Monday, December 30, 2013

Baby Bradley...

 he's one of my favorite little men right now. =)
 check out those chubby little cheeks.
they really are the last word in cheeks.
 isn't he a cutie?

babies are one of my favorite things in life and I'm so thankful for these little people that I get to love on!


Saturday, December 28, 2013


It's hard for me to blog right now.
I feel like there's so much I want to write, and say, and share, and discuss, and simply not enough time to format everything into an understandable post.
God has been rocking my world lately by the incredible preaching at my church. Every service I come home and think "I HAVE to post about this!" And then the following day is full of company/packing/cooking along with my regular job, working as my father's secretary, and suddenly before I know it...I've fallen into bed and one of the last thoughts before drifting off to sleep approx 1 1/2 minutes after my head hits the pillow, is "Ah-I never posted that!"
The quote below describes so well how I've been feeling on all of this lately:

what our preacher says all the time. and its so true
 My pastor uses this quote all the time and it is so true. Every single service I come away having learned
new truth from the Word of God. Every single time God works on my broken heart, repairing and 
changing and healing. (note: when I say "broken heart", I don't mean it by the world's standard of a 
broken heart. I mean it as a heart that is always in need of more of Jesus and His grace, love, and
I've been so blessed-I honestly feel at times like I've grown more spiritually in the past year and a half...
than I have in my whole Christian life before that. God has been so faithful and even though the 
sanctification process is rough at times, I couldn't wish to be anywhere else than where I am right
now. Broken and messed up...but in the place where healing and truth abounds! 

Currently I'm getting ready to leave for a 2 1/2 month tour with my family. I'll have more time to wade 
through all of the above and give y'all several in-depth posts on the month!

In the meantime let me just challenge you to choose broken-ness and be willing for God to heal and 
change you and fill you with more of HIM!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

In Which I Speak Once Again!

{curling hair last weekend in prep for the LACP @ church}

I have so much to write but sadly I just have a minute here so all of my "blog-post-pile-ups-in-the- brain" will have to wait for later.

My life lately has been wonderful and crazy.
This year's Christmas Play was the most amazing yet. I seriously have to pinch myself at times to make sure that I really am getting to be a part of the production and the fabulous church/people that are behind it. I'm so blessed by them!

The last three weeks were filled with sewing, rehearsals, company, six showings of the play, more company, and sickness. The last time I posted (a week ago tonight) I was beginning to get a sore throat. By Sunday morning I couldn't sing and couldn't talk normally. (thank goodness for pre-recorded lines!) By Sunday night my voice was almost gone. And Monday morning I woke up with absolutely nothing more than a faint whisper. That calamity lasted until Wednesday when my voice finally and slowing began to return. As my sister so kindly put it "Now you sound like a smoker!" Raspy, deep..all that jazz. So much fun.


Those of you who know me even slightly well know that talking is my strength and being quiet is my weakness. Or else talking is my weakness? Depending on how you define overly talkative people. =) I am one of those.
 Hence those two days of no talking nearly drove me crazy. Especially since it just so happened that our very dear friends from Mississippi were visiting and when we are with them we all talk at the same time and have such a party...and I had to sit and participate in everything in SILENCE. oh the joy.
I am now thankful in a whole new way for the mere ability to SPEAK! It's awesome to be able to join in conversation once again!

{here's a little sneak peak picture of a few of us last weekend. A full LACP recap/review coming next week to the family blog! Stay tuned!}

Now that the play is over, Christmas is right around the corner and I am anticipating the family time and traditions, yummy food, cousins coming from out-of-state, and celebrating, all together, the true reason for the season, Jesus Christ, and all He has done!
In the midst of all that, we're also getting ready to leave on tour. But I'm trying not to think about that---wanting to savor these last home moments while I have them!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

