Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I would like to begin by stating that I never realized how uneventful college life would end up being. For the second night in a row, Carissa and I are literally staring at the walls, bored out of our minds. Yikes... I hate boredom, but also believe that it is only a state of mind. Last night, we resorted to taking a power walk around campus, but right now it is entirely too hot.

2. On a related note, I am considering taking up crocheting and/or knitting...

3. Tonight was the last of our three PLC retreats, and I had loads of fun at those retreats! I now know everyone in PLC (there are only 11 of us, 13 counting our sponsors). We have a great mix of people, and I am excited to see how much we will accomplish during this year!

4. At our retreat tonight, we had a project of doing a "Me in a Bag". In a nutshell, we had to include at least three things in a paper bag that were of particular significance to each of us. After much contemplation, I ended up with these four things: a rosary (my faith), a paper airplane that Cody made for me (my family), my calculator (since I'm a math major), and a picture of me with Shea, Tonisha, & Mary (that one's obvious). I enjoyed sharing my things, and also getting to learn more about everyone else.

5. I also found out some of the best news of my life last Thursday. I am going to be able to come out of retirement, and participate in Quiz Bowl again!!!!!! It is my dream come true!!! Dr. Vinyard, the VP for the Enid campus, informed us that he will be coaching a team this year. The official name is "Mind Games", and it is in a slightly different format than I am used to, but surely I will adapt. Who could forget about the best part...it will be televised!!! Like I said earlier, this is my dream come true! Taping will begin at the end of September, and it will be aired on KSBI (channel 52) for anyone who wants to watch! I'll be sure to update everyone as I get more information! :)

6. Cody had his birthday party on Sunday at Meadowlake. It was a fun afternoon, with lots of playground time, hot dogs, and, of course, birthday cake!

7. Although his party was on Sunday, Cody doesn't turn seven until about 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. I can't believe that he is already seven years old...he is growing up so fast! I distinctly remember the day he was born, and I still remember the joy I felt when I first held him in my arms. Happy birthday (tomorrow) Cody!!!
8. On a completely random note, I don't think that I have slept soundly once since I have moved to town. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am not used to the noises and whatnot that living in town entails. I am so used to the peace and quiet of the farm, and also the total darkness.

9. On another related note, Thank you, Audra, (again) for the eye mask that you got me for graduation! I have used it every night since I have moved here, because the light from the streetlights drives me insane. Also, I am loving the Camelback container, and I have used it almost everyday. I can honestly say that, for the first time in a while, I am adequately hydrated! :) (I haven't needed my umbrella...yet, but it is in my backpack waiting to be used!)

10. Finally, I have had a successful first week of college, and I totally rocked my quizzes in Algebra and Trig. (I received a 100 and 98, respectively.) I also got a good grade on my Astronomy writing assignment, so I am even more excited! Thursday night, I will probably go to the observatory for my first night lab, so I can't wait to see how that goes!

Hopefully, I won't wither away because of boredom, and will be here at the end of the week to chronicle my life...hopefully! Have a great week! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Belated Ten on Tuesday

1. The reason that this is a day late is that my oldest sister, Gina, had a birthday yesterday! Yesterday afternoon, my dad called and asked if I planned to come home last night to see her or not. He also told me that we would be having sirloins for supper. I can't pass up a good steak, and I had no idea what the cafeteria would be serving (which probably wouldn't be as good as a sirloin), so I decided to take him up on his offer. I surprised Gina by coming home, and I hope she enjoyed my company! We went over to her house after supper, which was when she blew out her candles. I'm fairly certain that she liked what I got her, which was a gift certificate to buy some new scrub pants, something she has wanted to get for a while! Happy birthday, Gina, and many more!!! :)

2. One of the best things about last night (besides seeing my family) was the way I was welcomed home last night. I didn't realize that he would be there, but as I drove in, I saw Andrew and he had the biggest grin on his face! As I got out of my pickup, he dashed toward me, and leapt into my arms with a big hug! For the next twenty minutes or so, I couldn't go anywhere without him by my side. We later played in the sandbox and we had a wonderful game with a plastic dinosaur (it was Andy-sized) and alligator (I played with it). It amazes me how expressive Andy is becoming, as he told my alligator hi, roared with my alligator (even if alligators don't necessarily roar), and "woke up" my alligator by jumping on it. These are the moments I cherish with my boys! :)

3. As you may have read in my last post, I am enjoying my classes. I am also enjoying my professors. I have managed to make at least one friend in each class, which is helping me so much! I can't wait to see how the rest of my semester will go!

4. Thankfully, I haven't been overwhelmed by homework just yet! I have a little bit of homework, but it isn't anything that I can't conquer in a relatively short period of time, I'm thinking a couple of hours.

5. In my Trig class, I happen to sit in front of one of my good guy friends from high school who graduated one year before me. Ironically, he used to sit in front of me during our high school Trig class, which is what many of our pre-class conversations consist of. It is always good to catch up with old friends!

