Friday, December 31, 2010

Where oh where can it be?

'where oh where has this year gone, where oh where can it be?'

I can't believe another year is over. It's flown by so quickly.
I got a lot accomplished, I know I did. But still... soon it will be 2011.

I want to be more focused this year. Pick a few things I want to get done every so many months, and do it. I resolve to do what I resolve to do.

So, for the first semester? The first five or so months?
I want to focus on two main things.
Latin and timelines.
Nerdy? Maybe. Helpful? Why, Yes.

I've started Latin already, and its already helped a ton. Knowing little bits and pieces of it helps a lot with understanding other words. An example? The first 'lesson' I read last week mentioned the Latin word 'pro', and how it means 'for'. And guess what? The word 'Pronoun' suddenly makes sense. Its a word used 'for' nouns. So instead of Mark, House, Fiona, its: he, it, she. Makes so much sense!

I want to make little timelines. History is interesting to me, but it doesn't always make sense. I want little timelines for important sets of 10 or 20 years, and then different lines on this timeline. One will be for world events, one will be for important music and art (and maybe even books??), one will be important people's births and deaths, and another line will have American events. I think everything will make a lot more sense.

And, as a third thing, I would like to add my writing. Yesterday and today I spent a TON of time writing. I added so very much to my novel, and edited a ton. I'm almost done. And that novel that was a few pages short of 40 is now 15 pages short of 100, and I'm not done yet. Word count so far is 40,500!

Did you think this year went quickly? Do you have any specific goals? I guess you could call them resolutions. Have a great year, my dear readers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager

I didn't know I loved Edward Eager's writing style until recently.

A few years ago, together with sisters and cousins, we attempted a radio drama of 'The Time Garden', but even then I did not know I love the type of writing. I read 'Half Magic' later, and it grew on me. Then this year I read Snyder's 'Any Which Wall', and loved it. And she has the same style as Eager.

And I just read 'Magic by the Lake' today. And it was perfectly lovely. I already have plans for it. The past several years we have stayed at a 'lake house' for a week towards the end of summer, and my aunt and uncle and their three young girls rent a nearby 'lake house' as well. Even in the dead of winter I anticipate sitting out on the dock at night, as the sun sets, or even by moonlight, starlight, and flashlight, reading to my three sisters and my three cousins.

The four siblings in Eager's book wish for magic by the lake. Meaning, in measurements of lake. Not in halves as they had in 'Half Magic', or days like sensible people would have, but by the lake. And at once they see this will be problematic. One lake can hold an awful lot of magic at once. They set up rules, and this helps tame the magic. Over the weeks of their lakeside vacation, they go on many adventures. One rule that the Turtle gives them, though, is that they have to be water adventures. They have a good time and throughly enjoy themselves, even on the non-magic days. But then, they find out that their father's, Mr. Smith's, book store isn't getting a lot of business, and that Mr. Smith himself is troubled over the matter. Can the children use their magic to help? Even if it means no more magic?

As I've said, I love the writing style. The random tidbits of information that make the reader smile, but really do nothing for the actual plot of the story. Actually, it reminds me of one the books I am writing.

One thing I didn't like, and mind you it is a very small thing, is that the children had no sure way to get back from their adventures. They always had to call for the turtle, who either came or sent some other magical being to come rescue them. Or, they had to wait for sunset. It seemed to me that there should have been an easier, more interesting way to end each adventure. I suppose its not that big of a deal, but I would have liked it if the children could end the adventures when they wanted to, and not have to be constantly rescued.

What do you think of the writing style? And the actual book? And other Eager/Eager-like books?

Monday, December 20, 2010

picture perfect

Well, sort of...

(this is of my dear sister Maggie)

(pic of random person)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

fresh snow on bare branches is just another tragically beautiful reminder that I can't draw trees, and I wish I could.

So Many Books

I just received an email from a professor of the Children's Lit. Class I have signed up for next semester. She suggested getting a head start on our required reads over Christmas break- I looked at the list, and there are 26!
I am going to try to avoid reading any books I've already read, and try to find some good 'new' ones. In double parenthesis I've written a book or two I'm thinking I may read. If you've got a better suggestion, though, leave me a comment!

