A Graceful Maiden's Memoir

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song!" - Psalm 28:7

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Praise Dance Pictures

Here's the pictures of the praise dance recital y'all have been asking for! :-) I asked "Miriam" (thinking Miriam Hart) if she had pictures, and Miriam Lofgren, my sister noticed that, and emailed me pictures she'd taken! So, here's quite a few! Enjoy!

Dancing to Held

My flowing dress and scarf

Ending pose for Praise You In This Storm

Beginning Set Me Free

This one's kinda dark, but our dresses are flowing nicely!

Ending pose for Set Me Free

Beginning of While You Were Sleeping

My semi-solo in While You Were Sleeping

The beggining of I See the Lord. There were a lot of slow holds!

Dancing with the intermediate class in I See The Lord

All the classes together at the end

Was that enough pictures? :-)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another sewing project completed

Today I finished the swimsuit I was making! It was a little hard to get used to sewing with and stretching the lycra, and inserting elastic was really hard at first. I learned that you should follow the directions the the T concerning the elastic, even if they seem weird and unnecessary! :-) I did change on thing concerning the elastic though. I made a casing and fed the elastic through for the shorts waistband, instead of zigzagging it to the fabric, and then turning it under. In some places the elastic doesn't look perfect, but all in all, I think it turned out well! I modified the swimsuit a little, lengthening the bodice (since I'm on the tall side), skirt, and shorts a bit. I also sewed the skirt to the bodice, instead of leaving them separate. I left the bodice to hang down and tuck into the shorts, so the swimsuit shouldn't come up while swimming! In addition, I used 4-way-stretch lycra for the lining as well, since I had plenty of it, and didn't want to fuss with swimsuit lining fabric. Also, since I got a great deal on fabric off ebay, I didn't want to have to buy even more fabric! A tip, if you're going to buy lycra fabric, check ebay first! The best I could find on online fabric stores was lycra for $10 a yard! However, I got 4 yards off of ebay for $18, and that included shipping! $4.50 per yard is a whole lot better than $10 per yard, and ebay had a great selection!

I made the skirt knee-length, so that I'll be comfortable wearing it in and out of water. Plus, I won't have to wear shorts while swimming, I'll just wear the swimsuit, making swimming more comfortable. I also like that it's higher necked then most! Though it didn't turn out perfectly, it's very comfortable, and I'm glad I made it! You can find the pattern here.

Here's pictures of my swimsuit, one with me wearing it, along with a blouse that matches perfectly, and one of just the swimsuit. I really like the fabric, it has my favorite color in it!

Ready for sand and sun

The completed swimsuit

Friday, May 26, 2006

Praise Dance Recital

Tomorrow is the praise dance recital! I'm excited about all that we'll be doing! I'll be dancing 5 songs!

First, I'll be doing a pointe solo to Held by Natalie Grant. I'll be wearing an old-fashioned kind of long flowy dress, that works well for dancing! You can see a picuture of it here, here, and a picture of me dancing in it here, since it's the same dress I wore for Esther in the musical we did last year. I'm also using the blue scarf I wore as a prop. I hope it goes well!

The next song we're doing is Praise You In This Storm, by Casting Crowns. We'll be wearing the white top (the ones we wore for this dance) and some white and blue baggy pants... More like culouttes, really.

Then we'll be doing Set Me Free by Casting Crowns. This dance is kinda hard in the beginning, because we have to dance with our wrists bound until Jesus sets us free! It is hard to turn and leap with your wrists together! For this and the remainder of our dances, we'll be wearing the white top and skirt.

The fourth dance will be While You Were Sleeping by Casting Crowns, the same one we did for the National Day of Prayer. Can you tell that we really like Casting Crowns songs? Their lyrics are so good!

The final dance is I See The Lord, done by I don't know who! It's a 9 minute song, so thankfully we aren't dancing the whole time! The beginners, intermediate, and advanced dancers interchange, then finally join together with flags for the very end of the song.

That last song will be the finale, and the recital will be over! I pray that all goes well, and everyone there sees Jesus dancing through us.

(Sorry to anyone who thought the above boring! :-) I know that a few dancers read my blog, so I thought they'd at least be interested!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Childhood Dream

Last January, mom and I went to an Above Rubies conference. It was a lot of fun, and we took many pictures! There was also a lot of good things to be learned! Pearl and her daughter, Meadow, were the singers for the conference. They sang a beautiful little song the first night, and I thought I'd share the lyrics with you. We got the CD that has it on, and I've listened to it quite a few times since then! It could, in many ways, describe me when I was a little girl. I know that in many of your eyes, I, only almost 16, am still quite young! :-) But this song voices my childhood dream so sweetly. I have had many dreams as a child and now, but my biggest dream has always been to be a wife and mommy one day. ...Grant me this little girls wish


I cuddled my baby and whispered a sweet lullaby,
I swaddled her in a blanket I'd made by hand,
I kissed little Annabelle's cheek as I held her tight,
She was the prettiest little baby doll in all the land.

