Monday, December 27, 2010

Heya from the arctic circle...or maybe that's just me. It certainly feels like it. We're under, eee, I don't know, ten inches of snow? Maybe a foot. Two years in a row we've had major snowfall, and, according to my grandmother, only the second time in thirty-nine years there's been snow on Christmas day. Guess it's one for the books.
Last Thursday was a blog-worthy event, I think. It was the Christmas gathering at Grandma's house/here at home (one and the same, remember?) with Mom's side of the family. I could probably come up with something snarky and clever there, probably a play on the lyrics to that old song about "Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go..." but I'm not really in the mood.
Anyway, Thursday, food was prepared (including my macaroni bites, but more on that later), then around six, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins Nikki and Dawn, showed up for presents and dinner. Pretty standard family Christmas goings-on.
But there was a twist. See, my grandmother has an . . . odd sense of humor. She got each of the six of us grandkids a pacifier. Like, rubber-and-plastic, babies-suck-on-them, pacifier. Weird thing the first.
We were each also given fire-engine red tube socks with jingle-bells and ribbons pinned to the toes. Weird thing the second.
We were then, thanks to a note in each of our gifts, lead on a chase after a final gift to share. Brown glass bottles of root beer, hidden in the trunk of her sedan. Weird thing the third, and, I suppose, the final.
So, somewhere, there's a picture in a camera of me, my three little siblings, and two little cousins sitting on the ground with our knees up to our chins, the better to show off our socks, with pacifiers in our mouths, and holding suspicious-looking brown glass bottles. I love my family.
I asked my aunt, who took the picture, to post it on Facebook so that I could get it, and my (eleven-year-old) cousin Nikki automatically said, "NO! I have friends on Facebook."
My (also eleven-year-old) brother, wasn't even still in the room. We were all eating his dust, and the socks and the pacifier lying on the ground.
So to my cousin, I said, "You'd be so much cooler if you just rocked the uncool-ness."
To which her mother replied, "Listen to your cousin!!"
And it occurred to me. I didn't used to be like that. I was the one shaking in my boots because I was petrified of doing anything embarrassing. I asked my mom when that had happened. When I had become okay with being myself. She didn't remember either. But, I guess it happened. :) Good to know.
Friday was, obviously, Christmas eve. My stomach tied itself up in knots, and refused to come untied. Solely because Friday night was the Christmas eve service, which meant our Christmas dance. Oh, was I nervous. Less about the three-minute dance itself, and more because of everything I had to remember and accomplish and such beforehand.
It went off without a hitch, though. Well, that's not entirely true. We couldn't find the belts, so the other girls wound up in pieces of curtain leftover from the live nativity, we didn't realize until the last minute that they would need slips, so we had to call someone and have them bring them, and we never did get the stage rearranged like we needed to, so nobody could see me from the neck down, but as far as stuff that really matters, it was perfect.
Saturday was, even more obviously, Christmas day. Typical Christmas morning, plus Grandma, Grandpa, and my Grandpa's sister, who was staying with us. So, we felt kind of . . . on display, but it was really okay. Aaaand my mommy got me my favoritest movie everrrrs. Whispers of the Heart, I've talked about it before. So, now Netflix can have their copy back.
And she got me knitting needles. For years, she and Daddy have been bugging me to learn how, and I've always told them that if somebody bought me some needles and a book, I'd learn. So she finally broke down and bought me a pair of knitting needles. Learning has been a bit harder than anticipated, but I'll get it, eventually.
Saturday night, we went to Nana's house for Christmas there. That part's always among my favorites. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like Christmas until we've celebrated it with my Dad's side of the family. Things always seem to, I don't know, matter more there. Like, before we opened presents, we all shared one thing that had been a blessing to us this Christmas. And it was all really serious, Like the families you read about in books and email forwards. But maybe that sounds a little dramatic. I'm not sure what I'm trying to describe here, but all I know is, I love my family.
Christmas time with Dad's family always makes it that much easier to remember that there's a part missing. Holidays are always the time we miss his sister (my Aunt Becky) and her family the most. They were just home last summer, but it still feels like it's been an eternity. Papaw got her and my cousin Cara on Skype later in the evening, but that's just not the same. It's like, "I know in my head that I'm talking to you, but it still feels suspiciously like talking to a computer screen." Which, besides making me feel slightly schizophrenic, makes it awkward.
Since Christmas, life has been kick back, chill out, watch movies, work on my knitting, and so on. I adore Christmas vacation.
This afternoon, we're set to go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Being a HuGe fan of the book, I'm a little wary. I'll let you know.
Ttfn!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weeee wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!!!

Well, kiddies, it's almost there. Less than a week until that favorite day of the year for young and old.
For once, I'm done with my shopping already. Well, kind of done. I was done, and then I decided to grow my list. I've been blessed this season, and I want to let that blessing keep right on going.
That slightly crazy hustle-and-bustle is going on all around me. It turns out Mom and Riley are allergic to the Christmas tree, so we're ditching it and putting up Grandma and Papa's artificial one today. Gotta hit the library to finish picking up my sources for my research paper on the effects of censorship on society, or something like that. Headed out to Dance Outfitters some time this week to pick up a couple skirts for the Christmas dance. Gotta hit Sam's Club for food for the family Christmas party, need to pop in at the Christian Bookstore to finish up some last minute shopping. I'll probably help Mom do all her Christmas baking today, or at least this week. Some time before Friday I need to make about three billion recipes of gingerbread biscotti, as that's what I'm giving all the adults in my life for Christmas.
I need to spend some serious time on inkpop this next couple weeks, finishing up some long overdue swaps and getting ready to promote my NaNoWriMo project. Need to finish editing said NaNoWriMo project, as I already have several people waiting on it. Oh, and on the subject of inkpop, I had something pretty cool happen to me, but I'll get back to that.
Also thinking of transferring all of my original poetry/song lyrics to a notebook, so that they'll all be together. Weighing the convenience of having them all in one place against the pain in the butt of transcribing them. It would take hours.
Christmas with Mom's side of the family here at home on Thursday. Christmas Eve (complete with Christmas dance, and the live nativity) Friday. And then it's . . . CHRISTMAS!!!!!! *Takes a deep breath,* Yikes. That's a lot.
In other news, the kittens have got to go. Mom and Dad (and the grandparents) are getting far too frustrated with their . . . everything. So us kids have to choose one of our precious babies, and find good homes for the other two. Joy wants one, still looking for a spot for the third...
Yesterday was the children's Christmas program at church. Every single one of them did an absolutely brilliant job. From the regular, Kindergarten-fourth grade kids who did the singing and the talking, to Anne and her friend, who danced to one of the songs, to the little preschoolers who did the nativity scene.
It was kind of interesting, playing a part in the behind-the-scenes part of the play. Seems like all my life, I've been on that stage. But now that I'm older, and with Mom as the director, I got a chance to glimpse the other half.
I sank more than twenty-four hours into making two sets of angel wings out of jewelry wire, gold pipe cleaners, tulle, and white feathers. And they wound up looking awesome, if I do say so myself.
Joy and me choreographed and taught the dance to Anne and her friend. And I really was so proud of the both of them. They did a phenomenal time.
My poor mother invested so much of herself into the whole shabang that she's utterly exhausted today. Between the shouting, the allergies, the weather, and the cold, she has next to no voice left. Poor her.
And now, with all of this left to do, I should probably quit procrastinating and get a mooooove on. Talk to you soon. Hope you and yours have a fantastic, blessed, beautiful, happy Christmas. Don't forget the reason for the season, and the manger that rested in the shadow of a cross, and the God who made himself flesh, came to us as an infant, and lived a sinless life to die an outcast's death, to take on the sin of the world. Jesus Christ is the reason for this season, and for every season, and for every breath.
So, as always, my question to you is, do ya know him?

