Monday, April 18, 2016

An Update + Bookish Doings + Anne of Green Gables

The flowers blooming on trees nearby. So pretty!
Well, adventurers, I've been gone quite a while. There's no excuse, so I'll just get to the actual post. (Apologies can be somewhat bothersome anyway, can't they?) ;)

Life's been busy, but in a pretty good way. School, everyday errands, fun movies, games, books (BOOKS, people.), and other odds and ends. I'm kinda excited because spring is finally here, so it's getting warmer. And warmer means the pool opens. And the pool opening means I can swim! I used to take swimming lessons, and I really enjoy(ed) it, so I'm thinking of going to the pool and interweaving swimming (treading, free-style, butterfly, breaststroke, etc.) into my workout schedule. It's a really fun, great way to stay fit! Agreed? Agreed. I miss swimming, so this seems like it'll be fantastic. I'm gonna be looking for a new swimsuit... ;)

Aside from that, we've been trying to go hiking more often. We'll be acquiring some rock-climbing gear, and going rock climbing as well! Since Jesse (my older bro and the official rock climber in the family) moved a month or so ago to Colorado, we'll be climbing on our own. Ashley is actually really good at climbing herself (I plan on improving too, guys! ;) But I did do MY FIRST LEAD CLIMB the last time we went hiking with Jesse and his family. It was INCREDIBLE. I was so excited! Jesse thought I did really good for my first lead...), besides the fact that we're also planning on top-roping most of the routes we do, so climbing will also be coming along pretty soon! I'm excited to try harder climbs.

Moving onto BOOKS. The reading challenge I created for 2016 has been going pretty well. I am fifteen books into it. The last book I read was The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne for the category A book written at least 100 years ago, which I just finished today. Gosh, some of Ballantyne's novels are so fun! The Young Fur Traders included. He really has a knack for descriptions - scenery and people. Somehow he manages to let you have a glimpse of someone's character without being overwhelming. And his descriptions of the beautiful North American mountain ranges and lakes really are well done... He writes about some things in such a way you can kind of tell he's done it or seen it. (Because he worked for the Hudson Bay Company, and Fur Traders is actually based off of his own experiences! That is SO cool!)

The rest of the books I've been reading? Here's the list.

The books I've read for the challenge so far:

A book set in a place you want to visit: Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
A book that is under 150 pages: Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
A book set in your favorite time period: Prairie River by Kristiana Gregory
A book that has a main character that is your opposite gender: Renegade by Ted Dekker (This book annoyed me so bad. And then, of course, there was this part in the that brought me to tears. Or I was teary-eyed, at least. It was a fantastic part about God's love...for a character that had abandoned his friends and his mission and God even, in a way, to pursue power. It showed God's love for a renegade, someone who ran. And it's beautiful.)
A true story: End of the Spear by Steve Saint
A fictional book about a historical event: Iron Scouts of the Confederacy by Lee McGiffin
A book by a New York Times best-selling author: Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker (This was so cool. I'm already thinking about a re-read. And I read it last month. That's how exciting it was!)
A book your friend recommends (and loved): The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
A book that you read with/to a sibling or friend: Fighting the Flames: A Tale of the London Fire Brigade by R.M. Ballantyne, which I read to two of my siblings.
The first book in a series: The Sparrow Found a House by Jason McIntire
A mystery: Wild Rescue by Jerry B. Jenkins
A book you own but have never read: A Chance to Die by Elizabeth Elliot
A book you've already read once: Millie's Courageous Days by Martha Finley (updated by Kersten Hamilton. I love the Millie Keith series! I very highly recommend it!)
A book set in a country outside America: Take This Cup by Bodie and Brock Theone (Enjoyed this one! Lots of deep spiritual insight that I really liked picking up on.) 
A book written at least 100 years ago: The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne 

Some books I'm reading and/or considering for the challenge. (That's my Nook by The Columbus Code, which has Emma on it! :))

A book over 400 pages: Black by Ted Dekker (His books are exciting - which makes them a little dangerous. You have to take breaks while reading so you don't...well, keep reading? All day? 'Cause you probably would. ;))
A book with royalty in it, real or fantasy: Captives and Kings by Craig Parshall
A book that intimidates you: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (I am going to finish this one - finally!)
A nonfictional book: Facing Up by Bear Grylls
A book (going to be) published this year, 2016: This is going to be either (probably) Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg or A Boy and Wild Horses by Joanne Bischof. Probably the latter. (The first book in the Wild Air series, To Get to You, was so cute! <3)
A book you started and never finished: *inward groan* Probably going to be The Gorilla Hunters by R.M. Ballantyne. Maybe I'll switch it up... ;) (Which would be The Columbus Code or A Home for My Heart.)
A book with a beautiful cover: I don't know! I haven't seen any covers lately that I love, but maybe A Boy and Wild Horses will have a fantastic cover - I really liked To Get to You's! In that case, it would be Like Never Before or Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke for A book (going to be) published this year!
A book made into a movie: Emma by Jane Austen
A book set in/about the outdoors: Facing the Frozen Ocean by Bear Grylls

And there's that! I keep wondering if one of Bear Grylls' books is going to pop up when my sister draws for me... So far, it hasn't! Maybe next time. (Because, yes! my sister and I draw for each other. We put all the book category numbers on pieces of paper, drop them in a hat, and pick. It's actually been really fun...)

mess in the mud:
One of my favorite scenes! <3
And Anne of Green Gables? I watched it recently! Yeah, I'd seen it before, when I was pretty young, so I didn't remember a lot of it, and what I did remember was people being mean to Anne - hence the fact that I didn't like it! But, I decided to re-watch it recently, and I found, happily, that it's actually pretty cute! I enjoyed it, and have even been contemplating watching it again... Seriously. And the first two are six hours long. ;) Gilbert is adorable, and Anne is fun (though a bit dramatic sometimes... ;)). Do I recommend it? Yep - if you like period pieces! Speaking of which, anyone up for Pride and Prejudice? I've been thinking of re-reading the novel, actually, because I don't remember much of it. I think that might be due to the fact that much of the time I was reading I was thinking of the scenes in the movie that corresponded with the part in the book that I was at... I AM going to re-read it sometime! Just so I remember... ;) And a friend of mine (Mikayla, I'm looking at you! ;)) just re-read it, so that kinda...encouraged, egged me on?... to re-read it too.

I put my hair up with one o' those snap-bun hair thingies yesterday! Yes, that's random. ;) But I really liked it! It's cute, and it keeps my hair and my bangs, specifically, out of my face ALL DAY. I would totally recommend getting one and using it. Pronto. ;) 

Besides all this randomness, I am planning on another post soon, so stay tuned! Oh, and I just bought two more books today... Chaos by Ted Dekker, which is the fourth book in his Lost Books series that my sister and I are currently making our way through. Also, From the Start by Melissa Tagg. I recently read Melissa's first novel, Made to Last, and have a feeling I'll be reading more of her books in the not-too-distant future... For now, however, my mom is going to read them. And then I might... ya know.

(I had two 20% off coupons for Barnes and Noble to use, so yeah... I guess you shouldn't give me a coupon that involves books if you don't want me to use it. ;))

Is it spring where you are? Swimming (or not swimming, I guess)? Are you doing the reading challenge (or any reading challenge) this year? What books do you have planned for that?