Friday, March 22, 2013

My Current Ancestral Interest

  My ancestral history is so broad.  On my dad's side, I have loads of German heritage, a teensy bit of Scottish added in (Collins); on my mom's side I have everything else in Northwestern Europe: England, maybe Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland (The Netherlands).  The one area I've really been focusing on learning more about in the past year is the Scandinavian side of me: the parts from Sweden and Denmark (and maybe Norway since they all blended together at some point).  Here is what I've been learning about early Scandinavian history and culture!

The Nordic Countries
The difference between Scandinavia and the Nordic Countries:
Simple.  Scandinavia is the English word that refers to three countries: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.  The Nordic Countries include Scandinavia as well as Iceland, Greenland, Finland, and the Faeroe Islands.

Something that I've always doubted is that any of my ancestors could be Vikings.  However, what I've been learning is that ALL of Scandinavia began in Viking tribes.  Who were the Vikings? They weren't all entirely brutal like we've always heard in history class.  They were actually a civil people that followed a sort of democratic type government.  While there were certain jobs of genders, the genders were all seen as equal.  Women could actually go to war, join on voyages, and still the rule was every man for himself.  The nuclear family was very strong.

Leif Erikson
Although we all know Christopher Columbus was not the first one to discover the North American continent since we know now that it was actually the Spaniards who first started developing the bottom of what is now Mexico and the United States.  However, in the year 1004 AD, Leif Erikson found land in North America in a place where is to be believed Newfoundland.  Who was he? He was the same guy who discovered Greenland and he was a native of Norway! He was a Viking!

You see, Vikings, while they did pillage and rape, that's not even a fifth of what they did.  Vikings held government much like what we hold here in the United States.  They were expert hunters and farmers, and they were master shipbuilders.  Many of their ship designs are still seen as some of the most influential structures and designs that led to our own way of ship-building today.  They were strong family-focused people, and before God came to their hearts, they were very loyal to their Norse gods.  They were known as Vikings mostly because of their quest to find and discover new parts of the world.  It's interesting to hear about all of the voyages that revealed to the rest of Europe where land existed! (No wonder I like traveling so much!)

As I learn more about this segment of my ancestry, I'll let the world know the knowledge I'm attaining!  If you are at all interested, there's a series on the History Channel (I'm sure you could watch it online) called Vikings, and it's about a few real people (Ragnar, Rollo, Canute, others) who may have all come from different times, but all these historical Nordic figures played huge parts in the development of the western Anglo-Saxon world.  The story line itself may or may not hold some truth, but it's so fascinating to see the history given through the real people of history - and my people who were real as well!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vegetarian Life

If you know me.. :D
  I have been what most consider a vegetarian for about 8 and a half years now.  I first stopped eating meat when I was about 12 or 13 years old and I have been living just fine ;)  Well I get an awful lot of questions whenever it's mentioned that I don't eat meat.  Over the years, I've gotten used to it and I have developed my answers.  So below, I have listed the top ten questions and answers I have gotten throughout the years.  Maybe some of these have been your questions, maybe these questions you've wanted to ask a veggie-eater but never felt like you could.  I cannot speak for my fellow counterparts on each of these questions, but I can speak for myself  ;) Prepared to be educated!

10. Do you ever miss eating meat?

  Sometimes, I'll get a slight craving for (get this) a coney dog with chili from Sonic.  I have no clue why, and it only happens every year or two.  But out of no where I'll suddenly want one.  Otherwise, since I've been weened off of meat for so long, my body never craves it.  Usually if I do start to want meat (which is truly rare) it's because my body is lacking protein.  In those cases, I'll eat something with a good source of protein and B vitamins and the craving goes away.  See, usually when we crave something, it's not the actual food we crave, it's the nutrients and vitamins that food contains, and our bodies know it.  So no, I don't ever actually miss eating meat.

9. Do you like PETA? 

No.  PETA makes absolutely no sense and actually embarrasses the real vegan and vegetarian community.  Ain't no way animals at Sea World would survive in the wild if they were released - they would die.  And ain't no way anyone is going to start mass producing human female breast milk to 'save the cows' - if you don't milk cows multiple times a day, they will die.  I don't see what PETA doesn't understand about real health concerns for animals.  Not to mention, they euthanize cats and dogs every day because they 'can't find homes' - but I thought cats and dogs were supposed to be wild, not domesticated? Isn't that what you said PETA? Some PETA members even have pets but of course they're considered 'companions'... even though they keep their 'companions' on leashes.  What a contradiction, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for it.  But there isn't.

