Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beastly Words on Lettered Backs

"Good morning, Pooh Bear, if it is a good morning, which I doubt." ~Eeyore
    Just in case you remember this, I said in my interview (See? I figured it out all my myself!) that I would be writing a book review. Well, this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and write a book review!
    At the risk of sounding like a dork (or shall we say that ship has sailed?) I am going to tell you that I read all the time. It's terrible. For Christmas I received two (TWO!) Barnes and Noble gift cards and promptly spent it a week later. Lemme tell ya, when I walked through those pearly gates with my plastic gold in hand, I fell into a deep coma and woke only when I had searched the whole store through.
    Well, anyway, since I've had the privilege of reading so many wonderful books, and assuming that you like to read also, since you chose to read this blog, I would like to tell you of a few I've read recently.
    The Dreamhouse Kings is a young adult series written by Robert Liparulo about a family who moves to a small town in California. In the first book House of Dark Shadows they buy a run down Victorian house in the middle of the woods regardless of the protests of 15 year-old Xander. The first time he sees the house he knows there's something not quite right with it. First of all, it looks creepy and he just can't shake the feeling that someone is watching them. Once inside the house, he notices that it also plays tricks with sounds, making noises seem to come from places other than where they really came from. After living there only two days, Xander and his younger brother David discover a secret door to a third floor hallway filled with doors to antechambers. Inside each of these antechambers is a single door that leads to different times and places. The five other books in the series deal with the family's fight for survival in this odd house where an assassin and his giant accomplice want them gone or dead.
    I really liked this series because the characters are so realistic. They actually get tired after almost being killed multiple times per day. Though this book is not openly "religious" they often mention a faith in the Lord and Xander asks some good questions about if God is really there. In the last book, Frenzy, it really is Jesus who helps them conquer their enemies. I did have a problem with that part, though. It just seemed kind of random and I hate to say it- cheesy. Other than a few times when trusting in God is mentioned, they never really ask God for help personally. That is all I will give away so I don't have to issue a SPOILER ALERT. I will still recommend this book to you. However, the characters are constantly being wounded, so if you are squeamish be warned. Robert Liparulo is such a good writer that he makes you feel as if you are being wounded along with them.
    Along the lines of books about creepy houses, I will also recommend the book House (creative, eh?) by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. Now this is a blatantly Christian supernatural thriller that keeps you on your toes the entire time. A husband and wife on their way to marriage counseling get stuck in a mansion out in the boondocks with another couple and can't get in contact with anyone things get seriously freaky. They find out that a serial killer is on the loose and they're the next victims of his sick demonic game. It's great, check it out!
When I am dead I hope it is said: "His sins were scarlet, but his books were read."
Breanna =)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An "Ah Ha!" Moment

So, the video finially uploaded! Enjoy our rambling, and our trying to act cool. (Wait we aren't acting...)



Vlogging... Hmm

(Totally unrelated picture but oh well)
So, remember way back when in a certain post that we mentioned the possibility of a vlog post... But sadly we have not been able to find a free video editing software (cause we're poor high school students) (though we do have jobs and/or are self employed) (but we're too cheap for our own good when it comes to that type of stuff and refuse to drop 100 bucks on video editing software we'll use once) (I probably didn't need to use all these "( )" things) But back to the main point... We're going to try to do single take videos (wish us luck haha!) then we'll upload them to our new youtube account, and embed them on the blog. (Note to self, teach Breanna how to embed videos)

In other news, the Road Trip! We leave Saturday! How incredibly exciting is that? There's soooo much to do before hand, such as, purchase new car charger for DVD Player, convince father to let us borrow the Laptop for the trip, pack, finish up homework, pack some more, get all the books I want to read on the trip, find all the movies we plan on watching, realize that I forgot some items so go back and pack even more, find suitable crafting for the trip, make lists of what else I need to remember (maybe I should just print off this blog post)

Okay that's enough of my insane rambling.


