Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meet Frodo...

my family's new puppy. We just got him yesterday, and he's the best dog on the planet.

I know, I know, Frodo shares pretty much no features with the Lord of the Rings Frodo: no curly dark hair, no huge, grayish blue eyes, ect. But hey, you have to admit, it's a great name for a dog.

It's funny how the name came about though. So my mom was searching the Internet for pics of dogs, since my family has been set on getting one since the start of 2010. My mom came across a photo of this huge poodle with mounds of long, loooong white-gray hair. My mom asked me what I thought about it, and I laughed and replied sarcastically, "It looks great. We could call him 'Gandalf'." That conversation led to other Lord of the Rings names until we came to Frodo- which my family actually took seriously. And therefore- Frodo became the name of our new miniature Golden doodle.

And he's a GREAT Golden doodle. He never barks- only when he's really scared, like the first time we put him in his kennel yesterday. He completely freaked out and started clawing frantically at the cage. After that display, my family dreaded putting him in his kennel for the whole night, but when we did- he did nothing but sit and lay contentedly and peacefully on his blanket... for the entire night. It was really cool. And then he's extremely mellow- I mean, he's not wild by any means. When he plays, he's gentle and constantly wants to be petted and have attention. All in all, he's an amazing puppy. And looks awesome too-

I haven't posted or commented in a while cause I haven't even been home since two days ago. I've been in Colorado on vacation. And trust me- it was an incredible vacation. I'll try my best to post about it tomorrow, but with blogging and me, you never know, cause if there was a contest for most inconsistent blogger, I'd easily take first prize. *groans*



Monday, June 28, 2010

Are... You... Kidding Me?!

1/3 of summer... is gone.
I can't believe it. Everything is happening so swiftly. Everyday is filled with activity. It's a whirlwind. And now- I can already see that shiny, brand-new Algebra textbook smiling sinisterly at me from my desk- not to mention a new heinous history curriculum. Argh. But hey, I'm not going to complain about this first segment of summer- these last couple weeks have been incredible.
To start it off, I received the opportunity to perform the worship for my church three weeks ago with my brother Alex, my guitar teacher Andy Schultz, and Hannah from Aspire. And I didn't only play acoustic guitar- I sang too, which was a pretty bold step for me. I'm not the most comfortable guy when placed in front of an audience or large group of people so I was pretty apprehensive. But it was a great experience. The highlight of performing was when, during the last song, The Stand-

I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe, of the one who gave it all
And I'll stand, my soul, Lord, to you surrendered
All, I am, is yours

(ring a bell?) numerous members of the congregation were just raising their hands to God in praise and worship. It felt so good to be a part of that- that my youth or inexperience didn't hinder me from being able to serve God and my church in that way.
Also, three weeks ago, I was invited back to Roselawn Stables horse camp which I've been attending for five years (I wasn't intending to go this year since it was quite expensive) to help out with my younger brother, Matthew's, five day camp there along with my good friend Hunter Fraser (Travels of a Teen). Eagerly, I accepted the invitation and was able to assist the camp for the week. I helped construct a goat pen, assisted campers who were struggling with their horses, worked hard rolling huge stacks of hay weighing 80+ pounds (just to let you know, I weigh 79 pounds, so they were heavier than me and required pretty much back-breaking strength, for me at least, to move), and ran various errands for the head instructor of the camp. It was a fantastic experience, and something I can put on my resume. ;)
Finally, my baseball team is 7-0-1 right now. Seven wins, zero losses, and one tie, making us the top team in my league. :D It's SO awesome. What's more, I even have some awesome nicknames which include Frank Sinatra (Franky) and Oceans 11- whose meanings shall remain unknown.
Now, enough about me, music is what's dominated most of this first period of the summer. Blink, Revive, Spacebound EP, Group 1 Crew, Stories, Addison Road, and Life, Beckah Shae, all just released this June, have kept me consumed with music, not to mention the songs, Lead Me, Sanctus Real, Something Glorious, Revive, Walking On the Stars, Group 1 Crew, Yours to Take, Jimmy Needham, Empty My Hands, Tenth Avenue North, and Avalanche, Manafest.
Phew... and that's only half of what I've done this June- there's so much more that's happened... and I still have a whole two more months of this bliss.
Suddenly, that sardonically smirking Algebra textbook and heinous history curriculum seem farther off than I once thought. :D


Tuesday, June 1, 2010


OK, I'm not even going to bother apologizing for my inconsistent, negligent posting- I've done it on virtually half of all of my posts. But, I thought I should update you guys on what's going on in my life. Well, in my last entry, I talked about Tenth's new album, Light Meets the Dark.... *drumroll* UNDOUBTEDLY, COMPLETELY, INDISPUTABLY BETTER THAN OVER AND UNDERNEATH! And I was stunned when I came to that realization. Over and Underneath was amazing but LMtD? WOW! It was totally worth the iTunes purchase. Also, I've been listening to another artist lately- Train. I don't know if you've heard of them- I have no idea how popular they are, but I'm crazy about their song, Drops of Jupiter. I showed it to my brother and cousin, and they mocked me for liking it. *glower* jk. But anyway, I was flabbergasted, cause I thought the song was AMAZING. I've practically memorized the whole song now. Just to add to the mix: Walk on the Water, Britt Nicole, Everything Falls, Fee, and Lead Me, Sanctus Real- Incredible.
What else have been doing besides listening to music? Well, I'm just starting to finish my books in school- I finished two language arts books today and will be finishing my math textbook this week. But history- *moan* I'll be doing that until July. I have to read practically 130 or more pages a day for the history reading. Right now, I'm reading one book called, "Blue Willow". *gag* It's about some nine-year-old named Janey who is sad because she doesn't want to move from this big desert plain but might have to. Then the story continues with her getting to stay and meeting a friend called Lupe, which is pronounced "Loopy". *laughs* They go to this fair, and Janey wants to read books so she goes and reads books while Lupe goes on rides. Ugh... But don't get me wrong, there's some good books, too. But "Blue Willow"? ... All I can say is that I've lost all respect for blue willows.
Also, for the memorial weekend, my dad, three of my brothers, some of my neighbors, and I got to venture to the Boundary Waters (up in southern Canada) for a weekend of respite and relaxation. And did I ever RELAX! I'd say half of the trip was consumed with reading and playing chess and Settlers of Catan. But if that was all I did, that would've been one boring trip. Therefore, I also swam numerous times and had canoe races with my brother, Alex, and friends Mitchell and Brandon.
One more thing- I just got back from my first baseball game of the season. My brother and I are on the same team, which I think is pretty cool, and I performed reasonably well in the game, despite my nerves. You see, it's a little intimidating playing on a baseball team where the majority of your teammates are at least a foot taller than you. Just to let you know, I'm not very tall. A little under-average so yeah- I was pretty apprehensive. But I did well. I played at second most of the game and didn't allow a ball past. I batted three times, hit a nice single, and then struck out twice. ARGH! But I can promise you I nicked the last pitch of BOTH those strike outs! Well, at least I'm pretty sure...
Anyway, I'm going to leave it at that. Little House on the Prairies on, and it's a really good episode.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Just a couple more hours...

