Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Success in South Carolina!

This was a great tournament! There were 225 competitors in various categories of speech and two types of debate. Three looooong days of serious competition! Twelve hour days means: a lot of presentations for the students, lots of judging rounds, hall monitor slots, and facility checks for the parents. It also means very little sleep - lol! After all, we can always sleep when we get home :).

Kali did great! She qualified in three different categories. This means she gets to compete in those categories at the regional competition, to determine who advances on to nationals later this summer.

Her goal for the year was to break (qualify) in debate. That would mean advancing to the octo-final round, which narrows it down to the top 16 debaters in her field. Well, she did it!

Kali went immediately into another debate round, which she also won and advanced into the quarter final round.

Quarters narrows the playing field down to the top 8 debaters. Kali went straight into another debate round with a debater we love, and respect, and learn much from. She did a great job! Probably her hardest debate round ever. She didn't win this round though, and her opponent advanced on and by the end of the tournament, he finished in second place. Kali finished the debate competition in 5th place. She was thrilled with her rounds and was sooo happy for her friend/opponent who continued on to place second!

What a wonderful speech and debate family we have! The students are fierce competitors, but they are also each other's best cheerleaders! And when, as a parent, I compliment a student on a great round, normally what I get in return goes something like this: soli deo gloria!, to God be all the glory! To which I completely concur!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Focusing on Angles - i ♥ faces Challenge

The challenge this week is focusing on angles: faces shot from a different angle, something different than your basic straight-on face shot. Well, of course, I immediately thought about this photo I took as part of this young man's senior shoot. Would you believe it? ... we actually did the shoot in a cemetary. The building you see towering behind him is the mausoleum. This is one my all-time favorite photos that I have taken :). Everything about this picture reminds me of James Bond :). To see more angle shots, head on over to i ♥ faces! Better yet, why don't you join in the fun with a photo of your own?

On the Road Home

Heading home shortly from South Carolina. Slept in a bit in hopes I'll be able to stay awake for the ride home. That would be helpful since I am driving.

Great time at the after-party at Fuddrucker's last night. I left my camera in the car and just enjoyed myself eating with some of the moms and hanging out, encouraging students. This is really one huge family - our speech and debate family.

Heading home to say happy birthday to Mark today. Time to relax a little. Then it's to work editing, editing, editing all the pictures I took here. Then Sunday we head out again - for North Carolina! Hope to spend some time with my blog-friend Lisa Ann near Winston-Salem! (Lisa Ann - I still need to send you an email with my schedule, we just finalized part of it last night.)

Students - relax today and enjoy the Lord's Day, even if you are traveling. Then, you have a few days to sharpen up those cases and tighten up those speeches, then it's on to NC!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Whoot! Whoot From South Carolina

Excellent, exciting news from South Carolina! We arrived for announcements this morning at 7:30 AM, just in time to hear breaks for debate. Last night, Kali broke to octa-finals in Lincoln-Douglas Value Debate, which means the 16 debaters with the highest win-loss record. This morning they began announcing breaks to debate quarter-finals. They announced Kali's name! She was in shock! Wow! She advanced to quarter-finals, which placed her in the top 8 based on win-loss records. Kali debated one of the big names in LD. One of the debaters we love and look up to. He is such an encourager to Kali, and to myself, and we respect his talent so much! She did a great job in the debate round, she has grown so much in her debate-ability! When they announced breaks to semi-finals, Kali did not advance. But the young man who beat her in the quarter-round continued on to place second at the qualifier! Kali and I are so happy for him!

At awards tonight, Kali came in 5th in LD based on win-loss totals for the tournament. (I think that is worded correctly.) What a huge accomplishment. Her goal for the year was to break in debate. Well,she definitely did that! Then they announced speaker points, based on their speaking skill as ranked by the judges. Kali came in 7th place in speaker points!! This was an awesome qualifier for her!

On to speech categories ... yesterday Kali advanced to semi-finals with her Irish dramatic interpretation. She and her duo partner also made it to semi-finals with their duo interpretation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.This morning they also announced speech breaks and Kali advanced to the final round in both categories. At the awards program tonight we found out that Kali got 7th place with her Irish dramatic piece, and she and her partner got 6th place with their duo! Way to go, girls!

We had a great time at the South Carolina Qualifier! We had 225 competitors and I think I took at least one or two pictures of every single one of them - lol! My feet are in permanent-cramp-mode. You wouldn't believe the hills on this college campus :). Headed home tomorrow. I will proofread all these posts after I get home. Congrats to all the awesome speech and debaters that competed! Everyone did an outstandingly awesome job! And all the glory is God's!

And Again From South Carolina

Great News!!! Kali accomplished her debate goal for this year ... she broke to the octa-final round in Lincoln-Douglas debate!!! For those of you who don't know what this is, this means that after months of research, writing and re-writing cases, practicing and practicing, and debating person after person, Kali made it to the top 16 debaters at this tournament of 225 students. Granted, I can't tell you how many people were in LD debate, but Kali was able to meet her goal. And, she is one very happy person. We are headed out in a few minutes so we can hear the announcement about who continues on in the quarter-finals round at 7:30 AM. Yes, that's "AM".

