Friday, January 31, 2014

Report Card- January 2014

It's been a fun month despite starting up school again. I actually did well one my resolutions this month, which I am super excited about!

Read or Re-Read 5 Books

One of the baby hats I made.
I didn't start out too well but I did get it done! I didn't end up reading what I planned to but that's okay. :) I read Dune, Ender's Game, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, and Dying to Forget. All of those I would rate five stars except Dying to Forget, which while being a very interesting book has bad theology. I was inspired to re-read the Mary Poppins books after watching Saving Mr. Banks. I'm really enjoying them. I know technically they're kids books but the best kids books can be enjoyed by all ages. :)

Memorize Scripture

I got the first two verses of Psalm 31 memorized as I planned! 

Pray Daily

I did it! It has become much more of a habit and with this month being fairly stressful, I found myself praying more and more often, though I should be praying anyways. :)

Do one crochet project

As you saw in previous posts, I got far more than just one crochet project done. I got about five done! Tons of cute baby hats completed. :) 

Read a Psalm a day

I did it! I really love the Psalms. I want to read just more than them but I've had trouble sticking to reading more than one chapter in a day in the past. 

At least two blog posts per week

I missed one week as I was very busy having fun but besides that I did it. :)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my February resolutions. I now have a link to follow my blog on Bloglovin' so be sure to do that! 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Best Part of my Day

By the time I get home from school/work it's normally about five, maybe later and I've been gone from my house once about seven thirty that morning. I'm tired, normally somewhat cranky and very hungry. Without a doubt, if everything goes how I want it to, I'll eat supper and watch an episode of Doctor Who… because Doctor Who makes everything better. That, there is my best part of the day. It's the de-stressing moment of my life. If I get to eat popcorn and watch Doctor Who that's even better. For me, what makes my day great is when I have a chance to relax after an emotionally tiring day. On Wednesdays when I go to prayer group that is the best part of that day because it is a great time to let go of all my worldly concerns and spend some time with God, remembering that He's in control of those and He'll be taking care of them, not me.
So that's the best part of my day. Today I'm linking up with Mama Kat. Be sure to check out her blog.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Prayer App

As you may remember, praying daily was one of my goals this month and has been my goal for the last few months actually. This month I've finally gotten into the swing of praying every night as I fall asleep. At first I downloaded a couple prayer apps that were so-so but limited (i.e. they were free ones and they wanted me to pay for the upgrade after a certain amount of time and I don't pay for apps). However, a few days ago I came across a new one that is free and really great called "prayer prompter". It works really well for me. Not only can I enter in the different prayer requests but it has different bible verses and quotes about different topics such as fear, trust, anger, ect. as well as bible verse prompts to guide you through the A.C.T.S. prayer guide if you so wish. It also has some great prayer quotes. One of my favorites that I've found on there is from The Valley of Vision and I'll close with it.

"Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief; of failure to find Your mind of Your Word; and of neglect to seek You in my daily life. 
My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations. 
But I bless You, that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. 
Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. 
Do not let the passions of the flesh nor the luts of the mind bring my spirit into subjection; 
but rule over me in liberty and power. 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Family Loved Recipe- Double Chocolate Muffins

Today I'm linking up with MamaKat and the prompt is "Share a recipe that everyone in your family loves." Well there's a lot that my family love and it took me a long time to decide which recipe I would feature here. I was going to give you a different recipe but I didn't get around to getting it from my mother so I'm giving you one of the ones that I have found so hasn't been a favorite as long, but still is a favorite, not just in my family but with everyone else I have shared it with. The recipe today is double chocolate muffins and I got this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction which is one of my favorite recipe websites. I HIGHLY encourage your to visit her website and check out her delicious array of recipes. :) She has many healthier recipes like this one that don't taste healthy at all!

Double Chocolate Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (I've used the Truvia baking blend with great results)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 425˚ and spray a 12 count muffin pan. It is not recommended to use liners. Combine the applesauce, sugar, greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and be careful not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Place batter evenly in muffin tin. Bake for 5 minutes at 425˚ and then keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375˚ and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. If a toothpick does not come out clean, bake for 2 minutes longer. Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool for three minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling. 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Movie Review- Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

