Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Time to Read

"This is a tale of a jackass and a young bean counter, a girl of marvels and mysteries, horesemen swift as wind, Goat Folk, Daughters of Morning, voyages, tempests, terrors, disastors. And the occasional rainbow."

The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander


That has to be one of the best first sentences I've ever read. Up there with "There was once a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it."


Any particularly favorite first lines from books anyone would like to share?

Monday, December 18, 2006

"The holidays have begun!"

I took my math final this morning. It took 1.75 hrs.

I handed in my english paper. It was boring. Approximately 4.53 pages. Not includeing bibliography.



IE:


I'm DONE for a month!

(Laughs with glee)

Beat that! Haha! Yeah! I win!


In a sad, ridiculous sort of way, I would be this happy even if Christmas wasn't in a week. But it is. And I am. And its grand.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas (IE Santa's Party)

Today I got up to go to piano lessons.

To find that I had left my head lights on. I had no battery power.

(hits head)

But in better news, this semester is almost over. Christmas is almost here. The parties are about to start! Reminder, if you read this, you are most welcome to my house this Saturday evening at 7pm for some christmas movie time.

I'm sick and tired of Santa Clause. People want to believe in him so badly and yet they completely ignore the whole point of the holiday.

Thank God there will always be a remnant. I hold on to that thought every day when faced with the fact that Christianity is slowly being forgotten, ignored, as worth anything in this country. I almost wish it was blatant persecution. At least then we could take active measures to work against it. Now we just have our words and actions and some who call themselves Christians don't even have those.

Why are some nonChristians infinitly friendlier than others who go by that title? I don't understand. I remember Mr. Kulp speaking on how all the good "pagans" (he never softens his words) good works never ammount to anything since they are attempting to win salvation by some invisible standard instead of doing good works for the glory of God. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

College Shopping Update

I've heard from two schools in the past two days.

(grin)

I've been accepted to Covenant College and Penn State Main.


Now to wait for the money info.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Four Evenings

I spent the beginning of last week scrambling to get the last minute applications done and sent in. I did it! Hurrah! Hip hip! Huzzah! Woooootttt!!! PWN! Score! Buyah!

Etc.

My mind then decided to go take a holiday and my school functions have been equal to nihilo since then. I however, have been happily employed in scampering about the country during the evenings doing mental stress nihilo things such as Starbucks and youth group and Wii and surprise parties. Yep. And youth group was crazy because I was handed a song twenty minutes before hand and I learned it and played it with Kent and Bob as "special music." You'll have to ask someone else how it went since I really can't tell.

Surprise party for Kent and Amanda was a bit odd as Kent was quite late and Amanda almost didn't come. Why we did not discuss our plans with their parents is beyond me but oh well. They came, we sang, ate ridiculously rich cake, and sat with Cait around the table the whole night. I'm not sure I moved more than three times from that seat. It was lovely however.

Today was also grand as I decided to ditch my usual desk in the library and venture up to the third floor for lunch and reading. There is this lovely... glass... tower... sitting room area...thing... with the usual cheap chairs and couches and bean bags that is enclosed on three sides by tall glass walls, so you can see the campus from the best vantage available. it was lovely up there in the sky with all the wind that couldn't get through the glass to get me. The sun was shining right on me for two hours and I nearly fell asleep.

(heaven)

Now I have to head to class which will be pointless and boring. Very sad. The good news is that I only have three more classes after this one today. For this class anyway. The others I have... four... yes. Four. HALLELUJAH. Then comes Christmas break. I do have to write that blasted paper and plan that blasted scene first though. Then Christmas shopping which I can't wait for.

Three cheers for the cars that could!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Matter of Icecream

Today is a Wednesday, which according to summer rules, means that it is the worst day of the week. Thursday on we hold to the coming weekend. Monday and Tuesday we are remembering the previous weekend. Wednesday we are just unhappy.

Anything is possible through Christ who gives me strength.

Or words...

Words are in great demand right now. I rather had some hopes dashed yesterday. Ah well. There is no harm in trying, right?

...right...

But to brighten my grey, wearisome day, they were giving away a free scoop of creamery icecream. I got some chocolate and sat outside in the fifteen minutes before class, looking at the sky, and entering bliss. It was quite nice.

I would love to skip class today. Just leave and go away and hang out at home and practice piano and write essays and come up with something to give Mom and Dad as today is their anniversary. I have many reasons to be happy about this event, such as my own existence. I should probably thank them for it somehow. :-)

Research essay... must start. I'm just waiting until two days from now when my applications are in and gone and done. But the essay is going to be gloriously dull and meaningless to my life. Do I care about politics? Do I? I say again, do I?

(sigh...)

Any other news? Nope. Nope, none at all. I think. If someone can think of something else interesting.

Elia: "Is it tea?"

You are now up there with our dear Andrew boy.

"It doesn't really matter."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oops

I shouldn't have left that depressed post up for so long.

News flash: Our bathroom is painted! Come one, come all to see the wonders Mom has wrought!

And I heard a mad conversation today between a group of women studying to be teachers. It appalled me and I keep chidding myself that I didn't go over and ask to join the conversation. (hits head) Bill Jack would have been so proud of me but I didn't.

And now I have much to get done. "Farvelle".

Monday, November 20, 2006

Trapped

I'm going to go mad if this school day doesn't end quickly. I hate being here. I need to get out.

(rams against library walls)

I need a walk.

OH. And I HATE college applications. I hate them. I am so apathetic about the ones due in seven days, I don't know how it is going to get done. I really don't.

-me

Monday, November 13, 2006

Summit Lake

It was a good weekend. Amazing? No. What I wanted? No. What I needed? I think yes.

My smallgroup really came through. I never though we would get to this point. We're a family now. I never thought it would happen but it did. We had such a wonderful time together, laughing, playing, hanging out. I was with them the whole weekend, trapsing back and forth from our lodge on the other side of the world to the cafeteria and tabernacle. Our group was the only one in our building. It was like having a three story house for our group (14 people total). Nine showers and toilets. That was the best part. Never once did I have to wait to take a shower, not even a cold one. And we tried to pull off a prank. It was disastrous. But we tried. The simple fact is that God really must have had amazing reasons to keep us from it because we were on the war path but just couldn't get anything done.

Don't worry. I did learn things. Much of it was some time spent in silence and peace. Revelations? Not really. A spiritual high? No. But it was comforting and lovely and a perfect rest. Worship times were lovely lead by El Faro, a group of people very near to my heart. It felt like home in a way to have them leading worship, seeing Martin run around, Christian making us jump, Timmy on the trumpet. It was wonderful. Bob even pulled through for Sunday morning to make it well done. I don't think I've ever heard our worship team sound so good. Of course, that isn't the point, but it was something that made me happy.

But what did we do? nothing! Ha! It was fantastic. Just hung out and laughed and cried and shouted and got angry at the world. That was one of the best parts. A portion of our small group went up to the third floor Saturday night and we ranted about anything and everything. Oh, and Mim, we had a heated debate over a woman's role in leadership of the church. It was great.

Some Moments:

-Kelly asking for us to pass the "brown water"
-Amy declaring that the sign must be the trees name and learning that honeysuckle isn't a tree
-The failed massiver newspaper prank (all the pounds of newspaper still sitting in our lodge)
-The ridiculous spy maneuvers by Cait and Dana to get that stupid paper plate
-"These are not my pants!"
-"I've lost my pen! I want it back!"
-Watching Jarad play football for the first and only time
-Watching "Cars"
-The amazing weather.
-Kelly's question at the guy/girl talk (we were so proud)
-Getting into the slide show. Score, I WIN!
-"Harry Potter is gay." "Is not!" "Is too!" "Is not!" "Whatever!" "Is not!" "You're gay!"
-Tim: "Yeah, my favorite scene was the one in the rain. Mr. Darcy is so hot." Luke:" At least it had Keira Knightly to make it worth watching." (the highlight of this was my violently horrified face)
-Not being able to find water.
-Six trips to the emergency room by different people during the day.
-"The Prodigal Daughter" that was an amazing skit. It needed a better title but other than that it was quite good.
-The talk with Cindy and Paul on the way up
-The fun on the way home
-Small group time before the bonfire (which was totally awesome)

That was a brief summary. After I get some more sleep I might be able to give a more comprehensive account of the goings on. Until then...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This Sunrise

Greetings!

Today was smashing! SAT scores came back and made me happy as they were higher than before. Presented a project in class and was well received. And read the college newspaper and choked on my yogurt.

Because there was an article that was written by "Dana Marie Ray"

I had a cow. They never told me they were going to publish it! Never! I didn't think that they had even received it! But nope. It was there. And I was so excited. Still am. I was published in a newspaper! Ha!

Lovely, mad, crazy, exhausting day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Home

They're back! Hallelujah!

It is so good not to be in charge anymore. I can now devote myself entirely to school work and Summit Lake thoughts. Which is coming. Gloriously fast. I just hope it comes fast and leaves slowly. But it won't. It never does.

Today is the Sunday I didn't have.

I saw Elia! It made my week.

And Jane called last week which is noteworthy. And wonderful.


Years are mad fast. Mad. Or mental. I like both of those words.

And I like movies a good deal. It would be fun to be a movie critic when I grow up so I can get paid to write about movies. But then I would have to go see tons of ridiculous things that are terrible. Or I could review movies I want to see like that person on decentfilms.com does. He has good reviews.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Your feet are cold."

Last night was the coldest I've ever been in my life.

