2011 was a great (and busy) year. I learned a lot, experienced a lot, adventured a bit :-). Here is a sort of "recount" of this year. So, without further ado, in pictures and a few words...
In March, it was my thirteenth birthday, and I had my first sleepover (with more than two people), which was big and fun! We did a video scavenger hunt, makeup, games, worship, and watched Tangled and Despicable Me. It was really fun. I'm really thankful for my friends and my parents for pulling the whole thing off! :-)
In March we also got a chance to take a co-op girls' trip to the Revolve Tour. It was so cool. We had a blast, and we all found it very cool that at the same hotel we were staying at, one morning for breakfast we saw (from across the room) Jamie Grace, Group 1 Crew, Chad Eastham, and Hawk Nelson eating breakfast! We also spotted Britt Nicole, and my sister got to meet her! Revolve (Dream On) was very fun, and also very encouraging in Christ. At Revolve, I also got to meet an online friend, Mary! :-) My sister and I were in a crowd of people, and I turned to Haley (my sis), and said, "Wouldn't it be weird if we saw her right-" and then I saw her. It was totally a God-thing! (Check out this post) For more info on Revolve, this is their website.
In the spring my mom, aunt, cousin Samantha and I went to the "Do Hard Things" tour, with speakers Alex and Brett Harris. There was worship music and a few sessions, which were amazing! The most amazing of all was session 4. There was an altar call, and it was incredible. People all around the room who hadn't truly accepted Christ or had been living a fake life stood and proclaimed that "Jesus is LORD." The band played "Amazing Grace" as people embraced and walked to the front of the room, having been forgiven. It was amazing, incredible, and awesome. (Check out this post) At the Rebelution I also had the privilege of meeting Miss Raquel from God's Daughter. So that was cool :-).
(this is my friend Kylie and Alex and Brett)
In April, my youth group did World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, which was really cool! This year was my second year doing it, and both years were good. Find out more information at the website!
This summer, a lot of things happened. My sister went on a mission trip to Africa (I'm so proud of her), and my brother and I (and some friends) got the chance to be in a play, Mulan, Jr.! It was SOOO much fun. My brother played a father (he even had a beard!) and I played a male ancestor of Mulan named Zhang (okay, I had a beard too). It was very fun. (check out this post)
In August, I had the chance to go to Camp Grove. And let me tell you, it was AMAZING. Especially the campfire. See this post. I'm really glad my cousin could come with me this year too!
In September, I had the amazing opportunity to visit three of my closest friends, Sarah, Kara, and Kiera. I had never met (in person) Kara and Sarah. We'd known each other for two years via a Wonderzone Bible Reading Club, and it was amazing to actually get to meet them :-). I had a great time, and I love all three of those girls and their families. I want to say thank you to Mom for taking me :), and for all the families for hosting us! Thanks so much! (See this post) (p.s. We surprised Kiera!)
In October, my sister and I got the chance to be in a theatre production called "The Incan Princess." We had a lot of fun! My sister played a nurse from 1961, and I played a hippie named Bree from that year :-).
In October, we also had the chance to go to Pennsylvania and D.C. with our grandparents and cousin. We had a lot of fun. My favorite part was going to see the production "Joseph" at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Pennsylvania. It was REALLY cool! We also got to go see the Liberty Bell, go inside the White House, and the Smithsonian, plus some other fun stuff. It was cool! See this post.
In October, my parents informed us of something very exciting that would be happening in our family...
WE'RE ADOPTING AGAIN!
My sister, Fasika, was adopted from Ethiopia two years ago, and we are now in the process of adopting a little boy from the Congo. We are very excited :-). This is truly God's leading.
In November, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my grandparents on my dad's side and one of my mom's friends and her daughter. It was very fun. I had a great time! We also got to see a couple cousins the day after, and we also decorated for Christmas :-). Fun stuff!
This month, my sister and I participated in a speech tournament, and it was a great experience. I placed 2nd in the Half (3 min) Platform and 2nd in Impromptu, and Haley placed 1st in Impromptu and 2nd in the Full (6 min) Platform. My speech was about Bethany Hamilton, and hers was about adopting. It was a great experience :-). This month we also got the chance to go see the comedian Brian Regan with my parents and brother Elias. He's very funny!
Now, I am getting psyched for Christmas. Anyone else?
In closing, 2011 was a great year. God had a lot in store for us this year, and He showed me a lot and taught me a lot. This year I have become more confident, and I have been privileged to have made it into a music show (my sister is in it also) that will take place in April, called "The Magic of Music." I still love to write and completed NaNoWriMo for the 2nd time in November, and the book I wrote for it is called "Genuine." I love to take pictures, read, and go to youth group. This year I had the privilege and blessing of self-publishing my second book, Tania's Faith (read more about it on the "my books" page). And last but certainly NOT least, I love Jesus and know that He loves me and has a great plan for me...and for you, too!
(all photos copyright Talia DeAndrea)