December 21, 2012

Quite a Few Things I LOVE About Christmas!!

  • The fact that it's actually CHRISTMASTIME!!!  ("Eowyn, dear, we have all apprehended as much."  Yes, yes, yes, I know, I've just been super busy.  First and probably last Christmas post, coming up!)
  • Having Starbucks Holiday drinks... the Peppermint Mocha especially (or Peppermint Hot Chocolate or Peppermint Mocha Frappichino!!)
  • Listening to Christmas music - old faithfuls like It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (which we have on a record, but can't listen to because a certain three-year-old brother broke the needle... again...), Marshmallow World, and The Christmas Waltz, and newer songs like All I Really Want for Christmas (I dare you to listen to it and not cry!), Welcome to Our World, While You Were Sleeping, The Christmas Can-Can (heehee...), and Oh, Holy Night (performed by The Voice of Chocolate).  I've heard people say that they're tired of Christmas music within the first week of December, but I never tire of Christmas music!!!
  • Watching It's a Wonderful Life, our Christmas Eve movie!!  (Jimmy Stewart is ah.mazing...)
Donna and Jimmy's onscreen chemistry deserves an Academy award!
  • Gathering with friends from church
  • The cold weather!  Here in Georgia, it's finally gotten cold!  At my violin recital last night (I played the Bach Double Violin Concerto and loved it!), I nearly froze.  No kidding!
  • Watching 'The Kid' - a Growing Pains Christmas Special.  Discovered it earlier this year after reading Still Growing by Kirk Cameron (great read, by the way!) and really liked it!
  • Watching White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby!  Arwen started it for my little brother this morning before I got up and now we're going to watch it again.  : )
  • Getting together with family members that I haven't seen in ages!
  • Watching The Shop Around the Corner,which isn't a Christmas movie per se, but whatever.  Like I said - Jimmy Stewart....  : )
Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart): There might be a lot we don't know about each other. You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.
Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan): Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work.
  • Watching Holiday Inn.  No, it's not a Christmas movie, but it's got snow in it, which automatically makes it a Christmas movie.  Me loves it.  : )
  • Eating candy and cakes and cookies and fudge and every good thing!
  • Watching Little Women!!  (If I think a movie should be classified as a Christmas movie, who are you to argue with me?!  Need I pull the its-my-blog-I-can-do-whatever-I-want-with-it card?)
  • The fact that The Hobbit and Les Miserables will now forever remind me of Christmas!!  WAHOOO!!!
  • Watching Miracle on 34th Street!  Love that movie....  : )
  • Teaching my little brother about Christmas.... : )  I love listening to his reasons - "Jingle bells and presents!" - then helping him find the real reason - "Jesus when born!  And Santa Claus!"  (Well, sort of....  We're still working on it.)  (Bunny trail....  Let me just tell you guys that he. Is. Adorable.  The fortunate few of you that have met him know how much personality he has!  Just the other day, he went out to eat with my mom and one of her friends and her husband, and this adorable little evangelist was asking the man, "Did you know that Jesus died on the cross?  And Christmas is about Jesus when born?"  And then, at a Christmas party after my violin recital, he stared at an older man for a long time, then told him, point blank, "You... are an old man.")
My absolute favorite reason why I love Christmas, however, is the fact that it's actually Christmastime once again.  I've heard that Christmas is when the world falls in love, and I know that's been true when it comes to my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I could go on and on about how He didn't have to be born in a manger - He's the King of Kings! - or how many things I've learned this year, especially in the past month, that make me love Him more....  It seems like everything in my life is drawing me closer to Him!  From questioning why people don't do certain things I'm involved in, like watching The Hobbit or actually celebrating Christmas and asking God to help me find the reasons why I do those things and not just settling for the easy answer ("Just cuz..."), to just learning about Him through church events, the Anger Resolution Seminar by Bill Gothard.  No, I'm not perfect (far from it, as you hopefully know!), but I can see myself slowly growing in my relationship with Him.  I'm forever thankful for what He did for me, for which, despite all the awful beating this holiday has taken from the media and marketing and millions of other sources, I'm forever reminded of this time of year.  It's something I'll still be thinking about a lot and I hope you'll take the time to do the same.

Merry Christmas!!!


December 17, 2012

*inane giggling*

(I can't look at that poster without smiling!!  "Incineration...?")
Quick post just to say that I saw The Hobbit last Saturday and, needless to say, absolutely loved it.
I'd love to do a longer post/review (complete with quotes and pictures and what have you!!!), but that'll have to wait 'til I have more time on my hands.  : P
So I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from The Hobbit.
(Well, I can't find the entire quote....  All I can find is from TV Spot #6....  Oh, well.)
"I know you doubt me.  I know you always have.  I often think of Bag End.  That's where I belong - that's home.  You don't have one.  It was taken from you....  But I will help you take it back if I can."

December 14, 2012


(Pre-written blog posts are amazing.  At the time this will be posted, I'll be at a Christmas party, then probably going to see The Hobbit because our next Christmas party was cancelled!  WOOT!)

I love tags.  I love getting tagged and answering fun questions.  : )

I got tagged a while ago by Kiri Liz, but can't find the tag questions, so I decided to tag myself (read: steal) from one of the tags she recently did.  I laughed really hard while reading her post and decided to do it for myself!

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle. 
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 20 friends.
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.