until The Light Meets the Dark comes out. I'm in ANGUISH!!! All I've done this whole week is wait expectantly, anxiously, painfully- for this. And now I'm only 5 HOURS away from finally getting the cd. I can already see myself, armed with a 15$ iTunes gift card, treasuring every type as I insert the gift card's code, the delight as the 15$ appears on my iTunes account, more than enough to purchase the entire album. *sighs longingly*
I've been listening to the songs on Over and Underneath, Tenth Avenue North's first album, and I've come to realize that Love is Here, By Your Side, and Hold My Heart, aren't the only inspiring tracks on the cd. I mean, I've always overlooked the others, but now I'm finally seeing the power and meaning behind each song, and everyone one of them is a masterpiece. A lot of bands make a couple good tracks on their albums then the rest are either tedious or terrible. But Tenth? No, every song is amazing. Times, Beloved, Satisfy, ect. They're all spectacular. And now I'm even more exuberant for all the new songs on Light Meets the Dark. I've heard some clips of them on Tenth's "Preview Light Meets the Dark" website, and also some of the singles on iTunes (I haven't bought any of them cause I'm waiting to get them all when the cd comes out), and they all sound extremely good. Well, I better stop ranting- we'll all be able to behold the splendor and sublimity of Light Meets the Dark in 4 hours. :D


Sunday, May 2, 2010


I just got back from my homeschool co-op's "Family Award's Night", where all the kids received awards and also put on a talent show for the adults... and I performed with my brother, Hunter Fraser, and Ben Howe (we're a band) one of our songs called Where Have You Gone. But why is that significant in any way at all? Well, for one thing, I managed to conquer my insufferable fear of performing in public. It's TERRIBLE and has haunted me for SO long. Not to say I wasn't nervous or apprehensive about doing the song- my stomach would not stop squirming and churning, and I'm really glad I hadn't consumed anything before performing, or else I probably would've regurgitated. No joke. But what am I most proud of? I sang... ! ! ! ! !
If you know me really well, you will know I'm extremely reluctant to sing in front of people. It freaks me out. Seconds before I started the verse 1 singing- I wanted to roll up and die. I wanted to some how get myself out of that building!!! However, I didn't want to let my friends down. If I backed out and didn't sing, I'd ruin the night for them. Therefore... I went through with it. And... actually did well. I'll just leave it at that. The band and I got a ton of compliments from the audience after the talent show, and I was so encouraged. I'm so glad I got it over with though. *sigh of relief*
Sorry for taking so long to post- and for my lack of commenting (I seem to have to say this every entry I make!)- but lately, I've been going to my Journal instead of my blog to record my thoughts, but I'll definitely start to pick up the pace with my blogging and commenting over the next couple weeks.


PS: Tenth Avenue North, Light Meets the Dark, comes out in 9 days!!! :D

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Light Meets the Dark

Above: the cover of Tenth Avenue North's new album: The Light Meets the Dark.

The album is coming out on May 11, and I seriously cannot wait. Tenth Avenue North is PHENOMENAL. In their last cd, Over and Underneath, they produced three of my all-time favorite songs: Love Is Here, By Your Side, and Hold My Heart. And, I think they've just created another one: Healing Begins. The song, a sneak-preview of the album, has been played on Air1 a couple times already and is GREAT. If my Mixpod is working correctly (it's been malfunctioning a lot lately), you're listening to it right now. But it isn't just a "great" song- it's meaning does deeper. This is what the band said about Healing Begins:

"This is a call to let your walls fall down, let your masks fall down, let your pretense fall down, because guess what? Your walls are glass anyway. We can see through them. You are fighting a losing battle and this is where the healing begins, when you let the light expose the darkness." - Mike Donehey (Lead Vocalist/Acoustic Guitar).

Isn't that AWESOME?! I don't know about you, but I am exhilarated. This is going to be one, amazing album- one that I won't hesitate to purchase on iTunes the minute it comes out. :D


Thursday, April 15, 2010


I GOT A CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's a Canon PowerShot A480, and it is SO awesome. I mean, it can't compare to the caliber of a camera like Bekah's Nikon D3000, but I don't plan on creating a photo blog with it or anything- I just really enjoy taking pictures, and I've been DYING to obtain my own for so long! So far, I've taken a multitude of random pics of whatever I come across, just to get the feel of the camera, but nothing yet that I'm going to post. I'll make an entry filled with pictures later when the pics are of something actually interesting or absorbing. Well, I actually have taken one good pic. My brother Alex despises my camera because he dislikes me constantly flashing pictures of everything around me- including shots of him. Since over the past day it's become increasingly harder to snap a picture of him before he evades me, I concealed myself on my bed in the room we share and waited as he used our family's boy bathroom which is in our room. And then, straining my ears, I listened and waited for him to emerge. Training the camera on the place where his head would materialize, I focused the camera and... FLASH- I caught Alex just as he came out, and he was looking straight at the A480 with undisguised irritation. *grins* It was AWESOME. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the shot. *groans*
Last night, I celebrated my real birthday for the day I actually turned thirteen with my family, and it was blast. I received the A480 (obviously), a capo for my guitar, (really needed one for a couple of songs I recently received), and a pre-ordering of Rick Riordan's (the author of the Percy Jackson series) new book. All in all, it was the best family birthday I've ever had. It's strange though cause I thought I'd feel... different when I turned thirteen. But- I feel exactly the same. No sudden, magic transformation into an older, taller person- no sudden outbreak of acne or anything- no inward feeling of teenager-ness. *shrugs* Oh well.
Also, on my birthday yesterday, I had to present a speech for a writing class I take- in front of 20 to 30 people (I'm not sure precisely). *shudders* I was really freaked out. At one point, I even slipped out of class and entered the bathroom where I just prayed that God would calm me down- and he did. When I gave my presentation, It was so... easy. The second I got up in front of everyone, things just seemed to go along smoothly and effortlessly. I'm just hoping I get a good grade now, cause the presentation was one of the must crucial assignments in the writing class. But I'm just glad I finished with the speech, cause now- I have no more "school" writing for the rest of the school year!!! My schedule just got a LOT less busy. :D

