Annie

Archive for the ‘Actions in Activities’ Category

The Most Successful Dud I’ve Ever Written

In Actions in Activities, Musings on February 5, 2014 at 12:35 am

Last week I wrote a letter to my mom.

It was one of my “last minute not really proofread but whatever” posts. It was done, I only had a few hours until it would go live and I needed to go to sleep. Still, I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. I noticed that I kept mentioning moms. Then it hit me. It went something like this: “Man, Mom is really brave. More moms should be like her. I really need to go to bed. What time do I need to get up? I talk about parenting a lot. Hey, Mom!”

It didn’t take me long to make the changes needed. I didn’t think it was my greatest post ever, but there was only one person I really wanted to read it anyway.

The next morning I had to be up early, so I shared the link to my usual places, then left the house and didn’t get back until 8pm. I was exhausted, so I decided to check Facebook and my email and go to sleep. I got as far as checking my email and finding that my blog had gotten over 150 views that day. Well, yeah, not going to bed right away. It turns out that someone shared my link on a fairly high-traffic page.

I learned two things about blogging that day.

1) Just write. Really. I know everyone says it, but it’s true. Write the words your heart is saying. It doesn’t matter if you get views, just do your best. I sincerely thought that post was a flop, but it was for my mom, so I didn’t care. Write for yourself, not for some enigmatic group of people who may or may not ever find you. Blogging will never be very rewarding if you are only trying to get people to your website.

drseuss

2) Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to share what you love. If people don’t like it, they won’t join you in it.  If people like it, they will. Don’t be afraid to get to know influential people. If you become friends, cool. If they ignore you, cool. Don’t be afraid of success or failure. If you succeed, learn from it. If you fail, learn from it.

Writing is something I love, so I’m going to share it.

Do you love writing? Do you have ideas about things? Check this out! The world needs new ideas. Share yours.

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For Passion

In Actions in Activities, Musings on January 8, 2014 at 12:33 am

I love seeing people talk about things they love. The fire behind their eyes, the intonation of their voice, the excited gestures. It’s beautiful.

Last week I went to a conference in Colorado called For Action. It was a conference with a purpose of preparing my generation, the millennials, to go and, basically, take over the world. And I have got to say, it was amazing. The things talked about were as different as the fantastic speakers themselves, but what they all had in common was passion. They love what they do, and you can tell when they speak about it. DSCF1115

Not only did our speakers do things they love, they gave us tools and helped us find our passions and pursue them. For some that was writing, or politics, maybe computer programing, there were several of us interested in activism of one kind or another.

Now, if you’ve known me for a while, you may know that I used to be part of The Rebelution. I read and still own the books, I went to the Do Hard Things conference twice, I was active on the forum and never missed a blog post. I was even working on a “hard thing” type project.

I’m going to be honest with you. When one of the speakers asked if anyone had read Do Hard Things, I hesitated to raise my hand. I was embarrassed. See, I don’t agree with much of what The Rebelution teaches. Not anymore.

The difference between For Action and The Rebelution doesn’t look too big from the outside. Both are trying to enable young people to be leaders and do amazing things. The thing is, The Rebelution told stories of other teens who have done these things, but didn’t talk about finding your passion or gifts. They were unwittingly pushing a one-size-fits-all ideology.

At For Action we met and actually got to talk to people of many ages who are passionate. They don’t necessarily do things that would be considered “Hard Things”, although many do. They do things that will last. A small burst of radical differentness isn’t going to change the world, a life of passionate, infectious differentness will.

So, what do I want to do with my life? I want to be infectiously passionate.

Change of Plans

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short on October 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

As I have mentioned a lot lately, I am very busy. And, what that unfortunately means is, I need to cut some things down. I’m not staying up as late looking at Pinterest or watching Youtube videos, and now, I am not staying up late to work on my blog. Honestly, I’ve tried! I start to fall asleep at the keyboard! Mom says I’m on a grown-up’s schedule now. The scary thing is, I’m getting used to it. I actually tried to sleep in yesterday, the one day this week I’m not working, but I couldn’t sleep past 9.

