Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I love making gingerbread houses. It's so fun to make every little detail you can on the house out of candy: icicles, doorways, windows, shingles, ect. My younger brother and I made the gingerbread house in the picture really sloppy and funny, so our family could eat it straight afterwards. It was a very interesting house. ;:/
This gingerbread house was made a few years ago and it was the greatest my family had ever made. We really enjoyed making it.
Not only did we use white frosting for snow, but also powdered sugar to give it a powdery effect :) . We used upside-down ice cream cones for fir trees, and made a path of sprinkles bordered by gumdrops.
I believe it was my younger brother's idea to cover a gingerbread man with frosting to make him look like a snowman. :)
In addition, we used a fork to pull down the frosting off of the roof's edges to make icicles. A tuft of cotten was used for the chimney's smoke, and a frozen pond completed the cute little scene.
I think that out of the three catagories: making the house, looking at it, or eating it, I would have to say that making the house together as a family is the most rewarding.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The bitter cold bit my cheeks as I walked through the packed parking lot toward the entryway of the Kelso-Longview Community Seventh-day Adventist Church, anxiously awaiting my journey to Bethlehem…
Christmas trees greeted me in the foyer as I waited restlessly for my group number to be announced. Meanwhile, I talked with friends and listened to the many musicians and singers who performed various Christmas songs and hymns.
After two hours of impatient waiting, the group and I get to go on our journey:
A Jewish man pulled the black curtain aside and excitedly invited the group to embark on the “ninety mile” journey to the city of Bethlehem. He, along with his cousin Sarah, handed out small scrolls (the taxes) and explained to us that we must travel to Bethlehem to pay our taxes to Caesar. Also, if any Roman soldiers were to stop us, the group was to respond that they were of the family of David and they were from Nazareth.
After walking down a path lit with torches, we passed a small camp of lepers, crying “unclean!” and begging for mercy. It was a very pitiful, sad, and disturbing sight.
We came across a tent and asked if we could take shelter there. After a woman passed around a small basket of crackers to the group, Gamaleel, a scribe, opened a scroll, and read to us a verse from Isaiah about awaiting the prophesied birth of the Messiah. After he explained the importance of the text, we thanked the residents for their hospitality, and continued on our journey.
We passed an old man, begging for alms, and came to the gates of Bethlehem. The Jewish man told the group that they were going to encounter the Roman soldiers soon, and that we were not to resist them.
A Roman soldier guarding the entrance was snapping his whip, demonstrating his brute force. When the Jewish man asked permission to enter the city, the soldier yelled at him saying that the city was full because of the census, and commanded us to leave. The Jewish man humbly offered him a coin, nearly begging him that they enter the city. The soldier took the coin and eyed it selfishly. He then reluctantly, but harshly shouted, “All right! But move along!”
I passed through the gates and dozens of sights, sounds, and smells met me. As I traveled through the city, I was tempted by venders and merchants, who crowded the streets, shouting – attempting to lure me to buy their products.
People, as well as animals crowded the streets. There were sheep, rams, doves, a donkey, and even a camel!
We hurried along until we come to an inn, hoping to seek shelter there. But the innkeeper laughed at us saying, “How many of you do I have to turn away?” He turned toward me and declared, “I don’t even have enough room for you in my stables!”
Disappointed, the Jewish man led us away to travel through the streets until we came along a group dancing to music. When asked why they were celebrating, a woman playing the tambourine said it was because God had been good to them and that they had a successful crop that year. We joined in the happy assembly, clapping along with the music, until a Roman soldier interrupted and demanded who we were and what our business was in Bethlehem. After explaining our situation, we were commanded to pay our tribute to Caesar.
A centurion on a horse appeared from the shadows and he commanded that the group be formed into two lines and face him so he could “keep an eye on [the] peasants.” The horse’s head was almost right next to mine and I had never been that close to a horse before. I could barely resist the urge to pet its nose. However, I knew that if I had petted it, the soldiers would have yelled at me.