6. I am excited about this weekend, as it will be one big party! We will begin by celebrating my cousin, who is a nun (Sr. Angie), who is celebrating her 50th anniversary of being a nun. That evening, we will have another party for Gina, and Sunday we will celebrate Cody's 7th birthday (his technical birthday is next Wednesday). I can't wait to come home for those celebrations! :)

7. My dorm has come a little way since my move-in last Thursday. We don't have a TV, because Carissa doesn't watch TV, and I haven't gotten around to bringing one yet. It isn't that big of a deal for me yet, as I can watch movies and some TV shows on my laptop. Maybe I won't even bring a TV, I don't know yet. Our furniture is largely what could be expected in a dorm--nothing matches! We have a bubble chair, a mini loveseat, and a recliner. There is also a table with two chairs; nothing fancy, but it works!

8. Speaking of my laptop, I am absolutely LOVING the wireless internet connection that I have in my dorm! It makes my life much easier, but may become a downfall, as it has lead me to spending more time on the laptop than usual. I'll have to keep that in check, I know. But still, I love it!

9. In the next few days, we will have a few retreats for PLC. This will be the first time that I get to meet everyone in the group officially. It will also be when I find out more about what we will be accomplishing this year. It should be pretty exciting!

10. On a final, completely random note, I went on a venture to Walmart yesterday afternoon to get a few things and I had an impulse buy. As I was looking through the pencil display, picking out some new mechanical pencils, I happened to look down and see the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" laying at the bottom of the rack. It wasn't marked with a price, so I hunted down the price scanner to find out that it was $7.50! It happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time, so, naturally, I bought it! I haven't watched it yet, but I'm sure I'll do that at some point!

Have a great week! :)

First Day of Classes

Astronomy-MWF 9:00
So far, I like this class. I like my teacher, he seems to have an overall love of Astronomy (or Astrophysics, as he calls it). He even knows the guy who wrote our textbook, because they correspond via email. Some of the things he talks about go over my head a little bit, but I'm not too terribly concerned about it, because I think that it is mostly non-essential information. I don't really know anyone in my class, but I know that I'll make a few friends by the time it's all said and done.

College Algebra-MWF 10:00
I'm fairly certain that this class is simply a review of Algebra II. It isn't necessary for me to take this class, because I have a high enough ACT score that I could have skipped it and gone straight to Trigonometry. However, my advisor (who also teaches this class) suggested that I, as a Math major who wants to teach high school math, need to take this class as a review of Algebra concepts, because that will be the bulk of what I will teach. My teacher is stern, but I also think that she will be a good teacher, and I will learn a lot from her. She is a no-nonsense kind of person, who refuses to tolerate anything other than what she expects of us. Every day, she will assign homework, but it isn't the kind that we will turn in for a grade. Our only grades come from quizzes (they are only pop quizzes) and tests. She has strict policies about testing, but I think that they are also fair. This class should be interesting.

Plane Trigonometry-MWF 12:00
I have the same teacher for this class as my Algebra class, so much of what I said above applies to this class, also. My teacher/advisor told me when I enrolled that she thinks that I will be a strong enough student that I can easily handle being in two math classes in one semester. Also, because I am a math major, I have to take 5 math classes in four semesters, so it was easiest to double up with Algebra and Trig. I am excited about this class, because I LOVE Trig! (I am such a math nerd!) It truly is my favorite math class, followed by Algebra, then Geometry. (I haven't seen much Calculus...yet.) I also have some friends in this class who were in my high school Trig class, which makes me happy! Shane, Alex, and I made an agreement to help each other as needed, so everything should be just fine.

Astronomy Lab-Monday 1:30
The worst part about this class is that I have a feeling that I will be exhausted by this time every Monday. It is bad in the fact that most of our labs take place at the Observatory here on campus, and most of our lab time is spent with the lights turned down, with us sitting in nicely cushioned reclined chairs. It is comfortably cool in there, also. Yes, I may be prone to napping in this lab. Hopefully, I won't, but it could happen...Other than that, I am excited about it, because there is nothing I love more than looking at stars! I happened to make a friend in my lab, so maybe I will see her in class sometime :)

Freshman Orientation-Tuesday 8:30
I enjoyed this class very much, and I have a feeling that it will be fairly simple. My teacher is lots of fun, and I believe that I will have her for a Calculus teacher in the near future. I happen to already know three people in my class. They are Alex (Tevis's bff), Andy (Shane's roomie), and another guy named Matt who lives a few doors down from me. An interesting part of this course is the fact that we will be required to serve four hours of community service by the conclusion of our class. I think I know where I will do this, but I'm not for certain. We started the class by doing an icebreaker that helped us to get acquainted with our classmates by asking them random questions.
English Comp II-TTh 9:30
Like my Comp I class from last semester, I truly enjoy this class already. I have a different teacher, but I still enjoy the class. For this class, we don't even have a book, which I find interesting and would greatly appreciate if I didn't have my scholarship that paid for my books.  My professor is interesting, and I like his style of teaching (so far!). I am excited to see how my writing will develop as the semester progresses...I guess we'll have to see!

There are a few other things I have learned about living on campus. The first is that the cafeteria doesn't have very convenient hours, in my opinion. Breakfast is served from 7:30-8:30 for hot meals & 8:30-9:00 for cold meals, Lunch is served from 11:30-1:00, and Supper is served from 4:45 to 6:00. I am slightly appalled at the fact that our supper is so early, as I am used to eating around 6:30 or 7:00. I have a feeling that I will be needing a small mid-evening snack on most days. Another thing that I have learned is (I don't know if I have mentioned it yet) that the downstairs portion of my dorm is freakishly cold. I had to bring my Space Bag full of blankets back with me from home, so that I could have a way to stay warm downstairs.

