Friday, October 30, 2009


Well, two things to celebrate about. First, we're going to see Owl City in concert next year! I e-mailed the venue with a question regarding its supposed age limit, but I got a response that said we could go. Mandy was so excited when she heard the news, and I was too. If we're able to go in February of next year, this will be Mandy's first real concert and my real second one for the first time in years. Mandy's trying to organize a group of her friends to go, as several of them are Owl City fans.

Second, after a month of hassle with the insurance company, Seth has been added. Thus, he can now drive by himself in the car. A big step for him. Tonight he's driving Mandy to Christopher's birthday party (which is only five minutes away, but still, it's a first).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Need a Laugh?

Check out the video we filmed yesterday! It's meant to be a spoof on horror movie trailers.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Well, there's been no Butlerian Jihad yet. And I stress "yet." I have absolutely no idea what to expect with this paper, as I have no clue how he grades stuff.

Anyway, on a cheerier note, pictures! I finally stopped slacking and uploaded 757 pictures from my camera to Seth's laptop. I took over 200 at the beach, but about 91 made the final cut to my facebook album. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I need a brief break. I'm writing a paper for my history of philosophy class, and I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing or how to defend the statement I chose.

Dad took me driving earlier this afternoon. I drove in a few big loops all over this business park area with stop signs, some other cars, and stuff like that. I'm feeling more confident about it. I'm still a beginner and need to learn to pay attention, not to stick to the curb, and stop better, but it's not as nerve-wracking as it was when I drove back from Alabama.

Well, back to this paper. If I don't post again, you'll know that Mr. Butler killed me in class, so be forewarned.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Well, Seth about gave me a heart attack yesterday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mom and the kids spend most of the day at Geneva-at-Home so Mom can teach and the kids get their science in. So there they were at school and I was at home, listening to pandora (love it) and just goofing off when I heard a knock on the door. I peeked outside but saw no car, so I figured it was probably a salesman or something like that. There was a more insistent knock, but I ignored it, hoping that whoever it was would go away. There was some noise on the porch, and I began thinking "what is going on?" Then, the back door opens and I hear Seth call " Ashley?" Well, what happened was is that Christopher dropped Seth off from GaH, but I wasn't expecting it. I was relieved it was just Seth, but, man, it was sort of creepy. Thanks, Seth.

Last night's youth group went well. Mom made carnitas and butterfinger cheesecake, and everyone was hungry. Everyone went back for seconds of the meal, and a few even had thirds. After eating, we sang then had our little study on purity and our calling. Then Mom cut the cheesecake, which was delicious. Ben Greer took home three extra slices for his parents and his half-uncle, and it makes me wonder if he just ate them instead. Some of the guys stayed until 10:30 talking about various subjects from seceding states, experiences with wrestling teachers who beat the crap out of you, and karate moves. Mandy and Noah, of course, couldn't play nice like cousins should, but it was entertaining to watch the two at each other's throats.

Tonight should be relaxing. Dad and Seth are going to the church's annual Father- Son campout in Winder, a big highlight each year. We girls have unknown plans except probably to sit back and watch a few movies.

Oh, an update. I applied at three places for work about four weeks ago today, but no response from any of them except "well, maybe we'll hire at the end of the month." Same thing most other places have said. Call me crazy, but I miss being employed. There's a few more places I'll be applying to, but I'm not that hopeful in this economy. Keep me in your prayers regarding this.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still Cold

Looks like we're in for a harsh winter. The squirrels usually hang around for a while, but we've barely seen any for three weeks. The hummingbirds disappeared quickly too. The extremely wet summer means the leaves won't change colors; they're green, but they're beginning to die without changing. And, plus, the weather lately has been feeling more like December than mid-October. Yesterday and today are the exception, but it feels like November outside right now.

