December 31, 2013

Farewell Twenty-Thirteen....Hello Twenty-Fourteen

     Here it is....the last day of 2013. This year was jam-packed. Isn't it amazing how fast a year goes, yet when you look back so much has happened? For my family and I, there was some sad and unwanted drama we had to go through. But despite all and any bad things from 2013, I can look back and see a lot of good. It's been a great year. God has been with us, guiding us and shaping us.

     One thing I've learned this year is contentment. I'm not an extrovert, but I love socializing and getting together with groups to do fun things. My family has struggled with finding a church home in our area, and thus I have no "group of friends" to do fun games with or see every week. But this year, I've learned I don't need that. I don't need a group of friends to have fun. I've learned contentment with staying home (we're doing home church) and having lots of fun with my parents and brother.  My family is enough for me.  I also have some amazing friends whom I e-mail and write. I see them frequently, although not as much as if we went to the same church or homeschool group. But that's okay. :)








         I've also learned to accept some really hard changes that come with growing up. People you love can change and move on, and some fun things you did when you were younger you won't ever be able to do again. In fact, I was so sad to turn 15 this year. I just hate how fast the years go. But I'm happy to say that with God's help I have been able to overcome some sadness over that fact. I wasn't hardly as depressed as I would have expected to be when my brother turned 13 this year! :P






Usually I'm sad the day after Christmas. I'm always like, "Christmas is ooooovveerr....now we had to wait another 364 days till next Christmas!!! Life is so boring now...."
    But this year I wasn't. I suppose it's because I was ready and waiting for 2014. I'm excited because I know there's a Very Big Adventure that might be awaiting my family. You see, we're originally from Michigan. We've lived here in Florida since I was about 2 years old. But my parents really want to move back for lots of different reasons. I want to move back too....but I also don't. I'd really miss my grandparents who live down here, my amazing friends, and our home here in Florida. I mean, Florida's all I've ever known! But then I have to remind myself that life is an adventure. As much as I hate to leave our home in Florida, our TRUE home is in heaven, so it doesn't really matter where we live while on earth. :)
     So....we'll see where God leads us this coming year. We may stay, we may go. We just don't know. (No, I didn't mean to make that rhyme. I'm a poet and I didn't know it.)

     I have to mention too, that this was the year I started blogging! It's been such a fun experience and I've gotten to know some very nice girls over the blogosphere. I'm excited to continue blogging in the coming year! I will probably be cutting back a bit on blogging time, however, as I took December off from schoolwork and now my algebra and biology are calling me back to reality.
     Well, anyways, I hope all my blogging friends have a Happy New Year! My mom and I have been watching the first season of Lark Rise to Candleford lately and I am LOVING it. Any other fans out there? :)

December 28, 2013

Eloise of Westhaven: Love is Patient

 I was so surprised and excited one night when I found that the author of the Eloise of Westhaven book had left a comment on my review of her book! To top it off, she wanted to give me a signed copy of the Eloise book, and a signed copy of its sequel, which I had not read yet. Did I accept her offer?
You obviously don't know who I am if you have to ask that question. I am NOT a girl who refuses free books!!

So here is my review of her newest book, Eloise of Westhaven: Love Is Patient. I was so pleased to find the book was set around Thanksgiving and Christmas as it was Thanksgiving time when I received the books, and I had been wanting to read a book set at Christmastime. This sequel continues right where the first one left off. With that in mind, don't read this review if you haven't read Not Just a Kid. There's major spoilers!

Eloise and David are a happily engaged couple, but have to wait for the day Eloise quits her job as a governess before they are wed. Her charges are the mayor's children, Elizabeth and Buck Strawbridge. They are so cute. I love reading about how Eloise wins their trust and molds them to become better children. I loved it when *Spoiler Alert!* Elizabeth finally accepted Jesus as her Savior. It was such a lovely moment in the book!*End of Spoiler* The book covers Thanksgiving and Christmas, chronicling Eloise's life as she balances spending time with the children and spending time with David. She and David are an adorable couple. They're just so perfect together, full of love and caring for each other, but are never "mushy" or inappropriate. Their relationship is so pure and sweet.

The whole book has such a warm, cozy feel to it. When it's talking about the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I can see it laid out on the table. The descriptions of the food were really good.

Vanessa, Eloise's sister, is anxious and worried during the holidays due to the depressing revelation that an old and dear friend, Mr. Joshua Johnson (I list both names as I was confused during the book when in one sentence he was called Mr. Joshua and the next sentence he was called Mr. Johnson. This went on for some time until I finally realized his name was Joshua Johnson. And I had thought there were some serious typos going on!), has cancer. He's like a second father to Nessa and she refuses to give up hope that the end is near for him. *Spoiler!* The book ends on a bit of a sad note with Mr. Johnson's death. He's happy though because his daughter returns to make things right with her parents and to be with her father when he goes to heaven. *End of Spoiler!*

To be truthful, I found the first book a bit better than the second. Some of the dialogue just seemed a bit unrealistic and/or stilted at parts in Love Is Patient. The ending left a little to be desired because I like endings that close all neat and tidy and with a big fat bow on it. This one just kinda....stopped. But then I remembered a third book is due to come out in 2014. If there hadn't been, I'd be upset, but obviously the author has more planned for her characters! I'm very excited about Book Three!! :)

I would recommend this book to anyone. It's such a delightful read and it's so refreshing to find real Christian literature! Especially one that includes romance but doesn't focus on it entirely. There has to be more to a story than just a romance, even if it is a lovely romance like David and Eloise's!
The Eloise of Westhaven books are certainly on my Favorite Books List.
Rating: 9/10

December 24, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies and Sunny Skies

 
 
I wanted to wish all my readers a Very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow and that you always feel and remember the True Meaning of Christmas. :) Jesus was born 2000 years ago in a stable as a humble little baby, even though he's the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He did that so he could die for you (and me and everyone in the entire world) and save you from your sins, so you can spend Eternity with Him in Heaven one day. All you have to do is accept his free gift of salvation and turn your life over to him, asking for Him to help you turn from sin and live a new life. Pretty awesome Christmas gift, huh? :)
 
Today we've been getting stuff ready for Christmas. I cannot believe Christmas is tomorrow. Every year it comes and goes sooo quick. This year, I've been trying to focus on enjoying the moments and not lamenting how fast Christmas goes!
Some of my favorite moments this month have been:
 
