Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Summer Has Come . . . and Gone

*crickets*

Well, hello everyone! You may or may not have noticed my extended and unplanned absence from the blogging world. Rest assured that I have not forgotten about all of you, my wonderful followers! I'm dropping by today to recap my summer and attempt to justify my blog hiatus. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to accomplish in the coming seasons, but I truly hope that I'm able to post more frequently. I still plan on posting my blog birthday Q&A which has been mostly written for a month, just not finalized. For now, and without further ado, here is a taste of my summer months:


JUNE
Toward the beginning of the month, I was briefly reunited with my best friend from first and second grade. It was enjoyable to see her and catch up a bit. My grandparents came to visit one day, and we all were blessed to see one another.

I finished my sophomore year of high school midway through the June, and after that my family and I left on vacation to Lone Pine at the base of Mount Whitney, the same location where I attended the movie-making camp last November. I was relieved to finally have some time to relax and unwind after a hectic last month of school. We did a lot of sight-seeing, hiking in 110 degree weather, photographing, fossil hunting, and—of course—reading. :)

Horseshoe Meadows outside of Lone Pine. About 10,000 ft.
A creek near where we stayed while in Lone Pine.
The Alabama Hills where many famous westerns have been filmed.
The following week we spent focusing on cleaning the house, going through papers that have stacked up, etc. Near the end of June I had a marvelous time at my best friend's eighteenth birthday party. (Happy Birthday!!!)

JULY
The first week of July found me counseling at a Christian camp for kids aged 7-13. For five days I had a great cabin of nine and ten year old girls. I came back exhausted with lots of stories from my second time counseling. It was a fabulous week!

From there I had one day at home before I was whisked away with my sister to spend several days visiting my grandparents in Pacific Grove. The weather was lovely, (especially compared to the extreme heat back home) and we were able to participate in several fun activities. Whether playing in the sand, taking selfies, talking with my grandparents, going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or on a whale watching boat, I enjoyed my time immensely!
Whale watching. :)

The flag off the back of the boat.

Most of July was jam-packed with many smaller activities, so that looking back now I'm seeing that I was away from the house much more than I was home all summer; this has probably been the first year I've been away from my family this much in a summer. Of course, all the activities were good ones, like finally getting to go to the beach with my best friend and that family. (I had the best time! It was the first real time I'd gone to the beach all summer.)
Panorama of the beach I went to
To cap off my month, my family and I went back to my grandparents' and hiked around Jack's Peak. Then my parents went home and my sister and I spent a few more days there finding treasures at garage sales (I got a really nice tri-pod for a dollar!) and watching fireworks (it was my sister's first time seeing real ones).
The view of Monterey from Jack's Peak
My family and I on the trail
That's me. :) Always with my camera.
This was the first time I tried the fireworks setting on my camera.

AUGUST
Day one of August brought with it a new experience for my sister and me. We rode both our horses down to a neighbor's arena and, as much as I enjoy riding in open areas, the confined space gave us so much freedom. I absolutely loved our time together and with the horses out in the middle of God's beautiful creation!
I'm riding Baylie, my sister is on Dream.
Then . . . my mom made the "dangerous" mistake of leaving to go visit her family in Los Angeles. That left my dad and his crazy awesome ideas alone with my sister and me who pretty much go along with his insane ideas. Thus was born the newest addition to my family's collection of home movies. We planned and filmed a ten-minute western complete with Indiana Jones music, horses, explosions, and chase scenes. It is truly . . . epic. And didn't have to leave our property to create it. Hours upon hours were spent with planning, filming (in trenchcoats and 100 degree weather), and editing. We had it finished by the time my mom got back and surprised her with it. She decided to never leave us home alone again. :) It was such a fun time!
Lights . . . camera . . . action!
The day after my mom returned, my sister and I left again, this time for LIFE Camp! It is always one of the top highlights of my year, and this week at camp was no exception! I was part of the high school group which did additional amazing activities and had fantastic classes that I thrived on. We studied the incarnation of Jesus Christ, in addition to how we can share our own testimonies to bring others to know God. The activities included watching The Nativity, painting Christmas sweaters, and making gingerbread houses. (Guess the theme—Christmas. :P) Non-Christmas related activities were traveling to the beach with the other high schoolers and best of all, just hanging out with my amazing friends. My sister and I recreated the Battle of Wits scene from the Princess Bride for the talent show. I was Westley and she was Vizzini. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to watch the movie! :) My cabin became the prank cabin of camp, and that was incredibly fun. I already can't wait for next year!
The Battle of Wits from the Princess Bride
Being in the high school group, I only got about five hours of sleep a night, (part of that was because the latest I got up was 5:30 and we didn't go to bed until around midnight) so I came home utterly exhausted. Two days later I began my junior year of high school. Yes, my junior year. I can't believe I started the second half of my high school years. So far, school has been going well. This semester, I'm taking Physics, PreCalculus with Trigonometry, American Literature, and studying worldviews and world religions. I am truly looking forward to the rest of this semester. I have a feeling it's going to go great!
 ~
And that brings you up to date! Now maybe you'll understand why my blog has fallen to the wayside over the last few months. I truly hope that I'll be able to get some more posted in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and thank you for sticking with me through my crazy busy life! God bless you all!
Bethany

