Is it really the end of April?  Is it really almost the end of the school year?  Time surely is a-flyin’ by and most of us don’t stop to realize how quickly it passes each moment…each hour…each day…each year.  One of my goals for 2014 is to stop and savor every moment…the large and the small, for they are all valuable and precious.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Even though we had snow and ice on April 1 (April Fool’s from Mother Nature, haha), the past few weeks have been shaping up to be beautiful.  We’ve had 80 degree days, 50 degree days, and a myriad of weather in between, so Seth and I have been trying out some different hiking trails in Central PA.  We love to hike, be together, and unwind from the week.

hiking 6

hiking 3

hiking 2

Prince Caspian has been thrilled that we’ve been able to have the windows open. He loves to creep on the neighborhood from his little bubble.

hiking 4

hiking 5

I always hesitate to write about how busy things are because, let’s face it…everybody is busy.  I don’t want to be the subject of a meme! :)  But, things are busy.  This is my ultra-busy season of the year, but it is also the most fun!  I love, love, love our recital season at Reverence because God always does incredible things!  It is so awesome to see the fruit of the labor the students, staff, and I have invested in throughout this school year.

Time is so precious! I pray that you would each savor every moment and live life to the fullest for His glory!


Kirsten :)

If you’re happy and you know it, read a book!

March book 1

I made Prince Caspian pose with March’s books.  Can’t you see how excited he is?  Oh how I feel for him.  I remember what it was like to have dignity…Notice the giant paw smudge-print on the window behind his head.

I feel like March has just flown by, don’t you?  I know it’s not over yet, but wowzers!

March book 2This month has been full of good reads for me!  I discovered Laura Frantz from another blogger, and picked up this first book in the Ballantyne Legacy series because a) I LOVE historical fiction–particularly the Revolutionary War period, and b) It takes place in York County, PA, which is where I am originally from!  I will warn you in advance…Love’s Reckoning is kind of a downer throughout most of the book, but it picks up in the end!  A great read!

Seth had bought Wife After God for me for Christmas this past year because I had asked for some devotional books on how to be a superfantasticProverbs31 wife!  Seth said that I didn’t need to learn how to be a better wife (isn’t he dreamy?), but I know better.  This book is written by Jennifer Smith who manages The Unveiled Wife blog, and it’s a 30 day devotional series–each day takes a perfect 15 minutes for me and is a great supplement to my morning quiet time.  Some days definitely review basics and things that I had already studied, but I truly believe that you can read the same Scripture over and over again and the Holy Spirit can reveal new things to you through it.  I’ve felt very encouraged as I’ve read it each day this month.  And hopefully I am a better wife! Grin…

March book 3

I Am Malala has been on my reading list for the past several months.  I realized that it had been a while since I had read a biography or anything “current,” so this seemed like a perfect choice.  I really enjoyed it!  I learned quite a bit about the Pakistani culture (something that I did not know a lot about) and grew to admire the courage of this young woman who spoke up for the right for girls to get an education.

Band of Sisters is a novel that piqued my interest.  It is set in the early 1900s, New York City, and tackles issues of human trafficking, the dignity of all people, and the infamous question “What Would Jesus Do?”  It was a GREAT read…I would put it up there among my favorite books and absolutely a re-reader!

Whatcha readin’ this month?

The Awesomeness of Coconut Oil (On People and Cats)

mad scientist with cat2'

I love coconut oil.  We often use it to replace butter in our cooking, but it never occurred to me to use it for skin care.  It also never occurred to me that cats could use it for skin care either.  So I’ve been experimenting over the past two months…

Being a fair-skinned, natural redhead, I have incredibly sensitive skin.  And so when I started getting some sort of eczema (haha, that’s as descriptive as I will get) on my hand, I tried a variety of different lotions and heavy creams to no avail.  I didn’t want to go to the doctor and get a steroid cream because I don’t like the whole idea of steroids.  But, nothing was working and I was frustrated and in pain and about to go to the doctor when I started researching how coconut oil worked on skin.

I started massaging a little bit into my hand twice each day–once after my shower in the morning and once before going to bed.  The results were almost instant!  Within one week I was completely healed!  Whoa, baby!

I thought that if it worked so well for me that it had to work for Prince Caspian.  PC is a shelter cat.  I adopted him from the Humane Society almost six years ago, and he came with a variety of health issues that we’ve had to correct over the past few years.  Among those issues, he also has dry skin and he gets really bad dandruff.  We know that most skin issues like that are actually related to interior health (like your gut) with people, and I thought it might be the same with cats.

So I conducted a little experiment.  Starting with 1/8 tbsp. of coconut oil and increasing it to 1/4 tbsp. of coconut oil over the period of a couple weeks, I gave him some each day.  Some days he would just lick it off the spoon (animals LOVE coconut) and other days I would melt it and sprinkle it on his food.  Again the result was within days.  His fur was softer and healthier looking, and his dandruff disappeared!

Why didn’t I think of this sooner?  Have you ever used coconut oil for anything?

Disclaimer:  I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV or the internet.  My thoughts are purely based on my own experiences and experiments.

