Day 39

Today was a good day.  It started off with the normal stuff: being tired, breakfast, making copies, and all of that business.  After that I put pictures on my computer, started organizing them by discipline (dance, drum, pipes, fiddle, or harp), and read a little bit of economics.  Looking back at my years of dancing, there are plenty of things I don't miss (like cramps), there are things that I had forgotten about that I really miss.  Like warm ups.  Not only are they the best warm ups, but they're fun.  Joy and Andrea have exceptional tastes in music... mainly because they have electronic-ish warm up music.  So clearly it's superb.

After dancing warm ups I went to the piping building to take some pictures.  Apparently Drew called me while I was walking (I can never feel my phone while I'm walking) to make some copies.  But I found him anyways, so no harm was done.

Eventually we got lunch.  That was probably pretty good.  I don't really remember.  After lunch I went to go watch the dancers' marching and country dancing.  I remember being a little boy and hating the country dancing.  I would hide.  It was awful.  But then when I was 14 or so I realized it really wasn't that bad.  Yes... I was a bit of a late bloomer.  Oh well.  It's interesting how I can see myself in the personalities of some of the people at camp.  There's the little drummer boy (ha) who wears glasses and is still in the "little kid" phase of maturity.  That was me. There's the probably 15 year old boy who has his main dancing partner and they have a wonderful time marching like penguins or dancing like fairies together.  That was me.  There's the group of 6 girls and two boys who are inseparable.  That was my group.  And there are the crazy instructors who haven't forgotten how to have a good time but can still be responsible.  That's going to be me.  It's been a pretty nostalgic time, but it's been good.  Really good.  I've made new friends, reacquainted with old ones, and it's just generally been awesome.

After lunch I took a nap.  I tried to read economics but just couldn't.  So nap I did.  When I woke up I went to Circle Time and documented the drummers and pipers.  And some random people along the way :)  After circle time was dinner and shower time.  Those are some of my favorite times.  And then it was Instructor Concert Time!  Woo!  It was really good.  Some of the acts were... a bit long.  But still good. During one of the piping instructor's show the ice cream truck drove past.  Probably about 12 people (including three instructors) got ice cream.  It was funny.  The dance teachers' dance was kind of a mockery of all the dancers who are injured... or faking injury.  It was really funny.

After the talent show the harpers and fiddlers had a jam session.  It was really really good.  Words cannot describe.  But it was awesome.

Alright.  That's all for now.  Peace.


Day 38

So today started like any other.  I got up, went to breakfast, had some milk.  This milk is so good.  Sadly I couldn't eat my yogurt because there was a hair in it.  Hair really grosses me out... so yeah.  I was quite done with that.

After breakfast I made some copies for the piping instructors.  Then I took a nap.  It felt so good.  I fell asleep on one of the couches in the lobby for about an hour.  It was THE best.  And then I woke up and went to lunch.

After lunch I made some more copies.  I think.  All the days run together.  I either made copies or took pictures. Probably both.  I did that all afternoon, then had dinner!

After dinner I finally had my heavenly shower.  I felt so good afterwards.  Then I went downstairs to see what was going on.  There was nothing.  So I started talking with Sarah and Patrick.  Patrick lives on my floor and they're both pretty cool.  Sarah is a fiddler who always makes faces at me when I try to take pictures of the fiddlers.

In other news, I've gotten a lot of compliments on my hat.  John (the fiddle instructor) is an especially big fan.  He always tells me what a fashion statement it is :)  He is cool.  I like him.

I photographed the games as well.  Each night they have an activity for everyone to do, so I took pictures of that.  It was fun.  After that I took pictures of people just... being people.  Hanging out after class, talking with friends, laughing, enjoying fellowship.  It was fun.  When I was done Erin and I took a stroll around the campus because it was really nice outside.  We talked about growing up years, how I felt about homeschooling, and how thankful we are that we both come from families that are generally free from drama or bad situations.  It was a good time.

Then... the fun started.  I had to put my kids to bed.  That was fun.  Apparently someone soiled themselves and left the clothing behind a couch.  And as one of my kids put it, it smelled like "a dead homeless man."  Very astute, Jacob.  So I had to clean that business up.  Then when I thought my night was all done I couldn't find one of my kids when it was his bed time.  So we all spent the next half hour searching for him.  It turns out that he was just in a friend's room practicing and hadn't noticed the time.  But I'm glad that he was ok.

Alright.  The end for now.


Day 36

Today feels like it went on forever.

I woke up all my boys this morning and grabbed a shower before everyone got up.  After I had gotten everyone their phones and I thought they were all up, I went downstairs to meet everyone for breakfast.  This all went fine until when I was done eating someone (maybe Debbie) asks me if I've seen one of the boys, Angus.  I had woken him up, but it seems that he hadn't gotten up.  So I grab an apple for him and rush back to the dorms.  There he is, sound asleep.  So I wake him up again, give him the apple, make sure that he's sitting up and is speaking to me before I leave.  

I went back to my room to relax when Drew called me.  It seems that one of the cleaning ladies had been a bit over zealous and had thrown away all of one of the piping instructor's music.  So I had to go print off about 14 songs with 6 copies each.  Yay.  When I got that delivered, I went back to my room for a bit before lunch.

Lunch was decent.  They have amazing fruit salad and possibly the best milk I've ever had.  Oberlin College gets a lot of their food from local farmers and this milk is absolutely perfect.  I literally could not ask for anything more from a glass of milk.  Anyhow, at lunch one of the piping instructors gave me a flash drive to make some more copies.  So Nicole and I were heading back to the dorms (where the copier is) when I mentioned how creepy the basement in one of the buildings is.  Normally a creepy basement wouldn't bother me except that in this case, the building was the main dancing building during all my years at camp AND you had to walk through said basement to get to the men's restroom.  So I showed her the horrific basement and she agreed: it's really creepy.  Anyhow, after that we went back to the copy room to make copies.  But there was no computer hooked up to it, so I waited, since she had to go back to class.  Eventually when everyone else was done with lunch Pam brought her computer and I could complete my task.  Victory!

