Friday, July 22, 2011

A Surprising Movie

The other night, David and I watched a movie, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.  Alyssa Milano is the starring actress and as the movie began, we weren't sure we liked her character.  She is working in a coffee shop and she meets one guy and gives him her phone number.  Immediately after another guy walks in for coffee and she also gives him her phone number.  The plot continues with her dating these two guys and we didn't like that.  We kept wondering how is she doing this without them knowing or suspecting?  But it was intriguing and we're glad we kept watching.  The ending is surprising and endearing and turned around our initial impression of her entirely.  It is a good movie, romantic, funny, and I would watch it again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Last week I spent the week with my very good friend Amy.  She and I stayed at her house with our youngest children (three each) while our husbands and oldest daughters (two each) attended Coram Deo the Higher Things Youth Conference in Bloomington, IL.

Since our friends are going to move, I had told Amy that I would gladly help her pack boxes while our kids splashed around in their pool.  But we didn't.  Not that first box.  Even though the kids were in and out of the pool constantly every day.  Instead we spent the first two days sitting and talking.  We discussed all sorts of homeschool ideas, figured out a good plan for the coming year's history, and went over the plans for our fall trip to Camp Luther.

By the end of that second day, Amy found out that her garage needed to be painted soon in order for the loan process of the buyer to proceed.  So for the next day and a half, we scraped and painted her entire garage.  It was hot.  It was hard work.  But it was fun, and painting is one of those instant gratification projects that really puts a smile on a face.

But that wasn't all we did.  Each evening we watched movies on instant Netflix.  Here is the rundown.

The first night we watched For the Love of Grace. We didn't like it.  We didn't think the actors had any chemistry.  We thought the plot was lacking as was the lighting and dialog.  It all seemed obviously fake, just like the main actress's facial features.  This is definitely not a movie you should see. So to not go to bed on a bad movie, we started another one.

We watched Maid in Manhattan.  I had thought it was one I had seen before, but as the movie progressed, I realized I had never seen this movie.  This movie was definitely better than the first.  The characters had a lot more chemistry, and the plot seemed more realistic.  We could both get lost in the story unlike the other where we never forgot it was a movie.  I liked this movie and would watch it again if the person I'm with would like to see it, but it isn't one I would necessarily repeat.  If you like a nice love story don't count this one out, give it a try and see what you think.

The second night we watched Sabah. We thought this movie would be an interesting look into the Muslim culture.  But instead, it brought more questions than answers.  Like, why can the women wear provacative clothing at home?  Why was the wife of the brother, who now was the head of the family, able to be out in public without the head covered, yet the other women couldn't?  Why would that man be so interested in Sabah?  What was the attraction?  Why did Sabah do what she did?  Would the family really be the happy-ever-after ending they portrayed?  Even though, it was interesting and I do think I'll watch it again with David and get his opinion.  Who knows, I might even like it better the second time.

Wanting to watch a second movie, we picked Outsourced.  This was another interesting movie.  It showed some of the culture differences, like the Indians love of bartering and their un-American toilets. The main character was never fully developed, he seemed quite one-dimensional, and not always likable.  We also thought that the story-line could have been more developed and not so flat.  It seemed to jump to the conclusions one expects in this type of movie, but doesn't do a good job of showing the character's progression.  Simply one day the main character liked India now, and by the way it has only been a short time even though the perception was one of much longer time passage.

The third day, after having painted three-fourths of the garage, we watched the movie Arranged.  This by far was my favorite movie of the week.  I think it was for Amy too.  The two main characters were beautiful and charming.  The dialog was often very real. I would comment about how that would have been an actual conversation between two girlfriends.  I liked how it showed a positive picture of arranged marriages and of young ladies who are confident in themselves to defend their beliefs and non-wordly ways to an annoying outsider (the principal).  I also liked how it showed that one can be in the world and not of the world.  It simply was a fascinating movie and I highly recommend it.  I liked it so much that I had David watch it with me when we got home (he liked it too), and I want to see it again.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Snip, Snip, Snip

We arrived home from our wonderful afternoon of playing in the lake quarry at Hidden Paradise to find my mom in front of this pile:

Mom never does anything small
She got them from a local farmer who had called that afternoon telling her they were picking the bean field and to come and get them.  She went, thinking she would have to pick them like last year, but was delightfully surprised and forever grateful upon arrival when the farmer just gave her the beans off the truck.

So after changing out of my swimsuit and eating a quick supper of Papa John's, I sat down and began helping.  Lapful after lapful of beans we sniped, and sniped, and sniped, and sniped.  It helped to be sitting in front of the tv and watching HGTV, which we don't get at our home.  We snipped enough for mom to fill two canners full, and to have two canners full the next morning.

After breakfast the next morning, I continued to put lapfuls of green beans onto my lap, putting the snipped ends in one bowl, and the snapped beans into another.  Mom helped snip in between watching the canner, making sure the pressure didn't get to high.  The kids took turns snipping and playing, snipping, and playing, snipping and playing.

Meanwhile my long marathon snipping routine finally ended mid-afternoon.  Mom's canning marathon, however continued.  Finally after supper, the work was completed.  From that big pile to 71 quarts of green beans, ready to be placed on the shelf and enjoyed in the coming year!

Yes,  I'm taking some home with me!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Hidden Paradise

A couple of years ago while visiting my mom we spent a wonderful day at a local quarry swimming hole.  Yesterday we went back.

As you can imagine, we didn't have any fun jumping on the trampoline, or climbing and sliding down that very boring slide, or simply floating around in the lake.

Everyone wears life jackets because the bottom is some 40 feet below.
Abby and Sam are in the blue jackets jumping off the other side.

Nathan is on top, and Abby and Sam are on either side, David is in the water with the thumbs up sign.

Oh no - time to fall in!
Maybe the next time we go, I'll have a better zoom lens in order to capture the fun better.  But as it was, I simply took a few pictures from the dock and then went and had fun myself.  I wasn't going to take my camera out there with me, I don't need pictures that bad!

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I was once again lying on the hammock in my mom's yard.  I was starting the book, Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady by Ronald Kessler, that my mom had picked up in a garage sale.  David was lying next to me reading A Little Book on Joy by Matthew Harrison.  I hadn't gotten very far in the book, when mom came home from her errands and told me I had to get to work.

Work?  On Vacation?  What's that?

But I got up and went to work.  The fruits of my labor?  The very best peach pie we've had in a long time (those peaches were so yummy!) and an apple pie we'll enjoy today.

As my friend Ruth says, "those are carbs worth eating!"  Oh yes they are!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Remember Her?

Amy Chua really got part of the world in an uproar with her article and book.  Yesterday, I finally read her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Laying in a hammock in my mother's yard, made for the perfect afternoon to begin and finish the book.

It was a good read and I recommend it to you. Ms. Chua definitely learned that Chinese parenting doesn't work for all children and I applaud her for loving her daughter more than loving being a Chinese mother. I could learn to be more of a Chinese mother.  But Ms. Chua could definitely benefit from knowing Jesus Christ who loves her, died for her, and who gives the meaning to "living life to its fullest."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Thank Goodness I'm Not Prone To Dizziness

So much has been happening this week my head is spinning.

Doxology for David, Strawberry picking and freezing for the kids and I, friends, family, pool fun, a death in the congregation, and so much more.

If it ever slows down and I have time to think, I just might be able to post again about something.  What about, I don't know, my brain is currently surging on what has to be done now.