Not doing much of anything. Which is why I’ve not been able to think of much to write. So here is a brief (or maybe not so brief) synopsis of what I’ve been doing lately.
This rotten book called ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’. I’m actually considering giving up reading it, which I don’t do often. I’m also re-reading ‘The Bronze Bow’ with my nephews for their co-op. It’s a bit above their reading level but I’m enjoying re-reading it, as it used to be one of my favorites.
Okay so last night we watched this movie called The Thin Man and I loved it! It was a humorous film noir, and a terrific classic. I just felt happy watching it, and I laughed so often! The main characters were wonderful, and Myrna Loy’s nose scrunch was so cute!
And every now and then I’ve been watching an episode of When Calls the Heart, but they are so painfully cheesy! But I like them anyways…
Painting again. I recently painted another painting, I haven’t in months, and it didn’t turn out so hot, but oh well.
Too much junk. Way too much. I so need to start eating healthy again…
Math… Makeup… My hair… whatever. Not much.
The lilacs and flowers all over! So lovely!
Math. So much. Urgh. It’s the scourge of my life.
About how I wish I could think of something worth while to write. #un-inspired
Kinda pointless. Life is boring right now, I do the same things everyday, like in this little circle. But whatever, I’ll get over it.
For adventure of some sort.
Switchfoot, lots of Switchfoot, I love those guys! And Emile Pandolfi, an amazing pianist, while I do school.
That’s all I got to say… Yep. ‘Cause I’m just over here racking my brain for anything to say, and nothing’s coming.
Well, most of all, I am ready to give up on blogging because I am brain dead. doing a whole lot of nothing. So isn’t that fun? I am also having a very hard time with blog post ideas and/or inspiration. I can’t think of anything to write about. So I am afraid that means I am going to annoy you with another poorly written post ranting about basically nothing whilst I hope that a lightbulb will flash suddenly in my head. Or perhaps you have a blog post idea? Or you were going to share what you do when you are ‘blog post idea dead’?
Anyways, moving on.
School school school. Also lagging and getting behind in school
Getting back to life after being sick (I wish I could say ‘wait, me sick??’ but I can’t)
A Lifestyle Challenge. I just started this today. It is a challenge I made up that has a rather random point system that probably I only understand (although even I don’t entirely understand it) and it challenges me in many aspects of life, namely Exercise, Food, Media, Writing, Cleaning, Spiritual, and a few other things. I have to do a certain amount and some other stuff and in the end, if I get enough points, my mother kindly agreed to purchasing me a dress as a way to encourage me.
Babysitting my nephews for a few days as my mom is out of town and my sister is sick, so I am the designated babysitter.
I am outlining a novel(lla) about a girl named Daphne that takes place in the 1920s. That’s all I’ll say about that.
A skit about Esther (from the Bible) for Purim. It’s gonna be great. If all the kids in our fellowship cooperate, that is.
My current ‘pleasure’ reading is: All the Wrong Questions #4 by Lemony Snicket
I’m reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis for school, and The Snowflake Man by Duncan C Blanchard.
With my nephews, for their school, I am reading them Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
Nothing! Ha! I am not watching movies 2/7-3/9, allowing myself two exceptions. This is apart of the Lifestyle Challenge (see Doing above).
Lately I’ve been listening to soundtracks a lot, such as to superhero movies and the like when I am exercising so I feel heroic and pretend I have muscles, also to more peaceful soundtracks when writing.
To ‘We are Going to be Friends’ by The White Strips many times lately.
And literally right this moment I am listening to Cafe Europea playlist on Spotify.
So there is a bit of a peek into my recent/current life. I hope it was stimulating enough that you didn’t fall asleep. Have good day and please, be a dearie, and comment if it isn’t too much trouble! 🙂
First of all, may I say, Happy New Year! 2016 was a pretty good year. Interesting, and as every other year I’ve lived through, full of changes, some good, some bad, and some in-between.