After all that business I took some more pictures.  I was going to document the creepy basement... but it's still creepy.  And I chickened out.  Maybe later. Let's see... I think I took pictures of all the groups.  It's fun, but I feel like I'm taking a lot more pictures of the dancers than anyone else.  They just do so many different things!  And the other groups... don't.  They just sit there.  Oh well.  I'm trying.  They also had Circle Time in Tappen Square, where all the pipers and drummers go play music together.  That was neat.  Afterwards Nicole really wanted ice cream, so we walked down the half-block to the ice cream place.  I had a cookie cone!  It was amazing.  When we got back from ice-creaming there was a group of harpers who had struck up a tune and had begun dancing.  That was fun (and clearly I documented it all).

Then it was dinner time.  That was probably fun or something.  I'm so tired...

After dinner it was shower number 2 time.  That felt so amazing.  After shower number two I went outside to document the games being played.  Then we just kind of putzed around.  I played ping pong (and won of course).  But this rendered my shower kind of useless because I started sweating again.  Ewww... And then there was more ice cream!

Um.  I put little kids to bed.  Then sat around and talked with friends.  Then put older kids to bed.  And now I'm doing this.  I'm sure I forgot some important things, but I'm tired.  So it's bed time.  Night!

Day 35

So yesterday morning was fun.  The campers are not allowed to keep their phones with them at night, so I have to collect them every night... joy.  Anyhow, some of the guys wanted woken up before the pipes came at 7, which means that I have to get them up.  Blech.  Oh well.  After everyone was awake and everything, I made my way downstairs and walked to breakfast with the Thistle Sisters (the group of moms who are counselors and make sure all the necessary errands get run).  I don't really know too many people here and I have been adopted as a Thistle Brother, so I walked with them to breakfast around 7:15.  Mom didn't realize that we hadn't left yet so she was already there.  Silly mom :)

When I got to breakfast I saw Erin and Kathy (Erin's teacher), so I ate breakfast with them.  I like them.  Eventually Ashley joined us and fun was had by all.  When breakfast was done, I went to go join mom and her people so I could figure out what was going on today.  It appears that I am the little runner-boy for the pipers, getting them copies when needed or doing whatever else I can.  They seem to be pretty self sufficient, so I didn't do too much.

After introducing myself to the Copy King (aka Drew) I went to go fix his copier.  After that I came back to my room and worked on some homework.  Lunch followed shortly thereafter.

When lunch was done I decided that I wanted to go watch the dancers warm up, so mom gave me her camera and I went to go take pictures!  I, apparently, just became the camp photographer.  We'll see how this goes.  I only had the big lens with me, so that made taking some pictures difficult because there are a lot of instances where I'm way up close to people.  Oh well, I got some good pictures.

After that I took a much needed nap.  For over an hour.

When I woke up I headed down to dinner.  I got down there just as Erin was, so we went to dinner together.  It was good.  We talked about living in a small town versus a large city and how we'd grown up in very different areas.  I'm sure we talked about something else to, but it eludes me at the moment.  It's very nice to have someone my own age... and not just people that are mom's age or... like 12.

We had pictures at 7, so after dinner we all made sure that our campers were getting over to the picture taking area.  Pictures actually went pretty quickly, even though there are only 140 people here this year.  In comparison, when I was coming there were usually about 140 dancers and over 300 people total.  Oh well.

When we were done with pictures we headed back to the dorms and had cookies and milk!  We'd been there for about 10 minutes when Pam came up to us (Erin, Kathy, and myself) and informed us that she had accidentally told a group of 14 - 16 year old campers that they could go wandering around campus.  So often Erin and I went to go track them down.  Thankfully they were still on campus and we're hoping no babies were made.  Apparently one of the guys in that group is pretty fond of me (or more accurately, my hat) so I am now "Fedora Man."  I can live with that.

The rest of the evening consisted of just sitting around and chatting.  The rest of the evening, that is, until bed time.  A little before 9:30 I went up to my room to make sure all the little boys were getting to bed.  Then around 10-ish Andy came into my room and we talked for a while.  When it was approaching the 10:30 bed time John and I had to have a talk about why he couldn't take his cell phone to bed with him.  He and I are going to have to have part two of that discussion later.  Oh joy....

Alright.  I think that's it for now.


Day 34

This morning started out pretty slowly.  I got up, browsed around Reddit for a while, and then decided to get some food.  Apparently there was supposed to be food in the dorm lobby, but I guess I got down there too late.  So I had a cup of coffee and wondered where everyone was.  After wondering for a few minutes, I went back to take a shower.  I had planned on holding off to eat until lunch, but my stomach was making lots of noises so I took a walk downtown to the deli and got a breakfast sandwich.  I then had nothing else to do so I walked around the lovely town of Oberlin.  It seems that today was the Chalk Festival or something.  Every year lots of people flood the sidewalks armed with chalk and draw magnificent artwork.  My favorite was certainly the representation of Wall-e.

When I got back I called mom to see where she was.  She and Mrs. Kilpatrick were taking a couple dancers to the competition.  While I waited Alysee called me.  She and her mom were stuck in traffic and she called to see if I could be of service (I couldn't).  Then mom and I went back to the games.

The games were fun.  We watched dancing, walked around, ate big turkey legs (well, Jesse and I did), and listened to a weapon demonstration.  It was insightful.  The guy explained the history and use of different swords and guns.  Apparently the blades were not sharpened to their full extent on purpose.  Since Scotland was mainly clan versus clan wars, the main purpose was not to kill the enemy.  The main purpose was to leave your enemy injured and force his fellow warriors (his relatives) to carry him off the battle field.  Killing a man would only take one man out of the battle.  Wounding him would take 2 or 3.  It was really funny because the longer he went, the more people left, especially families.  I thought he did a good job of not being overly gory (trying to keep things family friendly), but it was war.  There are few nice ways of talking about killing people with swords, especially when the use of each weapon had a very bloody technique.