Yipes.  I don't know how this will play out.  Apologies if it's really, really random!!  : )

If someone says "Are you okay?" you say...
'Bad Day' from The Chipmunks.
Umm....  I didn't have a bad day today, really.  I cleaned the house and listened to my Special Edition, Extended (read: awesome!) soundtrack for The Hobbit.  No, it was a great day.  : )

What would best describe your personality?
'Lose My Soul' by TobyMac.
Uhhh....  No comment.  : P

How would you describe yourself?
'Wedding Chorale' from Les Miz.
Ooh, a wedding!  I love weddings!  Drinks all around!

What do you like in a guy/girl?
'Marie's Wedding' by The High Kings.
Well, I certainly appreciate it if they like weddings, too.  Or dancing to awesome Celtic music.  Either is good.

How do you feel today?
'An Operatic Tragedy' from Little Women - The Musical.
"Now I'm back to settle the scooooooooore!"  Yup.  : )

What is your life's purpose?
'Mother Knows Best (Reprise)' from Tangled.
My mother does know best.  I hope this means I'll take her advice.  : )

What's Your Motto?
'Now and For Always' from The Lord of the Rings - The Musical.
This song starts with Sam singing about how great Frodo is for taking the Ring into Mordor and then ends with Frodo telling Sam how great of a friend he is for staying by his side.  *sniff*  Sam is amazing.  I'm very loyal to my friends, but I don't know if I'm that loyal.  (Great musical, by the way!  You can listen to the song here.)

What do your friends think of you?
'The Contest' from The Little Mermaid - The Musical.
That much is true.  While I can't hit a high C, I'm very competitive.  ("It's so clear!  Can't you hear?  I'm the one!")
What do your parents think of you?
'Wonder' from The Lord of the Rings - The Musical.
Yeah, I'm a wonder alright!  And I'm a huge Lothlorien fan, too.  : )  ("Lothlorien!  Beyond the sun, beyond the moon....  Wonder....")
What do you think about very often?
'Javert's Arrival' from Les Miz.
Yup.  Forever wondering what it (and other scenes) will be like in the movie coming out soon!!  ("LIAR!"  Best part.)

What is 2 + 2?
'Black, White, Tan' by Nicole C. Mullen.
Makes perfect sense if you think about it.  The numbers can be black, white, or tan.  : )  Love that song....  I used it for the song behind my littlest brother's first Gotcha Day party!  Moral of the song - "Everyone is precious in the Father's sight....  He just loves you 'cause He loves you....  You are not a color and the color is not you!"  Here's the link.  I dare you not to cry.  : )

What do you think of your best friend?
'Kingdom Dance' from Tangled.
Yes, I love to dance with my best friend... even if neither of us know the guy's part....  But this song always reminds me of camping in the back yard with my younger brother.  We made a fire, played it over the speakers on my laptop, and danced around the fire.  : )

What do you think of the person you like?
'She's In Love' from The Little Mermaid - The Musical.
*cough, hack, cough*  I am NOT in love.  I love this song, though.  It's one of the most played on my iPod.  I love songs that don't apply to me - especially sad Christmas love songs like 'Last Christmas'!!  HA!!
What is your life story?
'Mother Knows Best' from Tangled.
("Is this thing rigged?!  MOOOOOM!!  What'd you do to my iPod?!")  Sigh.  Too true.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
'Storm at Sea' from The Little Mermaid - The Musical.
Uh, yeah...  I'm already a storm at sea, so check!
What do you think when you see the person you like?
'In My Life/A Heart Full of Love' from Les Miz.
"Does he know I'm alive?  Do I know if he's real?  Did he see what I saw?  Does he feel what I feel?"
Yeah.  Wouldn't it be great if people spontaneously burst into song in their everyday lives?!  AND IN TUNE?!

What will you do at your wedding?
'The Most Amazing Thing' from Little Women - The Musical.
Hopefully I'll be in love....  Ya never know....

What will they play at your funeral?
'Fantine's Death' from Les Miz.
Nooooo....  That'd be way too sad!  For everyone involved....  ("Come to me!  Cosette, the light is fading....  I'll see you when I waaaaaaaake....")

What is your hobby/interest?
'One Last Shot' from The Pirates of the Caribbean.
True....  Airsoft is a hobby of mine....  And playing violin and piano kind of works, too....

What is your biggest fear?
'Christmas This Year' by TobyMac.
Ummm....  Nope.  That'd be one of the rare occasions when my shuffle is wrong.  : ) 

What is your biggest secret?
'Something That I Want' from Tangled.
You'll never know....

What do you want right now?
(HA!!  Couldn't pick a more oppertune moment!  Now....  Let's see what I want....  Ouch, I'm scared.)
'One Day More' from Les Miz.
SQUEEEEEEEE!!!  YES!!  In IMAX the day after Christmas!!!

What do you think of your friends?
'I Dreamed a Dream' from Les Miz.
Yeah...  I dreamed a dream that I had friends....  Obviously, it was only a dream....  *sniff*  ("Honestly....  If you're dreaming...."  Heehee....)

What's the worst thing that could happen?
'Could You?' from Little Women - The Musical.
That'd actually be the best thing that could happen to me....  Traveling around with my aunt....  Sighhhhhh....  (I actually specifically requested that as a graduation gift earlier today.  No joke!)
What is the one thing you regret?
'If I Can't Love Her' from Beauty and the Beast - The Musical.
Yup.  I regret ever listening to this song.  Brings me to tears every time I hear it.  *sob*  Here it is if you feel like crying....

