Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Pictures

Here are some Christmas pictures from this year for you to enjoy. I think instead of taking a whole bunch of time to upload the photos here, I will simply post the public link to my Facebook photo album. From the link, you should be able to click the first photo in the album and then click "next" to see the next photo. I hope it works, and enjoy the pictures!

Merry Christmas!

It looks like today I'll be able to post about the Cunninghams' Christmas.

On December 22, we went to Grandpa Mike's house for our annual Christmas grazing/ feast. I wasn't feeling well that day (probably still recovering from the stress of the wedding the day before and falling ill with pneumonia), so I didn't get that many pictures as I usually do. We enjoyed the delicious punch, ham, fruit, and much more. The kids were downstairs with the Playstation, and the adults were upstairs in various conversations.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy's house for Christmas Eve. There was Uncle Jason and his family, Uncle Josh and his family, Grandma Linda and Great-Grandma Kline, Grandma Linda's sister Diane and her two children who came down from Chicago to celebrate with us, and then us five. The kids were excited about opening the presents and kept asking when they could open them. We enjoyed dinner first, and then the kids went outside to play. The puppy Tucker has grown huge, and he enjoyed chasing the frisbee and the boys. It got cold, so I went inside. Shortly after that, everyone gathered in the living room for presents. All the kids got Crocs for Christmas, and I've fallen in love with mine. Mandy and I got journal sets and bracelets from Grandma Linda, and we both got new shirts and new, warm fleeces. Dad got a new knife and a sweater from Alaska. Uncle Josh, Uncle Jason, and Dad got together and bought Grandma Linda a new digital camera that she has fallen in love with and has been inseparable from =). Then, the adults had a white elephant gift exchange, which was absolutely hilarious. One of the funniest items was a 30- year old electric saw that used to belong to Grandpa Mike and that is still being passed between Uncle Jason and Uncle Josh and is bound to last for a while. After we left Uncle Jason's house, we were almost to church to clean up when we had to turn around since Mom forgot her purse. We drove back to Houschton and then back to Buford once more, where we cleaned up the church. At home, we had our little annual Christmas Eve gift- opening. You see, every Christmas for the past few years, we kids have gotten a DVD set or individual DVDs, so we open those on Christmas Eve. This year, we received "The Princess Bride," " Men in Black," " Armaggedon," and I believe we got one more, but I don't remember if we did or not.

Christmas morning came. Mandy, being impatient, woke me up early at 8 AM, which she has been doing for the past few years and disturbing my sleep. Darn kid. Anyway, we got up and opened our presents. This year, Mom got spoiled big time. She got binoculars with a camera so she can get pictures of her birds, a MP3 and a car adapter, a CD of ocean music, and two big books. Dad got a frying pan and a spatula (since he's the breakfast guy and he always has problems with cooking his eggs just right) and a nice new coat. Seth got a CD of space music, new clothes, a board game, and more. Mandy got a board game, clothes, etc.... and I received a board game, clothes, a squishy pillow (although that was a late gift), a new bag to carry my laptop, etc... Then we cleaned up the living room and had quiche, our annual Christmas morning breakfast. Then we packed since we were driving down to Florida that afternoon.

I never knew on Christmas Day how many places were closed. We had passed Atlanta while driving down to Gainesville, Florida, and there were no restaurants. We ended up going to QT and finding whatever we could. We drove for several more hours, and it was close to 7 PM when we finally arrived. We had a late dinner of turkey, potatoes, rolls, and salad. Grandpa Large's house was nice, and the weather was pleasant outside. After watching some TV, we were put into our rooms. Seth had his own bed in the office, Mandy and I had a room, and Mom and Dad had their own room. I'm afraid I made sleep impossible for poor Mandy since I kept coughing. On Wednesday, we were going to go to Silver Springs but it was too expensive so we stayed home. We kids took turns playing Mario, and we watched Conan the Destroyer. After dinner of fish sticks and fries and dessert, we kids played Rummikub, a gift from Grandma Gail. That night I was put in Seth's bed, he moved in with Dad, and Mom moved in with Mandy since I was still coughing. On Thursday morning, we woke up for breakfast, packed up, and left. We drove all day and arrived home with Zaxby's for dinner. We watched a movie and hung out.

On Friday, Dad went in for one day of work. Mom took me to the doctor, where we discovered I had pneumonia. We hung out at home on Friday evening. On Saturday, we ran errands and did nothing of great importance. On Sunday, we went to Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy's church to see little Audrey Mae baptized, and we went to their house for lunch.

Well, New Year's is tonight. We're going to two get- togethers, I believe, this evening, and I'm looking forward to it. And so, a late Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wedding Pictures

I don't have many pictures of Jake and Brittny's wedding since I was a minor photographer. I promise to try to find pictures of the actual ceremony and of myself in the bridesmaid's dress. But, here are some pictures to tide you over until then.

