Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer, Sun, and Hail

Sorry for being lazy lately on the blog, but there's either not something to post about or I think about posting and then forget about it.

Well, first things first. There is a new Cunningham in the family! Last Sunday, Ainsley Clementine Cunningham was born. For some pics, click the link for about sixteen of them (and if I'll stop being lazy, then I'll add more pics that I took last Saturday when we visited Uncle Josh's house to bring the family dinner). When we went to Uncle Josh's house, he showed us pictures of Rivers as a baby, and we realized that Rivers and Ainsley look almost alike. Only time will tell if their personalities will be the same ;)

On Monday, we Cunninghams had a blast at Lake Lanier. At our last youth group, we had gone to an area next to Buford Dam to go swimming. However, that swimming excursion had been cut short because of time. Cliff Price decided to get some people together and have a swimming party of sorts at the same place. We had a nice crowd with the Price boys, Sarah and Michael Howland, Ben and Bethany Greer, Gabe and Noah Cunningham, and then Seth, Mandy, and myself. I didn't take that many pictures because I was swimming, and the ones that were taken were from great distances and are nothing spectacular. We spent about five hours at the lake. Dad came to pick up Seth and the boy cousins while Mandy and I went home with the Greers because we would be going shopping with them the next day. We had tacos for dinner and then the Greers took the Howland kids home. I slept in Bethany's bed while Mandy and Bethany slept in the living room. Ben had some pranks up his sleeve because he pulled them early Tuesday morning. He came into Bethany's room and put aluminum foil on my face (my response? I just threw it off and went back to sleep), and then he threw pillows at Mandy and Bethany. We woke up on Tuesday morning and had breakfast before leaving to go pick Brittny up and then drive to the Tangers Outlet in Commerce. We arrived there around ten and shopped for clothes in the smaller outlet center before going to the larger one. Mrs. Greer packed an excellent picnic lunch, and then we all scattered to various clothes and shoe stores. We finally met up around four o'clock and began the long, hot walk back to the car. Mandy and Bethany mainly bought school clothes (the dress code of blue or khaki bottoms and blue or white polo shirts has not changed in like three, four years). I bought myself a cute blue dress, some black gauchos, two pairs of socks, and a cute gray and green striped shirt (I was trying to shop for more fall-esque clothing and not do the usual summer shopping for tank tops). After our shopping was completed, Mrs. Greer drove me and Mandy home.

Now begins the third exciting event of Monday and Tuesday. While at Commerce, I had noticed large cumulus clouds developing, a sign of thunderstorms later in the afternoon. My prediction was correct when around six thirty it began to grow darker outside and thunder began to rumble. The rain began to fall, and small hail began falling as well. Usually a heavy rain makes out internet connection go down, so we prepared in case the Internet should die on us. What happened next was unexpected: our power went completely out. A few minutes later, a huge branch from the top of a dead pine tree near the house fell on the yard (providentally, no one had been outside at the time, but it could have killed someone), and the yard was a mess (Seth and I cleaned it up about an hour ago, and it is still a mess). The storm began to calm, but our power still did not come back on. Dad went to Uncle Josh's to return his truck that he had borrowed, and he came back and said that some of the houses down the street had power, but the rest did not. Mom had to study for a computer final (which she is taking today), but there was no light, so we went to Boarders. Around ten o'clock, we left because they were closing the store. We returned home, but the power had not come back on. It was dark, and the house was stuffy because of the humidity. We began to worry about all the meat in the freezer, so we decided not to open the fridge or the freezer. We then decided to go to bed because there is little you can do in the dark. Then suddenly, our power came back on after being off for four hours. Dad told us to go to bed and not stay up (except for Mom who studied).

