Archive for June, 2014
Well, I had a different blog idea for today, but my creative juices haven’t really been flowing much lately. So instead I’ll post some stuff I’ve already written. Long… long… ago.
I’ve been writing stories and poems and plays on the computer ever since I first learned how to type. So I have stuff from since I was probably around 11 on up. (I can’t really remember when I first started typing, but that’s my guess.) So, for your enjoyment, here are a few of my clearly brilliant creations.
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I wish I had the age I was when I wrote each one of these, but unfortunately when I opened the documents up on my computer it changed the date of creation. I’m guessing I was somewhere about 14 or so when I wrote this story; maybe younger. Anyway, I don’t remember this story. And the first half is nothing but names and ages, which I did a LOT in my stories. Like a LOT.
Once there was a teeny, tiny, little girl named Debone. She had three brothers, and five sisters. And she had two dogs, three cats, a fish, a kangaroo, and two birds. The kids in her family were in this order: Dalo, fifteen, Scythe, thirteen, Ally and Abby, twelve, Debone, ten, Asher, eight, Kina, six, Limanda, three, and Colza, one and a half. Her dogs were: Lochs, (female) and Doth, (male). Her cats were: Bong, (male) Ivy, (female) and Cesta (male). Her other pets were: Yom, (female fish) Aye (female kangaroo) Hint, (male bird) and La (male bird).
Debone loved animals. That’s why she had nine. And she had two best friends, named Atina, and Anita. They were both ten.
One day, Debone, who had just come home from school, saw Atina and Anita playing with Doth. Doth had a large package in his mouth.
“What in the world is that, Anita?” asked Debone. “Where did it come from? How did it get to my house?”
Anita, who was not Atina’s relative, said, “It was on your porch this morning. Doth picked it up, and tore it into pieces.”
Debone looked puzzled. “Than how come it is still together in her mouth?”
“Because I just made up the part about her tearing it into pieces.” said Anita. “That was the first thing that popped into my head.” That was what Anita was like. Constantly exaggerating.
Atina said, “It’s for you, Debone.” Atina picked it up, and handed it to Debone.
The large package, which was wrapped in orange and pink striped paper, was addressed to, “Debone Think.” (Which was her last name.) It had no signature, or anything indicating who it was from.
“I wonder who would send me a large package wrapped in orange and pink striped paper in the middle of July when Christmas is months away and my birthday was months ago without even saying who it’s from?” Said Debone. “I haven’t been exceptionally good, and I haven’t entered and contests or anything.”
Debone quickly tore off the paper, and found a cup. That was all! A cup! But wait! There was a letter. Debone opened the envelope and read it out loud to Anita and Atina.
“It says,” began Debone, “ ‘Dear Debone, I have a bunch of cups, and I recently got a large package of cups from my Grandma. I can’t fit them in my cupboard. So, I took six cups that I don’t really need, picked six random names from the phone book, and sent the cups to those addresses. I hope you like your cup! If you don’t have enough room for this cup, send it back to me, and I’ll send it to somebody else. Good bye! Love, the person who sent you this cup.”
That’s it. Most of my stories started from a premise I thought was cool and then ended a few pages in. I’m pretty sure that I would’ve wanted to be the cup person when I was younger. I thought that arbitrary communication with strangers was a really cool idea for some reason.
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Alright, I also did a fair amount of poetry. These poems are from whenever we were learning about and writing poetry in elementary school. So here is a haiku, a cinquain, a diamente and a limerick for you. 🙂 Apparently I never wrote a sonnet.
HAIKU: THE SUN
The sun is real hot
Be carful, Astronaut, don’t
go to close…look out!
Swimming, Leaping, Diving,
My favorite animal,
Giggling, Gossiping, Singing
Makeup, Clean, Dirty, Video game
Playing, Yelling, Teasing,
There once was a lady named Laura,
Who thought her whole life was a bore-a!
She than bought a bear,
Who swallowed her hair,
And now her life’s worse than before-a!
I also did a lot of describing nature poems, and occasionally I used poetry as an outlet to write about serious stuff. Maybe sometime I’ll post some of those. But today it’s just fluff. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed!