What makes you laugh?
'The Rising of the Moon' by The High Kings.
It makes me laugh because it's so awesome!  I seriously can't listen to it without grinning wildly.  : )

What makes you cry?
'The Circle of Life' from The Lion King - The Musical.
Life is sad.  Can't argue with that.

Will you ever get married?
'Prologue' from Les Miz.
If that doesn't give you an answer, I don't know what will.  Obviously, I'm living a prologue, then the opening chapters of my life will begin when I'm married.  XD

What scares you the most?
'Back at the Barricade/On My Own' from Les Miz.
Apparently being on my own....

Does anyone like you?
'So Long, Self' by MercyMe.
Nope.  So I'm getting rid of my own self.  (But, hey, I don't like me without God, either, so....)
If you could go back in time, what would you change?
'Washed by the Water' by NeedtoBreathe.

What hurts right now?
'The Confontation' from Les Miz.
My shuffle couldn't be more true!  That hurts....

What would you want to say to the person who tagged you?
'Amazing Grace' from Amazing Grace - The Movie.
Yup.  I'd pick up my bagpipes and blow in their face.  That's exactly what I'd do.

What will you name this post?
'Better' from Little Women - The Musical.
"MISS MARCH!  I spoke my mind - as you spoke yours.  Obviously it wasn't appreciated on either side!"
"How can I do better than what's already here?!"  Yup.

That was weird.....

December 12, 2012

A Sort-Of Expected Party

Or, 'The Post in Which I Include Tons of Pictures.'  (This is when Haley grins and greedily takes in all of the pictures.  Heehee....)

My birthday festivities started a few nights before the big day.  Like I said in my last post, I cleaned two houses, then came home and made my cake, staying up much past my bedtime.  But it was well worth it, as you'll see from the pictures!!

I literally threw my party together driving to piano lessons with my mom, which is also when I came up with the idea for my cake.  My mom said something about us going to go see The Hobbit and I said if it came out a week before, I'd totally go see it for my birthday.  But, sadly....  I remembered that I'd wanted to have a hobbit-themed party when it came out, but, due to Christmas parties, now thought it was impossible.  Not so!  Hey, even if my birthday was like a week before The Hobbit came out, that doesn't mean I can't still have a hobbit-themed party!!  Instantly, images of hobbit hole cakes flooded into my mind and I grinned.  "Mom!!" I giddily exclaimed.  "I can have a hobbit hole cake!!!"

(This is when I say, "Non-Ringers/Hobbit fans: Beware of the abundance of hobbit-y pictures to follow.")

Yes, I baked all this!  And all gluten- and dairy-free!  : )
Now, how does most of this make a hobbit hole cake?  I'm glad you asked!

That's how.
(The two little circles flat on the cooling rack were for the windows.)

The windows and (adorable!!) door in the freezer.

This is how I did the top of the cake.  Messy-looking, right?!  I was a little disappointed and hoped it'd still work!

Almost done!  I think I took this picture right after I was ready to put the green-food-coloring-dyed-coconut-flakes on the wet icing, but realized they were still soaking!  Whoops!  I spread them out on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the oven, then tried to work on the cake while they were speed-drying.

The completed cake!  Ain't it so cute?!  Not quiiiite like a real hobbit hole - everybody knows that hobbit holes don't have vines hanging down from the grassy top - but I liked it.  Everything I made the cake out of was edible - and no fondant or marzipan!!  I don't like fondant at all and all of the (five) pictures of hobbit hole cakes (very few - I had very little to base my cake off of!) were made out of fondant.  Yuck!

My green door with a knob right in the middle.  (At least that part is accurate!)
I'm very proud of it.  : )

Torn-up marshmallows and homemade icing-covered flax cereal.

My chimney!!  I made it out of Nutella, which I added powdered sugar to.

A hobbit-sized wood stack.  : )

My sign I put on top of the cake in the refrigerator.  At one in the morning, I thought it was very witty.

The morning of my birthday, my parents went out to eat breakfast with another couple.  "Us kids" had the house to ourselves and we made use of it.  : )

One of the best things about having a December birthday is the fact that my family can put their presents for me under the tree!!  I love it.  : )  (These are strewn out because my little brother and I had to feel and shake each one.)

The present that my littlest brother said was a bomb.  (It turned out to be an Avengers ball.)

Cutie-pie brother and I!

Me LOVES my Gamgee Landscaping shirt!!  (Take notice of the words around the 'G'.)
You can buy your own on Etsy here.
Of the three scarves I got for my birthday, I'll have to say that this one's my favorite.  My younger sister knit it and even let me try it on a few times to see if it was long enough , then stashed it away.  The deal was that she'd keep it til Christmas, but then she found the movie at Goodwill and Mom said to give it to me.  : )  I got to wear it to church on Sunday and enjoyed being subtly geeky.  XD

This, apparently, is the face Arwen gave my little brother when he said he was going to tell me what he got me for my birthday.  A little blurry, but I love it!

After opening presents, we just hung around and watched Horrible Histories videos.  : )  This one's my favorite.  (Special thanks to Anne-girl, who first posted the video on her blog!  One play and I was hooked!)  This is about the time that something occured to me....  I had an apostrophe epiphany and told my sister, "HEY!!  Rapunzel got a guy for her eighteenth birthday...."

