My first “official” vacation of my life began in May, when my best friend, Hannah P. invited me to go with her and her family to a few of Oregon’s beaches. After traveling on a few-hours-long road trip, among other things, we stopped and visited the Tillamook cheese factory where we got some of the famous Tillamook ice-cream, which I thought was quite a treat. We then continued on our trip and stayed at three different time-shares where we experienced three different beaches; one of which was Cannon Beach (while we were driving through a small neighborhood in the Cannon Beach area, we saw several doe just standing in twos and threes munching grass and shrubbery!).
At whichever beach we would be staying, Hannah and I would walk the beaches several times daily. There we would comb the sands, looking for shells and unique rocks while we would let the waves chase us as we would laugh and giggle hysterically.
As I would watch the beautiful and powerful ocean, I would be in awe at God’s glory shining through His creation, and I would think how wonderful God was (and is) that He made all of it and gave it to us, His creation. The beautifulness of it all would make me want to cry with joy.
Another highlight in May was that Mother’s Day. My Dad had suggested to Christopher and me to gather pictures from photo albums of Michael and us when we were young, scan them onto a computer, and create a slideshow as a gift for our Mom. Scavenging through several photo albums and pictures on our computers, we gathered 69 photos and put them together into a delightful slideshow which was accompanied by some audios of our favorite movie quotes that went perfectly with some of the cutest and funniest pictures. Our Mom enjoyed it immensely.
One of the pictures featured in the slideshow
On June 2nd, I had the privilege and pleasure to be in On Your Toes Studios Ballet recital “The Promise” where I was blessed to play the lead role, Josie. The recital had been probably the most creative recital the studio had seen: it demonstrated some of the wonderful usages of dancers with props, and creative, yet simple sets all accompanied by imaginative and beautiful choreography and dancers.
One of my favorite pictures of the recital taken by a friend
Also in June was my friend Lu'o'ng Linh's birthday and goodbye party (she was an exchange student from Vietnam, and she went by the name of Vivian). I had gotten to know her that past school year and we became friends. On June 10th, she hosted a birthday and goodbye party, because she was going to go back to Vietnam and her birthday was that week. Two of her Vietnamese friends were there whose names were Teresa and [oo-E-en] (I have no idea how to spell her name!).
We all immensely enjoyed playing Slap Jack together, and we were so hyperactive, that we would laugh and scream in hysterics almost the entire time (at least I know I did!)! We ate cake and ice-cream and we all gave gifts to Linh. I am so thankful that she has come back to Oregon and will remain here for a full year!
[oo-E-en], Teresa, Lu'o'ng Linh, and me (wearing a Vietnamese bracelet/hair-band I got from Linh :) )
On June 29th, I went over to Joelle L.’s house for a sleepover, and the next day, she and several of her friends and I went to Mount Tabor in Portland where we filmed portions of Amber C.’s medieval-fiction novel, “Chronicles”. All prepared with costumes and props, we had a wonderful time having fun and deciding what to do (we only filmed two shots in the few hours we were there). Later, we came back to Joelle’s house and shot a part of a scene that had many lines spoken by my character, Evelyn. After several takes and bloopers on my part, we finally finished part of the scene. Afterwards, when we all sat down and watched what we filmed, almost everyone commented on my acting abilities and I was indeed very pleased and humble.
Joelle took this picture of me while I was eating a “Barbossa Apple”
In July, A Friend invited me to go to the Lost Lake resort in Oregon, with her, her sisters, and three of her friends. There we had fun and delightful fellowship by canoeing, craw-dad catching, swimming, picking mulberries, and hiking. My most favorite of the activities was the canoeing, for those were the first times I had ever gone canoeing – not to mention the first times in boats!
As we would canoe across the vast lake, sometimes in the morning when mist and fog covered the lake and the treetops, I would sit and watch the fish jumping and the clouds slowly swirling around Mount Hood. The lake was so big, and Mount Hood was so enormous and beautiful! It made me realize how big Oregon really was. And if Oregon was big, the world was so much bigger than I had ever imagined! It once again brought me to God in awe and thankfulness.
Mount Hood from the view of the Lost Lake resort
One day in the beginning of August, while visiting A Friend’s home, she told me something very interesting. She informed me that my room had nothing that glorified God in it. My room was dripping with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings related items which consisted of posters, bedding, toys, and books. She encouraged me that if I replaced them with God glorifying items, it would ultimately glorify God. At first I could not imagine taking down and putting away all of my items I had poured my money, time, and imagination into. However, as I thought about it, I realized it would be better for me in the end, because in fact I had recently begun to realize that I had made Star Wars and Lord of the Rings my idols and I almost constantly thought about them. I know that sounds childish for a seventeen year-old, but that’s the truth.
A few days later, I put away all of my Star Wars and Lord of the Rings items, and it made me feel so much better! It felt like I had a brand new start (the fact that it made my room looked bigger was pretty neat, as well)! I am looking forward to redecorating my room this upcoming year with God-glorifying items.
On August 19th, my oldest brother Michael came home from Army Airborne School. It was so wonderful to have him back! We spent a lot of time with him and his girlfriend, Nichole.
On August 23rd, my family (accompanied with Michael and Nichole) all traveled to my Grandmother’s house in Astoria to celebrate her seventy-fifth birthday. Several other family members were there as well. We had a lot of fun and my Grandmother was completely surprised because she did not know that we all had the party planned.
On the 25th, while still in Astoria, my family, including Michael and Nichole and an Aunt and Uncle, went to the Astoria Column where we climbed the stairs to the top. After enjoying the sights and views, Michael dropped to one knee and asked Nichole to be his wife. She accepted.
Michael left on the first of September to go to Oahu, Hawaii, where he will be stationed for two years. He and Nichole plan to have their wedding in the December Christmas break of this year if Michael is not transferred to Iraq. If he does get transferred, they will have to have the wedding after his two years of enlistment is up.
On our way to the airport: Michael, Me, Nichole, and Christopher
Thank you for letting me share the highlights of my summer of 2007 with you. It was a very good summer filled with sweet fellowship and memories.