the New Year’s tag {2017-2018}


What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Ate raw fish sushi, crayfish, and frogs’ legs.  Wrote a eulogy.  Had a Christmas tree.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?

My New Year’s resolutions for 2017 were: pray more (I didn’t accomplish this, not nearly), write every day (noooo), lose weight (didn’t happen), read at least fifteen new-to-me books (I’m sure I did this), and meet at least one internet friend (it happened!).  Rather pathetic, all told.  You can see my resolutions at the end of this post.

Did anyone close to you give birth?


Did anyone close to you die?

My dad passed away to Heaven on September 26th.

What countries/states did you visit?

I wrote everything down in my notebook, so I wouldn’t forget.  In Canada: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta.  In the USA: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Washington DC (not a state, but still), Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.  Some of those states were drive-throughs, not visits, but I think they still count.


Photo credit: Hamlette

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

A husband? #seriousnotserious

What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?

September 26th.

Did you move anywhere?

Yes.  My family moved to Edmonton, Alberta in November.  It was a difficult move in some ways, but we all know that it was God’s will, which makes everything easier overall.  We have a cozy house and a wonderful church and good friends and God has blessed.

What was the best month?

It’s hard to call any month of this year the ‘best’ because there’s been so much upheaval – both physical and emotional.  So I can’t really give a good answer to this question.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Taking over the schooling of my little brother, Ethan.  It’s been challenging, but so fun and fulfilling.


What was your biggest failure?

Failing to love Jesus the most.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

In October, I twisted the muscles in my right foot and it’s probably the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.  It’s healed nicely though.

What was the best thing you bought?

I’m rather happy with my Wonder Woman Funko Pop figure.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My dad, for being the most wonderful father I could ever hope to have.  My mom, for her courage and determination and steadfast love and the way she has held our family together.  And every single person who made meals, helped us pack, prayed for us, gave us financial aid, allowed us to stay in their home…I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Several people, who shall remain anonymous on this blog.

Where did most of your money go?

Christmas gifts!  Shopping for everyone was so much fun.


Photo credit: my mom.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Ark Encounter and meeting Hamlette.  The whole trip, really.  It was incredible.

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

I don’t go to concerts.

What song/album will always remind you of 2017?

‘See You Again’ (Charlie Puth, no-rap version).  For various reasons.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder? I’m doing okay.

2. thinner or fatter? Fatter… 😛

3. richer or poorer? Richer.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read my Bible.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Played idiotic games on Facebook and through Google Play.  Even though I didn’t do too much of that.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Peter Hollens.

How did you spend Christmas?

With my family, of course.  I woke up really early Christmas morning and made pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast.  We opened our stockings before we ate and then waited until the kitchen was clean to read appropriate passages from Luke and Matthew before opening the bulk of our gifts.  I received and gave several amazing presents. 🙂


A small sampling of the presents my family gave me.

For Christmas dinner, we had our pastor and his family over to eat – we exchanged a few gifts with them as well.  And then we ate tons of sweets and drank lots of coffee and watched ‘Exodus’.  Not a Christmas movie, I know, but still awesome.

How are you spending New Year’s?

Well, last night (New Year’s Eve), my family went to a church for a NightWatch service.  We had preaching, personal testimonies, tons of yummy food (#FilipinoFoodIsTheLiteralBest), and ended it all with praying in the New Year.  So good.  Then we went home and some of my family went to bed and some of us stayed up until three doing random stuff.  I woke up at eleven in the morning and embarked on my new Bible reading plan, courtesy of my pastor (it’s an awesome plan).  Now I’m writing this blog post and we’ll watch a movie sometime today (my vote is on Arthur Christmas) and then have a ham-based meal.

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I hardly ever talk on the phone just to, you know, talk.  So I don’t think this question is very relevant.

What was the best book you read?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  Yes, it’s a series.  I cheated.  It doesn’t matter.

Did you fall in love in 2017?

Crushes, yes.  Love, no.  John Watson especially. (BBC Sherlock’s John, that is.)

What was your favorite TV show?

Sherlock.  Gilligan’s Island was pretty good as well.


Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.  But I’ve come close.

What did you want and get?

A tablet.

What did you want and not get?

So many things.  And circumstances.  And people.

