I love to take pictures. My camera comes with me anywhere that might be interesting. I love to look through my pictures, to go back to the past.
But you can’t take a picture of everything.
You can take a picture of someone climbing a tree, but you can’t capture that moment of accomplishment when you make it to the top.
You can take a picture of that girl sitting on a log sticking out above a creek, her legs crossed, her eyes staring off into the distance, but you can’t capture the feeling of sitting there thinking.
You can’t capture how exhausted you are after working on shoe boxes for eight hours
That proud feeling of surviving your audition
The wind in your face, blowing your hair
Your friend encouraging you to keep going
That much needed hug
How scared you were when there was someone else in that woods, not knowing who it was
Snowflakes falling on your face
Giggling with your best friend
Crying into your pillow late at night
When your foot misses the loop on the swing and goes all the way through, dragging your hair through the mud
That huge misunderstanding that happens when you try to tell someone something
When you survive something really hard
Doing your dance steps correctly for the first time
Cartwheels in the front yard
Wading through the creek, splashing around with joy
When you have been waiting for a book for forever, and when the library says that your book is at the library and you get there, and they lost it
When you found out that the library is closing for two months
How much you just want to go outside, and you can’t because you are sick
When you finish making yourself a dress
Being lost in the woods, hundreds of miles from home
When your friends abandon you
Hiding in the woods writing
Late night talks with cousins
How overjoyed you are when the first flowers of spring finally open
How happy you are to do something nice for someone else
You can take pictures, but you can’t capture everything.
I’m starting to wonder if what you can capture really matters at all.
2016 has been a very interesting year. Some parts were good, some parts were bad, some parts were AMAZING, and some parts were TERRIBLE. I learned a lot this year, and mostly, I survived. Here’s some of what happened this year:
Started Joy’s Journal on my other blog Dolltastically Fun. Got braces
Won 2nd place in a homeschool science fair.
I’m sure SOMETHING Happened in march. Nope. Got nothing
My drama group preformed Mary Poppins
Finished making 50 scarfs (With some help) for an organization my church supports.
Finished my 6th grade school year.
I turned 13.
Started school again and came home from a family vacation.
I went to the Fall Retreat at church camp. Started writing in my journal again. Went Trick or Treating with friends in my neighborhood.
Found myself sick for two weeks. UGH. Started posting on Creative Castle again
Went to the Operation Christmas Child Processing center with my Grandparents and Cousin. CHRISTMAS.
My year was quite interesting, but I can’t wait for 2017!
I survived Christmas!!! YAY!!!
I received a lot of gifts, all of which I am very thankful for. Here are a few of my favorites.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to brag in any way, I just thought you might like to read about some of the things I received.
Gel A Peel Set
My grandparents gave me a Gel A Peel set which is tubes of gel stuff that you squeeze out into designs. When the gel drys it is rubbery, perfect for bracelets and other stuff. I love this set! It comes with a lot of gel, and you can make other things than bracelets. Currently I am making doll shoes.
One of my friends gave me a pair of shoes that don’t fit her anymore. They are not new, but they fit, and I love them! They are pink glitter slip on shoes. I love glitter and I love pink, so I love these shoes!
My Grandma gave this to me. I love to bake, but I didn’t have a stand mixer, so this is going to be really helpful. It mixes my cake batter (Or cookie dough, or frosting, or anything besides cement) so much faster then my little hand crank egg beater did. I am so happy with this
What did you receive for Christmas? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment!
Every year I have so many plans for Christmas, which I never get done.
For example this year I wanted to do a gingerbread house, make presents for everyone, and survive. I am still working on the gingerbread house, I had to narrow down my list of gifts so I could make them all, and I still finished them just yesterday.
Survive. Hmm, I don’t know. When I was younger I would get so excited for Christmas, and have a huge letdown. I’ve learned to not get excited about Christmas. I don’t ask for very many presents, mainly I don’t have a lot I want that I can’t get with my own money, and partly to be surprised. I don’t really get into Christmas until a few days before.
But survive? Well I don’t actually hate Christmas, but it can be quite a nuisance. However, so far I have survived.
But I do know how to have fun with Christmas. Which I do.
One of my very favorite things is wishing people Merry Christmas. So…..
However you do it, have a good Christmas.
Now if you will excuse me, Christmas is tomorrow, and I want to finish my gingerbread house. And to finish something you have to start it….
