Saturday, September 27, 2014

Secret Adversary review

I had always wanted to read Agatha Christie, but simply never got around to it. I love a good mystery; Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden, etc. The first Agatha Christie I read,

Secret Adversary, got me hooked. It's free in the Kindle Store, too! And the BBC remake is on YouTube, free as well.

Here's your review:

In 1915, as the Lusitania sinks, a British spy gives a girl his secret papers, since she is a woman and will have a better chance of getting into a lifeboat. He tells her to get the papers to the American Embassy at all costs - even if it means her life. She agrees.

Flash forward to the end of World War 1, 1918. No one knows where that girl is, The papers were never delivered. Did she and the spy drown?

   Enter Tommy and Tuppence, a likable, British, charismatic young 'couple' - they're mainly just friends, and there's not much romance, which I liked- who decide to become mercenaries to earn a little money. Thinking the whole thing is a joke, they unwittingly stumble upon an enemy spy. He sees their innocent naivety and hires them to find the papers!

   Luckily, Tuppence realizes he's up to no good and she and Tommy decide to help one of the Queen's agents by alerting them to the enemy. He in turn recruits them, thinking they are experienced in the underworld. Hahaha-no. Tommy and Tuppence have no clue what they're getting into. They fall into a deadly game of espionage, torpedoes, amnesiacs, kidnapping, poisoning, and basically every exciting thing that could happen to a person. The book is very clean, and not graphic at all. It’s one of my favorite books, and there’s a great plot twist at the end!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

i have an unusual name - a drama/tragedy/comedy in three parts.

Side note in case you're new here... my name is Laura Ashley . :)

What's in a name? For me, it's a lot of explaining.

"Laura. Ashley. Two words. Yes, it's my first name."

"Not Laura. No, not Ashley either."

"Laura Ashley. Like Mary Anne or Mary Kate."

"Yes, like the British fashion designer. And no, I don't get free dresses from them."
My name as a dress logo.

And whenever someone calls "Laura!" or "Ashley!", I automatically turn around because I get called that often, too.

I am called many names that are not mine. The only one I really dislike is Laurie, but the people who call me it are such sweethearts I don't mind. :)

  • Laurie
  • Smiley
  • Larsie
  • Doll
  • Laura Lynn
  • L.A
  • Laura Ashley
  • Lauren
  • Laura
  • Ashley
  • Ashlynn
  • Lora
  • Lara

All these things in consideration, however, I like having an unusual name. It makes me feel unique, and it's pretty cool to have never met anyone else with my name.  Do any of y'all have unique names, or are named for a cool reason? let me know!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

life lately

These past few weeks have been a bit mundane compared to the whirlwind of activities I partook in throughout June and July... or so I thought. Looking back, we've done a ton of cool activities!

  •  Andrew, my littlest brother, won first place in a reading contest.  He read 105 books in less than a month. Big, long books, too. I'm very proud! He earned a gift card for a free pizza, tickets to a water park, and more!

  • We learned about copyright laws at Teen Court, taking turns playing different parts in a real case, the creators of the James Bond franchise vs. Honda.


  • Christopher took over as President of our club and I became President of our county's 4-H. Our club learned how to make no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus, and I learned how to use a rotary cutter to trim the strips for tying.

  • I taught a first aid class to a group of friends. One was just a year younger than me and the others were all under 11. They were so much fun. We compared first aid stories, made mini first aid kits, discussed minor and major wounds, learned how to soft splint a forearm, and then ended the day with a impromptu pool party. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Courting vs. Dating

Have you ever wondered about the difference between courting and dating? Is there one? It's something that puzzled me, so I decided to research it and provide you with an answer, hopefully pointing out what's bad or good.
I asked my  AWESOME friends (public school, homeschool, and college age) -who had no idea I was going to write this- their opinions on dating and courtship.
  • "Dating is when a couple think that they might like each other, so they go out to find out." - M. S. age 12.
  • "Dating doesn't always lead to a relationship." - from a Huffington Post advice column
  • "Dating is when you go out with a guy think you might like." - M. A., age 19
  • "Dating is just preparing you for divorce!!" T.M, 21
  • "Dating is a fun time to get to know guys better." E. M, 13
  • "Dating is when you hang out with a guy to get to know him before you get married." S.C., 13
  • "Dating is practice for being married. " B. T., 15
It's the last comment that scares me the most. When you're dating, and something goes awry, what do you do?