Having a long-awaited sleepover with dear friends
Making Christmas gifts
Laughing over funny stories with friends who came over for the evening
Roasting s'mores under the stars
Decorating Christmas cookies with my brother
Hosting a blog party with Anna
Vacationing at St. Augustine with my family-we haven't been on a vacation in 3 and 1/2 years! :)
Looking at gorgeous Christmas lights and snapping way too many photos
Singing and playing Christmas songs
 
 
And there's many more, of course! :)
 
 
Here's the cookies my brother and I were decorating today. Fun and tasty.
Yes, I realize we made quite a mess in the process. ;)
 
 
And here was the sky this morning. No, not exactly a white Christmas -sob-, but beautiful just the same. Thankfully it's a little cooler out today. It's been so warm out at times this month I've been able to go into our (unheated) pool! Hopefully it will be nice out tomorrow too! I love chilly Christmases. :)

 
                                            ~Merry Christmas~
 

December 23, 2013

Announcing.....The Winners!!!!!!!

It was incredibly difficult for Anna and I to pick a winner. Let me just say, we had 3 contestants, and each one of them wrote an amazing story. You all did so well, I just hated having to pick ONE story as the winning one! But then it wouldn't really be a contest...would it? :)
Without further ado, The Ultimate Winter Writing Challenge winner is......drum roll........
Rose P. with her story, "The Frozen Kingdom"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Congratulations, Rose! You did a great job, thanks for participating!
I loved the way you wrote your characters and the plot of your story! The idea of the hidden scrolls was especially intriguing and how the prince and princess didn't know each other's kingdoms existed!
It was neat to see how you all had similar things in your story-whether it be a magical orb containing winter or summer, a fairy as a companion to the princess, a prince and princess of different seasons, or the use of the name "Glacia"- but still managed to have a totally unique story from the other contestants-great job, everyone!!!! *claps*
Our other two contestants each win an award, as their stories were just too good to not give some recognition too!
Tara Therese, you have earned the "Most Creative" award for your story! I absolutely loved how you came up with the idea of having a ruling family of summer and a ruling family of winter-the way you wrote them was so perfect! Fantastic!
Lady Eowyn, you have earned the "Most Well-Written" award for your story! I just love your style and the way you transport the reader back to the time the story is set in. Your descriptions were marvelous! Great job!
I made buttons for each of our winners! Just copy the code in the grab box to display this button on your blog!
 
This lovely button is for you, Rose....
Winner
 

Tara, this one belongs to you!

Winner
 
And here's your button, Eowyn!

Winner
 


I hope y'll had as much fun as we did with our party! Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!! :)


December 22, 2013

The End of The Winter Wonderland Blog Party

The Winter Wonderland Blog Party is officially over. :(
But Christmas is in 2 days!!! Eek! When did that happen??
We had an amazing 2 weeks and a great amount of participators, considering how new Anna and I both are to the blogging realm! Here's the list of all who joined in on our party. If I forgot to include you on the list, please comment and I'll add your link right away! :)

Week 1~A Merry Little Christmas
Lady Eowyn participated on her blog Captured by the Word

Tara Therese participated on her blog Tara Therese

Carissa Horton participated on her blog Musings of an Introvert

Samantha S participated on her blog Le Chaim (on the right)

Envy participated on her blog Picking Up the Pieces

Of course, Anna and I participated. ;) If you'd like to see all our posts for the party, here's the links:

Anna's Party Posts

Natalie's Party Posts



Week 2~ Ultimate Winter Writing Challenge
Lady Eowyn participated with her story "Forbidden Snow"

Tara Therese participated with her story "My Story"

Rose P. participated with her story "The Frozen Kingdom"

Yesterday was the deadline for submitting your stories for our Ultimate Winter Writing Challenge. Anna and I will take a day or two to judge them, and the winner will be announced very soon! I hope everyone had as much fun during the party as Anna and I did!

Thanks a billion to all our participators!!!! Merry Christmas!




December 21, 2013

My Story Part 1

 Hey y'll! Here's my story for our Winter Writing Challenge! Obviously it's not going to be in the running for the contest though. I wrote it just for fun! :) If you see any grammar or punctuation mistakes, feel free to tell me so I can correct them! :)
 I love to have cast my characters and find pictures that go with my stories, so hopefully you'll enjoy the images I included. I think I got them all off of Pinterest.
 Please do not copy my story in any way. Thank you.

Mirror


  Erika was the middle of five sisters. Five beautiful sisters with hair as black as midnight, and eyes as blue as the sea. Tall and slender, with porcelain skin and pale pink lips, they were sought by all the princes in the land. But Erika was the odd one out. She had neither her mother’s raven hair nor her father’s deep blue eyes. Instead she had dusty waves, almost grey in its color. Her eyes were a startling icy blue framed by incredibly long black lashes. She was short and clumsy, compared to the easy elegance of her sisters. She was quiet and thoughtful, and preferred solitude in her room with her easel over the parties her sisters so enjoyed. Young men seemed never to notice her, even though her beauty was just as stunning as her sisters’. Nevertheless, she was so quiet and withdrawn that she could spend a whole day in her room with no one bothering to interrupt her. To her family she was loved but seldom pressed upon to participate in social gatherings. To the court she was invisible. She loved to paint. Her favorite subject was the eastern boundary of her father’s kingdom, the Whitecap Mountains. Glorious rays lit the sky at dawn, softly causing the sky and snow to blush with pink and yellow. At dusk, the sun cast shadows and sent rays of light eastward, drenching the landscape with oranges and pinks, blues and purples. Erika never tired of such beauty. She loved those mountains. They were her friends, the only companions ever satisfied to be silent with her. She wondered what lay over the mountains. Was even more beauty waiting on the other side? Erika imagined it to be a land of fantasy, a land only existing in dreams, although her father claimed it was nothing but miles of woods and cliffs. Erika refused to believe this and continued to dream of the day she would travel to the other side. She never would have known it was to be so soon.


                                                                                                                                                                      
~

“Wake up, Erika, wake up, it’s your birthday today!”

