Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas is Come and Gone

Wow! Christmas was fun. This was the first year, however, that I realized that I didn't get a lot of "playing things". Yes, I got to unwrap, but I didn't get to open up the box and then play with the toy. That's what you get when you get older. I guess that the only reason why I noticed this was that as I am leaving the excitement of Christmas, Josh is just entering. I'll miss those toy days.

I did get a lot of presents for Christmas. In this post, I will do less writing and let the pictures tell the story. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The pictures will start on the night before Christmas and end on the day after Christmas. Hope you enjoy my little bit of Christmas cheer.
Opening up this year's Christmas PJs.
Listening to Dad reading the traditional Christmas story, all in our uniform pajamas.
We got a little bored, so decided to have a tickle fight instead.

Nala, my cat, decided to just stare at us immature kids in disgust.

The perfect family photo, except for Josh's funny face. We didn't even realize he was doing it until we looked at the photo.

On Christmas morning, Josh and I jammed out on our new guitars.

I was excited to get my Dr. Pepper lip balm.

Examining my new, delicate earrings.

One of this year's favorite presents for me... new games for my DS.

I played Kirby all day long. Thanks Nona!!!

This puzzle was supposed to last us all week. Instead, the family finished the 300 piece in 30 minutes. We bought a new 1500 piece puzzle the next day.

Josh and I played Jenga the day after Christmas. He won of course.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

Well, last Saturday my family and our neighbors went to Six Flags over Texas, an overpriced amusement park that makes its money off of $9 chicken nuggets. It can be fun, though. The only reason why we went is that my mom won two tickets at an auction. Those tickets, along with some other coupons, got us in. Six Flags is doing Holiday in the Park, where there are Christmas lights galore and Santa hats everywhere. I went on my first actual roller coaster, well, I've been on many that go upside down and shoot up quickly, but this was the first that I was actually scared to go on. The Titan begins with a 45 second ascent that descends in 4 seconds. After that first hill, the rest of the 85 mph ride was great. For the majority of the coaster, my bottom was not touching the seat. Next I rode the Super Man which is a tower that shoots you straight up, then down, then back up, over and over. It's fun and really gives you that weightlessness feeling. I've rode it before, but the ride is still intimidating. The experience would have been more fun if it was 70 degrees like it was supposed to be. Instead, the temperature hovered around 33. I was wearing a short sleeved T-shirt, a light jacket that Mom forced me to wear and a scarf I stole from Mom. It was a bit chilly.
Riding the Holiday train at Six Flags.
Shivering in line for the Super Man.
Strapping in to the dirty but warm seat of the Super Man tower.

On Sunday, the family went caroling with the missionaries at our church. It was fun, especially the dinner served before and the chocolate fountain afterwards.Then on Tuesday, we went to see Santa and a train display at the mall. The Santa was great and very nice. The trains were okay; it was the largest display of vintage trains in Texas. The exhibit was cool and traversed through America, from San Francisco to New York. I was getting sick though (I have a cold) so I left early. It was too crowded and hot for my comfort.
Sitting on Santa's lap. His hand looks like a thumbs up, but really he was motioning for the helper to turn on the fan.

The Dallas part of the train exhibit.

The Holiday scene in Washington D.C.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Imagine This

O.K. So imagine this: You walk into the airport after your mom picks you up from school early. You are expecting your cousin, who is coming from Toronto. So you sit at the exit for international baggage claim and your cousin just won't call your mom saying she had landed. You stare at the stark white walls, wondering and getting a little suspicious. Why did your mom keep bugging you about getting flowers for a cousin you saw just a couple days ago. Then, Mom says, "There he is!" He? What? Where's Aubrey? That's when you see him, your dad. At first, you think it's a dream, that can't be him, he's in India. Then he gets a huge smile and you run up and give him the first hug in weeks. You try to hold back tears of joy, but they come loose. That was my situation yesterday. Yes, Dad's home for the holidays! I am so happy, but mad at Mom for keeping it a secret for 9 days! I asked why and she said it wasn't final. I responded, "What about yesterday, when he was on the plane. You could have told me then?" I don't like surprises, if you can't already tell. We took him home, updating him all the way on all the happenings and finally you reach home. We were at home for about 5 minutes, and then Josh came home from school. The first thing he did was pull out a cookie that had frosting died red from all of the sprinkles and M&Ms and handed it to me. Earlier that day, I told Josh I wanted a cookie from his Christmas party (I did actually eat the thing, though hesitantly). He was so absorbed into giving me the cookie, he didn't notice Dad. Finally Dad said, "Hey Josh!" Then my brother looked up and cried, "Daddy!" as he rushed into his fathers open in arms. Mom, my neighbor who dropped Josh up, and I held back tears as we watched the scene right from a sad movie.

