Camp, Pictures

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part Two: Return of the Ninjas

I last left you recovering from sunburn. Actually I left me… and… now I’m slightly confused… and… not sure how to move on…

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Week one.

I was co-counselor with a fabulous lady named Polly. It was so cool to talk with her! She has been coming to camp longer than many of the staff have been alive. She has so many tips and stories! Things like having the girls keep their Bibles, pens and groundcloths all in one spot so they are ready for Morning watch and Bible Ex. Having playdough and tic-tac-toe at the table for after meals.

On the way to meals the girls are supposed to walk single file. It didn’t take long for us to realize it was a losing battle and we just let them walk however they wanted. We joked that they walked single file, horizontally. It was really cool when we figured out why they were doing that. They all liked each other. This was something I had been really worried about. Four out of our darling five knew each other and the one left out hadn’t ever been to camp. All the worrying was pointless! The cabin integrated SO well! I could not have put a better cabin together myself!DSCF0321

Something really amazing happened on the first day. In the chaos of the girls were coming in and getting settled, one of the moms came back in asking for Annie. Now, I had been trying to get used to responding to Pigeon, but I turned around anyway. She held out what I recognized right away as my Ninja Guard shirt. DSCF0233

It is tradition that the Explorers do Color Guard (flag raising) everyday. There are some basic marching routines, but sometimes they shake it up. Even though I only did Color Guard around 5 times, I have done at least three of these with special routines (for example). My very first time we marched out and then in a circle  before we lined up to actually raise the flag. I’m not particularly coordinated, so it was never my best activity, but I really enjoyed it. On our last week as campers my cabin did Ninja Guard. The link will take you to a very short clip of what we did (we are the ones in black that kick). First, instead of marching up to the flag pole, we ran around behind the campers and came in the back (Someone held the flag for us and handed it to Raven). On the way back we did kicks, chops, rolls and general ninja stuff while Raven did  Tae-Kwon-Do forms. We got in position back on the concrete pad and she said “To the Trees and halt, one two” we ran behind our designated tree. “At ease” we peeked out. It was fantastic and all the girls loved it.DSCF0227

Later the Explorers made t-shirts with stencils and spray paint. We had been thinking we needed to do something like that, so most of us made matching shirts. We cut out  our own stencils and used up about 3 cans of black spray paint. It took so long. It could have easily been around three hours, start to finish. We were there longer than anyone else.

I wore my shirt the night we had a giant shaving cream war. I took it off to clean up and it disappeared. I checked the lost and found, and then after camp emailed people asking if they had seen it. No one knew where it was and I had just given it up as gone forever. And yet here it was.

During the chaos one of the girls had set her stuff on my shirt and it all got mixed up. She ended up taking it home with her laundry and her mom found it and saved it back.

I am totally amazed. I had completely given it up. I just about cried when she came in with my shirt. I really think that was a God thing. He used that to encourage me that He cares about the little things. It was like a little reminder that God was there and everything was going to be great. He gives us so much more than what we need.

Camp, Pictures

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part One: Poisoned by Sol

I started working on my traditional back from camp post, but I realised something.  I was typing along and I looked down. 300 words and camp hadn’t even started yet. That plus the fact that I have dozens of picture lead me to the conclusion that it is time for another series! Therefore I bring you my longest title in four years!

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part One: Poisoned by Sol

On June 3rd Mom took everyone but me and Dad to Metropolis for the week. Dad was at work all day so I was basically home alone until I left for camp on Thursday. This was ok… but the first thing I did was really dumb.

I love reading. Even more than that I love reading outside. And even more than that I love reading good books outside!

I had been trying to get a little bit of a tan before camp so that I didn’t burn (Learned that the first year, if you go to camp still wintry white you will burn).DSCF0334

I put on my cami and shorts, grabbed my Bible Ex book (cabin Bible study) and the diary of Anne Frank and went out. Long story short, I was an idiot and spent over an hour outside, without sunscreen but with my paleness. As soon as I got in I started seeing a bit of red. This should have been a big warning.

Fast forward to Saturday morning.

This was my third day at camp doing life guard training. Everyday, as a warm up (which we needed in the 58° water) we had to swim 550 yards without stopping. In the pool at camp that is 13 1/2 laps. I had done this for two days with very little sunscreen. Outside of the laps we had a lot of diving and other swimming. Basically, by Friday night we swam over 1100 yards. A football field is 100 yards.