Last week I went to the Operation Christmas Child proccesing center with my grandparents and my cousin. My grandparents have been five times, the first by themselves, the second with my oldest sister, the third with my second oldest sister. The fourth time I still wasn’t old enough, but the fifth time I was finally old enough so I got to go.
I can’t use pictures, though I took almost three hundred, but I am going to attempt to explain it.
The room where we work is much like a convention hall. It is as big as one, the floor is concrete, and well, I don’t know what the walls look like. Crates of boxes stacked against the wall concealed what the wall really looks like.
The front holds several orientation rooms. The rooms are curtained off with green cloth, and when you are there for the first time that year you go into one so they can explain the jobs and what Operation Christmas Child is.
There is a break room with rows and rows of picnic style tables to sit at when you take a break.
Then we have the actual working floor. Rows of tables line the floor, and in between the rows there are these roller things.
They are much like conveyor belts, but don’t use electricity. Rows and rows of metal circles on axles attached to a table thing. Huge crates would be pushed down it, and the circles would spin, pushing the box down, or making it ten times easier to drag something.
The actual tables are just tables. But a bunch of things make it different. There is a slit going down to a locked box for money, shelfs to hold boxes, baskets of filler and tape rollers.
After each box is lifted from a crate of boxes it goes through several people’s hands. First a pre inspector makes sure it is labled correctly and removes any money, dropping it through the money slot. Then an inspector will check the box for things like food, liquids and used items that can’t go. If there isn’t a lot of things in the box the inspector will fill it fuller with items from the baskets in the middle of the table. Then a taper will close the box and wind Samaritan’s Purse packing tape around it. Finally it will be placed in a crate with other boxes to go to the kids.
I was an inspector most of the time. It was really fun to see what was in the boxes, and I love trying to get everything in. Filling was also kind of fun.
But sometimes it was challenging. There were some boxes that you were just like ‘How did they get this stuff in?!!’
Sometimes the boxes from a packing party all had the same thing. Like thirty boxes with crackers! I hated taking those out. Or twenty boxes with the excact same things. You think an Olaf head is creepy till you have seen fifteen. Then it’s really creepy.
Sometimes there were boxes with things you had to take out. And sometimes you were just like ‘Why!?!’ like when a bottle of shampoo spilled out all over over the box. We had to send it to the box hospital. Twice! (They didn’t clean it up good enough the first time)
Now you probably want to know what the box hospital is. It’s where you send the boxes that are broken or messed up, and they replace the boxes or clean them up.
A lot of times you wouldn’t know whether to leave it in or not. Like with jump ropes filled with liquid, porcelain dolls or ball mazes without balls. I always asked someone if I wasn’t 100% sure.
And we found some pretty weird things in those boxes.
Cell phone charger
Seven toothbrushes but no toothpaste
Plastic spoon and easter egg maracas
But the weirdest box has milk and truffles. That’s all. Two things. Both food, and they both had to be taken out, leaving an empty box. The box didn’t get refilled, it wasn’t marked so it just got thrown away.
We worked for three days, each day being eight hours. We stood up the entire time, and by the end my legs were tierd. I was exhausted and after being so near people for eight hours when we got to the hotel we were staying at I hid in the closet. It was the darkest, quietest place. (And it was a nice closet.)
But it was a great experience. I am SO glad I got to go. It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I got to help. I hope I can go again next year.
This year it seems like people are focusing more on what comes after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, plenty of sales, the Christmas season. On the TV at our grandparent’s house commercials advertise stores opening at five or six on Thanksgiving. At our grandparents house we make Christmas lists, and decided what we are doing for Christmas, make plans for Black Friday
Why can’t we just go back to when everyone gathered with family to have dinner and not worried about what they are going to buy, or getting the best deal. When stores weren’t open on Thanksgiving, and Black Friday sales didn’t start till Black Friday.
Why can’t we just celebrate what Thanksgiving is for? To be thankful.
In our society we tend to be greedy. But we also have a lot. There was a time when if you lived in a house with seven rooms you would be considered rich. Now a house that size is considered small. We have lots of stuff that we don’t even care about. We just want MORE MORE MORE.
So instead of wanting more, we should be thankful for what we have for at least today.
So have a happy Thanksgiving.
And be Thankful.