8. Is vegetarian the same thing as vegan?

Nope.  There are three kinds of vegetarianism, and then there's vegan.  Vegetarian one: Lacto-ovo - eats no meat or fish, but eats dairy products and poultry products (eggs).  Vegetarian two: Lacto vegetarian - doesn't eat meat or fish, eats dairy products, but does not eat eggs or anything with eggs in it.  Vegetarian three: Ovo vegetarian - doesn't eat meat, fish, or dairy, but eats eggs.  Vegan - doesn't eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy.

7. Do vegetarians eat fish?

Vegetarians do not eat fish.  If you talk to a 'vegetarian' who eats fish claiming that we do, they're wrong.  'Vegetarians' who eat fish are called Piscatarians.  They are not 'pisca-vegetarians' they are piscatarians.  They do not eat meat, have the option to eat eggs and/or dairy, but they eat fish.  Since fish are living creatures with a blood-flow and has a mouth to eat things (unlike plants, etc.) they are considered animals.  Vegetarians do not eat fish.

6. How can you be living?

Oh my goodness, I hate this question.  While often said jokingly, it's actually a bit offensive.  We still live without meat - IT IS POSSIBLE.  And to ask such an ignorant question is annoying.  There are multiple places to get protein other than meat.  In fact, if a person eats more than 14 oz. of meat a week their entire lives, they are four times as likely to experience dimensia such as Alzheimer's as they get older.  Why? Because meat proteins are so similar to our own proteins, the older we get the weaker our immune systems become and eventually begin to see the meat protein as the same as our own.  When this happens, we become autoimmune and our body begins to attack itself.  So I am still living just fine without meat in my system.

5. Is it healthier to be a vegetarian than it is to eat a meat-inclusive diet?

If a vegetarian and a meat-inclusive person keeps their levels of nutrients and vitamins in check, they are just as healthy as the other.  However, the benefits of not eating meat is that the toxins and hormones animals produce do not mix with our own.  Also, since most meat-eating people do not keep a balance of their protein intake, vegetarians tend to be slightly healthier than those who include a lot of meat in their diet.  Protein is  important, don't get me wrong.  But too much of a good thing is still bad for you.  As I stated before, though, if both the vegetarian and the meat-eating person is balancing their intake, they are just as healthy as the other.

4. Do you eat animal crackers?

Yes. I shouldn't have to explain.  But you would be surprised how regular this question is.

3. Was it hard to give up meat? Or more ridiculously: How can you live without [particular kind of meat]?

It is possible to live without meat... One of the most stated comments upon learning about my vegetarian lifestyle goes something like this:

  "I could NEVER be a vegetarian; I love [chicken, steak, other meat] too much."

The second most common response:

  "I could be a vegetarian; it would take some time, but I could live without meat."

To the second response: I applaud you for your willingness even if you never actually give up meat.  Being a vegetarian really isn't that hard.  At first you learn to adjust to having meals exactly the same only with the meat in it: spaghetti and sauce without ground beef, for example.  Without it there, you hardly notice the difference.  Especially since only a fifth of our diet is supposed to be protein or meat related, it shouldn't be too difficult to actually replace meat with protein substance.  I had no real problem giving up meat when I did, in fact I would have let it go sooner had it not been for my mom! (that's not bitterness ;) )

2. Where do you get your protein from?

The obvious source of protein comes from tofu.  Tofu alone tastes pretty gross, I admit it.  But never eat it alone unless you actually like it that way.  Because tofu is a spongy substance, it soaks up whatever food it is surrounded by.  When cooking with tofu, grill it/broil it/cook it/fry it in seasonings you like or in olive oil, terryaki sauce, soy sauce, whatever you like and it will taste pretty good.  Other than that, peanut butter, nuts and legumes, eggs, and even milk can produce the right amount of protein and protein supplements that we need daily.  Protein is crucial to development, but you really don't need that much on a daily basis, so it's not hard meeting that need.  The two vitamins that are important to look for in protein supplements are vitamins B12 and B6.  As long as you have at least 12 grams of protein and/or protein supplements (B vitamins) you should be okay.