P.S. I updated my both my written profile as well as my profile picture. Let me know your thoughts!

I just recently made this from a picture my sister took.

I am an aspiring teen writer with enough ideas alone to fill volumes. I enjoy living in the country where I have many scenes to photograph and hardly a car passes all day. I love reading and blogging. Interacting with horses is another hobby. My newest interests include screenwriting, cinematography, and making movies as well as operating my amateur radio. I adore The Princess Bride, and if you don't that's truly INCONCEIVABLE! My imagination is one of my best qualities, and I'm definitely an introvert.

Most importantly, I seek to honor God in everything I do, say, think, and write. Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to have you join my wonderful group of followers! You all mean the world to me!

~

Another note: An idea I've been mulling over in my extended absence is possibly doing some posts regarding defending the Christian faith. It's a subject I've studied and my family is passionate about. The Bible says to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within us, and I would love to share some of my knowledge with you. The Bible is true—from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation—and there is evidence. It's not a blind faith. Please let me know your thoughts. I'd enjoy knowing who is interested, and if you have any specific areas that you would like more information on. Thank you!

33 comments:

  1. As for your note, I'm interested to see what you have to say. My only reservation would be that if you use man-made frameworks to defend faith, it can become problematic, but I have no clue how you plan to do it, so Godspeed. As for your summer, it sounded like it was pretty rad. Best of luck as you continue with your junior year of high school. I start my junior year of college next Monday.

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    1. Thank you for expressing an interest! I totally get that. I honestly don't expect all my followers to agree with all my beliefs, but I am hoping to better equip those who do and possibly open the minds of those who don't.

      I'll keep your junior year of college in my prayers! Where are you attending school?

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    2. I'm at the Johnstown campus of the University of Pittsburgh. I commute to school. It takes about 21 minutes to get from my house to the parking lot in perfect conditions.

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    3. I don't know anything about that university, but it has to be nice to live so close to campus!

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  2. I was beginning to wonder where you were! Glad to have you back. :)

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  3. You've definitely had a very full summer. Now you can slow down and get back to school - ugg! I love reading your thoughts on any subject, but especially on faith. Carry on!

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    1. Yes, indeed! Aw, thank you. I will do that!

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  4. Woowee! I missed you Bethany!! Sounds like you've had a crazy summer. Awesome! Did you and your family get to see the eclipse this Monday?

    Hey, would you be willing to have me do an interview or like guest post on your blog to have some of your followers check out mine? I think some of them will like my blog too. I'd be honored if you went over and checked it out first if you want to. My blog is geoturtle.com.

    Do you have any blogs you follow that you would recommend for me to guest post on?

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    1. Aw, thanks! I missed being here. :) Yes, we were able to see the eclipse! We were in the 70% zone I think . . .

      I would say yes, except that I don't ever let anyone post on my blog. As for other blogs I'd reommend, you can check out my list of favorite blogs on the right sidebar. Some of them don't allow guest bloggers, but others might be receptive to the idea. Have fun! :)

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  5. It is good to be reading your work again! It definitely sounds as if you had a vary eventful Summer! All those adventures. I pray that your school year is a blessed one!
    Cant wait for the next post!

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    1. Haha, yes, eventful is the perfect word for it. :) Thank you for both your prayers and enthusiasm! It's good to know you are enjoying my posts. (As infrequent as they may be. XD) I hope you had a great summer as well!