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Well, not quite- I'm still 12 *sighs heavily*, but I will be 13 on Wednesday. :D Although it was early, I celebrated my birthday with my friends two days ago since it was a Friday, and it was the only way I could do a sleepover. It ROCKED! Okay, first of all, we had this "mystery dinner" thing in my family's garage. It was crazy. All of us received these menus with these nonsensical names on them standing for anonymous foods. Then, we each selected three names on the menus and then "waiters" (my dad, mom, brother Matthew and his friend Ben) took them and went inside our house to get our orders. There were all sorts of wacky foods. For example- "Yard" on the menu turned out to stand for a handful of spinach *grimaces* and "Little Poopies" (I know, crude, but I didn't make up the names!) stood for these milk duds that literally sealed your mouth shut when you chewed while "No Moo Moo" stood for cheese pizza with no pepperoni or sausage while "Dotted Moo Moo" stood for pizza with those toppings. Oh, and all the while, we were in the garage with the garage door open all wearing these cone birthday hats- y'know, the ones four and five year old's wear at their parties. We had to cause it was the "restaurants" so called policy. So while we laughed our heads off ordering stuff off the mystery menus, random neighbors and pedestrians (some that I knew, embarrassingly) were walking by on the street casting us scornful, mocking glances at our "childishness". I mean, I would too if I walked by someones garage and inside were a bunch of teenagers with those cones on. *laughs* Afterwards, we all walked up to a store about one third of a mile away to purchase toppings for ice cream- while still wearing the cones. :D Just for the fun of it, we waved and smiled stupidly at passing cars, and people actually waved back.*grins* What was really funny though was that my brother Alex and friend Josh were deliberately distancing themselves from us, trying to avoid being singled out as friends of the rest of us "cone-wearers". So we arrived at the store, and the employees managing the cash registers could hardly keep a straight face while we purchased the sugar and junk food we needed. Then we jogged back home, took off our beloved cones, devoured ice cream and cake, and then hastened outside for two hours while it was still light out to play two games of intense basketball. Afterwards, we headed out into my backyard and rested in chairs around a blazing bonfire to play Mafia (the best unphysical game in the word). Luckily, I was never Mafia so I didn't ruin the game with laughing and giving myself away. We played a couple games, then went inside, drank root beer, snacked on sour gummy worms and popcorn, and then watched I Walked on the Moon, a film where the comedian Brian Reagen displays his comedy, (he's hilarious! Even, in my opinion, funnier than Tim Hawkins) and also Remember the Titans. Once we were finished with those, it was 3:00 a.m., and we settled down for the night and just talked. Then: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
All in all, it was an awesome party. I have incredible friends. :D
Oh, one more thing: Thank you SO much Josh for the Fray cd! If you haven't listened to them yet, you've gotta hear Never Say Never and Say When by them- especially Say When. They're amazing.

Well, I've gotta go- Little House on the Prairie!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bekah's Giveaway

Alright, here's my answers for the Upon My Return Blog Parade questions:

1. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would you say:

Jocular? :D

2. If you could go anywhere in the world with anyone you wanted to, where would you go and who with?
Indisputably to Hilton Head, a beautiful island connected to South Carolina by bridge. There you'll find the shimmering blue Atlantic, crystal beaches, and a variety of resplendent restaurants and other places for entertainment *gazes longingly out the window*. Who would I take? My friends Hunter, Caleb, Ryan, Josh, Zach, Seth, and Noah. :D

3. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

If I could have one superpower it'd be the power to pretty much makes books come... alive, I guess. Sort of like in Inkheart. Like I could just will them into being so instantly I could make Narnia real, Alagaesia real, the Underland real, The Realm real and with all their characters too. Wouldn't that be awesome?!

4. What is one habit that you get teased about a lot?

I laugh WAY too much. I know it's good for your health but the way I sometimes do? I'm going to suffocate myself someday. For instance, last night at a sleepover with my friend Hunter I got into one of my hysterical moods and nearly choked from laughter. It's kind of scary- jk, but yeah, my friends are always using it against me and making me laugh at the most crucial moments. *laughs*
5. What is your food obsession?

Anything CHINESE!!! *thinks wistfully of Spicy Chang's Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and the Great Wall of Chocolate cake at P. F. Changs*

6. What is the best April Fools prank you pulled on someone or that someone pulled on you?

Okay, let me make this declaration: I could NEVER pull off an April Fools prank without laughing and giving it all away. I just can't keep a straight face in those situations.
Someone pull a prank on me?! *scoffs scornfully* Why, I'm far too intelligent and cunning to be deceived by an April Fools pra- here's another habit: I'm way too gullible. You could tell me I'm related to Thomas Jefferson, and I'd believe you, so it's easy to pull a prank on me. But right now, I just can't recall one... I must have fallen for pranks so many times they're all just vague cycles of me being humiliated by impassive, heartless people. *sniffles* jk lol

7. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?

Umm... a tennis ball?

8. Let's say you could change the world in one way. How would you change it?

I'd either evangelize through writing or music and touch peoples lives, and hopefully then the people would pass on the passion to others.