Let me tell you about the worst weekend I can ever remember having. It was at church camp, which is strange because I always have an amazing time at camp. But not this time. It was a much awaited weekend. At Drama practice the day before I had gotten my friends to write things in my notebook for me to do. I was so excited to read them. I was going to do them all, take dozens of pictures, and record everything on my Mp3 player. But no. Camp happened.
Camp started on Friday, but my story on Saturday evening. When we are finished with dinner, we go find something to do till the next activity.
There is this big blue slide that goes up one of the hills. You take a blanket from the bucket at the bottom of the hill and climb up the hill to the top of the slide. It’s a lot of fun, but really tiring to get up the hill.
I had gone down the slide like five times already, so I was going to go just one more time. Then I ran into Alana, one of the girls from a different group that I liked to hang out with. We went down a couple of times, and then started going together. I don’t remember how many times we went down the slide before Violet came, but it was a few. Alana fell down the slide, and was trying to get back up, and Violet was at the top with me. And then we were all falling down the slide. I don’t remember when Alana left, but Violet and I had a lot of fun falling down the slide.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a TON of fun. But I had had a long day and been up late the night before, and the slide left me tired. (See, when you climb up the huge hill you deposit some of your energy. The slide steals that energy, then decides it wants more, so it steals the energy from you sliding down the slide. What it does with it, I have NO IDEA.)
Anyway, we had a group discussion time right after dinner. When I was finally done with the slide the bell rang, and I had to go to the room we were going to be in.
By the time I got there there were no good chairs left. I set up a folding chair, but then decided the ground was more comfortable, so I moved the chair, and leaned against the side of another chair, one of those ones that is filled with stuffing even against the sides. I was so tired, and the chair was so comfortable, that I ended up taking my shoes off and closing my eyes.
I wasn’t asleep, not at all, but I was hiding in the corner, (Someone else was leaning against the front of that chair) and it probably looked like I wasn’t paying attention.
The group was discussing something that had happened earlier, and we were doing a question an answer session. As I listened to the answers I remember thinking up answers for if our Youth Pastor called on me.
And he did. I remember him saying, “Mia, what stuck out to you during the morning rotations?”
I thought for a second. It wasn’t because I was thinking up something to say, I was deciding on which answer I had to say. I decided on something, sat up straight, opened my eyes, and said my answer. Everyone was looking at me. Then I hid again.
After our big group discussion we broke up into groups. The group I was in was the girls group from our church. I’ve had problems with this group before, I am going to have problems again. But these were the worst I have ever encountered.
As we broke up into groups we moved. I wasn’t fast enough to get a chair, but ended up leaning against one of the bigger chairs instead. It was still nice. I was tired enough that I closed my eyes. I know sometimes people will do this when they are not paying attention, but for me, at that moment, closing my eyes helped me concentrate and pay attention to what the leaders were saying.
Speaking of leaders, we had four. Let’s call them Rose, Grace, and Carly. There was also one of the girls Mom, which actually I have no idea why she came. Anyway, let’s call her Jasmine.
As we went through more questions (Most of them really stupid) I was thinking up answers, though being too tired, too shy to speak up. One of the leaders, I think it was Grace asked a question.
“What have you learned about other people?”
What I was thinking was, “They ask too many questions!”
I was really hoping to not get called on, but I did. I should have thought up a better answer, but I didn’t have anything else, and I knew they wouldn’t wait on me to think something else up. So “They ask too many questions!” is what I said.
Rose can’t help it, she starts laughing.
Grace said something along the lines of “Well don’t encourage it!”
And Rose says something along the lines of “I can’t help laughing, she actually has a good answer to the stupid questions.”
And then they start going on about “What do you not like about questions?” (Which is a question by the way.) I didn’t have anything for that, I hadn’t thought that far, and I didn’t think they would take it seriously. With some mehs and ehs, I got through it, and then they turned the spotlight on someone else.
But then Jasmine realizes I’m kinda hiding, and decides to do something about it. “Mia, pay attention!”
“I am paying attention!” I’m sure I sounded forceful, but really I was kind of confused. I was paying attention, and I could have told her all that was going on. She didn’t ask though.
“Open your eyes!” I had them closed so I could pay attention, but I tried to open them. Les than three seconds upon opening them they filled with tears. So I closed again, and hid my face in my arms. Jasmine didn’t force me to open them again.
