Hi,

My birthday was on the 27th December. On the 22nd I celebrated with the family and on the 28th we celebrated it with friends. The reason why not on the 27th is because a friend of mine won't be there so we moved it on the next day.

Sooooo, celebrating with family was fun. We spent our day in vegas and were at bellagio when it got dark. Bellagio is a casino/hotel and they decorated it so pretty inside! And we saw the worlds biggest chocolate fountain. Everything looked so fancy inside and outside omg... I thought I'm in a movie. It was sprinkling outside, but it looked pretty with all the Christmas lights and I saw the Eiffel Tower. We walked in front of the ,lake' and Bellagio and watched the water fountain show, which was the coolest thing. No doubt... it was pretty amazing and it was just so so so pretty and pretty is the most used word in this post, but it was just friggin cool.

Then we were on our way for dinner and it was a surprise, so marina and I didn't really know where we were going and guess whatttt we were eating VIETNAMESE. The bistro was called District 1 and they had Pho and it was so goooooooooooooood. U have no idea... I really missed Vietnamese food and I got tears in my eyes the first bite. It was just so good and in the end the employees brought me coconut ice cream peanut Vietnamese jelly dessert and that was bomb.

After we had dinner we drove to a Ethel m chocolate factory and there was a cactus garden with lights in front of the factory. That was pretty cool.

Then we were on our way back to the stratosphere to go on top. On the top it wasn't too busy. There were 3 rides that we watched and the view was really cool too! You could have a view of whole Las Vegas or mostly. And that's how my day ended. It was a fun day. At night we slept at the hotel.

On the 28th friends came over and we went ice skating and it was so much fun. And I didn't fell! Haha. But I ran right into a boy and that was awkward. We were 3h on ice and then we were on our way home. At home we had costco pizza delivered and jessany, Devin and Bryce baked a cake for me and that was cute. It had a German flag on it and we had Aggie ice cream with it :))) after that we played a game, which was called ,Say Anything' and that was a fun game! And guess what, I won :))) then I realized that it was the first time that I never made it to 1st place before until that moment. That was pretty lit. :))) so my birthday is over and I can't wait for school to start haha. Oh and I'm pumped up for the New Years dance, because I'll get to see everyone again.
Bye,
Michelle

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Hi,

on christmas all our siblings came down to Logandale to celebrate this holiday with us. On Christmas Eve, the 24th we had an other family come visiting us and we opened our presents and we opened the sibling gifts and cousins gifts. From Devin (brother) I got 3 products from Bath and Bodyworks and earrings and for the cousin gift exchange I got a $10 ITunes Gift Card and a snowman with US flags ornament. That was cute and is also a good reminder of christmas in the US when I'm back in Germany. At that night we also opened the White Elephants. White Elephants is a "game" where we exchange fun presents, that aren't too expensive. At night all the siblings slept downstairs and the tradition here in this family is, that we all get trapped downstairs and there is a motion detector making noises when we get close to the trap. The trap is just there, so we don't see how Santa put stuff into our stockings haha. So Marina and I slept on the couches and the other kids in their old bedrooms. We watched a TV show before we went to bed.

At 6am it was time to get up. The trap was build from boxes and Jessanys (sister) selfmade hippo stuff animal. When we got closer to the motion detector that made shooting noises, our parents came and we had to sing a christmas carol, before we can get through the trap and open our presents. It's a tradition my host family make with the trap and it's fun and unique.

In my stocking I found a hair tie bracelet, a bag of tortilla chips (because I literally consume these each and every day lol), a pair of pants, because my older pants ripped and thats because I eat too much haha. OHHHHH and I got a barbie!!!! I was so happy. Marina and Jessany hang a barbie ornament on the christmas tree ever since they were born. And they are hanging next to each other every christmas. And now I got my own barbie I can put next to them. That was so cool. And then we opened one gift from under the christmas tree, before we have to leave for church. I got a baseball shirt from the brand orign.

At church I sang in choir 3 songs and when we got home grandpa and grandma came. They brought us gingerbread houses to decorate and after doing that we opened the rest of the presents. Grandma and grandpa got me a watch and host Mom got me a self made quilt with US flags on it. That was cool.

Later on we got to skype with Logan!!! If u guys don't remember. Logan is my other host brother who left on his mission for 2 years and we get to hear from him on Mother's Day next time. It was nice hearing from him again.

Then we had dinner and then the family from yesterday came for visiting. The dad drove marina and me around on the wheeler and that was literally the coolest thing. We drove up the hills and on rocks and it was so windy and so dangerous and so. much. fun. I would do it again 100%.

