Monday, 30 June 2014

Liebster Award

Yep - another award.  What goes around comes around, right?  ;)

Anyway, this is not an award that I've done before, and the rules are slightly different.  It is called the Liebster Award, which is apparently German for "sweetest, pleasantest, dearest" so I assume it is for the blogs that you like the best.  I have been nominated twice for this one, so I shall kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and do them together.

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the award on your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog. (preferably their Liebster post)
  3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.  (and if you don't know of that many bloggers, nominate less.)
  5. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

So here goes.

Thanks muchly to +Clare Farrelly  from Clare's Spot  and +Abbey Rose  at Rosie's Treehouse for nominating me again.  (Despite my slightly sarcastic tone so far, I actually do really enjoy answering and setting questions, so my thanks really is sincere.  :D)

Eleven Random Facts about Me:

  • I am nineteen years old.  I don't know how I managed to make it so old, and sometimes I forget that time keeps marching on and I have lapses of thinking I am still fifteen.  (I don't know why - fifteen must have been a nice age.  :) )
  • I play the piano and the flute.
  • I have been in piano eisteddfods, and despite it not being my strongest genre, I have only ever won solo 1 place prizes in the jazz and blues section.  Go figure.
  • My three favourite girls and boys names are Andrea Kate, Eva Maree, Charlotte Elise, Nathan John, Isaiah Allen and Micah Bruce.  There are many, many others.  ;)
  • I hate windy, blustery days.
  • I plan to become a doula next year.
  • At the moment, I am on a wheat-free, sugar-free and dairy-free diet.  (It's a long story...)  :D
  • I have written seven facts so far.  Eight now.
  • I am not an animal person.  At all. But I would love to live on a farm and have a horse (for riding) and chickens.  :)
  • I have a tendency to start things, and leave them started.  Other people would call this state "unfinished" but I prefer the term started.
  • I love war stories and movies.

Questions from Rosie:

1. What is an acute angle?
An acute angle is an angle that is between the measures of 0 and 90 degrees.

2. When you were young, did you dislike broccoli?
No.  I have never really disliked any food.  I have some that I would prefer notto eat, but I don't hate them.

3. When doing math, do you use a calculator?
I do for some questions.  That's the privilege of being in Advanced Mathematics.  :)

4. Of the past week, what has been your favourite memory?
I don't really know... perhaps just spending time with Elise on her 12th birthday.

5. Board games, card games, or video games?
I like all three when they are games that appeal to me.  :D

6. If you could have just one super power, what would it be?
Mary Poppin's Magic Room Cleaning Powers.  Does that count?  ;)

7. If you found $1,000 what would you do with it?
Return it.  
If I got to keep it, I would save it for my doula training.

8. Letters or emails?
Letters every time.  :D

9. What does the colour pink remind you of?

10. Do you enjoy fires in winter? Or water in summer?
Fires in winter.  :D

11. Make up your own question. I'm fresh out! XD
Can you come up with a question?

Questions from Clare:

1.What series of books did you used to like but now realize is pretty terrible?
The Boxcar Children.  Man!  Did I use to love that series?!!  It is sooooooo lame.  What's more, every one of the ninty-something books is set in the summer vacation, but the children are always 14, 12, 10, and 6.  Occasionally, Benny, the youngest, would go backwards a year...  yeah - they were pretty pathetic.

2.Who's your favourite Villain/Baddie?
I don't really think I have one, unless it's coyote.  XDD

3.What is your favourite place to be? (In bed is not allowed)
I absolutely love our friends farm out west.  It is so pretty and clean and serene.

4.What is your favorite memory?
Just one???  I have a lot of 'favourites' for different emotions they envoke, but I'll say my 18th birthday party, because it was so much fun and it was really special to catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while.

5.Can you solve a rubix cube?
Without cheating?  No.

6.Can you dance, if not do you want to learn?
I dance in my own fashion, but I would really like to learn tap and ballroom dancing.

7.Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone, and if so what was it?
When we were visiting friends over Easter, I was innocently doing my own little thing.  Their daughter, Bek, who is 14, is a stirrer, and likes to tease me for no apparent reason.  (Ok, exaggeration... I usually start it... ;) )  Somehow, Bek's younger sister got involved, and one night, she and I snuck into the bedroom and short-sheeted Bek's bed.  It was really funny - until Bek sewed the legs of my pj's together with a tiny machine stitch.  -_-

8.Flat tire or airplane?
Depends where I'm going.  I don't mind flying, but it would be ridiculous to fly from here to Woolworths.

9.If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
I would ask the older me, "Have you trusted the Lord, and has He provided?"  I believe, even though it can be hard to trust God in all things, that he will always come through with the things we need, physical and spiritual, when we trust him for them.

