Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Victoria & Albert: A (real) Love Story

 Yesterday I decided to watch The Young Victoria and I had totally forgotten how wonderful that movie was! Emily Blunt was so beautiful and she looked like she was pulled out of the pages of royal history. Rupert Friend was very charming and dashing as his role of Prince Albert. His soft spoken nature was such a healing and soothing balm compared to the harshness and the loudness of the rest of the male cast.

Albert & Victoria have always been my favorite royal couples (followed by Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip, and Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark). Their rather unique love story is definitely novel and script worthy.

 In 2001 the BBC made a mini-series about the couple simple entitled Victoria & Albert and as much as I enjoy The Young Victoria, this mini-series is incredibly beautiful and well done. Their version of Albert is very different from Rupert Friend's interpretation. Albert in this is somewhat feisty and short tempered. He is by no means in love with Victoria at all and marries her out of duty. His sense of morality is incredible though. He utterly refuses to read Lord Byron because of the poet's extravagant personal life.

After a certain incident where he sees a married member of parliament with a long time mistress in the palace, he urges Victoria to have her removed. When she refuses and asks why he tells her that his mother's life was all but destroyed because of his father's philandering behavior.

Albert completely turned the monarchy around with his moral, Christian, and upright decisions about marriage, family (he was the father of nine children), social class, work, education and much more.With time and patience his no nonsense, but congenial public behavior eventually endeared himself to the British people and even to Parliament.
 ~ ~ ~
Unlike The Young Victoria where Albert is seen as a romantic hero, when I watched the mini-series, I didn't see anything particularly romantic about Prince Albert. He didn't sweep Victoria off her feet or shower her with flowers and jewels. Instead her counseled her, protected her, and eventually loved her more than anyone else in the world.

Webster's definition of romance: To forge and tell fictitious stories; to deal in extravagant stories.

Basically romance in it's entirety is...a lie; and yet for years and years, people have succumbed to the lie that romance is an important aspect of love. Society today has an unrealistic view of romance and what love should be.

Now Prince Albert was not what one would have called romantic; at least by today's standards he wouldn't be. He was shy, quiet, and kept to himself. Being a German, he was disliked by many members of the British Parliament.
  His marriage to Victoria was practically arranged, but it was she who made the final decision in who her consort was to be. He was not quickly accepted by Parliament and it seems they did everything in their power to demean him in anyway possible.
  In his own words he says of his marriage to Queen of England.
"I am very happy and contented; but the difficulty in filling my place with the proper dignity is that I am only the husband, not the master in the house." 
He was also intensely moral and would not condone any immoral behavior in the palace.

Victoria & Albert's marriage was not easy at first. With the constant demands on Victoria as Queen and Albert leaving everything he knew and loved in Germany to come to England and be treated like a complete outsider can make for a stressful beginning. Victoria was absolutely convinced that she had made the right decision though.

After her wedding night she wrote: 
I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert ... his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! ... to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!
I think she's made her point.

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Step Farther

 Jasmine Baucham has just written on her site that she's finished her new novel. I'm really excited for her and I can't wait to see what it's about.

  I'm also happy in the fact that yesterday I just finished my first piece of fiction! "A Moment With You," is definitely not a novel, but hey, it's a start in the right direction. It's about a trip to Georgia that I took in May, the events that happened and the people that I met...
 The first person to read it was my best friend and she said she loved it and that it was very beautiful, and she's a pretty hard critic, so I'm was relieved that she enjoyed it.

  I never ever thought that I would be able to right my own story. To some people it might seem stupid, but I've been writing fan-fiction since I was sixteen and to finally break away from the fan-fic mode and slowly step into my independent work is an incredible feeling. In many ways I owe all of this to quitting my job. If I still had a job, I wouldn't have time to write and I would have never had gone to Georgia at all! Time will reveal...

