It’s been awhile… again

Hey all!  I’m sorry I haven’t written anything in such a long time.  My family has been busy for the last while.  First with ballet recitals and then the Chec Conference.  We are just now starting to recover. 😉  Several thing have also happened.  Three weeks ago, my sister broke her arm, the first in our family.  None of us were really surprised, she is so dramatic and accident prone.  We were more surprised that it hadn’t happened sooner. 😉  Anyways, how it happened was our church had a picnic at the park around the corner from our house.  The kids were playing Monkey on the Ground, an tag game on the playset with the person who is It walking around with their eyes closed.  My sister was It and thought she was at the stairs and took a step.   Unfortunately, it was not the stairs, and she took a step into thin air with a five foot drop.  When she landed her right arm was underneath her and it caused the radius to snap in half while the ulna received a buckle fracture.  At first, she was in a lot of pain.  It took 3 miligrams of morphine to lessen the pain enough that she was okay.  This is a lot of morphine, even for an adult!  She was still in a lot of pain for the next couple of days, but she hasn’t had any more since.  Praise the Lord!  She’ll be going to the doctor this week to get the cast on, then it won’t be much longer before it will be healed!

But then just today, at another church picnic, my dad had an incident.  Most of us were playing Ultimate frisbee, and my dad was participating of course.  He was covering my brother when the frisbee was thrown to him.  Dad ran up to block the pass when all of a sudden he cried out and fell to the ground.  Everyone rushed over, and Dad asked them to straighten his leg.  He lay there for a while then limped over to the chairs in the shade where he lay down with ice on his calf.  I thought it had just been a case of a Charlie’s Horse, as Dad admitted that he was dehydrated.  But when Dad decided to go back home, he stopped by at our doctor’s house.  Turns out, Dad tore a muscle in his calf.  Thankfully it wasn’t the achilles, but it is still extremely painful and he’ll be on crutches for a while and won’t be able to do anything for about three weeks.  This will certainly throw a wrench in our family plans, and Dad isn’t feeling exactly comfortable with this incident.  So, if God lays in on your heart to pray for us, we would greatly appreciate it.

On a more joyful note, a dear friend of mine is coming tomorrow and will be staying for a week!  I’m so excited that I get to enjoy her sweet fellowship for a whole week!  I guess that is it for now. 😉

~Tee-Kaye

CSQ ’09

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted.  I’ve mainly been recovering from the Centennial State Qualifier a couple weeks ago.  (I’m still in shock that I’ve finished my Apologetics cards.  After writing 90 six minute speeches, you don’t really feel like you’ve reached the end.)  As you could see from my last post, I was true to my tendencies and was very late in memorizing my speeches.  (There is a guy who, after I told him, shook his head every time he looked at me.)  Needless to say, I was nearing on petrified when pattern B was rolling around.  All three of my prepared speeches were in this pattern, which included the two I didn’t know.  I began praying very hard, just that God would enable me to make it through the speeches.  I didn’t care or expect to make it anywhere, I just wanted to survive.  First, I went in to do my HI.  There was a crowd, and someone was video taping.  That didn’t help my nerves.  I made it through the speech, but with two major blank outs.  The last one was so long, I was nearing the point of telling the judges I couldn’t remember anymore.  Thankfully, I handled my poor performance well.  I knew I shouldn’t expect much for what little effort I’d put into it.  Dad, who had watched me with my HI, walked with me to my Persuasive room.  After the HI blank outs, I was even more nervous for my Persuasive, which I had written three days before.  Once more, I had a bit of an audience.  But, this time, I didn’t blank.  I stumbled over some lines, and skipped a quote, but I had made it through!  However, I was still elated that I didn’t have to give the speeches anymore that day and could practice more on the way home and then back the next morning.

Through all of this, my brother and my duo was doing very well, and I seemed to be doing fine with Apologetics.  Many people assured us that our Duo would break, so we were feeling very confident with this.  With Apologetics, I had always been written down for looking at my cards too much, so I was very relaxed about giving the speeches.  Because I didn’t expect anything at all from it either.  In the realm of debate, my brother and I were struggling.  I’m not sure what it was, but we just weren’t on top of it.  And it seemed from postings that we weren’t doing well.  But therein lies a funny story.  We were very confused with postings, because we were alternately going against poor teams and good teams.  My brother expressed his confusion to one of our friends.  He replied, “You shouldn’t read too much into postings.”  Then, my brother, being the joker that he is, returned, “But if I don’t read postings, I won’t know where to go!” 😉  But, back to the speech aspect.  God enabled me to make it through giving my speeches two more times.  I was so grateful.  On Saturday, the whole hour trip to the tourney, I was praising God for helping me, even though I didn’t deserve it.  I had continued to stumble in some spots, but I hadn’t blanked anymore.