Dad reading Josh a story from a book that kept him sane in India☺

It is Christmas Break! I spent pretty much all of yesterday afternoon looking at the rupees (Indian currency) with Dad. They are sooooo cool! That is how I spend my free time (along with solving the Rubik's cube☺). Anyway, I hope you all have a Happy Christmas Break!
A sample of Indian currency.
The back of the ten rupee bill.

Getting Back to the Cube

A couple summers ago, I could solve the Rubik's cube in under 2 minutes. I spent a couple of weeks memorizing the moves off of a solution on the Internet. Well, two years later, everyone at school is trying to solve the cube. You are "super smart" if you can solve one and "super cool" if you own one. Well, I decided to re-memorize the steps. I'm doing pretty well; yesterday I solved the cube in under 5 minutes with some help from the instructions on the hardest step.

My cousin, Aubrey, and her husband flew in today, Tuesday. My mom picked me up early from school so I could spend some time with them. It was so cold! About 25 degrees. I had fun hanging out with them; they are so funny! Anyway, Aubrey is supposed to come back on Friday (Curtis, her husband, is a pilot and Aubrey is a flight attendant. They fly to Dallas sometimes). I can't wait to see them again!

Aubrey and my brother, See the Rubik's cube in Josh's hand?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let them eat Cake!

Well, I made a cake, if that counts. A couple days ago, I baked a cake for my mom's birthday. We went to see a movie (Bolt, it was actually pretty good), and went to eat lunch at Red Robin's. It was a fun day. The cake was awesome, though we still have a ton of left overs. I think my mom had a good time.

Frosting the first layer of the layered cake. Afterwards, Josh went nuts with the sprinkles.

Mom lighting her candles. This picture turned out good, unusual with me behind the camera☺

Last Sunday, we went to Bethlehem Revisited, a place where everyone dresses up like in the time Jesus was born. You can see King Herod as he talks with the wise men, and walk with Joseph and Mary, the shepherds, or the wise men as they journey to the star. It is really cool. After you see the play, you can go look at a village which is set up to take on the time's feeling. Josh and I scored some rosemary and two little hand made coins. We also got to pet the incredibly soft chickens, goats, and sheep. The chickens were the best. One actually fell asleep in a little boy's arms. It was adorable! Mom wants one, but I don't think we could take care of it.

Then, on Monday, I played at my Christmas piano recital. I messed up one song (my hands were to cold, I hadn't practiced very much, and I knew I was going to mess up), but did very well on my duet, O Holy Night, with my friend, Sammy. Afterwards, we went to Ci Ci's and I had a great time with all my friends in the arcade. Josh and his friend almost busted the air hockey table, Andrew and Kyle stole some basketballs out of the Hoops game, Josh almost hit Oliver in the face with a basketball, and we all had fun trying out the broken motorcycle game. It was a memorable experience.

Getting ready to play on the grand piano.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hi Again

It's been a long time since I last wrote and I apologize for that. It's been a crazy past couple of weeks with all kinds of school work, piano, etc. Well, my dad is doing great! He went to see the Pune Zoo and found that the tiger, if he really wanted to, could jump out over the railing. Pretty scary! He's lost a bit of weight, but he is healthy.

Life's been good. Yesterday was the Church Christmas party and, with my mom in charge, I didn't really get to spend the time with my family. It was fun though, chatting with friends and relaxing.

Thursday was a bit of a stressful day for me, not for anything really bad, though. In Science class, we had to build a mini roller coaster out of flexible pipe and tape. My group was doing great; the day before, we had practiced building the thing and were confident in our "Frostbite" (the name for our awesome coaster). However, we only had 30 minutes to build on presentation day, so we were a bit rushed. We were making great time when, suddenly, the marble wouldn't finish into the cup placed at the end. We kept at it, but by minute 29, we were pretty frantic. Why? If the marble made it through the roller coaster, you made an A; if it fell off, you received an F for the project. We responded in different ways: I was pacing the floor trying to think of a solution, one of the team members actually started praying, and everyone was a mess as we saw the teacher walk slowly towards are project. Finally, D-Andre said, "Put a piece of tape right there!" We were pretty game for anything, so we did as he said. We dropped the marble, Suzy, at the starting point and after 2 seconds, the marble landed safely in the cup. We tried again: it worked again. We were so happy, that when the teacher walked up to grade us, we were dancing together. My grade? 100! In my opinion, our roller coaster was the best after all that hard work; it displayed a paper tunnel, flags showing where inertia was overcome, where the speed changed, etc, and little signs saying things like, "Please enjoy your ride" and "Please exist to the left" (I was rushed so I wrote 'exist' instead of 'exit'). I was very proud of my group; we worked well together.

