Friday, October 28

Thursday, October 27


So yesterday afternoon I was at a friend's house studying. They live right over by the beach, so Mom and Dad decided that when I was done, we would take our supper to Johnson Beach and spend a little while there. Unfortunately, the beach closed at six, so we didn't get to stay for long, but we had a pretty good time anyway. I can't take credit for any of these pictures except the sunset and all the ACTION PHOTOS!!!! I didn't feel like taking pictures, to be honest, so I played barefoot in the sand and tried not to cut my feet on all the shells! That's why I'm actually in some of these pictures.
Sadly. :)
It was really perfect at the beach for pictures. Just a little bit of cloud, just enough sun, but not too bright. Fantastic!

A nice little bit of product placement here!

The modern-day Thinker.

The modern-day Non-Thinker

Remember that thing from a previous post about Cameron, King of Totally Posed Pictures? Maybe he learned that from someone else...

Poor Mom was so excited to see how good everyone looked. And then she saw Geoff. We should still use it as our Christmas picture!

The water was this beautiful light turquoise. Later on, we saw about five dolphins jumping all the way out of the water! It was like going to Sea World! Except their was no trainer. And I wasn't wet. And the dolphins were about a mile away from me. Still, it was a beautiful sight.




The pavilion where we ate supper.

Me and my little bro! We didn't pose this photo with just me and him. It was actually one of all the kids, but nobody else looked good, so I cropped them out and got a nice one of the 13 year old and the almost 11 year old.

Wednesday, October 26


My big brother Geoff playing very enthusiastically at the music camp he went to this summer. He really enjoyed it and is already planning to go next summer. Here he is playing Gershwin's Prelude No. 1.

Tuesday, October 25

Family Life

Our house has been bustling lately. We've had a lot of stuff going on with the homeschool group and our co-op, so it was hard to find time to decorate for fall. But finally yesterday, I cleaned and swept the living room and decorated. Even though we don't have a lot of decorations (for fall at least; Christmas is another story entirely), when artfully arranged, those few have a better effect than a room that's dripping with leaves and pumpkins.
When I lit this candle (actually, Mom lit it because I'm scared of lighting matches), the whole room instantly smelled absolutely wonderful. We had it burning all day. I did all of my schoolwork in the living room yesterday!

This bookshelf is one of my favorite places to decorate! It's just a long, flat surface that just screams, "DECORATE ME!!!"
The day before yesterday, the girls decided to get crafty. So my little sister Audrey found us a project to do. You take those terracotta pots that make a terrible noise when they scrape on each other (I got chills down my back just thinking about it), paint the bottom part with chalkboard paint, then decorate the top rim. Then you can chalk all over the rest of the pot.
The pot without decoration

Me working painstakingly on my design

The finished product.
 Don't I look evil in that picture? We took literally more than eight of those shots until I got one that was "blog worthy."
Another thing that has been keeping me busy lately is Gracie, the cutest little Cocker Spaniel you ever saw. She greets me every morning by barrelling to wherever I am and jumping all over me. Having a dog has been fantastic, although some parts are definitely better than others. For example, feeling loved and needed when your dog is whining at you for a walk. Then you take her for a walk and she pulls your arm off and then leaves a pile for you to clean up. Not cool, Grace! Anyway, the good things about her far outweigh the bad. Usually.
I don't know what it is about Grace, but her eyes always turn out funny in pictures. They're either red or she looks like she's got these weird green holes in her head. I'm not sure why, and it's frustrating sometimes.
Anyways, that's what I've been up to lately. Besides PE, where we play volleyball for two more weeks, I think. This Thursday, we're playing co-ed volleyball, which should be interesting since the guys are so competitive. Fortunately, the girls have a month of practice already, so I would say that those guys are going down!

Monday, October 24

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Even though this is one of the first Bible verses you will ever learn, it's still one of the best you can possibly know.

If you bring your siblings to Bealls...

If you bring your little sister to Bealls, she will fall in love with the creepy mannequin and start freaking you out. Aren't they a cute couple though?

If you bring your younger brother to Bealls, he will remark on how much the creepy mannequin looks like your older brother and start hugging it. Don't be afraid, though. Public humiliation is what younger sibs are all about.

