Friday, January 30, 2009

I Heart Inkheart!

Sorry, I didn't get back here yesterday to post this, I had a bit of catching up to do around here after two kids' birthdays and a day in the Big D!

But here I am ready to talk some INKHEART with you all!

First of all, I absolutely LOVED this movie. I will buy it when it comes out on DVD, and I will watch ALL of the bonus features because I want more! I will also be buying a copy of the book, because I'm intrigued. I know that a 2 hour movie can never cover all the details given in an entire book, so I am looking forward to reading the book and experiencing even more of this story!

I will caution parents, however, on one small thing. The bad guys in this movie are SCARY. Most of them are just ugly, and have poor personal hygiene, like these guys.

But "The Shadow", seen here,

is a terrifying sight on the Big Screen! When he first appeared, my first thought was that I wouldn't be taking my 8 year old daughter to see this on the Big Screen. I'm still debating on the 11 year old. He's kind of funny about what scares him and what doesn't. I know however, that both of them will be fine seeing it on our television set. It's just on the giant screen that I think it would be a bit overwhelming for any child under 10, and possibly for those even older. You know your own children best, so you know what they can handle and what they can't.

The story itself was fantasy magic for me! I love fantasy books that are filled with magic and mystery and things that could never possibly happen except in a book, and this movie was full of just that.

Mo Folchart is a "silver tongue", or someone who is able, by reading a story aloud, to bring characters from that story into our world. The problem is, when a character from a story is brought into our world, sometimes someone from our world is taken into the story. This is apparently what happened to Mo's wife, and how he discovered that he had this unique ability in the first place.

So we find Mo, whose occupation is that of a "book doctor"--someone who repairs old and damaged books, searching for a copy of the book he was reading when his wife disappeared. He has a daughter who seemingly knows nothing of what happened to her mother, nor her father's unique gift, but is constantly asking questions about it. During this time, we also find out that Meggie, Mo's daughter, not only loves reading books, but also enjoys writing stories of her own...mainly about her mother, and what may have happened to her. Obviously, this is discouraged by her father who knows the power of the written word, and he warns her about making up these stories.

That is the background we are given, and then we are flung headlong into the story. I must admit that each time I thought I knew where the story was going, there was a delightful twist that kept me guessing and excited to find out what would happen next! I love it when that happens...too often I "figure out" a story and then spend the rest of my time waiting for it to happen rather than anticipating what might happen. That was so NOT the case with this movie!

I can't necessarily say that there was a clear-cut moral to the story, but there were several lessons to take away from it. Obviously, the power of the written word was first and foremost. Through the story of "Dustfinger" (played by one of my favorite actors, Paul Bettany) we learn that everyone has a choice in the decisions they make in life as well as what type of person they become. I also took away from the characters of Elinor and Meggie, that each of us has a gift, and those gifts can be used to help others in times of need. I would expand on that, but I'd have to give away too much of the story, and my friend, Todd specifically asked me NOT to give away the story in this review! Roll

I personally found nothing offensive in the movie, and I do plan to take my 13 year old and most likely my 11 year old to see it on one of our "Mommy and Me" dates. When trying to think of another movie to compare it to when deciding what age child should see it, my very first thought was of Eragon and The Lion The Witch, and The Wardrobe. If you and your children enjoyed both of these fantasy-type movies, (and weren't too scared by some of the "darker" characters in them) I think you will also enjoy Inkheart.

If anyone has seen the movie, please feel free to leave your review/opinion in the comments!

So a HUGE THANK YOU to YouCast for sending me to see this movie! And if you have any others you want to send me to, I'll be here!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Day!

This is the big day...

My sister and I are on our way to Dallas to get the results of my kidney function tests, and hopefully a plan of action that will make my life a bit easier! :)

And then we're going to see INKHEART! I'm so excited!

So, I'll be back tomorrow with an update for you, as well as a review of the movie!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Then and Now

This week my baby girl turned 8 years old! AND my #2 son turned 11! It's really hard to imagine, since this was just yesterday...

And this was just last week..
.In honor of the occasion, I put together a little slide show of the two of them. I could have included a TON more pictures, but I restrained myself. Cool

Friday, January 23, 2009

Odds and Ends...

Since I went missing for awhile there, I thought I'd take this opportunity to catch up on a few things that I never posted here on the blog. But first...

I went to the mailbox today, and look what I found waiting for me from Patsy Clairmont!

