December 31, 2008

The Year of a Rose

Wow, December 31st, New Years Eve! How fast the year has flown by yet again. Once again, here is my year in review:

Well, I shall be honest and say that in my humble opinion the best thing that happened to me in January was joining the Fairy Tale Novels Forum. I know my friends and relatives who consider forum's to be "frivolous" and "a waste of time" ("don't you have anything better to do?") will be rolling their eyes at this. But really, I have never once regretted joining the forum. Not once. I have met so many wonderful people, made so many wonderful and dear friends, and even learned some important lessons as a result. (Such as think before you type, I can talk much faster and better with the keyboard than with my mouth... which has had it's drawbacks.) I have really grown to love these people dearly, and I miss them horribly if I have to be away from the computer for days on end. Hopefully someday I shall get to meet most of them on earth, and all of them in heaven! Thank you soooo much Regina for writing your books and Elena for starting the forum which helped to bring all these fans closer together.

In Feb I did my very first dress re-modeling, with satisfying results. I took an old bridesmaids dress belonging to my mother, took off the whole bodice because the neckline was too low, made a new one and attatched it with out ruining the skirt. Yay! I then wore the finished product to our homeschooling groups annual Daddy-Daughter Ball.
Also in February, The Little Flowers Catholic Dance and Theatre Troupe began practices for our performance of Theodore Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ, which is music composed by Dubois featuring each of the seven last phrases the Jesus spoke on the cross. Our directress, Mrs. P, added a silent Passion play, which was acted out to the singing of the choir.

The Seven Last Words of Christ was performed very succesfully and movingly at two churches, with one performance on Palm Sunday. Lucky me was a guy in a beard. I actually had two roles, one as a member of 'The Mob' and the other as St. Jude the Apostle. (That's St. Jude, not Judas.) You can view a few pictures here. In the Last Supper scene, I am the apostle on the end left. (You, the veiwer's, left) For the first one or two practices, I hate hate hated being part of the angry mob, and I was furious with Mrs. P for picking someone who could play Jesus so well and convincingly even in sweat pants and a t-shirt. If you've never had to play the part of the angry mob, it is really tough being angry and wanting to kill Christ, while all the while you feel like crying, because the guy who was playing Christ did such a good job. It got easier after Mrs. P explained that the angrier and more blood-thirsty we looked, the more compassion the audience would feel for Christ and then they would be drawn closer to him. That helped a lot. But I still hated that beard I had to glue to my face. It was sooooo ITCHY!!!
Also in March, I turned Sweet 16! I actually got to celebrate it twice, since my birthday was on Holy Thursday. Due to it being a solemn day, I only opened cards on my actual birthday, and then had cake, preseants and all that on Easter Monday.
I also went to my very first opera!

The Holy Father visited America!!!! I was not able to make it out east, alas, but I was there in spirit and was able to view one of the Masses via television. What a wonderful blessing it was to see him, even if it was only on TV!
In April I also won a local poetry contest with a poem of mine entitled "I'm Off to War". I actually won two prizes, first place for the 10th Grade Division, and 2nd place overall. Very exciting!

Ooh, another big month! Well, first I joined in on my first group blog, The Fellowship of the Fairy Tale Forum. I am afraid though we aren't as good at updating it as often as we used to but well.. maybe I'll write another post either today or tomorrow.
Also in May I read Midnight Dancers, wrote the first ever review for it(!) and met Regina Doman at the ILCHC homeschooling conference!!!! It was my first time ever meeting an author, and getting to meet one of my favorites was wonderful! Also at the Conference, the Little Flowers Troupe performed with their Life and Liberty dances. Very fun as well!
Oh yes, and my family and I also went camping at a somewhat nearby State Park for a weekend with my mom's parents and her uncle. (My grandparents and great uncle!)

Hmm, well, let's see.... oh! My little brother Tiny Tim made his First Holy Communion and my sister Kathleen graduated from 8th Grade! Other than that and helping out with Vacation Bible school at my parish, nothing much happened.

For the first week in July I was at the Ave Cor Mariae Miles Jesue Summer Girls Camp (which, by the way, you can sign up now to go there this coming July. It's a lot of fun!) Camp is always such a blast, and this year I got to meet up again with Cap'n Coon and Miss Turner whom I hadn't seen in two years! Needless to say, I had loads of fun and I'm already looking forward to hopefully being able to go this year.
After my return home from camp, my family went camping again for a few days and a great time hiking and splashing in the river.

