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Florida post coming :)

It’s coming, I promise. Probably later tonight or early tomorrow.

Sort of a pet peeve. Or something like that.

OKAY. Rant time.

I call everything coke. If I am referring to Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer…ANY sort of carbonated drink, I refer to it as COKE. It’s all Coke. “Hand me that coke.”

I don’t know why. I’m gonna assume it’s because I grew up with it. My mom grew up in Ohio and therefore calls it soda. After a long, hard childhood of this, my brothers and I finally broke her of it. But nothing, not even people calling it soda, annoys me as much as people calling it POP. My dad was born in Nebraska but grew up in France for most of his life and then moved to New England, and then to Texas, and then to Pennsylvania until his family finally settled down in West Palm Beach, FL. Therefore he is thoroughly confused on these matters. But don’t worry, he calls it coke too.

So now the point.

When you are standing in the kitchen with your mom and she’s carrying in groceries, she says to you “Please go out to the car and help me bring in the groceries.”

My mother says this to me and guess what? We don’t own a car. We own a van. THIS IS THE SAME BASIC CONCEPT, PEOPLE. Just try to work with me here.

People try to find argument with my calling it all coke and I’m like “Dude you have an SUV (or van or jeep or assault vehicle or whatever) and you call it a car. It ain’t a car. I call my mountain dew coke and it ain’t coke. GETTTT OVVVERRR ITTTT.”

So I don’t know if this would be labeled as a pet peeve or what, all I know is that if you walk up to the counter and be like “Hey it’s pop!”…..there are no promises that I will not smack you where you stand.

(This was all said with love. Sort of.)

I will praise You in this storm.

Last night I was laying in bed thinking about what I had going on this week, like I usually do on Sunday nights. I don’t have a lot going on these next few days but as I thought about this upcoming weekend, I knew there was something going on but I was like 1/4 asleep and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then in one instant it hit me.

Andrew’s moving.

I knew this was coming for about 5 months now, but somehow it hadn’t hit me yet. Then suddenly I realized I’d never have another Saturday movie night with him again. I’d never go to church with him again. His schedule is so busy with packing and seeing old friends this week that he won’t be home hardly at all, so I’ll never get to play 2-square with him again. He’ll be back for a week in December, but he’s pretty much gone. We have phone calls and Skype and that kind of stuff…but he’ll never be in the next room if I need help understanding my math and science (his strong points.). He won’t be there to make me laugh when I don’t think laughing is possible. He won’t be there to chase me around with the BB gun pretending he’s gonna shoot me. He always did that to freak me out. He won’t be there to play games with me when I’m bored.

I know I’m making it sound like he died, and believe me, I’m more thankful than ever that he’s not dead…but he’s really gonna be gone.

The past 8 months haven’t been super easy on me. I’m not here to complain. I just needed to get this out somewhere and I didn’t know where else. So please bear with me? Thanks.

There have been a lot of goodbyes one after another and I’ve lost some close friends that if you had asked me a year ago I would have thought I’d never lose. It’s just amazing how much life can change in one year. I’ve been knocked down so many times. I’ve learned so much, I’ve learned (I know I’ve posted about this before.) how Jesus is our only true, constantly loyal friend.

Sometimes it feels like I can’t get the strength to keep going. Then I’ll get an encouraging note from someone and I *know* it came from God and it strengthens me so much. I’m probably making a mountain out of a mole hill (never thought I’d use THAT phrase.) but sometimes when you don’t have anyone to lean on, everything that happens seems 500% worse. I don’t know if you guys know how that feels. Sometimes I forget that I have a loving Father in heaven who will NEVER stop loving me. He’s always there. Even though I can’t hug him or have a regular 2-way conversation about life, He’s the best listener there’s ever been. He’s amazing at giving advice. He’s the best Comforter ever.

Whenever I have that horrible pain where I can’t stop missing someone even though it’s been months, I always listen to this song. It’s the most comforting thing ever. It always fits my situation so perfectly and it brings me back to that spot where I feel the comfort of God so much. It’s like He’s right there next to me telling me He’s never gonna leave and I just need to look to Him and lay my burdens there. Here’s the song:

I was sure by now that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say Amen and it’s still raining.
As the thunder rolls, I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”… and as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands. For You are who You are no matter where I am. And every tear I’ve cried, You hold in Your hand. You never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.

I remember when I stumbled in the wind. You heard my cry, You raised me up again.
But my strength is almost gone. How can I carry on if I can’t find You?

As the thunder rolls, I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”…and as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.
And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands. For You are who You are no matter where I am.
And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand. You never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.

I lift my eyes unto the hills…
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands…for You are who You are no matter where I am.
And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand. You never left my side and though my heart is torn,
I will praise You in this storm…and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.

