About Caitlyn

Monday, April 25, 2022

More Randomness + A Recap of 2022 Thus Far

Hey everyone!

I seriously cannot believe April is almost over. It seems like January was only a few days ago.

For New Year’s Eve, a friend of my parents dropped in “for a short visit” and ended up staying till midnight. I was going to try to stay awake till midnight, but around 10:00 I crashed on my parent’s bed and fell asleep, and was awoken half an hour later by my little brother hysterically giggling over some lame video right beside me. 

I was almost asleep again despite the giggles when he said, “Look! You HAVE (giggle giggle) to come (giggle) see this (giggle giggle).”

I pried my eyes open, glanced at the iPad, said, “That’s nice,” and fell asleep again. (He was deeply wounded that I didn’t find it as amusing as he did).

Eventually, my mom came and shooed me out of her bed because she wanted to put my little sister to sleep. 

So I lay down on the couch, and was awoken by the stampeding of many feet thundering out the door about an hour later, and, I jumping up in a half-asleep panic, staggered right into the piano. Ouch. I grabbed Daddy’s sweater (which was the only thing I could find to keep me from freezing) and went outside too. 

There we watched the New Year come in, and then I was ready to go to bed, but no, the others stayed outside watching the fireworks (there were a lot of fireworks), and talking about mind-numbingly boring things so I sat shivering on one of the porch chairs.

About ten minutes later, after my feet were good and numb, my parents’ friend finally left, and I barely made it to bed before crashing. And then I woke up at 7:00 the next morning. Nice.

New Year’s Day was fairly uneventful. Mama made mashed potatoes and sausages for supper. Sadly, she did not make sauerkraut, because there are only two people in our family that actually like it.

I also made zucchini bread that afternoon. I was looking at the recipe and it said something like, "makes 2 small loaves." So I decided to double the batch and then it turns out that "small" is just what is known to me as the regular size, so we were eating zucchini bread for quite a while

Thus began the New Year.

My birthday was the last week of March, and I am now officially 444,129,764 seconds old. Imaginary bonus points to anybody who figures out how old I am. 

About a month ago, in English, we were studying protest songs, and we listened to “Blowin’ In the Wind,” by Bob Dylan. We listened to Bob Dylan's version, and the next day we had the option to listen to Peter, Paul, and Mary's version (which I liked much better). Anyway, the song “Blowin’ In the Wind” is running through my head on loop right now, and it is immensely disturbing.

During the protest song unit, we had to make a PowerPoint on a protest song. My teacher gave us a list of 5 songs to choose from, and I just picked the first one on the list (which was "Allentown," by Billy Joel) because I had never heard of any of them.

We had three days to finish it, but I, as usual, procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated, and finally it was five days overdue, and that evening Mama told me I can’t go to bed until I finish it. It was already 8:45 PM, and I usually go to bed at 9, and as anyone who knows me will know, I get very cranky when anything gets between me and my bed and my sleep. 

   So I sat down, read the lyrics (I am ashamed to admit that I never even listened to it; just read the lyrics), and scribbled some stuff down, and managed to be in bed by 9:15.

    The next day, my teacher gave me feedback on my PowerPoint, and she said something like, “I can tell you really worked hard on this and understood the message Billy Joel was trying to give in his song.” Oops. 

    In other news, I got contacts for my birthday. This is exciting if, like me, you have had glasses for 8 years and have always wanted contacts. For people that have never worn glasses, you will never understand the thrill of not wearing glasses but being able to see!


    Well I need to go now so bye till next time!         -Caitlyn

 

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. The answer is blowin' in the wind!

 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Cabin

     Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas 😁

    We all had a ton of fun at the cabin, but it ended way too soon. Other, more introverted, members of my family would likely disagree with me there, but I could have stayed at least two or three more days!

    Now, as I promised, here is my cabin post.

    We left Friday, Christmas Eve, around noon, and got there around 2:30- which, as it happened, was an hour and a half earlier than we were supposed to be there. We left plenty early because we weren't sure how traffic and the weather would be.

