Sunday, April 29

bullet lists are wonderful things

There's so much I want to say.

I was thinking, before I even started this post, about what I wanted to write...I started to count how many different topics I wanted to blog about. The number was somewhere around 7, I believe, and is rapidly increasing as I think of more things I want to just get out there.

Now, I think you all will agree with me that if I go ahead and pour out my heart about all those topics and events, you will never reach the end of this post (neither will I, for that matter) and I will have merely accomplished a way-too-long-I'm-so-tired-of-reading-this-my-eyelids-are-about-to-glue-shut post that will bore you all to death.

So. The normal solution would be to pick out one or two things for this post and either forget about the rest or save some for later. However, I am not normal, if you haven't noticed. Thus, I am going to condense several of these topics to just a couple of sentences, throw 'em all (including some other things I think of) on a couple of bullets, and hope it all works out. ;) Here we go...

  • Last week we had some very, very good family friends come down from North Carolina and stay with us for a couple of days. We had such a great time with them!! I wish I could tell you every detail...but I can't. :)
  • Also, last Friday evening and all day Saturday (excluding Fri. night), I was with my friend's youth group (which I've been attending for over a year now) at Acquire the Fire!! We had such a great time. The worship band, the speakers, the drama, the concerts - they were all amazing. Christ was certainly present, and many people gave their life to Him!
  • I am currently loving this song - heard it on the radio, looked it up - never heard of the guy, but, wow, his voice is amazing! Yeah, he's unique, but I think he's really great. ;) Here's a link to the lyrics, btw (you might need 'em).
  • Oh, and this song. :) {click here for lyrics}
  • My friend, her family, most of her youth group, and several college kids that her older brother knows (and I know most of them, too, incidentally - they are homeschoolers, you know) are all taking part in the Justice Revolution. The JR is a book that her dad and another guy (I believe) wrote, a kind of daily devo containing a 21-day challenge to raise awareness about several injustices in this world - poverty, abortion, human sex trafficking, child soldiers, etc. {Yes, slavery is definitely still present in this world, and more so than's heartbreaking.} You can check out some of the teens' videos on YouTube here and here.
  • Mom and I spent some time together yesterday afternoon, one-on-one, and had so much fun!! :) We got ice cream at Coldstone and painted our nails at the park!
  • We, my family and I, are most definitely planning to take a road trip this summer, for about two and a half months or so...and I'm so excited!!! :D Unless God tells us that this His not His Plan for us, right now we believe it is, and we spent some time last night as a family planning it out - we've already got almost the first week down! (Google Maps is an amazing thing.) My mom and dad already planned out the whole
    (tentative) route, but last night we just started from the beginning in more detail.

Sooo...that wasn't too long, right? :) Just bits and pieces of my life lately...

Hey, and thanks to the girls who said they were praying for Nicholas!! Trinka, Tess, and Emma - I showed my post and your comments to him yesterday, and he loved it. ;) He was allowed to play in the last basketball game for a couple of minutes, and he did great - speaking of basketball, both our JV and varsity teams get to play in the first round of the tournament this Monday (woot-woot!), so please pray that everything goes well and no one gets hurt!! We had one of our best varsity players fracture his wrist two games ago. :( Prayers for him would be great, too!

Love and blessings,
Nicole <3 John 5:24

Monday, April 23

quick post & prayer request

Hello, all! (speaking of 'hello', i have that song by Shonlock stuck in my head...who, by the way, i got to see in concert on Saturday! more on that later)

So sorry I haven't posted! I have been SO busy, but having so much fun! :) I'm kinda tired - haven't gotten enough sleep for the last, ah, several days - and I'm not sure that a decent blog post right now would be the greatest idea ever (i'm not completely functioning, i don't think..just enough to stay awake). :P Plus, I burned my tongue hours ago with hot (HOT) chocolate, and it still hurts. Still.

But I just wanted to check in and ask you guys girls people (tho my few readers are prob mostly girls) if you could be praying for my brother, Nicholas. He got hit in the head with a baseball bat earlier this afternoon, so my mom went to an after hours clinic or something with him. They're still gone, but she called to let me know that he's doing OK and that he got three stitches on the small yet deep cut on the outer edge of his eyebrow (a first among us kids! the stitches, i mean). Anyway, here's a pic of my little bro (at Busch Gardens):

isn't he cute?
{he's going to kill me for saying that}

So, yes, your prayers would be greatly appreciated! And, hey, if - when you read this, if you could just drop a quick note saying, "Praying for you, Nicholas!" or "You're the most adorable ahem, handsome thing ever," or something, I'm sure he'd love that. ;) (JK about the latter. He would also kill me for that. :) Anyone else have younger siblings they love to tease?? Gotta love 'em...they bring so much joy, do they not?)

