Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Now with more Intelligence

I got a library card yesterday!! I've lived here for 2 years and had the student one for awhile but I got my official library card yesterday.

I felt so cool.

I went to the computer catalog to look for books and was able to type in my card number! No more using the anonymous catalog for this smart student. The whole time I was there I secretly wished that I had glasses to wear while I perused the shelves of books for just the right one. But, I don't wear glasses.

"Having fun isn't hard, when you've got a library card!" --- Name that TV show.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We are FINALLY back from South Dakota and Karenna is already off to camp.

Since my other computer is dead and I'm too lazy at the moment to charge it, I thought I would just give you a quick run-down of the vacation overall. The good, the bad, and the boring. So if you ever want to plan a trip to South Dakota, take note.

Corn Palace: Horrible
Mount Rushmore: Excellent
Jewel Cave: Excellent
Spearfish Canyon: Excellent
Alpine Slide: Excellent
Badlands: Not worth it
Wall Drug: DEFINITELY not worth it
Reptile Gardens: Wonderful (especially the gator show and the beautiful man who performs the gator show)
Cabin on the lake: Not worth it

As you can tell, I really loved most of the places we saw. The only main problem was that we stayed in Custer and so spent over an hour on the road every day. I get very carsick ESPECIALLY on windy, mountain roads, so this situation was not optimal. Now the Badlands were beautiful, but it took us more than an hour just to get there. (And I freaked out.) And then Wall Drug was just a big junk store that was not worth the hour long drive at all! But, ok. I'll admit that it was nice for everyone to have their own room and to see all the wildlife every morning. We saw SOOO many deer and one morning saw 2 parent turkeys with 8 babies. That was cool.

So now it's time to get back to the real world. I want to make a scrapbook, research some things, and plan Spring Sing before school starts. Um. Yeah right. But I should probably get to work, anyway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gotta be a FIRST time for everything

I have experienced many "firsts" in the past few days. Some exciting and some terrifying. Lemme show ya with some pictures.

My first time on a chairlift. So great!! My first time on an alpine slide. Even greater!
My first time hearing a prairie dog chirp. Um, interesting.My first time seeing the Badlands. But also my first time experiencing a fear of heights. I had an almost full-blown panic attack when I saw my cousin climbing on the off-trail cliffs. I thought I was going to throw up and cry at the same time. I started breathing really quickly and I HAD to get out of there right then. So, apparently, I can do things where I'm strapped in (chairlifts) but not things where I am not strapped in (Badlands). In fact, I'm panicky right now just thinking about it. This picture was taken at the height of my terror. I fake it well, huh?

And the first that I'm most proud of, I don't have a picture of. Oh well.
This morning, I drank coffee while reading the NY Times. You did read correctly. I have decided to become more politically aware and so began this morning with the Times. Thanks, Will!

Hope everyone else has had a great week! Tomorrow, we drive 6 hours in the car followed by 5 or 6 hours the next day. Should be exciting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trout: 256 Taylor/Jensen: 0

We didn't catch anything. All day. The trout didn't like any of the flies or lures or power bait. Stupid South Dakota Trout. But wasn't it beautiful???


Monday, July 20, 2009

We Made It!!!

We have made it to South Dakota!! After several mishaps, we are officially in our "cabin on the lake." On Saturday night we were staying in a hotel we booked through Priceline in Mitchell, South Dakota. Well, it just so happened that there was a big rodeo in town so EVERY ROOM was booked. There was a tad bit of miscommunication so our rooms were not all next to each other. Frustrating night for everyone involved but we made it out alive.
Next morning: Corn Palace. Or as I like to call it: Biggest Disappointment of South Dakota. Ok, the corn murals were pretty cool. But it's basically just a tourist trap. And there was no corn maze. I had been led to believe there was a fantastic corn maze along with the Corn Palace. Not true.
Also the same day, we drove to Custer where we're staying for the week. This cabin is supposed to sleep 10. That is only made possible with 3 "pull-out" twin mattresses aka gymnastic pads. Also, it requires 2 people to sleep in a bed the size of one in the dorm. Man oh man. But, don't worry, we figured out a way to let everyone have a place to sleep.
AND. We just got back from Mount Rushmore. Definitely worth it. I may be a nerd, but I LOVED the guided tour provided by the handheld wands.
Well that's all the update for now. Next stop: Jewel Cave. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Let's hope all 8 of us make it back alive

That's right, everyone. It's time for Family Vacation 2009. South Dakota, here we come.

4 parents. 4 kids, ages 11-20. 10 hours in the car tomorrow. We might be crazy.

It will be fun. I hear Mount Rushmore is great, which is the main reason we're going to the big SD. But we're also doing tons of other fun family friendly festivities like Wall drug, the corn maze, Pirate's cove putt-putt, the prairie dog town, and other edge-of-your-seat, action-packed activities.

Well, I'm basically done posting what I planned to post today, but I don't feel like I can leave for the next week without addressing the one thing on everyone's mind. Ok, probably just my mind since the majority of you don't know what the heck this is.
Sooner Youth Camp.
If you look here, you should be able to catch just a glimpse of what this place means to me. I can't believe I won't be spending the 3rd week of July in the blazing heat of Ardmore, OK. I will not sing 'My God and I' under the stars at all next week. I won't bang on any tables in order to speak at meal times. I won't be shouting EAT! before every meal. I won't sing 'Heavenly Medley' til the counselors make us leave for sports. And I won't see any of the amazing people I've grown to love because of this amazing camp.
But it's okay. Sooner probably defined who I was for a large portion of my very short life. It doesn't anymore, and I'm okay with that. I will miss it, but I'm ready to make new memories for the 3rd week of July.