January, February, March, April
Okay… Umm… Well, I’m sure something happened in January, but I really can’t think of anything significant. February was a good month, because, low-and-behold! here is a blog! I created ‘An Attempt to be Classic’ in February, though I didn’t do much with it for several months, I would know like to think it’s running smoothly. March… I can’t remember much about this month either, but I do know that was the month my Grandpa died. So that was very sad. I don’t have any grandparents anymore, and he was so wonderful! April, we had his funeral in Oregon, and I got to see some relatives I hadn’t seen in ages, which was very interesting.
May, June, July, August
In May, my sister graduated high school, so I’m left here alone (well, kinda, my mom’s homeschooling my nephews, too). The first half of June was rotten, ’cause I was bed-ridden from a seriously sprained ankle for weeks. But the latter half was great, we went to Idaho/Wyoming and saw the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, and it was a pretty good time. July was terrific, definitely one of the highlighted months of 2016. I went to a camp and then got to spend a good long time with some friends, and it was a pretty jolly time. In August, our family had its traditional family vacation, in a rather run down but fun place and we had a pretty good time, although, like all family get-togethers, it was not without its troubles.
September, October, November
(You can hear about my December in my Winter Review in a few months)
So September wasn’t very exciting, we went to a great concert, and were in great anticipation of our upcoming trip, and lots of running around packing and preparing. October was amazing, our trip was fantastic. November was pretty chill but Thanksgiving was great.
Sometimes days I felt like this:
And occasionally, I woke up like this:
some favorite quotes i found this year
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“Sometimes you gotta remember; not everyone was raised the way you were.”
“I am homesick for a place I am not even sure exists, one where my heart is full. And my soul is understood.”
“Maybe I love too much and maybe I show too little.” ~r.m. drake
Goals Met/Accomplishments in 2016
From November of 2015 to December 2016, I lost 50 pounds, and since just June, I lost 30 pounds. I needed to lose them. It was incredibly difficult, and incredibly worth it. It was a long, long journey, and if I hadn’t given up or slacked off as much, I could have lost it all so much faster. At Thanksgiving it was great being enourgaed as people told me how noticable it was and how muhc healthier I’m looking, but shortly after Thanksgiving I got discouraged just by comparing myself to others. It’s so hard to get back on track sometimes, but I can do it, I’ve done it before! (Also, it’s really amusing when people are like “Lis, you look so great, you’ve lost so much!” and I’m stuffing potatoe chips or something like that in my mouth.)
I kept a book log this year, and that’s been really interesting. I hit my goal of and passed it by . So I’m pretty happy with myself, and I am definetly going to keep a book log again this year.
I started learning the guitar, and although I am not very good at all, it has been really fun and it’s great to be able to play a little bit.
I traveled to two countries this year, both of which were on my mental bucket list, so yay!
Oh yes, and this is really, really awesome, perhaps the best part of the year, I got an amazing camera! I love, love, love it, having it around is so nice and such a blessing, and soon I’ll be doing family photos several families I know, which is awesome!
This year seemed kinda crazy, and it’s really interesting having a blog, because you’re recording parts of your life and then you can just look back. But, this year! So weird and good and I feel like I’m finally older, I’m not a little kid at all anymore (I mean, I haven’t been for a few years, but I feel completely not a little kid).
I hope you had a good year, and will have an even better 2017! Oh my goodness, guys! This is 2017!!!! Yay! Happy New Year!
Please, remember, comments make me happy! 😀 Also, Happy New Year!
Our last day, we took a trip to Tuscany. We had a private tour with a wonderful guide, Maria, and our driver Marco. It was amazing. Everything is just the greenest green! SO MUCH GREEN. All different shades and different trees, bushes, and grasses.
Anyways the drive was so beautiful.
Our first stop was a little medieval town, Monte Pulciano, where several movies have been filmed and where there was a beautiful catholic church. It was so serene inside, silent, with a few candles lit here and there, and the slightest noise would echo.
