A Visit from Friends

What if we run out of things  to do?

What can we do if it rains?

What do I say if there’s ever an awkward silence?

Those were a few questions I had running through my mind as I was preparing for the visit from 3 of my friends. I wonder now why I ever had those thoughts. .. The week was way too short and went too fast.

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I was so excited to have my cousin Janelle{far left} and two former classmates, Tina and Brianna{from left to right} come for a visit.

They arrived Monday evening around 9 and stayed until Friday afternoon.

For four nights in a row most of us didn’t get to bed  before 11:30, but that’s part of having friends for the night and having fun!

Tuesday morning was gray and rainy but that didn’t change the plans for the day. At 10 o’clock  a van load of  girls were headed down to do some shopping in Iowa. It was raining so the Iowa dirt{mud} roads were pretty terrible and I cringed as I heard the bottom of the van scrape the gravel when I had  stupidly followed the tracks in the road through a  deep rut And… it  happened more than once:( . It had never crossed my mind that it’s possible to do fish tails on a muddy dirt road but I discovered then that it can happen! I also discovered that I’m not a good map reader and wonder why I didn’t think of using a GPS earlier after I turned around more times than I care to remember.I also realized how much I appreciate how IA and MN roads are in square miles.   I had packed a  lunch for us all and at 2pm we stopped at a park and found a dry picnic table to eat at.

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Wednesday dawned warm and sunny and at 9 am we 4 girls were headed to Lanesboro for a day in the sun. This time I used a GPS and had a lower stress level even though it kept directing me to the 63 which was closed due to construction 🙂 We booked our 3 hour kayak trip and until it was time to leave at noon, we  hit some shops along the main street.  Shortly after 12 we were kayaking down Root River. It was an absolutely beautiful day for it; sunny, 80*, and no wind! It was my first time kayaking  and after a few spins in the water which resulted from frantically trying  to turn one way but ending up turning the opposite way ,floating backwards, and beaching it , I finally got the hang of it and could enjoy myself. 🙂

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We enjoyed a late lunch at Gil B’s after we were hot and wet from kayaking. We went to Prayer Meeting in the evening and the girls were able  to see where we attend  church and our school room and meet my friends . On our way home from church we stopped at a car wash  to give the van a very necessary wash job after my mud bogging experience on the  Iowa roads !

On Thursday we went to Pizza Ranch in Austin for lunch and then to Walmart  for supplies for the ice cream party in the evening. After we got home we crushed Oreos , butterfingers and peanuts  for the ice cream toppings and mom helped get the rest of the stuff ready. That evening we youth got together at church to play softball and have an ice cream party afterwards! It was a great evening for that and the ice cream was perfectly soft by the time we were ready to eat!

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All too soon Friday rolls around and we only have a short morning together.We had a 9 o’clock pancake breakfast,and because we were all kinda tired,we didn’t do too much besides take pictures. Before they headed east again I had the  privilege of treating them to Sassy Strawberry where we enjoyed our last few minutes together eating ice cream.

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Right next door, or miles apart,

Friends are always close at heart.”

One Chapter Closed….

..and another opened!

Thursday, May 21,2015 was the last  time I exited the school as a student of Prairie Mennonite School. This past term was my last and I’m very excited to begin something new!

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For a brief history of my school years;  I attended Clyde Mennonite School in Clyde, New York  from first to 7th grade. I had 4 other classmates, 2 girls and 2 guys, with an average of 15 students in the classroom. It was a two room school-house, later rebuilt with 3 rooms, which averaged to about 45 students all together.

I remember the fun and competitive softball games we would play during the fall and spring during my 4th-7th grades.I also remember the excitement of presenting the Christmas program ,going Christmas caroling , the last few weeks of school doing achievement tests and going on the field trip.

We said good-bye to our school friends and teachers in February of 2011 when we moved 18 hours away to Austin Minnesota. We took our books along and finished the term here at home.

Grade 8 brought more changes to me as we started another term at the small ,6 student church school. The first few weeks were full of adjustments and getting to know the other students better, although my two brothers and I made up half  the students,and learning the system that was way different from what we were used to .  I was glad to have a classmate, Krysta, right my age to do things with.