Cat Bearding and Fun Times: The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Weird of 2013

Here’s a glimpse into the good, the bad, and the just plain weird that is the life of Kirsten in this fun, iPhone photo dump from 2013!

I started out the year with some difficult times that I couldn’t really share with a lot of people.  And then, the Lord used a studio mom (who knew nothing about what I was going through) to surprise me with a gift and an encouraging note one day!  Love when He does that!

2013ayear1The light in our mudroom (where Caspian eats) randomly fell, and this cat kept eating!  He takes his food very seriously! 2013ayear2Me and my man before one of our home studies… 2013ayear3When I started jogging outside back in the spring, I started noticing the beautiful sunrises that we have in Central PA!   2013ayear4

Caspian loves to interrupt my time with Jesus! :) 2013ayear5Student leader recital rehearsal!  I love this group of ladies!  They made a tunnel as a student was coming out of the restroom…haha! 2013ayear6

Prince Caspian is the studio’s much beloved mascot, and sometimes he gets extra spoiled by the studio families!  One of my student leaders bought him this catnip stuffed dangly toy and it has been his consistently favorite toy ever since! 2013ayear7Me and my fella after a late night of recital prep! 2013ayear8I love when I run into studio families out in public!  I ran into Hannah and Victoria at Bamboo Café one day and we had to take a Reverence picture! 2013ayear9Seth and I hiked at one of our favorite spots quite a bit this year.  We love to go early in the morning to see animals, the sunrise, and experience cooler weather when it’s hot outside. 2013ayear10 2013ayear11When the recital costumes came in, Nolan and Luke “helped” me go through them!  They were cracking up!  With all the students we have at Reverence and all the students in multiple classes, there were over 1000 costume pieces to be sewn and organized and distributed for the recital!  Costuming–from beginning to end–takes thousands of hours (and only a couple hundred hours are done by me–the rest by the awesome companies we use)!2013ayear12Auditions for Magdalene, Company Jazz, and  2013ayear13One of my dearest friends from Geneva, Phil, stopped by for a visit back in the spring!  Phil and Seth get along fabulously, and we took Phil to one of our favorite restaurants…Pizza Grille! 2013ayear14My Modern dance class at the end of last year! 2013ayear15

With some of my 5-6 year old students at the recitals in May!  The worst thing happened–I got strep throat during recital tech week (which is an insane week for me), and I was on antibiotics during the recital!  I just talked less and smiled a lot during this week and few people knew!  2013ayear16After the recital and the close of the school year, Reverence is closed for a few weeks.  Seth insisted that I rest, but Prince Caspian and I got bored after a few days, so we tried catbearding.  Below is a failed cat bearding attempt, but I love PC’s massive leg and paw in the camera! 2013ayear17Reverence was honored to win several award this year! 2013ayear18An upside down picture of Seth and I before leaving on our family vacation road trip! 2013ayear19 2013ayear20

