The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp

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I finished this awesome biography of the family which inspired the Sound of Music on Halloween and really enjoyed it! It is 312 pages depicting the time when Mother Abbess sent Maria off to the Trapp family all the way through their life together in USA as a singing group from Austria during the war. I will try my best not to post any spoilers. The movie only occurs within the first 70 pages of the book where Maria enters the family for a temporary time, Georg decides not to marry the Princess as everyone expects and proposes to Maria instead, the children are dying for her to stay with them forever, and the Mother Abbess tells Maria it is God’s will for her to marry Georg                                                                   and join their family.

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The choir with just the girls while the boys are fighting during the war. 

However there is so much more to their story! They do sing publically for the first time at the festival where they win first prize, much to their amazement (not in the middle of running out of town!), which leads them into become a family choir which was never their intention, but perhaps what God had for them the whole time. They sing for Hitler and leave the country to begin a singing tour just before the borders to Austria close. Georg and Maria have 3 of their own children bringing the total up to 10 Trapp children as you see pictured below.

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There are some great scenes of Maria learning English as the family tours the USA and people tell her specific phrases for situations which don’t always turn out with the results she hopes for! “Oh Betty, Don’t be a cranky old hag!” It would certainly be fun to have a second Sound of Music depicting their adjusting to the USA and Maria hiding her last pregnancy of what they all expected to be another girl intending to name her Barbara, but surprising everyone with their last child Johannes after their first US tour. Without any true spoilers the Trapp family did build their new life together in the US through much trial and trouble and support from everyone they met over the years. There is so much fun and joy to be read in this book I would reccomend it to everyone!

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Tv Show Reviews: Charmed

*Spoiler alert* I discuss the whole show from all 8 seasons without warnings of revealing key details and plot points throughout the series. *Read at your own risk*

A few months ago a trailor for the new Charmed convinced me to start watching the original as it is available on Netflix and I cannot imagine that the reboot will be as good as the original. Now I’m not here to talk about why the new one will not be as good, we can talk about that later, but it just made me want to watch the original which I did. All 8 seasons. Done.

First of all Charmed is a mature show for adult viewing and I would not suggest it for everyone with the lack of clothing worn by the sisters, violence, dealings with the Occult, sexual content, and ideas of the world contrary to Christianity.

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I have always been intrigued by the idea of fantasy magic of fairy tales and mythical kingdoms so I often engage in fantasy entertainment and started watching Charmed in its first run when I found it somewhere in the fourth or fifth season. It is the story of 3 sisters who have inherited magic from all the Halliwell witches before them who have been magical for about 3 centuries. They are the first set of three sister witches who have been foretold to be the most powerful witches of all time and are called the Charmed Ones for that very reason.

They come into their powers as their grandmother, Grams, dies and they begin their destiny as the powerful sisters who can defeat demons together which no one else is powerful enough to handle. I would say the writers do a good job of bringing new demons and different chaos into their lives throughout each season to keep things moving without getting old. Even when they have to fight the same demon more than once it is interesting to see how they work it out.

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It is facinating to see how the truth of Christianity and the world God created is the core of humanity and even imagination bringing fantasy into our world is still connected to God whether the creators realized it or not. There are many aspects found throughout the series that are rooted in Christianity, not because the writers or producers are seeking the Lord, but simply because the gospel is written on the heart of every man and woman and we cannot create or be successful without it. Just think of how there is always a fight between good and evil and we know something will be successful if the dominant hero is willing to give his or her life for one or many.

Obviously the charmed ones are three powerful sisters who work together to overcome evil (demons) which sounds just like the trinity now that you mention it… Three individuals that are truly one unit, so much symbolism!- a cord of three strands is not easily broken and these witches are invincible as they fight everyone endlessly and sometimes even die- only to be resurrected, of course- but always hit their mark. Sometimes they even turn into the creatures they need to save, how interesting that they would develop the empathy and understanding of the mythical world around them to help them care more and more for others and continue pushing forward in the good fight no matter how weary they may become. Sometimes they even ask for the task to be taken from them if possible, but they go on for the greater good.

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Some moments of disruption and inconsistently throughout the seasons and episodes. There is no set of rules for time travel which occurs willy-nilly throughout the series where the future depends on the past time travel to bring their reality to fruition. The end of every season is very dramatic and basically is set as a possible ending to the series as if no one knew if there would be any additional seasons.