I'm sure that there will be more random things I learn thorugh the year, but, overall, I am excited about school for the meantime!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Weekend of College

I am officially done with my first day of college. I, obviously, survived. I made it through my first round of classes (that is, my MWF classes). I still have one more round with my TTh classes. I'll tell more about each class tomorrow after I have gone to all of my classes. For now, I'll tell a few stories about my first few days on campus.

The orientation event last Friday wasn't that exciting, in my opinion. There was plenty of free food & NOC gear, which was nice, but in the way of being fun and getting to meet new people, it wasn't that great. Everyone pretty well cliqued up into their various athletic groups (the baseball players, the basketball players, the volleyballers, & the cheerleaders). There were a few people there who weren't in athletics, but not many. Thank goodness, I did know people there, because Tevis and some of his friends came.

The main highlight of Friday was showing off my dorm to my visitors. Tevis, Emily, Cody, Kyle, and Gina all came over at some point in the day, which helped to break it up because Carissa wasn't here. I finally went on a venture to the grocery store because I was tired of not having any food in my dorm. (I'll explain about the cafeteria later.) I ended up buying the "essentials", which equates to my favorite snack foods. My basket consisted of Cran-Apple juice, Poptarts, granola bars, Pretzel M&Ms, & popcorn, among other things. Not exactly the most healthy of snacks, perhaps, but it made me feel more at home. After Gina left (around 7-ish), I decided that I would go home because I wasn't about to rot away in my dorm for all eternity. Also, there was no one around who seemed very inviting. So, I packed my bag and hit 412, and 25 minutes later, I was home.

I had a fairly productive day on Saturday, and I ended the day by going to visit Mimi. We sat and talked for about two hours about everything from college to dancing.  I felt like it was something I needed to do, and I am very glad that I went.

Yesterday was a somewhat rough day for me emotionally. Reality really hit, and I was quite scared to come back to campus, because I was afraid that I wasn't going to make any new friends. I finally got all of my things packed, and my dad made sure that I was stocked with food and kitchenware. He even sent me with a package each of sausage, bacon, and ground beef, for those just-in-case times. My mom sent me with some of her extra utensils/spatulas/etc. that she rarely uses or has duplicates of.

After getting some things settled, I went over to an information meeting for everyone living on campus. I went into the meeting with a sense of dread, knowing that I knew very few people. When I entered the room, I happened to make small talk with a girl who walked in behind me. Her name is Tanna & she seemed nice enough. Also, she was in the same boat as me, not knowing people, so we decided to sit together. I met a few other girls who were sitting at the table, but their names escape me at the moment. (I remember their faces, though!) The meeting was pretty much standard-issue rules like no liquor or drugs, keep your room clean, and don't break visitation rules. Boomer, the Dean of Students, gave the presentation, and he seems like a cool guy. (Yes, that is his real name, and he won't tell us why. He is also an OSU fan.)

After the meeting concluded, they gave us our free t-shirts for staying in the dorms (I doubt that they were really "free", but we didn't have to shell out any money last night!) I happened to run into Shane, a good friend of mine from high school, who is also a member of PLC. We chatted while we waited in line, and he introduced me to his roommate, Andy, who went to OBA, and Andy's friend from high school, Morgan. We all talked, mostly comparing schedules and figuring out where our classes would be. As we all walked back to our dorms (Morgan lives next door to me, and Shane & Andy live three doors down from me), Shane remembered that he had a volleyball, and invited everyone to go play at the sand volleyball pit. We all decided that it would be fun and it would get us out of our dorms for once. It was a while before we went over, because we all stopped at our rooms to eat. While I was waiting, some other PLC members knocked on my door and told me about some upcoming PLC activities. They all seemed nice, too.

Soon enough, Shane, Andy, Morgan, and I all headed to the volleyball pit. We were only on the third serve of the game, (Shane was serving, btw), and the game ended. He hit his volleyball on the roof of the dorm right next to the pit. The roof didn't slope to let it off, and there really was no other way to get it off. It was fun while it lasted! I told Shane that I was glad it was him who hit it up there, instead of me, or else I would've felt REALLY bad. After a while of discussing the matter, we decided to go watch a movie at Shane & Andy's dorm. We watched "Due Date" and had a good time.

Last night was lots of fun getting to socialize with other PLC members, and I made a few new friends! Even though our group consisted of boys and girls, it wasn't like anyone was trying to be more than that. Plain and simple, just four friends who wanted to have a good time, which is just how I like it! Even though I didn't think the day would turn out as well, it ended up quite nicely!

I'm really excited for the rest of this year, just to see who else I will meet, and all of my new friends I will make. The options are limitless, and I can't wait!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Move-In Day

Yesterday, I moved in to my dorm. It was the first time in my life that I consciously remember moving. (Unless you count when my family moved into our house from our old trailer when I was two years old.) I was all packed, with everything in boxes and totes and sacks, and I was ready, thinking that everything was going to be absolutely perfect. Although nothing catastrophic happened, it definitely wasn't the "perfect" moving day...but then again, is it ever?