Friday, December 10, 2010


Firrrrst off, I won. NaNoWriMo, that is. 50k in a month. Go me.
Oh, yeah, and I won that too. Inkpop writing contest. True, it was a random drawing, but still, I won. I never win stuff like that. But hey, four free books. Coolio.
Can you tell anything about my mood? I've usually used about ten exclamation marks and at least three smilies.
"You mean, all of you? Or just your neck?" Yay for Avatar.
Oh, my gosh. Did you see The Last Airbender movie? Lame anyway, but if you were a fan of the series, um, two words. Epic. Fail. Uvetar Uung. Bleh.
And speaking of movies, so I finally broke down and saw Where the Wild Things Are. That movie. Creeped. Me out. Officially. *shiver*
And there's that other movie. My favoritestest ever movieee. Being, Whispers of the Heart, Japanese anime, very cooool. Get a feel for it here or here. It's cool, you should see it. We watched it at Tabby's birthday party. Seems like all my friends have their birthdays at this time of the year. Tabby's so unique. She's an artist, but she doesn't know it. And everything we did at her party reflected that. We made dresses out of duct tape and newspaper, decorated gingerbread houses and cupcakes, and painted tote bags with puffy paint. Then a handful of us stayed overnight. So, typical craziness with my gurrls. Playing Just Dance (OMG, is that game fun.), watched Whispers of the Heart, and stayed up talking (about trucks, tattoos, and, of course, guys) looooonnnng past when we should've gone to bed.
The next morning (being a Sunday) was Utter Insanity. A truly beautiful exhibition of Murphy's Law. The van wouldn't start for Mom and Dad, so everything I had left in the back of it, so that it would come to church with them, got left at home. We were late, so, yeah. Umm, the girl I was supposed to work on a dance with during service didn't show. And, my microphone died in the middle of worship. I was about ready to curl up in the fetal position and die. But, of course, that wouldn't've been okay.
'Cause after service was all-day dance practice!!! Hahahahahahahaha. Ha.
Things are considerably easier now. God's in His heaven, and that is for sure. Mom and I had a long sit-down talk with a lady from church who's counsel we both value. We were hoping merely for advice, and our Lord saw fit to call her to take over the management of the dance ministry. So now me and Joy's only jobs are song-picking (and getting it approved by this lady), choreographing the song (and getting the motions approved by the same), and teaching it to the girls.
So, though we were all sore after seven hours straight dancing, but other than that, it was a brilliant practice, and all is going well, and pointing towards our next dance, the Christmas eve presentation of our rendition of Mary Did You Know, going just fine. Yayy!! :)
But for now, I had best be going. The hour grows late, and there really are other things I need to be accomplishing.
Ttfn! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010


Sooo, hi. How are you?
It's...umm...been a while. Huh? What have I missed?
I've been kind of hiding from my blog in the hopes that it might help me finish my novel. November. NaNoWriMo. Blah. 43,406 words, give or take. I'm almost there!
But I've decided it was time, high time, to do a long-overdue blog post.
And now that I've gotten this far, I can't remember why on earth I needed to post. So, what's happened since my last post? Kind of everything, but I guess I' we go. Wow. That's a lot.
~Seventies Night with the youth group. Put on a ridiculous costume to go hang out with my friends. We ate "seventies" junk food, played seventies trivia, watched an incredibly corny seventies "thriller" (read: Left Behind, plus a lame factor of )
~Tori's birthday party. More junk food, hanging out, "dancing" (thank heavens it was just line dancing. I can handle the Cha Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle) with my dorky homeschool friends and some of Tori's not-dorky public school friends. It was something of a learning experience. Me and Joy were practically conducting research the whole time, remarking on the differences between home- and public- schoolers. It was funny. :)
~Church Harvest Festival. Painting hundreds upon hundreds (or at least it felt that way) of faces.
~NaNoWriMo. Already been covered.
~Taylor Swift's new cd came out. Which, kind of caused more of a stir than it should've. I'm a little disappointed, seeing as how she's not 100% "safe" for my little sister anymore. Heard Better than Revenge? :/
~Game Night. Basically, girls night out, plus our youth pastor. It was a crazy insane blast, but then, what do you expect with my crew?
~Corinne's birthday party. Pizza, caramel apples, a movie, popcorn, cake, ice cream, music, games, and an epicly fun bonfire. :)
~Family bonfire.
~Thanksgiving. Hope you had a good one!
And I think that's it. Now, back to the novel. TTFN!!! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Do you wanna know what's on my mind right now? Do you reallyyyyy? No, you don't. But I'm going to tell you anyway.
College. C-O-L-L-E-G-E. S-T-U-P-I-D. I might have logged more hours researching colleges, scholarships, majors, minors, financial aid, and location location locaaaation than I will in class time. Assuming I ever make it that far.
Woo. Hoo.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Howdy, pardner. How are ya?
So, I'm sitting here. My three favorite little pk's are here, along with their father. So, for me, it's a choice between hang out w/the adults (not gonna happen), hang out with the kids (lol), or hide. Take a wild guess which one I pick.
Aaaaand they found me. Continue staring at the screen, pretend they're not here, maybe they won't notice me. Lol.
Once I settle down to the computer, I have two choices. Either bug you again, which I've been doing entirely too often here lately (oh, and you, my readers, aren't the only ones I've been bugging. There's a funny story there, but hang on); or read the good-gravy-awful inkpop story I've promised to read. Judging by the fact that I'm writing, you can probably guess what I picked.
Anyway, that funny story. You know how you can set up sms with your Blogger account and post on the go? Pretty neat little feature. I just synced my phone to my account yesterday, and went to send my first post. Well. Apparently, some poor soul has a phone number that's one digit off from the Blogger number. Poor thing got my blog post in a text message. Didn't I feel like an idiot when, an hour later, I get a bewildered 'Who is this?' in reply. So I explained it, and they were gracious in not being annoyed. Maybe it happens all the time.
But, dear sir or madam, if you're reading this, I really, really do apologize.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Like Speeching Words...

You wanna know two things that kinda suck? Strep throat and rain. Strep throat=throat pain, head pain, drop in motivation and appetite, and a tendency to get dizzy upon standing up. Okay, that last one might just be me. Rain=Not being able to go anywhere, backyard being under six inches of water (I've always wanted waterfront property...), car wrecks, and the like.
You know, my best friend from first and second grade texted me this morning and told me I should meet her at room 103. Pretty cool, right? One problem. We don't go to the same school. Heck, I don't even "go" to school. I think she got me confused with somebody else...
But anyway, rain and strep separately, are moopy. BUT! Rain and strep throat together, mean curling up on the couch with a blanket and something warm to drink, and a book/notebook/movie/etc. And, getting out of school. And, being able to use the computer in the morning, usually a no-no. Ohhh, yeah. I'm miserable.
I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like...little brothers listening to Pink Floyd...huzzah.
So, ever heard of FaithFreaks? It's a myspace/facebook wannabe for "Christians," that Joy's mum insisted she (Joy) and I make profiles on upwards of a year ago. Well, I decided seconds after creating the profile that I was never gonna use the site again. It's what some people would define as 'stupid.' But, just the other day, on a whim, I checked the site. After dealing with oodles of friend requests from people I've never heard of with friend lists of upwards of two-thousand, I poked around the site. Word vomited on the 'about me' section. I believe the words 'hippy' and 'Fox Mulder' showed up. Then I discovered, le gasp, a blog section. Decided to do a 'nonexistent' blog post. Nonexistent, in that, since I was never going to check the page again, and I didn't know ANYBODY on the site, it didn't matter what on earth I said. It was kinda fun. I might do a couple more.
Oh, and about aforementioned Mr. Mulder (the younger, and alive), I think he has officially earned the title 'Cool.' For a fairly good idea of what I mean, please see my earlier post on Matt Smith. What is it with my family and space aliens? My parents are always getting us hooked on strange shows about space aliens.
And now, friends, I had prooooobably better be going. Aux revoir! ;)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hey, y'all! :) Here's that short story I said I might post. As you may've guessed, I decided to post it. Enjoy! :)

Bloody little things have a sense of humor.

I dropped to the ground and rubbed my now-numb ankle. I couldn't believe I'd made such a newbie mistake. You don't step in faerie rings. Period. I kicked myself mentally. I wasn't at the top of my game. According to protocol, I should've alerted headquarters, made for the nearest base, and let them replace me with a fresh agent. One that hadn't been in the field for five days and counting.

I was tracking a rogue band that had escaped a reserve just outside London. One of the nicer ones, as far as faerie reserves go. Not one you'd expect stuff like this from. Some radical activist idiot had infiltrated the ranks and left a back door open, two plus two is four, home base sent me to nip this little thing in the bud before the media got wind of the affair.

Technically speaking, I'm the best agent on the force. I've paid through the nose to get here, too. Nobody should have to make the kinds of sacrifices I've made. You might say I sold my soul to the devil. But I'm the best.

I hadn't slept since I took the case. I was going on forty-eight hours without food. But I was hot on the trail.

The band I was tracking was a particularly dark one. They'd left an unmistakable trail of carnage and mayhem in their wake. Like I said, they had a sense of humor. A dark one. So tracking them wasn't exactly difficult. But catching them sure would be.

I stood up once I'd recovered some feeling in my foot. It would be weeks before I was a hundred percent.

True, I'd made a stupid mistake. But so had they. They were getting careless, which meant I really was getting close. It would've taken then five minutes to dissolve the ring, and they didn't make a habit of leaving rings just lying there, especially with someone on their tail. They were in a hurry.

The magic would dissolve on it's own within the next twenty-four hours, but when one can, one should keep to protocol. I reached into my small, streamlined pack for a strobe. Red for active. I turned on the flashing light and dropped it in the circle. The boys in the back room were particularly proud of their strobes. It'd taken years to develop one that didn't implode or disintegrate or turn into a swarm of butterflies, bats, biting flies, pterodactyls, et cetera upon touching the enchanted ground. Those had been some interesting missions.

