Wow, I feel like it's been forever since I last updated! Either way, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and are enjoying your break!

It was really nice staying home for Christmas, especially since it's not something my family does a lot. Christmas Eve we went to my church's candlelight service and it was really nice. We weren't sure if we were going to have it because the snow was just coming down in blankets! Then, we came back to our house and just ate a bunch of junk food, little smokies, toasted ravioli, nachos, little pizzas, etc.

Christmas morning, I awoke around 9:30 to my mother and older sister barging into my room and jumping on my bed, screaming "Merry Christmas!" at the top of their lungs. They continued to suffocate me until I threatened to start throwing stuff at them. They left and I got up and learned they had done the same to my brother, but he did throw stuff at them. Haha.

We all pitched in to help make breakfast; I made the pancakes, my father the bacon, mom the hash-browns, and my sister biscuits and gravy. (My brother was still asleep so there was no helping from him!) After that, I gave Tabor his toys I bought him from his stocking and he didn't know which one to play with first; it was hilarious.

Eventually Steven got up, and we opened up our presents as a family. I got a couple books (The Hunger Games series, Sarah's Key), Cry Baby (which I had been pining for forever. Johnny Depp = <3), the Harry Potter DVD's, and then some pajama pants and fuzzy socks. My father bought my mom an off-brand mp3 player and she opened it and didn't know what it was. xD So, we're all gonna have to help her put her music on it and whatnot.

My other brother, Ryan, is working in Greece (I'm not sure if I've mentioned that before),  so we skyped him a little bit later on and talked to him. He's coming home in February, and though I tell everyone I'm not excited he's coming home (brother/sister rivalry and whatnot), I really am.

So we kinda did our own thing after that until about 5:00. My grandpa and my aunt came over and we had Christmas Dinner, and it was delicious. We used my mom's fine china, which we never use, so it was all fancy and fun.
Christmas Dinner
Everything on the table but the ham!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, hopefully with your family. <3
I managed to survive my physics final! I didn't crash and burn, but I did take my time and worked rather slowly. There were a few questions that just completely stumped me, but I gave them a shot. I honestly can't tell you how I think I did. It's one of those things where I either got a lot of it right, or a lot of it wrong. I don't know which, but I'm hoping for the latter!

So I am no officially on break and finished with all my finals! After school yesterday, I went over to Andrew's so we could exchange our Christmas presents since he would be busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Being the butt he is, he wrapped each part of my present individually, then wrapped it as one big package, then wrapped it in packing tape. I think it took me like 15 minutes to actually get it open. The entire time he was laughing his head off. I should've taken a picture. He got me the first four Harry Potter movies, and then a pack of Sour Patch Kids to eat with each movie. It was really cute, because my favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids. :)

I got him the Underworld Trilogy, which he says are his favorite movies. I also got him a bunch of Chocolate Oranges, because he is like obsessed with those and you can only get them here in the US around Christmas time. Then I just baked him a TON of cookies. He thought it was funny that I mainly got him food, which I thought was funny too. I wasn't evil with his present, which he thought I would be so he was joyous I wasn't, but oh you just wait til next year! *cackles*

I am thoroughly enjoying my break so far. I slept til around eleven today and then went to the movies with Andrew and his mom and saw Tron. It was really good. I hadn't seen the first one, but you didn't really need to, which I was glad about.

Now I'm just sittin' here, munchin' on cookies. Christmas in two days! I hope you all are having a wonderful break!

....and it is the worst/hardest/stupidest/wasteofmytime class I've ever taken. I want to take my pencil and stab myself in the eye. Except I'm not holding my pencil. In fact, I'm not studying at all at the moment. I'm procrastinating by writing this blog post.

I'm going to fail.

It is currently 1:38 AM. I have to get up in 4 hours and 52 minutes. I have two more finals tomorrow (well, technically today) and they're going to be my hardest. One of them is Physics (ahhhhljkhlhfkgd), and one is AP English. You can't really study much for English, sooo I'm studying for Physics. Well... sorta.

