Monday, April 30, 2007
The Big kids and I saw this at the movies when it was, well, at the movies. And I wanted to review it then - but LOTS of things happened and it kept getting pushed to the back burner. Mini-Me immediately wanted to watch the movie - and so I obliged. I sent the Professor to take a nap and I curled up in the recliner to watch with the kids.
A professional writer I am not but I know what I like in movies. I like a good story. I like good characters. I like a good ending. Everything else is just butter on the popcorn.
Night at the Museum's story isn't all that original. I think we've all dreamt what it would be like if non-live things came to life. "Toy Story" comes to mind. There was also a movie about store manequins that came to life when the store closed. So the premise isn't original - but the little things they put in the story made it special.
The Story Introduces us to Larry Daly (Played by Ben Stiller) who is a divorced dad to one son, Nick.
We're not told why Larry and his wife got divorced, we're shown that they are, apparently, still friends. We're also shown really quickly that she's moved onto a relationship with a bondsbroker and she's an attorney.
Larry is the odd one in the relationship. He's a dreamer.
I liked the fact that they didn't portray Larry as a complete and total goof. I really hate movies where the guys are portrayed as idiots.
They portrayed him as a dreamer - and really, it wasn't a bad thing for this movie.
The Professor thinks the opening scene is a bit sad because Larry is forced to do something he doesn't want to do - take the job as a night watchman at the museum. He has to take the job before he gets evicted from his apartment and his ex-wife intervenes in his relationship with his son.
Larry goes to the museum at the suggestion of an employment agency. He meets Cecile (played by Dick Van Dyke) and gets the tour of the museum. He takes the job and gleefully calls his ex-wife to tell her he has a job.
The first night Larry figures out that things are not normal at the museum.
This is where some of the little extras come into play in the movie and Larry meets the other characters of the movie.
Lewis and clark spend all their days arguiing. Sacajewea can't hear Larry because she's behind glass. Christopher Columbus walks around making "clunk clunk" sounds because he's a bronze statue. I loved the "little" people displays: The Roman Empire, the Wild West, the Mayans. Matter of fact, from the Wild West we meet Jedediah (Played by Owen Wilson - a personal favorite) and from the Roman Empire we meet Octavious. (Played by, to quote Mini-Me, "That guy from 'Around the World in 80 Days'". AKA Steve Coogan)
Larry wants to quit after the first night on the job because it wasn't something "he signed up for". HIs job is to keep things from getting in and from getting out.
He almost gets fired after his second night on the job - because he tried to handle things in the way he thought they should be handled (He gave the neanderthals a lighter because they were looking for fire.) He's going to quit - when he stumbles upon an escaped Neanderthal. When he runs to pull him back inside, the sun hits the cave man, and the cave man turns to dust. He decides then that the job is more than just about him.
On the 3rd night, he brings his son to the museum to show him all the cool things that happen at the museum in an effort to make Nicky proud of his dad. And nothing happens. Nick runs off and Larry chaces him and they stumble across the 3 former guards trying to steal the magical plate from the pharoah exhibit. They explain that they've planted enough stuff at Larry's "place" that they figure he'd get blamed for it.
It was this theft that helped Larry figure out how to help all the Museum inhabitants to get along with each other and thereby making his job more fun. Really, it's a good thing he was a dreamer, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to handle the job.
My kids are always asking me "Who learns a lesson in this movie?" and I have to say that Larry learns a big lesson. That really, things aren't about him.
Other stuff in the movie:
There's a scene where a monkey wets on Larry's uniform. My kids thought that was hillarious - probably because I've been gotten by two babies.
There is the phrase "a**" in the movie once, and it surprised me.
There are references to evolution - especially when Larry and the monkey get into fights. Teddy Roosevelt asks "Who's evolved?"
Larry gets shot with poison darts from the little people at the Mayah Exhibit and says "Oh, Thit" -- but really, that's all there is in the movie that's questionable content.
Robin Williams does a stellar job as the Wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt. It was Teddy that showed Larry why things came to life in the museum. It was Teddy that said "Some men are born great - others have greatness thrust upon them." Teddy was vital to the movie and Robin did a fantastic job.
The special effects are good but could have used some polishing. At one point, Larry is talking to the miniatures and it's apparent that there was much green screen technology here. Larry doesn't exactly make eye contact with the miniature people nor they with him.
The movie is enjoyable to watch.
The hardest parts to watch are the parts with Larry and his son. They keep the continuity of the story going, but also add a bit of melancholy to the story. Which may be what kept the story from going completely goofy. I don't know. I could keep going - but I don't want to write a book on the movie when it's easily watchable all on it's own - and I dont' want to give it all away.
I can't say I'm a Ben Stiller "fan" - but I thought he did really good with this role.
I Recommend the movie at least for a one-time viewing. It has a good story, good characters and a really good ending. Give it a view and let me know what you think.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The problem with bunkbeds...among the difficulty of changing the sheets..is the difficulty of changing the sheets should the child in the top bunk happen to get sick. The Professor was a tropper last night as I am a mom with a very weak stomach.
He ended up changing sheets twice - and running two loads of laundry.
Then we had the battle with Mini-E. She apparently had decided that it was fun being awake and stayed that way until 5am.
We missed church for the first time in a long while. Now the only ones really feeling 100% are the boys. Everyone else needs a major nap. The Professor isn't feeling well and I sent him to bed. Mini-E is still not wanting to sleep now (I'm letting her cry and exercise her lungs).
It wasn't a bad day - it was just an unusual day. I've prayed over everyone and just waiting for healings to manifest.
J-man likes for me to sit with him until he falls asleep. I don't remember how this tradition started, but it's not often the most advantageous to accomplishing anything. Tonight, he was so wired up from playing with G, that I needed to sit with him. Otherwise, I'd be chasing him down the hall many times.
I grabbed some paper to write a letter from my desk in our bedroom and turned. There he was standing in his doorway waiting. He gleefully hopped, and patted the little wooden chair for me to sit, and he dashed into his bed and snuggled in with his little birthday monkey.
He is so cute and adorable that it makes it difficult for me to be stern.
