Saturday, March 31, 2007

Youth group, desert, "she said yes."

Submerge... That's Nathan all in black over there, it was the "wear your school uniform" day at Oasis, and his school had had some sort of dress-up day, so there he was, in his Ninja costume. It's a pretty weird picture because of the way I lightened it up, but I think it looks pretty cool. Anyway, we had a pretty laid back week. I got a bunch of reading and writing done, and a whole lot of stuff taken care of. Wednesday was pretty tiring, I don't really know why. Thursday I had my last guitar lesson at PMI, and we took Nathan to youth group again. Again, no set up was needed, so we played foos ball and threw around the hackey sack, then played softball with a shoe and a hackey sack. It was fun. Worship was really good, and I had some good conversations afterwards.

The desert outing was really great... this is a video link of Nathan and Rachel larping... I'm utterly confused about doing links on here, so you'll have to copy and paste, but it's worth watching...¤t=DSCN4227.flv Out in the desert, we went up on some higher dunes and larped and talked, I mainly with Rachel, Nathan, and Daniel R. We sat up there for a while, and then Rachel and I went driving with Daddy. After dinner we talked for a while trying to decide on something to play, and then Rachel and I went off and talked for about 2 hours about sewing, archery, fencing, and writing. We both love to write, and we were talking about different story ideas and the plots for our really long ones. She and I are becoming really great friends.

On the way home from the desert, I finished reading a book I had gotten out of the Church library. A book called "she said yes." I got home and got ready for bed, but couldn't stop thinking about it. It makes you really wonder - if someone came up to you and put a gun to your head, and asked "Do you believe in God?" what would I do? Would I say yes? Or would I beg for my life? I think it's one of those things that you'd never really know until it actually happens. I think all we can do until then is just pray for strength, that we'd stand firm and have the courage to say "yes." It would take so much strength to say that, but gun or no gun, we should still say "yes" to that question. Things like that tend to really scare me, but this didn't - it just made me really think.

And as we were singing in Church today, I looked around me. Hundreds of people all different nationalities and backgrounds. All united in one purpose. And yet it was only from 50 countries. Imagine how much more incredible heaven will be... there are only a little less than 200 countries. Think about how AWESOME it will be, to stand before God, and just say, "Here am I, Lord, take all of me, all for You..." And spend all your time just being there, worshipping Him...
How I look forward to that day...


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fencing pictures!

A Gallant and Gracious Manner.

Me resting after a match

Me during my lesson

Luz having a sabre lesson.

The sword rack....

The mirrors and the fixed targets.

The Pistes and gear.

En guarde!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Be Strong!

Found this poem the other day...
Be Strong!   

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; We have hard work to do, and loads to lift; Shun not the
struggle-face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be Strong!

Say not, "The days are evil. Who's to blame?" And fold the hands and acquiesce-oh shame! Stand up, speak
out, and bravely, in God's name.

Be Strong!

It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong; How hard the battle goes, the day how long; Faint not -
fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.

Baseball, birthday party, and electrics,

Another week has flown by. We're stopping my guitar lessons - I'm not learning anything new anymore.
Youth group this week was outside. No set-up was needed, so I played foos ball with Philip, Nathan, and another kid, then Sharon, hannah, Sarah and I tossed around a hackey sack and played with Ben and James. J.W. started our new series - called Explode. The message this week was really good - basically boiled down to: You have a choice: heaven or hell. If heaven, God's commanded us to tell others and be filled with His power.
Friday after Church we went to the baseball field(s) at 11 for Nate's practice, game, and closing ceremonies. The practice and the game were ok, but the closing ceremonies and the hour between the game and then was annoying - it was sunny, hot, and Cait and I were bored stiff half the time.
When we got home, we swam, and then I worked on my story until Volleyball, then we got there, and Nathan, Daniel, Rachel (R. and C.), Hs, Cs, and Sharon were watching The Incredibles so we watched the ending and then out to play volleyball. Afterwards we played Sardines outside.

Saturday afternoon was Ben and James's birthday party - our Well Group was invited to help, so Sarah, Caroline, Melissa, Hannah, and I helped. Sarah, Caroline, and I put together the binoculars and helped with the crafts, then we watched and played with the little kids. When the party ended, Kristen taught those of us who were helping a line dance, then we cleaned up and watched part of Toy Story 2.

At fencing last night I did 2 electric matches - one against Chris, he won 5-0. But, I now know where not to try to get him. :P Mahmoud won 5-3. I'm making progress, though, last time I played Mahmoud, he won 10-2. Our lesson was really good, and I can feel myself improving. The instructor broke my favorite epee... I lunged, he went up to hit the sword to tell me to cease, and he broke it. So then I had to use the French Grip instead of the Pistol grip and that kinda annoyed me, but it was ok.
I hope I can start doing more matches again. Last week I didn't do any.

I'm working on an essay on Masks, and that'll be up before too long.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Good News... and the Bad News.

Well, good news first:
Fencing this evening went rather well, I'm starting ot think more quickly and my left arm is not tiring as quickly as before - instructor still says, however, that I need to lift weights. :P Guess I do need to practice a bit more with keeping my arm out. The best news, though, is that Saturday Chris and I will have a match. *very excited* Someone better than me but not super better than me like the other guy, but not worse than me like the short guy.

Bad news is that the earthworm we were supposed to dissect is all shrivelled up. :( 'Course, Caitlyn's really happy, but I kinda wanted to dissect that thing. But seriously, we tried to put the pins in to secure it so I could cut it open, and the thing broke... Not fun. Hopefully the crayfish, perch, and frog will work, though.

Over on my scribblings of a barefoot fencer, I've posted the first part of my story - tear it up ALL you want - I know it needs it badly!

Figure it out... it's morse code.

Monday, March 19, 2007

We're back!

After Mr. C picked us up, we ate waffles, talked for a while, then went upstairs to play 5 Crowns. Hannah and I went to Rachel's softball games, where we talked and played baseball as well as we could with only a ball and a baseball field. Back at the C's, we made cookies and rice crispy treats with the S girls. When Cait and Elisabeth came back and Sharon arrived, we started the Pride and Prejudice that's REALLY old - black and white, etc... We took a break for dinner - burritos - and then went back and watched the newest one. After the S's and B's left, Hannah, Cait, Elisabeth and I got ready for bed, made hot chocolate, and watched the first half hour of Strange Brew. (Strange Brew is a movie about... well, beer. It gives a few wrong messages, but it's a REALLY funny movie kinda making fun of Canadians...)

After breakfast we did chores and finished up school. Then we went swimming, ate lunch, and swam some more. Hannah, Elisabeth, Rachel, nate, and Candace went to the C's piano lessons, Cait and I stayed at the C's. I read (For the Temple - G.A. Henty) and grated cheese for pizza. When they got back, Hannah and I walked up to the corner store to get some things for Well Group, came back and ran around outside until dinner. Well Group went well, we had a good study, finishing up Ruth, and took a group picture. After everyone left and Elisabeth got home, we popped popcorn and finished Strange Brew (Oktoberfest! Stop them! Nice effects, eh?), talked about camps, read a book aloud, and went to bed.

Woke up, started on school. After breakfast we played outside, and Hannah and I were heading upstairs to do more school when mom and dad came to pick us up.

it was loads of fun staying there, and VERY refreshing.

We need to send mom and dad away more often, eh?

Ack, there I go... I've only seen Strange Brew once and I'm already adding in 'eh' after every sentence.

Well, see ya later, eh?

Over'n'out, eh
(BTW, Kilo-Yankee equals the first two letters of my name in radio code, eh)

Friday, March 16, 2007

News of the Weekend...

Well, this weekend was interesting... youth group was calm, and worship was great. We had no pranks, nothing really exciting, except it was too humid and sandy outside to play hackey sack outside, so we played it on the stairs.
This morning, we went to Church, but we had to RUN inside cuz the sand storm was so bad and it was getting in our eyes. Nate's ball game was cancelled, so we went over to the B's for lunch, and we watched the Christmas play from last year, then played the fainting game upstairs in the guest room. Volleyball wasn't cancelled so on our way to the C's we went to the "haunted house," an old, torn up place nobody really lives in. We explored for a little while, but left when we heard a door slam. Volleyball was okay, the wind and sand made it really hard to play and I have sand in my throat, eyes, and nose still. We went inside for a little while, and when it was dark we went back to the haunted house with the guys and explored for a while, then came back and left.
'Twas fun.
Tomorrow we go to the C's to stay there while my parents are in Vienna for their anniversary.

Happy St. Patricks Day!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tea time!

Last Wednesday the Bible study at the S's ended with a bonfire with REAL s'mores. But, being inspired by a tea the S's had had the year before in the states, we wanted to have one, which we hosted at our house. At first we set the table and talked, then went to the park to swing, and after taking a walk around the compound, we had tea. It was loads of fun, and our talk varied from weather to jokes. We wanted to watch Pride and Prejudice after we ate, but the C's had to leave and everyone else had to leave with them.
The picture to the right is all of us "girlies" dressed up. Cait is fourth from left and I'm farthest on the right.
The table setting:
Me, Sharon, and Hannah swinging:
Walking around the compound... thankfully the kids who would have yelled "weirdo" and such at us were not out, so we got no rude remarks. Well, one from a little 4 year old, but... yeah.
The morning I had spent washing the floors, straightening my room, folding napkins, and making Welsh Tea Cakes. After the tea, it was the right time for Fencing, so spur of the moment thing, we went fencing. It was more challenging than usual, a different instructor was there, but it was still fun.
P.S. - Daddy said that next year I may get to do Mandolin instead of guitar... I can't wait!

