Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bible Study Bonfire

My Sunday School class/small group has been doing a Bible Study this fall on The Purpose Driven Life.  It is such an encouraging way to work through life's challenges and the simple day-to-day activities with a focus on God's plan for our lives.  It has changed my heart and filled me with motivation!
Here is a little collage from the night that we did a bon fire at Patty's house.  In the background are some words associated with main ideas in the book.

We started out the night roasting marhmallows and making smores!  I tried one with an Andes Mint, and it was a success!

I just love having these girls here to talk to!  We are a hodgepodge group from all different places and lives, but we can relate to each other on so many levels.
Each time I jump into the book to read, I have to have a notebook, pens, and my Bible right there, too, becuase there is so much to plant into my mind and heart!  I constantly am finding sayings and verses that go directly with my life situations, and I don't want to miss a thing!  There are many of these "divine appointments" that God sends into our lives that I will share more about later!


It is called a "40 day journey," but with our lives and schedules along with the desire to really dig deep and discuss and grow, we are taking as long as we need to work through it! 

¡Feliz CumpleaƱos a mi!

I honestly felt like I had no time to celebrate my birthday, but I did...one step at a time!  

The first thing I was concerned with was the conference cross country meet on Thursday, October 16th. It is very small, but if course I wanted to win. We ran at the course in Knoxville where the middle school state meet is held, Victor Ashe Park. I really liked the course and think I could run a PR there in good conditions!  However, it was a muddy, wet mess this day!  I was still under 19:00 for the win, though, which I am thankful. It was tough. Afterwards, I got in a scenic cool down (my favorite) around the park. I was starving and shivering which each made each other worse. We stopped by Chick-fil-a for my favorite meal there, then across the street to Froyoz for dessert!  I hadn't planned on it, but it was really late, an hour away from home and I needed recovery fuel!  It also tasted so good!  I told mom and dad it could be part of my birthday present.   
This store had a new topping that I had never seen/tried, snickerdooldle in little teeny balls!
The yogurt was Reese's Peanut Butter, Pure Pistachio, Dulce de Leche, and Pecan Praline.
Waking up on Friday, I did a morning run then opened the gift mom and dad had left for me:  a Peanuts gang lanyard and keychain!  I also am in love with these gift bags, so mom reuses them each year. 
For dinner, Dad picked up my grandmother and met us at El Sazon. Granannie can't get around much, but she loves this place and we can park right at the door. Her birthday is the day before mine, so we celebrated together. 
I had a little mishap!  While cutting my jalepenos is my taco salad, the knife and fork slipped, sending salsa all over my face and shirt!
Here are the gifts I got that night!  A new Garmin Forerunner 15, sweater, shirt (which sadly doesn't fit) and some awesome socks!
Sunday, we went out for my fancy meal, but took some pictures after church first. Mom has to take pictures. This one is cute, in my opinion. 
This is in front if the Apple Barn's Farmhouse Restaurant in Sevierville, where I chose to take a few friends to shop and celebrate!
They have a Christmas store!
These coffee cups were so cute, I almost bought one, but I can never make myself spend my money. 
This was my lunch meal!  I just love fruit, veggies, and chicken!
This is perfect for my dad. Photographed and iMessaged to him!
Mom does not agree, but i totally do!
Yes...I love where I'm at and what I have. 
Coffee gets me through those cold school days. 
Gotta love the meat too...yum and protein!
This place is beautiful, with so much shopping to do in multiple stores: Christmas, candy, wine, general store...
This is the main place to shop, and even more eating if you choose!  Another version if the same restaurant is on this side along with a smaller cafe for goodies and sweets. 
Group photo!
Goofy group photo!
Now for the big treat...the creamery!
They even had samples out!
I got a quart. So many homemade flavors, so little time in life...as you can see, I also added the samples!
Here we are getting our fill!
Katlyn is so funny. We're not sure why she was eating with multiple spoons. 
I bought some apple pie flavored coffee and some popcorn to try sometime. I also shopped ahead of time for Christmas, but those are secrets!
Now for another celebration:
The next Sunday, I had the cross country girls over to my house to snack, Just Dance, open gifts, and watch at he Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!  My moose also joined us. 
This contraption was created by Grace, and I was very impressed!  She filled it with fall, protein bars, and even an iTunes card!
Also excited for some new socks! My friends know me so well!
This is a gift from Megan. I put it in my coffee, oatmeal, desserts, and all kinda of things to give it that flavor!
After all that was done, we went to TCBY!  The new one, owned by the same people, just moved, recently opened, so I introduced everyone!
This is a cup of white chocolate macadamia and pumpkin with cinnamon on top.

