Saturday, January 12, 2019

My Favorite TV Show Themes

I don't know about you, but for me, theme songs are a huge factor in my opinions on TV shows. (I mean, not much, but...some, at least.) Like, have you ever just started dancing during the opening credits to your favorite show because the theme song is just. so. good? Or you listen to it on repeat? Or you sing along because you've seriously seen and listened to it so much that you know every line, word for word? Yeah, I'm going to be talking about a few of those.
One of my favorite things to do with these is, when I find (or think of) another one that I love, I'll add it to my TV themes playlist on Spotify, then listen to them on shuffle and see how fast I can name them.

The Loner
I'm not a huge fan of this show, but I love the theme song, and I was so sad to find that this song isn't on Spotify. 

The Virginian
Ohh, this brings back so many memories. Mostly of watching the episodes on Sunday afternoons during the Summer because that was basically the only time we watched TV.

Again, one of those shows we watched together as a family.

Now, once again, Bonanza isn't particularly a favorite, but the theme song is the bomb.

Mission: Impossible
The show is just as epic as the theme song. And I mean the old show, not those new movies. *shakes head sadly* The old is so much better than the new.

The Pink Panther
I'm not gonna lie, the show drives me insane. But the theme is epic. (And yes, I'm well aware of my overuse of the word 'epic'. Don't judge, Squirt.)

NCIS: Los Angeles
While I love the show, there are some questionable parts. Watch with discretion.

As my sis so eloquently puts it, "I love this song. I love the show too. Almost as much as the song."

Magnum P.I.
I've never seen this show, so I can't exactly recommend it... ;P

Hogan's Heroes
Last, but certainly not least. The show is hilarious.

So there's ten of my favorite TV show themes. Can you see a theme here (no pun intended)? Yes, my family is sliiiiightly biased to the old shows.
What are some of your favorite themes?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

God vs. Braces

This is a post I've had in the back of my mind for quite some time.  I've had my braces off for over two years, but two of my siblings have had braces since then and I'm reminded of the whole process all over again.  So today I'm going to be making some observations of how braces remind me of God.

Now, before you think I'm completely off my rocker by comparing God to braces, let me make my case.  (After all, people use foods like eggs and apples to represent the Trinity, so you can't exactly get much further out than that...)

First of all, you don't realize how much you need braces until you're shown how badly you need them.  Before I had braces, my teeth didn't bother me—until I began to realize that a person's bottom teeth are supposed to be straight, not overlapping.  It made me feel conspicuous and almost afraid to smile.  But then when I finally did get braces, they straightened my teeth out and made them good as new.

In the same way, people are searching for something—or someone—to make their lives complete, whole, and worth something.  We don't realize just how desperate we are for fulfillment until we see someone with a smile and laughter, and we think, wow, I wish I had whatever they have.  We become insecure, and pretty much nothing can make us feel good about ourselves again.  Sure, a hug or a word of encouragement can give us a temporary pick-me-up, but nothing really satisfies our thirst for purpose until Christ enters our hearts.

The second thing about braces is the huge amount of trust.  You have to be ready to give up your teeth's current status and trust the orthodontist to know what they're doing in order to bring about the end result.  I don't know about you, but allowing someone to put their fingers in my mouth and poke around and cement little pieces of metal to my poor teeth.  It's actually a rather disturbing thought, when I put it that way.

It's like asking Christ to come in and do some housework in our hearts.  We're asking Him to come live inside us to do His work in our lives.  The thought really is unnerving, knowing that He'll see everything inside—both the good and the bad—and get to work.  In essence, we're saying, "I'm screwing up.  I'm obviously awful at running my own life, so even though it's a terrifying thought, I trust You and ask You to do what I can't."

What else is there?  Well, for me at least, the whole process is painful.  Not only are we trusting the orthodontist with our mouths, but we're allowing him to cause us some pain so that we achieve the desired result.  Am I the only one that rode home from the dentist with my head resting on my hand, not feeling like doing anything because my mouth hurt too bad?  It hurt, but I endured because I knew it would all be worth it.

