Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Pictures :)

We've had a few great Halloween celebrations over the past few days, and I've taken some pretty amazing pictures (if I must say so myself), so I decided this deserved its own post!

Gina played host to a Halloween party on Saturday night, which was when I got some of my best they are!
Kyle, the Cowboy (for the 3rd or 4th year in a row, if you're  keeping track at home)

Wyatt, the Ninja

Cody, aka Setting Sun...btw, this is the same Indian costume that has been in our family since my sisters were young, in case you noticed!

Cole, the adorable little bear :)

I love Andy's face!!!


Our wonderful theme foods :)

Cole & Emily!

I love this picture of my mom and Cole

Jeremy's niece, Zoey, the pirate

My dad and Cole having some male bonding time

This just might be the best picture I have ever taken of Kyle...just sayin!

The group picture, with everyone trying to keep Cole from escaping...oops!

Cole escaped, but here's everyone else!

Taylor & Me 

There are no words for this picture, but I love it!

Lots of great pictures, and LOTS of great fun! Yes, I ended up being Dorothy, complete with my red glitter slippers, which were very well received by everyone else! The highlights from Gina's party were the pinata and bobbing for apples. I would've taken a few pictures of those games, but my camera batteries decided that that would be the best time to go kaput, so that plan was a bust. Really though, the kids loved having games of their own. Also, for future reference, if you plan on having a Halloween party that includes bobbing for apples, plan on saving that for the end of the night when the kids are ready to ditch their costumes and take a bath, if you catch my drift. Thankfully, we did that and it worked well, but just in case...well, you know...

I managed to get a few good pictures from today, although none were of my adorable nephews. I did see them, but it was before they were all decked out in their costumes...good thing we had the party on Saturday! Tonight at church, they had a little costume party, so here are some more pictures!

Here is Tevis's little brother, with some of his friends, as Van Halen...Those zebra pants are pretty intense, not gonna lie!

Tevis, as hero! :)

I love this picture of us! I absolutely love it! :)
I think it is fair to say that this has been a successful and fun Halloween...probably the most fun I've had with this holiday in a long time! I love it!!! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Break Highlights!

I had a wonderful fall break. I really did. However, it amazes me how fast four days go by, because it seemed like a blur. Regardless, I will tell you about some of my adventures I went on over break!

Thursday began with Andy coming over to my house for the day. We had a great day together, just him, me, and my mom. I think he enjoyed having all of the attention on him for a while. Emily and Cole came by around lunch time, much to Andy's pleasure. I should mention that Andrew is still quite fond of Cole. He goes back and forth on calling him his "little cutie pie" or "Coley Platypus". (I think Phineas & Ferb has a lot to do with the last one, but we still haven't figured out why he calls him that. It is incredibly cute, if you ask me.) Speaking of Cole, here's an adorable picture I took of him when I picked him up from the babysitter the other day!
At the end of the day, Cody and Kyle came off of the bus, and joined in the fun! Good times!

Friday was the highlight of break: my long-awaited tour of OSU!!! We headed down to Stillwater bright and early, and we got settled in. We started out in the Seretean Center (Yes, that's where we played for state band, PiHi people.), where they showed a promotional video that generally told us that our wildest dreams would come true if we attended their college. (It was kinda cheesy, if you asked me, but it was fine.) I felt a little bit awkward going on a tour as a transfer student, because literally everyone else there was still in high school. The tour itself was nice and my tour guide was very excited about everything, but I really didn't get much useful information out of the tour. I did, however, get a picture in front of the library fountain, which was dyed orange for homecoming week!
Not the best picture in the world, but it was also chilly and the wind was literally blowing 40 mph, so you can't have too high of expectations! I came to the conclusion that it should be virtually impossible to be out of shape on that campus, because I felt like we walked at least two or three miles going everywhere on campus. (I was feeling the burn for sure.) After the tour, my parents and I caught a quick lunch at the Union, which had about eight different restaurants in it. It was very busy and somewhat overstimulating. Also, the guy taking our order at Chik-Fil-A was virtually impossible to understand. After lunch, I made a quick visit to the scholarship office to talk to someone about possibilities on that avenue. That was almost a waste of time, because the guy nicely, but somewhat condescendingly, showed me how to go on their website and see what scholarships I was eligible for. (Which I have already seen at least twice when I was doing some research on the matter.) That was all I got from that office, so I left and caught up with my parents, who were perusing the apparel store. They literally have everything OSU imaginable. T-shirts, sweaters, cardigans, jeans, dresses, baby clothes, t-shirts, athletic shorts, cowboy boots, EVERYTHING! I was in love...just saying! As we were leaving, though, my dad accidentally opened one of the emergency exit doors and set off the alarm...oops! Really, though, it looked like a normal exit, and I probably would've done the same thing. 

