Thursday, 31 May 2012

English Country Dancing


Fancy an evening of English Country Dancing? 

A few weeks ago, this is what Hyacinth, Daisy, Violet and I were doing on a Saturday evening. Dancing, dressed up in period costume (think Pride & Prejudice, or Emma – although both Hyacinth and I wore medieval dresses). J English Country Dancing is one of our most favourite events, and this time I had the fun of organizing it. For years now, a very dear friend of ours has organised English Country Dances for people of all ages, and has led the dances, teaching us some easy ones and some slightly more complicated dances as we got better acquainted with the easier ones. J Our friend is now married and living overseas with her husband, and we hadn’t had a Country Dance in over a year – until this past month. J The opportunity came up for another evening of dance and fun, although I was a bit nervous about the fact that I hadn’t called any of the dances before, and now that our friend wasn’t here, that responsibility/privilege would fall to me. But it was a great success! Not only did I really enjoy calling the dances, I also got to dance a bit myself near the end, and the evening was so much fun! We managed to dance to everyone’s favourites, including the well-known Virginia Reel (a lively barn-dance style dance), Gay Gordons (a much calmer, include-everyone kind of dance), Duke of Kent’s Waltz (a gentle, flowing dance complete with the gentleman twirling the lady around), and my favourite, Barbarini’s Tambourine (which includes the complicated but very fun step of four changes of hands). J When gentlemen were greatly outnumbered by the ladies, some of the ladies donned red ribbons and were able to dance with other ladies and not have to sit out. When most of the younger families had left for the evening and only the die-hard dancers were left, there was a perfect number of gentlemen and ladies present, and no one had to miss out! :)

Costumes

From left to right: Me (Lily), Daisy, Hyacinth
  at our latest ECD
Costumes are great fun at an English Country Dance. Many of the gentlemen wore suit jackets, and some even turned up in bow ties, cravats, or even top hats! The ladies looked stunning in their long flowing dresses, with their hair curled or styled in some fancy fashion. Little girls dressed in princess dresses and little boys wearing bow ties are not uncommon to see running around, or even dancing with the adults in some of the dances.



Videos

Follow this link for some photos/videos (old ones!) of some of the English Country dances we have held in the last few years! One of these videos is at least 4 years old ~ we've been doing it for a long time! :)


Violet and Hyacinth

Photos


Here's a collection of photos from our dances taken by a fellow Country-dancer :)


Daisy  











Having Fun

In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a fun-filled evening with entire families enjoying each other’s company than at an English Country Dance!!! J If you ever get the opportunity to attend an English Country Dance, Hyacinth, Violet, Daisy and I all highly recommend it! :)

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~ Colossians 3:17

Lots of love, in Christ, Lily xoxo

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I Love, Love, LOVE this quote!!!

I love this quote so, so much and feel it is so relevant to the blog so I thought I would post it! Enjoy!

~

“The splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it's scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose it's loveliness.” ~ Therese of Lisieux

~

Wow, Daisy and I seem to have been blogging a lot recently – May seems to be the month for us for blogging, probably enhanced by the wintry weather we’ve been having here in New Zealand, which has forced us indoors. Not that I mind as I love blogging! And it’s amazing how many things relating to “daisies” or “violets” or both I have come across in the last month. So be warned, I feel another thematic post coming on . .  .

But for now I will leave you with that quote. God bless and have a good day.

Violet :)

SDC10909

Monday, 28 May 2012

Daisy, Daisy!

No, I’m not referring to my fellow blogger this time, nor am I referring to the flower! This time, I am referring to my great-grandmother. Just today, I discovered that her middle name was, in fact, Daisy! This fact was so exciting and so well-suited to the nature of our blog that I just couldn’t resist to post it!