Hee hee, found out that Elenatintil is doing a student production film of The Shadow of the Bear!!! Was that ever exciting!!!!
Then I got to go and visit Vicki and Hannah!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! Our families all got to meet each other and we had tons of fun being piratey and listening to the Phantom of the Opera and shucking corn and playing games. My family and I also spent a few days at my dad's parent's lake house and I got to have my first try at skiing. Didn't go so well.. bruised my ankle and pulled a muscle in my arm. Ouch. And discovered I'm not afraid of speedboats anymore! Up until this past summer, the last time I was in a speedboat was when I was 5.

On Labor Day we hosted a campout at our house for people from our homeschooling group. Lots of fun, though very warm out. Campfire, stargazing, shooting stars, Blind Man's Bluff, balloon slingshots, running through the sprinkler... fun fun fun!
The following week was the annual county fair, an event greatly looked forward to in our home. We went two days this year and had a great time. I forget how many ribbon's I won, but it was a lot. (A certain sister of mine will sarcastically tell you that I won a million dollars and she got nothing. But both are an exageration.) We even got to see country music star Billy Currington! (300 feet away, but who cares?!)
About the same time that the remains of Hurricane Ike landed on the Midwest, Kathleen, Yaviel and I went back up to Vicki's house for a birthday sleepover! We went bowling and had a splendiferous time, in case you can't tell by the er, lovely photo on the left.


October - Fall! I prefer Autumn more, actually. Anyhow... we had our oh, 8th? annual Barn Party which was fun, as always. =) I got to go to my second Civil War reenactment which was fantastic and I dressed for the time period as well and went with friends, which made it even more fun!
Also got caught up in following politics, but that's too depressing so skip that. The weekend before the elections I helped my friend Miss Fishy - who organized this whole passing-out-flyers-thing - put pro-life voters guide's on cars in church parking lots. It felt good to be doing something, and even though McCain lost the election, I think those guides had to have had some impact with someone.

My one year anniversary of blogging!!! Yay! To think that it's been over a year, wow! Changed my blog name too - from "Lady of the Rose" to "A Rose in Bloom" - and I like this one ever so much better.
Uhhh.. trying to think, what else did I do in November? Hmm, well, can't think of anything, so I must not have done much!

Ugh, most of this month was running around all over the place. :P That and getting stuck on the road in snow storms. Performed in the 3rd annual Silent Nativity! (The pictures on Christmas Day were from there), I was a townsperson again, as well as the innkeeper. (There I am on the left)I named myself Hadassah this year and ah! We forgot to free the slaves!!!! NOOOO!!!! Oh dear, and Havilah won't be there Sunday! Ah! Oh dear. (Last year the townspeople freed the slaves of the Three Kings. Guess it won't happen this year!)
Ha ha, on our way home from a performance in the windy city, there was a big snowstorm, so we it took us three hours to get from the Windy City to where my grandparents live (normally it take 1 hour) and we weren't even half way home so all of us (minus my dad, who was at home) plus our friends who were in the car with us stayed at my grandparents house, because we had a performance close by the next day so why go five more hours home to just turn around again? That was a lot of fun. ;)
Here I am with my sisters,
In back: Me and Yaviel (the angel)
Front: Kathleen (with the beard) and Beccy Boo

And then here's me again with all my Sweet 16 friends!

So that is it for this year!!! I hope you all had a great 2008, and may 2009 be full of happiness, joy, peace and a trial or two to keep you sane and focused on Christ. Happy New Year!!!!

December 30, 2008

My Christmas Flower

I walk into my bedroom half an hour ago, look at my bookcase with my potted plants on top and suddenly I notice two purple flowers on my African Violet!