After the games we all parted ways.  Mom and I brought the two dancers she had taken to the games back to the dorms.  When we got back I tried to meet some of the guys staying in my hall while I worked on homework.  At 7 there was a mandatory meeting that I went to.  And then pizza.  Then it was back to more homework.  Thankfully I'm done for tonight, but I have a short bit to do tomorrow.  But my hands have not been cooperating all evening and I'm tired.  So I'm going to bed.  Good night.


Day 33

This morning was way too early.  After I got up I packed for the week.  I couldn't get the motivation to do it earlier.  So after I packed I helped mom get stuff in the car and everything.  We left a little bit after 10, which was our goal.  Then we went over to Mama and Poppy's to say good bye to everyone.

And then we were off.  We had a bit of an adventure in the Tiffin area.  We took a wrong turn and 20 minutes later... we were back in Tiffin!  Whoops.  Oh well.  We got to Oberlin a little after 1, where mom and I are going to be counselors for Ohio Scottish Arts School this week.  It should be interesting.

I made new friends today!  The first person I met was a piper named Nicole.  She helped Mrs. Kilpatrick and me distribute fans and hang up signs and such.  Then I met the fiddle instructor, John.  I helped him bring things in from his car.  He was cool.  His name was on his belt :)  Apparently he's been playing fiddle since he was 4 (actually 2, but he doesn't remember that) and drums since he was 10. He started teaching fiddle at the age of 15.  I learned later that he was asked to teach the first year of camp 25 years ago, but he was busy that week so he suggested one of his students.  And so 25 years later, his students couldn't do it, so John did!  John is also a minister at a.... I don't remember what kind of church.  We talked for a bit while I helped him move stuff and over dinner.  He ate sandwiches in the lobby with Nicole and me.  I like him.  I also met Andrew, who I believe is also an instructor.  Maybe.  I'm not sure.  But he was fun.

Anyhow, I just ran errands most of the afternoon.  After dinner mom and Nicole and I went downtown because mom and I needed to get cash for tomorrow and Nicole needed... something.  I don't actually know what.  Hmm.  Oh well.  When we got back I went to my room and took my economics test.  It went far better than the last one, which I took while I was in Montana.  :/  That was not fun.

Umm.  After that I watched a movie for a while, then helped mom and Mrs. Kilpatrick make coffee and things.  When I was done i talked with Kimmy on the phone for a while.  And now.... my laptop is about to die so it's bed time.  Good night, friends.


Days 31 and 32

Wow, what a couple of days it has been.  I'm incredibly tired right now, so this is going to be shorter...and covering two days.  For this I apologize.

Yesterday (Day 31) started with my getting picked up by the grandparents on the way over to their apartment.  I helped them organize their things while Aunt Lynn and her friend Shelli brought boxes from the house to the new apartment.  After a while we all went back to the house to clean, at which time Geoff arrived.  After hellos and things, he and I went to take a load of things back to the apartment, and then we came back to the house to help clean.

After that Geoff and I came back home and showered.  He went out to dinner with Mama and Poppy, I made dinner for mom and me.  Mama and Poppy had an open house, so they had to be gone for a while.  When they were done eating they come to our house and we just chatted for a while.  Around 7 Jared showed up, so he met my mom (again) and the rest of the family that was there.  After the rain died down some, Mama and Poppy went home and Geoff and Jared and I went to go hang out with Becky and Miles.  It was fun!  But we were there waaaay too late, so then I was tired.  :(

The next day Geoff and Aunt Lynn left early to go to Cedar Point.  I got up and made some pancakes, then Jared and I went to George House for a bit.  When we got back, he went home and I took mom to work.  I helped the grandparents unpack things in their new apartment for a while.  I was so hungry... so I stopped at Chipotle on the way back.  It was tasty!

Let's see.  I had dinner with dad, tried to get some stuff done, helped him get the cabinet from Mama and Poppy's, and we had cake for my birthday!  Ha, yeah... that was an exciting birthday :)  It was a good day though.  I felt special because about 90 people told me happy birthday on Facebook.  Then I felt silly that it made me feel so special because it was just Facebook... but it did.  I felt very special.

I just spent the rest of the evening trying to get ready.  Geoff got back around 10.  He had to leave this morning (Friday).  Laci's mom is not doing well in the hospital, so he went back to Omaha to be with them.  Like, a lot of not doing well.  :(

And I think that is it.  Really concise... for this I apologize.  But it is what it is.  The end.


Day 30


This morning I started by getting some breakfast (my standard bagel) and finishing my happy birthday drawing for my other friend.  Originally I had planned on getting up a little early so that I could work out before Aunt Lynn came to get me... but that didn't happen.  Clearly.

When Aunt Lynn came we went back to the grandparents' and packed some stuff up.  For the most part we had Poppy help us determine which things he wanted to keep and what to do with the rest of it.  I learned about some of his awesome tools... like his hanging dremel.  It was pretty neat.  If I was into that sort of thing I'd probably be imagining how useful that would be.  Alas, I'm not really a building-things type of person.  Oh well.

After we were done Aunt Lynn brought me home and I got lunch (peanut butter and jelly) and folded clothing.  When I was done with that I cut the grass, made the bed downstairs, and finally got around to working out.  Since it was my first day back, I only did two exercises for each muscle group (biceps and triceps today).  Meh, it was the first day.  I need to work back up to it.  Thankfully I really didn't fall back too much.  I've been working up to curling three sets of 50 lbs and finally did it.  I was pretty happy.  It's been kinda tricky because I can't make 45 lbs dumbbells, so I had to jump from 40 to 50 lbs.  But I finally did it!  Woo.

After that, I took another shower and did some more laundry.  Then I made dinner!  Since it was just me I decided I'd try something different.  So I wanted to make a Monte Cristo Sandwich.  It's basically a grilled sandwich with ham, turkey, and swiss cheese in between two pieces of french toast.  Obviously honey ham is way better than regular ham, so I made that first.  And it turned out really well for my first attempt.
Honey Ham!

Unfortunately, the actually sandwich did not turn out as well as the ham did.  I kind of forgot that bread loves to fall apart... so that went well.  Please notice that I did not include a picture of the finished product.  But it was tasty!