Erika groaned and flipped her pillow over her head. The muffled cries of her sister, Faya, still persisted.  “Go away, I’m sleeping!” Erika mumbled, trying to slip back into her dream of exploring the other side of the Whitecap Mountains.
A giggle sounding of fairy bells escaped from her sister. “You can’t be asleep if you’re talking!” she exclaimed.
“I’m talking in my sleep,” replied Erika. This seemed to confuse Faya for a moment who stopped hopping and pursed her little pink mouth. Smiling a devious smile, she slipped off the bed. Erika heard her rummaging for something.
“Erika?” came a soft whisper.
“What?” Erika whispered back, still hiding under her goose-feather pillow.
“WAKE UP!!” her sister cried as the clanging of Erika’s hand bells echoed throughout her small room. Suddenly the door burst open and in came Abalina, Erika’s eldest sister.
“Faya Emelia!” she cried, hands on her hips. “What are you doing, running around in your nightgown with no slippers!? You’ll catch your death of cold! And waking your poor sister with those horrid bells on her birthday! For shame, Faya!”
Erika peeked out from the pillow to see Faya’s face crumple with repentance. “I’m sorry, Abi. I only wanted to wake her up.”
“Go put on your slippers and robe. Or better yet, get dressed.”
Faya bowed her head and tiptoed toward the door. Erika poked out from beneath her pillow.
“Faya.” The little girl turned. “I’m awake now.” Faya’s pink lips spread into a tiny smile and she slipped out the door. 
Abalina sighed, her dark curls swinging as she shook her head. “That child really must learn not to be such a nuisance.”
Erika stretched and yawned lazily. “She’s only nine, Abi.”
“Yes, that’s exactly my point! She’s 9 years old, old enough now to know not to wake her sister with cowbells on her birthday!”
“They’re hand bells, Abi.” 

Abalina made a face but kept quiet. She didn’t care for her sister’s choice of music, especially as Erika wasn’t all that proficient in her playing. She preferred her violin, which, of course, she excelled at.
“Happy Birthday, my little sister!” cried Delia. She threw her black waves over her shoulders as she flew into the room and landed on the bed. “You’re now sixteen years old today-old enough to have suitors! Old enough to be married! And old enough to receive gifts from all over the kingdom! I can’t wait to see what you get!”
Erika frowned. “Why is our sixteenth birthday such a grand affair, anyways?”
Abalina sat on the bed and started brushing Erika’s long grey-blonde hair. “A sixteenth birthday is the age for maturity. The age of womanhood. That’s why only Delia and I get to attend the balls and dinners and court appearances. But now you will be joining us.”
“I cannot wait for my sixteenth birthday!” giggled Alexia, crawling onto the bed.

Faya bounced back into the room, dressed more warmly in her soft pink robe and slippers.  "Me too! I wanna go to a ball and stay up till midnight and have as many sugar cookies as I want!"

Erika laughed. "Well, I don't mind the sugar cookies, but I'd rather not go to the ball, thank you very much!"

"Oh, but, Erika, we can find you such handsome partners!" cried Delia, flopping back onto the silken pillows.

"You forget Erika doesn't care for young men as much as you do, Delia," Abalina said. "She'd rather be painting her mountains or whatever it is she does."

"Then we'll get her a painter! Or better yet, a mountain climber!"

Alexia burst out laughing. "Remember the man you told us about with the mountain climbing goats!?"

"The one that smelled like a barn?" cried Delia, excited.

"Oh, and didn't he say he liked art?" Abalina asked.

"And that he lived in a mountain?" Faya piped in.

"Stop, stop, stop, stop!" cried Erika, laughing. She smacked Delia with a pillow who shrieked and hit her back. Abalina protested, but was quickly brought into the fight when Faya landed  a fat pillow on her head. Feathers flew and laughter resounded as the girls celebrated their sister's birthday-in a very un-princess like manner!

~

Erika had never felt more uncomfortable in her life. Everyone was staring at her. She was dressed in a stiff and itchy blue gown. Her silver tiara was light and felt as if would fall off any moment. It was agony. But, as a princess on her sixteenth birthday, it was part of the tradition to be presented to the court and on display as she received her many gifts. Erika hated it. Hours and many gifts later, it was down to the last visitor. Erika couldn’t wait for this to be over. She looked to the large double doors and saw her last giver. It was a fairy. She was the most beautiful thing Erika had ever seen. Her halo of blonde curls were topped by a garland of delicate, blooming flowers, so soft and spring-like Erika was shocked there were holding up in the unbearable cold.  And yet when she looked closely, she noticed frozen drops of water clinging to the petals. Wings that shimmered and sparkled in the light, so light and fluttery they looked invisible, sprouted from this creature. Pink veils draped from her body in form of a lovely gown.

Stepping forward, she held out a glittering silver box. “My name is Adina. The Queen Fairy sends this gift for Princess Erika on her 16th birthday with her warmest compliments.” She fluttered forward and handed Erika the box.
“Thank-you,” said Erika hesitantly. She pulled off the lid of the box and gasped. Inside was a ornate silver hand mirror. She picked it up. The cold silver sent a thrill through her. Little diamonds were embedded around her oval reflection. “It’s beautiful,” she breathed. She lifted it and was surprised to find it not very heavy. It was perfect.
Adina’s green eyes sparkled. “It has been without an owner for a long while. It needs a particular owner. I think it has now found the right one.”
Erika was puzzled over these funny words. Whoever heard of a mirror needing the “right” owner? “Why, thank you,” she said. “I know it will come in handy-and it’s so beautiful.”
“Yes,” said Adina, “This mirror is the fulfillment of all your wishes.”
Erika blinked. “I’ve never wished for a mirror before, though.”

Adina only smiled, her frosty curls bouncing. Curtsying gracefully, she silently turned to leave but looked over her shoulder. “Happy Birthday, princess. And good luck.”
~
“It’s simply breathtaking!” cried Delia, fingering the mirror. “Even my slippers from the fairy queen on my sixteenth birthday were not as resplendent a gift as this!”
“It looks like the handiwork of elves,” marveled Abalina, taking the mirror from her sister. “So detailed, yet so simple in its design. It’s certainly a masterpiece.” She handed it back to Erika.

Alexia and Faya both peered over her shoulders to see their reflections. “The mirror’s so crystal clear!” cried Alexia. “It’s like you’re not seeing in a mirror at all!”

“Almost like another world is in the mirror.” whispered Faya gravely.

Erika looked into her little sister’s solemn blue eyes. “Yes. It does seem like that, doesn’t it?”
The girls were silent. Five pairs of blue eyes were reflected in the glass.
“Well!” Abalina’s commanding voice broke the silence. “It’s time for bed. Come, Faya, Alexia. Mother will be in soon to say goodnight.”