<3


Madeline



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Banana and the Beast



    My mom and I just finished reading an article in a homeschool newsletter that my family receives. It was about the benefits of filling your home with laughter and keeping your eyes open to the humor in situations. Not sarcastic humor, not mocking humor, but simple humor you can find within everyday life. Oftentimes we become so focused on pushing ourselves to be the best, and so concerned what other's think about us that life becomes almost a chore. We become "angsty" and ornery when things don't go exactly the way we want them to. Speaking from experience, public schools tends to pressure students so much that peers start to resemble angry baboons. We make fun of each other and replace respectful humor with sarcasm.


    By the way, God has such a good sense of humor. I mean, look at that face!
    Anyway, back on my high horse. We spend so much time at school where the atmosphere is tense that when we come home, we drag some of it with us. Take time to be with your family and laugh together! Don't make fun of each other, search out the funny moments in life. Don't worry, I know! I've been in public school! I do love homeschooling for the fact that you spend a lot of time with your family rather than at school with all of the peer pressure. The art of laughing at ourselves is something we need to develop. It shows humility and people will be attracted to that. Benjamin Franklin once said, "A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle."



    Did you know that studies show that people who laugh regularly heal faster and are generally more healthy? Laughing also burns calories. Hmmm...maybe that's America's problem. People don't know what gentle humor is anymore. I admit, I have a problem with this, too. Sometimes I say things, trying to be funny and distract from the fact that I don't have it all together most of the time and nobody gets the joke. On the other extremity, I do have a temper that needs to be controlled. I get all "wrapped up in my little bundle" that is myself that I forget to take joy in life.


    So that was my second attempt at understanding the ways of the world this month. Now that that's out of the way, I should tell you about the strange title of this post. Madeline and I were talking on the phone last week and the subject of ugly prom dresses came up. We ended up creating a nightmarish puffy, bright yellow, brown-spotted garment and decided that it would look just like an over-ripe banana; thus the Banana and the Beast.
    I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!
    
A merry heart does good like medicine. ~Proverbs 17:22

Breanna =)
This was my family's Christmas picture this year.
From left to right: me, my grandpa, & my mom 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Good (No, GREAT!) Year For Football

So my friends, I decend upon the keyboard once more to tell you that for our family except one bowl game loss (The Rose Bowl, WI vs TCU) it has been a fantastic year for football.




 First, Auburn goes undefeated to the BCS National Championship game and wins it (WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR EAGLE! HEY!)


 Then the Packers make it into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, battle their way through the playoff games, make it to the Super Bowl and WIN! GO PACK GO!
Here's a video of the crazy celebration when the Packers won. Turn your speakers DOWN (I scream like a human dog whistle) Sorry the lighting isn't the best

*Cue "We Are The Champions"*


Also, Aaron Rodgers (hello cutie!) won the MVP. Congrats Arron! You deserved it!






<3


Madeline



Be Still...







Touching on Breanna's previous post. I too have had the "What do I want to be when I grow up" worries. If you read the interview of myself you see that I joke about different jobs that I'd love to have when I'm older. (Sadly I believe a Spy is out because I don't know Farsi, Mandarin Chinese, or Russian) In all reality I have no idea what I want to be and I stress about it daily. Whenever that happens the first Bible verse that pops into my head is "Be Still, and know that I am God." Immediately I start questioning God...
"What if I don't get a good score on my ACT/SAT?"

"Be Still."


"What if I don't get into college at all?"

"Be Still."

"What if I get into college and flunk out?"

"Be Still."

"What if I finish college and don't get a job?"


"Be Still."

"What if (Worst of all) I finish college, find a job, and am single my whole life? Oh Gosh I can picture it now. I'm wearing elastic waist jeans, white (well they USED to be white) Reebok tennis shoes (Velcro) and an over sized sweatshirt with cats in mugs on it?" (Not that anything is bad about that it just isn't my style) Then the worst thought of all comes. "What if I become a cat lady? Who spends all her earnings on kitty litter and canned cat food?"