With the possible exception of the "Elia/Dana Prank War" at Chillout.

We went to a highschool football game in the rain and wind and cold. It was miserable. We were so wet all night and the rain never stopped. We stayed the whole game. Beat that!

Seriously, I can't remember another time when I was so cold and shivering with no way to get warm or dry off. What I really couldn't believe is that my six layers of shirts weren't working. And that lots of people stayed for a long time too. And huddling didn't work because everyone was just as wet and dripping as you were. And the umbrellas weren't shedding rain, it was coming down to fast.

And Jarad didn't play. Which was the entire reason we went. We yelled and screamed for them to put #45 in but they didn't. We were disappointed. He was disappointed. His mother was disapointed. But we were all there just in case!

But it was all good because we went to Starbucks afterwards. Remind why it is supposed to be heretical again? We stood in the entrance and dripped all over the floor and drank hot drinks and said how much better the Harbour would have been at such a time.

It took me hours to get warm again.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wherever

Yesterday, my car door fell off.

No joke.

But it is being fixed by somebody somewhere.

It was quite exciting but I'm sure that most people who read this have heard the story. Maybe I'll tell it again anyways. I went to shut the sliding door, and in my vehnement ire at running late, I hip checked it a good deal too hard and it fell right off. Falling doors is something entirely new in my life experience. At least the car still runs. The Beast/Blue Bullet/Witch/etc has a few more good years it needs to truck along through.

Ryan Musser sold his guitar to buy a ticket to Peru for a friends wedding. If you know Ryan at all, you know that his guitar is permantly attached to his body. I've never seen him without it.

Mrs. Eagleson has made me a stove and a cupboard for my kitchen! I am so excited that I'll actually have a real kitchen to work with! This whole costume thing though, is getting me all irritated. I haven't seen the movie. I'm not going to. I'm going to play Mama the way I see her and I'm going to set up house the way I think she would. Movies are detrimental to an individual's production of a play. Follow my advice and never watch a film during your production of a play. Never.

I commited heresy and drank processed chai tea. The "just add water" kind. I know. I shouldnt have. But I wanted chai and that was in the cupboard. Cold chai just doesn't work for me. All the flavor leaves when I add ice. Why don't they have this problem at coffee houses? Speaking of such things, I've heard a rumor that there is a coffee house in the outlet malls now. Could its location really classify itself as a true coffee house? I don't know. Must visit there sometime.

And I should really head out to class now. Bleh. I'm so going to sleep in tomorrow and no one will be able to stop me!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rummaging

We transfered some old files from on computer to the next and this picture came up.



I think it was taken by Megan. She sent it to me.

Good weekend. The most random, spontaneous, thing I have ever done.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cellphones and Empty Houses

Time for a new post.

I was by myself almost all day today. From 11am-5pm. A long time. I watched LOST to keep myself company. And school work and such.

Found out that there was a prayer meeting Monday night. Felt like a jerk. I was one. Irresponsible. Lout head. Etc. Called Bob and apologized and was forgiven. (hits head on wall)

School today. Bleh. Math is bleh. I'm tired of commuting and listening to wjtl play the same songs over and over.

Math is (all of the above)>= need to go to summit lake.

"It seems, its always the crazy times"

My grandmother randomly showed up. Yes randomly.

Much to do. So little time. Au revoir!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chances Taken

In the past week I have let opportunities to be Christ's love slip by. I can list them even. They screamed at me to come up to the task but I didn't. I had the chance to introduce myself to three different people. I didn't. I chose not to help out with a new girl at youth group. I chose not to help this younger girl find some people to hang out with. After each of these I berated myself for my inconsiderateness.

Today, I didn't miss it.

A girl turned around in math class and asked what my bracelet meant. I was wearing those wordless bible bracelets. So I answered. I couldn't believe I did it but I explained the whole thing to her. She listened politely as I blundered and stuttered my way through it. She turned back around and didn't say anything else. But I did it. Strange to say, this is the first time that I've ever had the chance to explain the gospel like this. Ever. In all the missions trips or wva or anywhere, I've always been the one who spoke and explained concepts further into the Christian faith. I've never had the chance to do what I did today.

I was really bad at it. It was like trying to learn to dive. I tried and did a bellflop. But my parents would laugh and cheer anyway.

But somehow, it was a triumph to finally have taken the chance that God gave me.

Don't miss the chances He gives you today.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Location: New

Right now I'm with Dad at Penn State Main Campus checking it out. It is a different atmosphere than I was expecting and totally different from any of the smaller schools I've taken an interest in. The best information I've gained was from eating lunch with a lady named Rebeccah from Campus Crusade. She talked about her experience at penn state (as an english major!) and what its meant to her and what Christian activity there is on campus, etc. She was so sweet and reminded me very distantly of Rachel from this summer (it was the redish hair I think). Dad definitly made a good call in arranging for her to come meet with us. If I get sold on coming here it will be because of her. There are so many aspects to colleges that it makes my head spin sometimes but visiting here gave me a different angle I need to consider. If anywhere, I loved Hillsdale and we'll see what Grove City is like. If nothing else, I can't wait to spend some time with Anna and Liz. It'll be great fun.

Remember Hannah! She's running today around 4pm at Shenk Park. Go cheer her on or pray that she runs the race of the season! They are up against Hershey today. :-( I wish I could be there.

To Hannah: See black and white.

Monday, October 02, 2006

No News is... what?

Tired tired and needed needed one one more more day day of of weekend weekend.

Enough of that.

Had classes today. Went fine I think though math is still elusive and drama was more difficult than usual. Arranged a room for myself when I visit Grove City on Thursday. Staying with "anna ray" and liz which I am looking forward too. Arianna, if you read this, I'll be in Grove City probably Thursday evening and we need to get together sometime Friday, maybe at lunch? I took a walk around campus and through the Capital Union Building which was nothing but empty hallways and a gym. Got the name of someone who is in charge of Capital Christian Fellowship. At lunch in my car and read 1984 which becoming an irritating book.

I lead a routine filled life. Aside from crazy things that happen rather consistently in the routine.

Last Thursday was smashingly great.

All this is just going on and on without saying anything of importance. People use blogs to post about important things but I can't think of anything important to say.

Aside from this: I hate thinking about college.

Saying that, I do it all the time.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Long Expected Party

Yes. Today is the day! Today is Bilbo Baggins's birthday! On this day Frodo began all his great adventures concerning the great Ring of Power that ultimatly ended with (...).

Like I would give away the ending...

Go find The Fellowship of the Ring and read it with tea and honey covered scones. And under a tree preferably.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Frapacinos

Coffee must have the same effect on me as it might do to someone else with alcohol. I am much more alive and outgoing today than usual. Actually spoke to the person beside me in class (gasp) and had something to talk about with Mike before heading in here to the library to write to you my beloved audience. It wasn't hot coffee mind you. Not black either. It was highly watered down with a creamy substance that starbucks concocts. I knew I needed to wake up this morning so I stopped at Turkey Hill and bought one. I am now quite shakey and easily made nervous and easily made cheerfully pleased with the world.

In varying orders, of course.

I have discovered Jasper Fforde. Nothing new to the world mind you but it is a new world in the realm of my experience. He is rather like Doug Adams except with more logicalness to his plots and an interesting love of literature. Facinating man, really. "The Eyre Affair." Good stuff, it really is.

I've missed the sun.

Sat down and watched "The Hunt for Red October" with Dad and Hannah last night. I knew Sean Connery wasn't bad, I knew it. Whoever heard of Sean Connery playing a bad man? Not I!

I hate scholarship essays.

And now I must go to work on my autobiography. Sillyness of teachers, thats what.

-dana

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

None of us knows and that makes it a mystery...

I'm here again at penn state. I'm here a lot. I like it here as of right now though the drive is getting wearisome rather quickly. I've met a few people and hopefully that number will increase. I'm considering going to a class in ten minutes. Should I or should I not? It could be interesting. It could be mortifying. We'll see.

I have a lovely new blog for my english class. it should be fun and could be a great outreach. I found a christian group on campus but have no idea how to find out their scheduals and such. If the times worked out it would be great to see what they're about. I haven't heard about them until I did research so they don't seem to be very vocal.

What a gloomy day..

I'm bored and lonely.

Every once in a while sports night will be just what I needed. Last night was one of those nights and I'm still basking the glow of the lovely time I had. Being with friends becomes so much more enriching when I spend the majority of my week even away from family. When I am in a comfortable situation I think that I'm actually comfortable with myself and out going and not easily bothered. Suddenly put into a place where I know only a few faces and am taking classes with teachers I don't know... it reminds me how far I am from being at ease with the world, how introverted I am. People scare me. Silly isn't it? Many of you have seen me in settings where I am far from quiet and subdued or timid. Here I am all of those things and uptight on top of that. It is getting better as I go but it was still an unpleasant reminder of how poorly I handle being alone.

"Morning by morning/ I wake up to see/ the power and comfort/ of Your hand in mine/ All I hath needed Thy hand will provide..."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PSU Harrisburg

I am sitting in a computer lab waiting for my class to start. Why we are having English in a computer lab is beyond me but I checked online for my schedual again and yes this is where I am supposed to be.

It has been stressful. I get stressed going places by myself with no one I know around me. Somewhere on this campus is Nate Davidson but he has yet to materialize which would have made this day much more pleasant. Anyway, the math is gloriously highschool level with a very good humored teacher. He seems to enjoy being alive which makes math in a large group of people more bearable. I have a highly entertaining and passionate lit prof. A former theatre major, she has a lot of bounce to her but there is a hard coreness to how she approaches literature which I appreciate. Her class has promised to be the most enjoyable and possibly the most instructive as the textbook for this english course looks to be rather worthless for my life.

