Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lovely Flute & Piano Duets! :)

Hi all,

I have been somewhat absent from the blogging sphere for a while (which has made a good change, actually, I think!) and sadly I'll be blogging very little (if at all!) over the next few weeks as I have exams which are rapidly approaching, and several other commitments. :)

In the meantime, however, I thought I'd share with you some versions from YouTube of some lovely tunes that I am attempting to learn on the flute. They are so pretty! But of course I love classical music so this may not be to everyone's taste! I hope you enjoy listening anyhow. 

Concert in H moll: Concerto in B minor ~ Oskar Rieding
(It's actually arranged for a violin and piano, but mum and I are doing a flute/piano duet of it, which does pose some challenges such as *cough* octave jumping *cough*. It certianly suits the violin better, but still sounds lovely on the flute). 

Sonate: G major ~ Georg Philipp Telemann
(Very pretty, but I would NEVER attempt to try and play some parts as fast as this flautist! :P I'm not that good yet!!!)

Plaisir d'Amour ~ Padre Martini

Entr'acte (Act III Carmen) ~ Georges Bizet

Loeillet Sonata C major ~ revised by Fritz Koschinsky
(Couldn't find a version on YouTube but it is one of my favourite pieces I'm learning at the moment, so if you ever find it, do listen to it!) 

The Penguin Rag ~ Andrew Firth
(Yes, I know that this sounds horrible and electronic, but again it was really the only version I could find on YouTube. It gives you an idea of the tune, but just imagine it with a flute and piano - which makes it sound much nicer, trust me!)

Hope you enjoy listening to these!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Wives and Daughters

I recently received a copy of the BBC series "Wives and Daughters", based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. My mother and I have spent the last few weeks watching half an hour or so of it a night - and we absolutely loved it! :)

Whilst, perhaps, it is not the best BBC drama ever, it is definitely one of my favourites! As always, it is beautifully made, artfully filmed, incredibly well acted, engaging in story-line (I was most upset when we had to miss an evening or stop!) and well paced.

It tells the story of Molly Gibson, the doctor's daughter, from a small town in England. Molly's mother died when she was little, and she never imagined her father remarrying, but in her 17th year, he does. Her new mother also has a daughter of about the same age, Cynthia. The girls become firm friends, but throughout the course of the series, their friendship is tested when they become rivals in love, and dark secrets emerge from Cynthia's past. And that is all I'm going to tell you about it :)

Cynthia and Molly - quite a few people have told me that
I look just like Molly, but I can't say I agree haha :P

Elizabeth Gaskell's other books - North and South and Cranford - have also been turned into BBC dramas, and I would highly recommend both of them.

On the whole, Wives and Daughters is a beautiful tale of a young girl, who will do anything for those she loves. There is a little violence, but other than that, there wasn't any objectionable content as far as I could see.

I'm afraid I couldn't find a trailer to show you all, and all the clips I could find from it gave away bits of the plot, and I really wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone!! :)

"More than  any other book I know, this neglected masterpiece tells us what it feels like to be alive." ~Andrew Davis, screenwriter for Wives and Daughters~

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Gospel In Four Minutes

Saw this today, and it really inspired me! :) I hope y'all enjoy it too!! 

I'll try do a proper, long post some time soon, promise <3 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

What Holds Us Together

"This is Laminin. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this molecule, Laminin is the protein that holds human beings together. Do you notice its shape? Isn't it amazing that God would think so far in the future, and make the very thing that makes us think of Jesus, make up and play a crucial role in how we are formed? God formed you to not only live as an image of Christ, but to never escape the fact that you are HIS! We are branded by the Cross! "

I found this on Facebook today - isn't it interesting?! Did some more research, and indeed, laminin is shaped like a cross, although only from one angle. Still, how cool is that?! 

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know this full well." ~Psalm 139:13-14~


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My Baptism

Hello again everyone! Sorry it has been a little while since I last posted, especially since I promised to be back soon!! But things got a little hectic over the last week or so.... But in a very, very good way....