Dad had a soccer party to go to, so after dinner I probably played TF2.   We'll just assume that.  When he got back we went back to the grandfolks to get the first cabinet.  It was... an adventure.  But we managed to get it into the basement.

My cousin Geoff was supposed to come tonight.  But he got held up at the Chicago airport... so he should be coming in tomorrow morning.  So we shall see.

Aside from that... I was on fire tonight while I played TF2.  It was great.  But all good things had to come to an end, and it is now bed time.  Night!


Day 29


I was going to start working out again today, but then I ended up going to help the grandparents move things early in the morning instead.  Oh well.  So I got up around 8:30, ate my bagel, showered, and went over to the grandfolks'.  When I got there Aunt Lynn and I packed up the van and headed over to the apartment.  We had three sets of shelves to fit into the van... I didn't think they were going to fit.  It was really close, but they did in fact fit.  Thankfully.  I really don't want to have to take those seats out more than i have to.  It's a really big pain.

At the apartment we unloaded the stuff.  Aunt Lynn made a friend who let us borrow a catering cart to carry stuff.  After we had unpacked everything (most of which went into the sewing room/office), we went back to the house to pack up another load and get lunch.  After we took that other load back to the apartment, I came back home.  It was about 1:30 at this point.

I had some more lunch and played TF2 for a little bit.  Then... I probably browsed Reddit for a bit before I started doing homework.  I read about a chapter and change of the book.  A lot of it was going over stuff I had learned in accounting or consumer finance, most terms and basic concepts.  My goal is to get the reading done by tomorrow and answer questions, then do my project the next day and the test on Thursday.  We'll see how that goes.

When mom got home she made dinner.  Dad's high school team had a game tonight, so after I finished eating I went to go watch.  It was good.  People kept giving me funny looks because I was wearing my awesome hat.  Clearly they didn't understand how amazing that hat is.  Their loss.

When I got home I talked some with Aunt Lynn and mom, did the dishes, then played TF2 with Derrick for a while.  I was just getting ready to go to bed when I saw that some of my friends had birthdays (via Facebook) today, so I made one of them a picture.  I'll make the other a picture tomorrow but I'm too tired.  So for now... good night!


Day 28

Today was interesting.  I got breakfast, showered, and went to church.  I saw the Churchs and Vandekoppels, but I couldn't see if there was room for me so I stayed where I was.  I got pretty frustrated with the sermon and almost left, but decided that would be rude and unfair for me to not listen to the entire sermon in context so I stayed.  After the sermon was over I talked with Mr. and Mrs. Church for a little bit, then I found mom and we went to Wal-Mart to get my father's day gift to dad (new atlases for the cars) and mom got some groceries.

During the car ride mom asked what I thought of the service and I told her how frustrated I got.  So I explained that one of the scriptures references was from 1 Timothy that says that women are to be submissive to their husbands as to the Lord, husbands are to love their wives, children are to obey their parents, and husbands are not to exasperate their children.  Over the years of discussing this passage, I realize how touchy this subject is so I tend to get pretty defensive about it.  The way our pastor was portraying it seemed very focused on wives submitting to their husbands even though the husband will not always be right.  Our pastor's point was the the husband will have to answer to God for any misguiding he does.  Personally, I don't know how I feel about this interpretation.  I don't think that husbands necessarily have to be the head of the household if the man is not as good at the job as the wife.  I think that whoever is more fitting for that role should do it.  However, since most couples (at least from the discussion I had with mom and dad it seems to be this way) split decision making or come to agreements on most issues, I don't know what the big deal of needing the label of "Head of the Household is."  If it's a pride thing.... ok.  Have your label.  But if people are making joint decisions most of the time, perhaps we're spending too much time arguing arbitrary semantics.  I don't believe that either men nor women are dominant.  I think that men tend to be more physical beings and women tend to be more mental beings, but this does not account for every human being and this does not make one gender dominant.  And because I do not believe either gender is dominant, I don't understand why one gender automatically gains superiority.

This was all part of my discussion with mom and dad.  Then... I'm not sure how it got to this, but then the topic of homosexuality came up.  That was a treat.  Mom and dad are both believe that the Bible explicitly states that homosexuality is a sin, end of discussion.  But I don't know what I believe.  I'm still working on it.  I understand what the Bible says, but I've also spent time trying to understand the people involved.  In my life time I have only been able to meet a hand-full of gay or lesbian people.  Because I do not know more people, it is difficult for me to make a better assessment, but I make do with what I have.  Personally, I believe that every person sins and that every sin is equal.  To God there is no continuum of sin, only a check box: yes or no. It doesn't matter if your sin was one "white lie" or daily cold-blooded rape and murder... sin is sin.  So regardless of whether homosexuality itself is a sin, gay and lesbian people have probably sinned just like I have (and just like every person has... except Jesus.  He's always the exception).  As such, we need God to help us.  I believe that God is powerful enough to help us get back on track, no matter what our situation is.  And I also believe that even if it hurts in the process, God still loves us and has our best in mind.  None of us are going to heaven without his help and we all need his help.  With this in mind, God did not give me the job of deciding who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.  That's his job.  My job is to show people through my actions that Jesus loves us and wants to hang out with all of us in heaven some day.  I believe that is every Christian's job: to show people love of Christ.  To me it does not matter how good or bad your theology is, whether you're a pacifistic or anarchist, or whether you think that yellow Runts are the best (which they're not).  What matters is that we are doing loving acts to/for other people as a way of showing that God loves us.  Frankly, sometimes I get fed up people.  But I know that when Jesus was here he hung out with and helped people that were far more annoying and tiresome than I will ever deal with... and Jesus was a real trooper.  So it would be wrong of me to think I should try for less than Jesus did.  If Jesus' example is to show love to every person then I should too.  And it is my job to help that person live a life that glorifies God.  If that person is engaged in a lifestyle that is not in line with what God wants, I think that he is big enough to let that person know and change their heart.  So is homosexuality wrong?  I don't know.  I've seen convincing evidence on both sides.  What I do know is that there is something far more important than being right or wrong, and that is being loving.  I would rather be loving than right.  Every person alive deserves love and mercy because God showed us love and mercy.  And it doesn't matter what a person does or how many times they do it, they still deserve love and mercy.  I do not always portray this... but I need to.  We all need to.  It's something that I'm working on and something that I believe every person should work on.  When I look at life, I use a framework that we must first love God, and then love his creation.  And so that's what I try to do.  I try to love God and love all his people, his animals, and his non-living things.  For anyone interested in reading a phenomenal book that has helped me shape some of views and understand people, read Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin.  If you read this (which I highly recommend that you do), I ask that you do so with a completely open mind.  If you go in with your own biases, you will gain very little.

