random goings-on: a peek into my life

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Hello, everybody!

Sorry I haven’t been around much – life’s been fairly busy as of late, which puts ‘writing blog posts’ pretty far down on my list of things to do.  Also, even though I have a couple of posts waiting for me in the drafts folder, my well of inspiration when it comes to blog posts (and writing in general?) has gone dry.  I’d love suggestions for blog posts you’d like to see from me in the future, I really would.

I’ve been so busy because…

  • Dad and Mom have had lots more errands to do and appointments to attend than they used to, so I’m Babysitter #1 right now.
  • Exams are due for the college courses I’m taking with my grandpa.
  • Books + movies – still pretty essential.
  • Prayer + Bible reading – even more so, though I have to admit that I’m not doing as much of either as I should be.
  • I still do like to, y’know, eat on occasion. *wink*

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Things are settling down on the babysitting front, though, because Dad’s doing loads better (thanks for all your prayers, guys!) and I’m almost finished writing my exams, so I have more time to be online and read and all that.  Which is great.  Oh, and another thing that’s been eating into my time is that my sisters and I decided to let Dad and Mom have our room(s), which has been a huge undertaking.  In the words of Helen Parr…why do we have so much junk? 🙂  Finding a place to put everything has been a bit tricky, but we’re all moved in now and everything’s fine. (I’m so glad I wrote a post about our old rooms, ’cause it’ll be nice to remember everything as it was.)

Some other little bits of my life right now:

  • Watched I’m Not Ashamed.  It was even better than I thought it’d be and I’ll most likely have a review up sometime this week.
  • Read Fear is the Key by Alistair MacLean.  He’s pretty much the master of the plot twist, in my opinion.
  • Writing (kinda sorta) an Indiana Jones/Night at the Museum crossover fanfiction.  I can’t believe no one’s written one before now.
  • Re-watched ‘Secret Ballot’ in prep for the Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon and it’s still as powerful as ever.
  • The exams I’ve been working on are actually pretty fun.  Still challenging and a lot of work and all that, but fun.
  • I showed my little brothers Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade recently and, of course, they LOVED them. (The fast-forward button came in handy, though, since it doesn’t take a lot to freak them out.)  Harrison Ford is still the best. (Along with Tom Cruise, of course.)
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Moi.  Except I don’t actually go to the movies.  But otherwise, this is totally accurate.

Also: (just a random list of my current favorites)

  • Favorite books: Holes by Louis Sachar & The Book Thief by Markus Zusak & The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrow
  • Favorite movies: Cars & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade & I’m Not Ashamed
  • Favorite TV show: Monk
  • Favorite actor: Tom Cruise
  • Favorite actress: Diane Baker
  • Favorite food: PIZZA
  • Favorite drink: Coffee
  • Favorite book of the Bible: Psalms (Old Testament) & Acts (New Testament)
  • Favorite chapter of the Bible: Psalm 119
  • Favorite blog: Wonderland Creek
  • Favorite flavor: Orange
  • Favorite musical: The Happiest Millionaire

Anyway, I hope that gives you a good idea of what my life has been over the past several days.  How about you?

(My and my little Lightning McQueen in a rather horrible quality taken-with-my-laptop’s-webcam photo.)

Eva

my top five favorite christian movies

Christian movies.  They get a pretty bad rap these days, don’t they?  It’s understandable, certainly, with all the problem elements – cheesy acting, thin/idiot plots, and a heavy-handed message – that seem to plague almost every faith-based film these days.  I’ve seen my share of bad Christian movies over the past few years, with only a few gems managing to shine through here and there in my quest for The Best Christian Movie of All Time.  And with the DVD release of Pureflix’s I’m Not Ashamed (which I’m sure will be amazing) just around the corner, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Christian films with you.

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~Courageous – This was the first Christian movie I ever watched, so it’s always been special to me for that reason.  Even though they don’t always hit their mark, the Kendrick brothers have a way of making their films warm and comforting, sort of like a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  There are five different dads in this movie and each one of them has their own set of struggles, temptations, and trials.  David was my favorite when I was younger, mainly because he was young and cute (wow, Eva) and while I still really like him, I find myself appreciating Nathan and Javier much more.  Best part of the movie?  When (spoilers) Adam and the gang find out that Shane has been pilfering drugs from the evidence room + the subsequent fall-out.  That subplot went where Christian movies seldom go and it’s powerful stuff.