9. You have a million dollars. How do you spend it?

$1,000,000!!! Wow... Well, first, I'd put away about $200,000 of it in a bank for use the of my five brothers and I for college and cars (I know- I'm a saveaholic). *grins* But you never know. In a couple of years, America's recession could intensify and money would be really scarce. Secondly, I would donate about $300,000 to my church to pay for a building of our own cause currently we meet in a middle school. Thirdly, with 499,950, I would give money to various Christian organizations which can put it to good use. And with the last $50? *grins* Barnes & Noble here I come. :D

10. What is the one thing that always takes your breath away?

The first thing that comes to mind is the ocean. Whenever I go to Hilton Head, SC for vacation, I'm left breathless when I walk out on the beach and behold the undulating expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, glistening under the sun. It's a magnificent testament to God's power and majesty.
11. You are granted three wishes. What do you wish for?

First wish: Okay, this is going to sound really... I don't know, puerile? But I'd wish to be "warped" into the Middle Ages where swordplay and chivalry flourished and become a knight. *grins*

Second wish: I would wish (it's actually more like a prayer) that I would become bolder and more courageous for God and not shy away from his will, whatever it might be.

Third wish (the grand finale): I'd wish for 1,000,000,000,000 more wishes. :D
12. You can spend the day with one character from a book or series you've read. Who is that character?
*gasps* Only ONE!? Oh my word... Well, since I just finished the books and still remember everything about him and how awesome he is, I'd pick Gregor the Overlander from the Underland Chronicles.
13. What is something odd or interesting about you that is not commonly known?
I lived in Saudi Arabia (more specifically in the United Arab Emirates) for the first four years of my life.
14. What is one thing that you can absolutely positively not stand?
Tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, any kind of tomatoes- I despise them! I take like five minutes each time I put sauce on my spaghetti, trying only to get on the noodles only hamburger and sauce and not the repugnant red fruit. *grimaces*
15. Say you committed a crime. The judge gives you a choice between sentences: twenty years of complete solitude in the mountains or never having another moment alone for the rest of your life. Your choice?
Undoubtedly twenty years of solitude. I would go crazy if I was never alone for the rest of my life, but I think I could survive being alone that long. Anyways, I'm always wanting peace and quiet whenever I read, which doesn't happen much in a house of five boys, so it might be the perfect time. :D
16. What is one benefit that blogging has given you?
The awesome ability to share my experiences, passions, and life whenever I desire. Whenever there's something bubbling inside of me, pleading to get out, I just post it. With blogger, I can post about anything that's on my mind and get my thoughts out. I know, it's an obvious answer, but it's the truth.
17. A perfect day in your eyes would be?
7:30-wake up, brush my teeth, shower, dress, and go downstairs to find a voluminous meal of cinnamon rolls, strawberries, and salted and peppered fried eggs awaiting me
8:00- leave the house and go on a 20 minute drive to Roselawn Stables, the place where I take horse riding lessons, and hang out and ride with my favorite horse Champ for three hours
11:00- return home and have a bunch of friends over to play an intense game of basketball for two hours
1:00- get takeout for lunch from China Dragon and purchase some blackberry Izzes (these incredible sparkling juice drinks)
2:00- play my guitar for 30 minutes
2:30- pop in some earphones and listen to my brother's iPod Nano while I jog to the nearest Caribou Coffee to meet with six of my favorite authors-Suzanne Collins, Christopher Paolini, Rick Riordan, John Flanagan, Wayne Thomas Batson, and J. K. Rowling, and to get a strawberry smoothie and a hot, chocolate mocha
4:00- jog back home and read for two hours :D
6:00- devour a supper of crescents, my mom's white bean soup (SO good), and afterwards have a desert of two ice cream sandwiches
7:00- settle down on the couch and watch American Idol with my family
8:00- then watch an episode of Little House on the Praire (I'm addicted to them) *grins*
8:45- head over to my friend Hunter's house where all my other friends are gathered for a sleepover
9:00- play a game of Settlers of Catan while drinking Butterfinger and Peanut Butter M&Ms shakes
10:00- go and watch the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy
4:30 (a.m.)- read for another hour while the rest of my friends slumber
5:30 a.m.- ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Winnie, The Bell, and the Underland Chronicles

That's the name of the dog we're "dogsitting" this week, and for the last two days, I've been assigned to watch, play, and feed her... and she's a LOT of work! But the really aggravating thing is... the bell. Winnie's owners have trained her to report if she has to go to the bathroom by taping a bell to their front door and instructing her to ring it when she needs to go. Frankly, she doesn't use it for its intended purpose. Because it turns out it's her way of dragging me outside to run around and play with her. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's fun. But listen: yesterday, I took her on THREE jogs around our neighborhoods block and played and ran around with her in my backyard for two hours. And guess what? Every time when we got back inside, she went and insistently rang the bell again and again until I responded and went back outside. I despise the bell. I can hear it right now as she rings it with that wicked grin on her face. jk But seriously, can't people come up with other ways to teach dogs to get attention? Why not the simple "innocent puppy-eyes" routine or something? Anything but the bell! Oh well, at least I'm getting paid. $-) But, to be honest, Winnie isn't a bad dog at all. She's actually AWESOME. She's surprisingly obedient for her age and really fun to be with. It's just... *glances darkly at his front door* the bell...
Anyways, I'm on spring break so NO school tomorrow! :D My three youngest brothers are gone at my grandparents house up in northern Minnesota for the week so my parents, brother Alex, and I pretty much have the place to ourselves, making it REALLY quiet around here. Perfect for reading. So... I stayed up till midnight last night and finished the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. They were incredible and COMPLETELY original. There wasn't ANYTHING in the series that's common or regular like elves and dragons or any "over-used" and redundant plots. It's totally fresh and fabricated by Collins, who's an excellent author. I don't really know where to rank her though. Sometimes, it gets to the point where you've read so many phenomenal books, you just can't tell which are the best. Their all so spectacular in their own way. To be blunt, I never thought I'd read the Gregor the Overlander series. I mean seriously- it's about colossal cockroaches, ruthless rats, behemoth bats, scheming spiders, and complaining, insatiable fireflies for pity's sake! But I learned something important after reading them: you can't judge a book by it's characters (even if their cockroaches), cause it turns out, I wouldn't of liked the series half as much as I do if they, or the bats, or rats, or even fireflies hadn't been in them! It's crazy but Suzanne Collins can make you like ANYONE in a novel, no matter what or who it is.
Well, I have 180 youth group in a few minutes so I should probably get ready.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Okay, so I know my bro Alex has been posting all about it, but this is my first entry I've ever written about the band I'm in. We're not exactly a band cause we only have about four songs finished, but we're working on more and it's a lot of fun. We recorded on the of the songs, "When You Turned Away", last, last Thursday, and we're about to have another recording session this Thursday, but back to the point- Hunter (pretty much the band's leader) called Alex and me today, saying that the worship director for a nearby city had listened to their songs and liked it. Therefore, he invited us to perform in the city's park for this Music in the Park event thing in July. Although you might think I'm ecstatic, I am actually freaked out- cause in the song, I was the vocalist and would have to sing at the event. I mean, it's different playing guitar, piano, or a different instrument, but singing? *shudders* I don't know. It's out of my comfort zone, that's for sure. But lately, I've been reading Do Hard Things with my dad and brother, and it goes and challenges teens to do stuff hard and out-of-your-comfort-zone. So... I'm pretty torn. I know fear can't rule people's lives. How are we supposed to live the life God wants us to if we're constantly impeded and hindered by fear? I'm just going to have to pray about it... and practice. Maybe at this next recording session I can sing like crazy in front of everyone in the house to practice so I'll be prepared for the park- although that would probably be pretty annoying... So yeah, there's my predicament. Thought I'd just make a quick post about it cause I know lately I've been TOTALLY unfaithful in my blogging and commenting.
Now, to go and read The Code of Claw, the concluding book in the Underlander Chronicles by Suzanne Collins...


