Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Tis the season for gingerbread

(My younger brother eating our completed gingerbread house - 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

Journey to Bethlehem

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the "Journey to Bethlehem" in Kelos, WA. It was a wonderful reenactment and I just had to write about it. :)


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 Join The Modesty Survey

"Join other Christian young men and women in’s new and exciting project: The Modesty Survey. The Modesty Survey allows any girl to submit anonymous, modesty-related questions to Christian guys and to receive (multiple) anonymous replies. It’s the discussion you’ve always wanted to have."


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 Messenger's 2nd Publication!

We have published the second publication of The Messenger!

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.

Eighteen-year-old Elected Mayor of Union

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.''