Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Amelia

The other day, I was brainstorming post ideas with my fellow contributor, and we had the brilliant idea of letting our two readers send us questions to answer. Genius, huh?

I recently set up an email address for ETST for the specific purpose of having people send us comments, critiques, slams, questions and feedback about our blog. And I figured that it was high time that we announce its long-awaited arrival.

Our email address is I know, it's totally original and you would never be able to guess where we came up with the name of our HQ. Hehe.

We will be calling this series Dear Amelia. Don't ask me why because I don't know. We could have called it Dear Bob, Dear Herbert or even Dear Helga, but we didn't. Although we liked the name Helga, we happened to like the name Amelia better.

Oh, one more thing, please don't ask us why frogs are green and not pink. Please.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Day I Never Stopped Driving My Car

The other day I had the bright idea while driving home from school, that I would not stop all the way home. And somehow I managed it.

The drive home took way more thought than I had originally expected since there are a lot of stop lights, stop signs and most of all, other cars that tend to stop often. Stop signs were fairly easy to maneuver being that I would roll to an almost stopped position before accelerating again. The stoplights, however, were a little bit trickier.

My route home from school involves driving through 14 stoplights. I had to plan carefully for each one which sometimes meant slowing down very gradually and inching forward until the green colored go-ahead was given.

But as if 14 lights weren't enough, I had to go to the gas station on my way home. That brought the total number of lights up to 20. Bugger. The last light almost ruined me. I could see that it was green from a distance, but by the time I was remotely close, it turned yellow.

My mind raced trying to figure out how fast I should proceed to the light. Should I try to make it, or should I run the risk of recking my record? The light turned red and I pressed down the brake pedal. As my car crawled forward, I prayed that the light would turn. I would give anything if only the light would turn green. I was beginning to cross the white line and roll into the intersection by the time the light changed, but the light was green. Glorious green!

Zipping through the last light felt like I had entered the "safe zone" in Parcheesi. Nothing can bump you back to start; nothing can stop you from winning except maybe a cop. Luckily there were none to be seen. Not that I was speeding or anything.
When I finally pulled into my driveway, I felt absolutely, 100% triumphant. I had won my Parcheesi game that I had played against the people, whoever they were, who invented stoplights so people would have to stop. I win.

I think that I might write a song about green lights, "safe zones" and winning someday. Maybe I will...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wacky Web-Pic Wednesday #7

OK, this is just disturbing. Wait, maybe if I look at the picture sideways... nope, still disturbing no matter how you look at it.

One thing I do know: those guys will never be friends with vegetarians.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


While shopping with my mom the other day at Walmart, I found an item that I had been looking to buy for a while. This object also happened to be marked down, which is always desirable to me.

I paused in front of the rack which displayed this item and briefly ran my hand through the merchandise. They were cool and smooth to my hand and some rather bulky, which in most cases indicates better quality.

After circling the rack three or four times to make sure I had seen everything, I selected a brown leather belt from the rack. But this was not just any ordinary belt; it had class. Yup, it was totally awesome. The brown cow hide was adorned with a large gold medallion that attributed greatly to the weight and coolness factor. After purchasing it, I walked out to the car, promptly pulled off the tags and put it on.
I bought my new accessory on Thursday, I have worn it every day since. My family is starting to wonder if it has grown to my hips and my cat, which likes to lay on top of me, is very annoyed at its cold presence.

Yeah, accessories are great, but they aren't the whole package. They only enhance or compliment what is already there, although they often are the things that you notice. No one notices a cool shirt if you're wearing a super sweet strand of beads in a contrasting color on top of the shirt.

That's why God commands us to adorn ourselves not with braided hair, gold jewelery or brown leather belts, but with good deeds.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Our deeds should be the things that are noticed and appreciated. But I am keeping my belt. ;-)

As a side note, I wrote this whole post while my cat was sitting on me. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Word of the Week #7

embonpoint \ahn-bohn-PWAN\, noun:
Plumpness of person; stoutness.

