Friday, January 25, 2008

Here are some pictures. Kinda late, but OK :) You wouldn't have known they were late if I hadn't told you :D

Our first concert went pretty good, and then we ate afterwards. About 3/4 of the way through the meal, I got a stomach ache. I started feeling just a little woozy, so I sat down while we were breaking down. We snapped some pictures because some of the Johnsons came and visited! I was feeling really sick in these pictures but it was right before all the blood drained from my lips and I looked positively green.

Johnson Girls and Us

Funny faces, anyone?


I ended up losing my supper, but I felt great the next day. I'm soooo thankful that I didn't have the flu!! It was fantastic to feel good the next day.

Here's the ocean we visited the next day with the Johnsons.

On The Windy Beach!


Last night I went out with our friends (who had one free seat) to a service they were doing music for. I brought my guitar and tried to stumble along with the chords on the songs that I didn't know :-) It was interesting, and a definite learning experience as the whole service was in Spanish. I didn't converse much, but I did understand some things - especially when they prayed, which was a little slower. It's hard to understand "machine gun" Spanish, as I've heard it referred to. It's very exciting when the conjugations start to work! And my friend here that we're with speaks Spanish. It's hard to speak in Spanish when our time is so limited and I don't understand very much of what she says (though she'll help me through till I DO understand what she says).

Here's a video I made for youtube. It's just a vlog.

Today we go south and our next concert is Sunday afternoon. Adios!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I have to mention again the language site I found called LiveMocha.Com Check it out, it's free, yadda yadda. I also found a GREAT verb site for Spanish verbs, if you are a beginner like I am. This site will generate quizes to learn how to conjugate verbos en español.


Just whenI thought my hands were much better, I got around internet access and am having problems as bad as before they started to get bad. Both hands, occasionally both arms, ache like I've done a lot of strenuous things with them, even when I barely do anything with them.
I finished reading Frank Peretti's book, Monster, and at the end in the interview with him he mentions he writes for 5 hours a day and has to be careful with his hands. No kidding! Computer use will really do you in, folks. Monster was a pretty good book, by the way. I can't recommend it to squeamish readers who frequently have nightmares, but if you continue through the whole thing you'll find the story resolves itself in a way that doesn't leave you looking for monsters under your bed at night. I've learned the hard way that bad things you put in your mind take a looong time to fade, and sometimes they never completely come out of the back of your mind. Whatever is pure, whatever is noble, right, admirable, trustworthy, true, etc., think about such things! Not trash.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


It's almost time for coffee and donuts in the church that we're singing at this morning, so I have to go soon and get fattened. (And run through a song we're doing this morning.) We didn't have a church for this morning until last night. We performed the Mommy Song along with the rest of our program and this church (that we've sung at before) is having Sanctity of Life Sunday this morning, and they asked us to come and sing and close our music with that song. Sometimes when I sing it, I think I wonder if the words are kind of awkwardly placed here, or they don't flow right, but it probably doesn't matter. I mean, I want our music to be good, but it doesn't have to be perfect in the worldly sense to be God honoring.

I can't remember if I blogged about tendonitis or not. I think I have it, and I've been trying to remember to ice my arms before and after concerts. My left hand aches more than my left, but my right hand aches sometimes too. I'm working on changing the way I hold my pick, and the way my left hand fingers the notes on the fingerboard. So far, OK. I practiced yesterday when my hands felt better but they ached afterwards and I wished I hadn't played. It's been a week since I've done any real practice!

See you all later, we should have wireless in Houston so I may be more regular with blog updates :) Maybe I'll be able to get a picture or two up as well, and POSSIBLY some youtube stuff from where we are!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We leave tomorrow for a 9 week trip! I think it's a little more than 9 weeks, actually.

I made a video for youtube on making signs for Ron Paul.

I can't remember if I just did this, but I gotta put a plug in for Ron Block here while I'm talking about Rons! Check out his website, and his list of music articles, specifically for banjo and guitar. No matter what instrument you play, I think it'll be inspiring. I may not agree with every one of his points, but there's sure a lot of good stuff there. His two albums have been great. Some of the songs lean a little more contemporary than my family likes, but overall it's great! Check out Faraway Land and Doorway at amazon.com. Just in case you didn't know, he's the guitar/banjo player for Alison Krauss and Union Station (he's all the way on the right in the photo on the homepage). He also has articles written on other facets of life, such as the books he's been reading and theology here.


