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7th Grade Reflection

When I arrived in August, I expected a lot. First, I thought I was going to have too much homework to carry home. That never happened. Although the homework increased this year, it wasn’t so much as the amount (that increased only a little) but it was that we now had homework everyday, even on Friday’s.

Second, I expected that it would be really hard to make all A’s and although I’ve had a bit of struggle with that, it was easier than I expected because I heard that 7th grade was supposed to be really hard.

That was another thing. I heard that 7th grade was supposed to be one of the two hardest years of school( 7th and 11th) but it really wasn’t that different from last year. What was a challenge was going to bed early, because these days I don’t sleep until at least 10:00.

In 7th grade, I learned a lot of things. I learned that learning a new language isn’t easy, that you can’t always keep all of your friends, and that you have to study to make good grades. I also learned that even if you think your not good at something, if you keep trying and practicing, then you can get good.

As the year comes to a close, I’m glad to say that I made it through 7th grade. I came into 7th grade prepared for the worst, but surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as everyone made it out to be.

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Sun filled Summer

I’m at the top of a tall wooden platform, looking down at the slide below. It’s at least fifty feet long, and I’m about to jump. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, get a running start, and I jump. I hit the slide and I bounce, before landing on it again. The water starts to spring into my eyes as I near the bottom, so I shut them tight and get ready for the fall. All of the sudden I feel my legs shoot out of the slide with my body soon following. I’m airborne for a few moments, until my body slams into the cold water beneath me, and the sound of a rushing river fills my ears. I float up to the top and smile, then get out of the way for the next person. I swim over to my friend, who went before me. I was shaking from fear and excitement. Was it worth it? Definitely.

Everything at Laity Lodge Youth Camp is worth it, except for the blob which I wouldn’t go on to save my life. (It’s right near this concrete wall where the water drops off so on the other side of the wall it’s shallow. Although I’ve never seen or heard this happen, I’m afraid I’ll get blobbed off over the wall and die.) I absolutely LOVE LLYC. It’s a Christian camp and there are three camp sites at Laity Lodge now, and they are all placed around the Frio River in Leakey, Texas, near Kerville. The camps are Family Camp, (LLFC) and two youth camps, one at Singing Hills from incoming 1st to 6th graders, and Echo Valley, for incoming 7th to high schoolers. Echo Valley is the biggest, and in my opinion, best camp. Virtually, they are all the same but Echo Valley has the best location.

LLYC has 4 sessions that are each two weeks long and a jam session which is one week long. I’ve gone to jam session twice, and 4th session once, and before jam, I went to family camp. For each week, you pick two activities, which include: water sports, mountain biking, swimming, art, fishing, archery, red-neck sports, dancing, and others. Everyday there is a routine: wake up, breakfast at 8:15, morning round-up(where you go to the pavilion and the guys and girls split up) then cabin cleanup, activity 1, activity 2, lunch, cabin time, swimming or an activity, dinner, roundup, and bedtime. Sometimes at night they have cabin sneakouts( which aren’t allowed but are sometimes planned anyways) where you raid the snack shack, or have a party, or go look at the stars, or even, trade cabins for the night with come one from a different camp location. (It’s all basically the same place, the younger kids are just a little farther down the river.)

Everyday is filled with as much fun and excitement and surprise as you can possibly fit in. Everyday you go to bed tired but wake up ready in the morning for whatever the day throws at you. The whole two weeks(or one week) you are on your feet excited for the day. The canyon it’s located in is absolutely gorgeous, with tall old trees right by the river and lush green grass going everywhere. If there is a camp you need to go to, it’s LLYC. I am really sad to say that I’m not going this year, although I will miss it very much. Next year however, I am going, and even though it’s more than a year away, I’m still looking forward to it!


The Unicorn Poem

The Unicorn

A long time ago, when the earth was green
and there was more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen,
and they run around free while the world was bein’ born,
and the lovliest of all was the Unicorn.

There was green alligators and long-neck geese.
There was humpy bumpy camels and chimpanzees.
There was catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you’re born
the lovliest of all was the Unicorn.

But the Lord seen some sinnin’, and it caused him pain.
He says, ‘Stand back, I’m gonna make it rain.’
He says, ‘Hey Brother Noah, I’ll tell ya whatcha do.
Go and build me a floatin’ zoo.

And you take two alligators and a couple of geese,
two humpy bumpy camels and two chimpanzees.
Take two catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you’re born,
Noah, don’t you forget my Unicorn.’

Now Noah was there, he answered the callin’
and he finished up the ark just as the rain was fallin’.
He marched in the animals two by two,
and he called out as they went through,

‘Hey Lord, I got your two alligators and your couple of geese,
your humpy bumpy camels and your chimpanzees.
Got your catsandratsandelephants – but Lord, I’m so forlorn
’cause I just don’t see no Unicorn.’

