it or not, Mark and the rest of the band had no desire to get into the music business. It has been said that one of Casting Crown's albums found its way into the hands of Mark Miller (lead singer of the country music group, Sawyer Brown). Mark Miller was immediately blown away by the bold lyrics and Hall's pure, honest voice. "I could tell by Mark's writing that he wasn't doing anything other than speaking from his heart exactly what he was seeing and what was around him," Miller says. "It didn't surprise me at all when I found out later that he was a youth minister, because basically these were messages to his students."

 The groups has a slew of albums available, and all of them provide the listener with a message that subconsciously makes them think and consciously makes them want to praise the lord! Some of their albums include: Lifesong and Lifesong Live, The Altar and the Door and The Altar and the Door Live (2007-2008), Until the Whole World Hears, Lifesong, and Peace on Earth.

Yes, even thought Casting Crowns sings some of my most favorite songs...I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman. I practically grew up listening to his music on the radio. Back then we didn't have CDs, so listening to tapes and the radio was the only way my family and I was able to listen to music. So the invention of the CD has been amazing! You might think I am crazy, but I have every CD of his and know almost every song by heart. My favorite songs are: Declaration of Dependence, Dive, Finger Prints of God, For the Sake of the Call, God Is God, Jesus Is Life, Cinderella, Bring It On and Lord of the Dance.

Everyone I know has a hard time envisioning me listening to Steven Curtis Chapman because of his soft, melodious music. I can't seem to understand why, but there is something about his music - his beautiful music that makes me so happy!

After high-school Chapman enrolled in pre-med. I know, crazy! I can't envision Chapman in the medical field, because his talent is in music. But we often don't know what our purpose is in life until we let God lead the way. And after two semesters he transferred to Anderson College in Indiana, and then decided to dropped out and go to Nashville to pursue a career in music.  He briefly attended Belmont University and began working a music show at Opryland USA while dedicating time to songwriting.

As of 2007, Chapman has sold more than 10 million albums and has 9 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums. Some of his albums include: First Hand, All About Love, All About Love, All Things New, Declaration, For The Sake Of The Call, Greatest Hits, Miracle Of The Moment, More To This Life, Signs Of Life, Speechless, The Great Adventure, The Music Of Christmas, This Moment, This Moment (Cinderella Edition).



Putting on 18th Century Woman's Clothing

May 11, 2010

For first time historical re-enactors, the process of putting on 18th century clothing may seem a little intimidating and time consuming. Here are the steps you must take to identify the different articles of clothing and the order in which you dress. Start by taking off all you twenty-first century clothing, except your undergarments, please! Next, put on your shift. This is a woman’s basic undergarment, like underwear. The shift is sort-of like a one piece nightgown, but its purpose is entirely different. The shift absorbs your perspiration, protects your outer clothing and would be changed often, depending on your class. 

Pull the bottom of the shift over your head gingerly, then push your arms through the arm holes, and continue to let the shift gently fall past your knees hitting you directly at the shin. You’ll need to put on your knee-high stockings next. This step may seem a little backwards from the way you normally put on your socks. The height of your stockings will depend on how tall and thin your legs are. Role the tube-like stocking up into a manageable size, then slip your delicate, soft foot into the colored, wool or linen stocking. 

Your stockings should be fairly easy to put on, but for people with meatier calf muscles and thighs it may be a tight squeeze, but after a couple of uses, they will stretch out. You’ll need to put on your pair of garters next, to keep on your stockings. As I already motioned your stockings will stretch, so if you don’t wear the garters it can become a nuisance when your stockings are slowly falling down to your ankles and you begin to trip over your stockings. The garters are around 24” long and about an inch wide and use a buckle to fasten around each leg. Leather garters were not always used to hold up your stockings. 

Scraps of fabric were used as well. If you use fabric, it should be long enough to wrap twice around the leg and then tied. Whether you are first-class or third-class, your garters help your stockings stay right where you need them to be, whether your garters are positioned above the knee or just below the knee. The positioning of the garters is your choice, whatever feels comfortable. Don’t forget your shoes! Depending on your society level, it would either be a fancy silk shoe or just rags. Either way, a shoe must be put on to protect your feet. Shoes of the time were often slipped on the foot and not tied. 