    Anyway, Daddy texted the guy and he was very nice and said we could get in early; everything was ready.

    The other's showed up around 3:00, and it was total pandemonium, with seventeen children ages 2-15 plus nine adults all trying to find their way around in a huge cabin without getting lost (I will admit, I did get lost on my way upstairs more than once, if you can believe that).

    After a while things calmed down and my dad and one of my uncles and Grandma went to pick up previously ordered pizza, and to get firewood and lighters for the fireplace.

    After a wild free-for-all that some people referred to as supper, we settled down and played Confusion and Occupation for a while, then just hung out and finally went to bed at 11:00. 

    Which, as it happens, is three hours past the time I normally go to bed, so I was not, shall we say, jolly, when my sister and three of my cousins were determined to party far into the night. After arguing for a while, they went into the family room right outside our room, and partied there and I immediately fell asleep.

    I woke up the next morning at the crack of 7:15 to find two of the dresses I had brought along that were intended for pictures strewn on the floor. Much to my disgust they had been playing wedding, and my dresses were the bridal gowns, because I am older and therefore taller than the others, which means that my dresses were longer, and they wanted a train, I guess. Well, thankfully they weren't too wrinkly.

    After a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and fruit and coffee cake, some of us went out to the garage which was actually a game room, and played foosball. 

    Then we were summoned to the living room for pictures. First we did pictures of all the grandchildren and Grandma. Then pictures of the whole group. Then pictures of Grandma and Daddy and my uncles. Then pictures of each individual family. Then pictures of all of the girls. Then the boys. Then all the grandchildren that were born in '09. Then the grandchildren that were born in 2012. We were going to take pictures of the children born in 2019, but one of the them was decidedly uncooperative and wouldn't stop crying (too many pictures). 

    Finally, it was lunch time, which put an end to the picture taking (thankfully. I don't know how much longer I could have stood it).

    We had a fantastic lunch of ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, dinner rolls with cinnamon butter, ribbon salad, and pie and ice cream. 

    Afterward, we children went down to the family room and watched Tom & Jerry and Wile E. Coyote and Mark Rober's latest glitterbomb video, which was met with great delight. 

    Then, just as we were starting to enjoy ourselves, one of the uncles came downstairs and snatched the remote 😐

    So we went and played some more foosball and ping pong and just kind of hung out. 

    Some of us also played a Bible family game, where you had to try to get all the members of a Bible family. It was very confusing, and lasted for hours, but it was also kind of fun.

    That evening, the little ones were marched off to bed at 8:00 sharp, much to their disgust and dismay.

    Then we older ones and the adults played Confusion and Occupation again, only I kept losing the papers and after we had to go around the circle and find out who was missing every single time we played Confusion, we gave up and played Occupation instead.

    The next day, Sunday, we had a short service and we all sang songs, then we had brunch around 10:00. After eggs, breakfast casserole, sausage gravy and biscuits, and Grandma's caramel french toast, no one was in the mood to do much. Unfortunately, there was a State Park just down the road, and my uncles were determined to go on a walk there.

    My sister and I and one of our cousins managed to slink into the shadows, so to speak, until they left (don't worry, we had permission to stay, and the ladies stayed home too).

    They weren't gone anywhere near long enough for us to recuperate, but it was a start.

    After lazily lounging around, Daddy and his three brothers played foosball, which was a very amusing spectacle. You will probably never meet anyone as competitive as those four, and it was hilarious to see them shrieking and pounding their way through two games (both sides won a game, so everyone was happy).

    The little ones were put to bed fairly early again, which left us free to enjoy ourselves. 

    Of course, we had to play Confusion and Occupation again, but someone came up with the brilliant idea of having everybody put their own name on their piece of paper in Confusion, so no names were left out.

    We played one round of Confusion, then we moved on to Occupation, where one of my cousins put down "donkey spanker" as his occupation. 

    This was met with shrieks of laughter from those of us young and immature enough to find that amusing, and looks of great disgust from the adults.