After entering a large tent, hearing a speech from the tax collector, we payed our taxes, and emerged out of the city. Walking along, we came across shepherds sitting next a small campfire, when suddenly a woman dressed in white and gold appeared on the top of a large boulder and proclaimed to the shepherds that a Savior had been born and that they would find the baby in a manger. We followed the shepherds to a small cave to observe Mary and Joseph huddled over their precious baby, the Savior.
After the Jewish man and his cousin thanked the group for accompanying them on their journey and leave, we departed from the era of two thousand years ago and entered the present, where hot apple cider awaited us…
Monday, December 04, 2006
This is a perfect opportunity to not only get a look into the minds of the two sexes, but to discuss a very important subject. In this modern age, modesty gets thrown out the window.
The publishers of The Messenger have given me permission to post my articles that have been published in the newspaper, along with any of my writing assignments for the club - The National Association of Christian Homeschool Journalism Clubs (NACHJC).
This is my article that was published in the second publication of The Messenger.
On November 8, unofficial election results showed 415 write-in votes, all in favor of Kyle Corbin, to be elected mayor of Union, Oregon. It was a write-in campaign because Corbin was seventeen during the time of the election. He turned eighteen five weeks later.
Corbin is a college freshman at Eastern Oregon University, where he is majoring in politics, philosophy and economics. In his senior year, he was the student body president at Union High School, where he was known for his good leadership capabilities. Jerry Matthews, a counselor at Union High School said, "His skills as a leader will amaze some of the older people he will work with [on the city council]. He has maturity beyond his years.''
In a private interview, Kyle Corbin expressed his reasons for deciding to become mayor and shared his political views.
Messenger: What made you decide to run for Mayor?
Corbin: I’ve grown up in Union my entire life. I had seen people I had looked up to and respected my whole life; [I got] the arguments on the street, [and went] to city council meetings about political issues. And it’s kind of disheartening to see things like [political misfortunes] happen in your town. It’s a small town and everybody knows everybody and when stuff like that happens, it’s kind of bad. So I decided, what better way to do my part, now that I’m old enough to do my part, and run for public office.
Messenger: What do you plan to accomplish during your term?
Corbin: Hopefully, at first to garnish and harbor respect, because you can’t really get anything else without that. That’s step one.
Messenger: Do you have any actual plans you want to accomplish?
Corbin: I want for Union what basically any mayor would want for their town. Things like economic development [and] creating jobs.
Messenger: You said that one of your main goals was to gain respect, and since you are perhaps the youngest mayor in Oregon’s history, are you worried about how people in Union’s city council will view you?
Corbin: I totally expect it to be difficult at first to gain the respect of the councilors that are older and more experienced than I am. I don’t expect to have respect just because I’m the mayor; I have to earn it. And in turn, they have to earn my respect as well. But we’ll get through it and we all want what’s best for Union and we’re all going to work together to try to make that happen.
Messenger: How much time do you think your duties as mayor will require?
Corbin: Probably as much time as I choose to put into it. I want to do the best job I can do. It’s going to be hard work and it’s going to take a lot of time, but it’s worth it, I think.
Messenger: Do you think you will be able to balance that with any of your College plans and your other duties?
Corbin: Yeah, I think so. There’s a lot of people here at the city that work hard and know what they’re doing, and they’re willing to help and so I think we can definitely balance that time.
Messenger: Who are your role models that perhaps influenced your political views?
Corbin: Anybody willing to step up and do what they think is best for their town or their country or whatever it might be is a role model to me.
Messenger: You regularly attended Union’s city council meetings. What motivated you to go to them?
Corbin: You hear things around town about things that have went on, but you don’t really know for sure. My mom worked at City Hall for a while, my grandmother’s on the planning commission, and my aunt used to be on the budget committee. And you hear all this stuff and you really don’t know if any of it’s true so I decided that I would go to some of these meetings and see what I could find out for myself.
Messenger: A lot of 18 year-olds don’t even consider voting, let alone running for office. What do you think makes you different from most people your age?
Corbin: I think anybody, whether they’re eighteen or seventy-five, has an opinion and has things that they feel strongly about. It just takes determination and the willingness to step up and try to get your opinions heard and make a difference to make things happen. I don’t think I’m really any different than any other eighteen year old. I just decided to do something about it. That’s the biggest difference, I guess.