Photo album 1: Preparations and events before the wedding

Photo album 2: Preparations right before the wedding and the reception

The Cough

For those of you who saw me or heard me over Christmas, you probably noticed I've been under the weather with coughing. Around 2 AM on Friday morning, several hours after returning home from a quick vacation in Florida, I suddenly had a dry coughing fit that lasted for 10- 15 minutes. I couldn't breathe, and I didn't know why I was coughing since there was nothing in my throat for me to cough up. Mom grew worried and moved me to the couch. She remembered that about ten years ago I had coughed like that... when I had had pneumonia. While I lay coughing on the couch, an amazing thing happened. At that moment, Mom received an e-mail that said, in case of a cough, to rub Vick's Vapor Rub on your feet. She told me to rub it on, and it worked! I had a great night of sleep, one of the best in a while. I'm sworn on it now.

On Friday afternoon, Mom took me in to the doctor to find out about my cough. After asking some questions, I was given a breathing treatment and told to go upstairs to get an x-ray since the doctor wanted to make sure that I didn't have pneumonia. I was so shaky, and my heart was racing from that breathing treatment of albuterol. When I got upstairs, I had another dry coughing fit while waiting to get an x-ray done. I got two x-rays done and took them back downstairs for the doctor to look at. He confirmed that I had pneumonia, in the early stages, in one of my lungs. Then I was given my prescriptions of albuterol, prednesone, and an antibiotic. I know now the pain Mandy goes through when she has her asthmatic attacks in the winter.

I'm feeling fine, except that I sometimes get a small fever and cough. I hope I can go to Audrey Mae's baptism tomorrow, and I would hate to stay home alone while everyone else goes. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when I'm sick and everyone else is away with others. It makes me feel alone, and I don't like it. But, I hope, with this medicine, I should get better within the next week. I hope so, since I don't want to be sick while starting the second semester of school.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Managing a Wedding

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I've been pretty busy lately with finals at GGC and then with Jake and Brittny's wedding. I did good on my finals, only having three out of five classes. I finally received my grades for my classes, and I made straight A's, so I'm happy about that. On the last day of finals (which was last Thursday), the little Tuesday/ Thursday lunch group met for probably the last time. We talked about what foods we liked and disliked and other random things. It was enjoyable.

On Monday, Seth and Mandy began their finals for Geneva. I stayed at home both Monday and Tuesday, cleaning the house. On Tuesday night, Mom "organized" a little science study group for her science students. We ate fried rice and potstickers, and the students mixed studying with goofing off. On Wednesday, the Geneva students finished their finals and began their Christmas Break.

Mandy's cough is doing somewhat better. She's not coughing as much as she used to, but if she runs around, she begins wheezing. So, Dad and Mom have her under strict orders not to run around or be too active. I've come down with a cold that has turned into a hoarse cough. Last Thursday, Seth left school early because he wasn't feeling well, but, as usual, he recovered quickly. Dad's attempting to keep us on our vitamins, but we haven't been as faithful in taking them.

And now, to talk about the wedding. The craziness of the whole thing started on Wednesday, when the bridesmaids, the bride, and the bride's future mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, and mother got together at Pottery Barn to paint bowls. We had a good time, and it took the bride's mind off of the wedding and helped her stress. On Thursday, Mom took us kids shopping for things for the wedding. We bought makeup for me, a new outfit for Seth to wear (which looks great on him), a few White Elephant gifts for Christmas, and I bought a gift for a friend. When we got home, I had to get ready since I would be spending the night with the Greers that night and would not be able to be home until late Friday night. It was hectic, and I admit that I was not in the best of moods. Finally, Mom dropped me off at the church for the rehearsal. I had bought new black shoes to wear for the wedding, and standing in them for ten minutes killed my feet. I was glad to switch shoes to my other high-heels. The rehearsal went well, except the flower girl Lydia did not walk down with her escort, so we decided she would walk down with her mother instead. After the rehearsal, we drove to the rehearsal dinner, which was very good. There was meat, mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes, potatoes, rolls, salad, and cheesecake. After the meal, everyone gathered in the living room for a little movie/ slideshow chronicling Jake and Brittny's lives. Then people had the opportunity to stand up and talk about Jake and/ or Brittny. After that, while everyone prepared to go, the groomsmen took some beer down to the basement for a little "party." From what I heard, they played poker and dared each other to leap from a hot hottub into a freezing cold pool. Anyway, I went home with the Greers since I needed to get my hair done in the morning. The Greers had guests staying with them, so I shared a bed with the maid-of-honor Bethany. Now, I've heard Mandy tell horror stories about sharing a bed with Bethany, and now I can say that they are all true. She tried to steal my blanket, forced me to put my legs on top of hers to keep them from moving, and slept right beside me, breathing right in my ear. Oh, well. I lived.

