Gladiolus // feat. As I Am – Hillsong Young And Free

I’m living in a grace where everything is more than I imagined

Where what is undeserved is freely given

All my regrets and my failures

All of my wrongs have been left at the cross

Now all that remains is the Father’s love

Oh Lord, You take me as I am

Over and over, You call me Yours again

You see it all, still You want me

Your kindness and mercy remind me how You love me

As I am

So let us be together seated at Your table in communion

Oh, everyone is equal in Your presence

‘Cause where I am from or where I’ve been

The way that I’ve lived or the colour of skin

Nothing will change how the Father loves me

As I Am – Hillsong Young & Free


What have you been listening to recently? What is your favorite song or album that has dropped this summer? What are you hoping to do before school starts? (Or has school already started for you?)

Disney+ Favorites // Summer 2020 // Part 2

Hey Everyone.

I am excited to be back with part 2 of my Disney+ favorites! I have really enjoyed having access to so many of my favorite classic movies (and Hamilton!) through Disney+, I had no idea how many of my favorite movies were either Disney movies or made by companies owned by Disney. 😀


Hamilton in Los Angeles | Broadway Direct

Rating: PG-13

Genres: Musical, Historical

Well, of course I could not leave my beloved Hamilton off this list. With the exception of that one specific scene, you probably know which one I am thinking of, it is an incredibly enjoyable work of art. Every time I watch Hamilton I am blown away by the beauty of the voices, Phillipa Soo in particular, her voice is out of this world and how she somehow makes it seem completely effortless, it is just amazing. In some ways Hamilton was not what I expected, for one thing I didn’t realize, until right before watching it, that there was no dialogue but after watching parts of it multiple times I came to apprect how much the visual adds to the music. All that to say, I am definitely a Hamilton fan.


Rating: PG

Genres: Musical

When I first watched Mary Poppins Returns I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. In a way it felt disloyal to Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins to love Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins. After listening to the soundtrack a handful of times and re-watching it, I realized that I could love both movies. To be perfectly honest, other than the sad lack of Julie Andrews, I prefer Mary Poppins Returns to Mary Poppins. It is wonderful movie to watch and enjoy as a family.


Rating: PG

Genres: Musical

What’s not to love about the fun songs and colorful dance numbers of High School Musical 2? It is the perfect movie to watch in the dead of winter when all you want is some warm sunshine and fun. I personally think that in this case the sequel far surpasses the original.


Disney Is Remaking Its 1973 Animated Classic 'Robin Hood' For Disney+

Rating: G

Genres: Animated Classic

Out of all of the animated Disney classics this movie is quite possibly my favorite. I love it all! The dashing fox Robin courting his beloved Marian, the wonderfully hilarious cast of characters, terrible Prince John and of course you can’t forget the gold coins.


Rating: PG

Genres: Historical, Horse Racing

Secretariat is probably my favorite horse movie. Unlike all most other horse movies the horse doesn’t die! I love Penny and the fact that she doesn’t let the people who criticize her and her actions as a race horse owner overwhelm the fact that she knows she can do it, survive and thrive in a male dominated industry. This is a movie I would recommend to anyone who enjoys horse movies and movies based on true stories.


Sister Act 2 (1993) » Wisconsin Union

Rating: PG

Genres: Musical, Comedy

Sister Act and Sister Act 2 both have places on my unwritten all-time-favorite-movies list. I love Whoopi Goldberg and all the kids, the nuns and the music. By the end of the movie the choir sounds absolutely amazing and their version of Joyful, Joyful is incredible. Sister Act 2 is also, in my opinion, more kid friendly than Sister Act, another point in its favor.


Rating: PG

Genres: Fantasy, Action-Adventure

This movie is another one on my all-time-favorite-movies list. It may surprise you to learn that the White Witch is my favorite character, with Aslan coming in a very close second. what can I say, I love well-played and written female villians. Although I know of people who love the books and strongly dislike the movies, I think that loving both is possible. The books and movies are both wonderful and enjoyable in completely different ways.


Rating: PG

Genres: Musical, Classic, Historical

Considering the fact that by now I am sure you have caught on to the fact that I am a major Julie Andrews fan, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love The Sound Of Music. Although as I have gotten older I have come to recognize some issues with the movie (Sixteen Going On Seventeen anyone?) it remains a beloved part of my younger childhood memories and Julie Andrews’ voice continues to amaze me.


