Arriving in Atlanta

Posted by Stella on Wednesday Dec 14, 2011

September 27, we pulled in next to the curb of OUR HOUSE IN ATLANTA!!! Oh my gosh, we were back! For some reason that is unknown to me, it felt like we had never even left. Everything felt like how it was before we left, and I don’t know why, but I didn’t like it. I wanted it to feel like we had been gone forever. When we pulled up at our house, we saw Dinara and Abby, Ellie’s best friends, and Dinara’s mom, Lisa, standing in our yard. Abby and Dinara came running toward us like they hadn’t seen us in years. That’s how I felt, too. I jumped out of the RV and hugged Lisa, and headed for the front door, eager to go inside. Then I spotted my friend that lives down the road, Will. I told him he could come in the house, so he followed me inside. Me, Greta, and Will went upstairs first, because that’s where me and Greta’s room is. It was so empty! We hung out up there until suddenly Brynn came into the room! Then Will said he had to leave, so we said bye. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Brynn. We were home!

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My Favorite Things About Grandpa

Posted by Stella on Wednesday Dec 14, 2011

One of my funniest memories of Grandpa is when he would talk in this alien-sounding voice, and Ana would get so scared that she would go tell Jean. Another really funny thing that I remember is when Grandpa picked up the phone saying, “Hello, Welshes?” and no one answered, so he said, “Either say something or shut up,” and he slammed the phone down. I know it sounds like Grandpa was really grumpy, but I don’t think he was. Those are some of my favorite memories of Grandpa.

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My Favorite Times With Dindy

Posted by Stella on Wednesday Dec 14, 2011

First of all, Dindy is what I call my granddad. One of my favorite things that I ever did with Dindy is when we went to Holiday World. I loved it because we had a whole day without parents–only Dindy. Well, my sisters were there too, but I think that made it even better. We did everything together that day, and that’s why that was one of my favorite days with Dindy.

Holiday World with Dindy

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Visiting the Lansing School

Posted by Stella on Sunday Sep 18, 2011

September 8th, the new principal, Mrs. Hogan, gave Ellie, Ana, Greta, and I permission to attend class for one day. I was put in the class with all my friends. In the Lansing school, there is only one sixth grade class and there’s only 24 people in it. Last year, near the end of fifth grade, I had joined the school for a few weeks. That’s how I knew everybody. One of my best Iowa friends, Annie, took me to all her classes and included me in everything. She was so nice, and all my other friends were too, but Annie made me feel the most at home.

The school day was really fun, and my second favorite part was lunch. We had mini corn-dogs, cheese sandwiches, applesauce, a salad bar, Dorito and pasta salad, pineapple fruit cups, peaches, muffins, vegetables and dip, and milk. What a lunch! My favorite part was the corn-dogs.

My favorite part of the day was PE. We played capture the flag, boys against girls. At first, the boys were all excited because they always think they’re better, but the girls won every single time.

Everything was so fun that day. DEFINITELY beats homeschool! Thanks everybody!

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Visiting Trisha, Ron, and Willie

Posted by Stella on Saturday Sep 17, 2011

September 3rd, on our way back to Lansing from Spanish camp, we stopped by Trisha and Ron, Jean’s friends, and their son, Willie’s house in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When went inside and a little yippy dog came running. Trisha told us that the dog was blind because it was so old and it’s cataracts had completely grown over it’s eyes. Trisha said that it got around by sound and by just walking where it wanted to go, and if it ran into a wall or chair or something, it would just go the other way. I laughed at that, feeling both amused by the dog and bad for it.

We sat on the back porch for a while and Ron brought us some root-beer in a beer bottle. There was a label around the top that said, “KWITCHERBELLIAKEN”. Get it? Kwitcherbelliaken, like quit your belly aching? Kwitcherbelliaken, quit your belly aching. 🙂 I like that label.

