amberdover

The High King Lives

For Those Who Wait (Fireflight) March 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amberdover @ 11:51 am
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Hi dear ones. Enjoy the video below ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless & remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

 

“For Those Who Wait”

by Fireflight

This is for those who wait

Another day another waiting game
A little different but it’s still the same
I am here but where’s the one I’m longing for?

I’m having troubles feeling all alone
Will my heart ever find a home?
I want to hope but sometimes I just don’t know
I know I’m not the only one

So we sing a lullaby
To the lonely hearts tonight
Let it set your heart on fire
Let it set you free

When you’re fighting to believe
In a love that you can’t see
Just know there is a purpose
For those who wait

I want to open up my eyes
I know that all I need is time
I’m growing stronger every single day

God, I’m gonna leave them to You now
Letting go all of my fear and doubt
I can’t do this on my own, so I’ll give You control
I know I’m not the only one

So we sing a lullaby
To the lonely hearts tonight
Let it set your heart on fire
Let it set you free

When you’re fighting to believe
In a love that you can’t see
Just know there is a purpose
For those who wait

The pressure makes us stronger
The struggle makes us hunger
The hard lessons make the difference

The pressure makes us stronger
The struggle makes us hunger
The hard lessons make the difference
And the difference makes it worth it

So we sing a lullaby
To the lonely hearts tonight
Let it set your heart on fire
Let it set you free

When you’re fighting to believe
In a love that you can’t see
Just know there is a purpose
For those who wait

Let it set your heart on fire
This is for those who wait

 

Media Saturday: Piratey books, movies, & music for Pirate themed party

Welcome my friends to Media Saturday. Next Saturday is my son’s pirate birthday party. I may get a chance to review The Hunger Games movie but I may not. So I’m going to go ahead and post these piratey ideas ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wow, this has been a busy week and the next may be just as busy. Not only are we gearing up for Passover & Easter but also Michael’s 6th birthday pirate style. I am a homeschooling mommy and I always try to tie in holidays and such with our school…..Easter crafts and such….Pirate books. Also, I had to have piratey music for the party. Here’s what I found.

#1 Pirate books

“Pirate Bob” by Kathryn Lasky

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Bob is an interesting pirate. He loves the adventure of sailing the seas but he longs for a true friend. This book shows the life of a pirate well, the ups and the downs ๐Ÿ™‚

“How I became a Pirate” by Melinda Long

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Jeremy thinks he knows everything about being a pirate. When a crew takes him aboard, Jeremy is ready to live with the pirates forever. He doesn’t have to use table manners or eat spinach. It’s great…until he realizes pirates don’t tell bed time stories or tuck you in. They can’t even play soccer. And when a big storm comes no one holds Jeremy and tells him he’ll be ok. In the end Jeremy would rather be a normal boy.

#2 Piratey movies

I’m not going to go in depth but these are great family movies with Pirates ๐Ÿ™‚

Veggie Tales: The Pirate’s Who Don’t Do Anything (has a great lesson to teach & several funny moments)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Muppet Treasure Island (the muppets spin on the classic)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Peter Pan (I love this version.)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

#3 Piratey music

This is the playlist for the party:

1. He’s a Pirate (from Pirate’s of the Caribbean soundtrack)

2. We live on the Seas (from The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking soundtrack)

3.ย  Under the Sea (from The Little Mermaid)

4. The Ballad ofย  Jonah (Gilligan’s Island Theme) ~from Veggie Tales

5.ย  The Life of a Pirate by Joe Thompson

6.ย  Yo Ho Hero (Veggie Tales)

7. The Pirate Song (Ray Stevens)

8. Yo, Ho! A Pirate’s Life For Me! (Disney’s greatest volume 3)

9.ย  Part of Your Worldย  (The Little Mermaid)

10. The Pirate’s who don’t do anything (Veggie Tales)

11. A Pirate’s Life (The Jud Conlon Chorus)

12. There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea (Veggie Tales)

Well, I hope you have an inspiring weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless and remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

 

Virtual Friday: Old Europe, Flying Tigers, and Transilvania March 30, 2012

Hello friends and welcome to another Virtual Friday. Today I’m taking you to some historical sites in Secondlife. Note: most of my posts have pictures so if you’re getting email don’t forget to turn “display pictures” on ๐Ÿ™‚

#1 Old Europe Market Fair

This sim may be temporary….atleast the fair is. You’ll find several nifty vendors and the streets have a nostalgic feel at night. I really like that this sim uses sound effects…street noises etc….makes you feel like you’re there. Unfortunately I did not get to look at all the vendors. My viewer is slow so it took awhile for things to load. But I managed to get these two pics for you. Below is the Ferris wheel. There’s also a place to dance and a large castle you can explore.

Visit Old Europe (51, 207, 23)

#2 Kunming Airbase- home of The Flying Tigers

Usually I’m not big on historical sites but this sim was nifty. Right now they have a WW2 tribute. You can try out different planes from WW2 and there’s a museum with lots of facts about The Flying Tigers.

