Monday, March 25, 2013


By Eden

If you are thinking of growing a plant and you want a fast growing and an easy plant a sunflower is the best for you.  It is very easy to grow and it grows in about 13 - 15 weeks.  It starts as a seed, one small simple seed.  Then the side of the seed opens up and a little root comes out.  Next the little root makes its way to the top of the soil.  A couple days later a little stem pops out and two leaves grow on it.  The process is halfway done.  Next it grows taller and taller and more leaves grow.  Soon the head will grow.  Now look at what you've got, one big and beautiful sunflower!!

Sunflowers can grow in many different colors.  Some gardeners grow sunflowers that have a red stripe in the middle and they are called ornamental sunflowers.  Some sunflowers are just plain yellow and some are red and white.  Some are red.  Sunflowers only come in warm colors.

Did you ever look closely at a sunflower?  If you did you must have seen that there are many little seeds.  When the sunflower dies, the seeds fall and then in the spring the seeds grow into more.  When you see a sunflower again, look very closely at the seeds.

Sunflowers are great farm plants.  A lot of farmers grow them.  The reason why they're popular is because, if you plant on sunflower one year you get many the very next year.  You can grow a whole field in three years.  That's why they are popular.

Sunflower seeds can be used for many different things.  Sunflower seeds can be crushed into sunflower oil, which can be used for cooking.  You can also eat sunflower seeds.  Some people cut a hole in an apple and stuff it with sunflower seeds, peanut butter and raisins for a snack.  So now you can make a sunflower seed snack.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Family, a poem

By Mariana

Covered with love
Connected by faith
Coated in peace

Always beside each other
Faithful till the end
Kind and respectful

Constantly fighting
Usually upset
Pushing and shouting

All different colors
All different cultures
Beautifully mixed

Perfect with flaws
Beautiful and plain
Awkwardly poised

Here to bring love
Happy to be joy
Filled with honor

Often is rushed
Usually behind
Sometimes is slow

Helps the hopeless
We spread joy 
We give rest

Understands their differences
realizes their hurt
Chooses light

Each his own person
Each his own life
Each work together

Plays together
Stays together
Prays together

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Childhood Career

A Childhood Career
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
             This question is most likely one of the single most annoying questions I am asked often. It seems as if it is a very average and normal question. When a child is asked this, their typical response might include a very long planned out summary of how they will be president, make video games, be a doctor, be a nurse, become a teacher, or several other responses. What is my response you may ask?
            I’ll give you my response. Better yet, I’ll also give you the typical response I normally receive after I have so generously given off pieces of my personal and private information.
             “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
             “I want to be exactly what I am right now. I want to continue being a professional actress. Of course, I will be out of school by the time you are referring but I will be doing exactly what I love and am doing currently. I will be furthering my career.”
             “… Oh. Career?”
Yes, It seems almost impossible that a “young” woman in this age has already started her “career” and has a very sizable resume. I have heard it all before.
           I am not so much annoyed at the fact that adults are very “interested” (nosey) in our nation’s youth and what they aspire to be but I find myself very annoyed that they ask what we are going to BE. They don’t ask who we ARE. They don’t think it possible to have a job at age 9 because not many kids can. The also don’t seem to believe that children at our age have the possibility to have developed an actual identity. According to society, I am abnormal I suppose.
My name is Mariana King and I am a professional actress.
(Insert eye roll here.)
I was born in a town north of Philadelphia near Souderton PA. That doesn’t really matter. What matters is what happened after we moved from our family and took the “rebellious” path of stepping out of the conservative Mennonite area and moved to another decently sized town, Mechanicsburg. Here, dancing and the arts are not (to oversimplify things because Mennonite’s are rather conservative) frowned upon.
It is here where my parents discovered my passion, after my first actual appearance in front of an audience (my Great-Aunt Shirley’s basement). I lit up and my parents did the best thing for me that they could’ve ever done. They had me audition for a musical at the prime age of eight years old. I was spunky, I had fire, and I shocked directors. That may have been one of the best opportunities they gave to me.
I went on to audition for many professional shows and, as of last count, am about to perform in my twentieth show in five years.
One of my most fond memories of those thrilling early years in my career would have to be after my opening night of my very first professional show. I remember it extremely well. I have a rather accurate and abnormal memory of my younger years.
We were driving home from the theatre (my brother, dad, and I). I was looking out the window and it was late. I think it would have most likely around ten o’clock or so because it was opening night. I was looking for constellations because, in my nine-year-old mind, I had too much adrenaline in my veins and had way too much excitement in me for the twenty-minute ride home after such a thrilling evening.
I remember finding the big and little dipper.
My spirits were high and I was over the top with excitement as I blurted out,
“This is the best night of my life!”
That is the only dialogue I remember having in that car ride and I will admittedly say how abnormal it is for me to be lacking in anything related to dialogue. I was so happy I was speechless.
I do remember my simple and very innocent question to my dad. I asked,
“Have you ever been so happy you could cry?” I said, full of experience because I was of course tearing up at my pure happiness at performing for one of the first “real” times.
“Yes.” My dad replied. “I can remember when I was in the hospital next to your mom and the doctor told me that ‘It was a girl!’ That was one of my happiest moments and I cried.”
I of course, lost it.
I cried.
I probably crashed from the adrenaline rush and my exhaustion and fell asleep after that conversation. I tend to do that. Maybe I talked with my six-year-old brother at the time who was also performing with me (although I’m not really sure he knew what he was doing…). I was most likely bossing him around and telling him that he did something wrong onstage or he needed to clean up his costumes faster. I would also tend to do that very often. But I honestly don’t remember any more.
I do remember the feeling.
Pure joy.
I try to duplicate that feeling as often as I can.

By Mariana

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crimes and Friends

Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato is a wonderful book to read together with family and friends.  It's about mysteries, friends, crimes, and poems.  You might think that friends and poems don't really go together with crimes and mysteries but the author does a great combination.

I like the end of the book where it talks about how the author chose the character's names according to famous people.  The main character is named after Edgar Allan Poe.  Also, the poems that the "robber" leaves are based on actual poems that are written.

Isaac would give this book 9 crime investigation notebooks out of 10.  Eden says she'd give the author a 9 for the book, but a 10 for creativity.

Book recommendation by Isaac and Eden

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prayer Circles

We are reading a book called Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson.  He is a pastor in Washington D.C. We are using it for the forty days before Easter. It talks about prayer and has a lot of stories to relate to.  A saying in the book that I liked was, "You can't never always sometimes tell," which means anything could happen.  I liked it because in prayer anything could happen.

by Isaac

Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson is a great prayer devotional.   The devotional really challenged me in praying. The book also encouraged me in my faith by retelling other stories of strong faith that started from a prayer. The book really showed me the importance of praying and how much it can help others and you.

by Shoun

This is a great book for devotions.  We do it together every morning before school.  It has a lot of stories and ways to pray and ways to honor God.  There was one way that he said to pray, and it was to thank God for things that God wants to happen like it's already happened.  I think you'll like this book.

by Eden