Anyway...the water for the spaghetti is about to boil over (I can hear's coming...). Noah's electronic chess thing is beeping constantly, and quite annoyingly (beep, beep...beep...beep, beep, beep). I'm tired. I'm hungry (*rumble, rumble, growl*...right on cue). I'm getting a headache from the beeping. And did I mention I'm tired?

....Don't you just love life? :D I sure do. How's your life?

**Update from 4/24 -- Nicholas is doing great and loving the attention from the stitches (thanks for the comment, Trinka!!). ;) I just took some pics of him (below).

And, hey, I know that y'all have time to say you'll pray for him! I mean, don't say it if you don't mean it, obviously, but I thought it'd be really great to surprise him with a whole list of people who are praying for him in a couple of days or so. :) A little help, please? Thanks, and love and blessings to you all!

sorry about the poor picture quality :P i just have to say, tho 
- i don't know, however, if you can tell too well in this picture - 
but our family all pretty much agrees that he got all the good genes -
my mom's beautiful, tanned skin tone as well as the gorgeous brown eyes,
long eyelashes, slim, athletic build, etc. :)
the hair here could use a little work...
;) not that he cares
...and the puppy face
(he's about to burst into laughter)

Wednesday, April 18


via Google Images
Sometimes I just want to be a kid again.

A little girl, who doesn't feel the need to tell her brother not to put a dripping wet cutting board into the cabinet as "clean", who hasn't yet learned to default to directing her brothers around carelessly. A little lady who is not yet desensitized to the ways of this world, who is utterly repulsed at the irreverent misuse of God's holy Name. A young child who enjoys running around outside in the sun with her little friends, who isn't worried about that guy who just tagged her to be 'it' - isn't worried about what he thinks of her, her clothes or her hair.

Who loves life. Who worships God in surrender, with abandon.

Does anyone else here long for that? Long to be childlike, as Jesus commanded? Wouldn't that be amazing? Don't you love it when you just laugh with your siblings, family, friends - just being enthralled with the joy of pure life?

I love life, this forgiven, free live He has given me. I hope I can learn again to enjoy it as much as Jesus does.

"And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
--Mathew 18:3-4

p.s. A big, huge thanks to Emma Margaret, who designed the current theme for the blog! :) You can visit her blog here or order a blog design from her here. Thanks, Emma!

Tuesday, April 17

rice krispie treats and such

Does this not look absolutely yummy? And it was, btw, just thought you should know. ;) My friend and I had the best time ever making them yesterday!! The first batch...well, you wouldn't want to see a pic of that. It turned out to be a hardened mess. But this is the second batch, and I hope you agree with me that they look particularly scrumptious, if I do say so myself. My brother had the idea of putting M&Ns (sp?) on top, and my other brother arranged them very beautifully!

We brought them today to the science class that we go to at a nearby church - it was our last day (thank You, Jesus!), so a bunch of people brought snacks and our teacher let us hang out and stuff our faces for about a half an hour. There are now 8 treats left - er, never mind, there are 7.  My dad just scarfed one down. ;)

And I just wanted to say, I edited that picture ^^ with PicMonkey! Very easy, completely free, you don't even have to register, and the only limitation (that I've found so far) is that with some special effects, they stamp their monkey logo in the corner of the picture. And let me say, I never did use Picnik, so I don't know how it is compared to that, but I just know that this is very useful and extremely simple & user friendly! are two other pics that I've edited with PicMonkey so far:

After! ;)
I've been wanting to do something like that with a pic of my desk since about a month ago, but I didn't really think about it again until I saw this feature that PicMonkey had - and, tada! It really isn't a good picture, but I really just wanted to the black-&-white-but-leave-the-flowers-colored thing. ;) But here's the pic I really like... (wow, I'm all over the "really"s today :P)

After!! {insert sparkling music..., wait, music can't sparkle... know what I mean}
Hehe. About this picture: we used to juice carrots ALL the time a couple of years ago, but we don't do it as much anymore. A month or two back, though, we were juicing quite a bit more often, so one day we took all the carrot peelings we had saved and put back in the plastic bags that the carrots came in, and we brought them to a nearby field where the cows roam, and the envelopes play...hehe, sorry. {When my brother was younger, he was quite convinced that it was pronounced 'envelope', not 'antelope'. ;) Ah, little brothers...}.

Anyway, we dumped out all of the peelings for them, fed a few by hand, snapped a couple of pics, and then left them to enjoy their juicy snack. We used to do the same at our old house, only it was horses we fed, because we had neighbors behind our house who were, like, the most amazing neighbors ever and let us feed their horses and play in their pool and pick their tomatoes...see, I told you they were awesome. ;)

This week has been and will certainly continue to be positively busy. And I positively enjoy it. To name a few, we have had and have yet to have basketball practices, games, youth group (for me), science class, going to the library, dance lessons (Mom), coupoun-ing with friends (Mom and I), dance competition (Mom, she can't wait!! a mini-match, her first), etc. And....well, I'll have to surprise you later with a bit of information that I'm just bursting with excitement about.