My great-grandmother lived to a ripe old age, but passed away about a year ago. In tribute to her, I post this song, which was sung at one of her birthdays because of her middle name being Daisy. I thought it was quite sweet when I heard it and I could see how my great-grandmother would have liked it. One of my lasting memories of her is both of us as well as my grandmother singing old traditional songs together one afternoon. I only regret that I did not spend more time with her or did not attempt to learn more about her and the amazing life she had led. God bless you, dear great-grandmother (Daisy)!


Friday, 25 May 2012

‘The Young Victoria’ Movie Review

Seeing as I had put up a post on Queen Victoria’s journals, I thought it was about time that I wrote a movie review on The Young Victoria, a movie based on Queen Victoria’s life as a young woman. I will try not to create any spoilers! :)

This film stars Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria and Rupert Friend as her eventual husband, Prince Albert. The story follows the life of Britain's longest reigning monarch (to date!) from adolescence into a woman who would become queen and later learn some difficult lessons about ruling, with the assistance of her husband, Albert.  

What I disliked: Now, don’t get me wrong – I love this movie! However, there are some elements of it that I think could have been changed or done better. One complaint I had was the movie’s tendency to over-romanticise some scenes more than was necessary. While there was nothing worse than what you would expect be shown according to its PG rating, there were a few too many scenes that I felt a little uncomfortable with for me to enjoy this film as much as I would have otherwise (this is mainly why Miss Potter is a better film, in my opinion). Also, though I cannot claim to be an expert on Queen Victoria’s life, I knew enough to spot more historical accuracies than I thought there would be. I won’t spoil it by pointing any out to you, but needless to say anyone knowing enough of the history will inevitably spot them. And while it didn’t really hinder the history being conveyed, and helped the drama and the flow of the narrative a bit more, I personally prefer it when films stay as true to the history as possible. That’s just coming from someone obsessed with history, so I wouldn’t let that put you off watching it! :) This film is still a lot more historically accurate than many other period films I have seen, and overall the romance is sweet and lovely, so personally from a Christian perspective, I feel comfortable enough to still recommend it to my friends.

What I liked: Hmm, I hope I haven’t put anyone off seeing this amazing, incredible, breathtaking film with the sheer length of the section above!!! One thing about this film that blew my mind away was the costuming and locations. I fell in love with so many of Victoria’s dresses which were elaborate and quintessentially Victorian. I particularly fell in love with this yellow dress – fit for a princess! The effect that these gorgeous costumes and dazzling locations had upon you was that you felt it was genuine, you came away convinced that you had seen a glimpse into what the monarchy in Britain during the 19th century must have been like. Unfortunately, you will never be able to get such a good sense of the grandeur by watching it on a little screen as I did when I saw it the first time on a big screen! Another great component of this film was the acting, which I found outstanding. Rupert Friend’s performance convinced me that he was Prince Albert through and through, based on the little I knew about the real Prince Albert, and while at first I found Emily Blunt’s performance far too forward for the time period, after viewing it several times I have come to appreciate the way she conveys the struggles and true strength of character that the real Victoria must have had. I mean, imagine becoming queen of all England aged 18!  

Rating: 4/5  My recommendation: as soon as you have time, get this film out and watch it!!!
Here is the trailer, which I hope you enjoy! And remember, while I think this movie is well worth watching, still respect your parents decision regarding it.

Queen Victoria’s Journals



I just thought I’d let all of you who love history as much as I do here some fantastic news! Queen Victoria’s journals have recently been released online, on the anniversary of her birthday, and so now you can view them from wherever you are in the world! Simply follow this link:
http://www.queenvictoriasjournals.org

Being the avid fan of history that I am, when I discovered this news, I was nearly jumping up and down with joy! I love Victorian history (it being my favourite era to read about) and I’d always wanted to read Queen Victoria’s journals, so now I can!

