Redeeming Grace

Cross Current Sunday February 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

T H E  C H U R C H  S E R V I C E

“I’m getting my braces off tomorrow!” I announced to Abi and Ainsley. They cheered. “And on Tuesday I am going to get glasses!” I joked.

“You know that with glasses you would look like the world’s biggest geek, right?” Abi checked. Yeah, sure, whatever you say. 😂 😂

I was cleaning my room yesterday (because Abi was coming over today) when I picked up some old, cut up towels I had just sorted from my cloth drawer. Haydn and Ansa were hanging out with me, so I said, “I am going to delete this.” All three of us burst out laughing. “I mean: I am going to put this in the trash.” I corrected myself. “Oh my word, I am such a geek!”

“What?” Noah, who had just joined our circle, asked.

I opened my mouth, but an explanation came out of Abi’s.

“That’s bad!” Noah exclaimed once caught up.

“And coming from Noah!” Abi, who keeps me well informed on how big of a geek Noah is, exclaimed.

“That’s bad!” Noah repeated, and we all laughed. 😂 😂

I will admit that for awhile now, whenever I make a mistake (whether it be while crafting or coloring), the first thing I always think of is “Command Z,” which is the keystroke to make when you want to undo something. Yeah… 😅 😅

____________________

Exactly one year ago today, we moved into our building, and I feel like we’ve never been anywhere else. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. Wow, how time flies. I guess that’s what happens when you’re having fun.

To celebrate, there were cookies set out in the lobby after the service. I was in line to get some when I thought of asking Imani and Noble if they were going to be in the choir tonight. I looked up just in time to see the two girls walk out the door with their parents. Oh, well. 😂 😂

I joined a circle where Abi was quizzing Cameron about his Prom date. “What color is her hair?” Abi asked.

“Uhhh…” Cameron thought.

“Is it me brown or Abi brown?” I asked.

“There isn’t much difference,” Noah said, comparing me and Abi’s hair.

“Her’s is darker,” I explained.

“Oh,” Noah replied.

“Or Ainsley brown?” I volunteered to a still thinking Cameron. “Or Haydn brown or-” I looked around at Noah and Patricia’s hair. “We have a lot of brown in this circle.” 😂 😂

“It’s brown,” Cameron concluded.

“You’re such a guy!” Abi exclaimed before imitating Cameron’s answer. “How tall is she? This tall, this tall, this tall, this tall, or that tall?” She asked, pointing around the circle from herself to Haydn to me to Ainsley to Cameron and lastly to Noah.

“Uhhh… That tall.” Cameron answered pointing at me.

“What’s her eye color?” Abi asked. Cameron put on a thinking face. “I’m not a stalker; I just want to know,” Abi explained.

It was concluded that Cameron does not know her eye color. 😂 😂

Haydn asked Cameron if it would hurt if he stabbed him and, while Cameron observed the oddity of the question, I was reminded of a distant memory. I turned to Abi. “Once Kyler and I were talking about what would be the least painful way to die.”

“When was this?” Abi asked.

“I don’t remember.” I honestly replied. “We agreed on a gun to the head,” I recalled.

Abi nodded in agreement.

“The other option was a knife to the heart.” I shared.

“What?” Noah asked.

I turned to him while observing Haydn in a conversation with Cameron (which was somehow related to the imaginary knife in Haydn’s hand 😅 😅). I repeated my story, and Noah nodded in agreement before the conversation continued.

A  D A Y  W I T H  A B I

Abi and Sarah went home with my family, so (because of them, Cross Current, and choir practice) we didn’t go to Grandma’s for lunch. After setting her stuff in my room, my best friend and I talked until Sarah called us to help set the table. Once prepared, us kids went to the backyard where Abi and I sang whatever song came to our head. 

After lunch, my best friend and I helped clean up before returning to my room. We gathered items to bring down to the woods before going to the garage to collect hammers and nails. With our arms full of supplies, Abi and I headed down to the forest and were soon at the cabin.