—-

I’m just so thankful that God never gives up on us. I love you guys, and I’d appreciate your prayers because I’m going to miss my brother more than anything. Thank you for everything, guys. I love y’all so much. ❀ ❀

Campout!

To start out, this was the weirdest campout I’ve been on yet. Not bad weird, just different.

Usually we get there and leave within 10 minutes, this time we were there for like half an hour or more before we left. We also met by the warehouse and FH instead of the middle level (obviously…cuz the middle level is gone. lol.) so that threw off the feel of everything.

Then we usually use a big bus, but there were less than 15 of us so we just took the small bus.

Then we get to the campsite and we played like 10-15 minutes of the usual round-robin games..but we usually do those for like EVER. Am I the only one that remembers being out by the lake playing like an hour or more of games and we all want to go swimming SO so bad but we have to play games first? haha. That didn’t happen this year. We were done in 15 minutes and PR was like “free time!”. OH and it was a different campsite. We went to a different one for my first 2 years.

Anyway. The whole thing just felt really different. But it was SO MUCH FUN! I’m serious. It was amazing. On the bus ride there, we bus surfed. haha. because we were using a small bus we were all smashed up next to each other and it made things really interesting. haha. plus I was videoing it and hence I fell down like every single bump and turn. haha.

OH MY WORD and there were Hannah’s stories! hahahaha. Hannah had this endless amount of jokes and stories..and they were quite disappointing. πŸ˜‰Β  I don’t think she’ll mind if I copy down the story she told. Here it is how I remember:

There was a boy who was 3 years old…his parents asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he replied “A bucket of green golf balls.” His parents looked at each other and were like “Well, that’s nice sweetie, but we really think you should have something else.” So they bought him a toy truck. On his 4th birthday they asked him again what he wanted and he replied “A bucket of green golf balls.” and his parents were like “heh heh, maybe for your 6th birthday.” So his parents come up to him on his 6th birthday and ask “What do you want?” and he says “Well, I really want a bucket of green golf balls.” So they’re like “..what?? little boys like cars and trucks and things like that!” so they bought him new toy cars, and he really liked them. So he keeps getting older and for his 10th birthday the parents are like “What do you want for your 10th birthday?” and again he replies “Well, I really really want a bucket of green golf balls.” So since he was in boy scouts, they bought him a really cool knife and he really liked it, too. And then a few years later on his 16th birthday, they ask him what he wants and they’re expecting like a car or something cool like that and again he replies “I really, REALLY want a bucket of green golf balls.” and they’re like “Wow.” and so they end up buying him a car. So about a week later he’s driving around in his car and he gets in a really bad wreck. So he’s in the hospital and his parents come rushing into his room and they’re like “We’ll give you anything you ask for! Anything!!!” So he’s lying on the bed and he’s like “..I really want a bucket of green golf balls.” and they’re like “Okay!! We’ll get you green golf balls! You’ve been asking all your life and we’ll get them for you now! But, tell us, could you tell us, why you want a bucket of green golf balls?!” and he’s like “..well I really wanted them because”…. and then he died.

The whole bus was silent and we were like “REALLY. REALLY, HANNAH?!”

And then once we were depressed from those stories, we played catch phrase! πŸ˜€ We started out all formal with like every other person on a team, and then the whole bus joined in so everyone guessed for every word. It was super fun. πŸ˜€

The lake was awesome. We had an uber cool team even though we lost every game. haha. We were Team 3 and all the other teams had like 10 or more points and we had 0. haha. but we had sooo much fun. It was Cole, Carl, Sam, Josh Rush, Johanna, Ruthie, Heidi and me.

THE CANOE RACE. Usually we have the canoe race a few minutes after dinner but the wind started picking up during dinner and the lake was seriously crazy. There’s a picture below and I don’t know if it looks like it, but the waves were massive. So we’re all standing there by the shore like “…there is no way this is going to happen. We’re going to get tipped the second we get out there.” Plus it would’ve been literally impossible to paddle against that stuff. So PR decided to do the challenge first. That was another different thing about this campout. We’ve always had it around the campfire and as soon as it’s done the girls run to the bus. This time because of the wind, we couldn’t have a fire until way later so we just had the challenge in the pavilion. Anyway, so we had the challenge and then walked back out to the lake and the waves had calmed down somewhat. They were still way big, though. I got paired up with Daniel Leedy for the first race and we got 2nd. (There were only 3 canoes going in each race, though. but hey! we didn’t get last. :p) So on the way out we didn’t have to do a ton of effort because the waves were going with us but as soon as we turned the corner to come back, we were suddenly going against the waves and we were like “ERGGGGH!” and yeah. good times. haha. I got paired up with Christian Walker for my second race and we got 1st in that race, and over the whole night we got 3rd place πŸ™‚ I know Heidi and Jesse got 2nd for the whole night but I forget who got 1st…? Anyway. It was definitely eventful. lol.

