Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 In Review (Part One)

I can't believe that 2010 will be over after tomorrow, where has all of the time gone?! Each year seems like it goes by faster and faster, and it makes me wonder that if I feel like this at 17 (almost 18), how am I going to feel when I'm 30, 40, 50? Yikes! Craziness, I tell you... Anyway, almost every news show/talk show, etc. has done a highlight reel of the greatest moments of 2010 or something of that sort. Because I am the list-loving person I am, I decided I would give a month-by-month personal highlight reel of 2010. Because it may end up being lengthy, it may have to be split up into two separate posts, but we'll have to see!

January
January began well. I started the year by finding out that I was accepted into YAB, and later attended my first meeting (it was also in January). Another highlight from January was meeting Adam, who was my eventual first boyfriend. The only really bad thing that happened in January was that the quiz bowl team was eliminated at the Area tournament, thus dashing our hopes of making State, and ending our streak of attending the state tournament. Other than that, January was a great month for me!

February
February was fairly anticlimactic. I don't recall anything too monumental happening during February. Perhaps the biggest thing that happened for me was that I got my prom dress, but other than that, nothing too exciting!

March
March was a good month, as well. I happen to love March because it contains Spring Break, my Mimi's Birthday, and, oh yeah, my birthday!!! I enjoyed a nice birthday party for my Mimi with my mom and aunts. I was slightly disappointed with my birthday, though. There was a huge snowstorm that broke out the day beforehand, and my birthday was spent stuck in the house. I am not a huge fan of cold weather, or really snow when it comes in large amounts. At the end of that week was my first track meet of the year and prom, which were on the same day, as it turned out. Prom was good, but after-prom was much better. This leads right to...

April
April was right in the thick of track season. I spent most of my Saturdays occupied with track meets, actually. I also made the trip down to Thomas for Adam's prom, which I actually enjoyed much more than my prom (I think it was the DJ that dragged my prom down). We also made State in band. We came very close to getting Sweepstakes, but we just didn't get it. I believe April was the point that I began my countdown to summer!

May
May was quite momentous for me. The very first day was a success for me. The 3200m Relay team, of which I am a member, qualified for the State track meet! The state track meet was the following week. We ended up placing 13th out of 14 teams, but we were still lucky and blessed to have made it that far, so we were still pretty successful in our books. I also ran a successful campaign for STUCO Treasurer. The biggest factor of my success was that I ran unopposed. Nevertheless, I was still the victor! May also included the Beta trip to go see "Iron Man 2" in theaters. (What can I say, times are tough, and the Beta Convention is too expensive for my school) The trip was lots of fun, though! I ended the month by going to the lake for Memorial Day, which was also fun.

June
June was trying for me. I began the month by taking two college classes. Note to Self: NEVER TAKE A 7:30AM CLASS EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes, World Regional Geography just didn't work for me at that hour of day. I did well in the class, but the time slot left much to be desired. I also took a Computer class. Apparently, I thought I didn't have enough to do, because I also volunteered at Bass Hospital two afternoons a week. Tuesday afternoons were at the sleep lab, which I grew to love, and Thursday afternoons were at the Hospital Gift Shop, which wasn't as great as I thought it would be. After I got in the groove of my schedule, it wasn't bad, but I was an absolute wreck the first week. I also learned of Zane's heart condition, which I found to be troubling. All in all, June wasn't my favorite month of this year.

It's getting late, so I believe I will pick up with July in the morning, good night to all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ten on Wednesday!

So here is what was supposed to be my Ten on Tuesday, but it is a day late, because I didn't think about it until about 11:30 last night, and by that point I was too tired to even consider it, so here it is:

1. Today I got my score back from the ACT I took a couple of weeks ago. I got a 28, which is a wonderful score, but not as high as my previous 29. I am slightly disappointed because I thought I did better than this. My mom thinks I'm crazy for being troubled by this, because "there are plenty of people who would be jumping for joy if they got a 28 or 29". I know that I can get into any college I want with a 29 (they only use your highest score, thankfully), and I could get plenty of scholarships with a 29, but I feel like I am capable of doing better, so I am upset by it. I believe that I might just take another one, or at least a residual when the time comes.