I decided that it would be advantageous to schedule an appointment with an advisor, and I can't begin to explain how happy I am that I did. I will preface this by saying that I got more useful information out of that than I did during the entire tour. Since there were six of us visiting with the College of Education (which ironically isn't just for also includes aviation administration, athletic training, and a couple of other things that currently escape me.), the lady had one general session with all of us. I enjoyed talking to this lady, as she had a wealth of knowledge about the college, and their expectations. Furthermore, she was straightforward in the information she gave us, which I really appreciated. I received some good news in the fact that I should be guaranteed a job upon my graduation, and most of my math education classes could have only seven students and a professor, which is even better!!! Also, I found out that the majority of their divisional scholarships go to the students in the upper-division classes, and there is a lot of money that goes to that department, so that's even better! :) 

We were given packets that included a degree sheet and a progression of classes, and I noticed that it mentioned something about me having to take the OGET (OK General Education Test) at the end of this school year. That was news to me, so I decided to ask a few questions about that at the end of the session. I was directed to one of the actual advisors, so I trotted over to try to talk with her before it was too late. (It was already 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, so I was cutting it close.) As luck would have it, she happened to be in her office, and had time to talk with me. When we began talking, she was very nice (as was everyone else at the university), but was also somewhat condescending. I felt like she wasn't really hearing what I was saying at first, and was just trying to shuffle me out of her office. I explained who I was and what I was hoping to accomplish at OSU. She basically told me that I would have to stay an extra semester or maybe even year to finish my degree, only because she didn't think I could handle taking all of the math classes that I  was required to take. She also thought that I would have to take Calc III. 

Let me pause the story right here, because that was a battle point for me. You see, here at NOC, Calc I & II are offered as two five-hour courses, which adds up to 10 hours of Calculus studies. At OSU, it is offered as Calc I, II, & III, in a 4-3-3 sequence, which also adds up to 10 hours of Calc studies. NOC's sequence is more rigorous (as you might have guessed from all of my previous posts of how intensive it is) than OSU's actually is. And, as you may have guessed, our Calc rotation overlaps Calc III, which means that when we transfer, we bypass Calc III. So, her statement about me having to take it naturally ticked me off a little bit.

After I tried to briefly explain this, she politely told me that I even if we overlapped, it still might not be good enough because it was more "rigorous" there. (Imagine a condescending tone to that statement, though.) I tried explaining once again how things were here, and I even pulled out my transcript to show her my grades in all of my math classes. She glanced at it, not even long enough to get anything out of it, if you asked me. Finally, she asked me what my actual number grade was in Calc I and what my current number grade is in Calc II. I explained that I got a 97 in Calc I, and I currently have a very high A in Calc II. And I explained that it was taught via ITV, which meant that I virtually taught myself everything I know about Calculus. That was the point when the light turned on, and she started talking to me like I was a real person, who she wanted to talk to. That was also the point when she typed our course transfer number into her computer, and she told me that, lo and behold, I should be able to bypass Calc III, no problem. Hmm. Then she proceeded to tell me that I might only have to stay an extra semester, only because of student teaching, and maybe not even that, if I was willing to do a little bit of summer work. I figured that would be the point to mention my experience in tutoring and working for a math professor, which she really lit up about. She proceeded to tell me that I should be eligible for some divisional grant money, multiple scholarships, and a position at their tutoring center, not to mention a double-major if I took one specific math class I already will have to take. She told me that I would have no problem with the OGET (it's like the ACT, so they say), and I can begin observations next fall. Wow! It's amazing how that situation turned around, but I am thankful it did. By the time I left her office, she told me that she would be sad if she didn't see me again in the spring to enroll there. For the record, no, I don't hold any of her comments against her, because I see where she was coming from, but I am glad that she took the time to actually get to know me a little bit more.