I spent an hour doing math in the trunk of my car. I liked it.

Almost done with John Adams. It has been a most informative book with revelations on the founding fathers on every page.

I do hope my class is in this room... it should be. Or the computer lied. Computers have been known to lie before.

Ah me... such is life.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A September Day

We watched Sense and Sensibility again last night. It has been awhile since I sat down and watched it the whole way through. There was a lot that I had forgotten or missed. All the characters have a lot of depth which I had forgotten. Lots of little things that I missed in the past. So I would recommend the movie. Oh, and Edward has far more goodness to him than I originially realized. He was well played.

Right now our family is in NY visiting my grandmother for the weekend. It is rather chilly and very wet. We saw two coyotees this morning attack four deer that were out in the field. Mama Ray went out side and yelled like crazy to scare the coyotees off which made us laugh. I've spent the morning trying to read some but am constantly distracted by the first college gameday playing on tv. My aunt should be coming over later to spend the afternoon with us and hang out. We called my cousin Arianna last night and talked to her for a while. This is her first week up at Grove City and it seems to be going well as much as first weeks anywhere go.

I myself will be starting school next week. Finally. I'm just hoping that it goes well. Drama is starting up. Mom seems to have picked out her play for this year which is incrediblly different from anything else we've ever done. Ever. I'm excited about it though. It will either be amazingly good or amazingly bad. There will be no middle ground. Pink panther we could cover what wasn't good with comedy. Here it will be just us up there with only ourselves to cover our mistakes. It will be a challenge but an exciting one. The group of actors we have this year is very different from the past. No Tim or Jarad, Cait, Chris, Jonathon. A fresh group coming through and the promise of a very different play.

A very different year. I'm praying for a good one though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Seasons

Today is utterly and completely and unquestionably fall.

Aside from the fact that it is ridiculously hot outside. I cannot tell that fact. I am inside freezing in the lab as Damion searches for the nerve in a chap named Tom Fry. I find his name amusing. I would never name my child "Tom Fry." It sounds like out of a nursury rhyme.

Yesterday, I played piano for youth group. It went marvelously well. Maybe it didn't but I didn't notice and had a jolly good time doing it. Possibly recruited a tenth grader to start working on leadsheets and joining the worship team on a small time basis. It made me very excited.

I also spoke about the Lebanon trip in youth group. Was made quite pleased by the fact that I didn't prepare but it went off quite splendidly. I think everyone has a better idea of what the trip was like now. The slideshow put together by Mark was quite good too. At least two pictures of Martin (Mar-teen), my unrequited love.

Got up this morning at six. Thought about running but talked myself out of it because of the fog. I have no desire to get viciously run over at such an ungodly hour.

School starts in a week. I'm rather looking forward to it.



(my family. I love this picture of us)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Something to See

This morning I went outside to go to work, only to discover that a positive epic battle was being waged in my yard. The epic battle of the falcons and the crows. There were three, THREE, falcon looking birds sitting in trees and flying about. The crows did not like this invasion of their territory and so squawked up a storm. Whenever a falcon would leave the tree and fly, the crows would literally attack the falcon. The falcons also returned this deffensive aggression by some nips at the crows themselves. Some squirrels also got caught in the crossfire, unwittingly on the side of the crows because one of the falcons kept getting distracted by this grey piece of moving dinner. The squirrel escaped however by hiding behind my brother's baseballfield sign hanging on one of the trees.

This so occupied all these said creatures attention that they did not even notice that I was standing about twenty feet away.

There is something to be said for getting up early afterall.

Friday, August 18, 2006

BP's

It has been a good week at work this week. I've been able to help out quite a bit in the lab and such with getting averages for Amy or getting blood pressures or being errand boy during a hectic lab. I've enjoyed quite a bit. There were also a number of enjoyable events this week such as last night when I tagged along with Hannah's smallgroup to dinner at Houlihan's (an interesting place with strange waiters, by the way) and some games at the Witwers. Looked at pics from Lebanon, reminiced, and laughed. Seeing pictures of our Freedom dance made Melody insist on seeing it for herself (her daughters had refused to demonstrate). We turned on the music and ended up having a dance party right there in the kitchen. It was great fun since I hadn't danced in ages. Emma is quite the dancer there with an especial taste for hispanic music. Of course, no one could break it down like Hannah and I. I really should try to find a guy who can do what she does with me. It would be so convenient if Hannah were a boy but alas, she isn't.

The picture you see if of my quizzing ladies after we went out to dinner together on Sunday. I'm going to miss them. We had a photo shoot and this was my favorite picture. My compliments to Abby who took it!

It was fantastic to go to sports night and see everyone. I loved being able to talk with everyone again after being away for so long and people just now getting back from vacations and everything. Despite what a wonderful summer its been, I'm looking forward to the start of school. Dad took me to get my books yesterday which turned out to be easier than I had expected. If I was by myself however, I might have paniced which is why I insisted on Dad taking me and showing me how to find what section my books were in. We got most of what I needed aside from the English class whose books weren't on the shelf yet. Don't ask me why. I do hope they arrive before September though. They've time enough.

I'm off. I must go take care of recording blood pressures for the next thirty minutes.

-dana



(me realizing that we had an entire other peak to climb after the one we just conquered to get to the view of Lake Superior. This was on our trip to Michigan)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Updation

Greetings!

If you didn't know, I am most seriously home. Going to church yesterday after nearly a months absense was like coming home after a long journey. Seeing the familiar faces of my friends and hearing their stories was such a joy to me. I didn't realize how much I missed them all.

Vacation was utterly lovely. The highlight was the jetski (which Dad and Jason kept falling off) and swimming in Lake Superior, the prettiest body of water I've ever come across. I also enjoyed going to see Pirates 2 with Hannah, though the movie itself wasn't worth it. Saying that, the ending made it imperative that I see 3 when it comes out next summer. Stupid disney... how could they do such a money swindling thing to their audiences?

Hillsdale was enlightening. I liked it a lot. Talking with one of their proffessors was great. He took a whole hour out of his day to have a chat with me. He did most of the talking because he was that sort of person but I gleaned a lot of information from him. It was far more informational than the tour or interview I had with the admissions office. It was sort of what I did when I visited Cedarville which pretty much took that school off my list. This interview however, put Hillsdale up on my list. I really liked the school aside from two major points: 1) The dorms weren't very nice and they don't mix the age groups. Covenent has them there and in their technology. 2) It is in Michigan for crying out loud. I've always wanted to go south for school. But we'll see., I'll be applying soon for both of those schools.

And now for my trip to Lebanon. This is the note I will be sending out to those I asked for prayer from. It covers the basics of the week but if you would like to know more or see pictures or anything, I will be happy to oblige. (but I doubt you will)

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Friends and Family,
This letter is my follow up on the missions trip I went on this summer to Lebanon, PA. First, I want to thank all of you for the prayers I know you put in for Hannah and I as we were away. They are much appreciated and I know that they were put to good use! God was present with our team in everything we did and we saw His hand move in amazing ways
.
Well first, what did we do? A bunch of things. It was different from other mission trips I have gone on in that our church wasn’t really in charge of what went on during the week at all. This time, we were under the authority and supervision of Iglesia El Faro (The Lighthouse Church). We stayed in their church building during the week and they provided the tools and knowledge we would need to reach out to the large community we found ourselves in. Their pastors would teach in the morning and then we would go to sessions on drama, music, dance, and spanish. Through these, we were able to gain what we would need to execute our nightly outreaches.

Monday night was a prayer walk throughout Lebanon’s notorious “Northside,” the area in which the church is located. To qualm any misconceptions, the Northside is and isn’t as bad as it can be portrayed. We didn’t have any trouble while we were there, which was good, but it can be a rough area. But that was a side note J. It was good to go outside the church fence and get a grasp of the area, giving us an idea of how to better pray for the people we would come in contact with. We also did some outreach in a local park. One of the leaders started a basketball game with our team members and the teenagers already playing at the park. This was a great way to become acquainted with life in Lebanon. We did this a number of times through the week and it was really an eye opener to see how these kids lived. There were some kids who couldn’t have been older than twelve smoking with their parents not far away. One kid who was around fourteen was on parole, for what he wouldn’t say. We learned a lot from the evenings we spent in that park.

Tuesday was when our main ministry outreaches began. We walked to a nearby park with all our things and put on a small carnival for the community. This was a great time of getting the message of Christ out there through the choreographed songs and group skits that Christian (one of the pastors) had taught us. It was also wonderful to see the love that all the team members put into the kids and the others who came. One student spent twenty minutes chatting with a parent. Another spent the majority of the evening escorting this one little girl around. Another group of girls spent the entire time painting faces, giving ample time to give the kids a part of themselves, a bit of the love of Christ.

Wednesday evening was similar to this except that its focus was on games. A number of teenagers we had met on Monday came to play basketball with us again as well as some familiar kid faces from the carnival the night before.

The next two days were spent in preparation for the big carnival at the church on Saturday and getting some work done in the building. We were able to do some cleaning in the second, and unused floor of the church building as well as clearing out some stuff up there and tearing out carpet. We were able to clear out a number of the rooms.

