Saturday, December 12, 2009

God IS Enough

It's been a while since I've talked because it's been a while since I felt I had something worth saying. This morning I was reading a devotional and scripture that seemed to go perfectly with the song I was listening to. Here is what I heard "GOD IS ENOUGH"

Psalm 23. We all know it (or we should). I learned it as a little girl in Sunday School. And almost 20 years later, it's significance keeps growing.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.

How refreshing to hear these words AGAIN! Here are a few things I get from this passage:

1) God PURSUES US. This was the theme of my devotional---God will follow us around until we finally follow Him. How many people can you say that about? The world is full of 'leaders' who use all types of means, often unethical, to get us to follow in and submit to their 'power'. But, God, the Almighty and all powerful, quietly follows us and whispers to us, until we submit. Amazing, isn't it?

2) Last Sunday, I had a 'moment' that I can't describe as anything else than God speaking to me and putting a desire on my heart to share that message. And so, share I did, in church. I was scared to death but I knew it was from God and it needed to be said. What was it? That God loves us sooooo much and that if we could only realize how MUCH He loves us, that alone would be enough motivation to stop doing whatever it is that we do to separate us from God...low and behold, this was EXACTLY the pastor's sermon for the day :)

3)He leads me beside STILL waters---not waters of stress and turmoil and depression and a need to 'earn' His love for us...STILL waters. God can't meet us until we slow down enough to meet Him

4) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL. My pastor talked about valleys that separate us from God that WE create (aka, SIN) but I'm talking about actual death. Just in the past week, a friend lost a grandparent, another friend lost a pastor, a family member lost a husband, and certainly, many other people to whom I'm unaware, lost loved ones. Sometimes, all we see is sin and death around us. But, I know that there is life after this death, for those who love Jesus Christ. And, even though these deaths remind us of the brevity of life, they also remind us how close we are to an eternity with an loving, pursuing, patient, eternal, God. "death has lost it's sting" comes to mind. Praise God!

That's it. Those are my thoughts. My theme this month seems to be "less of me, more of Him". I hope I've encouraged at least one person. No, I hope God has encouraged you. Remember this month, despite what anyone might say to you or things you might see or hear about, that God is in control, God loves you, and He values you HIGHLY, despite anything that you could do.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to Blogging

In an attempt to get back into the "blogging" routine...of which I've never actually arrived at a "routine", I just wanted to post a few pics.

Things are going well here. VERY busy, as usual. God is good ALL THE TIME!! :)

1st picture: A-B Homecoming visit with my friend Jaime and her daughter in front of a GORGEOUS sunset!!

2nd picture: The day after--Roshana and Cameron's wedding (My godparent's daughter that I grew up with). I still can't believe we're all grown up now!!! :)

3rd picture: Out front of the CAC (Creative Arts Center) (around the same time as the other two pictures) I LOOOVE FALL!

There you have it---not much but it's something! Hope you enjoyed :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Show me Your Ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day"

Psalm 25:4-5.

This was part of my scripture reading this morning. I did something I love to do but do rarely. I woke up a little after 5am! I was in bed quite early. There is something about getting up early that is special. It's also hard but, it always seems worth it.

I chose this scripture because it depicts my life so much, right now. Isn't this what we all want, as Christians? For God to reveal his Ways to us. To walk with Him and hear His voice? To let him teach us and to wait on Him ALL day.

I find that in the most hectic times of my life, my prayers don't really have "Amens"...they are more continuous conversations and cries to God. I think maybe that's what is meant by "Wait on Him All day"

In the past few weeks, my life has changed A LOT. I received a new music director position at a church in Waynesburg, PA. On Sunday, I said goodbye to my church that has become family to me. Nothing could have prepared me for how hard this was going to be!

On top of that, relationships have ended and new ones have begun, in many areas of my life. I also see people that I care about sick and/or hurting. It can seem overwhelming, at times. What is your purpose in all of this, God?

But, I've been dwelling on the purpose of all these changes. I find God moving me out of my comfort zone....hmm, I seem to vaguely remember praying for something along those CAREFUL what you pray for!!!!

But, God is good. Today, I encourage each of us to be like the Psalmist. I hope and pray that the desire of each of our hearts is to pray "Lead me in Your truth and teach me".

Last night I watched a t.v. show that I've never seen before, about the lives of modern-day teens and sex and pregnancy. I wasn't surprised but the more I watched, the more I realized how sad our future generation's lives are. We have a calling as Christians, like never before, to stand up in our faith. Kids need to know that God is more than religion. He is living, He reigns, and we cannot follow Him if we follow the world.

That is my hope and prayer for today. That God will see past my weaknesses, ...NO. That God will SEE my weaknesses, and work through them to show His strength to others. I am weak but He is strong. All we need is a heart that desires to follow God and He will help with the rest.

Please be praying for me as I enter into a new position of worship leading. Something at the core of who I am believes that this position is going to be an opportunity to share my faith in ways I've always wanted, but never experienced. But please pray for me to develop a connection with this church that is healthy, deep, in spiritually satisfying. Also, please pray for my home-church Duff St. as they seek God's will in many areas--financial, musical, spiritual. Pray for the continued friendship with the people I met there who have truly changed my life!!