Look what I just got in the mail from@patsyclairmont! Woot-Woot! on TwitPic
I'm not exactly sure why the picture is sideways, it was straight when I uploaded it...Anyway, I'm so excited, and David has been begging me to read the "Basil and Parsley" book to him ever since I pulled it out of the package!

Thanks Patsy!!!

And I made a baby shower cake, and a cookie bouquet awhile back, and I don't think I ever posted the pictures. So, here you go!

And the last thing I have to share with you all today, is a very, very short video that Benji and I made for his youth group meeting this week.

He said that one of the youth leaders asked him to make a 30 second video of some of the "extreme sports things" that he does. We weren't able to take videos of his trials bike events and jumps, or of his trampoline acrobatics on such short notice, but we did find some video that we had taken this past summer of some of his bicycle stunt riding. The video ended up being about 1 minute and 12 seconds because we just had to include the bloopers at the beginning...but the youth group agreed that the bloopers were totally worth the extra 42 seconds! He's was so proud to take the video for his friends to see, that I thought I'd share it with you all as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Love the Movies!

I love seeing a good movie.

I love to snuggle up in my bed with all the kids and watch movies together.

I love it when they all bring their blankets and pillows into the living room and we all fall asleep watching movies together.

And I really love having the house all to myself for an entire day, and sitting in my favorite chair with either a Vanilla Coke Zero, or a hot cup of coffee, and watching a movie ALL.BY.MYSELF...aahhh.

But the best way to watch a movie, is on the Big Screen!

Can you remember sitting in the theater watching "Star Wars" and hearing the entire theater cheer when Luke Skywalker finally made the shot that took down the Death Star?

When I took my two oldest boys to see "Facing the Giants", we shared the theater with a group of teen-agers, who cheered and laughed out loud with us through the whole movie. It made it so much better to share it with them.

And you know there's nothing better than Movie Theater Popcorn...even the Diet Coke tastes better at the theater! (Even though I'm now relegated to air-popped, salt-free popcorn, the dream still lives in my head!)

With four kids and a limited income, it isn't often that I get to go to the theater and watch a first run movie on the Big Screen, so when I received an email asking me to "Go to the theater and watch a movie!", I jumped at the chance! Next week, my sister and I will be seeing "Inkheart" together, and I'm so very excited. I've not seen any reviews yet, so I have no pre-conceived ideas about this movie at all. I've seen the commercial on TV and my first thought was, "That sounds a lot like 'The Never-Ending Story'! I loved that movie!!"

So, I am posting the movie trailer here for you all to see, and I will be back after I have seen the movie and let you know what I thought of it. And as an added bonus, I'll post my oh-so-simple recipe for White Chocolate Popcorn, which makes the air-popped popcorn totally worth eating!

If anybody else has seen "Inkheart", or plans to see it this week, then by all means, come back and add your opinions to the "official review" when I post it. But don't tell me anything yet! Since I'll be reviewing it, I don't want to go in with other people's opinions about it already in my head.

But if you want to recommend any other movies to me, please feel free! I love getting recommendations for good movies!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Questions, Answers, and a Few More Questions...

I know that many of you are wondering why I haven't been around much lately. That is a complicated question with more than one answer. The easiest answer is that I've had writer's block. I look at my days lately, and I can't think of a single thing to share with Blogland.

Which leads to the second question..."Why the block?" I'm not really sure, but I know that I "just don't feel right" and that feeling has been building for awhile. It started sometime last summer when I just couldn't make myself get up and run in the mornings any longer. I didn't necessarily feel bad, I just "didn't feel right".

If you've been around for awhile, you know that I've had one or two or 6 surgeries in my time. Mostly they have been kidney related, but I also suffer from endometriosis. You also know that I'm on a fairly strict diet for chronic kidney disease. One would think that with the number of things I'm not allowed to eat, my weight would not be an issue...sadly, that is not the case. After spending more than half of my life pretty much under-weight, the past 10-15 years have progressed to being the actual correct weight, to being 15-20 pounds over weight...yikes! During those years, I went up and down mainly due to my activity level at the time, or whether or not I was pregnant (I actually LOST weight with all but my last pregnancy...I know! I used to call it my favorite diet plan, 'cause when it was all done, I got a kid as a bonus!). I took up running in between kids 3 and 4, but quit after my first miscarriage because I was afraid the running had caused me to lose my baby. Even after I lost a 2nd baby and discovered that it was endometriosis to blame, I still didn't run, until well after I had safely delivered that 4th baby. I just never felt up to it after he was born.

