Just Thought You Would Like To Know

The other day I got up, and left my bed unmade.  I came back in 5 minutes, and this is what I saw.

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Just help yourself.  Don’t worry about asking.  No, really.  Make yourself at home.  Yes, the middle of the bed is the best.

Sometimes I feel as if this is Lucy’s bed and she is sharing it with me.  Or at least she thinks it is.  Or I think she thinks it is.  Why I get this feeling I would have NO IDEA.

Just thought you would like to know.

 

I finished cupcake number 2 last night.

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I am now more than halfway finished with number 3.  I’ll post pictures of it when it is finished.

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Just thought you would like to know.

 

You might be wondering what I’ve been doing, besides crocheting cupcakes and claiming bed real estate.

Well, it’s been nothing all that exciting.  Just school.  Life.

I got a yucky cold on Saturday.  It hit in full force today.  It is just a really bad sore throat, and the normal exhaustion.  No congestion.  For that much I am thankful.  I really dislike being congested.  Not being able to breathe through my nose really bugs me.  Like REALLY bugs me.

My throat was hurting some on Saturday, and then worse yesterday.  But then I woke up at like 5 this morning, and my throat hurt REALLY BAD.  I wanted to do something to make it stop.  But I really didn’t want to get up, warm up tea, and drink it.  It was five in the morning, for goodness’ sake!  And I considered a lozenge, but the ones we made at a recent herb day take a long time to dissolve.  I didn’t think that I would be awake long enough to finish it, and falling asleep with that in my mouth probably isn’t a great idea.  And it was 5 – I really just wanted to sleep.

So I ignored the raw feeling in my throat, and went back to sleep.

Just thought you would like to know.

Yes, I Can

When I was 10, 11, and 12,  I used to love to crochet.  And I played piano, usually for an hour a day.  I loved crocheting and piano.  Crocheting was more of a hobby, but piano was something I did a little more seriously.  I somewhat viewed it as something that I always wanted to do (although I couldn’t have articulated it then).  I loved piano.

I loved to sit down and just play.  Songs I had learned, books of songs from musicals.  Just play for hours.

My family joked that I was glued to the piano bench.

But when I was twelve, my wrists started hurting.

I can’t exactly remember when, but one day my right (I think) wrist started hurting.  Then the left started.

This lasted for about a month.  It was December, and I didn’t get to do the present wrapping.  (I usually wrap all the presents for my parents, except my own.  I think they have Drake wrap those.)  I was pretty inactive, doing lots of reading, and not being able to do a whole lot else.

But then it went away for awhile.  I had already quit crocheting, and although I did dabble in it a few times over the next few years, I never really started crocheting again.

I was able to continue playing piano until I was 14, when my piano teacher married and moved away.  Although I took a few more lessons here and there, I wasn’t able to seriously play seriously anymore.  It aggravated my wrists.

At first this was really hard.  Mostly because my wrists hurt if I did anything.  Sometimes they hurt so bad that I couldn’t even read a book – it hurt to hold the book and turn the pages.

We tried all kinds of different things – some seemed to help, others didn’t.  My wrists seemed to get gradually better.  I was able to type again.  I was able to cook and bake.  But they always hurt if I tried to play piano or crochet.

This bugged me some times worse than others.  Sometimes I would feel as if playing piano was a season – one that was now over.  It would hurt a little, but, hey, if that’s the way it was, that’s the way it was.

At other times it was so difficult.  Listening to classical piano made me sad, because it reminded me of what I couldn’t do.  Seeing other people play also reminded me of this.  All these things just seemed to start a recording in my mind that repeated:

“You can’t.  You can’t.  You used to, but you can’t.  You can’t.  You can’t.”

And I really didn’t have anything to say in defense.

Because I felt like I couldn’t.

I was still teaching piano off and on through these years.  There were times when I would enjoy it.  But then there were times when I would think, “What good is a piano teacher who can’t even play the piano?”

A few weeks ago I decided to play the piano a little bit every day.  I was able to prove to myself that I could still read music (a skill that I thought I was losing).