1880's LACP Costumes

{above: snapping a selfie in the new dress and stage makeup. I'm having a blast trying out new french braid updos and doing stage makeup on myself. Of course this isn't my normal look, but its fun to pile up the makeup just for something different. =)}
This is Wednesday's promised post, just posted on Saturday, instead of Wednesday. 
I'm sorry, and welcome to my world. =)
All of this week has been crazy; I've been doing a million things whilst being partly sick, and blogging has been the last thing I've had time for.
Hence here I finally am, sitting in one of the little dressing rooms at my church, posting in between my last scenes for the night. 
Hey, it works. =) 
One of the finished maid outfits. 
Not my favorite thing to sew (or wear!), but I do love how they turned out. 
This project was last minute, and super duper fun. 
I had to sew a Civil War era, little girl's formal party dress for my younger sister.
I had looked all over the place, and couldn't find anything that was even close.
Very last minute my pastor's wife mentioned that she had a bunch of old bridesmaid dresses that I could look through for options.
I found this one (above) and instantly saw endless possibilities.
I took in all of the seams multiple times.
(this was how it went: take in seams. sister tries it on.too big. I sew in seams again. sister tries it on again. its still too big. etc etc....)
Then I took the long skirt and just went to town with trying my hand at sewing pickups/ruching.
I'd always wanted to try this on something and this was the perfect project.
Ta Da!
Very possibly one of my favorite alteration projects to date.
Then I took an old pair of her flats, which have stains and rips etc...
....and covered them with extra lining fabric (that I had cut off of the dress when I shortened it) and lace.
The sash was way too big so I cut it in half and used half of it to make a new sash for the dress.
The other half of the sash I used for a matching hairbow for her. =)
My mother made her a pair of adorable lacy bloomers.
And she honestly looks like she just stepped out of the time period---SO FUN!
(complete pictures of us in full outfits, coming later on next week)
If you're able, come out for our last two showings tomorrow, @ 11am & 5pm! Can't believe this whole production is so close to done!
Anyway, got to run---the scene before my last scene is going right now, so I've got to get up there in time! =)


Monday, December 9, 2013

Report from the Seamstress

{Above picture: typical sight last week.
fabric, pattern pieces, pins, scissors, measuring tape, and misc scattered all over. In the middle of the picture resides my classy mug of yummy Tim Hortons coffee. 
*thank-you to the sweet people who gifted us that big tub of Tim Hortons when we were in Canada this summer! Its been keeping me alive!=)
Last week it was mostly me and my coffee and my sewing machine during the days, with Celtic Thunder Christmas music keeping us company...and rehearsals every night @ church. 

So I'm sorry for the lack of anything on here this past week. It has been a crazy seven days;
however, I am so thrilled to report that the sewing is DONE and I am back to sanity. =)
For some reason deadlines make me more prone to mistakes. 
{why am I like this?}
Having a Friday deadline with all the sewing projects, seemed to just be inviting my seam ripper to the party. =/ Unfortunately that item was busy busy busy all week, as well as my sewing machine. Agh! How I hate ripping out seams!
By Thursday night I knew sickness was just around the corner if I didn't take care of myself. Thankfully I got all finished on Friday and missed the sick-in-bed kind of sickness that I thought might be coming, and instead just got the "well-enough-to-be-out-of-bed-but-wish-to-be-in-bed" kind. =) In spite of not being totally up to par, I am super thankful that I'm able to be up and doing things. This would be the worst time of year to be sick, for sure, with all the rehearsals/performances and everything going this week!
And speaking of thankfulness...I'm super thankful for the cousins that came all the way from NY to visit over Thanksgiving! Lovely times we had and I'm so grateful for family! We made so many fun memories-keep an eye on the family blog, as my sis will be posting pictures from Thanksgiving weekend, on there soon!
Come back tomorrow or Wednesday for pictures of the projects I sewed! =)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Live Animal Christmas Play!

Y'all may remember me talking about this quite a bit last year, here, here, and here.
It does not seem like a year ago but indeed it is, because once again I am in the thick of getting ready for this production.
The blog will probably be a little silent this week, as nearly every spare moment is being spent at my sewing machine sewing costumes, or at church, in rehearsals.
I wanted to take a quick minute here this morning though to invite y'all to come to the play!
It is free and open to the public.
{doesn't get any better than that, huh?}
There are approx 200 actors in the play.
And live animals. in the church. on the stage. 
the baby calves reside in the baptistry. =)
I'm telling ya, you want to come see it for yourself. =)
Showing information is on the flyer below. Please go ahead and use the tab at the bottom of the post to share this on facebook, twitter, google plus...whatever works for you. 
I'm spreading the word here! Last year we had to turn people away but this year an extra showing has been added so there will be extra room, which means we'd love it if more people came.

A little more info from our pastor.. (with my notes added in italics =))
A Southeast Iowa Christmas Tradition

"A stunning theatrical production!"