I (sadly) had not been down there since Abi visited just after Christmas, but my siblings kept me informed about our creation’s deteriorating state, and that is precisely what I found. Everything was falling apart. My best friend and I were fixing the roof when Ansa and Sarah brought us Apple slushies. Yum! 😋

Upon realizing that merely nailing the roof back up was not going to work, we immediately regretted not bringing the various ropes I had left on my bed. Deciding that that was the best way to fix the fort, Abi and I gathered our stuff and returned to the house to get it. My best friend and I retrieved the rope but forgot to get the rake, and I accidentally left my hammer. 🙄

Back in the woods, we fixed the roof, replaced the IKEA bag wall with some old umbrella tops, folded and nailed the IKEA bags over the hole in the front left wall, and made a few additional repairs. Haydn joined us about halfway through, and on the way back I suggested that we go for a walk to the creek.

When we returned to the house, Mom told me that we would be leaving in 15 minutes. So, after I washed and dried my feet, I went upstairs and informed everyone else of our to-be departure time. While Ansa and Sarah changed, Abi, Haydn, and I sat on the floor in my room until Mom called us.

C R O S S  C U R R E N T

When we pulled up to the church building, Cameron and Mrs. Ballard were just outside the back doors sweeping up something while barefoot Noah watched. Mrs. Ballard informed us that she had been unable to open the door, so she attempted to balance her glass dish of cake on her leg, and it slipped, fell, and shattered. I sympathized with her while making sure Cameron wasn’t about to eat the piece of cake he was holding. 😂 😂 Mom (who went shopping with the girls for a snack for Cross Current) bought a new dish for Mrs. Ballard who was very touched.

Mrs. Rawlings, to my disappointment, had come to take Abi home so that my best friend would not have to sit through band practice. Noah’s presence must have been a last minute thing since he had no shoes. 😂 😂 As I came to this conclusion, I looked down the hall and through the open back doors where Noah was pretending to stomp on the glass shards with his bare feet. 😂 😂 After a hug from Ansa and Sarah (at the same time) and one from Abi, I took out the needed lyrics and stepped onstage.

I ended up being the only fraction of the choir that showed up, but it wasn’t until later that I found out why: all four girls (Ainsley, Cailin, Imani, and Noble) did not feel ready to fill the role they had expressed interest in- which is totally fine with me. I wouldn’t want any of them to do something they don’t feel prepared for, and I did my best to make sure they understood that. I didn’t want them to feel bad that I had to sing all by myself. Surprisingly, I was not nervous at all. Maybe it’s my abundant love for this church, or perhaps it’s the spiritual growth I’ve experienced since I last stepped onto a stage (to perform), but the whole situation felt very natural and comfortable.

Facing the stage, I was on the left behind a mic and stand. Behind me was Mrs. Ballard and her piano. On the right of the stage was Mr. Phillip (who led worship since Mr. Childs was speaking) and behind him was Cameron who was playing the drum. Before we began to practice, I asked if I needed to sing harmony or something or if they just wanted me to sing the way I usually do. Both adults began to speak words that I did not know, and I told them so. They asked me about how I typically sing, but I had nothing but “the same as the original singer, but I sometimes go higher or lower.” Mrs. Ballard said something about singing a “half step lower,” and so I moved down to the stair leading up to the stage.

“Here?” I asked, and laughter filled the air.

“That was funny.” Mrs. Ballard said.

“Thanks,” I replied. “I try.”

“She has a lot of her dad in her.” Mr. Phillip said, which is true. It was decided that I just sing however I normally do. 😂 😂

We went through the songs with a significant “technical difficulties” break in the middle before finishing with plenty of time to spare. Mr. Phillip and Mrs. Ballard had a very technical sounding conversation about transitions after which I asked if we could go through the transitions because, from what I heard, they sounded very short and I wanted to know if I had enough time to switch the lyric papers on my stand. Mrs. Ballard showed me how she rotated through her’s and I copied that before we practiced the transitions which were much more straightforward than they sounded in words. We finished at 5:46 (14 minutes before Cross Current is supposed to start) and so, after getting some water, I went to throw the frisbee with Haydn.

“Who’s that?” I asked Haydn when a green van pulled into the upper parking lot.

“Maybe the Haskells?” He suggested.

“I doubt,” I replied, but something about that van seemed very familiar… Moments later the Rawlings turned into the lower parking lot, and we ran to greet them.

As I dashed across the parking lot to where Mr. Rawlings had parked, I noticed two figures standing at the corner of the building: Kai and Ian Haskell. I couldn’t believe it. “The Haskells are here!” I exclaimed to Abi as she closed her door.

“I know!” She exclaimed in reply before both of us began to chatter at once about how we came to this realization.