It was freezing there. Very chilly, as it was on a mountain, and I hadn’t brought a sweater (our guide thought I was insane), so we scoured the gift shop for one and ended up buying one for each of the four of us (mom didn’t want one). They are pretty great blue and maroon hoodies that have words in Italian about wine and such.
When I was taking some pictures with my lovely camera, Maria asked me if I did photography professionally, and I said I was working on it. She later asked if I was studying at a university and I looked at her. I told her that I still have several years of high school left. She asked how old I was and I told her. She was surprised, haha, I love (for now) being thought of as older than I am.
Then we went up in this really interesting tower that was very very high off the ground, and you had to go up a whole bunch of steps made of bricks, with holes and weird wooden railings, very crowded, just to get to the top, but it was totally worth it. I thought it was cold below, but let me just say I was glad I got a sweater.
We did the first wine tasting in that town (Even after all that wine, I still don’t like it, perhaps when I’m old enough to drink it in America I will, but not now.), and there was ‘snacks’ and chocolate. I’m pretty sure this chocolate was from heaven. It was incredible. We brought home eight bars and wish we had bought more.
We went to another town and wandered around, got some amazing gelato and some souvenirs and the best lemon soda ever. It was such high quality! Anyways then we piled back into the car, did another wine tasting (this time with no snacks so I suffered through it).
Next, we went to a goat cheese farm owned by a man named Guiseppe, or Pepe as our driver called him. One of the employees showed us around and told us the process and opened the room where they store cheese, and let me tell you that it was one of the worst and most overwhelming smells I have ever had to smell. I shudder just to think of it! Then we went to the tasting room and got to eat lots of cheese (which I don’t really like) and some amazing ricotta cheese. Guiseppe said to put lots of sugar with the ricotta, so I did, but then I poured way more than I meant to. So I scooped it off of the cheese onto my plate and Guiseppe looked at me as if I were a lunatic and said “You cana never havea too much sugar!”
After a very full day, we went back to our hotel, bid our lovely guide and driver goodbye, and my sister and I headed to the hotel restaurant to get tiramisu. Which was not that terrific, but oh well.
The next day we headed home. As much as I loved, loved, loved Israel and seeing our friends, there was something about Italy that just completely drew me in. It was wonderful! Truly and completely!
My favorite things about Italy:
Flying in over the greenest place I’ve ever seen
Our grand hotel
Going through spinny doors
Seeing the painting of Adam reaching for God’s hand
Touching the pillars of the Pantheon
Being called ‘bella (beautiful)’ by an actual Italian man
Seeing Rome in the rain with all the umbrellas
Experiencing earthquakes (yes, they make my favorites list)
Hearing a delightful language all the time
THE FOOD! (gelato, Nutella, buffets, pizza, pasta!)
Seeing so much greenness and real Italian vineyards
The beautiful church
Being though I was a good three years or so older than I am
Feeling like I could see the whole world from the top of the tower
Being done smelling that horrific cheese smell
Having a million wonderful memories.
I was so blessed to be able to go on this trip, blessed by my family, the friends we stayed with in Israel, and of course by the Father for making it all workout! It was truly the adventure of a lifetime.
This was amazing. We arrived at the airport, exhausted and tired from the Israel trip. We go straight to our hotel, and just on the ride (about 25 minutes, all in Rome) we were amazed by what we saw. Everything was SOOO green, even just the weeds on the side of the road. Buildings that would normally be considered ugly managed to be beautiful and all the old buildings were so cool! We got to our hotel and it was incredible, it was like a palace! The doors of our taxi van were opened for us and so were the doors to the hotel (ooh, and there were those cool spinny doors!).