We cordially invite you to celebrate Christmas with us in a dramatic way. The
2013 production will show Saturday December 14, 2013 at 11AM2PM and 5PM and
Sunday December 15, 2013 11AM & 5PM.  All Showings are a gift to you and
complety free of charge!  DETAILED INFORMATION BELOW...

"Experience the true story of Christmas come to life !"

*Animals Up Close!
You will enjoy, Camels, Reindeer, Llama, Sheep, Goats, Cows, Donkeys,
Red Tail Hawk, Horses, Dogs, a fat pig and much more, in the sanctuary!  You will have an
opportunity to get up close to many wonderful animals! The kids are sure to enjoy!

*Stirring Music!
The show includes over eight live musical specials as well as scores of
Musical Productions that will stir the Christmas Spirit within you. 

*The Bible Story in Compelling Drama!
The compelling dramatic journey will take you from a marketplace in
Nazareth to
a manger in Bethlehem where baby Jesus is born. Watch as King Herod, the
Roman Soldiers and many Jews try to destroy the Messiah.  The production
finishes with Jesus' glorious resurrection.

*Great Seating Close to all the Action!
The Auditorium is large enough to host such an event but small enough to be
close to all the action.  You will feel like you have taken a journey
right in the Christmas Story! Ah, the sights, the smells, the sounds of Christmas!

*Special Effects!
The show uses many professional special effects that is sure to make your
experience exciting!

*Hot Chocolate, Popcorn and Candy Canes!
As you enter the building, enjoy delicious christmas refreshments!
is free of charge. Merry Christmas!
{my mother and brothers will be serving you all these yummy things...=)}

*The purpose of the play!
John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world
through Him might be saved."

- We are not professionals. This is a homemade church play. All actors and
workers are church members who have sacrificially volunteered their time.
{this is hands-down the most amazing thing about the play. long before we ever attended Marion Avenue Baptist Church, we were blessed and impacted each year by this play. Now that we actually attend and are involved..we have been able to see and be a part everything that goes into pulling this off. And it is incredible. Multiple church members who use their vacation time for the year to take off of work these two weeks before the play and work at the church. People who work so hard and push themselves to be as professional as possible, in every aspect.  It is a beautiful example of the body of Christ working together and I just thank the Lord that my family gets to experience it!}

- All Showings are free of charge.
{in other have no excuse for not coming =)}

- You do not need tickets to attend.

- Seating is given on a first come, first served basis.
{come early for a good seat!}

- The 2PM show on Saturday is reserved for large groups -
email with your group reservation.

- The show is 2 hours from start to finish.

Located at:
Marion Avenue Baptist Church
215 South Marion Avenue Washignton, Iowa 52353

*note-the dates on the promo are the 2012 dates, not this year's dates!

Please come and join us?!

more updates to come later on this week!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Online Sales||Fashion

I love Black Friday shopping.
Contrary to certain other family members of mine, I don't mind the crowds or waiting in line. =)
This is because I go with no expectations, other than to enjoy the time with the friends I am with. 
Since I'm not all stressed out about getting a certain deal, I can relax and be blessed by whatever unexpected treasure/s I may find for a bargain! (this is the way to do it, my friends)
This year, however, I find myself majorly behind on sleep and energy. Plus, I have cousins here and due to a common lack of interest amongst us to brave the cold and driving to town at 11pm, we decided to opt for the cyber shopping option this year. 
I rummaged around on various favorite brand sites of mine (Old Navy, Maurices, & Jen Clothing, to name a few) but none of the above named had any spectacular deals. 
{if they were to ask me for marketing advice, I would tell them to drop the "if you buy $50 worth you get free shipping" deal, because it seems a bit lame. Goodness, all of us cyber shoppers are STAYING HOME and not being part of the mob rushing at them. The least they could do would be to give us free shipping with NO strings attached. Right?
Right. =)
Well, I wasn't about to buy $50 worth of brand-new things.
 Sorry, Old Navy, Maurices, & Jen Clothing! I'm sure somebody else will go for your {ahem} "deals". =)

Even though its not technically a "black friday" sale item.... this skirt is a good deal over on Maurices. I'm not personally getting it only because I have been privileged to find three khaki pencil skirts of various shades at thrift stores this year. (!!!!) And I really can't justify a fourth. But if you are in need of a cute, modest pencil skirt (black or stone colored), then head on over! It will show up that the skirt is $26 but it is actually 75% off of that. {insert cheer}
One deal that I did take advantage of tonight is over on DownEast Basics. I LOVE their WonderTee-it is incredible for layering! It's the perfect top to wear underneath a crocheted or sheer shirt, for those times when a cami doesn't quite cut it. =) 
For today/tomorrow they have a deal going where you can get 30% off your entire order. My sister and I stocked up and each got several WonderTee's/camis. We haven't tried their camis before but we've heard rave reviews from multiple friends so we included a few in our order. 

