Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Four (I couldn't think of one more!)

It's been a while since I've talked about what's going on in my life, so I suppose I'll do that today!

-Everything is finally starting to slow down in my life, for the first time in a month! The first half of May, for me, was quite the whirlwind, what with graduation and everything else. Then, during the week following my graduation, I helped at a field day at Cody's school, my cousin Liz graduated from high school, a close family friend got married, and we went to an ice cream social in celebration of Liz's graduation. (That was all in one weekend) The only big thing on my agenda now is my family's upcoming trip to the lake this weekend! I think I need that after all of the hustle & bustle!

-I have since began my new (well, not really new) job of babysitting my nephews, Cody & Kyle. I enjoy it, because I get to spend some time with my nephews before I go to college next year, and I get to earn some extra money while I'm at it!

-Last week, I was asked to serve at the Confirmation Mass tonight at Hennessey, so I those are my pressing plans for tonight. I get to meet and serve with our new Archbishop, which I am pretty pumped about! Also, **hopefully** I get to see a couple of my good friends from my confirmation class, who I haven't got to see in a while; I can't wait! :)

-Thankfully, the greater Enid area was spared from the wrath of the tornadoes that passed through on Tuesday; however, not everyone fared so well. Just seeing the pictures of the damage blows my mind, because it seems so unimaginable. My prayers go out to everyone affected by the storms, especially the Hamil family from Piedmont, who lost their 15-month-old and 3-year-old sons in the storm. Scotty, my brother-in-law, was sent to the Falcon Lake area to help search for little Ryan Hamil, though his efforts were fruitless. Such an unfortunate situation...

I hope everyone is having a great week, and will have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Bucket List

Through the years, I have always found great comfort in writing, for some reason. I have amassed quite the collection of writings, ranging from random journal-type entries, or poetry (from my days of sullenness during early high school), to random thoughts or lists of things. Among everything I have looked through, my favorite things that I have written are my lists. In time, I'm sure that I'll share many with everyone, but, for now, I shall share my personal favorite: My Bucket List.

-Run a 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, and, perhaps, a Marathon
      (If my joints hold up, and I keep my motivation.)

-Get married to the love of my life, and have a family of my own

-Visit the Vatican City and the Czech Republic

-Build a house of my own, exactly as I want it

-Make a difference in the world

-Go on a TV gameshow
      (Preferably Jeopardy or Family Feud)

-Go to a concert of any of my favorite bands

-Learn how to ballroom dance and go dancing

-Overcome my fear of birds

-Chance someone's life for the better

My list is not complete, as is typical of any list, but I feel that it encompasses many of my desires for my life.  Some things are somewhat trivial, while others are deeper and more meaningful. There are a few things on my list that I may never know whether or not I accomplished them, but I suppose those things could be better left to my imagination.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Senior Year in Pictures

Although it is a bit lengthy, here is my senior year in pictures, as promised!

August
Here is Cody at his 6th Birthday party, along with his Transformers cake (made by Aunt Gina)!

Here I am, beginning my plant-collecting quest in Botany, with a Ginkgo tree at Shea's house.


September
Here is Tonisha doing some plant collecting at school...

Keeping with the Botany theme, here are my fellow classmates collecting leaves from Debra's house.

(Yes, plant collecting really was my life during this time of the year...it was also what I had the most pictures of :) )


October
In October, I attended the Project 350 tree-planting party at Debra's house. Above is the sign that was painted that day that everyone signed.

As one of our senior jobs, we were responsible for collecting prizes for our Bingo booth. Here is Tonisha, me, and Whitney outside of Chili's, where we ate on that day.

One of our spirit days was Stoplight Day, and here is Tonisha and me decked out in our green (single) shirts!

At the end of spirit week was the traditional Spirit Day. Here is Tonisha, me, and Shea in our Spirit Day shirts. (James happened to pop in on this picture.)


Here are all of the band seniors marching in the ceremonial McWillie Parade.

Here we are again posed on the tank just south of Goltry.

November
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the best picture I have of my parents and me on Senior night.


Our Quiz Bowl team went to the Regional tournament, and during our bye round, we decided to have some fun with crackers and spray cheese.

Here is a picture of the Quiz Bowl team on the bus ride home...we were pretty crazy!

Here was the table all set up at Gina's house for our Thanksgiving feast. Doesn't it look delicious? :)


December
Here is my family (minus Jeremy) at my cousin Becky's house for Christmas.

Grace and I were rocking the look for Fashion Disaster Day during spirit week!

Here are Mary, Tonisha, Shea, and I at the homecoming game. We are wearing our #15 Fanclub t-shirts, and Shea is looking quite stunning in her dress!

Here are Emily, Gina, and I at our New Year's Eve party toasting the new year! (I have sparkling grape juice, while Emily & Gina have champagne.)


January
Here are all of the Pioneer band members that participated in the All-Area Honor Band.

Although we weren't successful at Area, here is the Quiz Bowl team outside of Montana Mike's in Weatherford, where we enjoyed a nice lunch.