1. Why did you become a vegetarian?

I became a vegetarian simply because I did not like meat.  That's it; nothing about animal rights and whatnot. Growing up, I only really liked hot dogs and Italian meats (salami, pepperoni, etc.) Again, I have no clue why.  I hated chicken, I couldn't stand anything from a cow or a pig, it was simply all repulsive to me.  I hardly liked the meats I actually liked to.  I only ate hot dogs and Italian meats because I was made to.  I simply did not like meat - it's smell, it's taste, it's texture, nothing about it made me want it.  Many vegetarians go for the whole animal rights thing, and that's fine and all - I don't really agree with it: just because you don't eat it doesn't mean that it won't be killed and eaten anyways.  Supply and demand for meat goes up every day and one person not eating it does not stop this demand or even slow it down.  It ultimately doesn't matter in the end for those vegetarians because the ones who give up meat for animal rights are the ones most likely to eat meat again :P

So these are personal facts as well as some real facts about living a vegetarian lifestyle.  Of course, if you have any questions about it, I would love to answer them for you because there are so many other questions I get.  Again, I can't speak for my fellow vegetarians, but I can speak for myself, so these answers may or may not suit those you know who also do not eat meat, but I'm sure you could ask them for opinions on the matters I discussed.  The answers I gave for numbers 2, 5, 7, and 8 are factual and support for my answers can be found on the websites listed below.

Vegetarian Society
North American Vegetarian Society
Vegetarian Times Magazine
The Vegetarian Resource Group
Becoming a Vegetarian - Teens Health
Vegetarian Benefits

If you have ever considered becoming a vegetarian or are interested in trying it out - it's not as hard as you think.  Keep track of what you eat and everything will be fine.  You don't have to keep a written account of your food (I don't) but remembering how much of your food makes your body strong and healthy is very important.  Don't quit it too quickly, but 'ween' off of it, letting go of one meat at a time over a period of time.  To eat it again, do the same thing only adding one meat at a time in small amounts.  When you give it up, you will probably lose weight and you will feel more energetic (if you are eating correctly without meat in your diet).  I promise it's not really that bad.  Most importantly, know whether it is something you really want to do; if you really don't want to do it, you will have a harder time with it.

Happy blogging!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Playlist for the Week: Cleaning House

This week's playlist is a lot less 'Nordic' than last weeks.  Last night, I went through a lot of my old music and found some oldies, but goodies and have been listening to them so far today:
  1. Young Blood by the Naked and Famous
  2. The Wrote & the Writ by Johnny Flynn
  3. Giving Up the Gun by Vampire Weekend
  4. What You know by Two Door Cinema Club
  5. Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION
  6. Heartbeats by The Knife
  7. Up Up Up by Givers
  8. Echo Chambers by Parts & Labor
  9. Change by Churchill
  10. Equestrian by U.S. Royalty
  11. Go Outside by Cults
  12. Gangsta by tune-yards
  13. Your Love Is Loaded by Elin Ruth
  14. Dead Oaks by Now, Now
  15. Come Monday Night by God Help the Girl
  16. You Are the Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne
  17. Jungle Drum by Emiliana Torrini
  18. Is Your Love Big Enough? by Leanne La Havas
  19. Puzzle Pieces by Saint Motel
  20. Switzerland by Last Bison
  21. If We're Still Alive by Slow Club
My song for the week from this playlist is:

I always recommend every single one of these songs and artists - I hope you enjoy!
Now back to cleaning and crafts...

Date Day at Ninety-Six, SC!

  Last Saturday, Frank took me somewhere in the state of South Carolina I have never been before: Ninety-Six, South Carolina!

I had never been there before, but he had.  Ninety-Six is a National Historic Site for the battles that happen there during the Revolutionary War Era.  It is best known for it's Star Fort (which is the British fort shaped like a star).  It's name came from the fact that it was Ninety-Six miles to the nearest Indian village, Keowee.  It was so cool being able to walk around the grounds that, just a few hundred years ago, men were crawling all over, digging up trenches for protection! Those trenches are still protruding from the ground today!  We also saw where the village of Ninety-Six once stood before the British Loyalists burned it down in 1781.  This was such a fun day, we had a super fun date day, and here we have some pictures for our new memory!!