Saturday was a huge day in the week. In a lot of ways, everything we did during the week was working up to this point. And it worked. God spared us potential rain giving us instead a sunny day to work with and many kids from the surrounding neighborhoods showed up. We served food, had music, games, skits, and a dance (Yeah, the dance was a stretch for me J). It turned out really well. Nothing though, could compare with the joy we encountered when six kids came to know Christ. Two of the young girl team members were able to speak the truth to four little girls and another leader was able to talk to two young boys. I believe that the young boys were our greatest source of joy. Their immediate response to the gospel was amazing. They were both so excited and joyful and eager to learn more. We were able to give them Bibles, being able to see them eagerly writing their names in the front of the books. It was even more exciting when they came to church the next day, bringing their father.

Saturday night was also an important final evening where we saw Our Father do some amazing and unexpected things. Early in the week we had decided that Saturday night would be spent in having a communion service for the team. Myself and two of the other teen leaders decided to do what we could in making it a special and beautiful time, with particular effort in the set up of the room and the order of the service. Nothing could have prepared us for what God was going to do. We opened it up to everyone there that if anyone would like to, they could go to one of two chairs we had set up and wash each others feet if they had had difficulty with the other person, an argument, harbored ill feelings, anything. The Holy Spirit was undeniably present as people went to each other in love and repentance. Not only were we showing our love for each other but Christ’s love for the other person through us. Then we were able to take communion together, a demonstration of our unity in Christ. It was a special moment for everyone there and created a spirit of joy between all of us.

I learned a lot from this trip. It was such a blessing to see Him working in such vivid and clear ways. Everyone on the team was such a blessing to me as well. Someone was always there to help me when something got rough, an encouraging word, a towel to borrow, a tube of toothpaste to steal. I think though, that the greatest lessons I learned were from the teaching and example of the pastors (Hugo, Christian, and Lorenzo) at Iglesia El Faro. In each of them, Christ is so evident. They are so strong in their faith, which is reflected in their teaching. Hugo’s main point was to make everything we do worship to God. After a visit to a land fill he commented “That was a good worship service.” He also talked about how God waits for us everyday to speak with us and spend time with us. The way he described it was so exciting. God, waiting, for me to come and spend time with Him? Yes, God taught me that week.

So thank you again for your prayers and support. The week was well worth it!

-dana

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Time...

I'm still away but almost home. Right after Lebanon our family headed to the Upper Penninsula of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan fir vacation. It was basically as far away from home as we could get. Anyway, I'm in Hillsdale right now. Tomorrow I get to look at the school and then we'll head home. I have many stories to tell about Lebanon but they'll have to wait until I get home. Hope all is well there.

ever, dana

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lebanon, PA

Here I go, off into the wild blue yonder.

I'm so excited about this next week on the missions trip. I really can't wait. There is some awesome student leadership in place which I feel will really end up dictating the success or failure of the week. Definitly some responsibility there but like I said, I'm excited. Pray for us and all those jr highers come with us. We need team unity and right motivations more than anything else.

More stories when I come home.

I decided a few moments ago that someday I want to spend my new years eve at Stone Henge. Stay the whole night and watch the sun rise.

Really.

Witnessing/Wednesday

Witnessing was the most depressing part of the week. Should it be that way? I don’t know. I just know that it was. And is. And always has been for me. Some people get an excitement and passion from sharing their faith like that. I only end up near tears because I don’t get anywhere. This time was uncommonly depressing as I had to resign myself to standing on a street corner, making sure that non of the students went further than Independence Hall (we were in down town Philly). So many people just brushed past and ignored the students. I’m not sure I could blame them, which is what was so depressing. If I was in their position I would have rushed on by without listening either which might be why I have a violent aversion and abhorrence to street evangelism as a tool to bring other to Christ. The students didn’t seem to feel too good about it either at the end of the day either, which made it worse. Bill Jack seemed pleased but then again, Bill always seems pleased in a vicious sort of way. J

Later that evening, Whitney and I hit a really hard point that threatened to be the end of the week. Both of us were very tired and run down as it was and planned on sending the girls to bed without a small group time. Instead we just went through the nightly ritual of “digital download” where the girls close their eyes and give the week a rating from 1-5, 5 being amazing and 1 being “I’m going home.” Throughout the week we had these two girls who had moved from 1 to 3, which was an improvement but still not where the other girls were at 4s and 5. These girls (one in particular) really seemed to have an attitude, a resistance to having an enjoyable time at the very least. Nothing we did seemed to be improving the situation. At this low point, we turned to the only avenue left to us, one that we had been calling on since before the week had even begun: Christ. We went to each of the girl’s rooms and prayed over them as they slept. We then sat together in our room and poured over Psalms together in search of promises to help us through our struggles. He provided what we needed. Psalms 64 and Psalm 118 kept coming to us in our searches, and we prayed through them. “Wherever two are gathered in my name, I am present.” Yes, it is true.

The next day held many surprises. The first of which was the sudden lifting of this sluggish dryness that Whitney and I were trudging under. It seemed to start going much smoother and easier. Both of us remarked on the seeming change in attitude and attention of all our girls but I don’t think that anything prepared us for small group time that night when the one girl we had prayed for to such an extent gave an apology to our entire group. She said how sorry she was for the attitude that she had had. How she had wasted the week and how she wished she could have it over again; how she had learned but it was still not what it could have been if she had simply given into what God wanted from her this week. And she started crying. Needless to say, I went over and started crying too from joy. As the girls filed out Whitney and I looked at each other in amazement and praised God for His great love and grace to our girls and us this week.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Things Leaders Do



This picture is of the ladies on their Tuesday Teatime in search of ice cream. I had no idea that the leaders randomly took off during student lecture times. What an idea… so I do regret missing a number of interesting lectures for this and other meetings but over all, these get-togethers were what kept the staff sane.



And this is Spence (on right) and Hebda (on left) playing with a wet floor sign, also during one of our leader breaks. Productive bunch, aren’t we?



The person on the stairs is Chad, the camp director. Some of you may remember him from a few years ago. Here, he isn’t spouting fountains of wisdom but gustily singing “The Cheeseburger Song.”

[and a big shout out to all my favorite lady leaders and that game they play. AND a shout out to whitney and brooke for saving me from the clutches of julie. “no! spare her! Not the young and the innocent!”]

We do sometimes spend our time productively as Lili is in this picture. She is delivering pizza to her small group.



Or we just hang out. Like here.



and here. Actually, this is Degroat writing the 4th of July Pageant script. Erin and Brittany were supervising.




It is just somethings that leaders do.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Settings

This post is to show you some locations that pop up frequently in my stories.

A long hallway to the cafeteria



The cafeteria with my ladies



My dorm room



Our dorm lobby



My itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny bathroom



My quiet time spot.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Starbursts: a wva mini-segment

Food is a fantastic thing. Yes, believe me it is. I had no idea that food could be such a tool to get to know people. Walking up to random people and offering them some starbursts really produces astonishing (and at a times, alarming) results. One such incident happened Monday afternoon when I went to check and see which of my girls were in their dorm rooms and which were gallivanting elsewhere. I poked my head in one such room and found not my girl but her roommate sitting on her bed with a notebook and pen in her lap. I offered her some food, which she ignored, diving into some very strange details of the next story she wished to write. I then spent the next 40 minutes mentoring this girl in writing. I know. Laugh. I laughed myself. Me, Dana, a poser writer, giving writing advice to this newbie. How absurd. Yet there I was. She was a really sweet girl who just seemed to be starting out with writing. I had a great fear of advice on her actual work so I stuck with giving her good books to read on writing and in literature as a whole. In reality, that is really the only way I know how to get better at writing aside from encouragement to keep a journal. I did have to dispel this idea that journaling was something that went on inside little pink books about what one had for breakfast. After conquering this notion we made a little headway.

But still…

Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned to everyone that I’m planning on majoring in English…

Thursday, July 13, 2006

WVA: Part I of a series

Dad came up with the brilliant idea of telling you everything but in pieces so you'll be lured into reading this website more. So please, enjoy my first entry in the wva series!

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To begin my tale, I should really start at the beginning. The beginning is back in March when I received an application to go as an intern to World View Academy instead of a student. It was a long application that I filled out just for the heck of it; just to see what would happen. For a while I sincerely hoped that it would be rejected so that I could go to Jr camp as a cit for another. I even went so far as to go ahead and commit to Jr camp even though I had not heard back from WVA. As the weeks (that turned into months) passed, I felt that it was time to plan as if I was not going to wva and reluctantly called them to find out for certain whether I had been hired for the week or not.

I had been hired.

And for this I was inexplicably happy. My plans for Jr camp had seemed to be souring for reasons I could no identify so the news that I could go back to a place I had called “home” was exciting! However, the idea of what my job as an “intern” would be was so vague and up in the air that an anxiety settled itself in my stomach and insisted on growing when I wasn’t looking in the next month and a half before the beginning of the week. This grew into a near panic the few days before and a sleepless Saturday night. I was scared to death because I could not know the future.

An excerpt from my journal on the trip to the campus: “In a lot of ways, I’m afraid. I’m scared because I can’t conceive of going as a leader, of being in charge. I don’t even know how on earth I was accepted in the first place. Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and tuned until 2am when I got up and read for 45minutes. I opened John and read the major speeches and claims of Christ’s life. It was comforting. The week will be good though. Hannah had a good piece of advice: ‘Be confident and don’t tell anyone your age.’ Amen.”