Example Sentences:

"With his embonpoint, Mr Soames appears to be wearing a quadruple-breasted suit."
-- Simon Hoggart, "Roll up, roll up, to explore the Soames Zone", The Guardian, February 1, 2000

"His embonpoint expands by the day and his eyes are buried in the fat of his cheeks.''
-- quoted in Goethe: The Poet and the Age: Revolution and Renunciation by Nicholas Boyle

Embonpoint is from French, literally "in good condition" (en, "in" + bon, "good" + point, "situation, condition").

I think that we could safely declare the word 'embonpoint' to mean 'fat,' although the word fat was not included in the actual definition.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Keeping Up With the Jones

Have you ever met those people that put you to shame in every area of your life? You know the ones that can accomplish something in 20 minutes that would take anyone else several hours even days to finish. Sometimes I would like to be able to say at the end of the day that I...

...solved world hunger

...ran 18 miles in four minutes without breaking a sweat

...climbed Mount Everest

...wrote and published 4 books before eating my Wheaties

...swam the English Channel

...learned to speak Hungarian

...built a rocket that could fly to Neptune

...touched the North Pole

...memorized Sonatina in F Movement II on my tuba

...was unanimously voted president

...parted the Red Sea with my walking stick

...grew world renown lemons from seed to fruit in 2 hours

...fixed the Rubik Cube

...memorized the Old Testament

...cooked a Carmel souffle in my microwave

...chugged a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper in 3 minutes up at four o' clock in the morning to feed my prize-winning chinchillas

...painted an exact replica of the Mona Lisa a perfect score on the SAT

...built a life-sized medieval catapult for my history project

Fortunately, we are told in the Bible no to compare ourselves and our accomplishments to others. If we want to be content, we must come to realize that God created everyone for different purposes and with different gifts.

We must choose to use our gifts to honor and glorify the Lord, and even though we may never invent a new kind of awesome hand lotion or fly to Neptune, we must choose to only be concerned with how we appear to God. And we already know that He loves us.

Romans 12: 6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wacky Web-Pic Wednesday #6

I like Wacky Web-pic Day. I get the opportunity to search the internet for an interesting photo to share. But I must be careful when browsing. For instance, disturbing images that have nothing whatsoever to do with the word "cereal" pop up when I least expect them. I discovered this snapshot while searching under the word "strange."

Yup, that's definitely strange.

Don't get the wrong idea; we here at ETST really do like mustaches, but this is a little extreme. This man actually won a mustache contest; unfortunately, his doctor has put him on a diet. "The 10 extra pounds here and there will add up" his physician informed the Mustache Man.

Sad for him, the DMV also restricted his license because of "impared vision." Hopefully he will make lots of new friends on the bus.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Word of the Week #5

impassible \im-PASS-uh-buhl\, adjective:
1. Incapable of suffering; not subject to harm or pain.

2. Unfeeling or not showing feeling.

"Body is flux and frustration, a locus of pain and process. If it becomes impassible and incorruptible, how is it still body?"
--Jeffrey Burton Russell, A History of Heaven

"As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it"
--Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

Impassible is from Late Latin impassibilis, from Latin in-, "not" + Late Latin passibilis, "passible; capable of feeling or suffering" from Latin passus, past participle of pati, "to suffer." It is related to passion, which originally meant "suffering" but came to apply to any strong feeling or emotion.

Word of the Week #6

Some of you may have read the title of this post and went "What?!? We just read a 'Word of the Week' post two seconds ago, and now I am going to read another one!"

That's right. You did just read a Word of the Week post. And if you continue to read this post you will read another Word of the Week post. You see, last week Spadoodles put up a wonderful post on my birthday and made an executive decision that she wouldn't post anything on Monday. (An apology will come.) As far as I can tell, that means you, our readers, have been deprived of a additional word for your vocabulary list.

To fix this dilemma I have decided to give you two posts today. Hope you like both of them.

fungible \FUHN-juh-buhl\, adjective:
1. (Law) Freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.

2. Interchangeable.

3. Something that is exchangeable or substitutable. Usually used in the plural.

"People think this tax is for Social Security. But tax monies are really fungible. They get raided all the time."
-- Eugene Ludwig, "Motivated to Work," interview by Kerry A. Dolan", Forbes, March 20, 2000

"The setting is Ireland in the 1950's, but, a cynical reader might reflect, this sort of fiction is so common that the characters will be completely fungible."
-- Susan Isaacs, "Three Little Girls From School", New York Times, December 30, 1990

"Genuine eros makes us desire a particular person; crude desire is satisfiable by fungible bodies."
-- Edward Craig (general editor), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Fungible comes from Medieval Latin fungibilis, from Latin fungi (vice), "to perform (in place of)."