10.When playing naughts and crosses which do you pick?
Crosses.  I don't know why...

11.Whats the last thing you drew a picture of?
*chokes*   Draw??!!  What's that?  I don't know...  ;)

I believe I will nominate three people because I do not know eleven bloggers who will do this kind of thing.  I shall nominate +Alice Farrelly , +Jane Farrelly  and +Zach S-B because his blog posts always make me laugh.  XD

Here are your questions.

  1. If your home were invaded by rodents, would you prefer mice or rats to deal with?
  2. Here is the word "Mozambique".  What springs to mind?
  3. What is your favourite adage?
  4. What are newspapers handy for?
  5. What would you do with an abactor?
  6. What was your favourite children's show when you were little?
  7. Do you like apples or pears better?
  8. Why am I struggling to think of half-decent questions?
  9.  I can bring tears to your eyes, resurrect the dead, make you smile, and reverse time, I form in an instant, but I last a life time. What am I?
  10. Do you like riddles?
  11. Do you prefer a more modern or rustic, vintage look?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Joy's Blog Birthday Party, Day 2 - Faith and Fantasy

Day two of +Joy C. 's blog birthday party!  This time, the theme was Faith and Fantasy.  Hopefully my answers are intelligible, as I haven't been feeling very well today. :)  Hope you enjoy it!

1.      Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books?
This is an interesting question.  :)  I don’t read heaps of fantasy, but not because I have issues with it particularly, I just haven’t really ‘done’ it.  Like all things however, there has to be a standard on how far the fantasy goes.  I think one of the problems with how we view fantasy today is that we often confuse fantasy with the spiritual world.  Fantasy, according to the dictionary, is anything imagined that is impossible or extremely unlikely.  I think a lot of Christians steer away from fantasy because of this confusion and the association of fantasy with books like Harry Potter and Twilight.  The difference is that, while vampires and magic spells may seem impossible, they are elements of the spiritual world and are not to be trifled with.  Compare that with a magical wardrobe that allows you to pass into another world, and you have something entirely different.  Imagination is fun!  You can be anyone you want to be, anywhere you want to be.  I think that is the beauty of fantasy novels – they take you places you would never have dreamed of on your own, so long as you set your guard against the dark side of he spiritual world that tries to creep in.
2.      Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.)
As I said, I haven’t read heaps of fantasy books, so I’ll have to say C. S. Lewis.  Also, while I wouldn’t call the whole series fantasy (the books take a more historical turn) I would say the first Ranger’s Apprentice book The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan is also on my (rather short!) list of favourites.  
3.      Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books?
That would be the first three books, because quite frankly, I have only read the first three books.  And have I ever watched the movies!  I love them!  (Save Prince Caspian – blerg!)
4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)?
I am afraid I am about to horrify the lovely host of this party and say that I have not read any of Tolkien’s works.  I believe Mum started to read The Hobbit to us older girls some time back, but we never got around to finishing it.
4.      Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia?
Since I have not read Tolkien, my cast goes to Lewis.  I really like Edmund in the books and the movies – he is so brave, but gentle too… and I will never forgive Lewis for making Susan bad.
5.      Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them.
Not many, I’m afraid.  Oh – I’ve read Redwall, which is about an abbey of peaceable mice that is attacked by Clooney the Scourge and his band of evil (and rather stupid) rats, stoats and weasels.  With loveable characters like Basil Stag Hare, Constance the Badger and Matthias, it is one that our entire family has enjoyed more than once.
6.      Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? 
I have read Pilgrim’s Progress.  I have always enjoyed retellings of things in such a way, that I have to think and define a meaning from it.  I think my favourite passage is a conversation between Christian and Faithful.  I love this passage because of the reminder of how we have grace under hrist, but were only condemned under the law of Moses.

Faithful: But, good brother, hear me out. So soon as the man overtook me, it was but a word and a blow; for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again I asked him wherefore he served me so. He said because of my secret inclining to Adam the First. And with that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down backward; so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So when I came to myself again I cried him mercy: but he said, I know not how to show mercy; and with that he knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that one came by and bid him forbear.
Christian: Who was that that bid him forbear?
Faithful: I did not know him at first: but as he went by, I perceived the holes in his hands and in his side: Then I concluded that he was our Lord. So I went up the hill.
Christian: That man that overtook you was Moses. He spareth none; neither knoweth he how to shew mercy to those that transgress the law.
Faithful: I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. ‘Twas he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that told me he would burn my house over my head if I stayed there.