What were your favorite films of this year?

I’m Not Ashamed (2016), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Risen (2016), The Princess Diaries (2001), Room for One More (1952), Blackboard Jungle (1955), Lifeboat (1944), The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Rio Bravo (1959), The LEGO Batman Movie (2017), Batman Begins (2005), Moana (2016), 42 (2013), Gladiator (2000), The Jungle Book (2016), and While You Were Sleeping (1995).

What were your favorite books of this year? (This question wasn’t in the original tag.  But I added it in anyway, because WHY NOT?)

You can read a semi-comprehensive post answering that question here.


How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

I tried?

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was nineteen.  My birthday fell on a Sunday, and it happened that some good family friends from Tennessee had paid us a surprise visit the day before.  So they were still there and Mom hosted a little surprise party during our church break time. (We had services at our house that day.)  It was very fun.  And then that evening I watched ‘3:10 to Yuma’ (1957 version) which is what I’d picked to be my birthday movie.  And I also watched the Combat! episode ‘The Hostages’, which is full of Doc2 awesomeness.

What kept you sane?

God.  Nobody and nothing else could have done it.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If God had healed Dad.  It sounds so…obvious?  But it’s true.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Christian Bale.

What political issue stirred you the most?

All the stupid hashtags that people make up, criticizing President Trump and his family.  Ugh.

Who did you miss?

Is that even a question?

Who was the best new person you met?

The pastor my family stayed with in Wisconsin.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Family and friends do come and go, people change drastically, but Jesus is always the same.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Can you see how,
Can you see how far,
We’ve come?
It’s such a miracle. -‘Build You Up’ (Kim Taylor)

Most of the lyrics to that song, actually.

Five things I want to do in 2017:

  • Give more than I get.
  • Read the Bible through.
  • Write every day.
  • Get my Beginner’s driver’s license.
  • Watch Dunkirk (2017).

Feel free to snatch up this tag to use on your own blog!  Have a happy new year, everyone.




what’s up! (with me, in my current life)


I’m reading through the book of Job.  Very weighty, very good.

My siblings and I have introduced Mom to BBC’s Sherlock, so that’s great.


The Inspirational Heroes Blogathon is coming up soonish and I still need to get my entry about Meet the Robinsons (2007) written.  There’s nothing like procrastination, eh?

Almost all my Christmas shopping is done!

Just finished reading The Four Feathers today and now I have a book hangover.  I still like the 2002 movie better, but the book is amazing.  And it included a reference to Hamlet, which made me happy.

Speaking of Hamlet, the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart version is at my library.  Can’t wait to watch it.


My church is having a Christmas party and gift exchange in a few days and I’m also excited about that.

I discovered today that, when put-on-the-spot-ish, my five favorite literary heroes are Atticus Finch, Ender Wiggin, Colonel Brandon (OR Mr Knightley), Peeta Mellark, and Johnny Cade. ❤


Writing wise, I’ve set aside Shoes & Spies for right now to work quite hard on editing a piece of fanfiction so that it’ll be ready by Christmas because I’m giving it to one of my siblings as a present.  I was also tossing around the idea of writing a blog post about my take on fanfiction and the ‘rules’ I follow when writing it.  Thoughts?

Anyone have a great recipe for DIY hot cocoa mix?


I’m looking forward to digging into the complete soundtrack for The Great Escape (1963) because it’s brilliant and Elmer Bernstein is a genius and I now own said soundtrack because a dear friend of mine gifted it to me.

Even though it’s winter in Alberta, the days have been almost spring-like.  Amazing.



Annnnnd that’s about it for right now.  What’s been going on in your life?


the great american road trip

Warning: this post will be long and rambly and most likely filled with confusing tangents, because I’m writing it almost more for myself than you guys.  Just so you know where I’m coming from.

My big silvery purse was my trusty companion throughout the road trip.  It held almost all of the souvenirs I picked up along the way and so I thought it would be fun to dump everything out, photograph it, and then talk about the road trip by referencing the different church programs, books, and other paraphernalia that I collected along the way.


Our journey started in Michigan, where we visited a pastor’s family that was close to Mom.  We attended their church – Westside Bible Baptist Church – on a Sunday and you can see the program in the second photo (it’s the white one with a picture of their church on the front). 

