Saturday, December 30, 2006

Welcome to the 21st Century

Just you case you ever wanted step-by-step instructions on how to photoshop a haunted house, here you go.

And if you're not sure if photoshop...and google for that matter...are really officially verbs now, look no further.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Last Tuesday, our family went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. There are many great things at that museum, but the highlight for me on this trip was the new gem exhibit. We saw all manner of exquisite necklaces, rings, earrings, and other jewelery, including the brooch above. Some stones were cut but not set, being too large (as in egg-sized) to ever be worn. Many of the pieces were brand new, while others were centuries old. There were a few that had been part of the Russian crown jewels. Next time you're at HMNS, be sure to visit the gems.

Murder in the Window

I've been meaning to put up these pictures from my play, which was on December 8, but I've had trouble finding time. Here they are now!

Julia Straitford, rich, obnoxious, and clever.
Here's the hair, which you can't see in the other picture. I had so much fun with the gray hair spray! This is the set. I couldn't get the whole stage in one picture, but this is most of it. We ended up scratching the window, since we couldn't get it to look right.
The play went very well. There were a few mistakes, but nothing terrible. It was so much fun!

As a bonus, here's a picture of the gingerbread house I made last week. I started from a kit, and then I added some extras with graham crackers and pretzels. The house took first place at a contest that Papa's office was having, but that's not saying much, since there were only three entries!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Red Carpet Theatre, Here We Come!

Anna and I went to see The Nutcracker, performed by the Houston Ballet, and had a great time. We went with some friends, and we all enjoyed it. The sets were very impressive, and I think some of those dancers must be made of rubber! We sat near the front of the balcony, so we had a good view of the formations.

The music was great of course, and it was fun to hear it played by a live orchestra.

Half the fun of the evening was getting all dressed up and going out for a "girls' night out." We pretended we were elegant, and complimented each other on how nicely we clean up. We coined a new phrase for the evening, too: "From grunge to glamour."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soggy Christmas

Hmmm, maybe all this rain means we'll have a nice green spring.

Jury Duty

Last week I went downtown for jury duty. It was my first time to go, but most of the experience was what I expected. There were long periods of doing nothing, I was told lots of things I already knew, I was herded from place to place with only a number for identification, and I was asked probing questions by an attorney. What I didn't expect was for my entire jury panel to be dismissed because there were not enough people willing to apply the law. Out of sixty perspective jurors, thirty-six said they were unwilling to give a guilty verdict, regardless of the evidence, knowing what the minimum sentence would be. Each side was to be allowed ten preemptory strikes, so twenty-four was not a large enough pool to choose a twelve-member jury.

It would have been hard to maintain a belief in the basic goodness of man after watching all those people say they couldn't follow the law, knowing from what I heard that most of them were just trying to get themselves sent home. The charge was evasion of arrest, so it's not like the law was controversial or immoral.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Movie Review

I went to see The Nativity Story the other day, and I thought it was excellent. There were a few things that were altered from the Biblical account, but it was still very good overall. My favorite part was the way they portrayed Joseph. They took the description of him as a righteous man, and really fleshed it out. It was very touching to see the way he cared for Mary. It was also great to see how it all happened to just ordinary, simple people.

So if you're in the mood for a good movie or need some help getting in the Christmas spirit since you live in Houston and it's 80 degrees outside, then I recommend The Nativity Story.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Laura made an office for herself this week. It was very creative of her, but I find it slightly disturbing that my 7-year-old sister is eating her lunch in a cubicle.

Here's to staying out of offices as much as possible.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quiz Time!

I've been tagged, so here goes!

A - Available/Single? Single, yes. Available? I'm only sixteen!
B - Best Friend? Jesus
C - Cake or Pie? Generally cake, but it depends on the type.
D - Drink Of Choice? Hot chocolate.
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Glasses, pencil
F - Favorite Color? Yellow
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Bears
H - Hair Style? Long braid down the back
I - Indulgence? Eating sweets
J - January Or February? January. (It doesn't rain as much)
K - Kids & Their Names? Don't have any
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? God and His Word
M - Marriage Date? I'm single, remember?
N- Number Of Siblings? 5
O - Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
P - Phobias/Fears? Standing on wobbly ladders
Q - Favorite Quote? I don't know that it's my favorite, but I like this one: "Maturity is bearing patiently with unpleasant or immature people."
R - Reason to Smile- Jesus loves me, this I know!
S - Season? Fall
T - Tag Three People? No, but all you blog readers out there, feel free to do it!
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I have a souvenir rock collection.
V - Vegetable you don't like? Cucumbers
W - Worst Habit? Reading everything in sight.
X - X-rays You've Had? I had a head X-ray before I got my braces.
Y - Your Favorite Food? Either chocolate or ice cream.
Z - Zodiac Sign? I have no idea.

I've Been Tagged for a Quiz!

A - Available/Single? Who wants to know?
B - Best Friend? Jesus
C - Cake or Pie? Pie
D - Drink Of Choice? Iced Tea
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? My computer
F - Favorite Color? Dark Blue
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Worms
H - Hair Style? Long, but NOT loose
I - Indulgence? Chocolate
J - January Or February? January (my birthday!)
K - Kids & Their Names? None yet
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? God’s Word
M - Marriage Date? Sometime in the future, I hope.
N- Number Of Siblings? 5
O - Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
P - Phobias/Fears? Speaking to crowds
Q - Favorite Quote? I love lots of quotes, but this is one of my favorites: “When a train goes through a tunnel, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” –Corrie ten Boom
R - Reason to Smile? I’m going to heaven when I die!
S - Season? Spring
T - Tag Three People? I’m going to assume that you are like me and only do the quizzes you like, whether you’ve been tagged or not.
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I have a Starbucks travel mug decorated with Lord of the Rings photos.
V - Vegetable you don't like? Broccoli
W - Worst Habit? Staying up too late at night.
X - X-rays You've Had? Do dental x-rays count?
Y - Your Favorite Food? Chocolate
Z - Zodiac Sign? Huh?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Double Curse

Here's a thought I heard today:

Men never have to bear Eve's curse, trouble in childbirth, but when women become breadwinners, they take on Adam's curse as well as their own.

I'm not sure I agree with all the potential implications of that statement, but it is an interesting way of looking at male abdication of responsibility.

Friday, December 1, 2006


I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My grandparents and aunt were here from Tuesday to Monday, and it was a full and fun weekend. Katie and John went to dance camp from Thursday to Sunday, so we had our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday.

Katie, with the fruit of her morning's labor. It was delicious.
After lunch, we went on a walk, or a unicycle ride, depending who you ask.
The six of us children performed a short play, Lost and Found, which was adapted for stage, produced, and directed by B. J. Pedersen, who is introducing it below.
The touching conclusion.
One of our talented supporting actors.
We finished the evening with Grandma's well-loved popcorn cake...
and a jigsaw puzzle.
This is totally unrelated, but Papa took an airplane to lunch today. He was in his boss's office this morning, and his boss asked him if he was interested in an adventure for lunch. The boss's coworker owns a small airplane, and every so often, they fly to Brenham for lunch. There's a diner right at the airport there, so they just park the plane and go eat. When Papa came home from work tonight, he said "Guess where I went to lunch and how I got there." We figured out that he had taken an airplane that seated between two and six people to a hamburger place not in Houston before he had to tell us anything.

This is What Happens When You Combine Two Businesses

I found this in Reader's Digest:

Karate classes and footwear sales: Chop Shooey
Turkey farm and auto-detailing service: Gobble Degook
Frozen treat and mascara booth: Custards Lash Stand
Optometry and psychiatry clinic: Out of Sight, Out of Mind