February

February was fairly uneventful, with the exception of my mom's birthday, when she received a picture frame full of pictures of her grandsons!

Here is a drowsy-looking Andy, who is covered in frosting from his cupcake...too cute!


March
Here is Cody, just after losing his first tooth!

Here are Kyle & Cody posing in front of the balloons that we found in our trees!

Here I am on my birthday, with my 18-year-old Hershey's bar.

Here are Tevis and I, all dressed up for Prom!

Here is everyone in our limo group at Tonisha's house.


April

Here I am, with some of my fellow YABers at our last meeting at St. Peter's in Woodward.

Above are two pictures of Cody, Wyatt, & Kyle dying Easter eggs at my house!

Here is Kyle, gleefully holding an Easter egg that he found during our hunt.


May
Here is my name on the band senior board!

Here are Shea, Tonisha, and I at LaserQuest for our Senior Trip.
Although my eyes are shut, here I am with my best friends at Graduation!

Also, here I am with Tevis, while we were waiting to go to the football field.

After graduation, I got a picture with Gina & Emily!


What a year that was!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Is It!

Today is my last day of high school! Oddly enough, I am not upset by this at all...actually I am pretty pumped about it! At the end of the day, we will have our awards assembly, and then we are done. Wow, 13 years of waiting, and it ends today. Still doesn't seem real to me...

Now for a few more updates from my world!

-Tuesday night was the senior band concert. We had a great night at our last performance of the year. The seniors were presented with their ceremonial P, a photo album from Mrs. Callicoat, and a CD that contains all of our contest music from our four years of band. It was great! As much as I thought I would, I didn't even cry when we brought Mr. Holland up to direct Bonnie Mary (our marching song). I'm starting to think that I'm all out of tears, because I usually cry at EVERYTHING. Oh well, I'm fine with it!

-The Student Council hosted its last blood drive of the year on Wednesday. Of course, I signed up to donate for my second time. When I was in the bloodmobile doing my screening tests, I found out some amazing news! Not only do I have O Negative blood, but I am also CMV Negative, which means that my blood only goes to babies! It is very rare, as only 7% of the population has that type! I know that every time you donate blood, it goes to help people, but I love the fact that mine goes to help babies who need blood transfusions, and could save their life! I later told my mom about this, and she was just as excited, because she said that it really does help. She told me about when my older sister Michelle was going through all of her surgeries, that she and my dad searched for people who had that blood type to donate blood for her. Although I already planned on donating blood regularly, I now have even more reason to!

-Yesterday I was responsible for helping with the 6th-grade tours. My group had all boys, but they were well-behaved, for the most part. They seemed petrified by the time we were done, because they all thought that they'd get lost at school. I'm fairly certain that they won't, just saying.

-Yesterday was also Mr. Cody's music program at school. As a kindergartener, he only sang in about three or four songs, but he did a great job! I love going to school music programs! Way to go, kiddo! :)

-More success at school...I handed my speech in to Mr. Schneider on Tuesday for approval, and I got it back yesterday. He loved it, and returned it! I also finished the senior video yesterday, for the most part. All that I have left to do is add the music and burn the movie onto the DVDs. Woo-Hoo!

-Last week, I received some sad news. Mr. Norton, one of the science teachers at my school, announced that he took a new job at Merritt and will be leaving after this year. I am saddened by this, because he is an awesome science teacher that our school needs, but then again, I am happy that my class will not have to go without him!



-Finally, I am under the impression that today is Nurse's Day, and knowing many, many nurses, (especially my big sis Gina) I just want to thank each of you for everything that you do!!! You rock!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Final Stretch

Today was the first day of my last week of high school! It went quite well, although it really doesn't seem like I'm about to graduate. It all seems so surreal. it just seems like we're about to leave for summer, but this time, it isn't summer, it's the rest of our lives. It's crazy.

Today was very successful for me, for a couple of reasons. I knew it would be a good day when I entered school and a guy in my class informed me that he had been trying to find me for the past week, because he had his pictures for the senior video! I was pretty pumped about that, because that is one less person I have to hound! Also, Mrs. Fuxa was so gracious as to hook up the scanner on a working computer, as hers won't be fixed until this summer. From the moment I got to the computer lab (about 1:40-ish) until 3:00, I was busy scanning in pictures that I have been collecting during testing, and I am caught up! Go me!!!!! I feel much, much better about everything now!

My other main success for today was that I finished my speech. It is done! I am thoroughly pleased with it, and I cannot wait for next Saturday! It is my prayer that I can make it through my speech without shedding any tears. (I doubt that will happen..)

One last note for the moment, my mom found a few things of mine from my younger days. One of which was my program from my preschool graduation. Lo and behold, it was on May 14, 1998, thirteen years before I graduate from high school! How awesome is that?! :)

Another interesting memento my mom came upon was an "essay" I wrote in October of 2002, which was in the midst of my 4th grade year. Because it amused me, I thought I'd share it with everyone, absolutely unedited.

I love Halloween costumes. My three favorites are a hippie, an angel, and a witch.