Nothing else much is going on. Mandy is off babysitting the Abraham kids, Seth is doing his school reading, and I am preparing to continue writing my book (I'm almost at halfway point, though the chapter numbers are constantly changing and are not reliable). Mom has a computer final, as I mentioned. Oh, before I forget, we Cunninghams are going to Arizona in a few weeks! We're driving out to Arizona to visit Grandma Gail and Grandpa Tom and then on our way back stop to visit Uncle Cal and Aunt Susie. We'll be gone for a little over a week, and we're planning on bringing our laptops (which'll be funny especially since we'll be bringing back a fourth laptop for Mom; this is making Mandy a bit jealous, especially since Seth bought his own laptop a few weeks ago). Well, gotta go. My story is calling my name, not to mention hungry stomach.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Two Hyper Teenagers

Nothing much has happened this week, but this summer is flying by so fast. It seems forever since I was in college, and I'm looking forward to going back. Lately, I've been close to college as I've been going four days a week to the gym on campus. I've been riding the bike machine, using the stairmaster, and walking on the treadmill. I think the exercise is helping, as my heart rate isn't as high as it was when I first started a few weeks ago and my legs are getting used to it. Still, I feel guilty afterwards when I am hungry and eat a candy bar or a bag of chips after I just lost a couple hundred calories from lunch. While I go to the gym, Mandy's still going to the pool almost daily, usually finding a friend to bring along. She's turning dark in the sun, and a few weeks ago she had to skip a day at the pool to give her skin a break.

I forgot to mention that Mandy was not home for the 4th of July. The Greer family was taking a trip to see their kin up in North Carolina, and they invited Mandy to go with them. They left the day before the 4th, and they got home Monday evening. Mandy had a fun time with the Greers, and she came back with several wacky pictures that clearly show she and Bethany are weird, hyper 14-year olds.

Speaking of Mandy and Bethany, Mandy had Bethany spend the night last night (Friday the 11th). I had wanted to go shopping at Kohls because I finally received my much-belated paycheck, so Mandy and Bethany decided to accompany me. Knowing those two, I was worried about how hyper and weird they would be, but I didn't know much of what they did until after the trip. The trip was successful, thanks to the girls' fashion sense. I found a cute shirt, but they only had it in one color (black), and the next size up didn't look good. The girls helped me find tank tops to go under the next size shirt, and it worked nicely. So I paid forty bucks for six shirts. Mandy and Bethany had fun trying on everything (they took several pictures of this, and I've only seen a few), and they both bought something simple like earrings and underwear. After the trip, we came home, and the girls decided to watch a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie that our neighbor Anna let them borrow. The movie was stupid, as was expected, and we chose to watch something else for our pizza dinner. We watched a Brian Regan performance then Mom and the girls went to Blockbuster to find a couple of movies. We ended up watching "The Village," a movie we already own, and saved "10000 BC" for tonight. After watching "The Village" and watching Bethany jump and scream during certain scenes (which was hilarious, and at one point she would have hit Dad if he hadn't held her hand still), Mom and Dad went to bed. The girls played The Sims Unleashed, continuing a game they had played that afternoon. The next morning, I woke up late, but there were chocolate muffins and cantalope for breakfast. The girls cleaned up the mess they made and then played more "The Sims." Bethany went home around 3:30 or so, and we enjoyed having her. Still, it's an interesting experience to put Mandy and Bethany together in a small house with sodas and a computer game; they can get hyper and crazy really quick.

Before I forget, something unexpected yet happy happened this week. Oatmeal, who disappeared in late May during our camping trip, showed up suddenly on our doorstep, yowling to come inside. When he entered, he was shaking and frightened, and Mom gave him some canned cat food. He was thinner than when we had last seen him, but he wasn't skinny, a sign he has been eating someone else's food. He's calmed down and is back to his normal, lovable self. However, not all our cats have been happy. For the past few weeks, Fuzz seems to have caught another bout of FUS and has been squatting and peeing everywhere. The blood in his urine is gone, but he still squats and makes a weird noise while squatting. Pooky has begun spraying and peeing outside the litterbox, which has made him subject to being chased around the house and thrown outside. We've also come up with a new nickname for our fattest cat Claws: Shai-Hulud (the name comes from the "Dune" book series and refers to a giant worm that roams a desert planet and creates the vital spice that keeps the universe in balance). I think she's becoming used to the name because she now reacts to it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July 2008

Instead of giving you, my readers, links to pics, I had a better idea: why not combine the filmed videos and pictures into a ten-minute slideshow? Enjoy! The pics are from the 4th of July, from the two places we went to: Grandpa Cunningham's house and the Howlands' farm.