Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

What I'm Watching Lately

A lot of interesting things happened this week, but I can't tell you about any of them.

It's difficult when so many exciting things happen, and you are itching to write out your thoughts, but you realize you can't talk about any of them in the interest of protecting privacy and avoiding gossip.  So what do you do when that happens?  You write about TV.

The Bachelor

Today, I feel compelled to write about the Bachelor.  Not because I liked Nick as a Bachelor at all (please, no).  In fact I boycotted the Bachelor in the middle of this season because it was just so trashy.  This is probably the trashiest season I've seen, and I was surprised by how many gross comments they allowed on TV.  It all got to be too much and I decided I didn't need to be filling my brain with this junk.  But later, I admit, I got sucked back in to see who he ended up with.  You have no idea how much I hate my weakness here.  It's embarrassing.

This is why I usually avoid starting shows at all if I know they are going to be too questionable in content.  Because (I think you can all agree) it's way harder to quit in the middle of a show than to just never start watching it in the first place.

So no, this season stunk, but we have to discuss something because I had an epiphany last night.  After watching Nick pick Vanessa, which I thought was a dumb decision, I started thinking back on previous seasons of the Bachelor, and I realized something.  

The Bachelor/Bachelorette almost never picks who I want them to pick.  And (here's the kicker) - when they pick the person I thought they shouldn't, it usually ends up sort of working out.  On the rare occasions when the contestant did pick who I thought they should, the relationship usually ended within six months!

Basically, I should never be a matchmaker.  I'm good at picking a spouse for me (my husband is a gem), but apparently I'm not so good at picking people for other people.

Shark Tank

I started watching Shark Tank this year and got hooked! My favorite sharks are probably Lauri and Mr. Wonderful, but I think it's ruthless and rude when they withdraw their offer just because a business owner wants to hear all the offers on the table first.  I guess I understand the strategy behind it, but really, who wouldn't want to know all the offers before picking one?

I have also embarrassingly got sucked into buying products because I saw them on the show.  I definitely understand why people want to go on, because it's great exposure for any business.  The show is basically a sneakily more interesting version of The Shopping Network, except only the shark that makes the deal gets a financial advantage from this little series of infomercials.


Now we move on to YouTube, because that's where half of entertainment resides these days.  Really, there is precious little that is worth watching on the actual TV.  

I have been a fan of Dennis Prager for so long, mostly for his weekly "Happiness Hour".  The man has more insight into the topic of happiness than anyone else I can think of.  Lately I have rediscovered PragerU, which is full of helpful and informative five minute videos. They are five minute bites of common sense.

Most recently, "War On Boys" was interesting, and "Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin N" was great,  and "I Learned More At McDonald's Than At College" gave me hope that not all college students are unprepared for life (at least if they've worked before), and "The Sexiest Man Alive" was just so true.  But poke around, especially in the Life Studies videos, and you'll probably find something you like.  Especially any of the videos on happiness!

Also "Coolidge: The Best President You Don't Know"!  Okay, I'm done now.

Other Channels

On YouTube that is.  I'll just run through a few I've been enjoying lately.

Favorite Homeschooling Channel: A Farmhouse Full.  She vlogs about a lot of things, but I have really enjoyed her homeschooling videos because I'm fascinated by the fact that she has eight (nine?) kids!

Favorite Book Channel:  My friend Felicia's channel, Little Prairie Library! I love seeing all the books she reads and finds, and I've found several good ones through her channel.

Favorite Makeup Channel: Emily Noel.  She just seems like a normal person to me.  Other makeup channel people just...don't.

Looking Forward To...

Survivor, of course!  When does that start back up again?

What are your favorite shows these days?

Old School Blogger Shoutout

I've been enjoying The Lady Okie blog - she is the type of old-fashioned blogger that I've always enjoyed reading.  She even wrote an introduction post last Friday, which is pretty convenient for all you newbies to her blog.  Stop by and say hi!

What I'm Drinking: Baked Cinnamon Apple Tea.  It's yummy if you don't mind teas that are already a bit sweet.  I have to be in the right mood for it.

Speaking Of "Spring"...

Worth The Time (Vol. 1)

I thought I'd try something a little new here and do a once-a-month post about different things that I think are "worth the time".  It could be books, movies, audiobooks, podcasts, articles, blogs, board might be anything.  I'm just going to keep you all on your toes!

The Selection 

I've been really into watching the History Channel lately, and they've had some great new programming over the last couple years.  My latest favorite is The Selection.

This show takes a group of civilians and puts them through something that is like the training for the special forces - Seals, Rangers, Green Berets.  They seemed pretty "easy" on everyone in the first episode and Derek was ready to write the show off as not being realistic (my grandpa was in the army, and we've heard his basic training stories, which were worse than what they did on the first episode).  But I was still interested, so we watched, and it definitely got more intense!  Those instructors are tough! I'm still not convinced that it is exactly like special forces training, because I imagine that would be even more demanding, but it's so interesting to watch and get a taste of what those people in our military overcome in order to be prepared to protect us.  It's fascinating, and it makes me respect our armed forces even more.

