Tag Archives: Grace

The Warning: Part 1

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It’s merely a game,” Mother said calmly, trying not to show her impatience. “Why must you get so upset?”

 

It’s cruel!” I said loudly, causing the women around us to glance away from the man getting his limbs torn off by an anorexic lion. “They capture the poor beasts and force them to fight. They don’t even allow them to eat what they’ve killed.”

 

Eos!” Mother whispered harshly. “Now is not the time. Now sit quietly and enjoy the game.” She turned back to the fight, straightening the huge black curls she had managed to pile on the top of her head. She had tried to do the same to me, but my short, straight hair wouldn’t allow it.

 

The lion pounced, it’s sharp claws extended. The man hurled himself out of the way, causing the lion to stumble. The man took this opportunity to thrust his weapon into the beast’s shoulder. I looked away. The lion roared, and so did the crowd. They cheered, standing, throwing rings and necklaces to the victor. The warrior received his spoils, and the now-deceased lion was dragged out of the arena. I turned back to my mother.

 

May I leave now?” I asked quietly. Mother nodded. I stood quickly, wanting to get out as soon as I could. I pushed my way through the crowd, muttering the occasional “excuse me” and “pardon.” When I finally broke through, I started walking home. The streets were pretty clear; everyone had left their shops and homes to watch the game.

 

I spotted a bowl of bread laying sideways on a booth, a few of the loaves in the dirt. I picked them up, brushed them off, and tucked them under my arm. I tossed a few coins on the booth in their place, but I doubted anyone would notice they were missing.

 

I jogged through the streets, the path home embedded in my mind. When I reached my small estate, I wasn’t surprised to see a small brown head pop up from behind a tree.

 

Eos!” Lucia said. “I’m surprised to see you back so soon! Couldn’t stand to see the carnage?” Lucia jogged up to me, swinging her arm around my shoulder before I could respond. “Y’know what’d make you feel better? Helping me chop wood. You love chopping wood! I’ll get the axe.” She bounded away, her long brown waves flowing out behind her. By the time I got to the stump, Lucia had already gathered between twenty and thirty hunks of wood. She handed me the hatchet while simultaneously placing a piece of wood on the stump. She leaned against the tree, crossing her arms across her chest. I set the loaves on the ground. I tightened my grip on the hatchet, raising it above my head. I swung it down on the wood, splitting it perfectly at the center.

 

So,” I said, reaching for another hunk of wood. “What’d you come to tell me?” Lucia thought for a moment, then shrugged.

 

Nothing Important really. Y’know, just standard stuff. Who wins the next game. What the weather’s gonna be like.” She held up her wrist. The bulky bracelet was black, and covered in buttons and knobs. “Ever since Willa gave this to me, nothing really drastic has happened.” She looked down. I turned back to the wood. “Yet,” she said quietly, just as I swung the hatchet.

 

What was that?” I asked. Lucia shrugged again.

 

Nothin’.” She smiled. I grabbed another piece of wood.

 

Who is Willa? I mean, I know she’s from the future, like you. And that she gave you the bracelet, but why? Where did she get it?” I asked, looking over, but Lucia wasn’t paying attention. She was staring at Vesuvius, the huge mountain in the distance. Smoke was pouring out of the top.

 

How long has it been doing that?” she asked urgently, still watching the mountain. I looked back.

 

I dunno, a week maybe? Why?” Lucia’s head snapped toward me.

 

A week?! That long?” she asked, fear in her eyes. I nodded.

 

What’s wrong?” I asked, putting the hatchet down. Lucia ran her fingers through her hair, blowing air out of her nose.

 

Hey, uh, why don’t you and your family get outta here for a while? You know, go visit Britannia or something.” She tried to smile again, but it looked more like a grimace.

 

Lucinda, what’s the matter?” I asked, calling her by her real name instead of her nickname. “What’s going to happen to Pompeii?” Lucia inhaled, rubbing the back of her neck.

 

A lot of stuff,” she said quietly. Fear panged in my chest.

 

What do you mean, ‘a lot of stuff?’ Lucia, answer me!” I yelled. Lucia flinched.


“I will, I promise. Just…not now. You won’t believe me yet. I need to get something first. I’ll see you in a little bit.” She started twisting the knobs on her bracelet.