I am not a great Shakespeare fan, not saying that I don't enjoy Shakespeare, but I'm not head over heels in love with his works and know them all backwards and forwards. My two favorites have always been Much Ado about Nothing, and The Taming of the Shrew, though I enjoy all of his plays. I've been wanting to see this version of Much Ado about Nothing since hearing about it and had high expectations. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed. Just a note, this is my first film version I have seen so far so I have nothing to compare it with. I have heard rave reviews about the Kenneth Branaugh, Emma Thompson version though, so I'm sure it's good as well.
Just a warning, despite it being a great adaptation, it does have two bad scenes that I just dimmed my computer screen for. You can read more specifics about those two scene and anything else that you might find objectionable on IMDB's parent guide here.
Everything else about though I loved! Joss Whedon did a great job of putting it in present day without really changing much of anything. The black and white was interesting and, in my opinion, not bad. The lines were pretty much all the same as to the play. I don't claim to know the play perfectly but all of the lines at least sounded right. :)
The casting was incredible and I loved all of the character's performances. Clark Gregg as Leonato was a surprise to me but I really enjoyed his performance, though it was hard to separate him from his normal superhero affiliations. :) Nathan Fillion's portrayal of Dogberry was outstandingly humorous as all of Nathan Fillion's performances are. :)
I recommend it but as mentioned above, there are some questionable scenes so be sure to look into those. Overall though, I really enjoyed the movie and I will definitely rewatch it in the future.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Movie Review- Frozen

With Disney I just tend to be skeptical anymore. However the trailer for Frozen looked somewhat promising and I decided to give it a try, especially after several high recommendations. I'm so glad I did because I really enjoyed Frozen.
First coming out of the movie my comment was that the the music was it's weakest point but after almost a week of constantly listening to the music, I'm taking that back. I've come to really enjoy the music, especially "In Summer", "Do you want to build a snowman", and "Let it Go". The music is more modern, which is what first turned me off from it but it has really grown on me. The story is very sweet and different for Disney in that it focuses on the love between the two sisters. Spoiler Alert Also, for the first time in forever, Disney didn't have the princess marry someone she only knew for a day. End of Spoiler Frozen was funny, and not just goofy funny, but actually funny. From the trailer, Iwas afraid Olaf would just be a goofy funny but he actually did not come off like that… to me at least.
A little analysis on the song "Let it Go", because I think it can come off as teenage rebellion. In the song Elsa has just fled the kingdom after her magical powers being discovered. Her whole life she has been told "conceal, don't feel, don't let it show." Now though, the secret is out and at first she is depressed by that and then she realizes, well now they know so concealing her powers doesn't matter anymore. So she "Let's it go". I would say the song is very reactionary. Elsa is reacting against having to conceal her powers her whole life and being pent up and now she is letting her powers out and declaring she'll never go back. In a way she is a whole new woman and in a way she finally has her own life. I want to say in a way she can "be herself" but I hate that term. Essentially though that is what happening but in a good way. That's just my opinion on the song, probably not the best worded or thought out though. :)
In the end, I really enjoyed Frozen and I recommend you to try it out. :)
P.S. Be sure to check out my new tab with my list of favorite books. :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where have I been?

