Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Sorry About the red eye. The kids have lovely eyes, really.

Happy New Year!
May Your laundry be clean, fresh smelling and always at hand.
May The God of all Creation smile down upon you - and may you see that Smile.
May the New year never be too busy that you can't breathe
May it be filled with love, joy and happiness! In big and small ways.

Wishing you many God kisses,

and a happy new year!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Toy Packaging

Toy Packaging by Sara Groves

We're going to be putting Christmas toys together BEFORE the kids get them.
Toy packaging.
The tiny twist 'ems..
The many miles of tape...
The plastic...hard brittle..unbending plastic.

This song makes me laugh. I heard it on the radio and had to find a copy to share.
Being easily amused, I love the lights!!

Christmas Lights PBL - Sara Groves ~ Toy Packaging from robogeek on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Manic Monday

Other wise titled, "Mom's Cracked".

Sunday night while we were at church, the sleet started. By the time we left church, it was icy in the neighborhood. The Professor likes to drive on this kind of stuff, so he drove us home.

As we drove, we noticed that the sleet and ice seemed to stop. We had pretty good roads until we hit our little 'burb. ICE!!!

Monday, the kids wanted to play in the ice. So I let them. It was during this outings that it was discovered that, despite my previous thoughts, I had 3 children with ill-fitting coats. It didn't stop them from heading out to play. Hats, coats, gloves and they went off sledding and having fun!! So we really didn't have school time until the afternoon.

My giggles started on facebook earlier in the day and continued into school. School work started with Mini-Me working on a geography review. "I can't remember where the coyote lives. Is it the desert or the prairie?"

I tried to have a mysterious, Spanish accent and said, "The Coyote howls at the moon."


"The coyote howls at the moon."

Her eyebrows lowered at me, "You're. Weird."

I thoroughly enjoyed her response and laughed.

Then her next question pushed me over the edge.

What she said was "The Grain elevator is in the prairie."

What I heard was "The GREEN elevator is in the prairie."

I started laughing immediately, "The Green elevator is in the prairie?"
Being visual, I could see it! Green = prairie.
"So what? Do they put the silver elevators in the frozen tundras and cold climates?"

"No...The GRAIN elevators..." It's too late. I'm long gone.

"And do they put the blue ones on the coast??"


I'm just laughing and laughing -- tears rolling down my cheeks.

She looks at me and says, "You're cracked."

Peals of laughter erupted ...
still makes me laugh.

It was funny.
Still is.

Green Elevators.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

Sara, atButterville hosted a "Show off Your Tree" event on her website. Linda, at Growin' with it, decided to host a Show-me your tree on her Blog....with the promise of caramel..

Pardon me while I drool.

I'm too late to play along in the give-away, but I promised I'd post pics of my tree. My problem came when I didn't plan on feeling really crummy yesterday.

Our tree has not a great story behind it.
We have the tree that we have purely out of necessity.

First of all it's plastic. I feel no shame about it, either. It's plastic, plastic, plastic - and metal and wood.

The Professor is allergic to real trees...and Christmas is too special to ruin with asthma attacks.

One year we had a really nice big tree. That was before we had J-man the Wookie and long before Mini-e. Come to think of it, I think we got the tree and the Cat at the same time.

Then we didn't have a tree for a year? Or was it two? ...because we had little kids, a cat - and no SPACE whatsoever for a big tree.

Last year I decided to try to find a tree, because the kids wanted a tree. So I chose this little guy and set it on the piano. It worked out great. We stacked the gifts under the tree, it was cute.

This year - we had decorating issues. Our lights didn't want to work. For whatever reason, we didn't get new ones and we're lightless.

I stumbled across the love of blue and silver quite by accident and I really like it. I had bigger plans - but when space became an issue, I scaled down and have opted to go totally blue and silver. I like it. It's very royal and still goes with a denim life style.

Several years ago, we decided that we'd collect snowmen. Which is great, except now I'm constantly on the look out for ones that go well with our blue & Silver theme. One day, we'll have more space to diversify. Until then... having limits keeps me from buying all sorts of snowmen we don't need and probably won't want.

Our Tree topper:

Here's a close up of our current ornaments.
It looks really nice, I think.

Yes, my Christmas paper is Blue & Silver.

So that's our Christmas Tree and decorations. I'm not wrapping a lot of the Kids Christmas presents this year. The Toy Packaging is just too much when there's 4 kids waiting for the evil twisty ties and extra tape to be The Professor and I will put in a movie on Christmas Eve, put toys together and remove them from the toy packaging -- and celebrate the blessings that God gave us in our 4 kids (and their toys).

Hope you enjoyed looking at our Tree - and the rambling telling of my Christmas Eve plans.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Product of Link Hopping...

I link hopped and "virtually stumbled" upon this video.
It's not to everyone's liking, I'm sure, but I like it. It's my blog and I am absolutely enthralled by it.
Therefore - I post it here.