The girls complained but were slowly herded out of the room. Delia yawned and pirouetted in a circle. “I can’t wait for tomorrow’s dancing lessons!”
“One more reason you need your sleep!” laughed Abalina. “Come along now, Erika’s had a long day! She needs rest.”

The sisters left, calling final birthday wishes to Erika, who smiled and doused her light. Lying in the dark, she thought over what a wonderful day it had been. She turned her head and looked out at the mountains. Her mountains. Yawning, she whispered, “Oh, I do wish I could be on the other side of the Whitecap mountains…” She ran her hand over the smooth glass of her new present. As she feel asleep, she dreamt the mirror glowed a bright white and emitted tiny starbursts. But then she was sleeping deeply, and no more dreams came to her.
~
  A cool wind like white satin feathers brushed her cheeks. Erika’s eyes fluttered open. Snowdrops glistened above her, hanging on branches of tall, majestic trees. Little crystal icicles, tinkling like silver bells whenever the breeze shook them, floated above her. Beauty surrounded her on all sides, and suddenly Erika knew where she was-over the Whitecap Mountains. Erika sat up and gasped. Instead of her flannel nightgown she was clad in a shimmering white gown. The bodice was covered in embroidered lace. The skirt was full and wide, spreading out like a white satin pond around her. Her sleeves were short but she had thin satin arm warmers. Around her shoulders hung a warm cardinal-red cloak. She had never worn such an exquisite dress.

How in the world did I get here? She gasped. The mirror! Erika searched around in the snow. She lifted her skirt and-there! Her fingers grasped the cold silver and she hugged the mirror to her chest. “It had to have been the mirror.” she whispered.

A sudden tinkling of icicles and the sound of snow falling off a tree startled her. She turned to see a young man in a brown fur coat stepping into the clearing. She stood hastily and held the mirror out in front of her defensively. “Who are you?” she asked. He had caramel brown hair and warm brown eyes. He looked as startled as she felt.


 “Seeing as I live here, I think the more appropriate question would be who are you?” he countered.

Erika drew herself up to her full height. “My name is Princess Erika of the Kingdom of Winbeaut, the kingdom across these mountains.”

He raised his eyebrows and did a little bow. “Your highness.”

Erika had the feeling he was mocking her a bit.

 “My name is Gideon of Westbrook….the kingdom on the other side of these mountains. How did you get here? The mountains are completely-” He stopped. He stood and stared at her mirror. “Wait. You have it. That’s how you got here. You have the other one! We’re saved!” Gideon jumped forward and grabbed the mirror from Erika's hands.

“You have it!!!” he cried, overjoyed. He kissed the glass and laughed at Erika’s astonished face. Grasping her bare hands in his warm gloves, he spun her around in a circle and laughed aloud.

Erika smiled as his joy was contagious. She was confused though. “What is this all about?” she asked.
Gideon stopped and looked at her with an amused frown. “Why don’t you know? Weren’t you sent here to save me?”
Erika’s brows knit. “Save you? I didn’t mean to come here, you know. This was all a mistake.”

Gideon grinned. “Well, it sure was a lucky mistake for me!” He sighed and grasped her hands. “I’d given up hope of ever having someone come to help me. I was sure I’d have to die here.” He looked off into the distance. “You’ve foiled his plan. All because of a mistake. To think what would have happened if….” He was silent. Erika looked up at him, curious. He roused himself and looked down at her with a smile. “No matter now. We’re saved. We can leave now. You have the only thing that will rescue us from this terrible place. Thank you.”

He wrapped his arms around her. Erika felt awkward. She had never been hugged by a young man before. His warm coat smelled of icy winds and wood smoke.

 As he released her Erika frowned. “But what’s so terrible about-”

A long, bone-chilling howl pierced the air. Erika clutched at Gideon’s arm. “What was that?”

She hadn’t noticed before how dark it had become. Gideon looked around frantically. “It’s the ice wolves. They sense the mirror’s presence. Quickly-we must run!”

Gideon helped her over a log and held her hand as they started running down a small, twisting path. Erika tried to combat the trees and her humongous skirt at the same time. The snow was thick and powdery, making it difficult for running. She suddenly cried out as she was thrown to her knees. Her dress had caught on a thorny branch. A howl rose from the black trees to her left. Panic caught in her throat. She clawed at the white fabric. “Gideon!” she shrieked. Giving a tremendous pull, she ripped the skirt off.

Gideon quickly helped her up. “Come on! There’s no time to lose!” 

They turned to run again but froze. Just ahead on the top of a snow bank stood a wolf. A huge wolf. Erika couldn’t breathe. The wolf was shimmering and glistening-as if made of ice. Then she realized it was. Two icy white eyes glowed at them.

“Don’t. Move. An inch.” Gideon whispered haltingly. Erika’s breathing was heavy. A chill tingled up her spine as those crystal eyes glared into her.

“Listen to me. I want you to take the mirror and run-run down that trail to the right. There will be a boat on the lake. Row it out to the island and go to my cottage. I’ll meet you there.

The wolf growled and started to inch forward. “But Gideon, you might get-”

“RUN!” Gideon pushed Erika away and grabbed his sword as the wolf exploded into a snarling, snapping mass on top of him.

Erika ran and didn’t look back. The boat. The boat. Where is it?? She ducked under a branch and looked around wildly. She heard a howl of agony behind her. Gideon! She had to help him. She turned to run back but her feet slid into a dead halt. She was standing face to face with an ice wolf.



Stayed tuned for part 2!!!

December 15, 2013

End of Week 1....Week 2 Begins Tomorrow!!!

 Thanks sooo much to all our participators of Week One of the Winter Wonderland Blog Party!!!!
I had a ton of fun reading your posts and tag answers. I hope you had fun doing them! Tomorrow is the beginning of the Winter Writing Challenge. If you didn't hear about that, it's a contest for writing a short story of at least 2,500 words. It should be a winter story containing a princess, a prince, an ice sorcerer, and an ice fairy, although I don't think Anna and I will disqualify you or anything if you want to be creative and tweak it a little. And if you'd rather not have any magical elements such as a sorcerer or fairy, that's fine. :)
 Anna and I will both be posting a story. Don't worry-they won't be included in the contest! We're just writing them for fun. So sharpen your pencils and dust off your keyboard and start writing! :)
Or, if you're more disciplined than I am and already finished, then get ready to post your entry. The deadline is the 21st-Anna and I will use the 22nd and 23rd to judge the entries and pick a winner!