After Michigan, we left to see Rachel/Hamlette, a great event that she and I wrote about in this post.  She truly is like a fairy godmother and didn’t let me leave her house empty-handed: in the first photo, you can see a copy of her new book, Cloaked (it’s autographed!), as well as a DVD of Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Hamlet (*swoon*) and John Williams’ epic score for The Patriot.  Wedged in between the pages of Cloaked is one of the maps she provided my family with when we went to Washington D.C.  She was the best tour guide.  And I picked up those two ‘Identification’ cards (second photo) off the ground in D.C.  They’re related to the Holocaust, so, yes.


My family and me at the Lincoln Memorial.

Oh, and you see that tattered, folded-in-on-itself piece of lined paper beside Cloaked?  It holds some of my first notes for Shoes & Spies, my NaNoWriMo project, and the reason it’s been ripped out of its notebook is because my little brother was whining about not having any paper left to color on…so I ripped out the one page I’d used in my notebook and gave the notebook to him.  He filled it very, very colorfully.

When we left Michigan, it was on to Tennessee to stay with my second cousin for a little while.  She and her husband are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and before we left their house, she gave me a copy of Frank Peretti’s Prophet (shown in the second photograph).  Which was awesome of her – I love receiving books as gifts.


At my second cousin’s house.

Our next stop was also in Tennessee and we stayed for several days with a pastor and his wife.  Everybody was wonderful to us on this trip, but the Morrises are some of my family’s dearest, best friends and we had an amazing time with them which included an eating-four-packets-of-hot-sauce challenge, a delicious trip to Starbucks, ‘scary’ stories, deep conversations, good preaching, fun and games, and a ginormous, slobbery dog.  Oh, and tons of good food.  Seriously, the food was the best I’ve ever eaten.  My souvenir from their home was the big purple notebook in the first photo – the itch to write was strong and I had nothing.  Mrs. Morris provided me with that notebook, though, and it ended up holding the first few pages of Shoes & Spies.


Clyde, the dog, and my brother Ezra.

(I also got my BatBear Build-A-Bear while in Tennessee.)

The Ark Encounter was next.  Mom originally wasn’t going to take us, but thanks to the generosity of several people, we were able to and I’m incredibly thankful for that.  It was a stunning, enormous, breathtaking experience and…yeah.  I’m still blown away.  There’s lots of pamphlets and that sort of thing from the Ark, plus our tickets, plus that adorable red panda who I’ve named Shifu Jr. (and also Hamlet – I know, he has two names).


At the Ark!

Then we traveled to Indiana and stayed at the Williams’ home.  Mom has known them for decades and it was so neat to make friends with a new generation of the family.  We laughed, talked, watched movies, drank loads of coffee, and ate so much good food.  And left their house fast friends.  Awesome.  The church program in the first photo that says ‘Abiding’ is from the Williams’ church.  Also, the tiny box of Tic-Tacs beside the program (they made us a care basket).

The second-to-last stop in America was in Illinois, where we stayed with my aunt and uncle and their family for almost a week.  It was crowded and messy and showering was a bother (don’t ask), but I would’ve stayed even longer.  We went to two great history museums while there and hung out at home and watched Gladiator and ate a lot of cold cereal.  Our uncle is a ‘funcle’ (fun + uncle) and our aunt is one amazing woman and our cousins are hilarious, so we had a lot of fun.

Some of my cousins and some of my siblings.

Our very last stop in the US was with a pastor and his wife, both of whom were friends of Mom, but all of us children liked them a lot, too.  The pastor was a Vietnam veteran and it was amazing, humbling, and chilling to hear the stories he told.  The program in the second photo, the one with a maple leaf on it, is from their church.

Then it was on to Canada and our new home!  The hotel key card leaning against Prophet is one that I accidentally kept at one of the many hotels we stayed at on the way home. *shrugs*

So, that was our road trip.  I ended up going to thirteen states, plus Washington D.C., which I think is awesome. ❤


i’m back! (sort of)

Image result for moriarty gif miss me

Hello again, all you wonderful people!

I’d love to stay here and write for ages, but seeing as there’s currently no internet in my new home (and won’t be until at least December 1st – UGH) I’ll have to make do with a short post.  I’m at a new library right now and it’s awesome and I can’t wait to explore it further.  But first, I felt like I owed all of you some thoughts and an update.