When we ask Christ to live in our hearts, we're asking Him to take over and mold us into the children that God created us to be.  And, well, to put it simply, it hurts to give up everything.  It hurts to 'take up your cross' and follow Christ wherever He leads.  It hurts when those around you glare and shun because they don't like what you're doing.  But y'know what?  There's also a deep joy and satisfaction derived from knowing that you're doing your Creator's will and that someday, it will all be worth the effort when you hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

This walk with Christ isn't all flowers and rainbows.  Goodness gracious, I know that.  But keep your eyes on the things above.  Realize how much you need a Savior.  Trust.  Endure the pain, because He will sustain you, and in the end, it will all be worth it.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Top Books of 2018 {Plus 2019 Goals}

So, I tried to narrow my favorite books down to one... but there were actually two that just really stuck out to me.
There were several books that I LOVED and rated 5 stars, and they each basically made me speechless (because c'mon, 5 stars?  It has to be good).  But there were two that just... ahhhh, I loved them so. very. much.

What are these two books, you ask?  Well, *grins* lemme show you.


Blaze of Glory by Jeff Struecker and Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury.

Oh. my. word, y'all.  Okay, so I was so surprised by Angels Walking.  I had been told that it was amazing.  I'd been urged by a good friend to read it, but as I knew that Karen Kingsbury writes romance, I was rather hesitant.  I mean... romance.  But.  Wowwwwww, I was kinda shocked at how much I loved it.  Allllll the feeellllsssss.  I've recently acquired an appreciation for feelsy stories and this one is definitely worth a re-read.

So, Blaze of Glory.  I enjoy intense books, and um this book delivered.  I checked it out of the library on a whim because I thought the cover looked cool (and because the author is military so I knew the military aspect would be epic).  Well... it was... incredible.  If I hadn't known better, I would've thought that I literally went on a rollercoaster, it was so intense.  But it was amazing.  And the spiritual aspect. <3

So yes, my two favorite books from the year were actually basically opposites, which is interesting but cool. (Also I got Blaze of Glory—the whole series, actually—for Christmas, and a candle that SMELLS LIKE A BOOKSTORE AND IT'S SO AMAZING)


Okay, now 2019 goals.

Right about now is the time that everyone is making their New Year's resolutions—a new year, a fresh start at becoming more, becoming better.

I've never made New Year's resolutions.  Why?  Because the definition of a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.  Resolutions take determination, y'all.  And while I get that determination and perseverance can be good things, I didn't want the burden of knowing that if I messed up one of my resolutions I'd feel like a failure, which basically reverses the effects that resolutions are supposed to have.

So, I came up with an alternative: goals.  Because I know I'm a work-in-progress, and by God's grace I'm going to continue to improve every day.  It's the same thing with my goals.  Rather than making a resolution, I made several goals to work towards rather than piling it on top of myself all at once.  So I'd like to share with you a few goals I have for the new year.

1. (Tentatively) Publish Beloved.
Okay, so yeah, this may or may not happen.  But *crosses fingers* Lord willing, I'll put the hammer down and stop procrastinating.  This poor baby has gone through (and is going through) so many changes, it'll be a miracle if I get it ready for publication by 2090.  But I'm going to try. ;)

2. Exercise at least 4 days out of every week.
Those who know me well know that I'm seriously so out of shape, it isn't even funny.  So since Mom got a membership at the local gym, I'll hopefully get going regularly with her, as well as exercising at home.  Because goodness knows I need it.

3. Read at least 60 books.
So according to Goodreads, this year I've only read 76 out of my 90-book goal this year, which is sad, but it also means that I haven't spent as much time with my nose in a book (or I'm just not as fast a reader as I used to be... but I refuse to accept that), so that's good, right?  So I thought I'd let off some pressure and rather than shoot for the stars on this one, I'd shoot for... well, the neighbor's yard, I guess.  (Living out in the country, that's not exactly close...)

4. Blog consistently.
Um maybe by the end of the year I'll actually master this one?  Because while I obviously need help in the consistent blogging department, I've been doing better lately, and maybe I'll just have to designate a few days this year to just write like 20 posts at a time and schedule them and possibly actually publish a post every week.

5. Write at least 50,000 words.
Well, seeing as how I probably wrote barely 10K this year, this might not happen, especially if I'm going to be dedicating a bunch of time to Beloved.  Buuuut we'll give it a whirl.  I mean, hundreds of people write this much in one month alone (NaNo, anyone?) and surely I can do it in the span of 12 months... right?