With our long-time friends in St. Paul

After we finished our root-beer, Trisha said she had something for us and went in to get it. When she came back out, she was holding a big plastic box full of potholder-making stuff! Wow! We thanked Trisha and then she said that she and Ron would have to leave to go to a concert with some friends of theirs. So they left, and so we decided that we should leave too, but it was dinner-time. (By the way, Willie is Jean’s godson and Willie is 14, almost 15, so he could’ve stayed home alone, but he didn’t then.) So since it was dinner-time, and Willie is Jean’s godson, and if we didn’t take him somewhere, he’d have to stay home alone, we decided to walk him out to eat at Noodles and Company. I love that restaurant! I got a large order of spaghetti and meatballs. It was DELICIOUS!!! We talked about Spanish camp with Willie because he had been there before, and we talked about our different experiences. Me, Ellie, Greta, and Ana all said that it was the best time ever, but Willie said that he went there with his friends and they tried to speak as much English as possible to annoy the counselors. 🙂 Of course. He is a boy.

When we finished eating, we walked back to Trisha and Ron’s house, dropping off Willie, saying goodbye, and hopping into the RV. That was a nice night!

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Posted by Stella on Friday Sep 16, 2011

September 2nd, after the carnilval, we went down to the fire for singing. There was a surprise waiting at the fire. When we got down to the fire, there were already a lot of people there. We started our usual singing and the counselors announced the surprise. S’mores! They got out the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Then they said that the grownups should roast the marshmallows and make them for the kids so I sat down and waited while they prepared our s’mores. When they were done, our parents handed them off to us. Yum! Those were good s’mores! When we finished, I went up to the cafeteria room to get some water, and right after that, I went to bed.

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El Carnival

Posted by Stella on Friday Sep 16, 2011

September 2nd was the last full day at camp. We “comi” (ate) dinner and then the counselors told us to go to the central of “actividades”. I ran over there and threw open the door. Carnivale tiempo! There were all kinds of actividades filling the room. I tried not to look at anything except the actividade I was facing. I waited in line until it was my turn. Paola, an awesome counselor, handed me a pole with a plastic string on the end like a loop. In front of me sat a bucket full of agua and on top of the agua sat a bunch of rosado, azul, y amarillo plastic ducks. I reached my pole out and hooked the loop around an amarillo duck’s cabesa. I slowly and carefully lifted the duck out of the agua and Paola congratulated me. I guess not many people can get the ducks out of the agua. Then she lifted the duck off the pole and flipped it over so she could see the bottom. When she saw it, she smiled. I looked and there was an estrella (star). Yay! That meant that I would get tres tickets instead of uno! I said “gracias” and went to the next actividade.

I stepped up to one of my favorite counselors, ( I love them all!) named Vero. There was a “pequeño” chica named Grace waiting for a second persona to come and do the dos-persona actividade, so I volunteered to race her. Vero told us to each take a take a papel plato and plastic huevo and use the plato to whip the aire around the huevo and make it move. We started, and I whipped the aire as hard as I could. I won the race! Grace got un ticket and I got dos. Whoo! I was doing bien so far.

Shaving a balloon

The next actividade was “Shave the Globo (balloon) “! Another one of my favorite counselors, Edgar, was standing behind a mesa (table) wearing a clear, plastic, raincoat that was covering everything on him except for his face. It even had a hood. He was wearing safety goggles, too, and he looked hilarious! He told me what I had to do, so when he finished explaining, he smeared shaving cream all over a globo and held it out in front of me. I picked up the razor laying on the mesa and began to shave. My razor soon became covered in shaving cream and I noticed a bucket of agua on the mesa. I rinsed my razor off and continued shaving. Then another awesome counselor, Nelson, came over to watch me shave my globo. I glanced at him– my big mistake– and I got drenched in shaving cream! Nelson calmly walked away right on tiempo. He didn’t get splattered one bit. Why did my globo have to pop right then? I was almost done shaving the whole thing! Oh, well, at least I got dos tickets.

What happens when you shave a balloon

The next actividade was agua pingpong. I grabbed Ana and dragged her over to the agua pingpong. We each sat down on opposite sides of the mesa and listened as Nelson told us what to do. There was a metal tray full of agua with a pingpong ball set in the middle. We would have to blow it and when it touched the opposite side of the pan, that would be a goal. So Ana and I started blowing. I’m not going to say who won… but we both got covered with aqua!