She hasn't had any flowers since about October/November and now, in the midst of winter she pops forth with two! I asked my sister Kathleen if she'd seen them before, and of course she replies "Oh yeah, I saw them sometime last week." I was like "WHAT??? Why didn't you tell me that Alice had flowers!???!?!?!?!?!??" Response: shrug.
So I am very excited with Alice's new flowers, they are so pretty! (Yes, I named her Alice - not *cough* after the Twilight character). I wonder what made them pop up? Christmas, or the change of scenery and temperatures? Alice used to be in the back hall by two doorways, but after it got colder I moved her to my bed room. So it's either warmer there, or maybe she likes water from the bathroom sink better then water from the filtered drinking tap.
Again, yes I named my plant. She looks like an Alice, don't you think? And don't worry, this is not my first plat I've named. I have two others, a some kind of green plant and an ivy plant. The green unknown plant is Fred. He was the first plant I got. Actually, his birthday is soon... and Holly is my ivy. ;) All three are very good friends and decorate the top of my book shelf nicely. I'm thinking of adding to my menagerie with maybe a baby pine tree, or something.
Feel free to leave your congratulations for Alice here and I shall pass them on to her!

EDIT: Ha ha! My 300th post!!!!

The Christmas Edition of Guess the Quote

I've had people asking for me to do another round of 'Guess the Quote' so I thought I'd comply and do it again - with a Christmas twist this time! All the quotes will be from favorite Christmas movies. If you want to do this on your blog as well, here are the rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to Internet Movie Database and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Put it in bold when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.
Have fun!

#1 - Yes, indeed. The Star of Christmas of Canterbury, one of the finest existing examples of sixth-century metalwork, given by St. Gregory the Great to the monks at Canterbury August 14, 592. This astonishing gold and silver five-point star later decorated the courts of King Edward the Confessor, William the Conqueror, and James the Lethargic before coming to rest at the church you see behind you in 1638. The star hasn't been publicly displayed since February 12, 1803, due to the perceived security risks from the reigns of King Charles the Greedy and Cedric the I'll-Eat-Anything-Star-Shaped!That's big news! - Remmirath The Star of Christmas

#2 - "Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?"
"You want me to kiss her, huh? "
"Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people" - Autumn Rose, Delaney, Laura, Vicki It's A Wonderful Life

#3 - "He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny."
"He does not!"
"He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare." - Rachel, Delaney, Trina A Christmas Story

#4 - "Bob! Are you okay?"
[upside down in the snow] "Mousetrap. "
"What? "
[still upside down in the snow] "I wanted to play 'Mousetrap.' You roll your dice, you move your mice. Nobody gets hurt." - Remmirath The Toy that Saved Christmas

#5 - "How many days have you come with us on this journey?"
"One hundred and four."
"And how many days have you complained about it?"
"One hundred and five. ... I am counting tomorrow." Yaviel The Nativity Story

#6 - "You're a little absent-minded, spirit."
"No, I am a LARGE absent-minded spirit." - Autumn Rose, CM & Eddie, Delaney, Laura, Rodger, Vicki A Muppet Christmas Carol

#7 - "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"
"Sure, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
"Lights, please.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
That's what Christmas is all about," - Autumn Rose, CM &Eddie, Delaney, Laura, Rodger, Fishie A Charlie Brown Christmas

#8 - "I am the official sentry of the Isle of Misfit toys."
"A jack-in-the-box for a sentry?"
"Yes. My name is... "
"Don't tell me: Jack."
"No, Charlie. That's why I'm a misfit toy. My name is all wrong. No child wants to play with a Charlie-In-The-Box so I had to come here." - Autumn Rose, Laura, Rodger, Vicki Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

#9 - "You've got to excuse him, sir. You see, he just came to life, and he doesn't know much about such things. "
"Oh, well, okay. If he just came to life. Move along! That silly snowman. Once they come to life, they don't know nothin'. Come to life?'" - Remmirath Frosty the Snowman

#10 - "How could we do this? We forgot him."
"We didn't forget him. We just miscounted."
"What kind of a mother am I?"
If it makes you feel any better, I forgot my reading glasses." - Rachel, Delaney, Laura, Rodger Home Alone

December 29, 2008

The Return of the Triumphant

All's well in the world of books! I was positively radiant, $45 in Barnes & Nobel's gift cards for Christmas!!!! Sheer rapture!!!! So we went there today and we also FINALLY went to... THE CHIROPRACTOR!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We haven't been there in two months or something, and we've tried to get there the past two weeks, failure both times. The first time, two weeks ago, there was horrible weather and we couldn't get out. Last week, ugh! Last week we were almost there and low and behold - our tire went flat! So this older guy came out of this store and tried to help us with the tire. He managed to get it on and then two other guys showed up and helped him tighten the lug nuts. Well for some reason it didn't look right or whatever *fast forwards* We try to back out, the car won't go, popping sound, mom hops out of car, tire flat again. Fast forwards half an hour, discover that the tire somehow got put on backwards, fast forwards, discover that the brake broke! NO VAN!!! Big bill. Nine people in six passenger car the whole way home. Yippee.