“You guys sound like groupies.” Mrs. Rawlings said as she opened the trunk and reached into it for something. “You need to stop; it’s rude.”

“Abi,” came Mr. Rawlings’ voice. “You need to stop.”Although Abi was addressed, I felt equally as guilty. I hadn’t meant to be rude, I was merely excited that good friends I missed were here to fellowship.

Now quiet, Abi asked, “Should we go say hi?”

“Yes,” I replied. “They’re visitors.” We began walking towards them, and when we were stepping out from under the awning I exclaimed, “Hi! How are you guys doing?”

“Good,” Kai replied.

“Would you like to come inside?” Abi asked.

“We were just waiting for our aunt,” Kai explained.

“Imani and Noble’s mom?” I asked.

“Yes,” Kai replied.

“Are they here?” I asked, looking around the corner of the building. All I saw was a green van.

“No,” Kai replied. “We were waiting because my aunt is usually late and we didn’t want to stroll right into a building because that would be awkward.”

“Oh, no, not at all.” Abi and I replied as Mr. Rawlings walked up. He introduced himself, and Kai introduced himself and Ian before we headed inside.

“Introduce me,” Abi whispered in my ear as we followed the guys into the Multi-Purpose room.

“Kai,” I said, and he and Ian turned toward us. “This is Abi. Abi, this is Kai and Ian. Ian, this is Abi.” They exchanged hellos as Noah walked up. I looked back from Noah to see Ian whisper something to Kai before they laughed. “Do you not like to be called ‘Ian’?” I asked. When Kai had introduced him earlier what I heard didn’t sound like “Ian.”

“No,” Ian replied. “She just forgot my name.”

“I said, ‘Hello, I forgot your name.’” Abi explained.

“Oh. Do you guys want to go throw the frisbee?” I asked.

There was a little, random conversation before Kai said, “Yes, we can go throw the frisbee, but I have terrible hand-eye coordination.”

“That’s okay,” I replied. “I do, too.”

I had so many questions about Kai’s upcoming trip to Japan that I was going to start a conversation before Kai ended up behind me and next to Noah, who seemed to ask about the said trip but I could not hear most of what was said. So I turned to Abi as we approached the corner of the building. “I’ll race you,” I said, and no questions were asked. 😂 😂

Cameron, who was already on the front lawn with Haydn and the frisbee, faked fright at the sight of two teenage girls running straight toward him. Abi and I, however, fell laughing long before we neared him. 😂 😂 Abi helped me up, and we played a game of frisbee that, although it did not expose anyone to be downright terrible, the frisbee itself did go on a few adventures. The first of which was its flight into the middle of Highway 14 and the second was when it landed on the roof of the church building. Both times Kai came to its rescue. We love our visitors. 😂 😂

After worship and small-group discussions, snack time began. I sat down next to Haydn who, I quickly caught on, had asked Kai about his travel schedule. “You’re not coming back?” I asked Kai.

“Unless his plane wrecks,” Haydn said, leaving to refill his cup.

“Well, that’s dark,” Kai said. 😂 😂

“Then he couldn’t come back…” I trailed off. “So, you’re not coming back?”

“I am,” Kai replied. “Around Christmas.”

“So you’re gonna be gone for less than a year,” I said.

“Yes and, if everything goes well, I hope to go back to stay and be a translator.”

“Oh, cool,” I said. “Where did your interest in Japan come from?”

“I was reading about other cultures.” He replied before going on to say something about a 1 : 80 ratio that shows that people here are very selfish while people in Japan are very selfless. Abi pointed out that he just called all of us selfish and dramatically announced that she felt condemned before Kai continued. “Plus, the people are nice, and I like their food.”

“I should go,” Haydn said, liking the idea of friendly people and good food.

“Yeah, totally,” Kai replied before excusing himself to take a phone call from his dad. Ian sat down in Kai’s spot.

“Hey, will you pay for my trip to Japan?” Haydn asked.

“No,” Ian replied. “I’m paying for my own trip to Japan.”

“Are you following your brother?” I asked.

“No. Only for, like, a week.” Ian explained.

“Oh. That’s cool.” I replied.

Haydn and I talked to Ian for a couple more minutes before I glanced over at Dad who motioned my brother and me to follow. “I have to go- We have to go,” I told Ian. “Maybe I can drive.”

“How good are you?” Ian asked.