Every day my sunburn was getting worse and I was getting more and more fatigued.

After thinking and praying all morning I decided it was time to quit. I didn’t want to be exhausted before camp even started.

Looking back it is pretty obvious that I had sun poisoning. At the time I attributed all the symptoms to extreme physical activity, but after careful analysis I am thoroughly convinced it was sun poisoning. Right after I decided it was the right thing to do the blisters started coming up.

It’s really hard for me to quit something like that, but I felt peace about it and now I know what to expect when I try again next year. Next time I will not fail! DSCF0323

Farm and Family, Pictures

Smile

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Yes, I’m going to get sappy on Mother’s Day. I’m sorry Mom. Thank you for all you do for us, even when we drive you nuts. You give us the benefit of the doubt when no one else does. Thank you for talking to us when we don’t want to hear it. You really are right pretty much every time. You are the voice of reason.

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You underestimate yourself. You expect that we will do great at everything we do, but then you don’t realize we got everything from you and Dad. Thank you for seeing the best in everyone, but not sugar coating it. Thank you for trying to be fair, while still explaining that life isn’t fair and that’s not what we really want.

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Thank you for introducing us to a wide variety of music. You have taught us to love everything from bluegrass to big band to Bach (and for teaching the usefulness of alliterations).   You are the reason we listen to Nat King Cole, Mozart  Elvis, Lil’ Richard, Mendelsohn, Frank Sinatra, The Piano Guys, Chuck Berry and Billy Joel all in one day. Even if you don’t personally like all of those, you broadened our horizons.

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Thank you for exposing us to art. You have given us the chance to see beautiful things. Thank you for teaching us how to make art in our own ways. Whether by teaching us yourself, like with our writing, or by having us take lessons. Thank you for encouraging me in my music and for teaching me everything I know about playing piano.

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Thank you for not just schooling us, but educating us. You have taught us how to learn. Thank you for recognizing that some things we will have to learn on our own and at our own time. Thank you for teaching us to teach ourselves and nurturing a desire to learn.

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Thank you for putting up with me and pointing out when I’m being unreasonable. Thank you for yelling at me and getting upset, but then apologizing. You’ve showed me that you are not perfect, but you point me to the one who is. Thank you for admitting when you are wrong, even though you don’t get much practice at it.

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Thank you for passing on a love of reading and encouraging us to read the good books. You have allowed us to read books just for fun, but also gotten us hooked on classics, even ones you haven’t read. THank you for instilling a love of language.

I know you don’t think you are doing a good job, but that is one of the few things you are wrong about. I really can’t think of anything you could do better.

DSCF9664 I love you Mamacita (or Short Boss).

Actions in Activities, Musings, Pictures

I Won’t Dance

An abundance of things have occurred since my last post!

We’ve had a deluge of events!

A wealth of happenings!

A Myriad!

Heaps!

Gobs!

Lots!

 

Random bit of trivia #1

I have old music tastes. Swing, r&b, big band, rock & roll, doo-wop, rockabilly and jazz. Elvis is king, but Frank is chairman of the board.

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Ok, enough of that. 🙂 I suppose I’ll go in a chronological order.

On the 12th we had a debate tournament. We had fun, but only won one of our 3 debates. Oma and Opa came up on Wednesday for my graduation and also got to come to the tournament. The one debate Oma, Opa and co. got to see was the one we won. Guess the family is my lucky charm. 😉

 

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Mummy

On the 14th we had my graduation open house.

Tackle hug!!
Tackle hug!!

It was really fun, even though I ended up giving a speech (of sorts 🙂 ) and playing piano (such as it is). I was so blessed by all the folks who came by to share some cake with us.

*tinytardis*
*tinytardis*

I got to see a bunch of people I haven’t gotten to see in a long time, some almost a year.

Rufous, Pigeon and Sparrow
Rufous, Pigeon and Sparrow

Last Saturday we had the last tournament of the year. This was my first time being on a team with Meg and Claire, we did a great job!  For our last debate we were government so we got to come up with the case. We did a Doctor Who case. The Doctor should take Van Gogh to the museum before fighting the monster. It was so much fun and the opposition did a phenomenal job even though we had to explain everything to them and they still didn’t quite understand what we were talking about.

