The world will never ever be the same, and you're to blame...

Changing your email address is a lot of work.


There cannot be a close second to you...

(Happy birthday to me.)

This blog dedication not only took the longest (obviously, my bad), but it was the hardest to write, by far. I think I just wasn't exactly sure what to say, which makes sense, I guess. There aren't very many individual words that express emotion well, I've decided. You have to just get the right combination of words together just the right way and present them to just the right person, or else they are nearly meaningless. So, this is my attempt, and I don't really expect it to make any sense. If only life came with background music. Disclaimer: Remember when I talked about how I'm bad at remembering when things happened? Yep. Still applies, even if there are dates posted. Could be totally and completely wrong.

Fall 2003
I'm burnin', and I know I'm gonna blister in these flames...
I just moved to a new town. A small, crappy one. In a drafty farmhouse that includes green striped wallpaper in the 50's kitchen, which is connected to a bathroom that is about the size of a small closet. My pregnant aunt doesn't fit in it, it's so small. What friends I thought I had were gone, and I am feeling pretty broken and alone in a weird place with weird people in a weird house. Not to mention the homeschool group full of weirdos. I'm in the homeschool musical, which is great, except for my part. Yes, I got the lead part, but honestly, what kid my age wants to play a tree? I played a tree in kindergarten, people. Still, I am bound and determined to be the best tree there, from the cheesy songs I'm forced to sing down to the tulle and vines I will be wrapped in. Turns out, I'll end up stealing more than just the show. He's a year younger and I have no idea he exists, but there he sits watching me sing, without me ever knowing.

January 28th-30th, 2005
Didn't I see you when you thought you'd never stand out...
I introduce myself to Greg Jensen at Winter Blast, the junior high winter retreat, after everyone else in my youth group is talking to him as if he is one of the gang. Everyone knows him except me, so I thought I'd go out of my way to remedy that. I immediately recognize his name, because my friends seem to talk about him as if I should know who he is. Turns out he knows me, too. "I have a friend that talks about you all the time," he tells me. "Who is that?" I ask him, even though I know exactly who he is talking about, and I know exactly why he's heard so much from him.

February 4th, 2005 (this date has been proven to be wrong, but is stated as such due to tradition.)
Everything inside you knows there's more than what you've heard...
I would like to blame this all on Greg's big mouth, and it's true that his mouth is a large reason for this day's significance, but it's not like I said he couldn't tell him, and it's not like I didn't think he would, so it is almost just as much my fault. Later I'm sure I'll realize how foolish and ridiculous this was, but right now, who cares? He likes me. Too many times I've cared about someone and they haven't cared back. But this time he likes me. And I like him, too. And later I can regret being such a twerp 8th grader, but right now it's just me and him. Oh, and Sierra sitting on the couch wondering what we're talking about over here. We really are supposed to be babysitting and not admitting our mutual affection for one another, but Sierra can take care of that on her own.

I, and I ran away, for I was afraid, afraid you'd be everything...
There's no way. It's been a year. Why would he still like me after a year? We were just kids. We're still just kids. Plus, we aren't even around each other ever, he doesn't even talk to me, and I'm not even the kind of girl he'd be interested in. He likes math, I like rock music. He's brilliant, I'm not. He's got a heart for God, I've got a heart that struggles. He plays baseball, I fail at tennis. He's plays classical piano for church, I want to be a rock star. He's a pastor's kid, I've got purple hair. He's moved on because he realized what a fool he was to choose me over everyone else he could be with. And rightfully so. So I will be all the more calloused and have even stronger walls up because I don't believe he could still care about me, and I will be stronger for it. My heart is as impenetrable as Sparta, and I like it that way. He won't come back, and it doesn't bother me. I don't need to feel cared about. Right?

December 30th, 2006 - December 30th, 2007
I've got a perfectly normal heart, bruised and broken from within, at times I don't know how to start to let you in here...
How does one go about learning to be loved? How do you go from rejecting love in an attempt to protect yourself to allowing yourself to be cared for and wanted without fear of being wrung in two all over again? How do you just accept it? That's what he does, he just believes it without question. He just knows I care about him with no questions asked, and doesn't wonder why or what my corrupt motives really are or how someone would bring themselves to care that much for him. How come I do wonder those things? How come I can't just believe it? Why can't I just have faith in the fact that he says he cares about me? But honestly, why does he want to be with me? Why does he think I'm so special? And why do I ask these stupid questions? I really do want to believe it. But is this even right? Wouldn't it be foolish to accept that? Wouldn't that just leave me vulnerable? Vulnerability is dangerous, and I know more than a lot of people what it's like to make yourself known to someone only to have them decide that you're not the sort of person they want to love after all. He says he cares about you. Believe him. Whatever this thing is that makes me feel like I should do this, be it God or just myself, I know the sort of person he is, and he is not one to make a rash and foolish statement that he doesn't really mean. He wouldn't tell me he wanted to be with me if he didn't mean it. So I believe you, Andrew. Don't ask me why, because I couldn't really say, but I believe you.

December 31st, 2007 (debatably our date-iversary)
This is the best thing that could be happening, and I think you would agree, the best thing is that it's happening to you and me...
Today was the best day ever. I wore my new pink sweater (I decided I'd better actually dress like a girl), and he came and picked me up at my house. Then we went back to his house and the whole family took me to see a movie. It was lots of fun. And he was very sweet. So, I suppose this means we are "together" or something. Whatever that means. I can still hardly believe it. I am happy though, and I think he is the sort of person who I will be happy with for a very long time.

December 28th, 2008
4:54 PM
We should get jerseys 'cause we make a good team, but yours would look better than mine, 'cause you're out of my league...
Well, here we are. Thousands of conversations, a zillion song lines, bunches of little folded up pieces of notebook paper, ten or twelve "undates," and several coffee excursions later. Hero, you are a lovely person, and that is really all there is to it. Sorry if I embarrassed you by posting this. Hahaha. I'm actually not sorry at all. So, sorry that I'm not sorry. Anyway, this is to you, because the last few years have been quite an epic. Remember the time you let me beat you at foosball in junior high? Or the time you tried to give me $15 because Mikayla stepped on the case to my Relient K CD and it cracked? Or the times we babysat for the womens' small group and threw all the toy balls at each other when we were supposed to be watching the kids? Or the time the Przby's table broke and we had to fix it? And that is just a few of the things I remember. You remember more, of course, but that is one of the many reasons why we make a good team. So yes. THE END. Hey, I actually made my deadline! *grin*


Don't let these spiders crawl up beside us, they want to bite us, inject the virus...

This song title probably brings back some of the fondest memories of any of the song titles I've used for dedications so far.  Not because the others aren't meaningful or that they don't remind me of the person, but this one seems different somehow.  Maybe it's due to the fact that this blog is dedicated to more than one person.  In fact, it's dedicated to three people.  Three little boys.  Really, really, really cute and awesome ones.  Quite possibly the cutest.  This blog is dedicated to my main men, Carter, Owen, and Lewis.

I met the Harms family like... four or so years ago now.  I'm not totally sure, but it's been a while.  Anyway, so I am pretty sure I started babysitting them when Owen was barely two and Carter was threeish.  (I am not good with time periods, so bear with me)  Lewis was not even an idea yet, so we won't talk about him yet.  Carter was this sweet little crazy kid who liked to wear superhero costumes and watch movies.  Owen was hilarious and spastic and loved any music with a heavy bass line and a good beat, but he had an awful temper and he would throw some massive tantrums.  One time I made him mad by not giving him more snack, and he had been crying and screaming, and he had calmed down a little bit but he was still mad, so he threw his face into the hardwood floor so that he would cry more.  It was pretty hilarious, but don't tell anyone.  He also liked to "rock," which means he would sit on his hands and knees or up on the couch and rock back and forth to the beat of whatever music is playing.  Carter was more of a talker, if I'm remembering right, and even though he liked music, he liked to watch videos and play with toys and stuff.  Both of them were constantly wearing some superhero costume.  ALWAYS.  Hardly a moment went by that they were not wearing one.  They were my favorite.  Babysitting became less of a job and more of a fun thing I got to do, to the point that I have gotten into the habit of asking Kim and Corey if they need a babysitter any time soon so I can come and play with them.

Several years have gone by since then.  Carter is in first grade, Owen is in kindergarten, and Lewis has since been born and turned one.  Carter became super shy somewhere along the line, and likes to watch videos and play with his friends and catch bugs and frogs and stuff.  I don't usually see much of him when I'm over at their house, because he is a busy little man, playing outside or watching Magic School Bus or Batman or something.  Owen is the little craft-maker.  He's always coloring or making something cool.  One time he corrected me on how I was coloring in my Superman coloring page.  Lewis loves popsicles and likes to "rock" like Owen did when he was littler.  Sometimes I will walk into his house and he will start running into furniture so I will laugh at him.  It's pretty cute.  Sometimes he is very serious, and other times he is a little spaz.  It sort of just depends on his mood.