This allowed for faster dressing time. Grab your shoe and hold back the tounge, then slip your foot into the shoe very carefully, making sure when you put your foot down on the floor that the heel of your shoes doesn’t come down on top of your other toes. Now you need to put on your stays. This article of clothing was usually for the higher class women, so if your persona is third-class, then it is optional. Think of the stays as the 18th century bra. Some stays where made colorful with embroidered detail and some were plain and distasteful. Since you will not always have anybody around to give you a hand with the lacing of your stays, you will have to do it yourself. Don’t worry! There are some with front or back lacing stays, or both. Since your stays are new, you will probably have to pull the lace (either a leather strip or a thick ribbon) through all the small holes in the back and or front, like when you lace up your shoes. 

Then, when that is done, carefully insert your arm through the arm holes at the top of the stay and smooth the front towards the back or visa-versa, depending on if the ties are in the back or front. If you want your shoe to be tighter, you’ll pull the lace towards yourself, so when you tighten your stays you will start at the top and work your way down. Start at the top of the stays, grabbing the strings that crisscross closest to the neck, pull out with your pointer finger and thumb, and release. Then take the next set of crossing strings and do the same, pulling out tightly so that the top set of strings becomes stiff and firm. Do this all the way down to the very last set of crossing strings. If your stays are too tight, it can cause you to have short of breath, dizziness and fainting, so please don’t tighten your stays too tight. This step in becoming an 18th century woman is one of the easiest steps. You will need to put on your pocket. 

18th century dresses did not have built in pockets like we do today, so they made pocket(s) themselves. They somewhat resemble a bell or a rectangle, depending on the pattern, and can either be plain, printed or elegantly embroidered with tremendous amounts of vibrant colors. There should be a drawstring (called tape) through the top part of the Pocket(s) where you will find a loop, if your pocket doesn’t have the drawl-string in it yet, put it through the loop with a safety pin, making sure to remove the pin later. Take the pocket(s) by the strings and place the string around your waist, then tie, making sure it’s not too tight but that it doesn’t fall off as you work. Also, if you are single and want to show off your embroidery work, then there is no shame in boasting about it. All you have to do is tie the pocket to the outside of your clothing with your apron. After you have put on your pocket(s) you will need to put on your underpetticoat (almost like a slip). 

This piece of clothing can be any color appropriate to the time period, made of linen or cotton. The under-petticoat can either have a tie or hooks to secure your underpetticoat around your waist, making sure it doesn’t manage to “slip” off. Your underpettiecoat may or may not have a slit on each side for pockets, but if it does, you will have to tie both sides. You will want to put your skirt over your head and bring it down, that way you don’t get your shift in an uncomfortable, wadded mess or rip a hole in your petticoat with the heel of your shoe. Put on your outer petticoat this time. If your haven’t caught on yet, you simply have two petticoats, equaling two layers. I do suggest you tie the drawstrings on this petticoat tighter than the last. Because of such a big bundle of clothing underneath, it can get pretty bulky, and so your petticoat may be looser. 

Women always wore a cap, but it is also a great way to hide your untamed, wild, frizzy hair. There are many ways to hide you hair like in a gathered cap (not a Mop cap, it is inappropriate for the time). This cap is the easiest head piece, all you do is place it on your head, over a bun, ponytail, or barrette, it is a great way to hide all your twenty-first century hair styling utensils. For the lower class woman you might want to try a large triangular piece of cloth, muslin or any appropriate pattern and fabric of the time and create a bandana, tying the corners of the triangle to the back of your head under your hair. For the women who are working all day in the heat might need something to keep her hair off her neck and face. Put your hair up in a bun, then just like a bandana, tie the corners of the triangle to the back of your head under your hair. 

After that, take the bottom corner of you bandana (the piece that is hanging down on your back) and tuck it under the corners of the triangle that have been tied, giving it an Aunt Jemima look. This is very practical, allowing the air to reach you neck, cooling you down. You’ll need an article of clothing called a Bed Jacket or Short Gown. The Bed Jacket is a perfect top, resembling a “house coat”. Worn by middle to lower class women, the Bed Jacket would have been plain and simple, while the Short Gown was reserved for middle to upper class. Whether you choose a Bed Jacket or Short Gown, you need to place your arms in the arm holes, pulling up on your shoulders and shift. 