I have been struggling the last few days as to why I haven't done certain things outside our home. And I realized today, after trying to heap self-condemnation on myself, that I was not called to do them. I'm typing this out because I need to get it from my head to my heart.
I'm not called to do those things. Even though it would be fun - I'm just not called. At least not right now.
Our church is having a VBS sign-up and children's month. I had absolutely no peace about being involved. I've been involved in VBS since we started with the church. That's roughly 6 years. (Gosh!) So it was strange to think that I wouldn't be invovled this year. But the lack of peace carried over - and continued. I kept praying, but it was ever with me. Until I said to the Professor, "We're not supposed to be involved."
We're not called to VBS this year. We don't know why - only God does. It could be that the Professor will be deployed. It could be any number of things - but I have peace. And I'm going to let the Peace of God reign.
And so with these other things in life. I'm just not called right now - so I'm going to go my merry way, fold some laundry, snuggle a slightly feverish Mini-Me or cranky E, and maybe even whistle while I work.
It's nice knowing I"m only called to do what I need to do - it solves so much striving and inner struggles.
Mini-E has fallen asleep - I think I'll fold a basket of laundry and join the rest of the household in dream land.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Let me share the joy. (You might have to turn off my music box at the bottom)
It really is a fun song. We are now the proud owners of 4 DVD's -- and J-man has watched them all. What's more fun? -- G has been listening and signing along. And on top of that - I'm remembering!!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
It started with my mom - she called and said "What time do I need to be there to watch the other kids?" I was planning on taking all of them because Mom had spent the entire day on Monday with us (because of various Dr visits) and I didn't want to impose. Not only did she come to watch the kids, she brought a lasagna to heat up! It was such a nice surprise and a blessing.
J-man went right in with our therapist and plopped right down in his seat. He did ask for Mr. Potato Head but Miss Judy had a bucket of puppies. These puppies jumped from word to word. Each word had a final "p" sound and he got most of the words. He even won the heart of Miss Judy. She told me that he was so full of life. My heart was so thrilled.
Today we went to Target and we were looking through the card section for the perfect card for A&EMom and he saw a fuzzy sheep card and said "Sheep" and just grinned. Mini-Me said, excitedly, "Mom! He said 'sheep'!" I looked up from the card I was considering and he said it again. I wanted to Hoot and holler. I kept it restrained to clapping with a "Yay!!" and "Good Job".
This mom is soooo proud.
Miss Judy said that we could add some signs to his day to help him along with his vocabulary. ThoughtfulMom had mentioned "Signing Time" oh so long ago. Right after we started the Speech Therapy hunt I purchased Vol. 1, Vol. 3 & Vol. 4 from Amazon. We got Vol. 1 yesterday.
J-man watched it at least 10 times. Well, that may not be accurate. Since he can operate the DVD on the computer by himself, he kept playing it and playing it. He picked up the signs for "Shoes", "Milk", "Ball", "more", "Want". And a bonus was that Mini-E picked up the sign for "milk". I'm not sure she knows what to do with it.
Mini-Me wasn't sure she was pleased at all when I made us all sit down and watch. But She finally found a happy heart when we learned the signs for "Wake up" (from the Internet) and "Daddy" from the DVD. Now we can sign our favorite phrase "Wake Up, Daddy" because The Professor likes to pretend to sleep. Which then causes the kids to yell as loud as they can (Thanks to Jeff from the Wiggles) "Wake UP Daddy!!" Now they can tap him and sign it. Hopefully saving the poor Professor's ears.
I sat down and ordered more DVD's from Amazon (because they are the same price as the SigningTimes website - but I have a trial subscription to Amazon Prime = free shipping). J-man just saw me clicking on things from "Signing Times" site and he started whining "Wa Tha" which is "Watch That" without the final sounds.
I can't wait to see the other videos. I haven't used my sign language in YEARS. I've forgotten more than I remember knowing. So it's fun remembering.
There was a downside to watching/listening to the Signing Time DVD yesterday. When Mini-E got up in the middle of the night, I got second shift at 3am. I got her to bed. I snuggled back in bed and all I could hear was "It's signing time with Alex and Leah...It's singing time with Alex and Leah...come and play". Of course, the final song makes me cry.
If it helps J-man communicate, I'll be glad to listen.
1. Silver or Gold? Which do you prefer in your jewelry? (I know --babies prohibit the use of jewelry -- but still enquiring minds want to know)
2. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
3. If you could learn another language, which would you learn? What would you do with it?
4. I know you don't like snakes and that you're allergic to fur - but do you have a favorite animal? Which, leads me to a follow-up question, Why is it your favorite?
5. If you were to write a book, what would be your topic & title?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I'm trying to pick from the various aspects of life.
1. What is the oddest thing you have in your house?
2. What is God doing in your life right now?
3. What's the best (or favorite) thing you've done with or for your kids?
I completely stole this next question...but now I can't remember where...
4. If money were no object, where would you go?
5. Name 5 things that begin with "s" that you have in your garage
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
That was a funny comment I just made.
At least it was to me...
In this post She answered 5 randomized questions given to her from someone else. Then she asked if anyone wanted to play...which meant that she would ask them 5 randomized questions. Of course, I jumped in -- a little nervously -- Kahri makes me feel like a wimp because she does so much more than I do -- WITH a baby. I think all I did last year (with an official baby) was whine. That's not true and I know it (really, I do) I just can't think of what it was. I remember being busy... Oh - I remembered now. I devoted a lot of time as the interim children's department director. I was surprised at how much time this took. Now that I remember it's no wonder that I never signed up to do anything last year.
I can't believe I'm already editing my post before I even publish it.
Ack. I digress. BADLY. I was going to say -- that I wasn't sure how deep Kahri's going to make me think. By comparison, I think about the only question I can come up with is: Where does the white go when the snow melts?
My randomized questions did require some thinking. They aren't scary at all - but I wanted to answer them truthfully and not flippantly.
So I share with you my questions and answers: An interview with myself.
1. What verse could be considered your family or personal motto and why?
1 Peter 2:9 really became my verse on my 30th birthday. Before that - I'd only heard of "life" verses - but never thought to find one. This one was, well, I guess it was a 30th birthday present. How cool is that revelation?