Anyway, those boys are basically my bestest buddies.  Life is so much simpler when all you have to worry about is what video you're going to watch or whether you want to be Batman or Spiderman.  Why is everything so complicated, anyway?  I would rather color.


Lléname con tu amor, Señor, otra vez...

This blog is dedicated to the man of many nicknames. Weathy. Weatherfired. Swayzee. Twinkle. And my personal favorite, Otra Vez. And that's not even all of them.

I originally picked this song line because it is the reason we call Patrick "Otra Vez." It's a song we sang in Mexico on our youth group missions trip. It translates "fill me completely with your love once again." Of the songs we learned that week, this one was probably the one where Patrick spent the most time forgetting the lyrics. Every once in a while you would hear Patrick, almost under his breath, singing "llename da da da da amooooor..." and then he'd get a little louder and sing "otra vez!" Eventually he did learn the words, but he had a thing for that song for some reason, and he still sings it, and we still call him Otra Vez.

Patrick became a Christian some time around March. We didn't hear about it until some time after at a Skillet concert, where he told one person and slowly but surely we all ended up hearing about it. He didn't see what the big deal was. We were thrilled, to say the least. Of course we were thrilled, though. That's what we'd been waiting to hear for months.

Every year the youth group has a big party at the school for the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game. It's a big outreach thing, and we all try to invite as many people as we possibly can. Patrick was one of them. I knew him from riding the bus with him and this guy called Rounds. He never talked to anyone and he sat by himself and Rounds would talktalktalktalk to either Patrick or me, and neither of us made much habit of responding too often, because Rounds was not a very nice guy. Anyway, so I knew who he was but never talked to him before. Then he comes to this football party, and I tried to talk to him. Just say hello, thanks for coming, are you having fun, the food is good, you know, whatever. I was not the only one to attempt this and fail. I remember Gabe asking a couple of us if we'd talked to the new guy, and we were all like "We tried and he won't respond! I think we're scaring him." Turns out, we did scare him. But he came to youth group two sundays later, and he's been coming ever since.

Patrick has missed youth group like, twice since then. He is involved in everything the youth group does. He's read more C.S. Lewis books than I have. It's pretty awesome. At first, he didn't talk to anyone at youth group. He literally showed up at the beginning, sat in a corner by himself, and left at the end. Eventually, he started to talk to us. Now we can't get him to shut up, and I mean that in the best way possible. ;-)

Patrick is a good example of why it is okay if you freak out the new people. He is also a fun person to skip advisors to go to vending machines with. He will laugh at you when your Gardettos spill all over the floor, but he will buy you more if he has enough change. He will bum rides off of you for everything and then talk about how awful your driving is, but he will let you steal his pop-tarts. He is a fun guy. You should know him.



I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four wheel drive...

**EDIT** This is a WAY better song line for us. *laugh*
**EDIT AGAIN** This picture is a good example of how Sierra will steal whoever's camera is lying around and take pictures of herself with it. It's true.

This blog is to Sierra. Sierra and I have been friends for 4 or 5 years now, I think. Ever since that dumb play about the trees. She was one of the first people to come up and say hello to me when I moved here. We have always gotten along really well.

One time, Sierra got some new horses. I tried to get her to name them TobyMac and Starbucks. She didn't, but at the time, we thought those were sweet horse names. I like riding Sierra's horses. That is usually what we do when we are at her house. When we are at my house we usually watch movies and eat junk food, or pull my mattress onto the floor and talk into the wee hours of the night. We can be sort of ADD when we are together, because most of the time one of us can't sit still. We need pretty constant entertainment. I don't usually get bored, but for some reason Sierra and I always end up trying to think of things to occupy ourselves because otherwise we are pretty sure we will go insane. It's pretty hilarious actually.
**EDIT** This picture is a good example of how Sierra will steal whoever's camera is lying around and take pictures of herself with it. It's true.

Sometimes we trade clothes, too. I have a bandana of Sierra's that she still insists isn't hers. It has been in my closet for like, two years now, and she is convinced it isn't hers. Once, Sierra took my leggings to Taiwan for six weeks. I didn't even know they were gone until she gave them back. There was one time, too, where we went to a concert and she didn't know what to wear, so she went through my closet until she found something. We like to share things.
Sierra is an incredibly fun person to be around. Easily amused, yes. Quick to boredom, yes. But that just makes the things she comes up with even more hilarious and awesome. You should seriously hang out with her sometime.


Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen, I take you in...

This blog is dedicated to Bethany. My singing buddy, apple buddy, first night of small group upperclassmen buddy, Skillet buddy, not so secret sister, and more. To be honest, I don't spend a ton of time with Bethany, but we still somehow have lots of stories to tell, and I consider her a good friend and definitely worthy of a blog dedication, and that is why I am writing this.

I met Bethany when I was in 8th grade. She was a grade under me. When we went to Winter Blast that year, it just so happened that there was this guy who knew another guy who liked me, and when I first met this guy he made the connection and decided it was his duty to spend the weekend making me miserable by not telling me who it was and making me guess (of course, I knew the answer, but you know how it is in junior high). Well, you see, Bethany liked this guy, and the fact that I spent that whole weekend talking to him freaked her out. Almost six months later, at Prairie Fest, I discovered that fact when she referred to Winter Blast and asked if I liked Greg (he's her boyfriend now, which is why I can tell this story). I responded with a resounding NO, and then things were better. After that we were friends, but we never spent a ton of time together. We would hang out at youth group things and stuff, but that was mostly the extent of our friendship. Then some years went by, and starting last year or the year before I was in a small group with her. Well, then we started talking more and getting to be better friends. Then, over the course of the last year, we have talked a lot more, because we enjoy gabbing about our special friends together, among other things. Then, this year on the first week of small group we were the only two upperclassmen. That was pretty funny. We had good times that night.

Bethany is an incredibly loyal friend. If you are messing with someone she cares about, you are going to get your butt kicked. She is also a hard worker who tries really hard to help the people around her, and she always gives it her all, nomatter what she's doing. She is really loud, really fun, and she loves to sing. She pushes through hard times and doesn't give up when things get difficult. She always has something positive to say, regardless of the circumstances. She has been an encouragement to me and many other people, and she is one of the most fun people to be around that you will ever meet.

Winter Blast 2009, baby. We're gonna rock the house.


PS) I can't find a picture of Bethany at this point, but when I do, I will post it.


Lately it just seems to me that we've got the letters ADD branded into our mentality, we simply can't focus on anything...

Again, this was a difficult song choice. All I could think of was Sweet Home Alabama, but I used that last time I did dedications. Since Andy is not much of a music person, there aren't really any songs that immediately come to mind as songs that remind me of him. So, I just picked a line that sort of sounded like us.

Andy is my brother from another mother, my taco buddy, and one of my best friends. He's the kind of guy who will give you a slightly used gift card for your birthday, but you think it's the awesomest thing ever. I can talk to him about anything and everything, and I can always count on him to do stupid random things that could potentially get us injured. For several years now I have been saying that if I die a tragic death it will be his fault. I said it in the last blog that I dedicated to him, too, and it still stands today. We are kind of not always so clever when we are together. But we always have fun, and we always live through it. So far, at least.
If you ever need someone to talk to who will be honest with you and who will take you seriously, Andy's the guy. It is really great to have someone who will just tell me if he thinks I'm being unreasonable or if I don't make sense or if I'm wrong without being a jerk. He really thinks through what he's saying before he says it, and he's a very discerning person. He knows when life is a game and when to take things seriously. One minute we are discussing why boys are dumb and girls are complicated and dramatic, and the next minute we are coating paperclips with hot glue. One time, I was watching the Chicken Shed during a scary nasty storm, and the lights were flickering and there was no background noise, and I was freaking out, and then Andy comes walking in, and we freaked out together for a couple minutes and then we watched Psych, and it was better. This stuff is pretty normal for us.

Another thing about Andy is that he can't dance. Don't even try, because it won't happen. You will trip and possibly fall. He can sing pretty well, but he rarely does that either. He likes to shoot stuff. Once, he let me shoot a 22 at a bucket. His room is full of dangerous looking things that I am usually scared to touch because it could cause my death. One time he tried to shoot a tomcat with a bow from his parents upstairs bedroom window while I distracted the cat from the kitchen window. Again, these things are fairly normal for us.
Basically, many of my favorite memories were either made by Andy or at the very least include Andy. Everyone needs a friend like him. Stay fly, brother from another mother!



This is the correlation of salvation and love, don't drop your arms...

