Family · Friends · Me · My Sister

Canning Peaches and Burning Flesh

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Monday, August 8, 2016

A few of our friends in the Patteson family came over to our house to help my mom, Ansa, and I can peaches. Box after box of peaches we peeled, cut, canned, de-air-bubbled, sealed, and sealed again. Mrs. Patteson, Emma, and Patricia left around 8:00 PM but the Thomas girls continued working until midnight.

As we came to a stopping point, I was walking across the kitchen when Ansa, who was passing in the opposite direction, bumped me. The force with which she pushed me with was ever so slight but enough to cause me to step to my left. This little movement caused me to press the left side of my left thigh against a lid Mom had just removed from a pot of boiling water and set to cool on a stack of crates beside the pantry door. “Ouch!” I exclaimed, quickly stepping to my right. “That’s hot!”

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I examined the contact point and discovered that some of my skin was peeling away. I sat down and picked off the damaged skin which revealed a burn about an inch wide and two inches long. Mom had me hold an ice cube on it and then she pulled out the mustard (which we’ve heard helps with burns). It had never occurred to me that, when mustard is applied to a burn, it stings. I was doing fine until we applied it and, oh my, how it stung! I was unable to hold back my tears and so let them flow freely. I protested against more mustard, despite my burn not being completely covered, but Mom succeeded in squeezing out another dollop before I drew back and waved her away. Once the tears stopped, I slowly spread the mustard evenly over my burn, flinching as it came in contact with my flesh. Several minutes later the mustard had dried and fallen off in flakes while my burn, despite being swollen, was feeling much better.

As time passed, my burn slowly began to disappear. It is truly amazing how our bodies can heal themselves. Today I received this burn very close to exactly four months ago and yet you can still clearly see it. There is a good chance this accident has scarred me, but at least we have learned to no longer leave hot pots or pans in reach of bare skin. 😂

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Extended Family · Friends

Pool Time

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On July 26, we went to the pool with the Rawlings family. We played several games including but not limited to Marco Polo, Blob Tag, and Statues.  There was one specific round of Marco Polo when Abi was dead set on getting me tagged. She followed me around like a shark before locking me in her arms. Haydn, Ansa, and I have always played with “no sacrificing” as a rule so several times during my struggle to free myself from Abi I exclaimed, “Surely there is a rule somewhere against this!” Abi and Noah, both very entertained by my struggle, were each faithful to give me a “no” in reply. When I realized talking Abi out of sacrificing me was getting me nowhere, which I realizedimg_9820 when the gap between me and Joshua was quickly shrinking, I kicked things up a few notches. I began to squirm, kick, and wiggle which, for the first couple of times, allowed me to successfully free myself and I managed to swim away before Abi was able to catch me again. The third or fourth time she ensnared me yet again, Haydn joined in. With Abi immobilizing my arms, and Haydn a hold of my legs, I gave up. I was already breathless and the energy it would have taken to shake off Haydn, who is stronger than me, in addition to Abi would have taken much more energy than I was already using. Still, when they approached Joshua I gave one last kick so that Haydn ended up being the closest to Joshua and so most likely to get tagged. Although it would have been cool if that had happened, Joshua had already tagged another swimmer and so the game continued.

On August third, Hunter broke our “how long a human tower can stay standing” record. This is not something we time, we just knew.

img_9826On August fourth the Heffernan family (my youngest Uncle, Aunt, and cousins on my mom’s side) were in town so we spent the day with them. I had a lot of fun with John and Joel. They are six now so the usual simple answers and exaggerated facial expressions one does when talking to little kids no longer convinces them. I’m sure their IQ has shot up since we last saw them. We spent the afternoon with them at the pool. John spent most of his time atop a human tower before plunging backward into the water. Joel was usually found in the corner testing the limits of his breath-holding abilities. I was very impressed by how brave John-John was and by how long Joel could stay under the surface.

To view more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Friends

Kyler’s Graduation

IMG_5187On May 14th my family and I drove up to Tennessee to be a part of Kyler’s graduation. Throughout the day I told several people that I would not realize how weird this is until I get home. Well, I’m home now, but that feeling has yet to wash over me and I still find myself relating very well to this poem:

We look at you and wonder, where have the years all gone? What happened to our yesterdays? It hasn’t been that long… You stand before us on this day prepared to step into a special chapter of your life written just for you. We look at you and wonder and then we realize the time has come to see you as the man you have become. The one that you’ve grown into is a gift beyond the best, so we congratulate you and count ourselves truly blessed.