It's just starting to get good now - if you get the History Channel, you can catch up on all the episodes here or on the app!

This Recipe

I made this pumpkin streusel coffee cake for our MOPS meeting the other day.  I recently read on Gina's blog that you shouldn't make something for the first time when it's for someone else, guests, etc.  That makes a lot of sense to me, so I made it and decided I would scratch it and make something else if it was no good.  But it was good.  The perfect amount of moistness, and the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor without being too overwhelming.  I used caramel flavoring instead of vanilla extract.  It was a winner!

The Sonicare Section On Amazon 

(Affiliate link below, but only because I really love Sonicare toothbrushes.)

This one is more a "worth the money" than a "worth the time" pick - but hey, time is money, huh?  And your teeth are worth something.  I stumbled across this AMAZING sale on Amazon of Sonicare toothbrushes, and as a dental hygienist, I feel compelled to share it.  You can take the girl out of the dental hygiene world, but you can't take the dental hygienist out of the girl.

Seriously though, these are my personal favorite toothbrushes.  When I brush with my Sonicare, I can feel the difference in my gums.  And I'm not just saying that as some hygienist ploy to get you to buy the good toothbrush!  I can really feel it, personally.

I bought Derek and myself new Sonicare toothbrushes, because the basic model is only $20! That is a great deal!  I've been really missing my old Sonicare since it broke, and I'm sharing the good toothbrush love.

(Check out these coupons though if you want a fancier model, because you can get an even better discount until 1/28.)

Alright, I'll be back again next month with more worth-the-time favorites!  I'm off to watch the inauguration!

How To Start A Literary Society

Well, friends, I am late getting Grit & Grace up this month for a good reason - I went to Luke's Diner this morning!  As in Gilmore Girls.  As in Free Coffee.  Clearly my priorities are in tip top shape.

I binge-watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix a couple years ago, and I just couldn't pass up a themed day like this at a coffee shop no less.  So a Gilmore-Girl-loving friend and I went to check it out!  For those of you who couldn't make it - the free coffee was black, and though I love black coffee, my friend and I upgraded to a latte.  They had a "Luke's" sign out front; a sign reading "No Cell Phones!" (since Luke hates cell phones); Lorelei coffee quotes; and all the baristas dressed in plaid, aprons, and backward hats like Luke.  We waited in line for 40 minutes (it was a long line) and discussed Rory's relationships (Team Jess!).  It was a great way to spend the morning.

So, in the spirit of Gilmore Girls and Rory's love for books...

Today I am going to talk about how to start a Literary Society - because a couple months ago, I started one!  

What is a Literary Society you may ask?  According to my definition, a Literary Society is like a book club, only there are no assigned books - you just get together every month or two with your bookish friends to talk about what you've been reading and maybe get some recommendations!  

A couple months ago I was listening to The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society - which is a great audiobook, by the way - and I thought, why do we not have Literary Societies anymore?  Why can't bookish people get together every now and then and blurt out all their bookish thoughts?  As a busy mom, I like the idea of a Literary Society much better than a book club - because I'm pretty sure if I started a book club, I would rarely make it through the assigned chapters before the meeting, and I'm pretty sure other busy women would have the same problem.  This way we could read what we like and just meet up to talk about what we thought, which is much less pressure than a book club.

So, I threw it out on Facebook, and before you know it we had our first meeting over coffee and cheesecake.  It was everything I wanted it to be, and one of my goals for October is to get our next meeting set up!  

We are still working on a name.  It's hard to top The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society.  I'll keep you posted.

If any of you are interested in starting your own Literary Society, I have a few suggestions...

Invite a bunch of people.  

Some of your best girlfriends may or may not be readers, so my suggestion is to put it out there for extended acquaintances and see who is serious enough about books to join!  We had five of us at our first meeting, and several more who will probably come this next time.  Some ladies I knew well, and some I didn't know very well - but talking books will help you get to know someone better pretty quickly!

Don't be snobbish.  

If you're the type who only reads high literature or classics, make sure you don't make someone feel silly if they like popular fiction - or vice versa.  Focus on making sure everyone feels welcomed and validated for their reading choices. One thing that I've learned is that not very many people read, period, so choosing to spend time on books in general gives you something in common!

(Note: Be welcoming of all kinds of reading choices, but do use good judgment too - our group is full of Christian ladies that I know well enough to trust not to be recommending something inappropriate or racy.  If your group is more mixed you may need to set a guideline for discussing racy or controversial books to respect each other's convictions.) 

Set up your Society plan.  

Our group decided to meet every other month to give us time to get through books between meetings (we're all busy moms), and we are all going to read The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society at some point, since it inspired the group.  Our group has kept it pretty casual as far as guidelines go, but depending on the mix of personality, politics, and faith, you may need more structure or discussion guidelines.  I'd say to keep guidelines as simple as you are able, whatever you decide on as a group, and make it clear that everyone is to be as respectful as possible to each other.

