Sunday, March 30, 2014

Movie Review: The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Rating: PG-13
Our Rating: 5/5

Plot: Even though she couldn't read, Liesel Meminger's life changed when she picked up The Grave Digger's Handbook at her brother's graveside. After her brother's unexpected death, she is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Her new foster father teaches her to read, and from that point on, she can't get enough of it. When Hans and Rosa hide a Jew in their basement, Liesel is curious of this young man named Max. In their time together, Liesel and Max form a friendship, and he challenges her to be creative with the words given to her, and to hold on to hope (taken from Elinor's book review).

This movie was incredible! It was very heartfelt, inspiring, and encouraging. The actors that they chose portrayed the characters beautifully and true to the book. We loved this movie and would highly recommend it to anyone of appropriate age (most likely 12+, depending on maturity). Fair warning though, grab a box of tissue before you sit down!


Liesel Meminger: Being the main character of the story, Liesel is the person you grow closest to. She is inspiring because even though she has nearly everything taken from her, she never gives up hope. Her fascination with words, then books is brilliantly expressed and easy to relate to :).

Hans Hubermann: Hans is Liesel's adoptive father and one of the most endearing characters of the story. His immediate love for Liesel makes him wonderful from the moment you first see him. He is the one who first introduces Liesel to words and what they mean. Their relationship was unforgettable.

Rosa Hubermann: Rosa is Liesel's adoptive mother. She is a woman who very rarely lets her emotions show, even though she is a loving and caring mother. Her personality is perfectly portrayed in the movie as having a huge heart, but a temper to cover it up.

Rudy Steiner: As already shared in Elinor's book friends, Rudy Steiner is an unforgettable character (he's our favorite :)). He, like Hans, is smitten with Liesel from the moment he sees her. He is the friend for her that she needed; the friend that won't let her give up. 

Max Vandenburg: Max is a Jew who Liesel's family hides from the Nazis. He challenges her to use her words to express herself in ways she never imagined. She in turn, encourages him during the most challenging and frightening 3 years of his whole life.

Elinor's Thoughts: After I saw this movie when it came out in November, I HAD to read the book! And that made the movie even better to me! Now I'm not going to lie here, the book was better than the movie (as is always the case in my opinion), but I think that as far as movies based on books goes, this is the closest I think that it's ever gotten. The characters especially, were portrayed perfectly. And while you didn't get to know them as closely as you did in the book, you fell in love with each and everyone of them. I think that it is an inspiring story that I would highly recommend! This movie will always be a favorite and every time I watch it I will remember reading the book.

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing worse than a boy who hates you is a boy who loves you."

Marianne's Thoughts: This is one of the best movies I have ever seen! It is DEFINITELY an all-time favorite! If you haven't seen it, you're really missing out; you absolutely must see it! Fair warning though, if you cry at movies often, you will seriously cry at this one. Even if you don't cry at movies often you will cry at this one! I'm a crier; I cry at movies quite often, so when my mom and sister (who saw it before me) said that I would cry I was like "Oh, OK," I mean, I didn't think it would make me cry that hard. I don't wanna give anything away, but I have never cried at a movie as hard as I did at The Book Thief.  Also, open wounds or large amounts of blood bother me and make me light-headed, and being that this was a "war movie" I had my mom and sister watch it first. Just so you know (in case you're like me) there was no blood or wounds or anything gory. 
  Due to some violence, language, and the sheer heartbreak shown in the movie, I would recommend it to an older, mature audience. I absolutely LOVED this movie and HIGHLY recommend watching it (I wanna read the book now)! You can read our mom's movie review HERE!

Favorite Quote:
"I'm not lost to you, Liesel. You'll always be able to find me in your words. That's where I'll live on."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Painting by Marianne #4

   Hello! I have recently finished a new painting! This one is of a horse, and while I don't feel that I captured the movement perfectly, I would probably say that this is one of my favorites I have shared with you so far!

Step 1: I sketched my subject and background paying very close attention to the textures of my horse's mane and tail.

Step 2: I added washes to the sky and ground. I also painted the mountains in the background and some clouds.

Step 3: I added another layer of paint onto the ground, except this time, it was a shade darker. Then, I painted the first layer of on my horse.

Step 4: I painted another layer on the horse and ground.

Step 5: I painted the very last layer of paint on the horse and my painting was DONE!

My favorite part of the painting - my horse's head!