7.      Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself?
I like Lucy in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  She is so cute (I have a soft spot for all children, but especially cute ones just melt my heart entirely!  ;) )  I also love her loyalty and bravery.
8.      Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!)
Narnia, every time!  :D
9.      What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and "fairy-tale-ish" like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien's?
As I haven’t read too much of the high-epi-fantasies, and I do really love fairy tales, I’ll say fairy tales.
10. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? 
I don’t know – I love heaps of them!  I am rather fond of Beauty and the Beast, probably because I played keyboard for the town’s musical of BATB a few years back.
11. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). 
Were you afraid we were all going to say Frozen?  ;)   I think the best movie adaption of a fairy tale is Ever After starring Drew Barrymore. 
12. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :).
Aslan from LWW (I think that reason is obvious!)

13. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you've either watched or read?
It’s really sad in LWW movie when Peter, Susan and Lucy think that Edmund has died on the battle field.  :(
14. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you're not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead).
Not having read LOTR… :)
Mum read LWW to me and my next sister when I was about 10 or 11, I think.  I remember huddling together under the covers in delicious terror when the witch killed Aslan.  We both made big wall posters based on the book which were pretty cool.
15. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from.
Ohhh!  I am a sucker for pretty clothes!  :D  Here goes!
I love the simplicity of the medieval thing that Susan has happening.

How gorgeous is this dress from Voyage of the Dawn Treader?!!

And this dress of Susan's is really pretty too.

16. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most?
You must be tired of this title now, but The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe remains one of the most powerful allegories to the mercy and sacrifice of Christ ever written.  To think that Christ, all powerful and holy, would step in for our sin just as Aslan did for Edmund, is absolutely mind blowing.

17. Favourite character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each)
I can’t choose between Edmund or Susan!

18. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series?
Lucy and Mr. Tumnus’s friendship is so cute.  :D

19. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity?
The witch is the most dreadful character ever.  I don't waste much sympathy on foes.  ;)
20. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). 
My favourite quotes from the LWW movie are from the beavers.  Oh, and this one from the kids.
Mr. Beaver: Come this way – I know Mr. Tumnus!
Susan: Wait!  What are we doing?
Peter: He said he knew the faun.
Susan: He’s a beaver – he shouldn’t be saying anything!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader has some hilarious moments as well, like this one:
Mother says I have an acute consitution, due to my intelligence.

21. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie?
The battle in Eragon is pretty epic.

22. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about.
I don’t know!!!  I can’t stand the romance between Susan and Caspian, mainly because she couldn’t stay in Narnia and had to leave, but still insisted on saying good bye to him ‘lover-style’.  ;) 
23. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian?
Dwarves are kinda cute creatures, but elves are weird.  :P

24. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). 
Tricky.  For some strange reason I have always had a soft spot for the fox in LWW.  I know he doesn’t have a big part – at all – but there’s just something about him.  Does he count???  ;)
25. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
I am planning to read Eragon, and maybe the Hobbit in the nearish future.  I am also hoping to read “Alice in Wonderland” to Rosie one day soon.

26. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
Pilgrim’s Progress is one that you can see straight through the writing to the author’s heart.  John Bunyan was so passionate about his personal walk with Christ and encouraging others in the faith that it just spills over in his book.
27. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
I don’t remember really… it was probably, LWW or Alice in Wonderland.
28. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre?

I don’t really get ‘inspired’ to read something as such – I tend to graze through my books, meandering here and there, starting this, finishing that.  If I picked up a fantasy book, I would probably read a few chapters, and if it didn’t grab me, I would probably put it down again (call me fickle, but that’s that.  :P).  As for films, I generally watch whatever Dad’s watching, so if that’s fantasy, I get a taste of it, and more often than not, depending on characters and plot, I’ll quite enjoy it.  :)  I think I outlined the pros and cons of fantasy in question one.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tag for Blog Birthday: Historical Classics

+Joy C.  over at Fullness of Joy is holding a week-long birthday party for her blog!  Part of the celebrations are tags about different genres of books, so I decided to be festive and join in.  :D  Check the tags out in the comments of  Fullness of Joy as well as the giveaway she is holding with lovely prizes from some sweet Etsy stores.  Anyway, here's my tag:  Historical Classics

1. Tell us  a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!
As you are reading my blog, you have probably figured out that my name is Emily!  :)  I am 19 years old and have one younger brother (9) and six lovely younger sisters ranging in age from 17 to 2 1/2 (nearly!).  I love connecting with people and socializing like the homeschooler I am.  ;)  I like cooking, housekeeping, babies, children, and classical music.  (As I type, I am listening to Bizet's opera - I'm not sure which one, but it is rather enjoyable.  :D)  Currently I am studying for my diploma in Liberal Arts (go look it up!) and net year I hope to do doula training along side a business course.  After that, I may go into naturopathy.

2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?
My favourite genre would have to be historical fiction.  I'm not sure why - perhaps because I love history, but I also love real life, which makes the historical part more real.