I’m really not sure who won. They said that instead of going to the museum to boost his morale  the Doctor should take Van Gogh to a monster fighting school. I’m not sure if we pushed the lack of mutual exclusivity enough to win. Honestly, I don’t care who won. It was one of the most fun cases I’ve ever debated or seen. I’ve discovered I love fictional cases, but I’m not good at coming up with them. I told Meg and Claire that for my last debate I wanted to do a Doctor Who case and they pretty much came up with it.

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My last speech, of my last debate, of my last tournament.

I was thrilled to find out that we won half of our debates (Still don’t know which ones)! When a team wins the majority of their debates they are awarded an IBC root beer. Not only is it the best root beer, and the only kind I like, it stands for the parts of a speech. Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

It was a great day and an amazing note to go out on.

 

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IBC root beer, the only root beer I like.

On a less amazing note, right after we left the tournament the van broke down and is in the shop, so we are now a one car family. Not a one vehicle family, one car. We can transport a total of 4 people at once (unless one of them is the baby, then we can move 5). Hopefully we will have it back sometime this week.

Peaches are blooming!
Peaches are blooming!

Today was a day of awesomesauce news, and it all happened at once! Once we got home from the library we picked up the mail and brought it up to the house. There was a big manila envelope from Mom’s lactation counselor training place. We didn’t open it, but we did hold the back tight enough to read through the paper. It said “Congratulations!” We squealed but had to contain ourselves long enough for Mom to read it herself.

While we were gone mom got a call from the library. It sounded very official at first, and Mom got concerned that we owed too much in fines or something (lol mini heart attack). Is this beginning to sound familiar? The librarian asked for me and said my poem “Sureality” had been chosen as a finalist for Hville in the county wide poetry contest. She then proceeded to ask if  Meg was also her daughter. One of Meg’s poems was also chosen as a finalist. By the way, there are only 3 finalists from Hville. She then asked if Claire was Mom’s daughter. Now, Claire is too young to be eligible, but she sent in a protest poem about being too young. The librarians liked it so much that they are going to review the age requirement next year and she earned an Honorable Mention! Societal change for the win!

The big night just happens to be the evening after we give our speeches in debate class! A very big day for speaking! lol

 

Sureality

 

The crackled clouds move over the full moon

Like the surf drawing the sand out to sea

Creating the illusion of a hasty journey

Across the sinking ceiling of the heavens

 

The air is crisp and smelling of snow

Of a soft gentle whispering blanket

The voices of miles whisper to the listening ear

Carried on some unfelt breeze from afar

 

The clouds blown away by the unfelt wind

Expose the radiance of the clear full moon

Casting her beams like waves on the dunes

Moon shadows dance through the trees on silent wistful Elven toes

And the world sleeps

 

Song from the title.

Pictures, Short

Face the Music and Dance!

I’m in the middle of getting things together for my open house, but I thought I’d take a break from scrubbing old window frames and gathering pictures to give you a little update. 🙂

I found a dress for the homeschool group’s dance! 😀 Meg says it’s hot pink, but everyone else says it’s red. 😛 It’s strapless, so we’re either going to get a shrug or Meg may try to add straps (The ones in the picture are just tucked in). I’m not sure which one, but either way it will be black. 🙂 I really love it! While the dancing will be similar to Contra dancing, it’s basically a prom.

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We’ve started watching Doctor Who. I’m now officially a nerd (as if there was ever much question lol).  With the combination of Lord Of The Rings, Star Trek (two series), My Little Pony, and now Doctor Who, there really is no denying it. Yes, I am a Pega-sis. Hannah got me hooked. It was kind of embarrassing until I found out there were others. lol

The other night I was almost to sleep when a train went by. Now, this isn’t a big deal, we live in a bend in the tracks. Trains go by many times a day and all through the night. In the nearly three years we’ve lived at this house I’ve gotten used to it and heard different trains. Usually you can hear the whistle, and sometimes the rumble. Every once in a while a really heavy one will go by and you can feel it. This train was different. I kid you not, it sounded like the TARDIS. That woke me up. I listened for a while and figured out it was a train, but it still sounded just like the TARDIS.

Book club had been really fun! Last time the genre was sci-fi and I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I’d seen the movie but I hadn’t read the book. Oh my goodness. It was so funny! There wasn’t much of a plot line, which would bother me in most books, but it was so funny that I realize it was plotless until I was done with it. I highly recommend it. The techno babble, artificial intelligence gone mad (sometimes literally) and just out-right craziness! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Allons-y!