“Uhhh…” I thought. “Well, I’ve never been pulled over by the police or smashed any mailboxes.”

“Well, You’re better than my brother,” Ian said.

“What did he do?” I asked, already laughing.

“He backed a truck into a basketball pole which somehow scratched up the front of the car.” 😂 😂 Ian paused a moment to let Haydn, and I laughed before explaining that he’ll be able to drive by himself before the end of the year.

“Well, it was nice talking to you,” I said.

“You, too,” Ian replied.

“Thanks for coming,” I told him before looking up at Noah. “See you Sunday.”

“See you,” Noah replied.

I walked halfway across the Multi-Purpose Room before remembering the sheets of lyrics I had left onstage. I changed course to get them and was surprised to find that the stage had been cleared all except for a pile of papers and a purple pen (which I let Mrs. Ballard borrow). I gathered up the collection before continuing on my original route out the door.

Noah was now in the hall with the circle including his mom and Kai, so we exchanged goodbyes again before I turned to Kai and exclaimed, “Good luck in Japan!”

He had told us that a farewell party was to be thrown for him on March 4. “That’s a command: march forth.” 😂 😂

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My Sister

Monkey’s Birthday

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Not too long after she was born, my younger sister received a red, white, and pink heart-covered monkey. Because of his appearance, Ansa automatically dubbed February 14 as the plaything’s birthday. This year, to celebrate, Ansa made a cake, and the entire family sang good wishes to the thing that has received so much loving we are surprised it is still in one piece. 😂 😂 Happy birthday to Ansa’s beloved stuffed animal, Monkey! And happy Valentine’s Day (or “Singles Awareness Day,” as my Chemistry teacher calls it 😂 😂) to everyone else!

Me, Myself, and I

Eva, stop!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thanks to Dad’s abundant supply of Amazon Echo Dots, I now have one that (among other tasks) I use for my alarm. To turn off an Echo alarm, you have to say, “Alexa, stop.” This particular morning she (as usual) woke me up at the right time (6:40 AM), but I responded with, “Eva, stop.” Nothing happened. “Eva, stop!” I said louder. That’s not her name, is it? I thought, realizing my mistake. “Alexa, stop.” My room fell back into silence and I went back to sleep, not the least bit aware that I needed to get up because a thing called school exists. 😂 😂 Thankfully Mom came in eight minutes later asking why I wasn’t up. If this doesn’t prove how tired I am, I don’t know what will. Have you ever addressed a Dot by the wrong name? Share your story in the comments!

Redeeming Grace

Super Bowl 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My family and I were going to go to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl but, when our to-be hosts and my dad added to the number of those sick in our church, we went to the Cross Current Super Bowl party instead. Mom, Haydn, Ansa, and I were the first to arrive at the Rawlings house, the destination of the event. Mr. Morgan, Liam, and Liam’s friend Michael came shortly after us, but Liam and Michael immediately returned outside to play soccer, so it was pretty much just the Rawlings and us for a little while longer. Ironically, Abi (my best friend who is all about individualism) and I were matching. 😂 😂

By the time the next person showed up (who I believe was Isaac), my friends and I had just gathered on the front porch and dubbed ourselves as the official welcoming committee. Guests only poured in from there, but we only greeted half of them (which included Ryan, Katie, Mr. Patteson, Patricia, Madi, Zack, and Hunter). By that time, it was getting dark and chilly, so everyone went inside.

We hung around in the living room during “America the Beautiful” and our national anthem (which Abi lip-synched most animatedly) before joining those who had begun the food line. I had not eaten dinner, so I loaded my plate while Abi, who had proclaimed herself as sated, patiently watched. “You know what,” she said. “Now that I smell it I actually am hungry.” With food and punch (which Abi referred to as “party”) occupying our hands, we found seats in the sunroom where Mr. Rawlings had set up a nifty looking movie screen and projector. Expecting to return shortly, I left my best friend to refill our supply of punch. However, my brief mission turned into a lengthy journey.

