Thursday, July 31, 2014

Best Friends' Birthday Bash

Chantal and Cherie turned 18 on July 20th, and they invited all of the cross country girls to their grandparents' house for a sleepover party last Friday!
Here are the gifts I got each of them:
Cherie likes green, so I got her green cupcake papers and a green bucket with bananas (her favorite fruit) and cashews (her favorite nut) inside.
Chantal likes blue, so that is the color I got her bucket and cupcake papers.  She also likes bananas, but her favorite is raspberries, so I got her some of those, too.
On their bananas, I decorated one like a little person and put a Bible verse about being fruitful on another.
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name."  John 15:16
"We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way:  bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father..."  Colossians 1:10-12
I LOVE their house!  It has lots of yard space, beautiful scenery, and is off the roads enough to be nice and quiet.  I took this picture out the living room window because who wouldn't want this view to their yard?
This is from the driveway looking at the front of the house.
We are a team who plays lots of games, especially card games.  We also tend to get violent, especially during spoons.  You may be more likely to get injured in a spoons game than in practice.  Another one of our favorites is Kemps, and sometimes we play "BS."
Since I just recently got my iPhone5, I am still learning how to use some of the new features, including panoramic photos.  I didn't leave myself enough room to be included, but that's okay because I wanted a picture of everyone else at the table!
These girls can't get enough candy!
We spent a good deal of time over dinner discussing our summer reading that we have to do for school.  Each grade has a different list, but multiple people have read some of the same books.  We also all agree that summer reading is a waste of our valuable time, especially since we only spend one class period on it.  Not all the students do it or all teachers even grade it.  We spend enough time on school as it is.  We would gladly read if we got to choose what books we would read, then actually enjoy it!  I could go on and on about this, but I will refrain...
The little girls who live with the grandparents found a bunny a couple days before!  The poor baby was all alone, so they brought it inside.  I don't know if it will live long like this, though.  Precious baby animals are my favorite! 
This brought back memories of when I was younger and my dream was to be a veterinarian or zoologist.  I would watch Animal Planet tv shows, read animal magazines, and play with my stuffed animals for hours on end.
Something that I have learned over the time I have been on such a family-like team, is that you get THE BEST PRESENTS.  We all know each other so well and enjoy giving to each other more than receiving.  Chantal and Cherie thought my decorated bananas were adorable and didn't want to eat them!
Here they are with almost all their gifts opened.  They got so many wonderful gifts that I think will come in so handy!  Those are the best kind, of course.  Animal crackers, fruit, gatorade, picture frames, water bottles, and more are all things that they can put to good use!
We also make tons of homemade cards, letters, and notes for each other!
This was a fun game that I got to play for the first time at this party:  Imaginiff...
You roll to choose a player's name to fill in the blank on the card, then you read it to everyone.  For example, it may say, "Imagine if __________ were a road sign.  Which would he/she be?
1) curves ahead
2) speed limit 75
3) stop
4) dead end ahead
5) dangerous intersection
6) slippery when wet"
Then all the players would choose a card from his/her hand that corresponds with the option that he/she believes is the best fit.  Once everyone has chosen, they all show their number.  Majority rules!  All players who chose along with the majority get to move up that many spaces on the pinwheel.  First one to the center wins.
We had more players than sets of 1-6 cards, game pieces, and name boxes, so we substituted gummy bears for the extras!  They're cuter and more realistic, anyways.
After dinner, a game, and opening presents, we had some dessert!  It was one of my favorites, too, which is awesome because it wasn't even my party.  We had chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, cereals, and candy to fix it up with!
The twins are also the cupcake queens, and everyone's favorite flavor is cookie dough, so they had some of those up for grabs.  (All their cupcakes have something in the middle, and for this flavor, they are cookie dough ball filled.)
Time for the happy birthday song and candles!
Here's one of my bowls I made.  This was the first time I have tried the new Dark Chocolate Crunch Cheerios, and they are very tasty!
Everyone knows that I am the ultimate dessert maker, so Emily was cracking up and got several people started taking pictures of me with all my bowlfuls.  I was snapchat-story-famous!

