Anna Bonhage

Chapter 1: My Name

I’ve always thought that my name was just something random that my parents picked for me. I never knew that my name had significance behind it. The whole story starts on May 25th, 2000 in Lankenau Hospital. This was the day that I was born, and of course, given a name that would stick with me for the rest of my life. On the day that I was born, I was surrounded by my grandma, grandpa, dad, mom, and of course..nurses. Even though they aren’t a part of my family, they were with me a lot that first day. From finger and toe prints to wrapping me up in a blanket, the nurses had a big part of taking care of me for the first few minutes upon my entrance into the world. The name that my parents gave me was Anna Elizabeth. My first name, Anna, means “favor grace” or “gratuitous”. My middle name, Elizabeth, means “God’s satisfaction” or “God’s perfection”. Besides my parents liking how the two names sounded together, there was also a meaning behind them. My dad's grandma has sisters named Anna and Elizabeth. My mom and dad decided that Anna Elizabeth was the name for me. Even though these names are from past relatives, my name has no ethnic or literary meaning. I like my name, so I can’t really imagine being called anything else. I know that almost all kids will say this, but it’s true. We are so used to being called by our name everyday that it’s hard to think of it being something else. I believe that everyone has a story on how they got their name. Not everyone’s name may come from a family background, book, etc., but I feel that most parents think for months about the perfect name to give their new bundle of happiness. I know that not everyone loves or cares for their name, but they should appreciate it because it could always be way worse. My name is normal. It’s not hard to pronounce, or spell. (My name is the same frontwards and backwards) But even though you may think that your name is easy, others may think it's challenging. I’ve been called “Ana” so many times throughout my life. Since this happens a lot, you would think that my name would be as hard to say as figuring out when the world will end. From teachers, neighbors, and strangers. It gets me really annoyed when people call me Ana because Ana and Anna are two different names. To me, this is like calling a dog a cat, and the other way around.

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Chapter 2: The Day I Was Born

My birthday is May 25th, 2000. I am 5,494 days old. On the day I was born, the weather was really nice. It was sunny and the temperature was 82.9°F. I found out that there are a lot of famous people who share a birthday with me. Some of these people are Aly Raisman (she is an Olympic gymnast), Chloe Lukasiak (she is a reality star on Lifetime's Dance Moms), Mike Myers (he is a movie actor. He is also a comedian, actor, singer and screenwriter), Joe King (he is a guitarist, songwriter, and singer who gained fame as a member of Grammy Award-nominated piano band, The Fray), and Brian Urlacher (he is a longtime NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears who helped lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. He was an 8-time Pro Bowl selection and he set Chicago Bears' franchise records for senile season tackles {153} and career tackles {1,192}). There are also several history events that happened on my birthday. These include when Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty five year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show (2011), Babe Ruth hits his last 3 home runs, Boston Braves vs Pirates (1935), Goofy, aka Dippy Dawg, 1st appears in 'Mickey's Revue' by Walt Disney (1932), the 1st telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot (1844), Constitutional convention opens at Phila, G Washington presiding (1787), Track and field athlete Jesse Owens equals or breaks 6 world records in 45 minutes at Big Ten meet at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor US (1935), Carrie Underwood wins the Fourth Season of 'American Idol' (2005), the Battle Of Freetown (1778), the Battle of St. Louis (1780), and the First Transport of Prisoners to the Mauthausen-Gusen Nazi Concentration Camp Complex (1940). The price of things were also very different. A postage stamp was 33 cents, a luxury car was about $25,000, a gallon of gas costed $1.71 in 2000, a four bedroom house in Media costed $171,675, a gallon of milk costed $2.75 to $3.00 a gallon, and a movie ticket costed $5.39 in 2000. The president was Bill Clinton. Some of the must have toys were Barbies, Urban scooters and Poo-chi. Some movies that come out around this time are American Beauty, Gladiator, Remember the Titans, and American Pyscho. Some of the biggest movie stars were Johnny Depp, George Clooney, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Some popular TV shows were Law & Order, West Wing, Survivor, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Some popular songs at the time were Breathe by Faith Hill, Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, and Say My Name by Destiny's Child. Sports that were popular in 2000 are soccer, basketball, and baseball. For girls, some of the fashion trends were 3/4 length sleeves, denim jackets, clogs or fashion boots, and beaded jewelry. For boys, some fashion trends were baseball caps, sports jerseys, puffed reversible vests, and sunglasses.

