Archive | October 2013

rest & relaxation

forkrysta

… Because you don’t ever really hear the words “Bethany” and “rest” in the same sentence. Not often enough, anyway.

Hi, it’s me again. I just wanted to write a quick post about my life lately. I’ve applied to work at TJ Maxx and Rue21 this week; crossing my fingers that they’ll be the last applications I have to turn in. Also, Halloween marks the last day for the Joffrey summer scholarship contest, which means that I should be getting my results some time over the next few weeks.

Other than that, I haven’t been doing too much this week. I even took some time on Monday to go shopping with my friend Morgan; absolutely nothing work, school, or dance-related. I was a bit out of my element shopping for street clothes (I usually only buy leotards and tights), but I had a good time.

To take pressure off of myself and my parents to save enough money for Joffrey, I’ve decided to use a crowd-funding website to help raise money for tuition. That takes a load off my shoulders. I’m constantly in this state of perpetual movement, perpetual business, and perpetual thinking, but now I think I’d like to wind down. No more worrying about things for me. I’ll leave that to Maddie and Krysta.

It’s going to work out. I’ll get a job, I’ll go to Joffrey, and I’ll go to England.

–Bethany

Advertisements

Hashtag Working Girl/You’ve Got to Have a J-O-B

Hello, everyone, it’s Krysta again. I’ve fallen behind in my posts meaning I’ve got quite a bit of news to tell you about, so it’s story time. Gather around, my lovelies….

So you know how people usually start college the fall after they graduate?

Yeah, that might not be happening this time.

Thanks to one of the bumps on the rollercoaster that is my life, I missed the opportunity to start college on time this year. Now before you start “le gasping”, let me assure you I’m still going to college. Maybe I’ll start mid-fall, maybe I’ll start in January, I don’t know right now. But I do know that I’ll be paying for my education myself because my parents can’t do it all themselves. After all, I have five other siblings who need their attention and, frankly, their funds. That means I have to start working ASAP because apparently universities don’t accept Monopoly money.

Which brings me to my next point: a job. Now a few weeks ago, I’d been thinking about just working at a place like CVS or Wal-Mart, but then I got offered a nannying job by a friend who had just left said nannying position. Basically, a couple–I’ll call them the Stevenson couple–needs someone to watch daughter Stevenson (and the neighbors’ daughter) until Mr. Stevenson gets home from work. I’d actually have to pick them up from the bus stop (which is a foreign concept to a homeschooler) and take them to the Stevensons’ house. Now I won’t go into all the details of the job, but my friend tells me the girls are both fans of One Direction, which means I already love these kids. The details have been all worked out and the family likes me enough, so I’ve officially got the job. This is amazing, considering my mom (who came with me) somehow managed to talk more than I did, making me seem shy and codependent. Nevertheless, I’m employed. Huzzah.

Unlike most people I know, I’m quite excited about having a job. And not only is this one relatively easy–I’m not Mary Poppins or anything, but I have a lot of experience with kids (raised/raising five siblings)–but it pays $75 a week, which is a lot when you’re always broke. I mean, that’s $300 a month…as in $300 more than I get now. (You can probably imagine how pumped I am about getting my first paycheck soon!)

But as you employed folk know, there is a downside to money–budgeting it. Now that’s something you can’t avoid–even if you really want to. I’ve been trying to come up with a good budget plan, but I don’t have one yet. So far, I’m thinking of just altering the suggestion Bethany gave me to make room for tithing by decreasing the amount needed for what we call “involuntary expenses”–things you consistently have to buy for yourself. Involuntary expenses are, as you know, not to be confused with that pair of shoes you just have to have, or the smoothies you’ve been craving for two weeks. Those are voluntary expenses and they’re in a very separate category.

Now most of you employed folk may know all about what I’m going to do here, but I encourage those of you who don’t to stick around and read this. Not to say that you have to follow this to a T, but looking at everyone else’s budget plans really helped me to develop my “prototype plan”, even before I needed one. I think it’s a good idea to see what works and what doesn’t and then try to make your budget plan to fit your life. So unless you’re way ahead and have already looked into budget plans (or have your own), here’s your starter package: my prototype plan. Now I’ll probably make some adjustments once I have a consistent cash flow (and another job), but I’m thinking of separating my paycheck into five parts:

  • savings- 65%,
  • short-term goals- 5%,
  • voluntary expenses- 5%,
  • involuntary expenses- 10%,
  • tithing- 10%, and
  • emergency funds- 5%

Savings is taking up more for me than it will for most of you, but that’s only because I have to meet the deadline before it’s time to fly across the pond. I hope you don’t feel pressured by this to save up more than half your paycheck. My short-term goals are just things I need or want a lot (e.g. my own laptop, a smartphone, new earbuds, etc.), preferably before we move to London. Voluntary expenses are just spur-of-the-moment things I want to buy–like a second dinner just because I’m out with my friends, or anything I want but don’t need that I haven’t saved up for. Tithing is what I put in the offering basket when I’m at church, mostly to support missions trips and other great things my church does for the community. Emergency funds are just what they sound like: money for emergency purposes only. I put that in italics because it’s important. I used to call everything an emergency and just spend $30 on food, which would be nice if I didn’t eat all of said food in only one sitting. (Talk about expensive taste. Ba-dum-tsss….)

So I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to cover (and then some). Sorry if you’re confused.

…Okay bye.

–Krysta

back on my grind.

