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Friday, November 16, 2012

Three Years

Three years.
Three years is a long time, and three years is a short time.  So many, many things can change in the span of three years.
The very essence of who a person is.  
And yet at the same time, you blink and three years have past like blur.  Life is funny like that.

This particular time of the year means a lot to me, on many different levels.
It's November.
The beginning of my favorite of the Southern California seasons - cool and (if we're lucky) wet.  
The month of Thanksgiving.  
The month in which, three years ago, events occurred that changed my life.  
It's funny how day to day, you generally don't feel like you are changing, but when you look back over your life, you realize that who you were one. . . two. . . five. . . ten years ago would barely recognize the person you are today and you wonder how that happened.

The past week I have been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and reminiscing.  This last week marks my third year following the Lord.  Three years ago, I was a different person with different plans, goals and dreams.  I was walking

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reflections. . .

Life is full of seasons and changes.  Nothing stays the same.  People come and go from your life; they grow up and move on.  Physical, material things rot and fade away.  Everything in life will eventually be touched by the fingers of change; nothing and no one can escape.

The last few months have been a painful, scary and yet exciting time.  I've experienced so many changes and been thrown so many curveballs recently that at times I feel that if life doesn't slow down, I might suffocate.  In one day, my circumstances can change one, two or even three times.  But I guess that's what happens when you grow up.  You get to see and experience everything from the front lines, because mom and dad are no longer standing as a barrier between you and the "real world".

Here I am, sitting in my dorm room.  All grown up and on my own at a college a little less than three hours away from my hometown.  I've been here since August and now, for the first time in two months, I finally feel like I have a moment to breathe and just be.  As I sit and allow myself to simply exist, I am hit by the weight of all that has happened in the last few months.

I'm at college.  I don't think the reality of this fact has really hit me yet.  For as long as I can remember, college has been the distant dream.  Something I wanted, but doubted would happen.  I figured that by the time I had been out of high school for two years,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Almost A War Bride - Original Poem

I've been looking through my files and have been finding a lot of things that I wrote many years ago.  I decided to start playing around with them and then sharing them with the world at large to see what people think of them.  This is a poem I wrote when I was 14 or 15 and has not been changed at all from the original.

He wanted to marry before he left, but she was young.
Just 16.
 And the war wasn’t going to last. 
He begged and asked, but she remained steadfast. 
And so, resigned, he asked her to wait, 
 Wait for him to come home. 
To this she consented, so off he went, walking on the heels of fate. 
As he left, waving his hat, off to war
Her heart fell.
An unexplainable fear came upon her, she knew not what for.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Update on my life.

Since my last few posts have been pretty heavy philosophical ones, I thought today I would just post a quick blurb with an update on my life.
For all of you who have been praying I have a huge praise report for you, because right in time, God miraculously provided the money we needed in order not to lose our house this month.  Praise the Lord!  So now my dad is still looking for work and the rest of the family is pushing along with school and keeping up the house.  As for me, I'm still keeping incredibly busy with school and work.  I've gone from 2 cleaning jobs a week to 3 or 4 depending on the week, plus my weekend job at Penelope's, our local authentic tea parlor.
 On top of all that, I started a home based business back in January to help pay for college.  I am an independent distributer for a 50 year old health and nutrition company called Shaklee.  Shaklee is an amazing company, and they offer a variety of products including health supplements, weight management, skin care and cleaning products.  The best part is every single thing that we offer is natural, non-toxic and chemical free.  With Earth Day this month, now is a great time to start making choices that are healthier for both you and the planet, and with Shaklee, you can rest assured that you will be getting quality products that work well.
April is also a big month for me as I am trying to reach my first goal: to rank up within my first three months in order to make an extra bonus and increase my monthly commission by a significant amount.  If any of you are interested in learning more about my business or just purchasing something,  please feel free to contact me via my website or email.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mockingjay - The Hunger Games Book 3

I have so much to say about Mockingjay that I'm not quite sure where to start.  I have already shared some of my reservations or misgivings about this series in my post on The Hunger Games and I have raved about how much I liked Catching Fire.  So, what do I share about Mockingjay?  I supposed I shall start by summarizing and go from there.

***SPOILER ALERT*** In this post I am assuming 1) that you have already read these books and 2) that you have already read my previous posts on this series. If you haven't read the book, consider yourself warned, if you haven't read my previous posts, go here.