Aqua ping-pong

I collected my tickets from Nelson and went to the next actividade. It was led by a counselor named Mariano. You would have dos beanbags, and you try to toss them into a hole. I got both of them in on the first toss, so I got more than one ticket. I said gracias and moved on to the next actividade.

This actividade was a little more challenging. It was lead by a hilarious counselor named Alejandro. You had to stand “arriba” (up) on a chair with a glass jar on the ground below you. Alejandro handed me a wood clothes-pin and he told me to hold my “braso” (arm) straight out in front of me with the clothes-pin in my mano. Then I would have to drop it and try to get it in the glass jar. I dropped it and it hit the edge and bounced off. Alejandro gave me another one and told me to try “otra vas” (again). So I dropped another and it hit the edge and bounced off again. Arggh! I got another and dropped it. It went in! Even though I made it in, Alejandro still gave me another pin. It hit the edge again! Oh, my gosh! I got ANOTHER and it hit the edge also! Wow! Finally, Alejandro didn’t give me another. I hopped off the chair and got my tickets. That was a fun actividade!

The next station was bowling. Another counselor, Bruno, was crouched on the ground, picking up the bowling pins that had just been knocked over. I said hola and stood there waiting. He apologized and stood up. He asked if I knew what to do and I answered, “¡Si!” So I took the mini bowling ball and tossed it at the mini pins. I knocked down half. Bruno passed it back to me and I tossed it at the remaining pins, hitting them all. I didn’t think I did a very bien job, but Bruno acted like that was the best he had ever seen. I smiled, taking my tickets. On to the next actividade!

The next thing was face-painting. I skipped it and moved on. Face paint makes me itchy.

The next thing was lead by another one of my favorite counselors, Emilia. You had to take a pole with a long string and a clothes-pin tied to the end. You would try to aim the pole and then swing it to try to get the pole through a hole in a door-like thing. I did it and got it in on the first try. I was really cranking that night! When my pole was in the hole, Emilia crouched down behind the wall and told me to hold the pole still. I waited and then she told me to lift my pole out. I tugged on it and when I pulled it out, there was a drawing of a pez (fish) on a piece of papel and tres tickets clipped in the clothes-pin. Nice! Solo un poco mas actividades!

The next one was musical chairs. I told Yamile, the counselor running that station, that I would be right back and that I was going to find a few “persones” for musical chairs. I came back with Ellie, Grace, and our friend Rosa. Then a counselor named Ale said she wanted to join us, so we put an extra chair next to the others. Since there were cinco persones, there were solo quatro chairs. Yamile asked if we were ready, and then we began. Yamile turned on the musica and we started circling around the chairs. Suddenly, the musica shut off and Ellie, Rosa, Grace, and I plopped down as quick as we could. Poor Ale was left without a chair. She smiled, congratulated us in Espanol, and went to help out with other actividades. Yamile pulled a chair out of the “circulo” and flipped on the musica. We continued. The musica shut off suddenly again, and I sat down at the chair under my butt. Whew! I got a chair! But Grace didn’t. She got un ticket and went to another actividade. The musica turned on again and we walked around the dos chairs that were left. My heart was starting to beat pretty fast, now that it was only me, Ellie, and Rosa. We kept walking until the musica shut off abruptly. I sat down without a mili-second passing. Oh, my gosh! I got a chair, without even someone else trying to sit on the edge! Ellie was sitting on Rosa’s lap, laughing. She got handed un ticket and she smiled at me for still being in. What a bien sport! We pulled out another chair so there was only uno left. Oh, no. The pressure was on. Rosa and I looked at each other with rojo faces with both determination and fright in our ojos. Before I knew it, the musica was playing and it was time to win! We circled the chairs and listened with all our might for the music stopping. Suddenly, everything seemed to get louder except the musica. I guess that’s what happens when you’re about to find out who wins. Immediately, the musica stopped and– I got the chair! Yes! I won! I got tres tickets and Rosa got uno. I told her she did a bien job and she smiled. That actividade was fun!