Ol’ Noah looked out through the drivin’ rain
but the Unicorns were hidin’, playin’ silly games.
They were kickin’ and splashin’ in the misty morn,
oh them silly Unicorn.

The the goat started goatin’, and the snake started snakin’,
the elephant started elephantin’, and the boat started shaking’.
The mouse started squeakin’, and the lion started roarin’,
and everyone’s abourd but the Unicorn.

I mean the green alligators and the long-neck geese,
the humpy bumpy camels and the chimpanzees.
Noah cried, ‘Close the door ’cause the rain is pourin’ –
and we just can’t wait for them Unicorn.’

Then the ark started movin’, and it drifted with the tide,
and the Unicorns looked up from the rock and cried.
And the water come up and sort of floated them away –
that’s why you’ve never seen a Unicorn to this day.

You’ll see a lot of alligators and a whole mess of geese.
You’ll see humpy bumpy camels and lots of chimpanzees.
You’ll see catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you’re born
you’re never gonna see no Unicorn


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Challenge Week 5: A Memory

My Childhood Blanket

When I was a kid, my favorite object I owned was my blanket. It’s name was Pink Blankie, or just Blankie for short. I got the blanket when I was in Pre-school from my teacher, and I carried it around the house everywhere. I didn’t take it outside though, because I didn’t want to get it dirty. If it got a stain on it, I probably would’ve died. My blanket was pale pink with a white lace border. It was square shaped and about 2 1/2 feet long each way.

At night, I couldn’t sleep without it. While I carried Pink Blankie, I felt happy, but most of all, I felt safe. I felt safe because as a kid I thought monsters were real and that they lived under my bed, but they couldn’t get to me if I had my blanket. My blanket comforted me. My blanket was the best companion, always protecting me and keeping me warm. I loved it so much. Having that blanket was like having an angel, my guardian angel, following me around everywhere and keeping me safe. Without it I would feel empty.

One time I left her at a friends house, and I cried for the whole night until my sister brought me a pink unicorn, which I had to pretend was my blanket. When I finally got it back I was so happy, because I felt safe again. When I finally realized monsters weren’t real and I had nothing to be afraid of, I gave it. I still have it though, for memories, to remind me of when I was a kid and when I believed in monsters and when I needed a blanket to keep me safe.


Week 3: 5 favorite apps

I rarely use my iPad/iPhone, but when I do, it’s on these apps. These are definitely my favorite apps, and they are on of the most time wasting ones too.

Netflix-I love you! You have given me so many options when I am stuck in my house, whether it’s raining or I’m just home alone. Netflix introduced me to Glee, my now favorite TV show. I watched the first three seasons in probably a month. Also, I started watching Gossip Girl, although I skipped the first four episodes and I went straight to the last one. When I am bored and I feel like watching some old favorites, I’ll watch High School Musical 2 or Cheetah Girls. If I didn’t have Netflix, I wouldn’t be able to watch all of these!

Music- My life. Almost. I listen to my music so much that when I’m not singing or dancing or just plain listening to it, songs are always stuck in my head, literally 24/7. I’m so glad that when Steve Jobs made the iPhone he decided to put a music app on it, along with iTunes. I’m able to buy the songs I want so easily, I don’t have to drive all the way to the store just to buy a song, and if I want to buy a song and not the whole album, I can do that and save money, unlike when we used CDs and you had to buy the whole album. Also, to play a song, all I have to do is click an app and click on the song-and ta da! It’s playing!

Instagram- My whole social life. Everything online socially that I do is on here. Every time I open up my phone, I check Instagram. (It’s kind of a habit now.) I love being able to post pictures of what I’m doing or who I’m hanging out with, and it’s fun to see what other people are doing as well. You can post videos too, and you can like posts that other people post, and you can also like your own. It’s kind of like a younger and easier version of Facebook, although some adults have it.

Huluplus- as I was saying earlier, Netflix introduced me to Glee. But Netflix(at the time) didn’t have season 4 of Glee, so I downloaded Huluplus. I was able to watch season 4, and when season 5 came out, I could watch that as well. The only bad thing is that you also have to pay $8 a month and make an account!

Safari- I don’t even know if this counts as an app since it comes with your iPad/iPhone, but it is definitely the most helpful app-ever. I use it every day for searching things like stores for when I’m shopping, to looking up words that I don’t know. It’s so helpful and so easy to use too! Also, you can watch music that yo haven’t downloaded on YouTube, and you can watch music videos, which is what I mostly use safari for.