The day began when Emily dropped off Kyle with us, because, although he technically started Pre-K, his school does a two-day phase in program that only has half of the class there on two separate days, then on the third day, the class is combined. Kyle's first day was on Wednesday, of course, which meant that yesterday, Thursday, was his day off. When we were getting everything loaded up in our pickup, Kyle was a tremendous help, because he could carry some of the lighter things, thus saving us a few trips. After about five to ten minutes of shuffling things around, we had everything loaded and ready to go. (Like I said, I was ready.)

We finally got to town around 10:30 or so, which was fine with me, because move-in for the Freshman began at 10, and I wanted to beat the rush and the heat. I found my dorm mom, Peggy, in her room, and I filled all of the necessary paperwork, and got my key. I was ready for action! When we got here, Carissa and her mom, Brenda, were already here getting things cleaned and Carissa's things in place. They were in the upstairs portion, so my mom, Kyle, and I started bringing my things in, and setting them on the ground floor. After we got my things in, I went upstairs and gave the place a once-over, getting a mental map of the place again. I found out then that I wouldn't need my plastic 5-drawer set that I got because I have more closet space than I would theoretically need. (Emily was actually talking about getting a drawer set similar to mine, so we let her have it, instead.)

My mom got right to work cleaning cabinets in the kitchen area, which is something that I honestly might not have thought to do, because I guess I take for granted the fact that kitchen counters should be clean. Thank goodness for moms and Clorox spray! We got all of my kitchen things (which wasn't that much stuff), put away while we waited for Carissa and Brenda to finish upstairs, so we wouldn't get in their way.

When my mom, Kyle, and I had our first chance to, we got upstairs and made my bed. This was when we noted the fact that my bed is dangerously close to the stair railing, which has gaps in the rungs of about 2 feet, which could be plenty of space for me or any of my things to easily slip through. We decided that something had to be done about that, and my mom suggested some plywood that we could cover with some foam rubber and fabric. After Kyle nearly fell through while playing around, we KNEW that something had to be done. By 1:00, I was pretty well moved in, and it was time to eat, because we were all hungry, thirsty, and on the verge of grumpiness. Thank goodness for Braum's!

I really have to hand it to Kyle, because the little guy was quite the trooper. Of course, he was being his typical four-year-old self, but that was only to be expected. We sat in Braum's for quite a while, soaking up the cool and resting. Also, we were waiting for my dad to get to town so that we could show him my room, and get his take on the plywood situation. We finally went back, and, after seeing that, my dad suggested some pegboard, which we happened to already have, and it would be much easier to secure, not to mention easier to transport. I was also trying to figure out a solution for a nightstand, which was when my dad suggested using one of our ceramic crocks that he made a plywood cover for and uses for cup/plate holders at our 3rd of July. I loved both ideas.

After we left my dorm, my mom, Kyle, and I decided to stop by Dollar General for a few things that we thought of while moving in. It had already been a long day, and I was feeling very overwhelmed by that point. I had a bunch of changes, and they were all hitting me, little by little. It was also extremely warm in the store. I was being impossible by that point, and I felt bad for my mom having to put up with me. When we finally checked out, I paid for my things, and somehow, the register messed up, and the cashier needed the other lady to help her reset the register. That took another five minutes or so. I settled for not getting a receipt, and went on out to start the pickup and cool off. A few minutes later, Mom and Kyle returned with their bags, and two receipts, one for me, and one for my mom. Kyle took a brief, but much-needed nap on the way home, and he rested for a short while after we were home. My dad got the pegboard all cut and set up for me, and I got more of my things loaded in my pickup.

My mom told me that I needed to make supper, so I decided to make pork chops and baked sweet potatoes, one of my favorites. What started as a simple meal turned into an ordeal because the pork chops took forever to defrost, and were much larger than I anticipated, causing me to have to use two pans. I wasn't too thrilled about that at all. After an hour or so of finagling, supper was ready. Gina and Andrew came over to see me off after they finished eating supper. Andy was more excited about seeing my mom or playing with his farm set than he was about seeing me. (I wasn't too surprised by that, actually.)

I finally left my house around 9 or so, which was later than I planned on. When I finally got back to the dorms, I had to bring things in and shower, which I was ready to do. Until I saw that all of the parking spots in front of my room were taken. I was upset by that, but it was okay. I got a few things, and I went to unlock my door. I had the hardest time getting my door unlocked, and I had to call my parents to guide me in unlocking my door. (It has a weird lock on it that I'm not used to.) By the time I got into my room, I was in tears. After a while, everything was moved in, and I showered. Carissa wasn't quite back, so I decided to wait up so that I could make sure she got in alright.

When she got here, we had a wonderful chat, and I already know that I have a great roommate! I'll tell you more about her later, but I think that we will get along splendidly!

There are a few things that took some getting used to in my dorm. The first is that the upstairs portion of our room is at least twenty degrees warmer than downstairs, which is freezing (in my opinion). Another is the different shower. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to switch it to the spray instead of the faucet. When I figured that out, I was greeted by the sudden burst of water that was flowing at a pressure I never realized was possible. It felt more like a sandblaster than a shower. It was different, to say the least. The last thing, that I know of yet, that is different is the fact that I have a twin bed here, as opposed to home, where I have a full-sized bed. It was comfortable and I did sleep, but I had a hard time sleeping soundly. I imagine that I'll get used to that in time.

