Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who I Look Up To

When one lives life, one often has a way that one wants to live. And often, one knows or knows of people who are living this way or someway close to it.

So. I have been living life lately (triple alliteration there!) and there are some people I look up to, who are doing something that I want to emulate. I may not agree entirely with them on every aspect of life, or admire everything that they do, but for the most part, I really look up to these people.

Daddy
I obviously look up to my father. He tries to make me laugh with (sadly funny) attempts at jokes. He helps with math when I'm convinced the book has it wrong. He talks about books with me. He inquires after my writing, then listens as I go on and on about the latest story I'm working on. And he prays for me. All these are only some of the things that make him a great dad and someone to look up to.

Mutti
The title "Mutti" takes some explaining. Let's just go with this for now though: it means "mom" in German. Semi-interesting story as to why I call her that... Anyway. My mother is not your average mother. She loves kids (as in does nursery and toddler Sunday School all the time and has six kids, plus being involved in foster care and many other child-centered things. The list just keeps going.). She listens to my raving about who's doing what in a book I'm reading. She cooks for at least eight every. single. day. She often listens to our opinions on things. She remembers when we tell her something. And she teaches me just about everything she knows. Wow, right?

Rachel Coker
Oh my goodness, buy her books! Seriously! Coolest author ever, no doubt. I got to meet her at a homeschool convention a couple of years ago, but it would definitely be cooler to meet her now, after reading her books and stalking her blog for a while. Rachel Coker wrote her first novel when she was 14 and it was published when she was 15. Just from reading her blog you can tell that she is trying to live a godly life and use her skills and talents to glorify God. You can check out her blog here: rachelcoker.com Totally go read it.

A Friend
So, I have this friend who is much older than me (read "much older from a kid's perspective") and she is such a wonderful example. I had the chance to be in a discipleship group with her and be on a mime team that she was directing for two years (before you freak out and think I'm totally weird, it's actually an awesome ministry which I might talk about more in another post). Probably the only person that I've told more than her is Sara, my sister, and that might just be because we're not together 24/7. I really admire her and couldn't bear to lose touch with her. You should totally find someone that you can talk to and who will pray for you in your day to day struggles.

Those are a few of the people that I look up to, and I'd love to hear if there's anyone that you really hold as an example for how to live life. It's always good to have strong Christians to look up to in every day life.

-Kira

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lazy Saturday Morning Post

So, last night, I dug up an old notebook that I started in the third grade, back when I went to public school (gasp!*) and I found a list that I wrote that I found slightly funny. So, naturally, I thought I would share it with you.

Now, as you read this, bear in mind that I was like eight or nine when I wrote it, so don't judge. :)

Here is the list, unabridged and unedited, straight from my third grade mind:

My Goals
by
Kira Quintin

  1. Write another Detective Club story, called The Diamond Ring
  2. Illustrate my stories
  3. Get more notebooks, at home
  4. Do well on my school work
  5. Ace as many tests as possible
  6. Have more time to read
  7. Make more space in our room
  8. Collect as many Boxcar Children books as possible
  9. Start another series of books
  10. Desighn clothing
And there you have it! A list showing off my pride, imagination, and horrible spelling. I especially took pride in my school work, so that's why numbers 4 and 5 are on there. As for 6 and 7, I have no idea where I was going to get more time and space (I didn't even know about Doctor Who yet), but I'm sure it would have worked out somehow.

So, that was my lazy Saturday morning post. If it bored you, I'm sorry, and I will try to make the next one more interesting. So stay tuned!

-Kira


*I, as a homeschooler, am biased, so my opinion on homeschool vs. public school should not be taken completely seriously and is not meant to be offensive to anyone. :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

They Grow Up So Fast...






This gorgeous girl reprimanding you is Sara, my favorite sister (this could have something to do with the fact that she is my only sister, but probably not). This is a blog post all about Sara. She is a sweet, caring, adorable girl who is getting so old. Seriously. She turned twelve this summer and I still almost call her ten or eleven sometimes (oops, my bad).

So, this may seem like a kind of random thing to write about, but I promise you I have a reason. Sara is about to go to her first away from home babysitting job and that is scary. For me. The reason this seemingly mundane occurance is scary, is that I didn't start those jobs until this past winter, when I was thirteen. How did she grow up so fast? I mean, I'm only, like, a year and a half older than her, but honestly, it amazes me how mature and responsible she is becoming.

Sara is growing into a beautiful, godly young lady and I am proud to have her as a sister.

-Kira




P.S. When I asked Sara if I could write about her, she asked what I would say about her and so I cleverly answered, "All good things, all good things!" Awesome Frozen quote there, ladies and gentleman!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Help!

Please help me!

In getting ready for our trip to Germany,  I am looking for some books to read on our long flights and possible long layovers. (Daddy and I had one layover in April that was seven hours long. It took forever!) If there are any good books that you have read and would recommend to a thirteen  year old girl (turning fourteen on the trip!) I would really appreciate some suggestions. However, I would prefer ones that I could obtain on a kindle as suitcase space and weight is limited for the plane :)

Thanks for the help. I am so excited!
-Kira

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beautiful

So, we went to Claytor Lake this week, since it's summer and we don't have as much schoolwork to do. It is a beautiful place. It is a man-made lake, but the trees, mountains, and water are not man-made and the love that God pours into us really shines through in this gorgeous place. If you ever get the chance to see it, do.