BWEBOafIQAAZBB7It’s Bethany again. This week my ankle has suffered a ballet-related sprain; and while it did put me out of three weeks worth of technique classes, I’ll have you know that the rest of my schedule has not slowed down in the slightest. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a girl in possession of at least one good ankle must be in want of something to do, and I’m no exception. I’ve been constantly on the go since my birth 16th birthday, and with my ankle quickly healing, school, and modeling season starting back up I’ll definitely have my plate full this fall.

Last time I was here, I was writing about dance schools I’d like to train at, so I thought I’d give you an update on how that’s going: I seem to have found the one. The Joffrey Ballet School up in New York City. It’s funny, because it wasn’t even on the list of places I’d mentioned before, but as soon as I found it I fell in love. The summer intensive takes place at the beginning of June until the end of July 2014, meaning that I’d be away for seven weeks. The tuition (including housing and meals) is steep, so this past Sunday I sent in an essay to apply for a scholarship. Since then I’ve been very nervously awaiting my results (which won’t come until Thanksgiving-time) and texting Krysta non-stop about it.

Me: “I really, really hope I get this scholarship.”

Krysta: “THERE’S PIE IN MY HOUSE, BYE.”

Even prior to my blog post about dance schools, I wrote about job-hunting, and I’m a little sad to say that I’ve had no luck so far. I have, however, applied for team member positions at Wendy’s and Subway, and if I get either of those, I’ll be working for about 20 hours a week. Gotta start saving up to help pay for dance and get to England. As weird as it sounds, I’m really excited to be getting a job. I love having things to do.

Wish me luck!

–Bethany.

snapshots [3/52]

A week of playgrounds, musicals, and injuries.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

{bethany} elevating the sprained ankle

ghdi

{maddie} found the best reference ever in her textbook

playground1 playground2

{krysta} the park she takes her girls to (and the rules that they ignore)

Madelaine’s (AKA Maddie’s) Life

Don’t hate me, I’m not a woman of many words.

I’m working on School; a lot. I’ve started calculus. I’m sorry, did I say calculus? I meant to say the decent into hell.

I’m in a play. It’s a musical. Bandi and I are in it together. The name of the play is A Pirate’s Life. It’s about pirates…

I tried to take the SAT’s. They wouldn’t let me in the building. They gave me the wrong time on my ticket. So I scheduled to take it two more times.

I’m going to the gym twice a week, at the army base gym. The gate guard asked my age the other day he was very disappointed to find out I was seventeen. Mom just sat there laughing.

This is Madelaine by the way.

I had pizza last night. It was good.

I finished a painting too.

Image

I call it The Mountains.

–Maddie

snapshots [2/52]

The second week of our year-long photography series. This past Saturday we celebrated Bethany’s sixteenth birthday party, and since we were all together, we’ll only have one photograph.

birthday

{krysta} lounging on the deck without a chair

{bethany} sitting on the swing, enjoying her birthday party

{maddie} behind the camera, as usual

old school, new school, gently-used school

ghgh

When I was a little girl, I’d always thought about being a ballerina or joining a contemporary dance company; but I never imagined that I would actually be able to pursue it. I even took a year off when I was a freshman to find out if there was anything else that I would like to do with my life, but there wasn’t. And there isn’t, still. But now I have to make up for the lost time by pushing my training into overdrive, and what better way to do that than a summer dance intensive?

Hi. It’s Bethany.

I know that summer 2014 is a long time away, but typically auditions for intensives take place the winter beforehand, so if I want to study anywhere, I’d better start looking now. And I have, except I’m not sure where I’d like to go. My top picks are the summer programs at Juilliard, Jacob’s Pillow, London Studio Centre, and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. They’re all very far away from where I live (Virginia), but I’m really interested in their programs.

Contemporary dance has always been my passion, but I wouldn’t mind studying ballet, which is technically what I’m trained in, or ballet technique. I’d call it nearly impossible to start a career in dance without proper ballet training, no matter how old you are.

ghgJuilliard is a three-week intensive taking place next August in New York City, focusing on ballet and modern dance. It’s very expensive, estimating at one thousand dollars in tuition and an extra thousand dollars for accommodation.  London Studio Centre is an English university I can see myself training at after I graduate, and it’s pretty cheap. However, the camp only lasts a week and it almost seems like a waste of time/money to fly out to London for only seven days of contemporary training. Trinity Laban is also in England; this intensive lasts two weeks and I’ve heard amazing things about it (free accommodation, too). At Trinity I would be able to tailor my timetable to the things I wanted to take (ballet, Graham-based contemporary, yoga, etc.) and that’s pretty cool.

Now, my dream dance school, the crème de la crème, is Jacob’s Pillow up in Massachusetts. They have a summer program for professionals and pre-professionals from ages sixteen on up, specializing in either ballet, commercial, or contemporary. Free accomodation for approved applicants, but it’s extremely selective; only twelve men and twelve woman get chosen each year. The contemporary program, which I would be auditioning for, costs about $1,800

I would love to attend any combination of these schools, although my heart is pretty set on Jacob’s Pillow. For an aspiring dancer this is an incredibly important decision; for me especially because next summer is my last season as a high school student. I’ll also have to decide how much out of my paycheck/savings I want to pay for tuition and/or audition fees (because I really want to help my parents out); but I don’t want to spend too much, because what’s the point of going overseas and doing all these intensives if I end up with no money for college? So many, many things to do.

— Bethany.