By the way, some of you may be wondering about the photo at the top of this post. You know, the one with the muffins. Well I thought that I would let everyone know that it has nothing to do with the actual content of the post.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What Tests?

This is my first semester in college. I have been homeschooled all of my life, and I have never once been in a classroom with more than 10 students. School has always been interesting to me even though I did struggle through parts of it. I first was introduced to the classroom test setting by taking the SAT and ACT. When I was dropped off to take them, I felt completely relaxed.

Tests were a major part of my at home education, and being that I preferred to prepare for them, they never really intimidated me. That was until I had to take the Delta Assessment Tests.

Just the name freaked me out. I had found when I took the SAT and ACT the steady clicking of the clock had no effect on my nerves. When I went in for the Delta Assessment Tests, I was not concerned about anything, yet. When I first entered the lecture hall, I saw an ominous timepiece hanging at the front of the room. What I found, however, was that there was an additional clock hanging in the back of the room where I constantly felt it's face staring at the back of my head saying: "Tick. Tock. Hurry. Are you almost done? Tick. Tock. Your time is almost up. Better HURRY! Tick. Tock."

However, after sitting down, I really didn't pay much attention to the clocks, that is until I started the tests. The facilitator was a massive man whose booming voice shushed the room in a matter of milliseconds. When the explanation for the people who had probably never taken a test before was over, the clock at the front of the room was set to go off in 35 minutes. "No problem," I thought.

Opening my booklet, I quickly started calculating and carefully filling in the corresponding bubbles. Something was wrong, though. After only two equations, I couldn't think. "Focus," I told myself. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I think? That's when I realized the constant, never ceasing tick-tocking of the timepieces was driving me insane. As I struggled to finish, I kept thinking why a clock would bother me all of the sudden. Then it hit me. I only had a lengthy page of problems and only a short amount of time in which to do them, and the ticking pressured me to finish in the allotted time.

This story sounds quite a bit like our life here on earth. We all possess unique qualities and gifts, and God intends us to make the most of His time before He comes again. We have so much to do and so little time. We had better get busy. Really busy.

Jeremiah 48:10 "A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD's work!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wacky Web Pic Wednesday # 5

Well, it is Wednesday again. And today, as our Wacky Web Pic, we have a spectacular picture. It is MASSIVE. It is HUGE. It is a GIANT iceberg!!!!! This is the kind of toy that once you climb all the way to the top you shout, " I am King of the Iceberg!!!!!!!!!"

It is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all I have to say.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget

Let us never forget.

Running. Don't Stop.

Running. Running. Always running. My body is screaming for me to stop. The sweat drips into my eyes, down my face, off my chin, and my hands refuse to quit shaking. As my heart pounds in my ears, I push on. The crisp morning breeze feels cool to my flushed face. I envision myself racing along the golden streets cutting through alleyways and leaping over anything that bars my path. The early morning sunlight pierces through the leaves of the trees overhead as I press on. Running. Running. Always running. Just placing one foot ahead of the other. Concentrating all my focus and thoughts on the goal: to finish the race.

I am not trying to pass any of the other runners; I just want to cross the finish line knowing that I did my best, gave my all. I glance quickly at my feet which I can't feel anymore. They seem mechanical, never stopping, never resting, never pausing long enough for me to catch my breath. I will eventually have to rest, the strength in my legs and lungs won't last forever.

I knew the race would be long and strenuous when I chose to run it, but even my training couldn't have prepared me for this. My lungs are flaming, and, feeling faint, I refuse to stop knowing that if I stop to rest, I will never be able to start running again. As I mentally wrestle with these thoughts, my legs give out from under me, and I crumple to the ground as a sharp pain shoots from my hip down my leg. The pain in my hip is worse than the pain of my flaming lungs.
Slowly rising, I think of only one thing: the finish line. I have already started the race; I must finish. Can't quit. Don't stop. Keep running. Running. Running. Always running.

