Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep on the Sunny Side

As I'm sure you know, we've been going through a lot of changes in my house lately. It hasn't been easy and I've had my days where I think it would be best to just not get out of bed today. But I'm trying to keep my chin up and remember that God see's the bigger picture, and He knows what is best for our lives and our souls.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
The Carter family recorded a song titled "Keep in the Sunny Side" and I love the words and hum this to myself often! For all those who need some encouragement today...
"Keep on the Sunny Side"
There's a dark and a troubled side of life
There's a bright and a sunny side, too
Though we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

The storm and its fury broke today
Crushing hopes that we cherished so dear
Clouds and storm will in time pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

Let us greet with a song of hope each day
Though the moment be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Savior always
Who keep us every one in His care

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

"Keep on the sunny side of life..."

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Top Ten Movies

Here in my house we prefer the old movies from black and white to Disney classics. It's great fun to see what the library has and try "new" movies out. Some I've fallen in love with and hope to own someday, and some I don't care to ever lay eyes on again. Everyone has their own opinion to what they'd consider a "good movie" and some may not agree with mine. But we all have our own liking! I thought it'd be fun to write down a "top ten" list of my favorite films and give a little summery to what they are like.

My Top Ten Movies
 10. Colorado Sundown
"Colorado Sundown" is one of my favorite "silver screen" westerns! Staring Rex Allen and Slim Pickins, it was released in 1952. Full of humor, seriousness, and music, it's one of the best I have ever seen. The story begins with Rex Allen singing around the water trough with a group of cowboys. A young girl rides up on the stagecoach, along with her companion, and a little mishap takes place. The theme of the story is Rex trying to help the girl and Slim Pickins save their ranch from the local tree loggers run by a brother and sister. Catchy tunes like "Gonna lay down my burdens, down by the river side..." and "Under Colorado Stars" are scattered throughout the film. Fun for the whole family!
9. Follow Me, Boys!
Released in 1966 by Walt Disney, "Follow Me, Boys!" is one of the best films I think they created. Featuring Fred MacMurray and Kurt Russell, it's a fun story about a troubled young boy who loses his Father but finds a new home with new parents. Very well made with humor and sadness, my whole family loves to watch this together and for days will sing "Follow me, boys, follow me.."

8. Calamity Jane
"Calamity Jane" is a 1953 musical starring Doris Day and Howard Keel. It's loosely based on the life of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock, though besides their names, nothing else about the film is historically accurate. Still, it's filled with catchy songs and humor. I bought it at Walmart one day, not knowing what it was, and it's now actually one of my favorites.
(I have to say that it's an all girl movie, due to some clothing worn a few times by a character in the film).

Doris Day as Calamity Jane

7. Old Yeller
I'm sure we all know and love the wonderful film Disney released in 1957 titled "Old Yeller". I grew up watching this movie. Still, no matter how many times I put it going, I still can laugh at the funny parts like when "Mama" pulls a snake out of "Arliss'" pocket, or cry when "Travis" has to shoot Old Yeller.
One of my favorite actors is Fess Parker, and one of my favorite actresses is Dorothy McGuire. Can't get any better when their both in it, can it? And who can beat that catchy theme song?

 6. The Alamo
One day while shopping with my sisters, we decided to stop at Goodwill and search for some vinyl's for Daminika. Beside them were shelves of old VHS movies for $1.00-$.50. Glancing through I found a movie titled "The Alamo" with John Wayne. I'd heard of it, though never even watched a preview, and decided to just pay the $.50 and see what it was like. Turns out, it was well worth it!
Released in 1960 "The Alamo" was directed by John Wayne himself. He portrays Davy Crockett, the congressman from Tennessee, along with other well known actors who portray Travis, Houston, Bowie, "Beekeeper" and "Smitty". (John Wayne's son also has a small role as well as his very young daughter).
As always with Hollywood, they like to take the facts and twist them to their own liking. From how the brave men die, to showing only three survivors of the battle. A woman and two small children. I believe in reality there were a few more. They also don't portray Davy entirely accurate (He has a small romance with a Mexican woman). Not once do they mention that the real Davy had a wife and eight children back in Tennessee. But besides that, I learned a lot about the Alamo and why the battle was fought. I've always been fascinated by it, though never knew exactly what happened.
It's a very long film (over 2 hours), but for me it's worth it!
Sadly, they do use "inappropriate" language three times during it, but if I recall they don't take God's name in vain? Probably not for all ages but something I'm not disappointed in owning.
5. A Tale of Two Cities
This version of Charles Dickens well known book, "A Tale of Two Cities" was released in 1935. One day while at the library I came across this DVD. I'd always heard of the title but never knew what the story was about (besides a small summery from a Bonanza episode). I had not heard of any of the actors or actresses, but since it was released in the 30's I figured it wouldn't have anything inappropriate. I got it and we watched it on a girls night. I'll have to say it was pretty good (the acting wasn't even bad. Usually the 1930's they tend to be over dramatic to get their point across) and Marita even cried! (Is that a shocker?) For some it can be hard to understand, it took me two times before I understood entirely what was going on.
I learned that the story is about three young people, two men and a woman during the French revolution named Lucie, Charles, and Sydney Carton. The two men fall in love with the Lucie, though somehow Lucie and Charles never realize Sydney loves her. Charles and Lucie marry.
Though Sydney is in love with Lucie, I love how not once does he try to approach her in any way. He knows she is a married woman and stays only close friends with herself and her husband.
To make a long story short, Charles is captured by the French peasants and tried for treason. Though he is innocent, they sentence him to the guillotine (Where you place the victims head in a hole and drop a sharp blade). Sydney Carton sneaks in, gets Charles out, and takes his place to die. At the very end of the film, when Sydney walks up to the guillotine, you hear the famous words he says, "It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It's a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known."

4. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Gary Cooper is one of my favorite actors and I found this movie with him also at the library! We've watched it over and over and it never can get boring. Also a 1930's film, this one was released in 1936. It's a funny story about a poor writer named Longfellow Deeds who inherits a lot of money. He moves to the city to figure it all out, and meets a woman whom he calls "Mary". He doesn't know she's a undercover newspaper reporter who's been writing the hurtful stories in the newspaper about the backwoodsman in a city. As I'm sure you can guess, they fall in love and become engaged, but not after a lot of trouble of courts questioning his sanity because he "plays the tuba" and slides down the banisters in his new mansion. A funny and innocent love story!

3. Leave it to Beaver (TV Show)
When everyone in my house heard I was going to write about a TV show, they told me I couldn't do that because it wasn't a "movie". I think it's too good not to write about, and hey, it's on a screen and you watch it?
"Leave it to Beaver" was a TV show that ran from 1957-1963. It shows the life of Ward, June, Wally, and "Beaver" Cleaver.
Taking place during the late 50's and early 60's it's a TV show that is mostly seen through the eyes of Wally and Beaver as they grow up in suburb America. I love the stories and the morals in each episode. Today, they like to show the child tell a "fib" to their parents as they sneak a dog into the house (or something) and the parent never finds out. In "Leave it to Beaver" if Beaver or Wally tell a lie, they eventually confess and their parents give them a long talk about how lying is never right at any time.
One episode shows young Beaver looking for a birthday gift for his Mother. A saleswoman sells him a flashy silk blouse covered in Eiffel Towers and poodles, not exactly appropriate for a wife and mother. Instead of telling Beaver, June just smiles and tells him thank you. Beaver insists she should wear it to a Mother's tea for school and June assures him she will. Later behind his back, she decides not to. When Beaver finds out, he is heart broken. June talks to him and asks him to forgive her, saying it was wrong for her to say she'd wear it and then not, even if it wasn't a proper thing to wear. You don't see that much anymore!
My very favorite TV show yet!
Ward, Wally, June, and Beaver
 2. Mrs. Miniver
"Mrs. Miniver" was released in 1942 during the height of World War II. It begins with the main character "Mrs. Miniver" shopping and succumbing to the urge to buy a beautiful new hat. When she returns home she finds that her husband also splurged and bought a new car. Life is always as it has been, enjoying time with their three children and visiting with their neighbors. But all ends when the War breaks out and changes come one after the other. Their oldest son Vin signs up for the war and leaves as a flyer. Mr. Miniver becomes a boat patrol and rushes off at a single phone call. Mrs. Miniver is left at home to care for her two small children and to worry. Black outs and bomb shelters become a normal routine and sight. It's a very sad film with a rather surprising ending. (I won't ruin it for you though.) Interesting and informative!

Mrs. Miniver and her husband sitting anxiously during a bomb raid.
1. Sergeant York
I personally don't believe I have found another movie that has moved me as much as this one! One I could watch over and over and I can't wait to someday own it!
First released in 1941, "Sergeant York" stars well known actors like Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. Based on the real life story of World War I's decorated hero Alvin York, "Sergeant York" takes place in the Tennessee hills and later on the battle front of World War I.
The real Alvin York handpicked Gary Cooper to portray himself in the film, and it was released right at the beginnings of World War II. Created to try and encourage Americans to fight in the new war, the film shows Alvin as a lost soul, to a repented Christian, and finally to a soldier for his country.
It's a sweet film about history, love, and finding where God wants you to go.
A wonderful film for the entire family!
(It does have two bar scenes, but it portrays it as wrong and he repents later on.)
Gary Cooper as "Alvin York" seated on his mountain with
his Bible praying and asking God where He wants him to go.
Well, there it is! Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fabulous Chicken-Vegetable Bake

Last summer, I took a road trip with my Grandpa, step-Grandmother, and my two aunts. We traveled through Oregon, California, and a small tip of Nevada. We seen many wonders and I thoroughly enjoyed my first "real" road trip.
On our last stop at Crater Lake, Oregon, I bought my favorite souvenir from their gift shop.
A cookbook titled "The All-American Cowboy Cookbook: Home Cooking on the Range." 
It is filled with trivial questions, pictures, and recipes from American cowboys. Actors, singers, writers, rodeo stars, and even some Actresses. I love to read through it and dream about trying its over 300 recipes. One of the few I have made is titled "Fabulous Chicken-Vegetable Bake". It's simple, but yummy. Of course, as I almost always do, I tweaked it here and there to fit what was in our refrigerator and cupboard.

Fabulous Chicken-Vegetable Bake

1  3 to 4 pound chicken (I used thawed chicken breasts. About 8 for my family)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions (We used one. Depends on how much you like onions)
1/2 cup chicken broth (I used 1 cup. It seemed to make it able to spread over the whole easier)
5 large potatoes, cubed
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced (We only had yellow and red so I used a red pepper)
5 large carrots
4 ribs celery, sliced
Poultry Seasoning

Of the veggies, we never follow the amount and just put as much (or as little) as we like.

Preheat oven to 425*. Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Place in roasting pan. Brown chicken for 20 minutes.
Sauté the onions in remaining oil until nicely brown.
Stir in chicken broth. Arrange potatoes, pepper, celery, and carrots around the chicken in roasting pan. Sprinkle with more seasonings if you prefer and pour browned onions and chicken broth over all. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350* or until veggies and chicken is done.
 The onions enhance the flavor of the veggies and moisten the chicken. Perfect with a slice of homemade bread and a salad with your choice of dressing.

Bon Appétit!