There are also some other really neat resources now online relating to this famous British monarch, such as:

http://www.queen-victorias-scrapbook.org/ – an online “scrapbook” outlining Queen Victoria’s life and with many primary sources from the British Royal archives such as video footage, photographs, paintings and documents. I highly recommend that you visit this website if you are really interested in the history of the British monarchy, or Queen Victoria herself, as this is fantastic as it is nicely summarised but does give you access to so many great sources.
There is now a Twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/QueenVictoriaRI) that will be posting up excerpts of Queen Victoria’s journals and other interesting links or facts from the 24th of May, 2012 to the 7th of June, 2012.

I hope you find these sources interesting or useful!
God bless!
Violet

Thursday, 24 May 2012

God Will Take Care Of You

Okay, so this video was waaaaay too cute not to share, so here it is! :D This is the Buctot family singing "God Will Take Care of You". It is amazing how well their son can sing - most two year old I know aren't anywhere near that good!!! :) 
And this song has such great lyrics - it is true - God will take care of us!! :)
 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Daisy and Violet's Ray of Sunshine

Well, Violet and I were both in the mood for another "sunshine" post, and since she was over at my house this afternoon, we decided to create one together! :) So may I present you with our first collaborative attempt at a quotes/photos post!! I hope you like it! All the photos are from our various photo shoots, except for the top image, which is from Google Images. 
God bless, Violet and Daisy ♥

"The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense" ~Proverbs 27:9~
 
"God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds using time and pressure. Never doubt that He is working in you too!! ~Unknown~
 
"A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." ~Arabian Proverb~  
 
"Peace is not the absence of troubles, but the presence of Christ!" 
"There is only One Way to true peace. And His name is Jesus..." ~Anon~
 
"God gives hope to those who dream, miracles to those who believe, and never lets down those who walk with Him..."

 
"There are things far, far better ahead than any we leave behind." ~C.S.Lewis~
This is Daisy and Hyacinth (foreground) and Violet (middle,
 background) at a recent English Country Dance we all
attended :D

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand." ~Unknown~
"Choose faith over worry. God is in control!" ~Anon~
 
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view." ~Atticus Finch~ 
(No, Daisy is not considering things from the tree's point of view ;) haha)
  
"I've learnt that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." ~Maya Anglsu~

My Favourite Ever Quote!! :)

 
"Dance like no one is watching...."
 
"Sing like you cannot be heard..." 
 
"Dream like there is no reality..." 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Clean Bin Project documentary

Here is the trailer for a documentary that I watched today. If you ever come across it, you should definitely watch it! It really does inspire us to take greater care of the beautiful planet God has given us.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

More Sunshine ♥

Well, since the weather has been so rainy around here recently, I decided it was time to share some more of my virtual sunshine with you all! :) Violet, I know you are going through a tough time at the moment, so this is especially for you!! ♥ I am praying for you heaps!! :) I hope you all enjoy the photos and quotes. All of the photos were taken by Violet and me at one time or another, with the exception of the last one, which is just from Google Images. I hope you enjoy them!!
"Whatever comes, it cannot change one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, then I am a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time, when no one knows it." ~Frances Hodgeson Burnett~ 
   
"The most precious thing you can give a friend is you time, because that is something you can never get back!" ~Anon~ (Thanks Lily, Hyacinth and Violet for sharing your time with me!!!)
   
"It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow." ~Anon~ 
 
"Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in His salvation. My whole being will exclaim, "Who is like You, O Lord?" You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them." ~Psalm 35:9-10~ 
   
"Only one life, it soon will be past, things done for Christ are the only that last!" 
 
"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." ~C.S.Lewis~ ♥
 
"Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened!" ~Dr Seuss~ 
"There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going." ~Unknown~ 
 
"Life isn't about yourself - it is about discovering who God created you to be!" ~Anon~
 "All people smile in the same language." ♥

Yours in Jesus Christ, 
Daisy xox 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

To follow on from last post . . .

