Friday, March 26, 2010

Banana Split-a Short History

Did you know that the banana split was first served in 1904? (It was.) When I was little, my idea of drawing "icecream" was to draw a banana split but I didn't know exactly what it was or what it tasted like. My grandma was kind enough to draw the above diagram for me in a letter. As you can see, she pointed out the cherry, whipped cream, nuts, bananas, and icecream with their various toppings. It became a running thing. "Have you had a banana split yet?" she'd ask.

A couple years ago, Dad took me out for my first banana split and it was so tasty! We couldn't finish it together and then this kid after us ordered a whole one for himself! We told him he wouldn't be able to eat the whole thing. So I was going through some old stuff and I found this letter my grandma sent me (she sent in May of '02) and I really wanted a banana split.

So I asked Dad, "Hey, can we go out for a banana split sometime?" And we went that night! It was delicious and we had a good time hanging out. So banana splits are extra special because my dear grandma is the one who introduced me to the real thing, and now it's become a Dad-only kind of thing. Isn't that sweet?
And I didn't even think to take pictures while we were out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Joy Comes in the Morning!

So this week has been a week of burning midnight oil as it is. Early mornings and late nights certainly make for grogginess. But I was determined. On Saturday night, I pounded out the last seven pages of novel editing!! It was close to midnight and I was extremely tired after teaching English and Saturday night service but I DID IT!!! I was so exhausted that I didn't even celebrate until yesterday. I just turned on my music and crashed.

I'm still a little stoked about it. O_o I mean, seriously? That's it? It really wasn't so bad. And I could've been done earlier if it hadn't been for Awana Quizzing. Now, I'm in the home stretch and for all of you folks who are waiting to read it, the end is in sight!!

I began typing the edits in last night. It's an utter nightmare in all respects but thankfully, I don't have to sift through everything. I am bent on finishing and I will! I finished typing in chapter one and I'm most of the way through chapter two. I'll probably try to finish it tonight but I think I owe it to myself to go to bed early. What makes it so hard is that in the editing process, I rearranged the scenes so now, I'm having to skim through the document to find the scene I want, edit it, and cut and paste it to the right place. It's a lot faster since I'm keeping a lot of the original text.

Pictures of some edited pages can be found in this post Sorry I don't have any new pictures.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

100 More Stamps

We made another trip to the post office today. They are very nice people, you know that? Especially when you are buying a hundred stamps from them. Actually One hundred and ten because we got some postcard stamps too.

I had to buy the stamps myself to reimburse her (it was a fast fifty bucks.) and I get an allotment of twenty for the month. After that, I have to start asking and she's going to hide them too. Dang it! lol. But guess what! She admitted to sending valentines too so that means I only used EIGHTY stamps instead of ninety. Isn't that great news? It makes me feel exceptionally better about myself even though it's still a lot. and now, there are only twenty stamps I cannot specifically account for. (that wasn't valentines, invitations, thank yous, or mail art.) I can easily go through 20 stamps so I'm sure I used them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Annual Celebration!

Every year, around March-ish, our church celebrates the time that we became the church we are today! We had a beautiful worship service this morning and everyone was really getting into it. We had an open prayer time, during which, everyone spoke out their praises to God. It was so amazing. A man was visiting and he praised God for everybody in the church and our leaders and he praised God for moving in us and through us and that he was glad he stopped by today. Isn't that just the nicest thing? It was really encouraging.

After church was over, Melissa, Mom, and I slaved over enchilada casserole (fit to feed an army) and creme puffs for four hours. It was fun, but also hard work. In the end though, the creme puffs were worth it. Then we all loaded up in the car and drove to my friend Christian's house for a mega huge party!!

It was so much fun! We just ate food til we were stuffed and enjoyed one another's company, playing games and talking. We watched the boys play "Horse" and egged them on. (Personally, I'm not a basketball person. Actually, I don't much like it.) As it grew dark, we started a campfire and sang worship songs on guitars together. The singing was lovely and the food was amazing! Dad was the camera man and he took a lot of pictures! (Which still need to be downloaded...) There were a lot of really good action shots of the Horse game. I got some good shots on my camera as well.

All in all, it was a great party and I enjoyed hanging out with my friends so much, as always!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

AWANA–What Happens in the Van, Stays in the Van

Or not. ;)

Yesterday, we had the annual Awana Quizzing/Games competitions in Phoenix. These competitions test the students' skills in Bible memorization and athletic games played on a circle.

The drive up wasn't so bad. We had to meet together at 5:30 a.m.! It was impossible to sleep in the car either. So, I just listened to the chatter and studied my notes, trying to calm my nerves. Our whole high school team(s) went in the same van–all 15 of us!! But the atmosphere was lighthearted and my friends made me laugh, so I wasn't as nervous.

Once we got there, we painfully watched the Trek (middle schoolers) quiz. It wasn't painful because they were bad (the Trek actually did really good.) but I was really nervous. I guess it was apparent because my leader kept telling me to take deep breaths. My quizzing partner Grace told me not to listen to the Trek questions so they wouldn't throw me off. So I recited the preamble of the Constitution over and over to myself. It helped. You can't study any extra materials once you enter the auditorium so I had nothing else to do.

