Thanksgiving Holiday Creative Fun Contest

It is time for some creative fun time!

For anything related to Thanksgiving, submit YOUR funny story, poem, drawing, photos, music, or book report, or recipe, or video, and share the fun with everyone! Then we will vote the most fun post.

Note: all submissions must be the author’s own work, old or new.

Let the fun begin now!

2011 – 2012 Math Olympiads Contest – Will You Come?

The “Kansas Shiny Gems Math Olympiads Team” for 2011-2012 will have contest prep sessions by Mr. McCalla in the following date and time:

Session 1    Sept. 26, Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 2    Oct. 10,   Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 3    Oct. 24,   Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Session 4    Nov. 7,     Monday, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
The contest date and time are:
Test 1        Nov. 21,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 2        Dec. 19,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 3        Jan. 16,     Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 4        Feb. 13,    Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Test 5        Mar. 12,     Monday, 7:15pm – 7:45pm,  test problems re-cap by Mr. McCalla: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
The location for all sessions and tests is
Kansas City Christian School
4801 W. 79th Street,  Prairie Village, KS 66208


this site is EMBARASSING!!! why did I write a story about nazi germany… and 9/11…

oh dear

April and I are at this Google app camp and we decided to take a quick trip down memory lane and revisit this website. good mems


Hey, hey!! So I went to see the famous The Fault In Our Stars on the 7th and it was AMAZING so here is a review!
You’re in a packed theater. The movie ends, the credits roll, and it’s impossible to hear the closing music over the sound of everyone in the theater sobbing. It is rare for so many to be moved so deeply, but as ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ ended in the theater, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I am a very devoted fan of the book, and had high expectations for the film. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ did not disappoint me. The actors were genuine, innovative, and stayed true to their characters. The set was amazingly detailed, with countless little touches that added depth to the movie. The script stuck close to the book, with entire scenes that lined up nearly word-for-word with the text. Some scenes from the book were left out, but the film flowed well with those modifications. A moviegoer who has not read the book would never notice anything missing from the plot.
The story is about two kids with cancer who fall in love and experience death in a bittersweet tangle of events, but the story isn’t really about death. It’s about being alive, and all the pains and joys that accompany life, but with characters who are facing much higher stakes than most of us.
The movie opens with a voiceover done by Shailene Woodley, the actress who plays the terminally ill and incredibly insightful 16-year-old, Hazel Grace Lancaster. The book is written in first person voice, so Woodley’s narration keeps Hazel’s witty and honest anecdotes alive.
Hazel’s story is one not often told. She is a three-year survivor of an incredibly aggressive form of stage IV thyroid cancer, and is living on borrowed time. Her mom decides that Hazel is depressed, and sends her to a support group lead by a guy named Patrick.
As in the book, Hazel meets her future love interest, Augustus Waters, at the support group. Augustus is played by the lovable Ansel Elgort, and the character is in remission from osteosarcoma. He’s big on metaphors and symbolism, and Elgort strikes the perfect balance between pretentious, innocent, and extremely adorable.
The film was beautiful. There were lots of close-up shots that made me feel as if I was standing right there next to the actors. The soundtrack really tied everything together. The vibrant colors and panoramic views gave the movie a very rich feel. Some scenes were actually more potent in the film. For example, the Anne Frank scene is much more powerful in the movie because of the relevant ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ quotes that play in the background as Hazel and Gus struggle up the steep staircases.
Hazel’s parents are excellently portrayed by Laura Dern and Sam Trammell. They have more of a presence in the film than in the book, too, which makes Hazel’s fear of hurting her parents feel more powerful.
I had very high expectations for TFIOS movie, and it more than lived up to them. I’m very grateful to the entire cast and crew for their ability to take such a sensitive book and turn it into an equally wonderful film. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see love, life, and loss shown in their purest forms. Make sure to bring lots of tissues, and if at all possible, read the book first!