This meme truly expresses eBeth and I. :)
My Birthday cake! 
Where have I been? Last week I didn't post anything! I failed my blog! Chill people! It was my birthday last week. Yep, I'm now old! It's official! Two decades… half way to forty… if that doesn't sound old I don't know what does. ;) I had an amazing birthday though and it was made so amazing by getting to spend it with my family and my good friend eBeth. I had an amazingly delicious chocolate cake that I made and of course ice cream! Obviously my birthday wouldn't be complete without watching my favorite movie Pride and Prejudice (1995) and drinking tea!
eBeth stayed the whole week at my house so we had lots of fun watching Jane Austen movies, some Star Wars, and getting hooked on The Adventures of Merlin. Of course we fit in a bit of Doctor Who too (which by the way I've finally caught up with it!). One of the best parts of the week though was getting to see two of the movies I've really wanted to see in theaters recently…. Frozen, and Saving Mr. Banks. Hopefully I'll have some reviews out for those soon but until then just know that they were both quite good. I also spent a good bit of time crocheting while we watched our various movies.
I got down with several very cute baby hats. I think they're some of the cutest I've made yet. :) It's been suggested that I set up an Etsy shop and sell them but I'm thinking about maybe selling them instead as a fundraiser for missionaries. I'm not sure yet… I don't' have tons of time and that would be a pretty big time commitment.
A pile of the salt rocks from the museum. 
We also spent an inordinate amount of time coming up with baby names. Several years ago I was obsessed with figuring out baby names and I actually read my parent's baby name book several times. This last week I came up with a new one that is totally geeky and at first I wasn't sure about but now has really grown on me. Wait for it…. Darcie Elizabeth! I know right?!?!?!?!?! You wish you'd thought of it first. The thing is, if she doesn't like Darcie, she can chose from the million different nicknames for Elizabeth. Everyone wins! Now to get it past my future husband…. :(
eBeth and I at the Salt Museum.
Movie paraphernalia is stored there. 
We also went to the Salt Mines for a tour which was quite cool! The salt is strangely beautiful in a way one would never think salt could be. 650 feet below ground is surprisingly very awe inspiring.
My bag full of books I got from my parents' to read. 
To top this all off, this evening I looked through my long list of book challenges I somewhat rashly signed up for and grabbed a bagful of books from my parents house that pertain to the challenges. It took quite awhile to find all of those books and I still can't find our copy of Gods and Generals. :( However, I was able to hash out more what specific books I'm going to read for the different challenges. I just worked around a bunch of books I've been wanting to read for awhile or I've heard of before. The good thing is that I work at a library and if I can't find a book there then it's a lot easier to pull some strings to get it from some other library. Now if I actually just sat down and read. :( School is starting up in just a week so I'd better crack down on that I'm hoping to use this last week to prepare for the next semester as well as get some last bit of fun movie/TV show watching and reading in. This next semester is going to be very intense, as if the last semester wasn't intense enough! The semester will focus on OB, pedes, and intensive care so it will definitely be different and very interesting. I've considered midwifery so I'm interested to see if I'll like OB. It will be a challenge I'm sure!
Thanks for reading my excessively long post and I hope y'all are having a great month!

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, January 3, 2014

MORE 2014 Book Challenges

Remember how I saw four book challenges was enough. I should have stuck to that but oh no! I had to sign up for three more… at least it was only three… so far. :)

2014 Cloud of Witnesses Challenge

This is a challenge to read books that are written by Christian authors that are dead. This will be fun and a good challenge for me to read more Christian literature. I'm going to commit to reading five books for this challenge. You can get more information about the challenge here.

  1. Book Review: The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Christian Love by Hugh Binnings
  3. Book Review: Christianity and Liberalism
  4. Book Review: Perelandra
  5. Prayer by John Bunyan 

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2014

I really don't read much nonfiction so this will get me to read more. 
The levels are. 
Dilettante--Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer--Read 6-10 

Seeker--Read 11-15

Master--Read 16-20

2014 To Be Read Pile Challenge

This is a fun challenge to read 12 books that have been on one's TBR pile for a year or more. I have lots of those so this will be good for me. You can get more information about the challenge here.
These are the books I'm planning on reading with a couple alternates.
  1. Our Mutual Friend
  2. Little Dorrit
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  4. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  5. The War of the Worlds 
  6. North and South
  7. The Last of the Mohicans
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty
  9. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
  10. The Princess Bride
  11. Gods and Generals
  12. King Solomon's Mines

So those are my new challenges I'll be competing in! I'm super excited. For all of the challenges that I've been signing up for, I have only read one chapter of a book this year so far and it doesn't even qualify for any of the challenges. Hmmm… I need to get on that!
P.S. Links take you to my book review. :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Monthly Resolutions- January 2014

All the books I want to read this month.
A new month and a new year! I would have posted this yesterday but I already posted two blog posts yesterday so I figured you were blogged out. I'm just a little excited for a new year and I can't wait to see what happens!

Read or Re-Read Five Books

I've got this little stack of books I'm supposed to be reading that I haven't. Hopefully I can get them done this month. They including reading JRR Tolkien's The Children of Húrin, Frank Herbert's Dune, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and re-reading Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and Johann Wiss's The Swiss Family Robinson. So since I know what books I should read this month will help me actually get them done… right? 

Memorize Scripture

I'm planning on memorizing the first two verses of Psalm 31 to go alone with my year goal of memorizing the whole psalm. 

Pray daily

I downloaded a prayer journal app as well as an app that sends me reminders to pray for people. Since I use my phone a lot, I'm hoping that helps. 

Do One Crochet Project

My goal for the year is to do one crochet project every month so this is in line with that. 

Read a Psalm a day

Reading one chapter of the bible every evening works best for me. I'll be starting with Psalm 1 and reading through. After I'm done with the Psalms I don't know what I'll do but that's a long ways away so I really don't have to worry about that now. :)

At least two blog posts per week

I'm trying to keep up with my blog more so hopefully I can give y'all some fun posts this month! 