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So ok, up until I joined New Life, I had NO guy friends. Well, I didn’t really have any close friends at all that weren’t family, but I at least talked to girls and (sometimes) hung out with them. I was terrified of boys when I was a teenager (and got super red and embarrassed whenever talking to a crush, hehe), and I learned how to chat with them and have small talk when I became a youth leader. But still, nothing beyond that.
I couldn’t find many photos with just me and another guy friend, but here’s one of Josh Herndon and I at Camp Accovac. Such a fun 4 weeks of my first tour!
When I joined New Life, I knew I was going to be forced into relationships. (Friendship relationships, of course. There are no arranged marriage or blind dates there, hehe. Though, wait, I actually have that one story…) And I didn’t mind that. I wanted to learn how to be a friend and make friends. I was a bit worried about the whole guys-being-everywhere thing, and I got scared that I was going to fall madly in like with every one of them. And that’s just kind of inevitable, you know? If you work in close proximity with Christian guys who are passionate about God and ministry, it’s hard not to see very desirable and admirable qualities in them that you would desire in your own future husband.
So it didn’t take me by surprise when that’s pretty much what happened. I did develop temporary crushes on most of the guys that I traveled with. It was a great group of guys, and their exuberant personalities and over-the-top silliness was very fun to be around; and when you combined that with each of their own unique takes on God and desires to grow more like Him and spread Him everywhere, it was both encouraging and appealing.
Just having fun together as nutty brothers and sisters in Christ.
Over the course of the year, as I got to know them more and learned how to communicate as a regular person, (and got over the immediate “oh my goodness Christian guys everywhere!” girly crushes) I got the chance to really see them for who they were. I was a Financer for most of my time traveling, which meant that I was the associate leader of the Coordinator of the team, which was usually a guy. I got the opportunity to work as a team with about 5-6 different leaders. Each and every one had different leadership styles, teaching passions, ways of communicating and strengths and weaknesses. I became good friends with almost all of the guys I traveled with. And as I got to see the ways in which they were all so different, my schoolgirl crushes faded as we developed lasting and real friendships.
My chance to create these valuable and meaningful friendships with guys was a very new thing for me, and allowed for a lot of growth and encouragement. But so did my friendships with the girls I traveled with.
The girls on my team my very first tour. Such crazy chicas, but so much fun!
There were probably 8-9 girls that I got along really well with and had opportunities to be close to at various times of my traveling. At home, I always felt intimidated whenever I came into youth group and all the girls were in their own little cliques. People were nice to me and didn’t EXCLUDE me, but it’s scary to try to compete with people who are already best friends.
But in New Life, we were all new together. And we were such a small group, and usually had only 2-4 girls on a team, that we had a great amount of time to BE a team and get to know each other. We each had our own part to play, and the unity that we built over a 10 week tour was a form of relationship I’d never experienced before.
Kasey and I at homebase, bonding and getting soaked in the rain together!
I had opportunities to try and encourage the girls on my team, and they did the same thing for me. We laughed at each other’s antics, encouraged our walks with God and pursuits for righteousness, shared hopes and dreams and passions, giggled incessantly, and learned how to communicate with one another. While some of our senses of humors clicked, and some clashed, there was always something good to find in the other person. Through stress and joy, exhaustion and adrenaline, I formed some great connections with some amazing women.
Though it’s hard to keep up with everybody now that we’re all separate from each other, I’ve tried to do my best to maintain a long-distance relationship with my NLDC friends. Though we’ll probably never be as close again, the special friendships I created with these people will always be one of my happiest memories, and each time we get together or call each other up, I’m reminded of how God has blessed me at each place in my life. There are a number of friends that I feel I could call up if I needed to on a rough day, and I know they would listen to me, without judging me, and be there. Knowing that means a lot. It’s something I’ve never had before, and I want to be that same kind of friend, even from far away.
So thank you to all my friends from New Life Drama Company. Even if you don’t read this blog, even if we haven’t talked in forever, you are in my heart and cherished and will always be a special part of my life. Thank you. -BAM
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Guess what? I’ve managed to be organized enough to remember that the second Saturday of each month, I’m doing a Scripture Spotlight! 😀 I had this all prepared early, too.
