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I had a terrible dream last night!  It was the first day of school and I wore my oldest pair of pajamas-the ones with cartoon characters on them.  Everyone was laughing at me, especially Landon.  When I ran into the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and my hair was stubble.  It was all hacked off!  Then, I went to my locker and I couldn’t remember the combination.  I was late to class and then discovered that I’d left all my school supplies at home.  Noah had an extra pencil, but he wouldn’t share.  Molly dumped her lunch on me on purpose and the secretary wouldn’t let me call my mom to bring new clothes.  It was the most horrible dream ever!  I think it’s a sign I shouldn’t go to school this year.  Now to convince my parents!

Finally we have a sunny day!  I called Claire to see if I could hang out with her by her pool, but she was kind of vague.  Then she finally just said that Molly and the rest of the cheerleaders were coming over.  So now I don’t know what to do.  I definitely am not going over to hang out with Molly.  When did Claire get so chummy with Molly anyway?  Whatever.  I guess I’m on my own today.  Mom suggested calling someone else and going to the public pool, but that’s for little kids.  I wouldn’t be caught dead at the public pool unless I was baby-sitting or something.  I’ll find something to do…

Yesterday, Noah’s dog got loose and was running around the neighborhood.  I caught her in the neighbor’s yard.  It looked like no one knew she was loose because there wasn’t anyone chasing her.  I wish I could get a dog, but my mom said no because she thinks she’ll be the one taking care of it.  I don’t know about that.  When Noah and I were friends, I always liked walking Jamie.  Dogs are easy to talk to.  They just sit while you pet them and talk.  Before I took Jamie back to Noah, I had a nice little chat with her.  We talked about Noah and how I wished we could be friends again.  I told her all about Claire and how I wished things were back to normal with her.   Every once in awhile, Jamie would nod her head like she completely understood.  If only Jamie was my dog.  I took her back to Noah’s house and thankfully Noah’s mom answered the door instead of Noah.  She hadn’t even known Jamie had gotten out, just like I thought.  She was super grateful I found her and brought her back.  Maybe Noah should have answered the door.  Maybe he would have been super grateful too and then we could be friends again.

Sometimes I wish girls could get over things as easily as boys.  Things between Claire and I still feel tense and it’s been that way for weeks.  But today, Charles and Jack got into a fight in the hallway.  They were yelling at each other, pushing, punching…  One of the teachers broke it up and took them to the office.  An hour later, Mrs. Smith sent me to the office to give the secretary some paperwork and there were Charles and Jack.  They were sitting next to each other laughing and joking around like the fight never happened.  I mean they both got suspended, but their fight didn’t affect their friendship at all.  It might have even made it better.  Why can’t it be that way for girls?  Instead, we have to do the silent treatment and all the backstabbing garbage.  It’s not like I want to punch anyone or be punched, but it might be easier than the months of sabotage we girls do.

For Easter, my family does a potluck with my mom’s side.  My mom always brings a super yummy fruit salad and cheesy potatoes.  I especially love Grandma’s deviled eggs though.  They are amazing!  We always laugh that she’s one that brings food with the word ‘devil’ in it since she’s one of the sweetest people we all know!  Anyway, I always take two because there aren’t any left after everyone goes through the line.  I can only think of one cousin who doesn’t like them.  He’s crazy!  Seriously, he is like the weirdest person I know.  Weird to the point that I don’t even want to claim him.  My mom tells me I need to show him kindness because he’s family.  I’m polite, but I don’t go out of my way to hang out with him.  That’s still being kind, right?

He’s not the only person that is kind of messed up.  My two youngest cousins can be brats.  They’re only a couple of years younger than me, but they are so whiny and they have to get their way all the time.  When they’re in a bad mood, they are super annoying.  I would rather hang out with my brother.  That’s saying something because all he does is pick on me.

One of my aunts can also be kind of a problem.  I think she likes to pick fights and get everyone riled up.  She’s really good at it too.  Sometimes everyone leaves mad because of the arguments she starts.

Mom says that no one’s family is perfect, but are they all dysfunctional?  I guess no one is perfect and maybe my family leaves thinking that I’m a messed up kid.  Which sometimes, I guess is true.  Mom says that’s the great thing about Easter, or Resurrection Day as some people in my church call it.  Jesus came to die for all of us and for all of our imperfections.  Good thing too because me and my family have a lot of them!

Regardless of how imperfect my family is, I love them and I know they love me.  So I leave you with a question:  What is your family like and how can they give you a picture of Jesus or lead you to Him?

Happy Easter everyone!

I have a new baby cousin!  Well, second cousin.  It’s totally weird that my cousin is old enough to have kids and stuff, but whatever.  Max is totally cute.  I felt bad for my cousin because she was HUGE before she had him.  I mean, seriously huge.  On Christmas Eve, my family always reads the Christmas story and when we got to the part where Mary rode the donkey to Bethlehem, I thought of my cousin.  I can’t imagine anyone that huge riding a donkey!  Especially not all those miles.  Mary sure was a trooper!  I think I would have told God he was crazy!  And then gotten myself a plane ticket or called a cab or something!

So the new year starts tomorrow.  I’m not a resolution girl so I don’t have like ten things I want to work on.  I do have one wish though.  Or maybe I should say prayer.  I’m hoping that Claire and I can get back to the way things used to be.  She says she’s over what happened, but it doesn’t feel like it.  We still hang out and sometimes talk on the phone, but it’s just not the same.  Maybe the new year will bring us a better friendship.  What are you hoping for in the new year?