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." or the New King James version says "Special". I like peculiar because God has spoken to me many times that I'm not supposed to fit in, that I am unique. So the verse has to say Peculiar. Though - i really like the way The Message says it, too: But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
From nothing to something... wow. I love it.
This verse really applies to my family, too. I know that we are a family that is called, anointed and set apart.
Being set apart is pretty deep and I haven't fully grasped that...There's been a lot going on in my spirit lately. This is deeper than I think and I wonder what will happen when I full grasp the concept.
2. What kind of animal best represents you and why? Years ago I took one of those animal personality quizzes. I had a micro-managing boss who wanted me to take the test to see if we meshed. Which was funny because I was already working there.
I remember, to this day, that the animal I ended up being A Labrador. Loyal, fun loving, jolly and great at a game of catch. (I made that last part up. I think.)
I talked it over with The Professor. You know, to get a current opinion.
Yes. I polled him with my 5 Randomized Questions.
He wouldn't tell me what he thought I was. He said that he thought that it had to be done by me -- but I mentioned an animal that I thought I might be like and he agreed with me.
A visual aid:
Yes. It's a cartoon. You're not seeing things.
I chose Yakko because he's Unique. Peculiar.
No one quite knows what the Warners are; but they're sure they are animals. Should you be unfamiliar with "The Animaniacs" you need to know that there are 3 siblings: Yakko, Wakko & Dot. At first I thought I'd choose Dot - because she's opinionated and CUTE. But she's also annoying (I want to hear nothing of that, please and thank you)
Yakko is first born with 2 younger siblings, just like me.
Really - the main reason is : he's full of all sorts of knowledge and still wants to have fun. I loved that about him. Still do.
So the animal I am most like is: Yakko Warner. Smart, fun loving, peculiar, and I'm sure he's great at fetch.
3. Where is your favorite place you have visited? What made it special?
Well...hmm. I actually haven't visited many places -
I love Arizona. It was the first place I visited on my very first plane ride with my new engagement ring on my finger.
There's one park in particular that I love because The Professor and I went there OFTEN while we were dating.
But I think my most favorite place was Hawaii. We went there 2 years ago (come September). The Professor went to inspect a job site there.
I didn't love this trip a lot at the time it happened. Not because I didn't want to go but because I was hugely pregnant. My hands and feet swelled. I had to walk nearly everywhere.. but it was beautiful. The ocean isn't much to look at really (LOTS of water) but the beaches were FUN! Each with it's own unique personality and sand.
When we got home, I'm not sure how long after the trip (I think it took a while) - I was writing in my journal and was suddenly filled with a love for the place. It was God - it had to be. Because I didn't have much fun on the actual overall trip. There were sparks of fun,though. Beaches...the people of all nationalities...I loved saying "Aloha" and "Mahalo" - it really was fun walking places (even though It was uncomfortable) I want to go back. Another proof that God changed my heart because I didn't enjoy walking at the time.
So in short: Hawaii & God made it special.
4. Other than the Bible, are there any books you turn to time and time again?
You mean, besides the phonebook??
Seriously -- luckily This one is easy.
"Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian" by Dean Sherman
"Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer
"Creative Correction" by Lisa Welchel
And My journal.
I'm so glad this wasn't a "What book most inspired you?" question because I don't know if I could answer that question. I'm doing good to limit my selection to three (or 4)because I keep thinking, "I don't throw any books away. They all have the potential for being turned to again."
Maybe I should have kept my answer at "Phonebook".
5. What are your goals for the next five years?
This one was the toughest. I've never been a long range planner. I'm a Labrador - we don't do long range planning. We're just living until the next stick is thrown. And Yakko - well, he's only got to wait until the next cartoon. So I dragged the Professor in deeper with this question and he gave me wisdom. "Most people," he said, "Have 3 areas of life in which they want to have goals. Personal, work & Spiritual." He gave me some of his goals and I think I'll incorporate some of his goals into my list.
Remember - I'm new at this.
Loose weight. I'd love to loose enough weight in 5 years to have to buy new clothes.
Get ready in season and out of season with my keyboard. I think there's a stronghold here I need to face.
Learn the guitar The professor bought me a kit to learn with, I just haven't had time.
Finish my novel.
Get out of debt. There were a lot of little things that fall under this category so I'm leaving it at this.
In 5 years, Mini-Me will be 13 and Mini-E will be 6. *Sniff* I'll be 38.
I homeschool. I'm a mom. I'm a wife....these are my jobs. What goals can I set for this area for the next 5 years?
I want to get better at planning our agendas.
I want to teach the kids more from the Bible. Personally applicable stuff.
Work on heart attitudes of the kids.
I want them all to accept Jesus as their Savior.
Get the house in a place of order so that it stays that way. (it might just take me 5 years.)
Incorporate a time of family worship - in whatever it looks like.
Support The Professor as he becomes "Deployable" and works overtime.
Add more choices to our menu and do more menu planning.
I am called, anointed and set apart. I want to grasp this. I want to Embrace it.
I'm so madly in love with my Jesus right now I can hardly stand it.
I want to memorize more scripture so that "When I'm squeezed - Jesus comes out".
I want to have a more concrete prayer life. I know God knows that I'm in a baby season so this is really part of the long term goal.
I'm sure there's more. I'm sure I'll think of something after I push the"Publish" button.
Thank you, Kahri, for my questions! You really made me think.
I'm wordy. I know.
I like to write.
So, my understanding is (if you've read this far) that you can play along, too.
Let me know if you do and I'll see if I can come up with 5 randomized questions for you (and if Not I'll ask Kahri.) Or you can just answer these questions that were asked of me. They're pretty darn good questions. Just let me know if you answer these because I want to come see.
But I have an introduction to make...
Blogger buddies - I'd like you to meet the mom of A & E. A & E you know from my previous post.
I'm so proud.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Today my friend came to visit. She's 3 weeks post-partum and came to visit. We welcomed her with open arms and suckers...and squirtguns... She brought along her baby "A" and her first born, "E".
E has crush on my G.
He, of course, is oblivious to it.
He's 6 I would hope he'd be oblivious to it.