I could write about something I’ve read in my regular Bible reading lately, but I think I’m going to talk to you about Psalm 145.
I realized that I haven’t spent much time memorizing Scripture in a long time. And I’m not saying that, to be a good Christian, you have to have regular Scripture memory time. I know it’s hard for some people to memorize things, particularly the references. It’s not about the knowledge you accumulate; it’s about hiding His Word in your heart. There are many people who really KNOW and understand the Bible, even without knowing bunches of verses and references word for word.
But anyway. That disclaimer aside, I am trying to GET to the point where I KNOW His word. And since memorization doesn’t come that hard to me, I’ma try to work at it. I’ll start by picking passages that have been comforting or encouraging or challenging to me already in my walk, and trying to get those down. So I’m going with Psalm 145. Or at least the last 8 verses or so. It starts off with 13 verses of praising God for His mighty works and many miracles, and about how the Psalmist will declare His wondrous deeds and all that. Then, from 14 on, is my favorite part of the passage:
14 The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.
(I usually use NASB, but when I first read this I had a New Living Translation Bible with me, and that’s how I remember the wording hitting me. So I’m going to use that version for this blog.)
I remember first coming across this Psalm one morning in New Life, when I was out by myself praying and feeling discouraged. I don’t remember what I was discouraged about, but I remember parts of this really hitting home. Let me go through the 4 verses I mediated on the most.
14: “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”
It’s easy for ministers to feel “bent beneath their loads”. It’s easy for ANY person, Christian or otherwise, to feel that way. Sometimes you feel like you’re not good enough, or you feel like nothing’s making a difference. Weariness and discouragement run rampant across the lives of people. God says that He cares about those burdened, falling people, and that He will help us and lift us up. It’s a great promise.
15: “The eyes of all look to You in hope; You give them their food as they need it.”
God takes care of us and provides. But He does it “as we need it”. Which means sometimes we feel hungry and cry out for God to answer right away, because we can’t see how we can possibly take any more. But He doesn’t always answer right away. Just how parents sometimes tell their children “no” when they whine that they’re starving 15 minutes after lunch, sometimes God just says, “Remember what I just did for you? I’ve taken care of you, and you’ve forgotten it already?” Maybe that was why He put the emphasis on Moses and the Israelites telling the stories of His miracles to their children. (And why it’s at the beginning of this chapter.) God always comes through when HE knows we need it, and sometimes we need to just remember His faithfulness and trust Him.
18: “The Lord is close to all who call on Him; yes, to all who call on Him in truth.”
What does this mean? There are lots of verses throughout Scripture that have these encouraging promises, followed by a… a condition? I feel like that word will bother some people. But it’s the best I can think of. Does “all who call on Him in truth” mean that we have to understand the gospel? Or does it merely mean that our hearts are truly calling to Him for help? Is there a level of repentance or understanding that is required, or does He mean that He knows when we’re faking and when we’re genuine?
19: “He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.”
Again, God doesn’t just promise to willy-nillily (heehee, makin’ it an adverb) fulfill the desires of everybody ever. He CARES about us and our desires, but He cares about our hearts. And He promises to take special care of those who fear Him. When we cry out, He rescues us. Now, we as Christians have plenty of desires. Smaller things like getting a specific job to dating a specific person… or heartfelt passions, like wanting to make a difference in people coming to Christ, or yearning to understand more of God and His Word. And sometimes God DOES give us all of those desires, even the little ones. His heart is for us. But I think, most of all, He wants to nurture our holy and God-given desires for Him and for the kingdom. He is pleased when we’re passionate about Him, and He wants to fulfill us and use us for His glory.
Those are the verses that stuck out to me when I first read it. I think the whole passage just shows you a lot about God’s character; the first 13 verses extol Him for His miracles and wonders, and then it’s followed up with a look at His heart and His compassion. It’s an encouraging chapter, and I’m looking forward to figuring out the best way to memorize it.