I'll leave with one of my favorite scriptures....if I need a reason to practice more, here it is:

"Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy"

God Bless!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


As the leaves are turning on trees and the days are getting shorter, I am reflecting on all the different implications of "new seasons". God speaks of these seasons. In my life, I have entered a new season (or chapter). I've been quiet on here as so much has been going on. I STILL have my pending summer blog that hasn't been finished!! (IT WILL BE ON HERE SOME DAY!!!)

To sum up a few things, here is what my life looks like right now:

I am living in a new apartment in Morgantown, all by myself with wonderful peace and quiet :) The 2nd best part? It only takes a minute to get to school! (other might say that the 2nd best reason would be that I can park at home and walk to the football games but, I've never been a huge football fan....sshh.....don't let the player living above me know I said that!! :) :)

I am in year 2 of the my DMA program. I'm taking 2 heavy courses, one called Music in Transition and another Theory Pedagogy. Part of this 2nd class's requirements is to observe 12 Freshman and Sophomore Aural and Written Theory classes (3 of each) throughout the semester. So far, a kid fell asleep in the back of one class and this morning, a fire-alarm went off at the end of dull moments yet!!! (except maybe for the kid snoozing :) What is most intriguing to me is not necessarily the lessons I observe but the uncanny feeling, watching these kids, fresh out of high school (hence, I supposed why they care called FRESHman! :) and realizing how old I'm getting! Seriously, some of these kids I think "there is NO WAY they don't have parental supervision! It's a different perspective, for sure! When the GA (graduate assistant) TEACHING the course is also YOUNGER than you, you really start feeling old :)

I'm in a state of transition with my church position. Without going into great detail, I am no longer the choir director at my church but just the pianist. Tonight I had my first interview at a church much closer and it went GREAT! They even gave me a gift bag just for moving my schedule to be there. They put me through the ringer, so to speak but, I feel I did well and that there was a good connection, personality-wise between the choir and myself. All I can do is pray and leave it in God's hands. They will let me know VERY Soon what the decision is

I have another interview at another church this Friday. Please keep me in your prayers

I just found out this week that I was elected President of the Student WV-MTNA Chapter (West Virginia Music Teachers National Association). It's a big job and I have soooo much more to do now on top of all my other responsibilities, but, it's a position I've wanted for a long time and am glad to do it.

I'm working on a 4-hand recital, a solo recital, accompanying 2 singers and need to begin learning a Mozart Violin/Piano Sonata for a 1/2 recital for a violinist. I'm also playing mv. III of Chopin's Concerto No. 1 for the Young Artist's competition at WVU---preliminaries in Dec. and competition in January (16th).

For those of you who are able to come, I'm planning on giving my solo recital January 23rd (a Saturday)---TBA time (I still need to get this date confirmed).

So, there is A LOT going on right now. But, I feel God is growing me in my faith and also teaching me that I have more abilities than I thought and challenging me to grow them more, as well.

For the visual pleasure of my readers (cause I KNOW I always talk way too much :) Here are some random pictures, the most recent I have on my pc, as of now. The first is from my mother's birthday, in July. The guy is my brother Dan :) (I don't have a lot of pictures with him so I thought this one was nice :) I think we didn't know we ran out of candles so mom got to be "1" again----you know what they say about growing's your 2nd child-hood!! Haha :) (just kidding mom :) :)

This is from, I think our last day on the beach in Daytona. My mom and I spent the morning together shopping for some pretty ocean-glass jewelery and then, she braved her fear of heights to ride the little gondola (I'm not sure what else to call it) that stretched over the pier and out over the ocean. I like this pic of the two of us :) I was taking it with my hand which is why it's so close up and I think we're both a little "vacationed out" at this point but you know, you know you've had a great time when you come home "tired" from vacation! :)

So, that's enough for now. Thanks for reading and I promise to try and get that summer blog posted before the snow starts to fall :)

God Bless

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Week in My Life

I am always amazed at how fast the summer weeks and months pass by. No sooner am I out of school than the first month of vacation is almost over! No worries though. My family and I are looking at a very fun-filled summer ahead of us. Here's just a few things I've been doing this past week or two.

-I bought a new 24" iMac desktop pc last week. Ok, well, I'll be paying it for a while, but I still bought it! This is my new pc/t.v./entertainment system. It works really well with my i-pod, making videos and blogs and recordings is super easy, and the picture is really REALLY nice. Mom and I have watched 2 movies on it already. Now that I'm moving into my own place in two months, I'm looking forward to having a new way to conserve space (instead of having a t.v. and computer, I'll just give the t.v. to my brother or something). I can use my old laptop for taking notes in class or if I go on vacation and want to take a pc with me I can (or not! :) 

