we played a little rummikub.

The leaves have made a carpeting over my driveway that crunches whenever I drive over it, but it was 80 degrees out today.  I remember my Biology teacher saying that the leaves fell because it got too cold for the xylem and phloem to keep going and so they just died…  This is not consistent with nature as I have seen it this fall.  Either way, it makes my drive to school that much more gorgeous.  It makes me wish that I was a gifted photographer with a nice camera lens…. and lots of spare time in which to take pictures of the beauty.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the talent or the time, so I’ll just thank God for the loveliness as I see it and take snapshots in my brain.

In other news, my grandma and great-aunt Shirley are upstairs playing Rummikub.  (Chloe doesn’t think that’s a word…  obviously she’s sheltered from the world of fun number games.)  In between bouts of homework, I played a game with them since I’m at school all day while they traipse about with my mom – shopping, eating, laughing, shopping… shopping…  We say that they shop so much because we don’t have tax on clothing in Minnesota – but it’s really just because they love to shop.

I love my grandma and my great-aunt.  I know I’ve mentioned that before.  Having extended family around is just such an infrequent occurrence  that when it happens I get warm fuzzes galore.  Affection runs rampant.  Happiness abounds.  Plus we eat a lot when we have people in town, and that makes everyone a little bit happier.

At school, it’s Spiritual Life Week, and that basically means that we just go chapel-crazy for three days.  I wish it could be Spiritual Life Year, that our school would be passionate and focused year round.  We’ll get there, eventually.  It may be after we graduate, but some day we’ll be mature enough spiritually that our lives are about Jesus.  Today, the speaker was talking about how he was a reject in high school -thought he was cool until someone else told him to stop trying to invite himself to “cool people” outings.  He didn’t belong, and he let people determine who he was and what his value was rather than letting God define Him.

I was thinking while he shared this Dude, you are trying to build rapport with your audience right now.  Do you really think we’re going to take anything you say to heart if you tell us that you were a reject when you were our age?  which is totally off-base, of course.  I was being just the same as those people who labelled him.  and that makes me think: who have I labelled?  Who have I written off and not taken a second look at?

The sad thing is that I know I have done that.  I think everyone has.  It’s sub-conscious sometimes, we just think that someone else will be more prone to like their personality – even though they never have anyone to hang out with.  I know that not everyone has to be your best friend, but there’s a certain level of kindness and decency, the basic stuff that we’re taught in elementary, heck BEFORE elementary, that everyone should be shown.

I don’t think that was our speaker’s point, that we need to be more careful about trying to determine who people are and “putting them in their places”, but that’s what I got out of it.  FUnny, God can speak completely different messages to different people – using the same words.


I whipped my hair back and forth and did a lot of homework.

Chiropractors everywhere should thank Willow Smith for coming up with a way for everyone to make their necks hurt awfully for days.  In case you didn’t know, whipping your hair back and forth shouldn’t be your response to everything that happens.  (though it seems to be a common practice for Willow)  Estrogen levels were at an all-time high on Saturday night as we ladies all grooved to girly music – like “Whip My Hair”, and though I’m seriously regretting taking part in the action of whipping my hair back and forth, it was an evening full of fun and bonding.

I’m learning lessons everyday.  Lesson from yesterday: don’t whip your hair.  especially back and forth.

Lesson from today: Calculus takes a lot of time.  So do college applications.  After getting home from some debate prep – that actually didn’t end up being that productive, more just fun – I sat at my desk for an hour and a half, cranking out problem after problem in order to maintain my sub-par grade in Calc.  I like seeing the same letter all the way down as I scan my grades, preferably the first letter in the alphabet, but there’s a letter after “AP Calculus AB” that doesn’t look right.  My teacher says that this is “normal”, but I’m not sure he understands that some of us are overachievers and don’t like being normal.

It’s another lesson: Average has to be okay sometimes.  You can’t let the little things drive you crazy.

By the way, did anyone notice that October started yesterday?  It sneaked up on me faster than ever before, which makes me start to believe the claims people have made about senior year being the fastest by far.  In some ways, that’s a welcome statement. It means that before I know it, the hours and hours of homework and the stress of having more to do than I have time for will be over.  But it also means that I will be a stranger in a high school where I’ve felt at home – and had extra family members; and I will be heading off into the unknown world of college; and I won’t be seeing the people I treasure everyday before I have a chance to take a deep breath and prepare myself.  One of the key pieces of wisdom I’ve held onto from my mom is to not wish time away – it goes by fast enough.  (it’s right up there with “they’ll grow up soon” and “don’t spend your money on that, it’s junk.”)

Which reminds me of my list that I made a while ago.  I keep writing things down on there as I complete them.  I have 236 days to finish it – til graduation day, and I intend to make every single dream come to fruition.  What good is having another fresh year of high school if I make it just like any other?  What good are all the experiences I’ve had during these 4 years if they don’t change me and make me into the person God wants me to be?

These are the questions that I have to constantly keep in mind so that I make each day count and remember to live like I’m meant to.

And now, I have some pen pals that have been waiting for a response for quite some time.  Excuse me.