I can see it: the finish line. It isn't far, just over that little grassy knoll. Don't stop running. Don't stop. It's so close. "Just a little farther," I tell myself. Ten more steps. Five more. Two. I step on the tape as I cross the line. Pulling up, I collapse on the lawn just past the finish line.

I did it. I finished, and well. No, I wasn't first, but that isn't important. I did my best, and that is all that God requires of me.

Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Ally!!!!!

Today is the most emotional day I have ever encountered. Today is my big sister's birthday. But not just any birthday, today she is turning 18. *blows nose* Now in our country we, the young people, are considered "adults" at this age. I t is a monumental occasion. She has already been to college (I cried then, too). She now owns her own laptop. She doesn't have a "bedtime." And she can make her own lunch. In the next election, she will get to vote. And I will stand by watching (and crying).

Who knows? Maybe, in a couple more years she will be on the "road to matrimony"(I will sob). Then she will get married (I will bawl hysterically). I'm excited for her. What joys her future will hold. I can now call her an "old lady." But no matter how old she gets (and how young i stay), I will always admire her.

You see, Ally and I were always close. We have had great adventures, great sorrows, and great joys together. I can remember the times that we would make my room a colossal mess. And the times we "painted" our play furniture with mud. Years later, she graduated from Jr. high. Just last summer she graduated from high school.

Ally is three years older than me. She has always been my role model. When I would be the one getting all the spankings, she was the one I envied. Ally was the "good kid" in our household. I was the "strong willed" as they call it. To this day she is still my role model. And she always will be. She is the one I crawl to when I have a question about math. She is the one who has taught me how to be "artsy." She is my best friend. Thanks Ally. Happy Birthday. I wish you all the best in the world and in the life to come. *goes to get more kleenex*

Friday, September 7, 2007

The 18th Candle

As many of you know, thanks to spadoodles, Sunday is my 18th birthday.

If you asked me right now if I think being 18 will be cool, sweet, jazzy and altogether a blast, I wouldn't have an answer for you. You see, at this point, I have mixed emotions about the whole "becoming an adult" thing. I can't wait to be old enough to drive everyone I want, old enough to vote, old enough to fall in love, old enough to get married, old enough to have children and raise them according to God's will, old enough to actually grow old, and eventually die completely sure of where I will go. On the other hand, though, the whole "mature adult" thing kind of freaks me out. Turning 18 signifies the change from a dependent kid to a mostly independent individual.

The responsibilities seem overwhelming all of the sudden. My tasks seem endless, and school feels like it will never end. I feel so inexperienced in the ways of adulthood. When I was a senior in high school, I felt fairly knowledgeable about many things. I guess you could say that I had a big head. (I wish that you wouldn't.) Being a high school senior made me feel important as most everyone was carefully observing my every move. But now I know that I was just fooled like all the other seniors into thinking that we had made it to the top of the "knowledge ladder," and could just take in the view.

I just recently realized (like since I started college) how little I know about adult life and everything that is enjoyed or endured by the normal adult. Take marriage as an example. I can't get married right now, and if I did, I wouldn't know the first thing about it. Or we could talk about jobs. Besides working as an intern for my church, I have never had a "real" job in my life. Or we could even talk about managing a household, having children, raising children, enduring the stresses of normal life and providing for someone else's needs. I have some head knowledge yes, but my experience in the real world is very limited. VERY limited.

Part of this shock comes from being carefully sheltered from materials and images that would have scarred my mind at a young age. My parents both realized that protection would not be necessary forever, only until I was capable and mature enough to make wise choices on my own. Over the last few years they have allowed bits and pieces of nonkid-friendly material to reach me. Their godly wisdom was displayed by the careful thought that went into the exposure. Recognizing I would eventually need to understand complex and worldly issues, they have gradually been "working" me into the world when they saw the desired amount of maturity. Meaning I still don't know all that much. ;)

Growing up requires a lot of responsibility and maturity. As I am slowly shoved into the adult world, I am just going to have to learn how everything is done, and believe me, I will be doing a lot of praying along the way. I realize mistakes are inevitable because of my human nature, but by asking my Heavenly Father for wisdom, I will be able to trust that He will lead me and show me the right thing to do.

James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

By Popular Demand

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, monkeys and squirrels!!!!!! Today is the unveiling of Ally Pie's birthday present. You voted and I purchased.