What a timely piece of advice…

Dad was fantastic on the way there. He went by Kmart and let me get all kinds of food and little things that I had neglected to get on my own shopping trip. He even gave me money to get shirts and books and such at the book table. It was really lovely of him and his presence was comforting in all the fear that threatened to disable my ability to talk. And so we pulled up to the front of a strange modern looking building among a mess of ancient run down buildings and were greeted by a number of people: Erin, Britney, and Whitney. I was introduced and told that Whitney was to be my leader of the week.



(the dorm building)

We dragged my many bags into my room and started to unpack. Dad left shortly after making my bed and such. I changed into my staff shirt (my crowning jewel of the week J) and went upstairs to the lounge area/kitchen and got my first view of my fellow staff members (for that is what I apparently would be: a staff member). My first thought was “wow, they’re smaller than they were when I was a camper.” Ha… I sat awkwardly on this weird orange chair and watched the people around me. A girl named Kristen soon came up to me and said that she was an intern as well. Dell Cook introduced himself as well as Randy Sims and Bill Jack. With relief (any small thing can bring relief to a frightened person) I spotted two faces that were unmistakable: Tobin and “Webster.” To both of these I “re”-introduced myself. Both I had known two years before at camp. Tobin was my witnessing companion and “Webster” (Daniel Hebda) I had known only as the kid who knew all the answers. It was grounding to know a face and a name to a few people, which helped a lot. I was also handed a stack of papers to look through which told me the basic info about all my girls. Through this process I discovered that they were all a year younger than me. No more, no less. Great…

After a non-introduction to the rest of the team, I was sent out to a street corner by Paul to wave like mad and point people in the right direction. Mine was to be the practice of “Passive aggressive hospitality.” I.E. I don’t attack people but wave as if I could. And so I did so for three hours in the heat. Mike and Bill came by once every hour with more water for me. It gave me time to chill out and think some profound thoughts about my super-cool staff shirt.

In my own words: “This staff shirt makes me feel like a superhero. I’m invincible! (Pause) maybe not…”

Upon my return I was collected by Whitney and sent over to the field for “round up” time with our color teams. Here I ran into some chess faces and introduced myself to those I would soon come to know as Spence, Julie, and Walker. Broke up into our groups, made introductions, and the week officially “basically, essentially” began.

Later that evening after a frenzy of play-acting on my part, I wrote this: “In a lot of ways…in most ways, I guess… I can’t really believe that I am here. How did I get here? How did I get this red shirt with blue letters of the word STAFF on my back? It is so strange and hard to know that everyone knows my name and are watching me. That I can say something and it can be done. Again I ask: how did I get here?”

God, really.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Home

I'm home and not the same as when I left a week ago. So much changed and came to life in the past seven days so pray for me as I do debriefing time with different people. Also, there will be a major post with pictures in the works so be patient in waiting for that.

Remember in prayer the wva teams that are continuing their trek through the east coast. They've started the New Hampshire camp today and will then be going to N Carolina and Georgia.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tally Ho!

I'm heading out to World View Academy tomorrow which is joined with a large mixture of apprehension and excitement. It will be great to be back there but as I'm basicly going "by myself" AND as a intern-leader person I feel a lot more responsibility coming on. Please be in prayer for me throughout the next five days. For energy, for focus, for words, for excitement, for courage, for that monthly "blessing" (ya'll know what I mean...), for the girls I will be working with, that they'll learn and grow, for God's love to be in me.

I'll be needing your prayers!

Hey, and if ya'll want to know more about WVA their website is worldview.org. Click on the pictures icon to see pictures of camp throughout the week (we'll be the Valley Forge camp). And email me please! My address for the week will be staffeast@worldview.org Just put my name in the subject line! And below is my address if you want to send snailmail or hot pink socks or anything.

Valley Forge Christian College
Student Name
Worldview Academy
C/O Valley Forge Christian College
1401 Charlestown Rd.
Phoenixville, PA 19460

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mafia and the Texans

This is a story.

A story of thunderstorms, musicals, surprise, and a very happy ending.

This is the story of the Mafia and the Texans.

(in other words, the story of my Washington DC adventures)

To begin: I did not expect anything out of these four days spent in DC. I expected to be bored and alone and glued to my lovely computer screen. None of the expected happened. I arrived and discovered that they charged money for the internet. And then I went to "child care" and that ended the boring part.

Here is a post I wrote during the week:

Just a moment ago we had the most exciting hotel experience I ha’ve ever encountered. Yes my friends, there was a fire in the hotel! We didnÂ’t even hear the alarms in our rooms. Mom was heading toward the elevators and heard it coming from the stairwell so she came back and got the rest of us and we scurried down 16 flights of stairs. I think I was the most intense as I lead the charge down the stairs behind this old couple who took their time. This eerie voice kept blaring at every floor: “An emergency has been reported. Please exit at the stairwells. Do not use the elevators. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. (etc, etc, etc)” Very exciting. Sadly though, we were only put out of our rooms for a mere fifteen minutes before they let us back on the elevators. Thank goodness that we didnÂ’t have to walk up those sixteen flights that we had just flown down!

What a way to start a weekend!

Actually, the excitement began about 30seconds after we left the front door. A car flew out of their driveway backwards and we nearly smashed into the rear end of them. And the pavement was wet which made our sudden swerve just as dangerous. See, they wouldnÂ’t have been hurt at all since no one was in their backseat but who knows that could have happened to us.

It has been an eventful time in a bad sort of way.

Met up with some old friends. Really old. So old that I canÂ’t remember the last time that we actually talked about anything. It was fun however as they are easy going people. Mary Grace and Will taught us how to play dominos which we enjoyed and chatted for a bit. It is so strange to meet up with people from my childhoodÂ… and then try to talk with them. But it wasnÂ’t so bad and they are really neat people, more like getting to know strangers than someone I once knew.

Dad let me have a laptop and the keyboard is magnificent. I adore the typing noise it makes. (sigh blissfully) -end of post-

This was all prior to Thursday evening when I met some amazing people, namely Rachel and Richmond, our leaders for the weekend. They were from Texas and just splendid. Rachel had this great accent and strawberry blond hair which was too perfect to be real (it was, in fact, very uncolored). Richmond was so cool and fun to be around. They lead all our games and made sure we were in the right spot and everything but mostly they just played with us which is exactly what I needed: some fun times.

Friday we went on a bus tour of DC which beat the heck out of walking all that way. Saw the monuments and the Air and Space museum. That really wasn't our most enjoyable times. The first evening and all day yesterday were the best! We played mofia with all the other kids so many times! Hannah turned out to be unbeatable in the game. She could always sense who was lieing and we caught on real quick to go with her gut reactions when she accused someone. Rachel was so amazed at her skill. AND Richmond was impressed with her speed when we played capture the flag for two hours. Would you beleive it? I actually contributed in getting the flag! We played in this big field area that was covered in trees (ie there was a large grove of trees but all the brush and such had been cleared out and there was cut grass inbetween. It was a perfect spot!)

And of course, we met other really cool people. It felt a lot like WVA in that sense of having a ton of really unconnected people thrown together and yet we all came out without killing eachother and actually having fun with each other. Some snapshots:



Rachel: An amazing girl. I wouldn't have missed getting to know her for anything. She's a true southern lady in every sense of the word! Her accent is perfect which I immediatly picked up and have yet to shed though its fading fast! That happens when I get around those southerners! She's heading to California pretty soon to start graduate school after finishing a few years of being on staff with Young Life. She loves outdoors and extreme sports or anything else that involves Richmond Mcgee.



Richmond: The starting kicker for University of Texas, arch rivals of my dream school, Texas A&M. I soon forgave him for that though and really enjoyed getting to hang out with him and Rachel. The guys were really drawn to him in a lot of ways. And he doesn't give an inch in playing games! Ran over Gretchen and me in the pool to get that stupid squish ball... (shakes head)...



Will: An eighth grade guy that we haven't really gotten to know since he was five or so. He's turned out to be quite a hoot! He was always able to make us smile with his "Yes, my ol' friend, you shall see," and "Vegetable Medley" and "I'm the mofia. I told you I was!"



Andrew: We've decided that you can't go wrong with an Andrew. He was Will's counter part in that his dad went to Georgia Tech and his mom to Texas A&M. Will's parents went to UGA and he is an avid Texas Longhorns fan. Somehow these opposites made them become sidekicks to eachother. They were quite amusing. Andrew was the WORST mofia mayor I've ever seen but it made for some laughs trying to yell at him without talking (since I had been killed). "Dana died. They found her with her shirt all bloody which made it red even though it was red already."



Casey: This girl I met last new years. Actually, she is a second cousin of mine. What a character! She did some Highschool Musical imitations that made us all laugh. She has such a personality and is impossible not to love. Oh, and she isn't ticklish. She's "sensitive". ;-)



Joanna: this little sweetheart became an instant playmate for Jen. She was so sweet and carried around her stuffed animal that came alive when it met Jen's puppy, Light. They went around DC together on the bus trip. Joanna got her feet covered in blisters so Mom resorted to letting her run around the monuments in bare feet. The poor dear... we loved her.



Evangeline: Another Jane-ite. Really surprised me with what her personality had to offer. She could really sneak behind lines in those games of capture the flag! And, she loved Jane Austen. I knew I liked her!


Mary Grace: Cold all the time and great to chat with when I had a chance. She worked with the other kids most of the time so I didn't see her much. She did however introduce us to "Highschool Musical" which was amazingly funny. It made me smile. I couldn't stop actually.

[somehow we entirely missed getting a pic of her!]