My parents got home a while later and then we went to my grandparents' house, where some friends joined us for more present-opening, games, dinner, half a movie, cake, and the other half of the movie.  (Ever After, if you were wondering....  If you haven't seen it, hie thee to Netflix or some such entertainment-provider!)

Me opening presents.  So embarrassing with everybody staring at me....
(Sunday at church was much worse, however!  Everybody sang while I was up front after playing the final song with the rest of the the worship team!)

I'm planning on making some sort of sign to hang below it so that the "carry on" part is covered out.  It'll be dry-erase or something so that I can write different ones depending on my mood.  I'm seeing, "Longbourn is lent at last!" or "and Call Sir Percy" or "Enjo has a Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness" or "Bilbo has joined The Company" or even "Hey, it could be worse - NJ could be Marius!" 

All the kids playing ImaginIff!  So much fun!

Our awesome P-A-R-T-Y plates that can spell a lot of different things (like 'pray' or 'tar' or 'rap') and are very useful for a great many varieties of candy.  : )
Sticking those candles into my work of art was one of the hardest things I had to do all day.
(But it could be worse....  See below.)

The Scouring of the Shire.  *sniff*
And that was pretty much my birthday!

Expect the next post I do to be a long, gushy, fangirlish post about The Hobbit.  Sadly, I'll be cleaning a house, then going to two back-to-back Christmas parties on Friday, so I can't see it opening night....  *sob*  But we're going to the first available showing on Saturday!  (Right before a Christmas party at our house... which kind of means I can't watch it twice in a row....)  I'm also really glad Les Miz isn't coming out on December 14th....  I couldn't handle the overload of awesomeness!!  : )

Still wondering why My Guy missed his chance to proclaim his love for me....

December 7, 2012

"It's kind of a big day for me...."

"I'm turning eighteen...."

I can hardly believe it!!  How did this happen!!  It's also me who distinctly remembers that my birthday was last year - it can't possibly be again!  But time goes on and I've gotten a year older.  (I've actually been telling people that I'm turning fifteen because I don't act my age and I don't want to!)

And, sadly, this is the last time that I can sing that great song from The Sound of Music.  So, for the last time....

'I am seventeen, going on eighteen....'

Also, today, I got to serve at a distribution center for Operation Christmas Child, which was a blast!  It's something I've wanted to do for years and years but have either been too young or too busy.  But, anywhoz, I finally did it today with a group from TeenPact.  So much fun!!

Our entire group!  (TeenPact is amazing, by the way....)
Here's where all the shoe boxes went from the processing center!  Really neat!

My job was to make sure the 'filler boxes' were full.  Sometimes, the boxes weren't full enough, so they stuck these things in to make the box better for the child.

Some of the boxes with the un-processed shoe boxes inside!

This lady found the shoe box she personally sent to Operation Christmas Child!  Is that neat or what?!

Mom (far right) and younger sister (far left) with their group

Awesome TeenPact friends!
At the end, after we'd worked for about four hours.  Loads of fun!

 Almost needless to say, I was really tired by the end of the day.  I could fall asleep right now, actually....  (Zzzzzzz....)  But that's my fault - I cleaned two houses yesterday, then came home and stayed up designing my birthday cake until... really late.  (My cake, by the way, looks ah-mazing and I can't wait to show you guys pictures!  Not telling what it looks like, but it's very green and geeky.)  And then I woke up early, got fingerprinted for our next adoption (luckily, they didn't find out about my criminal record...), and then went and processed Christmas shoe boxes!

I am so sleeping in tomorrow....

Which is fine because it's a Saturday!

November 25, 2012

Half NaNo Update and Tag Questions!

Well, it looks like November wasn't full of writing posts after all!  (Wow, I can hear the non-writers cheering....  Ouch.)  I actually haven't gotten much writing done at all and unless I can pull off about 20k words by next Friday, I won't finish.  But, hey!  That's okay!  Half NaNo was a challenge I took upon myself, fully knowing that I might not accomplish it.
But... who says I can't try again in the month of December when, after five orchestra concerts (this weekend... fun and exhausting at the same time!) and the SAT (this Saturday right before the matinee concert and then the night one... that's no fun and exhausting), I'll have the whole month off?  WAHOO!!  I love homeschooling.
Anyway, I decided to do the tag questions that Amy posted for Half NaNo anyway.  : )  Because I love tags and I love answering questions about my novel.  (By the way, if you guys have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!!)
~What's the name of your project? When did you first come up with the idea? And how long have you been working on it?  My novel is actually untitled as of now, but I do have some ideas....  : )  I came up with the idea a few years ago at my grandparents' house after watching the Winter Olympics and being absolutely fascinated with the ice dancing competitions.  The story started out with a girl whose sister died and had something to do with ice dancing, but that never got off the ground, so I thought about the idea, wrote a little, put it down, then re-wrote everything I'd done (a grand total of three pages!) for Camp NaNo.  So, yeah.  It's a work in progress and I know that when I finish writing it (aaaaaalmost there!), I'm far from done.  I have a lot of new ideas about things I need to change when I do the editing and that'll probably be on my Christmas break.  : )

~Sum up your novel in five words or less.  Love and relationships.

~Who is your favorite character?  Tell us about him or her.  Nikki, hands down.  She's my main character and the entire story is told from her perspective.  She's amazing - sensible and down to earth and completely awesome.