 

Lucia, you can’t leave yet, you haven’t-” I was cut off by a blinding light and rush of air. I turned my head, holding my arm in front of my eyes. When I looked back, Lucia was gone.

 

-Grace<3

Buford Massacre of 1780

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Today, as my last little bit of school, Emily and I went out geocaching. We didn’t find any caches, but we did stumble upon the Buford Massacre of 1780 Memorial, which neither of us had even heard of before. Apparently, it was a big battle with 350 American soldiers against an unknown amount of British troops. It’s said that the American soldiers surrendered, but were attacked anyway. The information said: 113 patriots died, 150 were wounded (but most died due to their injuries), and 53 were captured. Only a few escaped on horseback.

Also on the site was a small grave surrounded by rocks with a small tombstone. From what we could tell, it belonged to someone called Little A.F. Plyler. He/She only lived from 1891 to 189?. We couldn’t make out the last digit. We also weren’t sure why that grave was there.

There was also a Buford Battleground Memorial just a few feet away. That was all we saw, but it was really cool to find something like that without even trying.

-Grace<3

The Massacre Memorial

The Massacre Memorial

The Buford Battle Memorial

The Buford Battle Memorial

A.F. Plyler's grave

A.F. Plyler’s grave

 

 

A Healthier CVS

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Today, while watching CNN Student News, I learned that CVS will stop selling cigarettes. I have a few things to say about that.

 

On the one hand, I think it’s great that CVS has stopped selling tobacco products. It’s true that cigarettes are not exactly healthy, and CVS is indeed a pharmacy. They have every right to stop selling something proven to cause illnesses. On the other hand, I find it odd that out of every unhealthy thing in their store (soda, candy, alcohol, etc.) they chose to stop selling cigarettes. They are still carrying junk food and other unhealthy things that are more harmful or can cause health problems at a much faster rate. Maybe the owner just really hates the way cigarette smoke smells.

 

Over all, it’s good for them to get rid of unhealthy items in their stores, but it would make more sense to me to start somewhere different. In the CNN article, it said that only 19% of Americans smoke cigarettes, and I have a feeling more than 19% of Americans eat junk food. Also, my 12 year-old person could walk into a CVS and buy fifty pounds of junk food and candy, but I can’t buy a pack of cigarettes, so getting rid of junk food would affect the youth. Maybe replace the candy aisle with healthier snacks. They could replace the alcohol with that weird squeezable applesauce or something.

 

-Grace<3

Wheat-Free Treats for a Sweet Pup

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Today Emily and I noticed that our dog, Frank, didn’t seem to be feeling so hot. He had already puked today and didn’t seem to want to do anything. I mean, our dog is lazy, but he didn’t even get up when we started messing with the treat bag. So we looked it up on the interweb. After some searching, we stumbled upon the symptoms of a wheat allergy in dogs. Frank had all of them, apart from the seizures (thank goodness). We suspected that Frank was allergic to wheat. What made things a little harder was that Frank’s dog treats had wheat as the first ingredient. Emily decided that she was just going to start making treats at home for the pup-star, to make sure he didn’t get any wheat.

 

She found a nifty recipe for peanut butter pumpkin dog treats on Pinterest, and we altered it slightly to make it easier for us. This is what you need.

 

  • 2 ½ cups of rice flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 T. peanut butter
  • 2 tsp.-1T. water, whichever works for you

 

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. Now, the original recipe says to roll your dough out and use a cookie cutter, but that doesn’t really work. Then, start pulling out little clumps and rolling them into balls with your hands. Flatten them out (about ¼ inch thick) and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. The original recipe also doesn’t include water or 3 eggs (only two) and it gets really crumbly. Just add 3 eggs and the water to make it doughier.

 

Voilà! You and your pup are now the proud owners of delicious peanut butter pumpkin treats. They can be people food too, but they are a little flavorless. Frank loves them, and that’s all that really matters.

 

-Grace<3

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We’re Back!

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So, you might be wondering why it took so long for us to update the blog. The thing is, I’ve been in public school, soaking up the valuable skills, like learning how to squeeze through giant crowds of people without getting trampled. Honestly, it wasn’t a very fun experience. I did make some new friends though, so it wasn’t exactly all bad.