There was uno actividade left– Ring Toss. It was lead by Ana, a cool counselor. I already knew what to do, so I began. I tossed– and made it! I tossed again– and made it again! I tossed AGAIN– and made it! I tossed again and clipped the edge. I tossed again and clipped the edge again. I tossed uno mas tiempo and I made it on! Whoa! I got tres tickets and thanked Ana. That must have been lucky because I’m usually not that bien!

A great aqua ping-pong match-up

I still felt like doing actividades after I finished them all, so went and did all the ones with short lines again. Man, that carnivale was so fun! I wished it lasted all noche (night)!

When all the actividades closed, I went over to the mesa where you get to buy things for your tickets! I pulled my tickets out of my pocket and counted. 29! I don’t think anyone got that many! I waited in line, excited. I was going to get to buy a lot! Finally, it was my turn in line. I looked at the things I could get and decided on a hairbrush and mirror set for fifteen tickets, dos pelo (hair) clips with fake, colored pelo attached for cinco tickets each, and a lip gloss for cinco tickets. Si, I knew that it was cinco tickets and I only had quatro left, but Ale, who was running the prize table, let me have it because I had been waiting in a line for an actividade and then it closed, right as it was my turn, so I would have at least uno mas ticket. I thanked Ale and headed off.

That was one of the best noches ever! I went off to the next thing– campfire and s’mores!

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The Banquet

Posted by Stella on Friday Sep 16, 2011

September 2nd, right before the carnival, we went to our cabins to get dressed up for the banquet. I couldn’t find anything to wear because when we were packing for Spanish camp, I didn’t know that we would be having a fancy dinner. I searched my whole clothes bag for something fancy, but I didn’t know why because I knew what I packed and I didn’t have anything fancy. I knew I had to try, though, so I decided on a short-sleeved, green, blue, purple, and white paint splattered, thin shirt and skinny jeans. I pulled on some socks and slipped my blue, high-topped converse and headed to the bathroom. I brushed my hair and my teeth and headed out the door, on my way to the dining hall. I got there just in time. The counselors were standing at the front of the room, getting ready to serve the food. Since this was a fancy meal, the counselors would not be doing a play every meal like they always do. For this meal, there would be no fun. Only fancy.

I actually was pretty excited about the banquet before I got there, but when I realized there would be no play to show what we’d be eating, no mysteriously running around to announce the winners for the people who speak the most Spanish. We couldn’t even eat with a counselor! And since there weren’t separate tables with eight seats each, we couldn’t choose who we sat by, and there was only one table, one really long table that made a U around the room. So I could only sit with a person on either side of me, and a person in front of me. Only three people. Well, at least that I could see.

So as you can see, this banquet did not please me very much. But I dealt with it the whole time and when it was done, I rushed out the doors to play Four-Square, calling the Queen spot. Bella, Rosa, Greta, Ellie, Ana, Peri, Grace, and Christian rushed after me to the Four-Square square already set up. We played until the carnival– here was the fun!

We were given a spanish immersion certificate at the banquet

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A Night Activity

Posted by Stella on Sunday Sep 11, 2011

August 30, we were starting a night activity. There were lots of activities that we had to do, but this was as a family. We had to try to race the other families, getting points for the more and better things we did. We did things like dancing, trying to keep a balloon off the ground by blowing, hula-hooping, painting each other’s faces, a three legged race, and stacking apples. We didn’t win, but it was still fun.

Dad was so proud when we had to try to stack apples because you only have to stack four, and Dad got four and managed to get another on top. Five apples! Just wanted to mention that for Dad.

That night was fun– read the next few posts to see the other night activities we did!

Trying to keep a balloon in the air without touching it

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Singing Songs at Spanish Camp

Posted by Stella on Friday Sep 9, 2011

August 29th, the first dia of Espanol camp, we were brought down to the fire pit to learn some camp songs. The first one we learned was called “El Mamut”. It was about a mammoth who wanted to learn how to fly, so he asked a bird and the bird told him how to do it so he flew with his orejas. Then we learned “La Bamba” in Espanol. It was really cool and fun. We learned one more song. It was called “Maria Maria”. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was about, but I caught a few words in the song like “sol” and “planeta”. Learning Spanish songs was pretty cool.

Learning "El Mamut" on the plaza

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