Catherine’s Column #5

By: Catherine Amaris Munoz

“Those who trust in Him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with Him in love: Because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with the elect.” ~Wisdom 3:9

Hi, fellow home-schooling teens!! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA.  I am in the 12th grade. This is my fifth column for the “Homeschooling Teen e-zine”, and I am excited to share more columns with you all in the future!

Wow, the summer season is almost behind us! I hope you had a fun one. I know my summer here in Monrovia, CA has been a hot one, but not as hot as it can possibly be. According to, the temperature in Monrovia has reached up to 112-degrees! (Although I can almost argue that it had reached 116-degrees a few years ago. Oh well.) Despite the heat, I had a great experience (one of the best I’ve had all summer!) on a bicycle ride with my friend around the Monrovia/Arcadia perimeter. I actually grew up in Pasadena, so being that I moved to the Monrovia area just recently – only about 4 years ago- this was going to have been my first time ever truly exploring my local town this closely. With my friend leading the way, we ventured up the steep hills of Monrovia, bringing us to a more “wealthy” area, where we saw huge estates and homes, which surely cost millions of dollars, at least. I was amazed that such a community existed in practically what is my own backyard! Even more breathtaking was the beautiful wildlife we encountered. We saw a deer family of five, calmly eating the nearby grass, and also several hawks soaring directly above our heads! I can’t say I had ever seen those birds of prey so close before. What an experience. I know one thing for sure: my summer is complete now. Here is a photo of the Monrovia Mountains. I saw sights such as this on my adventure… =oD



Above photo provided by:

September’s Music Corner:

This month’s featured Christian music artists are: “Owl City” & “The Letter Black”


Owl City is an electro-pop/electronica musical project begun by American singer and songwriter, Adam Young. Young is Christian and he allows for that to show through in his lyrics. He began his musical career in his parent’s basement, in Owatonna, Minnesota. But Adam now doesn’t need any help coming out of the shadows, for he (and his music) is widely known throughout the nation. Owl City just completed their 2011 tour of his latest-released studio album, All Things Bright and Beautiful. I believe that the songs on this album sound particularly ethereal, and it makes me happy. Overall, I would describe this is as “feel-good” music! Sparking with originality, Adam Young continues to successfully please the yearning ears of his fan base. For more information on Owl City, and to hear what I’m talking about, go to


The Letter Black is a Christian rock band, formed in 2006. They were formally known as Breaking The Silence. I find it awesome that TLB’s lead female vocalist, Sarah Anthony, and the lead male vocalist/guitarist, Taylor Carroll, are married to each other. They have joined forces by sharing the stage with other famous Christian groups, including Skillet, which was one of the bands featured in last month’s Music Corner. Their most recent album was just released in 2010, and is called Hanging On by a Thread. What’s more interesting is that on the same day of their album’s release, The Letter Black went to #8 in the rock section of iTunes! My favorite songs on their Hanging On by a Thread album are “Invisible” & “Hanging On by a Thread”. The Letter Black has been compared to the secular rock band Evanescence. I think you’ll find The Letter Black intriguing. Check them out @!

September’s Movie Review: Source Code (2011)

Leading character, Colter Stevens, a US Army helicopter pilot, is played by actor Jake Gyllenhaal in this non-stop-action thriller. Source Code sure kept me at the edge of my seat from the start, when a man wakes up on a train as someone other than himself. Eight minutes later, a bomb explodes, killing every passenger on that unfortunate train. Immediately after this tragic incident, Stevens then finds himself within a pod, where he is confused as to his whereabouts and is denied answers, except for the fact that he must find whom the bomber is. He gets sent out on this mission again and again, and is on the same train each time, with the same people, hearing the same conversations around him: practically déja vu. Eventually, he learns that what he is experiencing is not more than a man-made simulation. The true reason for Stevens’ pod holding and for the mysterious identity-switch remains unknown for a long duration of the movie. I would recommend Source Code to any one who likes a movie with a slowly unraveling and twisting plot. The first 1/2 of the movie can seem to be repetitive, but just give your questions a chance to be answered: I can assure you, they will be. I didn’t catch Source Code in theaters (it was released in the US in April of 2011), but you will be able to rent it– like I did–or buy it on DVD. It was worth it.

September’s Recipe: Refreshing Lemon Bars



Above photo provided by:

“Tart, sweet, and refreshing, these lemon bars are delicious and are perfect as an end-of-summer treat! You can use even more lemon than is requested in the recipe for an amazing kick.”

Makes one 9×13-inch tray. Estimated total time required: Preparation- 35 minutes; Bake time- No less than 35 minutes, suggested; Cooling time- 1 hour.

What you’ll need:

For crust:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

6-oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” pieces

For filling:

6 large eggs

3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup all purpose flour

For garnish:
About 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


To make the crust:

1.) Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Combine flour & confectioners’ sugar, and beat with a spatula until well mixed. Add butter and continue to mix until butter is the size of small peas (about 30 sec.). A pastry blender helps a lot at this step. The mixture will be very dry. Gently press mixture evenly onto bottom of 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let crust cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 300-degrees F.

To make filling:

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and then the flour. Pour filling on top of the crust.

3.) Bake until lemon filling is set, about 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and the put in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or keep at room temperature for 3 hours, before cutting. Cut into squares measuring about 2-1/4-inches & dust tops with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy! =oD

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