Rating: PG

Genre: Remake, Family, Comedy

I think I have parts of this movie memorized, my younger siblings went through this phase where they watched it like three times in five days. Somehow I still enjoy it. It is funny and sweet, Meredith is terrible and I love the parents for some reason. Parent Trap (1998) is another fun family movie that everyone will enjoy, at varying levels.


Rating: PG

Genre: Family, Fairy Tale, Adventure, Comedy

I love Tangled. I mean, think about Rapunzel’s frying pan and Maximus! How could I not love it. Also Eugene is easily the best guy any princess could fall in love with. 😂


Which of these movies have you seen? Any thoughts or favorites? (Who else is excited about Mulan coming to Disney+!?)

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth // A Book Review

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth

Title: Ivy Introspective

Author: Kellyn Roth

Publication Date: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts: 

Wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was! Unlike The Dressmaker’s Secret, I really enjoyed this story. That said, there were some issues for me.

First, let’s talk about the characters. Unlike Alice, who I personally felt was rather wooden at times, Ivy is a beautiful and relatable character. Her struggles with anxiety and other mental difficulties felt very human and real. My only complaint about Ivy is that at times she was slightly too sweet. Violet, do I even have to explain why I love her? After all, she is a moody bookworm who loves music! I can’t forget Jody, because what’s not to like about a sweet and smiley guy with an amazing accent!?

I loved the setting, in the wild Scottish moors. The descriptions of the gardens and brooks surrounding McClare House was beautiful and I could easily imagine it all. Although the historical aspect seemed lacking in depth, the setting made up for it.

Now for the issues, I can’t ignore them forever. Starting with Nora, I found her to be a weak character. I understand that she was discovering what it meant to be out from under the fist of a cruel man, but she just was watery in an unexplainable way.

My second major issue was how marriage was viewed and discussed. As you may or may not know, I firmly believe that men and women are equals in every way and I believe that a marriage should be an equal partnership. If you believe differently that aspect of this story obviously won’t bother you, but for me it is a problem that leads to another problem that is discussed among readers of Christian historical fiction. Is it historically inaccurate to have female MCs who have feminist mindsets before the term feminist even existed? I’ll let you think about that while I finish this review.

All that to say, I really enjoyed reading Ivy Introspective and I am looking forward to reading book three of The Chronicles of Alice And Ivy.

“They ignored her, caught up in their grown-up world, caught up in their moving lives that rushed past Ivy with fearless abandon. Far above her, far away from her.” – Kellyn Roth


Have you read Ivy Introspective? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Disney+ Favorites // Summer 2020 // Part 1

Hey Everyone.

I’ve been wanting to share some of my Disney+ favorites for a while now. I always enjoy posts about what other bloggers are into watching at that point in time and I’m always on the lookout for something new, so I thought that it might be fun to share my own list with you all. I know that most of us have probably spent more time then we are proud of watching things this summer (I certainly am not proud of it), but finding things that do not make you feel like you just lost about a hundred brain cells after watching is always a treat.

So let’s get started. I’ve included a variety of movies and shows that I would recommend to different age groups, so not all of these recommendations are appropriate for all of my readers. 🙂


Watch Marvel's Agent Carter | Disney+

Rating: PG-13

Genres: Strong Female Characters, Action, Post-WW2

Agent Carter has a completely different feel than all of the Marvel movies. It is funny at times, almost cringe-worthy at others and impressive as well. Peggy Carter is amazing, easily one of my favorite female MCU characters. She is strong, constantly underestimated and inspiring. I must say that every time she fights in a skirt and heels I’m amazed, she is incredibly skilled.


Shakespeare Theatre Company | Moana - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Rating: PG

Genres: Strong Female Characters, Adventure, Friendship

Moana, what can I say? It is definitely my all-time favorite animated Disney movie. The focus on the ocean, a young female heroine who doesn’t need a prince, a hilarious demigod and incredible music (that happens to be written by Lin-Manuel Miranda). Really what’s not to like? When the day comes that a Moana 2 movie is announced I will literally squeal. 😀


Three Random Thoughts On Cheaper By The Dozen | scoopsmentalpropaganda

Rating: PG

Genres: Family, Comedy

My family loves this movie and we have watched it many times. It is a funny and largely positive story about a large family, something that is rare. Although it is rather unrealistic at times, it is surprisingly accurate at others. Constant cleaning and everything is still a mess, yelling and crazy kids, good sibling relationships, beating up the oldest sister’s boyfriend, it’s fun to watch over and over again. (And don’t forget the adorable twin boys, I love them. 😀)