- I have been running. Trying to get in shaping. Key word...TRYING. Though the pounds and the inches have not budged, I have been getting faster. I was shooting for 15-16 minute miles. Then on Memorial Day I made 1.5 miles in 24 minutes, and the 1.5 miles back in about 21 minutes and 15 seconds. I pushed a little too hard. I was so out of breath and thirsty when I came in the house I couldn't speak. I spent about 4 hours after that sitting, playing with my mary kay makeup (my mom sells it) and just thinking "WHY did I do that to myself?!" after running I did 100 ab crunch/workouts, about 80 for each arm (using dumb-bells) and stretching. Wednesday I had a pretty good work-out at the YMCA, and for part of the run I was doing 10 minutes and even 9 minute miles! (not for the whole mile, of course). Tonight was my new record breaker. My stomach is feeling a little weird so it's good tomorrow I won't have time to work-out. I can rest my body. Tonight I did 1 mile out in 13 minutes and 1 mile back in just under 13. Then I walked a mile in 20 minutes (just cooling down).........some time soon this is all going to pay off!!! :)

-I went to my friend's house Monday for a memorial day picnic. I also fed the baby canned baby food. This is the first time I've ever done that! I couldn't believe that after all these years of being around kids and babies, I somehow missed that experience!

-I saw Night in the Museum 2 with my mom. Good movie! Better than #1!!

-I started my first week of musical rehearsals in Fairmont. Realized I'm in waaaay over my head!!! Been practicing A LOT!! 

-Been practicing 4-hand Brahms variations on theme by Haydn for friend's recital. Still have several other pieces for same recital, not yet begun.

-Been practicing solo recital music for MY recital

-Spent about 7 hours yesterday at church planning choir and piano music for church and getting all organized and prepared for the summer

-Spent much of today searching the internet for travel packages for our family

-Bought two pairs of sandals for the pair is really comfy flip-flops...I'm actually wearing them now as slippers :)

-Keeping Lurtle the Turtle alive :) He's been eating well!! (Needs a clean tank's getting skummy  despite the filter)

-Erased all the music on my i-pod and am downloading music again on it through my new pc. I finally learned, after much trial and error and patience, how to categorize the music into albums and collections. Now I can actually find what I'm looking for on it! 

-Got a big scratch on my leg from walking my dog...he conveniently made a line across another scar on my leg that was from my cat from about 9 or 10 years ago...I now have an "x marks the spot" on my leg...just to prove that these animals really do run our lives!! 

-Babysat my friend's baby on Sunday. Had a really good time with that :) He's such a sweetheart and he was so good while they were gone! Made me want to have my own even more :) 

Going to bed soon to get up early tomorrow and drive to Maryland to visit my friend Jaime! Can't wait to see you!!!!! :) 

That wraps this up. I hope to have some good pics from tomorrow to share. 

God Bless!! 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just a Better Picture

It dawned on me last night. The reason the last picture looks so bad is because I was sick! I was horribly sick that week with a sinus infection so I just looked tired in that picture. Mom took a pic. of me outside our house today. I have my hair down, took my glasses off and, I feel MUCH better! So, just felt like sharing. I'll put up a new picture in a month or two after I've lost some weight and then I'll REALLY be excited! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A New Season

Recently, while struggling with some big decisions, my piano teacher said something to me that was really funny, although so true at the same time! I was talking about making decisions (in regards to myself and someone else). He said (speaking in the 3rd he LOVES to do in teasing his students :), "Yeah, why can't you just make your decision like me? Changing your mind isn't so hard! I do it all the time!" Then he made a comparison to my inability to stick with a decision to a smoker who says, "Have you tried to quit smoking? It's not that hard. I do it all the time!"

My teacher has put up with me for 5 years now. So, he knows me well!! That's 1/5 of my life that he's had to put up with my quirks, and I with his!

So, why am I telling you this? Well, because I have reached a point in my life where I'm TIRED of making decisions and changing my mind. I'm tired of looking behind me all the time, worrying if I've made the right decision or not. Today my pastor gave a really good sermon about worrying. He talked about how God doesn't want us to live that way and how we can turn our worrying into opportunities to pray over those things worrying us. Boy did this speak to me! I will make a decision, feel like a new woman, and at a moments notice, because of my worrying, I'll switch back!

Well, welcome to the NEW me! This girl has decided that God IS sovereign and that I need to stop worrying! He's guiding me wherever I go and, if for some reason I AM messing up, well, He loves me enough that He's going to fix it, some how:)

So, what kind of decisions have I made, lately? One, I got a new apartment this week! I'm moving in the 1st of August. I LOVE the place!! It's my first single apartment ever! I love the layout, the kitchen, the appliances, the location, having my own washer and dryer, the fact that I can have my grand piano there.....I LOVE IT..I LOVE IT...I LOVE IT!!!!! This was a very significant step in committing to my DMA envisioning myself as the hard-working doctoral student I know I can opposed to the wavering, tired, constantly driving, person :)

Secondly, I'm really focusing now on my playing! I got a gig this summer playing for a musical called, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". This is my first time doing something like this. It works perfectly around my teaching and church schedule, as well as vacation and moving time. I'm also working on my solo program for the Fall, my Rachmaninov concerto for the chamber recital, a 4-hand piano recital, and continuing learning organ and also my church music and preparing for piano camp coming up. So, I'm focusing on music! And I'm LOVING it!!! It's amazing how much energy one can put into something when they set their mind to accomplish something and stop WORRYING about everything else!!!

