Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homeschool Performing Arts Drama Camp

Hello!

I am sorry I have been "away" for so long! I have been pretty busy with summer happenings lately. I will proceed to tell about one of them. (Or this post would be way too long!) :D

The week of July 12, I participated in the Homeschool Performing Arts (HPA) drama camp. I had so much fun! I got to see some friends from Annie, and I also met some new friends, as well. It was a morning camp throughout the week, with all day on Friday, leading up to a performance of all we learned through the week on Friday night. I had a BLAST!! All of us older girls did it (me, Leah, and Abigail). The directors taught us a song (like choir experience), choreography, and we did a small play/skit.

The song my group did was called "Seize the Day" from the musical Newsies. Then Miss Elizabeth (the choir director) revealed to us that we would choreograph the song we were singing! I really enjoyed that, and it was good experience, because in a musical you have to sing and dance at the same time. So we sang and did choreography to "Seize the Day", which by the way is an AWESOME song!

The skit I was in was called "Was Blind But Now I See". It is about how there were these five blind kids, and using their other senses they were able to "see" an elephant, and they loved each other and God and got along so well. Then there are these two other kids (of whom I was one) who can see physically, but can't "see" spiritually - we are constantly arguing with one another, don't get along, and don't love Jesus. The verse that was like the theme was, "I came into this world so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind."

We also did some improv games that were a ton of fun. One of them was called "Hijacker" - one person started a scene with four people and the other players had to interact in the scene as well, except they couldn't discuss what they were doing. We also did some miming. Miss Elizabeth, who taught the miming to us, is really good at it. We learned some basic positions, how to pick up a box, pick a flower, pull a rope, and feel a glass wall. I had a ton of fun with all of it.

Well, that about wraps it up! The performance went really well, too. I might play around and try to figure out how to put video on, (dad videotaped "Seize the Day") or someone could comment and tell me how. :D



In Christ,
Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our lovely garden and it's produce

Our garden is huge. We put manure on it in the spring, and what a difference it makes!! Our zucchini plants are up to my chest, the cucumbers are like a jungle, and there are a TON of beans! We have literally gotten dozens of zucchini already. We are giving them away left and right, as we can't use all of them. We've been making zucchini bread, cake, and putting them on the grill. And we still have been having extra. I just picked our first seven cucumbers yesterday. They look delicious, and I can't wait to try them! Yesterday we also picked beans...we got 4 gallon bags full of beans! And we last picked them on only Friday! Enjoy some pictures as well!P.S.
I am doing the HPA camp this week, which I'm absolutely loving! I would post about it only some readers of my blog are doing it next week and I don't want to give everything away! :D

Your sister in Christ,
Elizabeth

Friday, July 9, 2010

My past school year (I'm done now!) and my upcoming summer

Yes, I have officially finished ALL OF MY SCHOOLWORK!!! Yay!! I'm so excited to be done! :D I got so behind because Hannah was born in the middle of the school year, and I had to take time off for that, and I was also in the musical Annie, which took the majority of my Tuesdays. But now I'm finally done!

I have now read through the entire Old Testament. I cannot say how much it has blessed me! To see how the Israelites, God's Chosen People, abandoned Him so they could be like everyone else - and there were big consequences: captivity for 70 years, and destruction of their city! (See my previous post for more about that.)

However, there was a man who trusted God through this terrible time. He was taken into captivity while only 15. He then became part of a training program in Babylon so he could serve the king. His name was even changed! But he held firm to his convictions and stood up for what was right. He eventually became very successful (others could find absolutely NO fault with his work), he led some kings to the Lord, and he had a totally awesome faith in God. His name? Daniel. I had the privelige of doing an in-depth inductive bible study on the book of Daniel, and I was so blessed learning about him and the way he trusted and obeyed God, no matter what others said.

I finished up biology this year as well. I enjoyed (most of) it quite a bit - the chapters on chemistry and genetics type stuff was my favorite, while I did not so much prefer memorizing Classes and Orders for microscopic animals. :) I did pretty well on my tests, too. So overall, I enjoyed it.

I also (FINALLY) finished up Algebra 1. Uuuggh!! (I really dislike math.) I skipped pre-algebra, and I started Algebra 1 last year. However, about halfway through, I realized I was not learning it as well as I should, so I went back and re-did it, and I finally finished up my last lesson today!! Sorry, to those of you math-lovers out there. I'm not one. :)

I finished up my schoolwork just in time - now I've got some fun things coming up. Next week, I am going to do HPA's Performing Arts camp. It is like a little bit of everything - singing, choreography, a small skit, and a lot of super fun exercises to develop your acting skill. I'm definitely looking forward to that! The following week, we have this thing called "Cousin's Camp" where all of us older cousins go up to Grammy and Pa's condo for a few days on Lake MI, go swimming, and just hang out together. So it should be fun! And there will definitely be pictures coming of it! :) Maybe I'll even get some of the drama camp! ;D

Have a good week!