These women die so often (especially Prue) and manage some crazy way to be revived time and time again which is way too often to be watched continually, specifically if you are waiting for Prue to die once and for all knowing that Paige will arrive to continue the destiny.  Which also plays into the ridiculousness of how Prue has died lots and always made it back for the end of the episode, but suddenly this one sticks. Maybe it just seems so melodramatic watching several episodes within the week or day which is not how they were originally viewed. I am beginning to see the disctinctions of shows made for one episode a week and how disruptive it is to view them every day of the week or right after one another because they were intentionally created for weekly viewing and lots of shows end up weird at times being watched on demand instead of their weekly time slot. Charmed is no exception!

Certainly an enjoyable show to watch and one I would recommend if you are not bothered by the details mentioned at the beginning.

TV Reviews: Merlin

Overall this show is fine for people who do not know or care about the glorious legend of King Arthur. There are so many moments which defer from the story many know and love of the King who united a land in upheaval. Now I won’t explain them all to spoil the five seasons of the show, just give a brief description.

It is an interesting premise to have the Prince Arthur growing up under the banishment of magic when we know that Arthur did not grow up in the Palace and that Merlin was known all around as the greatest sorcerer working openly in Arthur’s court. The creators of the show do bring in different aspects of the legend and those characters here and there while mostly making their own separate story which is fine without prior knowledge of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

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However there are other problems with Merlin as an adventure series. Basically the same thing happens in every episode. The villain forms a new plan for the destruction of Camelot, it works for a minute, Merlin saves the day. Occasionally the villain actually takes Camelot and rules for about a week or two which is surprising, but a nice change from always failing. Also a fun moment for the role reversal of Arthur and Merlin sneaking into the castle to defeat the ruler of Camelot. However you can see the problem with Merlin as a successful show when magic is outlawed in the kingdom and Merlin is never able to do magic openly as the partnership we know of Merlin and King Arthur never comes to fruition in the show. Disappointing!

I have to say that it might be fine to watch for someone who enjoys fantasy without knowing about King Arthur, but that is an unlikely combination. I enjoy stories of King Arthur and am currently reading a book entitled A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court which is a very fun story intertwining the legend and modernity in a most fascinating way. If you enjoy King Arthur I would suggest skipping this show and proceeding with the stories found in written form. Or enjoy some fantasy shows like Once Upon a Time or Charmed which don’t retell an epic legend in their own way.

FMFW(6): Belong

Belong.

Everyone wants to belong. To something. Be part of a group. To have a community. Be loved. To experience fellowship and friendship.

God created humans as relational beings because He is relational.

I think of being the outcast and wanting to be accepted for being myself, not being forced to change in order to appeal to more people. With my personality that takes time. I have been working at my job for 6 months now and am just now hearing people say how much they enjoy my humor and specifics of why they love me.

I also think of how our need to be loved and accepted is rooted in our desire to belong to the Lord. We are made in His Image with the need to connect, specifically to Him. We end up looking at the world around us to find that place of belonging, when our satisfaction is only found in relationship with the One who created us and truly has our best in mind.

In my Bible Study we are learning how to ‘live loved’ apart from the fickle friendship of this world and to truly seek Emmanuel as our Home. What does that look like in your life?

Belong

FMF:RAIN

Hahaha.

I was going to write something this morning about how much I love rain and enjoy playing, walking in it as long as I’m not carrying things or going somewhere important. In a situation where I have the opportunity to enjoy the rain I do.

Now after the day I experienced I just laughed at how perfect this prompt is for today’s event!

Rain

Hubby and I went to our friends outside wedding in Western North Carolina at 4:30pm. There were some spots of rain on the way and we were hoping that the storm we saw coming would be an hour behind the wedding. Things started like normal- hugging old friends, quick updates as we pick seats, can’t believe these two are getting married- all that sort of moments. As the bridal party entered the the drops hit the guests, oh boy. Just a light rain,umbrellas up randomly, two more couples enter, steady flow now, all smiles, some smirks, oh it’s picking up just in time for the bride to enter! She gets to the front and the pastor explains to the congregation that we are going to do this quickly, but we will all be wet when we finish. Okay! We sit back down in some light puddles that accumulated in our seats and I have the perfect view of a large umbrella covering the three important people, but I can see all the bridesmaids with hair dripping and water spots growing upon the groomsmens’ suits. This pastor typically preaches for 15-20 minutes at weddings which was condensed to 5 and we skipped straight to the vows after. I was told the pastor held up his jacket over the couple to read their vows before the rain ruined their speeches. (I heard laughter but couldn’t see past the umbrellas.) I was shivering in my seat, storing hubby’s glasses and phone in my purse for safety. After the couple and the bridal party exited we were told that pictures would be happening and the rest of us could proceed to the reception building down the street as the rain ceased. We lingered for lots of wet hugs and chatting about life and how perfect the weather is now that the ceremony ended!