Dad checked us in and but we were a bit early so we asked the concierge (try saying that, it’s really fun) what he suggested for lunch. We went to a little restaurant and there was a great guy there (very unprofessional looking though). We told him we wanted stuff that didn’t have non-fish seafood or pork and he just went with it and brought us out these huge servings of pasta and meat and fish and bread and cheese and tomatoes. It was very yummy, but when my sister and I couldn’t eat anymore he kept telling us to finish anyways. We gave some to our brother and parents so he wouldn’t feel too bad but I still couldn’t finish.
We went back to the hotel and went to our huge suite (not at all what we were expecting, a million times better!), and stood in awe for a while. Then we went on a tour at the Coliseum and some old castle ruins. There were a lot of people in the tour and we had to wear these little radios and earbuds so we could hear the lady talking. She kind of didn’t stop talking. Ever. She was a walking encyclopedia, she never repeated information but she just kept going! The Coliseum was really interesting, not quite like I had expected it. I would show you pictures of the inside, but as I said in my Israel post, my memory card is failing, I do have a selfie, haha, though, of me and the outside.
The next day we went to Vatican (so technically we went to three countries) and went to the Sistine Chapel. It was very catholic, and a bit creepy with all the weird pagan stuff and naked statues. But we saw the painting of Adam reaching for God which was very cool.
We also went to the Pantheon, and that was… weird. It’s dedicated to 12 gods so that’s strange, but it’s a very magnificent building.
Every building in Rome was so interesting and so many of them have so much history packed into them! Some were just simple and elegant, though.
Okay, so I thought people drive crazy in Israel, but no. Drivers are INSANE in Italy. It was pretty frightening sometimes. I think they just use the yellow lines in the middle of the roads as suggestions and not rules. And there was no yielding to merge, just merging if you want to go then. And oh my goodness, so. many. motorcyclists!
Later that day we went to this darling pizzeria, very picturesque and cozy. We asked how big the pizzas are and the answer was ‘personal size’. We chuckled to ourselves, knowing that Italians’ versions of ‘personal servings’ are rather large. But, gracious, they came out and they were huge! They were pizzas I would normally share with two or three other people! But the hilarious thing is, we each still ended up eating all the pizza! I gave a few of my pieces away but it was crazy! Delicious, though. On the way out dad had us kids take a picture with one of the servers. Dad told me, “Lissy Belle (a nickname of mine), get in the picture!” And the waiter said something like “Yesa, youra bella!”, which means beautiful! So a real life genuine Italian man called me beautiful! How amazing is that?!?
Okay, we got to be in Italy, while it rained!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOOOORAH! So many people were walking around with umbrellas and raincoats, and it was gorgeous afterwards with the clouds still lingering and the wet pavement!
Also, we experienced several noticeably large earthquakes! I had been through one teeny one a long time ago, but these were much larger, especially on the fifth floor of our hotel! My sister and I were watching the 2014 version of Annie in Italian (except the songs were in English and we know the movie so well, it didn’t make much of a difference) and our parents came to our room and were talking about our plans for the next day and then my bed started shaking and the big chandelier, and we all looked at each other and I got really excited, and my isn’t this a run on sentence! Anyways, then another one came and they were very exciting!
Gelato in Italy was pretty amazing, and they serve cold Nutella there. I don’t mean Nutella-flavored ice cream, I mean plain cold Nutella! You could just buy a scoop! Nutella is a big deal over there, which is pretty great in my opinion.
And our hotel breakfasts were huge buffets, piles and piles of food; eggs, sausage, pastries, sweet foods, drinks, etc! My brother got five plates overspilling with food, and eat almost all of what he started with!
May I just mention how incredibly WONDERFUL the accents and the language is. So fun. Every Italian accent you’ve ever heard, even if it seemed grossly exaggerated, was probably, in some region, accurate. I love their language, it’s so sing-songy! I’m learning the language and the accent should be pretty easy to authenticate, because whatever you think it is, you’re probably right.
So that is the first two days of our trip, and I will be posting part two later today or tomorrow.
