Monday, July 27, 2015

Birthday Club: June // Violins of Autumn

This cover is pretty good!
This is a really late post for Lois's birthday challenge. Because I definitely do not have a propensity for putting out these posts late. Definitely not! Anywho, I was supposed to read 1984 by George Orwell for this (last) month (June), but I decided not to. I still want to read that book, but apparently I didn't want to right then. So I looked up Amy McAuley's birthday because I wanted to read this book, and it was in June!!! Yay!!

So I got to read the most amazing fantabulous wonderful awesome epic book called Violins of Autumn!!! (Apparently fantabulous is a word. Apparently BRIAN! I hope you got that sort of reference to a current comedian)  It's a modern YA historical fiction about a young American girl who's a spy in France near the beginning of the end of WWII. 

Guys! It was amazing! Things got a little hazy at the end, but overall it was great! I loved the themes of friendship, and I either need a sequel or a great fanfic. So because I can't remember that many details, here is my edited Goodreads review!

Um wow!!!! This was...amazing, thought-provoking, and deliciously educational! I learned so much about the SOE and being a spy in Paris during WW2. 

Because Adele is the same age as I (Oh am I not grammatically proper today?), it was weird placing myself in those situations! I appreciated the spies being presented as real people who had emotional breakdowns just like us!! And I loved that the author showed thoughts of Adele, such as when she almost killed the date dude.

The love triangle was ummm interesting, to say the least. (Actually, it may not have been. I don't read too many books with them so I thought it was sort of interesting in a novel way.) I'm still wondering who Adele would have picked had it not been for unfortunate happenings. Because of course we want her to go with Dude A but would she have gone with Dude B?!! (Actually, if you've read the book, you know Dude B actually came first) 

Although one reviewer said they would rather not know that Adele lived through the war from the prologue, I think it added suspense to the story: " When is she going to get captured? Oh snap, she's about to get captured! Oh wait, she's still free!" (Literal thoughts I have) 

And the story of friendship between Denise, Robby, and Adele!!! Ahhhh!! It was so amazingly cute!

I also appreciated that the author didn't go into too much detail with the torture. You can say it happened without going into detail! Overall, wow this book was amazing! I will soo be reading it again!

So yeah, I loved this book soooo much. I can't wait to read it again. And I just watched The Longest Day, and they used the poem!!! (Of course they did cuz it's historical, but it's still cool to see) So I highly recommend this book. Highly. There's a few bad words (probably more if you're British), but not too many that I had to put it down (ahemthebookthiefahem) and you could probably go through with a Sharpie real fast. But this book is awesome. The end goes a little fast, or I got a leetle bored, but it's still worth it! So please, go read this book now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Liebster Award!! Yaysies!!

Cuz I didn't want the picture in your header to be my ugly water bottle
Oh hey Liebster Award, you sorta got lost in my drafts didn't you... Sorry! Anywho Thanks Hamlette for the nomination!! This is gonna be fun! And long, you've been warned. BTW, this is my 101st post!!!

1.  Do you have a favorite mug or teacup?
Not really. I actually drink way more cold drinks than hot ones. #PhoenixProblems I have a favorite water bottle though! As aforementioned (probably?), it has apple stickers on it to distinguish it from my brother's water bottle. No, Sharpie does not work because it rubs off in like a week...

2.  Are you an adventurous eater?  (Do you try "strange" foods?)
Not really. I'm also not a gourmet eater. I would rather eat cheap, quick food that tastes good than try new stuff that's expensive like lobster.
Except I don't like good food. I like cheap food.
3.  What fandoms are you into?
Oh wow! Is Southern Gospel music a fandom? Now it is! The Little House Books, The Great Escape, Hogan's Heroes, The Dick van Dyke Show, The Cosby Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Leave it to Beaver. (I'm pretty sure I made up 90% of those "fandoms") And by "into fandoms", I mean I've read/seen most of the episodes/books and know lots of random facts about them! (And I also own a book of TV show house layouts)
There is never not a place for this GIF