On Saturday, the family got together to celebrate Uncle Jason's 40th with a surprise birthday party. It was cloudy and cold that day, but we still went outside... though not for long. Aunt Nancy did a good job of covering her tracks; Uncle Jason was completely in the dark until they pulled into the parking lot and he recognized the cars. It was a lovely occasion with plenty of food, hot apple cider, conversation, and then the slideshow. No one hung out long, though, because everyone was freezing in the 40- degree weather. I got some pictures of the event, but there are only a few. I promise to try to upload the pictures from Florida this week. One funny memory of the party was when Grandpa Mike offered up thanks before we started eating, and he started listing Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy's four girls; in short, he forgot Audrey's name, and people started snickering. But, hey, twelve (soon-to-be thirteen) grandchildren are hard to keep track of. It was funny.

After the party, Uncle Josh and Noah accompanied us to Grandma Linda's house. For about a month, we've only had one couch since we threw the other one out; so, Grandma was very generous to give us one that she wasn't using. What can I say? It's a big hit. The couch is like two independent recliners attached together, and it's become very popular. Mandy has already staked out a chair that no one, cat or human, can claim. On Sunday, she and Dad enjoyed afternoon naps on the couch. It's a great couch, and we all love it. Even the cats like it.

Mandy's cough seems to be worsening a bit. We think that the cats may aggravate it, though they are not the cause of it; the original cause is still a mystery. She's been taking her inhaler and albuterol (she hates it, and I feel her pain) daily, but it's lingering. She's still sleeping at night with very minimal coughing, which is good, but it is odd that it arrived so early. Keep her in your prayers.

Other then that, nothing much else has happened. On Thursday, we're hosting the church's youth group for dinner and the fellowship afterwards, which we're looking forward to. Mom and the kids have taken a week off from school to do yard work and such, but they're still staying busy. College is going good, though I think we're making snail's progress on Greece in history class. In philosophy, we're talking about philosophers, and I'm reminded why such things make my head spin; I really dislike logic and philosophy. But, hey, it'll make me tougher.

Well, back to work. Nanowrimo starts in 12 days, and I need to get this new story idea ready.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Brrr... cold

After a nice hot week in sunny Florida, now it's back to autumn in Georgia. Gloomy autumn, that is. It's been raining or cloudy most of the week, and now the temperature is beginning to drop to the 50's during the day. The good thing about the weather is that Lake Lanier is officially filled... after it got drained due to a mistake made by whoever was running Buford Dam, but still it's good news. At least, provided no further mistakes are made, Gwinnett County won't turn into a desert. Despite getting lots of rain, which I'm not complaining about, I'm not ready for the weather to turn cold again. I don't mind the heat (as long as the humidity isn't bad but which isn't reality most of the time in the South), but as a Southern gal I'm not a fan of the cold. Well, I don't mind it if we get snow, not the powdery stuff that falls for an hour then melts almost instantly. I'd say we're overdue for another snowstorm (the last major one being in 1993). Now that'd be nice.

This week went well. Nothing big happened except the usual routine of school and the like. Seth's been drawing some more and has also been writing more of his ant story (he's up to ten chapters, I think). Mandy's been her usual social self, and she's getting me hooked on electronic pop band Owl City (love their song "Fireflies"). However, Mims seems be catching a cold or is in early stages of her asthma. She started coughing while we were in Florida, which was odd, and it continued after we came home. She's been taking her asthma medicine, and we hope to nip this thing in the bud. Though it is odd that this year it came early because usually her coughs don't start until February, not October. Maybe it's the cool weather. This week, we girls have been in sort of a frenzy, constantly voting for Amy's blog "The Budget Mommy," and it seemed as if everyone's hard work was paying off. Yesterday, we received a nasty shock when a rival blog suddenly jumped to first place, leaving Amy in the dust of second place. Now there are so many votes that it's hard to make a dent. We'll keep trying, but it'll be harder then it was before the rival joined the game. Maybe I should report that the numbers are off; they don't all add up to 100% but to 101%.

