Thursday, January 29, 2009

Editing Overload

Did I mention that I took over 1400 photos in Texas? I have been editing the best ones and am going a little loopy over here at my computer table. I know these two of Kali are not perfect, but I love them anyway. Thought I'd share them with you. These are the kind of shots you get at 11:00 PM, after being in classes all day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CFC Masters Lead the Escape in Texas

The CFC Staff and students led the escape in Austin, Texas. Some of you reading this post will recognize this for what it is. Communicators For Christ trains Christian youth to speak for Christ in every arena, to be able to explain what they believe and why they believe it. Truth-talk that can be given no matter where the student is, no matter who the audience is. CFC teaches them to take the platform and be confident while doing so.
I've been away from the blogworld for two weeks now, so Kali and I could travel to Austin for the Masters Conference entitled Lead the Escape. That meant getting onto an airplane, which for me meant prescription medication. (Kali said I couldn't call them "great drugs" because people might get the wrong idea.)

Don't you know it had to be raining.
And we arrived in Austin to learn how to "Lead the Escape" in our everyday life.
Above, Wendell Moon welcoming us.
Below, Mrs. Teresa Moon, the founder of Communicators For Christ, now a part of the Institute for Cultural Communicators.
The first part of the conference was dedicated to speech classes, critiques, and a tournament. Some of the various majors offered were apologetics, interpretation, impromptu, and virtual communication. The students were able to practice their skills in front of judges and receive ballots with valuable comments and suggestions. They will use this information to refine their speeches before competition.
They learned to work as a team to survive and be victorious. The game was called IPIA (Idealism and Pragmatism in India and America. Don't ask, I still don't understand it all myself.)
The second portion of the conference was dedicated to honing debate skills. There was team policy debating, value debating done one-on-one, teen court (below photo), and a security council.
Below, some photos from IPIA. The CFC Interns ran the game. The ones in costumes are the Interns. Those in suits are the students - always in professional, business attire. (Just as a reminder, I don't use names of students on my blog - for safety reasons. The only names you'll see posted on my blog are of my own two children.)
She was a ninja-fairy. (The students will understand.) Team policy this year revolved around policy issues between the United States and India. During IPIA, Kali spent a bit of time with this intern answering trivia questions about India and learning how to wear a sari. Aren't they both beautiful?
Ah, the IPIA Hippies. Don't talk with the hippies or some of your country's capital or resources may go missing. Sorry, Hippies :O).
I'm not sure what her role was in IPIA, but she was awesome! Her post-it-notes say, "So what? I'm still a rock star." Love it!
* * * * * * *
One night we had a dinner theatre. The interns learned this entire play in 10 days. It lasted almost an hour and a half. It was written by a previous intern. It was entitled, "She Stoops to Conquer" and it was awesome!
* * * * * *
We started at 9 AM and ran until 8-9 PM, every day. Our days were filled, literally, with very little down-time. I can remember two times when there were a few minutes and the students headed to the playground and the parking lot. I don't think I've ever seen 20 young men in dress pants, long-sleeved dress shirts and ties, and dress shoes playing football in a parking lot before. Many of the young ladies spent time on the slides - lots of suits there also. This one shot of Kali doing a one-hander was on registration night before the "professional attire" went into effect.

We also had two awesome banquets. The food was wonderful all week. Here is a shot of our first banquet meal. All the meals for the conference were prepared by Mrs. Maggie and the Recommended Staff Assistants. Wonderful!!!