Oh and now that Week 1 is over, please leave a comment with the URL link to all your posts that you did for the party. As an example, here's mine:
http://ramblings-of-a-red-head-girl.blogspot.com/search/label/Winter%20Wonderland%20Blog%20Party
When Week 2 is over, I'll have a post including all those who participated in Week 1 and all those who participated in Week 2. Merry Christmas and thanks so much!

December 14, 2013

Answers To All Those Merry Little Games You Played...

 The end of Week One of our Winter Wonderland Blog Party is quickly coming to a close! Starting Monday, we'll have our...drumroll...Ultimate Winter Writing Challenge!! Am so excited about that. Still have to finish my story, but hey. I'll work it out. Hopefully. :P
 Anyways, here's the game answers y'll have been so patiently waiting for!

For the Quotes games, I wasn't going to do any "points" or "scores" originally, but I think I will now. Soooo...let's see. How am I going to do this? Each question is worth 5 points (for a total of 100 points if you get them all right). If you answer the question wrong or don't answer it at all, you lose the 5 points. If you get only part of the question wrong (like only the character's name) then you'll get 2 and 1/2 points off instead of the entire 5. Clear? Hope so!

Here's your scores for the Quotes Game:
Carissa got 70 points! Thanks for playing, Carissa!
Melody got 22.5 points! Thanks for playing, Melody! (note: You got a lot of the questions right, but you failed to answer which characters said it, so I had to take 2 1/2 points off for each of those. I'm sorry!)

Christmas Movie Quotes Answers:
Quote 1~
Zuzu Bailey and George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life
 

Quote 2~
Fred Gailey and Susan Walker from Miracle on 34th Street

 
Quote 3~
Nick from It's a Wonderful Life

Quote 4~ Yukon Cornelius and Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

 
Quote 5~
Fred Gailey and Mr. Macy from Miracle on 34th Street

 
Quote 6~Mrs. Claus from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

 
Quote 7~Susan Walker from Miracle on 34th Street

 
Quote 8~Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life

 
Quote 9~ Yukon Cornelius and Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

 
Quote 10~Mary and George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life

Quote 11~Kris Kringle from Miracle on 34th Street 

Quote 12~
Judy Haynes and Phil Davis from White Christmas

Quote 13~ Laurie and Jo from Little Women

Quote 14~
John Sargent and Lee Leander from Remember the Night

 Quote 15~Schroeder and Lucy from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Quote 16~Grinch  from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 
Quote 17~Ebenezer and Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol

 
Quote 18~Chralie Brown and Violet from A Charlie Brown Christmas

 
Quote 19~ Phil Davis and Bob Wallace from White Christmas

Quote 20~
Mrs. Donner and Donner from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer


For the music games, I'm just going to give you the answers and you can see how you did. :)

Music Fill in the Blanks Answers:
1. Silver, Say, Cares

2. Angel(s), Poor, Lay

3. White, Used

4. Rudolph, Town

5. Frightful, Delightful

6. Holly, Time, Year

7. Ransom, Israel

8. Snow, Jolly, Pipe, Button, Coal

9. Manger, Crib, Bed, Lord, Sweet

10. Home, Holidays, Far, Roam

 

Matching Answers:
 1F  2E  3A  4H  5D  6C  7J  8B  9I  10G

 
 Trivia Answers:

What movie is the song "Silver Bells" originally from?
The Lemon Drop Kid

What Christmas song is Bing Crosby known for?
White Christmas

Was the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer song based on the book or was the book based on the song?
The song was based on the book

What does "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" mean in English?
"Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness"

How old was Brenda Lee when she recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"?
She was only 13 years old! (If you don't believe me, check Wikipedia. It's true.)


Thanks for playing everyone! Merry Christmas!



December 13, 2013

Christmas Movies

Reviews of our family's favorite Christmas movies, in no particular order. Well, okay, It's a Wonderful Life is put at the top because it's my favorite. But other than that, there's no order at all. :)

It's a Wonderful Life
  Starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. I love It's a Wonderful Life. If I met someone who hates it, I'd fall over in shock. This movie is THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER!!! -ahem- Sorry. I'll try to contain myself. But seriously. I loooovvveee this movie.
  So, if you haven't seen it (-GASP-), here's a summary:
George Bailey has just one dream in life-to leave his hometown of Bedford Falls and travel the world. His dreams are put on hold, though, by the responsibility of staying and helping in the family-run Bailey Building and Loan Company after his father dies. He gives up his chance for an education, and lets his younger brother, Harry, go to college instead, with the agreement Harry would take over the business when he graduates. His plans are dashed, however, when Harry gets married and is offered an excellent job by his father-in-law. George allows Harry to accept the job, and resigns himself to running the Building and Loan Company, never to fulfill his dream of traveling the world.
George falls is love with Mary Hatch, a lovely girl he's known all his life. They get married and go on to have 4 kids. But all throughout this, George is battling Mr. Potter, the rich, greedy, and cold-hearted banker who owns half the town. George would stop at nothing to keep Mr. Potter from owning the entire town and throws his life into protecting the poor people of Bedford Falls. He finally reaches his breaking point, however, when the Building and Loan's cash funds are lost on Christmas Eve, causing the business to face bankruptcy and George to face criminal charges. Desperate and half-crazed, he almost commits suicide by jumping from a bridge into the cold waters below, but is saved by his guardian angel, Clarence.  George refuses to believe who Clarence really is, and mutters that he wished he'd never been born. Clarence decides to take him up on that and show him what life would be like if he had never been born.

*Spoiler Warning*
Bedford Falls, instead called Pottersville, is a horrible town full of nightclubs, gambling joints, and uncaring people. Family and long-time friends of George whom he had saved and helped from different scenarios in some way or another are totally different people, changed for the worse. Through this waking nightmare, George learns how much good he has done in the world and that not one life is unimportant. He prays (He sobs. Your heart just goes out to him at this part.) to be able to live again. When he rushes home, he finds the authorities waiting to arrest him because of the missing money. But  he doesn't care as he is overjoyed to simply find his family alive, happy, and waiting for him. Townspeople arrive with money to donate toward saving the Building and Loan Company. As friends, family, and acquaintances gather around him singing, he finds a book from Clarence in the pile of donated money. Inside are the words

"Dear George!- Remember no man is a failure who has friends! Thanks for the wings! Love Clarence"

And George realizes just how wonderful his life is.