Mockingjay picks up a few days after Catching Fire ended.  Katniss is with her mom and sister in District 13, but she is still very distraught.  Peeta is in the hands of the Capitol.  The president of district 13 wants her to become the face of the rebellion, but Katniss is unsure if she supports it.  She doesn't like the Capitol, but the rebels did lie to her and leave Peeta in the arena to be captured.  That doesn't really endear them to her.  Then she sees Peeta on Capitol TV telling the rebels to stop fighting and give up.  Katniss knows that he is saying this because he is being forced to, but

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Catching Fire - The Hunger Games Book 2

So, building on my last post, today we shall be talking about book two of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire.  By far, this was my favorite book in the series.  I feel like the first one set the stage and the second one was the climax of everything and then the third.... well, we'll talk about that one later.  I'm going to focus on analyzing the story and talking about what I think about style, character development, etc.  I already spent a decent amount of time digging into the deeper meanings and such in my post on the first book.  If you haven't already, I highly suggest reading it before you jump into this one, as this one will build on the other a little bit.

***SPOILER ALERT*** I will be discussing the book as if I am talking to someone who has already read it, thus I might give away important plot points, so if you haven't read it yet, consider yourself warned.

Picking up right where the Hunger Games left off, with Peeta and Katniss returning home as victors, we watch as new drama and difficulties unfold for Katniss.  She and Peeta are barely speaking since he found out that her lovey-dovey act in the arena was just that - an act.  She and Gale rarely see each other since she still has to keep up the idea that she and Peeta are in love and Gale is now working in the coal mines.  In short, Katniss' life is now pretty miserable.  Before the hunger games, Gale was her

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games - Book

So, back in '10 I saw The Hunger Games at the library and put it on my list of books to read.  But I had about 20 other books on the list, so it was pretty far down on the bottom.  Then more and more people I know started reading it, and then I found out it was being made into a movie, so I figured I should probably bump it up a couple notches on the list so I would know what all these people are talking about. So I went and checked it out of the library, and spent all day one Wednesday reading it.  I couldn't put it down.

***SPOILER ALERT*** I will be discussing things that happen in the book that may give away certain plot points, so if you don't want to know, stop now.

The Hunger Games is a well written book and to be completely honest I enjoyed it very much, but it was also rather disturbing.  The government takes
a bunch of kids, throws them into an arena and has them fight to the death on television and the whole country is forced to watch.  If you've read the books or watched the movie, detach yourself from the fact that the books are very well written and interesting and that the movie was pretty faithful and well made and think about that premise for a minute.  A group of

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On a Personal Note....