Ok.  Off my soap box.  That was a summary of part of my side of the conversation.  I think it would be wrong of my to try to portray mom and dad's view because I do not believe I would do it justice and am likely to misspeak it.  So I will say that it was  very good discussion and they would be more than happy to share their views with you if you desire.

After all that business (and lunch), I started to cut the grass while mom and dad dismantled some shelf-things in the basement.  But then it started raining!  Boo.  So I stopped cutting the grass and helped them finished their stuff.  Umm... after that mom went to the grandparent's to go help them do things while I played Assassin's Creed and dad.... did something.  So I played Assassin's Creed for a while, then I switched over to Crysis.  Then I ate dinner.  And sorted out my kitchen stuff for next year.  After that I did some homework, played TF2 with Derrick, and now I'm finishing writing my blog.  But it's very late and I need to sleep.  So good night.


Day 27

Today was quite eventful.  Mom made pancakes for breakfast.  When we were done, dad and I went to Mama and Poppy's to pick up the table to take to Muncie where Jessie and Richard moved to today.  We said hi to them and Aunt Lynn and then headed to Munice.  We were really surprised that the table and all the chairs fit, but they did!   Dad drove on the way over and I read economics.  And napped.

We didn't know where we were going when we got there.  It seems that our timing was just a tad off because Jessie and Richard were going on an apartment tour just as we got into town, so they didn't know where to tell us to go (since we were going to meet them for lunch).  So Dad and I drove around for a while, Jessie told us where they were going to lunch, and we somehow managed to find it.  It was all very exciting.  We went to Qdoba.  I had never been there before, but it's basically Chipotle with more variety.  I enjoyed it.  And dad ate for free because it's Father's day weekend.

Then the moving.  It was........ yeah.  Not the most pleasant experience ever.  When we started it was raining outside, and then it stopped but remained excessively humid.  Awesome.  So we were all sweating a lot.  But we got everything moved.  When we were done, dad and I went to go visit Grandpa and Pat in Blufton.  When we got there dad and I smelled gas, so we called the gas company to come take care of it.  While we waited, we talked with grandpa and pat for a while.  Grandpa asked me lots of questions about my program in the fall.... and I didn't have many answers.  I know enough to satisfy me and that appears to not be very much.  Oh well.  I'll get the details when I need them.  After a bit dad and I got hungry so we went to Wendy's to get food.  There was a good deal of confusion with the salads we were getting for grandpa and Pat because there were only certain things that they could do with the salads and they were not necessarily the things we wanted to have done with the salads.  But they did their best and we got something figured out.

I've decided that I would love to be in a position where I could offer people jobs.  The people at Wendy's didn't really seem to want to be there.  I would love to be able to go to them and say "I have this other job that I think you would love.  May I talk with you for a moment?"   The manager looked to be about 30, overworked, and tired.  The girl who took our order appeared to be in her early to mid 20s and was trying to make the best out of working there... but clearly did not want to be there.  And I would have loved to just tell them that I had jobs for them that they would love!  But I cannot do that.

Sometimes I like to make up stories about people.  I've learned that every person is as complex as I am, and every person has a story that they want to tell but no audience to whom they can tell it.  I wish I could hear everyone's stories.  But until that day happens, I make stories up for people.  I decided that our waitress today used to be in community college but dropped out when she moved in with her boyfriend to get away from her parents.  She doesn't really like him anymore but she can't afford to live on her own and things are not good at home anymore.  So she's landed a job at Wendy's until she can make it on her own.  But she doesn't want any of this.  No, she would love to have a job taking care of people.  Maybe working at a children's hospital.  She had the most pleasant smile, even when things were not going how they were supposed to.  Children (well, everyone really) need a sincere smile when things go wrong.  So in my story she really wants to work in a children's hospital, but can't afford school until things start to go better.  I hope that life goes well for her, since I'll probably never get a chance to ask her.

We got home about 20 minutes before mom did.  When she got here we all caught up on our day.  Then we sat around and talked about the education system for a while.  Well, mom and I did.  Dad just kind of sat there and listen, giving his two cents every so often.  And then they went to bed and I've been playing Assassin's Creed until now, when it's time for bed.  Night!


Day 26

Yesterday morning I got up around 8 for my haircut.  Last summer I tried Swanson's barber shop and liked it, so I went there again.  It's not as good as the barber shop in Mount Vernon, but it's pretty good.  The main issue is that I know nothing of sports, and that's what the barber mainly discusses.  So...win.  Anyhow, after I was done I went to Great Scot to get Kimmy some flowers.  She had to leave yesterday and I was hoping that maybe flowers would make her a little less sad.  I found these sweet daisies that had sparkles all over them... so clearly I got those.  They worked, by the by.

When I got back Kimmy and I went to Wal-mart to exchange the phone we got for her.  I don't remember whether I already mentioned this, but she left her phone in our hotel in Sioux Falls on Monday.  So on Thursday we went to get her a tracfone for her trip back home, but the one we got apparently did not have service in Springfield so we had to get a new one.  We were in line to get it when mom sent me a text saying that Kimmy's phone had just arrived in the mail (the lady at the hotel mailed it here).  So that was fortunate.

We got lunch when we got back and I helped Kimmy pack some.  And by that I mean I took a nap.  I was tired.... we were up pretty late last night packing.  After my nap I went to go help grandparents move some more stuff.  I picked Poppy up from their house because Mama was already at the apartment.  On the way over Poppy was telling me about some of his career and college decisions.  It was really interesting.  He started college because he didn't like the job he had and all of this friends were going to college, which makes sense.  Then he started by going into Abnormal Psychology because his mom suffered from depression, and he wanted to figure out how to help her.  But then he realized that he really didn't like it and went into Fine Arts.  It was all really interesting.