P.S. Update: earlier this week I put most of the lyrics of these verses into a song! I ended up using the NASB because it worked better rhythmically. I’ve always wanted to try it to see if it will help me memorize. And it worked pretty well!
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Hi! So on my trip last month, one of my sisters gave me a suggestion for my blog. I told her about the time I had tried out the recipe for that “cookie/brownie in a cup” thing and about how it didn’t work. And she was like, “you should test out Pinterest recipes and crafts and blog about it”. And I thought, “Hey, I’m cool with trying out suggestions and seeing if they work.”
So I’m going to give it a try! If I find that it’s super boring, either to write about or to find good experiments for, then I won’t push it. But I am open for new things. 🙂 Also, if any of you guys have any suggestions for me to try, feel free to let me know! (Though I’ll warn you that I’m pretty cheap and untalented, so I’m most likely to experiment with things that are close to what I already know I can do. You know, no steak omelettes or building a cabinet single-handedly.)
So here’s my first one! Since I had this whole intro, and I’m trying to keep my blogs from going TOO long, I’ll just share with you my first experiment of the week: HOMEMADE CHEEZ-ITS!
Here’s the recipe I got from Pinterest:
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp cold Butter cut into small pieces
2 tbsp Shortening
1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1 cup Flour
2 tbsp Ice Cold Water
Blend the cheese, butter, shortening and salt together on medium low speed in a stand mixer
or with a hand mixer.
Add the flour and mix on low to incorporate (the dough will be dry).
Slowly add the water just until the dough comes together in a lump.
Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour your work area and roll out the dough very thin (less than 1/8″).
Use a pastry cutter to cut into 1″ squares and use a skewer or toothpick to put a hole in the center of each.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light brown at the edges.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
When we cook at my house, we don’t ALWAYS use exact measurements. I’m sure it’s that way in many homes. But if eyeballing it means that everything is messed up, sometimes it’s not worth it to make! 😉 But anyway
Crumbly, cheesy dough.
The cheese was what was leftover from a 12 oz that we used a portion of for supper, but I’m pretty sure it was about 8 oz. Just in case it was more, I put in the 2 tablespoons of butter and then a tiny bit more. For Kosher salt, my mom suggested I use a tablespoon from our big bag of pretzel salt we have. (You know those soft, frozen pretzels that have the little bags of salt for topping? Well since my brothers eat those ALL the time and the open bags are always spilling, they just empty it into this massive zip loc bag that holds it all. It’s pretty efficient, and came in handy tonight.)
Cold ball of dough, straight from the fridge.
Sometimes I forget to read the directions completely, so in this instance I put the flour in too early and then tried to take it out. (Because I’m never sure if messing something like that up is small, or is an “OH NO THE WHOLE DISH IS RUINED!” kinda thing.) It half worked, but as I mixed the ingredients, it didn’t seem to have messed it up. And by the time my food was ready to be rolled into a ball, it looked like the online picture. I even tried some raw dough and it tasted like Cheez-Its! 😀
Let’s get rolling!
Look at how serious I am about my cooking.
Rolled it out, cut it up with a pizza cutter, and skewered the holes with a skewer. All the pieces were weird shapes (some I made into circles) and they varied in thinness. But hey, if you’re not a machine, you can’t expect them to look perfect, right?
And… they’re done! They came out in a variety of crispiness versus… not crispy? Some kids called them fluffy. Here’s the poll on what everyone thinks!
Mom: They taste good (both crunchy and fluffy) but clearly the crunchy ones taste more like the original. But buying them is much more cost effective, due to how many you get from each batch.
Dad: I like these! They’re not exactly like Cheez-Its, but I could see how they’re kind of like them. They’re fun.
Elizabeth: It was oily. But it tasted like cheese at least? When I thought they were cookies I thought they were gross. They’re more cheese than crackers.
Nathan: I like them best when they’re medium (slightly) crispy and hot. Not as dry as the originals, and they could use more salt. They have similar qualities, but are not identical.
Micah: Not enough flavor. The lighter ones are good on crunchiness and have the potential for flavor.
Joel: They don’t really taste like Cheez-Its. They’re “eh”.
Bekah: I liked them once I realized what they were. They’re actually very fun.