I was excited to take Spanish in 9th grade since the Spanish language has always fascinated me ! When I finished the course in 10th grade, I knew more Spanish than when I had started ,but because I didn’t apply myself like I should have, I don’t remember all that I learned. I’m hoping that if God ever calls me to a Spanish-speaking country , I could apply what I learned and become more fluent in speaking it.  I also took Typing for which I’m very grateful for! The lessons were long and tedious at times but it was very worth it!

A few of my favorite subjects throughout the years have been Math,Spelling, Literature, Health, and the Atonamy and Physiology part of Biology. Math wasn’t always fun or easy but overall I enjoyed it. Spelling was easy for me and it gave me an easy half credit that I needed! Literature sharpened my writing skills and broadened my horizon on writing styles. The assigned writings like doing a Biography, writing poems, essays , and stories weren’t always appreciated but it was a good motivator and I don’t regret that I did them. I enjoy writing stories so those were fun! I really enjoyed Health. Who we are and how we are ‘put together’ fascinates me. It shows just how ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ we are created. Do people not realize how much they are cheating themselves when they believe we came from a lowly,ugly ape instead of believing it was a loving God who created the human race? How can a person be so hard- hearted to kill an innocent ,but very much alive, baby through abortion? You don’t need to take Health to ask those questions but studying it makes it more real; it did for me anyway.

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Physics was my biggest challenge this past year,but because of the awesome teacher I had ,I was able to make it through the book and  lay it aside on the last day of school! I allowed it to stress me out  so I didn’t always have pleasant thoughts when the word ‘physics’ was mentioned. During one stressful chapter ,about the middle of the book, I had the option of stopping it and doing something else instead. I was determined to keep going  even though it wasn’t  easy .I’m so glad I did continue on because now that I’m done with it , it’s a great feeling of accomplishment! Miss Rachelle gets much of the credit for getting me through it. She put many hours of studying into it so she could explain and then so patiently  help me through the difficult equations and problems.Thank you ,Rachelle!

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I was blessed to have a teacher like Miss Rachelle from grade 8-11! She kept school interesting and put her all into teaching grades 3-11 this past year.

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This was our school this past  term. In the back from left to right: Kerek-15, Austin-14 ,Miss Rachelle-25, Krysta-17,and Me-17

front row left to right: Logan-10, Maleah -9, Alyssa -11, and Jolynn-9

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I don’t know what the future holds and I have no clue what I’ll be doing next year this time,but I know Who holds the future and I will trust Him!

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I did some figuring and came up with a few interesting facts about my school years from grade 1-11.

*I ate approximately 1,717 packed lunches.

*I had about 1,400 hours of recess  which would equal to  58.3 days!

* I took 360 art classes .

* An approximate total of 12,180 hours of school which would come out to about 508 full, 24 hour days of studying,recess,etc.

Be You!

Do you really know the importance of being you?

It’s very much okay to be yourself. We like to fit in and have the same tastes or dislikes as other people, especially with our friends ,but since you are you and I am me it’s not always possible. Yes, there are some things that we agree on and can understand,but is it that way with everything?

God made you with a purpose and plan. He made your friends with a purpose and plan to, just not the same plan. There is a reason why we were created differently. Imagine if everyone were the same as you or me. Here’s a story to illustrate what it might be like.