I greeted Imani, telling her I had waved when she arrived. She apologized for not seeing me before explaining that her eyesight is pretty bad even with her glasses. 😂 😂 I assured her it was alright. I just wanted to let her know that she was welcomed. When I reached the punch bowl, Mrs. Rawlings was re-filling it, so I set down my cup and went to take some photos. After snapping one or two, I returned and picked up a glass for Abi. I wrote her name on it but, realizing how hard it would be to take a photo with two cups of punch in hand, I set it down next to mine and went to get a few more pictures of the game day set up. This time my return was prolonged because Mrs. Morgan decided to strike up a conversation with me. Abi ended up joining our discussion and, shortly afterward, getting her own punch. 😅 😅

We remained around the food table forming circles, chatting, breaking said circles, and repeating. At one point Eva got ahold of the phone (which Mom, who had gone home to watch the game with Dad, left with me) and took a lot of pictures once Eva figured out how an Apple camera works (her family uses Samsung). It was Abi who suggested we go to the front porch and it was there that Patricia (or Madi, I’m not sure) suggested we go on the trampoline. Madi asked Mrs. Rawlings, who told her to ask Mr. Rawlings (who said yes), so off we went.

There were A LOT of girls on that trampoline (11, to be precise) to the point that it was sagging under our weight, but that’s what made the activity so fun. Abi opened up Amazon music and played “Fight Song” which got everyone moving and several girls singing along. Since there were no guys around, it was just like a massive sleepover. We made a star with our legs, a pinwheel with our heads, and stargazed a little before playing Dead Man. Despite the silence promoting game, I kept the music playing. It was chaos. During another round of stargazing, everyone but Imani, Abi, Patricia, and me left.

A few minutes later, Mrs. Rawlings called us in to play Pictionary (since it was apparently now Half Time). The girls and I obeyed, suddenly realizing that that’s where everyone else must have gone. The terms were all football-related which I thought set the girls up for failure, but we had some good guesses, so it was alright.

Abi had to illustrate a coin toss. The girls were supposed to guess but Noah, just for fun, shouted out, “A cyclops’s nose!” I think everyone but poor Abi found his comment funny. 😂 😂 I exclaimed the correct guess seconds later, and Mrs. Rawlings accused my best friend and me of telepathy. I denied the charge before explaining that I can’t read Abi’s face, let alone read her mind. 😂 😂

My term was “overtime,” which Patricia guessed before I had even drawn the second hand on the clock. I gave her a high five before she explained that my term was originally going to be her’s. 😂 😂 I’m not sure who ended up winning, but I had fun playing, and that’s all that really matters.

After Pictionary, the girls retired to the kitchen where we began Apples to Apples. My siblings and I had to leave in the middle of that game.
My Sister

Ansa’s Room

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Being a perfectionist, I love having everything neat and tidy, a state Haydn and Ansa seemed determined to prevent when we shared a room. So one day, with Mom’s permission (and while my siblings were in a bath), I moved all of their belongings from the room that was painted pink for the girls to the one that had been coated in camo for Haydn (we rotated between the two). My siblings were not happy about the change, but they did not take action, so everything soon settled back down.

I love having my own room. Not only can I keep it clean, but I can also arrange its contents however I wish without argument. I find this activity to be fun, and so I partake in it often. To see how my room has changed over the years, click here. You will have to view more than one post to see the progress.

When Ansa, too, began to find the constant messy state of the room she shared with Haydn aggravating, I (of course) started advertising the instant relief of having your own room. For a long time, Ansa was on and off about the idea. She didn’t want to leave Haydn alone, and Dad did not want to see the pair split.

Finally, Ansa decided that, for her 11th birthday, she wanted a room to herself. After the long and tedious process of clearing out our school room, Ansa officially moved in. I have lost count how many times she has reorganized her new room since. 😂 😂 Do you (or did you) share a room? Share your experience in the comments!

Redeeming Grace

Forget the Rules

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Forget the rules. If you like it, wear it.

After acquiring a pink and white striped skirt similar to other garments owned by two girls in my church, we decided to match. I don’t have a stripey skirt,” my best friend, Abi, told me after noticing the triplets. “And I don’t like matching.” Personally, I find it fun to occasionally highlight similarities in this world that amplifies uniqueness. However, we are all entitled to our own opinion. 😂 😂 What do you think about matching? Tell me in the comments!

Greer Middle College

10 Minute Maximum

Friday, February 3, 2017

To help us better understand the foundational principles of American Government, Mrs. Berg (my U.S. Government teacher) required each of her students to pick a concept which they were to study before presenting in pairs. Since he sat directly in front of me, I teamed up with Joe. He chose the principal of Limited Government and I the Rule of Law.