1.     Reread one of your favorite childhood books ((I'm thinking one of the Boxcar Children books, or Too Many Books))
2.     Newbery Award Book ((The Giver))
3.     Caldecott Award Book (( Tuesday ))
4.     Rebecca Caudill book from the most CURRENT reading list (( Frindle))
5.     Book by the Annual Invited Campus Children’s/YA author (2010-2011 – Sharon Draper) (( Out Of My Mind)
6.     Wordless Picture Book (( Home))
7.     Picture Book with Words ((Miss Nelson Is Missing [I'm familiar with the story line, but I've never actually read it] ))
8.     Easy-to-Read Book ((Tarantula Toes))
9.     Mother Goose Book (( My Very First Mother Goose))
10.     Counting Book   (( One Gray Mouse))
11.     Alphabet Book (( The Vegetable Alphabet Book))
12.      Graphic Novels (( Secret Science Alliance and the Copy Cat Crook))
13.     Folktale (( The 'Wasna' (pemmican) Man and the Unktomi (Spider)))
14.     Fairy Tale (( Sinbad the Sailor))
15.     Fable, Legend or Tall Tale (( Trojan Horse, or King Aurthur
16.     High Fantasy Work  (( Need Suggestions for this One!!!)

17.     Realistic Fiction (( The View From Saturday))

18.     Historical Realistic Fiction (( Up a Road Slowly or War Without Friends))
19.     Poetry book (( Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices)) 
20.     Informational Book published in last 5 years (( Suggestions Welcome!!!)
21.     Biography or Autobiography (( Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?))[Unless you have a better suggesion...]
22.     Real-Life – Children with Challenges ((Need Suggestions!)
23.     Multicultural Work (African or African American) ((Othelo, A Novel or With Every Drop of Blood: A Novel of the Civil War))
24.     Multicultural Work (other than African or African American) ((Peacebound Trains, or Finding My Voice)
25.     Digital or online text (( Any Good Ideas??)
26.     Any Touchstone of your choice. A touchstone is a title that has stood the test of time (i.e., it is still in publication), and other books are compared to it (i.e., the story is timeless). ((There Are So Many, I Can't Decide. Suggestions Encouraged!!))

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I read the first book when I was probably about 10 years old. I hadn't known there were more until this semester when my roommate asked me if I'd ever read them. It's taken me all semester to finally read all of them, even though they are pretty quick reads.

And then, last night I started thinking about the third children. What did/do I think of them? Sure, they end up saving everything, but do I think it was right of the population police to make having more than two children illegal?

The country had been going through a famine- they didn't have enough food. That was the reason behind the ban. They were trying to make sure that all the people who were already alive would have enough food to stay that way. And, honestly, I'm not sure what I think. Part of me thinks it's not their place to set a limit on the number of children a couple could have, but if people had followed the law, would they have had less problems? But then again, there were other things the population police could have done. They could have rationed out the food by family, and said 'you can have as many kids as you want, but there is only enough food for you to have X amount'. I don't know. Maybe that wouldn't have worked either.

But I know for sure I don't like how the population police acted. Whenever they found someone who was a third child, they killed them. And they were cruel. And they didn't exactly tell the truth about how much food there was. They took a problem and made it worse. All 'cus they wanted to stay in power.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On: The Lack of Black Ink

The printer in our room is out of black ink.
To the point where you can't even print in color, and make the printer create black ink. (which I wouldn't suggest doing anyway, 'cus that wastes the color ink).
And of course, its the end of the semester. A little over a week until I travel home again. So it feels pointless to go buy an ink cartage.
But, of course, its the end of the semester. When everything is due. Take home tests that must be typed. Resource files. Papers.
And, of course, all the other random things I print.

But I can't. Because there is no black ink.

Thankfully I still live on inner campus, and the library is about two minutes away, walking. (Through the icy-cold, not-even-20-degrees-out-weather [not including wind chill]). So, I walk. Bundled. Very, very, bundled. Thankful for borrowed gloves from younger sisters. And I manage to find an open computer. Which is quite a feat.

But, the computer wouldn't let me print. I couldn't figure it out. After about ten, fifteen minutes, I left. I gave up. Hopefully, someone on my floor will let me print...

Or, maybe we'll go out and buy some black ink. There's always that possibility.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kreature. And the Unforgivable Curses

I just finished the last Harry Potter book.
Overall, I must say I really enjoyed them. Of course there were parts I didn't like, but unless I am the author I think that will be the case for every book.

Forewarnging. Just about everything in this post is a spoiler. So, if you havn't read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and you plan to, don't read further until you have. Thanks.