 

Today was my first day back as a home-schooler, and I have really missed it. No more getting up at 6:30. Today, I got up at 9:30. 9:30! I even got some goofing-around time before school started. Instead of eating a gross heated-up school lunch, I had a small bowl of peanuts, which I snacked on for the rest of the day.

 

Things are going to be a little different this year. I’m going to be spending one full week at each house before switching, so my mother is going to be teaching me just as much as Emily will. I’m going to start taking piano lessons and studying astronomy. This week I’m at my dad and Emily’s house, so I did most of today’s lessons on the couch. I did however go outside for physical activity time, which I quite enjoyed. We spent a good chunk of it cleaning up the trash people throw onto the side of the road.

 

Both Emily and I will definitely start updating you guys more often. I’m really looking forward to being taught by both Emily and my mom. It’ll be a great learning experience. Bye!

 

-Grace<3

My Day as an M&M

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My Day as an M&M

Okay, just one more thing from our chocolate study, I promise. 🙂  Grace’s assignment for this one was to write a short story about waking up to discover she had been transformed into an M&M.  Here’s what she came up with:

 

“I’m falling!” I shouted, thrusting my arms out and pulling myself out of sleep.

“I’m not falling,” I mumbled.  I reached up to wipe my eyes, but found I could no longer move my arms.  I frowned, trying to pull my arms out from under the covers.  I soon realized that I didn’t have any arms!  I started panicking, flailing any limbs I had.  Suddenly, the smell of melting chocolate filled my head.

I tried turning my head, but instead moved my entire body.  A warm, gooey substance trickled down my back.  Slowly, I realized the chocolate-like aroma was me.  I was made entirely of chocolate!  Better yet, I was really fat with a big “M” printed on me.  I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t pass it on they said,” I hissed.  “No one can turn you into chocolate through the Internet.”  I flipped myself over so my back wouldn’t melt.  I then noticed it was very dark.  Looking around, I saw dozens of other M&Ms around me.  Strangely, I was the only green one.

The walls around me looked like they were cracked and falling until I saw they were made of paper.  Suddenly the ceiling ripped away, and a huge hand reached in.  It grabbed me, pulling me toward my gruesome death.  I squeezed my eyes shut.  I felt myself get closer and closer when, finally, I opened my eyes.

I was back in my bed, limbs attached and candy shell gone.  I passed my palms against my forehead.

“Okay,” I groaned.  “No more chocolate before bed.”

Face Cream Ads: Comparing and Contrasting

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Grace’s most recent writing assignment was to find two ads for similar products in a magazine and then write a short essay comparing and contrasting them.  She found these two ads for face creams that will supposedly help you look younger.  (I could easily go into a rant about how much I despise our society’s love for this sort of thing, but I’ll spare you.) 😉

So, here’s what Grace had to say about the two ads she chose:

The brands OLAY and Origins each have an ad for anti-aging cream in a magazine. Both of these ads make their products sound scientifically advanced, using micro-sculpting technology for OLAY and raspberry plant stem cells for Origins. Also, they both have the bottle of cream in the picture to let you know what to look for in the store.

 

Origins seems to lean toward a bright, natural feel, telling you that nothing can actually erase wrinkles, but their cream uses natural ingredients to help your skin stay healthy while making you feel good about yourself. OLAY presents a flashy, modern feel, telling you that their cream uses the latest technology and ingredients to make you look younger fast.

 

Also, OLAY focuses your attention on a model, practically telling you that if you buy their cream, you will end up looking beautifully young, like her. They don’t have very many words, so that they won’t distract you from the picture-perfect user. Origins has no model, and focuses your attention toward the small paragraph they have about the cream. They use statistics to tell you that lots of people use their cream. They also tell you, honestly, that their product won’t erase your wrinkles right away. They say that their cream actually protects your skin, making you look and feel younger.

 

In conclusion, OLAY says their cream makes you look younger, and Origins says their cream makes you feel younger. Which cream would you choose?

 

-Grace<3

Painting Birdhouses: A Descriptive Essay

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Grace has been working hard on her descriptive writing.  Her most recent assignment was to write about an outing or experience with family or friends.  She chose to write about purchasing and painting our birdhouses last week. 🙂  Here’s what she had to say…in all of its descriptive, detailed glory. 😀

 

Gravel crunched underfoot. I pushed the heavy glass door aside as the smell of cinnamon and cheap air freshener filled my nose. Emily and I walked through the craft store, trying to spot the birdhouses. We came to a halt in a narrow aisle with woodworking supplies on either side. Emily scanned the houses, ruling out the expensive or ugly ones.