I must be some sick, masochistic person for taking Physics again next semester; it's going to turn out just like this semester: I'm going to work my butt off and be borderline A, then I'm going to get a B on my final and a B in the class. Which is no bueno. Say goodbye to top ten. And my 4.0 GPA. Wooohooo.

I absolutely hate the subject, but I really enjoy the people in my class. I have like 20 friends in there (yeah, it's pretty ridiculous) that I have no other classes with (including Andrew), so if I drop it, I don't get to see those 20something friends. I like them. I want to see them. Plus I'd have to find another science class to take that isn't two semesters long and I'd have to get my schedule all changed and I'd, in the end, be pretty unhappy with however my schedule got changed. It's a lose/lose situation.

Now I'm just rambling. And complaining a lot.

Note to all of you: unless you are a freak genius and are in love with math and science, never take physics. Then again, I hate math and science. Either way, don't say I didn't warn you! (Watch, you're going to take it and think it's the easiest subject and I'll feel all stupid. Man.)

Either this all nighter is going to result in me doing really well on the final or I'm going to crash and burn and fall asleep and fail. I'm hoping for the former. I'll update you guys when I find out? Hopefully soon? Ahhhh!
My family and I traveled to my aunt's, who lives about an hour and a half away, yesterday for my mom's side of the family Christmas. Because she has such a large family and there's tons of cousins and aunts and uncles and whatnot, we don't just buy gifts for everyone. We all just buy a $5 gift and we put the gifts in a pile and play a game called Rob Your Neighbor. (I'm not really sure if that's the "official" name of the game, but it's just what we call it. :P)

It's pretty simple. Everyone draws a number and that's the order that you go in. So, number one goes and picks a gift out of the middle and unwraps it. Then, number two can either still the gift or can pick one out of the pile, and it just goes around like that. It's actually really funny because people get so competitive over these cheap $5 gifts. xD Nothing spreads holiday cheer like stealing presents does!

I ended up with a $5 gift card to Dairy Queen (mmmmmmm, so good!) which I was perfectly content with. I stole it from my grandpa, haha. I'm still his favortie. ;)

Then we all ate entirely too much good food and kind of sat around and talked for a couple hours. I always feel so awkward when it comes to that part because no one is for real my age. I'm 16, and the closest two people to me are 21 and 23. So while my older cousins talk about college and everything, I'm kind sitting there, twiddling my thumbs, thinking about how I can't wait to get out of high school. Or, wishing someone would ask how I'm doing in school. I really like to see my family and stuff, I just always feel so awkward as I don't have anyone to talk to. Does this happen to anyone else?

Schoolwise, I'm almost done with this semester! I have all my finals this week; three tomorrow, two on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. Thankfully, Tuesday and Wednesday are half days, though I sometimes wish they would just shove Tuesday and Wednesday together so I could get on with my break! I'm really not too worried about any of them except for my physics final. This year my school implemented this new dumb grading system where finals are only worth 5% of your grade. Uh, what? Does anyoneone else agree how dumb that in itself sounds? Finals are supposed to show what you know but nope, not anymore.

On the upside, I can get a 0% on five out of seven of my classes and still pass with an A. On the downside though, in Physics, I have to get 110% on my final to get an A, so I'm pretty worried. Our teacher told us that there would be extra credit on there, but that means I have to completely ace it, which is pretty unrealistic since I really struggled with that class. :/ I was aiming for straight A's this semester, but I guess I can handle one B...

Anywho, I hear most of you are out on break! Woot! For those of you who are, I hope you're all enjoying it and for those who aren't, good luck on finals and whatnot!
For a whole semester, I have been considered a junior, an upperclassmen at my high school, but really, I haven't felt like it too much. I mean, people before me have always talked about how great it is to be a junior and senior, not having to deal with freshman, etc, etc. Until recently, I hadn't felt like that.