Tell me what you think! Does Italy entice you as much as it does me? Ciao for now!
Twenty-three days ago my family and I set off on an adventure. Sure it wasn’t hiking the alps, riding elephants, or bungee jumping, but it was an adventure.
Twenty-three days ago my family and I stepped into an airplane to head to Israel.
Twenty-two days ago we arrived in Jerusalem.
And let me tell you that it was incredible and worth the money I spent, and my parents and sister spent.
We aren’t Jewish, we believe in Jesus as our Messiah, but we also celebrate the biblical festivals that you read about in the Bible, including Sukkot, which is what we were doing in Israel.
I really don’t even know where to start. (Ooh, but I’d like to point out that I’m finally the one who took the pictures for this post, instead of using other sources)
First of all, airplanes are horrible, horrible places. I had only flown once when I was seven, so what I was expecting was different from reality. We had a three-hour drive to the airport, the first flight was 4 hours, the next leg was 9, and the next was three. I was either really tired and grumpy or really hyper and restless. No in between. And I couldn’t, for all I tried, sleep on the plane. I slept on the floor of the airport, but not the plane.
When we arrived it was about 8:00 Israel time so we split up to up to head to the two apartments the four families were sharing. Everyone was already there our family was the last to come. My sister and I stayed at one apartment with three of the adults, while our parents and brother stayed in the other with our hosts and all the boys.
To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you what happened which day because they are all mixed together in my head, with no chronological-ness. But I do remember the first day we just chilled and took a walk.
So during the festival of Sukkot, there are several additional sabbaths (days of rest) and of course there were the regular Saturday sabbaths. We were staying in the Jewish quarter of Israel and everything shut down and there were very few cars (you can actually see in the picture above that we crossed on a red light because there were no cars for miles).
The Western Wailing Wall was amazing, not like I pictured it but very cool. Pictures weren’t allowed there, but here is a picture of us walking to it. (Can’t see it in the picture)
Markets there are very, very awesome. They are huge throngs of people shouting and purchasing food, spices, souvenirs, candy, flowers, tea, etc.
Very sadly my memory card that stored the most pictures (I had several hundred pictures on it) is refusing to download, so my best pictures aren’t going to make it onto this post :””(
We went to En Gedi, which is a place with tons of caves, the place where David hid from Saul. There were a couple of waterfalls there, too, it was very cool. We also saw Masada, where the very sad story of the Jewish soldiers who jumped off the cliffs in order that the Romans wouldn’t get them.
The Dead Sea. My goodness! This place was… well, salty, that’s for sure. We got there a bit before sunset and got to see a very beautiful pink sunset go down above the mountains. So our luggage arrived later than we did so I only had flip flops for the first day, so when we went to the Dead Sea, I had horrible blisters between my toes, and getting into the water was soooooo painful. Like very, very. Everywhere stung for quite a while but then you got used to it. So floating took no effort whatsoever, which was very interesting. Your feet would just kinda pop up. The water was very oily feeling. It was an odd feeling.
There were these really cool stairs in this one area that went along the top of the walls, we didn’t go on much of it (so many stairs, ya know).
The Sea of Galilee was incredible. It was by far my favorite thing we did/saw. I took some really great pictures but again, my memory card is being a pain, so I can’t show you them [:””””( ]. We had an amazing experience and went out on these very beautiful wooden boats that are replicas of the boats that would have been used during Jesus’s time, with silent motors, so it felt very authentic. The men who sailed the boats, David and Judah, were very nice and informative, David looked just like a sailor on a wooden boat in Israel should. Afterward, Judah very kindly drove us to a restaurant that had no tourists (except us) and they served us so much food. It just kept coming and coming. There were these huge piping hot naan breads brought out and perhaps 15 or more dishes of dips/veggies/salsas to dip them in. By the time our actual food came, I was very full but managed to eat some anyway.