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~The Ultimate Gift – This film was recommended to me by Ashley, I believe, and it’s remained one of my favorite movies ever, not just one of my favorite Christian movies.  All the old actors (James Garner, Lee Merriweather, and Bill Cobbs) are super, and Jason melts my heart every time with his dramatic (yet believable) change in character and his sass and sweetness…I have quite the soft spot for him. (He reminds me a little of Lightning McQueen, actually.  So, duh, of course I’m going to love him.)  There’s humor, there’s heartbreak, and there’s triumph in this film.  Seriously awesome. (Don’t bother with the sequel, though.)  Best part of the movie?  The Thanksgiving dinner.  And Jason’s attitude at the beginning, ’cause you just know he’s Going Down.

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~The Prince of Egypt & Joseph: King of Dreams – I haven’t seen either of these films terribly recently (though I’ll probably be watching Prince of Egypt tonight) but THE MUSIC, you guys.  THE. MUSIC. (In case you’re wondering, I’m mashing these two together, because they both need to be on this list and they’re really similar and it just works, y’know?)  The music, the songs, for both of these films is incredible.  Particularly ‘Deliver Us’ and ‘Better Than I’.  Both films stay true to the biblical accounts (though, of course, there’s a little bit of creative license, too) – they’re awesome for introducing children to biblical history without them having to sit through an epic like The Ten Commandments.  Best part of the movie(s)?  Again, the music.  Also, the way God is presented in Prince of Egypt is incredibly respectful, especially for a secular film company.  Gives me chills every time.

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~Fireproof – Again, I haven’t seen this for a long time, so I don’t have all that much to say about it, but I do remember really enjoying the story.  I know Kirk Cameron is pretty much under constant ridicule these days, but I didn’t know that when I first watched this film, and I thought he was great.  The conversion scene always makes me cry.  Best part of the movie?  The kiss in the fire station.  WIN.

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~Mom’s Night Out – Okay.  I know that this film is groan-worthy to most people.  And I’m not going to deny that it’s full of over-acting and “this would never happen in real life” situations, but it’s just plain FUN.  It really is.  The characters, even if they are a little hyper-realistic, are unique and memorable.  The story follows a logical point-to-point-to-point procession, which is nice – unlike most Christian movies, Mom’s Night Out isn’t filled with billions of characters and unrelated vignettes.  And, like I said, it’s a lot of fun.  Also, it’s the only movie I’ve seen where Sean Astin doesn’t annoy the fire out of me – I actually like him here, for a change.  Best part of the movie?  Izzy’s peach & denim ensemble.

Have you seen any of these movies?  What are some of your favorite Christian films?  Thoughts on the genre?  And do you think I’m Not Ashamed is going to be the best one yet?

Eva

my top fifty favorite books

{The idea for this post was taken from Hamlette’s book blog, The Edge of the Precipice.  I’m leaving out the Bible because it’s a collection of sixty-six books + it’s far and above any book on this list in my estimation.}

These books have made me laugh, cry, and feel a zillion other emotions.  They’ve moved me.  Plus, I’ve probably read most of them more than once and they’re great stories and, personally, I’d recommend any them to you. (Some of these books do have Language + Other Content.  Feel free to ask me about any of them.)

(These aren’t really in order, except for [maybe] the first two.  I didn’t have the time or patience to figure out exactly how much I loved each book.)

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  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins

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  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley

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  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • El Dorado by Baroness Orczy

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  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Victors by Jack Cavanaugh
  • His Watchful Eye by Jack Cavanaugh
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte

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  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Glimpses of Truth by Jack Cavanaugh
  • The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

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  • Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
  • Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

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  • Four by Veronica Roth
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Adversaries by Jack Cavanaugh
  • The Pioneers by Jack Cavanaugh
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

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  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins
  • While We’re Far Apart by Lynn Austin
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Nick of Time by Ted Bell

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  • The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  • Shane by Jack Schaefer
  • Rise Up, My Love by Phyllis Speshock
  • Last Stand at Papago Wells by Louis L’Amour

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  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • To Tame a Land by Louis L’Amour
  • Laura by Vera Caspary
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

How many of these books have you read?

Eva

thoughts, news, and some fangirling

Is my new blog theme great or what?  I CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT IT. (Not to boast, or anything.  Just…y’know.  I love it.)