Your Sister in Christ,
Elizabeth

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th, B.C, July 4th, 1776, and July 4th, 2010. How do they compare?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness...And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." ~Parts of the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. In Congress, July 4, 1776.

Written 234 years ago, these well-known words contain more than most people realize. Back in 1776, the leaders of the thirteen colonies knew why they existed. Why they were uniting with one another. Why the were succeeding. Today, I'm not so sure if our leaders do. Are you wondering what I'm talking about? Are you wondering the answer to my questions? They can be fully explained in one word, yet thousands could describe Him. God. Our Creator. Our Protector. Our Founder. The list could go on, and on, and on. Back in 1776, they knew the answer to those questions. They knew Him. At every congress meeting, they would spend hours in prayer before making their decisions.

The sad thing is, it's not happening today. Our leaders don't spend hours in prayer anymore. Most of them don't even pray at all. Why not? Think about that. Why not? Why do you think they don't even acknowledge Him at all, let alone ask Him for His Help and Guidance? Our nation, The United States of America, has turned away from God. We have sinned greatly against our Beloved Creator! How sad is that!

You know, this has happened before. And there have been consequences. Big ones. For school this past year, I read through the entire Old Testament. Behind the stories of Abraham, David, and Nehemiah are many hidden Truths. And it's not just history. There are so many things you can learn, and they are totally relevant to today. Back in the time of Abraham, God promised He would make Abraham's descendants a great nation. Moses delivered those descendants, God's Chosen People, from Egypt. And then it happened. They forget about their God, who saved from slavery! They began to complain. And complain. And complain some more. The consequence? They spent the next 40 years just wandering in the desert. And that entire generation did not get to see the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey, their destination.

Fast forward to many, many years later, just after the time of David and Solomon. Israel and Judah split up, and there is a succession of so many different kings (with such similar names!) in both Israel and Judah. The problem? They do not follow the Laws of God, and they mingle, intermarry, and adopt the customs of the surrounding nations, which the Lord specifically commanded them not to do. In Israel, there was not even one good king. In Judah, there were a few who followed the Lord and turned their nation back to God. However, they did not teach and train their children in the way of the Lord. Their children (the next kings) undid all the good their fathers had done. The consequence? The were attacked. And taken captive. For 70 YEARS!

How does this relate to today? Well, our country is turning away from God, more and more so as the years go by. What can possibly be done? PRAYER! We have a loving God who will ALWAYS listen to us, no matter what! When his country was in exile, Nehemiah prayed. Like, a lot. He confessed his own sins. He confessed the sins of his nations. He asked God for help. That is what we need to be doing TODAY! Not tomorrow, today!

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land." ~2 Chronicles 7:14

So what should we take away from all this? We need to pray! Pray for our leaders, that they will see God, and ask for his guidance when making decisions, as our forefathers did. Confess our own personal sins. Confess the sins of our country. And plead. Plead for God to be merciful to us, and for Him to heal our land. Doesn't that just sound sweet to your ears? We need to be praying. So let's get going! If you're reading this right now, don't just skip this and say "Oh, I'll do it later" or something like that. Stop right now. Pray to God. Do it. And not just now, but all the time.

Now, do it.



In Christ,
Elizabeth

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread!

Hello, friends!

We had a fun baking day today. We made Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread, and Zucchini Cake. They are so delicious, and I haven't posted a recipe in a while, so I decided I'd share! This recipe is excellent; sometimes we put in a 9x13 pan even. It is fantastic, especially when you add the sugar!! :D I made it today and forgot the sugar! Can you believe it??? I think we'll definitely be putting powdered sugar on top of ours! :D

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
This is a delicious recipe. The best part is that it uses zucchini, which we always have an overabundance of. And, it also uses buttermilk, which we always have a ton of after we make butter. This is the perfect recipe! NOTE: We usually triple or quadruple this recipe for our family.

2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a large bread pan. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until almost fully combined. Add in the zucchini and chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed in the batter. The batter should be fairly thick. Bake 50-55 minutes (but ours took longer), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with only moist crumbs attached. Turn loaf out of pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy! Makes 1 loaf.

Zucchini Cake

Leah made this recipe, so it is on her blog instead. Her blog is Two Fairies in the Faith.

Go ahead and try one or both of these recipes sometime! They are fabulous! And don't forget to add the sugar! :D Also, make sure you comment to let me know how they are!!! :D

In Christ,
Elizabeth