The beautiful spot where I was baptised
So for a really, really long time (since I first became a Christian, when I was 7 or 8 years old), I have wanted to be baptised. But a long, and very complicated turn of events meant that I hadn't been. It just never worked out for it to actually happen. But this year, I started asking my youth pastor over and over again about when I could get baptised. I prayed about it loads too.
It was a rather chilly day...
It finally seemed like it was going to work out one afternoon early this year. I got all excited, and started making plans. I spoke to the people I wanted to be my Godparents, and although they lived 6 hours away, they said they would love to come down to our town for my baptism. They made plans... my baptism was cancelled, thanks to a time-table mix up by our church leadership - oops :P It was about the 5th time this had happened though, so I wasn't too too disappointed. I knew God had other things in mind.
And so the ceremony began!
My Godparents decided to still come down and visit, so that was exciting. They were coming up on Saturday (the original day we had planned my baptism on). On Friday, my youth pastor called me. He had just had a brain wave - would Sunday, straight after morning church work for my baptism? After a short discussion with my mum I called back - yes, yes it would!
A whole lot of my friends and loved ones watched from the
So mum and I spent the rest of that day rushing around organising things. It was so exciting the way it all worked out - God's timing is so, so perfect!! I was all set to get baptised on Sunday the 12th of May - Mother's Day. That was so special in so many ways - firstly, it was on Mother's Day I was christened (basically where one's parents commit to raise you as a Christian), back when I was just 1 year old. Also, my Godparents to be can't have children, so for them, that was really significant! And it worked out that almost all of my closest friends and family, all my loved ones could be there.
Sharing a bit of my testimony 
It was a really special occasion. In front of all the people most special to me, I was able to publicly announce that I have been saved from my sins by the grace of God and that I want to live my life for Him. And the feeling of the water washing over me, that beautiful symbolism of being cleansed, of dying to my old life, and being reborn a new creation in Christ, was truly incredible (even if the water was EXTREMELY cold haha).
Isn't it a beautiful spot?!
"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my degrees and be careful to keep my laws." ~Ezekiel 36:25-27~
Man, was that water cold!! Haha :P
Those verses were read out before I entered the water. They are such an incredible reminder of how gracious our God is - we are all sinners, we are all so far away from Him. Yet He sent His Son to die the death which should have been ours. He died to save us, if we just repent, and ask for forgiveness. It is never too early, or too late to turn to Him <3 By His grace, we will be set free, we will be cleansed, we will be loved.
Me with my Godparents and my mother and brother
My lovely Godparents and I <3
I wish I had some photos of myself with Hyacinth, Lily and Violet (yes, they were all there!) but sadly I don't. Oh well :P Anyway, that's more than enough photos for now, but I hope you all enjoyed a glimpse of one of the most amazing days of my life <3

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Happy Mothers Day (for tomorrow)!

Happy Mothers Day to mothers everywhere - but especially my one!!! :) I love you so much Mum, and I can never thank you enough for being so patient with me and teaching me so much over the years. I hope you have a wonderful day and that the Lord would bless you as you continue to serve Him!

I thought I'd post this music video by Hayley Westernra about mothers! Enjoy!


Friday, 10 May 2013

Book Review: Into the Deep

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
On the evening of August 30, 2003, Robert and Melissa Rogers and their four young children were driving home from a family wedding. Caught in a flash flood, Melissa and the children all drowned. "Into the Deep" is the compelling story of how one man's faith took root and blossomed through trials, blessings, and a deepening trust in God.

My Opinion:
This was an AMAZING read!!! I highly recommend it to anyone, particularly those who are going through difficult times in their lives. It really helped me to gain a better perspective on suffering and how God can use it for our good and His glory - if God can help a man to continue to have faith in Him even after the deaths of his wife and four kids, how much more can I trust Him during my much smaller trials?

Some of my favourite quotes were:

"I heard so many times from so many people, 'God never gives you more than you can handle.' I eventually came to believe that 'God will always give you more than you can bear alone, because He doesn't want you to bear it without Him.' Alone, this cross was unbearable. But with God, it was possible."

"I was experiencing firsthand the truth that in our weakness, God is strong. When we become nothing, He can become everything. From moment to moment, I was clinging to God with every fiber of my being. . . I can only describe it as a miracle of God's grace and strength working through me in my time of absolute weakness."

If you have a chance to, read this book!

And even if you don't get a chance, look up Robert Rogers's ministry and website at 

God bless!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Another Play!

