Archive for December, 2008

A squeal of excitement…

I passed the knowledge test. Barely. Yeah for borderline passing! I got 20/25 and now my driving test is scheduled for January 14th, 2009. Please, pray for me! πŸ˜€

Anyways, if all goes as planned I’ll be able to drive friends around by the time I get back from France in July. That’s going to be splendid…. Ahhhh Squeal!

And admist all this happiness, let’s choose to forget that Janary 15th is end of semester/quarter, a very stressful time. Who cares?! I’m just happy to be getting my license πŸ˜€


December 30, 2008 at 10:53 pm 5 comments

And that’s a wrap.

To the absolute best of my ability, here is a list of all the books I read in 2008:

  1. The Truth About Forever
  2. Jane Eyre
  3. Dragon Slippers*
  4. Dragon Flight
  5. Princess Ben
  6. The Great Gatsby
  7. 1984
  8. Lord of the Flies
  9. A girl like Moi*
  10. Project Paris*
  11. Accidentally Fabulous
  12. Let it Snow
  13. Robot Dreams
  14. Lock and Key
  15. Life as we Knew It
  16. Violet on the Runway
  17. Violet by Design
  18. Violet in Private
  19. Carney’s House Party
  20. Betsy’s Wedding
  21. The Faerie Door
  22. Secrets of My Hollywood Life
  23. Secrets of My Hollywood Life: On Location
  24. Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Family Affairs
  25. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
  26. Tomorrow the River*
  27. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
  28. Heidi
  29. Boston Jane: An Adventure*
  30. Boston Jane: Wilderness Days*
  31. Boston Jane: The Claim*
  32. Tuck Everlasting
  33. Cornelia and the Audacious Escapes of the Somerset Sisters
  34. The Fellowship of the Ring
  35. Trickster’s Choice
  36. Trickster’s Queen
  37. The Minister’s Daughter
  38. I am Rembrandts Daughter
  39. Wildwood Dancing*
  40. Cybele’s Secret
  41. Sovay
  42. Nobody’s Prize*
  43. Nobody’s Princess
  44. Ingo*
  45. The Tide Knot
  46. Rapunzel’s Revenge*
  47. The Fairy Tales of the Brother’s Grimm*
  48. The Tales of Beadle the Bard
  49. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone*
  50. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets*
  51. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban*
  52. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*
  53. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix*
  54. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince*
  55. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows*
  56. Impossible
  57. The Dragon Princess
  58. The Naming*
  59. The Singing
  60. The Thief
  61. The King of Attolia*
  62. East*
  63. Book of a Thousand Days*
  64. The Goose Girl*
  65. Enna Burning*
  66. River Secrets*
  67. Princess Academy*
  68. Graceling
  69. A Curse Dark as Gold
  70. Aurelia
  71. Brisingr
  72. Ever
  73. The Hollow Kingdom*
  74. Close Kin*
  75. In the Coils of the Snake*
  76. Speak
  77. The Waterstone*
  78. The Morning Gift
  79. Beauty*
  80. That Summer
  81. Keeping the Moon
  82. The Luxe
  83. The Smile
  84. Hush
  85. Carpe Diem*
  86. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow*
  87. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City
  88. Kiki Strike: The Empress’s Tomb
  89. Persuasion
  90. Sense and Sensibility
  91. Pride and Prejudice
  92. Christy Miller volume 1
  93. Christy Miller volume 2
  94. Christy Miller volume 3
  95. Christy Miller volume 4
  96. Christ and Todd: The College Years Book 1
  97. The College Years Book 2
  98. The College Years Book 3
  99. Peeled
  100. The Fieldguide
  101. The Seeing Stone
  102. Lucinda’s Secret
  103. The Ironwood Tree
  104. The Wrath of Mulgrath
  105. The Nixie’s Song
  106. A Giant Problem
  107. The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
  108. When the Black Girl Sings
  109. Golden*
  110. Beauty Sleep*
  111. The Crimson Thread
  112. Suite Scarlett
  113. Chalice
  114. Seven Tears into the Sea
  115. Summer at Tiffany
  116. The Patron Saint of Butterflies
  117. The Year my Sister Got Lucky
  118. Ophelia*
  119. Reaching for the Sun
  120. These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking
  121. A Mile in my Flip-flops
  122. The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose
  123. Life on the Refrigerator Door
  124. La Petite Four
  125. The Candy Shop War
  126. Make Lemonade
  127. Sword
  128. The Lucky Ones
  129. Primavera
  130. The Valley of Secrets
  131. The 13th Reality
  132. Diary ofΒ  Wimpy Kid
  133. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
  134. Becoming Me*
  135. It’s My Life*
  136. Who I am*
  137. On my Own*
  138. I Do!*
  139. My Name is Chloe *
  140. Sold Out*
  141. Road Trip*
  142. Face the Music*
  143. Just Ask*
  144. Meant to Be*
  145. Falling Up*
  146. That was Then*
  147. A Not so Simple Life*
  148. Harsh Pink*
  149. Notes from a Spinning Planet: Ireland*
  150. Notes from a Spinning Planet: Papua New Guinea*
  151. Notes from a Spinning Planet: Mexico*
  152. Playing with Fire
  153. The Screwtape Letters
  154. Welcome to the Grandview Hannah*
  155. The Chronicles of Narnia*
  156. This Lullaby
  157. The Night Dance*
  158. The Bible*
  159. Romeo and Juliet
  160. West with the Night
  161. The Twelfth Night
  162. The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