My latest kidney related surgery was in May of 2007. After I recovered from that one, I felt so much better that I began running again after several years. I felt great, and I lost 18 pounds that year. I was 3-5 pounds away from being back to my college/ideal weight, and my last kidney function test was the best I've ever had, and my specialist thought it would be okay for me to wait a whole year before I needed to be tested again. (I had been testing every 3 to 6 months while my medication levels were being figured out.) I felt like I had finally found the right dosage of medication, the right diet, and a good level of exercise to live a "normal" life.

Then last summer, the old lethargy began to return. I "just didn't feel like it" whenever it was time to run. I have started and stopped again a few times since then. Basically I had some good days, and some bad days. For awhile, it was more good than bad, and I'm always happy for that. But as fall came around, I was feeling more and more tired, and even though I still had more good days than bad, the bad were starting to catch up, my legs were starting to swell significantly again, my osteopenia has spread and I showed two areas of full blown osteoporosis in my spine, and my blood pressure was high, and I've found 12 of those lost pounds...sigh.

In December, the pain started and I figured it was time for another surgery. Hey, I'd made it more than a year since the last one, and that was pretty good! I decided to wait until January to talk to my surgeon for multiple reasons: holidays, kids' activities, insurance, etc. Then, January came along, and the pain was gone. The first week in January was also the scheduled time for my next kidney function test, so I felt it only made sense to get the results of that and have them in hand when I discussed the possibility of another surgery with my local doctor.

So here we are...

Next Wednesday I will drive to Dallas to get the results of my latest tests and make a plan from there. On the one hand, I feel like I'd like the results to be poor. I know that sounds strange, but I'd like there to be a reason that I feel this way. Preferably a fixable reason, but a reason. On the other hand, the idea that I'm losing more of my kidney function is scary. From everything I've read about this disease, the calcification in my kidneys will potentially harm the healthy kidney cells and cause progressive kidney failure. The hope was that with the medication, we could greatly slow it down if not stop it altogether. We determined after the first year on the meds that the damage I had would not reverse or get better. The damage was done, but the two kidneys together were still getting the job done.

Some of the symptoms of chronic kidney failure are muscle weakness, tiredness, and the inability to concentrate. Which is exactly how I feel, and why I have had the writer's block. I just can't seem to get motivated, and when I do try to write, I can't think. (For those of you who know me IRL, I know you're thinking "Um, so what's new?")

I also need to mention here, that my local doctor, who first discovered the calcification of my kidneys told me that just looking at them, he can't believe they function as well as they do. I believe that's a miracle from God, and a direct result of all the prayers that have gone up on my behalf over the years. I know He's taking care of me, and I'm not afraid. I just want to feel better.

I get a lot of questions about my particular kidney disease, which is called Renal Tubular Acidosis, so I am working on gathering what information I can find and posting a link on my sidebar that I can refer people to. After all I've read, I'm a tad confused about exactly what type of this disease I have (there are 4 types), so I plan to talk to my dr. about that when I see him next week. In the meantime, I did find a pretty good "overview" of this disease and have placed a button in the sidebar. As I gather information, and figure out how to save it all in one link, I'll add it to the button.

I hope I have answered some of the questions that you have been asking, and I hope to be back and writing my usual drivel very soon! Yes, I know I write drivel, but it's my drivel, and it's my blog, so I can write whatever I like!


Thanks for the concern, and the prayers. I really appreciate you all!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Psalm 103

Psalm 103

A David Psalm
1-2 O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don't forget a single blessing!

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we're made of mud.
Men and women don't live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God's love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.

19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He's the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.

And you, O my soul, bless God!

(The Message)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


As if it weren't enough that OU beat us out for the Big 12 Championship, AND for the National Championship Game, now, we're being shafted Pop Tarts of all things!

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

While I am thrilled, that OU didn't rate high enough to be shown on the actual PopTarts, you will notice that they and many other schools are still represented on the box? Lots of other schools...

BUT NOT UT!!! Tongue Out

I suggest a boycott of PopTarts until they make a box with UT represented on it! And while we're at it, how about a Wheaties Box too? And for all you Aggies out there, you didn't make the box either, so quit your giggling!