  
*End of Spoilers*
James Stewart and Donna Reed are so perfect together. And their kids are adorable. :)
The movie has a lot of fun quotes too. "Janie, Janie, stop playing that piano!" "Oh, Daddy!!"
"I just came in here to get warm!" "Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?"
Whenever my family plays monopoly, we call the richest player Mr. Potter (or Mrs. Potter ;). Just a fun thing we got from this movie. :)
Mary wears some of the prettiest dresses. Especially the one at the dance and the one she wears when George comes to visit her. They're so delicate and beautiful and feminine and classy. Just thought I had to mention that. :0)

If you have NOT seen It's a Wonderful Life, you have to. It's just such a wonderful and heart-warming movie. Totally family-friendly too and the BEST Christmas move. Ever.
Rating 10/10
Yup, this is me when the Christmas tree goes up and it's time to watch It's a Wonderful Life. :D 


The Shop Around the Corner
  This is an adorable and funny Christmas picture starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, and Frank Morgan (Wizard of Oz!).
It's Christmastime in Budapest, Hungary, where Alfred Kralik  is the top salesman at Matuschek and Company, a small shop owned by Mr. Hugo Matuschek, a short-tempered and high-strung man. Alfred and Mr. Matuschek disagree on whether to sell a cigarette box that plays music, Alfred claiming it's a terrible idea. Mr. Matuschek rather likes it, but is reluctant to ignore his top employee's opinion. Thus, Mr. Matuschek is delighted when  Klara Novak, a young woman in need of a job, proves her capability by selling the music box so easily and quickly. She is hired, much to Alfred's displeasure. Klara and Alfred ram heads from the start and can't stand each other. She thinks him rude, arrogant, and unfeeling; he thinks her annoying and silly.

*Major Spoilers!*
 Unknown to the pair, they have been corresponding with each other in a relationship by mail! Alfred realizes this when he goes to meet his mystery friend at a café and sees Klara there with the red carnation, their agreed sign. Though disappointed, he goes in and talks to her, not revealing he was the man she was waiting for. She's as rude and aloof as always, and begs him to leave so her mystery date doesn't think she's dining with another man. Alfred leaves, tired and disappointed. He had been fired that day because Mr. Matuschek is suspicious of his wife having an affair with Kralik. Of course, this isn't true, but Mr. Matuschek later finds out he was half-right in his assumption-only the man he should have fired was one of his other employees, not Kralik! As the movie progresses, Klara slowly starts to fall in love with Alfred, despite her mystery correspondent. When he finally reveals to her his identity, he asks her if she's disappointed. She says, "Psychologically, I'm very confused... But personally, I don't feel bad at all. " :)
*End of Spoilers*

This is a lovely Christmas movie. It's so funny. Pepi, the store errand boy, is especially hilarious.

Doctor: Pardon me, Mr. Katona? Precisely what position do you hold with Matuschek and Company?
Pepi: Well, I would describe myself as a contact man. I keep contact between Matuschek and the customers... on a bicycle.
Doctor: Do you mean, an errand boy?
Pepi: Doctor, do I call you a pill-peddler?

Margaret and Jimmy are so cute together, and their romance is adorable. They trade a lot of funny lines, such as the one on the right.
I would recommend this movie again and again!
Rating 10/10



Remember the Night
"Love reformed her and corrupted him." -Preston Sturges; writer of the movie

  This is one of my favorite movies. It's so sweet and funny! Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are amazing in it. They just fit together so perfectly!!
  A young woman, Lee Leander, is caught stealing and trying to pawn a costly bracelet at Christmastime. Her prosecutor, John Sargent, postpones the trial due to the reluctance of the jury to convict someone at Christmastime, even though her guilt is evident. Feeling sorry for her, he bails her out and takes her to her hometown, but her family hates her and doesn't want to see her at all. John decides to take the heartbroken and disappointed Lee home with him for the holidays. Met with love and kindness by John's mother (played by Beulah Bondi-Mrs. Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life!), Aunt Emma, and hired hand, Willie (Sterling Holloway-the voice of Winnie the Pooh!), Lee has the best Christmas of her life. It's turns out to be John's as well, as the pair fall in love, despite their different backgrounds. They spend a happy Christmas together and share their first kiss at a confetti-laden New Year's party, where everyone is dressed in old-fashioned costumes. (Hers is soooo gorgeous, I just love it! Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of it!) Noticing their attachment, John's mother talks to Lee that night and tells her of all the hard work and time John had put into his career. She encourages Lee to give him up so as not to ruin his future as a lawyer. Lee agrees, knowing what the consequences for John could be if he were to marry a shoplifter.                                  


 Soon it's time for the pair to head back to New York-back for Lee's trial. *Warning! Spoilers Ahead!* John plans to throw her case so she'll be acquitted. Knowing what he's trying to do, Lee pleads guilty. She can't be the cause of his getting in trouble for throwing her case. She has to tell the truth. The two say a tearful goodbye. John asks her to marry him, but Lee tells him to wait and see if he still wants to when she's released. Annoyingly, the length of her sentence to jail is never revealed! Well, whether it's 6 months or 2 years, I just know they get married when she's released!! You can imagine what you like, but in my book they get married. They fit together too well and have such a sweet relationship not to! *End of Spoilers*

This is just such an adorable movie. It has a wonderful story and characters. And it has a lot of humor, which is always a plus in my book! :) I recommend this movie for all! It's family-friendly and such a classic!
Rating 10/10



A Christmas Carol
I have never seen another version of  Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. But that's okay. Because this version is perfect!! So, of course, y'll know the story right? Scrooge is this greedy, penny-pinching business man who is shown his past, present, and future by 3 different ghosts on Christmas Eve night. Presented with scenes from different points of his life-some bad, some good-, he realizes what a terrible man he's become. *Spoiler* He wakes up on Christmas a changed man, and is excited to give gifts to people he knows. They are all shocked by this behavior in a man who has scorned Christmas and all it means for as long as they can remember. He gives money to his housekeeper, a turkey to a the poor Cratchit family whose father works for him, and goes to have Christmas dinner at his nephew's house, something he'd never done before. Thus Scrooge discovers that giving is much, much better than receiving! :)
*End of Spoilers*




