Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Music for the Season

Christmas time is filled with products to delight the senses, elements that evoke the "Christmas spirit." The tongue is warmed by hot cocoa and soft gingerbread men, the eyes catch glimpses of bright reds and greens and the lights that glitter in every home, the nose is tickled by the crisp scents of pine needles and cinnamon candles, we love the feeling of snowflakes on our face and the soft new dress for a Christmas party. But the sense the is most evocative of emotion, memory, and mood is probably the ears.

Take away for one minute the carols, the silver and jingle bells, the laughter and squeals of excitement from the children. Close your ears for a second. Doesn't that change everything?

It is one of the few times of year that Christians have an upper hand in the world. Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ, and while mingled with songs of snowmen and reindeer, so many beautiful hymns are played, that tell of the birth as well as the life and purpose of Christ. Three Kings of Orient bearing gifts for a king, priest, and death; a little town in Bethlehem, with shepherds and angels; promises of Emmanuel; holy nights, glorias to God, even a sweet little drummer boy has a gift for the Christ-child. These songs are the timeless ones, they live on in a degenerate and dying world, and even the most secular of artists recognize their timelessness.

Musicians can be quirky, obsessive, and more than a little passionate. Christian should triple the passion and be even more obsessive about music, because it captures the attention, arresting the mind and forcing it to dwell on a picture. That picture is an opportunity to tell the Gospel. It is out there right now, take the "Christmas spirit" and run with it. Sing along the to "What Child is This?" in WalMart. Say Merry Christmas, and smile about it. Talk to people in those long lines about all the wonderful Christmas plans and blessings you have. This is our holiday, so lets claim it. It is our responsibility to spread the Gospel, and Christmas is an open door. We just need to step through it.

Here are a couple videos that may inspire you musically.

Silent Night ~Lindsey Stirling
Carol of the Bells
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello?

Are you there?

Can you hear me?

We have been having technical difficulties. Comment if you can read this!

Jillian

Monday, September 26, 2011

After a Year




Last year when Mother took our engagement pictures we were very excited. It was the one time through our courtship and engagement that we were really close together. We did not hold hands, give hugs, and absolutely no kisses until the wedding day. Roman and I both agree that we would not have it any other way. The is nothing to compare with the delight of that first kiss, which Roman's sister Raydeemie described as "steaming!"
After a year of marriage we really enjoy kissing, find holding hands a delightful pastime, and just plain enjoy being with each other in many and varied ways. Our engagement photo shoot last year was fun, filled with new experiences, yet slightly overwhelming. Our wedding photos were also filled with new experiences as we started learning more about each other by being close together.
This year's family photo shoot (done by my talented mother and aided by my wonderful and funny father) was very easy. We are closer to each other without any hesitation or awkwardness. Roman and I are happier this year, in a quieter way. Content in the joys of seeing one another every morning and evening, this makes us comfortable with each other in every circumstance. Ways we have changed, Roman is calmer and more thoughtful (though he is the more excited between the two of us), I am more flexible with change and happier (since I tend to be the realist who overworks every situation).
Add to the delights of one year of marriage, a handsome baby boy. Ethan smiles reflect his daddy's joyful personality as much as his hair reflects mine. His happy noises delight us daily and watching him grow in these past 7 weeks has been an amazing experience. What a wonderful year this has been, and all the changes have been very good, because every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights!

Smiling at each other!
Happy with Mummy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Anticipating Our Anniversary



"It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul be loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad."
George MacDonald

It has been nearly a year since Roman and I were married. There were a great many preparations that occurred before the day in order to make it marvelous and beautiful. It was wonderful and we loved it, having a gorgeous wedding and delightful honeymoon.

