Thursday, December 31, 2015

Remember Me?

Hey! It's been a while, hasn't it? It's been so long it's the last day of 2015. But I have a good excuse: since late September, we have been involved in a ballet production of The Nutcracker!!! It was a fantastic experience with lots of rehearsing, sore muscles, and hard work... But so worth it! We put on great shows! There are lots of pictures to share over the next couple of posts, so here are some good rehearsal shots.

My dad was cast as Drosselmeyer, I was Mrs. Stahlbaum and in the Waltz of the Flowers, Jordan was a parent and in Russian, and Eden was a parent, Chinese, and Waltz of the Flowers.

 My dad and I dancing together. 

So many flowers waltzing! 

 The guests arrive at the party.

See what all this rehearsing does to us?!



Daddy and Eden being partners in the Parent Dance.  I'm over in the corner with Mr. Stahlbaum.


Jordan and his partner.

Just jumping around a bit.  ;)

Jordan helping out with some Chinese rehearsals.
Just some fans of The Chinese Dance.

 Poof!  Drosselmeyer has appeared!

Playing with my Cute Boy during a break.


Four out of three of my Stahlbaum children.  Don't I have a good looking brood?


They are all taller than me and kind of take advantage of that...


We sure had fun picking out our dresses and practicing in them!

Love these crazy kids!




Surprise! 


Pretty dresses!
There's a mouse in the house!!!


Surprising Clara with the Nutcracker!
Just a bunch of characters, really!


Morning rehearsal selfie break!

Costume fun!
No caption needed. ;)



It's gonna be huge!

 Just a little dramatic faint scene with Drosselmeyer.

So don't forget about our blog because I have backstage and performance pictures coming!!!

2015. It's been a fantastic year. Adventures pursued, challenges conquered, lessons learned, growth achieved, inspiration seized, blessings received, and new friends joining me on this journey of life. I am so thankful for what the Lord has showed me, taught me, and given me this past year. I'm blessed. Even though saying goodbye to 2015 might feel sad after thinking on such beautiful memories, I know that the best is yet to come. I'm looking forward to the new adventures, trails to be blazed, and history that we get to make! Happy New Year!
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:14

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eternal

From Psalm 37...
"Fret not thyself because of evildoers," Vs. 1a
"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Vs. 3
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Vs. 4
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Vs. 5
"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:" Vs. 7a

I found it really interesting to see the verbs at the beginning of each command. FRET NOT, TRUST, DELIGHT, COMMIT, REST, and WAIT PATIENTLY. Each verb is different, and we all experience each verb differently in regards to our strengths and weaknesses. Some people are laid back and don't really bother fretting about anything. They just roll with the punches and play it cool. But that same Cool as a Cucumber Character just might have a hard time with committing everything to God because Mr. Cool Cucumber thinks he is fulling capable handling things on his own. (Thank you very much.)
Or maybe there's that person that has no problem trusting God with everything, yet they struggle with waiting. Because waiting is hard. Like, really hard. And, by the way, it's not just waiting; it's waiting patiently. (I promise that waiting patiently is not an oxymoron.)

I feel like these verses build off of each other in a straightforward and systematic way. If we were to just stop FRETTING and start TRUSTING, maybe the DELIGHTING would come naturally. And when we delight, we are satisfied and grateful that God is in control, so we COMMIT our plans to Him. When we have put everything in His hands, then we are at REST, no longer frazzled over our frustration. And finally, we WAIT PATIENTLY for Him, because we will live and be fed, He will bring what we have given Him to pass, and He will give us the desires of our heart. (Oh, and by the way, He was saying this all along, while we were going through the process of applying all those bold verbs to our lives.)

Whether you're a cool cucumber, frazzled nut, or impatient waiter, maybe just looking at the big picture would help change your perspective. It's easy to sweat the petty stuff (just don't pet the sweaty stuff), but that's not the best route to take. As my pastor says, "Don't look at what you're going through; look at what you're going to." It's an eternal perspective.

(Or maybe I'm just preaching to myself and thought I would post a random rambling. ;) )

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Phantom of the Opera (in 213 Seconds)

From Broadway to Buena Park, Phantom of the Opera like you've never seen it before!

Naturally, we filmed it together at 1:30 in the morning.  No biggie.
(And we managed to keep the noise level down enough, because Grandma slept through it all!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Phantom of the Opera (24hours in Orange County)

In the middle of August, Mommy and us four "olders" took a quick, spur-of-the-moment, 24hr trip down to Southern California to see the Broadway touring company's performance of the Phantom of the Opera.  IT. WAS. PHENOMENAL.  The performance was spectacular, the scene changes were amazing, and the production was unbelievable!  Best yet, we went with two cousins, an aunt, and two friends.  It was a party to say the least.  ;) 

The first stop was Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa to change from our travel clothes into our evening attire.

Jordan had to wait a bit, but I was the first of us girls to be done!

The church where we all started.

And the next stop was a quick drive by our neighbor's house to see if they were home.  Sadly, Mr. or Mrs. C. were not around when we made our appearance, but we took a picture in front of the house and said hi to their son, Elias.

Here we are in front of our old home!  Okay, whoever lives in it now did a terrible job with all that gray paint.  It didn't always look like that.  :(

Dinner before the show had us out with our show gang (except for Grace who had to meet us at the theatre)!

 Selfie stick for everyone!

COUSINS!!!
(Well, a few of us, that is)

  Heh!  I think she meant "pretty crazy".  ;)


Backseat Buddies.
Ilan S. is one of the cutest little guys I know!

At the Segerstrom Center... ready to find our seats!
You can not imagine the thrill of knowing that we were really going to see Phantom... TOGETHER!!!  So many tingles of excitement!

"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

 We are so ready.  Excitement is in the air!

Leading up to the performance, we cousins had been sending little video clips of us singing parts of the songs.  We practically knew all the lines by heart by the time we watched it together!



Intermission (in the bathroom).

Eden and Grace ready to watch Act II.

Happy, happy!

 The Segerstrom Center is gorgeous!

Cousin love!

 This was a night we will all remember for... ever!

Okay, so there's a story behind this picture.  ;)  While we were sending Phantom videos back and forth, we decided to cast everyone as a role from the musical.  Can you guess who is who?

This has got to be my favorite picture of the entire 24hrs.

 "Alright!  Get into character!"

So we got back to Grandma's house quite late.  The plan was to spend as much time as possible together, so we knew that this was going to be a late night!  (Yes, we watched Studio C--it's the Cousin Addiction Tradition!)

We put together a funny Phantom of the Opera spoof video (at 1:30 in the morning) which I will post soon.
My cousins insisted on casting me as... The Phantom.
(I played my part well, don't you think?  And the mask.  Well, that was a paper-towel.)

Cousin sleep over at Grandma's house!
(Do I need to mention that this was at 3:00 in the morning?  I was awake at 7:30 the next morning because Grandma said that the time together was short, so we couldn't waste it sleeping!)

The next day we hung out with the cousins and relatives and swan in Grandma's pool.

 My balletic side.

 Shiloh and I enjoying the water.
(How I love swimming at Grandma's!)

 Mark and I.


Grace and I.

Pictures with Grandma!!!  She is the best!  Especially knowing that she can manage with six of her children and 16 of her grandchildren, plus all the other actives that go on when people come to visit!




And one last selfie with the group!
(This time with us five, Grandma, Aunt Laurie, cousins John, Mark, and Grace, and friend Nancy.  Yes, there are a lot of us to keep track of.)

And then we hopped on a jet and came home.  (We made the best of our 24hrs in OC.)

Oh.  Stay tuned for the video... Phantom of the Opera (in 213 seconds).