It was a lovely day. There were ripples in the glassy surface of the lake, the grass danced in the wind, and raspberries gleamed on their vines, begging to be picked. We complied, eating berry after berry, enjoying each thoroughly. We spent a few hours at the beach, playing in the water and I managed to get myself a sunburn, that still stings a few days later. Nice, right?

Anyway, here are some of the pictures that attempt to show how gorgeous it was in a small and modest way.








-Kira

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Et tu, Brute?"

I am homeschooled. When one is homeschooled, one can learn quite a lot. Sometimes it is learned in a not so entertaining way. Other times, it is quite interesting. For example, going to the pond once a week to observe different plants and animals throughout the year. Or directing a play about Julius Caesar.

This is a video of our one scene Julius Caesar play. It is modeled off of Shakespeare's own Julius Caesar assassination scene. If you have ever read this play, you might have a chance at understanding what is going on, but let me explain anyway.

First of all, the weird noise is the baby in pink playing with a toy in the middle of our act. The rest of the actors are my younger brothers.

Eric is Caesar. He is sitting in the chair and is wearing a blue robe and a camo hat (his crown).

Will is Brutus. He is standing next to Caesar's throne.

Richard is Cassius. He is the one with the cow and the camo robe (we really like camo).

Brad is Casca and Pompey. He has a space robe.

Caesar enters and takes his seat. The conspirators pretend to want to talk to Caesar then begin stabbing him. The race track and rain stick are swords. Caesar grabs Cassius' sword and giggles. After being stabbed by Brutus, Caesar falls at the feet of the Pompey statue (formerly Casca) and wails out a tragic, "Et tu, Brute?" before dramatically dying.

While it still may not make much sense, I think that is turned out quite well for the resources that we had. So here's the video and let me know what you think:

video 

-Kira

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Amazing Love

Foster care. It's a pretty big part of my life. Here's how it started and how it's continued so far. It still hasn't ended, thanks to God.

When I learned what a foster family was, and that we were going to become one, I was overjoyed. The prospect seemed so exciting - getting new brothers or sisters who came to live with you all the time. But my visions were not entirely realistic.

For those of you who don’t know the details of foster care, here’s a brief overview:

When a child enters into foster care, it is often because their parents are unable to care for them or are in an unstable situation. Less commonly, the child him/herself is the reason they have to leave their home. The child’s appointed social worker, then calls a number of families to see if they can take care of the child. All of these families have gone through training to learn how best to care for the children, many of which come into their home with a broken past.

The social worker then chooses one of the willing and available families for the child to live with. They call that family again and ask when the child can arrive.

When the child and social worker get to the foster family’s house, the child usually has little more than the clothes on their back, so a shopping trip is necessary to buy clothes, toothbrush, etc. After the social worker leaves, daily life goes on from there. A court date is set for reevaluation of the child’s case and everyone tries to settle into a new routine.

This whole process is full of mixed emotions for every party involved. The parents will be taking care of someone they know extremely little about, the family’s children have to try to be accepting and loving to this new sibling, and the child in foster care has an entirely new situation to deal with in the midst of complications with their birth family.

We got our first placement when I was about 8 years old. I was so excited - I couldn’t wait to meet our new, if potentially temporary, siblings. When we got home that day, the children had already arrived. We were taking care of two brothers aged 3 years and 18 months. Our family had met these boys before because our friends had also taken care of them a while beforehand.

The next year or was filled to the brim with anxious court dates and different worries about visitations and the boys’ futures.

Finally, the boys were up for adoption. This doesn’t always happen. The boys could have gone to live with another family member or foster family, but they didn’t.

I hadn’t realized until now how much time and prayer my parents put into making the decision to adopt those boys, but they chose to do it. They are now part of our growing family: Brad and Eric, who are currently 8 and 6 years old.

But not all foster placements play out that way.

In August 2012, when I was 11, we received our second placement. This time it was a baby whose name I should not disclose as she still has not been adopted. We got her from the hospital when she was two days old and brought her home to love. She was a tiny baby then, and now, though she’s almost two, she’s still tiny.

We were blessed with the first four months of her life to play with her and take care of her - four very important months. We took her to appointments and fed her special formula all they way through to her court date. That was the day she left.

I’m pretty sure I can safely say that was just about the worst day of my life. We were crying all day, especially when Daddy left to take her to the waiting arms of her loving grandparents. No one wanted to give up this precious little girl who had become such a huge part of our family. We sobbed and sobbed. It was tragic. I personally was heartbroken.

About a month later, her grandparents called us, asking if we wanted to come see her. We were again overjoyed and filled with excitement. After the 10 minute or so visit, we were told we could come back and see her more.

The next month we got another phone call from her grandparents asking if we could babysit for a day. That day soon turned into an over night, then a week. We now get to see her all the time and “babysit” about one week out of two. We still love her immensely and pray for her to come to God as she gets older and for Him to put her in a safe place to stay where she will be well taken care of, whether we get to help with that care or not. As I write, she is dancing through the living room with complete excitement all the way from her spinning feet to her flung-out arms to her laughing smile. She is totally precious.

Believe it or not, there are ways that anyone can help those in the foster care system. One thing you can do is consider becoming a foster family. It seems that there are never enough. Another is to donate things like clothes, blankets, toiletries, or school supplies to your local Department of Social Services. The last and most important thing you can do is pray. Pray for the kids in foster care, for the foster families, and for the birth families of the kids in foster care. I have personally seen how God answers prayers about these kids. And His love is amazing.

-Kira 

P.S. In our county, another way to help out is to help wrap Christmas gifts for kids in foster care. It's fun and a real blessing to many people.