When we got to the apartment, we ate some food that we had gotten along the way.  After about 10 minutes the furniture people showed up with Poppy's surprise Father's Day chair!  Woo!  He wasn't expecting it at all.  When we had gotten that all settled, Poppy and I moved some more boxes into the apartment.  When we had finished, we went back to their house... after stopping by Walgreens to get some cards, of course.  Then we played Canasta.  I beat him pretty soundly... I just kept getting amazing cards!  I felt bad, but obviously not bad enough to make me do anything different :)

When I came home dad and I heated up some left over chicken and rice for dinner.  We finished eating and went to the soccer field to move some of the goals.  And dad locked me out of the car when it was raining!  So obviously when he ran out of the car to check something I did the same to him :)  When we got back... I think I played Assassin's Creed and Team Fortress 2 for the rest of the night.  I talked with mom and dad when mom got back from work.  And I played Minecraft with Kimmy! I was going to take a picture of my house... by forgot.  Tonight, perhaps.


Day 25

-dary.  It was brought to my attention that I had not finished my pre-trip statement that the trip was going to be "legen- (wait for it)."  So now the statement is finished, and the trip is now officially legendary.  I think that I should also let it be known that this is very much a "first draft" type of blog.  I don't sit down and think about what I want to say before I publish it.  I just write and hope it makes a little bit of sense.

Some people have asked me about the nature of the title "I'm wearing a shirt."  Allow me to explain.  When I am on break, I don't usually go anywhere or do anything.  I stay at home a lot.  On most days I get almost completely dressed... but I have trouble putting a shirt on.  I have no issue putting an undershirt on, but putting on a t-shirt just seems pointless when I'm not going anywhere.  So it's always a significant event when I put a shirt on because that means that I'm actually doing something with that day.  So this blog is my metaphorical shirt: updating it makes me feel like I'm doing something with my day.  Hence the title.

Anyhow, back to the actual blogging.  Yesterday started.  I got up a little later than normal, around 9.  After I got up I decided that I really was in no mood to be productive, so I played Crysis for a while.  Just as I was about to start doing homework, I realized that I needed to update my blog.  So.... I ended up not doing homework then.  Oh well.  After that I took a shower.  Then I got Kimmy woke up and we got lunch and watched Big Bang Theory.  When we were done with lunch, Kimmy took a nap because she's not been feeling well.  I went to the grandparents' to help them pack some more.  When I got back, I did some homework.

When mom got home from work, we started making dinner, which was chicken and yellow rice.  Then after dinner Kimmy and I went to go play Settlers of Catan with Becky, Miles, and James.  Becky won and it was her first time playing!  I blame James for constantly stealing from me.  Jerk.  And then we came home and I helped Kimmy pack.  She has to leave today :(  I am sad for this.  We tried to convince her to stay, but she kept saying that she had to go home and things.  Which was clearly silliness... silly Kimmy.  But that is all.  The end.


Day 24

I'm really bad at remembering to blog at night, so I seem to have begun blogging about the previous day.  Hm. Maybe I can fix that...

Yesterday started with being lazy for a while, doing some nothing, and then catching up on some homework.  After a significant amount of lazy (along with a little bit of TF2) I got Kimmy up for lunch.  After lunch we measured the front and side of the house for my current project: recreating our house in Minecraft.  It has been going well so far, but slow.  Very slow.  Blarg.  I'll be sure to post pictures of the progress if I remember.

Then we went to the grandparents' to help them begin moving into their new place!  We loaded up the van and their car and took some things into their garage and their apartment at one of the local retirement villages.  Their new place is very nice and the people there are very friendly.  They have a theater where they show movies twice a week, but you can go in any time and watch your own movies.  There was a group of residents playing Wii Bowling.  It was fun to watch.  They were having a good time and were actually pretty good at it.

After moving and things, we came back home and started making dinner.  I believe it was Chicken with Something and Penne.  Mom had to stay a little bit later to work, so she got back about the time we were done.  Dad had soccer practice, so we just sat around and talked with mom.  Then Kimmy and I played some Minecraft and we showed mom our creations.  She liked it.  I explained the idea of "sandbox games" to mom.  She said that she thinks she'd like that kind of game :)

Later that night Kimmy and I went to go so X-men: First Class with Becky and Miles.  It was really good.  Like, a lot of really good.  Afterwards we went to Deny's.  The waitress was really nice.  She and Miles had the same taste in and appreciation for grits.  It was funny.  And then Miles and I exchanged bad room mate stories.  It was a good time.  Then we all went home and it was bed time!


Day 23

Ah, back from vacation.  No more driving or eating baby carrots and pretzels.  I slept in til about 9:30 and had a bagel for breakfast.  Apparently I forgot that I had put it in the toaster, because it was cold when I went to go eat it.  Oh well, it was still good.  After breakfast I was going to go mow the lawn, but it didn't need it.  So I chopped up some firewood instead.  When I was done with that I took a shower.  Woo!

Then it was lunch time.  I had a sandwich.  I decided to do something a little different and use Mesquite seasoning on it.  This was an excellent decision.  Unfortunately I did not have any lettuce at the time.  However, it seems that we now have a surplus of lettuce that shouldn't be an issue any more.

Let's see.  After lunch I cleaned my room up and took care of all my luggage and things from the trip.  That took a while.  I also went through my mail that I received from the time we were gone.  Before we left I got involved with an anonymous gift exchange through a website I frequent.  So when we got back I got my present!  Woo!  I got a an XKCD comic book, a travel book on Petra (because I've always wanted to go), and a book entitled What the don't teach you in college.  I also got a Pi ice cube tray and a tiny Nikola Tesla figurine.  I was pretty excited.  Oh!  And I got an invitation to Rachel and Trevor's wedding. Yay team!

After all that business, I worked on my blog for a while, updating all of my trips and such.  I realized that having all of the photos really messed up the formatting... but I just didn't care.  After an hour and a half it really was not significant to me. Oh well!