"When life's evening shadows, hide life's morning blues, dear ole' Sooner Youth Camp, I'll remember you."


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Official Okie

Today I spent over 2 hours at the DPS getting my Oklahoma license. I've been here for 2 years, it's probably time. Let me tell ya, the DPS is the place to be. When I got there they were on #271, I was 304. It took 2 hours to go through about 33 numbers but about 15 or so of those were people who had left. There HAS to be a more efficient way to do this. Maybe not.

Anyway, I am now officially an Oklahoman. My Texas driver's license with 17-year-old me on it was all I had left of my Texas roots. Or trunk. Or whatever it would be considered. But I do think I consider Oklahoma home, now. Weird.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Days with Davis

Last week I spent 3 days hanging out with this crazy kid. I had so much fun. We discussed the bigger questions in life like what King George III really died of and if warfare would be possible on Mars. I watched as he translated English to Hebrew and back again. I was taught how to play Stick Wars and learned the finer points of battle techniques when using wizards. I was also horribly beat at every game we played: Shut the Box, Air-hockey, Putt-Putt, Monopoly (he won on a technicality). It was great.
He shot his cannon at the camera right before it went off. He was thrilled. We fed these lovely things at the putt-putt place. It was REALLY hot that day.We had to cool off with Orangetree. Of course.

In other news: I decided to start on my Germany scrapbook today. I printed off all 184 pictures I wanted for under $20! CVS photo has GREAT discounts. Hobby Lobby also happened to be having a 50% off sale on all scrapbooks and paper refills. So I got all that for $17. It was a wonderful day in scrapbook world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Italy (Venice, Florence, Milan(ish))

So at the end of the trip we went on free travel. One group went to Berlin and my group went to Italy. It was... interesting. The cities we went to were beautiful and I did have a good time. I think I would do it all again if I could... maybe. I will say: If you decide to go to a foreign country, book your hostels in advance (we didn't), bring enough money (most of us didn't), be nice to the people in your group (I definitely wasn't all the time), and don't try to see 3 cities in 4 days (we did). Besides that, it was great!!

My wonderful roommate for the trip, Courtney, and I in Venice.We had a little photo-shoot on a bridge in Venice. One of many mishaps on our trip. Our train was delayed at this station, Grizzano M., for 2 hours because there was a wreck on the tracks the day BEFORE. Italian transportation. Go figure. Florence was beautiful!! The whole group. From left: Andy, Courtney, Jason, Me, GregBreath-taking Florence! Is it sad that I thought of "While You Were Sleeping" the whole time I was looking at this??And again. This sign wasn't exactly what we thought it was. We ended up walking much more than the 9 km we thought we would be walking.Pretty self-explanatory. Bites on my arms. If you think these were bad, you should have seen my legs. Stupid Italian bugs.It takes a lot of confidence in your friendship with your blog readers to put this picture up. These are my feet after walking all those miles. That is pure Italian dirt, my friends. Beautiful.


Monday, July 13, 2009


My laptop has come back to me. Actually, it was only with IT for about 45 minutes. I figured I already had made an excuse not to blog so I might as well take it. Turns out I had to get a new battery.

I have much to blog about!! Today, though, I'm going to continue on my Germany pictures. This is the 2nd place we stayed at for around 10 days. Chemnitz, Germany. I had many people tell me that this place grabs your heart. Confession: I did NOT believe them while I was there. At all. Ok, don't get me wrong, I was having a fantastic time and I knew it. But, for whatever reason, I just didn't think I would miss it when I left. I didn't think I would even think about it. I was completely wrong. I can't stop thinking about it! Mostly, I can't stop thinking about Germany in general. Yesterday, I sang Magnificat in German when we sang it at church. Needless to say, I miss Germany a lot and can't wait to go back.

So here's Chemnitz in pictures. Enjoy.

Well, there ya go!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Out of Commission

I know you are all going to be extremely disappointed, but, my laptop is broken and will be at the doctor for maybe even a few days. Broken laptop = no blog posts. All my pictures are on it and I know how bloggers hate posts without pictures. So this is just to say: I'll be back in a few days. As for right now, I'm going to go mourn with Elinor and Marianne over those dirty scoundrels they fell in love with.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 3rd of July

This isn't actually the 3rd. Just an example of what we do every single day. Why yes. That IS my grandfather, Culp, surrounded by a grill, a mini-bike, fishing rods, a clay pigeon firer thing, and many other hilly-billy-ish items. What would the 3rd be without all this??This was a milestone holiday for Karenna. She drove the go-kart ALL BY HERSELF. I thought I was going to die while riding with her. All I can say is I am NOT teaching her how to drive a real car. And please notice her stylish new do. Apparently, the strand of hair in front of the eye is all the rage among 11-year-olds.

This is Nannie. Words cannot describe how much she means to me. What holiday is complete without a family (minus one) self-portrait?? And, of course, we had to have a cousin photo-shoot.We could never get everyone to look at the same camera. This is, by far, our best one.