Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cousin Love!

We had one crazy fun week because of a special visit from our cousin Hope!  The only problem was that the week went by way too fast, but we packed it as full as we possibly could with all sorts fun stuff like hooking Hope on Studio Ceating way too much icecream, dancing, laughing like crazy, roller skating, running, late night talks, and so much more...  We had such a wonderful time and made so many special memories.  :)

Actually, even before Hope came over, we had started off the week with a bang (which means an early--way too early for us Night Owls--morning leaving the house at 6:45am for our church's Pentecost celebration).

Worshiping through dance.

 Presenting a special Shavuot dance.

I think the choreography and colors in this dance were just beautiful!

 Shiloh and Eden on the left there...

And me on the left!

Afterwards we stayed to talk and dance some more (you can never get enough of both those activities!).  We also got a family picture with our special "adopted" sister, Lindsey!

The guys.

The girls.

And Hope is here!!!

Thus began one hilarious and awesome few days!

After a late movie night (okay, so every night was late), we were up the next morning for a good run.  A few of us plan to run a 5K, so Hope started training us.  And the rest is history.  Painful history.  (Seriously, I so sore!)

 The cousins that swim together... stick together!
It is a cousin tradition--we grew up swimming together at Grandma's House.  Special memories!

 Another cousin tradition is to go iceskating... but since the rink's hours did not work out with our tight schedule, we went roller skating instead.

We had so much fun singing and doing all sorts of fun dance moves.  :)
Hope used to do figure skating, so she showed us her fancy moves and taught me how to skate backwards (something I have wanted to learn for quite a while).

That floor is such an obnoxious green color...

 Jordan photobombing...
Or something like that...
Actually I don't know if I know what he is doing...

 Judah going pro!

I look like I know what I'm doing...

A Hope and Eden selfie.

Hope put together an impromptu photoshoot.  Unfortunately I was our photographer and I really don't have a knack for that sort of thing.  However, with a little editing from Shiloh, I kind of impressed myself!
So when do you want me to take photos for your special event?  Oh wait.  I probably should push it.

The light was so brilliant it almost put a glare in some of the pictures...

Someone suggested that we get a picture of us all sitting on the log.  However, the self-timer gave me 10 seconds to run into the picture and there was no way I could have got through all the blackberries in my nice clothes that fast.  Trust me.  If you had seen the other do it, you would know that it was a struggle to get by that log... no less on it! 

This was our favorite picture!

Hey, let's pose by this big tree!

Love the tint on this one.

Thanks to Hope's amazing blow-on-the-camera-battery-when-it-runs-out trick, we were able to snap this last picture! I had only 2 seconds to run in the picture... so it looks like I'm running into the picture... because I am running into the picture.

 There were so many exciting things happening every day.  Since Eden had to keep up with her homeschool Biology, our friend Tabitha W. came over to do a perch dissection.

It smelled.

I can't help but think the masks look like horse feedbags from the front... and Eden's looks like a duck's bill from the side.


The big finale was the dance we hosted!
Hope had me teach her some Irish Ceili Dance steps a couple days in advance... she practiced every moment she had and her fancy footwork sure paid off!

We had a wonderful group of dancers.

It was a fun experience to call quite a few dances.  We had other people call whatever dance they wanted to do.  There was lots of different styles too!  Irish Ceili, Folk, ECD, and Israeli Folk.  We danced long into the night.  :)

Love this picture!  Judah and Cecily A. jamming with their Bodhrans.

And that was a very late night--or should I say, very early morning?

Despite the severe lack of sleep from a crazy past few days, we all were up bright and early the next morning to drop Hope off at the airport.  It was so sad saying goodbye.  :( 

We love you, Hope!!!
(Don't we look exhausted?  But it was totally worth it!)

Here is a video Elanee S. took of us dancing the Haymaker's Jig with Yours Truly calling it:

We love and miss all our cousins and hope that this blog post has encouraged them to come join us for a while... (hint, hint.)

This was such a special time and the Lord blessed us all with love, laughter, and life.
"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."  ~Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Saved Someone's Life

I love teaching swimming lesson, but last week I experienced that moment when my Lifeguard training kicked in as I rescued a little boy (I think he was about 2) from drowning.

I was told by our head to join the "Little Marlins" group (these kids are from a few months old to 3 years old) in the kiddie pool because the lesson was really full... so I slipped into the shallow water, greeted the teacher (who I had actually never met) and teamed up with her and the other helper, A. (I believe he is about 12).  She gave me the instructions "Just make sure no one drowns".   While she taught the kids to blow bubbles, point their toes, and basically get comfortable in the water, A. and I herded the group and helped her out.

Within three minutes of the "just make sure no one drowns" order, I turned my head to see this little boy running the 15 feet separating the kiddie from the deep end of the big pool.

And then he jumped in.

The instant I saw him running, I was out of the pool.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw A. doing the same thing.  I dashed across, got down on the deck, and reached in to pull the flailing boy out, but because I was moving so fast, somehow (I'm not exactly sure how!) I ended up slipping into the water right next to him.  A. was on one side and I was on the other.  Together we pulled him up and handed him to the other swim teacher.

Relieved, A. smiled at me as we went to push ourselves out of the pool.  I patted him on the back and said, "Good save!"

Well, that little boy got back in his lesson after I made sure he was okay and he was given strict instructions to stay in this pool.

Afterwards a older man came up to me where I was standing with the lady in charge.  He was so shocked and congratulated me on my "fast thinking".  He said I should get a "lifesaver award".  ;)

However, I can't take the credit.  The Lord is the One who I owe everything to.  And A. did so well, being there right by my side.  I am so thankful the Lord had His hand of protection over me, A., and that little boy.  From my Lifeguard training, I know how fast those things happen and how they escalate into bigger, more serious situations.  It's one of those things that happens so fast...  If we had not seen him, second later, he would have become a submerged victim and been at the bottom of a 12 foot deep pool.  So frightening, but God is so good!    Thank you, Jesus, for guiding A. and I and helping us to react quickly.

I ended up with some battle wounds from this rescue.  ;)  I bruised the bridge of my nose and bruised my shin on the way into the pool.  But it was worth it.

May the Lord bless that little boy and may he come to know Him.  Obviously God has a plan for him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Thanks to Sons of the Kingdom Broadcast, Jordan and I had a wonderful opportunity to discuss music and filmmaking!  

From SOTKBroadcast:
This week's broadcast we discuss film and music production from a Biblical Worldview with Bethany and Jordan Strang. Also on the broadcast, we discussed how our guests the Strang sibings exemplified a Biblical Worldview in their most recent production "I Named You Hope."

At the end of the broadcast, you will have the opportunity to hear the namesake song for the film *TWO WEEKS BEFORE* the film's official release!

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Music used in today’s broadcast:
“Hero Rising” Iska
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

“I Named You Hope”
Lyrics by Bethany Strang & Jordan Strang. Music by Jordan Stang.
© 2014 Strang Family. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.