Alaistsair Sim is great as Scrooge. I haven't actually read the book, so I can't compare to the Charles Dicken's description of him. Regardless, he does an amazing job showing how Scrooge's cold-heart turns into one full of love.
 The Cratchit family is adorable-especially Tiny Tim! When the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge *Spoiler!* how Tiny Tim will die soon, I cry. It's so sad! He was so sweet and uncomplaining and I just break down there....
*End of Spoiler*




This is another Christmas classic. It's almost a double classic since it's a classic movie based on a classic book. Okay...I'm not sure if that made any sense, but whatever. :)
Watch A Christmas Carol. You won't regret it. And if you do...well then, I'll just say, "Bah! Humbug!"
Rating: 10/10




Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
*breaks into song*
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Had a very shiny nose!!
And if you ever saw it, you would even say it--"
Oh. Right. Back to the review.
Well, there's not really much to say. Other than the fact that this is the cutest thing and is something you need to see if you haven't! And it's stop-motion! How cool is that? (For those of you who have no idea what that is, stop-motion video is when you take multiple photos and put them together. Kinda like those little flippy things where the picture seems to move since each picture is a little different. And trust me. It's haaardd. My brother and I made a full-length stop motion Lego movie. It was fun for a while, but....let's just say we're never doing it again! It took us about a year or something. It's not top-of-the-line or anything, but I can fully appreciate it, since we put so much blood, sweat, and tears into it.)
I'm not going to summarize the movie since even if you haven't seen it, you're bound to have heard the song and it pretty much explains everything. ;)
Rudolph is absolutely adorable. Well, everyone is, really. :) Hermey, Clarice, Santa, everyone.
It's so funny too, with quotes like,
"It want to be a dentist!"
"Cute! Cute! She said I was cuuuttee!!"
"Bumbles Bounce!"
"Siiilllver!"
"Eat, Santa, eat!"

Totally family-friendly and totally adorable. A Christmas classic that you need to see if you haven't already! I'd recommend this movie to anyone, of any age. 
Rating: 10/10










Miracle on 34th Street
 The movie that proves Santa Claus is real! (coughcough)
I love this movie. Another Christmas classic. It  has everything! A good story, a romance, a cute little girl, and lots of funny scenes and lines!
 Susan (Natalie Wood) is a little girl who has been taught by her no-nonsense mother (Maureen O'Hara) not to believe anything fantastical or imaginative. She's encouraged to use logic and grown-up thinking, not imagination (the Imagi Nation!) and make-believe. All this changes when she meets Kris Kringle, a man who claims he's Santa Claus. He teaches her how to make-believe and to just be the little girl she is. All this time, people are trying to disprove his identity-but no one succeeds. Kris gets a job working in Macy's department store as Santa Claus. He annoys his employers when he starts directing customers to other stores for the items they are looking for! This proves to actually work out for good, as people are awed by a store that directs people to their competitors, and business increases. Meanwhile, Susan is confused about Kris, reluctant to believe he's really Santa, but finding it hard to find a reason not to. She decides to put him to the test when she asks him to get her a real house for Christmas for her mother and herself to live in, as they currently live in an apartment. Things come to a crisis when Kris Kringle is brought to court for claiming to be Santa. Will he win? Or will they prove him to be a fake? Will Susan get her wish of a house? Watch and find out! :)
The actors are all perfect in their roles, especially Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. Natalie is so good at acting all serious and grave. Edmund Gwenn IS Santa Claus. He's jolly and happy and friendly and looks just as Santa should be!
A great family movie, and classic Christmas film that should NOT be overlooked! :)
Rating: 10/10






White Christmas
 "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...just like the ones I used to know.."
This is a great movie musical! I've actually only seen it once (gasp!) but own it and am going to watch it again for Christmas! :) What makes it so great?
 IT'S BING CROSBY PEOPLES. YOU CAN'T GET BETTER THAN THAT!!!!
 Well, okay. He's not the only thing that makes it a great movie, haha. Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen are also in it.
The story revolves around Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, two army buddies who are now in show business. When asked in a letter by their former army mess sergeant  to audition his two sisters, they agree. Bob and Betty, the elder sister, are attracted by one another, but get into an argument when Betty tells him her younger sister Judy sent the letter, not their brother. Meanwhile Judy and Phil dance together and Judy reveals they are heading to perform shows at the Columbia Inn in Vermont. Phil manages to get Bob to agree to go along with them, and the 4 performers boost business at the inn (which is run by Bob and Phil's former army general) by putting on shows.  A misunderstanding and a phony engagement complicates things as Bob tries to boost the moral of the General by inviting all of the men formerly under him in the army to the inn for Christmas.

 At the end of the film, Bing sings "White Christmas" with the help of his friends. Yay!
No one can sing "White Christmas" like Bing. They shouldn't even try. (Well, okay, I don't mind if you try, just remember Bing owns it, haha.)

So, I would definitely recommend this movie. It's cute, classy, a musical (!!), and hilarious.
I would warn you, though, that some of the girls' dancing costumes can be a bit immodest. In one number, Judy wears an outfit that is like a one-piece bathing suit with a peacock tail to it. It's reeaallly dumb looking.
But there are some gorgeous costumes such as the one she wears while dancing with Phil or their Christmas gowns the girls wear when singing "White Christmas". :)

Rating 9/10

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  Ah, the Grinch. Such a silly but cute story.
So, the Grinch is the unmercifully evil green...um...er....green thing that hates Christmas, "has a heart two-sizes too small", and abuses his dog. Determined to stop Christmas from coming, he "got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, *awful* idea!" He dresses as Santa, prepares a sleigh, and disguises tries to disguise his dog, Max, as a reindeer.  They go from house to house in Whoville, stealing all Christmas gifts, decorations, food, and anything else that can make Christmas happy to the Whos. He's almost caught by little Cindy Lou Who, but claims he is Santa and taking their tree to his workshop. (Cindy's the little "girl" on the right there. Despite the...weirdness.. of these Who "people" I gotta admit she's pretty cute.)
"You're a monster, Mr. Grinch,
Your heart's an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders,
You've got garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch.
I wouldn't touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!"