~Where does your novel take place?  What time period?  It takes place in modern day times.

~Do you have a theme song for your story?  What is it?  Ummm....  No.  At least, I don't think so.  Well, not yet.  : )

~What's been the hardest part to write so far?  A lot of it!  Most of it is about ice dancing, which I previously knew nothing about except for the fact that I liked it.  : P  So I had to research that a lot, which I did in the first week of Camp NaNo.

~Which chapter was your favorite so far?  Probably the one I just wrote.  I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible and just say that it's really cool and involves a fair.  : )

~Can you share one of your favorite snippets?  (One you haven't shared on your blog already)  Ooh, one I haven't shared on my blog already....  Hummm....  Okay.  (Heehee....  Before I do, funny story.  I was writing in the car on the way back from our second Thanksgiving meal of the day [ugh] and had written a little but got a little smidgen of writer's block.  Then, everything just fell into place and I knew what I wanted to write!  I wrote about seven hundred words and was gearing up for the climax - literally, the climax of the entire story - and then... my laptop hibernated because it ran out of battery.  : P)  And, after much deliberation, I've chosen this snippet.  Excuse a lot of it - it's still unedited.
    Bennett and I went through the routine, with Bennett reminding Alec how to do each move and me telling Alec how told hold me so that he wouldn't drop me.
    When we finished, Bennett put me back down and we bowed while Alec and Natalie clapped for us.
    "That was so great, Bennett!" Natalie said, skating up to him.  "Think we can do that next year?"
    "Ha!"  Bennett shook his head and glared at Natalie.  "Not on your life.  Let's just work on the little, easy moves - forwards and backwards crossovers for a start, then a twizzle, and maybe after that - and if there aren't any mess-ups, we'll attempt a stationary lift."
    "You're no fun at all," Natalie protested, crossing her arms.  "Tell him it isn't fair!" she said to me in a whiny British accent.
    "It's so unfair..." I muttered, trying to do an impersonation of Edmund Sparkler, but failing utterly.
    "You guys are both officially weird," Bennett said, giving us a look.

~Are any aspects of your story drawn directly from your own life?  Give us an example.  Sort of!  I think it's good to experience a lot of the stuff you write so that you can write it so that you're showing from what you know and not telling like you're copying out of the encyclopedia, but since sometimes I can't really say what it's like to have an older brother (with or without amnesia!), ice dance, have a million cousins who all get together every year for Christmas, or *gulp* fly on an air plane (no joke!), I have to wing it.  : )  So I try to draw from my own life as much as possible.  (I did write that one narrative essay depicting the time I got shot at inside a cabin, though!!  But that's another story for another time....  And completely harmless, for all you who were wondering....  We used blanks.)

~Your main character gets dumped into a big city in the modern era (or if you're writing a contemporary work, he/she gets dumped in medieval London).  How does he/she respond?  "Whoa....  Look, it's Mr. Knightley!  Where's my handkerchief?  Or the nearest wall?!"  Heehee....

~Who's the funniest character in your story? Tell us why! Give examples! Support your argument.  : D  Natalie Fraser!!  She's hilarious.  She quotes all sorts of period dramas and Winnie the Pooh and makes life a lot brighter for everyone she comes in contact with.  She saves Nikki (an introvert) from having to answer questions from people at school by just being herself (an extrovert).  She asks Nikki the really hard questions that nobody else will ask and helps her find the answers.  She's the perfect secondary character.  : )  Here's an example of one of her lines that shows her personality in contrast to Nikki's and still manages to make me laugh.
    "You are so weird...."
    (Nikki argues, saying she's not weird because her brother is changing for the better and she likes it.)  I looked up at her [sitting on the countertop] again, raising my eyebrows.  "And you call me weird because of that?  You've got issues, Natalie."
    Natalie grinned.  "No, I'm really happy about everything you just said.  The reason I called you weird was because you just used that plate [to chop up chicken for a salad], then washed it and put it away.  Like, seconds after you used it.  You could have put it in the dishwasher, you know..."

~If you were forced to eliminate a character from your story--just wash them clean off the slate--who would it be?  Horror of horrors!!
"In nine hundred years of time and space I've never met anyone who wasn't important before."  - Ten, Doctor Who.
"I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too."  - Hugo Cabret, Hugo.
The same goes for novels.  Each and every one of my characters are in there for a reason and they have a specific role to play. 

~Do you plan on writing a sequel to your novel?  Shhh....  Yes.  But it's very hush-hush.  So don't tell anyone you heard it from me.