Love this shot of us all!
It all came and went extremely fast, but I enjoyed getting to celebrate my 17th birthday with some fantastic people!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

School iPads

Although they are very cantankerous, the school has done something I like! They have the sophomore AP History and Language classes iPads! We only get to keep them for the school year, but I have come seriously attached!  There are so many things I can do on it.  Sometimes it can be a distraction, especially with the kids who aren't focused on getting good grades, but I use it for educational purposes all the time!  However, here are some things I have done using the app Noteability.

This is a collage of one of our biggest races of the season, Jesse Owens in Oakville, Alabama.  On our way there, we had some adventures at the space museum.  I screamed my head off on the space shot.  I was totally unprepared for that stomach-dropping feeling as we shot up into the sky!  Dinner was never-ending pasta bowl with soup at Olive Garden!
The next day was filled with new PRs for almost the entire team!  Including me!  I got down to 18:05.  The team also won for the second year in a row!  Up at the top left is my cousin, Jonathan, and me!  He lives in Alabama, and this race is about the only time, besides sometimes on Thanksgiving, that I get to see him and his parents.
I was so excited after the weekend of Bristol Cross (race) and Camp Your Face Off, I went a little digital-scrapbook-crazy.  This is from the first night!  I'm also working on a post for that, so this is just a photo overview.  These are from my first night there, Saturday.

This is Sunday morning.  It was Joy's birthday!  I had a great time fellowshipping with these lovely people.

As you can see, we looked lovely as we woke up.  Cassie had been there since the beginning on Friday night, so she had two nights in a row in the tent.  I hadn't taken a shower since Friday night and had sweat a ton, outside literally all day Saturday, racing, watching races, then at the retreat.  I was looking and smelling fresh.  The breakfast buffet of the day was a hodgepodge of everything: pancakes, bacon, fruit, yogurt, cereal, milk, candy...you name it!  Of course, I also had coffee.

I spent well over an hour in Bible study, too, catching up on what I had missed as well as digging into the new info for the day.  It was a beautiful, refreshing morning by the lake!  Later, we had the leader share time, lunch, and finished things off with the Amazing Race! 

Here is a collage from one of my favorite races, Bristol Cross, which is at the beautiful Steele Creek Park. 

I have been told many times that I look like in smiling while I run, and some pictures I found of me from this race are great proof!  I just laughed and laughed looking at these. 
This collage is just a little bit about me and my running. 

I also use my iPad for educational purposes!  This is my home screen with my Thanksgiving background. The two AP teachers send us assignments, notes, and other information daily.  It is a great way to get us all involved and informed, in and out of school.

These iPads make assignments so much easier!  Here, I can take the online instructions for my computer class projects and have them by my side as I work, keeping me from having to go back and forth between open windows. 

I also use it almost every day in math class to take pictures of our homework. My textbook is WAY too big and heavy, and I have enough to carry around as it is. 

Here is that app I mentioned earlier, Noteability. You can create folders and arrange them any way you like. As you can see, I use it for entertainment as well as school notes, outlines, and assignments we do in and out of class. 

I am so thankful to have this thing to help me through this year!