We are so happy for you, Kyler, and wish you the best of luck as you begin college this coming fall. Keep up the great work! Congrats!

Extended Family · Friends · Holidays

Christmas Break 2015

The Johnson Home

I usually get out of school at 1:30 PM on Fridays, but Friday the 18 was an exam day so, since we only had one exam that day, we were released at 10:30 AM. The weather was nice outside. A bit chilly but, overall, rather nice. My family picked me up, we drove two hours to Greenville, Tenessee, pulled into the Johnson family’s driveway, got out, and it was snowing. Talk about a change of weather! My first reaction was, It’s not supposed to be snowing! It’s December! We’re not supposed to get snow until March! Ansa said she wanted to go home but I’m sure she was joking, right?

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Ellie and I spent the afternoon running around taking pictures. That evening we went to their old church to enjoy a local Christmas recital that Simon participated in. I had fun hanging out with them while we tried not to freeze to death. 😂

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Saturday Ellie and I filmed half of a soon to be music video. The boys joined us as we made our way back to the house which is when they discovered large pieces of ice behind the barn. Simon broke a big chunk over his head which looked really painful but seemed not to scratch him. Once back inside we played several games with the rest of the family including dodgeball and Buzz Word. Later the girls decided to open my Christmas presents to their family and they posed for pictures before we retreated to the basement to play more games.

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Sunday came, as it always will, and we had to go our own ways. I had a lot of fun with you guys! Hope we can get back together really soon!

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QOTD: It seems we have always been, and will always be, friends. Time can change much, but not this.

 

The Heffernan Home

On December 21, we arrived at my Uncle John and Aunt Christina’s house. After unpacking, we spent the evening hanging before the kids and Uncle John went caroling at a nursing home.

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On the 22 we played Ticket to Ride before Aunt Chris, Mom, Haydn, Ansa, John, Joel, and I went to Martin Nature Park for the afternoon.

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Christmas Eve was filled with cake decorating and a lovely dinner and Christmas day, of course, was filled with present opening and the enjoyment of our gifts. Merry Christmas everyone!

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The Blackert Home

On December 26 we arrived at the Blackert’s home in Dearing, Kansas. Mrs. Blackert, or Aunt Barbi as we call her, has been my mom’s best friend since high school so visits with her and her family are real treats since they now live so far away.

Over the summer the Thomas and Blackert kids performed The Phantom of the Opera. We had a lot of fun producing it so, over Christmas break, we attempted Les Miserables. Sadly, this project never reached completion but we had a lot of fun and made many memories while filming what little we did.

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It’s insane how much Heide looks like the actress who plays Cosette in the movie.

It snowed while we were in Kansas so our days were filled with a mix of filming and breaks spent in the frozen water.

IMG_1531 And then there's Haydn. LOL.

On New Year’s Eve, we did our best to stay up all night but weren’t able to keep our tradition as well as we have in the past. Heide fell asleep around 4:00 AM, Ansa around 4:30 AM, I around 6:00, and Haydn around 8:00. I had A LOT of fun with you guys and hope we can visit soon.

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Friends

BAATH Get Together November 2015

Although two members of BAATH couldn’t make it, I had a lot of fun with the girls who did. Between hairdos, makeup, and Dubsmashes, there really wasn’t any way for us not to enjoy ourselves. Loved hanging with you girls! Hope you can come over again very soon!

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To view more pictures from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

 

Friends

Childs Get Together 11/22/15

November 22nd our friends the Childs family came over for dinner. Afterward, Cameron (the oldest child), Haydn, and I went hiking in the woods behind our house. We went further than I have ever gone before and found an extremely long pole. Cameron hauled it back and he and Haydn measured it up against the house.

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After that, we hung out until it was time for them to leave.

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Friends

Runaway Dog

IMG_0359Since we no longer go to the same church, it has been about four months since I have seen my best friend, Heidi. I had a great time hanging out, catching up, and almost drowning her dog, you know, the usual (JK).

We were on a walk along a path that runs beside a river in her neighborhood. We were getting off a boulder we had taken a picture on and Heidi handed me Oscar’s (her dog’s) leash. Oscar jumped off the rock and then yanked the leash out of my hand as he ran to the river’s edge. Heidi and I breathed a sigh of relief when he stopped but then began to panic when he jumped in.