After dinner Kimmy and I went to go see grandparents and help them move some stuff.  I'm going to be going to help them move just about every day, so that will be fun!  Except while I'm at camp.  It seems that I'm going to helping out at OSAS this summer, which is in about a week and a half.  So that will be interesting.

Let's see.  When we got back, Kimmy and I played some Assassin's Creed. She'd always wanted to play, so I showed her how and things.  And then after that mom came home.  She'd had a rough day at work :(  But hopefully it gets better.  On Tuesdays she has to work from 9 to 9 or so and she has to deal with lots of grumpy people.  And people who don't understand what "impossible" is.  But she's a trooper.  After she and dad went to bed, Kimmy and I played Minecraft with Jared and Kanissa.  It was fun.  And then it was my bed time.  The end.


Day 22

Last day of traveling.  We left around 8.  Lots of driving, sleeping, and eating carrots.  I will not be sad if it's a long time before I eat carrots again.

The day went by in a blur.  I don't remember too many details, just that I'm glad it's over.

When we got to the Chicago area there was a lot of traffic.  We had to go around it, which was kind of exciting because we only vaguely knew where we were going.  But we found it!  And dad really needs a new atlas for the van...

Um.  We drove some more.  And eventually we got home!  This is not an exciting update because... I just wanted to be home.  And I really don't remember much about this day.  The end.

Day 21

And today we began our return home.  It started with taking Amber, Jesse, and Lily to the airport.  Mom's flight was later so Aunt Shasta took her.  The Bozeman airport is really small.  Like, a lot.  I think it might be smaller than the Toledo airport.  Anyhow, we got them sent off with no issues.  And then the road trip began.  Woo.

Dad started driving while I slept.  We drove.  Then we probably switched drivers/sleepers and drove some more.  Sometime in the afternoon we arrived in South Dakota and went to the Badlands!

It's a green rose!

After we were done at the Badlands, we drove some more.  I think that we finally got to our hotel around 10:30.  And we were tired.

The Montana Update: Day 20

This was the last day of vacation. Dumb!  We took a trip over to the town of West Yellowstone.  It was a lot of fun.  There was a welcome center and some shops and things.  Dad took us to lunch at a barbecue place.  It was really tasty.

Jessie the Cowgirl!
After all that silliness, we stopped by the Artist Paint Pot and saw some more pretty mud and springs and such.  
Lily isn't very good at sitting in her seat


When we got back we had dinner and spent the rest of the night packing and cleaning.  We were all sad to leave.  And we had to get up early in the morning.  Blargh.

The Montana Update: Day 19

Jessie and Richard had to leave today.  Boo!  So they got ready and left around 9:30.  After being all lazy and things for a while Jesse, Amber, Kimmy, Lily and I got ready to go back to Old Faithful.  Mom was getting over a cold, so she decided not to go.  We stopped by Subway on our way out of town and encountered some really neat people.  The guy who worked the cash register made a point to show me my receipt and where the price was… because clearly I had no idea how a receipt worked or anything.   I learned on that trip that apparently using my computer in a moving car makes me feel nauseas.  So that was less than fun.  I was trying to do some economics homework, but I decided that feeling sick was not worth it.  So I stopped.  Lily was all acting up, so Amber went in the back to make her feel better and I drove.  When we got to Old Faithful we walked around some of the paths that go around the geyser.  That was lots of fun.  We found a bridge and played Pooh Sticks on it.  I would have won if Kimmy hadn’t cheated!  She threw her stick down instead of dropping it… so clearly I won because I followed the rules.
After wandering and things, Jesse and Amber talked with a painter at the Old Faithful Lodge about buying artwork for Jesse’s dad.  Apparently the artist had been a firefighter for about 20 years, so he had a lot of firefighter related artwork.  Jesse’s dad used to also be a firefighter, so clearly that was all good and things.  They ended up buying him a sweet painting and things.  Well, not “and things,” just a painting.

On the way back we got to see a really good view of some thing of which I forget the name.  It was really cool though!

After returning, I finished my economics homework and a friend of Aunt Shasta’s came to join us for dinner.  Her name was… something.  I’m bad at this game.  Shoot.  Anyhow, she was really nice.  We had stir fry for dinner and it was lots of tasty.  And then after dinner we played Farkle… and mom won!  We were all proud of her.  They kept asking me to find the probability of certain things happening… but apparently I’ve been out of school for too long.  Whoops!

Umm… after Farkle Jesse and Kimmy and I cleaned up the kitchen and played some more Ominoes!  And now it is bed time.

The Montana Update: Day 18

I’ve been getting behind on keeping everything up to date, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten lots of details.  Today was Lounge Around Day.  We didn’t go anywhere, really.  Just stayed at the house and played games.  After our morningly Coffee and Lazy time, we played some Dominoes, which have been affectionately renamed Ominoes or Nominoes, depending on the situation.  Usually they become Nominoes when Lily is gnawing on them.

After lunch we went into town and walked around.  We visited Olivia at her new job at the Tumbleweed cafĂ©/deli thing.  It was nice.  Then we walked around town some.  Kimmy and I went to get ice cream (surprise).  After ice cream we went back to Aunt Shasta and Uncle Mike’s house.  I was going to take a nap but then Kimmy wanted to play Lego Harry Potter, so we did that instead.

For dinner we had really tasty stew.  And after dinner I believe that we played more games!

The Montana Update: Day 17

We started hiking a trail when we ran into this.  In June.

Friends!  We know them!

This is pretty
Today began with the normal getting up, coffee, and being lazy.  After breakfast (cereal), we got ready and headed out to the Upper and Lower Falls.  It was a bit of an extra drive because one of the main bridges was closed.  Traveling takes a long time when there are only two roads and due to road conditions, people stopping, animals, and low speed limits.  So a 20 miles drive took us about an hour.  Yay.  But the falls were sweet!  It rained off and on, so that was wonderful and things.  But we made it.