For a girl of seven wanted nothing more,
It was more than just pretend, it was what I was made for.

Only a childhood dream
But make it real, let me be
Like the mother in my childhood dream.

All the dolls and the teddies I lined in a row,
The more I could gather the more fun it was to play,
I read them a story and told how I loved them so,
I was happy and wistfully dreaming on the day.

For a girl of seven wanted nothing more,
It was more than just pretend, it was what I was made for.


Grant me this little girls wish,
With arms full of heavenly treasures,
May I be as contented and joyful
And give me the sparkle of childlike pleasures.


For the backround of the song, click here.

I'm so happy!

Hi everyone! I'm so happy!!! I just finished Saxon Algebra 2, and now I am done with schoolwork for the summer!! But my brain is quite overworked right now... I just did 98 math problems today in order to finish! I was only going to do my last lesson and a test, but then I decided to add the final test, with all it's 50 problems on top of that. So, my brain's been whirling this morning! Ahh, but the feel of freedom... Oh - and did I mention that I'm so happy? :-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Back from Huntsville

Hi all! This afternoon Miriam, Jubilee, and I got back from Maria's house in Huntsville. We went up there on Friday, and helped her organize her house from about 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday! It was a lot of fun to organize, and to be with Maria and my cute neice and nephew! I just had to post some pictures!

James, Sara, and I - Sara liked her bubbles!

The cute 5-year-old... he's gotten so big!

Sweet 2-year-old Sara Rose

Friday, May 19, 2006

Band Concert!

Last night was the homeschool band concert! It was a lot of fun, yet I'm certainly glad to get it over with so that I don't have to practice the songs we've been playing for months. I get tired of them after a while! After the concert a lot of us went to Bruster's, which was a lot of fun! However, some people ate a little too much ice cream...

Me, Mrs. Diana, Jubilee, and Elijah

Miriam and I play flute in Advanced band, and Natalie plays Clarinet

Jubilee plays trumpet in Intermediate band

Some of the Intermediate flutes, Samantha and Bekoh

Elijah and Joel play trumpet in Advanced band, and Ben plays Clarinet, with his sister Emily, who's hidden from view!

The whole Intermediate and Advanced homeschool bands

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Joy of Journals

After reading Susan's post about her old journal, I decided to write something of my own on the subject.

Mom gave me my first journal when I was almost 7 years old, so, as you can imagine, the writing and spelling within it is hideous! I can barely decipher parts of it, but it is really funny to read! I started my first journal on one of the many trips our family took. Here's an excerpt from one of my first entries:

"June 16th, 1997
We our getting radee to go. It is 9:50 and it is time to go. We are going to Bastrn (Boston). Wre trae our not very mane Christins (Christians). We our stil in New Yoke. We pase a lot of woods it is saurt of like the woods at our haos..."

Hilarious no? I had yet to figure out that there were two different spellings of "our" and "are"! I left in the bad spelling so you could see it, and the handwriting in my journal is just something else!

I continued my first journal until I was 8, writing in it but a few times. I recorded mostly day-t0-day things, such as the following entry:

"October 15th, 1997
Today was a borren day. We had to stay home and do book lernnen. Bate in a littol waol I am going to wash my dolls dishis."

Such an exciting life I had! :-)

My next journal was started when I was almost 9. I hadn't used up all the space in my first journal, but it was falling apart and I was ready for a new and prettier book to write in! We were on the way to visit my brother Luke and his family, and my spelling was a little better...

"July 3rd, 1999
We were aimming to leave a 9:00 but we left a 8:55! So we pretended to faint in the car..."

The late Lofgrens we always were! :-)

I illustrated many of my entries, but this diary lasted only a year until I tired of it and began a new volume at the beginning of 2001. It only lasted until August however, after which I didn't write at all for a few months.

I wrote in my 4th journal, the one for 2002, on and off. I recorded friends coming over, trips, books I read, and various things I did and thought. I started writing a lot more, and have continued, with few breaks until now!

I think one of the reasons I journaled when I was younger, besides my mothers prompting, was because of the influence of different books. One of my favorite series was (and is!) The Little House on the Prairie books. My mom told me that Laura had been able to write all the stories because of the journals she had kept. That made me want to record my own life for posterity! I also read quite a few Dear America Diaries, and once even mused in my own diary about whether or not I would like it being published! "Probaby not..." I decided. I wasn't sure I wanted the world reading my thoughts! I don't think I realized until later that the Dear America Diaries weren't actually the true diaries of the girls they were written about.