Well, the second term is recommencing today, for those of us still in school. And this is set to be one craaaazy term for me haha. Its the local singing competitions in a few weeks, which I have yet to finish preparing for, as well as the NZ Secondary Schools Chamber Music competition, which I am delighted to be singing in once again, and I have also been talked into directing a play for the home school children! And hopefully I'll get some school work done on the side XD 

It didn't take all that much "talking into" to get me to do the play actually - it should be really fun! We're performing a short play, which I have *nearly* finished scripting, called Grandma's Folk Tales, which, amazingly enough, contains three folk stories - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Pied Piper of Hamlin and The Stone Soup. I was asked three weeks ago to do this, so it has been a bit of a rush to put together, but hopefully it will turn out okay :) I am holding the Part Try Outs this afternoon - no auditions, anyone who is interested can participate! If anyone wants more info on it, just go here: 

I look forward to sharing more about the play with you all soon :D And this time, I shouldn't have to steal other people's photos, because I have finally saved up for a new camera!! So exciting! It's not the best camera ever - it a lower end SLR, but it is good for a first camera, and I can shoot good photos and good quality film footage off it, so I'm happy! 
Fujifilm FinePix S4500
Haha, well, I better get back to finishing off that script - four days to our first rehearsal, so I probably should get it done :P But I just felt like sharing my news with you all :) I will try and share about my birthday party soon too. 

God bless you all

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Dressing up! :)

Hi all!
Just thought I'd share an amazing regency costume I wore to two birthday parties this weekend - Daisy's English Country Dance birthday party and the birthday party of another friend who had a Jane Austen theme. It's not every day that I get invited to two birthday parties, and both with a historical theme! It just goes to show once again what amazing friends I have - friends who are prepared to do something different from teenage/young adult norms! I was very impressed by the number of gentleman at the Jane Austen birthday party who had made a concerted effort to dress to the period: there were tailcoats, cravats and top hats aplenty! And the ladies, as always, looked stunning - evidentally, a lot of time had been spent curling the hair!!! :P It was a lovely evening complete with musicians. :) Daisy's birthday was amazing too, but I'm sure she'll want to share about that with you all, so I'll leave it for her to describe. Anyway, here are the pictures!

I love the bonnet - I'd always secretly wanted to wear one!
This dress had an amazing long train - so much fun!
I thought the sofa looked quite neat with it actually!
In my "carriage" on the way to the party!
And just because I thought that the dress (and bonnet!) was AMAZING, I thought I'd do some free advertising for the even more amazing dressmaker who made them! Her name is Liane Rowe from Palmerston North, New Zealand and makes period costumes for a hobby. Here is a short video about her:

Anyway, hope that inspires any sewers out there! I for one am amazed by people who can design and make such amazing clothes!


Friday, 3 May 2013

Youth Camp '13

The entire camp!
Okay, here ya go guys - this is my post to tell you all about camp!! :D 
For those of you who don't remember, Violet and I went on this camp last year (you can read about it here and here). Violet couldn't make it this year, but I went, along with my brother and my friend Charlotte!! 

We went up with one of the camp administrators :) We left our home town at 6am, and drove for 8 hours to reach the ferry point (the camp is on an island, so we have to make the last part of the journey by boat. Before we left the mainland, we were put into teams. This year the theme was "Boot Camp: Hold the Line". So each team (or squad, as we were called this year) had to have a Boot Camp theme. My brother and I were on the same team this year - the Green team. We called ourselves The Commanded - as we have been commanded by God. I was really pleased about which team I was on, as one of the leaders was one of my best friends from the last camp, and other members of the team were my friends too. 
The Commanded!
The other teams were Trail Blazers (orange), Blue Bullets (blue - what a surprise), and Guns and Roses (red), which was Charlotte's team. By the way, the people who named Guns and Roses don't know anything about the band, it is totally unrelated, just don't get too worried haha. 

