Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prom and Steeple Chase

Last Friday night was Prom. Honestly, having never been part of the "teenage community", being around so many people my age, was sort of disconcerting. But I found a fellow debater to talk to, which was nice. JC and I talked for a while about Sherlock Holmes, some random ideas for inventions, and dancing. I love how home schoolers can have the most unconnected conversations, and still manage to make it interesting!
We will need to find a new way to affix the butterflies, since a few of them came off while I was walking around... but we have plenty of extra ones to replace them! :) I am just concerned that they came off while i was just walking... so i wonder what they will do when I'm really dancing at the formal celi... :S
Here are some pictures:
My charming brothers. So thankful to know they were watching out for me all evening.
One of the lovely girls I went with. They made it a wonderful evening!
The other young lady.
Group shot

Another group shot
Here are some shots of the dress, my sister has more detailed ones here (and the story behind it is here):
So.... that's the dress. It was so gorgeous and almost all Arielle's handywork. Thank you Arielle!
We (my brothers and I) met some super nice people from a rival swim team there. Glad I wasn't the only one with a swimsuit tan! ;)
All in all a fabulous time and I'm definitely glad I went.

The Steeple Chase went well the next day. I got up at 6 to polish my shoes and iron my band shirt and my kilt, which were in pretty bad shape from the last highland games. We got there at 9:30, and played at 11:00. Because it was extremely sunny, I got a pretty bad sunburn. It was really very painful but then I put on some of this and it got all better! Last summer, when we were working at a camp with some friends of ours that was our saving grace. I forgot to bring it for the first week of camp, so all the skin on my nose peeled off... not a pleasant sensation by the way! But the second week of camp, it was indispensable! (Yes, I know that sounded like a cheesy TV commercial, but I'm just being honest!)

SOOOOOO excited about the formal celi coming up. Since there wasn't any "real" dancing at prom, it made me look forward to the celi all the more! Most of our celi's are informal (but all the same it's fun to come in a long swishy skirt), but this one is supposed to be completely formal. I have a hard time explaining to my friends that this is a "formal celi, like prom formal, but it's not like prom, well it is, but just in the 'formal' part... the dancing's not the same though. And it's prom aged people who are supposed to come, like a teen celi, but more formal..." most of the time they look at me like I just grew an extra head and go ask the next person to clarify... oh well, I tried :)

This Saturday we get to go to the beach for the first non-band related vacation we have been on in... I don't remember how long. We will be fairly close to Charleston (one of my favorite places EVER) so we may drive in and visit at some point. Not sure. I'm not planning it, I'm just going :)
Since I haven't been on just a vacation for a while... I'm not sure what to pack... so I'll probably wait to see what Arielle packs and then go from there. Yeah... story of my life ;)

Well, love you all... I've got to go write my paper on the Great Depression which I'm sort of making harder than it should be....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Steeple Chase and Prom

This Saturday, we (My Mom and older brother #2) are headed out to the Queens Cup Steeple Chase. Our band got hired to play for the opening ceremonies, so as members of the band, we get free tickets. It really is an interesting thing to experience. Very different atmosphere than that which we've grown up in, but a great event anyway. The tailgating competitions are really neat to watch. They certainly take tailgating to a new level! That was my first introduction to tailgating so when I saw the "real" way tailgating is done in the south, I was somewhat surprised :)

In about a month, we have the Greenville Highland Games at Furman University. It used to be held in late June, but temperatures would get up to 102 on the field, and competitors who are obligated to wear a wool kilt, wool socks, a black wool hat, and a black vest (which includes most of the people there) weren't very happy with that and several people suffered heat stroke on the field. So the competition was moved to early June. But it still got too hot for those of us who's outfits weren't exactly suited to the weather, so it was moved the late May and that is where it's at right now. It's actually a rather nice games, and one of my favorites (besides the one in Charleston.... that one is definitely my favorite, hands down).

Also, I am thrilled to announce that I will be attending my first ever prom!!!
I didn't think I was going to be going, but a good friend of mine managed to secure me a ticket, so I'm headed of to prom with her. I'm slightly nervous since my only exposure to prom has been riding with my mom to drop my sister and brother off at theirs. This one is a "homeschool" prom, so should be more low key than a public school prom. The butterfly wonderland dress (as a friend of mine called it) may be done on time, but I'm not sure. My sister performed a miracle last night by finishing all the butterflies in one night. I was shocked when I came home to find all my work done for me. I'm so lucky to have a sister who is capable of taking a plain dress and turning it into something wonderful. In the words of the little green space aliens from Toy Story, "I am eternally grateful!" (not sure what brought that to mind but it seems to fit the situation!)