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Even though having family over is loads of fun, it’s unbelievably wonderful to have my room back again.  I’ve organized all the gifts I was given on New Year’s Eve, including a lovely, vintage-y calendar that has a Parisian/Italian flavor to it (given to me by my sister, Rebekah) and a framed drawing of Lightning McQueen (a gift from my cousin, Sara).

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Also, Elisabeth gave me John Anderton, Spike Scarlotti, and “Stay Gold” bookmarks, so I’m going to be a very happy reader for a looooong time to come.

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Recently watched Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  SO GOOD, GUYS.  I haven’t actually seen the first two, but they’re definitely on my to-watch list now.  My two favorite things about the film are the Indiana Jones-esque prologue and the cast, because I recognized a ton of people (Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Anjali Jay, Ben Kingsley, Owen Wilson – well, I recognized his voice – plus Dick van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, Mickey Rooney, and whatever the-kid-who-plays-Larry’s-son’s actor’s name is – he plays Young Shawn in a few episodes of Psych).  Super cool, right?

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I may or may not be developing a crush on Dwayne Johnson.

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Terence, over at A Shroud of Thoughts, is hosting the 3rd annual Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon and I’m really excited about that.  For the last two blogathons I’ve reviewed episodes of Combat! – “Masquerade” and “The Hostages” – but this year I’m branching out to write about the amazing western show Wanted: Dead or Alive.  I’ll be reviewing the episode “Secret Ballot”, which is my favorite ep in the show.  It’s deep and juicy and emotional, plus there are some great guest stars.  Can’t wait to share it with all of you. 🙂

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Every time I listen to “How Far I’ll Go”, I want to watch Moana a little bit more.  My favorite version is actually not the original, but this cover by Georgia Merry.  Go listen to it right now, ’cause it’s GREAT.

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I want to be able to juggle blogging + college work + recreational reading + writing + prayer + Bible reading + chores + taking care of my little siblings + a zillion other things.  Seems impossible, looking at that huge list, but I’m not quite as worried as I might’ve been a year ago, because everything is possible with God.  I’m just worried about wasting my time and not getting everything done that I want to – I’m the biggest procrastinator – but I’m hoping/praying that I’ll be able to work everything out to my satisfaction and God’s approval.

Talk to ya’ll later!

Eva

hello, 2017!

Audrey Hepburn:

I’m going to be all over the place in this post, guys.  Just so you know.

OKAY.  So.  My prediction for how New Year’s would go was sort of true and sort of not.  Chili dogs?  Check.  Meet the Robinsons?  Check. (Though I didn’t ring in the new year with it, just watched it at some point on New Year’s Eve.)  However, what I couldn’t have foreseen, was that my uncle and aunt and cousins came up to Canada (they live in the States) and surprised us.  And it was a surprise, because they’d said they were coming, but then their car broke down so they couldn’t come…or so we thought.  They were able to get a rental car and come visit anyway (Dad and Mom kept it a secret the whole time!), which was incredible.  We’ve been having so much fun.

New Year’s Eve: we watched Meet the Robinsons, fulfilling a three-year strong tradition (there’s just something about it that speaks to my heart when it comes to the new year and fresh starts and all that).  Then all the other kids went to bed and I stayed up and read my Bible and prayed and read a rather amazing historical Christian novel (Shadows Over Stonewycke by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella) and went to bed quite early in the morning of New Year’s Day.  And then yesterday, we had church at our house (it went wonderfully + was such a blessing) and had a big meal with everyone and, overall, it was a great day.

I guess this post isn’t as random as I thought it’d be, ’cause really the only other thing I wanted to mention was William Christopher’s passing.  Really?  Really?  We couldn’t get a break from all these deaths? (I know people die every day.  But actors and actresses are more well-known, so their deaths are far more public.)  And, you know, I haven’t watched M*A*S*H* (though I want to) but I’ve seen William Christopher in Hogan’s Heroes and liked him so much there that I hunted down the Andy Griffith Show episode he was in, too (he’s in a few different episodes of Hogan’s Heroes, but the one that made me notice him was “Movies Are Your Best Escape” because he. is. so. CUTE. in that).  I don’t know why his death has made more of an impact on me than any of the others, but it does. *sigh*

Since I don’t want to end this post on a total downer, here’s a picture of my little cousin, Lizzie, who is the most perfectly adorable little girl I’ve ever seen.  No lie.

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Happy 2017!

Eva