To follow on from the last post on Harry Potter, I found this article which helped me a bit:

http://www.rbc.org.nz/magazine/issue007/issue7.pdf

For those who are interested (and have the time to), read it and please share your thoughts!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Is Harry Potter a good influence or a bad one?

To me, there are a lot of movies and books out there that have a mixture of good and bad in them, and I would say the Harry Potter series are one of those. Ultimately, though, I don't think it is right for us, as Christians, to make blanket statements about which books and movies we all shouldn't be reading and watching, particularly ones that do have a mixture of good and bad in them.

For example, I don't see the witches/wizards argument as the greatest reason for not reading the Harry Potter series, as there are plenty of celebrations that have their roots in pagan elements that many Christians are perfectly comfortable with celebrating. And again, the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have wizards in them - yet they were written by a Catholic! And nobody really complains about The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, though the witch is a large component of that story.

A lot of it is about the MESSAGES that a film or book sends - you could watch the cleanest G rated film and yet be polluted and tempted to sin, or watch a more violent and horrific M rated film and yet be more motivated than ever to serve the Lord in your life. This has happened to me several times before, where I have been horrified at the messages children's films send and yet watched an adult film that truly did motivate me to serve the Lord more than I had before watching it.

So ultimately, I think it comes down to a few questions we each need to ask ourselves personally BEFORE reading or watching a book or movie:

1. Is this book/movie the kind of thing I would want to be reading/watching if the Lord was to come back right now? (After all, He sees everything we do!)

2. Does the good in this book/movie override the negative aspects of it to the point where what I will get out of it will be more beneficial than otherwise?

3. Will this book/movie help or hinder me in my walk with Christ?

To me, I am not above reading the Harry Potter series (though they are not my kind of books!!!) and I can see how it has many great messages for teens that are sadly lacking in many contemporary books for that age group. For example, we learn about loyalty, love and a host of other values that are definitely what the Bible teaches. However, alongside that we do have examples of actions which the Bible does prohibit that are not exactly condemned in the books - Harry quite often lies or acts deceptively and usually gets away with it (or it is even endorsed!). In my opinion, I can quite easily see how for some teens with a more rebellious streak it may hinder them, and tempt them to sin, rather than helping them. Overall, I much prefer the first three books to the later ones, but that's mainly due to personal preference, I think! :)

Personally, I think that everyone is different, and what will hinder and cause someone to sin will not be the case with everyone. I mean, someone who really struggles with lust would probably really struggle with watching Jane Austen films which only intensify romantic views and opinions (I know a lot of period film bloggers would recoil in shock at that statement, but it is true!) Where it is not obvious in the Bible, I think we as Christians have freedom to make wise decisions, guided by scripture, and that often our consciences will help us to make decisions that please Christ. Rather than becoming "nit-picky" and judgemental about the choices other Christians make, we need to be examining our own hearts and motives. For me, Harry Potter may not be a great influence,and I personally may not feel comfortable reading the books or watching the movies, but Charles Dickens . . . well! :)

So the advice I will give you is this: prayerfully seek the Lord in this as in all things! Ask Him for wisdom; that He would guide your steps and help you to make wise choices as you seek to serve Him in your life. Ask Him to help you to respect the decisions that other individual Christians make, especially if it differs from your own conscience in this area – do not force someone to change their mind, as often in these “grey” areas we have a lot of freedom. Rather, if you sincerely believe that someone is viewing/reading material that you feel is really harming their spiritual walk, pray for them and approach them gently about it. Study the Lord’s word (the Bible) and look to the advice of more mature Christians who know you well, and know your areas of temptation so that they can give you guidance as to what they think will be more harmful than helpful for you (parents are great for this)! And remember to respect and honour your parent’s decision in this as in all areas.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings on this topic! And please, if you have a different opinion on this subject, please write a comment below, as I am not entirely convinced that my views on this subject are right. I would love to hear your thoughts on this! I hope this helped any of you who may be equally confused as I am on the subject.

