Sunday, January 24, 2016

Roe v. Wade--January 22, 1973

I realize this post is two days late, but I really wanted to get it up, in spite of being busy with the science fair yesterday and the day before.
 
Rove. v Wade--1973 to 2016
 
 
 
It's hard for me to comprehend how people not only can be blind to the fact that an unborn child is still a child, but that there are even some who fully realize it, yet still support their murder.
It's sickening.
 
Children, who are still young and haven't been told how to think on this matter, seem often to instinctively believe it's wrong to kill a baby.
 
I was babysitting my almost eight year old niece, Kyla, on New Years Eve. I love to sing (as some of you may know), so while I was preparing the baby's bottle, I was singing. The song I was singing was "Lucy" by Skillet, because it was in my head.
I didn't know Kyla was listening to me; eventually she started trying to sing the song, too.
Then she asked me about three times what the song meant.
 I didn't feel like I could ignore her question another time, so I said slowly, "Well, it's about a young guy and girl, and because they didn't think they could take care of a new baby, they killed her little baby before she was born. And then they felt sorry about it, and named her Lucy."
Kyla looked over at her one year old baby sister, Marlee, and said, "That's so sad. That would be so sad if Mommy had killed Marlee before she was born and we never got to hold her."
 
 
 
Kyla adores Marlee, and is the best big sister to her, playing with her, carrying her around the house, singing to her when she is sad. I got Marlee up from her nap once, and Kyla just grabbed her and said over and over again, "Oh, Marlee, you're just so cute! I love you, Marlee!"
 
 
 
I came back a week later to babysit, and to my surprise, after a while Kyla brought the song up again--it really touched her. She sang a line of the song, and then said, "I still remember that song. I want to forget it, though. It makes me so sad. I just makes me so sad to think of babies like Marlee that never get born."
 
 
This issue that so many dismiss as a "fundamental woman's right"--it affected my young niece so much she was miserable whenever she thought about it, wanting to forget it.
Shouldn't that be how it makes everyone feel? How are, even those of us who are pro life, so blind that we can go on with our daily life, going days at a time without remembering these snuffed out lives and doing more to stop this from happening? I, too, am included in this.
 
I want to work towards ending abortion--or even ending the idea of abortion for one person at a time, so one life at a time may be saved.
 

 “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

"Speak for those who cannot speak; seek justice for all those on the verge of destruction. " -Proverbs 31:8

 
 
 
 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hansel and Gretel

 
 
I've decided at long last that Hansel and Gretel deserves a more detailed post. So, I decided to sit down this morning and write one up before I lost motivation. :)
 
It was a truly amazing experience; it was a professional opera, and so it was very cool that they pulled in amateur dancers and singers from the community. I will always be grateful for this amazing opportunity!
 
 
I can't describe the excitement and joy on each of the four nights we performed, and even on the dress rehearsal nights, of waiting just behind the curtain, listening to the beautiful voices of Hansel and Gretel. Of filing out in the darkened theater, holding to the hands of those on either side of me, and waiting, eyes closed, for the lights to come back on again and hear Gretel say, "Look! Do you see what I see?" I also loved, on dress rehearsal nights, to spend my free time sitting with fellow chorus members, watching the rehearsal, or joking and laughing while playing Apples to Apples backstage.
 
 
 
We got pictures with the principal cast members, Hansel and Gretel, Mother and Father, and the Dew Fairy, who doubled as the Sandman!
 
 Natalie and me with Gretel, who was played by Ksenia Popova. She has a gorgeous voice! You can see a clip of her singing in Hansel and Gretel on her website. http://www.kseniapopova.com/
 
All of my children's chorus siblings, except Noah, and me with Hansel and Gretel. The woman who plays Hansel, Sylvia, is super sweet! She came all the way from New York and stayed here for the duration of the practices and performances, meaning she had to be separated from her husband. She really went out of her way to be kind to the chorus members, asking for a picture with all of us and leaving a card for us on opening night, and taking time to talk to us.




All of Taft siblings along with the youngest chorus member who jumped in on the picture, with Father, Mother, and The Dew Fairy/Sandman, (played by Yvette Litchfield). I didn't get as much of a chance to talk to "Father and Mother" and the Dew Fairy, but they were very nice.
 
Natalie and me with Father.


 Natalie and me with the witch. She was fantastic! So funny, and she did such a great job with her role. Everyone loved her and she got a huge round of applause every night.
 
 
 Honestly, I still miss Hansel and Gretel and I still almost don't believe that one week we won't up and have performances on Friday night and Sunday afternoon! It was an amazing two weeks, and I hope to have another opportunity to be on stage soon. :)
We were actually sent a video of the entire performance, which I may have already watched through once or twice, and of course have several times skipped through to see the children's chorus and the witch. ;) Unfortunately, I can't share it here, but if there's anyone here who really loves opera and wouldn't mind the hassle of getting the video to play at the right part, I might be able to send it to you. :)
 
When we cannot bear our grief, then the Lord will send relief!
 
 
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Monday, January 11, 2016

The Sound of Music (1/3/2016)

One week ago yesterday, my parents and I went to Seattle to see a professionally done play of the Sound of Music. We had this outing planned for about a month in advance, so finally getting to go see it was amazing!
 