Knowing that E has a crush on my boy just rather makes me giggle. Because G is a tackler sort of a fellow.
His love-language, I think, is the Smackdown.
I do see his sensitvie side because I'm his mom. I see it especially when J-man messes with his stuff. But mostly, he lives his life on the run..or the jump...or the bounce...whatever the method - he's on the move.
Today, he had a constant, 3 year old shadow. It was precious. Of course, I'm watching it knowing that she's crushing on my son and just enjoying it. When I wasn't holding the baby.
He was patient with her, he let her sit next to him while they ate dinner - he even teamed up with her for a squirt gun fight. It was so incredibly sweet that I was amazed. My heart warmed at least 6 degrees watching it all happen. As evening came, G wanted to play a computer game (he loves Nickjr.com) and his shadow wanted to watch.
My other surprise came when J-man brought E a chair!! At first I thought he was taking it to the desk for himself...but no - he carried it for her and to her. *GASP* he was thoughtful!!
We got the chair all situated with G letting her sit next to him. She pestered him a bit and he didn't yell or cry at her AT ALL!! Which is proof, I think, that God's grace can be sufficient for 6 year olds, because I'm not sure he'd have been that patient with a sibling.
While this was going on, J-man sat next to Emma'sMom. He chatted about the baby. He chatted about me and he chatted and chatted - some of which we have no idea what he was talking about...but he was having a great time. He loved on the baby...and beamed smiles at the baby. He would look adoringly and said "Baby Tute!". I think this mom has a new best buddy. Oh, my...
I was amazed. and over joyed and just in love with my boys!!
I know J-man loved on Mini-E when she was born, I have pictoral proof. Then she got big and messed in his stuff (You don't mess with his action figures!) Pretty much, I guess the new has worn off. She is a year old, after all.
Sometimes, we - I mean I - get so involved in day to day things and wondering if I'm rearing my kids right or training them in the "Way they should go" enough. Then there's a day like today. I see the baby love in my J-man -- and I see a patience in G and I think, "Wow. They can use their powers for good."
We also had a moment with Mini-Me toward her brothers they other day -
I told Mini-Me & G, that our J-man would be their biggest cheerleader if they'd let him. Mini-Me pipes up and says, bossily, "I've been in love with him for 8 years."
By which she meant that she loves him. I point out that I was talking about J-man and she corrects herself in words, but not attitude, and states: "I've been in love with him his whole life."
Today, she let J-man be on her "Team" while they spied on G & E. (G & E were spying on them, too. It was a vast backyard conspiracy)
As I'm reliving this and thinking on it - I just want to go kiss my kids...but they might protest. They're asleep. And G doesn't want kisses any more. (Minor details.) I guess I could go watch them sleep. They'll be big before I know it.
It's those glimpses that make me step back and see that something's at work here that I didn't see before. Something that can only be the Holy Spirit. It excites me because I'm pretty sure it isn't me. It's also moments and days like this that make me realize that I need to make a concerted effort to enjoy the season that I'm in and not try to rush to the next. Or try to make this season fit into a different (my) mold. It is what it is.
Life here in the laundry pile is good. We're in love with each other.
It's all good.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I mean, boiling eggs makes such a kodak moment. Don't you think?
And then I forgot to take pictures of the fun of dying the eggs. We covered the table with black, plastic trash bags and got set to go. We had trouble getting the coloring tabs to dissolve. I'm not sure what happened - operator error or cheap egg dye - but we finally managed to get some good color.
Egg coloring Dye is useful in coloring other things, too.
J-man used his hands to put the eggs in and out of the dye. We finally had to put him in a bubble bath. A normal soap and water wash in the sink didn't work and he was leaving blue-green finger prints on his egg and didn't want to eat it.
Thank goodness for Mr. Bubbles.
My friend tells me that children are God's way of perfecting our character. I never knew, until I had kids, that I have major character flaws. I'm beginning to think that ignorance is (or was) bliss. One of my major character issues - I think deficit would be a better word - is patience.
So I put up a child gate and moved on about my business. J-man has an amazing talent. He can turn anything into a toy. Even dishwashers.See the gate in the back ground?
I took the gate down to do laundry and it peeled the paint. I really want to laugh at it now, but I wanted to stomp my feet and throw a fit when it happened. It's a new paint job. I worked hard on it.
I had a funny thing happen last night. I was at church by myself and someone asked me where The Professor was and if he was taking care of "those heathens."
He meant it in jest, I'm sure. Even so - I took it that way. But I had such fun telling him that the Professor was, indeed, home. But that I'd had a talk with G - and I don't think my kids are heathens. I was so much fun telling him that - because it was just such a fun Holy Spirit moment. I loved remembering the talk with G, though I can't remember it very well now, and knowing that Holy Spirit is at work in their hearts.
Absolutely loving it.
It is my anthem.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I finally asked her, you know - after about the 5th or 6th time, "Are you worried about something?"
It's very sweet. She didn't want me to go to jail. So she didn't want me to forget to pay the ticket. Awww.. I had to explain to her that they would just charge me more money if I didn't pay this ticket. And, in order for me to go to jail, I'd have to get lots and lots of tickets and NOT pay them. I realize "lots and lots" could be 3 or it could be 15. You never know.
Residual Feeling #2 - G and I spent the day together running errands on Saturday. It was fun. I hope it was fun for him. Somewhere along the way he asked "Are we going to go with you to the speech therapy appointment?"
"Yes." I said, " and you'll get to play in the waiting room."
"How many appointments will there be?" He wanted to know.
"Oh, I don't know, there will be many though."
"Many?" He asked incredulously, "You're going to get lots of tickets."
I was momentarily stunned that he had equated after that one incident - that each time we'd go to speech therapy we'd get a ticket. I did correct his thinking. It's amazing what their little brains come up with.
Yesterday was our first official therapy appointment. J-man went into the therapy room by himself. The Therapist tried to talk to him at first, but I was watching through the mirror - he was having a power struggle.
She won, though. She used the Mrs. Potato Head weapon and got him to the little table where her picture book sat in waiting.
She tested his vocabulary and he did really well. He "tested' right at his age level...and I was so surprised that he got "Circle" that I wanted to shout. He used Mrs. Potato Head's arms to point to the pictures she called out to him. And he had a great time.
