[Faith ⦁ Family ⦁ Hope ⦁ Love ⦁ Life ⦁ The South ⦁ History ⦁ Theology ⦁ Philosophy ⦁ Politics ⦁ Photography ⦁ Literature ⦁ Music ⦁ Retro ⦁ Home]
{Welcome to Mine}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NCFCA Tournaments -- This is the time of our lives -- Don't take it for granted -- These memories will be with us forever!! -- Part II

Dear Readers,

I am terribly sorry it has been so long….but my, my, all that has been going on….

But as one person is apparently worried about whether the “blog has shut down”, emails me/comments/google+’s me, and “checks my blog first thing in the morning when he gets up” I thought I had better post before he has a heart attack…..

As I stated in my last post, each tournament is getting its own post. So, without further ado.....


Our second tournament of the season, in March, was in Annandale, VA (right outside of DC) and was probably the most interesting tournament, for me, of the year.

This tournament, John Christian and I knew we would have fun, because the majority of the people we usually hang out with....weren't going to be there :P.......including our club. So that would make us kinda stretch ourselves to talk to new people! (Which I always love doing, anyway.) For various reasons, no one else in our club was going to that tournament. JC's parents couldn't go either. That left him, me, and my parents.

So we decided that all four of us would go together in our car. Now, for those of you who don't know, JC is about 6'4" and we have a car/SUV crossover. My dad is an expert car-loader. Reason being, he used to work in Charlotte at the airport loading the bellies of cargo planes. Which means, not only did everything have to fit, but the weight had to be distributed evenly. I've seen him work miracles when it comes to loading, and he's never doubted that he could get everything in a vehicle......until this trip....

By the time he got done loading our family's things in the car, it was completely full! I mean completely! Our backseat had been pushed forward as far as it would go, the back was full to the ceiling, and there was "stuff" in the backseat as well. My dad came in and said: "I hate to tell you, but John Christian better be wearing what he's got on every day to the tournament, and have no evidence...because I can't fit anything else in that car!!" Mama and I stared at each other both thinking..."What are we going to do???" Our main problem was a very large cooler. (You know, the kind that are so big they never should have been invented...) There were a few things that didn't need to go in the cooler, and by the time we ended up going through it we put everything in a cooler about 2/3 smaller than the previous one. Which helped quite a bit! We loaded everything back in while my dad was muttering: "It helped but I still don't see how I'm going to get his stuff in here..."

We went to out rendezvous point to pick up JC. We got there, and poor Daddy almost completely unloaded the car again...and somehow...I still have NO idea how...he got everything in there! (It took a bit of pushing and shoving by JC, his dad, and my dad.) :P We prayed before we left, and all piled into the car. When I say piled I mean piled. John Christian and I were so cramped in the backseat with all of our stuff it was crazy! He had about 6 sq in to put his feet down, and I had none. :P In the backseat we had 3 boxes of evidence, 2 backpacks, 1 purse, 2 totes, 1 pillow, 2 jackets, 1 atlas, a stack of cds, 3 laptops, a charger in the cigarette lighter (this one didn't smoke), a stack of 4 books, and 15 minutes into the trip we had briefs strewn out everywhere. It was madness! We had a whole seat in between us, but we felt like everything/everybody was sitting on top of each other.

By the way, did I mention that this was a 9 hour trip?

So after we did all of our piling, we started going through affirmative stuff. Which consisted of JC cross-exing me....that's always painful...I was so happy when we partnered just so there wouldn't be a chance of us hitting each other, and me having to go through one of his CXs.... ::rollseyes::

After a while we finished, and he asked to see my iPod. Now here is a running joke. I have an iPod Touch, and all of the guys in my club are obsessed with it. Partially because of that, JC has permission to get in my purse whenever he wants to. So every tournament we go to, I can never find my iPod because usually JC or FL or Miss EL (over at thoughtsjotstittles.blogspot.com) has it. (which is okay with me) :)

Anyway, he asked to see it and we ended up playing a word game together.....hahaha that was hilarious! In this game you have 6 letters and you have to guess as many words using those letters as possible. To move on to the next level you have to guess the word that uses all the letters, and you have a time limit that is ticking down the entire time. So here we are laying across backpacks in the seat between us, heads practically together, looking at this little screen hollering out random words. It sounded something like this: "Ring!" "NO! There's no 'g' or 'r'! But, I know! Fine!" "No, no, no, no, no!! I know what the 6 letter word is!!" "OH, oh, oh me too!! It's 'finance'! "O_o No!!! That's 7 letters, you're missing an 'n', it's 'Fiancé'!!!" "Oh! You're right!!!" "Hurry!! before the time runs out!!!" We had waaaay too much fun playing that! My parents said: "Do you think they're having fun, or are they about to kill each other???" Hahaha.