 

Which ones do you want?” she asked, nodding toward the birdhouses.

 

Ummm, how about these two?” I suggested, picking up two rough wooden houses. One was rounded, and the other had windows and a fake door. Emily nodded.

 

Alrighty, one more,” she said. She knelt down and plucked up a house with two holes for the birds to sit in. I smiled. We walked over to the paint, picking only a few shades of blue, yellow, brown, and white with two packs of brushes. We were quick to get them home.

 

As soon as we opened the door, the soft sound of clicking claws echoed throughout the house. Frank circled our legs like a shark, his shredded raccoon toy in his mouth and his tail wagging like crazy. Emily draped a huge black trash bag over the table, laying out all the houses and paint. As she lay the paper plates out, I sat down and pulled up a house. Emily sat down across from me. We each picked our paint and squeezed out the colors we wanted.

 

I dipped my sponge brush into the thick puddle of brown paint, getting way more than I needed. Not sure what to do, I pressed the side of the brush against the plate until some of the paint seeped out. I leaned in closer, the paint fumes filling my head. I applied a sloppy layer of paint onto the roof, trying to make as few mistakes as possible. In no time, the entire house was covered in brown and white. I looked up. Emily had both of her birdhouses finished and had left the table. I laughed. Maybe I hadn’t finished that fast after all.

 

-Grace<3

The Music Box

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Grace is practicing her monster-fighting writing. 😀  We hope you enjoy this little tale of twisty-time and vampire slaying…among other things…

The song was still playing in the back my of my head. The music box had looked so innocent. How was I supposed to know it was a prison that held some of the most terrifying demons in all of creation?

 

I held tight to my scythe, ready to pounce on anything that moved. My best friends, Eli and Jaxon, followed at my heels. Jaxon held a pointed staff, one notch carved for nearly every day in the prison. His neon green hair shone in the pale light of my watch. Eli appeared to have no weapon, but secretly kept a stake up his sleeve. His crooked glasses were missing a lens.

 

We had been stuck here for at least three months, maybe more. Jaxon lost count at 82 days. We had climbed at least 99 flights of stairs, and we had heard from a starving vamp that there were only 100. Our only hope was that we would be released on the last level.

 

Eli put a hand on my shoulder. “Alice, maybe you should rest.” I looked down at my leg. It had been bitten by an Archion, a flesh-eating demon. I had managed to pull it off before it could inject any poison, but it took a great chunk of leg with it. I nodded.

 

This place looked like a huge Victorian mansion, so finding a place to crash wasn’t hard. We set up camp in a music room, nestled behind a row of guitars. Eli plopped down beside me. He studied my face, taking in every detail. I self-consciously raised my hand to my cheek. I knew I hadn’t brushed my hair in a while, but I wasn’t that hideous.

 

What?” I asked, blushing. “do I have an eye booger or something?” Eli laughed. I blushed harder.

 

No, but I think you broke your face,” he joked.

 

How did I do that?”

 

You smiled.” I looked down. Eli cleared his throat.

 

Alice, what if there is no way out? I mean, why would there be?” he whispered, picking at a scab. I sighed.

 

If this is a prison, than there must be police. They need some way out, and we’re going to find it,” I said, trying to make him feel better.

 

I should probably keep watch,” Eli said, pushing his glasses up his nose. I smiled.

 

As he walked away, I thought about our life before the prison. We would go to Bert’s Ice Cream and sit on the roof. Eli would tell me to get my nose out of a book and live a little. Jaxon would pretend to push him off. I sighed. Even if we got out of here, we could never go back to that. We’d seen too much. I rested my head against a drum. We had to get out of here.

 

***

 

One flight later, we were on the last level. It looked like a long hallway, with only one door all the way on the other end. Jaxon ran ahead. Eli soon followed, but I kept my steady pace. When I got there, I put my hand on the door handle, but a sharp sting shot through my arm. I jerked my hand away. Eli frowned.

 

That’s not good,” he mumbled. “This must be the last test. We have to find a way to open it.” We thought about that.