Soon, I will go on to the Freshman orientation, which isn't necessary, but I feel like I should go, just to hopefully meet people, and see old friends. I hope today goes well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dorm Pics!

I have had a VERY long day of moving and settling. Maybe I tell you about it tomorrow, it depends how tomorrow goes...For the time being, here are a few pictures of my home away from home!

The kitchen area

Living area (the kitchen would be in the upper right hand corner behind that wall)

Our bedroom (my bed is on the right with the rocking zebra comforter :) )

The staircase that is dangerously close to my bed...(more about that later)

Our bathroom

One of the closets (yes, that is plural!)

Another of the closets (right by our beds)

My nightstand with some reminders from home :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: College Prep Week!

1. Today was officially my last day of babysitting for the summer. Cody, Kyle, and I had a good day, although Kyle was only with us for half of the day, as he had a dentist appointment. It seems so odd to think that summer is essentially over for us. I really had fun watching the boys this summer, even if it was a little bit stressful for me at times. I will miss getting to see my nephews all the time when I am at college. Today, Kyle told me that he wanted me to bring a teddy bear that he gave me earlier this year to college with me, so I wouldn't forget about him. (Yes, I have already packed it.)

2. Of course, since today was my last day of babysitting, that only means one thing: Tomorrow is the first day of school for Cody, Kyle, and Wyatt. For once, their schools coordinated on the day, so hopefully, my mom and I will go over to their houses to take the ceremonial "first day of school" picture, including a group picture of the three boys. All three boys are very excited about going back to school, which I take to be a good sign. I can't wait to hear their reactions and see their papers tomorrow night! Good luck boys!!!

3. Yesterday afternoon, after dropping Cody and Kyle off with Emily, my mom and I went to get some things that I will need for my dorm. We had a successful trip, as I was able to find everything on my list! The biggest items that I purchased were a plastic 5-drawer set, a mini vacuum, a mattress pad, and a lamp. I also got some random cleaning/household items, which seemed odd, since I have never bought any of those things before. I realized that I am one step closer to adulthood by having to buy those things. On a final note, I got a good bargain on my vacuum! It is a Bissell 3-in-1 model that is a lightweight model that can be changed to work like a Dustbuster (making it portable). It also has a crevice tool, and looks like it will be perfect for the stairs in my dorm room! Woo-Hoo!!!

4. I started packing earlier this evening. I have been pretty successful as of yet, getting my kitchen and bathroom supplies, my bedding, and a box of miscellaneous items all packed! I am about half to two-thirds done packing, but I had to put my packing on hiatus because I ran out of boxes. Thankfully, Gina and Emily both had plenty of boxes that they were willing to share with me! Thanks, guys! :)

5. You might notice that I left out one rather important thing--my clothes. The thought of moving my clothes is a little bit perplexing to me. I don't want to over pack, leaving me with no clothes when I come home on the weekends, but I definitely don't want to underpack and not have something when I'm in town. I wish that teleportation would be a possibility, so that I would never have that problem, but there's no such luck! I know, it's not THAT big of a deal to not have something, because if I really need it, I have plenty of ways to get it easily, including just going home. It's not that bad, but still.

6. The plan is for me to move in on Thursday morning. The absolute earliest for me to move in is 10:00 that morning, so I will do my best to get everything together tomorrow and get there around 10 or 10:30. I'll let you know how well that works out! Hopefully, I'll be able to post some pictures of my dorm on Thursday night!

7. I was able to scrounge up a table and some chairs for the dorm. For the past week, my dad had been telling me about an ad he found for a table in the classified section in the newspaper. Last Friday, he happened to call about it, finding out that the guy was selling what sounded like a nice table. The next day, Gina, Andy, my mom, and I all went to look at it, and we decided to buy it for $50, which was a reasonable price for a 48" dia. solid wood table with a 2' leaf. Gina already happened to have a smaller drop-leaf table in her nook area, and we decided, after seeing the table, that we would get the table for Gina, and Gina would let me use her table. We also happened to have some chairs in our garage that would work nicely, so I am all set in that department!

8. If you happen to remember me mentioning issues with my PLC scholarship, I have an update! The scholarship money has been credited to my account!!! I still have one minor issue...I am waiting for my money from two private scholarships and my OHLAP (tuition) to be refunded to me. I don't expect to hear anything about that money for another week or so, but I hope that I won't have to fight too much to get it back!

9. I have talked to Carissa twice in the past week. From the little bit that I have talked to her, I think that I will have a good year with her as my roommate! She seems to be very nice and easygoing. I think I am lucky because she has said that she likes to keep the dorm clean (her roommate last year didn't clean). We have already ironed out a few details in our plans, like pooling our cleaning supplies/toilet paper/paper towels, etc. I am also fortunate in the fact that she has many things from last year, including a microwave, dishes, and a few other things that she said that she would be more than willing to share with me. (I don't want to be a mooch, though.) It will be one less expense for me for the time being, and I will now have another year to slowly stockpile a few things for next year. Of course, as the year goes on, I will have more stories to tell about dorm life, and about Carissa herself.