Now that we have lived with one another for a year, and now have a son whose a month old already, we are making other plans and preparations. The time will be no less beautiful, and the days following will still be delightful. In fact, there are many ways in which September 18th, 2011 will greatly exceed September 18th, 2010. Now we know each other better, have learned how to live with each other in an understanding way. It is not so much that we love each other more - though it certainly seems that way - rather there is a greater depth and sincerity to loving now. Every time you think you are full to bursting, you find you still have room to love more as new aspects of each others characters are shown to each other.

One of the amazing things I have learned from my husband is there more I love him, the more I love Jesus Christ. Roman is gift to me from God who is the definition of love and the giver of anything that is good. Those who love the gifts that God has given, show their love for Him. Holding to that knowledge, I can love my husband better as I love God better, and by knowing more of God, I love both God and Roman more. Learning love is like the scientist learning the universe, when you think you have gone as far as you can go, you discover there is still more to learn and explore.

One anniversary will pass and we will move towards an eternity of love. And I am greatly excited about all that will be learned.

Caitlin

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Four Generations


My mothers mother Vikki, my mother Rebecca, myself, and my son Ethan. When I was a year old we had a four generation picture taken with Vikki's mother Norma. She passed away just a couple years ago, so I had the blessing of knowing her more than a little, I also knew several of my other great-grandparents. I am so delighted that Ethan should know not only is grandparents, but most of his great-grandparents! Ahh, how good God has been.

Grandpa Blair (the first boy in his family for a long time).
Great-Grandpa Ron, a retired firefighter
All the adoring aunts with the happy parents. And of course the darling boy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Growing Family



Here we are, a happy family! The Lord has been very good to us in bringing little Ethan Patrick into this world. July seemed like it would never end and then he waited even longer to come into the world. The waiting did become rather difficult near the end. The Lord has a lot to teach me about His timing. I far prefer my own, so I can make my plans and move on with life. Yet the Lord shows me again and again how much better His plans are. Courting and marrying Roman was not my plan, but it is a perfect one. I love Roman completely, because he is the one God chose for me, rather than I chose for me. I did not plan on having a baby right away, before our first anniversary even. But the lessons I have learned in pregnancy and the many ways it brought Roman and I closer together show me how much better the Lord knows. Now Ethan is here and I can make new plans for each day with him. Still, everything is subject to change, and since flexibility of life is not my strong point I think I can safely assume that the Lord will continue to change my plans for His infinitely better ones. By this I learn to trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all my ways, because whether I like it or not He does direct my path. Right now I am very excited about that path!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's A Boy!


Welcome Ethan Patrick Mallery, the newest addition to our family. Born at 7:35 this morning, weighing 9.2 pounds and 22 1/2 inches long.

Guess Who's Here!

Ethan Patrick Mallery
Born August Fourth, 7:35 in the morning
Mother and Son are Happy and Healthy!
More to come later.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just Picture This

Sublime. Amazing. Absolutely breathtaking. Loved it.

Like the dreaded booming of a canon, thunder echoed up and down the little valley, awaking anyone who was not sleeping soundly.

I rolled over, blinking, like a bear after hibernation. An almost timid sunrise greeted me shyly. The real sun still hiding, the soft pink glow that warns the earth of its coming was reaching its fingers gently over the mountains. In stark contrast, the rest of the sky loomed dark, made darker by the seeming few feet of dust peach that was glowing between the rime of the rocky mountains and the edge of the angry clouds. Still, thunder rolled and boomed and echoed and yelled, screaming in its deep voice. I smiled, all to myself, and crawled from my warm covers to fling open the window in reckless behavior. (OK, I slid the window open in almost slow motion, but I liked the way that sentence rolled.)

That smell! Fresh, clean, crisp, and so cool it almost hurt when I took a deep breath. Cool raindrops now scantily touching a hot, sleepy face through the window screen, I stretched, closed my eyes, and listened. Listened very hard. It was raining hard now, pounding and splattering on the roof, as if in time with the rustling of a thousand green leaves being shaken in the mediocre wind. I tried to pay attention to every little detail I could. I let the rain the blue lightening, the dusty pink east, the spiteful thunder that rudely interrupted the flashing light display, and a dozen other sights and smells, and musical sounds fill me with little shivers and a a fast heartbeat. Who needs a movie to get excited, or a dramatic story to make a rush of emotions? A drama was playing out side my window, unrehearsed and changing with every moment that involuntarily ticked by. I looked straight up, past the water dripping quickly off our roof, and saw blue patches dancing merrily in the sky, as if to show that the storm was simply full of empty threats.

