Friday, December 30

The Stemen Academy of Infinite Learning

Not so much enjoying the fact that this is my last weekend of freedom before returning to the Stemen Academy of Infinite Learning. Yeah, that's what Geoff and I call our homeschool since Geoff and a friend joked about it on Facebook. As fun as the name might be, I can not say that I'm enjoying my over-vacation assignments. I have, like, three. Unfair, right? I know, I've considered complaining to child services but decided I didn't feel like going to all that trouble. :)
Today I slept until eleven in the morning. Which is a really, really weird thing for me, as I'm normally up at seven thirty-ish. I wasn't even up late, which makes it all the stranger!
After a lazy start, I had a lazy day, pretty much spending the whole time in my favorite spot on the couch. For those of you who think I probably didn't accomplish much today, think again! I finished the new Wii game Audrey bought last Saturday! It was a mystery game, so I had to think and solve puzzles and all that stuff I don't like to do normally.
Plus, I put off algebra. Again. Seriously, who wants to spend their winter break doing algebra? Nobody, that's who. Still, got to do it and get caught up, or else my grades will suffer greatly! And by that I mean, not an A. Which can send me into depression for, like, five minutes. Not pretty, folks.

Thursday, December 29

Wednesday, December 28

Back in Pensacola

I'm so glad to be home again!!!
Can't wait to see all my friends soon!!!!!

Tuesday, December 27

If you eat it, anything can be food!
-Geoffrey Stemen

Monday, December 26

I've got a dream!

Meredith got the Tangled soundtrack for Christmas!
You know what we'll be listening to non-stop for the next six months!

Well, there go my eyebrows!

Today was a typical day after Christmas. We ate candy, read our Christmas books, watched TV, ate, played video games, know the drill. We pretty much stayed home (well, my grandparents' house) all morning and afternoon, except for a quick trip to the Cracker Barrel store for some Christmas money splurging. Then my grandma, Mom, Audrey, and I headed out to a Japanese steakhouse and the boys (Uncle Matt, Grandpa, Dad, Geoff, Cameron) went to a fast food place. The restaurant was the kind where they cook the food in front of you, and lots of it, too! The chef started out by oiling the pan and then making a huge flame (yeah, my eyebrows are, like, gone) to heat the cooking surface. Then he put some water and rice on there, and mixed up the rice. He proceeded to cook our meat and veggies. It was an uncomfortably intimate experience with the strangers at our table, because he cooked our food all together and then just divvied it up between us, so I was eating the exact same stuff as the guy across the table from me, who I had never seen in my life. Still, overall, it was really fun! I've got this idea that now I want to do that for my birthday with my friends! We'll see....but it's fun!
Also, my friend Mary Baber started a blog, too! Go check it out---I love the title! So droll...
Also, I'm working with Geoff on his starting one, which would be really cool! I know he'd have an insane amount of interesting blogging material! If you have an idea for a title, let me know! Still, I won't tell you the title until he starts one--if he does, that is!

Sunday, December 25

The reason for the season

This Christmas was a great reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. There was basically nothing Christmas-y about it. Because of the drama with my great-grandma's death and Grandpa's surgery, there was no tree up. Grandma also didn't get a chance to make a Christmas dinner. This Christmas was a reminder that even if you have Burger King for your Christmas dinner, Christmas is Christmas-and Jesus is why we celebrate. Merry Christmas! I hope to see you soon!

Friday, December 23

Update from Ohio!

Sorry I haven't been able to post for a while, but we have been quite busy. I was so excited this morning when I woke up to snow! Later this afternoon I was very busy freezing my legs off at my grandma's graveside service ( note to self: no more short dresses in an Ohio winter). I also met a lot of people up here who say they're related to me, and who am I to argue? We are leaving for Mississippi tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with my grandparents and the rest of my family is coming up to join us! Hopefully I'll be feeling better for our (minimum) 12-hour trip tomorrow!
I miss you guys!

Tuesday, December 20

Taking a sudden trip to Ohio for my grandma's funeral. Might see snow!