What a weekend though! I'm so glad that Mom and Dad made me go so I could meet all these new people and enjoy getting to know new faces and play beyond my familiar comfort zones. It was great to get away and be in an entirely new setting with new people and be different than what I sometimes feel I have to be at home. And to think that I thought I would have a boring time... psh.

And THAT, ya'll, the storMafiathe Mofia and the Texans.

The End.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"...I spent it in good company"

These have been some crazy days and some crazy times. The world keeps spinning faster than I can keep up with it. I’m so dizzy but I think the ground is starting to adjust under my feet once more. The quickened paces of the new dance are coming less fumblingly. Is that a word? Fumblingly? I like it.
I’ve been working for most of this month at a break neck pace back the church “worshiping the porcelain” as Uncle Ronny puts it. What a character that man is… I’ll never meet any one else like him, not as long as I live. So far it has been enjoyable in its own way. We laugh at the messes we find and the people who made them. We laugh at each other and the staff. It’s been a good crew and there have been some amusing times with Hannah and Amy working with me. I’m so glad to have them mostly trained so that I don’t have to check on them after every job like I had to do in the beginning. After some minor mess-ups they’ve gotten it down. Amy in particular seems to have formed a passion for cleaning. Her favorite job is now to scrub the toilets within an inch of their lives. Hannah just likes playing with the urinals trying to get them to flush. J Don’t tell me I don’t have good coworkers. Nate even taught me how to park; haven’t had trouble since he told me the secret about lining my mirrors up with the line of the parking space. Who knew it could be so easy? Psh. He didn’t even have his license when he told me!
But today, I started another page in this summer’s chapter. Today I started work as an employee of Penn State College of Medicine working under Dr. Chester Ray in his lab, assisting his assistants (mainly Charity Sauder). As of right now, I’m perfectly useless but Dad said that everyone is like that the first week before they can start helping with the studies. This whole work job is really going to be a stretch for me in an amusing way, as I don’t plan on entering a science field at all. Mrs. Sproul asked me about it and I sheepishly replied that, no I wasn’t going to be in a science. Yeah, I’m an English major. That title always sounds lame when I say it. Somehow, English has gotten this connotation as a copout major for people who are too lazy to put their other talents to use. Maybe it is for a lot of people, but I really can’t see myself doing well in anything else. I love writing and reading and what other major caters to that so perfectly? Unless you count Biology textbooks as enjoyable reading, than there isn’t any other option.
Another exciting thing for me was becoming a nondegree student at Penn state Harrisburg. This opportunity is really cool. I went down to the campus today to get my account activated, which re-emphasized to me how lovely the place really, is. My classes next semester look good so I’m eager to try my hand in those.
But first, who could forget what lies right around the corner in WVA. Yes, that’s right. I get to go to World View Academy for a week as an “intern,” whatever that means or entails. They’ve forgotten to send me a bunch of info already so that’s been difficult but not impossible. Recently I’ve pulled out my old notes and began looking over them, which revealed how much I’ve forgotten. Could it really be two years since I last went to camp there? Two years since I saw Lauren and Amber? Two years since I learned from some of the most amazing staff ever? I don’t really see what I can add to the camp, which is discouraging, but hopefully, it will turn out all right and be amazing.
Speaking of Amber, I met the loveliest people last night at sports night. The Witwers brought some friends who were visiting them from Ireland of all places! These three girls were so much fun. I was sadly only able to hang out with them for ten minutes or so but I felt as if I had known them for years and years. Not since I met Amber have I ever fallen so easily into familiarity with someone. Even Lydia Forge took twenty-four hours. With these girls it took ten minutes. Lorene was a dear. She uses a lot of Keilah’s body language like the hand to the eyes as if she was shielding her site from something when she tells an embarrassing story. They spoke about the Swedish and the liberal Europeans and a camp that they go too and I talked about our Swedish “cousins” across the water and the difficulties of keeping those kids in clothes. In a way, I had this American conception of the strong Iris accent and flaming red hair. Actually, two had sandy blond and Lorene had dark brown. And they really sounded American more than from the UK other than a sweet Irish lilt to some of their words that could be easily missed if you didn’t know where they came from. I suppose my misconception would be like that of someone from Europe thinking that everyone spoke from the Deep South. (Sigh) I need to get out of the country more often. Anyway, I do hope that I’ll have a chance to speak with them more before they go back to Ireland at the end of August. Unfortunately, they aren’t staying in Hershey but perhaps they’ll have a chance to visit again.
Tomorrow the Ray Caravan takes off for an adventure in Washington DC. Should be better than our last attempt two years ago. I’m looking forward to a great time and hopefully sneaking into some of the talks by Peter Kreeft (author of The Journey and Between Heaven and Hell).
To conclude: my body is demanding some serious sleep after all the running around. I still haven’t caught up from visiting NY last weekend nor have I slept in since the beginning of work two weeks ago (not even a Saturday). Please write me while I’m away.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Greyish Blue

It has been a while. In the last post I was in a state of utter panic but the world ended up on its feet. And the story has an ending which I'm not going to bother hunting up and out into the open.

There have been many things happening in the past few months, not the least of which was my acceptance as an intern to WVA for a week! A week, no big deal, right? It couldn't be bigger! I'm so excited that I have a chance to go back to my favorite of favorite places and help out in any way I can. I've felt bits of apprehension creeping into this excitement but I know that I'll be good once I get there. July 2-7th! I can't wait!

Has anyone noticed how strange the weather is? We have heaven and purgatory all mixed together. No hellish thunder or anything. Just an alteration of emerald blue and resigned grey.

I should do history... I have no encitement though. None at all. When I'm done I start work. (sigh). Hopefully I'll be working more for Dad than at the church. (hint, dad, hint)

Georgia in a few days. And a trip to Covenant! I'm very excited.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stories: Of Kyan and Iris

This is a taste of my story. Let me know how it sounds. Before Saturday, preferably. If you don't like it I might have to kill you.

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There was once a girl named Iris and no one knew why. Perhaps if this had been a normal story she would have been called so for purplish tinted hair or violet eyes or purple skin. As it was she was nothing like the other fairy children with which she grew up. In fact, she was almost normal. This happened to be because she was mostly normal in the human sense of the word. She had brown hair and green eyes and freckles and her knees turned in a bit that made her stand pigeon toed. She wouldn’t have been thought odd in any normal nursery today but, of course, if she had, this wouldn’t much of a story worth listening to. As it is, she wasn’t quite entirely normal if you consider what I just mentioned: that she grew up with fairy children. Fairy children are rather interesting creatures. They are all for a good laugh, mainly at each other’s expense. They give and they take equally well and a nursery is more a widespread romp than an orderly playtime. Iris fitted in marvelously with these children. They romped and played and had a merry time. It was rather different though because they all had splendid colors all over their bodies and Iris stayed a stately and rather normal looking brown. Her hair was a firmly matted mess as she ran speedily to keep up with her playmates. To sum it all up, Iris was a princess. Everyone knew it and princesses are special so in her country all the princesses and prince-lings were brought up by the fairies just in case they should turn out to be magical (like having unique sleeping patters or jewels coming out of their mouths or extordinarily long hair). Being with fairies was supposed to encourage this abnormal behavior but alas for Iris, she was not honored with such talents. As I said, she seemed quite normal. However, in this normalness she was an exquisitely charming and sweet little girl. And that is exactly why her adventure began.
One day, a woman came and asked to view the fairies. At that time there were only two humans being raised: Iris and another fellow that she didn’t know about. She was ten at the time. The lady said that the king and queen, Iris’s parents, had sent her to see how Iris was doing. She didn’t stay very long but placed a cold, chilled hand on Iris’s bare shoulder and looked deep into her eyes. Iris shivered and pulled away. The lady nodded to the head fairies (wise, gentle fairies who knew how to handle the mad romps of the fairy children) and left swiftly, her intricately embellished cloak sweeping grandly behind her. That evening the children rushed to their beds and pretended to be asleep. The head fairies weren’t fooled but left quietly as if they were. Soon everyone was quietly (or loudly depending on their boldness) slipping from bed top to bed top, flitting up in corners, whispering under beds, or conspiring merrily in the bathrooms. A green fairy, from head to toe, went over to Iris and whispered to her happily, what about, Iris could not remember afterwards. What she afterwards described it as was a sudden flash in her eyes. She tried to speak but wasn’t sure that her friend was understanding her desperate inquiries as to why everything had gone so still. After what seemed like hours of darkness, she opened her heavy eyelids and blinked confusedly at her surroundings. Had she opened her eyes really? Oh she had… yes… she could see a bit beyond her in the darkness and saw a small grate above her head… she felt around her and discovered stone walls that were rather cold against her skin and a strange lump beside her that she couldn’t quite make out. It was oddly cold. Rather unpleasant and it made her eyes heavy. She laid down and thought longing that she wished knew where she was…

