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

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Simple Joys of Home

Being away so long this July has helped me apprectiate more the simple joys of home.

Working with dough, and the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven...

Enjoying homemade cookies full of yummy spices...

Making meals that are SO much better than cafeteria food...

The joy of a clean-swept kitchen floor...

The accomplishment of washing a mound of dishes...

Spending hours playing games with my family...

Even having my little sister bounce into my room and onto my bed...

Never take such things for granted. I guess absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder! =)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Licensed Driver

I just passed another milestone in this life of mine... I got my driver's license! It was a long afternoon, as the office we were at clearly needed more help for the amount of people present, but 4 hours later, I had my license! I didn't do everything perfectly in the road test sadly, but I passed, so I guess that's the important part. I know what I did wrong, and I think it will be easily corrected. The hardest thing for me was just understanding what the lady wanted me to do!

I'm still kinda scared at the thought of driving alone... but I suppose that's natural. I know I'll eventually get used to it, just as I got used to driving in the first place. Praise God that I passed! =)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Heroes of Today 2006

Two days after arriving home from Ballet Magnifcat!, I embarked on a very different adventure. On Monday, July 17th, Lydia and I left the house at 5:30 a.m. and drove to the Turners house where we picked up Rebekah and Elizabeth Turner, and Rebekah Olm. We then continued on our way to our destination: The Inn of the Last Resort, a ministry of Christian Training Centers International, located in Franklin, North Carolina.

After driving around 6 hours, we finally made it to the Inn around 2 p.m. It was wonderful to see old friends from last year (all of us except Lizbeth had attended Heroes last year, and Lydia had been an intern there), and breathe in the beauty of the mountains. We found our rooms and unpacked, and before long the week's activities began.

We started by playing a few games to help learn everyone's names. Then we headed upstairs for a quick talk given by Susan Pons about manners. I'd heard most of it before, but it was fun to hear again the proper way to eat, serve food, introduce people and so on. The young men were also given instructions in the proper way to seat a lady. Yes, chivalry is alive and well at the Inn, and it's wonderful! Each mealtime, the young men would pull out our chairs, and serve us our drinks. Throughout the week they'd also open doors for us and help us carry heavy things, and so on. It was nice to be treated like a true lady! It makes one feel so special.

One thing that I must make clear about Heroes of Today is that it is NOT a camp, as Larry Pons always says. It is a training center, training young men and women to follow God and be heroes of our day whenever the chance arises. While at Heroes, we are challenged physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

After supper, Derek Selby gave us a talk about a lot of ordinary people in the Bible who were following God, and who probably had no idea that God was going to use them like he did. We learned about Daniel, Samuel, Joseph, Gideon, Joseph – the wife of Mary, Mary the mother of Jesus, and more. We were challenged to totally surrender to God, and be willing to follow God's totally unpredictable plans for us. Then, we were told to change into something that could get wet, and meet in the pavilion for further instruction. It was already past 9 p.m., so what on earth could we be doing? Well, we were soon to find out.

Arriving in the pavilion we were blindfolded, and, holding hands with our roommates and led by our counselor, we were brought through the woods into a clearing. That first night we truly had to learn to trust our roommates and counselor, to get through the woods safely. We were allowed to remove our blindfolds for a few minutes, as we were divided into 5 different teams of 7 or 8 people each. My team was: Daniel K, Eric, Nathan B, Sean, Savannah, Katie, and I. Once in our group, we were shown a log, some rope, and a small saw, then blindfolded, and told to make a cross. With an intern to guide us and make sure we didn't cut ourselves, we began sawing the log into two pieces. Our log was so thick though, that after a long time of not getting through, a few of us were allowed to remove our blindfolds and finish making the cross.

Once the cross was completed, we were told to shoulder our cross and once again go through the woods, arriving at a very fast-flowing creek. We then had to carry our cross up the river, against the current, symbolizing going against the tide of our culture today. It was really hard to make it up the creek, for we had to go through this almost small waterfall type place. It required the whole team to stick together, holding on to the cross, and pushing together to make it up. Now remember, it was around 10:30 p.m. at night, and the only light we had was that of a few flashlights. I pushed with those carrying the cross, but as they pulled the cross through and up the river, I lost my footing on a very slippery rock, went underwater, and began being swept downstream. Thankfully, Daniel had lodged against a rock and was able to catch my hand, prevent me from going all the way downstream, and someone from behind was able to push while he pulled, and I was able to finally get through the rapid and stand up. It was really hard, and I swallowed creek water, which didn't feel very good, but I was grateful for my teammates' help. The water was pretty cool, so I was shivering by the time we were finally able to get out and trek back to the field, carry our cross, of course! We were given towels to attempt to dry off a little, and got to admire God's beautiful creation, seeing the amazing stars He made.