This year I've been taking a lot more challenging classes, so only juniors and seniors are allowed to take them, which I recently realized, is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I hadn't realized how much I enjoyed not having freshman in my classes.

I'm currently taking a class, Personal Finance, that everyone is required to take to graduate. It is such a pain in the butt. The teacher is terrible, the other students are terrible. It's just terrible terrible terrible. I mean, some of the people in there can't do the simple math. (Ex: Bob works 5 hours a week. He make $7.25 an hour. How much does he make in a week?) I just don't understand how you can't figure out how to solve that! I realized lately that most of the students in there are freshman. They're just so frustrating.

Now don't get me wrong, not all of the freshman are terrible. There were quite a few freshman girls on the tennis team this year that I really liked and became friends with. So, I think it's just safe to say that most of the freshman are just... freshman.

Anyways, I think I'm rambling and losing the point I was trying to originally make. I really like not having class with freshman. And I'm finally feeling like an upperclassmen.

Another reason I've been feeling my upperclassmen-ness is I got my class ring! (YAY! :D)
Class ring! :D
I'm not sure if all schools do this, but we had a ring ceremony and they made it into a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the ceremony because I was sick. Either way, I'm really happy with it! The green stone (I don't even remember the name of it, gees-a-lou!) isn't my birth stone, I just picked it because I thought it was pretty. :)
On one side of my ring, I had the tennis symbol, as I have played on the girl's tennis team the last two years and I plan on again next year. Plus, it's something I really love to do, and when I look back on my high school years, I'll remember tennis and all the memories I had on the team. <3 I also had my name on this side.
On this side I had the music symbol, as music has always been a big part of my life. I've taken piano lessons for the last five years and my freshman and sophomore year, I was in choir (though I'm currently not now, which is a long rant for some other post). When I was little, I was part of the musicals at my church and performed in the different children choirs. I'm still participating in the youth choir.
Lastly, I had my name engraved on the inside of the ring in all fancy lookin' letters. :)

I was really nervous if it would fit; I didn't want to have to give it back so they could resize it and then have to wait for it again. Luckily, it fit perfectly! The only thing I'm a little peeved about is that on the side of the ring, (you can't see it in any pictures) there is the black streak and it won't come off. I tried to rub it off, but to no avail. Andrew said it might need to be shined or something. I'm not really sure. I'm going to have to call the company and see what they say. I mean, I spent a good deal of money on this ring, so they should do their part right?

Anywho, on to sitely stuff. If you hadn't noticed, I added a visitor page! Whaatttt! I know, right? It's not really much because I'm like, graphic-ly challenged, but I added some recipes like I said I would, and I've added a book review.

School is almost out for break! Woot! I've got finals all next week to take, so this current week just seems to be dragging. I just was to take them and be done for the semester. Besides, I've been needing a break. Just some time to myself, or to spend with family and friends.

Good luck to everyone else with their finals/exams!
I wake up this morning and the first thing that I notice is my alarm clock blinking back at me, announcing it is 8:13. Well, that's odd. My mom usually, by now, has come into my room at least 3 times trying to get me up to get ready for church. I sit up in bed, and through a peep in my curtains, see bright whiteness.

I hop out of bed, throw back my  curtains, and BEHOLD! Little white balls of happiness are floating to the ground! The ground and cars are covered in snow! Not a foot, but a good three or four inches! Pure euphoria!
I run out of my room and into the kitchen where my mom and dad are sitting, drinking coffee and reading the paper, and chant over and over excitedly, "IT SNOWED IT SNOWED IT SNOWED!" They look at me like I'm five, but I don't care. It snowed. :) My mother comments that she should wake me up everyday, telling me it snowed, just to get me up. Psh, silly woman, you can't fool me!