The other great news is this ... Kali also broke with her dramatic interpretation of The Story of the Half Blanket, an Irish folk tale. Also, she and her debate partner broke with their duo interpretation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

And, what all this means is this ... when we go to regional competition which includes breakers from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, Kali will be representing Florida and Apolojax in Lincoln-Douglas debate, Dramatic Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation. Pretty exciting stuff!

Please pray for all of our competitors today as all our events culminate in final rounds in all events and then awards later tonight!

No time to proof read. I hope this makes sense :).

Friday, March 19, 2010

From Columbia, South Carolina

Kali and I are here in South Carolina for the NCFCA Speech and Debate qualifier. If you "break" at a qualifier, you receive an invitation to compete at the regional tournament. There are 225 students here trying to do just that - break and qualify. Yesterday they went through 4 rounds of debate and 1 round of speeches. I watched Kali and her partner do their duo - an interpretation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. They did an incredible job! They get to do 2 more rounds of debate today, as well as another round of speeches. Later in the day, the tournament officials will announce speech breaks to semi-finals, and start debate octa-finals. It will be a busy, high-action filled day! If you get a minute, please pray for our 225 kids participating here - that they will do their very best and that in all God will be glorified! Love you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Big News at Our House

Here's the big news at our house:

Kali has successfully completed the application process, and has been invited by Mrs. Moon to be one of the Institute For Cultural Communicators Interns for 2010 - 2011.

Kali loves speech and debate, and she has a real passion to help other students learn how to express their faith. This is just our second year with ICC and Communicators For Christ. Kali jumped in with both feet, as you can tell by all the travel posts on this blog - lol! This is her heart now - to teach other students how to stand up for Christ and be accountable, to share with them how to tell others about God.

Right now there are ten others on the team. They come from all over the United States and are led by Mrs. Teresa Moon. The intern team will travel the country teaching workshops on speech and debate. What an awesome, incredible opportunity for Kali to have. Much, much prayer has gone into this application and decision process. Please continue to pray for Kali and her team members as they prepare to go on tour. Kali reports to Tennessee on July 5th and will be gone until at least mid-November.

What will I be doing with my spare time? I don't know. I guess I'll be posting lots of pictures of flowers :(. Seriously, I will probably attend the parts of the tour that occur on the east coast and provide whatever assistance I can. In the meantime, tournament season is upon us and we leave for South Carolina tomorrow morning. Talk to you from there next!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bundled Up at i ♥ faces This Week

The challenge at i ♥ faces this week is all bundled up!

We are supposed to highlight a photo showing our 'bundled up' answer to the cold this season.

Well, I live in Florida - also known as the Sunshine State. It's not all about being super bundled up here in Florida. It's about being comfy in a nice, warm hoodie :), just like this beautiful little girl! I love the dreamy look on her face - just seconds before she took off again, running across the field. To check out other bundled up shots, head on over to i ♥ faces.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cooking in Sharpsburg

Recently we spent a weekend with my sister-in-law's family. Family ... food...good times. And it had been cold, so Jonathan had the cook stove burning for heat.

I think he had two grills going. Can't you just feel the heat from this picture?

Hamburgers, hot dogs, some kind of sausage ... yummo!

This little guy provided the entertainment :). . .

. . . along with this girl, Daisy. She fetched the tennis ball probably a hundred times that afternoon. She never got tired!

And then there was Sasha . . .

. . . who did indeed get tired.

Family time is wonderful! This is my 'sister'. I love her!

Her wonderful husband :). (He is incredibly funny! Such a great sense of humour!)

And my beautiful niece!

My husband :).

My daughter. The weather was beautiful - as you can clearly see in these photos.

Our host for the day - thanks, Jonathan! The food was great and we had a wonderful visit with you and your son. We loved your home and your great outdoors :).

Kali's birthday weekend. It was fun, enjoyable, and relaxing. Love you, guys!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My New Logo

Jason helped me out by making me a logo! I have a new editing program through that allowed me to add this cool frame and place the logo wherever I wanted it. Isn't it nifty? Thanks, son! You're the best!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost Generation ...

A palindrome reads the same backwards as it does forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite.

Make sure you read, as well as listen, forward and backward.

This 1 minute, 44 seconds video was a contest submission by a 20-year old. It won 2nd place. The contest was titled "U @ 50" and was sponsored by AARP. At the viewing of the video, everyone in attendance was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it. You won't be sorry.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Beautiful Niece

Part of our weekend was spent with family in Atlanta. My niece wanted us to meet her fellow - so we had a cookout at his house and had a great time. Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, March 1, 2010

That Was Then...This is Now

The young lady in the picture above was the first person other than my daughter that let me take photographs of her. I did her senior pictures in July, 2008. I was just learning about photography and didn't really know much at all about editing pictures. I've learned a lot since then and recently started wondering what these pictures would look like if I went back and pulled out the original, unedited photos and started over again. So, that's what I did. The picture to the left is the edited version from July, 2008. The picture to the right is the one I just edited today. I am going to run a series of collages so you can see the difference.

This is her sister during the same photo shoot. I can't believe the vast difference!

This was my favorite picture from the photo shoot.

Here are a few others I re-edited in a softer, vintage version.

I think she's just beautiful!

Mom and daughters :).

My daughter - same shoot.

This was fun comparing the editing techniques I have learned with what little I knew a year and a half ago!

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