I have been struggling with a nasty cold recently and it's made swimming a bit harder as a result. The cough makes it hard to sleep and the congestion makes it really hard to breath at night, so I haven't gotten much rest. If you guys could just be praying that it would be gone by Friday night (prom), and that I would be able to get some sleep and be well rested up for the Steeple Chase on Saturday and.... life. ;)

Enjoy this lovely day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Butterflies... lots of butterflies

We have begun work on my dress. Now we just have a million and one butterflies to cut out of the cream sheer fabric. If you have ever tried to cut out tons and tons of little butterflies out of a slippery fabric like sheer... then you would sympathize with me. If you haven't... feel free to come on over and try it out.
I know it's going to look nice once its done, but right now all I can see if the mass of sheer fabric and my tiny little pile of butterflies.

Wow... I just looked down at my wrist (where my watch usually resides) to check the time and realized that I'd lent my watch to my brother so he could time his run... but that's not the wow part, I am thrilled to announce that I have a watch tan. For most of my life I have lived under the impression that I cannot tan no matter how hard I try... but that myth has been busted. I have a prominent white stripe around my wrist making the rest of my arm look delightfully tan. Yay!!
Well... I should get back to my butterflies now.....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Highland Games.

This weekend was the LNHG (Loch Norman Highland Games). Saturday was the actual competition day and if you've been watching the news you would know that the terrible weather that's been crossing the states hit us yesterday. The sky was almost black and the amount of rain that came down was unbelievable. The entire games area was muddy and there was a little creek running through our band area. Even after the rain stopped there was a tremendous wind that whipped everything around like crazy. Our shoes were cakes in mud by the time we had to compete. But the sky had cleared by that time and the rest of the day was lovely. Our competition run was really good. Of course we made a few mistakes but (much to our endless delight) we won!!!!!!! We were absolutely thrilled!!! Our band had been hired to play for the closing ceremonies on Sunday (today) so we stayed the night and were our bright and early this morning. There was not a cloud in the sky and the wind had died down to a refreshing breeze. We played for the parade of tartans (where all of the clans present walk around the track carrying their flag or other bits of paraphernalia unique to their clan) and then just hung around for the rest of the day shopping at the various vendor booths there. There was some nice things but, sadly, a large number of the vendors target the average tourist and just sell a lot of useless toys, cheap scottish flags, etc.
It was a pretty good weekend but immediately lost footing in my perception once I realized that I'd left my journal in the hotel room :','( I'm super sad about that but A- pointed out that its not as bad as leaving an almost-full journal, since I only started this one a few months ago. But still... shed more than a few tears once I realized that I'd left it there We called the hotel and they said that it wasn't in the room but it's not here either... so, while it might not be at the hotel its still lost... :(
But anyway.....
School is over for me until the fall... or most of it is at least. I finished all my subjects except math early!!!
Well, it's a lovely day and I've done my weekend update for y'all... so I guess I'll head off to see if I can get my sister to take me sumer clothes shopping which might end up being harder then it sounds but maybe I can bribe her with something... or blackmail, that's always an option! ;)
just kidding...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Tuesday evening I babysat some lovely kids down the street.

The oldest is seven

The middle one is 4

and the baby is 1

I was initially a little daunted by the idea of babysitting 3 kids at once, it being may first official babysitting gig. (No, second. I babysat a little 4 year old several weeks ago with a friend... )
Tuesday I just was there for 1 and a half hours in order for me to get used to the kids and their routine. Tonight I will be there for 5 hours... through dinner and bed time and all.
As I said before, I've never really done much babysitting. My older sister usually gets preference because of her age, and the fact that she has a drivers license. But this time I got it. I'm super excited since I need some extra money since I'm raising money to go to WVA this summer and I don't have all my finds raised yet. But I'm on my way!
Back to the kids...
the seven-year-old is the sweetest thing ever. She reminds me of my sister at that age... I wasn't old enough to remember what she was like at that age... so I guess I should just say that she is like what I would think she'd be like at that age. Super eloquent, graceful, gorgeous, helpful, and just utterly fantastic.
The middle child is crazy. He is like what my oldest brother was like at that age... no... not that crazy... (my brother has gotten better.. much better, since then..) Wonderfully sweet and full of energy.
The one year old is ridiculously expressive. Since he is blonde he has virtually no eyebrows the little blonde streaks of eyebrows he does have are incredibly mobile. When I first came in, he arched one eyebrow in a look of mildly confused incredulity, as if wondering why I was feeding him his sweet potatoes instead of his mother.
To be honest... I'm nervous about tonight. I've never had three kids be completely my responsibility for 5 hours. If you all would pray for me, that would be fabulous.

Earlier today, I went with my sister to switch banks. She has been at the same bank for 16 years. All the tellers know her by name and she's friends with everybody who works there. She's changed to another bank because they have a higher interest rate, but she told me she feels like she's cheating on her old bank by changing.

Every Thursday for about a year, my sister and I have been baby sitting for a mothers bible study group at a local church. We are only two out of probably 40-50 childcare workers who do it with us. I've been watching the 18-24 moth olds and have had an absolute blast doing it. But alas, even the best things must end sometime. We have one more week of it after Easter break and then it's over for the summer. It'll pick back up again in the fall but I won't be continuing with it because I'm wanting to swim more often and this commitment on Thursday morning conflicts with swim practice.

