Saturday, November 30, 2013

Catch Up

I can't believe November is pretty much over!  
Maybe it's because this month was so busy that by the time Thanksgiving was over, it suddenly dawned on me that there were only a couple days left before I needed to gear up for December.  After briefing myself on the upcoming calender, I am excited to say that I am looking forward to another fast-paced month (I like things fast)!

But before that month swoops upon us, I thought I should bring my readers up to date on what went on over here.

With the days getting colder, we are back to using our wood-burning stove
While starting a fire (in the stove, of course) I happened to come across my old Geometry school papers.  I couldn't believe I was burning up all my hard work to keep everyone warm!  I mean, look at all those organized lines (yes, Geometry is so me)!

One Accord performing!
 (I may or may not do a whole post on this concert with videos and such... I am going to do one on the family blog for sure, but whether or not I post it here is yet to be determined!)

Call me crazy, but I so enjoy working with these little geometric shapes!  I find that all the building toys I used to play with have become more interesting now that I'm older and can do more stuff with them.  ;)  I was particularly fond of this one I made to show Judah, Havliah, and Benjamin how to use them.

 Some of us are just really expressive...

And then... Jordan and Daddy headed off to the National Bible Bee! 
(I felt funny about doing a blog post on an event I didn't get to go to, so you can check out Jordan's blog here and look at all the fun he had and we missed out on.  Did I just say that?!)
 We were so proud of Jordan and how he qualified for Semi-Finals!
(Let me tell you... the day dragged by as we anxiously waited to hear his results!)

 After I taught my piano students, we all gathered around--students and all!--to watch the rounds.

 Jordan did a fantastic job proclaiming God's Word with power and eloquent delivery.

The best part was when Jordan got to recite Genesis 49:8-12 and since he knew we were watching the livestream, he spoke the Scripture directly to Judah.  It was so special!
"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.  Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.  Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:  His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk."
 The look on Judah's face when he heard his brother calling his name in the Scripture.

While they were having so much fun on the other side of the United States, we decided that we were going to make the best of it with Girl Time.
Which means... we went shopping!
 I have a fascination for our solar system and the study of Astronomy because it so amazing to see God's creation displayed so vastly and beautifully across the night sky!  While on our way to go shopping, I saw this strange light in the sky.  I snapped a picture thinking it was a planet.
The other day I found out that Comet ISON was orbiting in such a way that it was visible with the eye.  When I had planned to go out and see it the other night, by the time I gathered all my gear together (camera, binoculars, telescope, and stool) and thin layer of clouds had covered the comet.  Very sad.
Imagine my surprise when I found that I had snapped a picture of it only a week before!

Thanks to technology, Jordan called us up over Facetime and introduced me to the M. family at the Bible Bee!
We were thrilled, if you couldn't tell.  ;)


Shiloh and I played a gig together.
(I promise I was not as bored as a look!)
 
After the gig we had some Girl Time at a restaurant with the lovely B. ladies!

Daddy and Jordan arrived safely home after this busy week and we all enjoyed catching up together over ice cream bars.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the S. family.
 Group Photo!
Just don't get the shoes in there...
(Inside joke, but you probably can read through the lines on that one.)

 The S. Family.

Thanks to Ethan for getting the pictures!


 Fellowshipping with one of our favorite "traditional" Thanksgiving games!

There are lots of laughs in this group!





Although this was a busy month, the Lord blessed me in many incredible ways!

Well, that should have to caught up to speed with my life!  If you can believe it, I've already peeked ahead into 2014 to see how I can start scheduling all sorts of new plans and ideas...
I'm looking forward to December and all that the Lord has in store for me! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Awkward: 101 Dumb Things I've Done--Thanksgiving

Before moving onto matching the title to the post, I want to take a minute to say that I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving filled with much love, joy, and gratefulness!  We have so much to be thankful for and don't realize the things we take for granted... Salvation from sin and eternal separation from God; the freedom to worship God in this country; "simple" necessities like food, water, and shelter; family and friends...  I have seen it asked, "What if we woke up today, with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  That is a sobering thought!  We have been blessed with so many things and yet it is so easy to forget a simple "thank you".  Take a moment to thank the Lord, your family, your friends--anyone who God lays on your heart--for those special things that you have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
~Psalm 100:4-5


 So now you are wondering why this post has such a strange title...  Here's why:
I'm going to write a book someday.
Oh, whoa.  Whoa.  Stop right there!