I probably won't become a world famous author like J.K Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, but many people have told me that my Narnia fan-fictions have really inspired them, that they have made them laugh and cry. So, if I can invoke such emotions in fan-fiction, then why not in regular fiction? How exciting to finally be able to find myself! And hopefully help other people find themselves as well.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Joshua's Homecoming Post

I've always been a great supporter of Vision Forum and reading Doug's Blog is always an enjoyable read. It seems Doug has passed on his gift of writing to his son Joshua.

I found this humorous post on Joshua Phillip's site : )

As many of you know John Horn and I recently were in Europe where we were studying history and the Providence of God through Rome, France, England and Scotland.
"...When people spoke of my Bonnie land I didn't know what they meant, but then I took to travel and I roamed far and wide and now when I sing of my native land I sing with love and pride!"
After 33 days of travel and adventure I have finally returned to San Antone, my home territory, more grateful than ever for the state and country in which I live!  The flight home this afternoon was one of very mixed emotions for me. On the one hand I am so excited to be returning to this greatest of states and to once again be joining in the battles of life here. On the other hand I am dearly missing the home of my heart and imagination, Scotland, as well as the journey which I was part of for the last month. Truly, that journey through Europe is still fresh on my mind and heart, and I have no intention of letting it move to the back of my mind. From May 26th, when I last stood in my home, to today it has been one of the most incredible journeys of a lifetime. Tonight I will once again put foot in my room. But it's important to catalogue the things of life as well.

From these United States to Europe. From living in airports for three days to Roman dinners. From the Coliseum to Pompeii. From Rome to the Overnight train through Switzerland. From the Arch Di Triumph to Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower. From American tourists in Paris to largest American Reenactment division in Normandy on June 6th. From the beautiful Norman countryside to wonderfully grouchy ol' Brittish customs agents. From Les Miserables to the British Museum to Fish and chip shops. From Glasgow to Iona. From climbing the crags and cliffs of death during a rising tide to on a whim belting out "Flower of Scotland" at the highest point of Iona. From the Wallace Monument to Edinburgh. From Stirling Castle to playing "I hea seen the Hielands" with Sam on the green. From the Sir Walter Scott Monument to late night excursions. From late "Alba Gu Bragh" parties to making new friends with a "broad scot" in the local McDonalds at midnight. From the very last book store visits to running to make our plane, very late and very overweight with book purchases.

Today as I look back on the last month I want to consider the things I learned and experienced. If you were to ask what my very favorite part of the last month is, it would certainly be hard to specify one particular point. But as I think about it now, of all of the Europe we visited I would have to say that the two places I loved the most and learned the most from are Normandy and Iona in Scotland. They are now two of my favorite spots on earth, after the South which I love even more. Both these places are spots which I have studied for the last year, yet in both Normandy and Iona I learned more in the three days we spent in each place than I had ever dreamt of learning before.

To visit Normandy on the actual anniversary of D-Day (June 6) and to stand with the dozens of veterans who had returned to the battles of their youth. To be part of the hundreds of reenactors gathered to honor the men who died. To sing songs with old men who had been little boys in the villages during the liberation. To storm the bridges and fields of the same countryside that was stormed 66 years ago. To stand before Omaha beach and witness the iron warriors weep at the graves of their brothers and friends. Though it seems cliche to sum it up in a word, it truly was incredible.

My brother Justice, and two of our best friends Samuel Turley, John Horn and I were in 101st Airborne gear with the other reenactors. At one point I heard one veteran point to our group of men and boys in 101st and say "That's just how I looked this day, 66 years ago..." Justice and John are sixteen, I turned eighteen in mid May, and Sam had just turned twenty on the 31st. Its a strange thing to think that you're the same age that these old heroes were when they hit the beaches and fields. But it was true. Theres no way to study history as well as it is to live it out, we saw this first hand in Normandy.