I’m back to thinking I should have gotten Claire the earrings.  She’s talking to me again and we’ve hung out a couple of times, but she’s still pretty frosty.  She’s hanging out even more with Molly and her clones and ditching me to be with them.  Mom says that sometimes friends “out grow” each other.  I don’t feel like I’ve out grown Claire at all.  I don’t WANT to out grow Claire.  She’s been my best friend since kindergarten.  Mom says I need to branch out and talk to more people, but I’m not exactly Miss Popularity or Miss Social, so I don’t really know how to do that.  It’s not like a friend is just suddenly going to appear.  Why does junior high have to be so hard?

So I’ve been struggling to make amends with Claire since I hesitated in helping her.  I did show up to help, by the way.  My mom and I were out shopping and I found the PERFECT “I’m sorry” gift for Claire.  I found them in this funky jewelry store that just came in the mall.  I know you hear funky and think that wouldn’t fit Claire at all, but it wasn’t just weird stuff.  They had some really classy things too.  I say things; the lady at the counter said pieces.  Very posh.  These earrings were so pretty.  I couldn’t take my eyes off them and that’s saying something since I’m not really the blingy type.  They were silver, dangly, and feathery.  Like metal feathery.  I don’t even know how to describe them really.  All I knew was that Claire would love them.  I picked them up and then saw the price tag.  $25.00  Not a fortune for someone who has a job, but for me, they might as well have been a million dollars.  I explained the situation to my mom and asked if I could borrow the money and I would pay her back in chores and stuff.  She said Claire didn’t need expensive earrings as an apology.  She also said that it was obvious I was sincere in my apology and Claire needed to accept it.  It was no longer my fault or my problem.  Okay, so she had a point, but these earrings would totally smooth things over!  When I wouldn’t give up, Mom suggested I find a cheaper version.  We looked around at another jewelry store, but found nothing.  Mom told me that our neighbors were always looking for good baby-sitters for their twins.  There’s a reason for that!  Those twins are terrors!!!!  There’s a fence that separates our houses and I’m very thankful for that!  I’d almost prefer our neighbors had a menacing dog.  Maybe that’s a bit dramatic.  I’d have to be desperate to baby-sit the twins for those earrings.  When I told Mom that, she raised her eyebrows.  I resented her insinuation that I was desperate.  We left the earrings at the mall.  I don’t think any amount of scheming will get me those earrings and I’m really not desperate enough to baby-sit for them.  So I guess that’s that.  Maybe I’ll take Mom’s advice.  I really did apologize, meant it, and then showed up to help.  Maybe Claire really does just need to get over it.

So I have to fess up to something.  I’m totally a selfish person.  I honestly don’t think I do anything without thinking about how I’ll benefit from it or how it will affect me.  For example, yesterday, Claire asked me if I would help her with her cheerleading signs after school.  I should have said yes without any hesitation.  Instead, I thought about it.  I thought about how Molly and her clones would also be there and how Molly would be totally mean.  Then I thought about how Claire was my best friend and she knew how Molly treated me so she wouldn’t ask for help unless she really needed my help.  I was about to say a nervous yes, but Claire went off on me.  Seriously, it wasn’t like I had to think about it for eight years.  I only took about thirty seconds, but Claire interpreted my silence as a no and told me that if I was really her friend I would help her like she’s been helping me basically my whole life.  She flounced off and now she’s not talking to me.  I called her and left a voicemail telling her that I was going to say yes, but she hasn’t called me back.  I am the worst friend ever.  Especially since she was right.  I should have just said yes without thinking about Molly.  I am selfish to the max.  Lord, please help me be a better friend and help me be less selfish!

Occasionally, my dad will go hunting.  He really likes venison – deer meat for those of you who are not hunters.  I’m not a fan.  Especially of venison jerky.  YUCK!  But dad really likes it.  Since Kent couldn’t go this year, he decided that I needed to go.  I’m not a vegetarian or anything, but I seriously am not fond of the idea of watching an animal die, but Mom convinced me I should go with him.  Have some bonding time or something like that.  So here we are sitting in this tree stand, waiting for a deer to show up.  It’s stinking cold and my dad thinks that while we wait, we should have this deep conversation.  I’m all for meaningful discussions, but not in the freezing cold, with the sun just coming up, in the middle of the creepy woods.  Dad starts telling me about how his parents were really, really strict and how that shaped his parenting.  I can’t imagine anyone stricter than my parents.  I mean they wouldn’t even let me go to Europe with my best friend when I was INVITED!  He tells me that one time his dad left and didn’t come back until months later.  My dad said he was sure his dad wasn’t coming back.  I’d never heard this before.  His dad, my grandpa, died before I was born so I never knew him.  Apparently he wasn’t the most stellar guy ever.  Dad told me he and his sister weren’t sure if they wanted their dad to come back or to stay away.  When he did come back, he was a little better than before.  Anyway…  The whole point of the story was that he hoped that I wasn’t counting down the days until I could move out like he and his sister were.  He hoped that I knew that he and Mom loved me and wanted what was best for me.

After telling me the story, he was quiet.  It was an awkward silence.  Should I say something?  Did he want me to say that no, I wasn’t counting down the day until I could move out.  Fortunately, a deer saved me.  She darted out of the woods and my dad was totally focused on that instead of my response to his story.  It did make me see him in a whole different light.  I never knew he had anything less than an idyllic childhood.  It was crazy to me that his dad wasn’t a very nice guy.  I couldn’t imagine a better guy than my dad.  Sometimes he made me mad, but most of the time, I knew that he was doing what he thought was right.  It made me realize how blessed I am to have parents who do love me, even though they drive me crazy sometimes!