Did you just read that correctly?
Actually... yes.  You did.

What's even more interesting is that I have been encouraged by some very close friends of mine to write this book.  But why would I write a book?  I mean, I'm the slowest reader in my family and I'm always the one that has to give the sheepish "um, no, actually I haven't read that book".  When it comes to reading, I can only brag about holding the record as the youngest reader in the family (I started reading at three).  So what in the world would posses me to write a book when here I shudder at the size of a thick book?
I always end up in the most trickiest situations and even though they are awkward at the time, I always find them to be hilarious afterwards!  (My friend thinks I have a knack for getting entangling myself in those moments, but I guess the only way to tell is to stick around me for some time. ;) )  I love humor and the little things in life that make me smile.  I am sharing these stories because I want to share the laughter and enjoyment from the funny things God puts in my paths with you.  I hope these stories make you smile as well.  Remember "a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance". 
Oh, and the title of the book (when I get around to writing it, of course)?  "Awkward: 101 Dumb Things I've Done". (Note: I might abbreviate that on here as Awkward: 101 DTID... we'll see.)
Enjoy this Thanksgiving story (thankfully I had it archived so I didn't have to type it all up!) and let me know what you think!

On Thanksgiving day a few years ago, my siblings and I decided to dress up in traditional hysterical--I'm sorry--historical First Thanksgiving costumes.  I pulled out my Indian costume, pieced it together, and realized that I needed one last thing to make it as authentic as possible: an Indian necklace.  On the way over to our friend's house, I strung these little round glass beads on a long string.  (Bad idea.)  After I was done, I found that the necklace was so long I could wrap it twice around my neck and it looked very just right.  (Mistake two.)
Over the course of the evening, I found that my necklace kept tightening around my neck, leaving me with one long loop and one very constricting loop pulled quite tight.  It left me always pulling the wrap that was closest to my neck down to fix it so I wouldn't feel like I might strangle myself at any given moment.  (Yes, it just keeps getting worse.)
After the meal, our hosts opened up their huge tubs of homemade ice cream.  We were in the basement of their house which had a hard kind of tile floor.  I was happily enjoying one of the most delicious additives to this Thanksgiving dinner when that pesky necklace threatened to choke me once more.  "No worries, I'll just pull it down again like this"--and then it happened.  After countless pullings, the string finally broke and all those glass beads flew everywhere!  They plopped into my ice cream, rolled into the folds of my clothes, bounced off my lap, and my hands were grabbing everywhere to catch them.  (Of course my siblings started taking pictures.)  The worst came when they hit that floor.  The sound of those little bead's high-pitched plink shattered the conversation-filled room.  Plink, plink, plink!  They hit the ground and they spun, bounced, and zipped... all... over... the... room!  The were rolling under the chairs, in the corners, under the piano, between people's feet... you name it!  And I had to go all over the room, picking them up!  Okay, so being dressed abnormal while everyone looks normal is one thing.  But your costume falling apart in front of everyone, is another!  I went around that room, scrambling under the pianos, searching in the cracks, grabbing under the chairs, scooping them up everywhere. Meanwhile, everyone is pointing them out, "You missed some over here!"  "Bethany, I have some more for you!"  "There are a few more under this chair".  Finally I kept telling people that they could keep them as souvenirs from an Indian's outfit!  I did get all those beads back (at least all I could find), but I didn't dare put them on that necklace again!
To this day, I still haven't figured out the moral of this story.  I'm sure it's one of these two: Next time, either let the necklace choke you, or wear a different costume...  I really don't know.
Truth to be told, I did wear that Indian costume again.  But no, the necklace did not have the honor of trying a repeat-performace!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Victory Won

If you remember this post, I talked about songwriting and mentioned a behind the scenes story of how I got my inspiration for this song, The Victory Won.