This blog post is a pretty special one, because a couple weeks ago I wouldn't have written one about this person at all. However, things change quickly and dramatically, and I think that is proven in this person's new life.
Brian Burk was one of those people who is horrifically stubborn and tries to find loopholes in everything he is presented with. He would argue and argue and argue until you couldn't say anything except "well, you have all the answers, and I hope you find what you're looking for." Some people worried that he would never find it. It is hard to watch a friend deny the one thing that can save him. It's also hard to watch someone struggle with wanting to feel joy and love and peace, but then refuse to take it when it's offered to him.
Two years went by where I listened to Andrew tell stories about that Brian guy, his friend from school, and how he believed some wacked out stuff, and how Andrew had been talking with him about Christianity vs. whatever it was that Brian believed. As the months went by it started becoming a regular thing, where Brian and Andrew would debate about God. Eventually, these debates started leaking into our regular "wall" time, and sometimes that's all The Wall really was. Sometimes I would muster enough courage to pipe in my opinion, but for the most part I faded into the background and let them hash it out. It was really interesting to see Brian, who seemed to want nothing more than to disprove Christianity, and Andrew, who seemed to want nothing more than to convince Brian that he (Andrew, I mean) was right. Knowing that they enjoyed this and thought it was pretty sweet, I tended not to involve myself much.

After a year and some months (hard to say how many) it became obvious that there was more going on than just a guy with some messed up belief systems and knack for arguing. He had all the answers. There was nothing left to prove. People were praying. Then even later we had run out of evidence to give, and he was starting to ask all the same questions all over again. "He's almost going backwards" I remember someone saying. Maybe it was desperation. I can only speculate. But nevertheless we were worried, and maybe a bit fearful that our hopes were in vain. I think one of the things that several of us learned from the experience was that, in the words of Emery, it's not our job to MAKE anyone believe.

Two years into the debates and the answers to the questions and the prayers and the hopes and the heartbreak, on September 7th, 2008, Brian decided that Christ really was the way, despite his doubts. He gave his life over to the God we had begged him to accept. Not by our arguments or conversations or anything else that we did, but by God's compassion and grace. And now I think he understands.

Brian is, in short, a new person. If you end up talking to him, he is bound to start talking your ear off about some amazing God thing, and he gets so excited that you can't help but be excited too, and you both end up just laughing because that's all that it really comes down to. Joy. He has a joy that he didn't have before. My prayer for Brian is that he lives out his new faith boldly and passionately. That he wouldn't be a seed on the pavement or in the rocks or in the thorns, but that he would grow and be firmly rooted in the Way.



I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak, because there ain't no disguising the truth...

This blog post is dedicated to Kacy Bass. Because he demanded it. And because we're buddies.
At first, I had a hard time deciding what song line to use because the only songs that I could think of that at first were "The Pina Colada Song" and "Gibberish". The last time I did a round of dedication posts, Gibberish graced the title of Kacy's blog, and so I can't very well use it again. The Pina Colada song is just plain scandalous, and he might end up more corrupt than he already likes to think he is, and we couldn't have that. And so I went through my music collection looking for songs that made sense as Kacy's song. TobyMac came to mind, since that's most of what he listens to on a regular basis, and every time The Vert pulls in you can hear it playing really loudly. So, I thought about using a TobyMac song, but decided against it, because it would be impossible to pick just one song.
Then, my eyes fell upon a song title. In an instant, my mind went to hundreds of fond memories. I recalled an afternoon at my house with some friends and some Sharpies, and the sharing of tattoo designs. I recalled a concert where the elbows of a maniacal fan bruised the tops of my shoulders. I recalled many singalongs in The Vert with the top down and the wind in our recently bleached hair. And then I knew that this song was the one.
Kacy Parker Bass is the sort of person who starts pushing through a mosh pit to try and get closer to the stage, and people just start moving out of his way (and I don't think it's just the tallness and the wicked sweet hair). He takes up a majority of the memory card space on our digital cameras. His iPod is the one plugged in to the stereo system of whatever car he happens to be in. In short, he is often the center of attention. And you know what? I don't think anyone is complaining.

Sometimes Kacy will be talking and will throw out complete and utter nonsense, such as "But if I'm in a REALLY bad mood, I'll just be like, 'No, God, I gotta have a can of oysters'" or "Hey guys, I'll throw these nasty grapes out the sunroof while we're going 60 mph on the highway, and Andy can lean out the window and try to catch them in his mouth". Actually, that second one he didn't say, but that really did happen. Anyway, the words that come out of Basswad's mouth are sometimes pretty weird and hilarious, and we love him for it. But lately I've started noticing the other things he says, too. He will say things about God out of nowhere, and the things he says make sense. Like, somewhere in the midst of the random funny things pops this piece of wisdom, and everyone kind of sits there and goes '...Wow. He's right!' and life suddenly makes a little more sense. It's actually really awesome.

Another really cool thing about Bass is that you can talk to him about anything. One time he taught me to play ping-pong, and we had some conversation about something, and I don't remember what it was except that it was awesome. Then there was this other time when we were pulled over on the side of the highway waiting for Jeremy to get his video camera set up somewhere down by a creek thing, and we talked for like, ten minutes about our lives. It was pretty sweet. Don't get me wrong, the weird and bizarre conversations with Kacy are awesome, but it's really nice to have a friend that you can be goofy with and serious with at the same time.

Bass is one of my best friends. He is a true Jesus Freak, and if TobyMac were to see him moshing at one of his concerts, he would be proud.



My life be like ooh ahh...

Youth group was good tonight. Pretty normal.

My fingernails are going to be painted clear for a couple days because they are stained from being painted with colors.

I get my Fireflyfest box soon! That makes me really happy. I have waited rather impatiently for that box.

Youth group makes me feel like and old lady these days.

I am weird and listening to hip-hop. Maybe I'm dying.

I suppose I don't have anything else to say.



They fly north when winter is done, and we get burned in the summer sun...

300th blog post.  *rockfist*

Congratulations to Iowa for being awesomer than ISU.  I will always love you, Hawkeyes.

With this post being sort of momentous, I will now bring back the playlist that I've been working on, so everyone can listen to some of the best music ever written while they read, or do chores, or browse the interwebs, or stuff like that.  Yay!  Hopefully everyone is pleased with that.  I received several complaints about the lack of music.  I updated the original playlist and added lots of awesome new songs.  If you have any songs you'd like to see added or that you think I forgot, let me know.

This weekend has been a pretty good weekend.  Made some money.  Played with some cute kids.  Watched some awesome football.  Got my Ballard hoodie and a free t-shirt.  Ate lots of crap that I shouldn't have probably eaten.  Stuff.  Good times.

You know what?  I think Bass has a point, and I should do another round of dedication posts.  That would be a good way to celebrate breaking 300 posts.  I will start that soon.

Tomorrow is church, and I have to be there a little bit early, so I need to sleep.

Mara Tenille
The Butterfly


How in the world did I find someone like you...

Tomorrow I am getting a haircut for $4.50 from Liz.  She needs a model, and I need a haircut (well, I actually just trimmed it myself with Mom's help a week ago, so I am in no desperate need, but it would be nice), and I happen to be available at the time that she needs me.  Pretty sweet, huh?  So, I am doing that at 1:30 after guitar lesson.

I need to write a 1 1/2 to 2 minute introductory speech by Tuesday.  It will be no big deal, but I am trying not to procrastinate.

My fingernails are orange with yellowishgreenish polka dots.

LifeLight was lots of fun this year!  The group was really fun, and there were some other church families there, so that made it really neat too.  We saw lots of nifty bands.  Family Force 5 was awesome, and the mosh pit at MxPx was a blast.  Plus, Pat and Cindy (Kacy's aunt and uncle, who we stayed with) are awesome.  They fed us lots of snacks and cereal and once we even had little smokies at like, 2 in the morning!  The hot tub was awesome.  Everything was awesome.  I had fun.  Plus, I got a FF5 shirt.  Autographed, even.  And I even talked to Chap Stique.  Sweet, huh?

I wonder when my FireFlyFest box is going to come.  *cough*  *smile*

I am going to see what Copeland is up to.

Tomorrow night I might get to babysit la cute Casciato ninas.

Annnnd now I am going to go be productive.



It's only just a matter of time before you get down and out...

I am trying to decide if I want to shower tonight or tomorrow morning.  I think I want to shower tonight.  I think.

Today was fine.  School was average, almost ran into Peter (literally) before 4th hour, teensy bit of Trig homework which I should probably get out of the way, decided that auditioning for the school play is a bad idea, etc.  It was mostly uneventful, as you can tell.  I did order my football hoodie the other day.  I'm going to miss the first home game this weekend for LifeLight, which makes me angry, because it's against North Polk and I wanted to see Bethany wear Greg's jersey to the game.  You see, Bethany goes to North Polk, but she's dating Greg, who goes to Ballard.  He wants her to wear his jersey to the game, mostly because he enjoys causing controversy, and she agreed to do it.  That makes me laugh.  Plus, there are only like, 4 home games, and beyond that I have to drive places that I don't know how to get to if I'm interested in going to very many games this year.  STUPID.  They should just all be home games.  That would make my life easier, at least.  Anyway, back to today.  So, school happened.  I didn't have any DMACC class today, so no photography, and no seeing Andrew.  So, I got home and ate a bunch of leftover stir fry, because Mom wasn't home basically all day and that was what I felt like eating.  I painted my nails.  I did some schoolwork.  I facebooked.  Probably lots of other things.  Not terrible fascinating.

