Sentence Story

This is a story everyone wrote together at the party that Savy and I went to on Friday!

Elias Arwell

Enjoy this story, written one sentence at a time by 17 different people! ūüôā

Once upon a time there lived a strange ni√Īo named David. Hannah Allison

This boy once went on a trip to a foreign land. Maddie Lamken

Where, even there, he never understood what a land whale was. Megan Merydith

And he had seven years to live. Jason Walthinsen

This is the story of how he died. But don’t worry, it really is a very fun story. Allyson Swales (quote from Tangled©)

He was running through the forest one day, when he fell down a dark and creepy hole filled with bats. Savana Walthinsen

The bat life is to pick up people and drop them on a cliff. They did this to him. Leena Swales

As that happened Superman showed up to stop Batman, and the fight began. Trevor Allison

Superman beat Batman. Ethan Allison


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Just a Quiet, Innocent Game Night

Hi everyone! I promise to write something soon, but until then here is a blog post about a party I went to. It was written by our pastor’s son and is about our devotional.

Elias Arwell

Sometimes, things don’t go the way we plan. We can choose to complain and be upset, or we can laugh and keep it as an unforgettable memory. Such was my party…

The guests began arriving at 4 p.m., and trickled in until 4:15 or so. During the period of time in between, we split up into two teams for a game of my own invention (thus, it doesn’t have a title as of yet). To describe it in a nutshell, it’s a mixture of a treasure hunt and scavenger hunt, with money and cheating involved. Sound interesting? I’d love to hear the thoughts and suggestions of those who came so I know how to improve it. Feel free to comment below.

Anyway, this game ended at 6:07(ish). And of course, a party without pizza is a lame party, so we had Costco pizza for dinner. During the conversations and fellowship…

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Hilariously Random Movie Quotes: Part 2

Hello World! Here is the sequel to the Hilariously Random Movie Quotes. Enjoy!




“Food is fuel. If you get picky about what you put in the tank, your engine is going to die. Now shut up and eat your garbage.” ¬†¬†~ ¬†Ratatouille



“Now look! We’ve figured it out 17 different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don’t like the way we figured it! So now, there’s only one way to figure it. And that is every man, including the old bag, for himself.”

“So good luck and may the best man win.”

“Except for you old lady, may you just DROP¬†DEAD!” ¬†¬†~ It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World



“There’s a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?” ¬† ~ Signs



“How do you spell FBI?” ¬† ~ Toy Story 2



“I do not mean to pry. But you do not, by any chance, happen to have six fingers on your right hand?”

“Do you always begin conversations this way?” ¬† ~ The Princess Bride



“I’m only paranoid ’cause they want me dead.” ¬† ~ Conspiracy Theory



“Can I drink this?”

“Do you want to explode!?” ¬† ~ Despicable Me



“The name’s Fred; school mascot by day, but by night… I’m¬†also¬†the school mascot.” ¬† ~ Big Hero 6



“Don’t shut YOUR eyes!”

“Okay, sorry. Got a little nervous.”

“YOU’RE¬†nervous? An 11-year-old is cutting my hair!” ¬† ~ The Parent Trap


Fiddler on the Roof 1

“Money is the world’s curse.”

“May the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!” ~ Fiddler on the Roof


– Savy

How Much Do You Know About Harry Potter? Quiz


Hello muggles! The other day my friend Megan and I, like the Potterheads we are, decided to put together this quiz to test your knowledge of the Harry Potter series. It is a series of 12 multiple choice questions and you will be awarded a certain number of house-points based on your score. Good luck!

1. Why did Luna wear yellow robes to Bill and Fleur’s wedding?

a. Because yellow is her favorite color.

b. Because it is proper to wear sun-colors to a wedding.

c. Because her father wanted her to.

d. Because crumple-horned snorcacks like yellow.

2. What would Dumbledore see if he looked into the Mirror of Erised?

a. His sister.

b. Himself wearing thick woolen socks.

c. Himself as Minister of Magic.

d. An unlimited supply of raspberry jam.