I examined the state of my supposedly-magic-proof leggings and moccasins. Both had dissolved into nothing below my left ankle where I'd stepped in the ring. Lame. I had an extra set in my bag, but not the time to put them on. I tore off the other shoe and threw it into the circle, just to be spiteful. I was tired. And, besides, I'd look daft in just one shoe.

My long green split skirt was tattered, wet, and covered in mud, along with a thin film of a dry, glittery substance. I sneezed. Faerie dust. I love my job, I thought. What I didn't love, however, was the clown costume I had to wear to work. Culottes, hunter green, that had replaced the earlier model, an ankle-length skirt, when headquarters finally figured out that it was impossible to run in the stupid things. A flowing, blousey white top with a low collar, under a tight leather jerkin. A leather skull-cap of similar make completed the ensemble. I looked like a lunatic warrior princess that had taken a wrong turn, fallen out of a fantasy movie and landed in modern-day England.

The whole outfit was seeped in magic, mostly of the warding and protecting variety, and mostly of my own doing. The leatherwork was alive and crawling with faintly glowing letters, which only I and a few others could see. When I wasn't on a mission, I was on high demand at headquarters and the academy both for warding. Headquarters had even offered me a job as a mage, when I was fourteen. I had declined, wanting to get my full turn in the field before I retired to an office, but I knew that when I had served my turn running missions, I had a nice, long career as a mage (probably even Head Mage) to look forward to.

A funny thought occurred to me. It's a good thing there aren't any boys on the squad. As slow as things go at headquarters, it would take forever for them to design a uniform. And the mental image of a guy dressed like this? Too good. But there are no boys on the force. Girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Something about faeries and little girls; I'll retire next May. But you don't care about that. Back to the story.

I kept walking, watching my step, through the dark, dank forest, waving my slender, feminine sword through the undergrowth, half to clear myself a safe path, half out of boredom. Boredom in the field is a dangerous thing.

Slowly, the trees thinned and I came upon open wheat fields and pasture land. I allowed myself a smile at the simple beauty of the view. Up ahead and to my left was an old man driving a team of oxen, who were pulling an ancient-looking wheat binder. He wore a flimsy straw hat, which he tipped at me as I overtook him.

“Ho, there, girlie! What be a Fae Hunter doing out this far?” he called to me in a thick Irish brogue. There were deep lines in his leathery skin.

I put on my best dealing-with-regular-people face and replied, “Just chasing down a rebellious brownie that ran off from his assigned house.” The standard cover-story. Brownies were always running off. Of course, I hadn't been put on a mission like that since my first week on the force. But he didn't know that.

“A brownie, eh?” Just as he said the word brownie, the sun came out from behind the cloud. A stray sunbeam got caught on his hint of a smile and a bright, blue light reflected back out at me. My eyes got wide, and I stepped back a bit, feeling for my sword. I tried to keep my reaction cool, but he caught it anyway. A slow, malevolent smile spread across his face, revealing a mouthful of gemstone teeth. The straw hat became an intricate silver circlet, two emerald-eyed serpents devouring each other's tails. A symbol I'd only ever read about, seen lame pen-and-ink reproductions of. The symbol of the Unseelie court. The man's eyes began to change color wildly, like a kaleidoscope at hyper-speed. His face bubbled and swelled, the tan leather turning to milk-white satin, and became that of a young man. Only, he couldn't be a man. His face, his features. He was like a sculptor's masterpiece, a dream, an angel, or else all three at once. His hair, now jet black, flew up and grew longer, like it had a mind of it's own, and settled back down again just above his ears in jagged, razor-cut strands. The rags he wore for clothes became a pair of black breeches and a black tight-fitting shirt that came to a point on eat the waist and the wrists. There were laces at the v-shaped neckline, but they were undone, allowing the two sides of the collar to fall away from his perfect chest.

The oxen writhed and became fae horses, midnight-black velvet with red eyes. If you closed one eye, or squinted at them, or looked out of the corner of your eyes, they could look like a griffon or a phooka or a lizard or an owl or a toad or a kitten. They whinnied and reared, sensing their master's channeled intensity.

All of my years of training, every novice-level magic class, every lecture I'd ever heard told me not to do what I was about to do, but I did it anyway. I had to. I looked into his eyes, which had finally settled on a light, shimmering silver. And he held me in a vice grip. I felt like a field mouse held trapped in the gaze of a cobra, a rabbit trembling, motionless, before a hawk. I could hear his demon whispers inside my head. I screwed my eyes shut and reached for my communicator.

“Home? Home base, this is Ophelia to home base, I.D. number 4192514. Do you copy?” I sobbed, “I need immediate backup. Code Red. Repeat, Code Red.” There was static on the line, and the device began to fizzle and pop. With a flick of his wrist, he sent it flying down the road. It bounced twice, and shattered to pieces on the hard-baked earth.

Silly human, he whispered and screeched and crooned inside my head. Nobody's coming to help you.

I tried to reply, but my tongue got in the way and the words tripped out of my mouth in a mumble.

What was that? He grinned, enjoying my misery.

I took a deep breath and rallied my strength. “But I was...chasing a...”

A what? A little, mischievous band of spritelings? Of course you were. Because I allowed you to think you were. His voice was honey-sweet in my mind, as if he were speaking to a small child.

“Who-who” I gasped.

Prince blah blah blah of the blah blah Unseelie blah blah blah...does it really matter? He snickered.

Prince! Impossible. I reached for my sword.

Oh, please don't. Don't make this hard on yourself, you won't- his voice trailed off.

Disregarding him, I wielded the sword, stumbling, tears blurring my vision, coaxing my feet into some semblance of a battle stance.

He sighed and rolled his eyes. With a snap of his fingers, he persuaded my faithful sword to morph in to a silver, emerald-eyed snake, which I found myself holding by the tail. It whipped it's head around and bit me on my wrist. Liquid fire shot through my veins. I gave a burbling cry of pain.

Gasping, summoning everything I had left, I spat out a string of words, the strongest magic I knew. I had been warned against ever using them, promised they could kill me, told to save them for the absolute extremity. They bit and stung in my throat and made little blisters on my tongue and the insides of my cheeks and the roof of my mouth. The words dripped off my tongue and took shape on the air, conjoining to become a golden arrow that dripped poison like nectar from it's head. I touched the fletching with my fingertips, stroking it, begging it to fly true, then said the final, guttural word that set it flying. The magic would've killed a weaker person.

But he laughed. A laugh that filled the air like bells and drums and broke my heart into a million little pieces, and the laugh became a blue-and-silver-and-black flame that engulfed my puny, pathetic little arrow, that had seemed so powerful only a heartbeat before. And the fire burned my arrow to ashes, and the fire and the ashes became a swarm of horseflies with onyx eyes and wings that crowded about my ankles and the hem of my skirts and crowded each other to bite me.

He strode towards me and grabbed hold of my wrist. I didn't have the strength left to fight him off, nor to fight the wave of desperate longing for him, for his arms to hold me, that washed over me, as if I was nothing. This was a magic entirely new to me, and I had no knowledge of how to defend myself against it. This was his doing.

He touched my cheek, softly, almost tenderly, and ran one finger down the side of my face, tracing my jawline. It was like fire and ice, burning and freezing an angry welt on my face, that smoothed over into a shint, white scar in seconds. Silent tears streamed down my face, salt screaming in the still-healing wound, bathing his hand.

I collapsed into his arms, and he kissed me.

And I felt everything, my very life, the blood in my veins, slipping away from me. My heart, my mind, my soul, hopes, dreams, fears, past, present, future. Everything about me, ebbing away like the tide. Hungrily, greedily, gluttonously, he consumed me, and then I was no more.

Wheeling high overhead, I hung my head in disappointment. I dropped to earth to rest on a fence post. Ever since I had first smelled the stench, heard the song, of death hanging about the girl earlier that day, I had been following her, hoping for a good meal whenever she met her demise. Don't hate me for it, it's just my job. I'm a vulture. It's what I do.

Of course I was disappointed when I saw that all that greedy princeling left behind was a smoldering pile of glittery dust. Cheeky thing, to steal another's meal. I watched him wipe his mouth daintily. He ran his tongue over his gaudy teeth, and the glittering gems were transformed into a bleach-white Hollywood-perfect smile. He gave his clothing a reproachful look, and it obligingly morphed into an expensive suit; black slacks, white shirt, black jacket, black tie. He lifted the circlet from his head and flipped it over his wrist, where it quickly shrank into an unassuming Rolex. A wink turned the high-strung, flighty fae horses into a sleek, black sports car, which rumbled to life and purred like a kitten when he smiled at it. He straightened his tie (which caught and refracted the light suspiciously like diamonds, or faerie dust) got into the car, and drove away.