"Drum role please"
TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like yellow.

*Ooooooo's and Awwww's*

WOWIE!!!!!!! What a impressive cleaning tool!!!! Happy Birthday Ally Pie!!!!! We LOVE you!!

Now, I think it is time to tell you that I will be living on the streets for the rest of my life. It's simple. I spent my wad. Hopefully she will let me live with her. I voted for the least expensive gifts (the hug or the pic of Nancy). But you know what? Ally Pie is worth it. Happy Birthday Ally.

(Actually, Ally's Birthday is on Sunday. So make sure you read ETST on her real birthday.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lions, Tigers and a Bear. O Sweet!

I know, I know. It's supposed to be Wacky Web-Pic Day #4, but hey, we don't always have to be so predictable, do we? I thought that it was time for a Wacky Web-Flick Day anyway. Shweet.

I found this video clip on my laptop when I first went poking around in the "empty" files. It's one of those things that comes as a promotional item on your computer when you purchase it, and I think it's pretty cool.

And don't worry all of you animal people who were concerned about the bear, birds and the fish. (there were fish right?) No animals were harmed in this video, at least, not in the part that we showed you. Just kidding! Had you all there for a second. ;D

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!

Yeah!!!!!! ETST has reached the "20 Posts" anniversary. Congratulations to all. We really couldn't have done it without the support. We are so incredibly proud that we have approximately two readers. Hurray!!!!!!! We hope to keep you laughing and spiritually encouraged for years (give or take). So in celebration of the years(or so) to come, go gnaw on an ice cube or chug an apple juice. Well, the cube is calling. Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ronald is in Trouble

Well, we put it to a vote and you decided. You would rather meet Ronald Mcdonald in the forest than a freaky beetle, rabbid squirrel, or fuzzy toad. I found this pic of our dear friend Ronald. It shows him in a forest. The only problem is well.......why don't you see for yourself.

Yep kids, our dear friend Ronald McDonald was arrested. The reason, you ask? We don't know. *sniffle* Poor fellow, he probably was arrested because he wasn't sitting on his bench in the local McDonalds, for all the kids to sit by him and take a picture. Oh well. Sorry, Ronald, old boy.

Thank you for voting.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor?

Happy Labor day everyone! Or can I say "Happy Labor Day?"

How in the world can you put the words 'happy' and 'labor' together in the same sentence and have it sound correct? Don't get me wrong, I think everyone needs to eventually do some good old-fashioned hard work, but can this really be possible?

During the 18 years that I have lived on this green earth, I have never, repeat NEVER associated the word 'work' with the word 'happy.' Again, don't misunderstand me. I do like to keep busy with little jobs and projects. But normally when I hear the word 'work,' I remember a time when I was helping my dad lay sprinkler pipes in our backyard. I think it was like 104 degrees, and we were hunched over the trenches with our faces painfully close to the searingly-hot ground. With the sweat running into my eyes and dripping off my nose, I helped my dad finish laying the pipe.

That is work. Nothing happy about it except maybe the satisfaction of a job well done. Even that feeling was only mildly pleasant since I think I was still feeling faint from the heat.

The point of this post is not to let you know that I know how to lay sprinkler pipe, but to show everyone that there is a major issue with the name of this "holiday." I would never associate work with happy. Or maybe I would if I was feeding the hungry or helping wash the church bus. I think work can be fun, in fact, I am sure of it. OK, you can just forget everything that I just said about work being unhappy. Never mind.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 "Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God."

Word of the Week #4

solecism \SOL-uh-siz-uhm\, noun:

1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction; also, a minor blunder in speech.

2. A breach of good manners or etiquette.

3. Any inconsistency, mistake, or impropriety.

Example Sentences:
"An accurate report of anything that has ever been said in any parliament would be blather, solecism, verbiage and nonsense."
-- "Hansard of the Highlands", Times (London), February 17, 2001

"In those days smoking in the streets was an unpardonable solecism."
-- Edmund Yates, Recollections

Solecism comes from Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikizein, "to speak incorrectly," from soloikos, "speaking incorrectly," literally, "an inhabitant of Soloi," a city in ancient Cilicia where a dialect regarded as substandard was spoken.