Enough prevaricating about the bush. I’m cutting my blogging. *runs in circles screaming* NO! No. Not completely! I’m just cutting it back a bit for the sake of quality and sanity. Starting next week I will go back to posting every Wednesday. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been posting twice a week for very long. It’s only been seven weeks, but I think it served it’s purpose. I have been writing much more than I was before I gave myself a deadline. I think that is a key to getting things done sometimes. Giving yourself a good hard deadline and sticking to it.

I was discouraged about quitting. It seems like I’ve done that more this year than ever. I hate that. I don’t quit! But, in looking back, I noticed something encouraging. I have been posting every week since July 2nd, and either every Tuesday or Wednesday since July 23rd.

So, I’m not quitting, I’m just changing plans and reprioritizing.

New Beginnings

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short on October 22, 2013 at 12:27 am

It was a big weekend  on the farm. It was super busy, but in the few spare moments I had on the computer, I found a new favorite band!

We had our first calf! Around noon on Friday (ok, not quite the weekend) Bunny calved. Around two on Friday it started sleeting. That would be just like Bunny. So guess what I did from around 2 to around 3? I tried to move a cow and her newborn calf.

I tried luring Bunny with her favorite feed treat, but she was not about to leave the calf, who wouldn’t follow, and she just wasn’t interested in it. I tried this for a while, and then called mom to see what she thought. We decided to try to move the calf. I was kind of worried about this, Bunny is pretty unpredictable. I picked up the calf and started walking up to the microbarn. The mama was the least of my trouble. Bunny didn’t really even seem to notice much. She followed a little and went back to eating. The calf, on the other hand, was very opposed to being picked up and moved. She flailed around, kneed me and whacked me in the face with her head. She is her mother’s daughter, that’s all I can say. I ended up carrying her a little and then herding her a little.

Once I finally got to the yard Mom helped me get the calf in the shed. By this time Dad was almost home from taking the kids to Co-op and I was pretty well soaked and freezing. Of course, Dad was able to get Bunny up to the shed right away. If she is capable of love, Dad is the only two-legged she has eyes for.

Bunny is actually a really good mama, despite how it might sound. Apparently cows can become attached to the place the calf in. It is so sweet to go out and hear mama and calf softly mooing to each other. A couple winters ago we got Bunny a molasses lick and she absolutely loved it. We decided that if she had a girl calf we would name her Molasses, because Bunny loves Molasses. Welcome to the world Lassie. Your name is very fitting, except you are anything but slow.

On Saturday Claire and I had a Bible Quiz. Neither of us placed as well this month as last. My team didn’t do as well as last month either, but Claire’s did quite better. This month we only have 3 weeks between quizzes. This will be interesting. I’m determined to get more memorized, even though there is less time to get it done.  Like my tag line in my email says:

Discipline is remembering what you want.

David Campbell

 

It’s Working!

In Actions in Activities, Books and Movies, Farm and Family on October 15, 2013 at 12:27 am

Or rather I am. I am so tired right now. This is the fifth day in a row that I have worked somewhere.

There is a corn maze just up the road from our house. Last year they sent an email to our homeschool group looking for teens to work there. I talked with the owners and we were all set, but because of the drought the maze wasn’t very good and they didn’t end up needing my help.

Saturday we were just sitting around talking and…  I don’t really know, doing our Saturday morning thing, when my friend’s mom (this is their second year working there) called saying they needed help at the maze. I jumped up, got out of my pajamas, and drove over there. The owner, Mrs. S asked how old I was and got excited that I was 19. “Can you drive an ATV?” Yeah, about 10 years ago I drove my great uncle’s for a few minutes, but I remember how and I’ve had my drivers license for 3 years, so sure, I can probably drive one.

Guess what I did for about 5 hours Saturday afternoon? I drove a four-wheeler pulling about 8 barrels-turned-train-cars. My thumb felt like it was going to fall off and I now have a fantastic sunburn on the backs of my hands. Once the sun went down and the train was put away, I worked in the concession stand for a few hours. I was surprised how many people came to do the maze in the dark.

Mrs. S asked me what time I could be back on Sunday, and basically, I have a job. I always knew this was how it would have to happen. All of my previous attempts had been fruitless.