Maleficent | Official Website | Disney Movies

Rating: PG

Genres: Strong Female Characters, Fantasy

This movie is just so unique feeling, so different seeming then most Disney movies. The The characters are interesting and I absolutely love Maleficent, for all her issues. I love fairytale retellings that are told from a different point of view than typical, and Maleficent does just that. Something about Maleficent just pulls you into her story, she is elegant, majestic and darkly powerful. Maleficent and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil are two of my favorite live-action Disney movies.


Black Panther (2018) - IMDb

Rating: PG-13

Genres: Action, Strong Female Characters, Fantasy

What’s not to love about Black Panther? An amazing hero, incredible women warriors and a beautiful hidden country. I love it all.


www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/170620/p1706...

Rating: Pg-13

Genres: Action

Tony Stark, he is either my favorite or second favorite male MCU character. His character growth, his arrogance (lol) and his suits. Sure he has more than his share of issues, but he is mostly reformed. And I can’t forget Pepper, she is tough and doesn’t let Tony walk over her despite her attraction to him. She is really the only one who can actually tell him off and partly get away with it. (I really need to rewatch this movie.)


www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/14596224/p14...

Rating: PG

Genres: Remake, Musical, Family

Aladdin is full of fun and catchy music and exciting and colorful dance numbers. As someone who enjoys Disney’s live-action remakes, I loved how this movie was done, with the exception of Jasmine’s song Speechless. I found it disappointingly weak, sure the words were great, the actress’ delivery just left much to be desired in my mind. That said this is a great family movie with great music.


Star Wars Rebels TV Show: News, Videos, Full Episodes and More ...

Rating: PG

Genres: Action, Science-Fiction, Kids

I am not a Star Wars person and I actually dislike most of the movies and the majority of the characters. For some reason though, I enjoyed watching bits and pieces of Star Wars Rebels. Not exactly a glowing recommendation, but my siblings really liked it and I didn’t mind it.


Thor Ragnarok Movie Poster Poster Print - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

Rating: PG-13

Genres: Action, Science-Fiction, Female Villains

I equal parts love and hate this movie. Hela is amazing and probably my favorite MCU villain. I love the parts with her in it. The Grandmaster is terrible and I could not like him in any way. He actually kinda ruined the movie for me, but Hela partly saved it, so……


Saving Mr. Banks | Official Website | Disney Movies

Rating: PG-13

Genres: Historical, Drama

Emma Thompson is perfect as P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks is a wonderful Walt Disney. The parts of the movie with the two of them are amazing, I’m less of a fan of the flashbacks, though.


Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke - Mary Poppins - Amazon.com Music

Rating: G

Genres: Fantasy, Family, Musical

Julie Andrews is one of my all time favorite actresses, so that puts Mary Poppins on my favorites list. The music is wonderful and so classic, personally I’m partial to A Spoonful of Sugar and Sister Suffragette. The bank scene is slightly creepy, but otherwise this is a great movie to watch with your younger siblings (or on your own).


Amazon.com: Watch The Parent Trap (1961) | Prime Video

Rating: PG

Genre: Comedy, Classic, Family

When I first saw this movie, I loved it. I still love it, I just prefer the “newer” version, with one exception, the drama surrounding the long-awaited meeting of the twins parents. Their meeting is perfectly hilarious, rather painful and delightfully dramatic. Haley Mills, who plays the twins, is probably my least favorite part of the movie, but I still find it enjoyable. 😀


Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. I really enjoyed putting this together and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.

Do you have a favorite of these movies? Thoughts about any of them? Any you haven’t seen? Do you have any Disney+ recommendations for me?

Interesting And Inspiring Women: Virginia Hall

Hey Everyone.

I hope that you are all staying healthy and at least relatively sane during this difficult time. Today I have something a bit different to share with you all. I have for a long while now been thinking about doing some sort of series about women who I have spent time learning about and have found interesting and inspiring. The first woman who I have written about is Virginia Hall. You won’t regret spending the time to read through this (very long) post about her. 😀


A Woman Of No Importance': American Spy Virginia Hall Finally Gets ...
Virginia Hall

Virginia Hall was a remarkable woman with a fascinating story. Contrary how most people viewed her, Virginia Hall was an extremely important woman. She is a classic example of how women and their accomplishments have not been valued throughout history. Virginia played a part in the fight to win WWII by working to free France from Hitler’s clutches.