Sorry for no picture with this post-you'll just have to imagine me, my sista, my cousin, and my cousin-in-love, all sitting here in in our little office, shopping on our laptops. Exciting picture, eh? =)

Happy Weekend, friends!

Thankful, Not Expecting

                "Be thankful for what you have. You have no idea how many people would love to have what you've got."
                  "Not what we say about our blessings...but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Makeup Humor

This is a classic. Why would I do a tutorial on makeup when Martha does it so much better? {hehe}
Someday, I'll give y'all a "real" tutorial, but for today..this one is just too good NOT to share. =)

Enjoy a laugh in your day, peoples! 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Welcome Back!

My excitement today is spilling out all over this new blog! Go ahead-browse around for a while and look at everything and then leave me a comment and let me know what you all think!

Amongst other new features you will find:
-New pages (at the top of the site) 
-a blog button along the side of the blog (if you are a fellow blogger, feel free to "grab" the button and post it on your blog sidebar!)
-a tab set of 6 subjects along the on a tab to read the posts I've done related to each subject! (more coming soon to this-I'm still in the process of going back through the archives and giving new descriptions to each post so they will also be included in the link)
-a very cool "pin" button on each picture on my blog-simply hover your mouse over each picture to click and "pin" my pictures to your pinterest albums!
-a options bar at the bottom of each post, allowing you to share my posts on various social networking sites. (a pinterest one is coming soon!)


This all would've NEVER been possible without the amazing skills and creativity of two very dear friends!
Credits to:
for the Pinterest button design/installation & all of the stellar photography. Hannah, you just blow me away with your ability to capture light and people so well! Thank-you so much...and also thanks for all those times I text or email you with some random little question of a tech glitch I've run into. I couldn't even count the times you've bailed me out of trouble. =)

for the subject tabs, blog button, & blog header designs, and way more ideas/brainstorming/helpful tips/emails than I could possibly count! I feel like I owe so many elements of this blog to you, Rachel! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

Okay, well, that's it for today! A little introduction to this new look...hope you stay awhile and browse! Don't forget to leave some love in the comment box! =)

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Couple in Town||Changes to the Blog

  I had to grab a few pictures of my lovely cousin and her new boyfriend the other night, 
as they were leaving our house for their first date!
It's such a beautiful time of life for both of them. 
And I'm having a ball just observing and listening and helping in any way I can. =)
love it...
Moving on....from the new couple in town, to the much-less interesting topic of changes to the blog. =)
This morning as I was sitting at my desk contemplating the coming week and all the challenges that I know are ahead with the new blog design-I felt like the Lord gave me the wonderful idea of shutting the blog down for the week, so I can work on the redesign over a period of several days, and don't have the pressure of getting it all done right at once. 
I'm giving y'all a heads up so you know what's going on when you try to pull up my blog and instead a page comes up that says "sorry, but only invited readers are allowed to read this blog"

Remain calm...I'm just changing my blog settings to make my blog "private" for four days.
(Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) 
For those 4days you won't be able to access the blog. 
I'm so thankful for this blogger feature of shutting it down for a bit, because that will give me sufficient time to try out different things/ideas, and to figure out the sure-to-occur problems and kinks that will happen when tech-challenged me endeavors to change things. =)
Thank-goodness for blogger making it easy by providing me with some easy design tools...and thank goodness for the two dear friends who are/have been helping me so much by providing ideas, inspiration, new bio photos, and a new header!

I'm super excited that this is finally happening! 
I am leaving the blog open until Thursday, to hopefully give most of my readers time to see this post and know what's going on.
If y'all think about it, you can be praying for me-I need clear direction from the Lord about a few things for this yet.
I'm really passionate about this blog being a dynamic growing place-not just a blog that is fun to "surf". Although I want to keep it fun. =) 
But I really need to have the right balance of fun and serious. And I'm seeking how to do that.