My brother hasn't gone to Seattle in a couple of years, so he requested pictures. I got a few, but they were hard to take with just my iPhone...through a car window.
 


Can you see The Space Needle?

Waiting in line. It was super cold and snowing, but for some reason all I had brought to keep warm was my "Emma Swan" jacket (a red leather jacket). So I was freezing!
 

It would appear we were photobombed! Perhaps this guy attended Photobombing 101. (Studio C reference)

 
 
In the theater; it was gorgeous! Not quite as beautiful as the one we saw The Piano Guys in, of course, but still beautiful.
 
 
The play itself was amazing and so well done! A few of the songs were in different places, owing to a limited amount of time and the difficulty of staging certain scenes. So, for example, instead of having Maria sing "My Favorite Things" to the children when they were scared during the thunderstorm, she sang "The Lonely Goatherd". Don't worry, though, " My Favorite Things" was still in the play. ;)
 
They also added in a few lines. This is one of my favorite conversations they added in.
 
Brigatta: You said  we put in "one word for every note".
Maria: Yes.
Brigatta: But when you say "a-ny-thing", you are using up three notes on just one word.
Maria: Well...yes, Brigatta, I did. Sometimes, we just do that.
 
The way the festival scene of the play was done, was brilliant! They turned the audience for the play into the audience attending the concert.
 
"The first place winners are...The Von Trapp Family Singers!"
 
*we all clap, somewhat awkwardly as the family doesn't emerge*
 
"The Von Trapp Family Singers!"
 
We all clap again, despite knowing they won't come out.
 
The SS guards call out, "They're gone!"
Huge searchlights flood the theater, causing us to blink, and the guards are heard calling "Stay where you are, everyone!"
 
All in all, it was an amazing performance, and I hope to attend another one at this theater in future. In the meanwhile, I will look forward to seeing a production of Mary Poppins closer to home in the next couple of months. :)
 
Had to share a picture; not sure if this is permissible, but if I give credit to The 5th Avenue Theatre's Facebook page, maybe I can get away with it.
 
 
Have any of you gone to see a play recently? What did you think of it?
 
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Friday, January 1, 2016

A Letter To 2015

Dear 2015,
 
I'm not sure what to say to you exactly. The word that comes to mind most when I think of you is "growth". It seems to me that I've changed a lot over this year. I hope I have, anyway. I hope I notice other people more since I've come out of my shell.
You've been a year of change....well, the last 5 months of you were full of change anyway. Until August, my life seemed to continue on in the same old rhythm it did before, yet during that time, I had a grandparent and a sister come back into my life.
 
In August, I began attending choir practices to perform in a Hansel and Gretel opera, which took place in November.It was such a wonderful experience! I made new friends, new memories, and gained some hopefully useful experience. (Really need to get a post up about it).
 
In September, I started taking three classes two days a week at a private school. That was a big change for me, since up that point I'd been completely homeschooled. It was really hard at first; I didn't quiet fit in yet and science and math have always been hard for me, and now there was the added pressure of having to answer questions and perform experiments with my class. But it got better, and I made some really good friends, as well as welcomed some older ones back into my life.
 
October included a birthday party, a pumpkin patch trip with several friends from school, as well as families from both our current church and a church we attended in the past. It also was busy because we started having some extra practices for Hansel and Gretel.
2015 also introduced a new niece, Marlee, (she was actually born the end of 2014 but I didn't meet her until February) and a new nephew, Tucker, who was born in October.
 
2015, your November was crazy! With a week of dress rehearsal practices for Hansel and Gretel followed by four performances, Winter Jam, a girl's night watching Les Miserables, as well as the usual classes, my time was pretty well filled up! You were such a fun month though.
 
December....I'm just not sure what to write about you. You were fun, what with Christmas parties, and Star Wars, a day hanging out and doing Christmas with my sister and her family, and the final week of you which was filled with babysitting. And yet, somehow, you were so sad. The magic of Christmas has seemed to slip away from me, and more sadly, I had a hard time grasping at the true meaning of Christmas this year.
 
Your last day, though, was so sweet....watching old performances and memories with my family, and then getting to go see my sister Heidi and hang out with her three little ones, seven year old Kyla, five year old Kenny, and one year old Marlee. And finally, ringing in the New Year with some friends.
 
2015, thank you for the lessons you've taught and the changes you've brought to my life. Thank you God for bringing me through another year.
 
To 2016:
I can't help but feel a bit of fear as I think about the changes you might bring, as I fear the worst. And yet, my fear isn't going to help me or anyone else and it's not going to change anything. So instead, I look to you with hope, hope that this will be another year of learning and growing, making new friendships and deepening old ones, and gaining new experiences.
 
So, 2016....although my toe throbs from an injury gained on my very first day with you ;), I'm ready!
 
 
 Happy New Year, everyone!
 
I think this is going to be my theme verse this year. As I have said, my impulse is to be afraid, but God says so many times, do not fear! He is in the past, present, and future; He knows what is coming and He is already waiting there for us. He loves us with an everlasting love.
 
"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine."
Isaiah 43:1
 

 
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