Meanwhile, a little ways off, in the wheat field, a little, mischievous band of spritelings danced in a ring.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hiya! It's me.
Though, you know, who else would it be? I wonder...
For me, it really hasn't been that long. My last post seems like it was fairly recent. Or, at least, not too terribly much has happened since I last posted.
Well, I started school. Guess that's technically a 'big deal,' though exactly why, I'm unsure. Yayy for aggravating text books. Boy, do I have a couple of whack-jobs this year. The curriculum I use believes in exposing me to all different viewpoints and letting me decide for myself what I believe. Pretty cool, sometimes. Opposing viewpoints=good, grumpy old guys who argue back and forth and call each other names in the name of 'theology' and 'politics'=not so great. Woohoo.
And then, there's chemistry. I adore chemistry. And I'm not being entirely sarcastic. I'm actually, honestly enjoying myself.
So far, I've read The Scarlet Letter and an Edgar Allen Poe short story. Both enjoyable to the utmost. At least I can always count on literature to be a blast.
There was that awesomely wonderful (and this time I am being sarcastic) youth group meeting. One of those 'you people are all crazy and I kinda want a time machine to skip the next hour and a half,' nights. Some things never change.
Oh, and last weekend. Hehehehe. Joy stayed over Friday night so she could go with me Saturday morning. Me and two recipes of my blondies were enlisted to accompany Grandma to a luncheon she was putting on for her church's nursery volunteers. Dawn and Nikki were both there, being nursery workers, but Dawn opted to hang withe kitchen help and assist with the waiting and bussing of dishes. But of course Nikki was dying of boredom, and as soon as she could possibly get away, she came in begging us to need her help. I love my little cousins. We had a blast.
After clean-up, Grandma dropped Nikki off at her house and drove Dawn, Joy, and me to the beach. Of course Nik wanted to go really bad, but she had a dance practice.
Being that last weekend was VA Beach's annual Neptune Festival, the traffic was AWFULLLLL. Most of our reason for going was the sand sculpture competition. The international sand sculpture competition, with seasoned competitors from all over the world. Apparently, we have one every year. Go figure!
But Grandma couldn't find a place to park, so she kicked us out of the car at a red light. We went down to the boardwalk. The crowds, like the traffic, were impossible. There was no getting close enough to get a satisfactory look at the sculptures. We did the best we could, while elbowing through the vicious mob and fighting to stay together. Then we made our way back to the general area where we'd been dropped off to call Grandma. She still couldn't find a parking spot. She told us she'd just drive around until we'd had our fill, and then she would pick us up. Well, of course I had to go and do guilt over that, because she wanted to seem the sand sculptures even more than we had. So I told her we'd wait as long as it took, and to call us when she found a spot. We agreed on that, and me and the girls walked down to the water to wait.
Boy, was that a mistake. Oh, it was great at first. We held our flip flops and walked in up to our thighs, running away every time a wave came along that would be big enough to get our shorts wet. And then I saw him. I swear, I SAW...umm...a guy. A particular guy, who, well, let's just say that randomly running into him on the beach was NOT first on my to-do list. I froze, stared at him, and said, "Joy. Please tell me I'm crazy."
And, of course, she replies, "DUDE!! You're absolutely insane! No way!!!"
Not exactly helping me convince myself I was wrong. The head, the hair (or lack thereof), the ears, everything. I'm telling you, it was him. And he was with a girl. Hahaha. No. Well, thank heavens, he stood up and turned around, which is when we saw the tattoos. It wasn't him. Thank you, sweet merciful heavens. I tried to go back to having fun. We all did. Poor Dawn didn't have a clue what was going on. And then Mr. Imposter and his girlfriend started making their way towards us. Well, I think they were just making their way to shore, but they were right in front of us, and we decided not to risk it. We turned and started walking back up to the boardwalk.
Called Grandma again, she really couldn't find a parking spot. So we decided to just leave. Ugh, just getting back in the car was a pain in the rear. Either her directions weren't clear, or I really am just an idiot, or something, because we couldn't seem to communicate at all. We went from fifth street, to seventh, then back to sixth, where we waited next to the bus stop for like, ten minutes. I don't know what came over me, but it was all I could do not to get on that bus. Just to see what would happen. I literally made Joy grab hold of me so I couldn't. Just imagine what an adventure that would've been. Eventually, we wound up stopping on third, then going to second, where we FINALLY met up with Grandma. Got in the car, made a stop at 7-11 to stave off the impending dehydration from the whole ordeal, went HOME!!!
Church on Sunday was as is to be expected. I helped in the first-and-second grade class, then wound up walking with Noah after church. He's so much fun. Then hung with Haley for a while, who was home from college on a visit. Then took Isabel and Corinne home with me to work on a dance. There's this big contest coming up, where you submit a video, and we're doing a dance to the Flyleaf song Cassie, but more on that later.
Had a blast working with them, as usual. Joy's gonna work with the other half of the group, then we're gonna all get together to shoot the video.
Then all three of us headed to the church for women's Bible study, same as every Sunday night. It's changed considerably since the last time I posted about it. No more boys, no more Stephen. A widely varying crowd, often involving mostly girls, two of which are under five. Two are between five and ten, one of those being obsessed with armadillos. Two are older than ten, and therefore require minimal babysitting. Our only boys are, occasionally, Brandon and his little brothers, and Noah, a fantastic little kid who just happens to be blind. Okay, so Brandon doesn't exactly require babysitting either, and neither, for the most part, does his thirteen-y-o brother, but they do make our lives difficult-er. And then, half of the youth group girls go. Me and Joy, plus Corine, Isabel, Tabby, and occasionally Tori. Oh, and sometimes the pastor's three darling boys. (Please note:voice dripping with sarcasm.)
But last week we had one of the under-fives, a three-year-old named Emmy, and Noah. Emmy spent most of the time pretend-cooking for me, bossing me around, coloring, and dancing around. Noah, however, found an evening's pastime playing with my iPod. Now, I have a third gen shuffle, the one with the controls in the headphones. Except I was playing it through a speaker, so the controls were just in the cord. But they aren't easy to operate. He got it figured out, though, and he hd a blast. Developed quite a taste for TobyMac.
And now, my friends, I've gotta be going. G'night!!! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Cast

So I realize that, even with the little list of characters over to your right that I try to keep updated, things get a little confusing. I'll use a new name without any explanation at all, talk about somebody I haven't in a very long time, et cetera.
So I decided to give y'all the full run-down.
Family. Nuclear: Mom and Dad, Andrew, Anne, and Riley. Extended, Mom's side: Grandma and Pawpaw (with whom we are currently living), Uncle Bubba, Aunt Ruthie, and cousins Dawn, and Nikki. Extended, Dad's side: Nana and Papaw, Aunt Becky, Uncle Jared, and cousin Cara, Uncle Andy, Hailey, and Cal. Even further extended, Dad's side: the Ohio cousins, mainly Spring and Lynn.
Friends, youth group, girls: Tabby, who's relatively new to the group. Tori. Corine, who's become something of a little sister to me. Isabel, the youth leader's daughter and a dear friend. Haley, who very recently left for college. Them, along with Joy and myself, sort of make up the core group, as far as girls go. We're super-close, but the neat thing is, we're not clique-ish at all. We work really hard, when new people come in, to make them part of the group as fast as possible. Initiate them, sort of. The people we're working on right now are Cali, Danni, and Mandi.
Friends, youth group, guys: Stephen, alternately pretty cool and the bane of my existence. Brandon, I guess you'd call him my best guy friend. His little brother Paul, the anti-social one. Aaron, the future marine. Josh, the class clown. His little brother Pete, the miniature Josh, minus the angst. And that basically covers it.
I don't really have any friends outside of youth group, which is kinda lame, but oh well. C'est la vie. And that about covers it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Give UP!!!

Yeah, so, it's been almost two months. I give up telling the story of the youth trip from outer space.
So, short version. Dinner. Hung out with Tori, Joy, and Corine. Met everybody else back at the eiffel tower. Rode Dominator one last (crazy, insane. mad, wonderful, terrible) time. Rode home. Amidst much singing of the Journey and the Banana Phone, many discussions about the walruses and the sniffing of sheep tea. Somebody reallllyyyyy needed to go to sleep. Aand it wasn't me.
Since then, wow. That really was a long time ago. Found an abandoned litter of kittens, nursed them back to health. Our three precious babies are doing wonderfully. I'm seriously going back through facebook posts to remember this stuff. Watched Planet 51. Hated it. Discovered that they make bottle warmers for the car. Oh, the things you learn, volunteering at the Crises Pregnancy Center. Went to the beach with my youth group. Well, my girlfriends and Brandon. Got turned into a lobster. Decided, along with Joy, that Matt Smith needs to come ride the golf cart with us. But only if Anne's driving. Did a fair amount of writing, mostly on my new story Troubadours & Turncoats. Also wrote a short story, Jeweltone, which I just may post on here. Played backyard survivor (relay races, archery, gummy-worm eating contest, mud pies, Titanic Ice Contest, and more...) with my family. Go blue team!!! Had the annual summer vacation high-stakes Monopoly tournament with Andrew. He won. Went to the evil dentist's office. Discovered just how much I like the half-way stair (see why here). Went to see the new Karate Kid and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Karate Kid had slightly-less-than-fun side effects, but that's nothing new...
Entirely destroyed my bedroom. Mostly because my dresser keeled over and died. Spent a week living in the wreckage before I (well, Mom made me) get up the courage to clean it. It was an all-day affair. Had a really painful dream involving zombies and line dancing. Not. Fun.
Had a pool, erm, excuse me 'ool (Ood?) party with my youth group. Well, my girlfriends, Brandon, and his little brother. It's possible we scared everybody else away...then all us girls went home with Tabby for a random, no-particular-reason sleepover. She lives in this gorgeous log cabin wayyy out in the middle of nowhere with her grandparents, who insist we all call them Grandma and Papa. It was so much fun. :) We played Imaginiff, talked about nothing, and watched (or, slept through) Rattatoullie.
Started back to regular midweek Bible studies. Which means same-old-same-old youth group routine. Furiously taking notes, trying to be sociable, dealing with stupid people, woohoo. Also means back to after-Bible-study band practice. Which is always a party. Not.
And, I think that's it. Very "Lemme 'splain. No, would take too much time. Lemme sum up." I'll be back on soon. :) Ttfn!
(P.S. Don't you love how Tigger was the father of text-speak?)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