*Spoilers Ahead!*
 Once back on his mountain about to throw the stolen goodies over the side of the cliff, he waits expectantly for the sad cries of the Whos waking up to find their Christmas gone. But instead, he's shocked to hear them singing joyfully (Fa lou doray! Fa lou doray!..heehee. Sorry. Brother and sister joke. :). Then the Grinch realizes that Christmas is not contained in material things. It's contained in the love people (or in this case Whos) have for one another. (Of course, the true joy of Christmas is contained in Jesus's birth, but they don't go into that in this movie. Just thought I had to make that clear.)
 "And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say - that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!"

*End of Spoilers* 
 Please tell me my brother and I weren't the only ones who got seriously creeped out by this face when we were younger!

If you haven't seen this movie, it's a Christmas classic and great one for little kids!

Rating 10/10



A Charlie Brown Christmas
 Is there anyone who hasn't watched this?
This is an ultimate Christmas classic.
Charlie Brown is depressed and dismayed at Christmastime. Commercialism seems to have taken over and he doesn't understand the true meaning of Christmas anymore.
He is commissioned to pick out a tree for  the Christmas play and chooses a tiny little sapling, despite his friends' wishes for a big aluminum and modern tree. He is ridiculed for his choice when he returns and asks in desperation if anyone knows the true meaning of Christmas. His friend Linus recites the Christmas story from Luke.

 "'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 you 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 and goodwill towards men.'"

And then he states, "..That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

This is an adorable Charlie Brown movie with a great message. As much as I love the other Christmas movies we watch, none of them conveys the true meaning of Christmas like this one does!
Rating 10/10



 Christmas in Connecticut
 This is a hilarious Christmas movie!
Elizabeth Lane is the writer of a magazine column about her lovely home life on a farm in Connecticut where she lives with her doting husband and adorable baby. She writes mostly about her cooking, sharing recipes and tips, as she is renowned for her culinary talent. She gets herself into deep trouble, however, when her boss, Mr. Yardley, invites himself and a man just out of the army to her Connecticut farm for Christmas. Why is she in trouble? Because there is no farm. No husband or baby either. She can't even cook. Elizabeth has been writing these articles (with the help of her restaurant owning friend, Felix) from her little apartment building where she lives by herself. Her job and her editor's job is on the line because of this new dilemma. Feeling hopeless, Elizabeth agrees to marry her friend, the pompous John Sloane, who has proposed to her repeatedly. She then has a burst of inspiration when she realizes John himself lives on a farm in Connecticut. Chaos abounds as John  and Elizabeth (who are not yet married) and Felix (posing as Elizabeth's uncle) try to put on this hoax at the farm, along with a borrowed neighbor baby! John and Elizabeth keep trying to find time to be wed, without letting Mr. Yardley know that they aren't. *Spoilers Ahead! *A problem arises, when Elizabeth and Mr. Jones (the army man) fall in love with each other! But he thinks she's married already-and she can't tell him the truth if she wants to keep her job. The deception falls apart when Elizabeth and Mr. Jones arrive home from a night in jail (they rode off in somebody's sleigh and the owner pressed charges) to find "Elizabeth's" baby "kidnapped"-it had been taken home by its mother!She tells Mr. Yardley the truth about everything then, about the farm, the baby, her "husband", everything. She is fired by a furious Mr.Yardley, but now nothing stands in the way of her marrying Mr. Jones....or so she thought until his fiancée shows up! *End of Spoilers*

The whole film is really funny, delightful, and family friendly. At one point the maid sees John and Elizabeth entering his bedroom (and she knows they aren't married) to hide out until their guests have gone to bed-then Elizabeth would go to sleep in the guest room. The maid assumes the worst, however, and decides to leave. John and Elizabeth come down the stairs just as she's walking out and explain to her. The scene is handled very delicately, and kids probably wouldn't even notice it.
There's also a part when John and Elizabeth explain to Mr. Yardley that they aren't married. He is shocked and asks, "Then this baby is..?" But they quickly cut him off and say, "Oh, no!!" Then they explain about the borrowed baby. ;) So, unless your family is really sensitive about parts like those, there is no content whatsoever.
 The only thing that bugged me is, as much as I loved Mr. Jones (played by Dennis Morgan), he really should have stayed away from Elizabeth as much as possible if he was attracted to her, yet thought she was married! He didn't seem to have much scruple against being alone with her or taking romantic sleigh rides with her!
 I love Barbara Stanwyck. She was delightful in this! And her dresses are soooo elegant and classy. I would give almost anything for her wardrobe in this movie. And the farm she "lives" on-it's gorgeous. Completely and utterly.
 Felix (S. Z. Sakall) is HILARIOUS. I just love him, he's the best. He provides so much humor. "Catastophe!" "Hunky Dunky!" "I'm going to flip flop the flop flips."  :D
Rating: 9/10


The Lemon Drop Kid
This is a hilarious Bob Hope movie. In it, he plays "The Lemon Drop Kid" a crafty chiseler, named for his like of lemon drops, who persuades gamblers to change their bets on horses so at least one of his "customers" will win and share the earnings with him. Trouble arises though, when he talks a lady into changing the bet that she was placing for a "gentleman friend". She loses, and he finds out that the gentleman friend is the merciless gangster, Moose Moran! Moose allows the Kid until Christmas Eve (3 weeks) to raise the 10,000 dollars he lost. The Kid cooks up a scheme to raise money-he opens a home for "old dolls" (elderly ladies) and with the help of his friends stand on street corners with Santa suits and pots to collect money. Everyone thinks they are collecting funds for "The Nellie Thursday Home" (named after Kid's friend, an old lady who was kicked out of her apartment), when in reality they are collecting for Kid!




 Filled with lots of humor befitting a Bob Hope movie, this is a great film-although a little different from a traditional Christmas movie, haha! The movie also stars Marilyn Maxwell and William Frawley-Fred from "I Love Lucy"!
The movie is appropriate, although there is a scene or two where The Kid's girlfriend Brainey Baxter, who works as a dancer, is practicing the dance she puts on with the other girls. They're dressed in very short shorts and high heels. It's an scene easy to skip over, if your family feels the need to. And there are a lot of kissing between the Kid and Brainey, just to warn anyone who finds that annoying or anything. :)
 An interesting tidbit is that the song "Silver Bells" is originally from this movie! That's how I found the film-I noticed my piano sheet music for "Silver Bells" said the song is from The Lemon Drop Kid! So, of course, I looked it up, saw it was an old film, and had to get it from the library to try it!
Rating: 9/10

Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading about the movies my family watches at Christmastime! It took me forever to write these reviews! :P Merry Christmas!!!!