As I sit here remembering, I also think of sweet Iona. Iona in the Northwest of Scotland. Iona, two miles by one mile in size. Iona, the home of the first explorers to Scotland, possibly the descendants of Gathelus. Iona, the haven of the Druids. But in the 5th century it became the manger bed of Christianity in Scotland, and then in Europe, when a man by the name of Columba cleaned the island of Druidism and began the spread of the unvarnished Gospel in the North. Over time it became a type of holy spot for Christians, far away from the Luke warm-waterings down of the Gospel. On Iona would be buried between 47 and 60 kings representing at least four different nations. These kings wished to be buried on Iona to identify with its great legacy of Christianity and Heroism.

Much can be said of Iona, but it would fill pages here. We spent three days and two nights on the island. Several of us stayed in tents on the mountain side. It was a memory never to be forgotten. While on Iona we read of Columba and visited the island bookshop. We saw the life of a dear friend spared from the jaws of death. We prayed for the Legacy of our children. We climbed the tallest mountain and spied out the whole island from it's top. We sang the songs of Scotland, heroism, exploration and manhood from the Abbey. We made plans and plots for the future and walked together as friends.

As I walk away from these two wonderful memories, Normandy and Iona, I can't but help feel incredibly blessed. Blessed and thankful, both to my heavenly father and to my earthly father. I am now thinking about everything else there is to learn about these two place! There is more than I can ever hope to fully understand. But the research will continue, the reading press forward and my thoughts will always be grateful for this opportunity. In this journey of a lifetime we solidified friendships, traveled fast, learned faster and were able to see the providence of God over and over throughout history. From this journey I walk away not simply thankful for the legacy of the men who died before us, but also realizing that we need to leave a legacy as well. And I thank God for my home-land, truly I hae seen the highlands and I hae seen the low', but I will sing of my native land wherever I may go!

Praise God for the legacy of history he has given us! It truly is history that teaches us to hope!
~Joshua Titus Phillips

Addendum: There are four more spots which now come to mind as I consider the great points of the trip: The Protestant Cemetery in Rome where R.M. Ballantyne is buried. The Sir Walter Scott monument in Edinburgh, Scotland. The William Wallace monument in Stirling. And our visit to London's Queen's Theatre where we watched the "immortal" performance of Les Miserables. But I will have to write on these another time...

From Europe, the Phillips family arrived in the Atlanta airport only to split in preparation for the next leg of the trip: half the family heading home, and the rest of us (Dad, Jep, Lib and Me) flying directly to the Denver homeschool conference without even setting foot outside the airport in between jaunts. (Oh, and did I mention that our flight was cancelled and we once again spent the night in the airport? But it was great fun anyways...)  We arrived in Colorado had a wonderful and very profitable time with the folks from CHEC (Christian Home Educators of Colorado) and on Sunday heard a wonderful message from Dr. Sproul on Mathew 6.
The next day we headed directly to CHEF's homeschool conference in Missouri. The conference had a fantastic line up of speakers including my father, Vodie Bauchom, Bill Potter, Samuel Turley, Herb Titus and John Dwyer. On Tuesday Dad gave a fantastic message on the Christian Life of Stonewall Jackson. Then Wednesday night Dad and Mr. Potter gave a  slam-dunk joint message on the Legacy of D-Day and the Providence of God. While in Missouri we stopped off at the home of Dan Ford, bibliophile, where we filmed several clips on the legacy of Liberty and Property in American History.

Finally we headed to South Carolina where we were honored to be part of a special multigenerational celebration and 13th birthday of Harrison Weir, a good friend and fellow traveler. While there we were reunited with several of the friends who we had traveled through Europe with. It was a wonderful and joyous occasion with great friends, great music and good times all around. Today, June 28, thirty-three days after we departed our home in Texas, thirty-three days since we last had our beloved Tex-Mex food, we once again boarded a plane to head south. To head home. To sleep in our own beds. To raid our own pantries. And to remember the stories of our grand, grand adventure!

He's a good writer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Congratulations to the Beckhams!

Congratulations to David and Victoria Beckham on the birth of their daughter, Harper Seven Beckham!

