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Christmas is usually my favorite holiday, but this year…  Well, this year I just feel blah.  My uncle was in the hospital with a serious problem, I’ve been sick with a cold, and someone close to my family passed away.  It’s hard to “get” the joyful season when all that has happened.  This year, more than ever, I’ve realized that not everyone has merry Christmases.  I keep reminding myself that I have a lot to be thankful for.  But the most important realization for me has been that no matter what is going on and no matter what plans don’t turn out the way you want them to, Jesus is really what we’re celebrating.  It’s not about the parties or the presents.   Joy doesn’t even come from perfect circumstances.  It comes from the greatest gift we’ve ever received, Jesus.  So even though I’m not exactly feeling the joy of the season this year, I’m still feeling the perfect peace that comes from knowing Jesus.  And I hope, that if you’re like me, you can some encouragement from knowing you’re not alone.


My brother Kent is coming home!!  I can’t believe I’m actually saying that with excitement.  He used to annoy me ALL the stinkin’ time.  Now he’s a big college man – eye roll – and I do miss him.  Especially around the supper table when the focus is completely on me.  Anyway…  He’s going to be here any minute and I can’t wait!  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that’s apparently the case here.  The last time he called home, all he could talk about was this girl, Nina.  I’m going to pick on him relentlessly about this girl.  He deserves it after all the flack I got about Noah.  I want to see a picture of her.  So maybe I won’t pick on him until AFTER I see the picture.

Mom’s making her famous noodles.  That’s really all I need for Thanksgiving.  Well, that and rolls and whip cream with a side of pumpkin pie.  But she’s making sweet potatoes too – Kent’s favorite.  And turkey.  I’ve never been a huge fan of turkey, but I’ll eat a little bit.  She always makes stuffing too.  Kent and I always have to help tear the bread.  Not my favorite tradition.  Thankfully, Kent’s coming home just in time to help with that!  If he thinks being at university is going to get him out of that, he’s crazy!

I think I just heard the front door open.  I’ve gotta go!  Kent’s home!

Halloween weekend…  Now that I’m too old to trick or treat, my parents have decided they’re going out on a date night, which of course means I’m not invited.  I’m staying at home by myself, which I’ve done millions of times, but never on Halloween night.  I flipped on the television and there’s literally only horror flicks on.  Not exactly my style any time, but especially not when I’m staying home by myself.  I have a dvd on right now, but I’m hearing all these weird noises and of course, there’s a ton of people outside wearing creepy costumes, and basically I’m freaking out.  Like, right there.  Did you hear that?  Of course you didn’t, but it sure sounded like someone was coming down the stairs.  Sure wish we had a dog.  Or a security system.  Usually I’m stoked to be home by myself for a couple of hours.  Now I’m counting the seconds until my parents get home.  Although when they do, I’ll act totally chill, like I wasn’t scared at all.

I’ve gotta go.  Pretty sure I heard something in the basement!  Yikes!

I’m not going to lie.  I have kind of turned into a germaphobe.  Okay, well there’s not really any ‘kind of’ about it.  I am a total germaphobe.  It’s terrible.  So right now all my friends and classmates have the sniffles and the flu is going around for like the fifth time and I can’t take it.  I HATE being sick.  So no one really enjoys sickness, but I’m so afraid that I’m going to get sick that I am constantly bathing my hands in antibacterial stuff.  And don’t get me started on how often I’m going to the bathroom just to wash my hands and get all those germs off.  It’s terrible and I know I’m being ridiculous, but I so don’t want to get sick!  Zeke thinks I need therapy.  He might be right, but don’t tell him I said that.  The last thing he needs is to be right again!

Sick, sick, sick.  I hate being sick.  And I’m not sick enough to stay home from school, just sick enough to feel miserable.  You know, like that your head is in a bubble feeling.  Can’t breath, stuffy, yuckness.  I can’t even come up with a complete sentence I’m so sick.  How are you supposed to concentrate on a math quiz when we you’re struggling to breathe?  I’m sure I don’t know.  On top of being sick, I burned myself.  I love using my mom’s pizza stone, but when I was pulling out my pizza, I totally burned myself on the side of the oven.  It blistered almost immediately.  And it hurts.  Then I dropped the plate that I was going to put my pizza on and it shattered into a million pieces.  Great.  It has not exactly been the best day.  But it’s on days like these that I remember that there are other people out there having worse days.  They might not have food or a house or a family and well, then I think that maybe I can maybe not whine so much about having a cold and a bad day.  I do have food and a house and a family.  And sometimes I need to learn to be content with that.

So we’ve only been going to school for like a month and already I can’t believe the stuff I have to do.  Projects, projects, projects.  And seriously, why does it all have to be drawing?  Like some of us aren’t exactly award winning illustrators.  Ridiculous.  I am stressed to the max about this history project we have to do.  I can’t draw Amelia Earhart!  There’s no way!  And our lit project…  Don’t even get me started.  I just want to pull my hair out.  There’s one good thing about math; there’s no big projects!  I know I should pray about getting some peace about these things, but what I really want is for God to do the projects for me.  Or for my group projects, maybe He could get me some better partners.

How many days left in the school year?

Well, I’m back!  Summer is almost over – boo – and my parents told me yesterday it’s time to start getting back into the groove.  I told them after fair.  Fair is one of my most favorite parts of summer.  Can we just say elephant ears!!  If you don’t know what those are, you need to be educated!  They are AMAZING!  So the rides aren’t exactly amusement park quality, but they’re still super fun.  At night, all the kids walk around to see who’s with who now and catch up on all the drama before school starts.  Plus, you get to wear the brand new jeans you just got school shopping.  Yup, it’s pretty awesome.  I’m trying to convince Zeke that he absolutely needs to go.  He thinks he’s big city material (he’s not) and doesn’t want to go.  I told him it was worth it for the food alone.  Milkshakes, cheese curds, vinegar fries…  My stomach is grumbling already.  Don’t worry.  I’ll convince him.

In my social studies class, we’re supposed to be keeping up with current events so we can discuss them on Fridays.  I hate it!  I don’t want to watch the news.  Some of it is just plain boring – city stuff that doesn’t make sense to me.  Some of it is just drama – and I thought junior high was bad!  But a lot of it is scary!  Plane crashes or missing planes, drugs, robberies, shootings, terrorist attacks…  I seriously have nightmares about it.  Mom wanted to take me to the mall yesterday to catch some sales, but I didn’t want to go.  What if some crazy person decided it was a good day to shoot up the mall?  Mom told me we can’t let fear rule our hearts.  We have to trust God’s plan for our life, but I can’t just snap my fingers and get over it.  Mom finally did convince me to go with her and we were just fine, but I’m still afraid.  How do you get past your fear?

I am one of those people that LOVE Christmas! I could sing Christmas songs all year long. Don’t get me wrong, I like Thanksgiving too, but I sure do love Christmas! I have to admit though, there are some Christmas songs I just don’t get. Like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Who came up with that? I can’t imagine sitting by my Christmas tree, mesmerized by the twinkly lights, and thinking, I wonder what Dad would think if Mom kissed Santa Claus and then write a song about it! Crazy! Or how about “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer?” My Grandpa thinks this is funny and it is kind of, but I just don’t know how people come up with this stuff. My favorite Christmas song of all time is “What Child is This?” It’s a beautiful song. Haunting. I LOVE it!

What Christmas songs are your favorites? Or what songs do you just not get?

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!