3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?
I do love classic literature!  Once I get into the style of it I can get quite carried away by the lilt of the language.  :)  I don't often read from 21st century authors, mainly because those I have tried usually end up terribly immoral.

4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era? 
I have always loved WW2 (and it's a toss up!), but I think I would have to say my ultimate favourite would be the pioneers and the advance westward.  I really admire the strength of especially the women - how they accompanied their husbands, were self-sustaining and raised their children.  I also love the fashion and the domestic arts of the times.  I would very much be happy to go and live then!

5.. List three of your favourite classic authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very early 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
Jane Austen is definately there - I'm not so big on some of her books (I hate Sense and Sensibility for some reason!) by Emma and Pride and Prejudice make up for everything else.  :)  Next would be Shakespeare (he just scrape in there!).  I have read a few of his plays and, once again, when I got into the swing and flow of the language, I really enjoyed it.  Some of them are genuinely funny - it just goes to show how real humour doesn't really change with time.   Luy Maud Montgomery would be my third.  I am not huge on some of the later Anne books, but the first two will ever remain dear to my child-heart.  :)  Also (because I can't stop at three, sorry Joy!  :P) Susan Coolidge is wonderful and beautiful too.  :)  And of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
I would have to say romance in a clean setting  :)  Although social is pretty good too.

7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself? 
I adore Katy Carr from Susan Coolidge's books.  I can relate to her a lot too as the eldest in a large family, wanting to by a loving, adored big sister (as well as being very tall, but that isbeside the point right now!  ;) )  Katy is so sweet and learns important lessons in achieving gentle womanhood, godliness, turning the other cheek, etc.

8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
I will only say one, and that is Mr. Darcy.  I just love the way he protects and dotes on his little sister and has such an upright character even when surrounded by fools and scoundrels.  He deserved Elizabeth.  :)

9.  List your favourite "classic" novels. . . (as this is a painful question, you may list more than one!)
Pride and Prejudice
What Katy Did (all of the books)
Little Women
I shall leav it there even though I could go on for quite some time! :D

10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?
The old BBC rendition of Pride and Prejudice is pretty much flawless in my opinion, so it definitely wins over the 'new' one.  Ummm... I like the old BBC Emma (I haven't seen the new one yet.)  Would you believe I can't think of any others - they'll come to me after I press the publish' button.  ;)

11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
Probably What Katy Did.  As I said before, I really admire Katy's character development, and Cousin Helen is gorgeous too.

12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.
This one was tricky as I have a tendency to fall in love with any and all historical costumes.
My first one is from the first season of Little House on the Prairie.  Although she only appears in "To See the World" (not to mention she is a ratbag of a character!) I loved Miss Mimi's dresses!  It was hard to capture a still shot of one of them, but this wasn't too bad.

I also really like Charlotte Lucas' silvery-grey dress from the BBC Pride and Prejudice.  I couldn't find a good 'full shot' but the bodice itself it very pretty.  Personally, I don't think Charlotte is plain - she's gorgeous!  :)

13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?  
Half the time, I think there were points being made, particularly in a social light.  I suppose it boils down to each individual author. 

14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
Can't choose and actual favourite but this is one of the best moments in Pride and Prejudice.

"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."  (Mr. Bennett)

15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
Probably Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist.  

16.  How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them?
Good question... Off the top of my head, I would say I have read about 4-5 Dickens books.  I wouldn't say I enthusiastically loved them, but I enjoyed them a lot.

17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskall?
Jane Austen all the way.  :D

18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
Can't say I've read heaps of those, but I am currently reading The Scarlet Pimpernel which I am quite enjoying.

19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton? 
I'll have to say Pride and Prejudice as I have never read North and South.  I tried, but I picked up the wrong "North and South" at the library.  Oops!  That makes my pick go to Mr. Darcy by default.

20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
I can't actually think of an answer to this question.  There's Elsie Dinsmore, of course, but I don't feel like going there right now.  :)  I can recall times where I have wondered about the back ground of particular authors, but I can't think of who they were at the moment.

21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre? 
I love Harriet Smith in Emma.  She is so sweet and trusting (to her undoing though it be!).  My favoutite quote of hers would be, "Is it mermaid, Miss Woodhouse?"  :D

22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Northanger Abbey,  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Pilgrim's Progress, Hind's Feet on High Places, and one or other of Dickens (I haven't decided yet!)

23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
I actually can't remember as I have been reading them for years!  It was probably Anne of Green Gables Or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm...

24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?
I would read a classic just because I want to read - they beat modern books by a long shot!  Which is why I think it is important for people today to read classics - most of the stuff published today is absolute junk, not to mention the style of English and the language is much better quality.