God bless you as you serve Him!
From your sister in Christ,
Violet

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Charlie Chaplin! :)

Yes, I (Violet) have not been posting for quite some time! Smile with tongue out My sincere apologies for that but I’m glad Daisy has still been keeping you updated!!!

I just thought I’d write a quick note to you all. I’m doing a history project on Croatian/Dalmatian settlers to New Zealand during the 19th century (1850-1900) and I just wondered if anyone who sees this blog knows anything about this topic or has anything they’d like to share with me – particularly if you’re good with sources and know ideas of any places I could try to find primary source information. If not, that’s okay, but if so, feel free to write a comment below this post sometime before the 21st of May, 2012.

On another note, here is a very funny video clip I stumbled across on YouTube a while back and felt I must bring to your attention. I had never really watched Charlie Chaplin videos before, but after seeing this I must confess I have developed rather an addiction to them! I find the ingenious money-making scheme Charlie Chaplin and ‘the Kid’ come up with hilarious (though I do not encourage you to try it yourself)! And ‘the Kid’ is so cute and such a good little actor; you can see how he would have got away with it!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Christian's Guide To Pop Music

Hey everyone!! It's me, Daisy here :D I have a quick note for you all!! :)

We have a follower on our blog called The Singer. Now, I absolutely LOVE the Singer's blog - it is called A Christian's Guide To Pop Music and it is filled with youtube links to pop songs which are "the kind that won't totally pollute your hearts and minds, music that will draw you closer to your Savior." The Singer goes on to say "This is where I will share pop music (and other music) by Christian artists, and music by secular artists that has been carefully checked". I love that idea!! I highly recommend you that if you are into pop music and want to be careful with what you listen to, you head over there! The Singer has some really great music! :)

The blog disappeared a couple of days ago for a few people. Thankfully, not for me :D But anyway, the reason for this was that they changed their web address. It is now http://popmusicguide.blogspot.com.
And just because I can, here is one more link to A Christian's Guide To Pop Music - this one mentioning OUR blog (Violets and Daisies), because of a song Hyacinth posted here!!! How exciting ;) :D Anthem Lights - Stranger

Anyway, that's enough from me for now - just thought it was about time I told you about the great effort The Singer is making!! Hope you like their blog a whole heap!! :D

God bless, Daisy

P.S. I absolutely love this photo of Hyacinth and me at the beach a few weeks ago :D. Hope ya don't mind me putting it up, Hyacinth!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

French Toast

I absolutely LOVE french toast - it is so easy to make, and so yummy!!! :) I make this recipe in 5 minutes before my family eats breakfast together, and it is always a treat! Can easily be made with gluten free or dairy free bread too :).

Ingredients: 
Ordinary toast bread
Eggs

Method: 
1. Put the toast in the toaster and toast lightly (for 30 seconds or so).
2. Crack open one egg per slice of toast and beat with a fork in a large, flattish bowl.
3. Dip each slice of toast in the egg,
coating both sides of the slice. (Sorry,
it looks gross, I know!! :P) 

4. Put each slice of toast in a buttered,
pre-heated frying pan, till the first side
is golden, then flip. 

5. Remove from pan before it gets too
brown.

6. Serve with maple syrup or another
spread. Enjoy!!! :)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Island of Grace

I watched Island of Grace with Lily and Hyacinth yesterday :D  Island of Grace, which is a Wisenquest film from 2009, tells the story of Megan, a young office worker, who gets to go on a work trip to Indonesia with office heartthrob, Mark, and her old church friend, Chris. However, things go drastically wrong when their plane goes down and they are lost on an island in Indonesian waters.
Chris is saddened by the fact that Megan is changing from the strong Christian woman she used to be, and confronts her about this. Meanwhile, Mark is trying to win Megan over, and it appears to be working.... Will Megan stay strong, and be true to her faith? And will the three castaways be rescued from the Island of Grace???        
The movie has a good message of remaining true to your faith, and not changing who you are to please other people. The  main actors do a good job, and  the music and cinematography are nicely done. All in all, this is a very clean movie - with the exception of some rather unnecessary kissing - and has been awarded the Dove Family Approved Seal.
And yes, I know the trailer title says it is for "Rescued", but let me assure you it is "Island of Grace"!! :)