The Flying Tigers were real pilots back in WW2 and I’ll tell you more about them later. Did you know that Second Life has it’s OWN Flying Tigers? Yep, there is a SL group called The Flying Tigers and they not only fly planes…they also have combat sims. You can visit the museum for info on how to get involved.

Here is a pic of the REAL life Flying Tigers:

Here’s what Wikipedia says about the REAL Lifeย  Flying Tigers:

“The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941โ€“1942, famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army (USAAF), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under presidential sanction and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The ground crew and headquarters staff were likewise mostly recruited from the U.S. military, along with some civilians.”

“The Tigers’ shark-faced fighters remain among the most recognizable of any individual combat aircraft of World War II, and they demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces.

The group first saw combat on 20 December 1941, 12 days after Pearl Harbor (local time). It achieved notable success during the lowest period of the war for U.S. and Allied Forces, giving hope to Americans that they would eventually succeed against the Japanese. While cross-referencing records after the war revealed their actual kill numbers were substantially lower, the Tigers were paid combat bonuses for destroying nearly 300 enemy aircraft,[1] while losing only 14 pilots on combat missions.[1] In July 1942, the AVG was replaced by the U.S. Army 23rd Fighter Group, which was later absorbed into the U.S. 14th Air Force with General Chennault as commander. The 23rd FG went on to achieve similar combat success, while retaining the nose art and fighting name of the volunteer unit.”

Read the rest of the article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers

Make sure to visit this great sim by going to the link below in SecondLife:

Visit WW2 TRIBUTE (68, 78, 25)

#3 Transilvania (no vampires I promise!)

Lastly, we have Transilvania. They spell it either wrong or this is a different place altogether. Thankfully there were NO vampires. It was just a peaceful country village. First I took a buggy ride:

Then I checked out a nifty villa:

Lastly, the beautiful country side:

It’s a simple place but pretty. You’ll also hear foreign music though I have no idea what language they were singing in. ๐Ÿ™‚

Visit Ethereal Cove (77, 227, 24)

Well God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Inspirational Wednesday: Unhealthy Competition (Reblog from Daily Focus) March 28, 2012

Reblog from Daily Focus devo I get. Click on the link to read the rest ๐Ÿ™‚

“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:44).

“I never encouraged competition between my four children while homeschooling, but it happened anyway……”

“Christ’s disciples weren’t any different. When following Jesus on Earth, a great debate arose among them. Wanting to know where they fit into the future scheme of things, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, foolishly asked Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him in heaven (Mark 10:37).”

Read the rest here:

http://www.aophomeschooling.com/blog/daily-focus/unhealthy-competition/

 

God bless and remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

 

March 27, 2012

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 8:52 pm
Tags: , ,

Enjoy this Reblog for Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚
God bless and Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

Illa Poeta

And by that I mean procrastination. And by that I mean do we writers purposely sabotage ourselves to do anything other than writing? And by that I mean do we keep creating, recreating, rehashing plot outlines, character outlines just so we donโ€™t actually have to do the deed. And by that I mean writing.

View original post 324 more words

 

Crafty Monday: Preparing for Easter & celebrating the Resurrection March 26, 2012

Note: this blog is for informational purposes only. I will not debate or argue in the comment area. You can take it or leave it. Ultimately, I hope we can agree to disagree and get along ๐Ÿ™‚

( Like my Easter centerpiece? ~ I got the eggs and tree at the Dollar Tree & the butterflies from Michael’s)

Hello dear ones and welcome to Crafty Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m very excited about the crafts today and coming up next week because it’s all about Easter & celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ :). Easter has a new meaning for me this year. As a kid I grew up learning about the resurrection on Easter morning, hunting eggs with my cousins, and dressing up in a nice dress. Those were happy memories. But at one time not too long ago I believed the traditions of Easter were pagan and in worship of spring etc…and that the word “Easter” itself was of a pagan fertility goddess. ย  I believed this for a long time and I hated the Easter egg because of the practice of child sacrifice I thought it represented. After leaving a place of spiritual bondage and legalism I began to research the history of this holiday and what I found was surprising. Take this as you will but this is why I now embrace Easter: http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/611/

(Pic of our cross bracelets for passover. Mine’s the girly one)


(Pic of Welcome Mat I made from scrap carpet. I just painted it.)