Next we stopped at a gas station to fill up and for a potty break. ;) Mama and I went on inside while the men stayed at the car to fill it up. As I walked inside I noticed a man beside the door smoking, and….teetering… :-/ I wanted to quickly go inside figuring that he was probably drunk. My mom was a few steps in front of me, enough that she had just gone inside. Right before I reached the door he got between me and it. He sorta circled me, looking me over from head to toe then gave me a big, sickening, almost-toothless grin. My mom was in the restroom, at this point and I figured it would be a good idea to find someone in my group to stay with, particularly my dad or John Christian. So, I squeezed past him and got in the store. About that time my mom came out of the restroom. I told her what had happened so we scanned the store to see if we saw him. Sure enough, he had come into the store too. Well I went into the restroom, and when I came out the men were standing there, too. We told them the story and after that I didn’t go into a service station without Daddy or JC. We climbed back into the car and dug for the cookies.

Now in all of that digging I made the statement that I was going to have to move some things, because I could not continue to sit on my legs for the rest of the trip! So, we rearranged the back seat, and I had a little spot to put my feet down on the floor. But, to have the spot, now I had a pile of “stuff” up against the door to the left of me. To the right of me, John Christian had to pile all of his “stuff” up. So I was in a sort of box.

A little later we stopped for lunch at......Wendy's!!! (It's our tourney restaurant.) That was a very interesting experience getting out of my “box,” but I managed to climb out of my door. My parents were then able to witness just how much JC eats. ;) We had a nice lunch, and the four of us had a great conversation discussing debate theory. (I promise, there are times that we really do talk about other things….I think…) Anyway, we finished and went back out to the car….and this is where my “box” started causing me problems… I opened the door and there was a wall of “stuff” (i.e. 2 debate boxes, 1 laptop, 2 totes, 1 sweatshirt, 1 pillow, a bag of food, a stack of cds, ect.). So I threw my purse over the “wall,” put one foot on the edge of the car, grabbed the inside of the door and started hoisting myself up and over. In the meantime, JC had gotten in on his side. My sunglasses were falling from the top of my head, so I told him to take them off of my head. He did and I looked up to see him wearing them….yep he was wearing my brown, trendy, rhinestone-studded sunglasses.  I got so tickled that I lost my hold and started falling taking everything with me. John Christian grabbed my hands and the stuff and, through a LOT of laughing and struggling, pulled me and the stuff the rest of the way in. xD It was hilarious!

After that, we took a nap. We had both been up till about 2:00 that morning and had gotten up around 5:00…needless to say we were pooped!

A couple hours later my parents attempted to wake us up for quite some time. But due to earbuds and music we didn’t know that. :P They finally got me awake and I managed to wake up JC. We were getting closer to where we needed the GPS (so we could find our host house). They had pulled the GPS out but it wasn’t working… -_- Of course it wasn’t… So after a few tries we finally got the address in JC’s iPhone, and we made it the rest of the way without any trouble.

We got to the house where we were host housing. We pulled in to see a 15 passenger van sitting in the driveway. (Don’t you just love homeschoolers!?) We went to the door and knocked and Mrs. H answered the door. We came in and were introduced to 8 children, both parents, and a grandmother. We were informed that the 9th child was out of state- but would be coming later that week. (Shall I say it again- don’t you just love homeschoolers!?) They were the nicest family! So we unloaded the car…..actually, let me rephrase that….Daddy, JC, and 3 of the H boys unloaded the car. They had rearranged what kids were sleeping in which bedrooms, so that I had a little room to myself with a mattress on the third floor, JC was on a couch on the fourth floor to himself, and my parents had a full bedroom with a double bed on the third floor.

Now the H Family had a piano in their living room. JC is one of the most avid pianists you'll ever meet. (And he's very good.) So, every day while we were there, he would play. One morning, we were ready before everyone else, so he played and we sang (in harmony) hymns together. That was so much fun!

