“Be careful what you fish for.”

To kill time as we waited for the new Sherlock Holmes movie to start, (it was fantastic, by the way… and this coming from a Holmes purist…) Lydia and Maria and I wrote some lists mostly relevant to the moment.

10 things to do in a dark theater:

1- Stand up and loudly insult the main character of the movie

2- Flash mob

3- Crawl amongst the rows and grab feet

4- Pop up and scare random theater goers at the most intense parts

5- Have a grossly sentimental phone conversation out loud

6- Go through ALL the seats for loose change

7- Throw popcorn in the air like it’s confetti

8- Go into the wrong movie theater on purpose

9- Start singing “Friday” no matter what day of the week it is

10- Sit and behave yourself

10 accents that are fun to imitate

1- South African

2- New Zealand

3- Brazilian

4- New York

5- French

6- Valley girl

7- British

8- Russian

9- Korean

10- Australian

And finally:

10 things to do with popcorn

1-Tie someone to a chair with a popcorn chain (this was Maria’s idea…)

2- Play H-O-R-S-E with the popcorn and bucket

3- Play a game of ping-pong

4- Make snow

5- See how long you can keep it up in the air with your breath

6- Use it as a hair accessory

7- Write messages on the floor

8- Fill your back pockets so every time you sit down, you crunch

9- Make sculptures

10- Eat it. Duh.

What can I say… we amuse ourselves. It’s pretty fantastic being home.

Aa’ menle nauva calen ar’ ta hwesta e’ ale’quenle

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“Trees!!! Hahaha!”

Home.

Possibly the best place in the world to be.

It’s nice to go home, cause school can be hectic, stressful, loud and crazy.

Oh wait. That sounds like my house…

Within the first two hours at home, there was a pillow fight, a family photo-op, an atrociously loud family meeting, pointless and sarcastic arguments, and obnoxious jokes.

We didn’t make any messes or spill anything though. That has got to be some sort of record.

Katie gave me a back massage, Isaac shook his dirt muddy socks at my head, Maria and I discussed writing techniques, Mom and I made dinner, and Lydia and I did numerous unreportable things.

Maria and I made another list:

10 Things to Do Over Christmas Break

1: sled through a snowman

2: learn to make ice sculptures

3: go people watching late, late at night

4: play football in the snow

5: stick your finger in candle wax

6: go for a drive in a snowstorm

7: make a huge mess while making after-dinner mints

8: create Minas Tirith out of snow

9: shred wrapping paper to bits

10: go ice skating on your driveway

We don’t endorse doing all these things so don’t go blaming us when you get in trouble or burn the house down or get in a car wreck or end up in the emergency room.

It’s so great to be home.

Tenna’ ento lye omenta.

So this is what they do in class….

I pay attention in class… no really I do. These past few days, though, have been hard on the soul. So I’ve started writing. Just little blurbs, whatever comes into my head at the time. usually one little idea (trees, a snowflake, a businesswoman) gets stuck in my head and I expand upon it. I amuse myself…

In UNV-180:

Tall, blond and impressive. Her heels clicked as she walked and she swayed slightly from side to side. Still, she took her steps with authority, the picture of a perfect businesswoman. No one would have guessed that she had a pistol hidden in the small of her back, underneath the smart-looking business jacket. Which was actually quite bulletproof. No one would have guessed that she was after her third man of the day.

In World Lit:

She ducked behind a tree, watching. The young man paced back and forth, running his fingers through his thick black hair. He kicked a pebble into the creek and paused to watch the ripples. She crept closer, keeping to the bushes. A thorn poked her knee and she gingerly pushed the bramble away. His head snapped up and she froze. She tried to disappear into the earth as he began searching through the bushes. Finally, a pair of hands appeared above her, dragging the briars apart. Her panicked eyes met his surprised, angry ones. He raised a knife, but stopped as she whimpered. Painfully she showed him the jagged wound on her thigh. His eyes widen and he pulled her out into the open carefully, glancing around.

In New Testament:

The red light beamed out, flashing on and off. The girl threw herself on top of the light, trying to muffle its harsh, revealing glare. The heat from the light began to burn uncomfortably and she wriggled and as she moved, her foot knocked against something. Whatever it was fell with a clatter and she stiffened, panicked.  Footsteps sounded overhead and she scrambled up and away from the light. She dove into a corner and huddled away from the treacherous light.