We finally got to go to our rooms, take a quick shower (we had 6 girls to one shower!), and crawl into our nice warm bed. It was after midnight by the time the lights went off, and the week had already began with a dramatic start.

The theme of the week, we soon learned, was "Take up your Cross". We literally carried out the verse, "take up your cross daily and follow Him", as we had to bring our cross everywhere with us - to our table at mealtimes, to our room at night, and with us on our challenges. We also had to be careful not to leave our cross unattended. If we did, it somehow always disappeared... and we'd have to find it.

Tuesday we arose at 6 a.m., had our individual quite time, and exercised as a group. Thankfully, the girls had the option of either power walking or running, and after running on Tuesday, I power walked the rest of the week! Developing shin splints on Wednesday didn't help any, that's for sure.

Tuesday morning, Susan Pons and Sally talked to us about life. They talked about the horrendous assault on it in our culture today, what with abortion and the start of euthanasia, and how we need to take a stand against it. Will then talked to us about being a counter-culture, going against what the world says. We did things at Heroes, that really went along with the Rebelution's slogan, “Do Hard Things”.

Tuesday afternoon began the challenges we had to accomplish with our team during the week. Our first challenge was to make a silent drama to a song, which we did for the group that evening. For our next challenge we did the “sleds”. We had to walk up the extremely long driveway, with our team of 7 on two long wooden planks, held by ropes. It's hard to explain, but it was pretty hard, and almost everyone had blisters on their hands after doing it.

Tuesday night began group discussions, where we discussed things to do with media/technology, and one's identity, and what we should be doing as teens in today's world. I think we actually got to bed on time that night – 11 p.m. was the official light's out, but it didn't always happen!

Wednesday morning was what was called Labors of Love. After breakfast, everyone was assigned different jobs to do to help the Inn, everything from helping in the kitchen to working on the prayer trail that was being built. I worked in the garden, where I learned a lot about weeds.=) It was tiring work, since the garden was in the sun the whole time, but it was kinda fun working with the soil, and as I said, pulling a lot of weeds out the corn and green beans patches.

Wednesday afternoon held more challenges, with our team doing the marble roll up steep Pons Hill, and then doing the low ropes course. It was all fun, but challenging, obviously!

Wednesday evening was one of my favorites. We did what was called “Prayers and Squares”. After supper we divided up into three groups to pray for Israel, our government leaders, and our culture. Then, it was time for square and line dancing! For those of you who've never done it, square dancing is tons of fun! I've only done it twice, this year and last year, but I've thoroughly enjoyed myself both times. I guess I pretty much just like any kind of dancing though... ;-)

Thursday we skipped exercise (yes!), and left for white water rafting right after breakfast. There were two groups, the girls and the guys. It was a lot of fun... scary at times, but fun! We went on class 4 and 5 rapids – the highest there are. The lack of rain had affected the water level of the Chatooga River, however, so we kept getting stuck on rocks! It was still exciting though, and I accomplished the goal I had. I didn't fall out on any of the rapids, which I praise God for! =) I just couldn't imagine falling out and getting swept along the river with all those rocks, like some did. Aside from various bumps and bruises that we all got, no one ,thankfully, got seriously hurt.

The girls got back from rafting before the guys, so we listened to a talk given by Susan Pons, which turned out to be one of my favorite. She talked about manners, modesty, mystery, and marriage. It was really encouraging to be challenged to be true ladies in the way we act and the way we dress, having true modesty. She talked about the mystery we as women have, and how we should keep it that way, kept only for our husbands. She talked about how the women's movement destroyed the shielding and covering of us women, but how we should still be covered. It was really wonderful to hear Susan address all of it, in her genteel way.

Thursday evening we again had more group discussions, this time about how we deal with swearing from friends, and also different aspects of boy/girl relationships. It was really good to be able to discuss these things with our peers, and also to hear the guidance from the staff present. The training center is a wonderful and special place, where they always point you to the source – God's word – and challenge you to stand for Christ, even if you're standing alone.