Saturday morning was also nerve wracking.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to break or not.  The thought of giving my speeches again turned my stomach.  Breaks announcements found me in a state of turmoil.  Debate breaks came first, and we didn’t break.  But we didn’t think that we had done well.  Apologetics breaks came next.  Since I wasn’t expecting anything, I was just listening for my friends names.  But then, my name was read!  I couldn’t believe it!  This was the event that I had reconciled myself to the fact that it wouldn’t go anywhere!  After this came Duo.  We didn’t break this time.  (I’ll admit I was slightly shocked.)  All that was left were my two dreaded speeches.  To my dread and amazement, I broke in both!  Everyone was patting me on the back and congratulating me.  I threw my head back a cried, “Nooooo!”  But it was done.  I had to give those speeches at least one more time at the tourney.

Praise God, all three went very well!  I wish that we had taped them, but oh well. 😉  I was so grateful to God through all of this.  I know I certainly didn’t deserve anything, but God helped me through the whole weekend, and enabled me to go farther than I ever expected.

My HI didn’t break to finals, but Apologetics and my Persuasive were moving on.  With Apologetics, I began to be afraid.  I was going against all of the really good people (course, I guess that happens with any finals room 😉 ).  Unfortunately, I picked a very long card.  So, between my nervousness and trying to get through the card quickly, I looked down at it to much.  Also, I ended up going a minute overtime!  It was so funny!  I’m just glad that I made it  that far. 😉  My Persuasive went better, though I did mess up a quote.  I got confused, thinking that I had missed a portion of a quote, so went back to it.  Then, I remembered that I had indeed done that part, so I laughed and said, “I was right the first time!” 😉  But other than that, it went well.  I should however, be able to do better at the tournament next week since I’ll have had more time to practice! 😉

Unfortunately, throughout all of this, there were a lot of people getting sick with the flu.  From a comment made during awards, it sounded like they were dropping like flies.  There were even some people who were so sick that they couldn’t compete in semis.  Thus, they had to forfeit their Regionals slot. 😦  It was really sad.  Thankfully, we didn’t get sick until a couple days after the tourney was over.

In the end, I got 8th in Apologetics (I’m sure due to going overtime and looking at my cards too much), 7th in HI (which I didn’t even break to finals in, but still ranked higher than I did in Apol!), and 6th in Persuasive.  Now, our focus is turned to the tournament coming up next week.  We have much to work on still. 😉  But, Centennial went well, and was very enjoyable.  I am so thankful for God sustaining me through it all!

Soli Deo Gloria!

~Tee-Kaye

A Tragically Wasted Life

The Rebelution is currently doing a series called, “Not to Young to Die.”  In one of the installments they gave this list.

3 Marks of a Tragically Wasted Life

A lukewarm attitude of complacency.

A lazy habit of procrastination.

A paralyzed lifestyle of timidity.

3 Marks of a Gloriously Spent Life

A hot-hearted desire to be useful.

A relentless passion for the good use of time.

A constant readiness to risk for the Gospel.

Reading this was very eye opening for me.  My life perfectly matches the marks of a wasted life.  You can see one evidence of this right now.  As I am on the internet instead of memorizing my Persuasive speech for the tournament that starts in two days.  Anyways, I urge you to go to The Rebelution blog and read the series.  Here’s the link for part 1.   http://www.therebelution.com/blog/2008/11/not-too-young-to-die/

~Tee-Kaye

I’m back!!!

Hey all!  You have all probably given up on me in desperation.  I can’t believe that it took me so long to finally get caught up.  But I did today, and it is so exciting to be back at last!  Of course, I will have to continue to stay caught up, but that should be less difficult.  Since my school work will come first, my posts may still prove to be sparse.  But I’ll get on when I can.

A lot has happen since I was last on here.  A friend has moved, another is in the process of moving.  There have been two practice tournaments for speech and debate.  In the debate one, my brother and I beat a top team!  And I almost won in speaker points.  (Yeah, I’m still pretty elated about it.)  At the speech tourney, no one in our club got an award, but we still learned a lot and did a pretty good job.  (Especially since we once again have all novices.)  My brother and I did very well on our duo, averaging about fourth.  In most recent times, I have celebrated a birthday, and this past week had the pleasure of seeing a dear friend again.  Little Woman moved away almost two years ago now, and her parents graciously allowed her to fly out for the weekend.  It was such a joy to experience her sweet fellowship again.  I hope we can do it again soon.  Also, in a couple of months, Savannah is planning to come out to visit.  (She moved away a year ago.)  Besides all of this, school has basically consumed my life for the past three + months.