Harper Seven – a daughter for Victoria and David Beckham

Victoria Beckham has given birth to a baby girl – the first daughter for the former Spice Girl and her footballer husband David.

The baby, named Harper Seven, was delivered on Sunday at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.
In a statement on his Facebook page, former England captain Beckham said: "I am so proud and excited to announce the birth of our daughter Harper Seven Beckham.
"She weighed a healthy 7lbs 10oz and arrived at 7.55 this morning, here in LA. Victoria is doing really well and her brothers are delighted to have a baby sister xx."

The Beckhams, who married in 1999, already have three boys - Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and Cruz, five.
Their spokesman, Simon Oliveira, announced the happy news on Twitter.
"David & Victoria Beckham are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter," he wrote.
In another posting, he added: "Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz are excited to welcome their new baby sister to the family."

Friends of the couple were quick to send their congratulations.
A delighted Mel B, who is expecting her third child later this year, expressed her excitement on Twitter, writing: "congrats!!! Yipeee another spice baby is born, damn it wish it was me this AM cos I feel like I'm about to POP!"
Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton also tweeted: "Big kiss to @victoriabeckham can't wait to meet your gorgeous little girl!"

Before the baby's name was confirmed, stylist Sally Lyndley alluded to a possible name for the newborn, writing: "congratulations on gorgeous baby Beverly!!! X." While Brooklyn was named after the place where he was conceived, this appeared to suggest the pair – who live in Beverly Hills – had once again opted to name a child after a location close to their hearts.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Morning

What I'm wearing: Faded Glory shorts, Catalina pink/white/black paisley swimming suit top
What I'm watching: The Widow's Might
~ ~ ~
Happy Sunday : ) A really hot and humid Sunday! A pefect day to go out and lay in the sun and then go swimming. Gotta' love Virginia summer : ) 

My week has been pretty good. Being a stay at home daughter can be somewhat wearing. Because my brother is in the hospital, my mom is gone quite a lot leaving me at home to clean the house and...cook. Yeah, I can clean like crazy, but put me in front of a stove, then forget about it. Although, my cooking has improved some. I made my first meal a couple of weeks ago, with my sister's help, but hey, that was a big accomplishment for me and my baking in improving too. So, maybe there's hope.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let The Words Flow

I'm beginning to write my own fiction : ) After almost four years of fan-fiction writing, I'm finally being able to garner inspiration for my own independent work and it's a great feeling.

My first actual independent writing is a short story about a trip to Georgia that I took in April. I guess you could say it's romantic, but it's honest and that's a big part in my writing. Another thing about writing is being truthful, especially when you're writing about personal experiences.

My insatiable love of writing and words seems to just flow through my body. I carry as many stories in my mind as my body carries blood cells (at least that's what it feels like). I've never been one to write fluffy, shallow, teenage romances and science fiction has never been my forte. My work will probably be little adult and mature, not family friendly.

Not to say it's going to be the next >> Millennium Series<<, but there's so much in that storyline you can definitely pick up and use for your own work. I have always wanted my writing to be controversial; I want it to make people think and question what they believe. Exactly what that work will entail, I have no idea. It's coming though.

"Write what you know" has always been the supposed key to good writing. That's understandable and I totally agree, but I think "Write what you're most passionate about" should be just as important. I hate sexual abuse among girls and women. Which is why I was so intrigued my Stieg Larsson's, Millennium Series.

Now, I have never read the books and probably never will. I have never seen the movies and probably never will. Thanks to this little site called Wikipedia I basically know the entire storyline. It's rough, it's gory, it's painful, and very dark. Yet, there's hope at the end.

Lisbeth Salander is an unlikely badass heroine, but definitely not someone I would consider a role model. Her form of 'justice' is maniac and yet in a corrupt government run by corrupt politicians it seems to be the only way she can get her point across. She goes to the law and the law fails her. So she takes justice into her own hands and succeeds.