Since church was canceled, me and my mom decided to be productive and we spent all morning and part of the afternoon making cookies. Every Christmas we always make tons of cookies; it's really a tradition. So we get busy, playing Christmas music in the background and happily baking away. We have a window right above our counter, so as we cooked, we could see the snow falling outside. It was beautiful.
We even got my dad to help us a bit. And, for the life of him, he can't cook. Nor can he stand the amount of estrogen in the kitchen all at once. ;P

He peeled the wrappers off of Hershey's Kisses and Reece's Cups so we could use them for Peanut Butter Blossoms, which are, if I do say so myself, absolutely delicious. Tabor seemed to, as he always does, get in the way, so he finally just settles himself under my dad. The perfect spot to be if my dad accidentally dropped something.

I think I'll add a couple of my favorite cookie recipes to the site, if anyone would care to try making some of them. I'll try to do that in the next day or few.
In all, we probably made enough cookies to feed a small country. But they're so gooood. :D

In an hour or so, I'm going to be heading over to Andrew's to have him sample some of our creations and to watch some movies, where I will probably fall asleep. Baking can be so tiring...

Today is happiness at it's finest. I hope you all had a wonderful day as well. :)
  • You can't see the carpet through all the tissues by the side of your bed.
  • You carry a roll of toilet paper around in your purse because a box of kleenex won't fit.
  • You look like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.
  • You only leave your bed to eat and pee.
  • You don't remember what solid food tastes like.
  • Your outfit every day is your pj's.
In other words, these past couple days have been crap. I hate being sick. :/ -throws pity party-

But I'll stop my complaining. Today I took the ACT. For those of you who don't know what the ACT is, it's basically a really big deal if you want to go to college. Colleges look at the score you received on the test so you want to score well.

It sucked having to pull out a tissue every five seconds to blow my nose. But anyways...

I'm really nervous about how I did. I think I did decent, but I'm afraid that I'm going to get a horrible score and all my friends will have done fantastic and I'll look like an incompetent loser. I guess it doesn't help that my boyfriend's mom got a 31 the first time she took it, without studying, (The test is graded out of 36. A 19-21 is about average. Anything above a 30 and you get really good scholarships.) and told him she expected him to at least get a 28 the first time. So if I do bad, it'll just make me feel stupid compared to them.

I guess I should just stop worrying (ha, right!) until I get my scores. I'm going to be taking it again in either the spring or beginning of summer in hopes to do better, but I'm hoping I did alright.
After days and days of people nagging me, I've finally created and finalized my Christmas list. It took me so long because really, there's not a whole lot that I really want or need. There are a couple things that I would like that are rather expensive, like a closet organizer (which run around $100 or more) that I haven't included on my list, but the main thing is just books. I love books. I especially love new books that I can call mine. I feel like such a nerd saying that. :)

So here is my list:
  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  3. All 6 Harry Potter DVDs
  4. Cry Baby DVD
  5. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus DVD
  6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  7. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  11. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  12. Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Ridley Pearson and Dave Berry
  13. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

What do you guys generally have on your list, if you have one?
On Monday, we started putting up our Christmas tree! We didn't really finish it until last night, but me and my mom have been slowly working on it. It's an artificial one and comes with built in lights, so it took us like an hour to get all the sections working. By that time, we weren't in the best of moods and decided to call it a day.

Nonetheless, it got finished! We're working on putting other decorations up around the house, but just putting the tree up has definitely got me into the swing of Christmas. Here's a picture of our tree and some of my favorite ornaments :
Our tree!
Our tree! (and my dad's leg...)
ornament :)
There is this lady at my church that can make gorgeous ornaments; this is one that she made. Isn't it beautiful?
Ornament :)
The letter 'G' stands for our last name: Gray.
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Santa please stop here!
This was my favorite one when I was younger. You can press the back of it and it plays 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town'. It sounds like it's just dying now... ;)
My dad bought this one in Turkey.
I don't know what it is about Christmas, but it is hands down my favorite holiday. I'm almost always in the best mood during the Christmas season (despite a select few songs that make me want to pull my hair out).I love giving gifts to people, spending time with my family, and definitely not least of all, celebrating Christ's birth. :)

If you celebrate Christmas, have you all set up any decorations yet? What is your favorite holiday?