* equals reread

So… you ask then, out of my nice well rounded list of books what are the favorites? Happy to oblige πŸ˜€ I’m going to steal a bit from Jess’s ideas here and arrange them into categories.

Top Ten Favorite Books Read for the First Time this Year (in no particular order):

  1. The Screwtape Letters
  2. The Truth About Forever
  3. Tuck Everlasting
  4. A Curse Dark as Gold
  5. This Lullaby
  6. The Smile
  7. Persuasion
  8. Life as We Knew It
  9. Chalice
  10. Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Family 1-3 (Yeah, I’m gonna count them as one. My list, my rules πŸ˜‰ )

Top Ten Favorite Rereads (in no particular order):

  1. The Goose Girl
  2. Wildwood Dancing
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia
  4. Diary of a Teenage Girl Chloe Books (I’m counting them as one).
  5. Beauty
  6. The Books of Attolia
  7. East
  8. The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy
  9. The Books of Pellinor
  10. The Harry Potter Series

Danielle’s Top Ten Best Overall [selected from the above two categories (in not particular order)]:

  1. The Goose Girl
  2. Wildwood Dancing
  3. The Screwtape Letters
  4. The Truth About Forever
  5. The Books of Attolia
  6. Persuasion
  7. The Harry Potter Series
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia
  9. Chalice
  10. Tuck Everlasting

Whew! The Top Ten is a really hard list to make. Truly, I love many of the books that I read this year, and obviously I love all the ones that made it specifically onto a list; but this is my humble attempt at compiling a list of books that I would recommend above all others for 2008. I hope you enjoy and happy reading to you all!

Next I would like to offer a little something I call “More Torture for Danielle in the form of Top Eight (2008!) Lists for Movies, Albums/Artists/Songs for 2008.” And to make my life a bit easier I’m going to limit all included media to only the items I was introduced to in 2008. That should help to make life easier πŸ˜‰ [edit after list was made: it’s still hard]

Top Eight Movies of 2008:

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: Princes Caspian
  2. Horton Hears a Who
  3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
  4. High School Musical 3: Senior Year
  5. The City of Ember
  6. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  7. The Illusionist
  8. Indiana Jones

Top Eight Music of 2008:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. This is Home by Switchfoot
  3. One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles
  4. Josh Groban, particularly Awake and O Holy Night
  5. Stealing Cinderella by Chuck Wicks
  6. Superchick, Rock What You Got album
  7. Hawk Nelson is my Friend album
  8. Relient K for their amazing lyrics that hit me every time

And there you have it folks. My list. My summary. All the media of 2008. It was an AWESOME year πŸ˜€

December 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm 3 comments

Twas the Night Before Christmas…

A little poem to start the holiday:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her β€˜kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, β€˜ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

I really love Christmas. I do, I do, I do. I celebrate it all year long actually. I don’t mind the holiday bustle and the crowded malls. I actually enjoy that quite a bit. And I don’t mind all the Christmas music for that matter. I listen to it all year long anyways! πŸ˜€ I love the holiday and everything that it stands for.