Friday morning we hiked up a mountain – still carrying our crosses – and worshiped as we saw God's wonderful handiwork displayed. We then did what is called Sitting at the Feet of Jesus. Everyone got quiet and talked and listened to God, away from all distractions, just spending time with Him. We then had a sharing time about what people had heard, worshiped some more, then went back down the mountain where we had a picnic. On the way back to the Inn, we got to stop by a waterfall, which was really pretty! North Carolina was just gorgeous, with all the green foliage, hazy mountains, and beautiful water!

Arriving back at the Inn we finished up the challenges, our last one being Frisbee Golf. At supper the team placements were announced. We got last, but that was okay. We had fun!

Friday evening Larry Pons talked about the depth of the human heart, and how no one but God can truly know it. We then went on a last walk with our cross as a team through a pathway lighted by candles, and listened to different interns read verses we had studied during devotions. Arriving at a place shaped like a cross, we were allowed to lay our cross down for the last time, and spend some time talking and praying as a team. We then proceeded to the amphitheater, where we they “passed the torch” onto us, and challenged us to go back home standing firm for Christ. We stayed late, worshiping and praying, with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Saturday, sadly, was the day to go home. It was raining, so we didn't have exercise, yet Ben Barnette still tried to break the record for running Pons Hill, which he missed by only sixteenths of a second! We took a group picture, ate our last meal together, and everyone cleaned and packed up. We had fun signing each other's shirts, then all too soon it was time to say goodbye. It was hard to leave everyone, because you get so close at the Inn, bonding happens really quickly. I've made friends there that I know will last.

We left around 11 a.m., and had an interesting ride home, having to turn around because of something forgotten, then being caught in heavy rain and missing our turn, but we eventually got home, finally around 8 p.m.! I was really tired, since we got an average of maybe 6 ½ hours of sleep each night, and it's taken a while to recover! I'm really glad I went however, and I learned so much.

Thank you so much, mom and dad, for sending me!

The whole group - almost 40 participants in all

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dance Camp Pictures

The Beautifully decorated door done by Betsy on my birthday. I had quite a surprise when I opened my door that morning!

I just kept finding more... and more.. and more signs on my birthday!

Getting ready to enjoy the cupcakes, and feeling like a princess!

With my sweet counselor, Betsy Green

My roommate, Sophia and I. She had such lovely, dark hair!

My small group.
Left to right, back: Beth, Kelsy, Hannah, Ashley, Sophia
Front: Katie, Amy, Betsy, Megan, Jenna, and I

The beautiful sight that assailed me each time I walked out of my hall and down the stairs to more classes!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ballet Magnficat! Summer Dance Intensive 2006

Mom and I traveled to Jackson, Mississippi on July 3rd to attend Ballet Magnificat's summer dance intensive. It had been my dream to attend one of these intensives ever since I was little, so it was a bit unreal to actually be at THE Belhaven College, and realize that I would be staying there for almost two weeks. We arrived on campus around noon, and after checking in and eating lunch I had a few hours to unpack and rest before orientation. About an hour after we had arrived, I got to meet my roommate! It was a real blessing to find out that her name was Sophia Heinkle, she home schooled, had 10 siblings, and actually lived in Alabama, a few hours away from us. What's more, we figured out that we had both gone to the same Ballet Magnficat! performances in Birmingham on numerous occasions! It's amazing how God orchestrates things! =)

Orientation was at 4:30 p.m., in which the Ballet Magnificat! staff laid down the rules and expectations they had for us while at the workshop. The rules weren't very hard for me... No cell phones except during special times (I didn't have a cell phone anyways!), no running or screaming in halls, lights out at 10 p.m., being punctual to classes and chapel, and no pairing off with guys, which I didn't want to do anyway! The hardest one for me to follow was to not walk alone. I usually managed to find someone going where I needed to go though, and Sophia and I walked together whenever possible. Mom left after orientation, as I prepared for the placement class to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The placement class was taught by Mrs. Sol, the primary ballet mistress at Ballet Magnficat! It was pretty hard for me, as everything was very quickly shown and spoken in French, but I followed along as best as I could. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn while at the workshop, since there were many things I'd never really done before.

The next morning, July 4th, we learned the levels we had been placed in. On a level of 4 to 10, 10 being the highest, I placed at level 5 and Sophie at level 6. It was a bit disheartening to go from being in the highest classes at home, and being one of the best dancers, to being in one of the lowest levels, and being one of the worst dancers in the class! I resolved however, to do the best I could where I was placed, and learn as much as I could for God's glory.