2. On a related note, I also think that it is crazy that colleges and other organizations base everything on a test. Although ACT/SAT scores are a pretty good judge of college readiness and I am unaware of a better method of placement, I think it is ridiculous for so much emphasis to be placed on a single test.

3. I will be beginning to apply for colleges in the next couple of weeks. I have absolutely no clue where I want to go to college, although I have a few ideas. I think I will follow the general rule and apply to three colleges. My tentative list includes USAO (in Chickasha), St. Gregory's (Shawnee), and depending my opinion of the other two, NOC-Enid.

4. Theoretically, I am ready for graduation and college. In reality, I am absolutely petrified of leaving home, my friends, and everything else that I have become so accustomed to in the past seventeen, almost eighteen years. I want to move on and discover whatever else there is for me to discover in the world, and I am ready for new challenges and new people. There are times that I want time to speed up, where I can graduate from both high school and college and just begin my career and family, but then there are times that I want everything to stay exactly like it is, and never change. I am stuck in limbo, and I don't like it.

5. I can't believe that 2010 is almost over! Where has the time gone?!

6. I love New Year's Eve. I'm not really sure why, but I do. I guess I just associate it with celebrations with friends and/or family, but nonetheless, I love it! This year I will be going to Gina's house for what I am sure will be a wonderfully fun night, and I can't wait!

7. Yesterday on a random venture into town with my mom, we happened to stop at Hobby Lobby, where I picked up a few things for some random crafting projects. I completed most of my projects today. One of my projects was making an apron for Gina's mother-in-law as a random belated Christmas gift (I think she'll like it). Another of my projects was making some throw pillows for my room. A little bit unneccesary, perhaps, but I've wanted to make some for a while now, and since I have my new curtains, my room can be completely put together! (Also, making the pillows was much cheaper than buying them, and I like my pillows better) I still need to go back and get some stuffing, but I'll get around to that soon enough. Finally, I got laminating sheets that I used to laminate my ornaments from Cody & Kyle! Success!!!

8. I feel like I"ve been doing a pretty good job of getting some cleaning done around my house, and hopefully, I will be able to help keep it up after I go back to school!

9. I am still enamored with my new pea coat! It is my new favorite accessory! Yesterday I wore it to town, and my mom commented on how mature I looked in it, so I suppose that's a good thing. Also, it keeps me warm, but it doesn't constrict my range of motion quite like my other coat does, which is another plus!

10. A final happy thought--On Sunday, right before Emily, Cody, & Kyle were getting ready to leave, Cody accidentally bumped into Andrew, and he commented, "Sorry, small citizen!" I have absolutely no idea where that came from, but it struck me as quite humorous, and I wanted to share that!

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day-After-Christmas!

Today was the last of my Christmas celebrations. Although I love Christmas and being with my loved ones, I am ready for some down-time.

Today was not necessarily busy, but it was definitely tiring after the past two days. I got a late start to bed last night, because I had to wait up to put the cheesecake in the refrigerator. Then, although I really would have liked to have not gone, my dad and I went to church this morning. My mom didn't sleep well last night, so she decided to stay home and rest up just a little bit. After church, my dad and I came home and we began helping my mom with some last-minute preparations for our impending feast. I had to make the chocolate ganache for my cheesecake, so I did that right off the bat, so it could set up while we ate. At the last minute, we decided to add another item to our menu: chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. If you haven't had this, you are missing out! When we used to go to Mimi's house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, she ALWAYS had a huge pot of homemade noodle soup with the fresh noodles. It was always a highly coveted part of the meal, because many of my cousins made a meal out of the soup itself. Of course, since there have been no more gatherings at Mimi's, there was no more chicken noodle soup. My parents make it on occasion, but it's not a common occurence. This year, at Scotty's request, my parents decided to make it once again.

As it turned out, we had a few extra faces this year. Because we had enough food for a small army and we occasionally end up at random family functions of theirs, both Gina and Emily's in-laws joined us for lunch. They are always inviting us for random dinners, so my parents decided to spread the wealth and invite them. It is nice because all three families get along well, and it's like we're one big family. All of the boys enjoyed having both sets of grandparents there, also.