6. Create a 2019 playlist.
Now, this is an idea that I kinda halfways stole from a blog I follow, but I thought it was a neat idea.  I love music, and I'm constantly listening to music or singing or playing piano or just playing a song in my head over and over (I don't recommend that though, unless you want to get really tired of that song really fast).  I'm not sure how I'll do this, maybe a song per week, or when something significant happens.

7. Finish reading through the Bible.
I started this for school this past semester, and I'm actually supposed to get 3/4 of the way done by the time next semester is over, so I'd hope this would happen... but I guess ya never know.  Maybe I should shoot for reading through the Bible again after I finish...

8. Memorize at least 20 Bible verses.
I don't memorize nearly as much as I should, and I'll hopefully step up my game this year.  I've never really cared that much for memorization (unless it's music that I accidentally memorize by listening to a specific song over and over), so not only will this increase my knowledge of the Bible, it'll also bring me out of my comfort zone.


Yeah... that's a lot of goals.  We'll see how I do!  I might write an update post this summer... we shall see.
Do you have any goals/resolutions for 2019?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Why Fruitcake?

Fruitcake is the stereotypical Christmas dessert.  I've personally only had it once (never again), but it's still everywhere this time of year.  So during a conversation with my mother on the subject, and amid speculation, I began to wonder exactly why fruitcake is so traditional and popular, even though few people actually like it.  So, I did some research.  And I was surprised and slightly horrified to find that some fruitcake supposedly has a shelf life of 25 years.

Fruitcake actually started in Rome, where it was almost a delicacy, only affordable to the rich because of how rare fresh fruit was in the winter.  Add liqueur to that, and you've got an expensive dish.  Our American version stemmed from the British form of plum cake, a fruity dessert incredibly popular to eat during holidays.  Obviously, it's not nearly as rare and expensive now, so it's not as popular as it used to be.  But it's still iconic.

My personal experience with fruitcake came 3 or 4 years ago, when we visited a location famous for their fruitcake, and was handing out samples.  I sunk my teeth into a bite, even though fruitcake isn't liked all that well and I'm not a fan of trying new foods.  But I figured I might as well give it a try.
The bread was... very sweet, and the fruit was... well, something I tried not to chew too much.  All this to say, no, I don't like fruitcake.  But if you do—more power to you!

Also, don't forget to visit Faith's blog for the other participators and the giveaway!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Memorable Decorations {Part 2}

Last time I talked about the memories behind our Christmas decorations, we ended in the front room.  I'd like to now take you over to the family room, where more surprises await.

First of all, let's hop to the south side of the house, where windows offer perfect places to drape some greenery.  And what better addition to the greenery than snowflakes?  Probably about ten years ago, my grandma patiently attempted to teach me how to do a simple chain crochet stitch, which I promptly left to do other, more interesting things.  Well, finally, a few years ago, she gave me the idea to make lace snowflakes for my mom.  I readily agreed, not knowing how tedious it would be to learn new stitches and put them to use.  But I'm quite pleased with how they turned out!

A hop and a skip away, and once again, we've got a homemade gift that the guys made probably six or seven years ago.  Mom wanted stocking hangers, and so her sweet husband once again surprised her with eight shining, gold-painted hangers.  I remember that we all gave them to her—Daddy and us kids—and though I didn't do a thing, they were still partially from me, and that was special.  Though it made my brothers slightly irritated.

And let's just take a moment to admire these stocking handcrafted by my very talented mother, shall we?  Not only are they simply stockings, but cowboy boots!  Yeah, have I mentioned her love for western decor?

Now let's take a step back from the mantle (where we put the village every year until we decided to put it on the piano this year) to examine Kordell's fascination/obsession with lights.  The dude seriously finds a new place to string lights every year. (Let's not forget that one year Birdo strung garland across the room suspended from the ceiling... but that's another story.)


Our house is certainly all decked out this year!  How about yours?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Memorable Decorations

Today marks the start of the 12 Days of Christmas blog party!
Come with me, I'd like to take you on a tour through our house.  Our Christmas decorations are put up, and there are some specific ones that I'd like to show you, each with a special meaning or memory. (And thanks to Kara for taking most of these pics!)