November 21, 2012

Twenty-Five Things I'm Thankful For

  • God, Who saved me and continues to mold me into who He wants me to be every single day
  • My wonderful family, who loves me even when I make idiotic mistakes
  • My sweetie-pie little brother, who never ceases to make me laugh!
  • My church body, without whom I know I wouldn't be who I am today
  • My loving friends, who accept me the way I am - with all of my faults and quirks  : )
  • My awesome pen pal, Elinor  (Love ya, girly!!)
  • All of my amazing bloggy friends - you guys are awesome!
  • Sir Percy... just cuz.  (And, yes, I did just say that!)
  • The makers of the Lord of the Rings LEGO video game who decided to keep Faramir in it.  Cuz he is amazing.  Nuff said.
  • All of the authors whose works I read frequently - Wayne Thomas Batson, Robert Whitlow, J.R.R. Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, and C.S. Lewis, to name a very few.  You worked hard to create something worth reading and you have done it!!
  • The BBC for making such wonderful productions and for providing half of the quotes that I use on a regular basis, from "Easy peesy, squeeze the lemon," to "Sparker, be quiet!" to "No lace!" to "In vain I have struggled - my feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you!" to "Really, Emma, it is better to be without wit at all then to apply it as you do!"  (And that's only half of the half!)
  • Peter Jackson for making Lord of the Rings and sticking to The Hobbit
  • To the Bored Shorts TV people, who provide the other half of the quotes I use on a regular basis!  ("Don't punch........our car." and "I am a Snackyvore.  It is liiiiike... a dinosoah that likes... snacks and treats!" are two of my bo-fuh... my bo-fa, my bo-faaaai....  Yeah.)
  • Tenth Avenue North - your music makes me feel like I'm in church.  And I love it.  : )
  • Alec and Nikki, who are two of my best friends even though they're only in my head  : )
  • The old Hollywood, who made such awesome Christmas movies like Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and the two that share the rank of my top favorite Christmas movie of all time, The Shop Around the Corner and It's a Wonderful Life!
  • My piano and violin teachers, who inspire me to play more than they know!
  • My good friend who inspired me to start writing again.  That was a good six years ago and, good gracious, I haven't gotten over it yet!
  • The makers of all of the musicals I love - Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, and The Little Mermaid.  Most of my go-to songs are from those four musicals and I love them dearly!
  • Mitt Romney, for sticking to it and running for president and defying the odds.  You would have been a great president!
  • Milton Hershey for perfecting the modern version of chocolate - you are in my debt!
  • The next-door neighbors and their adorable twins who I got to babysit all day today.  Not finishing my school was completely worth it!
  • The NaNo people for inspiring so many writers to actually write and finish a goal and push them!
  • The makers of all of the indie films that I love - October Baby, What If..., Fireproof, and To Save a Life being some of my favorites.  When you work hard to make a good movie, the story and character development make up for all of the acting slips!
  • You guys, the readers of my blog.  You make my day whenever you read a post or comment or follow!  Thank you so much!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


November 14, 2012

"These babies are FANTABULOUS! Absolutely indispensary."

I don't normally do my nails, but in this case, that's right.  They're absolutely indispensary.  Check 'em out!!

First, for your viewing pleasure, my The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings inspired nails.
just practice nails, by the way.  I think they turned out pretty well for a first time!

And my Les Miz-themed nails.  I'm especially proud of my '4'.  : )

That's what my hands look like right now, by the way....  Seriously.  One hand is for The Hobbit and the other is for Les Miserables, the awesome movies that are coming out in December (which is the best month of the year).  I did them while listening to the completely awesome and very creepy, yet still awesome three part Adventures in Odyssey episodes, "The Labyrinth."

And it just so happened that the things I've been wanting to post about are Hobbit and Les Miz-themed, too!  How's that for spontaneous planning?  : )

I'll start with Les Miz.

Check this out!!  I nearly flipped when I saw it on Ally's blog.  Remain calm - and don't watch it more than three times in a row.  It's not pretty.  (I may or may not be speaking from experience....)

So, yeah.  Pretty awesome, right?!  Amy did a second-by-second rundown of it, which I heartily enjoyed reading.

Aaaaaand... there are some pretty awesome posters floating around the Internet!  I found a few more the other day, available here and here.  Javert looks a little weird, but that's okay because the red 'Javert' below him totally makes up for it.  This one has to be my favorite, though.  Uber cool.

On to The Hobbit!!

This video came out today and I've already watched it a few times.  Sure, it's only thirty-three seconds long, but the dialogue between Bilbo and Thorin is sooooo awesome.  (And I can't see Thorin without saying, "It's Thornton!  Look back at me....")

I knew there was a place where you could watch the trailer with alternate endings, but we were never able to get them to load.  And I just found them!  Huzzah!

But the thing about The Hobbit that I'm most excited about is the music!!  I just listened to the entire soundtrack today.  In it's entirety.  The whole thing.  All. Of. It.  And It. Was. Ah.Mazing.  Here is the link for you.  It's an hour and forty-five minutes long and the pause button doesn't work, so I'd suggest you find something good and looooong to do - like math and chemistry and Greek - and listen to it.  A few times, if you want to.  And let your school take even longer because you're thinking about what the track titles mean.  ('My Dear Frodo'?  Wassup with that, PJ?)  My personal favorite songs are all of them, with an emphasis on all of them, but especially 'My Dear Frodo' (First the Hobbiton theme, then it's creepy!  Whaaaaaa?), 'The Adventure Begins' (It's so fast-paced and hobbit-y!  "I'm going on an adventure!"), 'An Ancient Enemy' (Whoooooooaaaaa....  Deep and ominous - that's how I like it!), 'RADAGAST THE BROWN'!!! (This one is SO COOL!  The electric violin takes the stage and it equals awesomeness.  If you don't want to wait to listen through all the other songs, just click here.  It's awesome.  And amazing.  And awesomeness sauce.  All rolled into one.), 'Roast Mutton' (Again, so hobbit-y, but with a dash of foreboding), 'The Hill of Sorcery' (Looks like I need to read the book again...  And the Radagast the Brown theme is in here a little - awesome!), 'Warg-Scouts' (There's a great John Williams-esque brass part in here, with another pretty awesome cello/bass/timpani solo.  So cool!), 'Riddles in the Dark' (Which I can't wait to actually see!!  Anyway.  This song captures Gollum to a 'T'!  All those tremolos in the string section totally add to the creepiness!  And the really long, gradual crescendo at the end - chills, y'all.), 'Brass Buttons' (The Warg-Scouts theme in the middle is awesome!  I'm dying to see the footage and dialogue during this one!  Plus, the end is so awesome. All those grand pauses, then the continuation of awesomeness....  Golly Pete.), 'Out of the Frying-Pan' (Golly, jeepers!), 'A Good Omen' (Great song!  And a really creepy ending - here's hoping we'll see Smaug!), then the extended scene song, 'Dreaming of Bag End' (The pennywhistle did a little bit of the Hobbiton theme, but a lot of it was new, which I loved!), which was right after 'Song of the Lonely Mountain,' the credits song.  (And boy, is it worthy of some kind of award!!  It totally embodies dwarves and Thorin and The Company.  I loved it!!  I won't tell you how many times I listened to it....)  You can listen to 'Song of the Lonely Mountain' here, by the way.  It's got to be one of my favorite songs on the album.  That and 'Radagast the Brown.'  If you only have time for a few songs, go listen to those.