A couple minutes later, (I’m not paying attention NOW, I’m plotting how to get out the fastest, and stay uncaught the longest.) Grace (Who was sitting in the chair behind me) taps my shoulder.
“You wanna go talk about it Mia?”
I’m confused, mad and upset by this point, but not ready to talk. Everything together was too much. I really just want to be left alone. So I gave my head a shake and hid.
Finally, finally, we finished. I was so happy. I got up and got my shoes. I heard Grace yell, “MIA!” but I didn’t stop running till I got to my cabin.
When I got to the cabin I climbed up on my bunk and hid in my sleeping bag. I knew this wasn’t the end, but I was really hoping they would leave me alone. I heard the other girls come in, but I kept hiding till I was ready to face the world. One of the girls asked me if I was okay, but mostly they left it alone, and I got to the gym in peace.
We usually start with announcements and then do some singing. I don’t remember what happened to the announcements, but I can sure remember the singing.
The band members got up on the stage, and the rest of us crowded around the stage. As I’m walking up to the stage tears start streaming down my cheeks. I can’t help it. They just kept coming.
I ran out of the room and to the bathroom, sinking down on the floor, using up all the toilet paper. I was the only one in the room, and for awhile I just cried and cried.
Finally I decided to leave and go back to the room where they are singing.
But I didn’t go to the stage. I went to my seat and sat down. I thought I had dried up all my tears, but they reappear again.
A nice older lady came and asked if there was anything she could do, but I said nothing. Then Carly came. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was basically
“Mia you are not okay. You need to talk.”
I asked if she had any tissues, and we walked to the bathroom again. This time I sunk against another wall. Carly went on and on, what about, I have no idea. But I remember her ending with,
“Would you rather talk to Grace?”
Grace is in the band, and she was onstage singing at that moment. I also feel more comfortable talking to her.
So I was like YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
It was mostly because she couldn’t do it till she got offstage, and I wanted to be alone.
Carly sent me outside to the benches outside the gym, telling me she would tell Grace to come out as soon as she got offstage.
So I sat on that bench, the farthest away that I could still hear the singing. I curled into a ball and listened to Grace sing. Then came the next song. And then it was over.
I sat there, waiting for Grace to come, but really not wanting her to.
The door opened. Grace came out of the door, and started walking towards me. And then she was there. Sitting next to me.
“Mia honey, what’s wrong?”
Grace is really nice, and she has done a lot for me, but at that moment I kinda hated her. I wanted to be alone, and I was plotting if I could run into the woods without Grace catching me.
Grace was really trying to get me to talk, but she wasn’t forcing me, which was nice. Question after question, all unanswered.
I wanted to answer them, but I didn’t know where to start, so I didn’t do it at all. I knew that eventually Grace would have to go sing again. And I would be free.
When Grace realized that it wasn’t working she changed the subject, (Which wasn’t hard because I wasn’t answering) and tried something else.
But still I wouldn’t answer.
Then finally I was sick of listening to Grace. She asked a question, and I had an answer.
It wasn’t a good answer, or a well thought out one. Actually I’m pretty sure Grace asked “What’s wrong” for the tenth time, and I answered “Everything!”
But we were having a conversation.
It wasn’t very long, soon after someone came to get Grace so she could go on stage, but it was something.
After Grace left I went inside and leaned against a wall. I didn’t want to go back inside. Lots of kids came and went, but few talked to me, and to those who did I told them I was homesick.
I realized that I had missed the entire lesson. My Mp3 player was recording though, so I could listen to it later. (Which I actually haven’t done yet)
When the songs were over Grace came and found me. We didn’t get a chance to talk again though, for there was other things going on.
The rest of the evening went pretty well. No one mentioned it, and I didn’t bring it up.
Yet, the next morning I wanted to finish my conversation with Grace.
So I found her during a free moment, and we talked.
This time I was willing to talk, and we had a much better, less forced conversation. It was better that way.
Yup, this is the end of this story. Is it true? It could be. It also could be entirely made up. It’s up to you to decide.
But take away from the story this: Talking isn’t always a bad thing, and leaders aren’t always evil. Bad things can happen that turn out to be good. And camp isn’t always awesome.
I can not post any more pictures on this blog so i made a new blog where i will be posting instead. Check it out! http://dolltasticallyfun.wordpress.com/
Do your dolls by any chance need a sewing machine that works? Go to the link and enter the contest to get one and you might be the winner!