The trip was amazing.  I plan to write a good long post about it when I get the chance, but for now, let me say that I met a million amazing people and the Ark Encounter was unbelievable, and I kinda want to live in the States now.  But Alberta is coolest place ever (literally – it’s freezing outside right now).

NaNoWriMo isn’t going all that well, word count wise, but I’m happy with what I’ve written so far, which I suppose is the important thing.  I recently finished reading a Louis L’Amour book – Killoe.  And the last full movie I watched was ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ and I thiiiink ‘White Christmas’ before that.  I say last full movie because I’m currently in the middle of a watching Hamlet.  The one with Benedict Cumberbatch.  And so far it’s blown me away.  Seriously.  I knew the guy could act, obviously, having watched Sherlock, but him as Hamlet is an entirely different thing and it’s amazing to watch.

And now I must go. 😦

Don’t forget to be awesome, you guys!


“if they ain’t thrown it at me, they ain’t got it”


We are actually both Watson, with a dash of Moriarty’s wackiness at times.

You may have known this, but then again, you might not, so just in case you didn’t… Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) is at my house right now!!!

And this is Eva, popping in to say that I’m at Hamlette’s (of Hamlette’s Soliliquy)  house right now for all those who are reading this post on my blog instead of hers.


And yes, we have been drinking coffee, watching classics, and being crazy.  By “crazy,” I mean staying up far past my bedtime, of course.  Nothing truly crazy like, I don’t know, spending all day walking around Washington D.C.

Oh, wait, we did that too.

Maybe I should let Eva write this post — I’m sleep-deprived and caffeinated, which is never the most coherent state of being for me.

That’s very true. *winks*  Last night, we watched a Glenn Ford western and a Combat! episode and we were both pretty crazy, even though we only had hot chocolate then.  We’re talking lots and lots of fangirling and general swooning.


Anyway, I feel like I should properly start with the beginning of our visit, instead of just last night.  I got to Hamlette’s house on Monday evening – I thought it was later than it was, because for some reason my family and I assumed that Virginia was an hour ahead of Ontario, time zone-wise.  But it turns out I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We talked for over an hour that first evening, and also watched a few minutes of a Combat! Recon (AKA fan convention) so I could see what Conlan Carter and Jack Hogan look like now-ish. (It was taken a few years ago.)

Over an hour?  People, I think we might need to worry about Eva’s concept of time.  We talked from 10pm to 12:45am.  “Over an hour” is an understatement 🙂

Well, I don’t own a watch, so there’s that.

So yes, we talked a lot and completely disregarded our careful planning exactly what movies and TV show eps we planned to watch together.  Oops.  We meant to watch The Young Victoria the first night, but nope, just gabbed.


And then yesterday, I played tour guide and led Eva and her pack of siblings (and their mom!) and my 3 kids all over D.C.  Highlight of the entire day was when we got to the area around the Lincoln Memorial where Steve Rogers was jogging in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  One of her little brothers just took off and ran around the whole reflecting pool.  And we all cheered and clapped for him — such a little hero!

He is!

Last night, we did finally settle down and watch a little of what we’d planned to watch together.  Sort of.  Since we’re both big fans (understatement) of Glenn Ford and westerns, I’d been telling Eva she needed to see The Fastest Gun Alive because he’s just awesome in it, and I love the townspeople, and yeah.  So we watched that.  And then we had planned to watch some Combat! together, since that show is what brought us together in the first place.  We were going to watch “The Hostages” and “The Walking Wounded,” basically her favorite ep and then mine.  But we chucked all plans out the window and watched “A Gift of Hope” instead because it’s wonderful.  We spent a lot of time talking about how lame I am for having had an idea for a fanfic story about the guest character in that one and never writing it.  Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and try to write it for Nanowrimo this year or something.  If a plot presents itself!


A perfectly accurate representation of how we look when we watch Glenn Ford movies + Combat!

Well, I will definitely think about plots you could use for your fanfic.  I’m not clever enough to write Avery, but I could probably (maybe) come up with a good story.