Chapter 3: Storage Trunk

The first object that I discovered was a box camera. This was located in a box in a storage area that is in a room in my basement. This box camera was my mom's aunts camera. Her name, as my mom called her, was Aunt Cass. My mom remembers her holding the box camera by her stomach to take the picture. This is because you had to look into it from an above view to see what you were taking the picture of. This item has been saved because it is very unique and old. With all of the new technology out, this camera is something special that you can't find anymore, and it is definitely worth holding onto. The next item that has history and memories behind it are my dad's old bikes. These bikes are proudly displayed in my basement for everyone to see when they pass them by. My dad got these bikes overtime from different bike shows, websites, sales, other people that he knows, ext. My dad purchased these bikes because he has a great interest in them, as well as cars. My dad has his own business where he restores antique cars. His love for cars carried over into bikes. The bikes that he owns are all very detailed and unique. They are much different than bikes we have now, so it is really cool to see how much bikes have changed overtime. I feel like both of these items have something really special about them, and that they are irreplaceable.

Chapter 4: My Personal Alphabet

A is for ambitious. I am always wanting to have success in everything I do.

B is for bubbly. I always have a high spirit.

C is for cheerful. I am usually always showing happiness.

D is for dependable. I can always be trusted or depended on.

E is for energetic. Even though I might not show it all the time, I am always full of energy.

F is for friendly. I am always open to and love meeting new friends.

G is for giving. I like to help others whenever I can.

H is for honest. I am very honest to everyone.

I is for intelligent. School is very important to me, and I think that I excel in certain classes.

J is for joyful. I always have a happy and positive attitude wherever I go.

K is for kind hearted. I put others before myself.

L is for loyal. I am very loyal to everyone.

M is for mature. Even though this is not always the case, I believe that I am very mature for my age.

N is for noisy. I am very loud when I am around my friends, even though this doesn't show much during school.

O is for optimistic. I am always looking on the bright side of things and thinking of the positives. I also don't let anything tear me down.

P is for pleasant. Being nice is not hard to do, and I believe that I am nice every single day.

Q is for quiet. During class, I tend to be more on the quiet side because I'm focusing on my work.

R is for responsible. People can rely on me whenever they need too and I am happy to help.

S is for sociable. I am happiest when I am with my friends and family.

T is for trustworthy. People can always count on me.

U is for useful. I am very useful when it comes to helping others.

V is for valuable. I am always being told by my parents that I have a lot of value and lots of opportunities ahead of me in life.

W is for warmhearted. I care about others.

X is for xenodochial. I am friendly and nice to everyone, including people I may not know very well.

Y is for young. I am only 14, which is considered to still be very young.

Z is for zealous. I have a lot of enthusiasm on a daily basis.

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Chapter 5: A Family History (Thanksgiving)

For this interview, I interviewed my mom. Below are the questions and answers that I received from her.

Part One: Describe your family

  • Identify your immediate family {LATER ON, we will create a family tree}
    Husband- Steven Bonhage, and Daughters- Anna and Sarah Bonhage

  • Identify who is eating dinner at your Thanksgiving table (and where you are)
    39 people are at Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law's house. They include my family, my mother-in-law, brothers and sisters-in-laws, nieces, nephews, 2 great nieces, and a great nephew as well as girlfriends of two nephews.

Part Two: Describe your Meal
With that many people, the meal is huge! Lots of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, applesauce, green beans, brocolli, and rolls. For dessert, pies! There were pumpkin pies, chocolate pies, yogurt pies, lemon merangie pies, coconut cream pies, apple pies, and ice cream!

Part Three: Discover the history of your family’s arrival in this place, at this time.

  • Do most members of your families live nearby? Do members of your families tend to move around a lot, or stay pretty close to each other?

- Most of my brother and sister-in-laws live in the area. The furthest away lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The nieces and nephews are starting to move away. Some are in California, Washington State, and Virginia.

Part Four: Discover family customs and traditions worthy of preserving.

  • Who in your family organizes your various family rituals? What are they? How are they celebrated? Why are they important to preserve? What is being lost over the years?

- My mother-in-law organizes Sunday dinners. My brother and sister-in-laws organize Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Each is celebrated with lots of food and lots of people. On Christams Eve, all the children get gifts from their grandmother and Godparents. It is important to preserve these celebrations because as everyone gets older, it gets harder to get everyone together. We have been doing these traditions since before you (Anna) were born.

Part Five: Discover your family stories

  • What languages are spoken in your family?

- English is our only spoken language.

  • Are there any family jokes or embarrassing stories that get told year after year?