Frank always reads these signs - that's probably why
he's so stinkin' smart!
I forgot the name of this house, but I do know that
it's from the Revolutionary Era and it was found
within another house!
(I didn't realize there was a wad of bird poop on it!)
This bridge crosses over what used to be a much
larger stream called Spring Branch.  This is where
each soldier would get fresh drinking water from
since the nearest water outlet was a while away.
This is an old road, called Island Ford, that was made for horse trading
during this time period.  THIS is the actual
road they traveled on!!
These were designed to absorb the shock of cannons.
This is the walking tour path that takes us through
the trenches of the Americans, waiting to siege the fort.
A cannon!

As you can see in the animation, the place here on the
ground is where the Americans started digging
a mine to reach to the star fort.  It was never finished though...
Frank in the Star Fort... in the Star Fort!
"Historic Whitehall Road"
This road led all the way to Charleston!
The roads around the old Ninety-Six Settlement
went to Augusta and Charleston - Ninety-Six is far on the other
side of Columbia near Georgia!  That's
a long road!
This is the Stockade Fort from a time shortly before the Siege of Ninety-Six.
This fort belonged to the Patriots.
Candid shot in the Stockade Fort!
This was cool: the bricks say "96" in a shape of the
Star Fort, no matter which way you look at it!
Overall, we had a really great day together! It was date number 117 since we started dating, and adventure number 6!
And now we plan on going back sometime soon to check out the trails we didn't take!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Calling

  Before coming to school, I knew I wanted to go into Youth Ministry and work with youth in some way.  I wasn't sure how; maybe in a youth group setting? Maybe in a small group setting? I wasn't sure, I just know I had been called to ministering to youth in some way.

  Since I've been in college, I have been feeling God push and pull me in ways I wasn't expecting.  I am coming to the close of my junior year here and I think God might be on to something ;)  Over the past few years, I have worked with junior high students and college students on a small group level, working through passages of Scripture and working through tough Spiritual questions that are a part of our every day world.  What I have felt in my heart is the pain and loss in these students' lives.  They don't feel they fit in, they try to fit in in the wrong ways, they're confused about who to listen to, they aren't sure if they understand completely what God says will please Him, and they feel left out - even with all of the people who love them.  I know that hurt first hand, especially growing up as the only child in my group of friends who came from a divorced home.  I wish that someone, or even more people, were there for me when I hurt, and not just every few weeks or months.  That's the kind of person I want to try to be, even though I know I'm not super woman.

  Well last semester, I took a few more of my Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture classes (Issues In Contemporary Youth Culture and Communicating to Youth) and I started really realizing statistics of hurting teens in different scenarios that they can't just prevent or avoid.  I learned the statistics of their outcomes, I learned so much about the worries of children who come from abusive homes, and low-income families, and divorced homes, and so many other situations that they have constant fears from.  I decided to have a discussion with the head of the College of Counseling in the Grad Program and we talked about the requirements of entering Grad School in the College of Counseling and what the outline of time would look like for the time I spend in Grad School.  I started feeling that maybe counseling is where I'm headed.  This semester, I'm taking Counseling Youth Families (another Y Min course) and I really feel that my push towards counseling is being affirmed through this class and my Gen. Psychology class this semester.  I'm learning a lot about how "the sins of the fathers will stay with the third and fourth generations" (said 66 times throughout the Old Testament) and how your family system really determines how you react to the world around you.  It is crucial to work with youth who are at the growing stages of their lives where they need affirmation and direction but don't have many places to go.

  Ultimately, I feel called to being a counselor in a Christian setting for families in crisis with a focus on the youth of these families.  I am really enjoying family systems and how God works through the different members of the family to make Himself known and to do His Will.  I think that in the event that I felt called to get my Doctorate's in anything, it would be in Family Systems.  But at the moment, I just want to focus on getting my Master's for counseling.  I can't wait to finish undergrad so that I can get done with my Master's degree as soon as I can; I can start working as a counselor in a Christian setting with families and youth!

  The only thing now is this: will God truly provide for this? It already looks like He's leading me in the right direction, but will He truly provide? I trust Him. Also, my husband has aspirations to go to grad school as well, and later get his PhD in teaching History on the college level.  What will be provided for us for him? Will we both be able to go to Grad school? Is that what we are both called to do? If so, where is he supposed to go? And when would he start? What should we do in between Undergrad and Grad school? When he and/or I finish Grad school, where will my husband go for his PhD? So many questions, and still so many that I haven't named.  PLEASE! Pray for us, first thanking God for everything He has done for us already, and then to ask Him to provide clarity and to provide financially for what we need in the coming years.  Please also pray for all the lives He will be putting in ours to help direct towards Him.  Please pray that He will surely reveal to us His plan for us.