3. Under what circumstances did Hagrid have to rescue Fang from the burning house?

a. When Hagrid fought off the Death Eaters in Book 7.

b. When Ginny killed his chickens in Book 2.

c. When Umbridge comes to kick him out of Hogwarts in Book 5.

d. When Harry and Hermione save Buckbeak in Book 3.

4. Where and to whom did Professor Trelawney give the two parts of the prophesy?

a. In Honeydukes to Snape, and then in Zonkos again to Snape.

b. In Hagrid’s hut to Fang, and then in the forest to a thestral.

c. In Snape’s office to McGonagall, and then at 12 Grimmald Place to Lupin.

d. In the Hog’s Head to Dumbledore, and then in the classroom to Harry.

5. Which of these spells was not invented by the Half-Blood Prince?

a. Sectumsempra

b. Conjunctivitus

c. Levicorpus

d. Muffliato 

6. What are Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s fears in that order?

a. Hippogriffs, Butterflies, and falling off a broomstick.

b. Thestrals, Blast-Ended Screwts, and the loss of books.

c. Dementors, Spiders, and Failing.

d. Boggarts, Flobberworms, and Winning.

7. What did Ron eat first in replacement for his corned-beef sandwiches?

a. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

b. Chocolate Frogs

c. Pumpkin Pasties

d. Cockroach Clusters

8. What are Crabbe and Goyle’s first names?

a. Vincent and Gregory.

b. Malcolm and Adam

c. Bertham and Taylor

d. Grimsson and Barnes

9. What sensation did Fred and George say was “gripping the nation”?

a. Religion

b. Constipation

c. Biology

d. Pollination

10. What does Mr. Weasley call the telephone?

a. Dinglehopper

b. Cellyphone

c. Ear Trumpet

d. Fellytone

11. What did Kreacher plan to make Harry, Ron, and Hermione for lunch after they infiltrated the Ministry of Magic?

a. Steak and Kidney Pie

b. Nachos

c. Treacle Tart and Pumpkin Juice

d. Onion Soup

12. What were Dumbledore’s last words to Harry before he died?

a. “You have your mother’s eyes.”

b. “Stay where you are.”

c. “You swore to obey me Harry- go!”

d. “Snape has not betrayed me.”

Answer Key: 1. c,  2. b,  3. a,  4. d,  5. b,  6. c,  7. c,  8. a,  9. b  10. d,  11. a  12. c

If you answered 1-3 questions correctly: You receive 5 house-points, and you may have read one of these books before.

If you answered 4-6 questions correctly: You receive 15 house-points, and you have probably read a few of these books.

If you answered 7-9 questions correctly: You receive 30 house-points, and I am certain you have read the whole series.

If you answered 10-12 questions correctly: You receive 50 house-points, and seriously, you need to do something with your life other than read the Harry Potter books!

– Savy

9 Movies and TV Series on Netflix That are Actually Worth Watching

If you are like me, after a long day of slaving over textbooks, memorizing algebraic theorems and trying to remember what words like rhodopsin and sternocleidomastoid mean, you like having something good to watch in the evening. And if you are really like me, you can spend easily half an hour on Netflix just flipping through titles, trying to find something that looks half-way decent to watch. Well friends, I am here to help! Here is a list of 9 movies and TV shows on Netflix that are actually worth watching:

1. Ever After


Ever After is a superb portrayal of the classic Cinderella, set in France during the Renaissance. It is about a young woman named Danielle who is a servant for her stepmother, and restless Prince Henry who is not overly thrilled about his parents setting up an arranged marriage for him. They meet under unusual circumstances, and the prince becomes quite taken with the girl and her wild spirit. The thing he doesn’t know is that Danielle is just a servant in a nice dress. Or is she?

Note: The original version of this movie was rated PG13 for some foul language. However, there is a PG version that has the language edited out. I believe that the one on Netflix is the edited cut.

2. Ella Enchanted


This is a fun family-friendly comedy, which is loosely based on the book Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It is about a girl who is given the “gift” of obedience, and must do absolutely everything she is ordered to do. This is not especially handy when you have two bossy new step-sisters. When one day Ella is pushed to her limits, she deciders to run away and find the fairy who gave her the “gift” and beg her to take it back. A modern/medieval twist on the story Cinderella, this movie is sure to delight those of all ages.