I've sat down to my computer so many times in the last week to write, but every time I end up stopping, deleting whatever sentences I have come up with and going back to stalk my friends on facebook. Why? Well, quite simply because all I can think about right now is my family's crazy situation and what I can do to help, and that's kind of personal. And believe it or not, I'm kind of a private person. I have a hard time sharing my thoughts and feelings with my family, let alone write about them on a blog. Which is interesting, because I'm a writer. I don't think that I'm that good at talking (although others tell me I'm very articulate and communicate very clearly), but give me a piece of paper and a pencil and out flows everything I am thinking. Sometimes it takes the shape of a poem or a story, a form that someone could read and not realize that what I wrote is actually my heart. They would just think that it was a good story or emotional poem. I like that. It makes me feel safe.
I think that's what it boils down to for me. Feeling safe. For some reason I have it in my head that showing emotion is weakness. That admitting your need for help is weakness. And I am a strong person. I am not weak. But I've had to learn over the last two years that letting go and admitting my insufficiency is strength. For I am made perfect in weakness, and when I let go and let God take over, He fills me with His strength.
I constantly need to be reminded of this. I'm the oldest of ten children; I still live at home; my dad has been unemployed for eight months and we are very close to losing our home. And there is nothing that any of us can do. My dad is pounding the pavement every day searching for a job. Any job. My mom takes care of the house and the rest of the kids and I am a full time student who has to study, but also takes advantage of every opportunity to make some money by house cleaning, babysitting, house sitting, cat sitting, or working my home based business.
What is there left to say or do? Nothing. All we can do is wait and pray. I know God has a plan. I know He is leading us down a road and that He knows where it leads. But it feels like He has led us into a tunnel that is a thousand miles long with no lights. And as of yet, I cannot see the light at the end that means we are almost out of the tunnel. I feel like we are still in the middle and the train has broken down.
I know that this tunnel will end. We are going through a hard time right now, but I also know things could be much worse. We aren't kicked out onto the street yet; we have more than enough food; we have clothes, clean water and electricity.
So now that you know what I'm going through, you'll probably want to be kept up to date on how things go, so stick around and I'll keep you along as we go on this crazy ride into the unknown.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's day.  The day when the Irish gather together and celebrate their heritage and a day that those who are not Irish use as a socially acceptable day to party it up with lots of dancing and beer.  Well, I supposed the Irish do that too, but at least we are kind of known for our beer.  Anyway, St. Patrick's day is a day when everyone, regardless of their background wears a little bit o' green and takes a moment to give a nod to the wee folk of Irish legend.  But do most people even know who St. Patrick was, or why we celebrate him?
I didn't think so.
St. Patrick was the first Christian missionary to Ireland.  He was first brought to Ireland from England as a slave by pirates.  He spent several years as a slave, during which time he learned the language and customs of Ireland.  After a time he escaped back to England where he studied and became a priest.  One would think that after being forced to spend so many years as a slave in a foreign country, one would never want to go back.  But that was no the case with Patrick.  He felt God tugging on his heart, calling him back to Ireland.  Back then, Ireland was a very dark place.  They had never heard of God, Jesus or His word.  The Druids and their cultish magic ruled the land, and they did not take kindly to people who questioned them.  Patrick felt called to go back, regardless of the dangers.  So he did and to this day, a very large percentage of the Irish population subscribe to either Catholicism or Christianity.
After Patrick's death, the Catholic church declared him a saint and the Irish people dedicated the day of his death as a day they would take time to remember and be thankful for the man that brought them God's message of hope and forgiveness.  Over the years, like so many of the Christian holidays and festivals, St. Patrick's day turned into little more than an excuse to gather together, eat, drink and make merry.  But this year, why don't we take a moment, before we dive into our corned beef and cabbage meal to stop and thank the Lord for brave men and women, like St. Patrick, who were and are willing to give up the comforts of a "normal" life, to give everything they have with reckless abandon to the Lord for the sake of bringing Him glory and furthering His kingdom.
St. Patrick's day is big deal in my family for two reasons.  We are Irish.  If you know anything about the characteristics if the Irish, you could tell just by looking at my family.  We are all very interested in each others lives, you might call it nosy.  Most of us (myself included) can have quite the firecracker temper.  We are also Christians and we use this day also to talk about missionaries and thank God for them.  But see, missionaries aren't the only people who are called to live a life of reckless abandon.  God calls ALL Christians to live that way.  And, sometimes we need to be reminded of that.  All to often we get bogged down by worldly cares and forget that God calls us to cast all of that on Him.  I know I do.  So today, let's take a moment to thank the Lord for His care and rededicate our hearts and minds, giving everything to Him with reckless abandon.  Cause I don't know about you, but I want to be known as someone who was willing to give it all, one who followed no matter the cost.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gulliver's Travels

So, for my Critical Thinking class, we had to read Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.  Quite honestly, I'm not even sure where to start when it comes to reviewing it.  It was interesting I guess and I did learn a lot about thinking critically, but the book itself was so crass and gross that I had a hard time reading it.  I mean really, do we need to read about Gulliver's bodily functions and how many times he was "raped"?  Seriously!  Those things are not important to the storyline, nor did they serve much of a purpose when it came to critical thinking.  Man, I am so glad that book is over!
As far as ratings go, I give it 1 for language, 1 for violence and a 3 for sexual content.
Contrary to the connotation that our culture has given to this story, it is not for children.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Start of Week 5 on Cinch

To start I must share, I lost two pounds this week! Woohoo! Since most doctors agree that losing 2-3 pounds a week is the healthiest pace to lose weight, I am very happy with that number. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have also lost an inch off  my waist. Hm, that explains why my jeans keep falling off!
One of my observations of myself over the last four weeks is that I am beginning to feel a lot more confident. I am walking taller and speaking with more self-assurance. The psychological effect of feeling healthier and losing weight is something that I had not anticipated, but am pleasantly surprised to be experiencing. When you have been unhealthy and struggling for so many years, you can't help but smile and share once you begin to heal. I really am beginning to feel transformed.