On Friday morning, we ate breakfast and then Brittny, Bethany, and myself went over to John Hudson's hair salon to get out hair done. We had fun taking pictures of each other during the process. Bethany and I wore smocks to be able to take our shirts off without damaging our hair, and it was cold outside. Brrrrrr. I wish that the brief period of summer temperatures had lasted longer. Anyway, while we were waiting, Brittny got hungry since she hadn't eaten breakfast. Mr. Hudson was generous enough to let us snack from his popcorn tin. It was just after 2 PM when Bethany was finally done. We had to go back to the Greer house to pick up a few things, and the car died right in the driveway. Thankfully, Brittny's cousin Nathan drove us over to the church to get ready. When we got there, we bridesmaids started putting on our dresses and applying our makeup. Many of the bridesmaids had trouble zipping into their dresses, and many of them also had trouble pinning the cloth at the top of the dress. Well, we finally managed to get ready and get started on pictures. Pictures took a while, and we had to go outside for a few of them, which was freezing cold even though the groomsmen were convinced it was hot inside the church. After pictures, we snacked in the little kitchen and began to get ready for the ceremony. The last hour, especially the last thirty minutes, were the hardest. I kept thinking "let's get this over with. Hurry up, clock!" Mr. Greer spoiled his daughter by buying her a "sinful" burger, fries, and coke from Burger King. The bridesmaids got pictures with the bride, re-applied makeup, and sat around waiting for the guests to arrive. In the last half of an hour, there was a problem with Brittny's zipper. The dress was tight around her waist and could not be fully zipped up. Mrs. Greer and the wedding coordinator Mrs. Raney were busy trying to fix the dress so that it looked decently zipped up. The bridesmaids went into the hall, waiting to go, but they were delayed because the mother of the bride was busy trying to fix her daughter's dress. Finally, we got started. We bridesmaids had adrenaline running, and we were excited.

Dorothy Forrester, who's married to Brittny's cousin, went down the aisle first. Then I went second. The groomsmen were waiting in their places, and they took the bridesmaids' arms to their positions. Brittny had organized the bridal party in such a way so that there was a groomsman, a bridesmaid, and another groomsman in a line. There were six bridesmaids and seven groomsmen, so Brittny's little brother Caleb provided the needed balance. I was excited when I walked down the aisle and wasn't that nervous. I couldn't see a thing without my glasses, so everything was in a blur. All the attendants and the flower girl had come down, and now it was time for the bride to show. The music began, and she entered on Mr. Greer's arm. One of the bridesmaids later told me that Brittny had been crying a little while walking down, and I noticed during the prayers that she was dabbing her eyes and cheeks with a tissue. The ceremony began with a short prayer and then a song. I was afraid of fainting or falling, so I kept bending my legs. And, heeding the advice of my mother, I did not close my eyes during the prayers. It helped keep my balance, and I suppose the step that I leaned against helped as well. The ceremony went well, and there was the usual "she's all yours," motioning that the bride and groom can kiss. Then, we walked back down the aisle and went into one of the rooms. I was told we didn't need pictures, so I rode in the van to Covenant for the reception.

The reception was beautiful, and the ladies who did it did it well. There were Christmas lights under the lace tablecloths, some of the food in, what looked like, Christmas present boxes. The groom's cake was clever. It was a piano with chocolate frosting and looked adorable. The bride's cake was pretty as well. The bride and groom arrived and greeted the guests. Then, there was the cake-cutting. On the groom's cake, Brittny shoved it into Jake's mouth, and the result was chocolate all over her cheek. After a while, it was time to toss the bouquet. I was close to catching it, but another girl caught it. Then, there was the matter of the garter. It went missing, so people had to go find it, which they did. Ben, brother of the bride, caught the garter. Later, the guests received their "wedding rice" to throw upon the bride and groom as they departed. Some people, claiming it tasted like sprinkles, began eating it. Then, the bride and groom appeared and ran out. Someone dumped a whole bunch of the "rice" all over the two of them. The wedding car was covered in toilet paper and the "just married" in some type of cream. The two drove away, and the wedding was over. Mom and Dad stayed behind to help clean up. After eleven PM, I was exhausted from such a big day, so Dad took me home.