Yesterday I walked some miles with Wendy and her cute babies and Sarah.  That was nice.  A group of boys ran a random 5k and so we walked a shortened version.  I think that is going to turn into a twice-a-week thing, and Wendy and I will probably walk one of those times.  That would be fun.  I like not running and still getting exercise, so it works out well.

Tomorrow Emily and I are dying our hair.  Any suggestions for color?  It will either be red or just some other variation of brown.  Or highlighted.  Or maybe I'll cop out and just not dye it because I am indecisive.  That will probably not be the case though.  I am sort of a hairdyeaholic a little bit.

Okay.  I need to sleep.


Someone please save us, us college kids...

I have East Village Opera Company stuck in my head.  Nevertheless, I don't speak any languages except English, so they are not gracing the title of this blog.
Right now I am in school sitting on the computer doing basically nothing.  I am sort of waiting for something to inspire me so I can make this poster better, but it looks good as it is, and nothing better is coming to mind.
Today I start at DMACC.  I am really excited.  My camera is all ready to go and I have all my books and stuff.  Today and Wednesday I have Photography, and Tuesday and Thursday I have Speech.  I am mostly excited for Photography, but I am sure I'll like Speech as well.
In English we are writing an 8-10 page research report.  I think I am going to do mine on the Bronte sisters.  I also am thinking about doing it on Edgar Allen Poe, or on something musical.  I think it will be fun to research something that I get to pick.  I think I can handle 10 pages, but we'll see.



Seasons of rain, battles unwon...

I just downloaded the song I first heard at Jeremy and Aleah's wedding. Aleah walked down the aisle to it. It's called "Make Us One" by Cindy Morgan. It's pretty amazing. You all deserve to hear it, if you haven't.

My fingernails started out beautiful, and now they're all messed up. That makes me irritated. I have to re-polish them now. HAVE TO. Like, I MUST or else I might die.

This basement smells like chemicals.

School is going well so far. Pretty much what I expected. Trig is good, English is good. Can't really complain so far. I am excited to start DMACC on Monday though. That will be really cool. Photography is going to be amazingly awesome. I am pretty pumped.

Today I learned how to use MLA format. I didn't really know what that was, but my fake college application letter had to be in it, so I Googled it and now I feel smarter.

Weddings are exciting.

I love the music I pick out. I know I say this often, but it's not like I brag about anything else, so I'll remind you again. I have fantastic taste in music.

That conversation about the shoes was good times.

Now I am downloading two old Mae songs. Summertime and This Time is the Last Time.

Okay. Time to sleep!



Reuben, what is he dippity doin'...

I just downloaded this song.  It makes me happy.  I really wanted Do Not, but they didn't have that one, much to my dismay.  Right now I'm uploading some CDs so I can sync them to my very old and crabby iPod.  It keeps randomly freezing up when the battery gets low.  So, I guess I just have to keep it charged.  I can handle that.  Unless that isn't the problem, in which case it's probably only a matter of time before my $50 iPod breaks and I have to go spend the money on a new, less temperamental one.  I think I decided that an 8gig is sufficient, but now the question still remains -- iPod or Zune?

I am a bit afraid of my new soft spot for hip-hop.  That's a little scary.  I almost hope it doesn't go beyond TobyMac and John Reuben.

We are going to the pool, I think.  It's sort of cold outside for the pool, and stuff.  I don't know how I'm feeling about that.  I kind of want to go, but I don't really feel like swimming.

Tonight we are going bowling with all of our favorite families.  That will be lots of fun, I think.  I like bowling, despite the fact that I'm pretty horrid at it.  Hans and Leighanna know this well.  They've bowled with me.  I think it's fun though, and I'm excited to hang out with my favorite people.

Wednesday we went to Adventureland!  That was lots of fun.  I regret to report that I did not go on a roller coaster.  I seriously, seriously, for real will get sick.  And that wouldn't be fun for me or for the people I would wind up throwing up all over.  So, I'm very sorry, but I just can't do it.  *sigh*

I need a job.  I wonder what kind of hours would work out with school and everything.  I should probably talk to Mom about that.  I'd kind of like to apply at Cafe Diem in Ankeny, since it's right across from the DMACC campus, and I love it there.  Liz works at this copy place that needs a lot of help, so that's an option too, but it sounds pretty boring.  I would like to have a cool job, but it's entirely possible that I might just have to get a normal one.  And that's fine.  I might not even get a job, so it's not like any of this is fo' sho'.

I missed a person and now that person is home.  *grin*  Just thought I'd put in a good word about that.

I listen to Christmas music in August.

136 days until I turn 18.  My phone is counting down for me.

School starts on Tuesday.  That is so weird.  Senior year.  I'M SO OLD!  Goodness.  I'm practically an old lady.  I don't know if I want to have senior year yet!  I think I like being a junior.

Shawn McDonald's first CD = awesome.  I have fantastic taste in music, if I do say so myself.  I love the music I pick.

I miss dcTalk so much.  Those were the days, man.  Things just aren't the same without them.  That was a good band.  Few compare to the awesomeninity and fantasticness that was dcTalk.  I am listening to It's Killing Me from Supernatural right now.  I am blown away by how great they were.  Just great.  Like apple pie.  Just awesome.  (This paragraph is a good example of when I rattle off stuff because I don't really know what I feel like saying)

*gasp*  Jesus Freak isn't in it's case.  WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?  There will be blood over this.  Good gracious, neither is New Way to be Human.  Donde esta las buena musica?  No esta bueno, mi amigos.  No esta bueno.  (Dang, my Spanish rocks.)

I am so weird today.

Okay, I should probably get ready and decide if I'm going to the pool.  I am still in my awesome pink pajamas.

Mara Tenille


Know this, I cannot love a little, my promise to you is unconditional...

I like that song.

Today I attempted to make tapioca pudding twice.  The first time it failed miserably. The second time it looked like a success, and then failed miserably.  It was tasty tapioca soup though.  We had corndogs and curly fries for dinner.  I didn't get an email that I half expected, which bummed me out more than I thought it would.  My C.S. Lewis book has stains on it and I've only cracked the cover twice.  My hair needs to be cut.  I'm feeling particularly moody for no reason.  But we did go to Bass's house for a little bit with Em and Andy and made a nasty shake with chocolate ice cream and oatmeal cream pies and whipped cream and milk and green Poweraid.  It was pretty amazing.  We drank it from little teacups and held a toast to beef.  It was pretty spiffy.

Last night me and Sophie went to see Iron Man with Brian and Patrick.  It was a great movie.  I liked it.  And there was only one close your eyes scene.  We got Jomocha shakes afterwards, because they are amazing.

I think we're going to watch a movie now.  My vote is for School of Rock.  I heart that movie.



It's the flame in all of us the same...

My fingernails are all nice and painted.  I like that.  They're getting sort of longish.  Which is good, because it means I'm not biting them all off.

Apparently the stars are remarkable tonight.

Tonight we went to Luke Vespestad's birthday party.  Then he split his head open on a coffee table and had to go get stitches.  So we came home.  The boys ended up going back to spend the night anyway, but with no lightsabers.

Mom is singing loud with no music.  Because she is listening to the iPod Patrick gave me.  I will let him have it back when I buy one, if he wants, or I will just buy it from him.

This is Mara's Mom:  At least I'm singing on key.  I think.  Am I?  Wait. Don't answer that Mara.

Mara's not back yet, so I'll tell you about her rat.  It loves her.  You can tell.  It wants to snuggle with her and stuff.  He could run anywhere he wants to, but he stays close to her and burrows into her clothes.  It's funny.

She just brought in a pile of CD's to transfer.  Geoff Moore Evolution is on top with TFK Flame In All Of Us following behind.  Next comes Anberlin Lost Songs and then Stellar Kart.  And then a bunch more.

Speaking of CD's, everyone must get Tenth Avenue North's CD.  Or borrow it from me.  Awesome CD.

OK, the iPod made a doo-duh-lee-loo sound and she tapped Geoff Moore and said something, but I'm listening to Hilllsong United so I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  She's tapping the screen.  Now she's saying, "El clicko por favor."  She has not quit speaking Spanglish since we got back from Mexico.  She even texts me in Spanglish.  Which reminds me...Prairie Fest is having a Texting Competition.  How horrid is that?  Completely, I tell you.  What's worse?  They aren't having the Talent Show.  Which reminds me...they ARE having some kind of singing competition with a $250 prize and Mara is being rather noncommittal and apathetic about it, so y'all should do some convincing.  For crying out loud, it's a shot at a lot of free money.

She's back.  And she's eating cheese crackers.  Geoff Moore has successfully been transferred, as has Mae and Deas Vail.  This now ends my stream of consciousness...