It is so strange working this much. I’m hardly ever home anymore. I miss Josh and Hannah. I feel like they are growing up in my house as me, but I’m never home. I get up at 7 most days. Anyone who has seen me right after I wake up knows how big of a feat this is. I am not a morning person. By any stretch of the imagination. The sad thing I’ve found is that I can’t drink coffee in the morning. It makes me so jittery it ruins my day. My body is awake and my mind is not, or vice-versa. No bueno.

The only day I “have off” this week is Wednesday, and even then I volunteer at the library for a couple hours. Now, it would be logical to cut this out of my schedule. It isn’t an actual job, and it is my one and only day off. But I just can’t do that! I have thought about it, but only very briefly. I just love it too much. It’s quiet, relatively peaceful, and, basically, I get to be around books. Nope, library stays.

I know this isn’t my normal kind of post, but it’s what’s been on my mind. I am exhausted, but every day I am in such awe of how God has worked things together in a way that I never could.

 

That Will Suffice

In Actions in Activities, Camp, Musings, Pictures on September 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

Sunday they had a Summer Missions ice-cream social at church. I didn’t get to share anything, we started going to this church right after camp, but there were several people who spoke about their time at one camp or another.

There was a lot of the normal “what was the highlight of your time there?”, but there was also a good bit of “what did you learn?”. You may remember my five part series, “Re-assimilating“, about my first time as a counselor at Camp NeKaMo. It was really cool to hear all that God did this Summer.

This got me thinking, what did I learn? I mean, I wrote about what happened and about the adjustment of going from camper to counselor, but what did I learn this Summer, not just at camp, but when we got home and got our sleeping bags hung up?

Even before my two weeks as a counselor began, I was feeling overwhelmed. My lifeguard training is a more obvious example of what I was learning in subtle ways the whole time. I am not sufficient on my own.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can’t do anything on my own.

Everyday, up early to go to Bible Study, full steam ahead all day long, and then try to get to sleep before midnight. It was exhausting. By the end of week one I was so tired I couldn’t think straight (and I have enough trouble with that anyway 😉 ). But, it was so rewarding to pour love into those girls and I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of their lives. I had to lean on the Lord. I’m not very confident in my teaching abilities, and I have a hard time praying out loud in front of people.  It was a really stretching 2 weeks.

After camp was over I was trying to find a job. I was pretty much broke and there were no babysitting calls. I never did find one, not even at McDonalds or Taco Bell. Quiz came around. We were talking about goals for the season. I really want to go to Nationals this year. It’s my very last year as a quizzer and I’d like to go out with a bang. I started praying that God would get me to Nationals. I didn’t know how He was going to do it, but the best way I could think of was to give me a job.

I was lying on my bed one night after a long day of babysitting and running errands when I realized something. It was only a couple weeks after I started praying to go to Nationals that I got my steady childcare jobs. As I was trying to fall asleep, it struck me. God gave me a job. It was so amazing to see God answer a prayer in such an obvious way, and so quickly. It really gives me chills. God is so powerful. He listens to us. He loves us.

Me and my Squishy! This picture doesn’t really have much to do with the rest of the post, but I love it. Josh is living proof that God does amazing things. 🙂

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.

I Think She’s Trying to Speak To Me

In Actions in Activities, Camp, Musings on September 17, 2013 at 12:09 am

You may not know this about me, or maybe it’s so ingrained in my being that I do it here too, but I’m kind of known for my strange metaphors and correlations, and very creative and abstract imagery. I find links in things that, I’m told, make people’s heads hurt. 

One night at camp we were having Divisional Campfire. Banty was telling the story of Joseph. She asked the girls what kept him going. What gave him strength? Several girls piped up with answers that were good, but not quite what she was looking for. Banty was about to move on, but I noticed one of the girls was kind of sitting behind her and still had her hand up. I said “Faith has an answer!”