That Tuesday, everything started in full swing. A typical day was: wake up around 6:15 a.m., Breakfast at 7 a.m., chapel at 8:30 a.m., ballet technique at 10-11:45 a.m., lunch at noon, two afternoon classes, supper around 5 p.m., then evening activities until lights out at 10 p.m. Yes, the days were very full, yet fun!

Ballet Technique proved to be one of the most enjoyable, yet one of the most challenging classes for me. Each class was taught by a different member of the Ballet Magnficat! staff or company. I had a lot of trouble, especially in the first classes catching on to the way things were taught. In my classes at home, we would do some barre work, a little across the floor, then work on our dance. Here, things were way more advanced! We had barre work for almost an hour each day. The combinations that they gave us were tricky for me, especially at first. I had never really had moves or exercises combined like they were there, and there were a few things I'd never even heard of! I must admit, that I often would watch the person in front of me, to figure out what we were supposed to be doing, for my brain just would not seem to pick things up very quickly! By the second week, however, I began to get more into the swing of the things, and pick things up faster. I no longer had to watch other people as much, and could concentrate more on doing the exercise well, rather than just trying to do the exercise! I've figured out that I have much to work on in the areas of turnout, flexibility, strength, ballet vocabulary, and catching on to combinations, and I learned a lot in each of these areas while there.

As I said, the afternoon classes were varied, having 2 different types of classes each day. Some I really enjoyed, others were, well, interesting, but I of course learned a lot!

Variation was one of my favorite classes. In it we learned a dance, which was most like what I was used to at home! The first week we had 3 variation classes, and we learned a dance entitled Freedom, that Ballet Magnficat! had at one time performed in one of their tours. It was a lot of fun, and really neat to be learning a dance that Ballet Magnificat! did! In the second week's 3 variation classes, level 5 learned a lyrical dance to Jeremy Camp's song Nothing Else I Need, or something like that. It was taught by my sweet counselor, Betsy (more on her later!) and was really enjoyable!

Jazz was one of the hardest classes for me. We had 3 classes of it, which were quite interesting! I'd never taken any jazz before, so catching on to the moves when almost everyone else knew what they were doing was really hard. I learned a lot in the area of jazz, but I know that ballet will always be what I want to do mostly. I have a hard time being jerky and “jazzy”. However, I was really glad that I was being taught jazz at a Christian dance place, so that there were none of the provocative moves so prevalent in jazz today. All the moves were clean, just foreign to me! Kathy Thibodeaux's daughter Tara taught the class, and she was amazing!

Another hard class was Conditioning. In it we did all the various muscle and flexibility building exercises. Each class I thought I was about to die, and didn't think I'd possibly be able to get through all of the strenuous stuff, but God pulled me through each time. It really teaches you to pray and rely on Him for strength! =) Thankfully, we only had 3 Conditioning classes, and they really did help build my muscles and flexibility. We had two classes with Kristin Hill, and one with more Pilates, taught by Katie Garwood.

Another... interesting... class was Modern. It wasn't too bad, I'd just never taken any modern, save one weird class at home, so most things were quite weird and hard to get used to. The two classes I did have were enjoyable, however, and I learned a lot from the teacher, Hannah Beaver.

There were two Improvision classes, one taught by John Vandervelde, and another by Erin Beaver. They focused mostly on bringing out one's God given creativity, and ways to use it in dance. Some of it was a bit awkward, such as dancing out the alphabet, but it was fun! =)

Finally, we had 4 Pointe classes, 2 taught by Mrs. Tracy, and 2 by Mrs. Sol. I had a lot of trouble with blisters and aching feet, since my pointe shoes were new and hadn't been broken in, and since I hadn't danced regularly on pointe for more than a month. I of course, learned a lot however, even through the pain. During the last class on Thursday, July 13th my ankle began hurting whenever I rolled up on pointe, so I took the class in flat shoe, and a girl in my class lent me her ankle brace. Praise God though, for my ankle didn't give me any more trouble after that!

I really enjoyed the teachers at Ballet Magnificat! It was really inspiring to be taught by members of the company, even one class by Kathy Thibodeaux! At times it seemed unreal... I was really in a class taught by someone from Ballet Magnficat! However, they were like any other person. They didn't put on any airs because they were so good or anything. They cared about us, and tried to help us as best as they could. It was wonderful to be able to learn from such Godly dancers, who served God with their talents.

