Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simchat Torah

Our Dance Team did a special presentation for Simchat Torah:

Friday, October 24, 2014


One of our family's favorite TV show is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.  At first, it was just a girl's movie night thing, but one evening we called Mommy down to watch an episode with us... and that was it!   She was hooked!  Pretty soon we had the rest of the family hooked on the show and it became a regular evening activity to gather around and watch Dr. Quinn with a big plate of chocolate roca.
For a while we had wanted to do a Dr. Quinn photoshoot, but never got around to getting it done... Busyness is something we seem to thrive on.  ;)  Finally there was an open day and we got some really great pictures! 

The Cast: 
Daddy as Sully (obviously)
Mommy as Dr. Quinn
Shiloh as Charlotte Cooper
 Me as Colleen Cooper Cook
Jordan as Dr. Andrew Cook
Eden as Gilda St. Claire
Judah as Brian Cooper Quinn
Havilah as Grace the Blacksmith's Wife
Benjamin as Robert E.

I'm quite pleased with the results!  I tried to edit as best I could (I'm not good at it and dislike it even more than being bad at it). ;)

 Dr. Quinn and Family

Dr. Michaela Quinn and Sully

Robert E. and Grace

Dr. Andrew Cook and Colleen

Gilda St. Claire
(The beautiful dreamer... or at least that is the song she sang!)

Brian and Charlotte Cooper

Charlotte Cooper with Brian and Colleen

This one looks so old fashioned!

 This picture might not be "in character", but it totally has character, so we'll leave it at that.

Just for fun...  :)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update, Anyone?

Suddenly it dawned on me: it's been quite a while since I've done a personal update on my blog.  This has been a busy summer and even though I'm caught up with family updates (well, pretty much), I haven't said much about this blog owner (and that would be me, in case you're wondering). 

I can see that fall is setting in.  Nooo!  Ever since I was little, the thought of summer ending and school starting just didn't set well with me (and still doesn't).  And this has been one amazing summer.  I don't want it to end!   I think back to the bright memories still fresh in my mind and smile at the incredible blessings.  God is good and His goodness to me is overflowing.

But now it's October.  Fall.  Autumn.  It is in the back of my mind to hijack this post right here and rant about fall being so overrated.  (Come on!  You know it is!)  Good grief, we hear more about over-sized chunky sweaters and frothy pumpkin spice lattes than we do about not having to wear a jacket and juicy sweet watermelon that will dribble down your chin (if you're sloppy) in the summer time.  Seriously, why is it so stereotypical to say that you're going to "curl up all cozy-wozy by the fire and read a book" while you can do the same thing in warm summer sun under a spacious tree blowing gracefully in the wind?  I don't understand it.  And I probably never will.  Perhaps I don't want to understand it!  And... it looks like the back of my mind actually did take over and ranted anyway.  Alright, if anyone wants to further reading about the overrated, commercialized season of fall from a sensible perspective, last year I dedicated a post to all you "Fall People" (I'm still not sure if there is such a thing or if it people call themselves that to be cliche), so head over HERE to read it.

It's been a good year.  I feel like I have grown and learned so much Spiritually.  New friends have crossed my path, quickly becoming dear to my heart.  Old friends impact me in new ways as I share a special relationship with each one.  Life is a journey.  My journey unfolds before my eyes in ways beyond my imagination.  I watch the journeys of those around move to new heights.  Sometimes this journey is hard.  Very hard.  For me personally, last year was difficult as I went through painful trials and watched people take wrong paths.  It hurt.  And it still hurts.  But God is faithful and He uses that pain to make me grow and conform more into the image of His Son.  Each day, I learn more and more as I watch the Lord orchestrate things in ways beyond my comprehension.  Probably the biggest lesson I learn as I watch things slowly unfold--very much like a rose's petals opening as it blossoms--is waiting on the Lord's timing.  I'm sure the people reading this that know me personally can affirm that I am not one to sit around and slowly wait for something new to come up.  I like to make things happen!  With my never-ceasing-with-crazy-ideas mind and my competitive, go getter personality, I'm usually the one to pounce on something new with lots of energy and excitement.  Well, that's great (and I wouldn't have it any other way), but it sure can be hard to wait for God's timing.  I'm chomping on the bit, while God is pulling back the reins saying, "Wait.  Now isn't the time yet."  And then some time will go by and I watch things move into place from a whole different perspective.  I can always affirm that His timing and His plans work out way better than if I would have plunged in without waiting.  Recently, while struggling through one of these uncertainties of whether I should pounce or stay, I "happened" to come across Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening", stumbling over one that was perfect for my predicament:

"Wait on the Lord." 
Psalm 27:14

"It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."