After the meal, we headed to the living room to open presents. Of course, all four boys were excited about opening presents. Cody decided to help me "play Santa", which means that we were the designated ones to dole out the gifts to everyone. He did a great job, but he had to take a gift break every now and then, so he could catch up with everyone else. My living room went from a scene of order and peace to a near warzone in a matter of moments. Wrapping paper was strewn everywhere, piles of presents overlapped each other, and random shrieks of joy came from the boys as they discovered their new treasures. They all happened to receive air rifles that shoot caps, and they were in love immediately. As soon as they could, they got their parents to open the guns, and load them with caps. Then, they threw on their shoes and coats and dashed outside to shoot their guns.

I received lots of wonderful presents. Among my gifts were: a new set of workout clothes, books, lotion, a new sweater dress, a pair of slippers, a new hair dryer, some new curtains that coordinate with my somewhat-new comforter (the green & white striped curtains just didn't jive with my red & black circular patterned comfortor), and a pea coat! I have wanted a pea coat for so long, and I am very thrilled about it!

After we cleaned up the piles of wrapping paper, we broke into the cheesecake. It was a hit with everyone, and I think that my recipe is a keeper, although Gina & Emily had some possible modifications in mind for next time. I thoroughly enjoyed my piece of cheesecake, although I do believe that next time I will get a much smaller slice; I forget how rich cheesecake can be.

After everyone had settled in with the cheesecake, a few of us decided to go over to the Blakley house to deliver presents for the little ones. What was supposed to be a small carload of people turned into two carloads, with three of the four boys. We didn't stay long because they were about to eat, and we didn't want to disturb their meal, but we stayed just long enough to have a nice chat.

When we got back home, I didn't waste anymore time, and I hung my curtains up. They look just great, and I love seeing them! Gina, Emily, my mom, and I also showed off our presents to each other, a tradition of ours. I do believe that I might have some soup and salad here in a bit, and then I will probably hit the hay!

Once again, I hope that everyone had a great day and got to spend time with loved ones!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Serendipitous Christmas!

Now for part two of my Christmas trilogy--Christmas Day!

Christmas Day of present time greatly differs from when I was younger. In my younger years, I was up at what seemed like the crack of dawn (only about 7:30 really) and I was ready to open some presents! I was excited about seeing the letter from Santa Claus, and I was excited about the entire day in general. Also, we would go to my Mimi's house later in the day, which I also loved. Of course, it was also different in the fact that my sisters were here with my parents and I, and it was a huge family event. Now, Christmas Day is vastly different. The mornings are lazy and relaxed, and my parents and I both sleep in as much as possible. Since we usually have Christmas on a day separate from Christmas, although I have the option to do otherwise, I usually hold off on opening any presents until we have our big Christmas. As I explained about Christmas Eve, we no longer go to my Mimi's house on Christmas Day. And finally, my sisters have their own families, homes, and, of course, celebrations.

This year, I ambled out of bed around 9:15 (I like to sleep in, you know) and my mom told me that if I would get dressed, Gina invited us over to have some homemade cinnamon rolls. I, being the cinnamon roll connoisseur that I am, jumped at the opportunity. I got ready quickly, and we headed over to Gina's house.

Before we went to Gina's house, however, we stopped off at Scotty & Emily's house to drop off a present for Scotty's parents, and to see Cody and Kyle. We were greeted by Cody, who was showing off his new Nerf dart gun, and Kyle, who offered us some of his stocking candy. They were EXCITED! The boys got all kinds of cool gadgets and gizmos. They got books, clothes, snow boots, and all kinds of Crayola Color Wonder products, which I still find to be amazing! They proudly showed off all of their new goods. They were full of chatter and joy. They also gave me ornaments that they colored themselves; I got two angels that I plan on laminating and stringing with ribbon at a later date. After we chatted for a while, we headed over to Gina's house. (For those of you who don't know, Emily and Gina only live about 100 feet from each other.)

As we entered Gina's house, I was greeted by the sounds of children enjoying their Christmas presents. Wyatt was quite jubilant because he got the Batman Batcave that he asked for from Santa. He was very proud of it, and he showed it off to everybody! Andrew was just toddling around, taking everything in and adding his little comments. I enjoyed the cinnamon rolls so much! They were amazing! Later, Gina & Andrew showed me what Andrew got from Santa. He got a cute little 3-wheeled Big Wheel toy that is just his size. He was still figuring out how it worked exactly, but he absolutely loved it! I happened to receive a present from Jeremy's parents. Jeremy's mom, who is an avid crafter/seamstress, embroidered my name and a cute little butterfly design onto a blanket, which I just loved because I am always cold, and now I have my OWN blanket...it even has my name on it to say so!