While at the workshop, I learned about far more than just ballet, however. Each morning, and many evenings we were taught from God's word. At each morning chapel, different Ballet Magnificat! staff gave their testimonies, and it was encouraging to hear how God had worked in each of their lives. The theme for this years intensive was “Redemption”. I learned a lot from all of the things brought to light through God's word, about our need for a Saviour and how Jesus' blood washed us clean. I have been a Christian ever since I was small, yet Jesus' gift became more precious to me as I realized the depth of my own sin, and the depth of His sacrifice. He truly did redeem even me from a life of hopelessness and sin, into a life of joy in His presence. At first I had known that I needed a Redeemer, and had accepted His redemption, yet while there God showed me that even though I hadn't done all the “bad stuff” that so many had (thanks to growing up in a Christian home), I still sinned against Him in areas of pride, judmentalism, and cowardism, just to name a few. He helped me renounce them, and press deeper into my relationship with Him. There's still a lot to work on, but He is faithful.

I also learned a lot about worship. I became more free to worship Him even with others around, though at times it's still frightening. It was really encouraging how everyone at Ballet Magnficat! really tried to teach us to worship and not perform, as so many dancers do. They even had 3 nights which they called Creative Worship, where they played different songs and had the floor open for people to dance and worship God however He led them. During the second creative worship, God really moved, and 20 or more people were saved, and one girl even got delivered from anorexia! God is so awesome!

The first Thursday we were there, they also had us listen to a teaching on purity called “Beyond Virginity to Purity”. I was pleasantly surprised that Ballet Magnficat! addressed such a touchy issue. It was a really good teaching, and was encouraging to hear about how to not only stay pure, but to also keep your mind pure. It was really nice to have the people at Ballet Magnificat! address such a thing, and we even had a discussion in our small group after the teaching, which was wonderful!

My counselor at Ballet Magnificat! was the best! Her name is Betsy Green, and she's a company member with Ballet Magnficat! She was actually home schooled her whole life and has 8 siblings! She isn't yet married, and is waiting on God for His choice for her life. She was so sweet and kind to us, always doing little things to make everything special. Each day she'd have a prettily decorated schedule posted on the wall, and also made posters with Bible verses on them. It was really fun to hear her in our small group times as she would enthusiastically bring to light a lot of hidden “jewels” as she called them, in God's word. She was on fire for God and zealous about spreading His word, and was still a delightful lady, with a sweet disposition and amazing character. I hope to keep in touch with her and learn still more from her.

My small group was a lot of fun as well! There were 10 of us staying in the dorms, and 1 girl that was off-campus, but sometimes joined in with us. We had fun times getting to know each other, and just doing crazy girl things. =) I was blessed to be a part of such a group. We even had a secret sister while there. I had Kelsy, and it was fun leaving notes and things outside of her door. Ashley had me as her secret sister, and she left such fun notes, and even some pop rocks for me to enjoy!

My birthday was the 3rd day of camp, July 5th, and it turned out to be a really special day! Sweet Betsy made it really special. When I woke up, I opened my door to find it decorated with balloons and verses, and a kind note and some candy, including a chocolate rose outside of my door! Betsy also gave me a birthday ribbon that I had to wear part of the day, announcing that it was my birthday. She didn't stop there however. I went on to find 3 other signs scattered throughout the dorm announcing that it was my birthday! Needless to say, it was a very memorable day. That night, after small group time, Betsy even had a party for me in her room! I had a tiara and clip-on earrings to wear as the birthday princess, and the others had party hats. She even had Little Debbi cupcakes, complete with candles for me to blow out! We then had fun and played Killer Uno, which is a fun version of an otherwise pretty relaxed game! I was so blessed to have a birthday that I'll never forget.

On Friday, July 14th we had the student concert. There were around 25 different numbers, with a lot of dancing, but some music, singing, and acting. I danced to Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns. We had to audition our piece the first Sunday we were there. At the audition I was really nervous and shaky, and had a hard time getting everything done. However, at the student concert God gave me peace, and despite at first not having the music play and having to go out-of-order, God helped me dance full-out for His glory, without much fear at all!