Wow, that was a lot.  I hope you guys take the time to listen to that music, though - it's totally worth it!!  If you've already listened to some of the songs, whatd'ya think?!

And all this news about Les Miz!!  Goodness gracious.  The month of December is already awesome enough (what with Christmas and parties and concerts and recitals and *cough*my birthday!!*cough*) and now it's going to be even greater.  Wow.  I can't wait.  I'm going to be reading The Hobbit and probably (hopefully) Les Miserables during my month-long Christmas break (I'll shout it from the rooftops, I don't care - I love homeschooling!), so that'll keep me busy until all these awesome movies come out.  Sighhhhh.....

What about you guys?  Are you as excited as me?  Or is it just me...?

Hoping I'm not the only one REALLY EXCITED about this December....

(Oh, yeah....  Bonus Awesome Points if you can correctly guess where the lyrics in the blog post title come from.)

November 6, 2012

On the Election...

After praying almost incessantly - very specifically - and listening to the radio almost as much (Sean Hannity is awesome...), I've finally reached the conclusion that whatever happens tonight is God's will and that I just need to trust Him with all of my heart.  I'd strongly encourage you guys to do the same!

Also, I'm just glad that it's almost over.  This campaign has been one of the worst in America's history, mainly because of all the lying, back-stabbing, and finger-pointing (mostly on one side, in my opinion... *cough* Obama! *cough*).  A lot of that one side's commercials have been, to say the least, immature and, considering the most recent one, almost scandelous.  (The other side, in my humble and honest opinion, has been presidential and mature and worthy of the presidency.  *cough* Romney!! *cough*  Just sayin'.)  I'm sick and tired of it and totally ready for it to be done!

And one last note on not voting....  (Before, though, if you're of age and have decided not to vote for one reason or another, I am not trying to condemn you or anything.  The last thing I'd want to do is offend you!  However, I have a very strong opinion on this, so I'd like to share it with everyone.  Please don't be offended if you've chosen not to vote!!)  I firmly believe that this is a right that we, as Americans, have that was given to us by the people that fought and died for our country.  It's not only our duty to vote, it's a freedom that was given to us at a very high price!  This is one of the most fantastic things about being an American - we have so many rights and freedoms and we take them all for granted.  And what makes my opinion even stronger is the fact that I'm missing voting by about thirty-two days....  *runs around in circles screaming bloody murder and tearing out hair*

As always, your opinion matters (*cough* just like your vote does *cough*).  Comment, pretty please with a cherry on top?

Well, I need to listen to the radio now.  (We don't get Fox News and everything else is Liberal....)

Praying that the initials of our 45th president start with MITT ROMNEY!!!!


November 1, 2012

Amy... Has a Plan.

First off....  Greetings, NaNo-ers!!!  Tired of writing yet?  XD
I woke up this morning and said to myself (no, I'm not crazy), "It's the first of November!  A new month!!"  Then....   "GASP.  It's the first of November."

*dramatic pause*

"NaNo."  *cue ominous music*

I really wanted to do NaNo.  Like, desperately.  I figured it was the only way I'd get Nikki and Alec's story done.  But....  *sigh*  Ever heard of this thing called Life?  (Don't think that's excuse enough?  Check this out.)  *repeats sigh*

But then, lo and behold, in my daily perusal of blogs, I found out that Amy had come up with a plan.  (A brilliant plan, mind you.)

World, say hello to...

Virtually self-explanatory.  25k words in a month.  (You stay sane and get some writing done!  How cool is that?!)  Within literally seconds - seeing the gorgeous bloggy button that Amy made helped a little, lol - I was hooked.

I think this is going to be a piece of cake for me because I did about two thirds of my Camp NaNo/The June Crusade (same goal, except in June) writing in the last two weeks.  (I think I seriously did about 37k words in two weeks.  No joke.  The reason why is a long story.)  But I won't say that because, heehee, pride goes before destruction and all that.

So.  My new writing goal this month has been set.