Although we didn't plan on it, my parents and I ended up staying for lunch, at Gina's request. While we were waiting for lunch to be ready, my dad, Jeremy, and Jeremy's dad all came back to my house to begin preparing the pork loin for tomorrow's dinner. All of the women and children stayed at the house. Jeremy's Grandma Millie entertained us with her lovely accordion music, Wyatt and his cousin Zoey enjoyed their new toys, and Andrew happened to sneak in a nap. Our lunch was fantastic; we had roast beef, potatoes, carrots, salad, and crescent rolls, with three pies to choose from for dessert. At the end of the meal, we were all stuffed!

After lunch, everyone eventually settled into the living to relax. I happened to catch a small nap somewhere in there. (I got to use my new blanket!) Unfortunately, I had to leave just as I got comfy, which is inevitably how it happens. My mom reminded me that I still had to make a turtle cheesecake. (It was supposed to be one plain, and one turtle cheesecake, but since we still had gobs of plain cheesecake pie left over, I didn't see the sense in making another plain one, but Gina had her heart set on a turtle cheesecake, and I planned to deliver on my original promise, so I promised that I would still make a turtle cheesecake just for her.) I was still just a little bit grumpy from having to leave my warm perch on Gina's love seat, but what had to be done, had to be done.

It took a while for me to get things together, but eventually, I settled in and started on the crust. I only had the first ingredient in the bowl when I heard a knock at the door. I had no clue who it was, and I thought that it might have been Jeremy. My dad answered the door, as I came around the corner from the kitchen, and I couldn't believe who was at the door! Of all people in the world, it was Tevis, who came to give me my Christmas present!!!!!! I was absolutely stunned!!! I had no idea that he was coming over, and I was almost brought to tears! I could not believe what had just happened, and I was on Cloud Nine. He got me a wonderful-smelling perfume, but I considered the real present as getting to see him! I just loved the fact that he came over unexpectedly, to my house, of all places, (it's not like it's just down the street) just to give me my present, and on Christmas Day, of all days! It made my already great day fantastic! He was able to stay for a while, so I invited him in to watch me as I made my cheesecake. He ended up helping me make it, and he was a big help! I think he knows his way around the kitchen quite well, which I just love! While we were waiting for the crust to cool and the cream cheese to soften, we went over to Gina's (we would've gone to see Emily, but she was still at her in-laws' house, and she missed out on the fun. She did talk to Tevis on the phone, though). While we were at Gina's, Wyatt used Tevis as yet another opportunity to show off his Batcave. After we came back from Gina's, he helped me with the rest of the cheesecake. Before it was completely finished, he had to leave, so he didn't get to see the end product, which turned out nicely, if I must say so myself! Fingers crossed that it will taste as good as it looks!

When I woke up, I had no idea that I would do half of the things that I did today, but I love days like that! Every little thing that happened today was serendipitous. My definition of serendipity is an unexpected turn of events that positively affects my day. Little things that you never see coming that take your breath away, put a smile on your face, or just make your day fantastic! Today was one of the best Christmases that I have ever had, hands down.

I hope that everyone else had a wonderful Christmas, and was able to find a little bit of serendipity in their day!

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! I hope that everyone is having a great day and getting to spend some time with their families. My Christmas celebration is in three phases: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.

Yesterday began the first of my celebrations. Both of my parents had to work yesterday, so I was all by myself for the first half of the day. I had to get things together for our Christmas Eve dinner. Starting about four years ago, when we stopped doing Christmas with my mom's family, my mom decided to start a new tradition of inviting my Mimi over for Christmas Eve. We decided to do this because my aunts and uncles usually had her over to their houses for Christmas Day; we also did this because she likes going to early Christmas Mass at Bison, and she doesn't like driving at night. When she comes over, we have a wondrous Christmas meal, she gets to open her presents from us, and then we go to Mass. This year was just as great as every other year. For our meal, we had Garlic-Baked Salmon (my new favorite recipe), baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, salad, rolls, and cheesecake pie (the easy version). It was a FEAST! I loved it! Because of time limitations and my love of cooking, I prepared the entire meal as a kind of gift for everyone. Really, it wasn't that big of a deal, because everything went together quickly and was fairly stress-free. After our meal, (we didn't get to eat the cheesecake pie because we were too full) we went and sat in the living room together, and just talked. I had a nice chat with my Mimi. I love talking to her, and I truly cherish my time with her.