Mom and Lydia came Friday night, and it was nice to see them after being gone for so long. We left to drive home early Saturday morning, and while I was sad to leave everyone, especially Betsy, it was nice to be going home, to more rest! We danced for 4 ¼ hours every day except Sunday, so I was glad to be going home to get rested up a little. I got used to dancing that much, and it wasn't TOO tiring, yet it's nice to have a break. I'm looking forward to the fall however, and am excited to see what opportunities will open up for me to learn more and teach others to praise God with the dance! (Psalm 149:3, and 150:4)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

Hi all! I got back from Heroes yesterday evening, worn out! =) I'm back home for a while now, so posting should pick up. I learned so much at both camps, and will, I'm sure, be telling y'all all about it in the days ahead. So, stay tuned!

A big thank you to Miriam for the posting she did while I was gone. She did a great job, and hope you all enjoyed it!

Now, for some more rest...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What's Been Happening.

I know I haven't posted in a week, but nothing has come across
my mind to post. Today we have have piano lessons, and I'm
going to work at the library again.
The last weekend in July, our family is going to a Film Festival
in Georgia, and I'm really looking forward to that. To read about
it: www.GeorgiaChristianFilms.com. We went last year with
Anna's family, but I don't think they're coming this time.
The family that is hosting the Festival are really nice. They have
three of the sweetest daughters, and three sons. The oldest daughter,
Kressant, keeps a blog, http://www.smithfamilia.blogspot.com/,
which I enjoy reading a lot. I need to go get ready for lessons.
Miriam Rebekah

Friday, July 14, 2006

How Anna's Doing.

I know I haven't written for a few days, but I haven't had anything to write about except everyday normality, and let me assure you, it's not that interesting. Yesterday I worked at our
local library, which I enjoy very much, and today we (as in five of us Harts) have piano lessons, other than that..... I'd love to put pictures of my whole family on here, but I don't have that many at the moment. I'll try to get some in the upcoming week.

I've gotten a couple of letters from Anna, and she says she's doing well, and enjoying it.
The teachers are very helpful, and it's a lot of hard work. She said that she's learning a lot.
On her birthday, her counselor put some balloons and verses outside her dorm room. Throughout the dorm there was three different signs saying that it was Anna's birthday!
That night their group had a party for her, and she said it was lots of fun!
Today is the dance recital, and I'm sure she'll do well. She actually had to audition (I think)
to see if she could make it in the recital, and she did. Go Anna!
Well, I have to go and practice.
God Bless,
Miriam Rebekah

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ah...Home Again.

Hi everyone! I'm back home. Our trip was very fun and the longest time away from home that I can personally remember. Thursday morning we left, and when we got to Birmingham we went to the McWane Center, which is a really cool place! The next two days we were at the CHEF convention, and Sunday we hung around the hotel until about 2 o'clock, then we went back to the McWane Center and watched a movie in the IMAX dome theater. And today we came back home. There's probably a lot more I could write to make that a lot more interesting, but Anna does that better than I do. Well, I'm going to go read my book. I love reading, and it's a great way to just cool it. :)

Miriam Rebekah

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Yes, I'm leaving too. But I'll be back Monday. The CHEF (Christian Home Educators Fellowship) convention is Friday and Saturday, and my parents wanted to make a vacation of
the weekend. So we are going up to Birmingham this morning, and coming Monday sometime.
I'll be back!
Miriam Rebekah

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy 16th Birthday, Anna!

I hope you are enjoying yourself, and having a good birthday.
I personally know that you will be a very 'sweet' sixteen!
Miriam Rebekah

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

We do grow up....

Here are some pictures of Anna and me as we grew up together.

Anna with her baby doll that never left her side,
and myself sitting on the edge of the bench.

Anna and I hugging at our first campout many, many years ago.

This is Elijah, my brother Joel, Anna, and myself
at our first campout about a year after we met.

Spending the day at Anna's house pretty much
meant you were going to play dress-up. :)

Anna and I at our first spring band concert about 3 years ago.

And yes, I was very short.

Wearing the dresses Anna made!

Becoming Friends

Let's see, Anna and I met each other when we were five years old (and I have no recollection of that meeting). Our families saw each other about twice a year after that. I was always happy to see Anna, because I really didn't have a close friend in my early years.