In American Civ.:

A snowflake landed gently on her nose and she jumped in surprise. As the snow began to fall aster, she picked up speed and began running to the house. She banged heavily on the door, and an older woman opened. She grabbed the girl by her wrist and jerked her inside. Pulling her to the couch, she sat the girl down and held out a hand. The girl reached into her pocket and slowly pulled out a tiny, leather-bound book. She turned the stiff pages, marked a spot with her thumb, and handed the book over. The woman gasped.

 

The nice thing about this is I don’t feel obligated to finish the stories… and I give myself stuff to work on later!

 

Mee jewz ku, pateesa…

Perspective…

I used to think counselors knew everything.

Camp Tecumseh has been a huge part of my life… grew up there, worked there, went to camp there… I grew up seeing the many sides of camp. And I always thought that the counselors knew everything. That once you hit college, life’s mysteries were revealed.

Well, I know that’s not true. If anything, I’m asking more questions now than I ever have. Not that that’s a bad thing. I actually like questions… they’re fun to answer. They’re like real life mysteries. Which I love to read, by the way. “The Murders at the Rue Morgue” by Poe? Fantastic. That’s actually the only story of his that I like.

Anyway. Camp counselors. They knew everything, how to handle every situation, diffuse every potential problem. Even after my first year working at camp as a Day Camp counselor, I held onto that view. I hadn’t seen anything really to the contrary. Then last summer, I gained a much greater respect for these people that I got to work with.

One week, there was a girl in my cabin (15-16 year old girls!) who was kind of quiet. She was really sweet and funny once you got to know her, but she was reserved. Normally, at the end of the day we do devotions with the girls around 10:30 or 11, then turn out the lights. Counselors congregate on the porches to talk, write letters and generally relax. The resident counselors in the cabin told the girl that if they needed to talk, we would always be out on the porch. I came back from a night off to find aforementioned girl sitting on the porch, crying softly.

The other two resident counselors were already with her, so I came up and listened in on the end of the talk. She went inside after a bit and the other two filled me in on what was going on. She’d had a rough time at home, basically. We prayed for her, and continued with our evening. The next night she came out again, in a much worse state because of some things that had happened during the day. I sat and listened as the other counselor flipped through her Bible and found a few things to comfort the girl with.

At one point, though, she closed her Bible and bowed her head, at a loss for words. That was such an odd moment for me. “Wait… they don’t have all the answers?” I had a pretty amusing conversation with myself, now that I look back on it. I really started appreciating all these college kids that I’d been around all my life. They don’t have all the answers. They don’t know how to handle every situation. But they do have a God who helps them out and gives them the grace, strength, and wisdom to handle those situations. Now that I’m looking at hopefully working at Camp T this summer, I’m really, really thankful for that.

 

And yet another nerd language…

Re’turcye mhi, vode.

Collaboration

You’re everything good, everything true 
When all the world is fading, You’re everything new 
You are my eyes, when I can’t see 
When all the world is broken, You will always be 
Everything good. – Ashes Remain

With that said, my sister Maria and I recently collaborated on a Top 10  List. This is one of our favorite lists to write. The ones in italics are  hers.

Top 10 Problems of the World.

1: Elvis Impersonators

2:  Little children with cell phones

3:  People who use obscure eighties references that nobody else can understand

4: Hipsters

5: Movies about Talking Cars

6: Movies about talking airplanes

7: Books about warrior cats

8: That little mouse in the middle of some computer keyboards

9: Chairs that break whenever you sit down on them

10: When you don’t know who is watching who…

 

If, somehow, you fit into any of these categories… we still love you 🙂

 

Tenna’ telwan

“Hey can you help us? This cabinet is stuck…”

Tonight kicked off the weekend beautifully.  Among other shenanigans, we baked Christmas cookies for our Elf party tomorrow night. After a quick Meijer run, we “buckled down” and “got to work.”

We had some fun while the cookies baked… I mean what else can you do besides take awkward pictures…

  

Eventually the cookies got done, we called the guys over and began decorating. It’s amazing what all you can do with just white icing and sprinkles…

                      

And the results? Some Christmasy and not so Christmasy cookies…

   Stars, trees, sleighs, bells, wheels… 

 Yeah, we’re kind of fantastic like that. And with the end of the cookies and icing, the shenanigans began in earnest…

Lauren almost got iced…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey, I betcha can’t fit in that cabinet…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Stephen I bet you can’t get this whole thing of icing in one mouthful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

False.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gentlemen kindly offered (or not) to do the dishes, and the cookies were put away until a later date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, there are now twenty-two days until Christmas. Don’t go too crazy.