Which of the paintings I have shared is your favorite?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quick Encouragement #24

Image made by Marianne at PicMonkey

So, I am terribly sorry that we haven't posted much other than Quick Encouragements. I don't wish to make excuses, but we have been busy. However, we do have Movie Review, Painting by Marianne #4, and Book Friends #4 posts in the making, so hopefully you won't have to wait much longer! Thanks for your patience! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book Review: The Magician's Nephew

Review by Marianne
Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 1, The Magician's Nephew
Author: C. S. Lewis
Rating: 4/5
Age Recommendation: 12+

Plot: Digory is living with his Aunt and Uncle because his mother is terribly sick and his father is in India for his job. He meets a little girl named Polly and they become good friends. Eventually, the naughty children find their way into the attic in which Digory's uncle spends most of his time in. They find themselves magically transported to a world very different than our own; and are so curious, that they accidentally release an evil witch from her enchanted sleep.

I kind of already knew the story of Narnia, but I didn't know many details so, the other day I decided to read the whole series. The Magician's Nephew I think, is mainly just a book to get you ready and explain the origins of the books to come, however, it is very entertaining and I would highly recommend it!

Characters: I really liked the characters in this book! Having seen the movie of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe I had already "met" Digory as he is the old man that takes the children in. I really enjoyed getting to see how he originally found Narnia and how he came to get that magic wardrobe!

Emotions: Overall this was a very fun-filled and kid-friendly adventure! I really enjoyed reading it and as I said before would highly recommend it! 

My Thoughts: I loved this book! The only reason I rated it 4/5 instead of 5/5 is because, like I said before, I felt that it was just kind of setting the tone for the rest of the books. It was kind of short and altogether, is mainly about Narnia's creation. Nevertheless, it was very fun, and an awesome read!

Favorite Quote:
"She has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Review: Heartless

Review By Marianne
Title: Heartless, Book 1 in The Goldstone Wood Series
Author: Anne Elizabeth Stengl
Rating: 5/5
Age Recommendation: 10+

Plot:  Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and her mind is filled with daydreams of romantic suitors come to pay their respects (which, according to Una means, "to investigate marriage possibilities with the resident princess.") Soon Prince Aethelbald of Farthestshore comes to her kingdom and proclaims his love for her. The only problem with this is, he is not nearly as exiting, romantic and dashing as she had hoped. She instead, is interested in another prince who better meets her ideals, and refuses to pay heed to Aethelbald's warnings of a perilous monster on its way to her kingdom. She sees no fault in ignoring Aethelbald and his news of a coming threat, until it is far too late.

This. Book. Is. Awesome. That's the only way to describe it. AWESOME! I absolutely adored every part of it! Elinor enjoyed as well and you can read her review HERE! The plot to this book was very interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat! There weren't any dry and boring parts to this book and every moment was absolutely marvelous!

Characters: My favorite character would have to be Aethelbald (duh!) But Una's little brother, Felix was very cool too! The "perilous monster" was... how shall I put this? Extremely creepy but, I wanted to learn more about him at the same time you know? Altogether, the characters in this book are some of the best developed and easy to connect to that I have ever read about!

Emotion: There were so many! Most of the time the kingdom of Parumvir had a cheerful and sweet feeling, but there was a point when it was very dark and hopeless. I don't want to give to much away, but you know that scenario where you're in this building and the Bad Guy is somewhere there too but you don't know where, and you have two choices, leave the room you're in and try to get out, but face the fear of running right into him, or stay put and wait for him to find you? Yeah, that is depicted very well in this book. And that scenario is like, the Ultimate Nightmare for me. But I loved that scene too! I'm kind of weird like that.

My Thoughts: Overall, this is an amazing book and if you haven't read it, you're really missing out. It has that really cool fantasy feeling, but it is also kind of your classic knight in shining armor type thing as well! There was nothing inappropriate in this book, but just because of the genre and reading level, I would recommend it to mainly a 12+ audience. It's totally worth reading and I am SO exited to read the rest of The Goldstone Wood series! 

Favorite Quote:
" 'I am here.' Aethelbald stepped in the room. His clothing was worn and burned, his face lined with care. 'I have come for my sword.' "

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quick Encouragement #19

By Marianne
The Newsboys - We Believe

Sorry we haven't posted much other than Quick Encouragements. We've been kind of busy lately.
 But just so you know, I am almost done reading The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis, so you can expect a book review very soon!

Anyway, I heard this song on the radio the other day and absolutely LOVED it! HE'S COMING BACK AGAIN! THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL!!! HE'S COMING BACK AGAIN!!!! It is so powerful. After I found a video, I knew I had to share it with you guys! Isn't it beautiful? I get chill bumps every time I hear hear it. Especially when I watch the video. What songs do you enjoy listening to? And why? 
Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quick Encouragement #18

By Marianne

MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine

This song is SO beautiful!