10. On a final note, Shea has been in Norman for almost a week. She is rushing this week, so I wish her the best of luck! Tonisha will be moving on Thursday, like me. Mary moved some of her things to Edmond last Saturday, but she is still in town, because her last day of work isn't until Saturday. I mentioned in a previous post that I didn't exactly get to tell Mary bye, but I think that we might try to hang out for a while tomorrow night, before she is officially gone! I continue to wish all of them luck in their ventures!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Cake

It has been quite a while since I have shared a recipe with everyone, and the thought occurred to me earlier as I was making this cake. This cake is Scotty's favorite, and he ALWAYS requests it as a dessert for our many "community meals". Not only does Scotty love it, so does almost everyone else in my family. It is a simple recipe that can be mixed, baked, and frosted in a matter of one hour. My mom found the recipe in Peggy Goodrich's food column in the Enid newspaper four years ago, and it has been popular with us ever since. Of course, the only caveat is that, as much as I want to share the goodness of this recipe with everyone, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, consume this cake if you have a peanut allergy! I don't want to be the reason that someone goes into anaphylactic shock. With that said, here is the recipe, for your enjoyment!

2 C. flour
1 tsp. soda
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. oil
1 1/2 sticks margarine
1/2 C. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 C. water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Icing for Cake
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. margarine
1/2 C. extra crunchy peanut butter
1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together flour, sugar, soda, and salt in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring oil, margarine, peanut butter and water to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and mix. Add beaten eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk, blending well. Pour batter into a greased and floured 11x15x1" sheet cake pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

While cake bakes, combine evaporated milk, sugar, and margarine in saucepan. Bring to boil, cooking 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and marshmallows. Stir until melted. Stir in vanilla. Pour over warm cake and spread to cover.

Recipe Notes:
-It really doesn't matter if you use smooth or chunky peanut butter in either recipe. Unless you have a strict preference, it is much easier to use whatever kind of peanut butter you have on hand.

-For the sake of dishes, it is just fine to use the same saucepan for the cake and icing. The ingredients that go into it are virtually the same in the long run, so you can save yourself some time and use the same pan.

-It is normal for the marshmallows to not completely melt into the icing. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, it all depends on the day. (It is more common for sticky marshmallows to not melt as well.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beginning the Next Chapter..

In one week, I will be officially moved into my dorm. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to begin this new chapter of my life, but reality is beginning to set in--I'm not in high school anymore. Yes, it seems a lot like I will be, because I'm still going back to school and half of my senior class will be there, but it will be different. I know I've mentioned all of this in almost all of my recent posts, but it bears repeating for me to understand the depth of it. I'm no longer a student at Pioneer High School. What happens there has no direct impact on my life anymore, and isn't necessarily anything for me to be concerned about. I am one step closer to becoming a real adult, not just a legal adult. I am closer to starting a career, starting a family (God willing), starting a life that is all my own. It's scary.

The average reader might wonder, "Why is Amanda suddenly freaking out about life, when only two days ago, she was pumped about college? What's up with that?!"

The answer is simple. I am finally faced with the reality of one distinct change in my life. My three best friends are leaving. When I start class on August 22nd at 9:00 AM, they won't be there. Nor will they be there to sit with me at lunchtime. They won't be there for me to talk to after I get done with my homework in a class. We can't share most every detail of our lives every day. We won't be able to share inside jokes about random things or make fun of everyday idiosyncracies that we encounter. We won't be able to share books (as well) or take random pictures with each other. We won't go to games or dances or practices. Nothing will be the same.

I hope and pray that we will always be best friends, even after 20 years or more, but I also am aware of the reality that all of our lives will change. We will all find new friends. We will all probably even find new best friends. Soon enough, we will all have families of some sort, and lives all our own. Our lives will be completely opposite of how they are now/have been. We will go from seeing each other nearly every day to going weeks, months, or even years without seeing each other, and, after long enough, that will become the new normal for all of us. I'm not trying to be overdramatic, but it is the reality of the situation. None of us know where our lives will take us in the future.

There is also a flipside to the situation, because it can't be completely bad. I believe that we will all go great places and have good lives, regardless of where we go or what we do. We will have new experiences that will make us better people. We will be able to share joy with each other with good news, like job offers, engagements, pregnancies, or new homes. We will always be able to pick up where we left off when we do get to see each other, which may be more often than we realize now. We will always have the pictures and memories of each other from high school that we can carry with us. We will have stories to tell our new friends, boyfriends/spouses, children, that they will probably get sick of hearing. No matter what happens, we will always have each other for support. And, I think I'm overlooking the most important fact...we live in the 21st Century! We have Facebook, Email, Cell Phones, and even Skype! Just because we'll be miles apart doesn't mean that we have to be completely disconnected! (It is definitely the biggest upside!)

We had lots of fun together on Tuesday night. Shea, Matt (Shea's boyfriend), Tonisha, Michael (Tonisha's boyfriend), Mary, Jazzmyn (Mary's little sister, I hope I spelled her name right!), Tevis, and I all hung out. We began the night at Cherry Berry with some amazing frozen yogurt (I definitely recommend it!). After that, we rented a movie, "Jumping the Broom", and headed to Tonisha's house to watch the movie and swim. Mary had to leave the party early because she had to take her sister home. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Mary wasn't going to come back, and I don't think I really told her goodbye, which makes me sad. After enjoying some pizza and the movie, we all parted ways. Of course, Shea, Tonisha, and I had a huge bear hug with lots of goodbyes and promises to tell each other when we would be home, as our boyfriends stood awkwardly in the distance. Amazingly enough, I managed not to cry. (I have a pretty good record for keeping it together these days!) However, after Tevis and I got back to his grandpa's house, I lost it. Thankfully, he is good at comforting me, and he reminded me that he'd still be here, along with his best friends (who are my best guy friends). This was a comforting thought, to an extent, but I doubt that any of them will be willing to discuss Nicholas Sparks novels or watch chick flicks or just talk about things like my friends and I do. That's okay, though, because I don't expect them to replace my best friends, by any means.