Ok, so a visual representation of my new commitment to being a worry-less, more committed individual. I got bangs! I haven't had bangs in over 10 years and I've really been wanting them! I also had partial blond highlights put in. I really like my new look! See, decisiveness can lead to more fun too!!!

So, here's a pic. of my bangs. My hair looked much better when I had it straightened. But, if you have curly hair you know that it's much more time-consuming than what it's worth, unless you're getting dressed up to go somewhere special (and the only place special I'm going this week is to my living room to practice :) Anyways, here's a pic, in case you care :) And yes, I know it's not one of my better pictures :) It was more like one of those, "ok, we're taking a picture of my!" pictures :) I look tired I think. Anyways, whatever! I'll have new pictures soon enough.

I guess that's it for now. I've been up late several nights in a row now and my body is screaming for sleep! Today I finished mowing the lawn (I spent 1 hour, 15 minutes mowing Friday night and took another 45 min. to finish today). Then I walked the dog 1 mile. Came home. Ran 2 miles (walked/jogged/ran). The first mile I did in 15 minutes and the second in 13 minutes. Then I walked another mile. Came home. Stretched and did some floor weights. Then sat and had a snack. Took a shower. Realized I am REALLY REALLY sore! And now I'm going to crash :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Words do not adequately express how happy and relieved I am to be finished with school! Ok, so I have one more 75 minute class on Thursday and we have to share our abstracts, and I've got more piano lessons to teach and 2 juries to accompany...but in my head, school is over! I have no more school assignments and the dreaded paper that was looming over me is turned in and out of my hands now!

What am I doing with this wonderful new time? Well, at this moment I'm sitting on my bed-room floor, in my P.J.s, typing this (why I'm not sitting on a comfy couch or bed...I don't know...guess I just felt like sitting on the floor tonight!). I'm about to go find something good to eat and watch "Eighteen and counting" on TLC (I really like this show...too bad there are not more positive Christian programs like this on T.V.!)
Then, I plan on getting LOTS of sleep tonight :) I'm not even going to set my alarm, and I'm going to turn off my phone so nobody can call me while I'm still sleeping like they did this morning! (or was that yesterday morning?)

I'm going to sit and chat with my mom who has had to put up with a cranky daughter the past few weeks who has not had much to say lately except "Hello" "Goodbye" and "Don't talk to me, I'm busy"...she deserves a nice, content "movie buddy" tonight :)

Again, I thank each of you (because pretty much the only people who read this are my good friends or relatives) so I know who you are and thank you for reading my blogs and praying for me. I can't believe I've finished 1 year of my doctorate already....I guess I just might make it after all!!!

God Bless and Happy Summer! ( I don't care if it's not "officially here" yet. In my rule-book, hot weather, summer clothes, and the first "Etnoyer strawberry shortcake dinner" initiates the beginning of summer! Now all I need is a good camp-fire and s'more party...sounds like a nice plan for saturday :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

UGH! THE SOUND OF STRESS (w/ a capital S)

Hi everyone. Sorry, but I don't have new exciting pictures of the beach or anything else. I just needed to vent a whee whee bit, and then get on with it. I have a 15 page paper due a week from Tuesday and I've been so busy there hasn't been much time at all to start the thing! So, I have TWELVE books/sources that need to be sorted through, skimmed, notes taken, etc. to form my outline and get started on this thing! Today I was gone all day teaching, a meeting, more teaching, and 2 rehearsals. Tomorrow I've got church, and about 3- 3.5 hours in the evening at church too for our last cantata performance! So, that leaves me NOW and tomorrow between 1 and 4 pm and at night, after the cantata to work on it. Monday I've got until I leave for teaching (I leave around 2:30 pm) and get home around 7:30, and then teach again until 8, and then have a couple of hours to work on it before bed. Tuesday...don't even ask!!! I go alllllll day looooong!!! Not to mention my piano lesson and organ lesson are both on Tuesday, of which I've practiced a LITTLE bit for, but also have music history tuesday and would like to come to class knowing I've at least started the paper! Wednesday I go to a junior high Christian school to accompany a choir rehearsal for their concert next week, then come back to the CAC (WVU) to teach until 6:30, then have studio 7-probably 8pm or so, then get home around 9 or 9:30 and have a couple of hours but have to be up early the next day to drive back to Morgantown a 3rd time for class. Then I come home, teach, then go to choir, work on the paper....oh yeah, I'm supposed to actually plan the choir's music in the next two or three days so I can have it in the church bulletin and practice/prep. for rehearsal! Hmm...I guess I could do that if I skip sleeping. Then Friday I teach, have some time during the day to work on the paper, but then in the evening teach 4 boys and then have Jon visiting me for the Saturday and Sunday our OUT for working on the paper....then Monday I have the day time to finish it up, Monday night have to play for the junior high choir's first concert (I cancelled my teaching for that evening) and then Tuesday morning get up early go to class and turn in the paper.......

Think I can get it all done??? I honestly don't know! I know I'll probably do my best but I know a lot of other things are going to be left UNDONE this week for the sake of the paper...and sleep will likely be one of those things.