Week Two: Town Lake

The sunlight reflects off the water, coating it in a glistening sheen of white light that drowns out anything in the water. The sky is a clear bright blue that looks endless, and the trees are decorated with bright green leaves that never stop to amaze me. The roots reach into the water on the bank, near rocks with turtles basking in the sun. Town Lake. Otherwise known for the lake which is actually a river that people run around everyday and paddle board/canoe/kayak on. If you are visiting Austin, Town Lake is the place to go.

There is a six mile trail around Town Lake, with a few bridges that cross over it. The trail is the perfect place to go for a run or a walk, whether you want to get a great workout or just have a relaxing walk with great scenery. The tall, old, green trees are just beautiful to look at and there is the water also. You can also ride your bike, and take your dog with you on the trail. You can go with friends too and after, you can go downtown and get ice-cream or whatever you want. So if you like trails you should definitely come to Town Lake!

Also, as I mentioned earlier, you can paddle-board or kayak or canoe on the lake. And it is conveniently located on the trail, so if you want to do both, they are right next to each other! The water isn’t too deep or too cold (unless it’s the winter) and it’s so beautiful! There are swans and turtles and birds, and, sadly, water moccasins. It’s a great activity to do with your friends and you can also take your pets! You are sadly not allowed to get in the water but if you “accidentally” fall in, no one can stop you from swimming. Town Lake is definitely the prettiest place to be on the water in Austin.

Although there are plenty of other great places to visit in Austin, Town Lake is definitely my favorite because of the gorgeous scenery and nature! The atmosphere is perfect, and everything is green and everyone is so nice! There are so many things to do and it’s downtown so you are near the center of everything, which makes it really easy to go eat after, or shop. So I hope if you ever visit Austin, you come here!

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The Phantom’s Cavern

Pestera Ghetarul de la Scarisoara
The stairs continue farther and farther underground, deep down below the Opera House, stair after stair after stair of damp moldy rock and musty passageways that creak with each step. The dark dripping walls are filled with light from a quivering candle every few feet, and as I get pulled down farther, I smell something rotting. My legs start to stumble once I’ve been walking for too long, but finally…I reach the bottom.

I am pulled into a dark cavern, but The Phantom snaps his fingers and a row of candles on both sides of the cave light up, showing me a huge glittering lake right at my feet. The murky water is far too dark to see through, but when a candle shines on the lake, I see a skeleton below me. I cover my mouth before I let out a shriek, and back up to the wall.

At least I think its a wall.

I turn around and its the Phantom I have run into, not the skeleton I have been imagining. But the Phantoms face is just as scary as running into a skeleton would’ve been. He shoves me into a boat I didn’t see before, and we paddle across the haunted lake.

On the other side there is an organ with a plush chair behind it, and a huge candle, with the Opera House chandelier above it. Broken. Just like the Phantom. As I look up at the chandelier, The Phantom steps in front of me and sits down in the old, antique velvety chair. He lifts his hands and starts his luring mysterious lullaby…
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Sergiu Bacioiu via Compfight


Snow Day


It was pitch black. I woke up to a bright screen flashing in my face while my dad whispered “Listen to this!” As excited as he could say it while trying not to disturb the rest of the house and still being half asleep.I turned my head away from the pillow to listen to the blinking screen say, “All Eanes schools have been closed for the day due to severe weather in the area.” And it repeated over and over. My dad left the room and I went back into a deep sleep.

There was light seeping in through the curtains in my room and my sister was jumping on my bed saying, “Caitlyn, lookout the window, there is snow! Look, it’s snow! Oh my Gosh, it’s so pretty, you should see it! Open your curtain!” I groggily reach my hand up and pull back the curtain slightly. Sure enough, the ground is covered in a thin icy layer of glittery white snow. Suddenly I am wide awake jumping out of my bed. “Let’s go outside!” I say to my sister. I get my clothes on, layering up for the freezing snow. Two layers of leggings, uggs, a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, and two jackets. I am finally ready. I go to my sisters room. “Are you ready?” I ask her. She nods and we go to my brothers room since he is up and we tell him we are going outside. He nods and says he will join us. I go back to my room and grab my phone and just as I am walking down the stairs, my dad stops me.

“What are you doing?” He asks me softly. I explain that I am going outside and he tells me to be quiet because it’s only 7:30 and people are still sleeping. I nod and rush down the stairs and catch up to my siblings. I turn the handle on the door and bitter cold air rushes in. I step through the door after Josh and Bekah and shut it behind me. Our sidewalk is coated in a layer of beautiful white snow and so is everything. There is icicles on the trees and my air is coming out in cloudy white puffs. It’s like I’ve stepped into Winter Wonderland. I text my neighbor and tell her that it’s snowing and she should come outside. She answers and says she is coming. A few minutes later she and he brother step out of their house. The next few hours are spent playing outside in the snow and drinking hot chocolate and freezing my face off outside. At one point my older sister finally comes out and joins us, at another my neighbors brother drops his phone in the sewer and we had to get it.