And it didn’t hurt – at least not at first.

I also tried crocheting again.  I made a dishcloth, and then I started to think about what else I could make.

I decided to crochet a bagful of cupcakes to give to a little friend who loves cupcakes.  So I started.

I finished the first cupcake on Monday evening.  I set it on top of my bookcase, where I can see it.

And you know what it says to me?

“You can.  You can.  You CAN.”

Although trying to play piano and crocheting has caused my wrists to hurt some (they are hurting right now), I am hoping to be able to work through it, so I can at least play piano again.

And it’s so nice to have something to prove to myself that I can.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me this.

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The cupcake on top of my bookcase

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All finished!

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Reformation Day Faire 2012

Last weekend was the Reformation Day Faire in Peoria, IL.  This was our second year, and it was very nice.  I especially enjoyed the dance that was on Saturday evening.

This year we rented a motor home, and stayed in that.  It was quite interesting.  Definitely very squishy.  It made for more comfortable traveling, I would have to say.  We also brought Lucy with.  Apparently she got out once while we were at the conference and ran around the church were it was held.  Mom had to chase her around and catch her.  I missed all this, and appeared right after she was caught.  Lucy really liked the motor home.  She was looking for it after we got home.

To give a brief synopsis:

Thursday Dad picked up the motor home and we packed it (this is also the day that I did these self portraits).

Friday we drove up to the Faire.  On the way, Dad surprised us with a copy of “The Avengers.”  I was so excited I started screaming.  😀  We watched that on the way up.  We made it there on Friday in time to hear one speaker.  The concert by the Wintons was that evening.

Saturday there were some talks in the morning, followed by the town square.  The boffer war was at 4:30, and dinner was at 5:30.  The dance was started at 7:30.

We stayed for church on Sunday morning, and left shortly after the fellowship meal.

And that’s that.

Here are some of the photos I took.  I didn’t take all that many during the conference, but I did take a bunch on the way home.  Why shooting through a dirty windshield while flying down a highway at 60 mph is fun I’m not quite sure, but it is.  🙂

Oh, and we also got to see the Wintons perform again!  I have the photos to prove it.  😛 I think this makes a total of 4 concerts in 8 days – 1 two Fridays ago, another the following Saturday, and then one this past Friday, and another this past Saturday.  I think we can definitely be called groupies.  🙂

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Getting packed on Thursday evening – Meiling being funny

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Friday – Lucy being her normal absolutely adorable self!

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My silly brother.  Just got to love him.

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Content passengers

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Relaxin’, and my view, in a way

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I worked on this post on the way up

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Lovely view

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[Does this need a caption?]

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Meiling playing and looking out the window

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*Smile*

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Hey, look!  It’s the Wintons!

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Meiling enjoying the concert

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Saturday – walking to the park

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An impromptu portrait session with two friends, Lily (pictured) and Josh (a fellow photographer) – see my Josh’s much better photographs here (and check out some of his other photos – he has some absolutely amazing ones of the Faire!).

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My friend Bethany  😀

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Sunday – on the way home, taking only too many pictures.  🙂

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Lu, sitting on my lap

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Self-portrait – these were so fun!

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Now doesn’t this look like I was standing all calm and serene on the edge of this pasture, instead of flying down the highway?

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“So away we go, down that forever road.”

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The cards I was using to play Solitaire before I hopped up front with Dad

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“Life is a highway…

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…I want to drive it all night long.”

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Bridges

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Crossing the river

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“…makes me want to take a back road.”

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Hi again!

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Lucy’s here!

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I love roads.  Oh, you could tell?  I wonder how you figured that out!

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I love the greens in this one

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This little blue car was so cute!

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I couldn’t believe it, but at the gas station we stopped at, they actually had A DARK CHOCOLATE MOCHA!!!!  I haven’t seen one of these since we went to Branson, and I have looked at several gas stations.  I am so glad I finally found one.  😛

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Meiling using her drink for a microphone

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Bein’ silly

Autumn Self-Portraits

Thursday was a beautiful day – in the morning the sun was out, but in the afternoon the clouds rolled in.  There was a brisk breeze and it was just a bit nippy.  The weather plainly said “Autumn.”