After we chatted for a while, I went and got ready for Mass. I donned my pretty sweater dress, new shoes, and curly hair! I so love my curly hair, but it's kind of a hassle to get it that way, so I only get it for special occasions. Like usual, I was a server at Mass, but I'm okay with that. My job was to be the thoropher (spelling??), which is a fancy way to say that I was in charge of the incense. I was pleased with myself, because I managed to NOT kill myself in my shoes! I largely regretted wearing those shoes about five minutes into Mass. I enjoyed Mass, although everyone didn't get candles like usual (that was my favorite part). After Mass, I got to see little Zane, who was just as adorable as I remembered! After we were done at Mass, we took Mimi home. When we got home, I happened to see the last 30 minutes of "It's a Wonderful Life", and I now want to see the rest of the movie! I also started watching the Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter's in Rome, but I didn't make it past the 2nd reading. It was hard for me to stay awake at that point because, although I knew what was happening, I didn't, because it was all in Latin, and the narrator who translated it into English's voice was about as exciting as Bill Stein's, if that tells you anything. Needless to say, my mom woke me up around 1:15 to have me go to bed.

I'll add some more posts later to fill in the excitement of today, and, eventually, tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday (The Inaugural!)

Many of my blogging friends frequently do a "Ten on Tuesday" feature, and I've always wanted to do one, but have never gotten around to it. Also, I can never think of ten random thoughts/events to put on it, or remember to do it on Tuesday. Anyway, I was lucky enough to think of it before my Tuesday is over, so as follows is my inaugural 10 on Tuesday. (Note: Chances are, I won't post one every Tuesday, but will try to when I remember!)

1.  Sunday was Christmas Tea, an annual event that I look forward to. I was so, so excited to go, and as it turns out, I wasn't able to this year. *sad face*  The original plan was for my mom and Gina to go, and Emily and I would join the party later when we were finished at Sunday school. What happened was completely opposite. Gina didn't go because Wyatt got sick, my mom didn't go because Gina didn't (Why, I'm not sure...), and by the time Emily and I got back from Sunday school, it was nearly 1:00, and Emily wouldn't have been able to stay at that point because she had to go to her in-laws' for their Christmas, and then I was the lone ranger who didn't (and probably should've) go because by the time all of this was figured out, it seemed too late to even be fashionably late...Next year I will be there!!!!!!!

2.  Last night was the annual Christmas concert at the mall. Everything went relatively well, minus a couple of minor errors. I and my fellow Band/Choir Seniors received my/our Christmas Rat!!! It is definitely a rite of passage for each Pioneer Band Senior. I was excited because I even got a new outfit for the occasion! I found the perfect maroon sweater dress at Ross last Thursday, and I decided that it would be perfect for both the concert and Christmas Eve Mass! The only issue I have with my dress is that it was quite warm at the concert, but otherwise lovely!

3.  Last night (actually this morning) I remembered to set my alarm, and I got up to see the lunar eclipse. My parents also joined me for the viewing, and it was as awesome as I had hoped it would be! I bundled up, grabbed a couple blankets, a pillow, and my sleeping bag. After covering my nose and extremities, I snuggled up under the stars! My dad didn't last long out there (he enjoys his sleep too much), but my mom and I were out for about 30-45 minutes. There at the end, I started dozing off a little, but eventually my mom woke me up and sent me inside so that neither of us would catch pneumonia from the cold night air.

4.  Last Saturday I made an impromptu trip to town that resulted in me getting the bulk of my Christmas shopping done! I hadn't really worried much about shopping up until last weekend, because of college finals and other things. Thanks to Old Navy and their awesome sale, I am virtually finished with my shopping!!! Also, thanks to my mom for being a trooper and staying with me and chauffeuring me around town!

5.  I still have some shopping to be done, but only minor details. I do have something for everyone, but there's a couple more things that I would like to get to complete the gifts. Perhaps my mom and I will venture into town on Thursday to cross that item off of the list...