Thursday, October 20

Physical Education

Being a very busy homeschooler, it can be hard to find chances to play sports. Which, even though I stink at every sport ever invented known to man, I love. So we were ecstatic when the homeschool group we're in started a PE about five years ago. When we first started, all we did was running, stretching, pull-ups, push-ups, and various other forms of torture, all in the name of fitness. Fortunately, the majority of attendees despised having a strict exercise regime (including Yours Truly)and eventually managed to reform the PE group into a PE group-with sports! And that is how I am now sitting here at the computer, excitedly waiting until we leave for PE. Four and a half hours! Four hours twenty-nine minutes! Four hours twenty-eight minutes! Those of you dear readers who have ever attended PE with me so far this year have probably, at one time or another, been on a volleyball team with me. And I do apologize for that. And you probably know that I have a tendency to get a little excited when the ball is remotely in my area. And you probably know that when I get excited, I have a tendency to make mistakes. So, when the volleyball is coming to me, or to the person in front of me in a manner that they are likely to miss and I shall have to attempt to save the ball, I will do one of  things.
  • Freak out and say, "YOURS!" and then get upset if the other person misses. Sad but true.
  • Say, "MINE!" at the same time as the other person, then we both try to hit the ball but miss.
  • Leap for the ball, whack it into a tree.
  • Whack the ball, but backwards.
  • Return the ball. Work on returning it into this county next time.
  • Stare at the ball coming towards me thinking, "bump, set, bump, set, bump, set, bump, set, bump, set, bump, set," unable to make up my mind which to do, and I end up catching it because my brain doesn't work fast enough.
  • And occasionally, watch the ball, make up my mind whether to bump or set, do so, and return the ball perfectly. But this is very rare and you are unlikely to witness it.
The awesome thing about our PE group is that, to an extent, we're all friends. Not in a creepy way. You see, you don't have to worry about looking like a moron when you're there. Everybody accepts you how you are and loves you for it. Usually. So even if you're the guy who feels defective anywhere else because he can't throw a two-thousand yard pass in football, you still get to play football and enjoy it. Even if you're the girl who couldn't serve a volleyball to save her life (what would you even serve a volleyball? what kind of food do they like?), you can still play and have fun! Because we won't publicly ridicule you! (We wait until you're gone.) Just kidding! Normally I talk about how good everyone was doing after PE. The only person who will really remember your mistakes is YOU. Nobody else will care about that botched serve after five minutes! Just remember to forgive and forget. Everybody stinks at something!

Wednesday, October 19

Trip to Niceville, FL

Here's some photos from the trip our family took to Niceville, Florida on Saturday for my brother's piano competition. Which he won. Which means he plays with an orchestra in February. Which is pretty awesome. Anyway, got some great pictures from the Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center there. Anyway, less talking, more pictures!
The weird art inside the Tyler Recital Hall, where the actual competition was held.

The old-fashioned biplane that lives there. It's called the Cam 12, so Cameron kind of loves it.

My little bro! Cameron is the king of totally posed shots.

Geoff, the lucky winner-though he didn't find out for a few hours!

Maybe Cameron learned that posed shot thing from someone else...

An extremely busy but still interesting photo

For some reason, the only word I can think of to describe this statue is 'groovy'

This might be my favorite shot of the day.

Geoff the art connoisseur

This pretty much epitomizes me and Geoff. I'm totally fly-away and goofy looking and Geoff...well, you know.
Meyow Morsels! The cat food cats ask for by name!

Monday, October 17

Mark Twain

The latest on my reading list has been Mark Twain's Humorous Stories and Sketches. The title does not lie; they are truly humorous. Yes, some are more so than others-for example, today I was reading Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences. I was literally cracking up, which is not something that I sincerely do often.
At least not over a book, and especially not over a book that might happen to be on my lesson plan for my daily literature lesson.
Having read all of Cooper's mistakes, it kind of makes me want to read the bemoaned Deerslayer tale. And thus, for my dear readers' benefit, I am posting all of the rules that made me all giggly-wiggly.
I hope and pray that you may never violate any of these rules and see James Fenimore Cooper as a true example of a literary felon.
And just in case you haven't figured it out yet, this is a joke, so please don't get angry at me for criticizing a great author. Now read on!

  • That a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But the "Deerslayer" tale accomplishes nothing and arrives in air.
  • They require that the episodes in a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help to develop it. But as the "Deerslayer" tale is not a tale, and accomplishes nothing and arrives nowhere, the episodes have no rightful place in the work, since there was nothing for them to develop.
  • They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale.
  • They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. But this detail also has been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale.
  • They require that when a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven- dollar Friendship's Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a negro minstrel in the end of it. But this rule is flung down and danced upon in the "Deerslayer" tale.
  • They require that crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader as "the craft of the woodsman, the delicate art of the forest," by either the author or the people in the tale. But this rule is persistently violated in the "Deerslayer" tale.
  • They require that the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable. But these rules are not respected in the "Deerslayer" tale.
  • They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the "Deerslayer" tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

Saturday, October 15

Am I an FBI agent in the making or what?