Banty has this face she makes when I say something weird. It’s like she can tell I’m serious, but she’s not sure what planet I’m from. I could tell it wasn’t registering, so I repeated myself and pointed. She finally translated my alien dialect and got the answer she was thinking of. The next day we were talking about it. Banty was one of my CILT instructors, so she’s seen me in a Bible study. She said “I know Annie says things that make me think sometimes, but I wasn’t getting this.” That is a good illustration of what I mean about strange phrasing. “Faith has an answer” would be something I would say! 

I did this again at Bible Quiz practice last week. We were having a time of sharing about things we’ve learned from our chapters. Several people shared about James 1. This wasn’t a surprise, it’s a great chapter and pretty much everyone has it memorized. They were all saying pretty much the same thing. If you have faith God will give you wisdom, or that we should be doers of the word and not just hearers. And then raised my hand.

The main thing I see in this chapter is the focus on our actions and reactions.

In the first half it is talking about testing and temptation. It is about exercising your faith muscle. Under trial you strengthen that muscle and it shows up as perseverance , and that strength helps you through temptation.

The second half is about not just looking at the plaque on the wall for it’s beauty, but actually doing what it says. Instead of just studying it and saying “My, what a beautiful piece of work. I wonder where the bathroom is?” actually following the directions on the sign and finding the restroom. 

This really made me think about how our actions and words affect everything. It made me think about being intentional in our words and deeds. Not being absentminded or careless. If we don’t do things on purpose we are just hearing the word. We are letting things just happen, we aren’t doing them. 

I shared this, in a slightly more rambling way and not in as many words. Everyone in the room got that same look. That “You’re really cute, but I don’t know what you’re saying!” look. I like to think I just dig, not necessarily deeper, but at a different angle, than most of the world. 

Last week Dad showed me something in his sermon notes that made me make the same face. He was using Greek letters and other symbols to make some sort of pictograph. I had no idea what he was doing, but at least I know I come by it honestly.

Help Not Wanted

In Actions in Activities, Books and Movies on June 1, 2013 at 12:59 am

Or at least not my help it seems. Not even McDonalds will call me back. It’s a vicious cycle. They don’t want to hire you if you have no experience, but since no one will hire you you can’t get any experience. Wah. Pout. Stop whining, Annie. 😦 I’m hoping my time at the library will help.

Speaking of which! I’ve now gone to volunteer at the library 4 times= every full week in the month of May! Perhaps the new hasn’t worn off yet, but I am still loving the work! I feel like I have gotten faster at shelving, and have now done pretty much everything having to do with copious amounts of flyers and pamphlets. (That word looks so wrong. Way to many random consonants in a row.) I can make color copies and black & white copies, double-sided copies (I actually explained to the librarian why you feed the originals through the scanner the way you do, while she was teaching me! She basically said “Oh that’s why!”), fill the paper hopper on the copier, and use the giant paper guillotine (Terrifying and Tedious) to make the paper submit to your will.

Today I got asked twice about books! Unfortunately, I couldn’t answer either question. One was about popular YA books, which I know absolutely nothing about. The other was a little boy looking for the Star Wars comics. I liked him. Start ’em young I say. Although, I wouldn’t call Star Wars comics wonderful literature, you just gotta like a nerd in training. And, hey, he’s reading! Have you ever noticed how few boys read? Anyway, do you wonder why this made me so excited? I looked official. I looked like someone who would know something.

I have discovered I LOVE working in the children’s library! The little kids just learning to read, saying their ABCs, coloring a picture for Miss Sara. They are just beginning a wonderful journey! Beside the marvel of young life, that is where most of my favorite books are! I’ve never been much of one for Young Adult fiction. The best books are the super old books classified as  Juvenal Fiction. Swiss Family Robinson, Kidnapped, Anne of Green Gables and so many other classics are right in there with Captain Underpants! While this boggles my mind, I also think it is utterly awesome. By having the hard, but good books completely mixed in with the fun, shallow books you normalize the classics and make them available. I’ve actually only read a few books from the YA section (although more now that they categorized a bunch of classics). Most of the books I read are either in J or Adult.