I created a really delicious recipe with my Cinch shakes this week. I thought that it was so delicious, I needed to share it with you all. Here it is:

8 oz Organic Coconut Milk
1/4 - 1/3 cup frozen peaches (it depends on how thick you want your shake)
1/2 of a banana
1 T. Organic 100% Peanut Butter (the health stuff that has no sugar or sweetener, just peanuts)
2 scoops Cinch Chocolate Shake Mix
 Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a cup and enjoy a delicious and balanced meal.
*Note: If you would like to, you could also put 1 scoop of the chocolate and 1 scoop of the vanilla shake mix for a more creamy, less chocolaty flavor. OR, you could use 1 scoop chocolate and 1 scoop cafe latte for a great mocha flavor.  Have fun with it!

Wishing you success on your journey to health!
Until next week,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Changes

So, in the last month I have:
~Gone to a conference
~Decided what school I am transferring to next fall
~Started the spring semester at my current school
~Started a home-based business to help pay for school

School is school. There is not to much to report on that subject, but I am super excited that I finally have been able to make a decision about which one I am going to go to next year. It's a really great Christian school in SoCal and I cannot wait for next school year!

I am also SUPER excited about this new business that I have. I am now an independent distributer for a 55 year old health and wellness company called Shaklee. One of the products that they offer is a weight loss program called Cinch. I have been doing it for about 3 weeks now, and already my pants are starting to get a little looser. On top of that, after about 4 weeks of taking their vitamins, I am seeing a drastic improvement in my skin. It's kind of a long story, but if you would like to know why I got involved with this company in the first place, you can read about it here. Long story short, I have had a skin condition since I was 11 years old and the doctors were not able to help me. I had given up hope of getting better and was desperate when Shaklee was brought to my attention. I decided to try it, and 4 weeks later my skin is the clearest I have seen it in longer than I can remember.
Anyway, I am going to be tracking my weight loss journey on here as I go, so check back next week to find out how I am doing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Well, after a long day, I'm kicking back on the couch with my laptop and a cup of hot tea. Today was rather productive I feel, I spent the day organizing, overseeing and working alongside my siblings as we cleaned the house. Life is crazy, it can be difficult to keep track of 7 other people and follow up on what they are supposed to be doing while doing my own work as well. But hey, it's my life and I've been doing for as long as I can remember. Now, with the youngest four *supposed to be* in bed, my sister at the store, the 2 middle ones getting ready for bed, and my mom and brother talking about school in the other room, the living room is rather quiet. Oh, wait, there are still voices down the hall. Getting louder. AND it's time to go follow up and make sure people are still in bed.....

Tonight was my night to make dinner. I made Honey Mustard Chicken, a family favorite, at the request of Petra, (#5) who turned 12 yesterday. 2 whole roasted chickens, a simple honey mustard sauce, rice, and a stir-fry of onions, zucchini and broccoli. Yum!

I'm still having a hard time realizing that it's 2012 already. It's a new year. What will the next 12 months hold I wonder? I love new things. They speak of hope, fresh starts, new beginnings.

My mind is whirling. I have so many things on my mind, so many things that I am thinking about. I'm on break right now, but starting January 23, I'm back at school full time. Between now and then though, I have so much that I need to accomplish. I'm applying to a school back East, the deadline for the application is February 1st. This application requires two essays, a reading list, the actual application, 2 recommendation forms, and transcripts from all the schools that I have attended. I have all of one of the essays done. On top of that, I need to fill out financial aid forms for both schools I am looking at. And then somehow manage to figure out and balance my schedule for next semester. I've already registered for classes, but the times are very different from what I am used to. Hm, I foresee a lot of brain work in the days ahead. So here goes!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New thoughts.

Alright, I'm giving up on the whole movie review thing. My mom recently found blogger and is just posting about her view of life. It kind of inspired me to start doing that again. I have another blog ( where I blog about my political opinions and all that jazz, so I figured I would just make this one my random thoughts blog. I think that it will be good for me. And maybe, just maybe, I will actually post something. Which will be in keeping with one of my New Year's Resolutions, to blog more regularly.

We can hope.

Well, it's 10pm here and I have to leave my house by 10am tomorrow, and I've been sick all weekend, so I am going to turn in for the night.

Oh, and Happy New Year!