This will be my son’s first Easter egg hunt and he is almost 6. I’m very excited he finally gets to do this. Some good books for kids are : http://www.amazon.com/The-Parable-Of-Lily/dp/0785272313

and http://www.amazon.com/The-Legend-Easter-Lori-Walburg/dp/0310224470

Now on to the crafts and fun ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve never done Lent because we’re not Catholic but I do like the idea of taking a whole month to celebrate Easter. Of course Christ’ resurrection should always be on our mind. It’s good to have holidays though to really help us focus. We spend a whole season focused on Christmas and advent but Easter doesn’t get that much attention. I love this blog about it: http://mustardseeds.typepad.com/my_weblog/easter.html

So my family has started the holiday early. We began last week. I set up a forgiveness table that is kind of like Lent. The idea came from: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/02/how-to-prepare-a-family-for-lent-printable-create-a-forgivness-fresh-start-place/

This is just a beautiful idea and my son really loves it. He’s come up with all kinds of people he needs to forgive lol. It’s a great object lesson.

You can find the ideas I’m using on my Pinterest. I’m also including some spring recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

http://pinterest.com/doverette/spring-crafts/

http://pinterest.com/doverette/spring-cooking/

Stained Glass Cross Craft

Resurrection Set

I really like this craft. Most of us have nativity sets but rarely have I heard of a Resurrection set. Michael has had such a blast with this set. I added the bradย  to the tomb so Michael could roll the stone back n forth.

There are so many neat ideas to celebrate the resurrection. I’ll be sharing more next week. My son’s Pirate birthday party is the wkd of Easter soย  I’m going to be busy.ย  I really like these ideas from Focus on the Family: http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Magazine/2011/easter-activities-and-crafts.aspx

Don’t forget my Pinterest ideas above. There are way too many to list on here but I hope they are helpful to you. Please let me know if you try any of these ideas with your kids. The Forgiveness table can be used for anyone.

God bless and Remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Cast Your Cares on the Lord: Seeds Family Worship

Enjoy this video from Seeds Family Worship. I love this way of memorizing scripture. It’s so peaceful and my son loves it.

 

http://www.seedsfamilyworship.net/media/

You can go to the above website to hear more songs and to download chords so you can play along ๐Ÿ™‚

 

God bless and Remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: My crafty Monday post will be out shortly ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: The Beauty of Sex within Marriage, Family Night, & a secret family recipe ;) March 25, 2012

Hello, dear ones. Well, I’ve finally caught up on post. I still feel weak as a kitten but hopefully I’ll get a protein shake soon & restore my iron etc. Today’s post is not for young children. This is my soap box so hang on tight. This blog is purely informational so please no debates in the comment area. I’m not here to argue. Take my words or leave them…up to you ;). But hang on because at the end of this post I’m revealing a secret family recipe.

I’m enjoying a new blog: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Gregoire

tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/03/marital-success-is-a-matter-of-attitude/

She wrote “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex” which I haven’t read. But her blog shows a healthy view of Sex, the way God mean’t for it to be.

Most of you, like me, have been subconsciously taught by the media & society that sex is this naughty and nasty thing. Alot of women believe that sex is just for perverted men who only think with their sexual organ. We’ve heard that men need sex and women need romance and that sex is just a means to getting love. It’s sad how many people believe this. Many are on the streets selling their bodies to survive or because they were abused (kidnapped etc) and made to feel that sex was the only reason they were created….that they are worthless. Many give themselves because they want love….only to feel emptier afterwards.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

I had a friend in Highschool who slept around. After she became a Christian I remember her telling me how hollow she felt….like she was just an object. It’s not just women though. I had a friend who was sexually abused by his father. It forever scarred him and distorted the way he sees men. He is now in the homosexual community and he has never learned how to embrace true masculinity. What he was taught as a child was sick and twisted. Children are bombarded with images of celebrities and models who have been airbrushed into make believe perfection. How can we compete? And those of us who are no longer virgins know the truth now. Sex is not like the movies. Romance is not like the movies.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Women cannot compete with porn stars. By the way, if you read testimonies of ex-porn stars they share how fake porn is. How nasty it is and how many die of disease. It’s all done with cameras people. Real people DON’T have sex like that. If they tried they probably would end up in the hospital.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

(Pic of Taylor Swift without makeup. Go girl for being willing to be real!)

Men can not compete with fairy tale romance. I love fairy tales. I don’t believe it can ever be compared to porn because it doesn’t mess up the brain in a physical way like porn does (read the reblog I did about porn awhile ago: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/552/ ). BUT real men are NOT like fairy tale princes. The ONLY perfect Prince that will come riding on a white horse is Jesus Christ and He is God. Other men are only human and their brains do not work like women’s brains. Truly women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles. Despite what the feminist may say, we ARE different. It is scientifically proven that our brains are wired in different ways.

(Pic at fall festival. Chris is William Wallace and I’m a random Vulcan or Romulan..Star Trek stuff)

So if all of this is fake then what’s real? Are we just in for a life of misery and failed expectations? Should we just put up with whatever we get? NO! Our marriages may not be perfect but they can be beautiful. If we just let God write our love stories & change our perspective we can actually enjoy this life. Marriage takes work. Anything worthwhile will require sacrifice.