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Sorry for such a long break from blogger. Life's just been... unbloggable, I guess. Nothing of significant interest, unless you enjoy hearing about suffering from two permanent teeth being removed at the dentist and lamentations about school. There's been ONE thing though, that sparked my interest today: Timed essays. Today in the writing class I take, we did them. The essay topic was something like: Does Cooperation or Competition Produce More Success? I was practically twitching with excitement when I heard we we're doing them today. I think I did okay. Being rated on the standard timed essay scoring system: 6 being the best, 1 being the worst, I'm predicting I either got a 3 or possibly a 4. Well... That's pretty much it. All I have to post... *laughs at his pathetic-ness* Now back to the Underlander Chronicles...


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Of Black Diamonds, Bunny Hills, and a Hindering Fear

"There is no neutral ground: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan." -C.S. Lewis.

That was my favorite quote presented at the Worldview conference I've attended this weekend. It's been hectic, since my dad, my brother Alex, and I have been going constantly back and forth from our house to a church in a neighboring city to listen to all the messages given by the speakers for Worldview Academy, the organization that headed up the conference, but it's been SO worth it. The conference began Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and went until 9:30, when we were dismissed to go home and sleep and ready ourselves for the next day of numerous conferences. I awoke early, my clock reading 7:05, since we didn't have to leave until 8:15. Curling up on a comfortable couch, I delved into Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese when, suddenly, fifteen minutes later my dad charged down the stairs, exclaimed that we only had 20 minutes before the conferences started, meaning we had that much time to shower, dress, and complete the 15 minute drive to Nowthen, where the conferences were held. Slapping the book shut, I dashed back upstairs, vigorously shook my brother awake, and then showered and brushed my teeth probably the fastest I have ever done so in my life. Ten minutes later, we were all in my dad's Chrysler Cirrus racing into a McDonald's drive through and ordering breakfast, not having time to eat at home. *grimaces* I shouldn't have gotten a McGriddle. I should've known it would unsettle my stomach. McDonalds food always does- besides Snack Wraps and McDouble's, that is. :D Thankfully, we arrived in Nowthen at the church just in time for the first conference of the day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But my most favorite were the 2nd and 4th sermons that day. First I'll summarize the second:

Christianity vs. Evolution
Yeah, an EXTREMELY debated and controversial subject. At the sermon, I was immensely enlightened. Christians and Atheists have debated over the origins of the universe for years, but it all comes down to two options: Will you cast your trust in the words of man or the words of God?
A well-known evolutionist wrote: "Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god (not capitalized because of the scientist's views). Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!" -Richard Bozarth.
Here are numerous things that evolutionist's believe. In life there is:

  • no God
  • no absolutes
  • no after-life
  • no angels or demons
  • no purpose/meaning
  • no miracles
  • no souls
  • no conscience
  • no mind or thought
  • no freewill or dignity

Yep, evolutionist believe it all. The one I found most surprise (more like shocking) was that they believed we have "no freewill". WHAT?!?! No freewill? So we're mindless robots, machines that don't have the abilities to make our own choices and decisions? Well, according to evolutionists, that's totally what we are. An Atheist taught a class on writing poems at a college (or school, can quite recall). But there was a problem- people have no freewill how can they make poems? We can't create anything either, since we have no mind of thought (instead, they believe we only have brains-not minds or thoughts-that respond to outside stimuli). So, the evolutionists took the next logical step by solving the problem by saying we just already have the poems "within" us. We don't "create" poems, we "have" the poems." So we have beautiful, mellifluous poems within our souls (oh, scratch that, evolutionists don't believe in souls) our brains I mean, that are just... there. We don't create them, conjure them, they're there. Okay then... *raises eyebrow skeptically* But the terrible thing is, most Christians do nothing to combat Atheists/Evolutionist's views. For some reason, there's something that holds us back, keeps us from defending our faith. What is it? Well, we all know, cause we all experience it. Fear. Fear of man rather than fear of God. During the conference, the speakers spoke about the students they taught at a campus in Texas, and how, every Wednesday, they just sent them off to neighboring cities and college campuses to evangelize and question others about their beliefs. As I listened, my heart was clutched callously by the cold hand of fear. Imagine just going out and speaking God's word to others. Telling others about Him. It's such a coveted thing, but people are hindered by the powerful impediment of fear. I am, and I felt ashamed, because in doing so, I obey our culture's message. Our culture says: Keep your faith in your church and homes- DON'T BRING IT OUT OF THOSE BOUNDARIES!!! DON'T SPREAD IT!!! KEEP YOUR FAITH TO YOURSELF!!! And that's what I do... I don't go out and tell others. I just keep it personal. I don't share the love that Jesus' gives. Why? Fear. Hindering, obstructing, impeding FEAR. And I'm ashamed of that. It's something that I have to get rid of in my life. But there's also another factor. What do you tell non-believers? Well, that leads me to the 4th conference.

"Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions" -Aristotle. And that's totally true. We must ask the right questions to unbelievers, and the speakers at the conference gave advice on how to question them- the four killer questions:

  • What do you mean by (blank)?
  • How do you know that to be true?
  • What difference does that make?
  • What if you are wrong about (blank)?

For example, you engage an Atheist in conversation: (this is the conversation which was played on video at the conference)

Christian: "What do you believe happens once you die?"

Atheist: "I die- the end. Everything just ends there."

Christian: "How do you know?"

Atheist: "Because that's what science says."

Christian: "But what if you're wrong?"

See? The Atheist is stuck. Now he has to think. What if he's wrong? What if you don't just die? The speakers explained that often, that's the best you can do when talking to an evolutionists: make him/her think.

Everyone has faith. Evolutionists have EXTREME faith. They must have exceeding faith to convince themselves that all the beauty and ingenuity in the designs of this earth were created by chance. That we, extraordinarily complex beings, are all simply mistakes. Imagine you're walking on a beach, and you find a computer chip in the sand. Nobody in their right mind would believe it was just created by chance. A computer chip is a complex device! Everybody would agree to that. Then what about our brains? Why are they proclaimed by evolutionists to be created "by chance" if they are so much more complex than any insignificant computer chip! It makes utterly and completely no sense!

There is no neutral ground: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan - C. S. Lewis.

I know I already typed that quote at the beginning of this post, but it's important. Evolution and Christianity aren't compatible. Christianity fights, still fights, and will fight science... - Richard Bozarth. They're two different beliefs. Belief in man... and belief in God. As Christians, we must be have a firm Christian faith and worldview, and this these conferences really showed me how ignorant I am. Right now, if I were to be confronted with a knowledgeable atheist, I would probably be defeated in a debate. 1 Peter 3:15: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer- I might not always be prepared to give an answer, which is why it's so important to construct a solid Christian worldview. I can't let my faith be shaken by all the people who speak out against it and challenge it. I have to be able to defend it.

One of the most memorable moments at the conference was when one of the speakers got up and spoke about a passive faith and an active faith by comparing it to the ranks of ski hills. If you're a passive Christian all your life and always stay on the bunny hills and green circles... what kind of life for Christ is that? But if you really starting thinking and acting like an active Christian, your life will be like a black diamond- but that's where you'll truly be alive. That's where the joy comes: from actively serving God. And at the end of your run, there'll be such great satisfaction and the joy as your ski instructor (God) congratulates you. But if you always stay on those uneventful green circles...

All in all, this Worldview conference was one of my favorite conferences ever. The speakers there had the skill of even the speakers at the FLY convention, which, if you've been following my blog for a while, you've seen me post about. My faith has also been encouraged from it, and I'm going to start praying that I can break through the fear that I of sharing their faith so I can lead a black diamond life. Because seriously... who wants to sit around on the bunny hill?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan's, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, new novel! AHHH!!!

I'm EXHILARATED!!! Thank you SO much Glow Fish for posting about the book! If you've read the Percy Jackson series, you should understand my excitement. Rick Riordan is phenomenal. Even if I've sounded pretty derogatory about the new Lightning Thief film, my scorn was only, I repeat, ONLY directed at the movie, not the series. The series is incredible. Rick Riordan is totally as good (possibly better) than John Flanagan, Wayne Thomas Batson, and, yes, it's true, J. K. Rowling. His writing is so fresh, realish, and modern. He doesn't even use that big of a vocabulary in his works, but still, that's part of the reason I like his books so much. They're so easy, enjoyable, and enticing to read, and I literally cannot wait for this new series he's begun to exhibit to come out! According to the Red Pyramid website (which you can access HERE), the new novel comes out 5/4/2010. On the website, you can read the first chapter of the book also, so yeah. :D

Also, has anyone read the Books of Umber by P. W. Catanese? I'm starting the first book in the series, Happenstance Found, tonight, and I was wondering if anyone could give me their thoughts on it...



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Corrupt Country

Yep, that's America. As I was checking my e-mail inbox, I descried this e-mail from a Christian website called Citizen'sLink that periodically updates me on happenings throughout the U.S. Here's what the update stated:
"President Obama's proposed budget would allocate $410 million for programs overseen by his new 'safe school czar,' gay activist Kevin Jennings. That's an increase of $45 million.
Family advocates are concerned, because Jennings used the so-called 'school climate' phrase as a tool to promote homosexuality in schools as the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
Candi Cushman, education analyst with Focus on the Family Action, said parents should be concerned with how Jennings might spend the money."

According to the update, Keven Jennings, the new 'safe school czar' (who is a gay activist and founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), is now a powerful influence in America's public schools. *shakes head in disgust* This is pretty sad. This year I'm studying American history, and this country was so... promising. But now I'm not so sure. I mean, look at the update- homosexuality used to be nonexistent. It was something that was completely avoided back then in the past. But now? Now people are promoting it in schools. And there's still worse. Where Christianity used to be the most prominent faith in this country, now it's "Evolution" and other fallacious theories. Also, there are all these reports of Christian youth losing their faith as they grow older and are subjected to our sinful society.

