Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Abby and Zeke are in Fine Linen Drama's production of "The Pirates of Penzance," and have been rehearsing every Saturday (and some Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays too!) for the past few months.

Much to my consternation, at all of the past few rehearsals, there have been 2-7 people carrying around their very own cameras, snapping shots of whatever they please - you'd think that the era of digital cameras had just dawned or something! Now, I'm not going to lie, this makes me quite frustrated - I miss the theater days when you could wear whatever you wanted, not fix your hair or makeup, and not expect to see your photos all over facebook and the blog world the next morning (or even that same evening, depending on who it is that is taking the pictures).

Okay, I was just teasing. I love the fact that people take photos of the rehearsals - especially since I am much too lazy to bring my own camera and snap a few shots. However, I wasn't teasing when I said that there are a lot of people taking pictures. And, because of our modern-day social networks, namely facebook and blogs, these photos are available for "stealing" whenever I would wish.

But (and here comes both the confession, and the perfectionist part), I cannot for the life of me, bring myself to sort through the photos and post any! Why, you might ask? Several reasons:

1. There are simply too many. I think I could probably find about 20 different close-ups of Nathan Brown singing on stage, taken by 3 -4 different photographers. Now don't get me wrong - I have nothing against looking at Nathan Brown (he makes a rather dashing Frederic, in my humble opinion), but in my perfectionist world, I could not simply pick the first one I spotted. Rather, I would feel compelled to compare each of these photos, and pick only my very favorite one to post on my blog. Can you imagine, going through that process with each and every one of the lead roles, as well as each scene!? Ahhh!

2. Chronological order is also incredibly important to me. So is organization in general. Umm. . .like incredibly important. Like. . . I wouldn't ever, ever imagine posting random pictures from the scenes if those photos weren't organized by scene, in the order in which they happen. This takes time, and patience, especially because it is sometimes hard to determine which scene photo comes from. I get a headache even thinking about it.

3. Then there is the fact that, after the performances, we will have so many more pictures. . . and guess what - these are going to be of exactly the same people, the same songs, and the same scenes. However . . . the actors and actresses will be in costume, with props. The set will be beautifully painted and the lights will be working as fully intended. So why take the time to sort through rehearsal pictures, when I can wait and do the same thing, but have the result be much more aesthetically pleasing?

4. But the first, primary, and most incredibly compelling reason - I'm lazy. :D

Check out the Nisbetts' blog, The Riefers' blog, and Ashley's blog if you want a sampling of the photos that are out there. I'm going to work on compiling and posting sometime in the near future, once I conquer my laziness.

Your favorite perfectionist,

Purpose or Problems

"You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, 'God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.'"

God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.
He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
-Rick Warren, as interviewed by Paul Bradshaw

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Return

Guess who dropped by my room again? My most favoritest ever night-time visitors. . . yep, you guessed it. Bed bugs. I'm not even going to try to be inspirational about them this year, since I am now scratching all over, in addition to already being quite sick, and generally unwell. God has an interesting sense of humor, but I call this heaping insult upon injury. Just go away, you nasty little bugs!

Thankfully we still have some of the bug-zapping powder we used to get rid of them last year. However, I am planning to sleep in the couch for the next several nights, just in case.



Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Been Over a Year!

Hello everyone,

Before I begin, I must apologize for the lack of pictures on my blog lately. Our camera was out of comission for several weeks, and I got out of the habit of taking/uploading pictures of our family. Mum, however, has recently posted some on her blog - so if you are needed a picture fix, check that out.

Today is the first day in many weeks when I have had nothing on my schedule, aside from babysitting the kids. I thought I would take advantage of this to catch up on my blog, before I decided that I actually didn't want to. ;) So, I apologize for the inconvenience, but if you want to know how I'm doing, ask my mother. Or e-mail me.

Before I go enjoy my day, I thought I would note the fact that I have been blogging for a year now! (a year and two days actually) And now I must go care for the sick Libeth who is sprawled over my lap.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blogs, Blogs, They're Everywhere!

Blogging seems to be a growing trend among nearly everyone I know. This idea of sharing one's thoughts and life through writing is certainly not a new one, although having one's writing become available for the world to see might be. :) I'm reading selections from an anthology of women's literature over spring break, and have enjoyed excerpts from many "spiritual diaries" of women of the past. They scratched out their ideas and experiences on parchment, with quill pens - we sit in front of a computer screen, and hit square-ish buttons with our fingers - but either way, the opportunity to share of oneself through writing in such a way is a gift that we ought not squander. So let me give you a little tidbit about some new blogs out there, and those ones that I enjoy reading!