Make it fun!  

If meeting at The Cheesecake Factory doesn't make a book club fun, I don't know what does, but I'd love to hear your ideas on ways to make meetings interesting since our Literary Society is still in the early stages!

Have you ever been a part of a book club or Literary Society?   What was your favorite or least favorite part?


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Why I Won't Be Watching "This Is Us"

Last night I watched the premiere of "This Is Us".  It's probably not a show that I would have jumped to watch, except that I saw so many people mentioning it on Facebook the day after.  A Christian author (who shall remain nameless) even touted it as the possible next "Parenthood", so I figured I had to check it out.

Four Reasons To Love Sports Movies (GREATER The Movie Recommendation)

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and GREATER Productions. but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GREATERMovie #GreaterTheMovie

Confession: I have absolutely no sports ability; but despite this fact, I love sports movies.

There is something about a good inspirational sports movie that makes me wish I could have been on a team.  (But then that thought flits out of my head, because trust me, I am doing everyone a favor by staying off the field.)  Sports stories appeal to a few things that touch my heart, things that I want to teach my own kids - maybe while watching a good sports movie.

Sports movies remind us that we weren’t meant to do life alone.   

Sports movies reflect this in the most poignant way, because no player really succeeds unless the entire team succeeds.  And when when player is successful, it’s because their teammates have been there to help them along the way.  God didn’t make human beings to live alone, raise their families alone, or do life alone, and I think sports teams and movies are a good reflection of a deeper truth.

Sports movies remind us that hard work and doing the right thing pay off.  

Though sports movies are obviously about successes, it’s the parts where the players have to overcome obstacles to achieve greatness that are most poignant.  Does hard always pay off with your dreams becoming a reality?  No, not always, but it always pays off with good character, and I love when sports movies reflect that.

Sports movies remind us that true teammates are there for you even when you fail.  

One of my favorite parts about sports movies is seeing how the main character develops relationships with teammates, and how those teammates are there to pick them up and encourage them when they fail.  Everyone will want part of your successes, but true teammates are the ones who are there to give you a hand up and slap on the back when you fail.

Sports movies speak to that intrinsic desire to be a part of something greater.  

I think the main reason I love a good sports movie is because the best ones make your heart swell as you watch the individual players work together to achieve something greater, a goal none of them could reach alone.  I love that.  I believe that all of us were made to do something greater than just strive for our own success on earth - I believe we were made to bring glory to God, and we were made to do that together with others, and there is something about sports movies that speaks to that truth that God hid inside us.  

With fall and football season coming up, I am ready to break out all my sports movies and be inspired!  And if there is one sports movie that encapsulates everything I listed above, it is the new film, GREATERThis movie follows one of the greatest walk-on stories in college football, how Brandan Burlesworth went from an underdog to an All-American football player.  

The Brandon Burlesworth story incorporates everything I love about sports stories, and his story in GREATER makes the perfect inspirational sports movie.  It reflected the support Brandon had from his mother and family in achieving his dreams, and how he supported his teammates and they supported him in the wins and losses.  It showed his consistent hard work it takes for players and teams to be great.  It showed how respect and friendships develop among teammates.  But my favorite part of GREATER was the reminder that our lives serve a greater purpose than just what we can see on the surface.

GREATER was such a moving movie for me, and a wonderful one for a date with my football-loving spouse!  When the kids are a little older, I am going to love watching this movie together as a family!  There are so many good lessons and examples in GREATER, and I think it is a wonderful way to teach our kids about what is most important. After watching the movie with Derek, I was inspired to put together a few discussion questions to get the conversation going.

GREATER Discussion Questions:

1. When Brandon was a child, he was discouraged and bullied.  When did things start to turn around for him?  Do you think he would have been able to achieve so much if he hadn’t had some voices of encouragement around him?

2.  Brandon was told over and over again that he didn’t have what it took to play college football, and he experienced some failures - but he used that to inspire him to work harder.  Even if he was never successful on football, what other advantages do you see from his determination to work hard against the odds?

3. Brandon’s coach said character is what you do when no one is watching.  How did he display good character?  How does a person develop good character?

4.  Brandon faced a lot of bullying and name-calling, but he persevered in kindness and doing what was right.  Why do you think he did that?  What effect did it have on his teammates?

5. One quote from the movie is “Our loss is great, but God is greater.”  How did Brandon’s football journey serve a greater purpose beyond himself?

GREATER comes out on August 26th in select theaters (check to see if it will be available in a theater near you) - just in time for football season!  I highly recommend this movie and hope you all get a chance to see it!  Come back and tell me what you think when you do - this is definitely going on my list of favorite sports movies.

Watch the trailer below, and follow GREATER The Movie on social media for updates on when and where the film is released! 