Farm and Family, Musings, Pictures

Freedom!

I started doing the Snoopy Dance early this month. I went in to take the GED. Since I took it on the computer I got my scores back right away.  I didn’t quite dare to hope to expect to pass math. I nonchalantly looked at my scores and asked a couple questions about scoring. Then I went out to the car. Then I started  Snoopy Dancing. Well, not actually dancing, at least I don’t think I was…

I passed math! 54th percentile! Then I started dancing  even more. I only missed a couple of the science questions! 99th! The more scores I read the more excited I got. All but math were in the 90s!DSCF9467

I didn’t get my writing score right away because it had to be graded by someone, but I added my scores up and as long as I passed I would have over 3000 points.

The freedom of not having math looming over my head is amazing. I really can’t describe how wonderful it feels to not have school work (other than reading that mom and dad want me to do)

I got my diploma in the mail a few days ago.DSCF9498

My online teacher recommended that I apply for scholarships. I never thought I could go to college. I’m not sure why, it just wasn’t ever something I had considered. I think part of me thought I wasn’t book smart enough.

To be brutally honest, this is the first year I’ve really done any school. Mom taught me to read for about 3 years and once it finally stuck I just read stuff. For science I read science books, all the way from basic anatomy place mats to dads college textbooks, and stuck anything I could find under our microscope. Social studies is the hardest to pinpoint. You just kind of pick it up. Math is, was and probably will always be my worst enemy. I truly just didn’t do it. I learned to add and subtract and the basic principle of multiplication and that was enough for me. DSCF9505

I think a key to this style of schooling is fostering curiosity. We’ve always had all kinds of books around the house, but the microscope has always been one of my favorites. What does this type of leaf look like compared to this other one? What happens when it is cut, torn or crushed? How are they different? Comparing different people’s hair or fingernails.

Curiosity is what pushes you to read a book you may not have otherwise. It’s what pushes you to build thing and unwittingly learn the physics of a pulley or a fulcrum. Life may be a classroom, but curiosity is what keeps you from falling asleep during class.

I’m certainly not saying I’m done learning or that our relaxed style is THE best one for EVERYONE. It would be hypocritical. Learning is not a one size fits all thing (scarves are about the only thing I can think of that are).

I can’t believe I’m done.

Farm and Family, Pictures

Winter Storm Q

Awesome name. Awesome storm.

I was really itching for a nice big dumping of snow. We didn’t get one last year and it wasn’t looking like we’d get one this year either. Even Phil  said winter was over. Not so much.

At 6 o’clock yesterday morning it started snowing, and not just snowing. Thunder snow. It did not stop snowing until around 12:30. I got up to find Dad working on the couch in Claire’s nook.  It was really dark, so I thought it must have still been early. Wrong. It was 9. The window well was full to the point that no light came through the thin curtain. Yay.

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Not even done snowing yet.

I only heard one thunderclap, but it was the neatest thing. The snow was coming down hard all morning. Everyone else went out to play while it was still coming down, I’m still not over the flu so I stayed inside watching “Say Yes To The Dress” on Netflix.

Once the white stuff stopped falling I went out with Adam and we romped around for a while. We started building a fort, but soon found out it’s not very good packing snow. Of course, when the snow is over a foot deep it doesn’t really have to pack much to make a sweet fort.

Adam and I walked around to the back of the house and he showed me the solarium and where they made “A nice house.” My cleaver brother. 😉 We discovered that it is really fun to fall in deep snow.

Hannah came out to get a bowl of snow so Mom could make snow cream. She brought the snow in for Mom and came back out to play.  We worked on the fort some more, using Hannah’s snow shovel to pack and smooth the snow.

We went inside after getting the mail. The snow started to come down again as we ate pinto beans and watched Star Trek, one with Q of course.  It really is a perfect name for the storm. On Star Trek, Q is a mischievous godlike character with the ability to just snap his fingers and make things and people disappear, reappear, and move through time and space. Fun huh? Q treats humanoids, and all other races else really, like pawns. Just game pieces to do with as he pleases. He wreaks havoc and sends Captain Picard and the rest of the crew all throughout the galaxy just because he wants to.

How fitting.