What I Read in 2012

my favorite Christmas present
Top Favorite Books
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
The Outsdiers by S.E. Hinton
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Favorite Nonfiction Books
The Great LIFE Photographers by Life Magazine and Gordon Parks
The Quest for Anastasia by John Klier and Helen Mingay
Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 by Damon DiMarco
Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days by Jared Cade
Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans 

Books I Read Again
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen 

Most-Read Authors
Agatha Christie
Madeleine L'Engle
C.S. Lewis
L.M. Montgomery
Jerry Spinelli
Gerald Durrell

What books did you absolutely love this year? Spill it! I want to know!
Click HERE to see all the books that I read this year.
(New Years post coming tomorrow, blog people.)
Happy 2013! 


Christmas Isn't Over

     Hello blog people! December is almost gone and I am feeling sad because I only wrote four posts this month. The truth is, my family has been sick for three weeks, so blogging hasn't been high on my priorities. And that's okay, because I had nothing interesting to write. For the last few weeks I have . . .

Laid in bed.
Blown my nose.
Eaten lots of chocolate.
Watched lots of television.
Survived the end of the world.
Had a fever. And an upset stomach. And a headache.
Completed driving school, and . . .
Neglected my dog.
Thrilling, no? 

     It's funny to listen to everyone talk about Christmas being over. My Christmas is nowhere near over, because most of our celebrations were delayed due to sickness. We spent the last three days at Grandma and Grandpa Morris's house. We had a fantastic time, (in case you're asking), but it was only half of our traditional Christmas. Our time at Grandma W's farm was cancelled because my family was sick. Normally that wouldn't be an issue, but my uncle is getting married on January 5th and it was very important that we kept our horrid three-week bug to ourselves. Sooo . . . we're having Christmas at Grandma W's on January 3rd, (and we still haven't had our small Christmas celebration for our family). Christmas has just begun!
     I'm ready to write again and blog again, but I don't think I'll be able to blog like I want to until after the wedding. Maybe I'll be able to squeeze in some "end of the year" type posts though. I hope all of you had a Very Merry Christmas. I'm so very excited for 2013!


A Pepperminty Day

     Sometimes I forget that winter comes with coughs, headaches, sore throats, and uneasy stomachs. Poor Jason is still feeling miserably sick and so is Ben. The rest of us have escaped the worst of it (we hope) but nobody feels grand. It's a day for cough drops, kleenexes, jello, chicken-cilantro soup, tea, and peppermints. It's a day for curling up in bed with a book and wearing pajamas and moving slowly.
     We've been busy and sick, so we haven't gotten to make Christmas cookies yet, and our small box of Christmas decorations is still at our old house. All the same though . . . it's only thirteen days until Christmas and that is quite exciting. Today I helped Mom with some of her online Christmas shopping. I've done horribly with my own Christmas shopping done. In fact, I only have one Christmas present purchased: a doodletop for Jason. Have you ever noticed that guys are hard to shop for? I have four of them. Jason is still easy, but Ben has reached an awkward in-between stage and Sam and Dad are fairly impossible. But hey, if all else fails, I know what candy they like best ;)
     I haven't been reading much lately. Today I finished Among the Shadows by L.M. Montgomery and I'm still working on A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True. I've been stuck on it for several days, but it's not the book's fault, because the book is quite nice. It's just a mood or a cycle that I'm in. I only have fifty pages though, so I think that I can finish it today.
     Tomorrow Sam and I have a driving session. I'm not really looking forward to it. I'll be glad when driving school is over. I don't like having my nighttime eaten up. Night is when I feel most alive and creative. I like night very much, and I like to have freedom when it's nighttime. I understand that early mornings are inspiring, and it even feels right that early morning should be best. But I've always liked night. I can't help it.

Laughing / Is it Christmas? 
Listening / Can't Help Falling in Love - The Piano Guys


Wet and Grey

     Today is wet and grey. I keep hoping for snow, but it's been astonishingly warm. Jason is sick and he's spent most of today and yesterday buried under a heap of blankets and stuffed animals. His own private mountain of misery. Poor little guy. Ben read out loud to him this morning, which was really sweet. Mom seems to be executing a winter-ized version of spring cleaning, in preparation for next weekend when we're bringing back the rest of our boxes and furniture from our old house in Arkansas.
      There's very little else to say. Only the weather is sort of interesting. I'm waiting for everything to pick up a little, and it will for sure. Today is Monday, so it's back to the grind of driving school. And Christmas is not very far away. What is your family doing to celebrate this December? Have you had snow yet?

Listening / Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson
Reading / A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True - Brigid Pasulka  


Life in General

     Ever notice how everything has a way of happening all at once or not at all? Life is certainly not balanced. It's dreadfully inconsistent, in fact. Today is only the fifth, but December has been a hurried, frazzled sort of month. And here's the thing: I've neglected to write about several important developments that occurred over the last few weeks, so now I shall be obliged to dump a torrent of information on you.

     Sam and I are both attending driving school. We attend class three evenings out of the week, and it's quite wearisome. If we still lived in Arkansas, I would have my license by now. But we don't, we live in Illinois, and so I have to spend thirty-six (?) hours in the classroom, and I have to drive for six hours with my instructor. After completing the driving course, I have to drive on my permit for nine months and I have to clock fifty hours of driving, ten of which must be after dark. Lovely, no? Needless to say, it is very time-consuming.
     We've also signed up for classes at the community college, and we'll start on those in January. Currently, I'm headed towards a graphic design degree. I'm taking Drawing I and Speech on campus, and Web Page Design and Computer Art online. I'm so excited! It's going to be quite fun. I've met two other girls at youth group who are also taking classes at the community college, so that's also exciting. It's hard not to have old friendships, but it's less hard when you get a chance to start new ones.
      The house is a constant project. Currently, we're re-finishing the living room floor, which means the house is filled with fumes and everything is squashed and claustrophobic. It will be beautiful when it's done though! After we settle into the re-modeled living room and dining room, I'll be moving into a new bedroom. We still have quite a lot of boxes in storage at our old house, and I'm excited to pick them up. I haven't done any projects or crafts for three months! And I'm missing my books. Really missing my books.  
     Speaking of books, I've had my library card for two months now, and that blasted library probation is up! I'm overjoyed :) I can use the inter-library loan now, and I can request almost anything! Speaking of which: have any book recommendations? I'm up for anything. Deep and thoughtful books, mysteries, memoirs and autobiographies, interesting nonfiction, fast-paced young adult . . . anything! To be quite honest, I'm having way too much fun thinking up all the different books that I can read ;)


Christmas Playlist

     It's December 1st, the perfect day to share a Christmas playlist! These are my top ten favorite Christmas songs this year. Well . . . maybe. Heehee :) Leave me a comment with your favorite Christmas music! And feel free to talk about favorite Christmas movies, recipes, and traditions too! Merry Christmas! :] 
C H R I S T M A S by Lydia on Grooveshark