Well, back to work. Nanowrimo starts in 18 days, and I'm trying to get some of the chapter outlines organized so I can push myself to finish in time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vote for Amy!

If you have any time, take a few seconds and vote for Amy's budget blog "The Budget Mommy!" Follow the link and go down to the poll, where her blog's name should be at the bottom of it. You can vote as many times as you can. The deadline ends on October 19th.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back from Florida!

We're back from Florida! What an excellent week! Being just at the ocean is a vacation in itself.

On Saturday morning, we got up around 8 AM so we could finish packing and then load the car. We finally got out of the house around 9:30 and drove to Chick-fil-A for breakfast. Then the driving began. It was roughly a seven-hour journey, but keep in mind we're no strangers to driving long distances; driving for three weeks from Georgia all over the West proves that. Needless to say, we've figured out ways to keep ourselves busy on car trips, usually for me and Mandy which means bringing out the MP3s. Anyway, we drove to Alabama and turned south in Birmingham, where Mandy took the wheel to drive a little. The area there was rough, and I've never been in a place where I've seen bars on most of the windows in some of the houses. South of the city, we headed for the more rural areas. They were absolutely beautiful, just houses on hills of green grass or surrounded by trees. A few looked fairly old, though we didn't see any plantation houses, but I loved the whole rural feeling of it all. In a town called Luverne, we stopped at McDonalds for lunch then Dad took the wheel for the rest of the way. We finally arrived in Fort Walton (about seven miles from Destin) around 3 PM, and we were able to check into our room early. After unpacking the car, we drove to a public area of the beach, about five minutes from the hotel, and explored a little bit. We didn't go swimming, but we did get our feet wet. The beach had beautiful white sand, and the water was a clear blue. We were really excited, but we returned to the hotel for dinner.

On Sunday, it dawned cloudy with a chance of rain. After a devotional in the morning, we spent a few hours at the beach (mostly out of the water) then returned to the room for lunch. While we were making our sandwiches, it started raining. It was a slow afternoon, but my, it was full of silliness. Dad corrupted us forever by showing us some camera tricks with a mirror, and then later we goofed off with Mandy's squishies.

On Monday, it was still a bit cloudy though there was no rain. We went to the beach and discovered it had a red flag (which means a strong rip current) and the wind was creating huge waves. Mom stayed on the beach to do some schoolwork and I read a little before I went out to join the others. The current indeed was strong, and I soon retreated to shore. It was either this day or the next day that I began construction on what I called "Gondolin" (I borrowed the name from Tolkien). Basically, I dug a hole in the wet sand and left the very center undisturbed then surrounded it with a wall and a canal to let the water in. I made it twice in the period of a few days, but I imagined it as an island in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains. Anyway, after dinner that night we went for a nightly walk on the beach and I ended up soaked by one small wave.

On Tuesday, it was still a red flag though it was nowhere near as strong as it had been on Monday. We all stayed out longer in the water, jumping waves and body-surfing, and we had a blast. The waves, however, stole my ponytail holder so I felt and looked like a wild woman for a few days. We all returned to the hotel that afternoon looking a bit cooked, so when we went to the beach again later we put sunscreen (we usually don't use sunscreen because it blocks UV rays, which is what enables your body to make vitamin D and which helps you to fight off colds and the like) only on the affected areas.

On Wednesday, we got more sun, and it was beginning to show a little more. Mandy was red briefly then immediately turned brown, but the rest of us took a few more days, probably because she gets the most sun out of all of us. The water was a bit more rough that day, but it was still a good day.

On Thursday, we decided we would drive to Cape San Blas to get some big seashells. However, we decided against it, so we ended up driving around a large beach community outside of Panama City. The community was absolutely beautiful, with several beach houses and condos everywhere and then the occasional shopping area. Later that afternoon, we went to the beach briefly for the last time. Before dinner, we went walking on The Strip, a bunch of little shops mostly dedicated to beer or tattoos, but we had fun just looking even though most of the stores were already closed. Then we had dinner and took advantage of the cable to watch "The Office" episode of Jim and Pam's wedding, though I watched that while everyone else watched "CSI" in the other room. We also discovered a show called "My Name Is Earl" that left us rolling afterwards. Anyway, then we began packing up everything.