KINGS DOMINION!!!!! (part 2)

I'm baaack. :)
So right after Intimidator, half the group rode it again, while the other half went next door to Flight of Fear, a smallish indoor coaster. I knew I needed water, but I put it off. Not a good idea.
I started feeling really dizzy. Everybody else said it was sweltering, but I was freezing. I told Joy I needed to get out, and she started to lead the way. From there on, it gets pretty hazy, but I've been told the story, so here's how I think it went. I slumped over onto Joy, and she kinda layed me down on my back, then I wanted to get up, so she helped me up, but then I slumped over again, and some random guy behind me offered to help me sit down. Some other random person way back in the line passed up their cup of water. And then, while I was sitting on the ground, Isabel comes rushing by, dragging Corine by the hand. Corine calls to us, "I feel like I'm going to pass out." And me and Joy looked at each other, and started hollering. Tori came after, and I like, yelled, at her, "GO GET CORINE!" meaning, go take care of her, but she thought I meant to get her and bring her to me. And she gets there and tells her that I wanted her. And Corine bit her head off and told her she'd call me when she got out. Fortunately, we worked it all out later. Amidst it all, Joy asked me if I was with her, and told me to talk to her, and I stared at her like she was crazy and said "I'm here." Like, where else would I be? And, some random lady asked me if I was diabetic. Which, kind of irritated the overprotective best friend. She told me yesterday that she thought, "Umm, don't you think I would know that? Wouldn't I be digging in her bag for insulin?" lol. A lady (who we think worked there) went and got help, the guy who was running the ride came and got me and lead me out. As It was scary, it was aggravating, it was vaguely exciting, I am NEVER doing it again.
Mr. John came and met us, then we met up with the rest of the group at a restaurant for drink/chill break. After that, Mr. John, Ms. Carol, and Isabel, not having brought stuff for swimming, went to ride more roller coasters, and everybody else headed for the water park. But, not before Ms. Carol could sneakily whisper in my ear, "Watch out for the little munchies." Meaning, keep an eye on all the kids younger than yourself. Which, was everybody but Joy. I swear, I must have the word mother tattooed on my head. Because that sort of thing is always happening to me. Joy says its a good thing. That everybody needs someone like that. And, I am the one always doing head counts and making sure that we stay together in a crowd and carrying everything anybody might need and anything anybody doesn't feel like hanging onto for themselves around in my ginormous black hole of a bag. So, maybe they're right. Whatever.
On the way to the water park, us girls got clothes-lined on Drop Zone, which we'd all been wanting to ride all day long. So we sent the guys ahead to the water park and told them we'd meet them there. But, of course, as we're waiting in line for the ride, it starts raining. They close it down. So we went to the water park, only to find people pouring out in droves. They closed it down. Because of the rain. Well, the tornado watch might've had something to do with it too. So we waited outside the water park for the boys. Freakishly tall, freakishly short, and mohawk. You'd think they'd've been easy to spot. Not so much. As we're standing there, it starts pouring. So, being us, we get off to the side out of the way and start dancing around like maniacs. :) It was fun.
Eventually, they made it out, and we all decided to just stroll about for a while. Yeah, that lasted a long time. Not. It hadn't been a minute before the guys started running away from us, full-tilt. At first, we thought they might've just been trying to get away from us. And, maybe they were. But they made a beeline for the carousel. So we followed them, and we all rode the carousel together. Oh, yeah. We're cool.
Well, folks, thats all the time I have for today. But one more post should take care of it. Maybe. How one day can provide this much to blog about is beyond me. Ttfn!!! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Okay. Okay, how stupid is that. Like, every blog post I write starts with the word 'okay.' Whatever.
Okay, so my youth group went to King's Dominion last Thursday, just for fun. Sounds like no big deal, right?
You'd think we would've learned by now that we can't go anywhere without it being a biigggg deal. Whiiich is why I'm a tad apprehensive about our beach trip later on this month, but moving on.
This is probably going to take more than one post. I mean, I could fit it in one, but it'd be realllyyyy long. And, you know, there's nothing worse than a retardedly long blog post. I mean, just telling my dear cousin Spring about it took two emails. Granted, she gets a considerably different version of stories like this than cyberspace does. So, consider this part one. I've been doing a lot of multi-part posts here lately. Whatever.
But, anyway, it was the most epicest youth trip ever. We all piled into my family's fifteen passenger van together. No girls' car/guys' car deal this time around.
For the ride there, we played 20 questions. It's us girls' favorite game to play on car rides, but we'd never played it with the boys before. One person asks a random question (i.e. what's your favorite food?), then everybody else answers it. We had to FORCE the guys to play. Which is fun, especially when Ella gets evil ideas. I asked the question "What's your favorite thing about a member of the opposite gender." I know, evil, right? Those poor boys. And, of course, the whole thing was infused with inside jokes that zoomed right over their heads. They hated it. :)
So, anyway, when we were about half an hour from the park, the van broke down. We were stuck sitting by the side of the road for about two hours. My mom saved the day, got in touch with a church nearby, and had them come pick us up in their youth bus and take us to the park.
We ate our lunches outside, which involved Corine trying to tie a cherry stem with her tongue and her big bro yelling at her for it. . . lol. I have to admit to being a bad influence there. We did it at my birthday sleepover. The conversation played out like this.
Me: "Stephen, your sister's trying to tie a cherry stem with her tongue."
Stephen: "Corine! Do you even know what that means?"
Corine: "Umm, no?"
Stephen (whispering): "It's to see if you're a good kisser!"
Corine: *coughs and splutters, spits out cherry stem.*
Everybody else: *laughs*
After that, we dropped most of our junk at a locker, then headed into the park. Without really meaning to, all of us stuck together. We rode the three biggest coasters in quick succession. Dominator, Volcano, and Intimidator. Boy, do I love roller coasters. Somewhere in between them, we rode the little Boo Blaster's ride, with the laser guns, where you shoot the little ghosts and stuff. I love that ride. :)
Well, I think that's enough for one post. I shall return. :)

Set Me Free

Okay, so I wanted to post a video, but can't manage to without it displaying my real name, which, I kinda don't wanna do. Grr. The sound quality was awful anyway.
It went off without a hitch. As everybody arrived, I spirited them away to the girl's bathroom to apply dark eye make up, befitting their characters as either demons or the demon possessed person. Corine played the demon possessed person.
Okay, I'm starting to sound a little crazy. Ever heard the song? Set Me Free, Casting Crowns. If not, check it out here. It's about the story in Matthew, about Jesus casting out a great number of demons from a man. Corine played the man, and the rest of us were her demons. It was really emotional, really powerful. Everybody did a fantastic job, from little Noel, Joy's seven-year-old sister, to seventeen-year-old Joy herself.
And, we've welcomed a new one to the fold. It was Anne's friend (I'll insert screen name later) first dance with us, and ever since then she's been telling me what a great time she had and how excited she is for the next one.
I adore worship dance. I love the changes it makes in life after life after life. I've seen how much it's come to mean to Joy, who technically just started last December. I've seen the changes, the unbelievable changes, it's made in Corine. She's closer to God! Through this, she's growing and thriving in her relationship with Christ. Noel, (insert name later), all of them! It's such a powerful thing, and we have such a gifted group. A truly gifted, Holy Spirit gifted, group. When this door is opened up to someone, it's literally like shackles just fall off. To learn that there's this full-self, mind, soul, body, way that you can worship your Creator, it's freeing! If I may, John 4:23 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." Worship in spirit . . . and in truth. And, also consider: 2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." and, John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
So, it follows that to worship in spirit and in truth is to worship in freedom!!! Now, I can't claim that logic as my own. Ann Stevenson wrote that in her book Restoring the Dance, which I highly recommend.
And that's what dance means to me. Freedom. Freedom to all-out worship my King.
But, I'm starting to ramble. It's what happens when I'm passionate about something. But, I should stop. Bye, now! :)