Anyway, we went to sign in and script submission that night. This was my first time personally experiencing script submission. My script went through fine, thank goodness, and we got registered without any difficulty. We then went for some supper. We went to a gourmet pizza place. Let me tell you- they have some amazing pizza!

We got done there, went back to the H’s house, and got ready for bed. JC and I ended up staying up really late CXing each other some more. :P We went to bed, got up the next morning, got ready, and headed for the church. We got there, put our stuff in the student area and went to the sanctuary for announcements. And now, let’s rewind almost exactly a year…

Almost the exact same dates that we were in Annandale, VA in March of 2012, we were in Fredericksburg, VA in March of 2011. It was the second day of competition, and I was walking outside to watch Mr. JT give his HI (speech) in another building. It had started lightly drizzling so I was trying to hurry. I got to the door, and there was a guy in front of me. (I have no clue who it was and don’t remember him.) But he opened the door, turned around, made eye contact with me, walked into the building, and slammed the door in my face. (What is up with that?? Definitely not typical of NCFCA….?) Well I was standing there a little shocked and another guy walked over and said: “I don’t know who that was, but he’s a jerk. I’m sorry about that.” And then he opened the door for me. (See, gentlemen, still exist.) We ended up introducing ourselves and finding out that we were the same age, and from the same state. After that, I had no idea who he was, or what happened to him.

Now, let’s go forward a year, and step into 2012, once more. :) As I was walking out of the building with the student area to go to the building with the sanctuary, the same stinkin’ thing happened to me again!! A guy slammed the door in my face! Well, I was thinking: Déjà vu?. About that time, a guy opens the door for me, from the outside and says: “I don’t know who that was, but I’m sorry.” I walked through and thanked him. Then did a double-take…..everthing came back….Whoa! Wasn’t that the same guy?! I said: “T________?! T_______ G_______?!” He said: “Cayla?!” (Apparently he remembered, too.) Well it turns out it was the same guy. :P (What are the odds?) John Christian walked over and I introduced him, and then Mr. TG (over at http://tgoodwinblog.blogspot.com/) introduced his partner Mr. SP. Now, starting at that tournament we all became good friends, and hung out at a lot at the tourneys. :)

Announcements went well, and we came back in the student area to wait for postings. Debate postings went up and we debated our first round. We had a lot of fun! :D After the round was over I was stepping off of the elevator when I heard: “Cayla! Cayla Miller!” I saw a hand waving above the crowd. I knew that voice all too well! I ran over and saw Mr. JA!! My best friend- that is a guy. :D I said “J_____ it’s so good to see you! And stuck out my hand. He said: “Seriously? A hand shake?” And gave me a big hug. Now it just so happens that he goes to school (college) near there, is a homeschool/NCFCA alum, and they were on spring break. So he came to the tournament to judge. :) (I did know that he was coming before he came.) I hadn’t seen him in a year and one month.

That night we came back to the H Family’s house and the K Family came back from the tournament with us, as well. :) So, are you following this? You want to know how many people we had in one house? We had three families for a grand total of……ready for this?.......23 people, in one house… :P We had a ball! xD Three homeschool families living together- is wonderful! So when the Ks got there, we switched around the sleeping arrangement again. :P It worked out well. :)

The second night after competition we all came back to the house. And it was voted that everyone would do their speeches for everyone else. We had the best time doing that! Everyone’s speeches were so good!
Mr. JA ended up coming with his roommate all three days, and we got to hang out and talk, which was a ton of fun! :)

The entire tournament was a blast! I got to spend time with JC, Mr. JA, Mr. SP, Mr. TG, Mr. GL, and Miss JP! :D (TP is male-dominated…lol) I ended up breaking in my speech, and qualifying to Regionals! (Which was a huge shock!) Debate went very well too! :)

We got back to the house after the awards ceremony and spent the night at the H’s house one last time. We got up the next morning (Sunday) and (through a lot of perseverance) packed the car again. :P

On our ride home we discussed a lot of things related to debate and the tournament. And watched one of the rounds from that tourney. And slept….a lot. :P

Overall, this was probably my favorite qualifier! I had so much fun with everyone, and was tremendously blessed!

Again, I’ve attached my favorite pictures from this tourney at the end of this post. Check them out! :)

Check in (hopefully) soon for…

Trip #3! Gastonia, NC. We’re on “Home Turf”! And everyone is here! :D

Always in His Arms,