Later after the canoe race, we all got smores and sat around the campfire and talked. Mr. Jones and I were talking about setting Christmas trees on fire and many other pyromaniac things. lol. He told me (random story) that he was framing for this house and the closet for the master bedroom had 3 bathrooms in it. I was like “Dude I don’t even have 3 bathrooms in my whole house!” and he was like “They have at least 15 bathrooms over the whole house.”Β  lol. Crazy people. :p

I have to go get ready for teen club but there are pics below! Some of ’em have captions so you have explanations πŸ˜‰ haha. I’ll post about Florida probably tomorrow sometime! peace ❀

Coming soon. Don’t lose faith. ;)

Hey guys! I’ve been on the campout + vacation for the past week but I will have a post up tomorrow afternoon! I just haven’t even had the slightest chance to get on here. I’ll be posting about the campout and Florida and all that good stuff. Talk to you tomorrow. Thanks for the patience. =)

he’s all gwaduwated.

I’m half-sad, half-happy. Andrew graduated with his bachelors degree on Saturday! He’s an official airplane mechanic and has had like 40 fancy sounding titles bestowed on him. But the sad part is he’s moving away in 2 weeks from Friday. 😦 We won’t see him again until Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas (he has to choose one or the other.) so I’m in denial.

I wanted to post about my childhood. In a sort of sentimental, reminiscing (I SPELLED THAT RIGHT ON THE FIRST TRY! YEAH!) way. But I promise I won’t cry. *straightens up.

My childhood is full of all kinds of memories, just like everyone else’s. But mine is unique..just like everyone else’s. Yeah. Anyway. When I was a child, we had this swing that was attached to a tree in our yard… well, let me do a back story. So we went to this park and we were swinging on the swings (This was when I was like 7.) and one of us mentioned that we wish we had swings at our house. So being the Willis’ that we are, we decided to go one step farther. We have this huge tree behind our shed and it had a super high branch..like..60 feet up. so we took a 5 pound weight, tied it to the rope we wanted to use for our swing and Andrew launched it into the air in an attempt to get it over the branch. Needless to say, it took us about 45 tries to get it over but we finally got a rope over the branch and we tie it this piece of wood. Here: and here’s the awesome tree: I tried 2 different things to rotate that and it won’t. so you’re gonna have to turn your head. it’s the big tree RIGHT behind the shed. should be fairly obvious. so anyway, now we had this swing. this swing was AMAZING. We could fly over our woods and go launching back way over the top of our driveway. It was huge. And the first few times we each rode on it we were scared beyond comprehension. Like the kind of scared where you scream because you’re so terrified your brain stops functioning to prevent having a heart attack. And then we got used to it and it was just AWESOME. There was so much you could do with this swing. It was perfect for calm rides and it was like having a rollercoaster in your back yard. We had the Wartaks over for dinner one night, though, and Seth was riding on the swing and we forgot to tell him that if you aimed wrong you sometimes smacked into the shed instead of going over the driveway.. (minor details, minor details).. so he was just up there having the time of his life and then WHAM! he smacked really hard into the side of the shed and was in major pain for the rest of the night. See what we did when that happened is put our feet out to bounce off the shed…but then again we were professionals at this thing. πŸ˜‰ you should’ve seen the injuries we had from the first few trial runs of it. heehee. So I think Kaylene rode on this swing…she must have because I know I had her over during the years it worked. So now the sad news starts. About 3 years ago I started noticing that the branch our beloved swing was on was kind of wearing away at the point where the rope was, so I told dad and he was like “oh yeah…y’all shouldn’t use the swing anymore.” cuz I mean, if it were to break while we were over the woods, we’d fall like 30 feet into trees. and inevitably break every bone in our bodies. So I was like heartbroken, cuz that’s my swing! so anyway, it sat there for a year or so and then we decided it could be used on my nephews and nieces (the small ones) to have short regular boring swing rides. so while this was happening, the swing got caught in another tree that’s right by our shed. (Actually in the picture above of the swing close up, it’s stuck in that tree.) And the tree that it got stuck in has no branches…and the swing’s pretty high in it. So there’s no chance of climbing up there and freeing it. So our swing has seen it’s last. 😦 But I’ll never forget the amazing times I had on that thing.

500 Rummy is another one of those childhood memories. Idk if y’all have ever played Rummy…but it’s a card game. And I could explain it to you or you could take my word for it that it’s super awesome. A person gets an average of 20 points every round..and a round takes about 10 minutes…so playing 500 Rummy (you win by getting to 500 points) takes determination. haha. I think Andrew, Ben and I only got through about 10 rounds in our childhood where we actually finished. Most of the time we got to around 350 and decided to call it a game. lol.