Umm, yeah. So I'm trying to play catch-up, if you hadn't noticed. And three days after Vacation Bible School ended, the epicness that was dance camp, erm, excuse me, worship arts camp, began.
First day. Got up at five in the morning, rode with Grandma to Aunt Ruth's house. Aunt Ruth heads up the whole thing.
Okay, forget the play-by-play. In the words of the fabulous Inigo Montoya, "You killed my father, pre-" wait, wrong quote. Hang on, "Let me 'splain. No, would take too long. Let me sum up."
I listed two worries that I had going into dance camp several posts ago. The were A) running into people I used to know, and B) (hahaha B) looks like a funny little face.) my own lack of ability. A caused no problems at all, besides Joy, Aunt Ruth, and my two little cousins, I didn't know anyone from that famous patriarch of patriarchs, Adam. Can you tell I'm feeling ADD today?
But anyway, B. I had four classes. My dance skill level caused problems in one, a very, shall we say, vigorous? dance class. But, it only meant I had to work that much harder to get the dance, which I didn't really have a problem with. It was fun. The other dance class was really fun. Took me outside of my comfort zone, but it was fun. One of the two pieces we worked on over the week was a hip-hop dance, to the song Shackles, by Mary Mary. Ella. Does. Not. Hip hop. Me and Joy both almost decided not to do it, because we were scared. But we stuck with it, and we managed. We did something hard. Go us.
We had a Bible study, oddly enough lead by a friend of my mom's from growing up. It was marvelous. Slightly creepy, but marvelous. See, one of my reasons, okay, my only reason, for doing dance camp this year was the fact that I felt ill-equipped to be in the position I am at church, and hoped that it might, in some way, help. I'm young. I'm so young. And I had this mindset that that meant I couldn't do it. And I get there, and what is the Bible study focusing on all week, but young heroes (and heroines!) in the Bible who did amazing things. David. Samuel. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel. Esther. It was incredible.
On the wall in the Bible classroom was a large sheet of butcher paper, which read "God, let us be..." . And every day, after we'd done the Bible study, the teacher handed out little squares of cardstock, on which we were to write one word. Faithful, passionate, and honest were most of mine. Can't remember the third to save me. How cool is God?
But the class I had the hardest time with was my first class of the day. The one I volunteered in. Drama. Now, see, I didn't know I was lacking in ability when it comes to drama. I've always been capable enough for whatever was needed of me. And I've done plenty of it, in my day. Had the lead part in my fair share of Christmas plays. My mom's a drama freak, of course some of it rubbed off on me.
But apparently not. Because, even though this class was geared toward sixth graders, my Juliet was lacking in emotion, my senile old lady made no sense, and I couldn't get loud enough to save my life. I was feeling pretty down on myself until the last day. I'm not usually the kind of person who needs afirmation, but this teacher had managed to take me down a few notches in the self-confidence arena. But then, the last day, I was given an improv character I could actually do something with (an overprotective mother in a screaming match with her seventeen-year-old daughter, who was headed down a bad road), and an opportunity to show off my valley girl accent. Both of which merited "Very good, Ella!" from the teacher. Lol.
The week, as a whole, was an absolute success. Met some people I'll never forget, learned a ton, got a crash course in worship, found some support for the whole thing at church, and met Joan Wilson. Ate lunch in a lunch room, became a pro at packing lunches, making pajamas look cute, and arching my back in ways probably not humanly possible. It was an awesome week. Can't wait 'til next year!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Protest, part 6: Speaking Swahili and Chasing Rare Birds

Hodi! Which, is Swahili, for hello. So, for Vacation Bible School this year, my church did Kingdom of the Son, which was a safari-themed adventure focusing on the Lord's Prayer.
VBS is always an adventure, filled with all kinds of opportunities. Opportunities of all sorts. And, usually, it can go one of two ways. Each situation has two outcomes. You can either wind up feeling really good about yourself, or really really bad. I did my fair share of each, believe you me.
For most of each night, I was Miss Ella, crew leader to the first and second graders, along with Joy, Tori, a lady from our church, and Gabriel, a guy from the youth group. Gabriel was the afterthought. He, umm, wasn't thriving in his first job (read: sat there doing nothing), so the people in charge (read: my mom and Joy's) stuck him with us, knowing we wouldn't let him get away with stuff like that. So, he got the scare-your-pants-off, won't-take-no-for-an-answer, boys-beware crash course in working with children. It was fun. For us, at least. ;)
So our job was to shepherd those little ones entrusted to us from activity to activity. Craft, Bible, Snack, Games, was the order, if I remember correctly.
But for the first twenty minutes of each evening, I was Terry Jaywalker, oversolicitous, overcautious birdwatcher. Twin to Jerry Jaywalker, also oversolicitous, but extremely undercautious, adventure hound/photographer/videographer extraordinaire, played by my dear friend Joy. The two of us hired Ben Bakari (Safari guide/closet evil poacher) to lead us on an expedition into the African plains, in search of adventure (for Jerry) and the rare Blue-Cheeked Bee Eater (for me). But our jeep broke just miles away from the first stop on our safari, Dr. Doolot's Animal Hospital, on an unnamed animal reserve. So we spent the week helping the kind Dr. Doolots with her work, learning all sorts of lessons, embarrassing ourselves (there was that incident with the tranquilizer . . .), and chasing the elusive bird.
But, any more than that would be spoilers. Spoilers!!
It was a fantastic week. The good Lord moved like He always does (five or six salvations, I think). God always uses those little kids, and the lessons they learn, to teach me things I'm too hardheaded to learn any way else. Part of why I love working with kids.
But I'm glad it only happens once a year, because VBS is exhausting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Protest, part 5: Bunnies

Well, this one kind of picks up where the last one left off, with Doctor Who.
It all started one evening while Andrew, Anne, Riley and myself were riding around on the golf cart. (Aside: the golf cart is a new addition to the family. Pawpaw picked it up somewhere as a freebie and got it into working order.) There was a guy over from church to talk to Daddy, and they were sitting in the back yard. And, of course, I was hyper. I mean HYPER. So we're dashing around on the golf cart, and feeling absolutely psychotic, and in a major Doctor Who mood. So we're quoting the show left and right, and I'm screaming "Dust off your converse!" at the top of my lungs. Just for fun, you know.
Then all of a sudden, this rabbit dashes across our path, and Carie screamed at him "Dust off your converse!!"
So I asked, "Why on earth would a bunny wear converse?"
"It would if it was a Time Lord bunny." she said.
So we followed the bunny, but it disappeared. And when I said "What happened to the converse-wearing bunny?"
"It used it's TARDIS to go back in time and steal all our radishes from our garden." Connor replied matter-of-factly.
And thus was born the Evil Converse-Wearing, Radish-Stealing Time Lord Bunny. The end.

The Protest, part 4: Matt Smith

Well, then. On the list of things on dear old Ella's mind, Matt Smith (a.k.a the 11th Doctor) is pretty high up there. Because, well, he's so cool. And when I say cool, I mean cool.
Here is a video of an interview, shortly after Matt got the news that he'd been chosen as the next doctor.
And, this is stupid. I know that just because something is part of my frame of reference doesn't mean that it's a part of everyones. I am most certainly my father's daughter. I've grown up on stuff like this. Which quite possibly makes me a nerd, 'cause I love it. But I don't know if it's something everyone would get, or knows about. Maybe I'm stupid for even wondering, maybe it's a big duh. Everybody knows about Doctor Who. Or maybe I'm being rude for thinking that everyone knows about it just because I do. I quite simply don't know.
So, just in case, Doctor Who is a British, a very British science fiction show. Kind of an iconic thing, over there, so I'm told. Watch the video.
And it's a show I've very recently fallen in love with. How do you not fall in love with such a fantastic show? And the Doctor is such a marvelous character. Very cool.
And as you may've picked up on, when I use the word cool, I mean it in a slightly different sense. Ever read The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald? "You look so cool. Yo always look so cool." Or, possibly, seen The Cat Returns? "Wow, you're cool." Anyway, I digress.
So, yeah, Matt Smith. Cool. And, I guess that's it! Talk to you soon. :)

The Protest, part 3: Llamas

Now that I'm here, I honestly don't remember what I was going to say about llamas. That's embarrassing. Ummmmm, let's see. There was the bit about the spitting llamas, with Cara. But I already told you about that.
There's also the happy llamas. Which are fun. It's a hand rhyme my little cousin Nikki taught me, which I then taught to all the girls at church, and my little cousin Haley.
But I don't think that was it either. So, umm, llamas?
Wikipedia defines a llama as "a South American camelid, widely used as a pack and meat animal by Andean cultures since pre-hispanic times."
But you didn't care to know that. And I can't think of anything else. So, I guess we'll be wrapping this one up. Ttfn! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Protest, part 2: What's Happening in the Next Few Weeks