4.  What famous author/book do you not really care for?
Wellll, Mansfield Park is the obvious choice, but I've used that before so lets get more controversial shall we? I didn't really like Jane Eyre. I should probably read it again though. Jane herself was cool, but the main dudes in the story were awkward/creepy/boring, if I remember correctly. And whole paragraphs of it are written in French with no explanation WHAT SO EVER!!! *drops mic*
Cuz I'm about to mic drop this question

5.  What obscure author/book are you nuts about?
Daniel Carter Beard's American Boys Handybooks and his sisters' American Girls' Handybooks. And R. M. Ballantyne is awesome, but I haven't read him in a while.

Seriously, if you like a glimpse into the childhoods of the past you should totally check this out.
And I will totally review it someday. Someday.
And I put the boys' book up cuz the cover is more interesting.

6.  What's the oldest movie you've ever watched?
1930's Robin Hood TV show? Or we started some Tarzan movie. I have this thing with old movies. I can watch black and white as long as the sound is good and it's not to grainy, but I can't watch silent movies or movies with really bad quality. I'm sorry :( (not really)

It probably wasn't this, but that robe thingy is awesome.
Also, I thought that was a lion not a monkey for a sec.

7.  What did you have for breakfast today?
Two bowls of cereal. Camp and possibly the first day of school are the only times this is not my breakfast. I know, I'm so exciting!

8.  When did you first see your favorite movie?
I think it was about a month ago? (The Great Escape) I probably saw my original favorite movie, The Sound of Music, when I was born? I don't really know, but I remember being obsessed with it as early as kindergarten! (That might have been one of the first DVDs my family had. I don't think we ever had a VHS of it. That or Finding Nemo.)
What up Steve McQueen, awesome American dude, and creepy leader dude?
(Yes, I know it's Henley and X)
Possibly, I'm not good with names when I know actors
9.  Do you prefer fantasy or sci-fi?
Well, I like Narnia, but I also like that galaxy far far away!!! Arghhhh!! Probably sci-fi movies and fantasy books! But I don't read/watch much of either?
Actually, this question might be!

10.  What did you expect your blog to be like when you started it? 
Hahahahahahhahahah It was supposed to be this blog where every week I would discuss a topic that started with the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. But that changed before I started it. Once I started it I thought it would be a lot more period-drama-y because I liked those blogs.

11.  Has it changed?  If so, how?

Umm yes. I've realized that although I like a good period drama now and then, my attention span for watching stuff is not a period drama length. (Blame that on my sister's obsession with vintage TV shows that are always 25 minutes long. Always. I actually feel my brain shut off after 25 minutes sometimes) Now I write about books a lot. I probably always will, but I'm contemplating either starting another blog or changing this one A LOT. 

And I've been saving up facts :D

1. I am literally always tired. No matter how many hours I get, I will still wake up tired. Some days I'm more tired than on other days, but I'm still always tired.

2. This summer, my brother and I are in charge of the children's midweek service class at my church. We're going through the Fruit of the Spirit and are using Play Doh, which is fun! Also, because the Tuesday service tends to run a little long, we've become very good at making up filler "entertainment". AKA me telling/reading a Bible story/story that teaches a lesson and my brother improv acting it out. It's actually pretty hilarious!
I forgot about how good Play-Doh smelled!

3. The smell of Phoenix to me is rain and dirt on a screen. Cuz that's what my room smells like during a monsoon or a haboob, a VERY Phoenix thing. Also, everybody not in AZ freaks out about those dust clouds, but seriously, unless you're dumb enough to drive in them or to not close your doors/windows, the worst thing that will happen is a dirty pool.
I've lived through one of these! #humblebrag

4. I used to hate Coke because when I was little because a woman I didn't know was babysitting me, and she made me drink Coke and I hated it!!!
If you're bored go to It doesn't matter how many h's, just put a lot to be safe.
There's literally dozens of dumb things to do if you're bored.

5. I hate when people freak out because of bees!! I know that you don't know if you're allergic until you get stung, but if you stay still they won't sting you in all probability!!!