Okay.  Now back to me blogging.  So, the iPod thing is doing great.  Luke's head is now all stitched back together.  These cheese crackers are not very good.  In fact, they sort of taste like cardboard with the cheese powder you get in boxed macaroni and cheese.

So, this year I think we are going to Lifelight again.  There are going to be some pretty awesome bands there this year (Switchfoot, The Afters, Lincoln Brewster, Remedy Drive, Family Force 5, Natalie Grant, Sanctus Real, etc), and probably some pretty lame but equally entertaining ones.  There are also some nifty sounding seminars that I'd like to go to.  Lincoln Brewster and Jared Anderson (not sure who he is) are doing a worship seminar, and the To Write Love On Her Arms guy is doing one, and lots more.  I'm excited to go.  It's in less than a month though, so if that is going to happen then we should probably get truckin' with the planning and all.  Although, last year, if I'm remembering right, it wasn't until like 2 weeks before that we even decided to go.  However, I prefer to have things planned somewhat before diving in head first.  I'm just sort of a loser that way.

Copeland is seriously one of the best bands ever.

Stiiiillll trucking along on these CDs.  I want to have everything ripped by tomorrow night, but we'll see how that goes.  Sometimes I get distracted.

Thursday we are going to the fair.  We will be getting there obscenely early in the morning, because WHO is trying to break the record for 'most people taking a bite out of a corndog at one time' and gosh, who wouldn't want to be involved in that?  Plus, the corndog is free and then we don't have to pay to get into the fair.  So we'll see the butter version of Shawn Johnson and walk around and do whatever you do at the fair and then come home.  Good times, I tell you.

Facebook is interesting, because it is really nice to be friends with all sorts of people you would normally have a hard time keeping up on, but that chat thing drives me insane sometimes.  Sometimes I just don't want to IM anyone, and I should have the freedom to lie about my online status like I do with Windows Live Messenger or AIM or GTalk, but no, I have no choice but to be seen as 'online'.  So then, people think I hate them because I don't respond to their IMs, and then I feel bad, but I still ignore them because Facebook is just stupid that way.  Good grief.

Apparently you can turn Facebook chat off.  Now I feel sort of stupid.

Underoath is good, too.

Lewispaul, one of my three favorite Harms boys, is getting HUGE.  I kid you not.  He looks so old.  He's like, a kid now!  None of that baby stuff anymore.  Good gracious, before I know it he'll be asking me where his sippy cup is instead of just squawking untiI bring it to him.  This is just no good, I tell you.  I feel so old.

Alright, I am going to finish up these CDs and head to bed.  I am sleepy.

Mara Tenille


Write down to remind yourself on how it can be...

Tonight I went to Harmsen's for a hawt partay.  We watched Stardust (not a fan) and did random things.  It was pretty good times.  I enjoyed myself.

Yesterday I got a rat.  His name is Maximilian.   He is amazing.

I don't know what to get Andrew for his birthday.

Tomorrow I have Senior pictures.  I'm pretty pumped about them.  I have some cool outfits picked out, too, so it should be amazing.  Haha.  I'm excited.

I'm out of things to talk about already.  I guess this is just short.

Mara Tenille


Isn't it nice to know that the lining is silver...

This blog post will have pictures. Hooray! Here is a picture of Mia and I. She is two. She's very sweet, and a total attention hog, and hardly talks at all. All the girls loved her. Speaking of the girls, here we all are. From the left: Bekah, Makensie, Emily, Sophie, Kristin, Me, and Sierra. I don't know why Lenna isn't in the picture. Maybe she was taking it or something. Here we are singing, too. And here's me and Bekah with some of the little boys. Hooray! The end.

The current debate that is taking over my life: Zune or iPod? I am leaning towards an iPod, but what kind? Refurbished or new? Is 8 gigs enough or do I need to go for a Classic? Zunes are supposedly better quality. What size? What color? Do I get a fancy one with artwork on it or save the $30 and get a plain one? So many decisions. Any thoughts?



They say you never know what you've got 'til it's gone...

Hello world!  I have returned to my beloved blog once again.  It's been awhile.  Here is the lowdown on the last couple of weeks.

Mexico was fantastic.  Monday I had the stomach flu, which was definitely pretty crappy, but that was the only day I was sick and no one else got it.  We spent the whole week doing VBS ministry and really just playing and loving on these kids.  They are really great people, and many of them got saved while we were there.  The boys all preached for the evening services at the church we were working with and that was really good, and everyone's bible lessons for the kids were awesome.  Everything was just awesome.  That was last week.

Now on to this week.  Two of my wisdom teeth were rather rudely cut out of my mouth by some oral surgeon/evil tooth stealer this past Tuesday.  The procedure was fine except I woke up and immediately threw up all of my vital organs because of the anesthesia.  I threw up for a couple hours and then was fine.  It's healing fine, and yes.  Those teeth should never have existed.  I think they are a product of the Fall.  No, actually the fact that they have to be surgically removed (or removed at all for that matter) is a product of the Fall.  Ridiculous I tell you.  I have to go back in a few months and have the other two removed.  Not sure how I feel about the anesthesia this time around, however.

Today I had my check up at the oral surgeon place.  Everything was fine.  Then my family went and visited with my Grammy for a while and played their Wii.  I amt he boxing champion of the universe.  Then I went to Family Christian and got a big collection of Clive books and a CD and part of Andrew's birthday present.  Oh, and a Jesus fishy for The Tater.  Then I went to the pool with my mom and got to hang out with Andrew and three crazy junior high boys.  Peter, Erick, and Colin.  Fun times.  Then I went to Ethan's surprise party.  Ethan is Liz's boyfriend.  Liz is my friend.  So, yes, that was good times, and we had fun doing random things and playing random games and such.  Now I'm home.  Yay!

Tomorrow morning Andrew and his family leave for vacation.  Those who read my blog either already knew that or don't care.  However, just know that I will miss them all (some more than others.  *shrug* I'm not going to lie to you) and that is why I include that in this blog.

Tomorrow we are cleaning out my van.  The Tater is nasty, and needs some ubercleaning.  Like, scrub that sucker with some Comet cleaning.  It's gross.  You know how your parents always made you bathe when you were little and they told you that they loved you nomatter what, but you still had to be clean?  That's sort of how I feel.  I love my van, but it's just no good.  No bien, Se*squigglyn*or, no bien.

Hmm.  It's almost two.  Time for sleep.

Mara Tenille Dickens
The Butterfly Child


We're all the sisters and the brothers until we find we don't believe the same...

Today I went to bible study, and then went to the pool, and then went to the last baseball game, and then came home.  It was nice.  I think I got a little bit burned.  Good stuff.

My 29 on my thumb keeps getting messed up.  Grrrrr.

Okoboji was fine.  I got some candy.  I wish I had gotten a t-shirt, and I wish I'd gotten Andrew that sucker with the nasty bug in it.

Baseball is over now.  That is a little bit sad.  Football is coming though!  Senior year is coming too.  Scary.

Well.  I am going to go sit in the hammock and work on stuff for Mexico.  Adios!



You have restored me...

This morning I am running the Chicken Shed, same as every Thursday morning.  When I'm done, we have to go to Ames to get Sophie's permit and (hopefully) my full license!  W00t!  No more 12:30 Driving Curfew!  That will be nice.  Not that I ever really drive past then, but it's nice to not have the pressure.  What if I'm spending the night at Harmsen's and I run out of Mountain Dew at three in the morning?  That's completely unacceptable.  This will solve many problems.
Tonight there are fireworks (!!!) and then after that I will go to Harmsen's and spend the night there.  Then, tomorrow morning we will leave for Okoboji at "around 8" which really means 9 or 9:30, unless we're really booking it.  So, we will drive down, and be there until Sunday.  I'm not sure when were getting back, but I think Elise is coming that day so we will definitely want to spend some time with her.  I am super excited.
I am selling lots of stuff today.
Today I get a shot. *dies*
Yesterday Mom and I did some pilates.  It was pretty sweet.  Now I want a yoga mat.  Maybe I will look for one while we are out today.
Well, I need to go be productive now.


Ain't it pretty the way it all streaks together at night...

Today was a busy day.  First, we went to church.  Mr. Simpson preached, and was awesome.  That was exciting.  He did a really good job.  After church we went home and then went to the potluck at Mary's house to see Lori while she is home from the far away country she lives in.  That was nice.  We ate good food and played charades.  Then we went to youth group, and got there late, but that was good too.  When we got home me and Mom and Sophie laid out on a blanket to look at stars.  We saw lots of shooting ones, and I decided I need to learn more constellations, because I'm sure there are lots of things I'm seeing up there that have names, and I just don't know them yet.

Tomorrow I think I'm going out with some girls to dinner and a movie.  We wanted to go to Panchero's because Daniel works there now, so that's the plan so far.  Hopefully it all works out, because that would be lots of fun.