This was me this year!  I learned all the secrets to becoming a 1950’s housewife! 😉2013ayear21One of the coolest things that I and Reverence have had the opportunity to do: I choreographed a dance for my students to dance with students in wheelchairs for a concert at the forum!2013ayear22I was honored to be a finalist among women who were outstanding in their fields for an award among Central PA Women in Business!2013ayear23My dear and longtime friend Molly tied the knot with her man Chris!  It was so fun to connect with this group of ladies at Molly’s bridal shower…and see my dear and longtime friend Sarah in from CA as well! 2013ayear24One of the things Seth and I like to do when the studio is on break is cook together! 2013ayear25Beginning of school year kick-off with this year’s student leaders!  This is a boy t-rex and this is a girl t-rex… 2013ayear26I stopped to visit my good friend Christine in Newtown, PA on the way to a family picnic!  Christine and I are kindred spirits–I just love her! 2013ayear27The cast of Magdalene…minus Destiny! 2013ayear28I had the studio staff over for a Once Upon a Time Premiere Party at the end of September!  We all dressed in costume…this picture shows Cindy as Mulan and Cait as Regina! 2013ayear29I was able to wrangle PC into his pirate hat for Halloween this year.  He was NOT happy.  I was though. 2013ayear30I took a weekend at the end of October to visit my Gramom and Popop for Gramom’s and my 9th Christmas Card making!  Here are this year’s designs…I actually ran out this year!  For our big tenth year extravaganza we have something fun planned that I can’t wait to show you! 2013ayear31Things always break at the studio in the fall.  It’s a fact.  This fall, one of our portable barres broke, two shoe holes got put in the wall, a shelf randomly fell off the wall (and Miss Lindsay epicly caught it during Irish class), and the heat went out for a gripping, chilly ten day saga!  Seth is the studio handyman, so we went in several days when we could sneak in between classes and Seth’s work schedule to fix things.   2013ayear32This is a sad picture that I took when it took me FOREVER AND A DAY to reset the clock on our stove after the power blinked.  It is seriously the hardest clock to set ever.  Take my word for it! 😉 2013ayear33Cor Ignis, one of Reverence’s traveling dance ministries started touring at local churches in November.  Here they are by their poster at West Shore E-Free Church! 2013ayear34Seth and I treated ourselves to a date day the second weekend in November.  We celebrated the launch of Reverence’s 6th school year, a successful and God-honoring production of Magdalene in October, the end of Seth’s two months in a row of working on nights and weekends for a few months, and life in general.  This year was hard, but I believe in celebrating every single moment! 2013ayear35One of my students, Victoria, made us crack up by doing this weird trick with her sweatshirt.  She was rolling all around the studio and making us laugh really hard.  I love that kid! 2013ayear36Tuesday Intermediate Ballet II class selfie one night! 2013ayear37Lauryn took a picture of me taking the selfie and instagrammed it!  I love that girl as well! 2013ayear38Seth and I ran the Color Run the third week in November.  It was hilarious and so much fun!  This is one of my grandmother’s favorite pictures of the two of us, which tickles me! 2013ayear39Post Color Run…Upside down apparently! 2013ayear40Family picture, celebrating Thanksgiving! 2013ayear42Me and my fella prior to having some dear friends over for dinner one night… 2013ayear43Dad, Seth, and I at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day! 2013ayear44Seth and I post-Thanksgiving! 2013ayear45Prince Caspian has to war with his sinful nature for six weeks out of the year when the tree is up…2013ayear46And sometimes we drink out of Princess cups because I love princesses and we both love Disney.  And all of our cups were in the dishwasher.  Not kidding! 2013ayear47I loved this quote that I came across one day!  So often people think that they have to do something great and extraordinary to make a difference for the Lord.  I believe that the sacred can be found in the every day life.  When we do ANYTHING in service of the Lord whether it is going on the mission field, baking bread for a neighbor, serving at a homeless mission, teaching dance :), taking care of our children, or speaking words of life into a friend…it is no small thing. 2013ayear48Cor Ignis dancing at Compass Point Church…their third performance of the fall! 2013ayear49I snapped this picture early in December after a snowfall…love wintry scenes! 2013ayear50Seth and I together at my parents’ house for an early Christmas celebration while my brother, sister-in-law, and niece were in town in mid-December! 2013ayear51I made this beautiful winterberry salad for Christmas day lunch at the Kline’s! 2013ayear52I love my man.  And his beard.  I think he looks mansome. 2013ayear53Seth and I were playing Phase 10 over Christmas break and Prince Caspian the card shark had to be involved… 2013ayear54I love these photos of us and our Willow Tree poses! 2013ayear55 2013ayear56Love getting sweet Christmas cards from students!2013ayear57The Sunday before Christmas brought the opportunity for me to dance with the Daybreak Dance Ministry.  Deb and I kicked off the dance ministry at Daybreak almost ten years ago!  That’s a decade!  I haven’t danced with them in over five years and it was an honor for me to be back with them.   2013ayear59I’ll end with a picture of the Fur Child in all the wrapping paper at Christmas…we love that guy! 2013ayear60

So, that’s a wrap (haha, get it?) on 2013 in photos, friends!  I’ll post pictures from Seth’s birthday and New Year’s Eve at some point, too!

Things I Learned in October

anniversary flowers

1.  He still remembers our wedding colors as evidenced by the picture of the bouquet he bought me on our anniversary.  On our wedding day someone told us that our memories of that day would fade into oblivion as the years passed, and we were slightly depressed by hearing that as we ate our wedding cake.  So, each year Seth makes sure that he remembers details about our wedding and we talk and laugh about them together.  In your face, Negative Nancy.  Haha…


2.  Seeing a fox on your morning jog is a pretty cool thing.  It also inspires the overuse of jokes about my “foxy” husband and me thinking about the animated Disney movie Robin Hood.  And the bunny birthday party where the bad sheriff takes the coin and the bunnies are crying!  GAH.  That part always made me sad…

3.  Teenagers most often remember the things that you don’t want them to remember.  So, a key to teaching is to slip in a few things that they think you are trying to hide and use it to your advantage!  Case in point:  I was giving public speaking training to the El Emet/Cor Ignis teams at the studio, and I did a skit on what not to do in public speaking.  I wore my flip flops on the dance floor and made a big deal about texting and instagraming my boyfriend.  When I asked them what they remembered about that training a few weeks ago, they said, “You shouldn’t text a boyfriend when you have a husband.”  So true.  Aren’t they precious?  I saw their halos gleaming above their heads as they said that…knowing full well that I had been acting.  But the lesson stuck…at least that’s what I tell myself.

Caspian's International Superstar Status is starting to go to his head...and the rest of him.

Caspian’s International Superstar Status is starting to go to his head…and the rest of him.

4.  Prince Caspian really loves crickets.  A few weeks ago he caught a cricket in our basement, presented it to me, and ate it right in front of me.  As I sat there watching him rip a cricket limb from limb and devour it, I tried not to throw up while praising him for actually showing the catlike instinct to catch things.  Yum?

5.  This was one of my favorite memes from the month:
hipster meme

How about you?  What did you learn in October?