Monday, December 19

Marshmallow taffy

We were at WalMart the other day and they had some French vanilla marshmallows shaped like snowmen.
Naturally, we bought them. For hot chocolate, of course.
Yeah, we were tossing them in our mouths by the handful.
Anyway, last night as I was about to pop one in my mouth, I remembered a recipe I learned about a year ago.
Two ingredients: marshmallows, and your fingers.
You take a marshmallow and start pulling and twisting it. It gets easier as you work it longer. It also gets messier.
Anyway, you keep pulling and twisting until the marshmallow is stretchy, gooey, and shiny. The shine is how you can tell if it's ready to eat!
Then you stick your very messy fingers in your mouth and get all that taffy stuff off there.
Messy, sticky, delicious. :)

Sunday, December 18

BRAIN DUMP!!!!!!!!!!

My friend Allie just started a blog of her own! You should totally go check it out!
Here's a link--
Also, things seem to be working out for us to go to MS for Christmas! So I'll miss you guys, but let's face it-- probably wouldn't have seen you anyway!
Still, have a VERY nice vacation and don't eat too many sweets!
(btw, our church had our Christmas program tonight! Went great!)

Friday, December 16

School's over! Woot woot!
I have choir rehearsal really early tomorrow. Got to be ready for the performance on Sunday!
I can relate to this guy. :)

Thursday, December 15

I am so glad for vacation to start tomorrow! We get to kick school out with our SGA party! There will be pictures, unless one of two things happens.
1) I forget. Which I might. Fridays are stressful with co-op and SGA and goofing off (if you know me, you understand!) and all.
2) I'm embarrassed of the pictures of me. Which could easily happen.
Me: What in the world was I doing with my eyes?
Mom: I told you what would happen if you got in the habit of making faces when people are taking your picture!
There's actually a good example of this. I'll post it, since you're all friends or family and I don't mind if you see me looking...well...awful.
Um, yeah, anyway.

For those of you who I probably won't see again till the New Year, I'll miss you! Maybe we can get together over the holidays, or for New Year's!
Now I have that song in my head. "Let's get together, yeah yeah yeah!"
I'll have to watch this movie sometime...


I'm very much enjoying reading the book Christy by Catherine Marshall, even if it is technically assigned reading for my literature class. I especially like it because I've been to that area of the country, so I can picture the scenery. These are some of my pictures from our visit to the Smokies.
This one's from our hike on the Appalachian trail. Yeah, not the whole thing. It kind of started to get hard to breathe when we got to the higher elevations, plus we were out of breath anyway. Being six thousand feet up will get to anyone, especially if you're from Flat Florida like me.

I think that this just might be my art show entry for photography.
I'm torn, cuz I got so many awesome shots from NC.
You can see the shadow of the clouds in the background! Isn't that cool?
Hey, Sarah Johnson, this is the stuff I live to get out in!

That's a Christmas tree farm down there in the background. I never want to leave the mountains! I want to live there when  I grow up!
There's another requirement for my future husband: He's gotta love the mountains!

I can totally picture the scenes from the book! If she's talking about a creek, I can see it cuz there's one right by the lodge we stay in (the little kids play in it non-stop). If she's talking about a rocky clearing in the woods, I can see it cuz I've been to several! If she's talking about the majestic summit of a mountain, I can see it cuz I've been on many! I know what the cool, crisp, fresh air that she talks about is like!
It's just awesome. Going to North Carolina is the one thing out of the year that I can get excited about any time I think about it. Us cousins have big plans to buy the camp we stay at when we grow up so we can be there all the time! :)

(haha, post number 111)

Wednesday, December 14

Seriously, Gracie, it's just the neighbors moving out-you don't need to bark at them!!!
I'm going insane.

Skating party

I haven't exactly been posting my recent  activities in good order lately...
Oh well! I want to post pictures from our skating party last Thursday, so I'M GONNA!
Yummy brownies! It kind of looks like there's a bite out of that one, doesn't it?
Wonder how that got there!

There's not a lot of shots with people skating that turned out for two reasons
1. They're moving pretty fast      
2. The lighting was bad in the rink

I think she was trying to steal my cookie.
HAHA! Foiled again, Bria!

Hi, Mary! You look very nice in this picture.

I don't need to tell you; you guys know who you are!
I know all of your names now! Yay me!

Supposedly this pose never makes a bad picture. I have to tell you, we didn't have a bad one of Joel in that pose from the party on Thursday...maybe he was right!

Hey, those are my glasses! Wanna know how she got them?
Well, there were about a hundred ninjas on, um, skateboards! And they all came in and jumped on me and beat me up and stole my glasses, but then I got up and scared them all away. Yup! That's what happened!

It's another Sarah!!!!

Kacie. Wearing my glowstick thingy. Yeah.

I really like this picture! I don't know why, but I do. She's like, "I'M FLYING!!!!"