Ok, thanks for listening..or reading, or whatever. I'm going to start now...which is always the hardest part!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


MURTLE THE TURTLE (March 2009-April 2009)
Sadly, this post is in memory of my little friend Murtle who was only with us but a month! As my brother nick predicted, he wouldn't make it til' Christmas...he didn't even make it to Easter!

So, here's the story. My first little piano student had just arrived at the house. As she finished her first page, I ran to my room to get her stickers...which she absolutely LOVES!! As I ran to my room to grab the stickers, I noticed one of the two turtles jump off the log into the water and I said "WOAH! Look at that!" Sara quickly ran to my room to see what it was and I left the room to get her focused on her lesson! Fast forward a couple of hours later. I'm jumping out of the shower, hurrying to get ready for the 7pm Maundy Thursday service and passover meal at our neighbor church. As I bend down to say hello to my little turtles, I notice one isn't moving.....uh oh! He's glued to the side of the filter! At first I think, "maybe he's relaxing...or napping...wait, turtles don't nap under water!" I quickly figure out that he is...GULP,.... DEAD! Then I start blaming myself! Thinking...oh, the filter sucked him in, or I scared him when I ran into the room too fast..or I didn't pay enough attention to him this week!! Oh poooooor little Murtle!!

I skooped him out with a tiny plastic fork, layed him in the plastic bag, set it on the front porch, and left for church.

When I got home, my parents were gone at their church. The plastic bag is gone now. I checked on little Lurtle. He seems lonely and confused :( I gave him a little snack because I feel bad :(

I'll miss you Murtle. You were a cute little friend! All the memories of driving back 15 hours in the car...the day we walked on the beach, the night in the hotel, the excitement of the new acquarium,.....we had fond memories...and I'll miss you!!

(Enter sobbing now)

Please exit this post quietly and with reverence

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finishing Up

One more sunset picture, with me in it. I was wearing my black pjs anyways, but because the sun is so bright, it's just a shadow of me. I still love it though :)
My mom asked me to take a picture for her because I was getting up early the last day to watch the sunrise. Lynn walked with me to the ocean and I got the most gorgeous photos! This is one of them.
another person I don't know. Just a picture of the pool at our hotel, facing the ocean. The pool water was a bit warmer than the ocean water, so we swam in there a bit more :)
The waves were crazy our last day there....a storm was moving through and there were a lot of rip-currents...So, I respectfully watched without getting very deep in the water....good to have a healthy fear of nature!
I don't know these people. It's just a nice beach picture
This is what our hotel looked like from the was soooo nice :)
Murtle and Lurtle. My new pet turtles :) The only way to tell them apart is Lurtle has a tiny mark on his left side that Murtle doesn't. It looks kind of like the shape of Florida...that's the ONLY difference between the two...aren't they cute? :)
Another photo of the shuttle
Thanks to good timing, we were able to see the space shuttle that took off 2 weeks ago, from outside the back of our hotel, on the deck, facing the ocean. It happened about 50 miles from where we were standing, and only about 2.5 hours after we arrived in Daytona and settled in to our hotel. I took many pictures of this, but this one is pretty good. IT was amazing to watch, and also to see it as it went over the ocean, and got smaller and smaller. We even saw the (gaskets?) that dropped off after it reached a certain point...this experience really fueled my excitement for our trip to the Kennedy Space Center that we took a few days later.
Outside the front of our hotel (looking out our hotel room window). I miss those palm trees!
I'm not sure what happened but the last several pictures I added to my blog didn't show up when I published the page. So, now that you've seen pictures of the Kennedy Space Center, how about some of the beach?

Beach, Additions to the Family, and More

This is the thing that you always see in pictures...the part that lands on the moon...and I think the space craft lands on it or something...I don't know! But here it is :)
Girls, if you ever feel "fat" just stand in front of one of'll feel wonderfully small :)
I talked about this below. All of these would have had fire blowing out of them during take-off. These are the missiles that were used for the Apollo launches. What they use now is a bit different and while probably just as powerful, not really comparable to these in that they are compared to the power of an atomic bomb!
One of the engines for one of the...umm...I think it was for one of the missiles?? (I don't think that's was an engine!!! (or rather it IS an engine..just not one that's used anymore :)
The most I understood about this massive 'thing' is this. We had to drive way out past the sand track to get close enough that we could climb up a tower, and I could zoom my camera as far as it would zoom, to get a picture of this thing to turn out like it did. The actual space launches are on an island, about 3 miles from land (and we were in the building where the control panels are..and got to see them ourselves! And outside that building is the bleachers where close family/friends only were permitted to view the take-offs. This is part of many other constructions near the island, that helps power the process. That's all I know...sorry!! Interesting fact: If you are 800 feet from the actual take-off, the sound is so loud that it would kill you! When we stood inside the control room, they reenacted a simulation of a take-off so we could feel how hot and loud the room got, 3 miles from the action!!! There is a strip of solar panels at the top back of the room and they flipped open and shook violently and heated was pretty neat :) Can't imagine what that was like for the families to be sitting outside and see it that close-up....also, the old apollo missions used missiles that had the power of an atomic bomb when they heated up!! Pictures of that on here too (see above)
An up-close visit with the NASA Space Center. Interesting facts: 1) See the large parallel gray things on the right side of the building (around the corner from the NASA emblem)? Those doors open up and they store the space shuttles inside of that building! They come out of those doors and are wheeled down a sand-track to the launching pad. This process of a relatively short trip takes about 8 hours....gotta be careful with billion dollar flying objects!!!! Fact #2) The blue area of the American Flag (the entire area...yes, where the stars are) is the size of an NBA Basketball court!! That's how massive this building is, in case the picture doesn't do it any justice (which it definitely does not) By the way, this is as close as we got to the building. We were taken in other buildings but this one is I'm pretty sure closed off to the public completely (doesn't that make you curious of what other projects and possessions are inside of there??? It does me!!)
The Explorer-an up close view of a real space craft that has been to space...too cool!!! (my friend's husband explained to me that the black tiles were part of the heat shield and that EVERY SINGLE SQUARE had to be checked or the craft could burn up before its return to earth)
Standing inside part of a display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Well here it is! I finally did some new fun and exciting things this month! Ever since my parents got me a digital camera for Christmas, I've had so much fun taking more pictures than I did in the past. Here are a few of the things I've been up to in the past several weeks:

1) I went to Daytona Beach for the first time over spring break with my friend and her husband and mother. The four of us had such a wonderful time and I've got some great pictures to prove it :)

2) I adopted 2 little turtles on the trip. Their names are Murtle and Lurtle (the 2nd name was taken from a 3 year old cousin as my cousin and her children were helping me come up with good names. I'm really looking forward to telling him when he grows up that HE named the turtle Lurtle...just in case that poor little turtle gets made fun of :)

3) This weekend my parents took a trip to where we used to live in PA to visit my brother. So, I'm enjoying some much needed and appreciated time by myself. Time to think and pray about a lot of things weighing on me lately. And time to relax a little and remember that God is STILL totally in control and aware of all things.

4) School has really been winding down for me, in large part because of my decision to take on less this semester and a lack of practicing---one of the top reasons I chose to stay home this weekend. However, this has been a very busy teaching semester for me and between students and church activities, I manage to keep busy enough. In case your looking for a reason to pray for me...on top of the many other great reasons!! (relationships, guidance, decisions with school...guidance in general) you could also pray that God would help me develop and use the communication/leadership skills to know when to put my foot down or draw the line, so to speak, when it comes to students cancelling lessons and making them up. This has been quite an issue this semester, even more-so than in the past, and it's something that really needs to be dealt with as these students are taking more and more of my time rearranging and cancelling things.

Ok, enough talking. I can't wait to show you these pictures! And unfortunately, I still haven't figured out how to get them to post BELOW my text, so you've already seen them by the time you've read this! Oh well, minor detail. Thanks for keeping up with me and God Bless!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March is here!

So, I'm trying to make a point this year of being more regulary with my blogging, a bit shorter and concise, and thinking of things interesting to others. I've come to learn one thing through this, I'm NOT that interesting!!! :) Hence, the blog title "March is here!" I really couldn't think of anything more exciting, sorry!

I do have one bit of exciting news, although it's not the kind that will make you jump out of your chair and yell "YIPEE!!!" But it's enough for me :) I finished my paper on Bach's Orgelbuchlein project, about 20 minutes ago! I've been working on it since Saturday and had no idea it was going to take 3 days of work to finish! Now, I still have to type the hand-out and practice GIVING my presentation, which needs to be about 25 minutes long. I'm the first one tomorrow morning, at 9:30 a.m....and aside from not being much a morning person, I don't realy like going first! But, the good news is, I get to be done first! :) I had no idea this project would take so long....oh wait, I ALREADY SAID THAT!!!

When this boring and BORED doctoral student finishes this project she's going to come up with some nice new and exciting things to talk about...promise :)

Until then, HAPPY MARCH!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Birthday, Weather and Other Happenings

It has been a while since I posted anything new so here are a few updates.

1) My birthday last weekend was great!! I've attached several pictures. We didn't do anything huge or expensive, but it was an enjoyable, and relaxing day spent with family and friends. What more could I ask for?

2) Last week I drove home from Morgantown in a 60-70 mph wind storm that almost blew my car over! I was counting my blessings when I got home that night, even though power was out and several places had wind damage.

3) Tuesday night I got a really sore throat, and finally went to the doctors this morning thinking I had strep. The good news is I don't have strep, but the dr. did give me an antibiotic because my throat was so swollen and red, and my ears had extra fluid and my sinuses were a bit swollen. Tis' the season! I am thankful though for medicine, and the excedrin which has temporarily taken all the pain away!
4) This is REALLY exciting!!!! A few weeks ago God answered my persistent prayers to get out of my apartment. It was sub-leased and the day they called I had to be out by the next day! My dad was also wonderful about driving up with me to help get my things out and staying up late on a work-night. The living situation was stressful with one roomate in particular, so I was extra-thankful to have 'Daddy' there to ward off a very disgruntled roomate. All ended well and I'm so happy and content being home again :)

