Monday, May 31, 2010

Wedding Pictures Part I--The Preparations

The long awaited wedding pictures post! :0)


We had this screen set up at the front of the church, with asparagus fern and eucalyptus twigs tacked on the top.


This was a beautiful arrangement of roses, gerbera daises, and snapdragons in a basket that my mom made!


This is another basket my mom made--there was one of these at each side of the stage

Livie!


Hannah T and Hannah S trying to hide.


Jonah T and me...the poor guy was a little uncertain about coming into a room full of girls doing hair and nails. ;0)


Me wearing my engagement ring and Justin's wedding band. See how much bigger his fingers are?


Rachel fastening my veil and stabbing my head with bobby pins. LOL


Justin and his buddy Noah getting ready.


My "maw-in-law" Tammy putting on Justin's boutinniere


Next week I'll do some pics from the wedding ceremony and reception. I might be late, though, because we're going down to Missouri to see our families...yay!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Adventures

Sorry about not posting last week, it kind of skipped my mind!

Today is a very warm 90 degrees in the UP. I've spent my day trying to stay cool. It was easy this morning! Justin & I went to the beach for the morning. It was a lot of fun! But COLD! The water was about 50 degrees. Needless to say I won't be swimming much until its warmed up! :0)

I thought I'd share some of our adventure pictures today. Enjoy!




Looking over the town of Copper Harbor in the Keweenaw Peninsula

Me standing next to the marker for the Keweenaw's record snowfall--32 feet!!

Going down Brockway Mountain...would this sign make you nervous? :0)


The view on the east side of Brockway Mountain

The view on the west side of Brockway Mountain

A neat bridge we stopped at on the way to Brockway Mountain

This bridge runs over a canal in Houghton, made so ships don't have to go all the way around the Keweenaw Peninsula. It was kind of a scary bridge--the main part over the water was made of grating, so if I looked out the window and down, I could see the canal through the grating!

Looking off the shore of Miner's Beach, our favorite beach.


This river runs close to Miner's Beach. Isn't the sandstone carved into cool patterns?


Forest on one side, beach on the other. Can you believe that's just a lake?


Justin's grilling at Miner's Beach


Us at Sugarloaf Mountain


The view from the ski lift on Marquette Mountain.


Justin celebrating the fact that we made it down the mountain alive


Me being...my usual self.


Sunset off Sugarloaf Mountain.


Watching the sunset of Sugarloaf Mountain.
View of Little Presque Isle and Presque Isle at the end of March. The frozen-over bays were the coolest thing to see--and when you were close to the lakeside edge of the ice, you could hear the waves moving it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Wingfeather Saga Books 1 & 2--Andrew Peterson

Book 1: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Storyline: The three Igiby children, Janner, Tink, and Leeli, live in Skree, a land under the oppression of Gnag the Nameless and his soldiers, the lizard-like Fangs. While Nia, their mother, and their grandfather Podo Helmer, try to keep them out of the way of the Fangs, one, named Slarb, seems particularly interested in harassing them.

Then on Dragon Day, when the Sea Dragons come up and sing at the cliffs of the Dark Sea, the Igiby kids are thrown into jail for defending themselves against Slarb and his buddies.

Nia comes to their rescue by offering the Fang general some precious jewelry in return for her children. But, unfortunately, she didn't notice that one necklace bore the insignia of their former life—the life that she'd hoped to hide from her children and from Gnag the Nameless.

My Take: Andrew Peterson doesn't take much seriously. His goofy footnotes, bizarre creatures, and equally bizarre things like snotwax candles and remedies for itching, make this an enjoyable fantasy romp for younger kids, especially boys—well, and certain people like me. :0)

He's built a well-fashioned world peopled with lovable characters, like the owner of Books and Crannies, Oskar N. Reteep, and Peet the Sock Man.

However, there are some things he takes seriously—fighting evil, for one, and praying to the Maker, for another. He also builds in lessons of taking care of one's siblings (and I agree with Janner—sometimes taking care of siblings can be difficult!) among others.

Besides the occasional head-hopping and the abrupt ending, the book is excellently written. The head-hopping isn't confusing, really, and the abrupt ending can be forgiven because we know that this is just Book One; and it makes us go crazy for Book Two.

Book 2: North! Or Be Eaten

Storyline: Janner, Tink, and Leeli are now hiding in Artham's (Peet the Sock Man) treehouse. They think they're safe for a while yet, but one day Oskar N. Reteep comes charging through the woods, bellowing for them to run. On his tail are hundreds of Fangs and several trolls.

The Igibys run, and through various circumstances (including Artham's capture) make across the River Blap and into Dugtown, where Oskar knows someone who can get them safely to the Ice Prairies, where they hope to be safe. The Fangs can't follow them there, can they?

But plans go amiss when Janner and Tink are separated from their family, and then Janner is separated from Tink.

My Take:

This book is a little more serious than On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Sure, there was the usual humor (including a bit of grossness), the usual goofy footnotes, and the usual crazy tales.

But as the kids grow into their new roles as heirs of Anniera, the world consequently grows with them. New enemies are revealed beyond the gluttonous Fangs, that are more sinister and creepy. Artham's backstory is unfolded. Podo's true past is revealed.

It's a story of kids growing up quickly and learning that the world is dark. But Peterson does a good job of making sure that there's always some humor, and (more importantly) that you can always see the Light shining through everything.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon

Calling all fantasy/dragon lovers! There's a new movie you guys should see! A while ago Justin and I went to see How To Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks' latest film. The story is about a Viking boy named Hiccup who isn't like the other Vikings. He's small and skinny and his father, the Viking chief, won't let him fight dragons because he knows Hiccup will just mess up everything. But one night during a dragon attack, Hiccup pulls out his latest invention, a cannon that will fire ball-and-chain missiles. He hits a Night Fury, the dragon that no one has ever fought before. The dragon falls over another part of the island.

When he goes looking for it, Hiccup discovers that he can't kill dragons. He just can't. So he sets the dragon free and goes home, only to find that his father is determined to give him a fresh start. He wants Hiccup to start dragon-training the next day while he goes on a sailing mission to try to find the dragon nest.

Of course, Hiccup can barely hold a shield, much less fight off dragons. But as his friendship with the Night Fury (dubbed Toothless despite having a mouthful of sharp, retractable teeth) goes on, he discovers something—in stead of fighting dragons, he can tame them. Soon he's the wonder of the village, and he's also riding Toothless. All seems well until his father discovers that he's just using tricks to avoid fighting the dragons—and that Toothless showed him where the dragon's nest is.

My Thoughts: There's a couple of slightly questionable jokes, and if you're squeamish, Toothless does cough up half a fish to share with Hiccup. Hiccup has a crush on a Viking girl, Astrid. They do kiss (although it's a funny, lighthearted moment). And, of course, Hiccup lies to and disobeys his father.

But, at the end of the movie Hiccup and his dad are on good terms. They both apologize to each other at one point. Hiccup really does try to help both the Vikings and the dragons see that they can peacefully coexist. And—the part that I was really glad for—Hiccup's heroism is shown with a cost to himself, but a cost that he doesn't mind because he knows he saved everyone else.

There are some really laughable lines ("Thanks for nothing, you worthless reptile!"), and the dragons are pretty cool looking (and really unique/diverse!). I thought Toothless was cute--he acted like a big cat at times, and the part when he tries to imitate something Hiccup does is pretty fun! The parts that I enjoyed the most were the flying scenes, with Hiccup and Toothless darting between rocks and soaring into the sunset-colored sky.

This is definitely one to see, and I'm definitely planning to buy it.

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