   What will you do when you finally meet your Savior?
I have no idea. There will be so much I want to tell Him. But I know that He'll already know everything in my mind, everything that has ever been in my mind. I'll probably be so humbled to be in His presence, that I won't be able to say anything to Him. I have no idea what I'll say, and I can't really imagine how I'll feel. But I know that it will be beautiful. 

   I know that I do not and never will deserve to be in his presence. To be able to see his face.. I'm nearly bursting into tears just thinking about it! I am a sinner. I am a sinner. I have done and thought some horrible things in my lifetime, and I'm only 12. By the time my life is over, my wrongdoings will have multiplied to an uncountable number. My wrongdoings are already uncountable. But you know what? Jesus has taken care of that. 

   My dad and I had a conversation the other night while he was cooking dinner. He asked me what I thought the term "Amazing Grace" meant. I replied with " I'm not quite sure." So my awesome daddy took the time to explain it all to me. And let me tell you, it was one of the best conversations of my life. I will never forget what was said. He told me that "grace" is actually a term used in court. That "grace" is pretty much the same as a "pardon." He told me that one day, we are going to be in the biggest most important court of all. And do you know who the judge is going to be? Jesus Christ. But do you know who else is going to be there? Satan. And Satan is the one who will be telling Jesus all of the things I have done wrong. He will point out every single wrongdoing I have ever committed. He will accuse me and tell Jesus "She does NOT deserve to live in the Kingdom of Heaven!" and I will feel awful. Because I'll know that I don't deserve to live in Heaven. But Jesus, in all his awesomeness, power, and beauty, will look at me with love, and say "Innocent." The tears are pricking my eyes as I type this post. "Innocent." He will declare me to be innocent! He will look at all of my faults and failures and say that I am innocent! He will do the same for you! All you have to do his accept that you are a sinner and tell Him that you are sorry! Ask Him to come and live in your heart and He will! Isn't that the most beautiful thing? After Daddy told me this I told him that the word amazing doesn't even seem good enough. Y'know what I mean? Amazing doesn't seem good enough. But it is the best word we have to describe it here on earth.

   This post got a lot longer than I thought it would when I sat down at the computer. Once I started I couldn't stop. I really hope and pray that this post reaches someone who needs to hear it. I pray that it uplifts and encourages you as it did me. This post brings me to another song. Yay! A double Quick Encouragement! I guess it's a Long Encouragement now!

Chris Tomlin - Amazing Grace

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

b3 Bookmarks: DOLL DRESSES!

Just wanted to let everybody know that Elinor is now selling doll dresses that will fit pretty much any 18" 
baby doll!

Just like her other items, all proceeds will be going directly to her Cow Project!!! 
Be sure and check them out at Elinor's Blog!
Thank You!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Friends #3

Marianne's Choice:
Emma Smallwood from The Tutor's Daughter
By Julie Klassen

   I would have loved to be friends with Miss Smallwood because she and I are so much alike! We are both sweet young women, but we are very... practical. Neither of us spend much time on our appearance (like doing hair and make-up) and we both love to have things under control. There are times, however, when things are completely out of my control and I must learn to put my faith in God and trust that He will take care of everything. Miss Smallwood faces these same challenges.

   I know that I would have LOVED being friends with Emma! She is the kind of person that would always be there for you!  I loved reading about Emma's struggles and victories. I laughed and cried for her, and just enjoyed getting to know her! If you have not yet read her story, you really MUST do so. It is certainly an incredible one that is so worth reading! You can get more details on it by reading my review for The Tutor's Daughter HERE!

Elinor's Choice:
Rudy Steiner from The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

   Rudy. Where do I even begin? Well, I will start out by saying that I think that he is my favorite book character of all time (and that is saying a lot). Have you ever begun to miss a character after you've finished reading their story? It happens to me all the time! But you know what? I don't think I've ever missed a character as much as I missed Rudy. I grew so close to him when reading The Book Thief, that I felt like he really was my friend. He is just one of those characters that I will never forget.

   Rudy is the friend that you just can't get rid of, no matter how hard you try. He's the friend that you can't remember when exactly you stopped being annoyed by him, and started loving him. He's the friend that can make you laugh more than anyone else, and who always has your back. He is by far, your best friend. 

  Before I met Rudy, I don't think I had ever "fallen in love" with a book character before... he changed that.

  You can read my review for The Book Thief here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Quick Encouragement #17

Rend Collective Experiment - My Lighthouse

"I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore!"