Virginia’s childhood was mostly happy and easy. She had a loving stepfather, a caring if particular mother and an older brother. Virginia was an outdoorswoman and an excellent markswoman. As she grew older, she became discontent with what her mother wanted her to do with her life, which was to marry a wealthy man and increase the family’s social standing. Virginia wanted more out of life and her solution was to go to Europe. Virginia spent several years in Europe as a young woman. She fell further in love with her “second country” France and enjoyed the freedom of the lifestyle offered to her there. Virginia’s time in France increased her fluency in French, a skill that would serve her well later in life.

Virginia returned home right before World War II began. Her dream was to become an ambassador. This was sadly impossible due to the fact that women at the time were not allowed to be ambassadors. Virginia, who was desperate to do something worked a series of desk jobs in different parts of the government. On one of these assignments she was sent to Indonesia. 

While Virginia was in Indonesia, she went shooting multiple times. On one of these occasions she seriously injured herself. After shooting on one occasion, Virginia tripped and fired a blank into her leg. The wound quickly got infected, it got so bad that for some time they were not sure that Virginia was going to make it. Amazingly Virginia did pull through, but she lost her leg in the process. For the rest of her life Virginia had a prosthetic leg that she called Cuthbert.

As Virginia was recovering, the war was gathering in momentum. When Virginia was fully recovered she decided that she was done sitting behind a desk. The closest a woman got to the battlefields was through nursing or other medical work. Virginia did not have any training as a nurse and was uninterested in receiving any training. So Virginia did the only other thing that was available to her at the time, she began driving ambulances, helping those fighting on the front lines in Europe. She drove under extremely intense conditions and was braver and more determined than her fellow ambulance drivers. 

At some point during Virginia’s time as an ambulance driver, she was approached by a man who offered to put her in touch with someone who he thought could use her skills. At first Virginia was unwilling to pursue this opportunity, but eventually she decided to use the contact information given too her. Through those contacts she became connected to Baker Street, the British Intelligence agency who was trying to help stir resistance in France.

After Virginia received basic training she was sent to Paris undercover as an American journalist. For the first year or so of the time that Virginia was in France she wrote articles and sent them to Baker Street to uphold the cover. Virginia’s goal was to find people willing to help in the fight to liberate France from Hitler and Germany. She very carefully began to contact and find people willing to aid her and their country. These people helped with many things, such as providing safe houses and forging needed papers.

Very quickly Virginia established herself as a successful and superior agent. Her fellow male agents time and again found themselves in trouble due to their own stupidity. These agents often drank heavily due to the constant stress of their lives, gambled away money that was not their own and also took mistresses. These women often had loose lips and the alcohol made these men spill information. Virginia was extremely private and careful, preventing these common mistakes.

Virginia worked hard during her time in France. She had setbacks, had to do difficult things and at times end fellow agents’ or others’, who were a liability to everything she was working towards, lives. Virginia lived in a constant state of stress and relied heavily on sleeping pills. Despite the setbacks and occasional mistakes everyone who worked with Virginia admired and respected her. One man who worked with her said that Virginia’s “amazing personality, integrity and enthusiasm was an example and inspiration for us all”.

Virginia helped British and American soldiers leave and enter France safely. She also lead multiple jailbreaks to free British and American soldiers and French resistance fighters. After working for years to the benefit of the Allies, at the end of the war, Virginia returned to the United States. Virginia later became one of the first women to join the CIA, sadly this was not everything that she hoped it would be and she retired after a series of different jobs within the CIA. While Virginia was part of the CIA she was once again not appreciated and her skills were not taken advantage of. Instead agents were taught and led by young wealthy men without any experience.

Virginia died on July 8, 1982, she was seventy-six. Virginia’s health had gone downhill as she got older, leading to her quiet death in 1982. This was a quiet ending to a life that at many times was disappointing, but also was extremely full of adventure at other times.

Source: A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by  Sonia Purnell


I hope that you enjoyed learning a bit about Virginia Hall’s life. She was an remarkable woman in a male-dominated area of work. Virginia’s story is both inspiring and sad. It is truly incredible what she able to accomplish despite the fact that she had a prosthetic leg. Learning about the last years of Virginia’s life made me sad, there was so much she could have done, but was unable to do because she was a woman.

Had you ever heard of Virginia Hall? What did you find most interesting about her story?

Goodbye 2019

Hey Everyone.

I can’t believe that it is already time to write this post. How in the world is 2019 almost over? Where did this year go?

Last year I wrote this post at the end of the year, I shared some of the books and songs that I enjoyed and some of the highlights of my year. That isn’t really what I want to do this year, but I want to write something and share somethings with you all. So let’s just see how it goes!


I read a lot this year, over 300 books according to Goodreads. I read some great books and some terrible books. I found new authors and new books by my favorite authors. My love of reading and books has not diminished at all and if anything has continued to grow.

Music and singing have become a bigger part of my life this past year somehow. For most of my life we have had music playing almost constantly in the background of our life. Different albums of music seem to signify different seasons of our life.

Over the past few years I have been finding my own music and listening to it on my own. Every year I expand the music I listen to, finding new (to me) artists and falling in love with different songs. This year my love and appreciation for and fascination with music, specifically singing and different people’s’ voices has really grown and I hope it continues to grow.

I’ve spent hours and hours in the kitchen over this year. It was a lot of the same things made over and over again, but I did try some new recipes. One fun thing that we made was foil packs! They were delicious and really fun to make. I cooked more potatoes then I could ever count and still love them. Chocolate is still one of my favorite things and so are apples.

My family went through some hard stuff, just like everyone else, but things are good now. Having the difficult and sometimes horrible times helps us to appreciate the good and happy times. I am so thankful for my family, all of my siblings and my parents.

Blogging this school year has shifted from what it was last year. I’m not posting as regularly, but I still enjoy it. I”m still trying to figure out where I am going with it. I’ve posted lots of pictures and reviewed a bunch of books. I haven’t gained many new followers and I’m okay with that, it isn’t my goal any more and that has changed my perspective of blogging and what I post.


Well, there you have it, a bit of a recap of sorts of my year. I hope that it wasn’t to torturous to read. 😀

I would love to hear about your year! What are some highlights or things you have learned?

Goodbye Summer 2019//feat. Summer Goals Update

Hey Everyone!

I have had a wonderful summer. It was fun and chaotic and amazing. I spent hours every day reading and my love of books has only grown, which I didn’t even know was possible!

We took a day trip to the ocean with my amazing Tia and had an awesome time! I haven’t ever had so much fun at the ocean, we played in the waves and had a picnic lunch, it was just a wonderful day.

My dad grilled so many times this summer! I don’t think I will ever get tired of grilled food, just about everything just tastes so much better when you cook it on the grill. Summer squash and zucchini covered in olive oil with some garlic and salt grilled is to die for. I already miss it.

I fell in love with my hammock. Not necessarily for sleeping in, but definitely for reading, boondoggling, resting and listening to music in. It was where I did most of summertime reading.

My summer was sort of split in half, before camp and after camp. Before camp I was productive, I walked, jogged or something every day, I wrote and took pictures and baked. After camp I did my chores, made bread, slept, ate and read and read some more. Honestly I liked the second half of my summer best (who wouldn’t :), which surprises me, because usually I like to get things done and to be productive. I am glad that I let myself just relax and read for awhile, it made it easier in some ways to start school again.

All that said, let’s get on to finding out how I did on my summer goals!


Summer Goals Update

Life:

(1) Keep up with my very small outdoor chores. ✔️

(2) Take pictures daily or at least often. I took pictures in spurts, sometimes taking many and often taking none, so I guess I did it…sort of. ✔️

(3) Take walks three to four times a week. Nope, I definitely did not take walk daily or even weekly, after June.

(4) Spend time with our dogs. Sort of. I mean, I spent a couple of afternoons in our basement during thunderstorms, with one of our livestock guard dogs, Zip. ✔️

Blogging:

(1) Post weekly throughout the summer. X

(2) Post at least one book review. I posted the mini-reviews at the beginning of the summer. ✔️

(3) Write a farm tour post. X

(4) Introduce some of our animals to you all. X

Reading:

(1) Read and review three YA contemporary novels. I read three Ya contemporary novels, but I didn’t review them (at least not yet).

(2) Read about 75 to 100 books, bringing me close to completing my Goodreads reading challenge. I’m not exactly sure how many books I read this summer, bu I am currently at 210 books read in 2019 on Goodreads (which i think is pretty good :).