What is your favorite sports movie?  Are you planning on seeing GREATER?

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Why I Watch The Bachelor

Writing this post strangely feels like writing a confession, but here it goes - I watch the Bachelor.

I was really late to the Bachelor train, since I only started watching with Sean's season.  Derek was traveling at that time, and every Monday night I would snuggle on the couch with a newborn Gwen and tune in.  I did the same in 2014 when I was pregnant with Clyde, and again in 2015 when I was pregnant with Clarice.  And now I nurse Clarice every Monday night while watching Ben make his picks (I'm not holding my breath on him finding a wife, but you never know).  I even rope Derek into watching with me, and my sister and I talk on the phone to discuss the Bachelor happenings.

Topic Dump

You know when there are some things that make you think "I should blog about this", but they never seem to fit into a post?  I'm dumping them all into this post today.  You are welcome.

"Our Show"

Derek is starting to travel more again for work, and I miss him a lot.  The summer was far too short for us.  I want to try to think of more date-type things that we can do at home, but for now we have a standard date on Sunday nights, watching "our show", The Hunt.

For those of you who don't know, I have been hunting big game since I was twelve years old - but this show is pretty hard core!  It's all about hunting Alaskan brown bears in Kodiak, but the way it is filmed is so impressive to me.  I honestly don't know how the cameramen get such clear shots of the bears, and they do a great job of presenting the stories of the hunters and guides, and the reason behind hunting (conservation). It's very well done.

These big bears are cannibalistic, and they will kill off any cubs they come across.  They may charge the hunters at any moment, which makes the show pretty exciting and scary.

(I was pretty much completely paranoid about the kids getting too close to this rail at the zoo, especially afar watching this show.  Those bears are dangerous!)

Anyway, it's a fascinating show.  Hunting shows have come a long way since I used to watch them with my dad on the Outdoor Channel when I was growing up.

I actually need some shows that I can watch by myself during the week when Derek is gone though - does anyone have a favorite show I should check out?  I get so bored and lonely when he's not here.  I need distraction.

A Free Gift

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I got an e-mail from a company called Red Envelope a while back, saying that they liked my blog and they just wanted to send me a gift.  No strings attached.  They didn't want me to review it on my blog or anything!  That has never happened to me before.  It was such a pleasant surprise, so of course I had to mention it on the blog anyway.  They sent us this cute little "tummy time mat" for Clyde - personalized and everything!  It is so cute and soft.  They sell lots of cute baby gifts, if you want to check them out!

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MOPS Publicity Team

I am serving on the publicity team for MOPS this year.  This basically involves coming up with content for our group's blog and running all online MOPS group activity - so I have been working on a new blog design for the last few weeks. I tell you, I have never had so much to think about for a blog design (I usually just design for myself, or a friend occasionally).  It's just different trying to come up with something for a whole group, as opposed to an individual.  I think it's almost done, and I am so happy.  I'm ready to think less about HTML and more about content.  

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(I saw the title of the book above and I jumped at the chance to read it - hoping for inspiration.)

The theme for MOPS this year is "Be you, Bravely".  I thought that was very appropriate since it was a big deal for me to tell the MOPS girls that I have a blog.  I don't know why, but I don't usually mention it people.  Anyway, if you see any brave-related resources, send them my way!  I need all the ideas I can get for content.  It feels different writing things for our MOPS blog.  Here I can just write whatever I want (as evidenced by this completely random post).

Some Exciting News

Finally - I have some exciting news!  

I have been a part of Tommy Nelson's "Tommy Mommy" program for a little over a year - this is the program that allows me to review and give away most of the children's books I post about on the blog.
Well, a couple months ago, Tommy Nelson asked me to join a team of moms who write for their blog!  I'll be writing a post for them once a month.  I am so honored that they liked my blog enough to choose me for the position, and I am so excited about my first post coming up next week - so keep an eye out for that.

We're also having a Tommy Mommy meet-up in Nashville in September - they are flying all of us out for a weekend!  I have never done anything like that before, so this is a big deal for me.  Have any of you ever gone to a blogger conference or meet-up?  Anything I should do to prepare?

That is all I have for now.  I feel like these type of list posts can be clumsy, but it is the best and easiest way to handle those straggler topics that I want to mention, but that won't take up a full post.  Am I right?  

Hermie And Friends DVD

We don't watch  ton of children's TV around here.  If I let Wyatt and Gwen watch anything on TV, I put in a pre-approved movie for them, referable one that teaches biblical lessons.

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Tommy Nelson gave me the opportunity to receive a Hermie and Friends DVD, and I thought it would be a great addition to our collection!  We received the I Will Trust God set, which included two Hermie and Friends episodes.

In the first episode, God tells Hermie (a green caterpillar) to build a boat.  He doesn't tell him why he just wants Hermie to trust Him.  Hermie obeys and builds the boat, and saves himself and all his bug friends from the upcoming flood!  It was a cute bug-version of a Noah and the ark story.