5) I finally got my room organized! I had piles of pictures, letters, cards, etc. etc. ETC. all over my floor and I'm a neat freak, so this was REALLY bothering me! I was allowed to get a nice little wooden night-stand at A.C. Moore for my birthday which was extremely helpful in organizing things. Now I have more desk space, and floor space, and walking around in the middle of the night is no longer a hazard :)
6) School has been going well. It hasn't been as busy for me, intentionally because I only signed up for 1 academic class this semester. But, organ lessons are going really well and I'm getting pretty good at the pedal and finding and coupling stops, etc. :) Also, piano lessons are back into the swing after a short break away after not winning the YA competition. My teacher just had emergency surgery but he's back now too, so we're going to get the show on the road and April 28th I'm giving my first DMA chamber recital!! All of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2

7) I am, as of today, up to 23 piano students now...yup, that's a lot. I'm so thankful though! Not all of them signed up for the full 13, so having a few extra really helps compensate for that. I'm trying so hard to get ahead on bills this year, and have not used my credit cards once, since the first week of the year! It's a good feeling to change to healthier habits, and especially in the economy we are all living in right now, I am extra thankful for the income and stability.

8) I am looking forward to spring break this year! For the first time in all my college years, I'm going to go on vacation, to a place of MY choosing (with my friends :) , where it is warm and sunny :) We're planning on going to Florida March 14-21st, God willing and finances allowing. I'm really looking forward to it.
9) The pounds have not shed yet, but I've been working out a lot the last month or so. Since my throat has been so sore too, I've had very little to eat today, and am hoping for good results by Monday morning (I refuse to weigh-in until next week because I'm thinking weighing every day is obsessive and not healthy. I'm just focusing on diet and exercise and using common sense!!!
10) I am thankful for my church job!!! I had a recent re-evaluation and with the exception of a few easy improvements, which I've already started to put in place, they want to keep me!!! This was wonderful news. I'm so blessed to have this position, and to be part of such a loving church family.
That's enough for now. Enjoy the pictures! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Or, you can re-name this the NOBODY cares Blog. But I do!! I just realized that the text-book I need for the ONLY academic course I'm taking this semester ( the rest of my credits are going to be organ and piano lessons and 2 recitals). But anyways, I already own the book! And it's a really good one that I've been wanting to read for over a year! Some friends of mine baught it a while back for this same class and they thought I was sooooo weird for buying the book just for fun. I didn't realize this was the same class...It's on Johann Sebastian Bach.

That's it! I'm happy :)

End of the beginning

The title for this blog sounds deceivingly depressing. But it's not! Even I am surprised that there are no new pictures on my camera to share yet (aside from a couple of the dog getting blow dryed last night...which I guess could be entertaining for some :). So, I just wanted to give an update at the end of my first full week of the new year on how I'm coming along with some of my new years resolutions.

First, I managed to go almost 2 weeks without chewing my nails. They were looking gorgeous. Last night I had a weak moment and was chewing away on "a few". Today I decided to count how many a "few" was...I only have 3 nails NOT chewed on. Oh well, I'll start again. I'm doing better with this, and since my dad baught my mom and I nail pedicure kits for Christmas, they've been looking much more feminine. So, I'm NOT giving up.

Practicing, which was one of my most important new years resolutions is coming along MUCH better. I've already logged about 16 1/2 hours this week, and almost 22 hours for the year. So, already much improvement from last year!

Devotions have NOT been better yet. I've been busying myself and noticing that I'm long overdue for more quiet time. I did get in 1 good day this week, but that's really pathetic considering the other 6!

Worrying less...I've been doing better in this area I think. The apartment ALMOST got sold the other day, then at the last minute this girl backed out. So, instead of getting all upset about it, I decided God needed me to wait and trust a little longer. So, that's what I'm doing. And praying more.

Working out and dieting, definitely on the right track! The scale hasn't really budged but I'm not letting that get me down. I probably go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and get a good 30 minutes of cardio + sometimes weights and then I usually get in the hot tub and sauna to warm-up. We've also been cooking more often and eating more salads and vegis.

I've been reading a LITTLE more. One way I'm trying to improve is this. Whenever someone is being loud or watching the news, or doing something that is distracting me from practicing. Instead of getting really frustrated, I'll take a break, go to my room, and read a few pages while they do what they need to, and then I'll come back when it's calmed down. This is good for my brain too. I sometimes push myself to go longer than I really can and end up playing something a million times over that could have been easy the FIRST time.

There hasn't been too much exciting going on around here lately. I went over all my finances, and have been pinching pennies, and really geared up to pay off some large chunks of debt this year. Every time I think of something extra I want to buy I remind myself that buying it won't feel nearly as good or good for as long as saving that money to pay off debt will feel. The other thing I noticed about this too the other day was this. We accumulate all these little things throughout just one year. But, when I look at what I use day in and day out, the clothes I wear, for example, it's usually comfy clothes I've had for years.