3. While You Were Sleeping


While You Were Sleeping is a story about lonely transit worker, Lucy, who falls in love with a man named Peter who passes her by at work everyday. He is handsome, and charming, and well, perfect. The only thing is- they have never actually spoken with each other. But she knows he’s the one. Then everything is turned upside down when Prince Charming gets mugged and almost hit by a train, when Lucy saves him. He is rushed off to the hospital where they discover that he is in a coma. Oh, and there is one other thing. Peter’s family kind of thinks that Lucy is his fianc√©…

This movie is a great feel-good, romantic comedy. While You Were Sleeping is rated PG, but I personally don’t recommend it to anyone younger than 13.

4. The Man From Snowy River


This is a movie that I have seen many times since I was very little, and I love it a little more every time I watch it. It is about an Australian mountain man named Jim Craig, who has to make a living for himself when his father dies. He gets hired by a wealthy cattle ranch owner named Harrison. Working at the Harrison’s is quite interesting. Mr. Harrison is a rough man, and the “supervisor” Curly is a jerk. Harrison’s daughter, Jessica, is high-spirited and not about to be shipped off to a woman’s college and told to act like a lady. And then there is the mysterious stallion who roams the mountains with it’s herd of wild horses. Jim is determined to fetch back his mare, Bess, who ran off with those horses the day his father died. As the story unfolds, the threads of an old secret become unraveled, and through it all Jim becomes the man that his father raised him to be.¬†Rated PG.

5. The Rocketeer


A fun, exciting movie about a pilot named Cliff Secord, who finds a jetpack. He sees finding the rocket as a great opportunity, seeing how he doesn’t have a plane since the last one he flew crashed. So he decides to borrow the contraption for a while. But, “when you borrow something and don’t tell anyone, they call that stealing.”¬†He soon becomes known as “The Rocketeer”, a mysterious hero who flies through the sky on a rocket. ¬†Meanwhile, Cliff’s girlfriend, actress Jenny Blake, is becoming frustrated with Cliff’s thoughtlessness. She catches the eye of the famous actor, Neville Sinclair, and accepts his invitation to dinner. As the plot thickens,¬†Cliff comes to realize that someone is after the rocket and will stop at nothing to get it. This movie is rated PG, but it may not be appropriate for younger children due to frightening images and other aspects.

6.¬†BBC’s Merlin


This is probably one of my favorite BBC television series. Why people think that shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who are better than this is beyond me. I know, how dare I say that! ¬†Merlin is about a young man (named Merlin) who has very powerful magical capabilities. He is sent by his mother to live with the court physician, Gaius, who is one of the few who knows about Merlin’s powers. In Camelot magic is outlawed by order of King Uther Pendragon, and is punishable by death. Ironically, he finds himself working in the palace as Prince Arthur’s servant. Arthur treats Merlin as a clumsy simpleton, oblivious to the fact that Merlin is an extremely powerful wizard who is constantly saving his life. This show is a clever twist on the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.

7. BBC’s Robin Hood


Robin Hood is a TV series about Robin of Locksley, who has returned from war in the Holy Land and has returned to his manor. The Sheriff of Nottingham and his henchman Guy of Gisborne ¬†aren’t too happy about Robin’s return, or his justice towards the people of Locksley. Robin is quickly stripped of his title as lord of the manor and declared an outlaw. And well, you know the story. I thought this was a reasonable good show that was exciting and entertaining.

8. North and South


Margaret Hale and her father and mother move from the beautiful land in the south up to a northern town called Milton. Margaret quickly discovers how harsh the north can be. There are many cotton mills where workers slave long days on low wages, day after day breathing in the air that is snowing with cotton. One day, Margaret goes to one of the cotton factories to speak to a Mr. Thornton. When she gets there, she finds Mr. Thornton beating a man who he caught smoking in the factory. Margaret is shocked at the treatment of this man, and immediately begins to dislike Mr. Thornton. Her contempt for him only grows, and she discovers that he has become friends with her father, who is a clergyman. But Mr. Thornton becomes fonder and fonder of Margaret, much to the dismay of his mother. Life in Milton only gets harder when the workers at the mill organize a strike, and Margaret begins to see both sides of the controversy. Is Mr. Thornton really the cold-hearted man she once thought him to be?