The next thing she knew was that someone was rudely shaking her awake. She groaned and shoved the person or thing away. Surely this was just another vision like the darkness last night. She rolled over and found that the world was indeed the prison she had thought she had dreamed. It was a good deal brighter which made her blink fiercely against the prodding she was receiving. She finally sat up and declared:
“If you shake me one more time, I’ll kill you whoever you are.”
The figure didn’t answer. She finally looked at her rouser and found a boy no older than herself with tousled black hair and the blackest eyes she had ever seen staring at her. “It’s time to get up,” he said. “How did we get here? I’ve only just woken up and don’t know where I am. What happened?”
“How should I know?” she grumbled. It seemed to her rather bad sport to be woken up to find oneself imprisoned rather than dreaming of magical things. “All I remember is falling asleep and then here I was. I woke a few hours ago and found you, or I guess it was you. I only saw a lump.”
“That is all I remember too… where do you come from?”
“From the fairies. And so are you.”
“How did you know?”
“You’ve got that mark on your forehead. See mine?” she said moving her hair so he could see. “I’ve never seen you. You aren’t a fairy.”
“I’m a boy.”
“Obviously.”
“Well, I live with the fairies in the chay for some of the younger boy fairies.”
“Oh I see. I live with Adalira. She is my teacher.”
“Oh. I say, I’m Kyan. I should have said so before. I’m ten and not special. How about you?”
“I’m Iris,” she quietly replied. She suddenly didn’t know what to make of this boy. “Well, I’m not special either. They’ve tried many times to make some special skill come out but it hasn’t worked. I’m ten too.”
He didn’t really seem to listen but relayed a question that seemed to be bursting inside of him to get out, “Why do you suppose we are here? This isn’t anywhere is Faylinn [that is a country in fairyland] that I’ve ever been too.”
They stood and started moving around the quickly brightening cell. There was no door or window except for the strange slited grate above their heads through which the light was coming. It was rather cold and they were both in bare feet and little protection from the chill that was creeping into their skin. Suddenly as Iris passed under the grate above them, a load of cold, wet something came and landed on her head. She gasped in the shock. The boy ran over and started brushing it off of her rapidly as if it were acid that would burn her skin. When she was sufficiently free from the snow (though frightfully numb and shivering) they stood together and looked up. They could now see the sky above and a dark figure looming before the sun. It remained there for a moment and then disappeared. It immediately began to warm up though they huddled in a corner together because a strange fear had come over them. It began to wear away as the minutes passed and Iris stood up and began to pace unhappily back and forth. Kyan watched her silently. It began to grow dark again and their anxiety grew. They knew now that this was no trick of their fellow mates or their leaders. It was not April first. They were somewhere in the cold of winter in a prison of some sort being kept for a purpose they did not understand or know.

As I am sure that you, as my listener, have guessed, they were being kept because they were a prince and a princess. The evil ruler of the cold south had come back in a force great and silent. Froid she was: magnificent but not yet heard. This was her first and intended final stroke. She sat brooding on her dark throne, her long black hair streaming around her. There was a gleam in her eyes as she considered what her next move should be… should she keep the wretches for ransom… the price of their thrones. Or should she simply kill them and take over the kingdoms by force of arms… it was a question to be considered carefully because if she stepped wrong the ambitions of years would be lost… there was the girl to consider. What she had seen in her eyes had been quite a shock but certainly a force to be reckoned with. (for as I’m sure you can see, this was the woman who went to the fairy school and looked into Iris’s eyes. She had seen what she had expected and yet it was not pleasant to be proven right. There it was… those words written clear across that sang loud and clear… yes… what to do… and there she sat in thought as the skies above reflected her dark empty soul.

It began to snow and drifts began compiling around Kyan’s and Iris’s feet in the cell. It grew colder and wind started howling. All in all, it was not a pretty situation. Iris started to get numb and curled in a corner shivering. Kyan knew that he could not let her go to sleep so he made her stand up and they walked around together. They talked about growing up and what they remembered about their parents. Neither of them had been told much about where they came from other than that they would return to their homes on their eighteenth birthdays. That seemed forbodeing to Iris who had read more romances than Kyan had. Kyan thought it was a silly rule. He longed to go back to where he came from and meet his parents and learn to do human boy things since he seemed rather magically inept. There didn’t seem to be much special with him. She said that she was taller but he was certain that he was. Okay, then she was just his height but he was definitely not taller. That was eye level, he said. Ones height cannot be judged by eye level. Iris disagreed vehemently but Kyan was no longer listening. He was leaping as high as he could to reach the grate with his fingers. Iris scowled and said that boys never could pay attention (which was a broad generalization but not entirely untrue). He said he was trying to see how far it was to the grate. Iris declared that he was going about it all the wrong way and that if she could just stand on his shoulders she would be able to loosen it. He wouldn’t admit to the intelligence of this plan but remarked that of course it would never work because girls never had any balance. He did however crouch to help her onto his shoulders. He wasn’t able to describe afterwards what exactly happened but before he had even lifted Iris for very long, the grate came clattering down and Iris was standing on the ledge above their cell. They both looked a bit dazed and frightened but it was true. The next question was how to get Kyan out of there as well. Iris laid flat along the ledge and reached her hand down. Kyan’s fingers met hers and he scrambled up next to her. They looked down at the ten foot drop to the floor below and then at each other. No. It was impossible…
Kyan finally addressed the obvious. “What do we do now?” They had found themselves in this plane of cold iceyness with strange humps that appeared to be other grates. Above them was a dark, evil looking castle. It convinced them, if they had not been convinced before, that there was something terribly wrong and they might just be in the middle of it.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

She's left it up, Up, UP

Well, it has been lovely outside for the past two days. I hope everyone got the chance to go outside and relax and play in the sun. The rain sounded so nice on our roof last night. I love spring rain!

I have to go try on my dress!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New

Spring is here.

Almost.

It starts for real on April 4th when frisbee starts. I miss frisbee. And school is over in a month with only 1 portfolio, 1 unit assessment, 2 chem tests, and 1 project left to do. Not bad.

That phone won't stop ringing...

And its been a different person everytime. First Mom, then the orthodontist, then Pastor Kirk, then Cindy. Busy morning for the phone company.

In other news, I will be going on the Lebanon missions trip! As in Lebanon, PA not the country. Cindy told me this morning. I'm excited about this trip. It really seems like I am supposed to be there this summer. Cynthia told me that she and Mark have been praying that I would apply for it so that was definitly an confirmation of my decisions to go there. Hannah is going as well so we will be unstopable!

Yesterday was a christian lit presentation that I think went quite well as Mrs. Bell spent fifteen minutes discussing Smell the Color Nine after we finished. It was a rather comical presentation on Chris Rice. I was quite apprehensive about it (Tim accused me of a nervous breakdown) but it all came out right in the end.

Anything anyone would like to add, please do.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mad Days

Today the Forges were at church.

I cried.


No joke.


I've dreamed so many times that they would somewhere, somehow walk in to were I was and I would scream and run up to them. I was so happy. Jaques... he talked to me again about what he said when we left. I was surprised he remembered. There is such a love of Christ in him. I really admire his walk with God and his influence on the people around him. Lydia is an angel. I love her dearly and miss her so much.

I then ran around trying to say hello and goodbye to everyone who arrived and/or were leaving for college.

It didn't work.

So this afternoon I went to the Harris's and saw Kim before she leaves, and Chrissy who just got back, and Jane who is leaving for just another six weeks. It was a wonderful evening. We played Apples to Apples and I lost horribly. Ben kept winning off of Sarah and Sarah kept winning off of Ben. Then we just sat quietly and I almost fell asleep. People chatted. Elia and I threw pillows at Brian. It was quiet and peaceful. I was glad to see Kim before she left for six months... I will miss her... I miss those girls anyway. I never see them. It is hard when people grow up and I loose them.

I need a nap.

Monday, March 06, 2006

WEN

It has changed. Jr High activities are WEN: Week/Weekend of Eternal Nightmarishness.

I had a grand time but everything was so strange and dream like that at times it was if I was living in a nightmare.

Take yesterday for instance:




We get all the kids on the bus and are fifteen minutes into our four hour trip when I (who was near the front of the bus) hears as strange metalic sounding snap. The we slowed down. Mr. Hunking calmly pointed out the obvious: "We have a problem." He said it in that way of "Houston, we have a problem." Soon the bus would go no furthur and we discovered that the throttle had snapped.


And so it began.

It ended 11.25 hours later when we pulled into the church parking lot. No joke. We got these men to work on it but that didn't work so we went backwards down a hill into a parking lot so we would be safe. That was after the 2.5 hrs on the side of the road with flares and those funny little triangles put all out in front and behind of us. We were about four hours shuttling kids to a bathroom (the only one for miles actually) and wondering if we would ever eat lunch. We didn't. I kept having thoughts like "Will I be back in time for a mission trip..." and "Triscuits are like heaven" and strange ideas... it was quite like a nightmare. An amusing one though. We were on that bus for a total of six hours before we rescued ourselves back to the camp. The five workers who were left must have been angels because they made us a spagetti dinner with fresh bread and salad. They even gave us cake... and let us watch a movie. I was never more grateful to someone in my life.

The other white bus came from Hershey and got us. I rode home in the new church van and slept almost. Almost because Aleiyah would randomly ask if I was awake and could I wake up and would I tell her the meaning of a long word.

So that was how it went. The rest of the weekend was good. Some stories. Lots of laughter. Cynthia likes to get into trouble but she always had Cindy's permission. No major snow battles but I went down the zip line which was fun. Those girls in my room were so much fun to be with. And the eighth grade girls are now my friends. Went matress surfing with our next door neighbors from Philly. We tried a four man bobsled and I fell off the front. The boys threw an Ax/Ac/Idon'tknowhowtospellit bomb into our room but L'Amor saved us all and Cindy yelled at them and the eigth grade girls and I are going to get them back. I'm arranging it with Pastor Craig (evil grin).

Tired and exhausted.

I lost my keys but I didn't. They were in my bag the whole time. Cameron said I pack like a girl. It is true so I'm trying not to be ashamed of the fact.