We've started on my dress today!!! A- took out the train and replaced it with a double layered panel of cream sheer. We have the butterfly template printed out but have yet to begin to cut them all out. Any one want to come over and help? :)

Well... I need to go get ready to babysit. I leave in a few minutes...
Love y'all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My lovely dress..

Here are some photos of my dress for the formal ceili (formal ceili; noun; formal social dance; no date required; mostly square - or circle- dances done... I think you get the picture) in late May
Arielle and I have some major alterations planned for it but here is the starter dress.
the back... sorry... it is kind of far out but you may be able to zoom...
more of the back... the train is coming off ('cause you can't dance with a train) to make fabric for the straps (yeah... I'm not wearing a strapless, y'all can take a deep breath now. :)
We are also hemming it to make it easier to dance in.

We are modeling it after this:

(at least the butterflys part...)
I'll post more pictures when we've done something more with it.. or when we've finished.
My sister just went to go get the fabric for the butterflies so we should be getting started soon!
I'm sooo excited!!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I had just completed a rather lengthy post, when I realized that one of my brothers had signed out of my email account, making it impossible for to post what I'd written from my blogger account. Soooo.... my very-long-post got deleted and I lost everything that I had written in it. Now I don't feel like blogging. After pouring all my literary genius (:P) into one fabulous post, I feel as though I've gone dry. Not really.... I think the deceased post seems better now that it's gone than it ever really was. Funny how that happens. I used to regularly lose pieces of clothing after I'd put it in the laundry (I still don't know where a lot of the stuff I lost years ago is...), and I'd be so upset over it's loss that I'd cry over "my favorite sweater" or "my favorite pair of jeans" (this was years ago... not recently :) even though it was something I rarely wore. Now, I'm sure that once things are gone, you become blind to whatever was wrong with it and only see it's good qualities.
"I've been painting pictures of Egypt,
leaving out what it lacked
the future seems so hard and I want to go back"
~Sarah Groves "Painting Pictures of Egypt"

So sad but true. When it got hard for the Israelites, they immediately began bemoaning their choice to leave Egypt. They no longer remembered the cruelty of the enslavement they were subject to, they only focused on the conditions of their surrounding and wished they could go back to Egypt. (Exodus 14:11-12)
We can easily point fingers at the Israelites, and think "Man, that was so ungrateful of them! God showed them His magnificent power in so many ways, but time after time they would turn around and throw it all in His face. How could they do that?" but so often we do the same thing, in far less imposing circumstances than they were in. They were wandering in the middle of nowhere, and, as far as they could see, no closer to the promised land that when they first started, and so they doubted God. But how often do we, in the face of the most insignificant issues, doubt the sovereignty of the God who created us?
So soon do we turn and say, "My life was so much easier when (fill in the blank)", that we have no business looking down out noses at the Israelites.

Well, I don't know how I got from raving about my deleted blog post to this... but there it is.
I think I'm done rambling now, so I'll leave you all to enjoy your Saturday!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My poor dear Sister...

Yesterday, my older sister over at An Armful of Roses, had all three of her wisdom teeth removed . My brothers and I came home from swim to a very unhappy camper sprawled out on the couch. Let me tell you, watching your big sister cry because her jaw is so painful, is not any fun. But when the pain meds. take effect, she's a ton of fun. She not very thrilled about looking like a chipmunk, but I have to say, I think she'll enjoy the pictures (yes.... we did take pictures) at a later date. Since she was confined to the couch all day yesterday and all last night, I had a very lonely evening up in our room by myself :( Dad has removed one of our walls, so there is a very large, very dark, and very capacious (sort of the same thing as large...) hole in our walls that opens up into our attic. I've always had a terribly irrational fear of our attic (you never know what will come out of it you know!), so now that our room opens up into it, I wasn't to thrilled to have to sleep right in front of the hole without my sister there. But once I was asleep, it wasn't that big of an issue.

On another note....
In a couple of weeks out pipe band has our very first competition of the year (the Loch Norman Highland Games). It's our very first time competing with all our new music and everything. Since it's the first one of the year, it's really the only one I get nervous about. Our band is fairly sure we'll place fine, but I'm still a bit nervous. If ya'll could just be praying that I would just be relaxed about everything and just play the best that I can, I'd really appreciate it!
Sadly, It'll be the first highland games I've played without Arielle as the Bass drummer (she pulled out so that she could focus more on her business). It'll also be the last one that Liam (oldest brother) will be playing until.. well... who-knows-when. That leaves just Flynn and I as the remnants of our family's presence in the band. Aside from this being the first and last of a few things, I'm still really excited about it. I really enjoy being in the band and absolutely love going to competitions. It's really neat how God has used this band in our family's life and (hopefully) used our family in the band.
Well, Arielle is up from her nap and so is my dad so I'll sign off here.
Enjoy this lovely weekend (despite the absence of rain :)