The Lord is my Rock - Abby: I just helped her set this up the other night, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with it. It's hard to handle the fact that she is becoming so grown up and independent, but I must realize that she is 14 years old, and quite the young lady. Sigh.

Missouri Halls Love Company! - Mum, for our Family: Although she doesn't update nearly as often as she'd like, this simply proves what a wonderful mother she is, and how hard at work she stays here at home! Her recent post on Button-Holes is just a small window into the wisdom that we get to experience here at home every day. :)

AmandaBeth Online: This is a "fashion" blog that I just love! The author is so refreshing and honest in her writing style, and I love the opportunity to see the latest fashions, without having to weed through indecent photographs, and inappropriate styles. Anytime I see other young women who seem to stand beside me on their views, it is such an encouragement and inspiration!

Strength Through Weakness - Ashley's Blog: My dear friend Ashley - her thoughts, and photos from her life. I mostly just love this blog because of the fact that she is the author. <3

The Straight and Narrow Way - The Riefer Family: Megan mostly updates this, with inspirational quotes, song lyrics, and verses, as well as pictures (sometimes quite humorous ones!) of their family.

Nisbett Family News: I love going to this blog. Whether or not you actually know their family, many of the photos and posts can be appreciated anyways, for their humor, insight, and creativity. They also have links to several other great blogs.

Quakflock - The Quakkelaar Family: This family is truly amazing! While their blog may not be meaningful to you if you don't actually know them, the way they, as a family, serve others is just incredible. I love seeing the pictures they post - very typical of the fun, and craziness, us home school families experience on a day-to-day basis.

Song in My Heart, and Gentlewood Cottage - Rachel Eldredge, and Candace Jacobson, respectively: I can't claim to know either of these ladies very well, but I just love visiting their blogs. They are both such sweet examples of what Godly young wives and mothers should be. Both are delightfully domestic, and reading their posts really inspires me as I look ahead to being in that same position of life someday.

Girly Do's by Jenn: Although this blog has hairstyles primarily designed for younger girls, I've found several different ones that I love to try out on Abby. Libeth is not yet to the stage when she can appreciate cute hairstyles, although she generally does a good job of sitting still when I do want to braid her hair. But Abby is eternally patient, and has a very, very "tough head." The different braid styles on this blog are ones I especially like.

China - Annie Hall: My nearest and dearest cousin (shhh, don't tell the others that you're my favorite!) is in China for 5 months, studying abroad! She has a great sense of humor (don't all Halls?), and I really reading about the challenges and new experiences that she is facing.

Why Hello There - Jenna Light: Jenna is an amazing girl, and I am always thrilled when my dashboard shows that her blog has been updated! Her quirky sense of humor always, always leaves me with a huge smile on my face. This is the blog to go to for a laugh, especially on those days when it seems like nothing could cheer you up. ;)

Last, but certainly not least (and if you are still reading this post, hurray for you!), I have a new blog. The other night, Dad and I set up a new one, titled "The Becky and Dad Show". It shares a bit about the purpose and history of it on the blog itself, but I thought I'd give it a little advertising on here as well. For a long time, Dad and I have really enjoyed talking about, discussing, and (at times) debating the different things we think and believe. Our discussion often get incredibly interesting, and we've always felt that maybe, just maybe, other fathers and daughters (and maybe even just parents and teens in general) could benefit from this open relationship that we have. So, our new blog is an attempt at that. :) I hope you can take a minute to visit it, and keep up to date on our talks. Dad and I were discussing how people hear about, or discover blogs. . . we didn't come up with any brilliant ideas, aside from me posting on my blog. . . idk. This blogging world is certainly an interesting one!

And a random picture, for all you visual people who have stuck with the post for this long. :D

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bonfire - Halls House - Be There!

It has been ever so long since we've had a bonfire out here! I suppose winter does put a damper on that sort of thing. So without further ado, inviting all friends of the Hall family to an incredibly informal bonfire this Friday night! Umm. . . yes, that is tomorrow. Hence the "incredibly informal" title.

You and your family are welcome to join us for an evening of simple fun and fellowship. The weather seems to promise to stay clear, dry, and satisfyingly chilly. We shall roast marshmallows, and those who insist upon it may ruin them by coupling them with chocolate. *shudder of horror* A flashlight will be present for "redneck star-gazing," and the evening shall be as fun as the guests decide to make it. :)

What: Bonfire
When: Friday, March 20th
Time: 7pm - ? as late as people can stay, and my parents will let us
(midnight seems to be a typical kick-out time)
Where: The Halls' Home
10777 CR 5100
To Bring: Yourself and any family members who would like to come
(although, we won't object if you leave the annoying ones at home)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Inquiry

Everyone knows what Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream is, right?
My question is:
Is it vanilla ice cream, with chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough (cookie dough that would make chocolate chip cookies, if baked) in it?
Is it chocolate chip ice cream, with chunks of plain cookie dough in it?
both. . . ?
Let me know if you figure this out. I've been dying of curiousity ever since 12:17 this morning.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hungry, Broken

Hungry, I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart
Is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know
Your touch restores my life

So I wait for You
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart
Is living for

Thursday, March 12, 2009

“I am not merry, but I do beguile the thing I am by seeming otherwise.”
-Desdemona, in
"Othello: the Moor of Venice" (II, i, 124-125)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ummm - Gross

You know you're part of a home school family when. . .