The wedding was busy yet enjoyable. This was my first involvement in a wedding since Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy got married ten years ago, but this time I can actually hold the memories. I've got pictures, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet, so you'll have to wait for them. I will be sure to post them soon. Well, I gotta dash. Today is the Christmas feast at Grandpa Mike's house, and I don't want to miss out the meal.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last Week

While this is my week of exams, it is Mom's last exam and also the last week of classes for Seth and Mandy. Tonight, Mom has her biology final. She's definately looking forward to Christmas break. She needs it. Seth and Mandy have their finals next week, and then they are done for the semester. I believe that this week they are having their Christmas party and gift exchange at school. Today, I am officially done with math. On Wednesday, I'll take the Spanish exam, and on Thursday I'll take the computer exam.

Mandy's cough has not improved. On Monday she went to the doctor to get her prescription medicine. However, despite that medicine and the natural stuff and vitamins she was taking, her cough would not go away. On Friday, she got some more medicine. On Sunday night, she had a slight fever and didn't look like her normal, happy self. She's been sleeping on the couch in the living room, and she's had a humidifer by her side. But, the cough has yet to go away or lessen its grip on her. At night, she spends the first two hours coughing and then quiets down. But, waking up at 6:30 is hard since she's not slept very well. On Friday, Mom let her sleep in, and Dad (who had the day off) brought her over to school later. This morning, Mom let her sleep in again.

Yesterday was fun. Mandy had Bethany over after church, and Seth invited Christopher. The four went on a walk and then had a pinecone war. It was funny to watch. Dad borrowed Uncle Jason's motorcycle, so after night church he went home while Mom went to go pick up her cleaning check. When we got home, Dad had this forlorn look on his face, so Mom asked him what was wrong. I thought he had burned dinner or something, but nope. When he had gotten home, he checked on his two things of fermenting beer in the dining room. One of them looked gunky, which is a sign of very, very active yeast. Dad slowly began to relieve the pressure, and then a gallon of beer suddenly burst out and went all over the dining room wall, ceiling, floor, and table. Dad was in shock, and he was covered in it. When we got home, the house smelled like a bakery. It's cleaned up now, but there's beer spatter on the ceiling.

Nothing else much has happened. Oatmeal, who has been inside the house for a few weeks, got outside yesterday, and Mom is trying to find him before he vanishes for a month again. Fuzz has a sore on his tail, so he's wearing the Elizabethian collar. Our car's transmission has been acting funny lately, so Dad and Mom are taking it into the shop to have it looked at. Last night, when we were driving home, Mom noticed that the gas tank was empty. We panicked because the meter was right on E, and no one was carrying a cell phone. While waiting at a traffic light, the meter went up to 1/4 a tank, which is what it should have been. I'll be sure to post more family news as it comes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Almost There!

Today marks the beginning of the last week of classes at GGC. I have this week of classes, and then three days next week for final exams. And then, I am done for the first semester! It's that time of the semester when the teachers start cramming assignments. I have an English portfolio due next Monday, a career paper due Wednesday, a few computer assignments to deal with, and upcoming quizzes and reviews. I'll be glad when this break is over. So will Mom. Her classes are almost over as well, and she definitely needs a break. At least next semester won't be as bad because her Geneva at Home class will be using a book, which will make her job a lot easier. Seth and Mandy have two more weeks of classes; they have their final exams a week after Mom and I have ours.

Nothing extraordinary has happened lately in the house. On Saturday, I was supposed to go to the youth group/ white elephant gift exchange, but my eyes started acting funky and I suspected I was getting a migraine. The migraine never came. Sadly, while Seth and Mandy were gone, so were Dad and Mom, starting their Christmas shopping. The gag gifts party apparently was fun and a large success. Mandy's gift was a huge pair of men's underwear. She's been having a bit too much fun with them, I fear.

It seems that every year in January and February, Mandy gets a nagging chest cough and always needs to go to the doctor for medicine. This year, her cough came early. Last night she had to sleep on the couch, but she says her coughing still kept her up. Dad and Mom are figuring out a way to get her prescription medicine without going to the doctor, since she's had this cough before and we know what it is.

I've been counting down the days until Brittny's wedding. I'm eager to put on that dress, the makeup, and everything. I haven't been in a wedding for years, not ever since Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy got married and I was a flower girl. The only thing I'm dreading are my shoes. I wore them yesterday for a few hours to see how they felt. My feet were dying within fifteen minutes. I've got to practice wearing them and walking in them. Well, I still have eighteen days left to perfect a bridesmaid's walk down aisle and eighteen days to perfect standing up for about an hour at the front.

That reminds me. I have signed up for my 2008 spring semester classes at GGC. I've organized it better, hopefully, so that I only have to go in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And Thursday night. I'll be taking English, digital media (another required computer class), geography, chemistry w/ a chemistry lab, and political science aka American government. I'm thinking of deleting a class so that I can spend my lunch hours with my friend Blair and maybe the Tuesday/ Thursday lunch group.

Well, Spanish is calling my name. I have an interview today in Spanish, which is part of my final grade, so I better keep studying.