It is getting rather late, so I should hit the sack.  I’m hoping to come back and post something on holiness in the near future.

God Bless!

~Tee-Kaye

P.S.  This is the one year anniversary of my blog!  Hooray!! 😉

Back… for good (maybe)

The last thing on our to-do list for the summer has been completed.  Namely, going to the State Fair.  I had qualified to compete in the Talent Show with my speech that I did in Speech and Debate.

We got to take a couple of our friends down with us.  Their parents weren’t keen on going to the fair, but the kids wanted to, so we offered to take them.  It was a lot of fun!  Not only because I enjoy their family so much, but for two day, I had an older sister and two older brothers.  It was nice not being the oldest for a change. ; )

Anyways, I was a bit nervous about the whole competition.  I hadn’t really thought about my speech for two whole months, and when I did it at Nationals, it was definitely not my best performance.  But I was determined to end this speeches career without shame, so I practiced quite a bit last week.  (Well, at least more than usual. ; )  It seems it paid off.  For I got a blue ribbon, a Champion, and a Grand Champion.  Also, something that I was definitely not expecting, I got the award of Best Actress.  It was all rather shocking.  I am glad that I persevered with my speech, and did my best.  Even if I hadn’t won, I would have felt no shame, because I gave it my all.  (I would have been disappointed, ; ) but not ashamed)  Of course, the fact that I won was pretty cool as well. ; )

Well, I have got to be going.  I haven’t slept real well the past few nights, and I should probably head to be early.

Good night!

~Tee-Kaye

Return from Glorieta

My family and I got back late Friday night from the Family Camp in Glorieta, New Mexico.  It was a blast!  The schedule was very laid back, and we got to sleep in each morning! (Till 7 or 7:30!)  Personally, I liked how I had to walk everywhere.  At home it’s hard for me to get motivated to get up and move, so the necessity of it was nice. ; )  Of course, I also got to see my good friend Savannah for the first time in nearly eight months!  It was wonderful to see her again.  It was just like old times.

I also got to talk to some of the girls I know from Reformation Church.  They are such an inspiration to me.  Since we are the first generation in our family with a reformed vision for family and such, it is very instructive for me to be able to learn from the young ladies older than me.  I get to see a virtuous life in action!  (This is also a big reason why I enjoy the Father/Son retreat so much!)  Unfortunately, from differing schedules, I didn’t get to talk with as many people or as long as I would have liked, but I’m thankful for the time I had.

The topic this year was worship.  Mr. Swanson’s talk the first night was excellent and convicting.  He spoke on wimpy worship and how it is an abomination to the Lord.  This is something that I’ve been recently convicted of in my own life.  You see, I have been blessed, so people say, with a nice singing voice.  This poses a stumbling block during the singing time of our worship service.  I enjoy singing, so I tend to think more of what fun I’m having then on praising and falling on my face before my creator.  To be perfectly honest, I also think of how nice I am to be blessing others with a chance to listen to my lovely voice.  Isn’t that awful?!  So Mr. Swanson’s sermon really spoke to me.  I shouldn’t be coming to Sunday service thinking how I can bring glory to my talent.  I need to come in with humility and trembling to meet my creator.  I need to seek His face.  The worship service is not for me, it’s to bring glory to the only one who deserves glory.  I fall so short of this, which is really not all that surprising when you think about it.  I, as a fallen creature, can do nothing in my own power.  It is only Christ through me that allows me to truly worship God.

I was also convicted in other areas this past week, not necessarily because of the sessions.  I was convicted that I’m wasting the body (by not taking good care of it), the talents (by not developing them and giving praise to the One who gave them to me), and the life (by not living it completely for God’s glory) God has given me.  I’m such a sickeningly slothful person.  In the evenings, while lying in bed, I make such good resolutions to be better, sometimes even with tears in my eyes.  But when the morning comes, and it’s hard to get up on time and carry through with my resolutions, I almost always choose the easy route.  I’m much like the song by Casting Crowns entitled “The Altar and the Door.”  I suppose I’m just further proof of the fact that we are nothing without Christ working through us.  I literally can do nothing apart from Him.  I pray that He will cause me to love Him will all my heart, mind, soul and strength.