I heard a while back a very inspiring story. Two girls got together a year or two ago and set out to not spend A PENNY all year long. They must have had assistance from parents or something. I think I remember them being around college age. So, I guess aside from living and eating and going to school, they didn't spend money on a thing. And they did it! That story was really inspiring to me as I thought, how much of all this "stuff" can we just do without? And don't you hate it when you look at your house and realize you have to "unclutter" to relieve stress and that all the stuff you're "uncluttering" is stuff you REALLY REALLY wanted in the first place? Maybe that's just me. I have heard that women tend to be "gatherers" though. So, if I can just find HEALTHY things to gather, I'll be better off. Anyone got any ideas? How about gatherin....umm....acorns? Yup, no ideas yet :)

Mom and I are going to get pizza now! It's cold outside and I'm hungry from working out...and yes, I know, pizza is NOT diet food. But, we've been pretty good this week and it's Sunday...and those are my excuses, lame as they may be :)

Hope you all are doing well and to hear from some friends and family soon. Hopefully, I'll have some nice new pics on here soon.

Oh, and please pray for my competition this weekend! I'm competing for the WVU Young Artist's Concerto competition on Saturday the 17th at 11:48 a.m. I'm playing the 3rd mv. (finale) of Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto with my accompanist and friend Khe Sin. Thanks!!!

God Bless

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Off to a New Start...BRAND New

Happy New Years everyone! This is my post of new-years resolutions and, the past weeks' events. Also, hopefully, a little food for thought.

My mom and dad went to PA on New Years Eve, leaving me to the house alone (don't misunderstand..I WANTED to stay home this year...nothing against them :). I decided to spend new years with my friend and her family. It was also nice to have a few days of complete quiet solitude. It sure doesn't take long to start getting lonely when you're so used to company though! Still, I got some much needed rest, a start on the new year's practicing (and many upcoming performances) among other things that needed done (the least glamorous of which included cleaning the poo out of the kitty's litter box and spraying and cleaning out the whole thing.....the only good part of that (aside from that it doesn't stink downstairs anymore) is that tomorrow it will be one less thing to have to NOT look forward to!!

So, as anyone who knows me knows, I am a list FANATIC...making New Years resolutions one of my FAVORITE things to do!! The hard part of course for all of us is keeping least a little!

Here are some of my 2009 New Years resolutions. Feel MORE than welcome to ask me about them now and then. Pray for me and help hold me accountable. We all need that.

1) Read the whole Bible. Now is the time to admit. In all my years I have NEVER read the entire Bible. I'm very ashamed of that. I'm sure I've read almost all of it at some point in my life, but to really sit down, memorize verses, be able to site scripture, that's something I've never been able to do and really WANT to be able to.

2) A more steady devotional and prayer my pastor was saying today...the more you set out to pray whenever you worry, the faster the worry slips away!! And I am certainly the QUEEN of worry warts, so this would be a fantastic start for me :) (and yes I AM aware that there is a scripture passage that speaks about how worrying doesn't add any years to our lives...and how God takes care of all the other creatures..and not to worry about by Jan. 4th, 2010 I'll be able to pop out the scripture that's in!

3)Stop chewing my nails...which I've actually not been doing since a day or two BEFORE New Years!! They are looking quite nice I must say :)

4) Lose about 50 pounds....yes that's right. FIFTY POUNDS.

5)Eat healthier and take more preventative steps towards healtier living (like more regular exercise...which I've also been doing much better at for about the past 2 weeks :) and taking multi-vitamins, drinking more water, stressing out less, sleeping more regularly, etc. etc.

6)Paying off a very large amount of debt this, cutting back on all kinds of unnecessary spending, pinching pennies, and learning the true meaning of "necessities" vs. "wants" Yes, I will need MUCH prayer in this area.

7)Read at least 50 good books this year. God must be out to see me read more because yesterday someone gave me a book, a friend put a blog on about wanting lists of new books to read, my mom came home with a new book today for me to read, and then she told me there was another one I HAD to read before that one :) ...oh yeah, and I also had someone else mail me a, yes, my reading is cut out for me :)

8)Give 3 recitals and at least 2 competitions before the year-end. 2 recitals will be this spring, and one in the Fall.

9)This is redundant to another resolution but I MUST say into ALL the pretty clothes sitting in my closet....waiting and waiting...some for YEARS to be worn!! No need for me to shop when the pounds drop...I've got about 4 different size wardrobes...yes, wardrobes, in my closet, droors, and basement storage!!!

10)Realizing this is TOTALLY in God's hands, I pray that this year will be the year I meet my future husband...and who knows...maybe even get married?! :) I would be willing to settle for at least meet and get to know though :)

I guess that's it! Ah, enlightening thought. Well, my pastor was speaking about new years resolutions today. And he was also saying out the place between our two ears (haha) is where the battle-ground lies for whether we do or don't do what we set out to. Either we PLAN to fail, or we PLAN to that's not saying you can't try to win and still fail...which really wouldn't be failure anyways. But, what he said hit home for me. I know when I look back on certain moments in my life that I see spans of laziness, where I let the excuse of days, weeks, months, or even years passed by to weigh me down and discourage me not to change anything. Then, there are times I remember working so hard, focusing so much on the goal, and feeling so wonderful when I achieved it. The one thing that happened during those positive times was that I didn't really think too much about doing it. I just DID it....I guess Nike knew what they were talking about after all :)

God Bless each of you in the new year. Best wishes with your new years plans. Don't forget to include God, and He will help you not only meet those goals, but strengthen you as a disciple for Him...what more could we ask for than that?

Happy New YEARS!!!!!