Two things stood out to me in this last book.
House elves are usually treated very poorly in the wizard-ing world.They are like little slaves who can't disobey their Master's orders without punishing themselves. So, many wizards take advantage of this, and treat the elves very poorly.

One house elf is named Kreature. Harry inherited this little elf, much to his dismay. Kreature's previous master was pretty cruel, never really caring for the elf. And the elf responded. Kreature had the nastiest angriest attitude both towards his previous master, and then to Harry.

But, a good ways into the book, Harry begins treating Kreature better, for Hermiony's sake. And again, Kreature responds. The transformation is unbelievable! Kreature is a whole new elf, and has a loyalty towards Harry, even beyond the magical one.

This got me to think about how we treat people. Generally, if we are kind toward them, they will be kind toward us. And if we are bitter and resentful to them, they will act similarly towards us.

Now, for the second thing I noticed.

This is a problem I have with the book. Something I really really really wish Rowling hadn't done.
There are these three curses in the magical world that are worse than any other. They are the unforgivable curses, and a wizard who uses them generally goes to the Dementors in Azcaban. One of them is the tourture curse, the other is the mind control curse, and the last one is the killing curse.

I don't have a problem with that. Not at all. I have a problem with Harry using them.

He's the good guy, for goodness sake!

It is presented as if the only way Harry and his friends can accomplish their goal is for him to use the mind control curse several times. Even Professor McGonagall uses one of the curses.

I do not like that Rowling included this. There has to be another way to get Harry and his friends to 'win', even if it would take more work and thought to think of another solution.

So, those are my most pressing thoughts.

My roommate and I are going with a group of friends tonight to watch the midnight premiere of Deathly Hallows (part 1), and I am uber excited! Tinged with a little nervousness as to what they are going to change.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Links to Life

Ready? Set: Go!!!

I am trying to learn a version of this song on the piano.

I get to teach two reading lessons to my Field Experience class, and the little reading the Teacher gave me is about these.

I love this painting.
oh, and this one too!

I am into crocheting. I've made a blanket, scarf, fingerless glove, 1 sock, and a Bible case in the past two months. I have yarn to make another scarf, and more yarn for more fingerless gloves.

I rediscovered Newsboys this weekend. There are several songs I refellinlove with, and these are some of them:
Your Love Is Better Than Life
Something Beautiful
Wherever We Go

I went to a book sale Saturday, left $19.50 there, and came away with 17 books.

Since the first day of NaNoWriMo, I have not added ANY words to my novel. Hopefully I'll have time this week, because I really like the plot line.

We watched this video in my Intro To Fine Arts class... its kinda creepy, and kinda cool

Monday, November 01, 2010

Harry Potter and Order of the Pheonix by J. K. Rowling

The plot has thickened, and Harry has a ton more responsibility in and at the end of this book. I liked that we got to see Ron get some special treatment (thought I wish he would have used his power a little more), and Hermione grew a bit too. I also appreciated the new dimension and growth given to some of the supporting characters.

But, parts of Harry bugs me. Sure, he is only 15, and sure he has some right to be upset, but it seems to me he overreacts quite a bit. Maybe its because I'm so much older than he is (okay, less than 5 years older, but still. Thats a lot of time), and things that are a big deal to him aren't a big deal to me. Maybe its because I've never experienced anything like what he went through in this book that I don't understand. Either way, Harry seems to have some anger management issues.

Also. Some of the characters discussed a bit about how he likes to be the hero. At first, I didn't agree with them. I thought it was a good quality  to want to save endangered lives. And its not like he looked for these opportunities. But although I disagree with them about that, I see a different flaw. I don't think its bad that he wants to keep what is left of his family and friends, but he keeps trying to do it alone or nearly alone. He doesn't do this solely because he thinks they wont really be any help, but because he doesn't think he needs the extra help. And thats a problem. He gets so cuaght up in wantig to save lives, he doesn't stop to consider his plans, or anything for that matter. He just rushes into things feet and wand first, mind last.

And its never good to leave your mind behind.

In the next few books, I hope for some growth. I hope Harry learns to control his emotions, and think before he acts. I hope Hermione figures out how to use her knowledge and recall abilities to fight Lord V. , and how to properly use her influence. And I hope Ron learns to stand up, make his oppinion known, and to stand up for it.