When we got home my jacket was full of mudd, but it was worth it!. And we had Aggie ice cream, which is the best ice cream tbh.

​And that was my American Christmas. I loved it. What I noticed here was that here they all get so much more presents than in Germany.

Goodbye,

Michelle

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Hello,

This week was winter week and also the last week of high school for 2016!! In winter week we got to dress up too (like in homecoming week). And here are the ,themes' we're going to dress up like:

Of course it wasn't mandatory to wear them, but you know, just for fun. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures I can show you from me dressing up, because i forgot about that, but I did dress up for PJ Day, winter wonderland and flannel Friday. On each of the days there were activities after school. There was the movie night, basketball game, orchestra and jazz concert and the deck the halls thing. We decked (decorate) the 400 hallway in our school and it was a competition between the freshmen, juniors and seniors. The sophomores (including me) got to decorate the 400 hall and it was really really fun! After the flag football practice, I helped out in the hallway and there were not many people. There were like 4 other sophomores and we definitely needed more people. We got colored paper, posters, tape, pencils, paint, scissores, brushes and so much more stuff to help making the hallway as pretty as we can. Our theme was Northpol and santas present factory. So we got creative and really gave our best. After the concert that was at 7 pm much more people came to help us getting the hallway decorated. Then a friend came with boxes of mc Donald's and that was really nice! Let me tell ya haha. She spent $30 on us so we have the power to get this done and pretty. We stayed at school till the lights turnt off and that was around 10 pm. We didn't finished decorating the hallway, but we gave our best and it is was just so much fun! We had to clean up in the dark, because it was school on the next day. I was feeling like death the entire next day, but deck the halls was my favorite.
Bye,
Michelle

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Hello,

Last Sunday the ... there was the youth choir Christmas concert, we prepared for 2-3 months before. Practice was every Sunday at 5:30. The performance went good. I sing soprano, so the high voice and its kinda funny, because I have such a man voice, but I think I did good for soprano.

Bye,
Michelle

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Today was Black Friday and we drove up to Mesquite and St. George, Utah to shop. We left at 7 so we could be there soon enough to get all the good stuff, even though some people started shopping at 2 am or earlier to get the best deals haha. We stopped in a store in mesquite and bought some presents for Christmas and then we were in St. George, Utah in a shopping centre and that was busy there! First when we entered the store, i was like hmm ok alright, but then we were ready to stand in line to pay or stuff, it was like a never-ending line. It went all the way to the other side of the shopping center and it was just crazy... But it was still kinda fun standing there, watching people stressing about what else they're going to get and just see everything marked in red, saying that it is on sale. There were so much good stuff and it made me just happy. I found cute clothes too and went home with Christmas presents and stuff for me. What a successful day :) ohh and they had a waffle iron for 8$, whatttt

bye, bye
michelle

ps: I don't have a picture of my Black Friday experience but I have a picture of me standing in front of the Utah sign, we've been stopping by today, so here it is :)))
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Hello,

today is thanksgiving, which means we got to eat lots of lots of good food :) Around noon grandma and grandpa came for celebrating thanksgiving with us and then we started to eat. And we got turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, etc. all the good stuff :) Then we watched some American football.

And because it is thanksgiving, I'm going to list a few things I'm thankful for:

1. Family & Host Family

2. Friends here and of course my squad in Germany

3. Opportunity to do an exchange year here in the US

4. Buddha

5. Harry Potter, divergent and all my fandoms

6. Awesome TV shows (especially for grey's anatomy)

7. Love, because love is great

8. Being alive

9. Cameras for taking pictures/videos, because they give u the opportunity to kinda relive moments

10. WIFI/phones to keep in touch with my people

11. Glasses to let me see life in 4K

12. Food/water

13. Ability to walk, see, touch, taste, ...

14. good and bad moments

15. Pancakes

16. Running, because running is great

17. Naps, long long naps :)

See ya,
Michelle

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Hello,

Yesterday we came back from our California trip to Universal studios and it took us about 6 hours I guess... to get there. On Sunday we we were driving down to the apartment we've rented and slept there over night. On Monday at 8 am we were in the universal studios in Hogwartsss!! :))) it was pretty lit and during the day we were in Springfield (the simpsons), Shrek, transformers, etc. Most of the attractions are simulations (3D, 4D stuff) so not many roller coasters. The Harry Potter simulation was my favorite one. I'm in Gryffindor btw, I took the test online lol. On Tuesday we've been in universal studios again and did the other rides/simulations. We've been on the minions, Jurassic world and there was one for the walking dead, but that was too terrifying for me. Ah, and there is a City Walk before you enter universal studios. There are many shops, gift shops, restaurants, etc. And there was a sock market, which was so cool! There were sushi, pizza, puppy printed socks and much much more. Yup... on Wednesday we left early to escape LA Traffic and there was still kinda a lot of traffic, but oh well... and for those who wonder why I didn't go to school: It's because we have a whole week off :) so that's nice.

Bye,
Michelle

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hello there,

Thursday night, the 11th I went on a trip with the exchange students to the Grand Canyon. We meet up at our regional coordinators house and drove to to vegas and stayed over night at someone else's house from EF and the car ride was so much fun. We sang all the way up to vegas and stopped for food at mc Donald's.

At 2 in the morning we were heading to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at mc Donald's... again. There we had breakfast and at a gas station we got ourselves more food. Later we finally arrived in Arizona (the state) at the Williams train station around 8 and first when we got out of the van, the first thing what i thought was, that IT WAS FREEZING!!! -1 Celsius!! But we got warned before so that was not a surprise. Then we got our tickets for the train ride. Before that we were watching a western show they were presenting. The train ride was about 2-3 hours long till we finally get to the Grand Canyon!! Finally!! :))) and the Grand Canyon is huuuuuge and sooo pretty! The view was just amazing and pictures cant show beautiful the Canyon was. We've been at the south rim btw... There we had 1h time to get lunch and then we went on a hike. With 3 other girls I did the bright angels walk and it looks even more prettier when u hike. We almost been to the bottom of the Canyon which was pretty cool. But Running/walking up again was tough and not everybody kept on track with me and Kerry (one of the girls I went with). So we went all the way up and it was so exhausting. It took us 20 minutes to get up, even though it took us 1h 30 min to get down, so we did a pretty good job haha. On the way up we met a boy who was walking in front of us and we started talking. He was really nice and we talked about life in america and it's always good to meet people who live here and i like it :) At 5 we got into our cabins where I was in a room with other foreigners. At 6 we ate dinner in a lodge where they had bunch of food. After eating we've been at a gift shop and i got some stuff. I went to bed at 8 and that was my day :)

Around 7am me and some other students were up for watching the sunset and we found good spots to take pictures. It was -2 Celsius and it was sooo coooold. I couldn't take my hands out of my pockets because it would freeze instantly, but for taking pictures I had to go through this lol. Grand Canyon is way too pretty for not taking pictures. After a while my hands were numb and lips were blue haha. We had breakfast and then we went into our rooms to pack our stuff and get ready. During the day we've been driving with the shuttle bus from one point to the other point. Every point has a different view and it was really pretty. We also saw the Colorado river and then and later I walked with 3 other people to the other points, because it got surprisingly warmer and warmer during the day and it was literally the p e r f e c t temperature to hike or going for a run. Not too hot, not too cold. We went to the last station and drove back to the lodge where it started. At the lodge we had lunch. Then I had ice cream with Rafaela and it was so good. For real... we heard that the ice cream there should be really popular and good, so we tried it and it was so good haha. Then we took the train back anddddd on the ride back we saw cowboys riding their horses right next to us. They were right next to us when we looked out of the window. It was awesome and then all of the sudden cowboys were walking through the train haha. When we arrived at the Williams train station there were Christmas decoration already and it looked just pretty and it's just crazy. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and they have their Christmas stuff outside. We stopped at a place where we could get food. Kerry and me were at Pizza Hut and then we were driving back to moapa.
Bye
Michelle

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Hello

Today we picked pomegranates in our garden. We invited some friends over to help us picking them, because we have lots of them! We have like 5 grown out trees which are really big. So in the end of the day we have like 7 boxes full of pomegranates. That was pretty nice.

Goodnight
Michelle

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Hi,

today was Halloween and it felt like I had 3 days of Halloween haha.

On Friday there was a Halloween party at someone's house and we did some S'mores and watched Hocus Pocus and Goosebumps. It was a pretty chill night.

On Saturday there was a birthday party I've been to and we carved pumpkins. MY FIRST TIME CARVING PUMPKINS! After that I got myself some food and then we watched a movie outside in the garden and got blankets and pillows to lay on. We had a bonfire too.

On Monday was finally Halloween. I dressed up as Harry Potter (House of Gryffindor). In school I saw some people dressing up as the house of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw! So that was kinda cool... At night there were kiddos walking through the neighborhood asking for candy. We've been to Trunk and Treat, an "event" I guess where the whole valley meet up together and get candy and eat food. Everybody was dressed up and it was lots of fun. Well, that was my Halloween!

Goodnight
Michelle

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