Now, it was as if there was only an inch between the craggy mountain line and those rolling, mysterious clouds. Bravely and calmly,, those weak rays then showed their strength, and sprinkled a peach haze through the rain, creating a fairy dust effect. In a composed manner, it let the booming that the sky take over, snuffing out its other worldly light. The tempest, young and to pas by won for now. The sun knew it could out another day.

Am I hopelessly in love with God's Nature? I'm afraid so. But who wouldn't be, when thinking about Gods hand directing every single one of those romantic waves of light, every single atom of those millions of raindrops, clear and clean, those incredible flashed of lighting that in, in color, matched the patches of baby blue sky, and best of all, thunder, powerful thunder, shaking the leaves of the trees that HE created? These words have simply not done it justice. But, after gazing at the ever changing art display, I grabbed a notebook, fished around for a pencil, leaned on the windowsill, and wrote.
Why? Because For some reason, I knew in my entire lifetime, I would never see anything quite like it again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Go, Go, Go!

That's what my summer has been. I love being busy and having something to do, but I need a little time to breath! Summer has been:
 
Studying and reading God's word, and growing in him, learning amazing new lessons every day.

Hayley and I are reading for the libraries summer reading program. (I'm entering a drawing for an itouch or an enook reader...fun!)
http://coastalnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/strawberries1.jpg

Strawberries! Our garden is producing more than every, and we have them in everything:
 http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldn2itR3LG1qew6kmo1_400.jpg

http://blog.sndimg.com/cook/Francois/Strawberry-Rhubarb-Crisp-4.jpg
http://healthy.hillbillyhousewife.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/strawberry-smoothie-200x300.jpg
Weekly Tennis:
 ( I'm still really bad at it!)
 http://www.calpeonline24.com/images/tennis.jpg

 Catching up in school:
 http://crossfitadventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/chemistry-glassware.313151314.jpg
 Wonderful, enjoyable, beautiful violin:
http://www.synful.com/Images/Violin%20Hand%20iStock_000000278306_L2.jpg

 And, newest of all, my part time job, at a friends pizza restaraunt:
http://x06.xanga.com/35a87b0327750261324527/z103839348.jpg
 So far, I've mostly done dishes. But that's OK. I still enjoy it!

http://www.shirtsnob.com/archives/pictures/lifeisgood1.gif

 http://www.scriptureartonline.com/God_is_Greater_esize.jpg


Life is full. And I think I did this post in less then ten minutes. I've got things to do!
(I still find time to read all your blogs...I enjoy it so it's not that hard to fit it in there!)
In Christ,
Jillian

Monday, July 11, 2011

Strange? Inspirational? Both?

 While searching violin music on mixpod (I need inspiration sometimes) I came across this strangely inspirational video, very appealing to a aspiring violinist. The last three seconds of this really surprised me. I would have never guessed. If you like music, tell me what you think of this:
{please turn off the music on the side bar before watching)

In Christ,
Jillian

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Is Art?

 http://app.onlinephotofiler.com/Images/A_6/2/8/7/47826/violin_024_738d7.jpg

"What is Art? Authorities do not agree. Definitions differ. Who draws the line that separates Art from Design? Sculpture from Ornaments? Poetry form Jingles? Great Music from Poohs hums? Great literature from Daily News?

Is Art beauty or depth, or expression? Is art communication calling for response? Is art the talent for involving other human beings in what otherwise would remain locked in the mind? Is Art something that draws many into the beauty, joy, and vividness of another persons understanding? Is art something that includes others in the torn struggling of another persons suffering?