9. Leave it to Beaver


Leave it to Beaver is a delightful show from the ’50s and ’60s. It is about the Cleaver family: Ward and June who are the mother and father, and their sons, Wally and the Beaver (whose real name is Theodore). The two boys get into all sorts of scrapes and funny situations, and learn some valuable lessons. I really enjoy this show, probably because I appreciate the humor of living in a house full of boys. I heartily recommend it to an audience of all ages.


That’s all folks!

– Savy











Our first post of 2015! Happy New Year everyone! Today I would like to share with you the highlights for our family last year. It was a busy year!


January – February 2014:

In January and February we were very busy with Leena’s birthday, rehearsals for Outrageous Fortune, Mock Trial,¬†and snow. Practices for Outrageous Fortune, a play I was in, started in January, making my already busy life crazy. We also had a major snow fall, and received almost two feet of snow.

During these weeks we enjoyed sledding and scary driving. My little sister, Leena, turned nine in early February, and we threw her an extravagant Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party. We had all of the guests dress up as a character from Alice in Wonderland, then they had a tea party and participated in a role-playing mystery game.

Mock Trial classes became much more intense during this time as well. We went from having one class a week to two or three classes a week.


The birthday girl!



Doesn’t this look like a¬†lovely place to have a tea party?





Some of the interesting characters who showed up.


Isn’t that cute?


March – April 2014:

Wow! March and April were two of the busiest months of my life this past year!

First, we had the regional Bible Quizzing competition for Leena, which lasted a day and a half. Leena did great! She only missed two questions, and got a gold medal! We also had a fantastic time enjoying the Bible-themed games and worship music at the Quiz meet.

After we finished at the quiz meet we went straight to a Mock Trial practice. The next several days were filled with practice after practice for the Mock Trial competition at the end of the week.

Before I go any further I should probably tell you a little bit about Mock Trial. Each year teams of high school students are given fake cases (often based off of real cases) to study. The students are assigned roles by their coaches, such as prosecuting attorney for expert witness #1, a witness, bailiff, or lead attorney for the defense. The students practice their roles for months and study their cases thoroughly, and then in early March there is regional contest. This year was our teams second year of participating. The week before the contest is always intense, and often the only thing anyone can think about. The day before the competition last year I was home alone making brownies, and caught the oven on fire I was so distracted. Oops!

Anyway, the day of the regional competition arrived, an we all arose early to be at the courthouse before it opened, so we could get a good place in line. The day passed quickly and we did really well, in fact we came in first place in our region! That meant we would be advancing to the state competition, which was only two weeks away! The next two weeks were filled with practice after practice, which was really crazy for some us, because we also had a couple of three hour rehearsals for Outrageous Fortune. It was a blast!!!

Two weeks later, ready or not, we were on our way down to Portland for the state competition. Our first round didn’t go very well, as we we’re all tired from driving all day, some of us were car sick, and a couple of us had the brilliant idea to run up 12 flights of stairs before hand. We thought we would stretch our legs and save time by skipping the wait for the elevator, we quickly discovered running up that many stairs is a little more than just stretching your legs and takes longer than waiting for the elevator. Genius. We did okay the next day, but not as well as we did in our region. We came in 16th in the state, which isn’t bad considering how many teams there are in the state.

After Mock Trial ended Outrageous Fortune rehearsals became very intense. Soon we were practicing six to nine hours a week on top of our normal activities. In April the performances began, we performed the play at multiple schools and our church ten times. We had a one week spring break in the middle of it, and I slept until noon everyday. Then it was back to our busy schedule. Whoo! Just remember those months makes me tired.

Alex also turned six in April. He had a small birthday party. Oh, and we started our blog!


Mr. Zander’s sixth birthday!



Quite a character!



The Mock Trial team. Not quite sure why this picture is in black and white, because I didn’t take it, but it’s the only one I have.