So that pretty much sums up the past week, fretting over little school projects, papers, and benchmarks. How was your week, Be Happy readers?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Busy Week

My week started with pictures on Wednesday, 241 to be exact. We went to Cedar Hill State Park and Mom took tons of pictures of Josh and I in many different positions. We played on the playground, hiked to this little farm, and found an adorable bench on which I spent 20 minutes posing. Josh and I were pretty worn out by the end of the day.

My favorite picture of me. This is the cute bench I was talking about.
Then, on Thursday, Mom and I cooked and cooked a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, gravy, rolls, and berry cobbler. It was all so good; we have a ton of left overs, though, especially with Dad being gone. To those who are concerned, he is safe from all the turmoil in Mumbai. He is pretty nervous, but his company will keep him safe. He said he was going to force himself to relax by ordering a massage from his fancy hotel☺! Anyway, when asked to say what he was thankful for, Josh said, "Turkey!"
We responded with, "But you don't like turkey, Josh!"
"I don't like turkey, but that doesn't mean I can't be thankful for it, " the five-year-old answered. Mom and I laughed and laughed.
Me cutting the turkey. Notice my awesome apron, made by my Sunday School teacher. She is so nice! Also notice my glasses. The only reason why I am wearing them is I ran out of contacts; my last pair tore when I tried to put them in. They're cute, my glasses, but since my prescription is so big, the lenses stick out of the frame about 1/2 cm.

Me dishing up my dinner. The gravy was sooooo good.

Wednesday evening, we went to a family friend's house and decorated gingerbread houses. I think mine is pretty cool. Josh had a blast, though didn't go overboard with the decorating like I thought he would.
The finished product. A Masterpiece!

On Friday, Mom and I pulled down Christmas from the attic. We did pretty well, but had to call a friend to pull down the tree and a couple of boxes that were too heavy for Mom and me to carry. We spent the day positioning all the knick-knacks and putting up lights on the bushes and trees. Since Mom wasn't willing to get the lights on the roof herself or have me do it (I am not afraid of heights and have seen Dad do it before, so I was ready to attack the lights!), we just threw the net lights over the front bushes. However, I was not satisfied, so I spent all evening decorating the little tree that we have in the flower bead. I twisted the string lights around the trunk and maneuvered lights through the branches. At last, after multiple cuts and scrapes, the tree looked as if it were glowing; my work was done. Now, all that Mom and I have to do is put up the tree and decorate it. Then, we can sleep well.

The beginning of Operation Glowing Tree. I haven't even put on a band-aid yet in this picture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Famous!

A family friend is a graphic designer. He drew the Indiana Jones Monopoly cover, the Star Wars III video game cover, etc. Well, his new assignment was to create an ad for a new adventure park in Tennessee. He took pictures of me pretending to be on a zipline, looking over a balcony, and pointing at someone. Then, using the photos as a guide, he drew me into the scene. Pretty good if you ask me. Yes, the pictures below are drawings, not photographs.

There I am up front! And if you click on the pic, you can see me two more times in the very back.
My mom also had the opportunity to model. She accepted reluctantly.
The other day, I applied for the Bobby Bragen Youth Foundation scholarship. I found out that my teacher picked me to go onto the school finals, where a boy and girl are chosen. Then, 32 out of 242 students are chosen to get the $2500 scholarship. We had to write an essay about our role model. I chose to write about my 6th grade teacher. He was really a great teacher and I had a hard time keeping to the 700 word limit.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Luck, Bad Luck!

I found a little handout that I thought I might share with you.

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?" A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, the fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?" (Man, I would be very frustrated with the farmer)

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?

Everything that seems on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise. And everything that seems to be good on the surface may really be an evil. Things may be more than they appear! Be careful and do not judge what is good fortune and misfortune.


So I have read and loved the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I wanted to see how the movie turned out, so on Friday, Mom and I went out, leaving my brother with a babysitter. First of all, we got to the theatre an hour early and, since it was so packed and there were no other seats to be found, had to sit in the handicapped labeled chairs. We weren't kicked out, so I guess it was O.K. I believe the movie wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. They spent a bit too much time on Edward's face and the special effects were kind of cheesy, but that's what you get when you only have a year to make a movie. I also believed the makeup artists made the vampires' faces much too pale; the high school students would have to be pretty stupid not to notice the Cullens were different. Overall, though, they did a good job.

I am missing my dad (if I haven't mentioned before, he is in India). He's been gone for two weeks now and I'm sick of people asking me, "Are you O.K?", "It must be really hard,", "How is your Dad? Do you miss him?" All it does is remind me of him and I have to refrain myself from responding, "Do you want me to cry?" I'll get over it. Plus, he'll be back before I know it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad News, More Bad News, and a Thank You

Well, the results are in...(drum roll, please) my group did not place in the Winston Science competition. The thing is that the officials didn't even say if we got the solution right or if we just didn't explain ourselves enough. Oh well, better luck next time. I wish we knew how we did though.