In Christ alone,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Progress On Blog Engines: Blogger vs. WordPress

  So back in September I created and started using the other leading blog engine WordPress.  I wanted to try new things, as I said in my blog about my venture, and I said I would update on occasion about my opinion of WordPress vs. Blogger.  Well I have to admit I haven't used it since my last post on WordPress and this is because of it's lack of being user-friendly.  I could not, for the life of me figure out how to navigate around the website, then I got lost and lost an entire post because of misunderstanding different buttons and links and whatnot.  And honestly, I don't even know what happened while I was on there that last time.  I have since tried to write a new post but the same things happen every time I try, and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong each time! I lose data, I lose words, I get lost, it's so annoying.

  I'm going to try again to post another 3 (three) blogs on WordPress before I can make an early executive decision.  I know that typically one would insist on using WordPress for a year or so before I can make a decision.  However, my experience thus far is not so pleasant, that I'd rather not spend much longer on it.  I guess since Blogger is SO easy to get around, I expect too much from WordPress which probably has more extra fluff to offer.

  So I guess we'll see... :) Happy blogging!

Who Is a Mentor?

Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
~1 Timothy 4:11-14

  In my time in college ministry over the past two years, I felt called to mentor two young ladies who are, more or less, younger peers of mine.  Both of whom I have had some sort of long-term impact on them.  Before they went off to college and I left for my junior year of college, I met with them each a few times and talked with them one-on-one about life, what to expect at school, how to live out their faith in a public school, among other things.
  One of the girls I mentored had a trouble getting away from her parents who always seemed to conveniently plan meals and other events at the same time as our mentoring meetings... This annoyed me deep inside, but I didn't let it show.  Right before the summer ended, I asked vaguely through a statement, "It seems coincidence that there's always something going on when we try to meet," to which she responded, "Yeah... my parents don't think it's right for you to be my mentor... They think mentors are older people in the church who have been in the church for a while."  I was appalled, but at the same time not surprised.  I asked her, "Well have they asked anyone to mentor you who is older? Or have they encouraged you to find someone? Or has anyone asked if they could mentor you?" Knowing the answer, she just said, "Well no..."  I know she wasn't the one who had the problem, it was her parents.  I wasn't mad at her at all, I wasn't even mad at her parents.  Instead, I have consistently prayed for God to soften their hearts. 

  Mentoring is to be done by older Christians.  This is the old-church response to our generation.  While yes I agree that older folks in the church (actually, older in their faith, not necessarily the church) should mentor the younger people.  I whole-heartedly agree with this.  However, if this isn't happening, who is to step out and do it? ??  In today's generation (by the way, I am today's generation so I am speaking from experience...) you can't just expect us to take everything from church and keep it in our hearts and that be it.  We are the information age, and therefore we need the faith we hear about to come alive.  If the only way to do that is through teen mentoring, who's going to shoot it down?

  I am a Youth Ministry major and I have been attending a Bible college for three years now.  We are taught the survey of historical evidence in both Old and New Testament, we are taught the hermeneutical approach to the Scriptures (which most "Christians" don't even know what that means), we are made to take Book Studies, which means we spend a semester at a time going over a few particular books in the Bible intensely, we have chapel every day of the week, we set aside days during the semester to cancel classes and spend them instead in prayer, we are made to take classes on in-depth theology and philosophy that tests our faith, broadens our understanding of the world and world religions, and we are made to provide our service of ministry in a Christian setting to get practice in the field.  As far as the community goes, I have never been in one like it. Before coming here, I had never truly known what it meant to walk and live like Christ.  It blew my mind to come to a place where the presence of God is everywhere and you don't even need to be around people to feel Him.  We are a close family community that centers EVERY DAY around Christ's mission for us in the world, and it is so encouraging.  I wish this kind of Christ filled environment could be everywhere in the world.  