God created sex to be beautiful and to be between a woman and man. Within the bonds of marriage sex transcends the physical…it becomes spiritual as well….forever meshing two souls into one. It can become healing. Maybe you’ve only ever been damaged by sex. Darlin’, that’s because you experienced the counterfeit of true sex. You got the cheap copy. I pray one day you will find a Godly spouse and learn how it’s supposed to be. Godly sex may even bring about a miracle: a beautiful child in the likeness of your soul mate. I have only experienced that once but man it took my breath away. That miracle is almost six years old now.

You see, sex was never mean’t to happen with multiple people or with images in a magazine. Sex was made for one woman and one man to enjoy their love. It was mean’t to unify a couple. The world has messed it up and now many people (esp religious people) believe sex is dirty and evil. Ummmm God made sexual organs for a reason. He gave women a certain spot that has no other purpose but to bring pleasure. Seriously, this spot does not help in procreation. It’s only purpose is for pleasure. There’s actually a whole book in the Bible that talks about sex: The Song of Solomon. Sex has become the elephant in the room in church. The world is giving out all the wrong information about sex but the church is too scared to address the issue. Thankfully more people are speaking out in the church. There are some great resources out there.

When I was a kid I encountered a form of sexual abuse. Few people know the details & most of my family would be surprised this ever happened to me. The experience screwed up my way of thinking about sexuality. I’m not about to give details on a blog. I’m saying this to say that I understand what the dark side can do to our perspectives. I still have issues that I have to give to God every day because of that experience.

When I turned 17 I decided that I was going to pray for my future husband and I began writing letters to him before I knew his name. I gave these letters to my husband on our wedding night. I pledged to keep myself pure and to wait for God to send me a Godly man. It was through that waiting that God sent me Chris and our story is beautiful, written by God’s hand. Chris and I were both virgins on our wedding night and it was amazing.ย  I will never regret waiting. I just wish I had saved my first kiss for Chris as well.

You may think I’m crazy but I am a big advocate for not casually dating. I am all about courtship & preparing for marriage. Teens, if you’re notย  in it for marriage then don’t date. Enjoy your childhood. Save yourself for that forever someone. I dated alot before I made the commitment to be happily single (til God brought my husband). I regret dating because even though I remained pure, I still gave so much of my heart to people I will never see again. I wish I would’ve saved ALL of my heart for Chris alone. I wish I had enjoyed being single and being a kid! I mistakenly thought I needed a guy to complete me. I was seeking love in the wrong places. Yes, God blessed the broken road but learn from me….skip the broken road…go straight for the prize ;).

My parents divorced when I was little and my mom dated alot. I saw how those relationships broke her heart time and time again. Only God knows the best person for you because only God knows the future and a person’s heart. I challenge all you single folks to read “I kissed dating Goodbye”, “When God writes your Love story”, and “Say Hello to Courtship” (by the same guy who wrote I kissed dating goodbye).

You can dismiss me if you want but I’m telling you I’ve LIVED these lessons and I’ve watched others crash and burn. I’m 27 now but I remember those days very well. Kids thought I was weird “dating” God and all (meaning I was committed to focusing on God and not dating guys). But where are they now? How many hardships have they encountered because they chose the world’s way? (A ton) I didn’t fit in with the other kids. I didn’t go with the “flow” and Praise God cause the flow led to misery. Please don’t follow people off a cliff.

Anywho, those last couple of years in Highschool I decided that I needed to become a woman worth marrying if I expected to marry a Godly guy. I read tons of books on marriage and relationships. I reached out to younger girls and I was mentored by older women (some in their 40’s, one was in her 90’s). I volunteered in the community. I wanted to be my name sake, “Amber” (Jewel of Purity). Yes I was scarred from my past but God could transform me. I made mistakes and God forgave me. God picked me up & I kept going. When God brought Chris I prayed hard…..we even postponed our wedding to make sure it was God’s will.

I had never expected to marry a soldier. I thought I would go to Bible college or meet a missionary. God made it clear he wanted me to stay put & wait for my man. I prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed if Chris was truly the right one. I did not want to get involved unless I was sure. I even asked for signs. God made it clear through signs and the peace in my heart that Chris was the one. We prayed together. We set boundaries so we’d remain pure. Sometimes we broke boundaries & had to regroup, ask for forgiveness, and do our best to stay away from crossing the purity line. It was hard & thankfully Chris was gone alot for the army. God truly protected us.

Even if you’re not a Virgin, God can still give you something beautiful. He can heal your scars and transform you into a jewel of purity. You can wear white with your head held high. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve read of ex porn stars that gave their life to Christ and God filled their heart with innocence.

(Click on the pic to see it larger. Please don’t copy or steal my drawings. Thanks!)

I’ve dealt with abuse and I know how you just want to feel innocent again. The world wants to steal people’s innocence. There’s a reason I read kid’s book and watch kid’s tv shows…..the adult stuff is too full of lust. I WANT innocence. I want to see things from the eyes of a child. And I do. Sometimes I struggle but when I stay in God’s word He gives me new perspective. He restores my innocence over and over.ย  Sex can be beautiful. Educate yourself about how it’s really supposed to be.