On another note, athletics is shut down at school. A.K.A., no more P.E. Why this horrible tragedy? Well, the 500 students in athletics (7th and 8th grade, boys and girls) are failing a total of 740 classes (still straight A's for me). I am disappointed because unlike most who do well in sports and need help in academics, I am vice versa. I need the athletics, but am denied. Instead of helping our bodies to function and become healthier, we are enjoying a 1 hour and 30 minutes of Study Hall, a wonderful thing with no talking or comfort, just reading, doing homework, and secretly sleeping on the hard gym floor. I like the reading for so long, but I need the workout! Plus, the floor is making me stiff. This is supposed to last for three weeks, but we'll see.

Another thank you to Allie! I have had so many compliments on the bubble wrap. It was all your idea! Thank you! If you have any ideas that will make Be Happy happier, just comment and I will see what I can do.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Madi, CSI Agent

Last Sunday, a couple of friends and I participated in this huge science competition. In the competition there are many events: rocket building, root beer brewing, catapulting, cardboard armor, etc. Well, my group participated in the forensics competition. Together, we solved a robbery and murder in an hour and ten minutes. It was a lot of fun; we are awaiting the response to whether we reached the correct solution and if we won. We did very well, and took some pictures. Some are a bit fuzzy since I am a bad picture taker.

A table was laid out that had all kinds of things that we would need to solve the crime.

Fingerprints were hanging on the wall so all could see.

A ton of people showed up. Some groups were just arriving when we turned in our solution.

A suspicious boarding pass from the suspect's house is posted.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Madi, the Great Pinball Champion

A couple days ago, my family and I went bowling with some friends at Alleycats. I love that place; we played a game of mowling, played laser tag, and tried some arcade games. I didn't do to well in bowling (I got 76 points with the bumpers), got 3rd place out of four players in laser tag, but did well in the arcade. First, I had a comeback from a 4-0 loss in air hockey, only to lose 7-6. Then I placed in the Need4Speed Underground game after totally flipping my car at 150 mph. Next, it happened: I started playing pinball and couldn't stop. I scored 15,678,940 points in one game. My friend tried next and only got 9 mil. Yes! I am actually really good at something I didn't think I was.

So you see the pin down in the background. Guess what? I miss it!

Trying out pinball for the first time. I actually had a crowd gathered around me.

Skippin School

Yes, I did skip school, but it was my dad who wanted me to, so is that considered skipping? Well, my dad and I drove to Houston yesterday morning so that he could pick up his visa to go to India. He is leaving on the 10th and will not return until January on work business. Anyway, we had a great time walking the trails in Memorial Park, reading in the warm 90 degree weather, going through the Japanese garden, and visiting the different parks. It was a fun day, especially since I spent it with my dad.

Sam Houston!!!!

Me sitting on a miniature Washington Monument. How cool! I actually visited a momument of a monument!!

The squirels in Houston were very fat. We couldn't resist taking a picture of one. He actually posed for us, while another ate right out of a kid's hand.

Yes! We filled up for under $2 on our way!

I hate to admit it, but I think I am catching my first cold of the season. Darn, starting out bad already. My allergies are bad, I'm coughing like crazy, and I have a bad headache. I'll try to toughen out though!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Preparing for Halloween!

Last Friday, my church had a trunk or treat in the parking lot where everyone dresses up and decorates their cars' trunks. This year for Halloween, I am dressing up as Judy Nails from Guitar Hero. I l♥ve my costume!!! I went with my friend and had a lot of fun.

Josh and I trunk-or-treating!

We also went and carved pumpkins. We found two decent sized ones and Josh and I carved some cool faces.

Me picking out my pumpkin. It was actually really chilly outside. Though yesterday was 85 degrees.

Carving my awesome pumpkin!

Like my pumpkin's hat? Josh's pumpkin is the one in the back. He actually designed the face himself.

My pumpkin on Halloween night. Later, I broke a glowstick and dribbled it all over my pumpkin so he was glowing. It was pretty cool.

On Halloween night, it was beautiful outside; warm at 80 degrees, but nice. There was a little crescent moon that gave off the spooky feeling. My family and some neighbors (I was the oldest by far, the next in ranking was 5 years old) went out around the neighborhood and received a lot of candy! People were cheap, though. I had little chocolate in my bag.

Me painting Josh's face before we set out.

My awesome costume. I was told by a friend that he copied me since his costume of card board armor broke before Halloween night.