2 square! Yeah, we had good times with this one. When we first moved to our house, we had one of those neighbors. The kind that will find something wrong with EVERYTHING you do. and I do mean everything. We didn’t mow one small part of land and he called a surveyor out to prove that we owned that land and should henceforth mow it. He hated our dogs with a burning passion. He forbid me and Ben from climbing a tree that was on the line of our property and his EVEN THOUGH IT WAS LIKE THE PERFECTEST CLIMBING TREE EVER. (not bitter…). and yeah. he moved away a couple years ago and our life has been wonderfully grand but this does have a point. I promise. So anyway, our culdesac. Most of you have been to my house…but some of you haven’t, so here’s a pic of my culdesac. this is my wonderful yard. but right up in front of those 2 mailboxes at the top of my yard is our loverly culdesac. AHA! cough. I found another better picture. just ignore the 3 idiots at the front of it. hee. So the whole point of this is..look at the back of that picture. The white lines. This actually does have something to do with my obnoxious ex-neighbor. Just keep reading. If any of you have actually made it this far. If you have, you have a very special place in my heart. So we love playing 2 square, but we had to keep drawing our square on with chalk every time it rained. And we had to measure it all out and and it was super annoying. So we decided to paint it on. And so we’re out there with stencils and measuring tape and white spray paint and our neighbor comes out and looks at us and just stands there watching us and we’re like “please don’t say anything please don’t say anything” and he didn’t say anything. yay. so that box has been up there for about 7-8 years now πŸ™‚ good times.

Okay. I could go on and on but the point is…I had the awesomest childhood ever. And I wish I could do it all over again. I don’t want my brother to move out and my other brother to start college but sadly life goes on. And whenever they come home on Christmas breaks, I’m dragging them out to the 2 square box. muahaha.

Thanks for reading. Sorry I haven’t posted for a week.

live fearless.

P.S. Grad pics! woo!

Just saying.

I think everyone should go visit my awesome friend Rainbow’s blog! http://www.my-little-joys.blogspot.com

DO IT. You won’t regret it. It’s the essence of awesomeness. SHE is the essence of awesomeness. πŸ˜‰

Field Day!

so much fun!

The last 2 pictures are very special. πŸ˜‰ I’ve had this thing ever since I was little that I wanted to touch the branch at Eastside on the swing. And when I was little it was literally impossible but now it’s getting more possible and yesterday I came less than half an inch away from it but I COULDN’T DO IT. It was so aggravating. I was like THIS. IS. MY. DREAM. WHY. IS. IT. SO. IMPOSSIBLE. and Heidi took pictures of me trying to fulfill it. haha. But I failed again. Next year I WILL get it. I will.

exploring the new church. what part of it exists, anyway. :D

Tonight after Teen club Hannah, Tori and I decided to explore the new concrete slab thing that is the foundation of our new church. We probably weren’t supposed to be out there…technically…maybe…I have no clue. Someone told me Pastor Minnick let people out there so ANYWAY we decided to do it. And I had my camera with me. We had so much fun. Tori was like “HEY GUYS LET’S DO THIS AND THIS!” πŸ˜‰ and Hannah and I were like the logical, practical ones like “Tori…we’d have to pay so much money if that went wrong.” hahahaha. it was a blast.

I had gone up there about 20 minutes earlier with Sierra and Sara and we got locked up there. It was kind of scary at first. Sara and I came up with literally 25 ideas of how we could get down. We were like ‘Okay, there’s a ladder leading up to the courtyard…that looks very insecure but if worst came to worst we could do it and OH we could go all the way around over there. It looks muddy…but I guess. And OH we could go down this way but what if that snapped? Yeah..’ and so we went through tons of different scenarios trying to figure out what would be the best idea and we had like keys, phones, and camera and only 2 pockets so we were like…whatever we choose can have no climbing. So Sara and I are up there like discussing all this and then Sierra shouts and we’re like where’d Sierra go?! and she’s like down by the fence and she’s like “I just jumped.” hahaha. and we were like “oh.” so she climbed the fence and went through the lower lobby and let us back in the building. But hey. It was an adventure. Even though Sara and I stood in the same place the whole time. haha. I didn’t get any pictures when I was w/ them so this is all of Hannah, Tori and me.

Okay the 3rd picture in this gallery…it turned out kind of blurry. It’s cuz we were standing like 100 feet away from the camera and it’s like pitch black out there except for street lights and anyway. What it’s supposed to be is, Hannah Tori and I were standing under the huge generator that was being held up by the crane. And we were pretending to be scared that it would fall on us. so squint and try to imagine that even though it’s zoomed in and blurry. πŸ˜€