Love, Daisy ♥

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Camp of a Lifetime! Part 2: The Camp Activities

We began each day with breakfast, duties, and a meeting (where we sang songs and had a sermon), getting into Bible study groups for a ‘Q & A’ and prayer time. Then, in each of our groups, chanting and waving our colourful flags as we went, we would start on the camp activities on the day.
There were four main camp activities which we did on a rotational basis (two each day).
  1. Kayaking – it was a beautiful sunny day when Daisy’s team went kayaking, which was a good thing as we had to tip out of them! However, when Violet went kayaking, it was a bit of a storm with wind and rain – so rather a different experience for both of us! The activity involved kayaking out to sea and around a small rocky island (Daisy’s team saw a penguin!) Along the way, each team member would take turns tipping out of the kayak and then the different members of the team would “rescue” them. Needless to say, this activity was both exhausting but fun (and was probably Violet’s favourite activity).
  2. Daisy's team yatching
    Yachting – This was one of Daisy’s favourite activities, primarily because she had someone nice to pair up with. :) The activity involved sailing around the bay and forming shapes (such as a cross) with the yachts. Unfortunately, Violet’s team suffered from not enough wind and a low tide coupled with a lack of skill ;) , which made this activity not so successful for them! Daisy’s team on the other hand, had a high tide and a lot of wind, resulting in them winning the activity overall. (Daisy says here, “Go Silver Foxes!” – Violet says, “No! Gold Finger is the man!”)
  3. The Climbing Wall - its sooo high!!
    Rock Climbing/Abseiling – Violet’s least favourite activity (and one she dreads all year!) as she has a long standing history of a fear of ropes and heights when they are combined! :) Needless to say, she was very pleased with the fact that her prayers were answered when she was able to climb the whole way up and abseil back down without crying once! :) Daisy, on the other hand, rather likes heights and really, really enjoyed it! Both our teams managed to complete this activity, which was good.
  4. A view of the bay from the top of the Confidence Course
    The Confidence Course – This was Daisy’s absolute favourite activity. The first part of it was a very tricky assault course. Then came a jog up a hill, with archery to finish up. Violet found these activities very difficult (typically!) while Daisy really enjoyed it (and found it a little easier!) Both of us were really pleased with how much we accomplished on it compared to other years.
Watch this space for further posts on our amazing and exciting camp experience!

Easy Guacamole

I loooove Guacamole, and this is the easiest recipe for it ever!! It is very healthy, and sooo tasty! :D It takes about 5 minutes all up. I do, however, recommend wearing sunglasses when chopping the onion haha :). It may look silly, but it sure does save one a lot of pain ;). Or another, less silly looking, option is to chop the onion by a running tap - this also does the trick!! Hope ya like it!!!!! 
♥ Daisy xox

Ingredients: 
1 avocado 
1 red onion
1 tomato
Salt, pepper 

Method: 
1. Chop up a small segment/as much as
you want of the red onion and then do
the same with the tomato. 

2. Remove all of the avocado from its
shell. 








3. Mash the avocado up in a bowl,
seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Mix the tomato and red onion into
the mix. 
5. Serve with corn chips! Enjoy!!! :) 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Happy Birthday Daisy!!! :)

Daisy, :)

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Lily, Hyacinth and I feel so blessed by the Lord to be able to call you our friend. We love you very much, dear friend, and are praying that the Lord would bless you always as you seek to continue to serve Him.

God bless!!!

(Click on the links below to see your cards):

Happy Birthday E-card - Always in my Heart
 
Happy Birthday E-card - The reasons I thank God for you