Whatever it is, surely art involves creativity and originality. Whatever form art takes, it gives outward expression to what otherwise would remain locked in the mind, unshared. On individual personality has definite or special talent for expressing in some medium, what other personalities can hear, see, smell, feel, tasted, understand, enjoy, be stimulated by, be involved in, find refreshment in, find satisfaction in, find fulfillment in, experience reality in, be agonized by, be pleased by enter into, but which they could not produce themselves."

Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden art of Homemaking

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LAuCCls0ox8/TEBMOY2TBTI/AAAAAAAADR0/Ed6xpAi39H0/s1600/writing450.jpg
In Christ,

Jillian

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It Was a Good Day

 And a very pleasant day... complete with sunburns and bug bites. I slept in on this beautiful morning, until my bedroom became too hot to bear (my room is on the east side of the house, and on clear mornings like yesterday, it gets like a toaster in there, no joke). The night before, on the third, Hayley and I stood on the picnic table that occupies our deck, enjoying other peoples fireworks and listening to the noise echo up and down our little neck of the woods. It works out quite nicely, they pay the money and we get a bit of a panoramic show. Yes, works very nicely indeed. We just shan't tell them what we did. ;)

 This year, mother had fun doing some decorations, seeing what she could do with what she had, just being creative. You can do so much! It was really cute, and all around just "fun". As in, just give a little smile cause its cute. You just can't help but do that sometimes:



 After indulging in a lazy morning, we headed out and about to meet up with some friends and stake a place on the streets of downtown to see the local parade. Small town, BIG parade, and no joke, thousands of people. Its a good thing we were there and hour and a half early.
Here we are, passing time and looking at the very...ahem...interesting...people milling around us. People are fascinating to look at. I confess, I am an unabashed stare-er:
After some veterans, and flags, these guys led the long line of old cars, animals, more flags, candy, and a million different sounds and smells and sights:

 Montana parades must have tractors. And sheep. And so many horses we didn't even take a picture of them.

                                                         This was one of my favorites:
Montana or bust. I agree:
 
                                 This guy quizzed us on historical facts. I think we passed his test.
And then, we had a BBQ, played badminton, sang patriotic songs,(including "O Canada", just to be unpatriotic and fun.) We then headed over to a friends house to watch fire works and get eaten by the aforementioned bugs. They were nasty, but proved lively entertainment until it got dark. I got bit on my eyelid, so now its puffy and feels funny.We were slapping at each other for no apparent reason. That can be fun. *evil grin*
                              The only picture taken of the happy couple. The VERY happy couple.
                                                          Sparklers! No comment needed.
 Today, we cleaned up the house, caught up on sleep in the afternoon, and then packed up yesterday's leftovers and headed to the lake for dinner. It's only a five minute drive from our house, so we go there often. It was very relaxing, a great way to end the extended week end. And the water felt perfect. Sublime. Amazing. 

I hope you all had a blessed weekend, celebrating America, and remembering its history. We do it because of the people, years ago, who gave us our freedom, and fought...for us.
God bless!
In Christ,
Jillian

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good for All Skin Types: The Instant , Low Price, All-in-one Beautifier

When I slide my eyelids open every morning, I sit up and shake my glossy, silky hair against the flawless skin on my face. The corners of pink, healthy lips turn upward , as if pointing to the light rose blush on my ivory cheeks. Above that, my brilliant blue eyes sparkle with life and intelligence. I don't need to glance in the mirror on my way out into the day...I know I look A. maze. Ing.

http://www.westin-hotelsathome.com/images/products/xlrg/hb-ens_xlrg.jpg 

Well, I wish.

Rewrite: This groggy girl spends the first fifteen minutes of her day with her eyes half open, telling herself to get moving, lazy! Glancing in the mirror before I head to the shower usually helps wake me up. I'll spare you a detailed description, but lets just say I look like the usual bed head.