7. I struggle writing emails to adults/companies. It's just so hard!!! And I have a few I have to write in the near future!! And I love writing! So why would I rather talk to them than write them?!?!

And scholarship essays

8. I obsess over music. I can literally listen to the same album/song over and over for weeks and never get tired of it! And I recently have been making YouTube playlists of Kim Collingsworth, so piano is basically all I've been listening to. Speaking of YouTube, you might want to subscribe HERE because I should start uploading piano videos soon. (I sort of need a portfolio) The above playlist has some of my favorite Kim Collingsworth songs including Joshua Fit the Battle, Goodbye World Goodbye, and the Hallelujah Chorus.

9. I am sort of scared of driving. A little bit of it is fun, but most of it is scary. And I know that if you have your license you can have a lot more freedom and that it's basically a necessity, but it still scares me!
10. I'm taking Spanish II this year even though I don't have to because Spanish will probably be the most useful language to me. I will graduate with four language credits instead of just the required two. I will have taken two years of Russian and two years of Spanish.

What even is the Internet?

11. Speaking of school, I'm graduating high school this year!!! Praise the Lord! Amen! Hallelujah! I'm done! See ya!!! Later alligator! Anywho, I'm excited. The future is still up in the air a little bit, but I'm between two colleges right now. I will be studying journalism/professional writing, that I'm pretty sure of.
Idek why this is so funny!

And finally, the questions and taggees, (yup I made that one up too)
1. Current favorite TV show?
2. Do you like Westerns? (I don't so don't be afraid to say no. The ones who say yes are never shy anyway :D )
3. What's one of your best birthday memories?
4. Who's one of your role models in your dream career?
5. Do you have any animals in your house (that are supposed to be there)?
6. How many houses have you lived in?
7. Favorite breakfast food?
8. Are you a grammar nazi? (Of course you're not a nazi, but are you nitpicky about grammar?)
9. When does school start for you this year? (Or for my southern hemisphere friends, when does it end?)
10. Favorite childhood toy?
11. How long do you usually spend on a blog post?

It took me way too long to think of those...

I tag anyone. I know everybody does this, but let's just make these terms clearer. If any of these questions sound at all interesting, please answer in the comments. If you need a low-maintenance blog post (not that tags are low maintenance), take the tag and run with it! If you're like me and need validation that this is okay, comment and I'll edit this blog post to tag you. Hopefully in a way that's not painfully awkward.

Thanks Hamlette! I had so much fun finding GIFs and pics for this post!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Why I Love This Video: July 17 2015

Well, it's been a long time since we've done one of these :D And we're only doing one today because I didn't have anything ready to post... On a side note, I shipped out the giveaway packages today. They're sort of late. Sorry :( I learned that international shipping can be a pain, but they're out! If you're outside the U.S., you'll get yours in 6-10 business days. In the U.S. between Monday and Thursday! Yay! Without further ado: Pride and Prejudice! Enjoy!

The brother-sister relationship
Jane Bennet :D
Mr. Bennet looks like a dinosaur!
Mr. Bingley's dance
The word-for-wordiness
The legs over the head!! Wut!!!
"I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours!"
The chokehold!
Pepper spray
"I have been a selfish creature" "Ohh"
The character spin
"You know nothing of the matter"

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Stranger, You're Awesome!

A while ago, Naomi did these letters to random strangers she saw. I enjoyed them, but never thought I would do them. However, I met/saw a lot of people on this trip who I'll never see again, and I have some stuff to say to them!
Awesome picture of Phoenix from the plane!
Dear Father/Son at the Denver airport:
Thanks for having a plank and pushup competition in the airport. Sorry (not really) for awkwardly staring at you while trying to disguise the fact that I was awkwardly staring at you and possibly taking a picture to document the awesomeness. But you stopped before I could take it :(

Dear Redhaired Worker at Dollywood:
Thanks for making sure I didn't fall out of the Wild Eagle two of the three times I rode it. Thanks for acknowledging my Captain America shirt.