I know that everything will be okay and I'll make some new friends, just as I wish the same for Shea, Mary, and Tonisha. I believe that we may begin to grow separately, but we will not grow apart.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

10 on Tuesday

1. Today is the first of my two days off this week. I decided I needed a little bit of time to take care of a few impending matters on the college front. Although I love watching the boys, it is always nice to sleep in a little bit.

2. To continue the countdown, I have only 1 1/2 weeks left until I move into my dorm room! I am still pretty pumped about it, and I hope that it will not disappoint!

3. On a related note, I officially know my roommate's name. Her name is Carissa (I'm sure that she might become a regular mention in my future posts.). She is from Fairview, but I have yet to actually talk to her. I know, I need to get on that, but I haven't just yet. (Yes, I am a little nervous..) It is my hope that we will get along well and be good companions for each other during this year. Maybe I'll call her tomorrow!

4. I have started to get my things together for my dorm room. I have already bought duplicates of all my shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc. I decided that it would be worth the money to buy duplicates so that I wouldn't have to hassle with remembering everything when I come home, and simply bring only the bare essentials (i.e. laundry!) I already have sheets, thankfully, since the dorm beds are regular twin sized (many dorm beds are XL Twins). Hopefully, I will be getting a comforter pretty soon!

5.  I have most everything that I need for my dorm room, but there are a few things that I still need to round up. Among those things are a plastic drawer set (that might double as a nightstand) and Microsoft Office for my laptop (I know for a fact that I will need that!) That is yet another reason why I need to talk to Carissa, so I can see how we can pool our resources. Yes...tomorrow, I will call her.

6. Today I will go get my books...hopefully. Right now, I am having an issue with my student account that could interfere with this. Since the beginning of this summer, I have been checking my online account statement to see which scholarships have been posted. So far, all of my scholarships, minus my PLC scholarship, have been posted to my account. I am a little bit irritated about this, because my PLC scholarship is my big scholarship that pays for EVERYTHING. I went into the Financial Aid office a couple of weeks ago, and I found out why I have yet to see anything about it. It turns out that when I received the scholarship, a separate account was created for me that has all of my PLC money in it. I already have a student account that was created in June of last year when I first enrolled at NOC for my concurrent classes. Now I am waiting for the lovely IT department to get my issue straightened out. Hopefully, even if my issue isn't resolved, I will still be able to get my books and charge it to my scholarship account today. (I don't want to get on the bad side of the grumpy bookstore people. I'm not looking forward to it at all.)

7. On the up-side, I have much more pleasant plans for today besides getting my books. Tonight, I'm hanging out with my three best friends! It will be a bittersweet night, because it will be the last night that I get to spend with all of them for a while. I think that it will be lots of fun, regardless.

8. Even better, Tevis is home! I got to hang out with him on Sunday afternoon/night. He had lots of fun with his dad in Colorado, but I think he is happy to be home to be with his family, friends, and (of course!) me :)

9. Last night, the line of storms that literally blew through northern OK, caused quite a bit of damage. Fortunately, my family was spared from any damage, and our power remained intact. Unfortunately, the people of the Zion Lutheran Church in Fairmont are facing a tragedy, as the roof that covers their sanctuary was completely blown away. I have seen pictures on Facebook from people in the community, and it is sad to see such a beautiful church in such devastation. Their community is strong, and I know that they will pull together to repair, but it still is a sad thing to see. My prayers go out to their community.

10. On a final, lighthearted note, yesterday, Cody told me about his imaginary friend, Bob. Apparently, Bob has been around for a while (since he was a baby), but this is the first I've heard of her (yes, Bob is a girl)... ANYWAY. He told me about her, and Bob is half dragon, half Transformer. She is half dragon in the fact that she is green, and shaped like a dragon, and breathes fire, but is half Transformer in the fact that she is metal, and she can turn into other things. Gotta love his imagination!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Year Later!

Today I celebrate my blog's one year anniversary! It seems so odd to think that just one year ago I began my quest to chronicle my life in random online posts. Just yesterday, I happened to read my first blog, and it is amazing to see how different my life is now as opposed to one year ago. (For your convenience you can read it here)

Wow...Last year at this time, I was sweltering in the heat of my house that was temporarily without air conditioning. I'm glad that that is different, because I'm not sure that it would even be temporarily bearable in this heat wave. I was also mulling becoming a football manager...even though I did, it didn't last. I'm okay with that. I was about to begin my senior year of high school, and now I'm about to begin my first year of college. I think I'm just as excited about beginning college as I was about beginning my senior year! Last year, I was days away from having my wisdom teeth removed. Yeah, I'm glad that I got that out of the way!