First stop is the front yard.  Looking at the house, you'll see a tree covered in lights, and then a star of lights on top of the house.  That star has been on the house every winter pretty much as long as I can remember.  But once upon a time, Mom really wanted lights on the house, and one year Daddy suddenly surprised her with a homemade star.  You can see it from a couple miles away, and it's certainly a major part of our Christmas decorations.

Next stop: front room.   Remember the Christmas tree that I mentioned?  If you turn to the right after entering the front door, you'll find that tree, laden with lights, garland and ornaments.  Have I mentioned that handmade gifts are kind of a thing around here?  Kordell made mom a box of cutout western (western decor is Mom's favorite) ornaments—bull heads, horseshoes, cowboy boots, etc., and Mom then wrote names of Jesus on them.

A few feet from the tree, you'll find Mom's grand piano covered with a ceramic village.  This village has been collected over the years, with my grandma adding to it every year for quite a long time.  It's probably the decoration us kids enjoyed putting up the most when we were little.

Next to the piano, you'll find a short chest of drawers with this nativity on it.  Us kids had our own nativity scene that we were allowed to put up ourselves.  I don't know how many pieces have been hot-glued (have I ever mentioned that hot glue is another of this family's specialties?) back together again.  So if we got to put up Mom's good brown nativity, man, we were privileged! (If you look closely, you can see that the angel's wing has been glued together... yes, we did mess up sometimes)

On a second chest of drawers around the corner lies this nativity calendar.  On each day of December, counting down to Christmas, you open one of the little doors and pull out an item to stick on the scene.  I remember calculating the number of days to see which of us siblings got to open baby Jesus on Christmas Eve.  We alternated every year, even though we argued about it every year.

These two characters are found pretty much anywhere in the house.  Pushing the yellow sticker on the mouse's foot presses a button that activates it to start dancing and playing its guitar and singing Jingle Bell Rock.  Santa has a switch to turn him on, and once that switch is flipped, he sings Jingle Bells any time he senses a loud noise, or when someone taps him.  These two guys were the best white elephant gifts ever!


Everyone has their favorite Christmas decorations and memories.  What are some of yours?
Also, don't forget to check out Faith's blog for all the links to the other participants in the blog party!  (Also, there's an epic-looking giveaway going on with all sorts of epic stuff like books and music and I don't even know what else.)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Blessings of a Small Church

Having attended the same small church my entire life, I kind of took for granted that all churches are like ours.
Not so, friends.
I've attended many different services over the years, and I must say that ours is my favorite.  Not that I'm totally biased or anything.  Some people hate small churches, some people love them.  There's no right or wrong here as long as the church is teaching God's Word.  But today I'd like to share a few major points about why I love attending a small church.

Less people. Being slightly anthraphobic (look that up if you don't know what it means), this is a big deal for me.  It's much more relaxing the less people there are.

Worship is personal.  Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the large churches I occasionally visit, but there are times that I can't hear myself sing over the worship leaders.  In a small church, it makes the worship experience so much more real for me personally.

Everyone knows everyone by name.  With an average attendance of around 80 people, that kinda happens... XD

One big, happy family, which kinda goes along with the previous point and the future youth group point, buuuut hey, it's definitely worth repeating.

Multiple parents that claim you, especially the ones that teasingly say your mom is selfish for not letting her kids out for adoption to them.

The youth group is like a bunch of siblings, complete with the oldest girl, bossy like a big sister (which may or may not be myself...) that the others may or may not obey, and a variety of other personalities.

Potlucks become nearly competitive.  Not with the food, exactly... but there are those certain dishes that are brought every time, and everyone knows what they are, and they disappear within ten minutes.  But when I say competitive, I mean that afterward, the first two people to the kitchen run the dishwater and basically have a competition to see who get the most silverware dumped in their sink.  And then work to keep ahead of those that take up station rinsing and drying.

Active members take up 2/3 of the congregation.  Seriously, when you think about it, that's a big percentage of the congregation.  If you attend a small church, just take a census of all the teachers, music leaders, and committee members, and there won't be much of the regular congregation left.


Well, what do you think?  Can any of you fellow small-church people relate?  And you mega-church attendees: what makes your church special?  I'd love to hear about it!