But more then Christmas, I often think I love Christmas Eve more. Christmas Eve is a day of anticipation and a time when the excitement builds for such a lovely holiday. I love helping with the Santa preparations (and of course, after the younger siblings have gone to bed…). I love how as a younger child I would vow not to fall asleep and fall asleep almost instantly in spite of myself. I love everything about that.

So for now, I wish you a Merry Christmas eve, and tomorrow, Merry Christmas! πŸ˜€

December 24, 2008 at 9:09 pm 5 comments

P.S. I Love You right, it was a cute movie. And it had Irish guys so obviously it’s going to be lovely to watch πŸ˜‰

I thought though, that it was a really interesting idea to make a movie about one woman’s grieving process. And I thought the movie also did a great job of getting the point across that life does go on, while remembering all the good and amazing times you had with your loved ones while they were with you. In that way, it’s excellent.

I would caution though, that it had a bit of minor language (quite a few s and b words) and then it also had a bit of gay humor and sensual (or stronger…) stuff so if you’re sensitive to that you might not like this movie. Or not. Just a fair warning πŸ˜€ It’s rated PG-13.

My favorite scene:

Holly:Β  “I’m really scared, could you put your arms around me?”

Holly: “Do you think we could turn around and face each other without freaking him [referring to a “wild” Irish dog πŸ˜‰ ] out?”

Holly: “That was the most perfect, perfect first kiss.”

Gerry: “That was the second, this is the third.”

It’s a rather sweet movie, and I would probably give it four out of five stars. Overall, lovely. I recommend it πŸ˜€

December 24, 2008 at 5:01 pm 7 comments


Anne Elliott has always been plain. She accepts that, and instead has focused on developing her character and improving her mind while her family (two sisters and a father) have concerned themselves with more childish worldy matters. As a result, Anne Elliott is really the only…more Persuasion is, in my opinion, arguably Jane Austen’s most clever book. There really isn’t much action and yet the story moves without flaw, slowly revealing a beautiful romance that on the swoon scale is easily a ten.

Anne Elliott has always been plain. She accepts that, and instead has focused on developing her character and improving her mind while her family (two sisters and a father) have concerned themselves with more childish worldy matters. As a result, Anne Elliott is really the only one in the family with good common sense.

This common sense is put to the test when Anne falls for and is admired in return by Mr. Wentworth (not yet Captain). She is persuaded, however that because her situation is much higher than his, that he is not worthy of her love. In short, she is persuaded against following the course that she knows is right.

Years pass, and the situation has been quite reversed. It is now Anne’s family that must restrain that gaudy life style, for fear of losing everything they possess. And Mr. Wentworth has become Captain Wentworth, a wealthy, handsome, and highly eligible bachelor. This is where Persuasion’s real story begins.

Can Captain Wentworth forgive Anne for being persuaded ten years ago? Or not? (*plays dramatic music here*)

I personally love Persuasion. I feel it’s a very delicately told novel that has immense truth within its pages. The characters of Anne and Captain Wentworth are incredibly complex, as well as their story. This for me was not a quick read, but it was definitely worth reading. If you’re prone to underlining text be prepared, there is a bounty of truly amazing quotes within this book.

My favorite:

“There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting.”

Persuasion easily deserves five stars, and I highly recommend it as well as I would Pride and Prejudice, or any of her other more famed novels.

December 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm 5 comments

Two lovely little videos…

This might be the best fan video of a movie I’ve actually yet seen. And this one is lovely, really. I love the way the music works with it. And the clips the person choose really fit it well. This one is more sad, and I think dwells a bit upon the earlier part of the books.

This is nice πŸ˜€ It reminds me of the happier parts of their relationship. It makes me happy at least.


December 23, 2008 at 7:46 pm 2 comments

My Favorite Josh Groban Performance

Make sure you watch the whole thing… I love when Oprah talks. πŸ˜€

December 23, 2008 at 7:36 pm 3 comments

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