What I didn't realize though, was that while I was making some progress with an advisor, my parents were in the lobby inadvertently making some connections of their own. I guess, while they were waiting for me, a man sat down in the lobby and asked them a couple of questions. After they talked for a bit, he proceeded to introduce himself as none other than Wes Watkins. (You Okies probably recognize the name, otherwise, look him up on Wikipedia, you'll be surprised!) After they talked some more, his wife, Lou, came and sat next to my parents and talked some more. She asked my parents about their lives, their other children, me, etc, which was about when I walked out of the office. My mom told me to sit down, which was surprising, because they were chomping at the bit to leave before I went to talk to the advisor. I had a nice conversation with Lou and Wes, although I really had no idea who they were. They were incredibly nice people, who were just as common as anyone else. As irony would have it, I actually know their daughter-in-law, who is the PLC sponsor for Stillwater. Strange how these things work out, isn't it? We made that connection after talking for a while. The more amazing part of our exchange with the Watkins family was the fact that I met some big names. Lou purposely introduced me both the assistant dean and the dean of the college of education. Holy Cow! (I should add that I didn't ask to be introduced; that was literally something she did when they happened to walk by, so it was even more special to me!) Before I left, she hugged me, and gave me her email and cell phone number to use in case I ran into any issues or needed any additional assistance in my application process. As my parents and I left the college of education, they asked if I knew who Lou & Wes actually were. I had no idea, but I just knew that they were nice people who happened to know lots of administration. That was when they explained that Wes was a former Congressman, and that Lou was on the  Board of Regents for the college, and had her master's in education. Say what?! Talk about a surprise, and feeling incredibly humbled by that whole exchange! 

After starting out the day feeling pretty tentative about OSU, I think it is almost a dead lock that I will be going there next year. They literally rolled out the "orange" carpet for me, and made me feel at home. (I really did feel that way, despite how cynical I may have sounded earlier in the post.) The campus is big, but it's not really as big as one would think. I loved it, and I think that I could be very happy there! 

So, yes, that is how the majority of my fall break went, and I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced everything that I did on Friday! Call it fate, divine intervention, whatever you want, but it was all literally being in the right place at the right time, and I'm okay with that! As one of my friends always says, there are no small decisions in life, and nothing is a coincidence. I am a true believer in that now, and I am ready to begin the next step in my life!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. I took a Calc test last Thursday, much to my displeasure. I say that, but actually, it wasn't that bad. It was freakishly easy; I just need an attitude adjustment. I was pretty frustrated though, because our teacher really wasn't doing a great job teaching the material. She misused multiple physics terms that happen to overlap in our Calc material, and I felt like she should have had at least basic knowledge of the terminology. Perhaps this is a sign that I have already picked up a lot from my Physics class, and that my Physics teacher has properly ingrained the material into us students. Regardless, we forged through, and, as I mentioned, the test was just fine. I was very pleased with my score and the fact that I got the bonus question correct! Thank heavens Fall Break is right around the corner, because this five days of Calc per week business is wearing on me!

2. I wish could be as excited about my Physics test as I was my Calc test. I did just fine on it, but I didn't do as well as I had anticipated, which was frustrating. I made lots of silly mistakes, but I guess I'll have to pick up on the Physics study time before this next test if I expect to improve my score on my next test. Otherwise, Physics is interesting, and I love my teacher! That is all. (BTW, Late Brit Lit is going just fine; we're moving into the Victorian Age, which I think I will like!)

3. Last Wednesday was my friend Mary's birthday. Tonisha and I decided to treat her to supper at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town, where we spent quite some time laughing, chatting, and catching up on our lives! I love nights like those...true friends really are a treasure to be beheld! Speaking of Mexican food, I had some authentic (and I mean authentic) Mexican food at Tevis's best friend's house on Saturday night. On the menu were pork rinds (the raw looking ones) with chicharrones (I think). It was an interesting taste experience, and I'll leave it at that :)

4. For all of you Pi-Hi people, fun fact time: This year the school carnival was moved to the grade school, instead of being at the high school. It seemed weird to think about it being elsewhere, because it has been at the high school for what seems like forever. I happened to go with Emily to help her wrangle kiddos, and I must say that it was a pleasant surprise. Lately, the high school hasn't been as into it, and really, the games are for the younger kids, so I think that's why it worked so well. The games were pretty simple, but the kids loved them. Even better, it was a beautiful evening, so they could also go play on the playground with their friends. Overall, it was a smooth transition, so hooray for that!

5. Emily has been in Las Vegas for the past few days on a business trip, so I was responsible for tending to her Sunday school class this past week. (They finally moved those back to Bison, instead of only at Hennessey, btw....Praise the Lord!!!) She teaches the 3rd-5th grade group, which only has three kids, who are all delightful to have in class, so it really is a good thing! As per Emily's request, I gave them a quick tutorial on rosary making, which went over quite well, and was not as disastrous as it could be. I had some extra help from Gina and Andrew, so it made everything even smoother. Hooray also for good Sunday School sessions!