WARNING - There will be an abundance of writing posts this month.  Literally an abundance.  I probably won't get to any of the posts I had planned for this month, but I'll try to do some of them.  : )
I'll also probably do a few writing tips posts if any of my writing blog-readers (all three of you) are interested!  What say you?

Half NaNo-ers, UNITE!!!


October 30, 2012

Lately On the News....

"It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was [once] a slice of Americana. … [But] the show is riddled with the kids calling each other stupid, dumb, and blockheads. There is continuous teasing and bullying. Charlie Brown is supposed to be the hero, instead he is kicked and demeaned at every turn. … Time marches on, opinions and attitudes evolve and change. Some things are better left in the past, it's time for new classics. New themes and specials for a modern holiday. When It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is on tv this week or next, skip it."  - Buzz Bishop,
Well, yeah, but... isn't that why we like Charlie Brown?  The fact that, despite everything that goes wrong, he still picks himself up and tries again?!  True, it's mean that his friends call him "blockhead," but we can't forget the part in A Charlie Brown Christmas where everybody fixes his pitiful tree and sticks up for him, singing "O, Little Town of Bethlehem," now can we?
Also on the news:  Just a small footnote....  Disney buys Lucasfilm.  (Being the exact opposite of a Warsie, I wouldn't care tuppence.  I'm just excited about more movies because of the awesome special effects!!)
(And oh, yeah.  Please accept my pre-apologies for the possible shortage of blogging this week.  My week just went into a tailspin - in a good way, though!! - and I have no earthly clue when or how much I'll be blogging/commenting/being-alive-in-the-blog-world for the next week or so.  Forgive me.  All will be explained - if you haven't already heard the news - soon.  Ish.)

October 25, 2012


Dear Anne-girl....  Thank you so much for this week's Scribblers' Conference!!  It's been so amazing and I can't wait to start writing again - I've been insanely busy this week, so my writing is basically zip.  : P

Dear David Tennant... You are amazing and I can't wait to watch more of Doctor Who!  I already know a ton of quotes from the show and am constantly scaring my dad because of them.  (Don't worry, Dad....  I'm not going to go crazy.)

Dear Thea.... I miss you SO MUCH!!!  And I'm insanely jealous of you and can't wait to hear all about how amazing Italy was!!  Hearing stuff from your sister is great, but I feel like I'm missing out on details.  And that new job getting paid to go shopping and teach a girl English....  Wow.  (Thou shalt not covet! THOU SHALT NOT!!!)  The kids you're nannying for are adorable and I can hardly imagine how hard it'll be for you to come back!!  Skyping with you the other day was amazing and I loved seeing the kids - Giacomo is SO CUTE!!!

Dear August Rush....  You are an amazing movie!!!  (Minus a few scenes....)  And your soundtrack is phenomenal, especially August's Rhapsody and Raise it Up!  Oh, and I can't fail to mention the one that my littlest brother loves watching... the guitar-slapping song.  And August/Evan... you are so adorable.  Cutest little boy ever... and every time I see a picture of you, I'm struck by the fact that you look almost exactly like a friend of mine when he was younger.  : )  Also, I can never thank you enough for providing me with an actor to cast as Alec!!  (Now to find my main character....)

Dear The Avengers....  You were a good movie - via ClearPlay, that is.  (Dear ClearPlay - YOU ARE AMAZING!!!)  I now have a love-hate relationship with Tony Stark and a LOVE-LOVE relationship with Captain America, mainly because of this.  I also think that Banner was the deepest character.  And I officially think that Hawkeye is cooler than Legolas.  (In your face, Legolas fans!!)

Dear gluten-free apple pie....  Sighhhh.  You are bliss in gluten-free form.  My intestines thank you.

Dear Nikki and Alec....  Sorry I've had to leave you guys in a car driving thirty minutes for the past week or so....  The author is busy and promises to get you to your destination very soon!!!

Dear theory test on Saturday....  Why must you be so early and so far away?  Why must you scare me with your grading system?!  Why must you taunt me with a 98% the first time, then an 80% the second?!!  (True, the second was probably more my fault than yours....  I went skiing with some friends the two days before and got home at 2am, then woke up at 7:30ish....  Yup, it was my fault.)  Just please be nice on Saturday.  No D# melodic minor scales, I beg you!!  I'll have to console myself with a Starbucks Java Chip... and last time I had one, it didn't end well.  : (

Dear sweet little brother....  I'm sorry you're sick.  : (  It's so sad to see the sweetest little bundle of personality feel bad.  You sat down and watched "Some Brides for Some Brothers" today and looked so pitiful....  Poor dear.  I'm so glad you like musicals, by the way.  Your future wife will appreciate that.
(And along those lines....)

Dear younger brother....  Please don't talk about Jane Fairfax around girls who aren't related to you.  Likening my younger sister reading a letter from a friend to the way Mrs. Bates reads a letter from Jane is awesome, but not around other girls.  Please.  I beg of you.

Dear Senior Year....  You are amazing and I love you to death.  Thank you for being you and shining a light at the end of this tunnel.  : D

Dear bloggy friends....  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog.  Half the time, I don't know if anyone's reading it, but then I hear from someone or someone comments and it makes my day.  Thank you SO MUCH!!!

(Last because it's the most important....)

Dear adorable little kids we just heard about....  I am praying for you!!!  Hopefully, if it's God's will, I'll meet you guys soon.  : )  (Goodness, I'm tearing up.)