(3) Find a few new authors.✔️

(4) Read two biographies. X

(5) Write three actual book reviews. X

Summer Bucket-List

(1) Go to summer camp (I literally can’t wait)!✔️

(2) Take a day trip to the ocean. It was amazing! ✔️

(3) Have smores. I had smores a bunch of times. ✔️

(4) Sleep outside in my hammock at least twice. I did it! Once at camp and once with my siblings and Tia! ✔️

(5) Have friends visit our farm. ✔️

(6) Have a outdoor sleepover with my closest friend and siblings. I’m counting sleeping in my hammock with my siblings!✔️

(7) Do a photo-shoot with my sister. X

(8) Watch the sunrise from our front yard. ✔️ (sort of)

(9) Watch the sun set on Kite Hill. X

(10) Make chocolate ice cream a few times. X


I am really excited to be getting back to blogging. This summer was a break I hadn’t realized I needed until I stopped. I am looking forward to getting back into blogging as this school year is starting, thanks for being patient and understanding when I didn’t do the all the posting I had hoped to.

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This year I am hoping and planning to be sharing more book related and more actual writing alongside of my photography. At the moment I thinking that I will be posting weekly, maybe a bit more as I post pictures from the summer.

I am really excited to be beginning my second year of blogging! Thank you to all of you who have been following me from the very beginning. I love reading and responding to your comments!

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How was your summer? What was a highlight of your summer? Has school started for you?

Poetry and Pictures

Hey Everyone!

I put this together the other day after reading through quite a few of of Emily Dickinson’s poems for school. I had to do some writing about her poems and I randomly thought that it would look cool to put pictures I had taken with one of her poems.

I hope you like this little demonstration of the fact that I do actually have some creativity in me. (Just kidding, well sort of kidding.)


Day’s Parlor by Emily Dickinson

Photography by Susana Wells-Tolley

The day came, slow till five o’clock,

       then sprang before the hills

like hindered rubies or the light

a sudden musket spills

       the purple could not keep the East

the sunrise shook from fold

       like breadths of topaz packed the night

       the lady just unrolled

the happy winds their timbrels shook

       the birds in docile rows

arranged themselves around their prince

       (of which the prince of those)

       the orchard sparkled like a Jew-

       how mighty’ t was, to stay

       a guest in this stupendous place,

       the parlor of the day!


So sorry this post is late (again)! Our internet has been extremely finicky recently. I am hoping to post at least one more time before taking a short blogging break at the end of school.

What did you think of this poem and these pictures? Did anything in the poem interest you or were you completely bored? Have you heard of Emily Dickinson? Have you read any of her other work?

Keeper Of The Lost City: Summary and Review

Hey Everyone!

I’m really excited to (finally) share this with you! I wrote this summary partially for school and partially to share with you. So let’s dive in.


Image result for keeper of the lost cities

Summary

Sophie has spent her whole life trying to stay under the radar, thinking that something is wrong with her. She is graduating from high school at twelve years old! There is also the fact that she has been hearing people’s thoughts since a mysterious accident that happened when she was five years old.

Sophie struggles with hearing people’s thoughts, especially her parent’s thoughts. Even though Sophie feels hurt when she hears her parents wishing in their thought that she could be more normal like her little sister, Amy, she never doubts that her parents love her. Overall Sophie is content with her life and she doesn’t imagine that things could or would ever change for the better.

Sophie’s parents are angry and worried when an article is published about her, calling Sophie a child prodigy. They have always encouraged her to not attract attention so it isn’t surprising that they are worried about having attention brought to her.

When Sophie goes on a field trip with her class to a museum, she is surprised when a mysterious older boy named Fitz, whom she has never met before, starts talking to her. Sophie’s surprise soon turns to worry when he begins asking her questions about herself.

Fitz is about to leave, seemingly disappointed, when a group of kids walks through the museum doors. When both Sophie and Fitz react to all of the thoughts slamming into their minds, they are shocked. Realizing that they both hear the thoughts.

When Fitz tells her that he and his father have been searching for her for years and shocks her with the news that she is an elf, Sophie does the only logical thing, she runs. When Fitz catches up to her he takes her to the place that he says is the elves’ capital city. Sophie is blown away by the obvious wealth and incredible beauty of this place where Fitz says she belongs.