It was the perfect day for some self-portraits.  I headed out with my camera and got a few shots.  I only spent about 45 minutes out there, which, although it sounds like a lot, isn’t that long.  My first self-portrait shoot took about, oh, an hour, maybe a bit less.  My second self-portrait shoot took probably 2+ hours.  Which was very, very fun.

Anyways, there are not all that many different shots, so this post won’t be too terribly long (although I don’t need to tell you that, since you will find that out in a few seconds).

So, without further ado, here they are.

(Breaking news alert:  I just went and selected all my photos, and there will be more than I originally thought.  Many more.  Just thought you would like a heads up.)

 

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This spot is right in the front yard, and I could see it from the window.  It called my name all day, “Come.  You need to take some self-portraits right here.”  So I listened.

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Throwing leaves.  Yay!

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1…2…3…

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…Throw!

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I love this fence!  You may remember it from this picture.  This lovely tree has a few branches that bend over the fence.  This was another spot that was calling my name.

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Bare feet!

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At the edge of our property, standing on the road, looking up – the lovely orange and red of the maple and oak trees, respectively.

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See the leaves flying?  The wind was blowing quite briskly.

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I really like how these turned out.  I underexposed them some by accident, but I am quite happy with the resulting effect.

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I found this tree out in the woods behind our property.  Just a perfect place!

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I thought that it would be fun to jump.  I ended up only proving to myself that I can’t jump gracefully.  This is the only one that turned out.  All the others look extremely ridiculous.

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Just to prove the last point, here is an example of how the rest of my jumping shots turned out.  *Sigh*  Rather pathetic, and ridiculous.  But they made me giggle.  🙂

To Catch Up

Time for some catch-up!

We have been so busy that I haven’t been able to post as much as I’ve wanted to.  We’ve had company staying with us since late September, which has been very fun, but has filled our time.

So here is a pictorial synopsis of what we’ve been up to.  Don’t worry, there will be plenty of words, too.

 

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On Friday we went to our first Winton’s concert of the week.  We’ve seen them twice before, so this isn’t our first Winton concert.  This is just our first one for the week.  (Now that I’ve just completely restated what was said in the first sentence, I think it is time to move on).  We attended two over the weekend, and will go to one more this weekend.  We are turning into groupies!

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Trying to get a little more creative with my photos. I really love this one.  A lot.

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Meiling enjoying the concert.

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[Don’t ask.]

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Daddy and Meiling enjoying the music.

 

The trees in our area are turning all sorts of lovely shades right now!  It is amazing that in these photos I posted a few weeks ago the same trees where still bright green.  Now they are vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds.  I saved a mirror from the trash a few weeks ago, so I could take it out and take pictures with it.  Since Mom wanted me to take pictures of the trees this past Saturday and Dad was cleaning out the garage, it seemed like a good time to use my mirror before getting rid of it.

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Bare feet.  Colored leaves.  Jean skirts.  Autumn.

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Sometimes trying to find the perfect white balance and exposure result in WAY to many pictures. 🙂

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 I really like the effect of lying the mirror down on the ground.  Isn’t it neat how the ground is all out of focus, while the reflection isn’t?

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Now there are no more green leaves out there.  Just lovely deep reds, vibrant golds, and a wonderful orange.

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This was even harder than doing regular self portraits.  This is the best shot I got.  😛

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Looking straight up

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There are even more leaves on the ground now!

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On Sunday – looking out from our front porch to the left front corner of our yard – actually, the same place where I was taking pictures the previous day.  Now the oak that is in the left part of this photo is a deep red.  I’ll have to get a photo of it now.

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When the sun peeped out from behind the clouds, it lit the trees in a much more interesting way.

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Doesn’t God make the most beautiful colors for Autumn?