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The second episode is about Freddie the Flea.  Freddie realizes how talented all the other bugs in the garden are, and he starts to feel like he can't do anything special.  He has to trust that God has made him for a reason and has a plan for him.  

Hermie and Friends was created by Max Lucado, and he comes on between episodes and pulls the lessons out of the stories in cute conversations with Hermie.

I thought these stories were really cute, and I loved that the lessons were stated so clearly.  The kids really seemed to like the videos too.  Gwen giggled and bounced up and down at all the exciting parts, and Wyatt was enthralled through the whole thing.  I'd definitely recommend these videos - great movies to entertain young kids and point them back to God!

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Tommy Nelson is also offering one of my readers their own Hermie and Friends DVD!  Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!

Note: I received this DVD for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Lesson From The Bachelorette

So I have a confession.  I've been watching the Bachelorette.  

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That's a confession because after watching the Bachelor and learning that they have overnight dates I was sure I would never watch the show again.  And I still think that's pretty horrible.  I suppose it's reflective of where our culture is, but to include it as part of a TV show?  I still don't like it.

But back to topic.  I think with Derek being here and then gone so much, I just needed something to look forward to during the week, and so I got sucked in again.  I'm still evaluating if this is okay or not.

So I watched this last season.  And I watched the finale last week.  There was one thing that stood out to me.

In the "After The Final Rose" show, Chris was talking about when he felt confident that Desiree's feelings for him were the real deal, and he mentioned that moment when she told him he was the greatest man she'd ever known.


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I watched his face when he said it.  He absolutely lit up.  And then I wondered - when was the last time I told Derek he is the greatest man I've ever known?

I think every girl tells that to the man she marries in one way or another while they are dating or engaged.  That is a time when you are in love and carefree, when everything is fresh and new and exciting, when you want to say everything you are feeling because you are so in love.

Then after the wedding things settle down.  This isn't a bad thing.  You figure out who you are together as a couple, you get into a rhythm, and your love grows less heart-pounding and flighty, and more steady and deep.  

But in the midst of this deepening, I think it's easy to forget that your man still wants that affirmation.  He still needs to know that you think he's the greatest man in the world.  He fell in love with you when you looked at him with adoration and told him how wonderful he was at everything, told him how brilliant his ideas were, told him how great he was.

I think seeing Chris's face light up on the show reminded me of that time of early love in my relationship with Derek.  It made me think.  I know even more about Derek now than I did then, the good and the bad.  And I still think that he's the greatest man I've ever known.  

I want to make his face light up like that again.  

It was a good reminder to say the things that I sometimes assume Derek already knows.  Because he still needs to hear it.

Maybe these shows aren't completely worthless after all.

The Prodigal Pig (Review And Giveaway)

Wyatt loves his movies lately.  I don't let him watch too many, but he goes down for a nap or bed so much easier if he gets 15 minutes to watch one of his movies.  I was excited when I saw that Thomas Nelson was giving me the option to review a kid's movie, because I've been wanting to get more movies for Wyatt that have a biblical message.

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The Prodigal Pig is a spin on the story of the prodigal son.  Porkchop is a talented, musical pig who is tired of life in the farm.  He asks Farmer Bob for his allowance and takes off to make something of himself.  But before long he runs out of money and ends up in a cage (with a very suspicious man telling him that he will get paid to sit there and get nice and fat).  His buddies from the farm find out what happened and go on a mission to spring him from his prison, and Farmer Bob welcomes him home with open arms.  

This was a really cute DVD!  The animations were fun and colorful and held Wyatt's attention, and he loves animals, so that was a bonus! We both loved the country-style music as well.  Wyatt bounces and dances when he likes a certain song, so I know he liked the music in this movie.  Porkchop is actually played by Randy Travis, and Vince Gill and Amy Grant play some of the other characters, so I had a feeling the music was going to be good!

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I was also happy to see that they had some bonus cartoons and an option to watch the show again with pop-ups that show whenever a word that starts with "p" is used.  Wyatt has been really interested in learning letters lately, so we enjoyed that!  There were a few other bonus features that I didn't even get a chance to look at - bottom line is that I got a lot more than I thought I was getting with this DVD.

I also liked that the "other brother" figure in the story was included, but the story was finished.  I always was a secret sympathizer with the brother in the story of the prodigal son (which is another post), and the Bible never says if he changes his attitude or what happens to him.  In this story they had the brother-figure welcome Porkchop home as well, and I liked the happy ending.  

Definitely a fun movie to get for your kiddos if you are looking for one with a biblical basis!

Note: I received this DVD from Thomas Nelson for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.


Thomas Nelson is also providing a copy for one of my readers! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oscars and Movies and Stuff

I have a feeling this is going to be a slow blogging week - I've got a fairly large to-do list to tackle!  I started off this morning by crossing one off the list though - I mailed out Gwen's birth announcements!  I feel so accomplished I might just be lazy the rest of the day and watch Trouble With The Curve (from Redbox).  It's the little things.