"Be Still."

"How am I supposed to "Be Still" Lord when my future seems so daunting?"

"Trust in the Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understamding my dear child."

"Trust, that's it? Okay Lord, I'll trust you. But I ask you please spare me from the cat lady thing... Or atleast make it dogs."

"Be Still my dear child."
<3
Madeline

End note: Hey friends, I'm sorry I've been MIA from the blog the past week and a half or so. My parents were out of town last weekend (superbowl weekend) so I stayed with some family friends (had a BLAST) but I also only had access to my phone blogger and I knew I wanted to place certain pictures in different places in the post, which is a feature that I do not have on the blog app. So I started writing this up sometime last week then I came down with a cold (ick ick ick) so I felt a bit under the weather and didn't feel to much like blogging. Also, I'm going to hopefully (except when I'm "Phone Blogging") going have a neat picture of a heart in all of my blog posts this month of February. If you'd like to contribute a photo and have a chance to have your photography featured in a post shoot me an email! Miss ya'll and I might even type up another post today just because I've been gone SOOOO long. See ya!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?



    Why does that question get harder and harder to answer as you approach high school graduation? We could answer it in a split second when we were little. Looking back, that was probably my favorite topic. (Next on the list was my birthday. What should we talk about? Oh! How about my birthday? That happened more often than it should have. I was a very self-centered child.)
    From age three to six there was never just one job that could satisfy me. I created this horrifyingly never-ending megajob and would tag on at least one more job each time I was asked what I wanted to be as an adult. At its peak it was something like a veterinarian-artist-nurse-firefighter-dancing-mommy. But, as I got older and more urbane I realized that one: it took about a half a minute to answer a simple question, so it might be time to cut down, and two: there is no possible way for a human to have so many occupations (unless you live in a small town-like me-and you volunteer for all of them). So my answer became "zookeeper". Obviously, this is much more sophisticated than my silly fantasies of holding six professions at once. I proudly held this title until around fifth grade when I began realizing that I loved to write. I've actually always enjoyed it- even when I was little. There was this series I wrote and illustrated when I was five. It was about a girl (strikingly similar to myself) and her everyday life and struggles. (Of course I didn't call it that, but that was what it was.) They were horrible, but I liked to write, so I wrote about what I knew... myself.... Well, I told you I was self-centered! So anyways, I was very certain that this was exactly what I would grow up to be one day and nobody could tell me otherwise.
    Up until last year.
    At my school, all ninth graders are required to take a careers class to "sort out their lives" and "plan ahead". Well, I object. After a confusing year filled with pointless quizzes and empty inspiring speeches, I've concluded that that class should only be an elective for juniors and seniors who are receiving letters from colleges and still don't have a clue what they want to go for. I didn't need that class and now it's messed up all my plans!
   So, now I'm two years away from graduating and I'm back to square one. No, actually I'm in the negative squares now, because I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I was in square one. I bet if I vacuumed out all of the crap crammed in my brain after sixteen years on this earth I'd have a new perspective on life. Too bad that's dangerous. I guess I didn't like the class because it made me second-guess my plans. Mr. Blank (we'll call him that to protect the innocent, although he's definitely guilty of screwing up my future! *melodramatic*) always stressed not to get into a career you will hate one day because it will make life miserable. I asked myself if being an author was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life so many times that I started to doubt if that was what I actually wanted to do. Next time someone makes me question my goals (especially if they're good ones- not if they're illegal or anything) I'm going to ignore them and trust the Lord for what He wants me to do. He knows me better than anyone else anyways and his plans are always for my best interest. I know that's the only way I'm gonna figure this one out.

Happy Superbowl weekend to our fellow Americans! We like you no matter who you're rooting for, we just like you a little bit more if it's for the Packers. ; )

Breanna

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11