The morning of, I practiced my half of the 10-minute long presentation for a couple of girls while we waited for Mr. Armstrong (our principal) to blow the five-minute warning whistle. “Now my arms are sore,” I told Becca when I finished, laughing.

“When do you have this?” She asked.

“First,” I replied.

“Shake ‘em out!” Becca exclaimed. “Shake ‘em out!” 😂 😂

I sat down in my usual seat as Joe turned around to face me. “We have a problem.” He said.

“Oh, dear,” I replied. I was afraid this would happen.

“You see, my section is 20 minutes long,” Joe explained.

My jaw dropped. “You’re kidding,” I said. He wasn’t. “20 minutes?! I thought maybe 10, but 20 minutes?! My section is only six!”

“Wait,” Joe said. “So is it 10 minutes for the entire presentation or 10 minutes each?”

“10 minutes for the entire presentation,” I told him.

That was the maximum (which we re-confirmed with Mrs. Berg right then) and, upon realizing that he had less than five minutes to cut off 15, we knew that we (indeed) had a problem. Since my partner and I went second, Joe ended up having to carry out his trimming process while he presented. Despite this, we each received a solid 100. There is a reason my fellow Blazers and I often refer to each other as “Joe-ver-achievers.” 😂 😂

Greer Middle College · Me, Myself, and I

The Mysterious Illness

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I felt fine when I woke up. It was when I stepped into my closet to get dressed that the extensiveness of my sleep deprivation hit me. Although I had not stayed up later than usual the night before, my head suddenly ached, and I wanted nothing more than to collapse onto the pile of clothes on the floor and go back to sleep. Thankfully, the frigid air in my uninsulated closet made me too uncomfortable to doze off where I stood. I got dressed slowly but still got ready because I knew if I didn’t wake up soon I would give into the temptation of the floor and be late for school. It was when I had pulled on the last bit of my uniform that I suddenly felt sick to my stomach like I was about to throw up at any moment.

Ever since I was young, maybe around the age of eight, I’ve had this way of getting rid of that “I’m about to throw up” feeling. I’m not sure how I figured it out, but it always works (unless, of course, I am literally about to vomit). I hurried out of my closet and laid down, on my side, on the corner of my bed. Yes, this was testing my ability to stay awake, but throwing up was a more significant risk I couldn’t take. Please don’t let me throw up. I silently prayed. Please don’t let me throw up. I am probably one of very few teens who would pray for health so that they can go to school. 😅 😅

Although I didn’t throw up, I didn’t feel better. Throughout the entirety of the day, my head was on fire while cold shivers ran up and down my body. I had goosebumps and, despite my sufficient footwear, my feet felt like ice. To my luck, I had a Chemistry test third period which I (understandably) failed. Once home, I managed to finish my SOC 101-G01 homework, but I gave up on Geometry. I needed to sleep.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

By day two of this mysterious illness, I found that I felt better while sitting, so that is what I did while waiting for Mr. Armstrong (our principal) to blow the five-minute warning whistle. However, as first period progressed, my “feeling good” status declined. Though my mental state improved when my Geometry teacher did not assign any homework. 😃

As a GMC Blazer, I can take college classes for free at Greenville Tech. Since my high school is located behind the Benson Campus, early college students just walk up the hill to take their course. During the second semester of my Sophomore year, I was taking Sociology with Professor Chidester. Despite being in the state that I was, I did not find the walk disagreeable, and I thanked God for that.

I was so out of it during second to the point that my friends began to notice. I came incredibly close to falling asleep, but I fought the urge because doing so would be disrespectful to my teacher. Besides, I needed to take notes (which turned out really sloppy).

Even though I had seriously considered sleeping through lunch, the usual buzz of the cafeteria prevented this much-needed activity. Predictably, I only consumed two, small bites of the protein bar I had packed, knowing that I would not feel up for an entire meal. Despite still being sleepy, I did not yield to slumber in English. In fact, I was feeling better. By fourth, I seemed to be ordinary again.

Back home, however, I fell asleep while working on American Government presentation. Once I woke up, I continued working on the project until around 10:30 PM, only breaking for a small dinner of chicken, mustard, and rice. I was slightly hungry for more, but my body wasn’t.

Ready for bed, I stood up and all the hunger that had been suppressed for two days overcame me. I was going to throw up within seconds if I did not eat something. Thankfully I had a stash of protein bars within reach, so I grabbed one and lay down to eat it. Once the snack was consumed, I felt better than I had in days and, the next morning, I woke up famished and wanting to eat. Praise the Lord!

Friends

Books & Movies

Friday, January 27, 2017

“Sorry if we were over-pestering you guys about hanging out,” I told Abi on our way to her house.

“Okay…” She said.

“Dad was telling me on the way home [from school] how rude that was, so I wanted to apologize,” I explained.

“I forgive you,” Abi said.

“Okay,” I replied. And so our hang-out began. 😂 😂

Because my best friend and I can sometimes think of nothing to do, I created us a bullet journal like project. This activity (which Noah, Abi’s older brother, later helped us title Write from the Heart) includes us filling the pages of a composition notebook with information that makes our friendship unique. Each page is inspired my one conversation or another, so the content of this book includes everything from a ven diagram of our favorite things to individual pages such as “foods Tristen doesn’t like” and “from the brilliant mind of Abi.” Write from the Heart is definitely a keepsake I will enjoy looking through in 20 years. 😊 😊

After dinner, Mrs. Rawlings took the high schoolers in the house to Senior High (one of our church’s monthly discipleship groups). “Everyone here is sick.” Mr. Ballard said, addressing the physical condition of himself and a couple others around the room. Several minutes of “sick talk” occurred before Mr. Ballard dove into his message about Corinthians, roles, and responsibilities.

After D-Group, Abi wanted to watch a movie so, since she and Noah had been verbally reviewing the book to me all evening, the three of us decided to watch Disney’s recent portrayal of The BFG (which Mrs. Rawlings picked up from a local RedBox on the way home). Thanks to Noah and Abi’s summaries, the movie was much better than I expected. My best friend and her brother informed me that it was exactly like the book. 😂 😂

Since Abi and her younger sister share a room, my best friend and I usually spend sleepovers in the family room. So, after Noah retired to the room he shares with his brothers, Abi and I settled into the sofa-bed. However, being two teenage girls, sleep did not overtake us for many hours. 😅 😅

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The first time I awoke, I rolled over to find Abi reading The Diary of Anne Frank (a school assignment), but I did not stay awake to watch. The second time, however, was different. “Are you awake now?” Abi asked. I nodded. 😂 😂

My best friend and I continued to work on our bullet journal until Mrs. Rawlings appeared in the doorway of the family room. “You need to eat,” she told us, and we were more than happy to do so…after we changed. 😂 😂 Once our tummies were filled, Abi and I returned to our work until my mom arrived to pick me up around noon.

Greer Middle College · Me, Myself, and I

My First Tardy

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I have never received a tardy. Ever. As of Wednesday, January 25, I was confident that I would graduate still able to truthfully repeat that statement, but God had other plans.

Dad and I stood in the garage doorway staring into the almost darkness in disbelief. The car battery was dead, and our neighbors were sound asleep. Even before another vehicle became available for our use, I knew I would be late.

As each minute vaporized during our race to school, I remembered the lesson from Matthew 6:26: since God takes care of the birds, He will take care of me. Even if I arrived late, it’s all apart of His plan. Three minutes after the first bell, Dad pulled up to the Trailer Park. At 8:05, I was in Mrs. Clark’s office getting a late slip.

As luck would have it, the day I turned up behind schedule, Mrs. Meyers decided to arrange my Geometry class into different groups. My hope to slip into my seat and slide the blue slip onto my teacher’s desk unnoticed was eliminated. “You’re with Kaylee.” Mrs. Meyers told me as she finished passing papers out to the class. She was not pleased, but I was not going to promote excuses. I was not going to complain. I was late, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Because I was taking Sociology at Greenville Tech during 2B, I had to leave Geometry 15 minutes early on Tuesdays and Thursdays to make to my college class on time. Unless I was informed about the rest of the content to be covered before stepping out of B14, I usually stopped by Mrs. Meyer’s room after school to acquire what I missed. During my visit on the 26, Mrs. Meyers asked that I leave the cards my group produced during class that morning in our drawer “just in case you’re absent or something.”

“No,” I laughed, retrieving the requested cards. “That was this morning.” Remembering that I had been late, Mrs. Meyers inquired about what had happened, and I shared.

“You should have told me!” Mrs. Meyers exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have marked you absent!” Really?? 😂 😂