Seth: I think they’re awesome when they’re fluffy and not as crispy.
DID WE LIKE THEM?
Mostly everybody liked them. Dad, Bekah, Mom and I all think they’re fun. Joel, Micah and Elizabeth are iffy on it. Seth prefers the thicker ones, Nathan the thinner. Bekah liked them after she realized what they were. Mom says that despite how fun they are, it is clearly more cost effective to buy a box of Cheez-Its based on how many come out in a batch.
My lovely bowl of Cheez-Its! 🙂
ARE THEY LIKE CHEEZ-ITS?
They have a resemblance to them, but are not identical to the original. Could use more salt; not as dry; it’s more like cheese than like cracker; a little oily; not enough flavor, according to some. Best when they’re hot, according to Nathan. But generally? They weren’t bad!
One Cheez-It to represent them all.
So, that experiment was fun! I don’t feel like we would ever make these again. I think the novelty of trying out “homemade Cheez-Its” was greater than the actual result of them. But they were definitely worth a shot, and they were gobbled up quickly.
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SO! My 3 sisters, my friend Carolyn and I went on vacation to New England for 10 days, and we all had a great time! Hannah wrote up her photo blog, and so I’m gonna do a blog, too. Basically, I’ll just write about some of the highlights (which I keep spelling “hightlights”). Enjoy my first disorganized blog of the week! 🙂
COOL PLACES WE WENT
1. We went to New York City! And we saw Phantom of the Opera! It was fantastic, the show was fantastic, the city was surreal, it felt just like the movies… it was great. The NYC adventures included: getting rained on at the top of the Empire State Building, traveling by train, subway and TAXI, eating street vendor food in Central Park, viewing Times Square, and taking fun pictures at Madame Tussauds.
We all found different ways to hold hands with George Clooney. This was my pose.
(Silly Blurb: At the top of the Empire State Building, I put 50 cents into the telescope excitedly to see if I could see the Statue of Liberty. But it was so rainy and foggy that all I could make out was a blur. But I was so excited to see that blur, I exclaimed, “I see something! I don’t know what it is, but it’s something! Hannah, do you want to see something?” I repeated this bit when Bekah came up, and all 3 of us got to see something. 🙂 )
What a lovely view! The rain didn’t deter us at all! 🙂
2. Canada! We drove up to Maine and our hosts took us to the border where our car was searched before we could enter the country. Passported and excited, we drove into the country and took a picture at the first sign we saw. Then we found an exit off the highway, turned around and drove back. The nice guard to let us into America asked us if it was worth it, and we said yes.
COOL PEOPLE WE SAW
Well, everyone we saw was cool, but they come in different categories, so here they are.
In PA, we were taken to the prettiest view in the area. Scary, but gorgeous!
1. Internet Friends! We had the pleasure of staying 2 nights with a family very dear to me, the Inmans. I used to snail-mail pen-pal with 2 of the daughters for years, and our families have gotten together several different times since we’ve known each other. Though it wasn’t very long and one of them had a baby so we couldn’t hang out much :-D, it was great to see them again. We also got to stay with some internet friends of my mom’s. Getting to know the families and just hanging out was a blast. Their hospitality for strangers reminded me so much of my days in New Life, and I think we all had a great time.
2. Relatives! We stayed with my Dad’s brother in New Jersey (Uncle Andy), as well as the aunts on my mom’s side in Rhode Island! Though we only got to chat for a few hours before he left, Uncle Andy took us out to a classic New Jersey diner, as well as recommended a fun
The group at Waterfire. It was very cool and pretty!
breakfast place in the morning. The aunts, who we stayed with a few days longer, took us to Waterfire one evening, Newport the next, and then also bought us some clam cakes and chowda, since only Hannah remembers ever eating those. It was lovely to see and hang out with all of our relatives, including a few cousins and uncles. Miss you guys! 😀
3. New Life Alumni! I was so glad to get to see Jojo and Jose on this trip, 2 good friends of mine that I traveled with in the drama company. From swapping NLDC stories around the dinner table, to spontaneous worship time around a campfire, and ending with a late-night evening of girl talk, it was just a lovely time of fellowship. The camaraderie that I feel with my NLDC friends was something I’ve missed a lot since I’ve been home. And even when we don’t always see eye to eye, the friends I made there will always be near and dear to my heart. That stop on the trip was extra special for me.