For the rest of the week, hop on over and keep up with me/our family on my family's blog, as my sister will be posting there about our upcoming Church Christmas play (and recordings, rehearsals, etc in preparation for that!), the big fundraiser dinner we did at church for it, the upcoming National Bible Bee (and daily updates on how our four national qualifiers are doing in the competition rounds) and random other things that are going on here at the Bontrager farm.

I'll see y'all back here bright & early next Monday morning, for the "new look"!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thrifted Wedges||Fashion

 I love shoes, I really do.
 I love how they can add so much to an outfit.
 And, admittedly, I'm a sucker for heels. 
 "The higher the heel, the better I feel"...that kind. =)
 These are my new lovelies. I got them in Minnesota last month, at a Platos Closet consignment           store.
 They are American Eagle and from all appearances are brand-new.
 And. I got them for all of $6.00.
 Can anyone say, "score thrifty!"? I was so excited!
"Give a girl the right shoes...and she can conquer the world."

Well, not really. =)
but cute shoes are so fun. Are we agreed, ladies? 
They just add sparkle to life!
So! Comment and tell me about your current favorite pair/s of shoes!
have a fabulous weekend, people!
Oh yes- y'all can be thinking of me tomorrow, as I'm baking 300 dinner rolls.
Wanna come for dinner on Sunday?! =)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Giveaway over on the Family Blog||Personal

We're having a giveaway of our latest family cd, over on my family's blog! Check it out!
Sorry people...I know the content on here lately hasn't been that exciting or earth shattering. (other than my announcement the other day =))
But my life has been pretty crazy lately!
October kind of wiped me out. =)
And now November is here and I find myself in the thick of preparing for
*multiple groups of company
*our upcoming tour in January (mailing posters, booking dates, mailing bulk music orders, etc) 
*our church's upcoming Live Animal Christmas Play 
*the fundraiser dinner my family is doing at our church this Sunday, to help raise money for the Christmas Play expenses
*the National Bible Bee (coming right up next week! Four of my brothers are in it and we are currently spending hours every day listening to their memory verses helping them prepare. its intense!)
Also I've been busy with:
*farm and family projects
*updating my photography equipment/gear in preparation for (hopefully!) growing my business next year
*brainstorming and preparing for the new blog design/look/theme, coming next weekend-ish (?)

that's a bit of my life currently, in a nutshell!=)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter Flurries!

the view from my bedroom window yesterday.
 winter is here...

..and I'm loving it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Girls Night||Friendships

This is the beauty of friendship.
Taking the simple thing of time and just a wee bit of effort (hardly any, really) 
and whipping up some delightful memories.
And let me just say-some of the best friendships are with people who aren't your age.
Some of the dearest people in my life range in age from babies to elderly.
There's so much variety and interest and fun in that age span! 
Don't limit your friendships to people who are exactly your age.
You'll learn so much more if you surround yourself with friends in every walk/stage of life.
So here I am sharing with you an evening spent with some very amazing people that I love so much.
My beloved bestie/sista, Alli, who is nineteen.
My fellow blogger/photographer/hashtager/everythingelsetoo friend, Hannah, who is twenty.
The creative and inspiring Cassie, who is twenty-five and married.
And the spunky and very kindred Miss Mary Jane, who is Cassie's m-in-law.
 Other than some incredible'll just need a cozy curl-up place, a fun activity (ours was the all-time classic and favorite, "Emma") and some yummy snacks.
We kinda overdid it on the food, as you can see...and this spread doesn't even include our coffee/cider & pizza. 
Pretty sure I went home significantly wider than when I came. =)
There you have it-all that you need for a girl's night.
Go make it happen! You'll be blessed! =)


Monday, November 11, 2013

Introducing Mark||News||Personal

I'm pretty excited to make this introduction!
So yes. After much dreaming and wishing and longing...
it has finally happened and I am 
Looking forward to sharing some images from this macho machine of a gun camera...SOON!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby Love||Personal

 taking care of Emmaline, the precious little daughter of a friend of ours.
 doing nails with Hannah, our pastor's daughter.
{we always do nails when she comes over-its the first thing she asks for, without fail =)}
So thankful for these little people God has placed in my life!
See y'all back here Monday! We've had a couple of especially amazing sermons at our church lately and I've been doing a lot of thinking on these various subjects and am excited about sharing some of my thoughts here next week!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Donuts & Style & Random Things||Personal