 

Yesterday I went over to a friends’ home to a talk about health.  Quite a few ladies came, and we all just sat around the table, and shared about our health journeys, asked questions, and told what we have been learning.  It was so wonderful to sit there with all these women, all in different places, who are all seeking health, while seeking God’s will.  It was an amazing time and such a wonderful opportunity.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to attend, and to know all these ladies.  Thank you so much, A. family, for hosting and organizing it!

 

Until the next time post,

~Allison

For the First Time in 2 Years? 3 Years?

I used to crochet all the time when I was 10 until I was 12.  I loved to crochet.  I made my sister a load of crocheted food for her play kitchen.  I made a bunch of dishcloths.  But when I was 12, I started having wrist pain.  I had tendonitis.

Crocheting was one of the first things to go, followed by piano.  There was a time when I was able to do a bit of crocheting, but I had to stop again.  I have not been able to crochet for several years.

Well, I tried again yesterday.

It went fairly well.  I did some more today, and my wrists are sore.  But I am so excited to be crocheting again!  I hope if I take it slowly I can crochet more often. 

I started a dishcloth.  It is now about two thirds of the way finished.

I am so excited that God gave me the ability to do this again!

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What it looked like last night

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This morning

Of Thankfulness and a Few Photos

Today is a lovely day.  It is not too cold, and I have finally warmed up.  I was cold most of the morning.  I need to switch to my winter clothes, and stop attempting to wear short-sleeved shirts, even if I do put a sweater over them.  ‘Cause I get cold.  But most of my winter clothes are thick, warm sweaters.  That makes it a bit hard to make a transition. 

Anyways.

That was NOT what I was planning to post about.  And I am sure that you didn’t exactly want to know about that.  But it just came.  Hmmm.

I have started listening to Christmas music already.  Not all Christmas music.  Just a few of my favorite songs.  And they are not the traditional songs.  Some non-traditional songs.

And they make me think.  They make me think about what I have.  My family.  My home.  Our lovely property. 

Really, just my life in general. 

I am so happy with my life.  I love it.  I am so glad this is where I am, right here, right now.

I am so glad that God has given my brothers and sisters, so I can influence them, and they can influence me.  It has been so fun growing up with them.  I love the late-night talks Drake and I have, talking about anything and everything.

I love being able to see where I am now, and look back and see where I’ve been.  Of course I don’t have a lot to look back on since I am only 17, but I look forward to the compounding memories, and to being able to look back and trace God’s providence through it all.

I love my life.  I feel like I have it the best that I could.

But I don’t love it in a way that I never want it to change.  I don’t want to push pause and stay here forever.

I love where I am.  But I am looking forward to what He has in store for me. 

 

Now here are a few pictures that I  have taken over the last few days.  This one is from German night (last week’s country).  The dinner did turn out FANTASTICALLY and we will have to make that again.

 

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Making the spaetzle – I didn’t take that many pictures.  Confession:  I stressed.  So I didn’t take that many.

It turns out that spaetzle expand to about three or four times their original size when they hit the boiling water.  These in the picture, once cooked, where quite large.  We started cutting them smaller, and then Mom came to help us cut, and she cut them into the tiniest little bits.  They were the size all the spaetzle should have been.. Thanks, Mom!

I mentioned before that we made applesauce.  The first batch made 12 quarts and 3 pints.  We were able to get a second bushel of apples and that made 17 quarts and 1 pint.  I think we could use a few more quarts, but if we don’t, it’s not that big of a deal. 

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Meiling running the strainer.  You insert the apples slices (skin, core, and all) in on side, and it separates it into applesauce and skin/seeds.  We usually run the skin/seeds through again just to make sure we get all the good stuff.  I love this thing!

Lucy was waiting for Meiling (or anyone, really) to drop something.  🙂  She’s just so cute!

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Noah cutting apples

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Daddy put noise cancelling headphones on Meiling (the mixer makes a bit of noise that can get a bit monotonous).  Meiling was such a great helper and worked the machine almost the whole time for the first batch of apples!

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The canner and the pot of applesauce

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Warm applesauce – this is AMAZING with a sprinkle of cinnamon