Among all the chaos of a busy schedule filled with school, work, social events, and Bible studies, so far we've had three birthdays this year.
Mandy turned 18 back in February. Her birthday party took place (I think, if I remember correctly) a week after her actually birthday. Bethany had a very nice setup for the party, putting up balloons, mix-matching the plates and bowls, and even having a basket for people to put their mobile devices in (so people would interact and not be more interested in their phones). We enjoyed bean soup with various toppings for dinner, and we had quite a large crowd of people in the living room. After the meal, the guys cleared the tables and took them downstairs, leaving us with enough room for the games. The "games," actually, was one large game with several small games underneath; this made it more entertaining and kept people's interest up. Everyone, except for the game host Ben C., was divided into four teams. And then, each team was told of a specific challenge that they had to compete for, so each team volunteered one person. Some of the challenges included who had the smallest feet, who could solve a certain math problem, racing from the kitchen to the stairs crab-walk style (we posted Alex at the stairs to prevent any tumbles; this race got a bit crazy, and I actually got a large bruise when one of the contestants accidentally crashed into my leg during the race), and a paper plane challenge. We were all very much entertained, and we all enjoyed it. Next, it was dessert. Bethany made a delicious strawberry cake with homemade whipped cream for the topping (Mandy always asks for strawberries for her b-day cake). Then, because it was getting late, it was time for presents. Mandy got gifts such as a little notebook and candy, Converse shoes (she was ecstatic to see them), a sketch of her and one of the other party guests (a beautiful and realistic drawing... it's hanging in our bedroom for all to see), a neck scarf, and a micro-camera lens for her camera (a gift from a few of her friends).
Mom celebrated her birthday about two weeks ago. The weekend before, the church bonfire and dance was cancelled, so I saw "Hunger Games" earlier in the day and then in the evening Dad, Mandy, and I went shopping for Mom's birthday presents. The next day, we gave Mom her presents: a new Bible, an otterbox (a protective case for her iPhone), an iTunes gift card, and a nice mug from Starbucks (the real nice kind that has excellent insulation). She's also been enjoying her new Kindle, and she's been having Mandy use it to read "1984" for school. A few days later, Mom and Dad went out for dinner together at a nice restaurant.
Seth's birthday is still in the process of being celebrated. I can't believe he's 20 years old; it's rather frightening to think of how old we're all getting. Seth has received one of his presents (the music stand and the light thingy for it), and he's been using it a lot (much to Mandy's relief because he was always borrowing hers when he practiced his double bass). Actually, on Sunday evening, Seth and Mandy did some duets of hymns we enjoy (Mandy did melody, and Seth did bass), and they sounded good. I imagine at some point later this year, Seth may join the musicians at the front of the church, though where he's going to sit is another question because that double bass is enormous. Anyway, Mom and Dad have bought Seth's gift but for some bizarre reason, it has yet to arrive, despite supposedly being in Lawrenceville for several days. Mandy and I haven't bought Seth's present either because we've been so busy, but we are planning on going shopping for him very soon. Seth is also planning a get-together with some friends, but he's having a few issues with it because of the scheduling of a new Bible study for the young men at church; nonetheless, we're hoping to have it later this month.
It's scary to think that my birthday is next and that I'll be 23. Yeah, very scary; I don't feel like 23 or like I'm even in my 20s at all. I'm not making any big plans for my birthday... unless something comes up. I think the older you get, the less inclined you are to celebrate because you've done it so many times before. Besides, right now I'm more focused on looking at potential colleges than thinking about my birthday. Right now, I don't have any plans to return to GGC; I've not been impressed with the classes and the offered courses, and the school's got other problems too that I am not particularly fond of. So far, I've been looking into other colleges where I could double major in history (I prefer actual world history i.e. histories that most people don't know about, like Africa or Asia) and English (I'm preferring something where I can focus more on writing because literature isn't my strong suit and because I want to work some more on my actual writing). So far, the list is small; Dad and I have been trying to see what works out and which one I should apply for, but so far there's a problem with all the options (such as I don't want a USG school because they have way too many unnecessary requirements before your major, the school's too far, etc...). Right now, it's just a matter of praying for wisdom and guidance in picking a school.
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