This coming weekend I'm going to Okoboji with Em and Andy.  That makes me pretty excited.  When we went there for LifeLight it was super fun, and Em says there's lots to do for 4th of July.  So I'm pumped about that, too.  Hopefully that will also work out.  If it does, I will be gone Friday the 4th through Sunday the 6th.

Mexico is getting closer.  It's sort of driving me insane a little bit, actually.  Like, I want it to either just get here and get here now, or just never come so I can stop anticipating it.  I'm excited, but nervous, and it's all just a strange combination of emotions.  I'm not entirely sure what I think about it, but I know it's all going to be alright, so I can't say I'm worried.  I have all the skirts I need, and I need to make sure I'll have enough shirts, and other than that there isn't tons of stuff to do.  I need to make a poster for a memory verse, and that's all I remember at the moment.  There's a little more than that, I'm just not really focused on it right now.

I think Mom just fell asleep at the laptop.  Hahaha.  That's so cute. *laugh*

Alright.  I need sleep.  Too much sleep deprivation these days.

Mara the Butterfly


Heartstrings, you're tugging at my heartstrings...

Today I got my new shoes. I love them. I'm going to wear them to everything.

Ohmyword, do you want to hear something nasty? Last night Andrew ate a mosquito. How gross is that? Weird kid, eating bugs just to freak me out. Ick. Gross. ;-)

Tomorrow we are going to my grandparents house. Guess why? NO! YOU'RE WRONG! It's to celebrate Christmas. *stare* Yes, Christmas in June. Because my extended family is crazy. Actually, it will be really fun, but it's pretty hilarious. I'm excited. AND, there will be yummy food, because there always is yummy food when my family gets together.

I am listening to music from a person that I'm not going to talk about because Leighanna might eat me.

We are making Christmas cookies. We are officially awesome.



This is no place to try and live my life...

I brought the music back!  It feels so much better in here now.  I was about ready to ditch the cute leaves in favor of the music, but now I get the best of both worlds!  I like the leaves and stuff even though I didn't design it.  It's one of those things where I wish I had designed it, but I didn't.  Whoever did gets brownie points from me.  Sort of like every once in a while I hear a song, and I think 'man, this should have been written by me!' and then I go and write a song that never ends up being as good so that I can at least say I keep trying.
Right now I'm at the Chicken Shed working.  Working as in sitting on the computer playing tetris and blogging.  Pretty boring.  I almost wish I could hang some garlands or something, except not, because I am horrible at decorating with this stuff.  I don't think anyone would look at me and think 'Oh, yeah, she works in a primitive shop for sure'.  I tend to feel pretty out of place in here, but it's still fun.
VBS last night was awesome.  Our skit was almost entirely ad-lib, Corey belayed me from the ceiling which was terrifying and hilarious at the same time, our earthquake didn't start on time ("Maybe an earthquake would be helpful right now..."), and my main-man Carter stole the show with his amazing performance as a cute guy with flowers on one of our videos.  It was great.  Chaotic, but really great nonetheless.  Those videos, by the way, are supposed to be on the website by the beginning of next week.  Keyword being supposed.
Tonight will be a fun VBS because we don't have any lines.  I'm pretty pumped about that.
I'm going to go look for a stapler some more.  Adios!
Mara Tenille the butterfly


Tell the world that Jesus lives...

VBS is going to kill me.  Good thing I love it.  Goodness gracious.  Tonight was pretty insane.  The skits were great.  We ran lines for tomorrow's skit and it didn't go so well, but I think we'll be alright.  I'll just cram all day tomorrow and then hopefully it'll be all memorized and stuff.  It will be hilarious.  Hopefully they will all be on the church website before the end of the week, so if you want you can watch them.  In the meantime, this game is incredibly addicting.  Have fun.

My shoulder feels like snake skin.  Gross.



Oh, let the world crash, love can take it...

This song inspires me.

I am trying to figure out what size I would need in this shoe.  I'm definitely going for Peacock as far as color, and it's looking like I'll need a 7 based on what I've read about sizing.  They are to take to Mexico with me so I am closed-toed but still cozy.  Plus they're super cute, as opposed to the normal, uber ugly Crocs that I will get if this falls through.  I really don't mind a pair of normal Crocs, but these are more fun.

This place needs to be redecorated.  I'm getting bored with this color scheme.  I'm going to get on that right now.

My hair rocked today.  Then I swam it all out.  I will take pictures of it awesomely someday.

VBS skits are going to rock your faces off.  The videos are so amazing.  You can see them on www.gracehuxley.com once they're finished, I think.



If you'd just realize what I just realized...

Hola! Como estas?

Today I went to the pool, where I got sunburned. That was fun. Someone pooped in the pool which is NASTY and they kicked us all out and then after that I was pretty grossed out so I was done. Then we went to a baseball game (two actually, JV and Varsity) which was good times. JV lost, but Andrew made the first run, even though he didn't hit the ball for it. And he stole third at one point. Stealing bases makes me excited. Varsity won and we all cheered and me and Sierra
and Jessica and Erick shared a quart carton of chocolate milk. Here's a photo.

I have bubble gum stuck to my lips because I blew a bubble and it exploded on me.

Tomorrow = consultation with my oral surgeon about my wisdom teeth and more swimming and filming for VBS.

That's about it.



Boys speak in rhythm and girls in code...

Good song.

Today I went scrapbooking with Marisa. It was pretty awesome. I did one page, another TFP one (this one is of our first show, the battle of the bands at Blinks. The other set is of Ames Christian's anti-prom thing.) and started a page for homecoming with Andy. The BOTB one is pretty awesome. It has a cool cream and red patterned paper (it's sort of hard to describe the pattern in words, so I'll have to try and take a picture of it or something) with blueish mats. I would scan it but it's 12x12, which is bigger than my scanner. The homecoming one is going to be adorable once I finish it. I'd like to try and put it together tonight, but we'll see if that actually happens or not. It's on a black and white flower paper and I made some cute little blue and red daisy things to embellish it with. Pretty cute. I also got a bunch of mats that come in a set (it's called a Mat Stack...hehe!) which are pretty awesome, too. So it was good stuff.

My family went to the pool without me. Losers. Just kidding.

It's funny when you see a person a lot, and then you all of a sudden see them a lot less, and then you have to transition into other ways of communication regularly. Like, emailing people you normally see every day. It's just sort of strange feeling, just because it's so different. It's not necessarily bad, just odd.

I am so pumped to get my baseball shirt. That's probably sort of pathetic. Hahaha.

Oh. Hey. Guess what? My hair... is all gone. Chopped off. I had Liz cut it short. Muahahahahaha. Sorry if you hate me. Ben (my little 8-year-old guitar pupil) hates it, but so far everyone else doesn't seem to mind too much. Here are a couple photos so you can understand the drastic change. I like it, but it won't stay like this forever. It's mostly just for a fun, spontaneous change. Not permanent. But I like it.

Mara Tenille
The Butterfly Child


Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me...

Interesting couple of days.
So, yesterday I heard about this story.  That is so sad.  Any time something like this happens, it's sad, but there's just something about it happening to someone so well known... maybe it's just that people hear about it almost immediately and they identify with who it is.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm just making stuff up.
Baseball was good.  They won both games.  I aced my Algebra 2 semester test.  One more to go.
I have special music with Andrew this week.  I have no idea what I'm going to play.
Mara Tenille


The world still turns when you're not around...

This computer is full of old games and files. I'm getting stuff all uninstalled, because I'm clever like that. Actually, it's because the computer is generally one way that I am not so much of a packrat.

I bought Anberlin's first CD with the points I got from the end of my CCM subscription (they printed their last issue in April, so they gave me free music to make up for it), and downloading it has not gone well so far. Stupid online music. I would much rather just go buy the CD, but that wouldn't be free. So whatever. But my goodness, this is complicated and annoying. Our computers are junk.

Hallelujah! I think it just worked! (in order for that to sound like me, you have to say 'hallelujah' phonetically, just for the record)

Today, being mother's day, I got Mom some flowers. They're pretty ones, too. I like them. I hope she really likes them and isn't just saying she likes them because she's my mom.

Snap. I might have messed this download up. Ugh, I am going to shoot myself if this doesn't work soon. Dumb internet.

Mmkay. Well, I'm going to close this window now, and hopefully that will help make this work better. See y'all later.

Okay, now I'm back and I'm going to edit more blogness into this post. My guess is no one has seen it yet, so I don't feel bad or anything. My downloads are finally working, but something is wrong with the audio device, which is probably a result of me uninstalling random things. I'm not really worried, because I read somewhere that you can just restart the computer and it will fix itself, and if that doesn't work I'll just download a driver off somewhere and that will hopefully fix it. Or something. It'll all work out. There are enough computer nerds in the family to make it happen.

My fingernails are black with red glitter. In other words: Awesome.

These downloads are sllloooowwww.

I hope we play something inside at youth group tonight. I don't want to kickthrowrun anymore.

Three more to go.