Anyway…it was very difficult to figure out what to watch, even though we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, because when I got to Hamlette’s house, I was rather overwhelmed by the number of amazing movies and TV shows she has on her shelves.  I WANT TO WATCH THEM ALL.  In fact, I took five films to my room last night, but was too tired to even finish one. *sigh*

Which is why we’re finishing it today.  I mean, you can’t just watch half of a Glenn Ford western.  Would be so wrong.  So yup, we’re finishing Cowboy while all the little kids are playing restaurant behind us.  And speaking of cowboys, my own Cowboy just flew back from his business trip, so I’m going to go pick him up, so I’m going to let Eva finish off this post 🙂


Glenn Ford as Tom Reece in ‘Cowboy’

Thank you. 🙂  So, yes, these past few days have been very full of Glenn Ford and westerns and general awesomeness.  Including our trip to Washington DC, which was AMAZING.  Throughout so much of our visit there, I felt like Po in Kung Fu Panda – “I’ve only seen paintings of that painting!”  Only in this case it was the Washington Memorial (!!!!!!!!!!) and the White House (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the Lincoln Memorial (!!!-okay, you get the idea) and two Smithsonian Museums (American History and Air & Space) and, yes, I loved everything.  There were many Winter Soldier and Night at the Museum jokes made, let me tell you.  My top three favorite exhibits were the LEGIT Star Spangled Banner (I had no idea it was even still around), the whip and fedora that Harrison Ford used/wore in The Last Crusade, and the original model of the USS Enterprise. *all the heart eyes*

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that I read all of Hamlet on the way to Hamlette’s house and I loved it and we talked about it more than a little.  Very cool.


Somehow I don’t think there was a method to our madness.

Hopefully you got an idea of the fun we’ve been having together.  Just a little idea. 😉 (Oh, and the title of this post comes from the aforementioned C! ep we watched together.  It’s one of the coolest lines in the entire show.  For real.)

Well, I’m back from picking Cowboy up at the slug lot, and the movie’s over, so we should probably end this and see about adding pictures, sharing it with Eva so she can add her own pics, and then I’m thinking some supper might be in order.


life actually

For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed away to heaven on September 26th.  Life has been (obviously) difficult in many ways since then, but there have been blessings as well.  The outpouring of love, encouragement, help, and prayers from so many people has been amazing to see.  The funeral was on October 3rd, and while there were plenty of tears shed, there was also a quiet peace and comfort throughout the ceremony.  Dad was an amazing father, the best I could ever have had, but he’s free from cancer now in heaven and we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope”. (I Thessalonians 4:13)

For the past few days, our house has been full of people – my aunt and uncle and their family + my family + a family that aren’t our blood relations, but feel as close as that all the same.  It’s been crazy and noisy and amazing, but it hasn’t all been fun and games.  Yesterday, we packed up a bunch of our things because in about a month, my family will be moving to Alberta, Edmonton. (Yes, that’s still in Canada, for those of you who were wondering.)  We’re getting close to the nitty-gritty of packing, where its just a bunch of little things that you just want to trash but you have to pack instead.  And I twisted my foot coming down the stairs this morning, so that’s going to be…interesting.

Before my family moves to Edmonton, however, we’re going to be taking a month-long trip around America, visiting family and friends wherever they may be.  I’ll finally get to cross an item off my bucket list: meet an Internet friend.  I’ll actually be meeting two: Ashley and Rachel.  So I’m pretty excited about that.

Anyway, that means I’m probably not going to be blogging until I get settled into my Edmonton home, which will be sometime around the middle of November.  I still want to participate in NaNoWriMo, mostly because this year’s theme is superheroes, and I have an idea for a WWII retelling of Cinderella brewing in my brain.  We’ll see.

Annnnd that’s about all I have to say right now.

Have a great day, y’all!


announcing the winner of the 200 followers giveaway!


First of all, I wanted to say thank you (again) to everyone who comments, follows, and loves my blog.  You guys are all amazing and I really wish I had the means to be able to send every follower a little something.  However, since I don’t, I must announce the winner of this giveaway to be…

Faith Potts

Congratulations, Faith!  You’ll be getting an email from me shortly so that I can get your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone else who entered.  There will (hopefully) be more giveaways to come as this blog heads toward 300 followers, so keep those fingers crossed. 😉