 I know today's post has you all kind of confused with the odd combination of titles.
But I have a lot to say, and its all pretty different. So I thought that was the best way to sum it up.=)
First of all. We continued with tradition and made donuts again last week.
{they are SO good. why do we not do this every week?} 
As with everything they are best shared. (above photo for demonstration)
There are a few random things that happened this week that I thought were worth sharing. Half of them are awkward, and half are quite awesome. 
{I've never really cared for the "Awk/Awe" post titles. Am I really about to do one of these? =))
*using our new salad spinner. Its a little techy for me. I was in a hurry and trying to speed the process up. So I opened the lid while it was still spinning. BAD IDEA. #lettucefliesalloverthekitchenliterally  #notimesaved
*sharpened a new knife before cutting apples. Sliced my finger badly on the second apple. bandaged the finger. the next day was baking in the kitchen. while pressing food into pan I suddenly notice patches of RED all over the food mixture, and realize that the wound that was partially healed obviously popped open and my finger is bleeding all over the place.
*mice taking over my house. this isn't just awkward. its awful. my brothers killed THREE just today. 
*being told for the ??? time that I look "just like Katie, the Kisses from Katie, Katie!" 
its getting kind of funny. 

Random awesome:
*having seven extra little ones at our house for the day/overnight, twice in the last week!
*waking up at night with the baby when she started crying. She just needed love, snuggles, and her bottle. Bless her cuddly little self.
*finding out today that two amazing people that are very special to our family...just began a relationship!!!
It's doubly special because I saw it coming. =)
#lovelovelove #itsintheair
*not being able to accomplish hardly anything because I was so preoccupied with the above news. =) 
*My new 5D Mark III camera that I am head over heels in LOVE with!

{and for those of you wondering, no, I don't have instagram. I just found out about the lovely invention of hashtags from a friend and now I'm just a little obsessed with using them. Who says you have to have instagram to get to use hashtags? =)}
And about the hairstyles...well, for quite some time now people have been asking me what exactly I mean when I refer to my sister's and my "very different styles".
Many sisters that are close like us...share everything and have very similar styles of clothing and hair.
We are a little different in that while we love each other to death...we hardly share ANYTHING and we look/dress/do hair quite differently from each other.
My point in all that I'm wondering if I should do a post talking about this and WHY we are so different. Would anyone be interested?
 I'm just putting this out there to see if its something y'all want to hear about or not. =)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One of Those Days...

" Some days are such perfect disasters....
that there's really nothing to do but sit back 
and admire their perfection."
-Robert Brault

Some can be pretty stressful to live on our farm.
 But from a photographer's standpoint...
...some days farm life gives me some pretty amazing unique shots. =)

I'm thankful that everyone's safe, and reminding myself that 
"its no use crying over spilt corn". =)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Its Right Around the Corner...

(above: opening scene from last year's production)

...and I'm so in the mood for it!
This Christmas Play time is truly, for me, one of
 "the most wonderful times...of the year!" =)
Last night as my sisters and I walked up the church seemed just like last year all over again. Although this time we knew what we were getting into. =)
Church was quiet. (compared to regular church service days) 
As we walked past the sanctuary we peeked in. To a regular passerby, it would've looked like someone had totally ransacked the room and was in the process of ripping the stage/walls to shreds.
Ah, yes. That's definitely a good sign. It means big transformation is right around the corner!
Each door we walked through had that familiar sign,
 "Quiet Please. Recording session in progress."
Finally we reached the small office/recording room at the back of the church.
It was filled with the smell of pines and christmas trees (amazing candle) and the other actors who were also in the first two scenes and were there to record their lines.
We had a splendid 2 1/2 hrs of getting in the Christmas mood through the "prepping" our pastor gave us, (we listened to clips of the music and saw slides of various new scenes/props) the retelling of the Christmas story, and putting everything we had into our various parts...
 ...doing them over and over again and then finally scoring with the "keeper" lines.
 I have always loved big dramatic productions and all the behind the scenes work and details that go into them. Its so fun to work and dream and see all the details come together as everyone pulls together and does his/her part.
All that said....I'm ready for Christmas. I'm in the spirit, in the mood, and in the middle of all the preparations. 
That's life right now, and it will continue to be a large part of my life for the next 5wks. 
Stay tuned for more to come!