I got home two minutes before my license became invalidated for the night. First close call.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

sometimes.


Dad's have the best ideas ever.


I'm tired. Have a lot to get done this week. Come to think of it... I'm tired a lot. And I write it a lot even though being tired is really not that exciting. It just happens to be the prominent feeling in my eyes right now.

Science fair in a week. Yay. And then it will be all over forever.

Yesterday was grand. Took Hannah and Gretchen to Friendly's during third period at chess. Back in plenty of time even with a five second pit stop at Shenk Park to remember the olden days of playing there on our way home after only two classes. Good times.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Random Memories

I'm restless. I want to go driving or go somewhere with anyone and do anything.

I'd really like to go to the beach...

Anyway. I'm putting together some random memories. Here they are.

Never mind. Stupid iphoto won't let me upload them.


(hits wall)

I actually didn't hit the wall. I just really feel like doing and I can't because there isn't anything to do. There are no people. Where did the people go?

I really really want to swing dance. Maybe there is more going on here than I thought...

Gretchen wants on. Bye.

Update: To cure my restlessness Dad took me to Borders. It worked. He sat and read for almost an hour as I wandered around and looked at everything to my hearts content. It is rare that I get such a chance to really take in the whole store in as little or as much time as I wished. It was a very good time. Dad bought me hot tea in a very large cup. I drank most of it and it was very good. We picked out a number of books and a movie and ordered them all from amazon.com when we got home. Thwarted the over pricing of Borders but enjoyed the browsing. It looks like Dad and I will work our way through the Brothers of Karamazov this summer. Huge book. Does anyone know about the author? Did the author go crazy or was Dad confusing The Idiot with the authors life? I didn't know. Thank you Dad for a very good time last night! Lets do it again!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

updates...

Sonnet: Bad grade. Alas for my efforts...

Other: Went skiing the other week. Mainly ice but a few good runs on the black side of the mountain. Pretty good stuff. Went down the terain park against my will way too many times. I didn't even go over the jumps. "Ya'll are slower than Christmas!"

Other 2: Hannah got her ears pierced. Weird, eh?

Other 3: Science fair is in two weeks. Bad... bad... bad bad bad. Bad. The end.

Other 4: It is very hard to feel poetic about predestination vs. free will.

Other 5: Umm... I think I may have run out of things to say. You'll be spared this once.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sr. High Winter Retreat

Definitly a surprise weekend.

First, a sort of apology for Mim, Rachel, and Sarah for taking off into the blue and leaving you alone to brave the wilds of movie watching without me. Actually, you wouldn't have liked it if I had stayed. There might have been a very angry dana at the theatre without Pride and Prejudice.

Secondly, a bit of the story. As you know, I was not going on this retreat at all because I was going to go to Chill Out the weekend before. That didn't work out and I didn't think much about the retreat until Friday as I got more and more grumpy and moody as the day went on. I made the (happy) mistake of taking Hannah into the church and seeing the people off. It was a good group going and they were having fun before they even left. I was not a happy camper on the way home. A few hours later when Mom got home she asked what was wrong. I started crying and saying that I wished I had decided to go on the retreat. She then said that we could try to see if I could still go, called Joyce, called Shauna, called Dad, and in thirty minutes I was packed and in a suburban with the late group on my way to Lake Champion, NY. I was dazed the rest of the night, it might be the most spontaneous thing I have ever decided to do. I had a pleasant three hour ride up and arrived not twenty minutes after the first buses. The best thing in the world was Amy's and Emily's faces when I walked into the room. I then ran upstairs and saw Hannah. In a few minutes we were in the meeting room with fourhundred students from everywhere in PA, NJ, and NY.

And it was definitly not what we expected. After the third secular song and no worship songs, the speaker came on and we all glanced at eachother wondering what on earth was going on. Afterwards we gathered as people left the meeting room and discussed what exactly was going on. I think we were all in a bit of culture shock. Not what we expected at all. The purpose of the weekend had changed from learning to that of reaching out. As John Good said, "Okay, so all my devotions for the evenings have just been messed up but I'm okay with that because it is usually the weird weekends that God does the most in." To reorient ourselves to our surroundings Christy and Kent pulled out their guitars and most of the hershey students stayed for an extra 30minutes in prayer in worship. It was a wonderful time.

I suppose I should hurry the story along a bit... the next day was lovely. Nothing major happened as a highlight but it was filled with laughter filled moments of playful fun. That is really what happened: we played the whole weekend. Amy and I went for a run/exploration of the camp in the morning to wake up. Breakfast was amazing. I haven't had such a large breakfast since.. since... I don't really know when. We had a snowball fight on the way back to the lodges. Another session and then a game time. I think this was the guys favorite part of the day as they got to attack eachother constantly. Before hand more snowballs were exchanged and snow down backs. I got quite a few people in the face. Hannah Witwer and I did some marvelous double teaming. Anyway, the games were quite clever. Everyone's favorite was when the guys got in a tight huddle and we were supposed to get them to come undone. There was ten minutes of feverish and rather vicious attaching though we were forgiving and let them win... okay... maybe not. We almost got Tim to come off but he yelled and was saved but the heroic efforts of Kent, Jarad, and Luke. Poor Amy ended up under them all somehow and was quite squished. Tim was the anchor for them and they yelled encouragements and exortations to resist continually. Everyone was bruised, battered, and grinning at the end. We then had a fight with flour in which Cindy attached me from behind and got slim all over my face. You think "Oh Cindy, she isn't vicious." You're wrong. Underneath that quiet, kind, sweet outside is a feirce lover of competition. Who knew...

Lunch and then freetime until dinner. It was a very long freetime. Began with Apples to Apples. I did poorly but then so did Tim who seemed to loose every game he played. Went on a walk with Keilah, Hannah W, and Hannah and ran into Cindy and Barb, Mrs Iriana, and Mrs Davidson and walked back to camp with them. Ended up in the game room watching fooseball games and Polish Ping Pong, a game that took up three hours or more. It was rather intense when you got to the end. At somepoint we ambushed PC in the covered bridge, pelting him with snowballs. It was marvelous. Tim got Keilah and Hannah W to cower before him as he threatened to destroy them after they got him with a snowball filled with mayonnaise. Now that was comical... he went over and shook their hands but they were still afraid of him. It was quite funny. Dinner was very enjoyable. Sat with Luke, Megan, Heidi, Megan, Amy, and PC. Luke and Megan were debating on which one of them was prettier and Amy and I chatted some. PC was making... PC jokes which weren't really funny. (side note: each meal had a ritual of a leader being chosen to be pied in the face). PC was chosen to be pied in the face and we all cheered. On another note, the meals were all amazing and delicious. Not camp food at all, more like a restaurant.

More free time when Keilah did her traditional getting sick time. How she always does this is beyond me... Tim and Luke and Megan and jumping dares. Tim won them all. Had another session, a quiet time, and then leader entertainment. That was a bit weird. Two guys used penlights on their noses and had them going in time with these dueling banjos. Tim and Luke had a revelation on what to do with their lives after this. Jarad just shook his head. After this we had another worship time which was even better than the one the night before. I was definitly encouraged about our youth group. Sometimes I get to wondering whether we are really devoted to following God but seeing over 50 people voluntarily staying and worshiping for 45 minutes was awesome. Kent and Christy did a wonderful job leading us. Kent pulled out a Montreal favorite and we jumped around and it was a great time for all of us. Those two times of worship would be my highlights of the weekend.

Afterwards we had an 1.5 hr before bed. We stayed in the meeting room where Tim tried to jump over five people lying horizontally between two steps. Megan tried but almost didn't make it. Heidi declared that Tim wasn't white but must be black because of how he can jump over Jarad. We roled down the steps which was quite fun. Some of us looked at Shauna's pictures and videos from the weekend. It was just a fun hanging out time. Took our time walking back to the lodges and spent some more time outside. Discovered a slice of Narnia and all claimed roles. Amanda was Susan, Kent was Peter, Luke the Witch, Jarad Tumnus, Hannah Lucy, and Tim as the fashion designer (I don't understand either). Tim led the way through the trees after the lamp post and declared there were coats not trees. I fell flat on my face in the snow and Amanda helped me up laughing at my falling out of the wardrobe.

The following morning went by quickly and soon we were racing towards Howard as fast as we could to get the back of the bus, which we did. The ride home was definitly another highlight of the weekend. Heidi declaring "Oh barf," and Jarad and I repeating it. Luke: "Oh bridge. Oh fall. Oh death. Which means, Oh dead." and towards lunch "Oh hungry." Playing telephone. "The natives swear as they enter?" "There are swedish girls on the bus?" "WHAT did you say? The WHAT carpet?" "The wheels on the bus make encheladas sick." "Luke Skywalker got hit by a skyscraper... or is it some dude got killed by a skyscraper..."

Yes the weekend was good. I hung out with people I don't usually hang out with, I got to know people I've known forever a good deal better, and I had a wonderful time away from school and doing things. So thank you to Amy, Emily, Tim, Jarad, Luke, Amanda, Heidi, Hannah W, Hannah R, Keilah, Kent, Megan, Shauna, Christy, and John Good for a splendid time.

And to end, here is our meal song:

Mai-ia-hii
Mai-ia-huu
Mai-ia-haa
Mai-ia-ha ha

Mai-ia-hii
Mai-ia-huu
Mai-ia-haa
Mai-ia-ha ha

Mai-ia-hii
Mai-ia-huu
Ma-ia-haa
Ma-ia-ha ha