We got gelato so often, it was kinda weird since that isn’t really something Israel is known for. But gelato is amazing, so I didn’t complain 😀
We ate a lot, but we also walked a lot. The apartments were a thirty-minute walk apart, so we did that several days, back and forth. We walked to the Wall several times, and the markets and squares. As I already mentioned, the markets were a lot of fun, there were a couple different ones and one was really small and the salesmen were like ‘come in!’ ‘We have the real McCoy’ and other phrases they thought were cool. Lots of scarves and clothes hanging, it made for a pretty picture.
The hills covered in graves, Jewish and Arab, were stunning. The walls there and all the buildings seem to be made of the same tan stone material.
It was so interesting seeing Jews everywhere, it was cool. There were the Orthodox with the payot (curls) and black and white clothing with the hats, there were Russian-Orthodox, and there hats were hilarious. Then there were the men who just had kephas. Also, a lot of the women dressed really modestly and they looked well dressed all the time.
One night we went to a big ‘craft fair’, and on the way, we passed a Jewish man singing loudly on a band stand with speakers and some guitars, and there were all these men dancing in a circle shouting and singing, jumping around and kicking there legs, some would carry another guy on there shoulders, there were older men and little boys and all the ages in between, and it wasn’t just Jewish men dancing. An elderly but strong Jew came up to two of our friends and dragged them in. They only danced for ten minutes or so but when they were done they were sweating really hard. It was really fun to watch.
And things were not expensive there. I got a good deal of souvenirs but could have afforded more. Shekels and NIS (New Israeli Shekel) were the currency. Shekels are worth about 26 cents, so if something was a hundred shekels it was about 26 dollars. But I don’t think I bought anything for more than 30 shekels.
Oh and we went to an old dig site, called City of David. In the city of David was that in the picture below, and also a tunnel called Hezikiah’s Tunnel, which was narrow and dark and had water in it. That was a cool place, but the day altogether was one of the worser (is that a word?) of the ten.
Jerusalem was pretty, and some of the places we went to were lovely, but a lot of the places we drove through could be considered ugly. It was kind of odd, some places really showed a ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ while others showed the curses of man.
Oh and here is a picture of one of the many amusing signs we saw that when translated into English sounded weird.
I thought the buildings there were really beautiful, but just wait till my Italy post 😉
I had a truly amazing time, it was great hanging out with friends, making memories, having new experiences and seeing so many places that I’ve read about for years.
Sto andan in un’avventura! Okay sorry, I had to get a little Italian out. In 19 hours and eleven minutes (1:00 [am] saturday) my family and I will load into a little car, with suitcases, backpacks, purses, etc. and drive three hours to the airport where I will be extremely tired. And confused. And nervous.
I have flown once. When I was seven. For 35 minutes. And I don’t remember anything about it. So flying for 19 hours will be, to say the least, interesting. I know my family knows how to fly, but still…
When we arrive in Israel (yes! Israel!) we will be greeted by our friends who have been gallivanting across Europe for the last couple months.We’ll stay there for a while, seeing some of the most beautiful places, and Biblical sights, and so much History! It’ll be so different from anything we’re used to!
After we’ve spent our time in Israel, we’ll load back into an airplane and travel to Italy, for a short, but very lovely (I’m sure) stay. We’ll go to the Vatican, so I’ll get three countries technically.
The only sad part of this trip is that I will very much miss seeing a large group of people we would normally be seeing during this time of year, so to all you, I will miss you so much!
And I’ll be taking thousands of pictures and the sort, so when we’ve come back and recovered from jet lag, and exhaustion, I’ll do a post with many pictures and a (hopefully) short description of our journeys.
So stay tuned! And pray for my family and our friends safety, please. Well, quindi addio, e vi di commentare! (Good bye, and please comment!)
I’ve been told we’re going to watch the sunset from the Mount of Olives, so I will post a picture of that, but for now here’s a lovely American sunset. (I did not take this picture, btw)