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The Coffee Shop Girl

I met another 17-year-old girl in the coffee shop today. I invited her to sit at my table since I was alone and wanted someone to talk to . She was a bit taller than I , with light brown hair , and medium weight. I was looking forward to an interesting conversation and settled down with my cup of coffee . She looked comfortable talking with a me,a stranger ,and I was relieved because it’s not enjoyable making people feel uncomfortable.  She said her name was Autumn Ziegler and lived on the outskirts of town. I asked what she enjoys doing most in the summer. She said she loves it outdoors working in the flowerbeds and garden , hiking,swimming, biking …you name it as long as it was outdoors . I was impressed ! I enjoy doing those things to! We kept talking and I kept discovering more and more similarities between us.I asked her why she was at the coffee shop drinking coffee in the middle of the afternoon. I was preparing myself for a look that said,” huh? What’s wrong with you?!” but instead she smiled politely and said she needed a place to relax and get rejuvenated for the afternoon activities even though coffee isn’t her favorite beverage.”Huh!”I thought to myself.” I wonder if she knows that’s why I’m here drinking a non-favorite beverage!?” This was getting interesting; to every question, I could almost answer for her since she was so much like myself. I finally dared to ask if she likes chocolate,cooking, if her dream is to visit a foreign country, if cats are her favorite animal, if she could fish for hours on end, if she likes making new friends, if she absolutely loves shopping,and if she enjoys writing…. The list could have went on. Her answers to my questions were  ” Not really. No. YES! Nope! Yes, if the fish are biting wonderfully,big and ,juicy worms plentiful, the mosquitos nonexistent, and the weather gorgeous. Yes.  NO. Yes. ~      Was I surprised with her answers? Not really. She’s just like me . We got up from the table 25 minutes later feeling refreshed and energized . Before we drove off in our parents’ vehicles ,we got each others phone numbers and agreed to text to keep in touch since ‘talking on the phone isn’t as easy’.

Now I better understand why no one is exactly like someone else because if every single person were like Autumn and I , it would be one unexciting world! There would be no new ideas, crazy acts that I didn’t do already, no interesting stories, no new personalities , etc.  I thanked God that He gave people different personalities, likes and dislikes, appearances , characteristics, and outlook in life. ”

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That was just a fictional story of mine and  I’m so thankful it isn’t reality because I want to be myself to!

I just want to say, “Thanks for being you!” I may not know you or you may not have the same tastes and ideas etc. that I do,but what’s the important thing? That’s being just who you are!The next important thing is accepting who you are and accepting others as they are. God made us with a purpose and plan!

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Be yourself.

An original is always worth more than a copy.

When a Farm Dog Goes on a ‘Field Trip’

Wednesday, April 29,2015 was pet day at Prairie Mennonite School. Because we have it about every term ,we didn’t  have anything new to bring.  Austin didn’t want  to take his pigeons again and there was no way we were going to take a calf to school. Logan took 4 bunnies and the mama and on the spur of moment we decided that  Mason, our dog, is going with us. Now Mason isn’t a fit and active dog.Not at all. He’s obese, lazy, has a small head and is not familiar with riding in vehicles and never went to school before .Austin had to lift Mason into the van and then quickly shut the door so he wouldn’t come back out. At 7:30 we were headed to school with a dog between the back and middle seat and a family of rabbits in the back. We made it to school without a problem. Thankfully! I wasn’t sure what that dog was going to do in the back seat.

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Mason wanted to get out when we got to school but didn’t have the brains to try  backing out of the seats and getting out the other door. The boys got him out though by flipping the seat front and getting him turned around and headed in the right direction.

He was excited to be in new territory and wouldn’t listen to us very well. He did a lot of running and panting and I wonder if he ever ran that much at one time!

He was tied up during lunch but we let him go to the woods with us at lunch break. He liked the creek and slid down the slippery bank to cool off and get a drink.IMG_0350

The only problem was,was that he couldn’t crawl up the bank again to get out and wouldn’t swim across where his feet couldn’t touch. So…

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Kerek had  to help him out!

I was NOT keen on taking a wet,muddy and stinky dog home in the van for what would be a long 20 minute drive, so for the last 15 minute break we gave him a bath. Because we didn’t have shampoo along , we used the Fabuloso cleaning soap !! It smelled good and that’s what I was looking for; something to make him smell good in a warm, confined space.

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I held onto his collar so he wouldn’t escape while being doused with warm and a splash or two of cold water. He cooperated but was happy to be done ..

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..and shake! We tried to keep him from rolling in the flowerbeds so he would stay clean and moved his leash to a grassy area .

He was mostly dry by 3:15 . We loaded him and the rabbits into the van again and off we went. This time ,however, he was squeezed behind my seat and Logan’s knees with his face towards the door so he could make a quick exit when we got home. I was so glad we took mostly macadam roads so our windows could be wide open and let the warm,wet-dog-with -Fabuloso fragrance -smell float out the window. We were all glad to be home again and Mason happily bounded out the door and walked up the walks as if going to school is an everyday occurrence or maybe he was feeling wiser. Either way, he will stay home next time!