We had originally planned to leave on Saturday, but we decided to leave on Friday so we could have a day to recover at home and also so that Mom could get the church cleaned for church. We woke up on Friday, finished the packing, then checked out. We took a bit of a loop while trying to find one of the roads, but we found it again. On a section of the rural road in northern Florida/southern Alabama I took the wheel for about thirty minutes or so. As Dad said, I didn't do that bad, but I feel otherwise. My speed kept shifting between 40 and 65 mph, I had a bit of trouble keeping the car in its lane, etc... I didn't feel so good about it afterwards, but I'm reminding myself that it was a first time on the road and I just need practice and experience. Anyway, Seth took over the wheel for a while, then Mandy then, due to heavy traffic, Dad took over. We ate at Wendy's for lunch near Birmingham and got caught in some of the Atlanta traffic, but we finally arrived home around 4 PM or so. Cliff was still there, so he got his things and left while we unpacked everything. After cleaning the house, Dad and Mandy brought home pizza for dinner.

I took lots of pictures on the trip, but there's (as Sondre Lerche says in one of my favorite songs) a major minor detail: no computer. My laptop is just about dead. Before we left on Saturday, I moved it to a secure location on my dresser, but one of the house-sitters moved it to the kitchen table, where one of the cats knocked over the fish bowl and left my laptop sitting in the water. I dried it out as best I could with a hair dryer yesterday, but turning it on, my battery is completely dead, my keyboard doesn't work, and the whole computer is just messed up. I managed to transport all my writing and some of my music to a USB drive, but moving my 19 GB of pictures taken over a period of two years is something I've yet to solve (as I can't use the internet or one of our external hard drives because the one with all our music died about two weeks ago and the replacement for it is acting weird as well). So, needless to say, there won't be any pictures until I figure out which computer to upload them to.

Anyway, the trip to the beach was great. It was nice just to relax and not go anywhere for a week, goofing off with the family and just enjoying ourselves. We went at a time when it wasn't very crowded and the weather was still nice and hot, so it was just perfect. Well, I've got to go. I've got to finish a rough draft of a paper due for Bible class on Monday and I've got a lot of reading due the same day (hey, it's hard to do homework when you're on vacation).

Friday, October 2, 2009


Lord willing, tomorrow morning we're leaving for Florida. The preparations are beginning full-force with mowing the lawn, making the zucchini bread, and packing clothes. Mom and Mandy are shopping at the moment, and we're all getting excited. We haven't been to the beach since the clan visit back in 2005 (and the brief jaunt in Jacksonville in December of 2007 doesn't count), so we're looking forward to it. I'm ready to get a tan and not look so pasty (dark to make my ancestors proud :D ) and maybe to be a sand architect. Mandy and I will be sure to take a whole bunch of pictures, so I'm charging my battery to make sure that will happen. The Price boys are house-sitting for us, and so we've got to make sure that everything is ready for them. And to make sure that Chloe's cage door is securely shut; she's figured out how to push the book off the top (and chew the book too. Darn little rodent), so we're going to tie wire around it and see if that prevents her from becoming the cats' next prey.

Well, I've got to go find that elusive MP3 of mine to charge it and add some new stuff. It seems to have disappeared again last night, and I need to find it. Plus, my left hand is telling me to stop typing (I burned my index finger on the sandwich maker this afternoon, and it didn't really start hurting until I put some aloe on it. It's working in a cycle, as first it was Mom who got burned, then Mims, and now me. The kitchen schemes against us Cunningham women). So this will be the last blog post until probably next Saturday, as we're only taking Dad's laptop to Florida and we won't be using it much. So, until then!