Okay I’ve taken up alot of your time. I want to issue a challenge to all the families out there or even couples: plan a family night once a week and avoid tv, the cell, and video games. Go for a walk or play board games. There are SO many things you can do that don’t involve electronics. So far our family nights have been eating at the table (sometimes with candlelight), Chris reading devotions, praying together, and then playing board games/cards/dominoes.

My hubby isn’t a big game person so we’re going to start mixing things up…maybe go to the park. This coming Monday the plan is to break out the guitar and sing together as a family. I’m hoping it works out. We’re a very musical family. When my health improves I’d like to go geocaching. It just sounds neat ;). ANywho, please leave me some comments and let me know how your family nights go. I’m open for ideas too :).

Ok, lastly here is the big reveal! This is the recipe to my Dad’s famous blue-ribbon pancakes! I just added it to our church cook book but for the most part it’s been kept in our family. These are SO yummy! My Dad was an excellent cook. He learned from the best. My great grandpa was a famous chef up in New York. He owned his own restaurant and cooked for a President and for astronauts.ย  He taught my Dad everything he knew. I unfortunately didn’t learn as much. My Dad wanted me to learn all the measurements first and I rebelled. But I’m still a decent cook. Anywho, enjoy!

(Pic of my Daddy several months before he died)

Dad’s Blue Ribbon Pancakes
by Jim Way
1962-2009
Ingredients:
2 Cups SR flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey

Directions:
Preheat griddle to 350 degrees
In large bowl, combine all ingredients
stir until mixed well
Beat for 30 seconds with wire whip
Use 3/4 cup batter for each allowing plenty of space for them
flip pancakes when bubbles cover the top and brown
Note: for extra-light, tender, and fluffy pancakes turn before bubbles break and turn 1 time only.
Serve with your favorite toppings.
If thinning of batter is necessary, use water

Well, God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Men you are mean’t to be heroes…warriors…princes. Women you are princesses….warrior princesses even….you are mean’t to be strong vessels of light. Don’t let the world tell you, you are anything less. Yes we are different. We were never mean’t to be exactly the same. But we all have purpose. We all have worth….just because we are. God loves his creation. He loves you…just as you are. Don’t become plastic….be yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A Late Media Saturday: Dolphin Tale, The rest of The Hunger Games trilogy, & The Mistmantle Chronicles

Hello friends :). I haven’t felt well but I’m trying to catch up on posts the best I can.ย  Today I’ll be reviewing the movie “Dolphin Tale”, the rest of The Hunger Games trilogy (Catching Fire and Mockingjay), and The Mistmantle Chronicles (a book series for kids). Warning: there may be a few spoilers.

#1 Dolphin Tale

dolphintalemovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Usually, I don’t watch animal movies. I loved them as a kid but you can only watch the Free Willy plot played out in different movies (as different animals) so many times. It just bores me. But my son has really wanted to watch “Dolphin Tale”. I can’t resist that sweet face. At first, I was busy crafting & painting a spring welcome mat but soon I found myself sucked in.

The story follows Winter, a special Dolphin that loses her tail but still learns how to swim and survive. The movie is based on a true story and I loved it. But I was disappointed to find that most of it was fiction including the children in the movie. Winter is real though & it’s true she has no tail.

Anywho, in the movie this little boy Sawyer has a hard time with life. He’s in summer school and his cousin just left for Iraq. The kid’s dad left him 5 yrs before and he lives with his single and working mom. Sawyer is rather depressing until…..he finds Winter tangled in a net on the beach.

Sawyer begins visiting Winter at the marine hospital. At first Winter doesn’t have the will to live but we find out that her and Sawyer have a bond. Sawyer is able to help Winter to keep living. Soon the dolphin learns to swim without a tail by moving her body like a snake. The problem is that her spine was never built for those type of movements. If she isn’t able to swim the right way then she will die.

Sawyer’s cousin is injured in Iraq. While at the VA hospital, Sawyer meets a man who makes prosthetic limbs for soldiers. Sawyer is able to convince the man to make a prosthetic tale for Winter. This is not an easy task considering how slippery dolphins are. At first, Winter rejects the tale and later we find out it’s because of the sock they put on first. It irritated her skin. They are able to come up with a gel like sock that doesn’t irritate. Winter is finally able to swim the right way.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

There’s alot of drama in this film….a hurricane, financial stress etc… Most of it is fictional but Winter is real and she does wear a prosthetic tale. The material created for her new tale is actually being used for humans now. There is a touching part in the movie where a little girl with one leg travels over 8 hours to visit Winter and she says “Mommy, she’s just like me!”. I about cried, honestly. It IS true that people with missing limbs come from all over to visit Winter and to get in the pool with her. Winter really is an inspiration. You can watch Winter on web cam at:

http://www.seewinter.com/

#2 Catching Fire & MockingJay (The Hunger Games Trilogy book 2&3)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