    After Occupation, we all sat around while the adults told stories. We heard some real knee-slappers that evening that are perhaps best left un-repeated. 

    Just as we were starting to enjoy ourselves, we got shipped off to bed, because "morning's coming awfully quick." Like, no kidding. 

    But we went to bed and I was surprised by how fast I fell asleep, and then I was even more surprised by how late I slept (8:00). I could have slept even longer if some of the boys hadn't been arguing right outside our door. 

    Well, I stumbled out of bed and got my clothes and went to see if I could find an un-occupied bathroom. Lo and behold, the one by our room was actually open, which was definitely a good way to start off the day. 

    I came upstairs just as breakfast was very loudly announced by my nine year old cousin who could probably get a part time job as a fog horn. 

    We had a hurried breakfast of leftovers from the other two mornings, then we were all told to go pack; we had to be out of there by 11:00. 

    The others left mournfully waving goodbye around 10:00, and we left almost exactly an hour later. 

    We came home, and I wished so bad we could go back. I wished it were Friday morning, and we just getting ready to start. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed it enough to go again next year.

    I'll keep ya posted!

    Happy New Year's Eve Eve😉😁

                                        ~Caitlyn


Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Gingerbread House Saga

    A long time ago, when I was about three, we went to Wisconsin to visit Grandma and Grandpa. While there, we also went to one of my mom's friend's house. 

    Now, this friend had five children, all of whom were older than my sister and I, and we thought they were all the most amazing people in existence, especially the girls.

    We went to their house several times, and once our visit fell over the time in which we were supposed to be taking naps. So I was put to bed in the girls' bedroom, and my sister was marched off to the guest bedroom as we had a tendency to do things other than take naps if we were in the same bedroom. 

    I lay on my side, staring longingly at the plump, juicy-looking gingerbread house on the night stand. I imagined what process Megan would follow when she went to eat her gingerbread house. 

    "I bet she goes like this-" and I leaned off the bed. "Then like this-" And I hovered my face right above the delicious-looking house. "And then she probably takes a big bite- like this." And I put my mouth right on it and ate a gumdrop. 

    "Then she probably does it again." And I repeated the process four or five times, until I realized that the roof was looking rather bare, and there was no way she was going to miss the fact that someone had been eating her gingerbread house.

    When Mama came in to tell me I could get up, the first thing she noticed, of course, was the gingerbread house, and I was marched downstairs to apologize to Megan.

    I don't really remember anything else, except the fact that she gave me the piece of the roof that I had been gnawing on (I would have done the same thing if I little kid had been drooling on my gingerbread house, but I remember wondering at the time why she was being so generous. Now I know). 

    Anyway, I didn't find it at all embarrassing at the time, but now I cringe every time I think about it lol. 

                                                ***

    In other news, we are planning to go to a cabin with my dad's family for Christmas, and I am extremely excited for that! 

    We just put up our Christmas wreaths and stuff, and I must say, the house looks very festive!

    That's about all I have to say so bye for now!

                                                    ~Caitlyn



Note: I can't figure out how to change the color of the header on my blog, so please excuse the fact that it clashes with the red in the background, and I will try to get it figured out ASAP!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Hi : )

    Hi y'all😄 What have you been up to?

    I've mostly been doing school (ugh). My sister and I are doing an online school this year, and I like it reasonably well, but I still liked being homeschooled better. 

    I also have a job at the bakery of a Farmer's Market about ten minutes away from here. I like working there, but it's also really hard work, and I'm always sooo tired and sore when I get home. We've been especially busy lately, because it's almost Thanksgiving.

    Me and another girl usually chop three five-gallon buckets of apples, and that's enough to last most of the day.

    Well, last week, we did six buckets, and we were out of apples by 10:30. It was crazy. 

    On a completely unrelated subject, I recently got something in my toe and was ordered to soak my foot in Epsom salt. While I was sitting by the bathtub, my little sister came in and serenaded me with a ukulele. It was hilarious, and I took some pictures of her.