Right now for book club I’m reading the diary of Anne Frank. A few years ago I was on a historical-fictional-diary kick and I read a bunch of the Dear America books. These are really cool because they work real history in, telling the story with only realistic journal entries. There are some that just say things like “had potatoes for lunch”. One thing that is so different about Anne Frank is that you don’t get much of a sense of what is going on with the war. In the American Girl books based in that era they have news of the war all the time. But if Anne did get much news, she doesn’t mention it much. She mainly focuses on life in the Secret Annex. For some reason I find this much more appealing. Maybe it drives home how real she was and how real life their situation was. I have to keep reminding myself that this all really happened. It is stunning how, well, all teen girls are the same. She wasn’t so different from girls today. She fought with her family and was moody at times. She had crushes and was fascinated by movie stars. The more I read the more I see every girl I’ve ever met. Maybe once I finish it I will have a different deduction, but I’m getting close and I’m not seeing my view changing. I’ll let you know when I get done. Unemployment

Of Camp and Birthdays

In Actions in Activities, Camp on May 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I can’t believe it’s only 12 days ’til camp!

I’ve been getting things together for months, so it’s really strange to actually, really almost be there! I’m finished reading the staff manual (which apparently makes me an over-achiever lol) and almost done with the Bible study.

For first week our theme is “Time Machine” and we are going to decorate the cabin all futuristic and spacey (wacey). Lots of chrome and white. 🙂 I’m looking forward to it! I plan on making full use of our enormous roll of white butcher paper and stocking up on silver wrapping paper from dollar tree.

Second week is “NeKaMo, The Musical”. It’s taken me a while to think of a way to decorate for that, but I think I’ve got it! At first I was thinking of doing something from Phineas and Ferb, perhaps “Roller Coaster” or something. But after trying to figure out how to decorate for that I decided on “The Music Man.” It is, after all, my favorite musical, plus, much easier to decorate for. One of my favorite scenes is the library scene where they all dance through the bookshelves, over the tables, up the stairs and all along the catwalks. Note: I am referring, of course to the 1962 version with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Matthew Broderick is, always has been, and forever will be, Inspector Gadget.  Welcome to Madison Public Library! To do this I plan to use my handy dandy butcher paper as shelves and construction paper as books. I may do some names on some of the spines, but I’m not sure how much time I will have to work on decorating.

Friday was Claire’s 13th birthday! We now have 3 teenagers in the house! She had planned to have her tea party on her birthday, but no one was able to come so we have to reschedule. We still wanted to make her day special, so we planned a day of surprises! She started by waking up to a gift of soaps and bath things and then going out to eat with Mom and Dad (she knew about lunch) in her birthday TARDIS. We painted the car with “Traffic And Relative Distance In Space” and a bunch of other DW related things along with the obligatory “HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY!” After they were done eating Mom and Dad gave Claire a chocolate bar and the clue to their next stop (all clues penned by  Mom, Meg and me):

Your next destination

With chocolate goes well

The poem proves that

You think it is swell

 

Next she had a surprise trip to Starbucks. After they got Frappuccinos they gave Claire a new hairbrush and:

You’ve wanted to do

This for quite a while

A tip of the hat to

Your Clairey-flair style

 

They took Claire to get her hair cut and (Surprise!) we met them there. She got a SUPER cute bob/chop thing. I’m not really sure what to call it, but it’s very short in the back and slants forward to chin length in the front. She got socks and money and her clue:

Put them on after socks

That is what you do

You’ll think this place rocks

We think you do too!

 

This was the only one that she figured out. Claire, Meg and I went to The Legends (a huge strip/outdoor mall kind of thing) and went to the Converse Outlet. She got a pair of Tardis blue high-tops! What she didn’t expect was a stop at Hot Topic to   get a Doctor Who t-shirt. We hadn’t ever been there before, but I heard they had DW stuff so we checked it out. I have discovered my new favorite place to get shirts. Not only do they have most of my favorite memes in t-shirt form, they have Doctor Who and My Little Pony stuff!. Claire got a shirt with a weeping angel as “Michelangelo’s Man” and I got “Keep Calm and Don’t Blink.” ❤ After we got done shopping we gave her a flashlight and the last clue:

Dark it will be

With food to consume

But with this you can see

It won’t be in a room

 

She assumed this was referring to the graduation party we were going to on the way home. Wrong. We did go to a friends party for a while (and got to see a bunch of camp people!) and eat outside, but the surprise was waiting at home. We got back and Dad had the tent up and a fire going. We all started talking about the shopping trip and showed them our shirts. We were about to go in when Dad asked Claire to go get the bikes out so Hannah and Adam could show their tricks. Claire went to get them and the whole shed erupted with squeals and laughter and Claire and her friends came running out!  We had a lovely sleep-out! BTW a “sleep-out” is a cross between a sleepover and a campout. You take all the sleeping bags and movies and giggles of a slumber party and put it in a tent (with an extension cord for the TV).