I am the vine: you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Well, I’ll leave you with my downer confession. ; )  I might write more on Family Camp another day. ; )

~Tee-Kaye

I’m back! For a little while at least! ; )

I got back from the Father/Son retreat late Tuesday afternoon.  It was a lot of fun, though extremely tiring.  When I got back, I was so tired, I could’ve cried.  I only got about 5 hours of sleep each night.  This was through no fault of my own.  I would jolt awake an hour or two before I was supposed to and wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep until the alarm was about to go off. ::rolls eyes:: ; )  But other than a sad lack of sleep, the retreat was awesome!

Since my father is on the CHEC committee, and our family is good friends with the family running the retreat, we were lucky enough to go up early and help set up. ; )  So we woke up at 5 a.m., picked up the family we were driving up at 7 a.m. and got to Crooked Creek at ten till 9 a.m.  The funny thing is, we were the absolute first people from our group up there.  We even beat the people who told us to get up there early! ; )  However, the extra time beforehand was very nice as we got a chance to walk around the facilities before getting to work.  (Something us girls were very thankful for because after the retreat started, we’d be very limited on the places we could go.)  However, we got (or I guess I should say I) had a bit of a scare.  On examining the hot tub, we found that it was closed!!  Now this was completely tragical!  The hot tub makes a huge contribution on my nightly visit to help my legs to not hurt too much the next day.  The thought of not being able to rest my feet in it’s warmth made me feel melancholy.  I wasn’t sure if I could face the week without it!! (j/k)  My brother asked me, “So when you said that you were excited about the retreat, you were really excited about the hot tub?” ; )  But it all turned out okay.  One of Crooked Creek’s staff told us that we could take the tarp off when we went down there at night, as long as we covered it back up.  The tarp was only on because it was rather chilly up there, so they were trapping the heat in when it wasn’t in use.

Speaking of the hot tub, there was a rather comical event that happened on one trip to the hot tub.  This particular evening, we started for the hot tub a little later than usual.  We had to stop off at the Bull Moose (the dining hall) real quick to drop something off.

Upon completing this errand, we headed for the front doors.  However, when we arrived at the doors, three girls came rushing in!  They had been at the hot tub when the guys had let out of session so the girls had high tailed it out of there.  (We weren’t allowed to fraternize with the guys or bring attention to ourselves.  The organizations running the retreat wanted this to be a true retreat without the guys having to worry about guarding their thoughts.)  We found out from the girls recently in the hot tub that they had left in such haste that they hadn’t really covered up the hot tub properly.  So we knew we had to go back down anyways, but, through logic we figured out that the hot tub was supposed to be closed right now anyways, so there shouldn’t be any guys down there, which meant we could still go soak our tired feet in the hot tub.  It was decided we would wait for a lull in the crowd streaming from the Avalanche (the conference room) and would sneak down to our destination.

All of us slunk out of the side door and tramped through the unlighted grass towards our objective.  We hadn’t gone very far when a group of guys came out of the Avalanche.  In a panic we all stopped in our tracks.  By now we had reached a more lighted area.  We gathered in a circle trying to act normal. ; )  After they passed we continued on, now laughing at ourselves and how weird we must have looked trying not to stand out. ; )  We got onto the sidewalk and a bunch of fathers and sons were walking in and around the snack bar.  The same trying to act like nothing was happening occurred about two more times.  I could barely hold in my laughter!  Now, it was raining out, and it had started to lightning, so we knew we wouldn’t be going in any water tonight.  So our trying to act inconspicuous (LOL) was abandoned and we ran to the hot tub, covered it the rest of the way and raced for the safety of our dorms.  It was quite the adventurous and hilarious experience!  One other interesting part of this episode was discovered the next morning.

I was a server, taking the cooked meals to my tables where it was eaten family style.  Because of this, I was able to talk with my father a bit during the meals.  As usual, I went over to my dad at breakfast.  He told me that a bear had found the trash can outside their cabin the night before.  Now, the side door we had exited through was in close proximity to this cabin, trash can and therefore bear.  Who knows where that bear was during our escapade!! ; )  Thank the Lord, no one was hurt from this intruder, and we didn’t see him at all.  Of course the knowledge of this new danger to our adventure, apart from the lightning, only added to the comical-ness of it all!  Quite the memory making experience!

I’ll write more accounts of my time at the Father/Son retreat later. ; )

~Tee-Kaye

P.S.  My family heads out for Family Camp early Monday morning.  Boy, we have been busy this summer!

P.P.S. I got my top braces glued on my teeth two years ago today.  Hopefully they’ll be coming off soon!!