With all of the differences from a year ago, there are two similarities. The first is that I was watching Cody & Kyle during this week last year, as I am now/have been for the entire summer. The second is that I am staying at Gina's house tonight, as I did on this day last year, though for entirely different reasons! (This time I am staying out of choice, not necessity!) Ironic, huh?

What a year it has been for my blog. On one hand it has been the chronicle of the life of a young woman living on an Oklahoma farm, but on the other hand, it has also been my creative outlet, my sounding board for life decisions, my place to vent (I choose not to do so on Facebook, like most people), my point of relaxation. It reminds me of where I have been, what I have done, and how far I have come in my life. I have had really exciting posts full of great news, random thoughts I have had, boring details about school, and a few somber, reflective posts.

My experiences have ranged the gamut from collecting plants in Botany, books I have read, YAB meetings, family celebrations, "Senior" moments, a crazy college professor, a few upsetting deaths, a break-up, and a new boyfriend, graduation, and so many other things! I can hardly imagine what my life will be like in one year, or even ten years, for that matter. I'm sure that there will be a few similarities, but the differences will become more and more vast as the years pass on.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken a moment or more to read my ramblings at any point during this past year. Thank you for your comments, and thank you for your encouragement to keep blogging! As I have said before, I have a small, but loyal, following, and that's perfectly fine with me. My blog is more of something for myself, than for anyone else, but it makes me happy to know that there are people out there who care to read about something that a random eighteen-year-old writes, about her own life, no less. To those who don't blog, it may seem selfish and irrelevant, but, to me, it is a release. It helps me to let go of things that are on my mind, good or bad.

Hopefully, my blog will improve in the next year, as I will have access to high-speed Internet, thus allowing me to put more pictures etc. on here. We shall see. One thing is for certain: I am hooked on blogging, and don't plan on stopping any time soon!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday Morning Thoughts

(I can't think of ten thoughts, so this is really just a condensed 10 on Tuesday!)

-How about this heat...I heard that the high temperature for today is supposed to be near 110 degrees. This is unreal! We were fortunate enough to receive a short rain shower on Friday night, which cooled us off for a while. We missed out on Saturday showers, but thankfully, there was enough cloud cover and a breeze that kept us cooled off for most of Andrew's birthday party. (I say most because after 7:30 the wind disappeared, and there was an unbearable humidity level.) Here's hoping for fall temperatures any time now! 

-Andrew's birthday party was lots of fun, as is any birthday party for a two-year-old. Andrew and Jeremy's birthdays are only a day apart (Jeremy's is on the 30th), so it was a joint birthday party. Jeremy grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and Gina made Andy a Mickey Mouse birthday cake. Andrew received all kinds of cool presents, mostly toy cars, which happen to be his favorite right now. His other favorite presents were his blanket from my mom, and his AndrewVille blanket from Jeremy's mom. AndrewVille is a big blanket with   blue jean roads, a fire station, hospital, gas station, Walmart, airport, and country club, among other things. It was patterned after ScottyVille, a blanket town that Scotty's mom made for him when he was little. AndrewVille is a delight for children of all ages!

-Due to the unrelenting heat, my dad has been forced to start feeding hay prematurely, since there isn't much of a grass pasture anymore. This morning, right as I was about to head over to Gina's to watch the children (I have all four boys this week), Emily came over and informed my mom and me that there were two cows stuck inside the hay feeder. My mom and I hurried out there on the Kubota, and we found the trapped cattle. Thankfully, we had no trouble getting them out, as we just had to tip the feeder over, and they trotted out with no fight. Our animals really have the most inopportune timing for when they decide to start mischief. This leads me to yet another memory from a few years ago...

-Eight years ago today, we had another issue with inopportune timing on the cows' part. You might think, How on Earth does Amanda remember having issues with cattle EIGHT YEARS AGO? Really? 
It's quite simple, actually. Today is Scotty and Emily's 8th wedding anniversary. On the morning of their wedding, all of us girls were buzzing around the house getting ready to go to town and get our hair done. We had already had a traumatic night the night before, as Emily was upset with Scotty, she was jittery, and, to make matters worse, my dad hit a deer on our way home from the rehearsal dinner. (Keep that in mind here in a moment.) My dad was outside checking cattle, and basically staying out of the girls' way for the moment. Gina's former boyfriend had also happened to be outside, and suddenly, they came in and informed us that we  had some cows out. Our buzz of getting ready suddenly turned into a panic of getting the cattle back in their place. All of us girls headed outside to help, including my mom, who was was in the midst of shaving her legs and had shaving cream on one of her legs, and was wearing a clay face mask and her bathrobe. We were all quite the sight. Thankfully, it only took about 5-10 minutes of finagling to get the cattle in the pen. I will never forget that morning!

-Of course, Happy 8th anniversary to Scotty and Emily!!! In all actuality, they have officially been together for ten years today. They started dating on August 2, 2001. It just so happened that they were able to get married on the same day two years later! I find that to be incredibly romantic, for some reason, and I am so happy for the two of them! They are perfect for each other in every way, and they still have so much love and devotion to each other. It is my hope that one day, when I get married, (God willing) that my husband and I will have as much love for each other as Scotty and Emily have. Love you guys!!!

-On a final note, Tevis will be home on Friday night (hopefully), and I move into my dorm in two weeks and two days! I am excited about college, and am praying that it will be among the best years of my life! I can't wait!!!