In the last two months, I've been reading all about the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Now as I reflect, I'm wondering: was that all for nothing? Did America's men fight and give their lives for freedom and unity, when in the end, they were only saving a nation which was doomed to become like this? A country supporting all these ungodly things? Abortion, atheism, homosexuality, gay marriages, and so forth. I'm just so glad I'm homeschooled so I'm not buffeted in public school with teachings that promote them. I'm not trying to say public schools bad. It's good to be out in the real world sometimes, just as long as you're faith stands firm. Things are harder for adolescents now faith-wise. This country's Christian youth are surrounded by ungodly, immoral influences. It's everywhere. In the shows we watch, the things we hear- In Percy Jackson, much of the story line was changed to show in the movie immodesty and immoral things. For those who've seen the move but not read the book, one of the most prominent cases of this was when Grover is forced to stay in the Underworld while Percy, Annabeth, and Percy's mom return to Earth-nope. It was Percy's mom who said she'd stay in the Underworld. They just made it in the movie so Grover stayed so they could get the Grover and Persephone (who's already married to Hades) thing going.
I've also been watching American Idol for the past couple months, and this year, during the beginning auditions, the show has been featuring numerous gross, ungodly auditions instead of skipping over them. What's with that? Does American Idol think America is so corrupt that it enjoys that stuff? Apparently.
It's a terrible transformation in our country. It was gradual and subtle at first, but now, the sin and immorality that has engulfed this nation is evident and enormous. It's disheartening to think of the glorious beginning of America and to now examine what it has become.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

For President's Day, my mom took my brother Alex and I to The Lightning Thief, knowing how much we enjoyed the books. And, after watching it, I'd give it three stars. This movie was an example of books superiority to movies. It didn't entice me like the books did- didn't live up to my expectations. The movies excluded numerous main characters whom I thoroughly enjoyed in the book, and what's more, they completed contorted the plot! I don't want to say anything, as it will spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it, but the ending combats were COMPLETELY fabricated by the producer. It didn't follow along the lines of the novel at all! Also, the movie included a little too much inappropriateness when it came to the way the people in the film were dressed, which was a constant, disturbing element in the movie. The last thing that disappointed me greatly was how fast-paced the move was. I mean, there was barely ever a time when the characters just... talked. They were always on the run- fighting, fleeing, ect.

I won't be a total pessimist. There were really cool factors in the move too, including sweet skirmishing scenes and awesome special effects. Another thing that was cool, which is totally irrelevant to the film, is that the guy who played Percy looked sooo awesome, fitting the way I pictured him in the novels perfectly. But the person who played Annabeth... ugh. She was nothing like the Annabeth I knew in the books. Her features, her portrayal- ARGH! But Grover was another story. He rocked, and I'm so glad he was played by an African American! The actor was really funny and cool. :D
So yeah, 3 Stars, is my rating.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can't Get Over "Tonight" and "Ranger's Apprentice"

Finally! Tobymac, just yesterday, came out with a new cd: Tonight!

I don't know about you, but Tobymac is one of my favorite artists. His music is just so... well... it gets you going. It's invigorating, reviving, ect. One of my fave songs on the album is Get Back Up, which, if my Mixpod is working, you're listening to right now. :D

Also, I just got Erak's Ransom from the library! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been waiting for a whole THREE DAYS to get it! THREEE HUUUUGE DAAAYS!!! Okay, I know I'm being overly dramatic but seriously, these books are the real deal. I can't get them off my mind their so good!

Alright, I have to go watch American Idol. It's group performance night. *rubs hands together in anticipation* I can't wait to see these groups fail! jk. But this week in Hollywood is usually the most intense so I can't miss it. *grins*


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back from SidexSide

The title's not exactly true. There were two groups of kids at the retreat: Kids in SidexSide made up of people 7th grade and older. And kids in "Snodaze" for people 7th grade and younger. To my surprise, my youth leader decided that all 180's 7th graders were going to go to Snodaze, so that's where I was placed. At first, I was dismayed. I mean... I kind of wanted to go to SidexSide because I figured the sermons and music would be more... Well... "Olderish" I guess. And I have to admit, the music in Snodaze was a bit childish. We sang songs I sung in third grade at my church for pity's sake, but, the sermons were excellent. Snodaze's preacher, Todd Erickson, was really good. The theme of the weekend was "Fearless." Pretty much being able to proclaim and speak out fearlessly about God and not being hindered by fear. In the first sermon we learned about Slavish and Childlike Fear. As it says in Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge- What is that fear?
Slavish Fear results when we fear the punishment of God. We do everything out of fear of wrath and not out of devotion to Him.
Childlike Fear results when we love and want to please God so much, that we're desperate to follow God's will and our fearful of doing anything not according to God's plan because we're so anxious to follow him.
A verse that goes with this is 1 John 4:18, which over the course of the weekend, has become one of my fave verses: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
So it says: "There is no fear in love." And then it reinforces this statement in the following sentences of the verse. If we're fearing God's plan and will for us, our relationship with Him isn't right. "The one who fears (slavish fear) is not made perfect in love."
That's something I struggle with. I mean, what if God wants me to go and be a missionary in Iran or something? I'd be extremely fearful, but I would do it, but, to be honest, I don't know if it would be out of Slavish Fear or Childlike Fear. *sighs* It's something I have to work on.

The next sermon focused on Childlike Faith. In Mark 10:14, it says: When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children."
What's so amazing about those children? They wholeheartedly and easily rely, trust, and have faith. For example, if my Dad were to tell my little brother Caleb to jump four feet down off my top bunk, and that he'd catch him, he'd trust him in a heartbeat. No hesitation. They're so trusting that doubt or indecision never even crosses their mind. That's Childlike Faith. Whatever God says to do, we do it, casting complete, unwavering faith in him. Childlike Faith is to trust that whatever He desires for you to do, you do it, trusting him just like a believing, relying child. What exactly is faith? Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Does faith save you? This morning, I brushed my teeth, having faith completely that water would spew out of the faucet and out onto my toothbrush. Obviously, it did. No, faith alone isn't enough. But faith in Jesus is a whole different story. The story of Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego is an extraordinary example of faith in Jesus, a superb display of Childlike faith.

After these two, there were three more sermons. One focusing on God's constant companionship with us and his omnipresence, the next on Ephesians 6:10-20 about the full of armor of God, and the last one on our Hope given to us from Jesus by his resurrection. Without that act, our faith would be futile. If His death on the cross had been the end... Well. There would be no "hope". One of the questions asked in the sermon was: What is your hope? It's not like a "I hope so!" hope, it's a firm, certain hope. If we cast our faith on people, we'll be disappointed cause we all mess up. But in God our Hope is as solid as a rock. We'll still be confronted and persecuted on this earth, but every time we fall, we'll fall on a Hope as a powerful and substantial as that.