Anyway, I have several movie-related things running through my head, so bullet points it is.

-We rented Here Comes The Boom from Redbox this weekend, and Derek and I loved it!  It was a good movie.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the story was good, it was humorous, and there were several positive elements too - like one of the characters talking about the story of Jacob wrestling God in Genesis, and the group praying before the final match.  I was wishing we had supported it by seeing it in the theaters!

Here Comes the Boom 3

-Speaking of movies and theaters, for the first time in my life I watched the Oscars.  Well, part of the Oscars.  I watched the red carpet coverage.  Did anyone else think Amy Adams looked so sad in her interviews? I don't know what her personality is like normally, but I like her as an actress, so I felt concerned.  Her dress was pretty though.

2013Oscars AmyAdams2

And also, I could not take that host - the Seth McFarlane guy.  He bothers me.  I was offended by the joke about Lincoln's assassination.  I don't care if it's been 150 years, it's never going to be appropriate to joke about that.  I get the feeling he was trying to offend people though.  I changed the channel shortly after, so I don't know what other inappropriate things he said, but I am not a fan.

Some movie called Argo won Best Film.  I haven't seen it.  In fact, I didn't see the majority of the movies they talked about last night.  I'm more of a kid's movie fan myself . . . why did I hear nothing about Wreck It Ralph (unless I missed it, since I changed the channel)?  That was the last movie I saw in the theaters.  No, wait, it was The Hobbit.  That was a good movie too (though not a kid's movie - hey!).

Overall, I sat down and watched the first half hour of the Oscars and laughed, because it's basically all these movie people getting together and patting themselves on the back, and telling each other how great they are.  And from someone who doesn't think most of Hollywood is that great these days, it struck me as funny!

Though someone should tell me what that Oscar mystery object was, because that's the only thing I missed that I'm curious about.

This concludes my thoughts on the Oscars.

-I find it funny that the Fonz in Happy Days was supposed to be this really cool guy, and yet the guy who played him was named Henry Winkler.  I like the name Henry Winkler, but I think Fonzie would have thought he was too cool for a normal name like that.  In fact, there probably could have been a whole episode with that plot, like the Full House episode where Jesse tries to hide the fact that his real name is Melvin, or Marvin, or something like that. Oh, the irony.

220px Henry Winkler Fonzie 1977

Disclaimer: I happen to like all of the names mentioned above - they are good, strong names! In fact Henry is a family name on my side, and I like it a lot.  I'm talking about fictional character's opinions of the aforementioned names only.  

What does this have to do with the previous two points?  Well, Henry Winkler played a music teacher in Here Comes The Boom.  Other than that, absolutely nothing.  It's just been on my mind.

-I clearly prefer movies aimed at children and/or older TV shows to most of the junk they make today.

Okay, that's it.  Glad I got that off my chest.

An Outside-Of-Facebook Friend



The other day Wyatt was taking a nap, and I decided to turn on the TV to see what was on.  And for those of you who have been reading for a while, yes, we got cable back!  It was really good to take a break from it for a year, and we probably will take another break in the future - but there is so much going on this year, like the Olympics and the election, and we decided to get cable again for now.

Anyway, I came across this show about women who hide their pregnancies, so I decided to see what it was all about.  But one of the stories stood out.

One of the girls on the show decided to hide her pregnancy because a few months before she had a son that was stillborn.  And when she shared this heartbreaking news on Facebook, hoping for some support, she got a grand total of 6 responses.  Out of 300 Facebook friends.

I found that to be so sad, and I honestly didn't blame her a bit for not wanting to share the happy news of her pregnancy after getting no support from her "friends" on Facebook or in real life.  I'm not sure I would want to share anything for a while after something like that either.

And it got me thinking - is this what the world is coming to?  A place where people can't muster up the energy (or even just the courtesy) to reach outside of Facebook in the face of a tragedy?  Worse than that, that these people couldn't even reach out properly within the confines of Facebook?  I find that so disturbing.

One thing that I dislike about Facebook is the fact that it does promote apathy when it comes to friendships.  It's one of the reasons I took a Facebook break not long ago, and why I limit what I share on it now.  I don't like the thought of someone just checking my Facebook page to see what I've been doing when they could call or e-mail me directly.  If they want to feel like they are interacting with me, the only effort they have to put out is one click on the "Like" button.  

I think it creates a false sense of friendship, one where someone can get all the benefits of knowing what is going on with their "friend" without having to put out any actual effort to find out.  Where they can feel like they are being a "friend" to someone without doing anything but clicking a couple times and hitting a few keys.

Obviously there are exceptions to this, like in the blogging world (all of our interaction is online by necessity!), or in the case of people who combine Facebook interaction with real life interaction, which I think is good.  