- Stories about my husband are always told. When he was growing up, his family had big cars because he is one of eight kids. The cars would always break down or he would fall out of the car because it was so packed! He was even left behind at church sometimes because there was so many of them that your grandparents wouldn't even notice that he was missing.

  • Are there any interesting courtship stories? How did your parents, grandparents, and other relatives come to meet and marry?

- My parents met on a bus. My dad was the driver and my mom was a passenger. They started a conversation, and the rest is history.

4. Discover family treasures and skills

  • Do you have any photo albums, scrapbooks, home movies? Who made them? When? Can you describe/explain their contents? Who is pictured? What activities and events are documented?

- We have photo albums, home movies, growing up events, holidays, being at the beach, ect.

  • Do you know a skill or tradition (such as knitting or woodworking) that you might consider teaching me?

- A skill that I would love teaching you is baking. As a little girl, I always helped my mom bake and I hope I can teach you what I have learned over the years.

Chapter 7- Likes and Dislikes Likes

Everyone has things that they like and don't like. Here is my list of things that I like and don't like.


  • Gymnastics

  • Shopping at KOP

  • Gummy Bears

  • Purple

  • My family

  • My friends

  • Cape May, New Jersey

  • Pajamas

  • My iPhone

  • Homemade mashed potatoes

  • Fresh pineapple

  • Shirley Temples from Bonefish Grill

  • Family parties, especially Christmas Eve at my cousins house

  • Summer bonfires

  • Finding Carter every Tuesday on MTV


  • Homework and tests

  • Celery

  • Haircuts

  • Being pressured to get good grades

  • When my shoes are too big

  • The cold weather

  • Tomatoes

  • Mustard

  • The sound of nails on a chalkboard

  • Waking up early

  • Braces

  • Tea Cooler

  • Slow walkers in the hallways

  • Getting a bad grade

  • Tuna fish

Chapter 9- Flashback

If I could relive one day or experience in my life, it would be when I went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic back in 2008. I would want to relive this because it was the best vacation I ever had. It started off around 4 something in the morning when my dad, mom, sister, and I were picked up to go to the airport. I remember waiting in the airport for a while before getting on the 4 hour plane ride. Once we got to the Dominican Republic, we went to our beautiful hotel and then out to dinner. My sister and I shared a room that had our own bathroom, flat screen tv, and a mini fridge. The rest of the week consisted of going out to breakfast and dinner, going to the beach and pool, and other fun activities. We got served drinks and lunch on the beach, and our hotel pool had a swim-up bar, a blow up climbing wall, and an ice cream machine. One memorable event that happened when coming home from breakfast one day was that I got to get a picture with a baby monkey on my shoulder. Unfortunately, we lost the picture but it would be really cool to do again. Going to an island is a lot of fun, but going to an island with crystal clear blue water is definitely somewhere I would love to go again.

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Chapter 11: Lessons I learned after it was too late or any regrets that I have

Everyone has regrets in life and everyone learns valuable lessons. These are some of my regrets or lessons that I learned throughout my life so far.

  • I learned that not preparing enough for a test or quiz can really hurt my grade. Not preparing enough is also a regret.

  • I regret not playing lacrosse when I was younger because now I wish that I played.

  • I learned that procrastinating can get myself very stressed and it isn't the right thing to do.

  • I regret wasting money on things I don't really need instead of saving up.

  • I learned that I should never take things for granted.

  • I regret worrying so much over little things.

  • I learned that you shouldn't care about what people think of you.

I regret worrying so much over little things. This is because I'm the type of person who follows the rules and doesn't like to do the wrong thing. Although this is good, it makes me worry about every little thing when most of it isn't really a big deal. People tell me to just let it go and that its okay, but I always worry about it. Because of this, I learned that I should listen to people when they tell me that it's okay and I regret not doing so.

Chapter 12: Year In Reading

Down below are screenshots of my "Year In Reading" Chart

Chapter 13: Friendship

Friendship is a great thing, and I feel like everyone needs good people surrounding them that make them happy. I have a lot of friends who are all great, but there's too many to type out. So I will be writing about my best friend. My best friend is Logan O'Donnell. We do all kinds of things together and are with each other a lot. We do things such as going to sporting events, going to the mall, doing school work (partner projects), just hanging out, and so on. Typically, we hang out at each other's houses, at parties, at the mall, at different activities, and so on. Whenever we are somewhere together, we are usually with each other the whole time. I think that we make each other feel happy because we always make each other laugh and can be ourselves when we hang out or do things together. I think that we are best friends because we understand each other, can make each other laugh, can trust each other with anything, and there is never a dull moment when we hang out.

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