6.  I felt very successful, because today I finished wrapping all of the presents that I have as of yet. I do believe that this is the earliest that I have been this far along in relation to Christmas! Of course there will be more wrapping to be done after I finish my shopping, but it won't be so time-consuming then. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to finish wrapping, but now I'm done! As a final note, I love wrapping gifts, and it is one of the things I look forward to most about Christmas. There are times that I would like to offer gift-wrapping services around Christmas as a way to make some extra money, that's how much I like wrapping gifts! Present wrapping is an event for me, as my OCD comes into play with this, but I love love love it!

7.  While I was wrapping my presents today, I also managed to put off the inevitable of some pre-Christmas cleaning that is absolutely necessary. I have set my goals for tomorrow, and I hope that I will be as productive tomorrow as I plan on being. Also, my mom and I have decided to go to town on Thursday for it to serve as our motivation for going to town. Actually, it could be a punishment of sorts, depending on the crowds and the overall morale of the people in the stores...fingers crossed that even if there are crowds that everyone will be in good spirits!

8.  My family has decided to do our Christmas on Sunday (the 26th). It allows for both Gina & Emily to spend time with their families, and not to have to flitter from celebration to celebration. For the meal, we are having smoked pork loin (my dad is masterminding that scheme), harvest potatoes (a personal favorite of mine), green beans/green salad (we need the veggies after the eventual carb overload that surrounds holidays), perhaps some dill bread (a wondrous creation in and of itself), and cheesecake. I wasn't completely aware that when I suggested we have cheesecake that I would end up making it. Yes, I did forsee that as a possiblility, and I did volunteer myself to prepare them, and I have actually wanted to make a real cheesecake (Not the easy 10 minute recipe I learned in Home Ec) for quite some time now, so now I have my opportunity! I plan on making one plain cheesecake and one turtle cheesecake (my personal favorite). Hopefully, all will go well, and I will also remember to update everyone on the outcome!

9.  I love Christmas movies, actually, my whole family does. We have quite the collection, including all of the classics, plus a few newer ones. To name a few: "Christmas Vacation", "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Santa Clause" (the entire trilogy), "A Christmas Story", "Elf", "Home Alone" (only the original, I don't like the others), and a Hallmark movie called "A Dog Named Christmas" (A very touching movie). Out of all of the movies my favorites are "Home Alone", "Elf", and " Santa Clause 1". Last night I watched "Elf", but fell asleep halfway through. Tonight I watched "Home Alone" for the first time this Christmas season, and, just like every other time, I nearly busted a gut laughing!

10.  For something random, as I was catching up on some laundry this evening, I happend to be folding some sheets. I realized something while doing this: I have absolutely no idea how to fold a fitted sheet! It was a highly frustrating ordeal, and I decided that I should just strategically time when I wash sheets in relation to when they are changed, so as to avoid the entire folding process completely! Nevertheless, I ended with two sheet sets, neatly folded! :)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Halftime Report!

Yikes, it has been far too long since I have last blogged! There has so much going on, and so many things to do that blogging has got put on the back burner, but now that everything has calmed down, I can catch up on my blog! The reality is beginning to set in that my Senior year is essentially halfway over. I have mixed emotions about it. I love high school in the fact that I get to be with my friends every day, and that things are a little more relaxed (to a certain extent), and all of the fun high school things like Spirit Week, and my extracurriculars, but I am also ready for a new challenge. I am ready to go and see what else is out in the world; I am ready to have new challenges; I am ready to leave the realm of high school, with its constant stream of drama and pettiness. The only thing I will truly miss from high school is my friends. I know that eventually, we all have to go our separate ways and make our own way in the world and live separate lives. I know that it is possible to remain good friends with people after high school, but I also know that we can't all spend the rest of our lives constantly around each other, and I'm afraid that after we graduate, I will never see my friends again...perhaps this is irrational, but I'm a worrier, what can I say? :) Because of the fear that I'll get on a soapbox, I'll proceed with my class updates!

Government
I am now done with this class, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. I learned quite a bit about our government, and I now feel more informed about other political hot topics. The only disappointment of the class was that I was one of the only people in the class that couldn't legally vote because I'm a minor. However, after having this class, I do believe that I will take full advantage of my right to vote (after I turn 18, of course). Also, an update on my argumentative paper...I got a 97 on it!!! I was thrilled when I saw my grade! I suppose that, after receiving my grade, it was worth the effort I put into it, and my grade was also compensation for all of the grief it caused me.