I'm very thankful that Eden agreed to sing this for me, being that it didn't really fit my vocal capacities!  She is a fine Soprano and she did such a great job singing this, adding her vocal interpretations here and there...  ;)  (Of course, I gave her special coaching and all!)


I hope you enjoy this song and I would love to hear your thoughts!

And just for the fun of it...


Yes, octaves can be difficult for those of us who are unfortunate enough to have small hands.  Thankfully video recordings are forgiving because you can retake clips (well, I guess that does depend on the patience level of the person(s) working!  However, the perfectionist in me tends to show itself when it comes to music, so yes, I can handle all the monotonous redoes over and over again...).  Of course there was that time I'll never forget where I finished my recital piece in performance, only to find that I didn't quite make the stretch for the chord.  It sounded like a jazz chord at the end of my Classical piece.  Oh great!  I helplessly had to hold it out as my strong finish (trying to get all the notes in there right by playing the chord again would have made the bad situation even worse).

But that was nothing compared to the time I bowed to the piano after my first-ever piano recital.  I sure got a lot of laughs for being such a little girl, but I wouldn't recommend trying this shtick for any comic relief!  ;)  To this day, the certain people who witnessed the moment have not forgotten so I hear repeats of the same (embarrassing!) story...

On that final note, be on the lookout on my blog for some of my true stories (and I'll leave it up to you to decide whether they are funny or not!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I am Pro-life

Today is the 90th birthday of the Grandpa who is now in heaven with the Lord.  I wanted to take a moment to honor him because of the Pro-life legacy he has left me.
Grandpa was a Pro-life doctor and this is a true story (from my Grandma) about how he refused to aid in an abortion.
"A doctor's office called Grandpa's office and asked if he would assist on a hysterectomy... That they termed a "surgical assist".  On that day Grandpa went to the hospital all scrubbed and suited up for surgery.  When he got in the operating room the patient had already been put to sleep.  Grandpa found out that it was not a hysterectomy... but opening the uterus to remove a live fetus.  The patient had had two or three other procedures to terminate the pregnancy and she still tested positive for pregnancy.  So they decided to do this procedure...  it would be like a C-section.  He told the Doctor that he did not do abortions and that they knew that and that he was leaving the operating room... then the Doctor said, "Just turn your head when we remove the fetus."  Grandpa said, "NO." and left."

Grandpa stood for what was right.  He had the conviction to fight and speak up for the unborn even though it could have cost him severely.  He inspires me to be one that will fight for righteousness, plead the cause of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:9), and to further the Pro-life work, picking up where he left off.  

I'm proud of him and what he did that day.

I love you, Grandpa!

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
 ~Psalm 139:14

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, November 18, 2013

10 Random Facts

I was "nominated" to write some random facts down about myself on my social networking site.  I decided to go ahead and post these facts here on my blog as well.  If you want to do the same, comment and let me know so I can read your list!

1) At 5lbs 6oz, I was the smallest baby in our family.  In fact, I was so little that when my mom carried me in a sling, people thought I was a broken arm.  (People are very sympathetic.)

2) I have a really good memory (disclaimer: I have trouble remembering names) and I can remember back since I was two.  I had tried to climb through the supports underneath the chair's seat and got so stuck I couldn't get out.  I can still visualize my dad pounding on the chair to try to loosen things up.

3) At one point in my life I wanted to play the flute.  (Me and a flute--or maybe a flute and I--either way, it just doesn't fit.)

4) I am daring.  Very daring.  Somehow I managed to escape needing stitches or having any major broken bones, despite the fact that my mom said that I would be the most susceptible because of my characteristics!