You break up.
Is that what you're going to do when you get married? Break up with your husband? I think T. M might be right - it sounds more like practice for divorce.

Or what about '"Dating doesn't always lead to a relationship." '? Isn't dating supposed to be a time when you form a relationship with your future husband?
Let's move on to courting before we form an opinion. ;)
  • "Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman when they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other." R. D., 23, my leader @ STEP ! 
  •  "Isn't that when you don't kiss till you get married?" M.S, 12 :D
  • ""Courtship is a choice to avoid temptation and experience the blessings of purity. It is a choice to not emotionally give away your heart, piece by piece, to many others through casual dating relationships and instead to give your whole heart to your life partner." A Christian website
  • "When you're courting, your parents help you make some decisions. Not because they want to control your life, but because they're older, more experienced,and have ideas to help you." T.M, 21
All these comments seem to describe the kind of relationship I'd like, even M.S's comment. Wouldn't you rather receive a brand new gift instead of one that's been opened many times?! How much more would you value a guy who saved his first kiss for you, and vice versa? Also, courtship isn't about 'breaking up' if stuff doesn't work out, Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage. (See Proverbs 3:5–7.)

I'm definitely going to court when I'm older. MUCH OLDER, thank you very much. :)

READ THIS BOOK. PLEASE. I'm out of time to explain why tonight, but look for a post on it soon. It explains the above stuff much more clearly! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kisses from Katie

She walks briskly in the red dirt, clouds of dust settling as she arrives in time to administer medical care, or provide food, or perhaps give  a ride to the village. She is Katie Davis, the woman followed everywhere by thirteen children who all call her 'Mommy'. She's obviously not old enough to be the 'real' mother of these kids, but no one cares. Everyone calls her 'Mommy'. Because, in a way, she is a mother, sent by God to be a Mommy to these beautiful people.
 Kisses from Katie is the story of Katie Davis, who left home when she was just four years older than me, in order to adopt and care for orphaned children, provide care and schooling for those who can't afford it, and do whatever else she could to show God's love in Uganda. She left  a privileged  life in America to move there, start a nonprofit organization, and begin the adoption process for thirteen daughters who needed a mother.
 While the book is great, I almost preferred reading her blog. Somehow, her writing style there just clicked for me. In the book, she is so careful not to draw attention to herself that she hardly mentions all the amazing things she's done. Plus, the blog has a lot more pictures of her adorable kids! :) So, definitely read the book and get inspired, but check out her blog here, too!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Touring AT&T Stadium aka Cowboys Stadium, Ambassadors Trip

Recently I was accepted into the 4-H Fuel Up To Play 60's Healthy Lifestyles Ambassador Program.

Since Fuel Up To Play 60 is sponsored by the NFL, all of us who were selected as Ambassadors where given VIP tickets for a special tour of  AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play.
the golden ticket :)
Even though I don't know much about football, I still had a good time and found the tour really interesting. It was fun to tour it with my new Ambassador friends.

the view after you step off the escalators.
 -We got to see the players' and the cheerleaders' locker rooms, the place where the Cowboys all run out onto the field, the private underground parking for players, cheerleaders, and box owners, and the fancy boxes that people can rent.
-The stadium can hold over 100,000 people- they just filled every seat and box for the last George Strait concert ever, held there. (let's have a moment of silence here, folks. no more new George Strait songs. ever. :( whyyyyyy) Okay, moving on.

-You can actually see where the Texas Rangers play from the stadium. I've been there, too!

 -The stadium has the largest retractable endzone doors in the world, and when the dome's open, it can become an outdoor stadium. Cool, huh? It hosts concerts, (Beyonce,  1D, George Strait) basketball games, bull riding, boxing matches, monster truck, and motocross.
We were all freaking out and laughing. It was so much fun. :)
-To get to the locker rooms we took a freight elevator underground, which was scary but fun. It rattled.
-We also got to go to the press conference room, where reporters ask players questions about the game.
On the press conference stage.

Then we went out to eat at a place called The Mellow Mushroom. It was decorated 70's style and served different types of pizza. I had the baked potato mini pizza and it was really good! Then we went to the hotel and to bed so we could get up early for training the next morning. I'll do a post on training later.