Aside from all the sermons, I had a LOT of time to just hang out with my friends around the campus. With Caleb from Ballin' With God and Joey (my cousin), I played basketball practically non-stop. I even gave up tubing off this massive tubing hill to do it. It was pretty much an obsession during my time there. *grins* I also bought and ate junk food (much to my mom's dismay) including a Twix bar (best candy bar in the world; anyone who disagrees... well... you're missing out :D), a Mountain Dew, and peanut butter M&M's. Not much but immensely filling. Oh, and I forgot to mention, every night the people in my dorm and I had these awesome devo periods and on Saturday night, Jimmy, my youth group leader, put me in charge. I felt pretty good about that knowing Jimmy trusted me enough to lead it so yeah, it was really cool. :D

*goes back and looks over what he's written* Wow, I wonder if this is the longest post I've ever made... *laughs* I know, compared to most people's longest, this entry is mini, but to me: it's a record.
Alright, well I better close this post before it gets too long.


Friday, February 5, 2010


Alex and Hannah have both already posted about this so I'll make this entry brief. At 5:00, my youth group, 180, is taking a bus to Wisconsin to massive retreat center for youth. We'll get back Sunday afternoon (thankfully before the start of the Superbowl *grins*) so this an adios for the weekend. :D



Sunday, January 31, 2010

Atrocious Articulation

Found this on my friend Seth's blog and then received permission to use it here at Thoughts of a Warrior. Check it out and you'll understand the title. *grins*

I wonder what a Lennon goat is anyways... *shrugs*


Friday, January 29, 2010

Going... Going... And Going again...

This has been an extremely eventful day. How so? Well, woke up at 7:00, had a half-an-hour to shower, eat breakfast, ect and then headed out to Minneapolis to Orchestra Hall to view an orchestra play theme songs from popular movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings :D :D :D, and Fantasia (ugh). It was... fun. I guess... Well, no, not really. I mean, the Star Wars and LOTR was awesome- aside from the fact that during the LOTR performance this really, really high-pitched, sixth grade boy got up and sang like a girl. *laughs* I barely suppressed laughter. I'm not even kidding. The only reason I didn't burst out laughing then and there was because my cousin Ryan cast me this threatening glance that clearly communicated: Don't you dare. So yeah, I held it in there. But then there was this other song. One that went on, and on, and on, and on... And it was so boring and dumb that I couldn't help myself so I laughed quietly into my fist. *grins* Thankfully, the production only lasted about two hours so I was saved. :D
After Orchestra Hall, my family navigated the way back to our car and headed out to a friend's house to eat lunch, and then, immediately after, headed out to a community center as an activity for one of my homeschool coops ROCK. It was a lot of fun playing basketball and other cool stuff, but when I swam, I found that swimming with contacts in is pretty irritating. I mean, every time water gets into your eyes they move all over and sting, so yeah.
And now, during this short respite I have at home, I'm about to get going. Again. But I'm really excited. :D I'm going to one of my best friend's (Hunter) birthday party/sleepover. *grins* I can't wait. :D
Also, I'm glad I got to read at least a little today while I was on the road. Anyone heard of the Ranger's Apprentice series? I'm rereading them and I have to say, they're completely incredible. That is not an understatement. I know I say this about A LOT of books, but this is genuine. Really. Whoever hasn't read them MUST check them out.
And with that, I will close this post.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crushed, Despondent, Utterly Disconsolate, ect.

Vikings lost to the Saints in a HEART-BREAKER. Literally, it was devastating. We HAD the WIN!!!!! askfjsdkfjsdkl IT WAS OURS!!!!! AHHHH!!! So close and then Favre HAD to go and throw an interception. WHY? We could have kicked the field goal then and there and been victorious and guaranteed a spot in the Superbowl! We blew it... We SO blew it... Arghh!!!

A very crestfallen,


Saturday, January 23, 2010

180 Tubing

So last night, from like 7:00 p.m. to 10:00, my youth group, 180, went tubing at this monstrous tubing hill. There were four tracks where we could race and it turns out, we could have linked too and gone in groups, but the tracks were so icy from the rain (yes, it was raining while we were there :D) that the surveyors didn't allow it for the night. But because of the ice, the tracks were SO fast. My hat pretty much threatened to blow off every time I went down it was so swift. After a while, some of the boys got a little bored so we decided to start a new trend. Taking off our coats and sweatshirts so we were just in our t-shirts, we raced down the slope amidst the falling rain and snow. Okay, I'm not going to lie. It killed. Ice and snow buffeted my bare arms and face until they were throbbing and freezing. But, being as stupid as I am, I decided to, with my friend Caleb, take the next step upward in our experiment... going down the slope... with no shirts. *grins* I'll admit it, it was a really stupid thing to do, but it was AWESOME!!! We were flying while being pelted by all sorts of winter elements and I LOVED it. I can't wait until next time I go tubing to do it again. :D So yeah, that was my daring tubing endeavor. *grins*

Just a little side note that is completely irrelevant to the main post: CURSE OF THE SPIDER KING IS AWESOME!!!!!!!! Batson has done it again!!!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Reading Rampage

Sorry for the lack of posting, but, by looking at the title, you can probably tell what I've been doing. :D Well, last time I posted I mentioned the Bartimaeus Trilogy. I was just starting it; not sure how good or bad it was as I knew no one who had read the trilogy and would give me an opinion on it. Thus, I plunged in the manuscript not knowing what to expect; and now as of two days ago, I have emerged utterly and totally amazed.

I'm not kidding. This trilogy was something else (in a good way). I mean, it had me hooked! I couldn't put it down. It was incredible. (Don't be warded away by the kind of creepy book cover- it's just a gargoyle). The author, Johnathan Stroud, is such an enticing author. The trilogy is intense, action-packed, deep, and extremely humorous as you'll find out if you read it. :D
Now, enough about the Bartimaeus Trilogy. There's another novel that right now has me completely engrossed- The Curse of the Spider King. :D

It's awesome! I love it. I'm on page 200-something and so far, it's great! Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper really cooked up something good.
And now to get back devouring it... *grins*