Each day I study the Word and I learn more about the God I serve as I share a personal relationship with Him.  I love seeing things I've never caught before in the Scripture as it is never stagnant or old.  There is always so much to absorb!  There is always so much more to discover!  It is crazy to think of what we will understand when we get to heaven!  "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."  (2 Corinthians 13:12)  I am continually inspired to be a Beren (Acts 17:11) and search the Word, comparing Scripture with Scripture--not elevating one text above another, building a doctrine on one verse, but taking it as a whole, knowing that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16)
 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  ~Hebrews 12:1-2

So now for a more physical update...

 Recently our movie, "I Named You Hope", won Best Original Score and I won First Runner Up Best Actress at the Plants and Pillars film festival!  We feel very honored and humbled.  Looking forward to how the Lord will use our movie!

I admit this was my idea.  Ah, we just have too much fun shopping!

Gotta love Lifeguard humor!  
I've been working hard teaching swimming lessons.  I'm convinced it is one of the best jobs ever; I love it!

Yes, yes, and yes!

And most recently, I have ended up with a position in the Slavic Symphony!  The Lord opened the door in such an unexpected way and I am thrilled!  I had my first rehearsal last night.  And it's totally awesome to have my friend as my stand partner.  :)

Er, well... no, this isn't an update, but I can't pass up posting just one of my special summer memories.  :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jordan Da Grad Bomb!

He did it.  Jordan graduated from highschool! 

To commemorate this super special day, we threw a big party in honor of Jordan's achievements.  The ceremony consisted of music presentations, a blessing from our pastor, Jordan receiving his diploma and giving his special speech, food, fellowship, and a big folk dance on the lawn!  The Lord answered our prayers and the weather was just beautiful--couldn't ask for anything better!

Thanks to Evan S. for graciously taking the ceremony pictures for us!  He did a fantastic job!

 All the preparations turned into a beautiful setting!

It's just gorgeous!

 Daddy opening the festivities.

We kicked things off with some music and worship.  Our good friend, Cecily, joined us on the Bodhran!  Once a member of One Accord, always a member of One Accord.  ;)

We sang "My Lighthouse".

I'm trying to master the art of playing and singing at the same time, but I can only to chops and pizzicato!  (That's a start, I guess.)

Cecily giving us some percussion.

Yes, we were having a lot of fun up there!

And then it was time for the speaking.

Our Pastor Rabbi gave Jordan a blessing and some words of wisdom.

 Praying over him.

And there is the coveted diploma!

Daddy sharing more wisdom.  
(Such a great picture of him too!)

It's official, folks!


Jordan giving his speech.

 Shiloh was able to get these pictures...

There's proof that she had the camera.  ;)

After they had finished with the presentation, we girls sang a special song for Jordan.

Here are the words sung to the tune of "Acres of Clams":

Have you heard from over this country,
A lad who will talk off your ear?
But never when he is sleepin’,
So there’s nothin’ at all you should fear! 

So Jordan, oh Jordan’s a graduate,
He’s officially done with highschool.
But that won’t stop him from sayin’:
That home education it rules.

Have you seen from over this country,
A pianist who’s tickling the keys?
From Mozart, to Mahler, to mayhem,
He can play it all with expertise.

So Jordan, oh Jordan’s a graduate,
He’s officially done with highschool.
But that won’t stop him from sayin’:
That home education it rules.

Have you heard from over this country,
A lad who loves learning to drive?
There’s times he can get excited,
But I’m glad in one piece we arrive!

So Jordan, oh Jordan’s a graduate,
He’s officially done with highschool.
But that won’t stop him from sayin’:
That home education it rules.

Have you seen from over this country,
A lad so incredibly fine?
He loves the Lord God his Saviour,
With all his heart, strength, soul, and mind.

So Jordan, oh Jordan’s a graduate,
He’s officially done with highschool.
But that won’t stop him from sayin’:
That home education it rules!
The came the fun part... dancing!  And that continued way after dark.  :)

Since I was busy calling the dance, I wasn't able to take any pictures... Mrs. B. kindly let me use the pictures she got of the dancing!

 This was a fun dance that anyone who wanted to could join in on called, "Walk in the Light".

Time to eat!
It was a delicious feast and wonderful dessert... complete with ice cream (actually, I don't think anything is complete unless there is ice cream)!

Mommy took these last few pictures:
Dancing after dark.
The Christmas lights and torches looked lovely as the twinkled around the twirling dancers!

Group picture!
(Sadly, a few people left before this and consequently didn't end up in the picture.)
 Group picture followed by a group photobomb.  :)

Congratulations Jordan!

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
~Proverbs 3:5-6