Using 2-3 silver capped pins, pin one at the top close to the neck of your garment, and one in the middle close to the belly-button, to secure your Bed Jacket or Short Gown. Almost done! Now that you have got all the necessities down and out of the way, you might want to make sure that you have a modesty cloth. The modesty cloth wouldn’t have been used for the Bed Gown, but often enough would have been used frequently for the Short Gown. The Short Gown’s neck line comes a lot lower on the chest then the Bed Gown that crossed close to the neck line. The scarf lays around your neck, wrapping around to the front. Then take the corners of your scarf and tuck them in behind the Short Gown front, and situate it until you are comfortable. 

The scarf can come in any 18th century print and color, either in silk, linen or cotton, but will most likely be found in linen. The apron was an important essential to everyday life in the 18th century. It was a very helpful means of transporting the things you needed as well as giving you an item on which to wipe your hands on and dry and wash the dishes. You’re going to need an apron to haul all sorts of stuff like wood, veggies, and laundry. If you go without as apron, count yourself lost. Take the strings and wrap them around your waist, tie them into a knot or bow. I would tie them into a bow to make it easier to take your apron off. As I have stated in every step, the apron is usually made out of muslin, cotton or linen, and in many prints correct to the era. This would add a lot of color to the outfit and keep your petticoat clean. The last item you’ll need is something to block the sun out of your eyes. Therefore, you need a straw hat. The hat can be lavishly arrayed with ribbons, peacock plums and flowers of every shape and frilly color. 

However, most hats would have stayed plain, either way you need in to protect your face from the sun. Adding a hat to your apparel should be pretty easy to do. Place the hat on top of your gathered cap. Take the ribbon that is placed on both sides of the hat and pull them towards your cheeks, tying it gingerly under your chin. Then place a hat pin at the top of your straw hat to secure your elegant or simple hat to your cap, keeping it in place. If you have followed the steps I have laid out for you, you should be dressed. From now on, these steps should be pretty simple and after a while you will be doing this routine blindfolded.

More Than A Mother by Kari Keshmiry

May 9, 2010

When God set the world in place, when He hung the stars up in space,

when He made the land and the sea, then He made you and me.

He sat back and saw that was good, He saw things to be as they should.

Just one more blessing He had in store; He created a mother,

but whatever for?

He knew a mother would have a special place to shine

His reflection on her child's face.

A mother will walk the extra mile just to see her children smile.

She'll work her fingers to the bone to make a house into a home.

A mother is there to teach and guide, a mother will stay right bu your side.

She'll be there through your pain and strife, she'll stay constant in your life.

A mother will lend a helping hand until you have the strength to stand.

She'll pick you up when you are down,

when you need a friend she'll stick around.

A mother is one who listens well, will keep her word; will never tell.

A mother never pokes or pries but stands quietly by your side,

giving you the strength you need, encouraging you to succeed.

A mother is one who can be strong when you need someone to lean on.

You're more than a mother to me; a reflection of Him in your face I see,

a love that knows no boundaries.

I'm glad that you chose to be all this and more to me.

You share a love that knows no end, you're more than my mother,

you are my friend.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

The Blind Side

May 3, 2010

I watched The Blind Side last night. It was a truly touching story--a tear jerking, heart breaker with a phenomenal cast, solid morals, and a happy ending. The Blind Side is one of those movies you could watch  a thousand times over and never get tired of it. Like Remember the Titans, The Blind Side touches on the racial relations between blacks and whites. And the connection between the two is a flawless blend of hope, happiness and acceptance.

The Blind Side is based off a true story that is, indeed, a story of perseverance, loyalty, and selflessness. "Big Mike"--that's what they all call him-- comes from the ghettos, a small section of town where no one would ever expect anything good to ever come from there. But Michael Oher "Big Mike", the football hero of this fabulous film and touching real-life story, defies the odds and is able to experience a wonderful life, thanks to the Tuohy family (who takes him in off the street and makes him a part of their family).

Michael is encouraged to reach for the stars....And with a little persistence and a lot of support, Michael is able to become someone great--a true sports hero, an inspiration and role-model for kids... giving them a reason to shoot for their dreams, knowing that no matter where they're from--the ghettos or an upscale neighborhood-- doesn't mean they can't succeed, you just have to try hard and believe in yourself.

Pros: This movie is very clean and family oriented. Such a wonderful movie and a must see. :)

Cons: None

Objectionable content:

Language: Brief mild

Romance: One scene with the husband and wife...but nothing promiscuous.

Violence: One scene...but it's not bloody...it's actually kinda sad :'(