A hippie is my first favorite costume. I like it because you could have all the objects for your costume at home.

My next favorite costume is an angel costume because it reminds me of my older sister, Michelle because she died at the age of two.

My last favorite is a witch costume. Even though a witch costume is unoriginal, I think being a witch is fun.

Finally I am at the end. Also maybe you are like me and like a hippie, an angel, and a witch costume.


My, what an insightful 4th-grader I was. I had cost-effectiveness on my mind at a young age, as well as the apparent overuse of witch costumes. I love reading things that I have written in the past. For one, it greatly amuses me, just by the way I worded things. Also, it helps me to see how I have grown as a writer. Love it! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

All-State!

After a month of waiting, it finally came! I got to go to my All-State festivities yesterday! After making the short drive down to El Reno with Mrs. Grant, we got settled and ready to go. The format for the day was pretty basic. The top 36 were invited to play in the games, and we would be split up into teams and assigned a coach. After that, we played in a round-robin tournament.

Everything was pretty straightforward, although I can't say that it was very well-organized. It took Mrs. Grant and me a while to find the rooms, because the signs that were posted were not very clear. Also, it would be thought that there might be some light refreshments provided for everyone, as there apparently has been in the past, but there wasn't. Nor was there any lunch provided. (That irked me a little bit) After a while of waiting, we were finally assigned to our teams. I was very thankful that Mrs. Grant turned out to be my team's coach! While making a quick scan of the room, I realized early on that there are many people who insist on making quiz bowl their whole life. It was a bit alarming as I saw at least four people with their noses in study material, desperate to memorize various factoids. My theory is that if I didn't know it before or couldn't remember it, I probably never would. As my team gradually came together, I was able to faces with names. There were five of us, of which I was the only girl. (Big surprise, huh?) I was ready to get started. My teammates' names were Bunty Patel from Wilburton, Patrick Harle from Cascia Hall, Rashard Bickham (who I kept wanting to call Richard), and Marc Vail, who were both from Carl Albert. Things were going well, and I was content with my team.

When we entered the room for our first game, Mrs. Grant had us all go around and tell which subjects we were the best at, so we could have a better idea of how things might work. Thankfully, my teammates were exceptionally good at History and Science, two things I'm not as good at. It was then that I asked if anyone knew anything about Mythology, because I know very little about the subject and it is a common topic during play. No one claimed to know anything about it, and I commented on how I knew very little about it. Right after that, Marc piped up and told me that, and I quote, "he wasn't surprised because girls usually don't know anything about mythology." Yes, he really said that to me.

To digress for a brief moment, nothing infuriates me more than when men make snap judgements about women, assuming that they are incapable of doing certain things simply because they are women. I will admit that there are plenty of things that men are much better at than women, such as heavy lifting or certain types of mechanic work, and I as a woman, am perfectly fine with that. However, there are also plenty of women who are perfectly capable of doing such things, and they have made great careers of it. Having come from a family of all girls, my parents (particularly my dad) have instilled into us that women can do anything they want to, and should not be held back from anything because of gender. (I will step off of my feminist soapbox again..)

Naturally, Mr. Vail's comment about women not knowing anything about Mythology really struck me the wrong way. Also, I didn't particularly care for him after that, but I let it go, because it wasn't worth ruining a perfectly good day. As I later learned through the course of the day, he was a very eccentric character who I am glad I don't ever have to see again. Plain and simple. (Side note: He later assumed that because no one on our team was wearing a sports jersey, that no one knew anything about sports, and I told him that that was an inaccurate and unnecessary generalization to make, although no one did know anything about sports.)

The day progressed well, my team went 2-3 overall, and I managed to answer a few questions, which made me really happy! I was happy enough to be there as an All-Stater, so the games really didn't matter that much to me. After our tournament, there was a game that pitted the students against the coaches. It was great, even if the coaches won! :) (just kidding, they won it fair and square!)

At the end of the coaches game, the man in charge announced that they were making an instructional video to be shown at the OSSAA coach's meeting in October for training purposes and they needed a few student volunteers. I jumped at the chance and dashed upstairs for the film! I half-expected a swarm of people to be up there, but I was only the second person. After a short while later, more people filed in and filled the cast. The video was lots of fun, even if it was scripted! Perhaps one day, I will be contacted by a famous Hollywood producer who wants me to star in his or her film about a quiz bowl competition! (I won't hold my breath!)

After a short while, my parents and Mimi showed up, and we were served supper. The meal was nice; it included lasagna, green beans, a green salad, and garlic bread. Also, there was a choice of chocolate or apple pie for dessert. The banquet proceeded with our keynote speaker, former OK Lieutenant Governor Jeri Askins. I really enjoyed her speech. After a few words from the Redlands President, our awards were presented. I didn't realize I would, but I received a large trophy from the OACA (the OK Academic Coaches Association) and a citation from both my state senator and representative. It was a great moment for me, and I was so happy that my parents and Mimi were there to see it. It was the perfect ending for my great career as a quizzer!