Messenger: What are your views on the illegal immigration crisis?
Corbin: I definitely agree that it’s a problem. I think that our country definitely needs immigrants; they’re very valuable and our country was built on originally with immigrants. We need some sort of a structure instead of this free flow of people across our border. It causes a lot of issues [like] national security issues. I think that we need to create some sort of system that makes it fairly easier than it is now for people who want to immigrate to our country to actually get to do that in somewhat of a timely fashion. We need these people in our country to support our way of life and if they want to live here then I think that they should be able to, but they’re going to have to do it legally. And I think we need some sort of enforced system to make that happen.
Kyle Corbin will be sworn in on January 2nd.
"Everybody's goal is to make Union a better place. They just have different ideas about how to get there,'' Corbin said. "Sometimes dramatic change is needed. It might be that a kid mayor is what is needed to bring people together.''
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The club began two months ago, where just seven students met with a passion to write and the desire to inform the public of the three different types of news: things people need to know, what they have a right to know, and what they want to know. Our first paper covered all three!
The students - including me - had to do a lot of preparation before we could publish a newspaper. We had many writing projects and assignments, where we learned about how to write quickly, precisely, and most importantly, how to write well.
Then we had to decide on a name for the newspaper. After the students submitted dozens of names, we voted on the top four and the result was The Messenger. Following more writing exercises, each student picked a topic of his/her choice to submit into the newspaper. We had two weeks to gather information on the subject, write it and send it to our publisher.
I know for myself that I benefited from these past two months of reading, writing, and researching. Furthermore, it was very exciting to see the results of everyone’s hard work in our own newspaper.
I am very much looking forward to our next publication.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I have always had a fascination for Japanese art and its culture – excluding the religion. I do not know how or when this adoration came about, but I just go crazy – in a good way : ) – whenever I see anything that is Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and more currently, Korean. I have no idea how I got so interested in Asian things; I know it did not come from my parents and I do not have Asian relatives much to my disappointment.
A couple years of ago, much to my amazement, awe, and sheer ecstatic-ness, my mom got me a Japanese kimono. Unfortunately, it is either incomplete, or it is not an actual kimono, because all it has is a sash to tie the kimono together. Anyway, I had never been quite sure for what exact purpose to use it - I could use for a production of the Mikado and be Yum-Yum, but I totally do not have a soprano type voice.
Later, I acquired a black wig. It is not very attractive. The style is cropped short, layered, and has huge ghastly bangs. I was definitely not sure what to use that for, either.
Therefore, they both just sat in my room for a couple years.
I then got a 007 game for my 15th birthday, in which the game was set in Japan, and obviously, I got tons of screenshots. I pondered and pondered of what purpose to use them, until a couple of weeks ago, I had a bright idea. I took the wig, pinned the hair back, put a flower in it, put on socks, flip-flops, and my kimono, borrowed my mom’s digital camera, and took many pictures.
Editing my face on my computer by putting makeup on my face, I then added myself into different screenshots I took of the 007 game.
After years of wanting to be Japanese, I finally got my wish. : )
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David.
Behold, I have given him [for] a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Where There's Life, There's Hope (Part 2)
"Is this okay?" the nurse looked at me cautiously, knowing my medical history. "I can give you a referral for a doctor in the city." What was she saying to me? Is she offering to set up an abortion for my baby? I have a baby?! My mind was racing and immediately I was filled with joy indescribable, and a little fear. "I'm going to have a baby!" my soul cried out on the inside, while a smile formed on my face. The nurse was concerned, and tried to gently remind me of my diabetes and how hard a pregnancy would be with it. All I could think about was this tiny baby growing inside. I had an immediate reassurance in my heart that God was going to take care of me and the baby, regardless of whether I had a husband or not, like the pastor had told me. "I'm going to keep my baby," I told the nurse with a smile.
"I'm going to have a baby!" my soul cried out on the
inside, while a smile formed on my face.