Once it was our turn to quiz, I felt much better. In quizzing, there are two parts. The first part is multiple choice and the second part is called "speed quizzing" and you must be the first person to buzz in to answer the question. We got all the multiple choice questions correct!

Then we went into speed quizzing. I answered the first question. The guy only got through four words before we buzzed in. And then I got the answer correct! Our team couldn't answer any other questions cuz we weren't fast enough on the buzzer. You would not believe how fast these high schoolers buzz in. It was insane!!

The other team from our church took 5th place. With 340 points, we came in THIRD PLACE!!! It was awesome! We got "medals" and we took tons of pictures (coming soon, since I never so much as touched my camera.) We had sandwiches for lunch and got into a rousing game of Tips which is a basketball game played in a circle. I'm not very good at it but it was fun.

Shortly after, the games competition began. One church had FIVE teams competing in the games. It was crazy but nonetheless, we did so good! And we screamed so loud for each other! (And the other green team in Flight 2) If you'd been sitting next to me, you might've been temporarily deaf. I screamed until my mouth was dry and I was hoarse. It was great. And in the end, we got FIRST PLACE!! We have never ever gotten first place in Awana games so it was doubly awesome. Fifteen minutes later, I was still saying "oh my gosh." in disbelief. We all thought we were getting second but we owned in the last three races and that clinched the win for us.

There was much revelry at In-N-Out afterward. I indulged myself by ordering a vanilla milkshake and extra crispy fries. And they were tasty! We all ate together outside and did goofy stuff (but no french fry wars this time.) The boys were going to do an awesome mime of a tug rope across the drive-thru (One person stood on each side and when the car came, they were going to pull on an imaginary "rope" to see if the car would stop.) but they got in trouble before they got to test it out. The idea was hilarious though.

And then, we mustn't forget the Starbucks. Yes, after In-N-Out, once we got closer to town we stopped at Starbucks.

Ten caffeinated teenagers in a van makes for one interesting car ride! Joe was crazy. He screamed and went supersonic at random intervals. We also sang several tuneless versions of songs such as "We are the Champions" (very appropriate for our victory), "Amazing Grace", "The Song that Never Ends", and "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" among others. (I have no idea how our leaders out up with us but secretly, I think it all greatly amuses them.)

Joe began singing "The Wheels on the Bus [Go Round and Round]". He then proceeded to make up his own hilarious renditions of the song. For example, "The kids in teh van are spazzing out." and "I am about to be threatened". (The meter got messed up here but nobody cared.) There were lots of verses about different things going on. I think it was the most interesting car ride I've ever had the privilege to witness.

It was such a good day. I could not stop smiling and laughing (even with my nervousness). I had the strangest urge to say "That's it?" once it was over. We studied and practiced so hard for weeks and weeks and it was all over in a single day. A few days ago, I wanted the madness of studying to be over but it was definitely worth every minute of awesomeness.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Great Stamp Dilemma

You may or may not know that I am a letter writer. I love everything that has to do with the USPS, mail, stamps, etc. I could talk to you for hours about how awesome the Post Office is (but I won't right now Perhaps later.)

My mail output is several times more than my mail input but everyone's been writing a lot more this month. (Maybe it's all the rain. people are inside and have nothing else to do.) And of course, I send tons of letters for no reason. No special occasion. Just to say hello and ask how people are doing.

But now, I am doing mail art. Mail art is art that you send through the mail (usually but not limited to envelopes) and generally requires two stamps for hand cancel-ing purposes.

So considering all this, I go through a lot of stamps each month. 90 to be precise. Yes, I used 90 stamps over the last month. Not even kidding. And here's how I found out!

This evening, my mom says, in a very meaningful voice, "Misha, where are the stamps?" She couldn't find them and bills needed to be paid. (I'm thinking "Uh oh." but it gets better!) Mom goes on to say that a little less than a month ago, she bought a pack of 100 stamps. She used 10 for bills last month. "What happened to the 90 other stamps?" she wanted to know.

Well, I believe that the only answer I can give is that they have gone into the postal system, never to return again. Sorry, Mom. I think she's going to make me start buying my own stamps now. (She tried to do it before, but it didn't work out.) Dad says I'm gonna need a job just so I can pay for my stamps! Or, I was thinking that I could stand on street corners with cardboard signs saying "Money for Stamps. Will send mail art if desired." I'm not sure how much I'd generate from that.

So be warned! If I don't reply to any letters right away, it is probably because I don't have any stamps. And if I do reply right away, it is probably because I am stealing stamps from the bill's allotment ( because I am that desperate.) If for some reason at all, you feel the strange urge to send me stamps, please do not hesitate in the least. I'll send you mail art!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let the Madness Be Over!

It's that time of year again! The rains are slowing down (marginally), the sun is coming out more often, flowers are springing up from the ground... and I am studying. Awana Quizzing and Games is THIS weekend!

Can I just say that I can't wait for it to be over? I have been studying SO hard over the last few weeks and I will be glad when I am done. I put several projects on hold for this. As the excitement mounts, I am studying harder than ever. Verses, references, passages, questions, spiritual gifts...

All I can say is that we are going to kick boo-tay this weekend! And despite the fatigue I am feeling at the edge of my consciousness, I will keep on studying!
Only a few more days!! Let the Madness be over! =D