IIIIII think I want some coffee, but it's too late. Tomorrow morning there will be coffee though. Yes there will. I will make some deliciousness and I will love it and cherish it as I sip it during Algebra.

I should change out of my Spongebob pants into some jeans or something now. We need to leave.



Don't be shocked that people die, be surprised you're still alive...

Best line from Cassie ever.  Loveloveloveloveit.

Today was interesting.  Here's why:

Website issues.  I am so irked.  That's all I'm going to say about it.

Work.  Did lots of stuff.  It was good.

Tennis.  Good.  I like watching it.  Andrew won both matches.  It was seriously awesome.

Came home.  Didn't miss any American Idol.  Definitely went at least 5 over the speed limit to make it.  Kept getting stuck behind slow people.  Missed the beginning of Jason Castro because I was "doing laundry" during the commercial break.

Someone *cough* hasn't called me back yet.

Still can't find my pink tank top and my awesome hoodie.  I did find my hobo hoodie though, which is good, but it doesn't make up for the stuff that's missing.  Grrrrrr.  So irritating.

Supergroup practice potentially Friday.  6th hour.  Fun times, but if I do something with Sawyer and the gang it means no solo effort, which is sort of a bummer since I was contemplating doing Flyleaf.  I'm into the acoustic version of Cassie right now, as you may have guessed, and I thought it would be a nifty song to play in front of the school.  Albeit gutsy, but who every said that was a bad thing?

So, that's all that I can think of. T here was probably more, but I'm not going to try and remember, because it was probably not a big deal.  Not that the things I said already are a big deal or anything, they're just in the front of my mind.

I am uberfantasticallycrazily excited for Saturday. KNOW WHY? 'Cause I'm singin' in a wedding!  W00t!  I tell you the truth (heh), I am crazy pumped for it.  And!  I get to scratch it off of my list of things to do before I die.  Which rocks you in the face with a bowstaff.  Yessssss.  So. Excited.  For realz0rz.

My fingernails look like tomato soup.

Mara Tenille
The Butterfly Child


You said you would never leave me, I believe you, I believe...

Favorite line from that song, probably.  Today I'm going to pick up four copies of the Flyleaf album.  One for me, one for Andrew, one for Patrick, and one for Bridgewater.  Bridgewater is off the hook for paying me back though, because tomorrow is his salvation birthday.  One whole year of being a Christian!  Woo Hoo!

I have to go clean Grammy's house now, so this is just a short blog.  But since I haven't blogged in forever, I owed it to you.



I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo...

Andy's surprise party was a success!  There were 23ish of us not counting adults, and we played Rock Band, MarioKart, and ping-pong all night long.  Lots of food.  Lots of friends.  Lots of fun.  Good times.

I am currently wearing an old worn out white t-shirt with "I'm A Ding-A-Ling!" scrawled across it in Sharpie and some pink and orange plaid shorts, and my hair is thrown up in a clippy thing.  I tell you the truth, I am uber comfy.

The Olson's are in town, so we've been chilling with them the last couple days.  Right now Zach is watching some comedian on YouTube, and I don't even know where Sophie and Tanner are at, and the little boys are in bed.  Today we went to see the Spiderwick Chronicles at the dollar theatre.  I thought it was pretty okay, and Zach and Tanner hated it.  Go figure *laugh*  It wasn't as bad as I expected though.  I also got some shorts at Aeropostale.  They're super cute.  I like 'em.

Rock Band is a cool game.

I think going to sleep sounds like a fantastic idea.  Goodnight!

Mara Tenille
The Butterfly


Fwd: never tried this... i wonder how well it will work??

This counts as a blog, right?

Hot pink and black.  I've had a thing for blue lately, too.
Depends on who you ask.
Again, it depends on who you ask.

If I could see the future, I'd tell you, but for now I only have hopes and dreams and God.

He's showed me that I'm worth it.  I wish I could express the magnitude of that.

Singing in crazy places full of people... I think that's pretty huge.  I love it.

Good.  We like each other usually. *laugh*

Good.  I wish I could spend more time with them.

Well, I haven't killed any of them yet.  Nah, we get along pretty well.

Spending more time talking and listening would be fantastic.  It's hard to find time to invest in people.

Write.  I love to write.  Or sing.  I sing when I know no one can hear me.

I really like to just chill and do whatever.  Watching movies or TV at someone's house is one of my favorite things to do with people.  Watching Ninja Warrior at Bass's house is one of my favorites.

Hmmm... I don't remember.  I Am Legend maybe?  No, there have been more since then... I'm not sure.

To glorify Christ with my life, and to love the people around me in a way that magnifies Him.

I listen to Rock, mostly.  I really like Anberlin and Skillet right now.  I like tons of bands though.

This question is fantastic.  In general that's a hard one to answer, but right now at this moment probably the way society judges people in the same breath that they tell you not to be judgmental.

Hmmmmm.  C.S. Lewis.  I wish I was like him.  He's one of the people that I'm going to look for first when I get to heaven.  As far as people I know, I'm not a very role-modely person, so there isn't much of an answer for me.


Hello, I swear I won't be too long...

Today was a weird day.  I didn't like it very much.  But that happens, and we live on.

The Almost is a good band.  Right now I'm listening to Dirty and Left Out.  Good stuff, I tell you.

Today we decided ('we' being me and Mom and Sophie) that instead of saying "I swear, _______" (real life example: "I swear these eyelashes are shorter than these ones!") we would say "I tell you the truth", because Jesus said not to swear, and because he was always saying "I tell you the truth".  Since we want to emulate Christ, this seemed like a wise path to take.

I seriously think the eyelashes on my right eye are shorter than the ones on the left.  Or maybe it's vice-verse.  It's hard to tell when the only time I ever really see my eyelashes is in a mirror, and then I get confused.

Algebra test tomorrow!  W00t!

Mara Tenille
PS) In case you're confused, or I appear to be confused, this was written yesterday.


You are like a poem, you can warm the coldest fear...

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
  - Paul Dirac

I read this on my Quotes of the Day.  It made me laugh.  I love poetry.

Yesterday I cut my own hair.  I trimmed the bottom, cut my bangs, and added another layer to the top.  It turned out pretty nice.  I like cutting hair a lot.  I'd like to get really good at it.  I think it'd be fun to be able to cut hair.  Hair is fun.

Today we went to church and then went to lunch at Yanni's with lots of friends from church.  It was fun.  I ate so much food though.  Delicious food.  Now I'm really full.

Alivia named her Build-A-Bear after me.  I feel so special now. *laugh*  That little girl is awesome.  She's adorable.  I've always wanted a namesake, too. *giggle*  I can't wait until I have my own little girl.  Being grown up will be fun.  I like being a teenager though.  There are pros and cons of basically everything though.

I don't know what's happening now, but Mom needs the computer.  So bye!

Mara Tenille, the butterfly


Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art...

Here's a nice thoughtful Mara-felt-pondery-today post.
It's amazing to me how God designed us.  Everything about it is just crazy.  Extraordinarily beautiful and complex and rich and abstract and poetic.  I adore it.  I love seeing what God has created and being so overwhelmingly inspired by it.  It's an amazing feeling.  Feeling is amazing.  To feel, to know, to comprehend, to discern, to sympathize, to love, to  hate, to misunderstand, to laugh and cry and do it out of sheer emotion.  It's astounding.  Think of all the things we, as people, feel.  And think of how you can just look at a person and, depending on how well you know them or they conceal it or whatever circumstances, understand their feeling.  Obviously, no one person can know everything someone is feeling all the time, and no one person is ever going to understand someone perfectly well from the get-go, but think of the depth there.  Think of how complicated emotion can be, and how easily we can sometimes pick up on it, or shift into it, or cause it.  We are meant to feel.  Emotion gives life color.  It makes things more real, more impacting.  To love makes things so much more beautiful (to be loved even more so), to hate makes things so much more bitter (to be hated? That seems different somehow.  Hmm...).  To love and lose makes both, but differently.  Think of the differences in perspective of people who have felt one emotion so strongly and how it altered their entire being.  Think of how God uses emotion to tell us things, to show us things about ourselves and others that we would otherwise never know (or even need to know, maybe).  What would life be if we didn't feel things?  Would it even be worth it?
Think, too, about how we feel for each other.  A friend was having a bad day of sorts today, and it altered my own feelings.  How amazing is it that someone else's feelings matter to me, because I care for them ('care' being a combination of emotion and conscious decision to be good to someone, to act as well as to feel?  Love is a verb, yes?  And love is a feeling?), and that beyond that, I feel them too?  Because they are hurting, I hurt.  Because they are uncomfortable, I am as well, even if it has nothing to do with me and my circumstances personally, aside from knowing that person.  Beyond sympathy or empathy or even just being sensitive to others feelings.  To feel for someone.  To bear one another's burdens?  To hurt when they hurt, (even without understanding.  Is that the same?  Does that change things? How much?) and to laugh when they laugh.  How amazing is it to love (any sort of love) enough that that person's feelings become your own.  Become a part of your feelings.  A part of who you are.  How is that possible?  Aren't my feelings my own?  Why should anyone else understand or know them, much less feel them as well?  How can someone even do that?  That astounds me.
How can anyone believe that we have no purpose when such complexity exists in us?
Mara Tenille
The Butterfly Child


The pictures you took that covered your room...