Thanks for checking my resolutions out and I look forward to seeing how I do this month! 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Book Challenges

Elyssa at Unscripted posted about the book challenges she is doing this year and she has inspired me to do some as well. I encourage you to check out Elyssa's reading blog. It's a lot of fun and very encouraging. 
So here goes! 

2014 Audiobook Challenge

Last year I listened to a few audio books and I'm hoping to listen to some more this year too. I really enjoy them but it does take longer than reading. :) This challenge is hosted by Teresa's Reading Corner and you can check out more details here
There are five levels to choose from. I'm going with just flirting. ;)
  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to more than 25 Audio Books
  • You Define the Relationship- Create your own challenge (choose your own name and level starting as low or going as high as you’d like)

Back to the Classics 2014

This I think will be interesting. This challenge is hosted by Books and Chocolate and you can see more about it here. Here are the rules. 
  1. A 20th Century Classic- Book Review: The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  2. A 19th Century Classic- Book Review : The Picture of Dorian Gray
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author- North and South  by Elizabeth Gaskell
  4. A Classic in Translation- Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  5. A Classic About War- Bridge on the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You- Book Review-The War of the Worlds
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller 
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic.  This is any classic set at least 50 years before the time when it was written.  For example, Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind 70 years after the end of the Civil War; therefore, it is considered a historical novel.  A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter are also historical novels.  However, older classics set during the period in which they were written are not considered historical; for example, the novels of Jane Austen.
  4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series.  Any period, any genre!  This is practically a free choice category.  However, it's a separate category than the required categories.
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4.  This should be some kind of posting reviewing the book read for the previous optional category above. It can be any adaptation -- does not have to be adapted before 1964.  For example, if you chose Pride and Prejudice as your the optional classic above, you could review any adaptation -- 1940, 1980, 1995, 2005, etc. These two optional categories go together, but this must be a separate blog posting -- no fair just mentioning it in the book review!

A Year in Re-Reading: A 2014 Reading Challenge

I re-read a lot so this should be fun! This challenge is hosted by the and you can check the challenge out here. I'm going for 10+ books- re-reading champ! We'll see how that goes. :)
The levels are:
  • 1 – 4 books — Occasional re-reader
  • 5 – 9 books — Re-reading pro!
  • 10+ books — Re-reading champ!
1. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
2. Mary Poppins Comes Back by P.L. Travers
3. Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers

2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge

This will be fun as there is definitely some Shakespeare I haven't read and this will give me some incentive. The full guidelines are here
The Levels are:
  • 1 – 4 plays — Occasional theatre-goer
  • 5 – 9 plays — Frequent theatre-goer
  • 10 – 12 plays — Regular theatre-goer
Four challenges looks like enough to keep me busy but still have fun. Next year I'll probably pick up some more but this year I want to start out a little easy. :) 
P.S. Links take you to my book review. :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

2014 New Year's Resolutions

I've never been a goals and resolutions kind of a person and I have never up to this point made any New Year's resolutions. However, after a little over a year of doing monthly resolutions, I think it's time. I tried to make these kind of general and they reflect my monthly resolutions…. I'm a creature of habit.

Read or Re-Read 60 Books

Last year my goal was 50 and I want to up it this year.  Not by much obviously but let me tell you my logic here. Sixty is divisible by twelve, so that gives me a goal of five books a month. Also, sixty is a nice even number, unlike certain numbers divisible by twelve. A little math logic for everyone to start their year off. ;)

Memorize Psalm 31

There's twenty-four verses so I'll split it up into two verses every month to make it more manageable. 

Keep up with my Spanish

I've become incredibly lax with retaining what I learned and I really want to keep that knowledge! 

Pray Daily

Prayer is something I feel I really lack. I'm hoping to keep some sort of prayer journal or something to keep me on the ball about this. 

Do 1 Crochet Project Per Month

I didn't crochet much last year but his year I'm hoping to make a few things that have been on my "want to make" list for awhile. 


Just write…. I pretty much had to give up writing last semester because I was so busy with school I couldn't justify spending my time on writing. This year hopefully I can budget in some writing time.

Lose the weight

I lost about ten pounds last year but then plateaued and then halfway gave up and now I'm back at it! This year I want to lose those last pounds and get to my goal weight.

My overall goal for the year really is to be more organized and diligent in what I do and in what I do, I want to do all to the glory of God.
Happy New Year!

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...