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!