6. One of the more enjoyable things that we have done for PLC recently happened last night. We usually go on one joint cultural trip with three groups. Last year we went to a dinner theater in Wichita, but this year, we went to a murder mystery evening in Guthrie! It was recommended that we dressed in character, which was 1920's era, and everyone did a great job of that! I'll skip over the minor details, but I'll suffice to say that my character was a secret vampire, and I had lots of fun dressing up for it! Here is a picture of me with my roommate and neighbor, posing in front of the B&B. Extra shout-outs to my mom, Gina, & Tevis for helping me pull my costume together at the last second, it turned out great!
A couple of guys kinda photobombed it, but I love this picture otherwise!
7. Next week is a big week for campus, a blood drive, TV show taping, and a promotional blitz in all classes for the blood drive. Next week will be anything but slow, but I guess I'd rather be busy than totally bored out of my skull, so you do what you gotta do!

8. Because I don't want a firestorm of page views from the very mentioning of some key words, I'll be somewhat vague about my next statement. The major televised event that was on all the major channels this evening left me feeling frustrated and confused. At this point, I'd be more for increased microphone control because the behavior of those involved was downright immature. There was more emphasis on mudslinging and interrupting than actually listening and responding to the questions proposed. Let's just get this done with already, for Heaven's sake!

9. Fall Break is literally less than 24 hours away! Hallelujah!!! I won't be able to totally escape homework or studying, but I don't have to be physically present, so I'll take that trade. Over break, I think I might attempt a new crafting project of making my own glitter flats for a hopeful Halloween costume. I'll have to get back with you on how it goes...hopefully this project won't disappoint! 

10. Really though, I'm more excited about what's happening on Friday...drumroll please...I'm taking a trip to Stillwater with my parents to tour OSU and talk with an advisor!!! I have high hopes for that also, and I'm sure it won't disappoint! Even better, this Saturday is their Homecoming game, so I'll get to see the campus in its full Homecoming glory! I had better get a good photo op in front of the library, or else I'll be bummed out. (I think I'll need a new orange shirt for the occasion, so I don't look out of place! :) ) I am super-duper excited to see how everything will go here...some prayers for good scholarship opportunities to there would be much appreciated! Thanks! :)

Tomorrow, I only have one class, I'm getting my hair cut, having a mini date night with Tevis, and going home at some point, so it should be a great day! Here's hoping! I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 5: Morning Sky

So, I decided that I had to finish what I started with the photo challenge, so here is day five, at long last--the morning sky. I really could have taken a better picture of like a sunrise, but, let's face it: I love sleep, and I'm willing to settle for a picture of the sky at 8:30 AM, because getting up at 5:30 or 6 isn't for this girl! 
The view from my front door
I think this is included on my list, because we should be thankful for each sunrise we see. Each sunrise means another day of life that we have been blessed with, another chance to go out into the world and see what it has to offer, another opportunity to be with those we love and pursue our passions. If you ponder it long enough, a sunrise has a lot of meaning. Thank the Lord for sunrises and second chances!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ten Things That Have Happened Since I Last Blogged

I have been terribly busy during the past two weeks, and blogging definitely hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. Also, I haven't felt very inspired about writing, but I'm giving it a shot again!

1. Last week was nightmarishly busy. I really didn't have that much free time because of all of my obligations. I'll start with Monday. I had class, tutoring, a meeting, Physics lab, and a tour of Enid with the PLC groups from the other campuses. When I see on the screen, it doesn't sound like that much for one day, but, believe me, it was. Our Enid tour took about five hours total, and included stops at the new Cherokee Strip Museum, Simpson's Museum/Studio (they're out of the retail game, in case you didn't know), the Enid Symphony Center, and the Planetarium here on campus. I had the most fun at the ESC, because it is one of my favorite places in the whole town. That, and I feel very glamorous walking through the ballrooms, which I also love! When we got done for the evening, I was exhausted, to say the least.

2. Tuesday, us four Sophomores went to OKC to tape an episode of the game show we were involved with last year. I wasn't exactly looking forward to the trip, but I ended up having a good time. I can't go into great detail about the show itself, but I can say that we had a great meal at Eischen's on our way home, which made the entire trip worthwhile!

3. Wednesday was the most uneventful, and that made me happy. I had a nice evening at church with Tevis, and a great talk with him afterwards. It was the perfect way to unwind from everything else!