A few times he sat and studied the pictures before he answered. I gotta tell you- I was one very proud mom after that visit.
During the power struggle, she said (talking to me through the mirror) that when kids this age aren't used to being in a structured preschool setting - this takes some getting used to. And we just have to lay down the ground rules.
I'm watching through the mirror, watching my very jolly, newly 3, very big boy and thinking - He's not got an issue with sitting, he's on a power trip. He was very jolly and all smiles about it, though. He's a happy tyrant.
This week we're to work on the "p" sound.
I'm every praying that God will loosen his tongue and help him communicate. It's been fun watching that prayer get answered. He's mimicking everything G says and it's very sweet. He's also been saying more words. Well, half of the words, anyway.
So I can't wait to see how Speech Therapy helps him.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Now if you go read Fatty's response to being tagged - you'll find pretty much my initial response. Only my Professor said "If you're going to be honest - you'll take the pictures as the desk sits."
Which caused me to laugh and I took the pictures.
On the far left of the picture, that big black thing, is an antique upright grand that's in desperate need of tuning. So it's being used as a temporary storage.
That door looking entry is a bric-a-brac shelving and holds some Precious Moments figures and a bunch of pictures - if it looks dusty that's because it is.
I never know what I'll find on the desk.
I'd show you the stacks of stuff on the copier, but it's really painful to look at. I've got to find a better place for my stickers. So there you have it...an embarrassing peek into the laundry pile. It looks like a lot of clutter and I guess I should make the time to actually put things away, but when I get done with something, I'm off to the next task. I'll get this cleaned up, get stuff filed away and take an "After picture"
I'm just glad you didn't want to see my kitchen.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday was an interesting day. I had errands that needed running. So G and I went errand running. We had mommy & son time it was interesting - but I couldn't accomplish all I wanted to do in one or two stores. We ended up in 3 or 4 stores. *L* And I still forgot something. That's the funny part and I still can't believe it. At one point, G said "If we go to lots of stores, I'm going to get tired and have to ride in the basket."
That was our morning. By evening, The Professor needed out of the house. So I was going to send him to the movies. I called my brother to see if he wanted to go but he was working. My mom got this idea in her head that she'd come up and watch the kids while WE went to the movies TOGETHER.
I tried to dissuade her because the littles were bit cranky but she had her mind made up and, secretly, I was thrilled. I'd seen the commercials for this movie. I looked good and interesting. I really liked Mark Wahlberg in "The Italian Job" and thought this might be a fun movie, too.
I was a bit leery of the "R" rating and try to avoid those as they tend to be over sexed, over gored, or over languaged. Oh or a combination of the three. The language in this movie was at a minimum and I was surprised, because it really didn't need the language to add to the gritty feeling of the plot. Matter of fact, it surprised me when they started throwing the most overused (and misused) word in the library of bad words. Sorry I digress. There wasn't any "sex" and the gore wasn't over done. Lots of blood - nothing further.
The movie is about Bob Lee Swagger (played by Wahlberg) who is from the hills of ?Tennessee? and becomes a sniper in the Marines. He's essentially double-crossed (also reads "hung out to dry") while on a mission in Africa. In this action he looses his best friend and teammate, drops out of the army and tries to drop out of existence.
36 months later. (Seriously - it didn't say 3 years later - 36 months). Swagger is approached by the government to help them stop an assassination on the president. They said they've intercepted intel that said the assassination plot will happen in a certain time window. The president is making a trip during that time and they want Swagger to help him figure out the best possible site (as if he were plotting the assassination) so that they can catch the killer.
All the time it's one giant set up. Of course, we knew that going in.
I had hope for this movie. I really did. Click Here to see some clips from the movie and you'll see why. I love action flicks and on top of that I'll forgive a movie a lot of bad stuff (like bad dialogue or acting) if it will give me good characters that feed my imagination.
I'll forgive it even more if the movie will give me a good ending. (an example would be "Stomp the Yard" - a bad example would be "Reign of Fire".)
I thought Wahlberg did fairly well with the character of Swagger. He had enough of an accent to make his character believable and not make it over the top. I believe they wanted Swagger to be an "every man" (not super smart or James Bond-ish) and I think they succeeded. Even though I liked Wahlberg in the movie, I think he was a bit upstaged by Michael Pena who played rookie FBI agent Nick Memphis. Or maybe the character of Swagger was upstaged by the character of Memphis. I don't know - either way - Memphis' presence was MUCH needed in the movie.
Back to the plot.
Swagger thinks he's helping the nice government men to stop a plot and he goes to visit the 3 sites that the Prez is supposed to visit. He succeeds in narrowing down the choices and says "here's the only option." Philly.
So they stage a stake out with the premise that they're going to let the assassin get in place and then "take him out." Only thing is - it's a set up. We the audience knows this - Swagger does not. He gets shot in the back (By a Philly police man) and still survives. Stealing Agent Memphis' FBI vehicle after telling Memphis that essentially "I didn't do it."
He manages to evade capture and hide enough to get to the widow of his former teammate. Which is the introduction of the love interest in the movie. I have to say that Kate Mara, even though I've never heard of her, did a pretty good job. (Both Sarah and Memphis have some really good lines.)
The biggest gripe I have with the movie is the HOPELESSNESS of it. They paint a picture of world wide corruption. It's a pretty bleak picture. One of the bad guys turns out to be a 6-term senator, who says "It's about the 'Haves' and the 'Have-nots'. And you're in one of those two categories."
The corruption the paint is deep and dark. So deep and dark - even the justice system can't touch it.
I don't like it when movie makers make the ENTIRE government out to be blood-suckers who will do anything for money, or oil or -- you name it. That is what this movie tried to do. I told the Professor that if this didn't have a happy ending, I was going to ask for my money back. I have to believe that there are good people in government. People who can not be corrupted. I have to believe that the world is not all evil...because this movie certainly left you feeling like those that "have" were evil and those that "have not" were just blind to the evil.
Sounds like a political party type stunt. And I"m doing my best to keep my political opinions to myself. This movie did not keep their political views quiet. I couldn't decide if the movie hated ALL government -- or just the current president.