After dessert we headed out back to play volleyball.  We split into two teams with a birthday twin captain of each.  My team, above, ended up being named the Sassy Seagulls.  We had a signature move, pose, and chant!  We also kicked butt in the game, but we didn't end up keeping score.
The other team was the Winner Whales...ironic!  They also had poses, chants, and moves.
This was the most I have laughed in a really long time.  I was really in need of this!  It's a good thing we are runners and not volleyball (or anything else with a ball, for that matter) players, some of us more than others!  I wish we had all of it on video to show people and just to watch ourselves.  It was hysterical.  Both teams had people laughing until they cried and/or couldn't breathe multiple times.  I just can't explain why some of the things that happened were so funny.  It was just bad.
The "Winner Whale W"
My wonderful team
I'm not sure whose horses these are, but they were right next door in the back yard, so I think they were the neighbors'.  Anyways, they were so pretty!  We got to feed and pet them.  A couple of us also got stampeded at when the volleyball rolled down the hill and into their fence.  That gave us a bunch of laughs, too!
Another game that I have recently found fun and downloaded on my phone is called Heads Up.  It is very similar to Taboo, where you have a word that you cannot say, but must get someone else to guess it.  In this case, one person has the words' card on their head, and everyone else has to get the person to guess that word.  We use actions a lot, and sometimes cut out all the talking to make it like charades!  
Another one of my favorite things:  campfires and roasting marshmallows!
It was a great night to do this, and the fire was nice and warm.  I am addicted to the taste of freshly roasted marshmallows, so I gladly had my fill.
I also made a song!
Marshmallows roasting on an open fire
Mosquitos nipping at your knees
Campfire carols being sung by a choir
and folks dressed up like we-don't-knows
Everybody knows a teammate running to-and-fro will help to make the season bright
Midnight swim with the pool all aglow
We'll find it hard to sleep tonight
Chantal and Cherie's aunt (I know her name, but not how to spell it) played with us most of the night.  She can also play the ukulele!
The cat found a frog to chase and play with!
The next game we played was also a new one for me:  Sardines.  It is like hide-and-go-seek, but a little different.  We got in partners, then chose one group to hide first, then text us when they were hidden.  That group stays hidden while all the others go out and search for them.  When someone finds them, they hide with them.  The groups keep piling up in that hiding spot like sardines until the last group finds them.  That last group hides next.
They also have a good-sized, round, maybe 4-foot pool that they filled with glow sticks for our (after) midnight swim.  I was cold, so I didn't spend too much time in the water, but I ran around in our super-strong whirlpool for a while!
They thought putting the glow sticks in their bathing suits was hilarious.
Almost 1:00am and still going strong.
I wasn't in the water yet, so I was designated picture-taker for the wet ones.
Emily and Megan
Chantal, Katlyn, and Cherie, the 3 amigos
After I had all the whirlpool I could take, frozen and shivering, I told them I had to get out and go take a hot shower!  Of course we had to get group pictures first!  Two other girls, Azalia and Calista, didn't get in, so they aren't in this photo, but were there to take it for us!
Water photo, goofy style.
It helped my coldness a little bit since Megan was holding me:  body heat!
This is a typical Katlyn pose.  Anything with hands and arms flying
Elizabeth was really struggling the next morning.  Not only did some of the girls stay up until after 3:00-3:30 (I crashed a little before 2:00), but Elizabeth had been at a swim meet all day Friday before she came to the party.
Breakfast for me and some others who chose:  cereal!  I love cereal.......
They also had pancakes, eggs, peanut butter, and fruit.
However, the fun was not over yet!  At least for 4 of us.  Chantal, Cherie, Katlyn, and I ran home when everyone else had gotten picked up.  I knew that I would be going to the lake later, so I wouldn't be running again that day, so I decided that I would add a couple miles to the 8 home and make it 10.  After separating from them at around 6 miles, I went through the industrial park.  Then I decided to go out on highway 160 to a certain distance then turn back.  Hey, I still felt good, so I decided to run down old 11E that parallels 11E highway.  It also goes past my old elementary schools and church.  My goal mileage just kept creeping up.  I came out across from the BP and crossed the highway there.  Then I realized, oh, this is going to be a little over 12 miles.  Once I got to the driveway, I looked at my watch and thought, "Whoa!  Less than a mile more, and I will have a half marathon distance!"  Therefore, I might as well, right?  I yelled to my mom and dad who were outside as I passed and continued down and back on the road until I got to where I could hit my push-back-corner hard and up the driveway to my desired distance.  I felt awesome!  It was really exciting to do my longest run (for all at one time) and it be a half marathon distance.  My last 7 miles also really picked up the pace, too. 
This was a great start to my weekend, and it was only around noon on Saturday at this point!  I was so thankful to have gotten to spend such fun times with a great group of girls.  I hadn't done anything like this in years.
Sometimes, you really do need to let go and act like a kid.  It will be a blessing!