VBS. Dance camp. Set Me Free. Thaaaaaattt about sums it up.
VBS. Me, Joy, Tori, and a lady from our church are crew-leading (actually, I think we're Safari Guides this year) for the first and second graders. Which, is pretty much my job of choice. No stupid boy issues this year either, please. I would appreciate that. It has me kinda freaked that I'm working with an adult. Never done that before in all my (four?) years of VBS-ing. All of which have been in the same position, crew leader to first and second graders. And, it being my niche, I consider myself at the very least passable at it, if not by this time somewhat good? Can I say that? And I usually wind up in the position of leader. Not official, just in a group-dynamic kinda way. I don't like taking charge, but I am capable when necessary. So that's usually what I do. Not sure how that's gonna work with an adult in the picture. Am I working with/alongside her? Or am I working under her. Kinda apprehensive about that, but in all things, His will be done. Joy and myself also have another position, but, again, that's a story for another post.
Dance Camp. Five day day camp in Norfolk, all about praise dance. Being the age that I am, I'm 'volunteering' most of the time, while learning under experienced leaders how to lead. Which'll be nice, because that's pretty much the position me and Joy are in with the 'dance group' (we're not official, yet?) at church. So, in that sense, looking forward to it. But, there's the potential (pretty good potential) of running into people I knew growing up, which is always interesting, and I have very low belief in my ability as a dancer, and there'll be people there who've been at it longer than I have with more teaching than I have. I've been on my own as a dancer, without a teacher, for a very long time. Aaaand, I'm not exactly in ballet-dancer shape. So, yeah, the feelings are a little mixed there.
Set Me Free. Sunday, July 25th. The dance-group-ey-thingy at church is presenting a dance to the song Set Me Free by Casting Crowns. And that's the one thing that I'm NOT having mixed/apprehensive feelings about. It's ready. We're ready. God has had his hand on this thing since the beginning, and I couldn't be more proud of the girls. They are w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l wonderful. I'm excited!! Corine is dancing the main part, and she's wonderful. She has so much God-giving talent and ability for it, and she has really made this part her own. And, her dad gets to be here this time. He missed her last dance, and that was really sad, because he is her biggest supporter as a dancer, and one of the biggest supporters of the whole dance thing at our church. And he gets to be here this time, which makes me really happy.
Soooo, I guess thats it? Sweet. Jazzy. (lol, another story for another post). That's all folks! Ttfn! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Protest, part 1: What I've Been Doing These Past Few Weeks

My last post was on June seventh. This means that 'catching up' is not going to be easy, so let me hit the high points.
Aunt Becky, Uncle Jared, and Cara Grace's visit came and went. It was fantastic, albeit far too short. You've noticed how when out-of-town relatives visit, you see your in-town relatives a lot more often? Yeah. That's kind of a cool side effect.
Funniest/Favorite highlights of the visit?
Dad and Calvin (age four) playing 'may I please have my brains back?' Dad pretended to pull Cal's brain out through his ear, then coached him in the correct way to stick his tongue out, drool, and slur "may I please have my brains back?" Which he continued to do for a solid week.
Cara's spitting llamas. She was sitting on the floor playing with Andrew's legos in our family room. They'd come over for dinner. I was sitting in a chair beside her, leaning over to play with her. I made what I thought was a very cute duck, and proceeded to make the duck 'quack' at her with it. She promptly informed me that it looked more like a llama than a duck. To which I replied "Well, I don't know what a llama says." So she told me, "They don't say nuffin', they 'pit (spit)!"
Standing in the kitchen, cooking side-by-side with Nana, Aunt Becky, and Mama. Peeling potatoes at Nana's kitchen table with Aunt Becky. All (*counts on fingers*) twelve? of us piling into the ten-by-ten family room to play music. Which is what we call it when Daddy and Andrew grab their guitars and Aunt Becky and Papaw grab their ukeleles and the rest of us sing along where we can and we play whatever song from the song book sounds best at the time. We managed a pretty decent He Knows My Name, if I do say so myself.
We got together for the last time Monday night. We did dinner, dessert, and music. Mom and Dad started giving each other the 'it's time to go' looks, then Nana says "Hey, don't we wanna look at pictures? So we all take turns putting our camera SD cards into the wii and we look at pictures. The looks begin again, then Nana produces a humongous watermelon and says "Does anybody want watermelon?" And even though we were all full as ticks, everybody did. And as Nana and I are in the kitchen cleaning up, I looked over at her and said, "We're stretching, aren't we?" We were, of course. Everybody knew it.
They left last Tuesday, the same day Grandma and Pawpaw came back from their vacation in Florida. Tuesday afternoon, Mom and I scooted down to NC to pick up Joy so we could go over to the CPC to volunteer, like we always do. We get there and up to the door and our 'boss' informs us (in a whisper) that she's with a client, and didn't need us that day. So I call daddy, and Joy and me wind up sitting in the kitchen at the office for an hour. Which, seeing as how it was us, was a blast.
And that's pretty much it for June. July is gonna have to be a story for another day. Au revoir!

Umm . . . ?

Bonjour. Comment vas tu? Moi, je vais bien. I think. Not so sure. I'll let you know when I figure out.
I kind of hate blogging. I mean, it's great and all. Cool for when you have a thought that won't fit into a facebook status update that you want to share, or when you're really busy and you need a place to make your schedule make sense in your own head, or for trading inside jokes with friends under false names, or when you've got something on your mind that you just HAVE to talk about, and that your family and friends will strangle you if you say another word about, or if you have a beloved aunt who wants to keep up with your life, but lives on the other side of the planet (Love you Aunt Becky!).
But it has its downsides, too. Like when you hate keeping anything like a journal, and are therefore awful at it. Or when you're super-duper busy. Or when the kind of thing you have on your mind isn't exactly the kind of thing you want to project into cyberspace.
That's probably the worst one. Because not everything is blogger-friendly. Some stuff is just . . . bigger . . . than that. But, when that's what you're thinking about, how can you NOT blog about it? And then I start feeling guilty (see Honesty, parts 1 and 2) about not sharing what's on your mind. And then, well, that's when I decide that the pros of blogging just don't outweigh the cons.
So I could tell you what I did over the past few weeks. Or I could tell you what's happening in the next few weeks. Or I could pick some random subject to ramble on about, like Llamas or Matt Smith or bunnies or speaking swahili and chasing rare birds. Okay, so there are ideas for five, no, six blog posts right there. And while I'm not particularly enthralled with any of them, why not? So, a protest against blogging, while being a good girl and posting on my blog, in six parts, coming right up. Well, seven if you count this one, the introduction.
Have a fantastic evening.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Lied