When I was 11 years old, the opportunity to play in a homeschool band came! I had always dreamed of playing the flute, and was finally able to. The band director had a band in Montgomery and in Prattville. Well, I went to the one in Montgomery and Anna went to the other one. The two bands were always put together for the concert, so we got to see one another at the rehearsal and concert night. The first concert night, my brother (who also played in the band) and I were invited to spend the night at the Lofgrens, and allowed to go. It was the first time I had ever spent the night over at a friend's house, and I was so excited!
After a year of band, the director left for Florida, and we got a new director. The band practices were only in Prattville now, so I got to see Anna every Thursday. Our families also met for Sunday fellowship, so Anna and I became what you would call, inseparable. :)

Anna and I share a wonderful friendship that I pray will never end. God brought other friends into our lives, and I thank Him for all the friends He has given me. Well, I'm going to end my first post on Anna's blog. I think she'll have a hard time believing I wrote so much, but I did!
Oh, and as soon as I get them, I'm going to put on some pictures of our very young years. ;)

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Goodbye... but don't leave!

I leave quite early on Monday morning, so I think this is a proper time to bid you all farewell. I will be at Ballet Magnificat's Summer Intensive for 12 days. I'll come back home on a Saturday and only have a day to unpack and pack again for Heroes of Today, leaving for it on Sunday. I will miss writing this blog, but look forward to a change of routine, and dancing of course!

I'll be dancing more than I ever have before, 4-5 hours a day. I'd appreaciate if you all will keep me in your prayers, that I'll have strength, and will learn all I can.

However, don't stop visiting my blog while I'm away! I'll have a very special guest blogger keeping my blog from being dormant while I'm gone. My dear, bosum friend Miriam Rebekah Hart will be blogging here while I'm away. She's always wanted a blog, so I thought I'd give her a taste of it while I'm not able to blog. I hope you have a fun time reading what she has to say!

So, stay tune for Anna's true self to be revealed, all her secrets to be exposed and... Just kidding! I don't know what Miriam has planned, but I'm so glad that I have her for a friend! I can trust this blog to her while I'm gone, with no qualms!

Have fun - and be nice to Miriam! :-)

Bosom Friends

Miriam is my dear bosom friend. We are quite alike, yet very different. I am more Anne in looks, she more Diana, but we are often a mixture of the personalities. She is more bold and daring, I, more expressive and romantic. Every girl should have a friend like her!

Miriam is very musical. She's taken piano for many years, and is quite accomplished at it! She also plays the flute, as I do, and we started 4 years ago, working our way up to Advanced band after 2 years. We are so alike, and such friends, we even take double flute lessons from our band director during the summers. Just like my dream is to teach ballet, hers is to teach piano, and I know she will do very well!

We both aren't huge talkers. I probably talk a little more, but there are often simply peaceful times of silence while we enjoy each other's company. There's always a lot of smiles between us, often bursts of laughter as we do silly little things. We have quite times as well, serious discussions about different things, and wistful thinkings. We get along wonderfully however, in the 4 years we've been really close friends, we have yet to get into a big fight.

She's not as much of a writer as I am. When we email, I often write lengthy epistles, to get short replies, but I still love hearing from her! We enjoy the new Gmail talk, always enjoying whenever we happen to get on at the same time. We both aren't big phone conversationalist, but we say a LOT while chatting! =)

Her family and mine are opposites. While there are 5 girls and 2 boys in my family, hers has 5 boys and 2 girls! So, all the boys shaped her growing up into more of a strong girl, while I am more of a girly-girl. We're rubbing off on each other however! =) We are both mostly middle child personalities, but she has more oldest in her, being the first girl in her family. She's the second mama in her household!

We are very unlike in looks... I have big eyes, while hers are a little smaller. I'm more pale as she is prettily rosy. She used to be a lot shorter than I, but started growing later, and is now nearly my height. She may surpass me yet! Her hair is so long, gorgeous, and dark brown, while mine is light-brownish red, and has never reached my waist, as hers has on many occasions. However unlike as our physical characteristics are, we are quite often asked if we're sisters, as we love dressing alike, and are very close. What can you say when we have 3 different identical outfits? She is very like another sister to me, and in many ways fits right in with our family, my older sisters treating her like another younger sister.

Miriam and I are both big readers. We both have huge bookshelves, and often borrow books from each other. We are also deep thinkers, and tend to keep our thoughts more to ourselves. Having a delightful, talkative friend, Bekah T, has opened us up a lot however! We are still learning to share more and more what we are thinking, and that has only helped us grow closer.

I'm sure I've left out a ton, but Miriam will be able to share a lot more of herself quite soon I'm sure...

I'm going to miss her so much while I'm gone!