After the falls we were to Black Dragon Cauldron or something.  When I was 6 we went there and I eloquently named it Double Stinky Swamp.  It is literally the most putrid smell in the entire world.  Everyone should definitely go there sometime.  It smells like pure sulfur… right in your nose. It’s great.

After that we came back home and Kimmy and I made tacos!  They were way tasty.  And Kimmy made Key Lime Bars!  They were amazing and everything.  After dinner we all played games.  Some of us played Phase 10, others played dominoes.  I won, of course.  Actually I lost… by a lot.  But it was woah fun.  And then it was bed time.

The Montana Update: Day 16

This morning was pretty standard.  Wake up early, sit around and drink coffee, stare aimlessly at the wall as people slowly wake up.  Mom made eggs and bacon from breakfast.  It was yummy.  After everyone was ready for today’s adventures, we left of Tower Falls.  It was about an hour long drive.  We saw lots of friends (bison and elk) along the way.  But when we got there we learned that the lower half of the trail was closed, so we could only walk down the first half of the trail.  Blarg.  And it was raining  L

After Tower Falls we went back to Mammoth and had lunch.  Our normal lunch spot was taken, so we kind of took over some entryway thing.  We had lunch meat and cheese.  I’m a pretty big fan of that.  Then we went to the general store.  I’m not sure what everyone got, but I got mom and dad a new spoon rest!  Kimmy and I decided that we were going to start getting mom and dad spoon rests from various places because we’re cool like that.  So I got them the spoon rest from this trip!  After the general store we went to the hot springs and walked around for a little bit.

Please let's notice the sweet kid with the yellow rain jacket

When we got back from Mammoth we got ready to go rafting!  It was raining all day and rafting was cold, but it was way fun.  We got to wear wet suits and things.  The helmets were funny looking and everyone made fun of me…  And then Jesse was playing tricks on me!  We had changing rooms to get dressed in and every time I knocked on the door Jesse would say it was occupied.  The dressing rooms were all in a row and connected and had really shady walls in between so it sounded like Jesse was in all of the rooms at the same time.  It was weird and I just wanted to go rafting!  Silly him.  But rafting was fun.  It was cold and wet, but way fun.  Our guide told bad jokes, so obviously that made it better.

After rafting we came back and had chili for dinner!  Woo!  And then after we cleaned up, I took a nap and everyone else watched a movie.  Then dad and I were anti-social in the basement and just read and things.  Because we felt like it.  And we ate ice cream.

And now it’s time for bed.

The Montana Update: Day 15

This morning started like other mornings, with people slowly getting up as we assembled in the main room and drank coffee.  Mom made really good pancakes for breakfast.  After we got all packed and things, we started driving out to Old Faithful!
This guy's hair is amazing

The trip went well until about an hour and a half in when we hit (figuratively) traffic.  And we remained in traffic for about two hours.  Apparently there was a herd of bison fluttering about the road, so people were being all slow.  There was a park ranger directing traffic, but he couldn’t really direct the bison.  He did his best.  Oh well.  Kimmy, Jessie, Richard and I were in the other car (we took two), so Kimmy went to the van to make us sandwiches while we waited.  She’s nice like that.

When we eventually arrived at Old Faithful, we ate lunch part 2 and watched the geyser erupt.  It was cool and things.  Afterwards we walked to the visitor center and gift shop.  Kimmy and I got sweet ceramic mugs!  And I got some awesome pictures.

When we got back, mom and aunt Shasta made dinner.  We had grilled chicken, corn salad stuff, and some other thing that was really good.  After dinner Kimmy and I brought up the cookie cake that we made.  Amber was surprised… somehow she hadn’t caught on.  I figured she would have because I’m bad at keeping secrets and at talking quietly.  Oh well.  She liked it and it tasted really good.

After dinner and cleaning up Kimmy and I went for a walk/sit down by the river.  It was nice but there were not many places to sit.  Dumb.  When we came back we all played Scattergories.  I don’t recall anything exciting happening.

My deep thought recently has been generally related to the book I’ve been reading. Something that the book has really focused on is how there are so many more important things to be worrying about than a person’s sexual orientation and how if we just focus on getting to know God better, he’ll let us know if we’re doing something incorrectly. If we believe that God truly is all powerful, then we really shouldn’t worry about changing anyone because God’s going to do it if or when he’s good and ready, and not a moment sooner. I also believe that there is an important connected thought that most people don’t like to think about because it’s scary: how do we know whether we’re going to heaven? There is never a straight forward “do these things and ye shalt forever be in heaven.” There is, however, a section that talks about how not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord is going to heaven. The implication is that simply “talking the talk” will not gain you access to eternal life with God. I believe that the crux of my idea rests in James where he talks about how we must “show our faith by our works.” This is different than acquiring faith through works. The idea of showing faith by works is that we love God so much that we want to do things for him and his friends. It’s like the way we treat our friends: we don’t love our friends because we hang out with them and do things with them, but doing things with them is our way of expressing love for them. Related: I don’t like catchphrases. Things that rhyme aren’t necessarily true. However, one that has true depth to it is that “they will know that we are Christians by our love.” Now, from my understanding “love” is supposed to be an expression of our feelings and a positive action. So by loving someone you are doing something for them. So people are supposed to know that we are Christians by the kind things we do. You know what else? I think that “they” doesn’t just refer to other people. I think that it also refers to God. I believe that God knows that we are Christians by our love. And if that’s the case, some of us (myself included) really need to start stepping up out game. Now, I do not believe that God has a check list of things we can and cannot do, using complex formulae to determine who enters heaven. I think that he’s simply looking for people that love Him and are expressing that love through their interactions with other people. Our interactions include our service towards friends, enemies and strangers, our idle talk, and our personal convictions.  I personally believe that God would rather hang out with people who are away of their sin but are doing their best to be better people than those who pretend to have it all together and hold that as a point of judgement over those who struggle through life.  By God's standard, telling one small lie is the same as conducting the Holocaust.  So instead of pretending that we're better than anyone else (because we aren't), let's just working on respecting, befriend, and loving everyone regardless of their past, their opinions, and their convictions.  Jesus did, and I think that's a pretty good example.

Alright.  That's all for now.