Friday, October 31, 2014

Awkward and Awesome: October

Well, (I seem to start many blog posts with that word) October has come and gone. On to my favorite late-year month: November!! I like November because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, college basketball starts, I get a week off of school, and ASU plays UA in football!! Anyway, this month I had to keep a journal for English class; therefore, I should have a good selection of "stuff" to work with!

Getting up to see a "blood moon", but it's cloudy for the first time in a month :(

Finding a dead mouse in your church hallway

Being so nervous about your PSAT that you are literally shaking!! (I actually wasn't nervous until I got to the school where I was taking it. Then I didn't know what to expect at a public school so I started freaking out. I think it went well. No results till December though)
Me after the PSAT

Sleeping through three alarms :/

Writing in harmony parts for all the Christmas program songs. Here's where that functional harmony comes in!

Apparently the tallest Christmas tree in the nation is in Phoenix... Hmmm..

Talking to yourself for motivation as you run. "Run hard, there's bean burritos for dinner!"

First college mail

Pizza and soda with your youth group

"You buy snacks from it at a baseball game"
"Concession stand?"
The word was decongestant. Shaking my head!

Mountain Dew Baja Blast in cans!!!

Tenth Church Anniversary!

Team USA winning  worldgymnastics championships!!

Discovering Lynn Austin

Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. Charmingly insolent and epic!

Eighth row seats at a basketball game

Lolo's Chicken and Waffles

Best waffles evahh!!!
Ernie Haase and Signature Sound singing "Get Away Jordan" Currently on my favorites list!

Intervals!!! (The running kind)

Hiking field trip with your class.

Blessed rest days from your training program!

How was your October?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Form

Yes! Another tag because I'm in the middle of three long books right now (four if you count the Lynn Austin book that I was trying to forget that I was reading), and I don't think I should start anything else :( But I have A LOT of library books piling up!!!

Well, today's tag is a chocolate book tag that Evie did on her blog. Here it is! BTW, I'm not a chocolate person, unless it's Kit-Kats or chocolate milk, or brownies, or chocolate chip cookies :D

Dark chocolate: book that covers a dark topic
My copy for school

The Scarlet Letter, which I'm reading for school right now. It's theme is that sin has consequences and guilt can really affect a person. It's interesting. I think I'll have to wait until the end to pass judgment on whether I liked it.

White chocolate: a light-hearted humorous read

The Kidsboro books from Adventures in Odyssey. And the My Life As... series starring Wally McDoogle. Both of these make me laugh out loud!

Milk chocolate: a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read

Ummmm I don't really read books with a lot of hype. Fly Away Home by Rachel Heffington has lots of hype in the blogging world, but I can't find it at the library :( And maybe Sadie Robertson's biography??

Caramel-filled chocolate: a book that made you feel all gooey inside
Not my edition. YET!
Not my edition yet either.

Good gooey, or bad gooey, cuz I don't like gooey! Rilla of Ingleside made my emotions gooey! And A Tale of Two Cities!! And they both have beautiful covers, so I had to put them in.

Wafer-less Kit-Kat: A book that surprised you

How dare you have a wafer-less Kit-Kat!!! Wonderland Creek surprised me because I don't like a lot of Christian fiction, but I loved that book!

Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows: A book you turn to for comfort

Well obviously the Bible, but I read the aforementioned funny books when I feel sad sometimes.

A box of chocolate: a series you feel has something for everyone
I remember this one being HILARIOUS!!
My Life As... They're funny, they teach lessons, they're quirky, they're funny, (have I mentioned that they're funny?) Or the Anne of Green Gables series because I don't really like the first books, but I love the last books!!

Well folks, it's been fun! I tag whoever wants to because if you really wanted to do this tag you would do it whether I tagged you or not :D

Annnd, now the big news that I have been working on for the past half-hour: AN IMPROVEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE!!! I got the idea from Naomi, thanks! Please fill it out as that will let me see what I can do to improve (duh!). Thanks in advance :D HERE it is!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Treasure Seekers

Dicky and Alice
I think??
How do I love Edith Nesbit?
Let me count the ways!!