 

What about Galdren blood, it’ll burn a hole through the door,” Jaxon said. I shook my head.

 

I have a feeling we need to open the door, not burn through it.”

 

If we coated the handle with a vampire dust, we might be able to hold it just long enough to open it,” Jaxon suggested. I frowned.

 

Where are we going to get vampire dust?” I asked.

 

Eli shrugged. “I guess we go looking.” We turned away from the door and started walking, kicking open doors in our wake. After about 10 minutes, I heard a snarl. We turned, and three vamps jumped us. Jaxon, Eli and I sprang into action. A vamp swung at me, and I ducked right on time. I hurled my scythe at his head, but he kicked it out of the way, pushing me backward. I kicked him in the face, and he stumbled. I swung my scythe again, chopping off his head. The body turned to dust before it could hit the floor. I looked over to my friends. Eli had already staked his vamp, and Jaxon was kicking his vampire’s butt. He kicked him in the face and did a flip over the vamp’s weak attempt to bite him. When he was still trying figure out where Jaxon was, Eli staked the vamp, instantly turning him to dust.

 

Jaxon ducked down and grabbed a handful of dust, dumping it on the handle. He looked over to me, and for the first time, fear filled his eyes. I nodded. He turned back to the door. Taking a deep breath, he yanked it open. A bright light filled the room, temporarily blinding us. As soon as we could see again, we ran for door. A loud bang filled our ears, and we were blinded again. Only this time, when we opened our eyes, we were standing in an alley.

 

I looked around, shielding my eyes from the harsh glare of the sun. I knew this street. This was the same place we were when we disappeared. I glanced down at my watch. 7:02, 3/25/2013. Not a single day had passed. I heard Jaxon’s staff hit the ground.

 

Where are we?” asked Eli. I smiled. Really smiled.

 

Home.”

 

-Grace<3

Tear Away the Sky

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We’re currently studying ancient Greece, and one of Grace’s recent assignments was to write a “mixed up” myth.  She randomly picked two Greek gods, a setting, and a problem…then she was off into myth writing.  I think she’s done a splendid job with it. 🙂  Enjoy!

Tear Away the Sky

One day, the great god Apollo sat atop Acropolis staring into the blank night. He had finished his flight across the sky, and the Earth was shrouded in darkness. He sighed, wishing for some form of light that would allow him to gaze upon the lush fields and smooth lakes. He knew that Mother Earth, or Gaea, had sewn the night sky to protect her people from being burned by the blinding light of the heavens, but Apollo didn’t care. He wanted to see. Suddenly, an idea appeared in his head. He called for his sister, Artemis. A single deer trotted to him. Her fur was a shimmering gold, and a thin silver band was snugly fitted to her head. Apollo smiled.

-Grace<3

Sister, you do not need to wear such costumes. No human dwells here.” The deer glowed a blinding silver, and the Goddess of the Hunt took its place, the silver band still on her head. Artemis frowned.

Why have you called me here?” she asked. Apollo pointed at the sky.

I need you to tear the night from the sky; it makes my only free time dark and dreary.”

Artemis tensed. “ I cannot help you; even my arrows cannot pull the blanket away.” Apollo stood.

Maybe one of your immortal maidens can. They have immense power,” Apollo suggested. Artemis sighed.

If you wish”She called out to her huntresses, and a huge group of girls ran to their goddess’s aid.

What do you need?” the maidens asked, and Artemis pointed to the sky.

Whoever can pull away the night will be crowned Leader of the Hunt!” the goddess shouted. The maidens gasped. A tall girl with spiky hair shoved her way forward. She pointed her bow at the sky, pulling her fingers to her temple. Her arrow shot upward, ripping a small hole in the night. A thin stream of light burst from the heavens, but the blanket still hovered. Several other girls tried, but only few even reached the sky. Apollo stepped forward.

Sister, get all of your huntresses to shoot at once. Maybe then the blanket will fall.” Artemis smiled. She gathered her bow and pointed it at the sky. The huntresses did the same. She released, and 1,000 arrows shot forward, each piercing the sky. Tiny lights littered the night, with a gaping hole where the goddess’s arrow had gone. The land was filled with light. Ever since then, Apollo would sit on Acropolis and gaze at the fields with the newly formed stars lighting the land.