But now it is fixed and we all get to go to chiropractor today FINALLY!!!! Third time's the charm ya know!

So then we go to noon mass, get lunch and go to er, 'Barnes and Bellyboots [!?!] Booksmellers' as my younger siblings christend it. (Why!????) So we had an interesting and hysterical discussion about smelling books as we were walking from the car to the front door.

So my conquests for today were this very pretty bookmark, a daily calender with quotes from Great Books and The Complete and Unabridged Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Christo - The Three Musketeers - The Man in the Iron Mask all for ONLY $12.99!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I almost fell over when I saw the price. I could not imagine not buying it. (To impress this wonder upon you, this is three books, all in ONE volume HARD cover! Not soft!!!!) WOW!!! And I only used $23 of my 45 so I can go back again!!!! I am very very happy.

In closing, alas, I did not spot any step stools with strange signs, but then again... I ashamedly confess I forgot to look.
Speaking of strange signs, we once saw a Jiffy Lube sign that said "My Boss told me to change the sign, so I did."
But that doesn't beat the bag of almonds that had - in tiny print - 'may contain almonds'.

Just noticed something

Oh my gosh, I just noticed something hysterical... I can follow my own blog! Isn't that the weirdest? I mean really, why would I want to follow my own blog? Well, I am following myself now, so I shall be able to see if I post anything new! Hmm, though I guess it would work if you were part of a group blog, then you could see if the other people posted anything, but the idea of following myself is rather intriguing, so I believe I shall, for a while.

Noticed something else about the followers, on the sidebar where it has a thing of all your followers, it says "17 Followers Manage." I'm taking that to mean then that if you are following me, than I am now your manager and you must listen to what I say. Hmm, and if you get out of hand, I can manage you then as well. Interesting possibilities there. But never fear, I am a good manager, so no need to stop following my blog! After, all... I'm doing it, aren't I?

December 27, 2008

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

I wish you a Merry Christmaaaaasss.....

Merry Christmas! Christmas! I Love Christmas! Drinks all around! Oops! Sorry there my dear Hannah, I do believe I spilled some cider on you!

So how was your Christmas, everyone? I am very happy to say that mine was wonderful, in every way. I was thrilled to be in such an eager anticipation and excitement for the approaching holy day. The only emotion I can remember from last year was, well, nothing, and then relief when it was all over. But last year (2007) - for some reason or another - was not a good year for me. But this year, I was almost afraid at the amount of excitement and joy that I had. Usually with a high like that, it's followed right up by a severe drop in the opposite direction - but that hasn't happened yet, so here's hoping! This year was kind of like the words of the song by Josh Groban I am listening to right now.
When it seems the magic slipped away...
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Christmas is such a wonderful time, and I'm not sure where I am going from here so I need to pause for a moment and collect my thoughts....
It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the sprit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year

A part of childhood we'll always remember
It is the summer of the soul in December
Yes, when you do your best for love it feels like Christmas

Love the muppets! Ha ha.
Ahem, anyhow. Would you all think me terribly trivial if I talked about gifts and gift giving? No? Great! Actually, Jesus Christ Himself was a gift, so there you go!

There is something about gifts and gift giving that I just love, and it is one of my favorite parts of this whole season. There is something in the anticipation, wondering what could be inside the boxes, what could it be in there? We all know it must be something wonderful. I wonder if that is not how the shepherds felt, rushing towards a much bigger "box" of sorts, a stable, wondering about what exactly was inside, wait to open and see just what a tremendous gift it was. They had an idea, like many of us do when we see our gifts under the tree, but they didn't know for sure what was inside.

For me, the much of the specialness about gifts is not so much the gift itself, but the idea of the gift. Not so much what it is that I got, but the fact that someone took the time to think about what it is that I would want, went to the trouble of getting it for me. I am always so touched and delighted when given a gift from someone. There is such meaning for me in that simple gesture. Again, it's like that with God. He took the time and trouble of preparing all those years ahead of time to give us the gift of His Son, and showed more love in that gift than any of us could ever imagine.