Yes, most of you probably haven't heard of Edith Nesbit, but I loooove her. Her books are children's books, but they still have charm for older readers.

The Treasure Seekers tells of the Bastable children, whose mother has died, and their quest to "restore the fallen fortunes of the Bastable house." The children are Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel (a boy ;), and H.O. (Horace Octavius). They try many ways to find treasure, from being highwaymen, to selling wine to clergymen (one of the funniest parts of the book :D), but they seem to all go awry.

There is a movie of this book that I've seen this 2-3 times, but I forgot most of it. Keira Knightley's in it, if that inspires anyone who likes her to watch it.

The characters in this book were amazing! I loved Alice and Oswald the most, but related more to Dora. She's the big sister who has to act like it by trying to stop everyone from "having fun" and getting into trouble. I felt for Dora A LOT, especially when I heard what her mother told her. I'm the oldest in my class at school, my class at church (most of the time), and in my family. It's hard to have to be the "older" person who sometimes has to be a killjoy. Also, Dora never seems to know if she should play along in the games at all. She's caught between childhood and adulthood, basically the plight of every teenager.

I also loved Albert-next-door's uncle. He was the sort of person I'd like to be when I grow up. Kind, understanding, and teaching kids cool things. Also, I like how Dicky was called the "Definite Article" because he always had to have things planned out!

Basically, I'd like my children to act like the Bastables, polite (most of the time), innocent, inventive, well-read, smart, humble, and kind. If you just read that description, you might think the Bastables were perfect. But they're not. They get into mischief, sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident.

The thing I really like about Edith Nesbit is that you can read the books as a child, but still enjoy them when you're older. I've read The Railway Children (one of my favorites), Five Children and It, and The Treasure Seekers, and I whole-heartedly recommend them all to you.

As C.S. Lewis said, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."

What are some "children's books" that you enjoy?

Friday, October 17, 2014

May I Watch You Dance?

I love musicals. Therefore, I love to watch singing and dancing!  Here are some of my favorite musical dances!!! In no particular order cuz I don't like choosing favorites ;)

1. Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse

       Ok, you probably knew he was coming sometime in this list, and here he is. Apparently this is from the movie Anchors Aweigh which I have not seen, but need to!

2. Barn dance from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

    This movie has lots of great songs, but this sequence may be the best. The tumbling and acrobatics are amazing! This is my favorite part of the movie!! (Sobbin' Women is my favorite song for those who weren't wondering, but now are)

3. Good Morning from Singing in the Rain

    This movie has EPIC dance sequences!! Here is the Good Mornin song!

4. Step in Time from Mary Poppins

    What list would be complete without this number? This is another of my favorite movies for several reasons, but Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke are two large reasons.

5. Abraham from White Christmas

    White Christmas is probably the first dancing musical I saw. Most people probably don't think of this particular dance, but I think it is my favorite!!!

6. Toot Sweets from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Because who doesn't like this song! (Or this movie :)

Well, that's all for right now!
What are some of your favorite musical dance numbers?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wonderland Creek

This is not my favorite cover, by far!!
She looks like a doll!!
And, I don't like when the author's name is bigger than the book's title.
Wow, I am sooo glad that Naomi and Emma Jane recommended this book and this author. I think she's one of my favorites (and I don't really like modern Christian fiction) There was so much in this book, so much wisdom, action, and plot. Yeah, there was  A LOT of plot!! Here is the plot from Goodreads because I don't explain it very well, and you probably will go read more Goodreads reviews anyway:

Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery--and especially romance--may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

First, Alice. She was kind of annoying for about three fourths of the book. She doesn't really want to help and complains a lot. It took me a while to get the Alice in Wonderland Creek thing *facepalm* But by the end, Alice had learned some valuable lessons and became a better person. I liked how this story was told in first person too!