I actually finished this series not long after reviewing the first book, The Hunger Games. I’m just now getting around to reviewing them. If you missed my first review here it is:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/media-saturday-the-help-the-hunger-games/

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Just a quick recap. You can read the rest on my other post. The Hunger Games trilogy centers around a teenage girl named Katniss Everdeen. Katniss lives in Panem, a dystopian society that used to be the United States (which was destroyed by natural disaster possibly nuclear war?). Panem is made up of 12 districts and is ruled by The Capitol. The Capitol is like Rome and Hollywood meshed together. The people in the Capitol are like leeches. They live off of the hard work of the poor & starving people in the other districts. It is a dictatorship ran by President Snow. Once there was 13 districts but we’re told the 13th was wiped off because they rebelled against the capitol.

Every year The Capitol hosts the hunger games to remind the people what happens to rebels. The hunger games are evil. One male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen (& forced) to compete in the hunger games (tributes). They are all dropped in an arena and made to fight to the death. They can’t refuse either because the game makers can control the arena environment & push people to do things. The person left standing wins food for her district and gets a nice house in town etc. The sick thing is that the capitol people are so desensitized that they enjoy watching the games. The tributes are forced to train and to dress up for tv appearances & celebrations (like celebrities) before the games. The winner is treated like a super star. The people in the districts are forced to watch their children kill each other. They hate the capitol but are afraid to rebel. The capitol has eyes everywhere.

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Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen for the hunger games but Katniss volunteers to take her place. She is sent with a boy named Pita, to compete in the hunger games. Okay that was a long recap…oops. Anywho, Pita & Katniss end up helping each other in the first book and they are they are the ones that survive the game. The game maker decides to allow both children to live when the kids act like they’re going to eat poisonous berries (commit suicide) rather than kill each other. The whole time Pita & Katniss pretend to be in love so they will gain the sympathy and help of the capitol people.

In Catching Fire, Pita & Katniss return home as heroes. But they are forever scarred from the games. Both Pita & Katniss have bad PTSD. What’s bad is that they are expected to tour the districts where the other kids were killed and to also train the next years tributes for the next hunger games. But don’t think for a second that Pita & Katniss slaughtered people. No, they actually did their best to beat the Capitol at their game & to show mercy & compassion to the other tributes. They only killed to protect themselves etc. Most of the tributes died at the hands of others or from the hostile environment (poisonous insects etc).

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Well, President Snow believes Katniss’ act with the berries was rebellious and has caused people to revolt. Some of the districts have already begun to revolt against the Capitol and some believe District 13 still exists but has moved underground. President Snow visits Katniss and threatens her and her family.

Every quarter the Capitol has a quarter Quell which is another Hunger Games but with a a cruel twist. Twenty Five years ago the quarter quell involved doubling the tributes. This year it’s obvious the Capitol is getting back at Katniss & the people for rebelling.ย  One male & female tribute winner will be sent from each district to fight in the hunger games. Usually tribute winners are exempt from the hunger games & live in the lap of luxury. Most of the winners are old and their mind and bodies are destroyed from addictions (to deal with PTSD). It would be like sending a Vietnam Vet with severe PTSD back into war….bad idea. Katniss is the only female winner in her district. Her and Pita are going back into the games.

The second and third books were hard for me. I couldn’t put them down because the authoress is such a talented writer and I had to know how they ended. But I felt scarred after reading them. I don’t care what anyone says…these books do NOT glorify war & voyeurism. If anything they make you HATE war & you’ll look at reality tv shows in a negative light.

I’m not going to give too much more away. There are alot of surprising twists and the books do have a good ending. But it’s hard to enjoy the good ending because the people are so scarred by war. These books are told from first person pov and you get to go inside Katniss’ mind. Her mind is a scary place that is twisted by war. She heals some but it’s clear “War is Hell”.ย  In the third book Katniss becomes the face of the revolution.

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Whether she’s the Capitol’s puppet or she’s helping the rebels….one things clear…Katniss is always a game piece. People use her and you get the feeling that soldiers may feel like players in a game that can be easily discarded. I totally get that. My hubby is a disabled vet. He went to Iraq twice. It was a hard time for our family and though he doesn’t have severe PTSD…he has enough ptsd that it has created challenges for our family. We’ve been married 7 and a half years but we are still dealing with issues from those deployments. I am thankful for our VA benefits but there are times it seems the military just chewed and spit out my hubby. For those of you who have never dealt with a crummy military hospital or receiving pay way too late to get the bills paid in time, then I’m happy for you. It’s good you have good experiences but my family has seen the other side I guess. Still, the military pays better than the civilian world….only problem is ptsd, shoulder injuries, relationship issues, missing your child’s firsts etc…. We wouldn’t go back if we could.