As a side note, I'd love to hear what you, my readers, think about the treatment of house elves to this point.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Psalm 19:13-14

Keep your servant also from hidden sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, inocent of great transgression. May the words of m mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sister and Song

Maggie, over at My Utopia (who, if you didn't catch it, is my lil' sister), posted last week about some songs and the lies they feed us. Only, when looking at them in context, maybe they all aren't such lies. After reading HER POST, I've got new motivation to listen to the lyrics (and I mean really listen) to my favorite songs and what they mean. I suggest you do the same.
I also suggest you read HER POST, because its really pretty good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

how can death look so beautiful?

the leaves are dying. not a quick, or silent death either. its prolonged, and slow. Each day a little of their green life is sucked out of them, and they shout in pain. their pain looks like yellow, and orange, and red, and brown. and sometimes when they are half dead, they fall. they land gently enough on the cool, hard ground- only to be trampled on by un-noticing flip-flops, tennis shoes, boots, and high heals.
yet, though I know that the tree's only friends for the past seven months straight (who have always been there for the tree, who have never thought to leave) the poor tree's only friends are dying (preparing to leave the tree all alone, hoping that someday the tree will at least have new friends. Which, most likely it will, but how can the poor leaves know for sure) they are dying, slowly, painfully- I know all this, yet I can't help myself in thinking the leaves are beautiful.

some trees have such stark contrast against the clear blue fall sky, their yellow leaves seeming to pop. some seem elegant, and classic, because their deep orange and the tree's brown give it that air. Some seem Stately, and Important, and Dignified- that's the only way I can think to describe the deep burgundy and red leaves. Some leaves seem confused, childish, (and more beautiful, somehow) because they have some of each color in almost every leaf. Some trees seem to glow, the burgundy on the outermost leaves, and an orange color closer to the tree's life source (I think these are called Maple). some trees have already begun to mourn, already they have lost their friends.
But they've been through this before, the poor trees. (is pain worse because you knew it was coming?). They knew it was coming, they knew their happy, hydrated green friends would die away at some point. But they know to be patient and wait until spring when new leaves will come to live. The trees try not to think about loosing these friends, it would be altogether too much. And to keep the leaves from being afraid, the trees won't tell them what is coming. It would be too much for their little hearts.
but now, as i look out my window and as i walk to class, i can't help but think that these fall leaves are beautiful.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm on Fall Break.

My roommate and I have a ton of plans- its going to be a great weekend.

One of those plans was for me to read to her while she drove. I was going to read from her favorite seriese. So, today I stopped by the library to check out the book. I've figured out the campus' system for shelving books- quite a bit different from what I'm used to, so I knew exactly where to find the books. But I get to the right section, and the book isn't there. Its already been checked out!

So much for plans.

We ended up making a stop at a store for a gift. Across the isle were a bunch of books for sale. We looked hopefully, and sure enough it was! We bought it, and within a few minutes of the trip I was reading aloud, trying not to stumble over words I had never seen, and trying to read fluently. And, for those of you who don't know, when there are words you don't know, and you've never read the text before, reading fluently can be quite a task.

But I managed. And my roommate was gracious, not getting impatient as I tried to sound out words like a third grader. So far, I've read for two hours to her. And loved it!

I love reading out loud...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jeremiah 9:23-24

This is what the Lord says:
"let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight"
declares the Lord.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Psalm 66:1-4, 16

Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you, they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." Selah Come and listen, all you who fear God. Let me tell you what he has done for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

around campus

I am crocheting a blanket- its a greenish color. I tried winding the scans of yarn into balls while I read.

Plant with GIANT leaves

I have NO idea why parts of this shrub are dead, and others parts are fully alive...

Most of the flowers in this section of garden are pink- but a few are blue, and even fewer are purple.  I love that bees polinate flowers the 'wrong' colors :)

A giant crane came and took the pointed roof off our clock tower...
giant pumpkin in my dorm's lobby. Yes, it is real.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I got the idea from Erin, who got it from Julia. And it looks like Julia got it from Jessica.
I adapted the recipe. Jessica mentioned her recipe made entirely too much starch, so I cut it by four.
This is the recipe I used:

1/16 cup corn starch
1/8 cup cold water
1 cup hot/boiling water

Mix cold water and starch together. Add hot/boiling water, stir.

Thats it. I know, really simple!
So, you want to know what my roommate and I did with this recipe?
We coated it onto fabric we had already cut out (with a paintbrush). Then, we put the soaking fabric on the wall, and pressed all the bubbles out. We caught the starchy drips with a papertowl.

And it looks like this: