Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Going Out Of Town

I just wanted to let all of you, my lovely readers, know that I will be going out of town for my friend's wedding (details here).
I'll be gone from Thursday to Monday and will miss posting and commenting on your blogs while I'm gone.
But I hope to have a series of special posts when I come back, and photos from the wedding!

Take care while I'm gone and if you think of it I'd appreciate prayers for traveling safety (it's a 12 hour car ride for my family and me) and that the Lord will work out the details for my friend Amanda's special day.

Thank you!

With Love,

Two Family Films

A few weeks ago my family and I were able to go to the Christian Book Distributor's (CBD) warehouse sale in Massachusetts. It was a lot of fun looking through the many items and we found quite a few bargains. We found two inspirational films that my family and I really enjoyed watching and I wanted to share mini reviews with you all. These aren't really old-fashioned films but both are set in the 1950's to 1970's so the costumes, props and scenery are a step back in time to my parent's and grandparent's day.

Believe In Me

Synopsis: Coach Clay Driscoll is a small town basketball coach who seems to have everything going against him. A team he doesn't want. A town that doesn't support girl's sports and small town politics that threaten to undermine any chance he has of winning. But his pride and his "girls", the Lady Cyclones, refuse to let him quit. This inspiring tale of perseverance, character and redemption pits Coach Driscoll against the school board President Ellis Brawley who had the school board and the town in his pocket. You'll cheer these strong-willed young women and their hard-headed coach as they fight for equality and a share of the dream, taking on the town prejudice and their own self-doubt in this heart-warming true story of a team, a town and a man who wouldn't give up. - From DVD jacket.

My Thoughts: This film starred actor Jeffrey Donovan, as Coach Clay Driscoll, who my family and I really enjoy in the hit TV series Burn Notice. Jeffrey plays a very sharp ex-spy/con-man type character in Burn Notice and acts as many different characters with various accents so we were very excited to see him in this role as a kindly basketball coach. Also of note to Little Women fans is actress Samantha Mathis (older Amy March in the 1994 adaptation) who plays Coach Driscoll's encouraging wife Jean. We all really enjoyed cheering on Coach Driscoll as he and his team met many failures and learned to work together through their weaknesses. There were many funny and charming moments which made us laugh and cry. A few scenes were a bit rough such as when one of the girls runs away from home to get married and then later a scene of her giving birth is show (very clean but her cries may be a bit much for younger viewers). The DVD copy we bought also has a tiny bit of language bleeped out (name calling mostly) which is nice but I'm unsure whether all DVD copy have this feature or not. The story is so touching and has such a great message of hard work and compassion. We really enjoyed it and recommend Believe In Me!

The Secrets Of Jonathan Sperry

Synopsis: Dustin and his two best buddies are twelve year olds looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970. When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five-year-old Jonathan Sperry, a many he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops. What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget! And inspiring film for all ages. - from DVD jacket

My Thoughts: Several Christian friends had recommend The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry to my family so we were excited to pick a DVD copy up at the sale. It was all that our friends had said and more! This film reminded me a lot of the films from Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Facing The Giants, Flywheel) in that it was so full of faith and clearly presents the gospel and examples of how a Christian should live. We really enjoyed the story which followed Dustin and his friends as they learned lessons in faith from Mr. Sperry and reach out to touch their community with the word of God. The acting is top notch featuring a few older TV stars like Gavin MacLeod (who I didn't know was such a strong Christian!) and Robert Guillaume, and charming newcomers like Jansen Panettiere (who plays the main character Dustin) and Frankie Ryan Manriquez (who plays Dustin's comical friend Albert, and this kid has a great testimony!).  My parents really enjoyed seeing the fabulous props, costumes and set designs they used on the film, my father in particular recognized many of the decorations saying his parents had similar items in the 1960's and 70's. The music was light and airy and fit the film perfectly. There's also delightful behind the scenes footage on the DVD with interviews and testimonies of how the Lord worked in the lives of the cast and crew as they worked on the film. The Lord really blessed the efforts of writer/director Rich Christiano as he made this beautiful film! The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry is a must see for every family!

Have you seen either of these films? What was your favorite scene?
What are your favorite family films? 

Love In Christ,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Joyful Easter!

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

- I Corinthians 15:3-4
It's Resurrection Day! Easter is the most important holiday to the believing Christian because it is the day when we take time to celebrate and praise the Lord for sending Jesus Christ to die to take the punishment for our sins. When Jesus rose again from the gave he showed that He had power over death, sin and hell. Because He lives we can live also!

Here are a few of my favorite hymns to sing on Easter:

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?
(At The Cross)

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, 1707; Ralph E. Hud­son wrote the re­frain in 1885.

Mar­tyr­dom, Hugh Wil­son, 1800

Low In The Grave He Lay

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Words & Music:
Ro­bert Low­ry, 1874; ap­peared in Bright­est and Best, by Ro­bert Low­ry and W. How­ard Doane (New York: Big­low & Main, 1875)

May the Lord richly bless your Easter Sunday as you praise Him for giving us new life in Jesus!

Rejoicing with you,
Miss Laurie

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday - Lead Me To Calvary

“So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble; and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.” 
– John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Lead Me To Calvary

1. King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

2. Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

3. Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

4. May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Words: Jen­nie E. Huss­ey, 1921
Music: Wil­liam J. Kirk­pat­rick

The below video includes a lovely rendition of the song with pipe organ and a lady singing through all of the verses and the refrain. Enjoy!

As today is Palm Sunday I've been thinking about this song and from there the image of Christian from Pilgrims's Progress coming to the cross where his burdens were loosed. I pray that you know the Lord as your personal Savior from sin and that you are rejoicing as I am in his sacrifice for us!

God Bless,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jane Austen on Letter Writing

Dear Reader,

One thing I have in common with Jane Austen is the love of writing letters!

Take a look at what Miss Austen has to say on letter writing:

austen writes 5

"I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth." - Jane Austen, from a letter to her sister Cassandra (My Dear Cassandra)


"My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies’ ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journaling which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.”
“I have sometimes thought,” said Catherine, doubtingly, “whether ladies do write so much better letters than gentlemen! That is — I should not think the superiority was always on our side.”
“As far as I have had opportunity of judging, it appears to me that the usual style of letter–writing among women is faultless, except in three particulars.”
“And what are they?”
“A general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar.”
“Upon my word! I need not have been afraid of disclaiming the compliment. You do not think too highly of us in that way.”
“I should no more lay it down as a general rule that women write better letters than men, than that they sing better duets, or draw better landscapes. In every power, of which taste is the foundation, excellence is pretty fairly divided between the sexes.”

- Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey, Chapter 3


"The post-office has a great charm at one period of our lives. When you have lived to my age, you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for."
There was a little blush, and then this answer, "I must not hope to be ever situated as you are, in the midst of every dearest connection, and therefore I cannot expect that simply growing older should make me indifferent about letters."
"Indifferent! Oh! no -- I never conceived you could become indifferent. Letters are no matter of indifference; they are generally a very positive curse."
"You are speaking of letters of business; mine are letters of friendship."
"I have often thought them the worst of the two," replied he coolly. "Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does."

-Mr. John Knightley & Jane Fairfax, Emma Chapter 18

austen letter

Many of Jane Austen's writing was done in the form of letters. We know that Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility were both originally written in letters and then heavily revised before being published. And many of her writings like Lady Susan, Love and Friendship, Lesley Castle and much of her other Juvenalia were written in this style of letters. What I enjoy most is reading her sweet letters to her sister Cassandra, written while the two were apart. Their sisterly bond and friendship was so great filled with many special moment.  Cassandra was her sister's confidant and after Jane Austen died in 1817 she burnt many letters that were too personal or represented private views best withheld from public eyes.

austen writes 4

It is such a joy to give and receive letters! I love writing to family and friends on paper or typing an e-mail. One reason I really enjoy blogging is because it's very like writing a letter to my dear friends! I so enjoy telling you all about what I've seen, heard, watched, learned or what is going on in my life. And more than anything I love hearing back from all of you! Thank you so much for all your encouraging comments and e-mails!

Very Truly Your's,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mary Bennet Quote


"Vanity and pride are different things, thought the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have other think of us." 
- Mary Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

Dear Mary Bennet, she can be so silly and out of touch with reality. She always has her nose in a book or buried in her music. Once in a while she comes back to the real world just in time to relate a lengthy opinion she has read somewhere. And yet we can't help but love Mary because her sisters love her!

Do you think Mary will mature in the company of her elder married sisters? 
Is there any hope for her making a good match? 

Very Truly Your's,

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm Still Alive!

Hello dear readers! I'm sorry these last two weeks have been fairly quiet. I been meaning to post many things but I find as Spring draws closer my schedule gets busier!
I'm very excited to share a book review with all of you very soon. The book I'll be sharing is one that I found for only 99 cents at a thrift shop this past week and I've received so much enjoyment out of reading it. So stay tuned for that!

I've also been wanting so share what I'm looking forward to at the end of April. My dear childhood friend Miss Amanda has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! I'm so excited to celebrate her special day with her! I have spend some of my time over the last month working on getting my dress, shoes and other things for the wedding ready.


This is the style and color dress I'm going to be wearing (photo at left). It's a Cornflower blue color and will have a sash and peek-a-boo slip in this lovely Watermelon pink color (in photo at right). Because I'm shorter the dress comes well below my knees and then with the slip it's even longer. I really like the clean lines and the colors together are lovely.


These are the shoes I'm looking at. My friend told me white and these are similar to the other girl's style shoes. I like that they are low thick heels because I can be terribly clumsy.

I've never been in a wedding before and I'm very excited. It's also been a while since I've seen my friend because we live in different states.
My family and I are really looking forward to this as a mini vacation April 28th -May 1st. Can't wait!

So what have all of you been up to lately?

Do you have flowers or snow where you live? My state just got hit with some crazy snow storms - just when I was hoping for some green!

Very Truly Your's,
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