    




Okay, so maybe I'm not an expert photographer..


I can't believe tomorrow's Thanksgiving already. It seems liked 2021 just zipped by. 

    Anyway, I have to go now; just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and well, and that I am working on a much longer blog post. Stay tuned!

                                ~Caitlyn O

Friday, July 23, 2021

Virginia Beach!!

    Hi everyone! Yikes, I haven't written a new post for a long time😬 I kept on meaning to, but I just never got it done.

    We went to Virginia Beach last weekend for a vacation! We haven't had a "real live vacation" for several years, and we all had a lot of fun.

     We left Friday around lunchtime, and got there about 7:00.

    We stayed in a lovely little Airbnb about six miles from the beach, because anything closer was ridiculously expensive.

    We were so tired when we got there that after a supper of pizza from a local pizza place, we all went to bed.

    I usually get up fairly early, and Saturday morning was no exception. I woke up at six, and couldn't go back to sleep.

    Since my sister and I were sleeping on couches in the living room downstairs, and the other four members of the family were in one of two rooms upstairs (the other room was the bathroom), I couldn't exactly turn on the light and read, as I do at home. So, I made a cup of hot chocolate in the dark, then read by turning on the flashlight on the iPad under the blanket.

    It wasn't exactly comfortable, and I was glad when it got light enough outside that I could read by sitting beside the window.

    Everyone else got up at eight, and after an impromptu (and, unfortunately, rather unhealthy) breakfast of dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch, (we forgot to bring milk or bread or anything like that 😏)  we went to the beach.

    We went to Sandbridge Beach, and it was considerably less crowded than most beaches, for which we were happy 😁

    We were there till about three o'clock, when my little sister started getting cranky, so we went back to the Airbnb for showers, and, in my parents' case, naps.

    We went to a seafood place called "The Lucky Oyster" for supper. I have never been a seafood person, but I got a fried flounder dinner, and it didn't taste very fishy, so I liked it.

    Daddy got something called a "Treble Hook," which looked and smelled disgusting. It had shrimp, haddock, and oysters. I tasted an oyster. It tasted exactly how the ocean smells, and it almost ruined my appetite.

    We enjoyed the ocean so much that we gave up our plans to see the rest of Virginia Beach, and went back the next day, Sunday, till it was time to go home, about one o'clock.

    We started for home, tired, sandy, hungry, and very sunburnt, because Mama couldn't find the sunscreen.

    We stopped at Wendy's for lunch, and then only stopped once after that, for gas.

    We got home about 8:45, because we had to drive through D.C. and traffic was terrible.

    The next day, we paid dearly for not doing the seemingly insignificant task of buying some more sunscreen. 

    My skin is naturally dark enough that I got off with a blistered nose and bright red face and arms, but the others, especially the baby and Mama, weren't so lucky.

    My little sister had a huge fit if you try to change her clothes, because her back and shoulders got terribly sunburned, and let's not even talk about trying to put B&W on it. (We found that B&W really helps sunburn). She writhed around on the floor, which resulted in rubbing most of the skin off, which made her scream louder, and writhe around some more. It's somewhat better now, but she still doesn't like wearing clothes or having B&W put on.

    My other sister had it pretty bad, too, especially on her face. Her nose got so swollen she couldn't wear her glasses for a few days, and then after the swelling went down, her nose was so sore she still couldn't put on glasses. Here's a picture from Monday, the day after we got back:

She wants me to say that she doesn't actually look this hideous, it just looks that way, and looks can be deceiving, you know😜

And here are some pictures from Saturday evening, when we were at the Lucky Oyster:
Me and my brother😁

Mama and Daddy

And my littlest sister😍

    We don't have any pictures of my other sister from that evening; at least, none she would let me put in this blog post.

    We had lots of fun, and we're planning to go back next year, hopefully for a longer visit, so we can see the rest of Virginia Beach😄

    I should be going now, so bye! (I'll try to write blog posts more regularly in the future; sorry about that!)

                        Regards,

                          Caitlyn O'Brien

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Q&A W/ My Grandma ANSWERS

          I'm sorry this is a day late; I completely forgot about it😬           
Katie Miller is the mother of seven children, four girls and three boys, the second youngest of which is my mother. She has twenty-seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, as well. She was born and raised and has remained Amish. Some of the things she enjoys doing are quilting, baking pies, playing board and card games, and talking with her friends. She wants you to guess how old she is😁
Me and Grandma.... Excuse my expression😂🙄








What is your favorite traditional Amish food?
Rivvel soup. The recipe:
Rivvel (rub) one cup of flour and one egg together with your hands to make crumbs. In the meantime, brown 1/4 cup butter in a medium-sized soup-pot. When the butter is browned, pour in one quart of milk, and heat to boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, and add your rivvels, stirring with a fork to break up the lumps. Cover immediately, and let set for at least five minutes, until the rivvels are cooked all the way through. Serve with saltine crackers and bread with apple butter. Enjoy. 
(From Caitlyn: I'm lactose intolerant, so this sounds nasty! But if you like milk, you will probably like this.)
What things do you enjoy doing?
Quilting and baking pies.

What is your favorite thing about being Amish?
How the people stand together through thick and thin, and are always there for someone in a time of need. 
What do you like to cook/bake?
Casseroles, pies, and ho-ho cake.
Did you ever play any instruments?
Harmonica
Do you come from a large family?
No, I only have two sisters. But most Amish have large families. 

                 That's it for today! 

                       ~Caitlyn O'Brien

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Q&A W/ My grandma/ Birthday Girlie

    Hi! What have you all been doing lately?
    A while back, I did a guest post with my mom,  about her life growing up as an Amish girl. Now, her mom (Katie Miller) is here for a month-long visit, and she has agreed to do a Q&A with me. This is how it works:
    You may comment and ask her any question you like about the Amish. The deadline for questions is March 28, and then on March 29, I will type up her answers, and post them. Please be respectful😊
    Moving on..... We have been pretty busy here lately. Yesterday, we painted the basement (which was in sore need of a fresh coat of paint). Well, technically, we put the first coat of paint on the doors and the baseboards on Thursday evening. Then, yesterday, we got started about 10:00, and put on the second coat of paint. Then, while that dried, we painted a bookcase that has not been painted for seven or eight years (my sister found tremendous satisfaction in painting over her name, which she wrote on the bookcase in colored pencil when she was seven). By the time the bookcase was finished, we could already start on the walls. One wall is concrete block, with the coal stove in from of it, so we only painted the other three walls. We painted two of the three remaining walls a pale, earthy green, and the remaining one a darker shade of the same earth green. My sister roller-painted one of the pale-green walls, and then I volunteered to do the other. I spent two and a half long, boring hours on a ladder, painting the other wall, and putting the second coat on both walls. It was terribly dull, but at least it went a lot faster than it would have if we would have had to do that by hand, with a paintbrush. By six o'clock, we were ready to do the darker green wall, which Mama did. That took till six-forty-five, and then we went to get hamburgers for supper, because by then we were all ravenous, and we had only had a light lunch. But wouldn't you know, the fast-food place was so. Incredibly. Slow! It was a little after seven before we got home. And oh my! You should have heard the munching😂 The only sounds were smacking lips, and the baby exclaiming, "Mmmmmm!" I honestly think those were the best hamburgers I have ever eaten. 
    Speaking of the baby.... she turned two the other day😱 How is it already two years?! Happy Birthday, cutie pie. 
    She is quite precocious (if I do say so myself). She has quite a repertoire of songs including Jesus Loves Me, B-I-N-G-O, Baby Shark, God is Great, Rock-A-Bye-Baby, Wind the Bobbin Up (which she loves to sing at the top of her lungs in church....),and the Hallelujah Chorus (😲). Of course, she doesn't sing the words, just the tune. But still! I can barely sing the Hallelujah Chorus. How could a two-year-old?! However, I will be the first to admit I am not all that great at singing, so it wouldn't be too hard to pass me up in music skills!
    The baby can also hold a pencil the right way, and she very carefully "draws" things (huge scribbles that she points at, and says my name. Wait.... so I look like a scribble?!). She tries to draw animals, too. They don't really look like animals; she just scribbles a bit, and then points at the scribbles and makes animals sounds. It's incredibly adorable💜She also likes to try to imitate a crying baby. She scrunches up her face, and almost closes her eyes, ad goes, "Oooh waaah!" It's so cute, I can't even describe it.
    Now for some pictures of the young lady who seems to be the heroine of this post (😉😁), A.K.A. my baby sister (wait, I guess she's not a baby anymore. So, my little sister):
                    