When Sophie later meets Fitz’s father, Alden, he tells her that she will need to come live in the Lost Cities. Sophie is heartbroken when she learns she must leave her family and home behind, but happy to finally belong somewhere.

This wonderful first book of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series is full to overflowing with adventures and surprises as Sophie adjusts to her new home and life in the Lost Cities.


Review/My Thoughts on this book (oh wait, isn’t that a review?)

I first saw this series on Goodreads, since most of my Goodreads friends were reading and really enjoying it. Then I talked to a couple friends about it and they loved it too, so I thought why not give it a try.

I am so glad that I tried them! I love this series so much, now. I’m in the middle of re-reading them, even though I just completed the series a few months ago. My siblings love this series as well and we even got our grandma reading them (she really likes them and enjoys discussing them with us all the time).

The books are all so interesting and filled with the right balance of action and normal life (if you can call Sophie’s life normal). Shannon Messenger amazes me with her incredible fictional world and her ability to give it so much depth and history. Shannon’s characters are wonderful and so realistic and easy to relate to.

Shannon somehow makes this fantasy series seem not like fantasy at all. She makes you feel that everything that happens to her characters is real and could happen to you, that you could wake up tomorrow morning to Fitz light-leaping into your room.

I highly recommend these books to anyone and everyone. Even if you aren’t a fantasy person they are worth giving a try.


Well. There you go. I hope you enjoyed reading this! 😀

Have you read any of the Keeper of the Lost Cities books? Are you thinking about giving them a try after reading this?

Treasuring Our Senses!

Hey Everyone!

Recently in my health class we were learning about our senses, a bit more in depth then what we all learned in kindergarten. I found it really interesting so I decided to write this post. (Also it makes my mom really happy that I am posting something I learned in school.) 😀

I am also including in this post some pictures that I took when I went on a snowy walk the other day.


SIGHT

I think that our sight is probably the most important sense. Almost everything we do uses our eyes in some capacity. We base so much off of what we see.

The thing that I found most interesting about our eyes was learning that we actually cry more then one type of tear! The make up of tears that we cry when in pain is different from when we cry emotional tears! Isn’t that amazing? I had no idea.

I know some people seem to feel better after crying (personally I don’t, but you might) and I was really surprised to learn that there is a reason that they feel better. The chemicals and hormones in tears actually make them feel better! After learning that I guess that I need to be more understanding of people in my life who cry much more frequently then I do.

The other thing that we talked about was the importance of guarding our eyes, being careful about what we watch, read and look at. My parents have always really stressed the importance of this, and I still forget sometimes. So I thought I would remind all of you as well! Be careful that you only use your eyes in ways that are pleasing to the Lord!!!


HEARING

Our ears are incredible and the things that our brains and ears work together to produce are wonderful. When you actually take a couple minutes to think about all the different sounds that you recognize, wind, rain, bells, footsteps, creaking, hearts beating, throats clearing, voices, the list just goes on and on, you will be blown away!! At least I know I was.

I learned that our ears have 20,000 fibers that are quite a bit like piano strings! A piano has only 80 strings and think about all the sounds it can make! With 20,000 strings the possibilities for sound are practically endless.

I think that we don’t appreciate our hearing like we should, we just take it for granted. Recently I have come to appreciate my hearing more after reading Eleanor’s recent posts. It made me think about what I would do if I lost my hearing and how I would react. Spending time thinking about this has made me admire Eleanor more and really reminded me how thankful I should be for my hearing.

So next time you are listening to music or just using your ears (I know we are constantly using our ears, but still), think of Eleanor and others who cannot hear and remember to be thankful for your hearing!!!


TASTE

I love food, absolutely love it. I love buying the things that go into it at farmers markets (whatever we don’t produce ourselves), I love cooking it and then I love enjoying it and watching my family enjoy it. I’m really not sure that life would be worth living without being able taste food, especially chocolate. 😀

I thought that it was really interesting that when you are born you have 10,000 taste buds! They decrease and condense as you get older.

As I am sure you have noticed, when you eat and are stressed or nervous or scared everything seems to taste the same. I was surprised to learn that your saliva changes when you are scared, stressed or nervous and that it blocks the openings to your taste buds!


I know that this only covers the first three senses, I am probably going to do apart two at some point.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Which sense do you think is the most important? Or do you think they are all equally important? If you could only pick one sense to keep which would it be? If you had to choose one sense to give up, what would it be?