5) At about 7 or 8 I came up with the brilliant idea of trying to hold my breath for a whole minute.  By the time 55 seconds ticked around, I was about ready to pass out.   But I hung in there until the minute was up (seriously, I couldn't give up then!).  ;)

6) I was around 10 years old when I respectfully "debated" the next-door neighbor about Creationism vs. Evolutionism.  I was too young to take into consideration the fact that he was a Geologist and I might not have all the answers, but nevertheless I still talked with him and he left the conversations with seeds of doubt!

7) I almost drowned at one point in my life.  I fell into a rushing river and had my daddy not grabbed me as I was swept by (my head popped above the water for a split second), I don't think I would have survived.  Even though that happened, I still love swimming.

8) I love challenges.  For some reason, I usually give a shot at the difficult things first... just because... it's more fun, I guess.  ;)  When we were very young, we had a competition with our cousins to see who could hold their hand on the ice on the iceskating rink the longest.  Much to the chagrin of my older cousin (he was the oldest cousin and we always thought he could do the most craziest things) and the delight of his sister and mine, I held my hand on the ice longer than he could.

9) Something I always wanted to do is learn how to tap dance.  (You could see me doing that, right?)  One day I'll learn it... or maybe I'll learn Irish Stepdance with Hardshoe instead...

10) Having never practiced for a sprint in my life, my dad and I decided to informally race a sprint together.  My time was 16 seconds and his was 15.  Running is awesome!

Thinking back through all these memories makes me see how the Lord has always had His hand of blessing and protection upon me.  He continues to guide me a shield me as I walk through this life.  I also am reminded that life is short and it's what you do for Christ that really matters.  The waves of time will wash over my name in the sands of this life... never to be remembered again.  But what I did for the Kingdom of the Lord will never be forgotten.  Praise the Lord for the wonderful things He has done in my life!

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14

Saturday, November 16, 2013

No Regrets

 Because I promised that my blog would also contain some of the articles I've written, I have been searching through my Article Archives to find a good one.  About four years ago I wrote one that always stood out to me because I had a really good topic.  I thought perhaps I would post that one... but when I went to read the article, I found myself quite surprised.  Apparently my writing has changed from what it was four years ago.  It's changed a lot.  And since I prefer my current writing style, I decided that I wouldn't post that article until I had revised it just a bit.  ;)  This is an article I wrote last year on the importance of strengthening your relationship with Christ.



No Regrets

As Christians, we need to have fellowship with the Lord while each day we become sanctified and more like Him.  We should all have a hunger and desire to grow closer to Him as we continue to live out His plan in our lives.  “As the hart panteth after the water brookes, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psalm 42:1)  In this verse David cries out to God from a longing heart.  Like a deer who has raced through the woods and is looking for a cold, refreshing drink from a nearby stream, so does the weary King David desire to have reviving communion with the Lord.  David is recorded as “a man after God’s own heart”.  He loved the Lord, sought to obey Him, and desired to be more like Him every day.  When I think about David, I am challenged.  I want to be like him! 

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to thee”. (James 4:8a)  In this verse, we see a two-way road.  In order for us to experience a close relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to pursue Him and seek after Him.  If we neglect the Lord and follow after worldly “delights”, we push Him out of our lives to make room for ourselves.  We are not going to grow at all like this!  “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,” (Hebrews 12:1)  The little sins that take our focus off the Lord are the sins that will end up putting a barrier between God and us. 

How do we draw close to God?  How do we grow in our relationship with Him?  I think these two scriptures can answer these questions: “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)  This is what will start the beginning of a sweet relationship with the Lord! 
 
This year, I spent a lot of time in God’s Word while I studied for the Bible Bee.  After doing in-depth studies on certain books of the Bible as well as memorizing many passages from it, something became apparent: I wanted more of it!  That was an interesting fact that I learned: the more you spend time in the Word, the more time you want to spend time in the Word! By putting forth the effort to grow in the Lord, He puts in you an unquenchable hunger and thirst for Him.  I also realized that this desire was not of myself; how could my sinful heart have a longing for the things of the Lord?  It can’t.  I didn’t create this yearning, the Lord did.  However, it was up to me to seek God and spend time with Him.  Do you see the two sides to this? 
 
Before closing, I want to touch on sanctification.  Sanctification is a daily process of the Holy Spirit working within us, molding us into Christ’s image.  “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)  By seeking God through His Word, we will experience this as well as the sweet intimacy that comes from drawing night to God.

Another aspect is prayer.  Prayer is direct communication with God.  It is really amazing when you think about it... we have the ability to go right to the throne of God and pour out our hearts to Him: our struggles, our praise, our thanks, our needs...  Just like we grow in relationships with people we know by talking with them, so will we grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father by talking with Him.  Isn’t it amazing to think that He is never too busy, but always ready to hear what we say?  We must listen to Him as well when we pray.
 
To finish up, I want to share this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “...Therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things.  His presence will be most realized by those who are most like Him.  If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to Him.  Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ's desires, and motives, and plans of action, and you are likely to be favoured with His company.  Remember His presence may be had.  His promise is as true as ever.  He delights to be with us.  If He doth not come, it is because we hinder Him by our indifference.  He will reveal Himself to our earnest prayers, and graciously suffer Himself to be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears, for these are the golden chains which bind Jesus to His people.” 

Seek after God, my friend!  Spend time —lots of time!—in His Word as well as prayer.  When you make the step to draw closer to God, you will find that He will not only draw closer to you, but also create a deep longing in you for Himself. 
 
You won’t regret it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11/12/13

Today.  Right now.  Don't miss it.  This will never happen again.

Today is the fascinating moment of 11/12/13 14:15.
(Well, at least I find it fascinating because I enjoy all sorts of interesting phenomenons.)

And I get to be a part of history and share this day with my birthday.  (Or maybe I share my birthday with this fascinating day...)


We savor the moment.


Alright, it's 14:16 now, so the moment has passed.  Thanks for making history with me!

(If you missed this never-before-seen/never-to-be-seen-again instant, I'm sorry.  At least you can read a blog post to know that something special happened!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Songwriting

It was my dad that taught me how to write songs.  I remember being very young at the time as I sat around the table listen to him explain to my siblings and I how to rhyme phrases in songs.  One of the ways he taught us was by changing the words to already written songs to give us a feel for rhythm and meter.  He also would make up songs about amusing things that stood out to us.  Two classics that I remember were "My Big Truck" and "The TV Bus".
As I we got older, a fun tradition was to rewrite Christmas songs into Chocolate songs and sing them to our friends because both our moms loved chocolate (and that's a long story there!).  It got competitive (big surprise) and we would both vie for the best Chocolate Song.  Although it was all for fun, it helped me learn how to write songs (and being the archiver that I am, I saved all my papers for future reference).
It was only earlier this year that I decided to get serious about it.  I love writing poetry, so why not put poetry to music?  It was a warm June afternoon when I went to my brother and told him of my idea.  Although he is usually ready for my crazy ideas (*coughs* yes, I'm known for always having insane plans of some sort!), he did contemplate the possibilities for a moment of silence.  Finally we both agreed that writing songs was a good idea and that it was going to be something we would pursue.
(You can check out my first song here.)

I'm very glad to have my Soprano sister agree to sing my next song for me (sadly, I lack severely in the vocal capacities)!  Lord willing, we will do a video recording of it on Wednesday.  I'm very exciting about that!

For now, this is a story of how I wrote that song:


Back in September I was sitting at the table, studying for my Natural Science CLEP test I was going to be taking the following next week.  Spinning around in my brian were Protons, Neutrons, Neutrinos, Electrons, Alpha/Beta Decay, Carbon Dating... all that good stuff. 

Suddenly it stopped.   

For some reason, 1 Corinthians 15:55 popped into my head.  Grabbing my Bible on the table next to me, I looked it up, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"  After reading the verse I realized that those words would make a powerful song.  However, I was in the middle of my study, I have other songs in the making right now, and besides, I didn't have the time to start a whole new plan right now (I can barely wade through the others!).   

So I went back to my work. 

About an hour or so later the Alpha/Beta Decay, Carbon Dating, Protons, Neutrons, Neutrinos, Electrons (all that good stuff) once again stopped right in the middle of their orbits.  This time words to a song started flowing into my head as I grabbed a paper and jotted it down.  However, 1 Corinthians 15:55 did not appear in the song (well, what I had of it at that point).
A few hours later, I went over to the piano and finished writing down the melody line and chords.  That night (which lasted until the next morning), I finished this song.  And yes, 1 Corinthians 15:55 ended up in it!

The Victory Won By: 
Bethany Strang 

The love of the Father, how it rushes over me. 
That He would send His Son to die on Calvary's tree. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The Father's love has won the victory. 

The blood of the pure Lamb, how is washes over me. 
That I may stand redeemed and from my sin set free. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The Spotless Lamb has won the victory. 

The grace of the Lord God, how it hushes over me. 
That I am saved through faith and receiving His mercy. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The grace of God has won the victory. 

The power of the Lord, how it surges over me. 
That I am not ashamed and will speak that others see. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The power of God has won the victory.

O death, you have no sting!
And o grave you have no victory!

It's Jesus Christ who won the victory!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tuneup

About twice a year I do a complete cleanup of my violin.  Of course I clean my violin after every time I play it, but here I am referring to detailing the instrument.  The first step is a cleaner that takes off the rosin buildup and dust as well as the oil and dirt that collects from the skin contact.  After that I use a special polish to protect and shine the violin's finish.  (Yes, both the cleaner and polish are designed specifically for stringed instruments, so don't get any ideas to try household cleaners!)  I do a few other things like getting the sticky rosin buildup off my strings, making sure my fingerboard is smooth, and also taking extra precaution to really clean the chinrest (if you don't, you just might end up with a nice infection under your jawline).  Although it can be a long and perhaps even tedious job, I really enjoy it.  Maybe this is the area where I am a perfectionist!  Actually I think it's just that I find it fascinating to work on (and with!) violins.  I've often thought it would be really fun to learn how to make violins... (could you imagine the Bethany Line of violins?!  Oh wait... they would probably end up being rather unpredictable...)  Since that might not ever happen, I take the time to give my violin a fine tuneup and offer help to any other person that might want something worked on.

I was so pleased with my work that I decided it would be fun to take some pictures of the finished product.

 This is my "before" picture.

Although I didn't really take pictures while I was working (I was working, duh!), I did stop to take this one picture because I'm certain there is some chemical reaction that occurs between the cleaner and the area where I have skin contact.  Just what it is I don't know, but it sure looks kind of strange!  (That whiteish part comes off when I rub on the polish.)

 And the finished work!!!
Doesn't the violin look great?!
(Well, it does in my opinion...)

 Solid back violins are awesome.

Someone once said they didn't recognize me because they saw me without my "appliance"!  I found that to be quite humorous.

 Currently I use a Dominate A, D, and G with a Pirastro steel E string.  One of these days I think I'm going to restring and give some Evah Pirazzis a try.  I have tried having all Dominates, but I wasn't too impressed with the Dominate E... but maybe that's because it was a wound E.

 As you can tell by the blue reflection on the left there, it was evening by the time I ended.  Can you believe it took me the whole day?!  (Okay, I'm just kidding.)

 The wood is beautiful.

 
Pearl inlay in the pegs... and they match my endpin too!

To the nonviolinist, this picture can look like a device of painful torture.
I don't understand why they don't understand that your chin, neck, and shoulder should fit it with--well, you might have to build up some kind of callous...
(Okay, so it is an awkward position.  Just don't tell anyone I said that.)
That's my second chinrest because somehow I managed to strip the threads and thus break my first chinrest (too much Czardas maybe?!).  And I really liked my other chinrest better!

Anyone ready to shift to the upper register?

 I really like the lightening and perspective on this picture.

Thanks to technology, I can write ƒ hole correctly.

 "Stradivarius Model, Geesman Violin Shop Portland, Oregon"
 Mr. Geesman is a fantastic violin maker and I love visiting his fine instruments shop!


My violin hangs over my bunk, right next to my piano medals.  It's great to be a part of both worlds!
No, I don't leave my violin there all the time... in fact, I only hang it up when I need to practice later or go through something at a different time, but having a violin hanger is really a wonderful thing to use.

I'm all ready for the Christmas Concert season.  Bring it on!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BeFALLen

I'm really not a Fall Person at all (if there even is such thing... you Fall People will have to tell me about it).  Summer is over and gone, the days are getting shorter and colder, and when I was young, I always knew that school was back again.  Somehow I ended up being the only person in the  family who was born during Fall.  Ironic, I know.  I mean, Fall just doesn't fit with me!  I really don't like eating anything pumpkin (except for pumpkin bread or muffins), I like cold apple cider, and although some squashes are good, they are simply a hassle to eat because I'm never sure if you're allow to eat the skin or not (and half the time I just end up eating it whether it's against the rules or not because I can't get it off)!

But there is something I love about Fall.

The colors.

Every year I am amazed at God's creation and the beauty of the changing seasons.  I go biking up and down our street a couple times a week and I have loved seeing all the vibrant colors.  The yellow-brown leaves falling off the trees in a crunchy ground cover, the pine needles all over the road, the colored trees poking out between the rich majestic pine trees... all of the shades reflect a Creator that has painted a beautiful tapestry of sparkling color across our world.

I took this picture of our neighbor's pond last year and every time I see it, I still have to gaze at it as I take in the beauty.  I love how the tree line disappears into the fog and the water reflects the scene.
(And even though I'm not a photographer--oh wait.  One time I did take a test and came out as an Extreme Photographer... yeah, I think that fits me!--I did edit the picture because I took it on an iPhone.)

"The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."
~Psalm 111:2

Our Creator is amazing, Fall is beautiful, and I get to experience it all!

(Oh, and if you haven't already, be sure to FALLow my blog because now would be a great time!)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Just For Fun: Unexpected

My little brothers, Judah and Benjamin were having their afternoon Quiet Time on their beds with books and stuffed animals.  I came up the stairs and seeing the door to their room open thought it would  be rather fun to stop in for a second and play around with them (it's always great to rile up the children during Quiet Time, you know).  Running into the room, waving my arms and yelling, "Judah, Judah, Judah!" I made a dash to flop down on his trundle bed (Ben's bed is right above Judah's, so it's really not possible to do my gymnastic stunt on his bed).  Judah saw me coming and thought I would fall on his stuffed animals and ruin their perfectly good playtime (seriously, like I would mess stuffed animals up!) so he cried, "Bethany, nooooooo!!!"  But it was too late.  Laughing, I rolled onto his bed right in front of him.  Unfortunately I had no way of predicting the outcome and I suddenly realized that my back had rolled onto his stack of hardback books.  The covers of the books poked into my spine as I lay a bit stunned (if you have never tried laying on a stack of hardback book covers, you have nothing to say; it's worse than it sounds).  After a second of agonizing torment (okay, so maybe I am making this a little melodramatic), I turned to Judah and said, "Ouch, I rolled on your books!"  The look on Judah's face turned from surprise into a triumphant smile as he bent forward towards my face, opened his eyes wide, and said in a very matter-of-fact voice, "I told you no!"  To emphasize his statement, he promptly gave me a tap on the nose for good measure. 

I think have a comedian of a brother!

(Of course, I'm really not sure who he learned it from...)