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Some thoughts: I have secretly always wanted to experience a rainy outside wedding, partly because of Alanis Morissette, partly because I just love rain, talk about a way to start your wedding!, that was perfect for a swo wedding in its own way. the umbrellas were the most annoying part!, I was a little cold during the rain, but it was fine after, the reception ended up with an odd mix of outfits with different people who changed into dry clothes that weren’t dressy at all and wet formal outfits, I really think this was a cool way to start their marriage- just go with the flow 😉 have a good attitude, make the most of each situation, trust these friends to stand (or sit in puddles) by you, and know that you are in this together with God.

Busy bears

So it’s been a while since I posted. Not because I haven’t been reading any books or going on any adventures, but simply because so much has been going on that I don’t take the time to think at the end of the day and compose a post, literary or personal. I guess I will try to recap some of this summer.

When tax season ended in April I moved on from working at H&R Block to a temp job for the month of May where I graded the essay portion of standardized tests from 6th graders in Pennsylvania. Whew. I can say that I am glad that job is over and I am very thankful for that experience and the provision of God in that timing. At the end of May I was hired as the Administrative Assistant at Primrose School. I was there for two weeks before joining the teens at summer camp for a week in June. That was a fun-filled time of connection just as would be expected.

The week that I was at camp J missed work the whole time because his nasuea was getting extreme when it would normally let up after two days and he would be back to work again. He made a doctor appointment for the next week and went to some specialists to get different tests done because no one was able to figure out what was going on with him. I was learning my new job while J was staying home sick for the next month. At the beginning of July he found out that his gallbladder was mostly likely the cause of his trouble because the gallbladder operates at an average 60% in people functioning normally and 35% is terrrible and needs immediate attention and J’s gallbladder was functioning at 3% so we scheduled an appointment to get it removed on the 13th of July.

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The operation was successful with no complications and we had the weekend for me to stay home and take care of J without missing more than just one day of work. While J was recovering I was a little overwhelmed at work because the Director happened to quit the day I was gone for J’s surgery so we were all picking up her work along with our own responsibilities. I was not even there for two months and all of a sudden my work load doubled!

 

Fortunatly J was able to return to work full time in August and he is doing great now! With the transition of the director at my job different teachers also left and we were scrambling to get everything ready for the school year which was all new to me! In August J and I were able to celebrate with a close friend getting engaged, mourn with a family who lost an amazing, Godly man, celebrate family birthdays, and break in the school year with youth group again!

 

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We stopped by Stones River National Battlefield on our way to the engagment lunch! 

 

In the meantime I have also been helping my sister with wedding details since she is out of the country and getting married here in mid-October. IMG_0084To start our September with a blast J and I chaperoned the Labor Day Lock-In with the youth group on Saturday night. It was a full night starting with youth group at 7pm, pizza at 9, team games at 9:30, ice cream at 11:30, free time until 3am, movies until 7am, clean up and back home at 8am. I started watching Infinity War at 2:30 and fell asleep around 3, woke up for half an hour near the end, slept again until 7, was home by 8:30am and asleep at 10am. J and I decided to nap for a bit, but somehow did not think to set an alarm so we slept from 10am until 8:30pm! There goes our Sunday. Woops!

 

Just in case you were wondering some books I have read since I last posted are the following in no particular order: Cocktails For Three by Madeline Wickam, Sister Queens by Julia Fox, The Last Promise by Richard Paul Evans, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhan, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain.

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can is the journey Lauren Graham takes us on as she starts out in school plays as a teenager, gets her English Degree while keeping active in theater, finds her way into getting her MFA, works lots of odd jobs while working any commercial she can, and suddenly becoming Lorelai Gilmore for seven full seasons which ends almost as unexpectedly as it began, her time on Parenthood, and concluding in the whirlwind of bringing Lorelai back to Stars Hollow.

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At 205 pages this book was a quick read moving through Graham’s story quaintly interspersed with stories of fashion, dating adventures, odd jobs, hollywood diet secrets, a helpful writing accountability method, and the chaos of being an actor. There were various moments that I particularily relate to as a writer and actor that other readers won’t find as enjoyable, but Graham does her best to keep things light and comedic instead of gettting clogged down with the details of acting and writing. Overall it is a fun read to see her path to becoming a Gilmore girl and dive into different memories of bringing the show to life twice. Definitely one any GG fan should read!

Because this is a library book I did not underline any of the quotes I particularily enjoyed so sorry that I do not have any great truths to retell you I guess you will have to read the book for yourself!