The ending left much to be desired. We were hoping for JUSTICE! We got half-justice. I wanted more. We got Swagger having to take care of the bad guys himself. But the movie had already said that if these bad guys were gone - there were others to take their place. Like I said - a hopeless movie.
Comparisons though -- Much like I did with Happy Feet and Footloose - I see a comparison with "Shooter" and "The Bourne Identity".
We see 2 wronged and specially trained men, both wronged by their "organizations". They have both have love interests that save their lives and are key in the plots as the movie progresses. We even have highly-placed bad guys. However - we have two very different movies.
"Shooter" is a bitter, watered-down version of "The Bourne Identity".
If you want to see a good action movie -- see "The Bourne Identity" instead of "The Shooter".
The good guys win in that movie.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Last night I began the tale. On page 9, we listen to Mrs May tell part of her tale. The tale from her brother's visit to the old house. "They thought human beings were just invented to do the dirty work - great slaves put there for them to use. At least that's what they told each other. But my brother said that, underneath, he thought they were frightened. It was because they were frightened, he thought, that they had grown so small. Each generation had become smaller and smaller, and more and more hidden. In the olden days, it seems, and in some parts of England, our ancesters talked quite openly abut the 'little people.'"
You have to understand that Mini-Me is a bit melancholy. She's logical and tends to over think things. I admit it, She get's the over -thinking from me. It's really bad when she's tired. I'm praying that she has the joy of the Lord and that He turns her powers for good. *L* She comes to me after we read the first chapter and she's crying.
"I don't think I like this book after all. It's giving me the creeps."
"Why?" I want to know -- immediately thinking that I shouldn't have started a new book at bed time and wondered: "Is it too late to switch to 'Mr. Popper's Penguins'"?
The Professor reminds her of the cartoon The Littles and I show her the drawings in the book. She understands that. And it finally comes out.
She didn't like the comment about them getting smaller. Of the entire first chapter, that is what she grabbed ahold of?? And I wasn't sure she was paying attention.
We get the tears to stop and she's willing to give the book another try tomorrow.
I'm sitting down at the computer, the Professor is in the other room, Mini-Me comes back. Tears again. "I wonder, do we shrink when we get scared?"
OOooooo!! This could preach!! So I stand up from my chair and told her "No, we don't shrink. Physically. But spiritually, we do."
I stood and pointed to the carpet around me. This is my territory. What happens is that we get scared from the enemy - and we take a step back. Or two steps back. And that's called "shrinking back." And when we step back, the enemy takes over our territory.
So we don't physically shrink - but we can spiritually.
I took a step forward. What happens is we start taking our territory back from the enemy.
I reminded her of my favorite lesson (So far) to teach my children's church kids -- God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but ???"
power. She responds.
Oh - no. Gotta say it like you mean it. And you gotta show muscle. God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but ???
Power. she says and she shows me muscles. Her eyes are twinkling again - her tears have stopped and she hopps back to bed.
And I'm left with a "Wow" moment. I'm left with a children's book -- and a "This could preach" moment. How does it apply to me??
I have fears. I really do. I just don't talk about them, because a) I think they're silly and b) I really believe in the power of the spoken word so I just choose not to talk about them. Believing that God and I will deal with them in time.
Probably more on His timing than mine. I'm all for keeping my flesh and not crucifying it. He seems to want to get rid of the useless stuff.....*Sigh*
A few of my fears: I have the fear of failing. (Which He has told me that Failure is NOT in His vocabulary -- so that's become a lesser fear)
I have a fear of screwing up my kids beyond repair.
I also have the fear of heights - but that, I think, is a healthy fear. Keeps me off of wobbly ladders.
So now I'm looking around, wondering, have I given any territory away by shrinking back??
Maybe. I have to admit that just maybe I have. But I feel the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in me. I'm taking back that territory. It's mine and I'm selfish. I want it back.
I'll keep you posted.
I wonder what other lessons we're going to learn from the Borrowers? I'll keep you posted on that, too.
Part of my problem comes from the fact that I ordered 3 more books and immediately skimmed through them. *LOL* I should have waited! But they were NEW. They had that NEW book smell that every Bibliophile loves.
Last night I let The Professor play on the computer and I read my book. I finished "When your child is 6 to 12" by John M. Drescher. I really thought it would take just a little bit of time for me to read this book - but, as you can tell, it took longer.
His writing style reminded me very much of Max Lucado's. He has a very down to earth writing style which is easy to read & Understand. Which in turn made it difficult for me...because it allowed my mind to wander.
I'd try to force myself to go back to re-read what it was I hadn't just read. There is no ground-breaking information here...EXCEPT that Drescher maintains the ages between 6 & 12 are the lost ages. He says pretty much, that these are easy ages and we just get a bit slack.
Kind of like reading his book. I just had that revelation. He says (and this is Comfy's version) that we take these ages for granted because (for the most part) these kids understand the rules. They are mostly obedient.
But he says that this the time we need to pour into our kids continued moral direction...he calls this age The Parent's Last Great Opportunity.
The last great opportunity to hold your child, spend time with your child (by the teen years they don't want to be seen with you), to instill values, to read to your child, and to teach the facts about sex (gasp -- I still don't know where babies come from and I need to teach my kids?).
In the "Last chance to hold your kids" I realized that I wasn't hugging G enough. It shocked me, really. I realized I was taking him for granted. (He's just announced that he doesn't like kisses..*sniff*) so I made sure I asked for a G-sized hug every day.
All in all, it was a good book. I'd recommend it as he has some good points about children imitating their parents and their need for structure and love.
It was a good start to the rest of my reading. Most of the books on my reading list came to me because I had the horrific realization that Mini-Me, in some circles, would be considered a 'pre-teen'. So I guess I'm on to deeper books like "Your Girl" and "Say Goodbye to Whining".
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I've so laughed and enjoyed the comments you've made about our Speech Therapy adventure. I've felt so pumped up and encouraged and I was just thinking bloggerlife was good and really that it couldn't get much better.
I was wrong. Yep. It got better. I've been given a Thinking Blog Award.