Now we're off to watch the boys' basketball games! JV and varsity. They're playing at a school where my friend used to go! ;) (Unfortunately, I heard that the other team has a pretty good height advantage over us, with two guys on the varsity team that are as tall as our tallest player, who's, like, 6' 3'' or something. :P) 

Love and blessings,
Nicole <3 John 5:24

Monday, April 16

life...take two

"Take hold of the life that really is life."

--1 Timothy 6:19

As some of you people out there might know, in the blogger can be quite pressured. Stressful, even. There's SO many things you "need to do!!" as a successful blogger - for example, is photography in? Then I need to take a photography class (which, I gotta admit, I was already wanting to do...this just gave me an excuse ;) haha). Inspiring posts are necessary for acquiring many followers? Check! A post every two days, with maybe a 'wordless Wednesday' or something like that? Gotta get that down! Etsy shop needed? Umm...I'll think about it. Vintage is the thing? Well...that's cute...maybe I can find some vintage-y pics that I like...OK, sorry, I'm just not a vintage girl. :) But seriously, it's like every other part of the world - there's always something you can conform to.

But what if I don't want to conform? What if I step back and think, "Seriously? This is where I put my time and effort? Do I enjoy this, this competition, this facade of who I really am?"

So...that's kinda how this verse hit me, and I just wanted to share. My blog is not my life. My schoolwork is not my life. Books are not my life (gasp!). I am who I am, and I am in Christ - He is my life.

And, OK, I started this post last night. And afterwards, I could not go to sleep for quite a bit of time. Why? I was so excited about blogging! Now that I've realized that I can be posting for me, not for them, (whoever "they" are) a whole new world of opportunities opened up for me! (And that sounded so totally cliche it was wonderful.) I "get it" now, why I didn't want to post on my blog. I was so stressed over what other people would think of it, whether it was inspiring or not.

Well, who cares if it's inspiring or not? Yes, I want my blog posts to point towards Jesus Christ. (But, well, to steal Jocee's words in her comment here, if the rest of the blogger world doesn't like that, then screw them! {don't take that too literally, please}) I don't really care if no one is reading my blog (OK, I kinda do...). But really, this is my outlet for creative writing, what I enjoy doing! And I have the freedom to do that! Right now, it doesn't really matter what another person thinks about it. Here, I can write out my thoughts, I can dream, I can pray, I can share my heart...

Oh, darn it, I need to go make breakfast. Within one minute. Oops (I'm gonna be late :P). ;)

Love and blessings,
Nicole <3 John 5:24

Saturday, April 14



Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray

God Girl by Jamie Grace

Stay Close by Fireflight

enjoying.... {taking crummy pictures and not caring at all} ;)

dipping carrots in dad-made guacamole...mmmm....

watching the guys play ping-pong at sunset
(i spy...a flying round object!)

a new skirt and old toe-nail polish :) actually, this is the
first time i've had a skirt in....i can't remember :P
(btw...i love it)

the budding flowers out front....a lovely spring welcome sorry, no picture for that. :) love and blessings.... <3

p.s. thanks, Brooke and Lindsey Madison, for your names, btw ;)

Friday, April 13


...we went to Busch Gardens!  We had a blast...come to think of it, Nathan literally did get blasted - with water (ok, ok, that was cheesy...). :) He wasn't even expecting it - we were standing on a bridge over this water ride, the rest of us off to the side, and he was totally not expecting the water soaring into the sky to even come near him...but he got soaked.  It was so funny. ;)

Here are some pics from the day (no, I am not, and do not claim to be, any kind of photographer or anything, I just happen to have a camera and occasionally like using it :D)...

pictures from a tour called Rhino Rally

also Rhino Rally - hence the rhino :)

Nathan juggling some small basketballs at a gift shop :)
(this was a really annoying picture to take as the lens wasn't
 focusing right and the ball ended up over his face anyway :P) 

this pic was fun...i took it from a video of Nicholas riding the Pheonix
(ugggh...he's a nutbar
- that thing would make me totally sick)
and i touched it up a bit with my photo viewer thing ;)

It was a slightly overcast morning for most of the day with a gentle breeze - absolutely beautiful.  It was starting to get hot when we left at around 2:30ish, and then went straight to Nicholas and Nathan's basketball games, JV first (Nick) and then varsity (Nathan).  The games were, unfortunately, outside.  In the now-scorching heat.  Lovely.

We still had a wonderful time, however, cheering the guys on, joking around, and just having a great time in general. ;) (BTW, we won. Both games. Their poor varsity team, tho, didn't have enough players, so some bigger kids from their JV team join them in their games, after they're already tired from their game. Poor guys. :P)

Hope all of you have also had a wonderful week!  Today was a great end of ours, like icing on the cake.  Oh, and Mom went dancing tonight at Fred Astaire (sp?). :) That was her icing. ;)  Love and blessings to you all!! <3