Whoops! I just went back, and realized I didn't say a WORD about slime night last year. Not sure how that happened, because it was epic.
So I guess I may as well just do it this year.
Once a year, several giant vats of slime (cornstarch+water=gooey icky fun) are made, and the youth group congregates in crappy old clothes to enjoy it.
We started with a burping contest (not exactly slimy, but still disgusting, which is the theme of the evening). Both teams picked two volunteers. All volunteers failed. Each team sent their oldest male. It was DISGUSTING!! But my team won. :)
Then the egg toss, which we lost, amid many snide comments from Stephen about "Watch your head, Ella's playing!" Okay, so last year, me and Mr. OverCompetitive himself were on the same team (which was awesomely fun, btw), and wound up as partners for the egg toss. I threw it, he didn't catch it, it landed right SMACK on the head of the guy to his left. We've been arguing ever since about who's fault it was.
Me: But YOU were supposed to catch it!!
Him: How was I supposed to? It was six feet to my left!!
Whatever. So this year, I replied by sticking my tongue out and telling him to shut up.
Then was Not sure what to call it. It doesn't have a name. One person lays down on the ground w/a 2-liter soda bottle on their head. Next person runs up w/a cup of slime, tries to pour it in soda bottle. When cup is empty, they switch, pourer becomes lay-er, layer runs and gives cup to next team member, repeat as necessary. First team w/a full bottle wins. We won, both times around.
Then bobbing for worms. Large vat of slime, gummy worms in it. One person steps into vat, two hold them up (man, is it slippery!), proceed to pick out worms w/ your toesies! And, I am becoming known for my nimble toes. My team won that too. :)
Relay races (kiddy pools, tarps, slip-and-slide), which nobody knew who won. Slime wrestling (two people on a slimed tarp, trying to push each other off), which we lost.
Then, the Epic Slime Battle. Several buckets of slime (some still w/gummy worms in them), a load of water balloons for each team, proceed to try to kill each other. :) That was my favorite part of the evening, always is. Everybody tries to get revenge for things that had happened earlier, and revenge is oh-so-sweet, and slimy. Case-and-point, I landed a fantastic, gloppy ball of slime on Stephen's head for the egg comment. He squeegeed it off and flung it at me. Wiped it all down Joy's back. Splashed Brandon for sliming me. Poured it on Corine's unsuspecting head. Loverly.
And that, my dears, was slime night.
Today is testing, last official day of school. Breakfast, a day full of timed, mark-the-bubble tests. Fun. Talk to you later. Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alright, so, sorry. Ask anybody, keeping anything that resembles a journal is like, the thing I'm worst at. So, you know, whatever.
I only have a minute, 'cause I have to leave to go to the doctor's office. I got bit on the ankle by some kind of bug Monday night at Joy's, and now my ankle is all swollen up. So, I have to go to the doctor's. I hate the doctor's.
So, yeah, spent Monday evening w/Joy and her family, which was fantastic. Btw, hope everybody had a fabulous holiday weekend.
Yesterday was volunteering at the CPC. Oops, hadn't said anything about that yet, had I? Well, me and Joy are volunteering every Tuesday afternoon at the local Crises Pregnancy Center. Which basically means playing with baby clothes, bagging diapers, and lugging stuff up and down the stairs. It's really fun, and it feels good to just go somewhere and be as helpful as you can. It's not very hard work, and they're so appreciative of the help. It just feels good, you know?
Tonight is youth, as usual. Tomorrow=nothing special.
And then Friday (drumroll please!) is SLIME NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only my favorite youth event of the year. I do believe I blogged about it in detail last year. But, it is exactly what it sounds like, A chance to get coated from head to toe in (cornstarch) slime!!!!!
Looking further forward is Aunt Becky, Uncle Jared, and Cara's visit in the (very near!!!) future. Eight days and counting!!! :D
Then VBS, which always comes up faster than expected. This year we're doing Kingdom of the Son: A Prayer Safari, which is all based on the Lord's prayer. I'll be volunteering in the same position as last year, a crew-leader-type person for the 1st and 2nd grade class.
Directly after that is Dance/Worship Arts camp (technically called Exalt) at First Baptist of Norfolk. My aunt has been helping lead that up for years. I haven't gotten involved up to this point, but this year is a little different. With the position me and Joy have been taking in the dance group (if we can really call it that), it would be wise to try to get more equipped. It just makes sense, you know?
And past that, it's all up in the air. Heehehe, I'm a little crazy right now.
Everybody have a great day! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Howdy, folks.
So today is Mother's Day. And I feel like I should take a moment to thank God for all the Moms in my life.
First and foremost, ahead by a million miles of everybody else, is my Mama. I don't know why, but God has seen fit to give me the best one on the planet. She's my best friend, she knows everything about me. I can't ever manage to keep a secret from her for long. She knows what's best for me, and she's not afraid to be the bad guy. Is that weird? That that's one of my favorite things about her? That when it comes to what I need, instead of what I want, she's the one who holds the reins, and occasionally the whip. And no matter how badly I punish her for it, or how much I sulk, she always does what's best for me. I love you, Mama!!!
Second, my two wonderful Grandmothers.
My Nana has been one of my favorite people for as long as I can remember. She's one of those people who just loves and loves and loves and gives and gives and gives, until you think she'd eventually run out. But she never does. And as I get older and get to know her on a more grown-up level, I learn that that's because she's constantly refilling herself from her Jesus. She lives her entire life at His feet. And she is so incredibly humble. I was just realizing last night (we were over at her house) how much she has to teach me. And I cannot wait to start learning.
And my Grandma. I have only recently started to discover her. She's not one of those totally warm people like my Nana, so we were never close when I was young. She's more reserved. She's a lot like me, in that respect. But I've started to really put forth the effort to get to know her these last few weeks, and she's a really remarkable lady.
Then my Aunts.
My Aunt Becky, who was another of those favorite people from when I was really little. Actually, she was always more like another Mom to me, than an Aunt. She's been away for a long time, serving overseas with my Uncle Jared as a missionary. That hasn't been easy. But sometimes, during the summer, they come home for visits. And they're coming home this year!!!!!
And my Aunt Ruth. We haven't been close for a few years now, just because our lives have stopped putting us together so much, but there was a time when we were. She was 'Ms. Ruth' for a while, as my dance teacher. She leads a dance group at her church, that I was a part of for a long time. She's the person who really led me to fall in love with dancing. Everything I know (that I haven't learned by trial-and-error) I learned from her.
And last, but far from least, all my other moms and grandmas. Those wonderful ladies God has placed in my life that love me dearly, and that I don't know what I would do without. Brandice, Joy's mom Mary, Ms. Peggy, Ms. Tammie, Ms. Kellie, Ms. Cindy and Ms. Diane just to name a few. I am so thankful for them!
So take a moment, today, to thank God for all your moms, and to tell them that you love them.
Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Honesty Part 2

Honesty Part 2 is going to be, essentially, a couple of lists.
Firstly, a list of things that, within the last three days, have reiterated to me the importance of honesty.
*Sunday morning, at Joy's house (omg! I didn't post about her bday party. will do that soon).
Her mom wakes us up by blaring christian music at us. The song is "Unspoken" by Jaci Velasquez. It gets stuck in my head. All. Day. Long. Important lyric: "Don't leave your heart
*Saturday night, the making of a promise to several of my girlfriends to be perfectly honest with them, no matter what.
*More Sunday morning, during the sermon, the line "Hearts are oft broken by words left
unspoken" running through my head over and over and over and over again.
*Yesterday morning, listening to my iPod trying to tune the family out to concentrate on
school. The John Mayer song 'Say' comes on. You probably know it. "Say what you need to
say. Say what you need to say." so on and so forth, about five zillion times.
*This afternoon, reading an email forward from my grandmother, that says things like, "Always tell, what you feel and do what you think.", and "Nobody would remember you if you keep your thoughts secret."
And there have been more, though nothing else comes to mind.
Secondly, while I'm having this soul-bearing moment, I might as well list what's on my mind.
*Life. Get-a-job-get-your-driver's-license-get-a-car-go-to-college-figure-out-what-you're-
doing-with-your-life life. Yeah. Fun. Not.
*Dance. Figuring out where the dance thing is headed at my church, figuring out where
God wants dance to head at my church, figuring out where God wants dance to head with
me and my life, and trying to make sure His will is done.
*My age. I feel trapped, because I'm just a "child" and as such I can only do so much. I have
this fire to make a difference in my generation, and to DO something, to GO somewhere
with my life, and I am absolutely, completely, and utterly S T U C K stuck. But, then, I feel
like the time I have for goofing off, cutting up, and being a kid is almost over, and I want to
make the next two years last ffffffoooooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeevvvvvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrr.
Make any sense to you? Me either.
So, there you have it. My life's problems, in a nutshell. Whoop-dee-doo.
Good night, everybody.

Honesty Part 1

So, you know, honesty is kind of a funny thing. Being honest, I mean. It's sort of a rush.
As you may've guessed, I'm not a very . . . open person. I tend to be the implosive type. I just kind of stuff everything inside. Mom says it's not good for me, that eventually I'm gonna just blow up. The way I see it, that hasn't happened yet.
And it's not that I have, like, trust issues or whatever. My life is just easier when people don't really know what's going on inside my head. I don't have to deal with sympathy, or comfort, or attempts at help.
I'm the kind of person who, when asked "How are you?", will 95% of the time reply "Fine!". No matter what's going on inside my head. I mean, unless it's Joy, or Mom or Dad, or Spring, or a select handfull of other people. I really don't care to have you know about what I'm going through.
Thats part of what I like so much about the internet, and the world of Blogger. There's this safe kind of illusion of anonymity. I know it's fake, but I feel so far removed from real life that it's safe to really be honest.
But that's something that bugs the snot out of me in other people. I can't stand anything that smacks of dishonesty. Probably because it's something I have a hard time with myself. I wish, with all my heart, that everybody (myself included) felt safe enough to be open and themselves all the time. And I'm fiercely jealous of people who are. People who have that confidence.
So it's something I'm trying to work on. I'm trying to get to where, when there really is something wrong, I can tell people. I can speak my mind. I can say what I need to say.
God's working on me in this aspect. In the last three days alone, the topic has come up about seven times, no lie.
So I'm working on it. Which brings me back to where I started.
Forget lying. Telling the truth is a real adrenaline high.
See, I have this guy friend, Brandon. He and I have been through highs and lows in our friendship. We just hit what was probably an all time low (due to some severe miscommunications, misunderstandings, and misconstruing), and are now on our way back up. He's one of those people who I'd like to be open with. But it doesn't come easy. Especially with a guy. I just kind of tend to recoil from that kind of openness with guys.
But we're emailing back and forth right now, and he's being pretty honest with me. Then he asked me, pretty seriously, how I'm doing. I gave the vague reply 'kinda going through some stressful stuff right now, but okay', hoping that would be honest enough to satisfy my newfound conscience, but vague enough to not really tell him anything.
And, of course, he had to ask what kind of stressful stuff.
I was still vague, but more honest than I've been with a lot of people here lately. And, like I said, it's a rush. I'm a bit jittery.
And it feels good, to be honest with people. To not hold back the truth. We should all try it some time.
Have a great day!