Because of an earlier discussion, I knew that Oscar, according to Heidi, can’t swim. I also knew that Heidi really didn’t want to get wet due to my suggestion of crossing the river. Due to this knowledge, I tore off my shoes thinking I was going to have to jump into the river to grab Oscar’s leash. I was kinda hoping I would grab it and then get pulled in (because that would make a really funny story/memory) but, to my disappointment, that is not what happened.

Heidi and I raced along the narrow bank as Heidi called out to Oscar who was doing his best to swim upstream. Thankfully he managed to steer himself to the bank and Heidi was able to grab his leash. Here’s to hoping that I am not now considered a threat to her dog, and will be getting together again with her soon. 😂

 

Family · Friends · GMCCHS · Holidays · Neighbors

Halloween 2015

I had a hard time deciding what to wear for Halloween. After a lot of dressing up and much consideration, I decided to be Queen Sunflower (my role in a game I invented/ book I wrote) for Trailer Park Treating (an event at school), but I promised Ansa that I would go Trick-or-Treating dressed as Anna from Disney’s Frozen. Below are pictures of this year’s costumes:

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Upon returning to the house, my siblings and I counted our candy. It took a while but we were able to see who had the most. Haydn came in first with 229 pieces, I came in second with 205, and Ansa in third with 186. I had a great time and can not wait for next year.

Family · Friends

Fall Break 2015

We kicked off our fall break by going to the Swain’s vineyard to hep them in the process of turning their grapes into grape juice.

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On our way home, we stopped by the Rawlings’ house to give them some of our freshly pressed grape juice.

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Saturday we went to Mr. Ballard’s 50th birthday party.

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Sunday morning at the church meeting and Sunday night at Cross-Current we wished the Naisang family goodbye since they would be moving to Asheville, North Carolina the following week. Everyone managed not to burst into tears but a few found themselves wiping their eyes.

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Monday we went to the Sky Top Orchard and toured Hendersonville.

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Friends · GMCCHS · Me

The Perks of Being Home

One thing I have enjoyed about being back home is that I can once again craft at my own free will. Having to suppress my urge to create, due to the lack of supplies, was one of the few downsides to our two month trip out west. Below are pictures and brief descriptions of items I have created or decorated since returning home.

IMG_9266 I have several bins on my three book shelves for storing my profuse craft supplies, however, it was becoming annoying to have to dig through them when in search of small items like close pins, buttons, or buttons. Determined to create easier access to such items, I journeyed down to our basement from which I retrieved several Mason Jars (leftover from when my mom went through a canning phase). After much washing and drying, I pulled out my washi tape and wrapped each jar. Doing so increased the visual appeal to said jars while still maintaining their uniformity. Finally, I sorted my cutting utensils, measuring tapes, and other miscellaneous supplied into their own individual jar. These cute jars are going to save so much time!

 

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A while ago my younger friends and I created a pass-time we call “nature royalty“. This game inspired me to create the piece of art depicted to the left. Using my Cuttle-Bug, I cut several branches of leaves out of paper before interlacing and pasting them. I then attached several gems (pink for spring, green and yellow for summer, red and orange for fall, and silver and blue for winter) and snowflakes to the appropriate places. Lastly, I stuck on letters forming the words “Queen Sunflower”, below which I wrote “queen of all seasons”. I love how pretty this creation turned out to be.

 

IMG_9454This fall I began my freshman year of high school at GMC and so, prior to the first day of school, I decorated the only two composition notebooks I am required to have. The one on the left is for Freshman Success (a class dedicated to helping you transition from middle school to high school) and the one on the right is for Physical Education (or PE). I covered my Freshman Success notebook with scrapbook paper before laminating it with duck tape, which I folded over the edges of the cover in order to preserve the corners. For my PE notebook, I picked out several rolls of washi tape which I put in an order before attaching them to the cover.

 

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One of our first assignments in English I was to create an “identity page” we were to present to the class in order to get to know each other better than we did before. This project was assigned a week in advance but my crafty heart was so excited to about this chance to create that I completed the assignment that day. 😅 In addition to our name, we were required to have pictures (at least one of which we had to be in) so I chose one of my family, my siblings, and a cute one of me and my mom. In order to fulfill the “about me” purpose of the assignment, I wrote facts about myself in the circles which were on the paper: I love to sing, craft, write, draw, and act; I am a perfectionist; I talk a lot; I love my family; I have a blog; I love peacocks; I am 13 years old; I keep a journal. Lastly, we were required to have a quote:

“It is better to be hated for who you are rather than loved for who you are not.” -Marilynn Monroe