After I left the appointment I started praying fervently to know what to do next. I needed to tell my boyfriend, so I called him and we met at his apartment. I told him the news and also told him I was trusting God to take care of me and that I wasn't pressuring him to marry me. He immediately told me he wanted to marry me and we got married in the Fall of that year.
As I read more of the Bible I was filled with a sense of responsibility to protect the life of my child, and that meant to stop hurting my body with the eating disorder I struggled with. As soon as I read a verse in the book of 1st Corinthians, I immediately had no desire to hurt my body, and especially my baby's body. The pregnancy was considered high-risk with the diabetes and I ended up in the hospital a couple of times for low-blood sugars as well as pre-eclampsia, and our son was born at around 37 weeks. He was beautiful and healthy with strong lungs. He just was a little guy, weighing in at only 2 1/2 pounds. It took him over 40 days to gain 2 pounds in the NICU, but was the cutest baby I had ever seen. God had protected my baby from any serious complications, despite all the medical issues I had dealt with during the pregnancy. My son is now 20 years old and is serving in the military.
My hope is that if some woman who is considering an abortion because she thinks it will be too difficult to handle, or she's too afraid of raising a child alone or is just not aware of the facts of the baby's humanity in the womb, that she would hear this account of my hope in the midst of a desperate situation and decide to carry her baby to term. There is hope for those who feel afraid and alone. You are not alone; there is help and hope for you and your baby.
If you or someone you know is pregnant and considering abortion and needs help, please visit the Pregnancy Resource Center in your local area.
Resources for information and help:
Stand Up Girl
Information and Support
Why Pro-Life? (Randy Alcorn)
Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
Monday, September 04, 2006
Where There's Life, There's Hope
"You're not only pregnant, you're about 3 months along," the county health nurse told me as I sat in the exam room, not fully comprehending what she told me. I was 19-years-old, in a job that barely paid enough to live on, and I had just broken up with my boyfriend. These things were only compounded by the fact that I had insulin-dependent diabetes and an eating disorder that I had struggled with for years. This was my second pregnancy test in the last 3 months. I had taken one that showed negative at the same clinic just about 3 months earlier, but had missed my cycles all those months. Something had definitely changed in my life since then and I knew in my heart God had His Hand in the midst of all those details.
Before I had taken the negative pregnancy test 3 months earlier, my boyfriend and I discussed what we should do if it turned up positive and he suggested that we should go to the city and have an abortion. My heart sank then, and I just felt that he didn't love me enough to marry me and raise a child together. I agreed, very sadly, though I had never formed an opinion on abortion before. Of course a pregnancy meant a baby, but the actual implications of "aborting" a pregnancy never entered my mind as being equal to "killing a baby."
My boyfriend and I were invited to attend a small rural church with one of his co-workers. When Sunday came, he was unable to attend and encouraged me to go. When I got there I was greeted by silver-haired men and women who genuinely took an interest in me and the following Sunday I brought my boyfriend with me. There, we learned the Bible, struggled with our sin and met with the pastor who began teaching us the Bible. I wanted to be married and raise a family, but my boyfriend was not ready yet. So, during those 3 months our relationship became more and more strained, we broke up and eventually I moved out and got my own small apartment. My pastor encouraged me to place my faith in Jesus Christ and that God would care for my needs, like a husband. I cried out to God and knew that I needed Him to help me in every aspect of my life. I started trusting Him the day my boyfriend and I broke up. Little did I know the times of trusting God were just beginning.
If you or someone you know is pregnant and considering abortion and needs help, please visit the Pregnancy Resource Center
Coming up: Why Pro Life Part IV
Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
Friday, September 01, 2006
Using incredible sources of information, including abortionists’ own words, he reveals the significance of human life and how it begins at conception. The italicized parts are from his book:
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated, “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood…any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life.”
He explains how a Fetus is a human being and how that human being is not a part of his mother’s body. Like how a car parked in the garage doesn’t mean that it’s a part of the garage. This illustration is so simple to understand, yet so many women (and men) are blinded to this fact.
For example, since many people think that a Fetus is a part of the woman’s body, why would they destroy it? Why would they eliminate a part of their body?