                               As per request, I am posting this picture from Fine Arts night.

Friday, October 14

Art project

This is an art project my mom taught in the art class at our homeschool co-op. You take black construction paper, then you cut out little paper thingies to look like trees, houses, etc... Then you glue them on and start painting! Using mainly orange, white, and yellow, paint swirly thingies and stars with little circles all around them. Then you make the moon by doing a crescent shape and surrounding it with all kinds of yellow, orange, and white, to look like it's glowing. Then you do the finishing touches. Because I'm the teacher's daughter (and I'm not in that class), I got to do one ahead of time as a reference for the little kids. Here they are!

The real thing, Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
Mine, A Ripoff of Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh by Meredith Stemen
My mom's

My brother's. Yes, Geoff is an artist- how did you guess?

Thursday, October 13

Nice thought...

Have you ever just stopped and noticed how beautiful the world is?

May the force be with you


Today marks a momentous occasion: my 50th blog post! (noisemaker blows in the distance) I never would have thought when I started in July that anybody would actually read my blog, much less that I would end up with fifteen actual followers! I know that that number is miniscule compared to thousands of blogs out there, but I don't care! At least when you have a small number of readers, you know that that small bunch truly cares about you.
So today I am posting a list of things I will never do.

       10 things I will NEVER do

  • Compete in a decathlon. Or even know what all the events in a decathlon are, for that matter.
  • Play major league baseball. The multi-million dollar salary would be nice, though.
  • Go to college and major in English. Who cares if I can diagram every word in a sentence?
  • Eat anything that is either on fire or still alive.
  • Murder someone. Intentionally.
  • Do drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol. I'm weird enough by myself without any help from those.
  • Play the violin part of an orchestra piece on a cello just to show off. Not that I can play either of those instruments well enough to do that anyway.
  • Run for President of the United States. We'll see about the Student Government.
  • Write a globally acclaimed literary masterpiece. I'll be glad if I get an 'A' on my research paper.
  • And I will never, EVER stop eating chocolate. Unless I suddenly develop an allergy.

Anyway, if you ever catch me doing any of those things, feel free to slap me upside the head. Just warn me before you do it.

Tuesday, October 11

Ice cream

I was squatting in front of an ice cream stand, reading the flavor list. 'Chocolate peanut butter explosion' and 'coconut cream pie' stood out to me. I thought about whether I wanted rich, chocolatey taste mixed with my favorite non-main dish food, peanut butter; or if I wanted the sweet, tropical flavor of coconut. I was just about to make up my mind when Mom shook me awake. Oh, well. It was still a pleasant dream.
Also, an easy ice cream recipe for fellow peanut butter lovers.
1 bowl of vanilla ice cream (you could probably use chocolate, too)
About 2 tablespoons (heaping)of peanut butter
Drop the peanut butter in your ice cream.
You can stir it all together, or just leave the dollops as they are.
It's really completely up to you.
Sit down with a book and enjoy!

I actually sat down in front of the TV with mine, but hey! Same difference!

Monday, October 10

Fort Pickens Pics From an OLD Trip

So this May we (this being me and my co-op history class)went on a field trip to Fort Pickens. It was absolutely one of the best field trips I've been on, mostly because everyone who was along is a friend, or at least not an enemy. :)

Part of the courtyard


I don't remember what these things are, but they're cool looking!

Stairs over a tunnel

Again-don't know, but it looks cool!

The really, really big gun on top of the fort

Joel fell off the edge.
 Actually, there's a ledge right below. This was the location for several goofy photos.

I think these were called the parade grounds.
 Note the cannon.

This poor young man isn't with us anymore.
 He moved to Colorado.

We went down to the beach afterwards. There were some dolphins further out, but I couldn't get them on camera.
It was a really great field trip, and I kind of learned some stuff. Or not. Mostly though, it was just a great time of silliness and fun with friends. Hopefully we can do it again this coming year!

Fine Arts

Pensacola Christian College (where my dad works)has a special performance, like a play or musical, concert, etc... about four times a year. Everyone gets to dress up in their formal wear and parade around. And there was no way I was missing out on that!
Me and my big brother (you can't really see my dress, cuz it was dark and my dress was black)
Me and my dad

I was wearing so much hairspray that I thought it would never come out! And I learned something else: I DESPISE lipstick. Yup! That's why it goes in the bottom of my makeup box and doesn't come out till November, when we have the NEXT Fine Arts!