Mack, or Leslie. First off, I have a fondness for the name Mack. I watch Macgyver occasionally, and his nickname is Mac. Also, I babysit a little girl named Makenzee, so I call her Mak too. I just really like how it sounds! Mack was an interesting character with all of his secrets. He also provided some of the most exciting parts of the book: the trips to the mine.

Lillie. Lillie was amazing! I had, and still have, a little bit of mixed feelings about her, but she taught so many lessons! The one that I will probably refer to most is this: “[God] wants us to work with Him, honey. Not for Him.”  I think it's kind of like Mary and Martha: Martha was working for God, while Mary was working with Him.

Ike. Ike was interesting... He seemed a little bit forward, but he was nice. I felt myself rooting that he would be able to play his violin on The Grand Ole Opry.

June Ann. She was sooo sweet, but had so much hardship!

Maggie. Wow! Talk about a many-faceted character! 

I really liked how Lynn Austin immersed you in the world of Acorn, Kentucky, the people, the feud, the treasure, etc. And she is a masterful plot creator!! I can't wait to read more of her!! (I have A Woman's Place checked out now!)

If you follow me on Goodreads, you saw that I gave this 4 stars. It was more like 4.5. I wanted to give this 5 stars, but Alice was a little annoying, and the scenes with Ike were a little awkward to read.

Anyway, you should really give this book, and this author a try!

P.S. When you Google image search for Wonderland Creek, a lot of Naomi's posts come up :D

Monday, October 6, 2014

Classics Club: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain was my Classics Club Spin List book. The illustrations were by Daniel Carter Beard, one of my favorite authors. (He wrote The American Boys' Handy Book; his sisters wrote The American Girls' Handy Book. Both are great books!) The illustrations add a lot, but at times detracted from the story because the words wrapped around the illustrations and thus were greatly separated, making it hard to read.

Lots of stuff gets blown up!

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I don't enjoy stories about knights, in fact, those parts of the book were the boring parts. But I love stories like Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson, stories where people make a civilization. In a way, I guess you could say that this was that kind of story. A hard-working, industrious Yankee gets transported back to the time of Camelot, and through his "magic" becomes THE BOSS (I love this name!!) The basically brings Camelot to the nineteenth century, while battling Chivalry and the Church.
One of Daniel Carter Beard's illustrations

Beware, this book is American, thoroughly American. But then again, so is Mark Twain. However, if you get annoyed by Americans and American stereotypes, you might not like this book.

Because I once mixed up Joseph Stalin and Samuel Clemens

I really agreed with most of Twain's thoughts on political and religious freedom. Only Mark Twain can make political and social commentary enjoyable to read. Because Mark Twain is sooo quotable, here are some quotes that I don't remember reading, but according to Goodreads come from this book:

“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”

“Unlimited power is the ideal thing when it is in safe hands. The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government, and earthly despotism would be the absolute perfect earthly government if the conditions were the same; namely the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual; but as a perishable, perfect man must die and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible.” 
WHAT!! There's a Bing Crosby movie of this!!!

“Training- training is everything; training is all there is to a person. We speak of nature; it is folly; there is no such thing as nature; what we call by that misleading name is merely heredity and training. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us.” 

Which is why parents should discipline their kids!!! BTW man does have a nature, a sin nature.

I really enjoyed this book! It would be perfect, but that ending.... 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Lem Siddons' Day 2014!!!

Well, this post will be very short because I jammed my finger, making it difficult and painful to type certain letters :( But, I am here to remind everyone of a wonderful Disney movie called Follow Me Boys! It tells the story of Lemuel Siddons and his boy scout troop. Annnd it stars Fred MacMurray and Kurt Russell, two of my favorite actors!!! Here's the trailer and the theme song, written by the Sherman brothers! Enjoy!! Stay tuned for a full review some time between now and next Lem Siddons' Day!! :D