4. Thursday and Friday were spent at a student leadership conference in OKC that I was chosen to attend. As expected, I had a great time with my fellow NOC attendees. I'll give you the highlights of the retreat...We got to the Crowne Plaza hotel, where the retreat was going to be, and also where we expected to be staying. (It was a NICE hotel.) Apparently, we never got the memo about that, though, because we spent about ten minutes trying to figure out the name our reservations were under, just to find out that we were staying at the Comfort Inn across the street. Talk about the let-down of the year... When we went to the event for that night, we got there to see that everyone was wearing suits/dresses/etc. and we were all wearing jeans and t-shirts. For the record, we were told that there wasn't a dress code, and that casual attire was allowed, so we really didn't miss that memo, but we felt a little out of place. We didn't have the best table service at the meal, because it took twenty minutes from the time the first person at our table got food to the time when the last person got food. There was also an odd exchange with one of the waiters, who deliberately dumped a guy at our table's salad fork off of his salad plate while clearing it...not sure if he was new or disgruntled, but it was a bit odd. There was an evening session with a couple of higher ed dignitaries that seemed very scripted and stiff. (We though that it would be more like a mixer.) Thankfully, none of the Friday events disappointed, and I learned some interesting tidbits that will definitely help me as a leader, so hooray for that!

5. While I was at the retreat, I did quite a bit of homework in our downtime at the hotel. It was like the perfect storm because I had about three different Physics projects going on. I had some lab homework questions to finish up, an online quiz to get figured out and submitted before Monday morning, some regular homework problems for extra practice, and a Unit test to study for. Yuck. Thank heavens I had a good understanding of the material, otherwise I would've been on the verge of insanity! I muddled through, and by the time I got back on Friday afternoon, I had all of the practice homework, most of the online quiz, and a little bit of the lab completed. I had to go over to a friend's house to get some extra help on the lab work, but I think I came out alright! I finished the quiz late Friday night, and I was done studying by Saturday morning! I took the test yesterday, and I felt pretty good about it, besides the fact that it was extremely lengthy! We shall see.

6. Saturday was Tevis's step-sister's wedding in Sand Springs. I was really excited about it, minus the fact that it was held outside. And it was about 45 degrees. (More on the wedding in a sec...) Because of the weather, I knew that I'd have to alter my choice of attire to better fit the weather. With some help from my mom/sisters, we decided that I would wear a sweater dress, but what they really thought was that I needed some leather boots to wear to complete the ensemble, so that led to Gina, Emily, and me making a spur-of-the-moment trip to town to buy boots. I think it was one of those things that was meant to be, because my mom had a 20% off coupon for the store we planned on going to, and once we got there, they had the exact boots I had envisioned in my size and in the right color! Also, Emily found herself a new shirt to wear to a business conference she's going to this week, so it was a win-win trip for everyone! After we were done shopping, we stopped by a local wing restaurant to pick up some take-out for Gina & Emily, and I stopped in at Starbucks to grab a coffee. I tried their pumpkin spice latte, but I really wasn't impressed. And I payed an ungodly amount of money for what I got. Nothing against the great people of Starbucks, but I'll stick with my local coffee houses, who are more budget-friendly. On our way home, my sisters and I had a great talk. It is times like this that I remember how incredibly blessed I am to have sisters like mine!

7. Back to the wedding. Tevis ended up driving his brother and me to the wedding, and we had a great little trip. It was an almost two-hour drive, but it really didn't seem that long, since we had all kinds of conversation. The wedding itself was beautiful, even if was freezing outside. The upside was that the reception was held in a building  next to the ceremony, and it had a fireplace, which was warming us all! Tevis, Kamen, and I didn't stay long after the ceremony, though. Since it was such a long drive, we decided to get back on the road so we could get back to Enid at a decent hour of day. When we got back to Enid, their dad was actually in town for some family reasons, so we went and grabbed a bite to eat with him. It was the second time I've ever met their dad, but it is fair to say that we got along wonderfully! He even invited me to come visit him in Denver for a couple of days when Tevis goes up there sometime soon, so we'll have to see how that one goes! Here are some pictures from the evening! (PS-I'm loving the orchid on Tevis, even if he isn't!)

Symphony thought she was a princess in her flower girl dress!

I absolutely love this picture of us!
8. I'm sick of Calc II. It's not even Fall Break and I'm ready to be done with it. I'm not a big fan of my teacher, I'm sick of hearing about vector-valued functions and parameters, and I'm sick of having to go to that class every day of my life. We never have a day off in that class. Ever. I'd love to have just one day in that class that we didn't have class or homework to make up in place of class being cancelled. One more week until Fall Break...hopefully I can make it that long!

9. I'm also tired of meetings. But you already knew that one!

10. Last night, after I came out of my Physics coma, I did something I didn't think I'd ever do...I got a Pinterest account! It was mostly at my boss's suggestion, because she loves to Pin, but I did it, and I love it! I already have so many pins on my boards, it's not even funny! However, I am also feeling more inspired to have more of a DIY take on my Christmas presents this year, as a more economical and practical take on gift giving. Pinterest is officially my Internet happy place!

Here's hoping for a great, restful week for everyone!