  Given that, I will also say that I have been a growing Christian for almost 7 years.  
What's my point to all of this?  I am just as prepared for mentoring ministry as a 50-year-old who has a faith as strong as I do.  Just because I am young does not mean that I am less capable to mentor than someone who is older than me.  There are plenty of older "Christians" who go to church, own a Bible, and pray before meals who don't know a lick about the faith they claim.  This is an extreme judgment of the old-church crowd.  

  So how did this all come up in a blog tonight?  I have been reading a book for one of my youth ministry classes (Evangelizing and Discipling Youth) and I have come to part in the book where it mentions the Biblical calling for mentors.  There are three kinds of mentors referenced with difference Scriptural references given, I will produce the section that got me:
  1. Mentors for Individual Teens
    1. A mentor should be a Spiritual leader (2 Timothy 2:2)
    2. A mentor should be a mature adult who has been influential to the child (now a teen) for several years (2 Timothy 3:14-15)
    3. A mentor should be a mature individual teen "peer" leader who lives righteously and uses his or her gift (2 Timothy 4:11-14)
(*Book: Tag-Team Youth Ministry: 50 Ways to Involve Parents and Other Caring Adults by Ron Habermas and David Olshine; excerpt found on page 23)
(David Olshine is my professor)

After reading this, it sparked the memory of feeling undermined by this girl's parents just because I am young.  If you notice the passage of Scripture I began this post with, the last part says, "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through the prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you."  What is my gift? Counseling, mentoring, one-on-one encouraging Spiritual growth. Elders of the church laid hands on me to ask God's blessing on the gift given me to minister to youth and college students.  Because of this, I took seriously my calling to minister to individuals in the group including this girl, as well as others. The thing about mentoring is this:

We need each other to grow, young and old.
If someone is willing and ready to help cultivate a strong faith in your child, and they are a trusted Spiritual member of the community, AND it is their gift and calling, it should not matter a lick what age they are.  I was never mentored until I came out of high school, and it was a requirement to be mentored by my high school youth pastor in order to be the college minister.  No one took me aside to mentor me one-on-one, and I didn't know anyone who was willing and available to do so.

The church needs to stop living in the old way of doing church because I can speak from experience that they're losing my generation quicker than they think.  It's approaches like the ones I have experienced that have really turned me off to the church or hope of it ever changing.

  So who is a mentor?  A spiritual leader who play an active and influential role in the lives of teens, who also takes time to express an interest in helping the teens they influence grow in their faith. THAT is a member.  NOT an older member of the church.  NOT a younger member of the church.  NOT a man or a woman.  They are a person who follows Christ daily and encourages others to do the same.  Fo those of you who need the same encouragement that I did:

Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
1 Timothy 4:11-14

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Playlist For the Week: Going to the Nordic Countries

This week, since I watched Vikings on History Sunday night, I have been PUMPED about my Scandinavian heritage and my calling to Sweden and the Nordic countries!  So this week, I comprised a specific playlist that contains mainly music from the different Nordic countries - most of the music is not traditional, but more or less popular in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and maybe the Faeroe Islands...  I have also added a few non-Nordic songs that are more reminiscent of Norway and Sweden and the history they have in the world.  First, this is a minute long, it's the intro to the Vikings series on history, it is so... indescribable how awesome this intro is:

So here is my playlist for the week:
  1. Sail by AWOLNATION
  2. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
  3. Riverside by Agnes Obel
  4. Do You Remember by Ane Brun
  5. Tidens Gång by Taken By Trees
  6. Heartbeats by The Knife
  7. Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION
  8. If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray*
  9. What Have I Done by Anna Ternheim
  10. I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li
  11. Everybody Else by kill your darlings
  12. Reaching Forward by Those Dancing Days
  13. Wapas Karna by Taken By Trees
  14. Brother Sparrow by Agnes Obel
  15. Black White & Blue by Ladyhawke
  16. All Saints Day by The Silent Comedy
  17. Remain Nameless by Florence + the Machine
  18. Keep the Streets Empty For Me by Fever Ray
  19. Hang Me Up To Dry by Cold War Kids
  20. Youth Knows No Pain by Lykke Li
  21. Wolf & I by Oh Land
  22. No Light, No Light by Florence + the Machine
*Theme song from series

Enjoy this playlist and I hope you're able to catch the second episode of the series on History this Sunday night at 10/9c!  I love my Scandinavian roots!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vikings: History Channel Series

  Last night, Sunday March 3, Frank and I sat down to watch the premiere of Vikings, a History Channel series about the vikings of Scandinavia before the voyaged west.  The time period is 793(?) A.D. and through the lens of a family system, we see how vikings actually conducted themselves in day-to-day life.  Most people see vikings in their minds as brutal people who raped and pillaged and that was all they ever did.  However, the vikings were not the ones who wrote that history; monks of the churches in England wrote these things so that the paganized Scandinavians were in history never to be followed until all the Scandinavian countries were Christianized. So the vikings we think about are not entirely the ones that were real.