It was all great fun and Claire said it was her best birthday ever! 😀

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening

In Actions in Activities, Musings on May 8, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Happy 220th post!

This was funny to me. None of the results surprize me at all! I’m a derpy-word-nerd-trekiwhovian. ^_^
NerdTests.com says I'm a Slightly Dorky High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Ok, so, about the titles. I have a tough time coming up with names so I like to use the name of a song I listened to whilst writing this post. Last time I was getting ready for Elegant Evening and I liked that title better than any of the others I listened to. I was going to title this post “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, because it did in fact come up on my Pandora, it is uncommonly cold. In fact, drum roll please. <brtrtrt> It snowed. I’m not kidding at all. Last Thursday it snowed about 2-3 inches. I’m still kind of in shock.  But anyway, I would like to focus more on recent events and less on the weather. lol

Elegant Evening was splendid fun. It was contra dancing similar to what I have done before, so knowledge helped make up for clumsiness. There were only a couple of guys (although most of the dads danced at least a couple and our caller danced almost all of the dances), so many of us had to dance as boys. It really doesn’t matter for this kind of dancing though, it can make it a bit confusing sometimes, but it does make it less awkward. It was great fun, and didn’t feel like three hours at all. Perhaps one, but certainly not three.

Last Tuesday (30th not the 7th) Meg, Claire and I gave our speeches. Megs was about alter egos, focusing on Superman, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Julia Child. It was really interesting and she did marvelously. My speech was quite fun. It was a demonstration on making apple cobbler in a dutch oven. Normally it wouldn’t have been to entertaining, but once I got done explaining what a dutch oven is and got into the cooking show it really kicked up. Literally  I started out by setting out my cartons of “ingredients”  (small cardboard boxes marked butter, sugar, flour and milk). I nonchalantly put the ingredients in my large bowl as I told the steps.  Then I took my wooden spoon and began pounding the boxes and mixing them up. Everyone in the room jumped when I first began beating boxes, and then laughed as I kept the gag up. It was wonderful fun, and it was going very well, but I got so caught up in it I lost my place and cut my ending short. It didn’t affect my score though and I don’t think the teacher noticed (at least she didn’t seem to when I mentioned it afterwards). Unfortunately, Claire gave her speech about Betta Fish (complete with live fish! Volucris was fine on the car ride to and from, but Claire got a little bit wet lol) as I was in the kitchen scooping up cobbler for everyone. 😦

Poetic Voices was right after debate, and it was brilliant. There were the usual cliche “woe is me, I am undone” poems, but there were also quite a few that really made me chuckle. Claire was the opener and did a fantastic job! Everyone laughed at all the right places! Meg did a wonderful job as well! She was so poised and elegant, tranquilly talking about leaves and then, their demise.  It was so funny! 😀 Mine went much better than last time! I didn’t hide behind my hair (thanks to my crochet hook) and a think I spoke clearly and with good tone. I may have been a bit close to the microphone though, and I coughed into it. Stupid allergies.

I know I already talked about my graduation, but I want to share something God is teaching me. I had been wondering how I was going to get the registration deposit together for my doula training, let alone pay for the rest of  it.  The total sum of my graduation gifts was almost exactly what I need to reserve a spot in the class. Ok God, You have my attention. You will provide everything I need.  I’m not wondering how to earn the money I need. I’m not wondering how to get a job or why even McDonalds hasn’t called me back. I may be curious, but He will take care of it.

I have some more news, but I’ll save that for Friday (hint)!

Geronimo!!

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