Honest to gosh. I nearly fell out of my chair when I read it. I didn't realized I HAD been thinking. I clicked over to ApplesofGold - because my RSS Reader said there was a new post (And I love this blog so I hopped over) and there it was plain as day. I think it might have been red print, but I can't get HSB to let me over there to see for myself. My RSS feed reader is all black and white.
I was so honored and touched. I thought -- Has she been reading the same stuff I've been writing?
No. That's not true...I didn't think that. I really just re-read my name again and thought REALLY?? ME???? Then just wanted to cry. Happy tears.
I called The Professor and told him all about it. By the time he answered, I was practically giddy.
Later that day my Bloglines showed me that Kahri had posted something new - and new again. Since I am very interested in what she has to say (I think it's because we're amused at the same stuff.) I clicked over to her posts. She's a mom who has her hands full and still presents the Joy of the Lord. So when I saw that She had given me a Thinking Blog award too the kids nearly had to pick me up off the floor!
*ALMOST USELESS INFORMATION -- ** You see, I dual-post to Yahoo!360. I have friends there - my family knows my blog is there - and that's actually where I first started blogging. And then I love the avatars - and the nifty trinkets and such. And then I started at HSB .... and now I'm at Blogger - but still dual-posting to 360!. So there's that tidbit of useless information. I can hear Melanie saying "Ya know - there's this thing called a "Feed"..." But for some reason - it's JUST NOT THE SAME.
Now the total bonus is that Kahri (rhymes with Starry) and I have met BRIEFLY - once. And I just knew I liked her. She was one of the reasons I joined the Homeschool group that I did. (And then she quit for a while....but we won't talk about that because she's back) Now we have this whole blogger association.
To find that she thinks I think is something I find phenomenal. Because if anyone should get an award it should be her. Wait. She did. Drats. Now who am I going to give the award to? *** AND NOW BACK TO OUR PROGRAM***
Needless to say, I called The Professor again. and just gushed!!
"I can't believe she said I challenged her faith! I haven't felt like I was up to challenging anyone's faith - except my own." As you can tell by this ramble -- that I'm still giddy.
Gosh - I love you guys! It may sound funny, but I consider this kisses from God through two ladies I like very much.
I've been wracking my brain all day as to who I can pass the joy along to...and I'm going to think on it a bit more. The Originator of the award says that this has to be a legitimate award...and gosh darn it. I think everyone I'd nominate...those that make me really think has already received the award.
I'd hate for the award to get lost in the laundry pile. :-)
I finally decided who I would give my awards too. I finally figured out that I should go with those bloggers who post something...and when it pops up on my Bloglines - I immediately stop to read what they have to say. So even if you've already gotten a Thinking Blogger Award - here you go.
#1 -- AppleLeaf over at HSB. She's a part-time author and a full-time homeschooling mom. I mean, Mum. As far as I'm concerned she's quite the thinker. I love reading the posts that she writes. As a matter of fact, She's one of the first Blogs I read. She immediately got me inspired through her blog name ("Keep Homeschool Fun"). She further inspired me because SHE WRITES!! I consider this proof that there's hope for the writer in me!
Someone remind me to order her books.
#2 -- CoffeeMom -- CoffeeMom did more for getting me to jump the HSB ship than anyone else. She had already jumped ship - and told me that the water is fine. I mean - how many other bloggers can post a poem about frogs and have it look normal? How many other people know who Banjo Patterson IS?! And then there's that whole coffee thing....We have the bond of caffeine.
#3 -- Kahri. -- I meant what I said before. Besides - the verse on the top page of her blog is my verse. She and I are peculiar people. I still can't figure out how to put the stuff on my side bar like she does - but at least she's got me thinking about it. Besides - there aren't many people out there who admit to being peculiar.
#4 -- Callapidder Days -- She doesn't know me from Adam. But she also did much to inpsire me that I might be able to write and raise kids at the same time. And then there's that whole "Spring Reading Thing"...
#5 - ApplesofGold -- I love reading what Holly writes. I love to read about her homesteading. She is down to earth and I love watching her learn about learning and then blogging about it.
I know I'm only supposed to have 5 but I have to award my IRL friend who got me blogging -- Thoughtful Mom -- She is a good friend. She is a curriculum junkie. She put the two together to introduce me to MyFather'sWorld and to Considering God's Creation.
So there you go. I wanted to just award my award to all the blogs that I read and it was difficult to limit myself to 5 (or 6)!
So Go! Retrieve your awards, my friends!! You can Get the icons and rules of the game here: at The Thinking Blog
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
It actually started on Saturday. We helped our family give a house "curb appeal" to help it sell. It's a rent house owned by my grandmother. So we went on Saturday and helped plant flowers and dig dirt. It really did look nice from the curb when it was done - and the house wasn't even close to being done when The Professor and I took our kids and left.
On the way home, J-man fell asleep and woke up about 20 minutes later sticking his finger in his ear and crying. In our house, that's a quick trip to the pediatrician. He was fine on Sunday (threw an unrelated temper tantrum at church, though. That story actually started 2 weeks ago but has no correlation to my current adventure.)
Since we were heading off for speech therapy later that day, we decided to visit the pediatrician, just to be safe. His ears were fine. He even double checked when I told him what we were doing later that morning.
I called my mom on the way home and told her our news. She was going to come up and stay with the big kids while J and I had the appointment. I still don't know what happened. She isn't sure either....
I got home. Ran a load of laundry picked up a few things. Had the kids pick up a few things.
Started lunch. Hot dogs and chili, should you wonder.
The time kept eeking by. About the time I was supposed to be leaving the house, I called my mom thinking we had missed each other and maybe she wasn't coming. She hadn't been feeling well at all the past few days. She was 20 minutes away.
So we agreed to meet at the therapists office.
I hopped onto the turnpike.
Made my way up the main street toward the therapists office ------- and -----
got pulled over for speeding.
I feel honored, actually, it was an unmarked police car.
It was going the other direction when I saw it. I knew it was a police car.
I knew I was speeding, I just didn't know by how much.
The officer was nice enough to tell me. 55 mph in a 40mph zone.
I apologized and told him that "we were late and I was stressed."