SILLINESS THAT HAPPENED
Along the way, there was just a lot of silliness that happened. Here is some of it. Even though all these may be “You just had to be there” moments, I’ma tell you anyway! 🙂
-Playing Catchphrase with my family is always a blast. Us 4 sisters played a few rounds at Uncle Andy’s house, and these were some of our favorite clues:
“You do this to stop the bad guys from coming in!” (Answer: Lock the Door. Bekah said “Now all I can picture is a huge swarm of bad guys trying to come through your door”.)
“It’s like, ‘Whoa! Whoa!’ And I think it’s an ice cream place?” (Answer: Yo-Yo. when the time ran out, Elizabeth looked at it and suddenly remembered what a yo-yo was)
We had gotten the words “Hello Mary”. Next hint: “Skip to my ___!” “Baby! Hello Mary Baby!” (Answer: Hello Mary Lou.)
Hannah gave these paraphrased clues, and Elizabeth gave these answers: “It’s like when you’re on your feet, but you’re the other way.” “Lying down!” “No, it’s up and down. It’s like you’re upside down; you’re not on your feet.” “Stand on your head!” “No; you go up and down, but your feet are not on the ground!” “Somersault! Levitating!” (Answer: Hand Stand.)
-We were on the grounds of a lovely mansion and enjoying the view of the ocean and the
These were the grounds. And see? Hannah and I are pointing to where we want to live! 🙂
distant neighborhood. I said, “I want to live in that house with the turrets!” Hannah replied, “I want to live in that boat.” To which I said, “I want to live in that lighthouse.” To which she replied, “I want to live on that fence.” This went on and on, with each thing we were living in becoming more and more ridiculous. “I want to live in that guy’s backpack” was quickly followed up with “I want to live in that guy’s mouth”. From bugs to leaves to cracks between the rocks to dumpsters to windows to the wind, we tried to come up with as many as we could. But my ABSOLUTE favorite was in the parking lot when Hannah said, “I want to live in the spot on the ground where I will get run over the most amounts of times.” Cracked. Me. Up.
-During our dinner of clam cakes and chowda, Hannah and I got on the subject of her mocking me, and for some reason I had the rhythm for Dr. Seuss’ “Sam I Am” stuck in my head. So I asked her, “Will you mock me in the rain? Will you mock me on a train?” Soon it became a back-and-forth conversation that went on for a good half an hour. It went something like this:
“Will you mock the way I drink?” “I will mock the way you think.”
“Will you mock me with a smile?” “I will mock you all the while.”
“Will you mock my Facebook status?” “I will mock your favorite catfish!”
“Will you mock me if I eat that one?” “I will mock you if you have a fat son.”
This was our Chowda Spot
– Hannah brought along this storytelling card game called “Once Upon a Time”. Each person has a certain amount of cards that they play, in turn, to try to create a coherent story. If nobody interrupts you, the person who started the round CAN put all their cards down and end the round if they think quickly enough. For us that night, each person would generally only play 1-3 cards in a row before another of us jumped in with our own. But one round, Elizabeth managed to get all her cards into 1 story all by herself: all 7 of her noun cards, plus her Ending Card. It went something like this:
There once was a queen who lived in a castle. One day her daughter wanted to to go the woods. But the queen said, “Make sure you bring a brother or a sister along, because you might get eaten by a wolf. Or poisoned by a witch! And we would have to go live in the ruins.” Then they found out that wolves do hunt in packs. And they both died. And they were buried in the same grave and the kingdom mourned for them.“
And some final pictures!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀
Modeling my sunglasses and nail polish that-changes-color-in-the-sun from Newport.
Elizabeth took some photos of me in Central Park. Such a pretty backdrop.
The Jonas Brothers! After Jonas L.A., I’m a teensy bit of a guilty pleasure fan.
Nice picture of the 3 sisters. 😀