I'm so excited about this trip. Carol put up a shelf on the far side of her bunk (we're both on the bottom level of the triple bunks) so I decided to put one up for mine this time and I think it's going to be very helpful. I always end up just piling stuff against the wall. All I need is a little padded pull down shelf for my laptop with the keyboard part inclined at just the right angle for typing while lying down :D Hopefully I'll make a video about this stuff. I think it'd be fun for people to see.


I almost forgot, I ordered glasses from Zennioptical.com. I got these half-rims and these full-rims (black!). And yes, you read correctly, the glasses (with lenses) were $8 a piece! I added anti-glare coating for $5 each, making my total for two prescription glasses only about $30. My sister got a few other ones and the shipping is only $5 for all of what we ordered so it's a little less. My eyes are pretty bad, but if you go a few steps further in the badness scale, you pay a little extra for extra strength. You can also buy more expensive frames, of course, but these black ones are kinda trendy and I don't know how I"m going to like them. You can also get rimless (what I wear now) for about $20, I think. We've bought two batches, so yes, they do really deliver. These should reach us on the road as our mail is forwarded, and it'll be neat to actually get them and see how they look on me :D

Goodbye for now, I'll blog when I can and hopefully will have pictures of where we have been!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

So long, chicken friend!

Someone came to pick up Chollie today :( Good news is, he ain't headed for no stew pot. He's headed to a proper farm that's keeping their chickens indoors for the winter :)

Here are some parting shots.

Chollie The Chicken


I think I 'm going to miss him!

Monday, January 07, 2008

I borrowed this from PrairieSunrise. :D They're all my answers, of course ;) I'm not always the most concise person, so if you're a slow reader you might want to go get some snacks at this point.


2007 Summary Survey

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Finished the top to a twin size quilt, went to a political rally

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made resolutions in November or December I think, and I don’t even remember what they were J

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No

4. Did anyone close to you die? Tough one. A lot of people I know seem to have died in 2007. I’m not sure how close you could consider them.

5. What countries did you visit? None!

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A closer walk with God, and more discipline

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I don’t really associate days with events. I will probably remember the Ron Paul rally, and the fact that my dad got sick again

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Surviving! I guess writing the first song that meant anything to anyone besides myself was a good thing that God worked through me

9. What was your biggest failure?
Neglecting to seek God first in everything, and letting myself be filled with excitement for material and temporal things.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Achilles tendon problem that made me give up running, and sore wrists/hands from practicing too hard. Other than that, a lot of colds!

11. What was the best thing you bought? Good question! Teaching DVDs and music CDs.

12. What's one of the best pictures you have from this year? The one of my chicken J Actually I don’t have a favorite picture, I have a favorite folder on my computer and it’s about 4 GB full of pictures from my computer‘s lifetime.

13. What is the saddest movie you saw? I can’t remember! I probably cried on plenty of them though.

14. Where did most of your money go? In the special woodstove that burns money for heat. Come to think of it, I don’t know exactly where it went! It’s probably still in my bank account and I just haven’t checked in a while.

15. What did you get really, really excited about? First of all, the MOST exciting thing was in December and it was hearing a sermon on drawing nearer to God and seeking Him. It was really incredible. I also got excited about the Ron Paul rally, and I always get excited after having a good conversation over a tract. Sometimes people just say ‘No THANKS! (Get out of my face!) and walk away. That’s a bummer, but it’s so exciting to get a responsive person. Also, I got excited about guitar playing and music again.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2007? Probably Ron Block’s albums, although I won’t remember what year it was that I got familiar with his music.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are: Fatter (slightly!), a year older, a tiny bit more versed with Spanish verbs, waaay more hesitant, and a lot less adventurous. I wish I had mo’ better news on that front, but I gotta call it like I see it! I’m probably more emotional, which is good and bad. Not good for keeping composure under stress, but very good for drawing out music. I’m also loads more happy being single ;) I’m starting to sound like a really boring person…

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Praying, witnessing, and practicing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sleeping, wasting time on the computer, nagging my family

20. How did you spend Christmas? Singing and eating, then practicing

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? Not unless you count with my Maker. I don’t THINK you can count the guitar, but I have been spending a lot of time with it lately ;)

22. New Favorite Restaurant?
Ryan’s Steakhouse

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The one I didn’t watch! Seriously, I’m coming to be happy that I don’t know who certain characters are on the TV. The less junk in my head the better.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Myself? But the Bible says you don’t hate yourself, so I guess the answer is no.

25. What was the best book you read? Ephesians and Galations

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Improvising on a single string over a modal vamp! And then shortly after that, in 2008, I discovered single stringing improv over a drone! Wow, super cool, and I’m way serious. If you think I’m nuts go buy a book called The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrich and wrap your brain around just the first chapter. Then in a few years when you’re done with that, go on to the second chapter ;)

27. What did you want and get? Assurance of salvation and for the doubt to just go away. I can’t say that doubt never enters my mind, but in Christ I conquer doubt of things that are real.