My friend Abbie and her sister-in-law. 

HI, Allie! You look very blurry and stuff!

It's me and Ruth! Yay! My hair looks really messy! GREAT!

Hello, Daniel the Devil Child! I like you!
It was a very fun time. Even though my skates were too small and I got a blister, I had a great time with my friends! I think if my friends are there, almost anything is fun.

Tuesday, December 13

Christmas cookies

Mom and Audrey had some errands to run this morning, and while they were out, they picked this up.

So Audrey and I decided to do them, since Cam is out of town and Geoff was out studying with a friend.
Plus, I don't know that Cam and Geoff would have enjoyed this particular project. How bout I just warn you guys, Audrey and I are no cookie decorating masters. 'Nuff said.
 This is my cookie in its early stages. Yes, it is sloppy. Yes, it is kind of creepy. Deal with it.
 Audrey frosting hers. She pretty much exactly copied mine, with some different colors.

 My vampire gingerbread man. I think he's very cute.
See our pretty cookies! They're so festive and pretty and...wait, what does that writing say?
 Yes, that was my fault. At least I spelled it right! I just can't space things out very well!
 Audrey's cookie. Yeah, I'm not going to say any more. :)
My gingerbread man. Isn't he adorable?
We were at Fazoli's a while ago eating our spaghetti and breadsticks. I finished my breadstick, so I grabbed Geoff's.
Geoff: Hey!
Me: What? It's in the Bible: Stolen bread is!
Geoff: That's not how it goes.
Me: Whatever. (Eats breadstick anyway)

Bellingrath Gardens

We went to Bellingrath with our homeschool group on Friday night.
It was fun.
Sadly, few of my pictures turned out, so I was a little frustrated.
Still, there were a bunch that I'm gonna put out so you can get in the spirit of Bellingrath.

Just like Geoffrey! He was goofy, which meant he was either tired or super excited. Or both.

I took so many pictures of these swans, it was entirely probable that not one of them would turn out. Yet here we are...:)
Before I took this shot, Cameron came up to me and was like, "Hey, Meredith, what's the sign for peace?" So I showed him. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?

 Somebody told me that this was supposed to look like a waterfall. It made me think of the world of Pandora from the movie Avatar. See how the color kept getting drained?

 My poor camera couldn't figure out what to focus on! Maybe next time we go I'll have a better click-click.

A lot of my pictures showed the lights beautifully, but they're shaped funny cuz I couldn't hold still. What? It was cold, and I was excited, and there were a bunch of people behind me, so I couldn't stop.

 A pond, or something. I was getting quite frustrated at my camera right about now.
Giddyup, horsies! The underwater scenes were cool.

 Don't those look like the Christian fish?
 When I was taking this shot, we were by the scene in the next picture. I was ignoring it and taking pictures of the garbage. Go figure.
 This is one of those "farting rainbows" scenes that everybody loves but few people actually do.
 I like candy.
 Yay! A jack-in-the-box!
 Yes, we are cute. We're adorable, in fact. This will probably be our Christmas photo, now that I fixed the red eyes. We used to look like devil children.
 O Tannebaum, O Tannebaum!
 Oooh, pretty flowers!!!
 Oooh, more pretty flowers!!!
The Big Glowing Orb of Bellingrath Christmas Spirit and Stuff. Yeah, that was an impromptu naming.

Overall, it was fun. And cold. And crowded. But fun.

Monday, December 12


Our piano is awesome.
Like, seriously, I like it better than lots of pianos I've performed on all over the state of Florida!
But of course, I'm completely biased.
We got our piano two years ago. We used to have an old upright that looked somewhat like this.
Except not so ornate. We had an elaborate music stand, but the rest of the piano was pretty much just regular.
Then in November, everything changed. We took Ol' Bessie down to the music store and traded her out. We got about two hundred dollars for her to go towards our new piano. Geoff and I actually agreed on one piano, a medium-priced Yamaha 4 foot 11 baby grand. The salesman said he was surprised we didn't try to nab a Steinway. But now, I'm glad we didn't. I love our piano just the way she is. We named her Scarlett. I don't know how Geoff spells it, but I always imagine it with two T's, so that's how I spell it.
Sorry about the mess underneath, but we have more music books than we know what to do with!

That's a Christmas book and some sheet music on the rack. I've been playing a lot of Christmas music lately, trying to ward off the holiday stress that we always seem to get so bad.