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Heir of Starstruck Chapters 4 and 1/2 of 5

Sorry it’s been forever since I posted this. I need suggestions of how this should turn out! And I changed the name of the kingdom, I know. 🙂
Chapter 4
Aramina took a deep breath and stepped out of the comforting undergrowth. Moonwalk shook her beautiful head and whinnied. Aramina looked back at the tethered and rather unhappy horse. “I’m sorry,” she said, the mare narrowed her eyes at Precious, who was lucky enough to come along. Aramina rummaged in her bag, and then pulled out a carrot. She broke of a hunk and tossed it to Moonwalk who caught it in her mouth expertly. “I’ll see you soon!” Aramina called.
Precious growled softly, and flicked her tail from side to side. Aramina gulped, for once not able to comfort her beloved pet. Precious pressed her flank protectively against Aramina. The pair walked quickly down Stardust Avenue. Aramina laughed inside her head. Oh, how empty her mother could be! As if her mother’s old neighborhood had any importance and all those foolish villagers too. Those brainless birds going up and down the streets yelling, “We live in royalty, all hail to Princess Aramina!” No, Aramina was not proud of “her” street at all.
Precious growled one last time before entering a run-down building.
“Are you sure she didn’t tell you where she’s going?” King Alvord questioned.
Stephan gulped, “I swear on my honor, I have no idea where Aramina went.” He answered shakily. You honestly don’t know where she went, why are you so scared? Stephan thought to himself, gulping again.
“This is not a game boy, if Aramina told you to keep it a secret; it’s not a secret anymore. We don’t know where she is, she might be hurt or lost… or worse.” King Alvord said sternly.
Stephan blazed inside. You think I don’t know that? I’m grieving for her too; in fact I grieve for her way more than you do! Stephan longed to shout back. King Alvord spun around and stalked off.
Suddenly a shrill scream broke out followed by a voice shouting “Robbers!” Stephan stood up and spun his head around wildly. Some stationary caught his eye, and he hurried to find a pen.
Excitement tingled from Aramina’s hair all the way to her toes. She had just gotten a deal no one else had before! Maybe it was pretty good being a princess. Precious still seemed a bit discombobulated from her fright. Aramina patted Moonwalk then sat underneath the tree that Moonwalk was tethered on.
For the first time, thoughts of doubt began to creep into Aramina’s mind. Perhaps she was overreacting. Her mother wouldn’t harm a bug! When Aramina was little her mother would be in hysterics after the first beat. Her mind wandered to her warm bed in the castle. Being a princess wasn’t so bad if meant being with her family and… Stephan… Aramina almost got up and walked back to her home, but thoughts of her new life brought her back to Earth. Mr. Birney will give her a new identity, then, she’ll be free. She’ll be able to just stroll through Starstruck without people gawking at her. The gods must have blessed Aramina with sleep for she slipped into a dreamless slumber.
Chapter 5
Aramina’s eyelids fluttered open to see fresh greens all around her. She sat up quickly, rousing Precious. The sky was still slightly dark, kissed with pinks and oranges, and the faint dustings of stars were beginning to vanish.
Aramina huddled against Precious to draw some warmth into her body. The morning cold snaked its way through her one threadbare tunic. Moonwalk whinnied impatiently and nosed around in Aramina’s bag. Aramina threw on her coat then gave Moonwalk a carrot. She fished out the squirrel hunted before and tossed it to Precious.
The sound of a horse galloping made its way to Aramina’s ear. Aramina gasped in surprise. Heather, the only female palace guard and Aramina’s favorite, is riding on the majestic Missy and headed her way!
“Heather!” Aramina cried,
“Hey little Aramina!” Heather called warmly. She handed Aramina a letter then quickly galloped away. Aramina immediately recognized the chunky handwriting.
Dear Aramina,
Please come back. The palace needs you. We need your fighting skills. The palace has been invaded. They say robbers, but it’s definitely been invaded. I need you.
I’ll be waiting for you,
Aramina read the words over and over again, willing them to magically change. How could she leave her budding new life behind to go back to her horrific old one? Yet, how could she put her kingdom in danger? Aramina rubbed her temples, wishing time could turn back.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Book Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens isn’t a book that you would look at and say “Cool!” The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens isn’t a book that your friend would normally recommend to you. In fact, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is a book that you would look at and say “Ewwwwww!” ,but it’s not.

This life saver for teens, written by Sean Covey, is a gold mine filled with sparkles of knowledge. You’ll find many useful habits like ‘Put First Things First’ and ‘Sharpen The Saw’. Unlike The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Sean’s dad, this book speaks directly to teens. With inspiring quotes and cute cartoons, you’ll find yourself eagerly turning pages to learn more.

‘Sharpen The Saw’ is my favorite habit. Once, someone asked Abraham Lincoln what he would do if he had eight hours to cut down a tree. He replied, “I’d spend the first four hours sharpening my saw.” I’ve seen a few of my friends in terrible mood swings due to high levels of stress. The habit ‘Sharpen The Saw’ teaches you how to renew yourself so the balance between school and family isn’t such a storm.

I’ve given you a brief taste of this book, but I haven’t told you everything yet. This book is one of my top favorites, and totally deserves a 5 star rating! So what are you waiting for? Given that the last quote of the book is “Best get off your butt and leave footprints in the sand, you don’t want to leave a butt print.”

SnowCreek: TUBING!

Today I went tubing at SnowCreek! Honestly I was surprised that my mom would actually let me. Normally, I would assume she’d say, “Oh, it’s too dangerous!” but no, she actually encouraged it. (Not danger, but tubing. Not Danger.)

SnowCreek is a ski lodge that sits about two hours from my house. Filled with fake snow, (or rather, chipped ice), SnowCreek has an immense collection of hills. Sadly, the tubing hill was the VERY. LAST. ONE. It really wasn’t that long of a walk, though. It was just my heavy ski bib that dragged my weight down.

I arrived on the edge of where colorful tubes sat piled messily. Grabbing the strap end of this chunky green tube, I dragged it up the side of the hill to where a conveyor belt was, and stood on it, waiting, until I reached the top. I stepped on the chips of ice/fake snow (I just want to emphasize the FAKE snow) and started climbing to the short lines of the tubers.

There were 5 lanes that you could tube down: the first two were for 4 tubes at a time maximum, the middle one (my favorite) was for single tubers, and the last two were for 5 tubes or more. Each lane’s course was pretty much the same- a steep 110 degree drop and a small dip to slow the tuber down. All of the lanes were side by side, and between each was a foot wall of chipped ice barrier. I chose the middle one be cause it looked different than all the others. The middle was was completely iced over with a translucent, gray, glossy, look while the rest were iced over to about half of the course.

The wait in the line was succinct. I, really, was not nervous about this at all, because I though it would be a slow, draggy thing, only thrilling enough to excite an old person. When the TubingGuard, (like a LifeGuard except with tubing), pushed me down, he also spun me. I really underestimated the fun of tubing!

I slid slowly down the first feet of the slippery slope, and gradually began to build up speed. Ice chippings sprayed all around my tube and violently peppered my face. Even though I was screaming and squealing the whole way, the noise of friction between the tube and the ice masked it up. Because my mouth was dry, I licked my lips very generously. BIG MISTAKE. The saliva on my mouth froze quickly on my second time down, and it hurt!

After a few more times, I finally stopped and walked down to a burning fire with multitudes of skiers, snowboarders, and tubers were huddled. Thinking the fire would thaw my hands and face, I crouched closer, but the black, withering smoke stung my eyes and made me cough. I went back to the slopes and slid down a few more times, each turn more exhilarating than the last!

I definitely want to go tubing again, but with more friends. I hope everyone gets a chance to do this fun activity.


You stare in awe around you, admiring your home planet. As you gaze at the swirly blue and white ball, a romance may be taking place. Suddenly, satellite debris begins to rain down. Your perfect moment in space is gone. You are now drifting, with no visual of the ship. You may die today… This is Gravity.
The lesson “never give up” appears in many movies, but none is as effective as Gravity. Specialist Ryan Stone has already lost her 4 year old daughter. She and Matt are the lone survivors of the ISS, that is until Matt sacrifices himself to save her. Ryan’s world has turned upside down and inside out. Will she find the faith and courage to live on?
Gravity has definitely been one of my favorite movies. I guarantee a mind blowing experience. You can ask my dad, my mouth was big enough for a bird to fly through! I was inspired by Ryan’s bravery, and touched by her faith. I encourage all of you to check it out. This movie deserves way more than a five star rating!

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Mary Kay!!

Yesterday I went to my sister’s ex-teacher’s house. Kinda ex-teacher, I mean, she’s still a teacher, just at a different school. Her name is Mrs. Reagan. She is a part-time teacher, part time Mary Kay consultant. And half Jap! And not to mention a cool dog. That is cool. And a dog. Cool.

She invited us upstairs to her Mary Kay room. It looked ENTIRELY different from the rest of the house. It was pink and everywhere was Mary Kay; Lipstick, make up, stuff-i-can’t-name, exfoliating lotions, rejuvenating creams, and more. Mary Kay advertisements and products decorated the room.

Mrs. Reagan set up a mirror and make-up tray for each of us. The first step was to take a wet washcloth and rinse your face to clean your pores. Next we put moisturizing cream and rubbed it on our faces and necks, then rinsed it off with the washcloth again. For my sister and I, Mrs. Reagan had a mask- cream substance. It was stiff and white, and not long after we slathered it on, it started to harden. Whenever we tried to make any facial expressions, the mask would feel tight on our skin. And because we looked so funny, I tried to laugh through the mask, but I ended up  making undefinable noises.

After the mask settled down, Mrs. Reagan squirted out a gritty lotion-like cream on our make up trays that we rubbed on our lips to make them softer. This was washed of later with the wash cloth.

Then there was makeup. My mom and sister had this cool eyeliner, eyshadow,  and stuff.  My mom REALLY fell in love with the hilighter pen. It had her skintone and covered up some of the bags under her eyes!  And my sister got her eyebrows darkened and found a flattering shade of eye shadow called Granite. Although I didn’t get to use that make-up, I got some lip gloss samples. One was called Mango Tango that was an electric red, and Pink parfait which looked like bubblegum pink. Mixed together they looked nice.

I recommend you all go to Mrs. Reagan’s house for a trial! You don’t have to purchase anything when you go! Contact Park Ranger for info at


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Heir of Stardust Chapter 3

Chapter 3:
“C’mon Precious, come on girl! See the mouse?” Aramina coaxes her snow leopard through the hoop. “Good girl! Good girl Precious!” Aramina cooed, rewarding her with a plump mouse. The leopard curled her tail neatly around her paws then dug in. “Now lie down Precious, lie down!” Precious lowered her head gently, “Good girl!” Aramina exclaims. She threw a rabbit up in the air. Precious bunched up her muscles and leapt in the air. The sunlight showed off her fur like dazzling snow.
“ARAMINA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come up here this instant!”
Aramina groaned, “Coming Mom!” she called. She gave Precious a pat, fed her one last mouse then hurried in the castle.
She hesitated right outside her mother’s door, then gave a reluctant knock.
“Come in” a rather calm voice said.
Aramina opened the door, both her parents were there.
“Aramina, you are 17 now. We are getting old and soon you will have to rule this kingdom.” Her mother said, her voice sounding pretty young to Aramina.
“Now, now Aramina, what your mother and I are trying to say is it’s time you get married.” Her father says gently.
Aramina gasped, a spark of hope in her eyes
“No!” her mother said sharply, “Not Stephan”
Aramina looked down at her shoes, worn out from all her time in the woods.
“Celestia, let the girl live her dream.” Her father defended. “After all, you were a pauper. Weren’t you?”
Celestia shot an indignant look at King Alvord, “Nicholas Alvord, I was a…a…a pauper with a job!” she replied back weakly.
“Stephan has a job, he cleans shoes!” Aramina retaliates.
Celestia rolled her eyes, “I made dresses, for your grandmother.” She says smugly, “Didn’t I Nicholas? You said yourself your mother like my dresses.”
“Celestia, there is only one shoe shop so who do you think cleans your shoes?” her father reasoned.
Her mother frowned, “1 against 2 isn’t fair. I’ll let you marry Stephan if he can complete 3 tasks that I set up for him.” Celestia says slowly her dark brown eyes glittering. Aramina gasps, ‘If Stephan does this he will get hurt!’ Aramina thinks. Her father knows this too.
“Celestia, what are the three tasks?” he murmurs lowly. The queen laughs, “You will see.”
King Alvord pursed his lips, “Celestia…” he warns, “Wait, WHERE IS ARAMINA?!” he roars, worry clear in his voice. Celestia, getting back to her mothering nature, runs out the room, calling for her.
“CELESTIA!!!!!!!” he growls, “This is ALL YOUR FAULT!” he screams, his shoulders shaking. Celestia comes running in, tears streaming down her face. “YOU THINK I MEANT TO DO THIS!” She screeches. King Alvord storms out and Celestia collapses on the bed, sobs racking her body.
Aramina wiped away her tears. She took a black coat and tucked the letter gently in the pocket. Then clutching on to the papers, she slid out her newly built window. After retrieving her arrow, she raced into the forest. Gingerly tucking the letter in their hibiscus bush, she raced back out and reorganized her bag.
Taking a silver whistle, she blew in it twice. A streak of white dappled fur appeared out of nowhere then padded silently to her. Suddenly, the leopards ears perked up, her nose quivered. “Go ahead” Aramina laughed. The leopard hurtled into the thicket of greens. Seconds later, returning with a rabbit and a squirrel. Aramina applauded, “Good girl!” she cheered. She took the rabbit and the squirrel then headed to the stables.
“Hey Moonwalk” she whispered softly while brushing through her cream colored coat. She saddled up then called to Precious. “Walk Snowy” she ordered with a gently squeeze of her knees. The beautiful mare trotted gracefully out the stable. Her mind raced back a year….
“Can I open my eyes now?” Aramina teased, secretly wanting Stephan’s strong hands around her forever.
“Nope, not yet your majesty.” He replied back just as playfully. Finally Stephan’s hands parted and Aramina let out a small gasp. She was in the palace stables and right there in front of her was the most beautiful horse in the world. The young mare had warm chocolate eyes with a breathtaking white coat that glowed silver in the moon.
“Oh my lord…” Aramina begins but is lost for words.
“Happy 16th birthday Aramina” Stephan murmured, gently brushing her cheek.
Aramina smiled, “I think I’ll name her Moonwalk.” She laughed as the horse raced around the track. “Thanks SO much!” Aramina exclaimed. Stephan’s eyes glowed with pleasure and something else.
Precious mewed anxiously, Aramina’s head snapped up. “Sorry Precious” she said hastily, quickly veering on to the right path. Moonwalk snorted but kept calm, Aramina gazed fondly at her pets.
“Hey Aramina!! Wait up!” an achingly familiar voice called out.
Aramina turned around, her eyes clouded with sorrow. “I’m so sorry Stephan.” Aramina said softly, laced with pain.
“Aramina?” Stephan pleaded, Aramina memorized his perfect face. She stared into his eyes with a lifetime of love then quickly galloped away so he wouldn’t see her tears.