I know we all have these thoughts sometimes, where we look in the mirror and wish that “if only this freckle was gone, my nose was smaller and my forehead was tiny and dainty, I would look really pretty, etc. And lets not even mention the hair.” You know what I'm talking about. We all naturally want to look good, at least, even if we can't pull off being stunning every time we look at ourselves. At least, I would prefer looking nice. Some people don't mind being messy. But we won't get into that.
 
Before I go on, I have a slight confession to make to you: I wish I was prettier every day of my life. Every day, I sigh about at least one little thing I wish were different, and the next day , I'm discontent about something else. I don't obsess over it, though. I just think about it more than I should. Like everybody else, the desire to look outwardly good is always there, too often. You could probably think of cases where people did not care about there appearance enough...but I'm not talking about those people.

And then one day a couple of weeks ago, I found this wonderful cleanser. Well, its more like a concept. Or an idea... well, it can't be put into one dinky word, but it was really neat. And it cost me no money at all! It did cost me some pride, though. But I needed to have my pride brought down a notch. I always need that.

You must be at least slightly curious by now as to what I found. It was in the Martha Stewart's Living magazine. Before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear...I am not a fan of Martha Stewart. I actually don't really like her, and I know she's got...problems. But her magazines have some fun ideas. Now that you all know my standing on that, we can continue with this lengthy post:

Living was doing a few pages on spring makeup and new cleansers, etc. But that was not what caught my attention. It was on five ladies that she featured, who she thought were truly beautiful...and they were. And not because they were spread over with gobs of make up, but because they knew how to be lovely with what they had. One of them, a young lady 24 years old, could make an impression on people because she stood straight and tall, talked with grace, and had a quiet calmness about her without being little miss high and mighty. Another woman was beautiful because she loved life. She was not a Christian, but I think there are many examples of non-christian people who have virtues that Christians lack. Not that they are going to Heaven because of it...but I think we need to learn from some people who do not know Christ, and appreciate that they have the virtue of friendliness or joy, etc, as we witness to them and tell them how much they need Him.

I did not mean to get preachy. I bunny trailed, folks. Sorry.

By this time you've guessed that I'm not going to give you a link to some fantabulous website where they sell wonderful skin products dirt cheap. Sorry if I deceived you. But I wanted to let people know, in my lengthy, long winded way, that if you want to be beautiful (which most every female does) and if you want people to enjoy your character as well as your beauty, then let you character be your beauty. 
 
Learn how to enjoy life, and you won't be able to help it if it spills over into the way you smile and walk and talk because life is good.

Learn to be thoughtful, and you will know that a loud voice and harsh laugh will turn people off.

Learn to laugh at yourself, and you will never cease from being amused (I stole that one from someone else).

Listen to what other people have to say with true sincerity, and they will be your instant friend.
http://massbible.org/files/images/HelpingOut.jpg?0












I'm learning this slowly but surely, and it has been a slow and curious, fascinating process.
Be graceful and kind, and it will show in the way you carry yourself. The instant you walk into a room, although people might not think “whoa, she's amazing!,” they will know that you are not afraid of people.

I want to be remembered for something other than the fact that I was the girl that accidentally bumped the toddler on the floor, sending it into tears and you into the bathroom to hide. Not Because I spilled water as I was trying to gracefully pour it, nearly tripped because were staring at interesting people, talked louder and more boisterously than necessary, or talked with food in my mouth at church. (I'm guilty of these and much more, I confess)

I want to learn to make a bigger impression because I talked quietly to a discouraged friend, cleaned up willingly after a child who threw up, gave a hug just because I like someone, and listened well with a true interest in my heart to others hardships and happiness's. They have a life just like me, and I want to tell others about me...therefore I should listen to them. This is so important. I want to share this because it's so much worth sharing, whether you like it or not.

Even better, learn to love and fear God, and you will radiate with peace and joy and a meditative spirit that will impress people more than you know.
In Christ, 

Jillian