Here is the desktop wallpaper I made yesterday. The dandelion's awesomeness was achieved through a random series of filters and stuff that I will probably never be able to duplicate. So just know that this is a one-of-a-kind work of art and nothing will ever be like it.

Mara Tenille


I'm racking my brain for a new, improved way to let you know you're more to me than what I know how to say...

Today Kacy Bass hid my lunch in the trellis that covers the florescent lights in the Chicken Shed. I had to stand on the counter to get it down, and even then I had to stand on my tip toes to get it down. By then, my <s>string</s> stick cheese was all warm and smooshy and nasty. Also, he bit into my carrots and then spit them back in the bag. That's also really nasty. So all I had for lunch was a bagel, but then I got some pretzels and a 100 Calorie pack of those Oreo chips from the back so it was better. Kacy Bass, while he is hilarious, is not on good terms with me right now. *stare* Just kidding.

I have been super good about writing lately. That makes me really excited, because maybe possibly I will be able to get some songs written. New songs are exciting. They mean I get to experiment with new things and try stuff out and mess with my fun instruments and be creative. I like that.

Tomorrow I'm going to the dinner theatre at North Polk for the musical. Bethany is the lead (she'll make a good Annie) and a couple other girls from church are in it. I'm excited. I'm going to wear my awesome new brown skirt. I got it for $5 at the Bass outlet in Williamsburg. It's tag said $40. Clearance sales rock.

I wish I was good at drawing. Speaking of drawing, here is a doodle I made. I'm working on coloring it in with the computer just for fun, so I'll post that when it's finished. For now, here's the original notebook-with-red-pen-I-was-bored-so-I-drew-some-stuff version.

Mara Tenille


I love the way that we laugh until we cry and dance until we die...

I am in a thoughtful mood today.  I need to write some poetry or something.

I need to find music for Thief by Third Day.  Does anyone have it?  Otherwise I'm probably going to try and find sheet music to buy.  Or just not have piano.  That song is made for piano though.  Ugh.

Connect Four is the best.

You know what sounds fantastic right now?  Some comfy pajama pants and a glass of hot chocolate.  Mmhmm.  Good stuff.

My computer is being sort of nuts.  It's got issues.  I wish it would be normal and fixed.

The Almost is a good band.  I like them.  The beginning of the CD is better than the end, in my opinion, but I also haven't listened to the end as much, so it might just be that.  Maybe the end is really good.  I should listen to it more.

I haven't listened to Copeland in a long time.  You know what that is?  That's depressing, is what it is.



I swear I'll know your face in the crowd...

The Love lock-in was wonderful.  The boys in our youth group are so awesome.  I love those guys.  We learned some cool stuff, too.  I feel bad for the girls that totally don't understand guys at all, because it's really cool to be able to see things both ways.  I don't know if that makes sense or not.  I don't care though because I only got three hours of sleep.

It's cold down here in the basement.  So you know.  Wear sweatshirts and things are better.  I think those boys were crazy (but awesome too) for sleeping outside.  They slept outside in a tent last night.  All night.  Crazy.  Awesome, but still crazy.

My cough is almost gone.  That is so great.  I hate my cough.

I am going to sleep sooooooon.  Three hours of sleep is so not very much.



It's so simple to be afraid...

I am deathly ill.  Not really deathly, but I'm all sickly and gross feeling.  Yesterday I was running a fever all day.  Today I'm not running a fever, but I still feel like carp, and I'm debating with myself over whether or not I'm going to go to Makensie's house this afternoon with the girls.  I want to, but I don't want to get illness everywhere.  So I don't know.  I'm arguing with myself over that one.

Tomorrow I have to have a halfway decent singing voice for church.  Hopefully that'll happen.

The pancake breakfast today went well, apparently.  I didn't go until 11, because I'm so sickly, but everyone said it was good.  We made lots of money, so that's good.

This blog post is pretty pointless.  Mostly I just feel bad for not posting in so long, so I'm just throwing random stuff out there.  I guess I'm done now though.



Hey Unfaithful, I will teach to you be stronger...

This weekend has been one of the weirdest, scariest, most intense, most powerful weekends I can remember.  Absolutely incredible.  I wish I could tell the whole story.  It was this massive spiritual war.  Huge.  Epic.  God pulled us through some incredible stuff, and yet I can still see that he was in control the entire time.  I'm still processing.  Crazy, crazy stuff.  Intense.  It was amazing.  I am so overwhelmed with God's power and control over life and what went on.
I really don't have anything to say that would make sense.  Not that I'm making much sense right now anyway, but you know.
Mara Tenille


I need you here tonight just like the ocean needs the waves...

I am listening to some pretty awesome music right now.  Currently Quasimodo by Lifehouse is on.  Good stuff.

I am a hard time remembering what exactly a round character and a flat character are.  That sentence was poorly structured.

I hope it snows a bunch tonight so there's no school tomorrow.  That would be awesome.  I'd like that.

Today I wrote two Brit Lit papers.  They didn't suck.  Hooray!

I am uberfantastically excited about this weekend.  I'm also uberfantastically nervous.  It'll be so cool though.  Jeebuchi is going to rock the house.

Mara Tenille


All that I could find was a thin line between all the siants and villians...

Today I am a bit sniffly.  And there's a massive storm coming and I have to work.  And I think I put my contact lense on inside out this morning, because it still feels funny.  I think school's getting out at 12:30.  I get out then, anyway, so it doesn't really matter, but you know, still.  I should probably not go to work then.  Not gonna lie.  If it's that bad then that's probably not a good idea.  I don't know.  I'll call Mom and ask.  She's good at knowing important stuff like that.
My Risk game with Patrick and Nate is going somewhat badly.
I should go now so I don't get bell'd.



I've never any time to play, it always seems to slip away...

Today was pretty good.  So far at work I haven't had to file any receipts.  Just website stuff.  School was good.  Average.  I might do better in my Risk game than I thought I would.  Having a set can change everything.  I downloaded iTunes (again) for various reasons of various importance.  I'm trying to get it all configured the way I want it.  It's taking a long time.  I am flipping cold.  It's absurdly cold feeling today.  Maybe it's just me.

Yesterday I went sledding with my Mom and siblings and Andrew and Andy.  It was so much fun.  We definitely have to do that again.  It was the best.  I had a crazygood time.

I am so behind in Brit Lit, it makes me want to throw up.  That's almost not an exaggeration.

I will be happy when I don't ever have school again.  Maybe I won't actually, but based on my current perspective, I will be happy.  Later I might change my mind.  But you know, that's my prerogative.   It's sort of everyone's prerogative, actually.  I think that makes it not a prerogative anymore.  Just a... fact of life.

I'm so sleepy and voiceless and injured today.  *laugh*  It's really funny actually.  I don't know why it's funny, I just find it amusing all the random things wrong with me right now.

The bug on the Saosin cover creeps me out.

Okay.  I should go do something productive.  Like Brit Lit.  Which I am hopelessly behind in, like I stated earlier quite emphatically.

Mara Tenille, the Butterfly Child


Hold up, wait a minute, put a little love in it...

Stupid Risk.  I'm losing both games pretty miserably.  It's depressing.  Patrick is absolutely dominating in one of the games, and in the other game everyone else is pretty even, but I'm suffering from some major suckage.
So, I was thinking about fundraising for the Mexico trip, and I wondered what it would cost to get a bunch of greeting cards printed.  I could design some in like two seconds, it would just be a matter of getting them printed and selling them.  That would be pretty sweet.  I'm going to figure out where Kim got the Birthright ones printed and see how much those cost.  I think it's a good idea.  The singing telegram idea is good, too, but we'd need to learn some songs or something.  The silent auction will be pretty sweet too.  Maybe I could scrapbook a few boxes of blank cards to sell for that.  That would be cool.  I have lots of ideas.  I need to write them down or something.
So, today, I'm working.  Putting a year's worth of receipts in envelopes, organized by month.  Yep.  Fun stuff.  Not really.
So, this Risk game is going really badly, so I'm attempting to play it safe and stick with my one continent for awhile while Patrick and Nate duke it out for the rest of the world.  I almost have a set.  After that I can try and fly in under the radar and either succeed or fail miserably.  Most likely the latter.  But, I'll have fun doing it, because it's Risk, and I've recently decided that I love Risk.  I also love Barnes and Noble, and I'm trying right now to decide what to do with my gift cards.  I think I'm going to get some used stuff, and then when me and Em go to Des Moines sooner or later I'll use the rest of my gift cards.  Sounds pretty sweet to me.
I'm sleepy.  I wish I could take a nap.
Mara Tenille