Sexual abuse against women and girls is one of the most unreported crimes in the U.S.A. possibly most of the world. Second to that is the abhorrent favoritism of boys over girls in foreign countries like China, Japan, India, and any country that's predominantly Muslim. To these countries, girls are just tools and slaves to men. They are considered worthless and unnecessary. They're killed at birth or kept alive only to be beaten, starved, and eventually killed. It's disgusting. Nothing will bring out the feminist faster in me than when the world will turn a blind eyes to the suffering of innocent girls.

 World magazine posted an article called Worthless on the terrible abuse and annihilation of baby girls in India. I almost cried when I read the reports of newborn girls thrown out the window. Little girls who are abandoned in the streets. Young married girls who are beaten by their husbands and their in-laws if they don't give birth to a boy. By that time tears were turning into rage. Won't anybody do anything? The correspondent did an incredible (and enviable) job at reporting this news.

A few magazines later, World had posted reviews and opinions for the magazine articles in the issue where I had read Worthless. I looked through the pages in some hope that other people would have written in expressing the same anger and feelings that I felt.

All I read was this: This was the saddest thing I have ever read!

That was it. Nothing else was said. I was angrier than ever. Like five people had written reviews about the main article Are You Bored? And yet World posted one simpering comment on Worthless. My mom tried to console me, saying that a lot of people probably felt the same way I did and World had to choose what opinions to post and not to post. It didn't work. Yes, a lot of people probably did care, but it obviously wasn't important enough to World or it would have posted more opinions on this article.

I'm being being unfair and biased. I know. I have always loved World magazine and their writers are exceptional, but that was a total and epic fail on their part.

Have I gotten off topic? Probably, but you have gathered by now my utter and intolerable hatred against  abuse towards women. I'm venting and it feels really good right now. When I came across the character of Lisbeth Salander I couldn't help but feel an intense sense of satisfaction. For a while at least. If I was to write about the same topic I would probably extend a little more grace.

"Write what you're most passionate about" Passion is a strong thing. It can intensify the simplest of feelings. I'm passionate for woman who are abused and want to help, but not at the cost of seeing that all men are monsters and should be destroyed and that women should rule the earth (God forbid). For now I'm letting the words come a little at a time. The more I study and explore this topic, hopefully the right words will begin to flow and I can finally voice what is meant to be said.

That will be a great day.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

by Francis Smith

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
 (added to celebrate Washington's Centennial )
Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toils and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.
Additional verses by Henry Van Dyke
We love thine inland seas,
Thy groves and giant trees,
Thy rolling plains;
Thy rivers' mighty sweep,
Thy mystic canyons deep,
Thy mountains wild and steep,--
All thy domains.
Thy silver Eastern strands,
Thy Golden Gate that stands
Fronting the West;
Thy flowery Southland fair,
Thy North's sweet, crystal air:
O Land beyond compare,
We love thee best!
Additional Abolitionist Lyrics 1843 A. G. Duncan Jarius Lincoln, [ed.] Antislavery Melodies: for The Friends of Freedom. Prepared for The Hingham Antislavery Society. Words by A. G. Duncan.

My country,' tis of thee,
Stronghold of slavery, of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man’s rights deride,
From every mountainside thy deeds shall ring!
My native country, thee,
Where all men are born free, if white’s their skin;
I love thy hills and dales,
Thy mounts and pleasant vales;
But hate thy negro sales, as foulest sin.
Let wailing swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees the black man’s wrong;
Let every tongue awake;
Let bond and free partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of Liberty, to thee we sing;
Soon may our land be bright,
With holy freedom’s right,
Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King.
It comes, the joyful day,
When tyranny’s proud sway, stern as the grave,
Shall to the ground be hurl’d,
And freedom’s flag, unfurl’d,
Shall wave throughout the world, O’er every slave.
Trump of glad jubilee!
Echo o’er land and sea freedom for all.
Let the glad tidings fly,
And every tribe reply,
“Glory to God on high,” at Slavery’s fall.
-Lyrics found on Wikipedia
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
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