May – June 2014:

In May we went on vacation to California. I won’t write very much about it since I already have a long post about it, but I will give a quick overview. First, we drove to the beach, were we spent two days. The first day we spent at the actual beach, a nearby park, and a Marie Callender’s. The next we went to the Hearst Castle, the home of the late William Hearst. We took a tour of many of the bedrooms and the pools. It was really amazing! Many celebrity’s stayed there when William Hearst was alive, including Carey Grant, who stayed in each room twice. That evening we went to a spectacular dinner theater. The dinner theater was my favorite part of the day.

The next day we drove to Disneyland! My absolute favorite place in the world! Our family is very serious about Disneyland. We don’t do relaxing Disney trips. My Dad turns into a drill sergeant on vacation, and it’s been said that our family doesn’t actually go on vacation, we run a marathon instead. Which is probably somewhat true, but what’s the point of going on vacation if you’re just going to sleep in and relax? You can do that at home. The first day we spent in Disneyland, just enjoying the wonder of being there.

The second day we went to California Adventure,¬†which meant¬†that evening we were able to watch my absolute favorite part of¬†Disneyland, the World of Color! My Dad claims I never have actually seen the World of Color, because I’m to busy taking pictures, but that’s how I like to watch it the best. That way I can always remember the show. The remainder of the trip was spent in both parks and we had¬†a wonderful family trip.

In June we started doing Bible Bee. The name may sound cute, but trust me there is nothing cute about it.¬†You can easily spend hours and hours a day on it.¬†Each year the Bible Bee assigns a book of the Bible to study and provides a Sword Study Guide. This year the book was Jonah. At the end of the summer you take a test on the book of the Bible, and if you’re in the top hundred for your age group in your region¬†you get to participate in the National Bible Bee Competition. Neither Leena or I made it, but we¬†got the beneficial experience of studying the Bible all summer, and had a fun time all at once!

I also had my birthday in June. I went shopping in the morning, went to my favorite restaurant for lunch, and had Savy over to spend the night. We watched a movie called “Parental Guidance”, starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. It was hilarious!

At the end of the month we had our church’s annual Vacation Bible School. This year the theme was International Spy Academy: Agents of the One True God. I led a group and was in the drama. VBS is always my favorite week of the summer, and this year was no exception! I had an awesome time with all of the kids in my group! We played games, did crafts, had teaching time, and ate snacks. I even got to use a water gun on kids while blindfolded. (I love water guns!) I may have accidentally tried to get my Dad with the spray too. Ah, summer!


A warm Californian beach.



Okay, maybe it wasn’t so warm. Alex is shivering.



Isn’t that an awesome view from Hearst Castle.



Waiting for the Disneyland Express.


Bible Bee!



My birthday!


Agents of the one true God!!!


July – August 2014:

At the beginning of July we went to the Sisters Quilt Show. I really enjoy looking at all of the quilts made by talented seamstress each year, and so this year I begged my Mom to take my little sister and I. She agreed, but when we got there she only wanted to look at the flowers lining main street and the shops. I did get to see a few quilts, but not as many as I would have liked. My Grandma had booth at the Quilt Show and they came over for dinner the next day. It is always a pleasure to see them!

Later in the month my other Grandparents, Uncle, and cousins went camping at Detroit Lake, and we joined them there for a day. We went boating, inner tubing, and swimming. The lake was beautiful, and I always love seeing my cousins.

In August, we had a our big Bible Bee test. It was very challenging, although not as hard as I thought it was going to be. It didn’t help that I had a really bad cough at the time. That evening we had a lot of people over to our house for a “Ticket to Ride” party. Ticket to Ride is a strategy game our family loves. We had multiple rounds, and multiple games going at the same time. Finally, we had the championship round. I got to participate in this round, because I had won an earlier round, but I lost the final round. My¬†sister and nephew¬†were also visiting that day, and we had a¬†nice visit with them.

Later that week we went floating down the river, which was fun but cold. I was on a tube with another girl, and we ended up way behind everybody else, because we got stuck on rock. (And a certain two boys left us stuck there, even though they could have easily helped us off.) It was a fun way to end our summer break.