While I was in my pre-teen years, I didn't really have any close friends, so it was often to my journal that I recounted hurts and frustrations, as well as things that were on my mind. I often expressed my overwhelming desire to have a close friend, often ending with something along the lines of "But all I have is you... my journal..." I eventually found soul mates, and God has blessed me with wonderful friends, but it is still to my journal that I confide everything. (I can just imagine my family and friends trying to dream up a way to peek into my journals...But they'd better not! ) It is such a freeing thing to be able to write my thoughts and prayers down, and yes, I do hope that one day I'll be able to look back at them, and read about when I was a little girl! Perhaps I'll even share them with my children one day.

I still keep a journal, and have recently started my 8th book. I now write my journal as letters to my future husband, but I still recount daily happenings and thoughts. I always knew that my journals would be for my husband to read one day, so now I just write them directly to him, whoever he is! (Hence the poem I wrote a while back, Letters To My Dearest)

Anyways, I've continued to write in my journals for a few years with barely any long breaks, and I hope that I'll be able to continue, by God's grace, to add many more volumes to my collection over the years! Journaling is so enjoyable!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The end is in sight!

I am almost done with this year's schoolwork, and then freedom for a while! :-) I'm sure I'll find plenty to do though... I finished Chemistry on Wednesday, and World History on Friday! I finished English 11 a couple weeks ago, so now all I have left is Algebra 2. I'm scheduled to finish that the end of May, but if I double up days, I could be done earlier! We'll just have to see how busy I am. It's exciting, because next year I probably won't be doing any more math, and for the other subjects, mom and dad will find books they think I should read or listen to on tape, and I'll do those instead of more textbooks. I think I'll learn more from doing that, then doing more textbooks, where the information is repeated quite a bit! I'll also probably be involved in more things, such as teaching ballet, and taking piano, voice, and I don't know what else! The year ahead looks exciting!

This summer will prove to be quite busy, from the looks of it. I'm going to 2 camps this year, Ballet's Magnficat's Summer Intensive, and Heroes of Today Challenge Week. They are back-to-back, so don't expect to hear from me much in July! I am looking forward to them, yet it is kinda scary, as the intensive, especially, will be quite rigorous! It will be fun to learn more dance and technique, however, so that I can glorify God even more with dance!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Finished Dress!

I finished my dress this morning, adding the ruffle and the sash. I got to wear it today to the Montgomery Youth Symphony Concert, and then to our home fellowship. New dresses are so much fun!

Me and my floppy hat

Without the hat, and by the pretty rose garden

Thank You Mother!

Thank you for all that you've done to invest in our lives

Thank you for teaching us Scripture and having us hide God's word in our heart

Thank you for giving me a Godly heritage

Thank you for teaching us at home so that we could learn at our own pace and in our own way

Thank you for allowing me to teach myself these last few years, and helping me to develop discipline and diligence

Thank you for all the meals you've made over the years... cooking this year has made me appreciate it even more!

Thank you for instilling within me a love for glorifying God with dance... For dancing with me even before I was born, and for naming me Anna, One of Grace, which is the perfect name for a dancer! :-)

Thank you for helping me pursue my dreams, and for all those hours in the car spent driving me to and from lessons

Thank you for putting up with all my new ideas in cleaning and cooking, even when they don't always turn out!

Thank you for teaching me the womanly arts of housekeeping, and for letting me know that being "just" a wife and a mother is truly a high calling

Thank you for giving me time to sew and helping me pick out the prettiest fabric, even when it takes a while!

Thank you for doing all the little things that never really get noticed, but without which the house just wouldn't run so smoothly

Thank you for trusting me with the house while you're gone, preparing me even more to one day run a house of my own

Thank you for giving me time for friends, and working hard to arrange times for us to get together

Thank you for making me do things that I don't always want to do, but helping me to be well-rounded

Thank you for raising me as a young lady, in a world with a very different culture

Thank you for teaching and requiring modesty, even when I didn't always agree

Thank you for being willing to go against the flow and have a lot of children, for if you hadn't, I never would have been born

Thank you for standing up for life and what is right, and not being afraid to voice the truth

Thank you for staying home and working hard to provide us a wonderful home and family to grow up in

Thank you for being my mother.

I love you! Happy Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A friend came!

Hi all! I'm just letting you know that you won't be hearing from me in the next few days... Yesterday, mom came in around 10 a.m. and told me that Rebekah Olm was coming in about an hour and was going to stay until Saturday! Her brother's being shipped out to Iraq, and her mom and sisters went up to see him off, but she's staying with us so that she could go with us to band today! The concert's next week, and she didn't want to miss practice! So, I've been having fun going through daily life with a friend around. Tonight, she's even coming babysitting with me! Hope you all are doing well!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where would I go?