But it is not fine to see something so tragic happen to your friend and comment on Facebook but never follow up with them in real life to see how they are doing.  It is not fine to see an announcement of something so tragic and be so lazy in your friendship that you can't even take the time to type out an "I'm so sorry."  

That is not okay.  That is not a friendship.  And it frustrates me that someone could have the nerve to call themselves a friend to someone when they can't even be there, in the flesh, when they are needed most.

At the end of the show this girl reconnects with her friends, tells them the truth, and it appears that these friendships are on the road to healing after that.  And I'm sure they probably did reach some level of trust again.  But I don't think those people can ever reach the level in their friendship with this girl that they could have reached if they had just been there for her in the face of tragedy.  They've forever missed that chance. And that is sad.

I guess I say all this to remind you (and me) to take the time to be an outside-of-Facebook friend to someone this week.  Because the people who can reach outside of social media to touch someone else are the ones that are the true gems in the midst of all the people that social networks call our "friends".  

I don't want to just be a digital version of someone's "friend".  I want to be a supportive-on-social-media-and-in-real-life, all-in, gem of a friend to someone.  

I want to be a friend worth having.


Glee And Other Media Choices



These thoughts have been niggling in the back of my mind all week, and I decided I just had to get it out.

Last weekend Derek went to spend the night at his buddy’s place.  It’s been a while since he’s been able to hang out with this friend, and I was glad he had a chance to go.  My parents and siblings were unavailable to get together on Friday night and Saturday, and since I knew I’d be spending most of the weekend by myself, I decided to swing by the library on my way home from work and pick up a movie or TV series to watch when Wyatt was napping.

I ended up renting the first season of Glee.  I know, I’m a couple years behind on that craze, but after being a little curious about it for a while I decided to watch it and see what all the fuss was about.

As I watched, I had very mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I can see why it was so popular.  The premise of the show is interesting, and the characters are likeable.  The episodes are written in a way that leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next.

On the other hand, I didn’t feel good about what I was watching.  A lot of situations in the show are inappropriate.  As an episode ended and I went to get my boy up from his nap, the contrast between Wyatt’s sweet innocence and what I was just watching was very stark.  I felt like I needed to reset my mind in order to take care of him, because a lot of the behaviors of the characters are behaviors that are wrong and that I pray that my son never falls into.

I was sucked into five episodes before I realized that the show wasn’t going to get any better, and I packed it up to take back to the library.

Now, I’m left wondering how so many Christians think that shows like this are okay – and how I thought it was okay to watch five episodes before I turned it off.

Because it’s not okay.

Media choices are important.  They shape the way we think, they shape our interactions with others, they can shape what our kids think is right and wrong.  When a plot is entrenched in sinful behavior at every turn, and there is no “moral of the story” in sight?  That’s not okay.

And if we think that God doesn’t care about our choices in movies, music, and books, we are lying to ourselves.  He does.

I was embarrassed to admit to Derek that I had watched so much of something that is not “true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable”.  Or “excellent or praiseworthy” either (Philippians 4:8).

I’m not telling you what you should or shouldn’t watch, because that’s between you and the Lord.  And I’m not trying to just pick on Glee, because there are a lot of shows and movies that would make or have made me feel the same way. This isn't the first poor media choice I've made, and I'm sure it won't be my last. I'm not directing this post at any one person.

What I am suggesting is that maybe Christians in general (myself included) should overlook a little less when it comes to media choices, and call sin what it is, rather than willingly letting it into our homes and hearts and minds.

All I know is that if Jesus came back right this minute, I wouldn’t want Him to find me watching Glee.

Image credit.

No TV Update


I remember you mentioning a while back that you had gotten rid of your TV? (or at least cable?) I was wondering if that's something you are still doing, and if so, how has it changed your daily life? Do you miss it at all or do you feel the better for it? Share more about how that counter culture decision has impacted your family.

This is a great question, and I definitely owe you guys an update!

We still don’t have satellite TV.  We have been without satellite TV for about five months now.

I have to be honest and say that I still watch more TV than I probably should.  When I feel tired or just want to “veg out”, I end up putting a movie on.  I feel like I still need to work on this, because I think my time would be better spent reading than watching a movie.

That said, I watch way less TV than I used to now that we no longer have satellite TV.  I used to turn on the TV in the morning to watch something while I ate breakfast, and it would just end up staying on all day in the background while I did other things.  When I did this, Wyatt ended up watching the TV more than I wanted him to, and I feel like I was less productive than I could have been.  It also ended up being a huge time-waster for me, because sometimes I would get wrapped up in a show and spend more time than I meant to being completely lazy.

Now, if I do watch TV during the day it’s just a movie in the afternoon (not every day), or a movie or TV show episode on DVD with Derek at night (we still have a Netflix DVD-in-the-mail plan, but not instant streaming).

