Sunday, July 27, 2014

Courting vs. Dating

Have you ever wondered about the difference between courting and dating? Is there one? It's something that puzzled me, so I decided to research it and provide you with an answer, hopefully pointing out what's bad or good.
I asked my  AWESOME friends (public school, homeschool, and college age) -who had no idea I was going to write this- their opinions on dating and courtship.
Dating:
  • "Dating is when a couple think that they might like each other, so they go out to find out." - M. S. age 12.
  • "Dating doesn't always lead to a relationship." - from a Huffington Post advice column
  • "Dating is when you go out with a guy think you might like." - M. A., age 19
  • "Dating is just preparing you for divorce!!" T.M, 21
  • "Dating is a fun time to get to know guys better." E. M, 13
  • "Dating is when you hang out with a guy to get to know him before you get married." S.C., 13
  • "Dating is practice for being married. " B. T., 15
It's the last comment that scares me the most. When you're dating, and something goes awry, what do you do?

You break up.
Is that what you're going to do when you get married? Break up with your husband? I think T. M might be right - it sounds more like practice for divorce.

Or what about '"Dating doesn't always lead to a relationship." '? Isn't dating supposed to be a time when you form a relationship with your future husband?
Let's move on to courting before we form an opinion. ;)
Courting:
  • "Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman when they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other." R. D., 23, my leader @ STEP ! 
  •  "Isn't that when you don't kiss till you get married?" M.S, 12 :D
  • ""Courtship is a choice to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity. It is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others through casual dating relationships and instead to give your whole heart to your life partner." A Christian website
  • "When you're courting, your parents help you make some decisions. Not because they want to control your life, but because they're older, more experienced,and have ideas to help you." T.M, 21
All these comments seem to describe the kind of relationship I'd like, even M.S's comment. Wouldn't you rather receive a brand new gift instead of one that's been opened many times?! How much more would you value a guy who saved his first kiss for you, and vice versa? Also, courtship isn't about 'breaking up' if stuff doesn't work out, Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage. (See Proverbs 3:5–7.)

I'm definitely going to court when I'm older. MUCH OLDER, thank you very much. :)


READ THIS BOOK. PLEASE. I'm out of time to explain why tonight, but look for a post on it soon. It explains the above stuff much more clearly! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kisses from Katie



She walks briskly in the red dirt, clouds of dust settling as she arrives in time to administer medical care, or provide food, or perhaps give  a ride to the village. She is Katie Davis, the woman followed everywhere by thirteen children who all call her 'Mommy'. She's obviously not old enough to be the 'real' mother of these kids, but no one cares. Everyone calls her 'Mommy'. Because, in a way, she is a mother, sent by God to be a Mommy to these beautiful people.
 Kisses from Katie is the story of Katie Davis, who left home when she was just four years older than me, in order to adopt and care for orphaned children, provide care and schooling for those who can't afford it, and do whatever else she could to show God's love in Uganda. She left  a privileged  life in America to move there, start a nonprofit organization, and begin the adoption process for thirteen daughters who needed a mother.
 While the book is great, I almost preferred reading her blog. Somehow, her writing style there just clicked for me. In the book, she is so careful not to draw attention to herself that she hardly mentions all the amazing things she's done. Plus, the blog has a lot more pictures of her adorable kids! :) So, definitely read the book and get inspired, but check out her blog here, too!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Touring AT&T Stadium aka Cowboys Stadium, Ambassadors Trip

Recently I was accepted into the 4-H Fuel Up To Play 60's Healthy Lifestyles Ambassador Program.

Since Fuel Up To Play 60 is sponsored by the NFL, all of us who were selected as Ambassadors where given VIP tickets for a special tour of  AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play.
the golden ticket :)
Even though I don't know much about football, I still had a good time and found the tour really interesting. It was fun to tour it with my new Ambassador friends.

the view after you step off the escalators.
 -We got to see the players' and the cheerleaders' locker rooms, the place where the Cowboys all run out onto the field, the private underground parking for players, cheerleaders, and box owners, and the fancy boxes that people can rent.
-The stadium can hold over 100,000 people- they just filled every seat and box for the last George Strait concert ever, held there. (let's have a moment of silence here, folks. no more new George Strait songs. ever. :( whyyyyyy) Okay, moving on.

-You can actually see where the Texas Rangers play from the stadium. I've been there, too!


 -The stadium has the largest retractable endzone doors in the world, and when the dome's open, it can become an outdoor stadium. Cool, huh? It hosts concerts, (Beyonce,  1D, George Strait) basketball games, bull riding, boxing matches, monster truck, and motocross.
We were all freaking out and laughing. It was so much fun. :)
-To get to the locker rooms we took a freight elevator underground, which was scary but fun. It rattled.
-We also got to go to the press conference room, where reporters ask players questions about the game.
On the press conference stage.

Then we went out to eat at a place called The Mellow Mushroom. It was decorated 70's style and served different types of pizza. I had the baked potato mini pizza and it was really good! Then we went to the hotel and to bed so we could get up early for training the next morning. I'll do a post on training later.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'm Back!