The first night basically just involved us taking the beautiful boat ride to the camp site, unpacking the boat, making our team flag, making up a chant, catching up with friends - it was SO nice to see all my old friends again, and to introduce them all to Charlotte - as well as making new friends. 
Me with friends from Auckland and Christchurch!
We finished the evening off with our first teaching meeting :) Over the course of the camp we had 7 teaching meetings, which involved sung worship, followed by preaching from Mike Beck - an AMAZING preacher from Wellington - and then small group Bible studies.  The preaching was on Luke 12:37-54, and the theme was "Hold the Line against the influence of Leaven". You can download all of the sermons here: and I highly recommend you do so! 
My small group :)
The next day was "D-Day". We began the day with our second meeting, then we had all sorts of activities. First up we had "See It", which involved a us having to try and spot random items hidden in the forest. Next came "Build It", which meant we had to build a raft, and take it twice around the pontoon out in the bay. We actually succeeded at this, which was really exciting!! 
A very bright picture of The Commanded and our raft.
After lunch, we continued D-Day with " It", which was a confidence course activity, followed by "Shoot It" - archery - which I am totally terrible at haha. The last activity of the afternoon was "Carry It" - we had to build a stretcher, and carry members of our team one at a time along a path, around a tree and back. 
After that was free time, and we all went down to the warf to swim. I decided not to swim after all, because it was cold, but I ended up getting thrown in -_- Haha. But turns out I'm glad I did - it was a very nice swim :D After that was dinner, and our meeting, then we had the final part of the day "Answer It" - a Bible quiz. 
My team doing the quiz!
On the third day, we began with our meeting as usual, then we had yatching! That was definitely one of my favourite activities again this year. I got to sail with the same person as last year, and we had a great time again!! After that, we had kayaking. 
The second half of the day saw us building bivouacs - girls on one side of the hill, guys on the other. The girls on my team worked really hard, and we built a bivouac we were really proud of :) The guys on the other hand, didn't really bother haha.... That was followed by rock climbing, which was fun!
The Commanded girls with our bivvy behind us :)
Later on we found out we would be spending the night in our bivouacs. We weren't too pleased at first, but we soon got over that and got excited. We spent a lot of our free time that afternoon perfecting the structures haha. But when we finished, my friends and I went out on the wharf and had some fun! 
On the wharf with Charlotte and another friend :)
At 11pm, we all headed out to our bivvys. It was a pretty cold night, but we were all really warm once we got inside. Aside from other groups talking, the boys howling on the other side of the hill (who knows why?!) and sliding down the hill, it was a pretty good night's sleep haha. 
Inside our little divvy
The next day was ANZAC Day, and we went on a looong hike across the island to an ANZAC Day service, which was really special. 
The final part of the day was when we planned our skits for the concert that evening. Each team had to do a skit, telling about a part of the teaching or something to do with camp. What our team came up with, I actually really liked!! :D Once I have the video, I'll try and share it with you all :) 
Us planning our skit
After the meeting in the evening was the concert, which is always great fun! Our team skit went really well too. After that, being the last night, we all stayed up late and sung, talked and laughed by the bonfire. A lot of people (including me!) had totally lost their voices, so the singing must have sounded incredible haha XD 
Charlotte and me with one of our friends :)
The next day was our final day on camp. We did our final chores and cleaned up, then it was the camp awards! My team won almost all the awards, and we won over all, which was really exciting :D :D
After that, it was time to say goodbye to the campsite, and take the ferry back to the mainland. Everyone was exhausted on the ride back!! 
Charlotte and me on the boat - excuse our
facials -  we were veery over-tired!!
Then it was time for us to say goodbye :( Everyone else was travelling back to Auckland by bus, but Charlotte, my brother and I were catching a lift with the administrator and his family back to our home town. It was really sad to say goodbye to everyone, knowing we probably won't see all of our friends for another year or so.

Youth Camp '13 was definitely a huge highlight in my year so far (and the whole year too, I'm sure), just as camp was last year. I truly can't wait for Youth Camp 2014!!

God bless,

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Happy Birthday Daisy!!!

Dear Best Friend, <3

First of all I want to say a {belated} happy birthday!!! It seems incredible to me that yet another year has whizzed by and I'm saying happy birthday to you again, and you are that much closer to adulthood! Time really does fly, but I'm so glad that the Lord enables you to never let it go to waste and that you seem to use every minute to His glory! It really is so inspiring to everyone around you, especially me. It's crazy as well that I have yet to finish my gift to you for your birthday last year - sorry about that! :P

This year (as I'm sure you will agree with me) has been filled with both ups and downs for you but you have been a real example to everyone who knows you for the way you have overcome the obstacles, been cheerful and caring, and always seeking for ways to serve the Lord with your talents. You are crazy yet serious, bubbly yet with a calmness and confidence in the Lord that points others straight back to Him.

I certianly remember how we became friends - though it is rather hazy to me as we seemd to just 'click' - we went from being total strangers to close friends almost overnight! And I can never be thankful to the Lord enough to be able to consider you one of my closest friends, a dear sister in Christ, my accountability partner and mentor, fellow blogger, story-writer, phone yabberer {I don't know if that is a real word, but it certianly is an accurate description!}, film-maker....the list is endless! You have never stopped being there to encourage me in my faith and walk with the Lord, and for this and many more things besides I thank the Lord that He made us friends.

So I (and I'm sure Hyacinth and Lily do too!) want to wish you a very blessed birthday and know that you are always in our prayers. I'm sorry that this blog post was a day late in coming {typical!}, and I hope that you have had a lovely day and will continue to have many more amazing adventures to come. God bless you dear friend, and may He grant you many more happy years of serving Him!

A typical "crazy Daisy" photo pose - sorry Daisy, your expression was so funny that I just  had to post this!!! :P

From your friend,