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  6. Sounds like you had a fun summer! I love hiking... and mountains... and the ocean... and making movies with my siblings... :) Did you happen to upload your Western to YouTube or Vimeo where people can see it?
    Yes, highschool goes FAST. Have fun learning this semester!

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    1. Oh, you make movies with your siblings as well? What sorts? No, we didn't upload it as we keep most of those things for just close family and friends, but there is one five minute video on YouTube that I was the lead in last November for my film camp. We could have done the video much better but we had a strict time limit. You might enjoy that:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ1jStSeaRI

      And do you have any of your movies on YouTube? I'd love to see them. :) Thanks for stopping by! I hope life is going well for you.

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    2. That's fine, I understand. :) I'll have to check that other video out though - that sounds fun!

      Yes, my siblings and I have been making "movies" ever since we first got our hands on an old film camera years ago when we were little. When we upgraded to digital we started experimenting with cool stuff like editing and music. (*Gasps* FOR REAL? ;-)) But that was still a long time ago.

      Our biggest and most recent project is a feature length film that we spent 2 years working on and released in 2014. You can find the website here: valleyoftheshadowthemovie.com

      A few of our more ancient attempts at movie making you can find on my sister's YouTube channel, after you scroll past all her violin recital videos: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCWm-iO9JY-uk_5AqcmEKo5w

      My pleasure! Thanks for having me!:)

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    3. That is so cool, Bridget! A fellow filmmaker, awesome! My family is always on the lookout for good, Christian films, and it's even better if they are made by families like yours. We'll have to watch it! Thank you so much for telling me about it. :) We'll have to chat movie making some more sometime in the future.

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    4. Yeah, that would be fun! We'll have to do that :)

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  7. Physics? PreCal? Trig? My brain is blanking from just READING those words! ;D
    Sounds like you had a crazy epic summer, Bethany!! God bless!

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    1. Hahahaha. :P Yes, it was certainly crazy. :) God bless you too!

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  8. You live in such a beautiful place!

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  9. I for one would love to hear your thoughts on defending the faith, Bethany. X) When I think of that, my mind automatically goes to creation science. Is that what you're referring to, or does it include other aspects? Regardless, I'm sure I'd love to hear it!

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    1. Awesome! Creation science will absolutely be included, but I hope to also cover some other aspects of the faith. :) What is your stand on Genesis and Creation? (Just curious, you don't have to answer. XD)

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    2. Well, I just believe Genesis is an account of what actually happened - literal, not figurative. Jesus talked about the people and times as though they were actual, historical occurrences; I want to follow His example. Besides, I certainly believe God is all-powerful and that He is *able* to create the world in six days. And if that's how He chose to tell it to us through Moses in Genesis, why fight it and say it's figurative? :)

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    3. Right! If creation is true, then God doesn't need evolution, and if evolutions is true then the universe doesn't need God. I don't understand why some people compromise.

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    4. Amen, girl! I wholeheartedly agree and that is the conclusion that I hope all my readers will come to if they aren't there already by the time I'm done with this series. Well said, Jordy!

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    5. Libby: Thanks for joining our conversation! I truly don't understand it either. It's sadder to me the Christians who compromise, than nonChristians who are at least consistent in their beliefs.

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    6. I almost think it's their way of "keeping peace." I think the motive is right, but the method is wrong.

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    7. Also well said, Libby. X) Why even try to reconcile two worldviews which are quite against each other? And continuing from where you left off Bethany, another reason I think it's sadder that Christians compromise than non-Christians is that it sends a confusing message to the watching world. :( I hope your series will be a small step in the direction of changing that!

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    8. Libby: I agree. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to compromise, in fact, it commands us not to! I feel sorry for those who feel like they have to.
      Jordy: Thank you! I hope so as well! You girls have brought up some great points that I'll have to include in my series. I really appreciate your input! I've loved having this "conversation" with you both! I hope I get as much feedback from everyone on the series. My desire is that the comments section will actually turn into a discussion board where people do exactly this. :)

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    9. Great! Well, hopefully this has been just a little taste of what is to come. :)

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  10. I tagged you! If you're interested, you can check it out here: http://fireflysstoryspace.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-sunshine-blogger-early-writings-tag.html

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Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog! I really appreciate feedback—your thoughts are what keep me blogging! I always reply to comments, so be sure to check back!

Please be considerate of others and please keep all comments God-honoring. Your comment will be visible after I approve it. Thank you!

Bethany R.