Long time no post! I'm back from Step, yay! Step was a lot of fun, but it was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done - so far. I learned how to rappel and  to cross rivers, to canoe, and to do a gun takeaway, to organize a grid search and to bandage wounds. I also watched Follow Me Boys, the sweetest old movie ever made. Go watch it! We sang the songs on our marches.

 I also killed and plucked a chicken, stabilized a (fake)puncture wound in a woman's stomach, cleaned a massive machine called a tilt skillet while on KP duty, and learned how to make a bed so you can bounce a quarter off it, like they do in the old war movies. The below photo is not an example. XD
Much more to tell, but some of it's confidential  in case you go to STEP, so you'll be surprised.
                                                                                                   

My little bed in the dorm. Don't judge: I hadn't learned how to make it yet. :)
My friend Leah and I. Leah was so sweet to me! :)
  My absolute most favorite thing about STEP is the great encouragement you get in your spiritual walk. It was so cool to be around other like minded Christian girls, all with some of the same goals and ideas. I made a ton of great friends. Shoutouts to: Grace, Hannah, Bethany, Becca, Rachel 1, Rachel 2, Remi, Dee,Chon-Chon, Leah <3, Lydia aka brains, Marina, Tay, Neep, Clara, Randi, Mollie, and Angela, just to name a few.

The very first day at Step, I stood in the lobby of our dorm nervously. I'd unpacked, my family left, and I sat with the other first-years, glum and alone. Then this Advanced girl appears out of nowhere, clutching a Frisbee. "Do y'all play Ultimate Frisbee?" (Advanced means they've been here before and they're advanced in skills.)

  We shook our heads 'no'. "Well, I'm Grace, and you are my new proteges!" She taught us the game, we played for an hour, and I thought that was that. Advanced people were super busy, too busy for first years. But no!
She left sweet notes on my door every single day, prayed with us, and stopped to hug us whenever our paths crossed. I met so many sweet people, but Grace was the first!

Rachel 2 and I
My team scaling the bluffs.

Two other girls who were super sweet to me, especially during PT, were the amazingly cool Canadian twins Becca and Rachel Stewart. They walked with me on our hikes, ran with me at the 3K and were very encouraging. They, too, left me sweet notes,and were faithful members of ROS along with Leah, Mollie, Hannah and Bethany. (inside joke there. :)) Stay strong, ROS!! lol.
A final word to you blog readers - if you are a girl between the ages of 14-25, GO TO STEP! learn more about STEP here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

start spreading the news...

...I'm leaving today.
Hey. I'm leaving for STEP camp tomorrow, for a whole month.

(Please forgive the messy room, I was packing in on my parents' floor. Note the new waterproof watch.
Also, excuse the sweatpants, socks, and the Old Navy shirt I wear in every. single. photo.)
This quote I read somewhere keeps rocketing about in my mind-

"...and there was an air of glaring finality to it."

 -and I can't remember where, it may have been Gone With the Wind but I can't remember now. I just remember it was talking about someone leaving.

   Anyway,as I sat my suitcase in the back of our suburban for the short-ish ride to Big Sandy tomorrow,folded my sleeping bag up and scrawled my name on my uniforms with a white laundry pen, I couldn't help thinking about that quote. 

I mean, I know this is going to be great, both for me physically and spiritually, but it somehow seems so ...final.


  STEP is a little like a boot camp. You're on a strict schedule, and you wake up at 5 each morning for a routine run of a 'few' miles, stomach crunches, and exercises. Then you eat and might go learn to rappel on this huge fire tower, or learn to do a ropes course, or learn first aid, etc. We'll also be memorizing the whole book of Philippians.

    I'm excited, I really am. But I'm also terrified, y'all. I can't even do a push up! 

   This whole experience is about teaching girls to rely on God for strength, and not themselves, which I'll definitely be doing. But I'm still a little scared at the thought that this is real, I'm really leaving,so I just keep repeating this verse:


    I would love it if y'all would pray for me while I'm gone, that I won't be scared, that I'll trust God and grow in Him.

Well, I guess this is a goodbye post, so bye. I love you guys! I'll post again in July!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pinterest!

I finally got a Pinterest! Check it out, and maybe follow me?
 http://www.pinterest.com/LauraAshley998/boards/

Eating DNA

Today I made a replica of some good old deoxyribonucleic acid.
Mmm. More commonly known as DNA,  it is hidden in tiny, long structures called chromosomes. During cell division these chromosomes are duplicated in the process of DNA replication, providing each cell its own complete set of chromosomes. It grows something like this: One cell makes two, two makes four, four makes eight, etc. 


 I first chose a sequence, and then placed adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine in that order. Those are just four types of nucleobases (aka, bases).These four nucleobases, along the backbone, encode biological information, like your eye color or your hair color. Marshmallows were my base pairs, and a Twizzler was the backbone. The backbone is made up of a residue of chemical sugars.

Yum! Cytosine!

Labelling my base pairs. 
                            Adenine always pairs with thymine, and cytosine with guanine.
Twisting it into a double helix.