Look at all of the colorful quilts!



This was by far my favorite quilt. I have no clue who made it, but I love how realistic it is.



Leena enjoying frozen yogurt during the Quilt Show.




Detroit Lake was gorgeous.



From L. to R.: Leena, Ally, Savy, and my cousin Ella.



My nephew.



Isn’t that cute?


September – October 2014:

We didn’t do very much in September, because school started. We visited my Aunt Judy and my great-grandma, Gam, for Gam’s 93rd birthday. We had a delightful visit with them, and enjoyed a yummy lunch.

Then in October we went to the pumpkin patch. We picked out three large pumpkins,¬†drank warm cider, and ate¬†soup. Then, of course, we had Halloween.¬†My little brother and sister dressed up as a knight and Snow White, and went¬†trick-or-treating. I wasn’t able to go, because I had mono, so my Mom and I stayed home and watched a movie.


I wonder which one is the Great Pumpkin?



Somehow, Alex talked my Dad into pushing him in a wheel borrow.



Guts! Guts! Guts!


November – December 2014:

I slept, and slept, and slept some more. That’s basically what I did in November. At least my little brother wasn’t allowed to wake me up by singing, “Wake Up Little Ally!” at the top of his lungs. (It’s supposed to be set to the tune of “Wake Up Little Susie” by the Everly Brothers, but somehow it never sounds like that.)

My parents birthday is in November, but I’m not allowed to tell you how old they are. Let’s just say my Dad is old.

We had nice, quiet Thanksgiving. We ate dinner and then we had friends of ours over to play Reverse Charades, a fun game we just discovered.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving Leena and I were in our city’s parade, which was a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

The first weekend in December we got our Christmas tree, which is always a lot of fun. We’re very particular about our trees. We¬†picked out¬†a seven ft. noble, and we decorated with small, twinkling colorful lights and an assortment of ornaments that don’t match, but¬†all have a story. We¬†have one ornament that’s a real candy cane decorated to look like a reindeer that my Dad made when he was a kid. We joke that it’s the worlds oldest candy cane, because it’s from the early seventies.

Between hand bells performances, school, and desperate attempts to make Christmas money, the Christmas season passed quickly. The day before Christmas Eve we went ice skating and then that night we did kidnap caroling. We had a blast!

We had a peaceful Christmas Eve and Christmas. On Christmas¬†Eve we went to the Original Pancake House for breakfast and to the movies afterward,¬†because it’s tradition.¬†That evening we went to our church’s candlelight service, it was short but sweet. Then we went home and enjoyed a delicious dinner of steak, caramelized onions,¬†and mashed potatoes. That night Leena, Alex, and I stayed up late watching Elf and Shop Around the Corner on my laptop,¬†because staying up late on Christmas Eve watching movies is¬†tradition too. The next morning we got up early and opened presents.¬†I spent the rest of the day reading.

The day after Christmas we drove down to Portland to celebrate with extended family. We opened presents at my Grandparents house, then took my older sister birthday shopping, because her birthday was on Christmas Eve. The next day we went to my sister and brother-in-laws house to give them their Christmas gifts. I gave my brother-in-law a potty basketball I received in a white elephant gift exchange, I figured he’d probably get more use out of it than I will. It was a wonderful Christmas!


Somebody’s a little excited to decorate the tree.

I hope you have a fantastic 2015! Our goal for this year is to have 300 followers by the end of the year. What goals have you set for yourself this year?


Wishing you a superb year! ~Ally





Curried Cauliflower Holiday Recipe

Day 19

This is another traditional dish for my family to have on the holidays that I like to make:

Curried Cauliflower


2 heads of cauliflower (broken into flowerettes)

1 1/2 cans of cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups grated cheese

1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon

1 1/2 tsp curry powder


1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup bread cups


Directions: Cook the cauliflower. Mix cream of chicken soup, cheese, bouillon, and curry powder well in a bowl. Add cauliflower to the mixture and put it into a 9 x 13 greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can top the cauliflower with butter and bread crumbs, but I personally like it without them.  Serve and enjoy!


– Savy