28. What was your favorite activity of this year? Hanging out with my family and being on the road

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was a year younger before, and a year older after it occurred. We were at my grandparents house, we ate cake and my family gave me very nice presents.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Ripped, misaligned and a little grungy looking. Just kidding! I would say that my concept in 2007 has been a figure of change - changing from dumpy looking tee-shirts that hang to my knees to wearing a sweatshirt that actually fits and doesn‘t billow out all over. I’m not too worried about how I look, but I see the wisdom in looking somewhat put together.

31. What kept you sane? God. That’s it. Everything else drives insanity.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you admire the most? I don’t know if they’re public figures but the persecuted church that we only hear about really stirs me. Also Ray Comfort, and Ron Paul, for “regular” public figures.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The fact that America is going down the drain with its policies. I know the deeper issue is a Spiritual problem, so the best solution to America’s problems is to go out in every street and preach the gospel. Ron Paul can be a tool to help us get back to where we should be at, but God may not have the same inclination towards an exceedingly wicked, prosperous, “free” country that He did towards one that was turned towards Him. So even if you get our laws straightened out, the dollar is worth something again, and everyone continues to be wicked and hate God, we still have the bigger problem with us.

34. Who did you miss? I thought a lot more about my grandmother than I have in recent years. I did miss someone that I thought I might get to see, but it was probably a figment of my imagination that things would have turned out differently if I had gotten to see them. And yes, it was a guy (just for all you smirking people). I have a few people online that I’d really like to see, and my friends that are girls have gotten a lot closer than ever before.

35. Who was the best new person you met? This is completely unanswerable! I met so many people, and so many of them have influenced me for the better.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007: God knows you better than you do, so don’t just trust Him in some things.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: Whatever you do, whether in word or deed do it all in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I've got about 5 minutes to blog. I'm going to turn off the wireless switch on here and go to play guitar. Yesterday I had a devastating (playing-wise) thought. I thought what will change when I can play guitar better?

The only consolation I had was that playing guitar is better for my brain than being online or wasting time another way. But I got to thinking if my guitar playing is enjoyable, which it is most of the time, then doesn't practicing for hours everyday mean I'm lazy? And at that moment, thinking that practice must be unpleasant to be considered progress and not laziness, it was so discouraging to think about continuing. But thankfully, I think that this will pass and I'll be happy spending time with my guitar again. Work doesn't have to be unpleasant I don't suppose. But it has to be disciplined, so I need to continue!


Today Dad and Vincent went to the airport. Mom and I drove them, and on the way home (and right before we got there) we broke down 5 times! The car was just stalling and we'd have to wait for 15 minutes before continuing. It was interesting, to say the least, but at least Dad and Vincent made their flight, and God provided our needs.
I don't think we'll take the car out on another long trip anytime soon, though!


We leave Friday for a 9 week trip. Pray for us, please! I haven't packed anything, I suppose I should do that sometime before we go. Uh, yeah. That'd be a good idea. I rigged up a mixer and a mic in my room again, but the results were so discouraging I quit! I ought to do that soon though and do some serious critiquing. I did put a video up at youtube asking for critique, check it out on my page at youtube.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy '08 everyone!

I haven't been blogging because I haven't been online. Monday night (the 24th), at about 11pm, I decided to take a break from being online from Christmas day until the new year started. So, with daily email checks, I managed to stay offline during that time.

Now, since it turned out so well, I am considering another one. This seems silly, since my readers are all online, and of course I like it when they're online to read my blog. But I'm not trying to tell you to go away, I'm just trying to say that life without internet was like a vacation! I had extra time each evening that I could spend cleaning, practicing, or doing whatever. So maybe consider just taking a day or two off - if you can without thinking about being online the whole time. All of my other breaks have been nervous, "I can't wait to get back on!" things. For some very odd reason, this one wasn't.

If I should turn my internet use into weekly excursions, I'd be sure to blog if I could. While we're on the road, I 'll have to take internet whenever I can get it and not worry about whether it's weekly. And email doesn't count as internet, so I can check that as often as I want.

While offline I discovered;

My computer is going bonkers again, so I had better stop and post this before I lose it. My computer starts to blink, then the windows move to the top of the screen and I'm not able to access things, or close them. When I open task manager to close them it often disappears in the mess. I hope it's a hardware (motherboard, someone told me?) problem because I can get it fixed with BestBuy.

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