Dear Redhaired Dude at Dollywood With Whom I rode Mystery Mine:
Thanks for talking to me about roller coasters. Thanks for being awesome and friendly and willing to talk about the awesomeness that is Mystery Mine. And thanks for looking so funny in your picture from the ride cuz it made me laugh.

Dear Random Person at Dollywood:
Thanks for imitating me when I said "Oh schnaaaps" when it started to rain hard. It made me laugh!
Cool realllly old cemetery in B-town. It's so old you couldn't even read the names!!
Dear Emporium Guy in Bardstown:
Thanks for being funny and friendly. We saw each other twice, and each time you were funny and talked to me as if you knew me my whole life. You're awesome! And so is your store!
Tennessee Tornado
Dear Random Guy I Rode Tennessee Tornado With:
Yes, I agree, Tennessee Tornado is basically the perfect roller coaster.

Dear Friend of my Mamaw's:
Thanks for the ticket to Dollywood! I had a blast!

Arthur Rice, Me, and Andy Stringfield
Arthur Rice is the lead singer for the Kingdom Heirs
Andy Stringfield is the piano player and therefore holds one of my dream jobs
Dear Arthur Rice (Okay, he's not really a stranger cuz he's a little famous but he still basically is):
Thanks for asking me what is fun to do in Phoenix in August, even though I totally blanked because nobody goes outside in August if they can help it... And I'm kicking myself because I should have invited him to my church!!!
One of my cousins on my Dad's side
He didn't want "his identity on the Internet" so he doesn't have a face
Dear Random Guy in the Bardstown Baskin Robins:
I really didn't need you to correct my cousin and tell us that "amore" means love in Italian. I was in the middle of telling him that....

Dear Guy in my Grandma's Church:
Thanks for shouting "Amen" and waving your hand during the sermon. It was entertaining and encouraging.
Cool old schoolhouse by my cousin's house
Dear Pastor of my Grandma's Church:
Thanks for letting me play offertory. I had a blast! Thanks for teaching me The Church Will Roll On, cuz it's an awesome song! I also enjoyed your sermon!

Dear Guy At Dollywood Wearing A Captain America Shirt:
Thanks for noticing my shirt and giving me the "Sup we're awesome" halfway head nod cuz I was wearing my Captain America shirt too.
Cuz my uncle Zach sent me this at the Mexican restaurant

Dear Kentucky Mexican food:
You tried. But ya'll need to get some real Mexican in Arizona or Cali!!! (Because our fast food Mexican is better than your sit-down Mexican)

Dear You, yeah you:
Thanks for reading this! Now, I have a question! How many of you would be interested in album/CD reviews? They would probably be mostly piano and Southern Gospel albums, but I also like Broadway, Christmas, oldies, and soundtracks. What would you like to see? You can also add those answers to other comments HERE in my improvement questionnaire. Thanks so much!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'm Back // Happy 'Murica Day // We Have Winners!

You knew this was coming!
1) I'm back from my vacay back East! It was fun and I have sort of a recap to go up in a few days. But I am soooo glad to be back in the desert!

2) Happy Independence Day! 'Murica, Captain 'Murica that is. I looked up the most patriotic photo ever and I found Ronald Reagan riding a velociraptor. I also saw George Washington battling a tiger and a machine-gun-toting Abe Lincoln riding a grizzly bear. Also, Go USA tomorrow in the World Cup!!

3) We have winners for the Great Big Book Giveaway Bonanza!!! Thanks to everyone who participated and to Hamlette for starting the whole thing! And yes, I will reply to your emails!

The Sugar Creek Quilt - The Tully Family
The Fellowship of the Ring - Ainsley
The Hobbit - Ekaterina
The Penny Whistle - Naomi
Twice-Told Tales - Elizabeth Anne

Yay! Congrats folks! I've emailed you all already I believe, but if you didn't get it, comment and I'll try again!

Have a Happy Fourth or Happy Saturday or Happy Sunday!