I love to give gifts as well. I get more pleasure in seeing someone accept and open a gift I have made or bought them as I do in getting one myself. I've thought this many times, and I heartily agree "'Tis Better to Give than to Receive". It must give God great joy when we recieve the gift of His Son on Christmas, and every time we recieve the Holy Eucharist. And how upset He must be when we recieve His gift without joy or gratitude.

Moving on to Christmas music briefly before bidding you adieu until the next time I feel like posting. Christmas music is so great, from the awe inspiring, peace giving, love-inspiring hymns to the bouncy holly jolly carols. Some of my favorites are
O Holy Night - in my opinion one of the most beautiful and graceful songs of the season.
Carol of the Bells - This is just a cool song, especially the Celtic Woman version. Can't say why I like it, but I like it!
Holly Jolly Christmas - Ugh! I'm sick of this song right now! But I love it anyways, it's so fun!!! "O ho the mistltoe, hung where you can('t) see! Somebody waits for you! Kiss her once for me! Have a holly jolly Christmas, and in case you didn't here, O by golly have a holly jolly Christmas, this year!"
It Feels Like Christmas - From "The Muppet Christmas Carol", one of my favoritest Christmas movies ever. So happy, and joyful and sing-a-long-able!

Well, alas my dearly beloveded readers and devoted fans, I must leave thee all now to do, er, something and in the words of Tiny Tim
"May God Bless us Everyone!"

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All!

The Story of Christmas, in Photographs

The Annunciation - The Angel Announces that Mary will be the Mother of God

The Innkeeper brings the Holy Family to the Stable

Joseph readies the stable for Mary

Mary and Joseph rest and pray

Angels come to the Stable

The Christ Child is Born

The Shepherds Asleep in the Fields

The Shepherds Are Awakened by the Arrival of the Angels

The Angel Expresses the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds

The lives of the people of Bethlehem

The Shepherds kneel before Jesus

The Shepherds spread the news of Christ's Birth to the townspeople

The townspeople adore Jesus

The three Kings travel to Bethlehem

The Three Kings visit King Herod

The Three Kings give gifts to Jesus

May the love of Christ our Lord
Be with you this day,
To guide you and to hold you
As you go upon The Way.

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2008

O Come O Come Emmanuel, and Ransom Captive Israel

Twas the Day Before Christmas...

by yours truly

‘Twas the day before Christmas and the Wal-Mart was packed,

With holiday shoppers, in lines back-to-back.

And I in my sweatshirt and Papa with his staff,

Tried to make our way through the season’s mish-mash.

I looked about in horror, Papa exclaimed with fright,

“Why all these shoppers are a terrible sight!”

We grabbed a few things, and fought our way through,

All the while dodging every Dick, Harry and Lou.

Then looking about, I exclaimed with glee,

“Well what d’ya know, this aisle’s empty!

We entered the aisle sighing with relief,

Then more shoppers came, bringing us nothing but grief.

We tried to get through, to get to the door,

But a stampede of shoppers knocked us onto the floor.

I said, “Dad, this is crazy, let’s get out while we can.

We can swing on the lights, then run to the van."

So we jumped and jumped ‘till we reached the ceiling,

Than Papa looked down and said with feeling,

“The sight of those shoppers is making me sick,

Let’s leave right now, make our exit, and quick!”

So we swung over the heads of those holiday shoppers,

No one saw us because they were busy spending their coppers.

Then finally we reached the far away door,

We let go of the lights and dropped to the floor.

Landing on our feet, we ran to the car,

And did not speak ‘till away we were far.

Then Papa said, looking like a partially plucked hen,

“We’ll never go shopping on Christmas Eve again!”

Poem copywrite

December 22, 2008

It's Begining to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Ah, Christmastime is nearly hear again, as evidenced by the springing forth of Christmas decorations. Every year on the Saturday before Christmas, we pull out the ornaments and the tree tucked away since the past year. (And yes, we have an artificial tree. We did get a real tree one year, but us kids all missed putting together the artificial tree - and besides, it didn't have a scent anyhow! - that we all declared that the next year we'd go back to our dearly beloved 'fake tree'.)
Anyhow, here are some of