Pro-choice advocates argue,
“Every woman has the right to choose what she does with her own body.”
Ironically, the choice of abortion assures that at least 650,000 females in the U.S. each year don’t have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. (That number is roughly half of aborted children, the other half being males.) A female killed by abortion no longer has a life, a choice, or a body to exercise control over.
More girls than boys are now being killed by abortion [because of sex-selected abortions]. To kill an unborn female is to kill a young woman. There can be no equal rights for all women until there are equal rights for unborn women.
Mr. Alcorn wrote,
Peter Singer, the Princeton ethics professor, wrote,
“The life of a fetus is of no greater value than the life of a nonhuman animal at a similar level of rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, ect.”
(… he also believes there’s a moral justification for killing the elderly.)
I was astounded when I read this. I thought,
“He believes it is right to murder a human being just because he or she hasn’t yet reached a certain level of development? And he’s an ethics professor?”
Then that would mean that it’s all right for an eight year-old to be murdered just because he hasn’t reached the level of development as the eighteen year-old standing next to him.
Does abortion harm a woman’s physical and mental health? I was somewhat surprised to learn that yes, it most definitely does.
In her testimony before a Senate subcommittee in 2004, Dr. Elizabeth Shadigan testified that “abortion increases rates of breast cancer, placenta previa, preterm births, and maternal suicide… Statistically, all types of deaths are higher with women who have induced abortions.
If that is the case, why don’t abortionists inform women of the risks of abortion? Why do they think that abortion is the only way?
In surveys of women who experienced post abortion complications:
1. Over 90 percent said they weren’t given enough information to make an informed choice.
2. Over 80 percent said it was very unlikely they would have aborted if they had not been so strongly encouraged to abort by others, including their abortion counselors.
3. Eighty-three percent said they would have carried to term if they had received support from boyfriends, families, or other important people in their lives.
Every woman deserves better than abortion.
Coming up: Why Pro Life? Part III
Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
“It’s funny how when a baby is wanted it’s called a baby, but when it’s unwanted it’s called a Fetus.”
When people say the word baby, they have acknowledged that human life. When they say Fetus, they deny that human life and regard it as just a part of the woman, like an organ. Did you know that the word Fetus is a Latin word variously translated “offspring”, “young one”, or “little child”? So if pro-abortionists use the term Fetus, why haven’t they acknowledged that human life?
I have been raised in a Christian home. Both my dad and my mom are pro-life and I have always been pro-life. I have always known that abortion is aborting a human life for someone else’s convenience.
1. To fail, cease, or stop at an early or premature stage.
2. To put down or quell in the early stages.
3. To cause to cease or end at an early or premature stage.
4. To develop incompletely; remain in a rudimentary or undeveloped state.
5. To cause to bring forth (a fetus) from the uterus before the fetus is viable.
Random House Webster’s Unabridged Talking Dictionary
1. To cause or to end prematurely
2. To cause abortion of.
Oxford American Dictionary
Last year I went through a science book that listed and explained some abortion procedures. As I read each procedure, I was so horrified, disgusted, and so deeply saddened, I wept. But that was just a glimpse at the world of abortion. The book, Why Pro Life? by Randy Alcorn opened my eyes even more on abortion not only in the scientific way, but the spiritual way as well.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
My name is Elizabeth and I am almost 17 years old. Lasso the Moon refers to a quote from It’s A Wonderful Life. George Bailey offered to lasso the moon for Mary; the moon representing her hopes and dreams and God-given desires.
Here I express my hopes, dreams, desires, aspirations, and my overall longing to reaching heavenward. I press on in Christ as he matures me into the woman He has ordained me to be before the foundation of the world.
My mom gave me a little book of proverbs and scriptures today. Here are a few I found very inspiring:
Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many –
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man
that trusteth in him.
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, and counting your
blessings before they’ve hatched.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming
interested in other people than you can in two years by trying
to get people interested in you.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of
thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth
forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man,
and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he
will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Proverbs 9:8, 9
He who has not tasted bitter does not know what sweet is.
We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were
only joy in the world.
When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has
one good reason for letting it alone.
Sir Walter Scott