Awwww😍💖

Her "shocked face."

She was trying to say, "Yuck."

She was imitating a crying baby😂

Who knows what she was doing here!






                                                                                                                        I had lots of fun, taking pictures this afternoon :) 

~Caitlyn O'Brien



Sunday, February 28, 2021

Random Ramblings

    Two years ago, I got a writer's handbook called "The Usborne Creative Writer's Handbook." It has been one of the most helpful books on writing I have ever read, and I highly recommend it. You can get your copy here: The Usborne Creative Writer's Handbook. It's definitely worth the money😁
    More books I have been reading lately: 
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Betsy-Tacy books
Understood Betsy
Pollyanna
Elsie Dinsmore
The Borrowers
Vice-Versa
Cheaper by the Dozen & Belles On Their Toes
The Bounces of Cynthiann'
A Woman Named Damaris
Two Are Better Than One
The Five Little Peppers
Under the Lilacs
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Hound of the Baskerville's (A Sherlock Holmes mystery that gave me nightmares)

    Oh, yes, did I ever mention that I like to read? 
    It has been snowing like crazy here lately. I have not seen so much snow in one winter since I was seven!
Around the middle of December, we got about seven inches. Then, the beginning of January, we got six inches. And around the last of January and the first of February, we got twenty inches😱 I mean, we almost never get that much snow! The snow has finally all melted. I was getting a little tired of seeing dirty snow. The past few days, it actually warmed up to almost 60 degrees! My little sister just loves going on stroller rides when the weather is nice. Sometimes we go on two or three walks a day. Let me tell you, it's not easy pushing 35 pounds uphill after walking half a mile!
    Lately, we have been playing a rather weird version of hide-and-seek with the baby. If you tell her to, she will close her eyes for about 3 1/2 seconds. While they're closed, the rest of us run for a previously-chosen hiding place (in the bathtub or behind the door; somewhere where she can find us easily). If you're lucky, you reach the hiding spot before she opens her eyes. If you're not.... well, she sees & follows you straight to your hiding spot. Then she yells "BOOOO!!" as loud as she can, and yanks on your clothes till you come out. Then, she runs to tell Mama in great detail about how she found you, and while she's gone, you run and hide again. So, unless all three of us older ones are hiding in the same spot (which can happen rather often; there being only so many bathtubs you can reach within three seconds from the counting spot) there there are usually two people hiding all the time. This goes on until a) We get tired of running around, or b) someone tells us to stop thundering around so loud.
    It can be fun to play regular hide-and-seek, though. I usually hide with the baby. If you repeatedly whisper to her that she needs to be quiet, she (usually) will be. 
    Another thing the she likes doing lately is coming up behind people and blasting a whistle. I mean, you see her coming, but you're not expecting her to blow a whistle. Then if you scream, she laughs and jumps around, and runs around telling everyone and giggling. She also likes sitting there blowing her whistle while you're trying to do school, which can be rather distracting, especially as spit flies everywhere🤢
    Welp, I've run out of ramblings (for now)
                         
                       ~Caitlyn O'Brien~

Q&A Post!!

Hello! So,Ellen from  Ellen's Musings   , Caleigh from  Caleigh's Random Thoughts ,  and Lilly from  Lilly's Tidbit   are doing ...