Friday, March 9, 2007

A very prankful two days...

Well, eventful, too, but I think prankful kinda fits it a little better....
To start from the beginning:
Last night was a sort of "prank war" at Youth Group. We girls had been warned sometime before to bring an extra change 0f clothes - and to think sticky, greasy, and wet.
sack/keep-away when Nathan ones to the guys, good ones to the girls. (Anyway, we (Hannah, Elisabeth, Sharon, Sarah H., and a few others) were out playing hackeywent inside for a little while, leaving his back outside. Hannah noticed, and she and Elisabeth hid it in the girls' bathroom. Nathan found out and was trying to get it back, but then Esther went in and got it for him. 'Course, now all of us that were at least semi-involved (okay, I suggested a hiding place but...) were main targets - Me, Elisabeth, Hannah, Rachel (Nathan's sister), Hannah P., and Cait (even though Hannah P and Cait were just sitting around doing nothing - Nathan just wanted an excuse to get them). No pranks were pulled during the worship, games, and talk, but afterwards we handed out cupcakes - sabotaged (Sabotaged = gum, gum wrappers, spices, salt, toothpaste frosting...) Most of the guys didn't seem to notice anything, but Mitch and Nathan thought they tasted funny, and Kenneth's face was great, according to Cait. 'Course, they start smashing cupcakes in people's faces, and then Nathan walks by me and smears some all over my face... We go outside, where water is pouring down from the roof. Half the guys were already soaked, so we bring out the "snow." (Powdered sugar...) "So, Daniel, did you hear? There's a 99% chance of snow tonight." Then, of course, the guys bring out the butter (greasy). Rachel pulls out her concoctions (2 bottles of jam, honey, oats, syrup, fish oil...) and so both sides attack, hitting more with our stuff than they did us. We basically won, but now we have decided to be nice to them for a while.
However... tonight was Alice's birthday party after volleyball, and the guys brought water balloons and we had a whole bunch of people thrown in the pool and soaked with water balloons. Somehow Nathan threw cocacola on Elisabeth, and so she told us to get him with coke... much as I hate that stuff, I stood around sipping it for about 2 minutes, Nathan comes out of the house, and I throw it on him. 'Course, he turns around and throws his QJ for me. The whole ride home I was wet and sticky.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Scribblings of a barefoot fencer is now up...

My writing/photography blog is now officially up. It's just
So now I won't bore you to death with my writing. *growls at BananaBint*
And I don't really like posting photography stuffs here, so that will tend to end up over there. *points to link*


Sunday, March 4, 2007

My Weekend...

It's been a while since I posted anything other than writing, so I thought I'd tell you about my weekend... Friday after Church, we had a girl's afternoon at the Welkners, since JW was in Kuwait and so couldn't lead his wellgroup. So 16 girls piled into the whale, followed by 5 others in Lisa's car. We got there, introduced ourselves and talked some, then Lisa announced UAE idol, and Hannah P., Elaine, and Lisa all sang something, then we turned on the TV for American Idol. (Me: boring!). We also played with the boys some, and talked about what we should do for Alice's birthday. We made super huge cookies with all sorts of stuff in them... minstrels, M&Ms, brown sugar, skittles, toffee, marshmallows, nuts, raisins, oatmeal... yummy!
Then we all piled back into the whale and drove to the C's for Volleyball. Heh, within 2 seconds after I started warming up I slipped, felt a sharp pain in my heel, and turns out there was a shell in my foot. Mrs. C helped me get it out and we cleaned my foot up, got a bandaid on it, and I was back out playing.

Saturday we went to the beach with the BLs, Cs, Ps, and Hs. Nathan was there, too. Most people got in the water, but I couldn't cuz of the open cut on my heel, so I stayed on the beach and played volleyball, frisbee, and keep away. When we got home, Luz and I talked, I read her some of my stories, we went over to her house and watched Stormbreaker (it was good as a movie, but not as Stormbreaker, if you take my meaning), and then played street hockey. We finished playing but didn't want to leave, so I brought out the larps and we larped for a while with Josh, Rhys, and Jeremy.
Fencing in the evening was a blast. First we did footwork. After doing some more basic stuff, we paired off by height, and I'm the second tallest there, however, the tallest is about 1' or more taller than me. So Chris and I were on the same piste and even though he's so much taller I was able to keep up pretty well. Then I got to do some sword work, which was great. Chris and I are the only Saturday night epee students (after all, epee rocks ALL!), so we'll probably end up sparring a lot... heh, it'll be easy for me to get his toe!


Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Second Mate's Daughter: A Tale of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Second Mate’s Daughter: A Tale of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Outside a car door slammed. Then came the sound of worried voices. Emma Pratt rolled over in bed and sat up, rubbing her eyes. The wind was howling outside, and Emma could hear the rain pouring down on the roof. She looked at her clock. Midnight. It was Friday, November 11th, 1975. Downstairs a door opened. Rubbing the last bit of sleep from her eyes, Emma climbed out of bed and tiptoed towards the stairs, peeking over the railing. As three men entered the house, lightning flashed, illuminating the sky. The men were in yellow rain slickers, and Emma’s mother stood in the foyer, a worried expression on her face.

“I’m sorry ma’am. The Fitzgerald was there, on The Anderson’s radar, that was at 19:10. Then it just disappeared.” One of the men told her.

Up above on the stairs, Emma drew in a sharp breath. She knew storms in November could get rough, but it was still early in November… it didn’t make any sense.

“We have helicopters out there searching right now, but they lost connection and the ship vanished.” A second man said, pulling off his rain hat and turning it around in his hands.

Mrs. Pratt put her hands to her face. Emma had a feeling that her father, James A. Pratt, Second Mate on The Edmund Fitzgerald, was dead. Not caring that she was in her pajamas, Emma ran down the stairs, her bare feet thumping on the wooden staircase. She put her arms around her mother and tried to hold in her own tears. This was too much. It was just too much. Emma couldn’t believe it, it didn’t seem like reality. It sounded like something that only happened to other people, but would never do anything to them. A tear rolled down Emma’s cheek, and she brushed it away, but more came.

The men left, and Emma went back upstairs to her room and sat on her bed, staring at her hands. She then picked up her journal and a pen, and began to write.

Midnight, November 11, 1975.

The Edmund Fitzgerald went down. Daddy’s probably dead. I don’t see how it’s possible. It’s something that’s real, but it’s not. Like something that would happen in a storybook. I feel like I’m in a dream. A nightmare, more like. How will life go on? When I said goodbye to daddy when he left, I didn’t know it was going to be the last goodbye. If I had… how different it would have been. And yet, not that different, because I don’t know what I really would’ve done differently. I don’t think I’ll be able to get back to sleep.



Emma sighed and lay down on her bed, staring up at the ceiling and listening to the storm raging outside. Tears began to roll down her cheeks again, and she rolled over and cried into her pillow.

The next thing she knew, her mother was shaking her awake.

“Emma. Emma. Emma.”

“What is it, mom?

“Let’s head over to the Church. They’re ringing the bell in memory.”
The night – early morning – flooded back to her. “So they’re really dead, then?”

“Yes, honey. Come on. I said you would ring it for daddy.”

Emma nodded. “I will.”

After getting dressed, Emma and Mrs. Pratt got in the car. “It’s going to be a bit of a drive, honey.”

Emma nodded. “It’s okay.”

During the ride, Emma thought about her father, all the memories they had had together. She knew then she wanted to say something about him before ringing the bell,

although no one else probably would. She thought of the first time she had been at sea, and how much fun she had had with her father there. That would be what she would tell.

The ride passed quickly, Emma completely consumed in her thoughts. When they got to the Church, she began to feel a tad bit nervous. When her turn came to ring the bell, she turned around to face the few people gathered there.

“Before I ring the bell in memory of my father,” she began, remembering the time she was about to tell the others, “I’d like to say something about him. He was a good man, caring, kind, gentle, and loving. I’m grateful he was my father. He took me out to the sea at a very young age, and we had many fun times boating. But my favorite was the time we were caught in a light storm. I was beginning to feel afraid, and he put his arms around me and began to sing to me. This is what he sang:

Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist’rous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say’st to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sov’reign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
’Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

And now, fear not – Jesus will pilot and comfort us now.”

Emma turned and pulled the rope on the bell, the ring resounding loud and clear. Emma descended the few steps from the platform with tears gathering in her eyes. She knew that inside, healing had begun.


Although Emma and her mother are fictional characters (Though Second Mate James A. Pratt was a real person, who was probably married), and all that I have just written about is fictional, the Edmund Fitzgerald was a real ship that went down on November 10th, 1975, at 7:10 PM.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.