For the short biographical sketch that I have to send in for my Ballet magnification! Summer Intensive application, I had to answer the question, "If you could go one place in the world, where would you go, and what would you do?"

My first response was, where in the world would I want to go? I'm not really one that really likes to travel. However, after a lot of thought and perusing on the encyclopedias, I finally decided. It's not written too well, but I thought that I'd post it anyway. So, here it is:

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Scotland. From Alabama across the ocean to the United Kingdom I would fly. I would make my way over the mountains and the deep, blue lakes to the northern part of the island of Great Britain, where the Scots make their home.

I would travel throughout the country, enjoying the beauty of God's creation. First, I would go to the rugged Highlands, to see the magnificent mountain ranges, green valleys, and beautiful lochs (lakes). From there I would make my way across the Central Lowlands, and see the river valleys, rolling farmland, and towering forests. Finally, I would traipse through the Southern Uplands to see the cragy cliffs, rolling moors, and beautiful pastures.

While in Scotland, I would spend time with the people, descendents of the rugged warrior-clans of old. I would visit the picturesque fishing villages and the quaint farms. In the evenings, I would ask the Scots to sing for me the auld bards and ballads, as well as the lilting lulabies. I would spend hours simply listening to their lovely Scottish accents, and admiring the wee bonny lads and lasses.

In addition, I would make time to attend at least one Scottish festival, and see the clans arrayed in their kilts. I would listen to the bagpipes, and even join in to dance the Highland Fling and Scottish Reel.

Above all, during my travels and visits, I would try to be a witness to the people of Scotland, and show them the way to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

~Anna Lofgren~ May 7th, 2006

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dancing pictures

Dancing on the Alabma captiol steps for the National Day of Prayer event went well, praise God! It was very bright and quite hot, but we made it through for God's glory! (you can see the words we of the song we danced to in the post below)

All three together

Dancing the verse about Jerusalem

Will we be sleeping?

Dancing the verse about America

I dance the verse about Bethlehem

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Will we be sleeping?

While You Were Sleeping

Oh little town of Bethlehem,
Looks like another silent night.
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky!
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light,
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight
... tonight!

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while
you were sleeping!
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today!
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King.
While you were sleeping...
While you were sleeping.

Oh little town of Jerusalem,
Looks like another silent night.
The Father gave His only Son,
The Way, the Truth, the Life had came!
But there was no room for Him in the world
He came to save.

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping!
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today.
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King.
While you were sleeping...
While you were sleeping.

United States of America,
Looks like another silent night.
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children.
And while we're lying in the dark,
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night
... in the night.

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping?
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay?
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King?
Will we be sleeping...
Will we be sleeping?

by Casting Crowns

Tomorrow, for the National Day of Prayer, the praise dance group I am a part of is dancing to the above song. We will be dancing on the Capitol steps in Montgomery, as part of the National Day of Prayer event. It's amazing how poignant the words are... When Jesus was born, most of the town of Bethlehem was sleeping! While He died, most of Jerusalem wasn't paying much attention! Now, will He come again, and find us sleeping?

I would appreciate your prayers as we dance tomorrow. I pray that everyone sees Jesus in us as we dance, and God is glorified by all we do!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Expecting too little

The twins, Alex and Brett Harris, over at The Rebelution have recently written an excellent new post entitled, My First Shower Nearly Killed Me. Now, it's not at all crazy, though the title might be a bit different! It's all about how our culture expects too little of teens theses days. We "get by with the basics", instead of striving for excellence.

The post is very entertaining to read, but very convicting as well. How often do we, as they talk about, simply label ourselves as not "that type of person" in a certain area, instead of striving to get better at it? Granted, different people are gifted different ways, but does that mean that we should just stop trying at whatever isn't that easy for us?

I struggle in this area a lot. Especially in the area of communication. I all too often say "well, I'm just naturally shy," or "But I'm just not a people person!" Even though some people seem to be born with a gift to be outgoing, and others, including myself, lean toward the withdrawn side, it's no excuse for not communicating! I've come a ways from where I was a few years ago... Having really good friends helps one open up somewhat, but I've still a ways to go. I especially am trying to work on carrying on good conversations with people, even if I don't know them well, and trying to reach out a little more to shyer people, like myself! I know how it feels to be overlooked or passed by because I am quiet, or in other cases, just not popular, so I try a little more to talk to those who just kinda meld into the background.

Like I said, I've still have a lot to learn in the art of conversing, and would appreciate your prayers! I especially have a hard time talking with young men or in front of groups, things like that are just plain scary sometimes! But, through God's grace I am learning, and this post really helped define a few things, like why us teens tend to settle for less.

Hats off to the twins for another excellently written post! Go and read the whole thing!