Click HERE for videos on History about the series.

  In this series, it is interesting to learn about the family and how close the family bond was.  Family was important and, while each member had his or her own job to play, every member was seen as equal.  Men and women could fight alongside each other.  Everyone learn how to use a sword, defend themselves, fish, hunt, and so on.  The women stayed at home most times and watched the children, the men went to their own men meetings every year and did most of the dirty work.  However, both men and women in a household could go to war and defend their family - that's how tough they were.  They defended their family.  Finally some rebels decided to move west, towards England, because food and land were growing short in the Scandinavian country.  Frank notably pointed out that Rollo, the brother of the main character, was a real historic figure: he was the ancestor of the Normans in France who later led the Norman conquest of 1066 and took the throne of England.  Cool right?

  Something personal for me to witness is the fact that I have Scandinavian in my lineage.  While my maiden name (Greve) is German, I have many parts to my ancestral heritage.  My Granddaddy Alborg was complete Scandinavian.  Mostly Swedish, but most likely a bit of Danish (and maybe some Norwegian) to add to the mix; all of Scandinavia once ran together as one nation at one point.  It's fascinating to see how the people I am descended from lived and worked out problems.  It's one thing for me to watch something Celtic, or that took place in Ireland or Scotland where I have little or no ancestry, but to watch something I know I have thick in my blood is pretty neat. It's also cool to know that Sweden, part of Scandinavia, is where I am called together with Frank to minister to someday.  I love everything about Scandinavian history and culture and I am so excited to go there.  But in the moment, I love seeing what life was like for my very own ancestors (and I wonder if any of them were true voyaging vikings!)  Sometimes I wish I had more Scandinavian blood in me...

  Over all, Frank and I are highly captivated by this series and we really want more!! Next Sunday on History at 10pm!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Cut My Hair Again!

Frank is having man-time with one of his friends tonight and I've already cleaned the whole house... so I decided to award myself with writing a post or two! :)  So...

I always had nice long hair:

(like my plastic cannabis plant hanging out of my bag?)
The longest it ever got was the summer after this picture was taken when it fell below the middle of my back.  Then I really looked like a hippie...

Until I graduated from high school when my hair went from below the middle of my back to right below my ears.  I got a symmetrical haircut that I do not know the name of and these are some samples of that hair:


As freshman year of college went on, I experimented for the first time with color.  I went through black white and red highlights on one side, completely black, black on bottom white on top, purple highlights, bright red, dark red, after freshman year I went to dark brown:


As Frank and I started talking about marriage awhile ago, I decided to grow my hair out and color it closer to my natural color, which is where the dark brown came in.  Dark brown wasn't that bad ;)  As time went on, my hair grew back out and I began to play with it some more.  My hair is naturally very curly with medium spirals and it's really frizzy unless I put some sort of mousse or curl enhancer in it:


Well wedding day came and I styled my hair close to how I wanted it for the day I got married:


Well literally five days after the wedding, we had been back from the honey moon for only one day and I looked in the mirror and said, "ENOUGH!" I had been waiting for almost two years to get my hair cut again!! And so I did:

That was my favorite hairstyle, it was an asymmetrical cut and I thought it worked really well for me!  However, last Saturday one of my friends and I made plans to go to the hair-cutting place to shape up our hairdo's.  Before we left, I found a picture of the hairstyle I wanted!  And after leaving the hair place, this is my hair now:

What do you think!?

It's definitely different, and I've never parted my hair on the left side of my head.  It's been parted on the right since I was 9 years old.  (Just so it's known: when you take a picture of yourself with a YouCam, it turns the picture backward...)  This is THE shortest I have ever gone before and this is such a strange new way to style my hair! I'm still experimenting withe styling it, and I think I might go blonde... I guess we'll see!