Anywho, I’ve yet to see The Hunger Games movie. Part of me doesn’t want to see it because the books really hurt my heart. But curiosity will probably get the best of me and I’ll give you guys another review. There are mixed reviews about the movie. Some say it is too violent and glorifies child sacrifice. I agree that young children shouldn’t read or watch these. I’m not sure about older children. I’d say read them first then decide if your kids should read them. I do NOT believe it glorifies war & death. I haven’t seen the movie but if it’s anything like the first book it’s clear the Hunger Games are evil & voyeurism is bad. The author is trying to teach us a lesson about the evils of war & how society can become desensitized by violence. I do know that the movie had to have scenes cut out and changed for the rating. I think blood was digitally taken off swords etc. There are some beautiful scenes in the first book where Katniss shows she will not throw away her humanity & she will preserve the sanctity of life. Alot of it has to do with Rue, a 12 yr old girl tribute that Katniss befriends.

I’m rather conservative but I’ll admit that some conservative reviews can be extremely biased (as can Liberal I’m sure). Read the books for yourselves before judging their purpose. Like I said in my last review, these books remind me of The Giver. There is a moral to be learned. Alot of people are critical of kids reading “The Giver”. I read it in school as a kid and yes it dealt with some hard issues: like euthanasia and socialism etc. It also deals with a dystopian society. But I am SO glad I was “exposed” to it as a child. I came away from that book with a respect for human life and appreciation for individualism and creativity. Yeah, I am not a socialist. If anything I follow the rule of a King, Jesus Christ.

#3 The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister

http://www.amazon.com/Urchin-Riding-Stars-Mistmantle-Chronicles/dp/0786854863

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The last review is usually the shortest lol. I have not read the whole series but I read books one through four I think? Okay, usually I hate squirrels…..I really do. They scare me and I’m afraid of being attacked. Squirrels are evil. This David Crowder video shows how I see squirrels:

The Mistmantle Chronicles starts with “Urchin of the Riding Stars”. These books feature talking squirrels and I LOVED them! Now you know they have to be good for ME to like squirrels. I’m including the Amazon reviews. I don’t completely agree with them. I thought the first couple books kept me intrigued and their were some interesting plot twists. There’s a good ending and alot of emphasis on faith (An Anglican wrote this). The book doesn’t reinvent the wheel but who does reinvent the wheel? Seriously, this kind of fantasy has been done over and over…surprises are rare in any book of this kind. These books are kid friendly (middle school and up) and they teach morals. I give the first couple 5 stars. I haven’t read the rest of the series…after 3 or 4 books I have a hard time staying with a series. I just get bored. Anywho, if your kid likes Narnia they will like these. It’s a good alternative to Harry Potter etc. Enjoy the reviews:

Amazon.com Review

A young squirrel determines his true destiny in this Redwall read-alike by British author M.I. McAllister. A foundling discovered on the rocky shore of Mistmantle Island, Urchin has been raised by the peaceful order of rodents and otters that live and work on the magical isle. Now almost grown, the young squirrel wants nothing more than to serve as page to one of the dashing Captains that make up King Brushen’s personal guard. He gets his chance when Captain Crispin appoints Urchin his “right-paw squirrel.” But on Urchin’s very first morning in the Tower, the King’s only son is found murdered and Crispin is accused of the crime! Urchin can only look on helplessly while his mentor is banished from court. Meanwhile, power hungry Captain Husk and Lady Aspen continue to fill the devastated royal couple’s ears with treachery, and their cups with sleeping draughts. Urchin is desperate to prove Crispin’s innocence, but who will believe an orphan of questionable origins? Born under a sky of shooting stars, Urchin is destined to do great deeds, perhaps even save all of Mistmantle. But first, he must believe… Entertaining but predictable, this simply told medieval fable brings nothing new to the growing body of children’s animal fantasies. However, it will serve as a steppingstone for those young readers not quite ready for the detailed descriptions and hearty brogues of Brian Jacques’s ever popular and endlessly replicating Redwall series.–Jennifer Hubert

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From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7โ€“Urchin the squirrel believes he is destined for greatness. Dropped from the sky by a gull onto the island of Mistmantle, he is rescued by Crispin, captain to hedgehog King Brushen. He becomes Crispin’s page and is quickly embroiled in the murder of the King’s young son. When Crispin is framed for the crime and banished, Urchin remains on Mistmantle, working for another captain, Padra the otter. Eyewitness to a power struggle for the throne, he helps fight against cruel new laws and reveals the true murderer. This story will appeal to fans of Brian Jacques’s Redwall series (Philomel) as well as to readers who enjoy court intrigue and battle scenes with tons of tails and fur. While the action contains too many coincidences to be believed (someone is always perfectly placed to overhear just the thing needed for the next chapter), the characters are memorable and likable, and the writing is smooth and evenly paced. Urchin rises above other animal stories with flashes of humor as well as weighty issues like murder and cruelty to the weak. Although the plot devices and characterization are fairly stereotypical, the book is worth purchasing, especially given the popularity of this genre. Young readers will be pleased to see this new series hit the shelves.โ€“Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
Copyright ยฉ Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Well, God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: I am so excited about where my book is going. I’ve got the outline done for the first two books and there’s alot of action & character building. I’ve picked back up with my writing and at this rate I may finish the first book by summer. I can’t wait to share the world of Emeth with you. Oh if only the ideas would jump from my mind and onto the book by themselves…