Early American History
As of 9:35 this morning, I am done with this class!! I didn't mind the class, but toward the end, it caused some stress and sleep deprivation. I hated the fact that our teacher waited until about 1 1/2 weeks ago to give us all of our necessary assignments, because they are all very time and thought-consuming. Not to mention, I had other things going on at high school that impeded my progress to an extent. However, I was also guilty of some poor time management and procrastination. However, I pulled it together and managed to complete everything I needed to finish in adequate time...I may have had to lose some sleep, but it is worth it now that I am done!

Band
Last month, we had our annual concert at the grade school, which went wonderfully. Soon after that, we began work on material for our upcoming Christmas concert. For anyone who is interested, the concert is next Monday (the 20th) at about 6:15-ish in Dillard's Court of Oakwood Mall. The choir sings before the band plays, and it is a wonderful evening full of Christmas music! Last Saturday, I tried out for the All-Area Honor Band, and I am proud to say that I received 5th Chair! The Clinic/Concert is right after I get back from Christmas Break, and I am excited about it. Since I made it, I can now say that I have participated in this honor band every year since my 7th grade year!

Botany
Our plant collecting days are long gone, but we ended the semester with a different project. Mr. Norton decided to make everyone in my class give a Powerpoint Presentation over any Nobel Prize-winning Scientist of our choice. I decided to do my presentation over Stanley B. Prusiner, who is an interesting fellow. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1997 (when I was 4) for his discovery of prions. I found his work to be interesting, compared to many of the other scientists. As for my presentation, I think that I rocked it! I am really getting better at the whole public speaking thing, which is a good thing, considering that I want to go into education. Everyone said that I did a good job on it, and that they could actually comprehend it, so I think that I was successful!

English IV
The biggest thing that has been going on in English was the fact that we had to write research papers. Our research papers had to be over a current hot topic. Although I considered doing a redo of my argumentative paper on the drinking age, I decided to write my paper over the death penalty. I caught a bit of the procrastination bug with this, as well, and consequently paid for it by losing some sleep by working on it. However, I feel that the paper I turned in was complete, and I was pleased with it!

Library Aide
Nothing new here...

Athletics
In the past few weeks, I feel like I have been in boot camp. We began our offseason track practices, that were much more intense than anyone envisioned. There were about three days that I could barely move portions of my body, and felt as if I had aged about 30 years. However, I also think that this year I will be much better for everything. Also, now it is much easier. Every time I feel like I felt a few weeks ago, I consider it to be a gut check, of how much I really want to be in track. Truth be told, after this year, I will never run track EVER again. I hope to keep up on a fitness regimen, but I am not dedicated enough to pursue a collegiate career in that sport, or any sport, for that matter. Right now I feel like it is all-or-nothing, and my biggest goal is to make state again, like I did last year. Thank goodness for Tonisha and Mary, my workout buddies!!!!!

Other "Stuff"
-Last Saturday I took another ACT. I think that I did pretty well on it, but I have to wait a few more weeks before I know anything...here's hoping I got a 36!!! Honestly, I just hope that I did as well as I think I did. I feel bad for everyone else in my room though, because my allergies are in overdrive right now, and I spent the better part of the four hours blowing my nose. I felt bad that I caused such a ruckus, but it was better than suffering for four hours.
-This Friday is basketball homecoming, and I am pretty excited. Not as much as I was for football, but, even so, I am excited to get to see Shea dress up since she is a candidate, and will also be her birthday! Also, tomorrow, Tonisha and I are making Spirit Day T-Shirts that have a surprise theme in honor of our favorite Pioneer Basketball player!!
-Tonight I went to see Wyatt perform in his first Christmas program. He was so cute and jubilant as he sang his three songs! I don't believe that he has stage fright, because I could hear him loud and clear!
-I am very disappointed, because I missed the meteor shower on Monday night that Debra was so kind as to inform me of. I was up until around 12:45 working on my homework, and I considered staying up just a little bit longer to see it, but I require quite a bit of sleep so I can properly function and not be grumpy, so I ended up having to forgo that.
-Friday is my last day of school this semester!!!! I cannot wait for Christmas Break at all; I am in desperate need of some R&R!