Kali at our See You At the Awards banquet.
Two of my favorite Interns announcing awards.
During the first week we had a special ladies luncheon. The decorations were beautiful.
* * * * * * *
Of course, lots of friends were made, email addresses exchanged, lists made of people with facebook, addresses and phone numbers were obtained.Our friends shown in the photo weren't able to attend Masters. So, this was how we included them. See, they made it to Masters after all - lol.
The ladies from our chapter with their leadership ribbons. They were so proud of them!
And, of course, being in Texas we had to get a little touch of Texas to take home with us. Isn't she beautiful in her new Texas stetson?It wouldn't be CFC without marvelous worship time...
... and the girls doing announcements...whoot! whoot!
The music before worship was awesome also. Sometimes it even had the students "dancing in the aisles" :O).
An interesting side note - this young man plans to run for President of the United States in 2032. After listening to him speak - he's got my vote!
Proof that I survived the air flight! I had an awesome, wonderful time at Masters. I learned a lot! My primary interest was in the mixed media classes that were taught by my favorite interns. My favorite memory is going to be how the students - all of them - accepted me as one of their own.
* * * * * * *
Keeping with the theme Lead the Escape, we had a Great Escapes banquet where the students dressed up as a character who led the escape. Lots of great costumes! Below is my daughter with one awesome intern! Miss you!!! Love you!! Kali and Mrs. Moon. Kali was Mulan.
Mrs. Moon was Queen Scheherazade.
* * * * * *
There was also a talent show.
This duo performed a "debate-oriented" ballad set to the tune Dust in the Wind.
* * * * * *
I borrowed this photo of Kali from a facebook friend. I was videoing and didn't get a single shot. She was singing "Why?" by Nicole Nordemann. Beautiful!
Closing ceremony. Light your candle and go light your world.
Love you guys!
* * * * * * *
Then, we took a group of 34 students and a few moms to Olive Garden for a dinner out on the town before we all started making our ways back home. Lots of tears were shed - by everyone - it's hard having to leave your friends behind! A group shot of the debaters. We had 20 more students in the speech portion of the conference.
This was taken shortly after the Olive Garden dinner.
Simply exhausted!
We had a wonderful time in Texas. I will be posting more photos soon. So many of you asked what our trip was about, so I thought this overview of our two weeks would answer your questions and give you a feel for what we did.
For so many people, we are the only ones who can tell them how they can escape from their everyday turmoil, stress, helplessness, and strife. As Christians, we MUST be ready to stand and Lead the Escape. We MUST be equipped and ready to speak with anyone, anywhere, at anytime on the behalf of Christ. God bless you!
Interns, we MISS YOU :(.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Home Again

Kali and I are home from Masters, 2009. For the past two weeks we were in Austin, Texas, attending workshops, banquets, a talent show, two tournaments (one for speech, one for debate), eating awesome food, making wonderful friends, and really not wanting it all to end. I took over 1400 photos and will start editing this afternoon. I will probably post in batches. Communicators For Christ is a truly awesome organization! We learned so much and had a great time! It's good to be off that airplane and have both feet back on solid ground :).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Going on Hiatus

This year Kali got involved with a group called Communicators For Christ. One of their goals is to teach Christian young men and women how to speak about what they believe - to anyone - under any circumstances. We joined a CFC speech and debate chapter in a nearby town and have been extremely active. Tomorrow, Kali and I will be flying to Austin, Texas, where we will be attending a Masters Conference for nine days. Learning, and applying, speech and debate tactics. Kali's majors will be apologetics and interpretation. She will also hopefully be singing "Why?" by Nicole Nordemann in a talent show next week. We will be gone a total of two weeks. We will not have access to a computer while we are gone, so it will be two weeks before you see me back here online.

This is Kali's speech group - the Red Team - at their finest.

Almost at their finest.
And, being their normal silly selves.

And, this is one of our speech and debate buddies from Orlando. He really lightens up the day :O).
See you in two weeks. Alice

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fullest Moon of 2009

This little seagull looked lost.
He appears to be howling at the moon.

I love the reflection of the moon in the water.

It's called a perigee moon. Last night, January 10, 2009, was the biggest full moon of 2009. It is 14% wider and 30% brighter than it will be any other time this coming year. Here is an explanation I got from the NASA website:

Johannes Kepler explained the phenomenon 400 years ago. The Moon's orbit around Earth is not a circle; it is an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. Astronomers call the point of closest approach "perigee," and that is where the Moon will be this weekend.
Perigee full Moons come along once or twice a year. 2008 ended with one and now 2009 is beginning with another. It's the best kind of déjà vu for people who love the magic of a moonlit landscape.
I had already missed the best part when I found out about this. The moon is supposed to be at its fullest as it rises over the tree line. Jason emailed this information to me from work. As soon as I read his email, Kali and I jumped in the car and headed to Crystal Lake. I need a better zoom, but I thought these were worthy of sharing :).

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