New Creation from Pace Hartfield on Vimeo.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am a Kung-Fu Panda

Or maybe the working title should be: Panda-monium?

Kung-Fu Panda was a movie we wanted to see in the theater, but didn't. So when I saw it at the store for less that most of the $19.99 prices, I snagged it and took it home.

We instantly fell in love with it.

As a general rule, the Denim parents aren't into marital art movies. That's my brother's department. What we do like, however, is a good movie.

To me, Kung-fu Panda has it all. Good animation, good action, great plot, identifiable characters and humor.

For those who haven't seen it, let me give a summary. Po, a panda, works for his dad (a goose) in a noodle restaurant. To the dad, Noodles and food are life. Po, on the other hand, dreams of heroes, being a legendary warrior, and kung-fu.

He doesn't want to tell his dad that the "noodle dream" is not shared. We get the impression that Po doesn't think his own dreams are possible. He's clumsy and big. I found it curious that he's the only panda around.

To keep some suspense, I'll try to keep this short, in case you see the movie (or want me to hush).

Through interesting circumstances, Po is chosen to be the "Dragon Warrior". He is taken in to be trained by a red panda named Shifu (excellently voiced by Dustin Hoffman). Shifu has trained "The Furious Five": Mantis, Viper, Tigress, Crane, and Monkey. Po idealizes the Five. Come to find out, Shifu has also trained the bad guy, a snow leopard named Tai Lung.

Shifu and the Furious Five think that a giant mistake has been made in the selection of the clumsy Panda as "Dragon Warrior", by Master Oogway (a very old turtle). As a collective, Shifu and the Five make it a point to let him know. Shifu does everything in his power to discourage him and make him quit. Promising his other students that the panda would quit "or I have failed you all."

Po just doesn't fit in. He doesn't know Kung-fu. He is chided, by Tigress, for thinking that everything "is a joke." Mostly, he's misunderstood because he doesn't fit their picture of what the Dragon Warrior should be. The two biggest issues seem to be that he's clumsy and he's a panda.

In the end, we find out that being himself: good humored and a panda are what really bring him success in the final showdown with the bad guy.

I enjoy this movie. I enjoyed watching it with my kids and listening to them laugh. The animation is fantastic, the voice acting is really quite excellent. I'm a bit surprised at how little dialogue they gave Jackie Chan after all the advertising of him being cast as "Master Monkey" and I don't think voice acting is Jolie's strong suit. But really, those are small points against the movie. If you don't like martial art movies, you might not like this one, but you might be surprised.

There are two lessons to be learned in the movie. Or at least two lessons I can see and tell my kids. I might be the only one to see them. And that's okay.

The first lesson: Be Yourself.
Po, wanted to be "not himself" because he didn't see himself as having much worth. He was comparing himself to The Furious Five who had trained and trained and trained. Whereas, he had not. Po also didn't quite fit in with his dad's noodle dream.

The things that Shifu and the Five didn't like about him, were exactly what he needed to be and have, in order for the final showdown against the bad guy.

Po is given a "Dragon Scroll". The scroll is thought to contain powers that would enable the "Dragon Warrior" to be great. The Professor informed me that this is a nod to some other Kung Fu movies - but it works in this one, too.

Po opens the scroll and sees -- himself. Immediately, They all think it's blank. They think that Oogway really was crazy and mistaken to choose Po as the "Dragon Warrior"
Until his dad tells him the secret to his Secret ingredient soup. There is no secret ingredient.

Po realizes that all he has to do, to fight the bad guy, is to be himself.
At the end, Tai Lung tells Po: "You can't beat me, you're a big, fat panda!"
Po, embracing all that he is says, "Wrong. I'm THE. big. fat. panda."

All he had to do was be himself. This is much the same with God. Me for example...He gave me my quirks. My personality (like it or leave it). My desire to learn, to write.. He's put more desires in my heart - but I don't have to be like someone else in order to do these things. I don't have to be like others that have gone before me. And what's more, others should not expect me to be something I'm not.

To get the job done, I just need to be myself.

I really identify with Po.
I can be a klutz...
I eat when I'm stressed.
I don't fit the mold.
Who knew I was a panda?

Lesson #2 -- There is no secret ingredient. At least, it's not a secret.
There is a secret ingredient in me. But it's really not a secret. More like a partner...and that's Holy Spirit. Without Him, His presence, guidance, teachings, nudgings, I would not be who, what, where I am now.

So, while I talk about (and thoroughly enjoy) the movie's main theme, I have to point this out to the kids. We have to have Holy Spirit in us.

Being ourselves combined with the power and direction of Holy Spirit gives us such potential. We offer what we are and what we have to God and we are capable of fighting the scariest of snow leopards - or whatever else bad guy comes our way.