Reporting from Holland

Hi, everyone! I'm in Amersterdam (commonly known as Holland), enjoying Europe's cool air (much more pleasant than Texas in August). This is our only port the cruise ship has stopped at that has internet connection for my dad's Blackberry.

I love Europe!!!


Europe, here I come!

Hey, everyone. I know -- I have not been updating this regularly because of my busy summer. Well, this hopefully the last interruption. I am leaving tomorrow (Sunday) to get on a plane and head to London. My family is going on a cruise to Astonia, Germany, Finland, Russia, and a few other places all around Europe. It's a LOOOOONG flight, the longest I've been on since I was 2. We'll arrive in London at 2:30 AM our time, but in Europe it won't be that early. So I'm spending the night on a plane. Thrilling.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this trip, and I haven't even packed yet and we leave tomorrow (shocking)! So, as you guessed, I won't be able to update the blogs unless my dad's Blackberry works on the ship. If I can't use the Blackberry to update the blogs, I will tell you guys all about my trip when I come back!

Lots of love,


Back 2 School

Let’s face it: summer vacation is almost over for most of us. What to do with that little sliver of summer that’s left? And what do you need to know this year when you hit the books?

Be prepared.
Get all your stuff ready so you won’t be rushed with last-minute preparation. Be ready. Make a checklist with everything you need, including a pencil box, pencils, erasers, highlighters, notebooks, a binder, a ruler, and whatever else you need.

Be a neat freak.
Clean up after yourself. A messy desk will be frustrating. You want to be able to know where your things are and find them quickly. When your teacher says, “Please get out your pencils”, you don’t want to have to empty out your whole desk to find it.

Work hard.
Let me give you some straight facts that you NEED to know. Work hard in school. Because how well you do in school will determine how well you do for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. That’s a long time. Good grades are really important. Kids with good grades can get scholarships, get into good colleges, get great jobs, make lots of money, and help you in so many ways. I totally understand that school is tough, but life without a college degree is even tougher.

Pressure to be Popular
You aren’t in school to be liked. You’re in school to learn. Still, popularity is a big issue. There are two kinds of popular crowds: those who are nice and those who aren’t. Some popular kids raise themselves by putting others down. Then there are the kids who are popular because everyone likes them, because they are nice and fun. Try to be one of THOSE kids.

Don’t fall behind.
Get good grades. Work hard on your homework and turn it in on time.

Don’t be a fake flake.
If you’re a Christian, then act like one, no matter who you are with. Maybe you can act like a Christian around your parents, but you don’t want Shelly or Greg to make fun of you, so you tone that down to fit in. Don’t. Be who you are. They can like you or dislike you, but the people who like you will like you for YOU, not for who you pretend to be around the popular crowd.

Need to freshen up your school year?
Go to www.girls-4-god.blogspot.com to get some tips on making school FUN.


Bulliten Bloopers

Bored? Read these bloopers from church bullitens.

The tradition of holy howlers popping up in religiously related documents continues undimmed.
Witness the following sampling of bona fide bloopers culled from various church bulletins and orders of service:

 The laides of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen in the church basement Friday afternoon.
 On Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the expense of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the carpet will please come forward to get a piece of paper.
 For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
 The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth into Joy."
 This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. White to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
 The choir will meet at the Larsen house for fun and sinning.
 Thursday at 5 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers will please meet with the minister in the study.
 Wednesday, the Ladies Literary Society will meet. Mrs. Clark will sings, "Put Me in My Little Bed," accompanied by the pastor.
 Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."
 Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
 Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
 The eighth-greaders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
 Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "hell" to someone who doesn't care mcuh about you.
 Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.
 Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.
 Don't let worry kill you off -- let the church help.

Long may these bloopers live. Such unintentional levity brings lightness as well as light to many an otherwise dry church bulletin.


Boredum Buster1: Paint your Driveway


My friend Hannah and I did this a few days ago. If you’re in touch with your artistic side, or you’re simply bored out of your mind, you should totally do this. It’s like decorating your driveway with chalk, except this is better. You don’t get all that powder on your hands, and you get to make whatever color you want, because you’re actually painting your driveway!

Get equal amounts of corn starch and water and put them each in a small-ish bowl. We used half a cup of corn starch and half a cup of water, then put it in a Styrofoam cups. Stir it up until it’s smooth like milk.

Then get food coloring: red, blue, yellow, and green. Try to make colors that aren’t very light, otherwise they might not show up on your driveway. You can get darker colors by adding more drops of food coloring. Keep stirring to mix it in. You can even get creative. Instead of just having red, you could mix red and yellow to make a peachy orange. Blue and red make a cool neon purple. Mix things up. For each color you create, you’ll need another cup, plus the same amount of corn starch and water.

Go out on the driveway, grab a bunch of big fat paintbrushes and get to work decorating that plain concrete. Have fun!

Relient K: Balancing Act

I was talking to a friend about her favorite bands. "Tobymac, TFK, and, of course, Relient K. You CAN'T forget them."
And, I guess I have to agree. Relient K is a Christian band of boys with great music. My favorite songs include Maintain Conciousness, My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend, Sadie Hawkins Dance (a classic), and Which to Bury Us or the Hatchet.

"How do you balance being Christians and musical artists?"

Matt T. of Relient K: "Well, I guess it doesn’t really need to be a balancing act. I mean we were all Christians before we were in a band, so that’s who we are. I guess we never considered ourselves artists when we started, so it’s kind of hard to consider it art. It’s fun. It’s rock and roll, but there’s a certain amount of creativity to it. You know, I think bands like Switchfoot and P.O.D. show it’s easy to be who you are and be a Christian and make music, art or whatever that’s relevant to everyone. I guess we’re just trying to follow them."

Matt H. of Relient K: "I think it’s not as much of a balance. I think whatever job you have in life, whatever place you find yourself, whether you’re in high school or have an office job or in a rock and roll band, that kind of stuff is just secondary. You just try to figure out how to make who you are the first priority and not change, like staying who you are without being changed by your surroundings. I think that’s an important thing."


God is your Safety Net

We're watching the Olympics right now. In the women's gymnastics competition, one girl was swinging from a pole and fell. There was no one there to catch her.

When we fall, God is there to catch us. When we do something wrong, God catches us, puts us back on our feet, and points us in the right direction. It's up to us whether or not we go in that direction.

Opening Ceremony

Did you see the opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics? It was amazing! It was a single moment that the whole world shared--a moment of respect, excitement, and awe.

Think about the greatest opening ceremony that is coming up in the future. Yeah, you heard me -- the ceremony where Jesus will come back to Earth. It will be the most amazing sight ever seen.


New Stuff for One Voice!!

One Voice is back for the school year! Get ready for more cool stuff! One Voice will be updated daily with more devotionals and more bible studying. Don't miss it!!

Be sure to check out Girls for God, the other One Voice blog. It's also starting back up. www.girls-4-god.blogspot.com There, we we'll look at Esther, and what we can learn from her.