 

Virtual Friday: Easter Egg Hunt, Terracotta Soldiers, & the Mystic Forest

Note: I was going to do another weekend special but I have so many pics from SL I decided to just post everything late. So Happy LATE Virtual Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello friends and welcome to another Virtual Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of you may not have read my previous post about The Rose Theatre in SecondLife so here’s the link: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/the-rose-theatre-in-secondlife-a-late-virtual-friday/

I was very pleased to receive a compliment for my post from the creator of The Rose Theatre. The place is just exquisite and I feel like I’ve heard from a celebrity :). It takes true talent to make that kind of masterpiece. So if you haven’t seen the place yet then please check out my link above.

Moving on, so I finally got to do some exploring. Little did I know that the orphanage I was staying at moved! Thankfully I was able to find it and get set up again. I usually look at the destination guide on secondlife.com for ideas. Every once in awhile I find a gem but it’s rare. Last night, I explored three places. So here are my pictures & reviews straight from the virtual world of Second Life.

#1 Easter Egg Hunt @ a nifty store Visit 1 Prim (172, 124, 247)

It took awhile for things to rezz but I do have a slow viewer. My computer can’t handle the new viewer. The above pic is before all the flowers rezzed. I don’t remember the name of the store (shame on me) but they had beautiful Easter decor and alot of vegetables for sale.ย  This hunt took awhile because the eggs were small. Thankfully each egg contained a clue to find the next one…..or I would have never found them all. What’s neat is that every time you find an egg you get a free surprise from the store (like flowers, a bridge, Easter decor etc). I have no where to put any of it because I live at the orphanage but maybe someday when I can afford my own land again…..

Aren’t the flowers gorgeous?ย  These pics are lovely. You can click on them to see them a bit larger. Yeah the problem with being a child avatar is that your legs never quite fit over the furniture….sigh. At one point of the hunt I nearly gave up but I persevered & found all of the eggs. I won neat prizes and got to keep the basket with eggs as a souvenir :)! Below is a pic of me near the church. I love the stained glass window. I wish I had some in RL at home.

#2 Terracotta Soldiers Visit Tenth Rua (75, 78, 235)

This was a short trip. Basically you go underground and see a replica of the terracotta soldiers that guard the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s grave in China. It was a nice replica. I was a little bored but if you’re a big history buff then you may enjoy this. I’m sure it took the creator alot of hard work to make the soldiers and set them up.ย  This goes to show that Second Life is great for seeing the world without actually leaving home ๐Ÿ˜‰

#3 The Mystic Forest Visit WaR Island (173, 168, 22)

This is the description on the SL website :

“Visit this land of magic, elves, goblins, nekos, tree houses and butterflies. This forest is connected to the “other side” โ€” so you’ll never know who you’re going to meet next. Is it friend or enemy? Sometimes worlds collide! This land is a beautiful, unique place where everything can happen.”

This is a role play sim so I caution you. It’s always important to get an observer tag so no one will bother you. This place took the longest to rezz and when it did I wasn’t that impressed. Sorry just being honest. Maybe if I had more time to explore then I’d see it’s full beauty. The best thing about The Mystic Forest was one of the shops as you head to the actual forest. They have a fairy cave. You can pay 5L and this jar will give you a random fairy egg.ย  So being the big kid I am….I just had to get one.ย  So I decided to leave and come back. I took my fairy back home to the orphanage and waited for it to hatch. I named her Bellarose (after a character in my book).

I hope my landlords don’t mind the big fairy home. It wasn’t many prims though. I filled it with some flowers & with doll furniture. Of course Bellarose needed a mini tv lol.ย  You can set the fairy to roam around a certain area too. Anywho, so I went back to the Mystic Forest and was able to take two pretty pictures. I dressed the part of course with my fairy costume.

It’s pretty at night.

Anywho, I’ve got several more places to explore: Astoria (Lord of the Rings sim), Transilvania (yeah they spelled it wrong. They didn’t mention vampires so hopefully it won’t be scary. I hate scary.), March Military Expo (for my hubby), and Old Europe Market fair. I’ll let you know how it goes. I did visit London City Victoria…and let’s just say I didn’t like the atmosphere.

Well God bless & remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: The closer we get to Easter the more hunts you’ll find. Do a search on the website. Let me know what you find. Also, if any of you have suggestions for nice family friendly places I can explore in SL, please leave me the links in the comment section. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