So I searching for a disc in the office just now, and when I opened one of the file drawers, I smelled a strange smell. Lo and behold, it was a fetal pig - the one that I never got around to dissecting when I took Anatomy. Last year. Anyone want to come over and help me do it this week?

Still haven't found that disc. . .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Completed as Promised

Road Construction. Those simple two words can invoke so many memories, good and bad, among nearly everyone - but who can appreciate them more than families who attempt to go on long summer vacations? My first experience with road construction was when I had my driver's permit. I had never driven on the interstate (freeway, for you Californians) before, and Dad decided that Kansas would be a good/easy place to start. Well, is was on our weekend trip to Denver (and that in and of itself is another story - a weekend trip that includes 28 hrs. of driving. . . crazy idea, don't try it) and we drove through the night to maximize our daylight hours there. I had the 1-3 am shift. Now, logically, this would mean that my first time on the interstate would be easier - less traffic in the middle of the night, right? Not so - about 5 minutes down the road, we start seeing signs for road construction. Soon, the our lane crossed the median and I had to drive for over 2 hours with head-on traffic, mostly semi-trucks, and at interstate-speeds. This was also my first night driving experience. . . headlights just complicate things. Oh, and did I mention that I was driving our 12 passenger van? With the entire family in it?

That was stressful. I'm sure you yourself have many trying and/or funny situations of when you have had to deal with road construction. It slows everything down. You often feel like you're waiting hours and hours, and it seems especially pointless if it's for a road that you hardly ever drive on, and don't really care if they repave. Or, maybe it seems to you as though the pavement is just fine - why redo something that already works?

On a trip to Jefferson City last month, I saw a sign for road construction along Highway 63. The sign said something about Adding Lanes during the summer of 2008. In a long, diagonal slant across the sign was an orange strip with black writing. It blodly read "Completed as Promised." What an encouraging thing, to know that the work had been finished, and in the timing that had been originally planned! Although we didn't appreciate the construction period of things, we definitely noticed how nice the extra passing lanes were, and how much faster *cough* I mean safer, we were able to drive on the new, smooth pavement.

Today is the one month anniversary of the passing of a dear friend, Lisa Pettijohn. She fought cancer valiantly for 4 years, and left behind a loving husband, and 5 children. So many would view this as a tragedy, and in some ways, it is. It hardly seems right, or fair, that one so young would have to leave her family, who needed and adored her so much. That she, who had such a powerful testimony for Christ, should be taken to Him, and be no longer able to share His love in this world.
And yet, as we were reminded over and over again at the service that celebrated her life, we can mostly find overwhelming peace and joy through her passing away. Mrs. Pettijohn was like Highway 63 - and from the moment she accepted the Father's free gift of grace, He began His construction. He didn't post any signs for her, or her family and friends, giving a time-table for what He planned to do. But as the Holy Spirit dwelt in her heart and she began to live that new life He called her too, the bumps in the pavement began to be smoothed. Yes, there were undoubtedly days when those on the road grew cranky, when the storms of life threatened to slow down the work, and when, for undetermined reasons, progress wasn't made as intended.

However, this February 7th, 2009, God stamped the sign of Lisa's life with a huge, orange "Completed as Promised" sticker. No more bumpy roads - no more narrow lanes - no more potholes - no more delays. The transformation He had begun in her here on earth was fully realized as she entered the throne room of our Savior, and he said to her, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." We too can take hope in this promise. We do not know the day, nor the hour that He shall take us home - but we have confidence that He will one day finish His work with us here on earth, and we shall join Lisa and the other saints in dancing joyously before our Father, our Bridegroom, our Friend. As He put it in Revelation 21 and 22:

. . . I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new! To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Psalm 103

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins
and heals your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies you desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
not will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve,
or repay us according to our iniquites.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. . .
Praise the LORD, O my soul!

vs. 1-5, 8-13

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Packing List

*Update - I've decided to call this my "Packing List" . . . it's all the things I want to pack into my life before moving. :)