Over all, it was a really exciting and eventful day and I’m so happy that we had a snow day because they are so fun and I love them so much! I enjoyed picking icicles off of my house and wiping the snow off of my car and maybe next year we can get another one!

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Why my iPad is helpful

Papers are everywhere, my homework spread out in a pile around me while the contents of my pencil bag have been dumped on the floor as I play Candy Crush on my iPad. This is what everyone expects students to be doing on their school- issued iPads. Right? Wrong. My iPad actually helps keep me organized and get my work done. I mean sure, I play a few games every once in a while, but only after I finish my homework. (Mostly.) But still, my iPad is more of a help than a distraction.

My iPad is always with me to help me write down my homework and remind me when things are due. Everyday in class I look at the study habits and write it down- on my iPad. If I didn’t have it, I would have to hand write all of my study habits!

Also, my iPad has many online textbooks that I use for my subjects, such as science, Latin, and math. Instead of grabbing that huge, heavy, giant 400-page textbook, I can just pull it up on my iPad.

My iPad also gives me a way to keep up with my school things, like how I can get to the school website really easily to see when school is canceled or to check when I have athletics practice after school. Also, I can check my school email to see when I have to return a library book or when u have no more lunch money.

All in all, my iPad is definitely a help more than a toy to me. It keeps me more organized and helps me with my school work, even though Ido play a few games every now and then.


My Favorite Mistake

I could feel the rush of the cold harsh wind against my face and I glided down a hill on my bike. I stopped abruptly, because I thought I heard something. But I was confused, there was no possible way that sound -the sound of a barking dog, and more importantly, the sound of my barking dog- could be heard. I was wrong though, because all of the sudden my dog came barreling down the hill at full speed, barking -of course- as loud as she could. I was so surprised! How did she get out? Was it my parents?

She slowed down and then stopped when she reached me, but then something else started barking. Another dog? I turned around and standing behind me was the face of a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, a gray and black one that was annoying me, and Ellie also, since she started growling. Oh no. How was I supposed to get Ellie away from this dog without her running away from me? I had no clue.

Thankfully, the owner of the dog came at just the right time and took the dog inside. I turned around to grab Ellie, but as soon as I moved, she took off like a cannon up the hill. I hopped on bike and pedaled as fast as I could, but soon I became short of breath. But instead of going to the top of the hill, Ellie switched directions on me and ran through a piece of someone’s property, and of course, I had to follow her.

I dropped my bike and started the trek to where Ellie was, through trees and spiderwebs and leaves and grass. Like always, when I reached her, she took off. But this time, she went straight into someone’s backyard! They didn’t have a gate back there, but I couldn’t exactly just follow my dog into someone’s backyard. I came up with a solution: I could go around to the other side of their yard where Ellie would soon come out! The only problem was that the house was on the corner of the street, right at the top of the hill.

I decided to walk my bike up and around the hill, and then get on. I found Ellie running out of the backyard to chase a black cat up a tree. When I walked up to get Ellie she was so focused on the cat, she didn’t even notice that I was right next to her until I picked her up. I set her down on the side of the street, hoping she would run back home, but instead she ran straight out into the road, just as some trucks were coming!

The whole thing seemed like it was in slow motion. I saw the pick-up trucks slowly turning around in the corner of the cul-de-sac, and Ellie just barely missed being hit by the front wheels of the truck, I could see her tail whipping up a split second before the wheel was right where her tail had just been. Her back legs were springing forward just as the wheel came around, just a hair to slow to hit Ellie. I stood there wide eyed and open mouthed until the truck drove away and I could finally feel my legs again. Then I tore after Ellie to find her.

Ellie had now moved on to my next door neighbors yard, and I followed her across the ditch that led into our yard. I was finally able to pick her up while she was sniffing the dry grass. I grabbed her by her collar and dragged Ellie to the front door and threw her inside. I slammed the door shut and went back out side to retrieve my bike, and all of the sudden, I remembered.

I was running out of the house really fast and I didn’t even think to close the front door as I jumped on my bike and rode away…

So that’s how Ellie got out!

And I just caused all that trouble for myself for no reason, except for being too careless and lazy to even shut the front door. Oh. My. Gosh. How could I be so dumb? Ellie almost got ran over, and I didn’t even think twice about the possibilities that could happen when I rushed out.

This is my favorite mistake because I know that everybody has that day where they are not paying attention to anything, and they are being to careless. This was what happened to me on one of those days, so I hope it wasn’t as bad for other people! This mistake really taught me too always be aware of everything around you, like my dog for example. I’m pretty sure I burned at least 500 calories and worked all the fat off from my legs! Not to mention that Ellie almost got ran over too. So next time I have one of ‘those’ days, I’ll be sure to stay aware!

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