I think he took FOREVER to write my ticket. But he finally gave me my citation and was nice enough, because of my good driving record, to mark down that I'd only been going 49. He said that way it won't show up on my insurance or driving record. That was a nice thing. I thanked him for pulling me over, and I meant it, because I hadn't realized how fast I had been going.
As I told the Professor, I saw a straight-away and ran for it. Yes, I called him while I was waiting for my ticket. (I told you it took a very long time!) .... and told him, "I should warn you, I'm about to get a ticket." "Why?" I guess he thought it was going to be premeditated... I told him and he just said "I love you."
I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time.
We were on our way again and I couldn't find the therapists office.
I had the address. But couldn't find the exact office. Her office is in a bunch of little and big buildings all nestled together in a complex.
And she wasn't answering her phone. (She was with another little client.) I should have called sooner to find out where they were located but didn't. My bad.
We found the office. Finally.
Then my mom couldn't find it.
She did. Arriving for the last few moments of our appointment. Which meant she was able to take the kids outside for the last little bit. Which did work out, I just felt bad that she had to drive all that way and then got lost.
It was quite the comedy of errors day.
I now know that unmarked police cars do NOT have city issued license plates. Our big city has 2, by the way, that I know of...a maroon one and a white one.
I know that the MPH through there is 40.
And I know where the therapists office is. Very important information for our adventure.
Monday, April 9, 2007
The first speech therapy appointment went okay - but the speech therapist nearly immediately put me on my guard. I say "nearly" because she did say "hi" and we shook hands. And I liked her work room. There were toys. (J was immediately attracted to the BuzzLightyear Yahtzee game) There was a little table with little chairs. She got out her bubbles and started to blow bubbles to get to know Jman and to hear me tell my tale. J-man loved popping bubbles.
"Has anyone else in the family been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD?" she asked.
Guard went up. I'm surprised she couldn't hear it. I'm sure it was loud. I'm sure it clicked. Maybe it was a "whooooomping" sound. Or a "whoooshing" - like the doors in Star Trek. Whatever the sound....the guard went up. I said "no" - but what I really wanted to say was "No - and neither is he. He's three. He's a boy. Deal with it." But I wasn't ready to argue. Yet.
Though, I thought of many things to say AFTER my appointment.
So she talks to him. Shows him pictures to identify. One was a feather. I told her that he probably didn't know what that was - The Professor is allergic. She has him repeat words.
He drops his final consonant on many words. Substitutes a sound (that sounds like "che") for other sounds he's not used to saying.
She threw out labels at me that I still don't know what they mean. One had to do with the flipping of words. Not dyslexia - but had to do with him saying "cup" backward. He didn't say it backward, he just said it "Chu".
Somewhere in our interview, She suggested I put him into a Mother's day out program once or twice a week..or another type of program like it.
Excuse me?? This is not something to tell a homeschool mom - especially one who was homeschooled during the "dark ages" of homeschooling.
She did finally suggest that maybe I could get him involved with the homeschool support group. I pointed out that he's with his big brother & sister CONSTANTLY. And that we go to church - a lot.
I ask you, How much more language interaction could he possibly need??
She suggested we have table time...time for him to finger paint, play in a tub of rice or beans - sensory type things in order to get him used to sitting still. To make her job easier.
I'm sorry?? Why??
You have to know - He was sitting VERY still for her. I admit that he was very interested in the Buzz Yahtzee. He also wanted to watch her write behind her little easel board. But He was sitting as still as any 3 year old possible can. I mean, really, He can sit for hours and play with his batman. I thought, "Maybe you shouldn't be so boring."
Yes, that's right. I thought it. My guard was up and apparently, I've got a sarcastic guard.
I'm not entirely sure this lady has had much interaction with boys. You can just tell. I remember the OB that delivered G. I actually asked her if she had kids. She wanted to know why I asked. "Because you're a heartless shrew" came to mind. As the professor says "She was competent."
I had the same sort of thoughts with this therapy session.
It was obvious that she had been educated with a worldly point of view - or had one to begin with.
So We went to get a second opinion.
Her name is Judy.
I like her.
She didn't say anything about J-man being 3...
or that he needed to sit still.
Or that we needed to put him in school.
Oh - J said "Scissors" with the "z" sound at the end!!! My mama's heart was very proud.
She said that J was suffering the direct result of having constant fluid in his ears... His speech is the result of hearing things much like it would sound in a barrell or under water. She sounded hopeful. She had no labels to stick on my Captain J. Besides, That's my job. Only mommy approved labels in the Laundry Pile.
Our insurance probably won't pay for these sessions. They told us so. Though the first therapists office told us that they knew what diagnosis codes to use in order to get paid.
The second therapist said that she thought the insurance company SHOULD pay for it.
I like her.
And that is the first installment in our speech therapy adventure.
We go back next week. And then we have a hearing screening the following week, just to make sure.
I just KNOW God will restore all that the enemy has tried to steal.
I know it because --
THAT is the label I'm sticking to my J-man.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Books Glorious Books!
This picture shows our book cache from Sonlight books. We also got our books from My Father's World and ABeka books.
I have to say - Mini-Me's eyes got as big as saucers when she saw books with a big "3" on them. It was proof that she was going to enter the 3rd grade before she got old.
G got into the act, too. He enjoyed being "buried" by books.
He also decided to follow Mini-Me's cue and say "I'm going into the First grade?"
followed by "When??"
Today I received the last remaining book for my library called "Considering God's Creation" by Mortimer and Smith. It is fantastic, in my visual opinion. I was coming off a frustration with a lack of understanding of the KONOS unit on plants and animals. THIS book would have made it all so much easier. So I'm going to give this a good thorough looking through and we're going to figure out our summer school.
My current question is: Where in this Laundry Pile am I going to put another book case?
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
The Professor asks, In a perfectly Professorish tone of voice, "Isn't this normal?" At Which I erupted into laughter - because, yeah, It is a pretty normal day here in the Laundry pile.
After all, J's the one that dumped all the bathroom cups in the sink full of water to play with the cupholder. It's amazing how many action figures fit into a bathroom-cup cupholder.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
I almost typed that out in All "Q"s. Quontest??