Okay, show of hands: who has heard of a "bucket list?" You know - all those things you want to do before you "kick the bucket." It's a lovely idea (eww, no it isn't! Who likes thinking about death?), but since I have no intention of kicking the bucket anytime soon, I thought I would modify it to fit where I am in life. This is my "What I want to/need to/really ought to do Before I Move Out in August" list. (Yup, still working on the name. . . suggestions are welcome)

I started thinking about this last week, when it came to mind that I have never gone on a backpacking trip with Dad. When we went camping as a family (back in the "pre-6 kids" days), Dad would always talk about how, when we were old enough, he would take us backpacking. Generally, he addressed himself to Andy, but I always envisioned myself tagging along as well. After all, with both Dad and Andy along, I'd hardly have to carry anything! ;) So, now that I am "old enough," it's something I'd really like to do. But I know it won't happen if I don't do it before I leave! So this is at the top of my list. Well actually, second on the list.

But yes, this got me thinking and wondering whether there were any other things I need to try or do before moving! I don't want to have regrets, and always wish I'd done this or that while I was still under my parents' roof. I also imagine there are things every kid should do or learn before they move out . . .

So your job is to give me suggestions!
they can be general, "every kid should do this", kind of things. . .
they can be things that you've always wanted to do with me, that might be hard to manage after I move away . . .
they can be goofy, "oh, I've always wanted to see Becky try to do this! " type of things . . .
they can be fun things that are unique to Rolla, Missouri, or my friends here in Rolla. . .
they can be specific to me (Becky, I really think this is an area of life you need to work on, or a skill you need to learn as a young lady, from your parents, before you move out on your own.).

If it's something terribly personal (such as, "Becky - you need to learn to learn to brush your teeth before you move out, because you have terrible breath!"), or something that should stay a secret (such as, "You definitely need to smash a pie in Colin's face before you move!), then you can e-mail me - beckyboo27@embarqmail.com Otherwise, go ahead and comment on this list, anytime you think of something new!

Here is what I have so far. . .

2. Backpacking trip with Dad (and Andy if he's available)
3. Take on the Shed as a project - make it a great hang out spot for teens, that Abby and Zeke can use for entertaining through out their high school years. Decorate, and fix it up. . . still working on brainstorming exact ideas.
4. Take an day hike/picnic to Bray's Lake, in the woods behind our house, with a group of teens and/or kids - spend some time exploring and getting lost
5. Visit Elephant Rocks and Johnson's Shut-Ins, possibly with several other home school families (can't you just see the caravan of 15 passenger vans?)
6. Make it to North Dakota (we'll see. . .)
7. Figure out Finances for the coming years, with Mum's help
8. Learn how to do a cartwheel
9. Complete the Growing Kids God's Way parenting video series with Mum and Dad
10. Write a devotion book - Alida
11. Figure out lesson plans for Libeth's schooling next year
12. (These two aren't "musts" - just trips I'd like to take this summer!) Visit Colorado with Andy, to see our good friend Hannah - Go with Andy, Abby, Zeke, and a van-full of teens to St. Paul for a week (road trip!!)
13. Make memorizing Scripture a habit
14. Have a Girls' Shopping Day with Abby
15. Have many, many Gym Nights, Bonfires, Movie Nights (co-ed in the shed!), Volleyball at the Park Nights, etc.
16. Go on a Float trip with family and/or friends
17. Go to the Zoo in St. Louis with friends
18. Finish an Ecuador Scrapbook
19. Go to a concert with Andy, Zephan, Colin, or any other of my musical inspirations
20. Fly a kite successfully (yeah, I've never done this) - Alida and Sonja
21. Read "So Much More" - Candi
22. Complete a game of Monopoly with Zeke - Zeke (go figure)
23. Make and freeze tubs of cookie dough, for my family to use, and to bless others with (Zeke said, "We'll have to ration them. . .")
24. Learn how to drive a stick-shift
25. Shoot a gun (maybe - I haven't decided if I'll actually go through with this one or not)
26. Dissect the fetal pig that I still have left from senior year Anatomy
27. Scientifically determine whether cookie dough ice cream has chunks of plain, or chocolate chip cookie dough in it, preferably with friends
28. Touch a cow - the ante has been upped. I now have to kiss a cow!
29. Have my picture taken with Alida
30. Collect eggs on my own
31. Take a tour of the MS&T campus
32. Watch Napolean Dynamite with Ashley and "the guys"
33. Run out of Gas
34. Get a flat tire

I'll look forward to your ideas, and keep you posted when I accomplish any of this things! (Or maybe I should say if I accomplish any of these things. . . )

Becky Boo

Photo, compliments of Mark