Tenna’ ento lye omenta.

My “Attempt” at NaNoWriMo

I didn’t take part in NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month to you uninitiated,) so this is something I started writing a while ago. I got hooked on the French Revolution Era because of drama (we put on “A Tale of Two Cities”) and I wanted to explore it a bit more.  The main character in the story belonging to this excerpt is a fourteen year old who lives with her father and twin brother in the poorer section of Paris. I really haven’t worked on the story since this spring, but I’m still a fan of it. Working title-“In France: Fortress of Destruction.”

 

 

Papa was not home when we arrived. Alexis and I thundered into the bakery and looked around. A note sat on the kneading block next to the Mericourt delivery. I picked it up. “Gone to the wine shop. Papa.” I looked over at Alexis.

He was gazing around the bakery worriedly. “Olympe, something is wrong. Papa went to the wine shop and he didn’t take the delivery. He should have remembered that.”

I nodded. Papa wasn’t one to forget business. Something drastic must have happened. “We should deliver this to the wine shop.” I picked up the basket sturdily and walked out the door. Alexis followed, a frown punching lines in his forehead. We walked in eerie silence across the district, but when we were still five streets away from the Mericourt wine shop, we heard an uproar. Curiosity overcame us; we sprinted through the grimy, moving maze of ragged children and skittering rubbish.

The wine shop was choked with people. Alexis bellowed into the crowd. “Delivery! Delivery! Move, please!” A few recognized us and let us through. The Mericourt wine shop is a long, low building, with the counter at the back and numerous tables along the walls. Monsieur Mericourt stood back next to the counter, talking earnestly but quietly with a few men. Alexis and I struggled to get to the back of the shop, dodging angry fists and heated words.

“Here, Alexis. Olympe, over here!” Camille Mericourt waved us to her. Camille was Monsieur Mericourt’s daughter, and only living relative. Madame Mericourt had died in childbirth and so Camille had grown wise and old beyond her years. We fought through the crowd and collapsed against the counter. Camille took the basket from me and began to put away the contents. “Your father is here.” She nodded to where Papa stood stolidly in the corner, observing all.

“We know. He rushed out of the bakery and didn’t remember to take the delivery for us.” Alexis sighed.

“Come, Alexis. You enjoy coming to see me.” Camille teased. She was sixteen, two years older than us, but Alexis and I were her closest friends.

Alexis shrugged and looked away. Camille winked at me and placed a hard, black roll on the counter. She poured a small amount of red wine in a saucer, tore the roll into three pieces and put them into the wine. Alexis turned back and joined us in watching the wine soak slowly into the bread. Once all the wine had been sopped up, Camille handed us each a piece and we ate in companionable silence. Alexis finished his piece first and licked his fingers. “What is going on? Why is everyone here? And so early in the day?

Camille sighed. “The Barnave family. Have you heard?”

I nodded. “We went to their house this morning to deliver some bread.”

“Really?” Camille’s eyes rounded in interest. Usually, if there was anything new to be known, Camille knew it. Not today, though. “What did they say? No-one has seen Madame or young Barnave today.”

Alexis leaned over the counter impressively. “Well, the place was deserted, or so we thought.” I rolled my eyes. I loved my twin dearly, but he is often too dramatic. “Olympe went to put the bread down, and we turned to leave when I saw pairs of eyes staring at us from behind the curtain!” Alexis also tends to stretch the truth. “Madame and Nicolas came out and told us that Monsieur was coming home last night from the wine shop when he met a few of the duke’s servants and began to call them names and insult their master. The men took him away.”

Camille nodded. “Go on.”

Alexis shrugged. “We left and started home. Then we saw two men in livery dragging Monsieur through the district, dead. We ran to the bakery, and then came here.”

Camille nodded again. “Yes, we had heard that he was dead, but we didn’t know how. A few men saw him before you did this morning and brought the news here. Of course it spread quickly.” She gazed around the shop, and then looked back at Alexis and me. “You should tell my father what you told me.” Camille slipped out from behind the counter and motioned Monsieur Mericourt over.

This time I told our story and Alexis corroborated it. Monsieur Mericourt stared down at us and nodded when we finished. “Thank you, Olympe, Alexis.”