I feel like not having the satellite TV service available has given me the opportunity to let my creative juices flow.  I like that I’m doing more DIY projects or writing more, instead of watching TV, or even just having the distraction of having the TV on.  Derek and I definitely spend more time playing games together than we used to, because even though we could watch a movie, we don’t have new OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         movies or shows to watch on-demand.  I love that we spend more time playing games together – we have a lot of fun.

I still feel like I need to be more intentional about not watching movies in the evenings though.  We watch less TV in the evenings than we used to, but there is still room for improvement.  Derek would probably watch less TV than we do right now, but sometimes I just feel like I want a break and we end up watching a movie.  The room for improvement is mostly with me, because TV is my time to just sit down, rest, and not have to think for a while, but I could find healthier ways of accomplishing those things. 

If we wanted to go all the way with this, we would get rid of Netflix and that would force us to cut down even more, but I don’t think we’re quite ready to do that yet.  We may consider it in the future.

I do think that not getting satellite TV has made both Derek and me more sensitive to inappropriate references or situations on TV.  Commercials these days are getting ridiculous.  There is still some of that in some movies, but we have a lot more control over the movies we watch than the commercials that come on. 

If we decide to stick with this long-term (we’re still trying to make that decision), this would be a major benefit, because I love that Wyatt wouldn’t grow up seeing that stuff on TV.  If we do get satellite again in the future, I think I’m going to implement a strict no-tv-while-the-kids-are-awake rule when they are little, and just let them watch pre-approved (by me) movies.  But then, what’s the point of that?  Derek and I mostly like watching movies anyway, and Netflix takes care of that, so we don’t really need satellite TV service.

I can’t say we never miss having satellite TV, because sometimes we do miss watching certain things, like football games, or the news.  I’ll probably end up spending election day at my parent’s house next year so I can watch the coverage. My one show that I miss watching is “19 Kids And Counting” – I like keeping up with what the Duggars are doing.  But aside from those things, I don’t think we’d go back to it, at least not right now.  We have our moments, but in the end we are kind of enjoying this time of not having satellite TV.

Please let me know if you have any other questions for me about this!

From The Comment Box

You know that post I did about Gilligan's Island a couple weeks ago? Brittney had a comment on it that I thought was really challenging, so I wanted to share it today.

"I was just reading some of your posts and was really struck by your Gilligan's Island post (funny, I know.) You mentioned how incredible and intentional it was that a person had the ability to rescue the marooned but chose not to. It reminded me how intentionally we choose not to share with others about our faith when we have the answer to be "rescued." I think alot of times people say that it is not intentional, they just forget, but I would disagree. When you have such wonderful news you'd think all would be shouting it from the rooftops - doing their best to get the marooned off of the island."

She brings up such a good point, and it's something that I need to get better at - we should be excited to tell others about Jesus and not shy away from a conversation about our faith, just like those people in Gilligan's Island should have told the authorities about the castaways so they could be rescued!

Thanks for those thoughts, Brittney! Who would have thought such an important moral could be hidden in old episodes of Gilligan's Island?

A Three Hour Tour (Echo *A Three Hour Tour . . .*)

When I was growing up, we used to love watching Gilligan's Island. I like that kind of goofy humor, and everything used to be so innocent and fun. Not like TV shows today.

Gilligan and Maryanne were always my two favorites. My sister and I (ever the matchmakers), thought they should get together. We couldn't really make up our minds if Ginger should go with the Professor or the Skipper though.

My favorite episode is probably the one where they find "super seeds", and the vegetables they grow give them amazing abilities - Gilligan becomes super strong because his favorite vegetable is spinach, Mrs. Howell becomes hyper because she likes sugar beets, and I think it was Maryanne who got great eyesight because she likes carrots!

Of course, in many of the episodes, their attempts to get rescued are ruined by Gilligan. Poor Gilligan. It's not like he means to mess up. He's just trying to help.

This all came back to me, because I've been borrowing movies from my mom lately, and I borrowed an old season of Gilligan's Island.

Watching it as an adult, it struck me how many times someone finds them on the island, promises to help them get off, then gets off the island themselves but never sends anyone back for the castaways!

You know it must be intentional, because how do you forget that you met seven people marooned on a little island? They usually intentionally decide not to mention it, because it would somehow be detrimental to their interests if the passengers of the Minnow were rescued.

How can these people live with themselves, I ask you?

Though, if you had to be marooned on an island, Gilligan's would be the one. They have fresh water, plenty of food, a variety of animals, a volcano that provides hot water, natural gas, plenty of good fishing.

Not to mention you'd be marooned with the Professor, who can pretty much make anything out of the resources available on the island. You wouldn't be without a radio, because they rescued that from the ship. And fun stuff is washing up on the shore all the time.

Sounds like a great place for a vacation, really.

Did any of you watch Gilligan's Island, or am I the only one? What is your favorite old show?

P.S. Click on the pictures for the sources of the images. And if you are a Gilligan's Island fan, you should click on the second picture for an article on "What Gilligan's Island Taught Me About Life". I enjoyed it.
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