If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 3 dogs, and a whole lot of love.

Family Story Pic

Family Story Pic


Friday, June 29, 2012

Just in case you wanted my opinion: My review of Magic Mike

I've been waiting for this for months.  My Facebook page tells you how highly anticipated this movie was for me as I counted down the days and hours until our Girls Night Out last night at midnight.

Channing Tatum.  Exotic Dancing.  What could go wrong?

Well, let me tell you...

Magic Mike
Drama / Comedy
Rated R
Starring:  Channing Tatum & Matthew McConaughey  (Does anyone else in the movie really matter?)

Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.

I just realized my mistake.  My only research in preparing to see this movie was watching the official trailer they released....repeatedly watching the trailer.  Now that I'm typing this review, the description "Drama" is a big red flag as is the critics description of the plot.

My misconception was that it was strictly a comedy about the lives of these gorgeous dancing men.  I would be lying if I told you I didn't know it would have a raunch factor.  It's about exotic dancers.  Please.  I expected that I might have a few uncomfortable moments and possibly a slight battle with my conscience as I sat through the dancing scenes in between the love story where the girl becomes more important than the lifestyle.  But, as it turns out, the exotic dancing scenes were actually a welcome relief from all the unnecessary filth of the scenes in between.  I honestly don't want to waste much time rehashing this trash on my blog.

This movie could have been great.  We wanted a comedy.  We wanted a chic flick.  We wanted to unite as a group of women and scream together as Channing Tatum lit up the screen with his dance moves.  We didn't want to leave there forever UN-attracted to Matthew McConaughey.  We didn't want the dark serious underworld of drugs.  We didn't want to be disgusted by the characters and their behavior.  And we sure as heck didn't want to see a tiny pig eat someone's drug induced vomit...*shudder*...sorry, but I've been traumatized here.

To my knowledge, the girls in our group left feeling the same and I'd take it a step further to say that most of the women in the theater felt that way too.  Initially, there was an air of excitement.  Women showed up wearing home made Channing Tatum fan t-shirts.  A huge line formed.  The all too serious mall cop wannabe ticket taker seemed ready for trouble.  He almost got his wish when two of the girls from our group used their charm to sneak into the theater early to save our front seats.  Or when he seemed to take notice of my "pregnant" belly that was actually a bag of smuggled popcorn shoved down my shorts.  And he definitely had his hands full when they had technical difficulties and had a near riot on their hands.

By the time the movie was over, the excitement had died and women left in silence.  Afterward, a few of us sat in a dirty Waffle House, trying to console our minds from what we'd just seen while our waitress unabashedly stood beside our table and listened in on our conversation.

But for good or for bad, an experience like this bonds you together.  Granted, I won't be able to make direct eye contact with these girls for awhile, but when we finally feel clean again we'll realize our friendships have been taken to a new level and we'll have Magic Mike to thank for that....and the memory of a bag of popcorn that went untouched and thrown away because apparently these women won't eat popcorn after it's been down someone's shorts. 
Oh, NOW we have standards...


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just in case you wanted my opinion: My review of Madagascar 3

Z and A are away on a youth trip this week so that provided the perfect time to take K and C to see the (much hyped) Madagascar 3.  That should have been my first red flag.  So without further ado, let me try to save you some money....and sanity....

Madagascar 3:  Europe's Most Wanted
~Rated PG 
~Starring:  Ben Stiller; Jada Pinkett Smith; Chris Rock

"Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style."

I was actually excited to see this.  Although I didn't see Madagascar 2, I was a fan of the first one.  I love animated movies for kids, but that also provide an equal amount of entertainment for their parents.  Shrek, Toy Story, Tangled, etc.... Love them all.

Rating this movie PG is like suggesting "Parental Guidance" for Tom & Jerry cartoons.  That's all this is for the first hour of the movie.  Pointless animal chase scenes where regardless of what happens in the middle, you know they're going to get away.  I was the twisted kid who secretly rooted for Tom the cat.  Just once.  Throw me a bone.  Give me a surprise ending.  Eat the da** mouse, already.

Granted, when the Madagascar crew joined the circus, it got slightly more entertaining, but this movie lacked any draw for the parents.  If you're a fan of adult humor disguised in a movie for kids, you're going to be disappointed.  It offered very few adult laughs.

But K liked it and C was thrilled with it so that's all that matters.  It's one of those movies that I'll be willing to buy for my kids as long as I never have to sit through it again.

My Grade for Madagascar 3:  D-
But apparently the 5-13 yrs crowd would highly disagree.

Friday, June 15, 2012


All the time-consuming chaos from the past few months was all leading up to one big finale.  Z's graduation party last Saturday.  When I envisioned the week after the party, I was leisurely floating on a raft at our perfectly cleaned house.  WTH was I thinking....

The party was a success.  Plenty of food, lots of family and friends and an evening of fun.  Other than the occasional need to empty a trash bag or restock bottles of water, I had things set up to run themselves so that I could be in hostess mode and visit with our guests uninterrupted.

Unfortunately, I forgot to request that my husband please not tackle me into the pool during the party.  My bad.  I remember struggling, then feeling us both plunge head first into the water.  I remember wondering if we just killed innocent children who were floating in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I remember rage-filled thoughts as he rode me down to the drain at the bottom of the 8 ft deep end.  And when I finally rose to the top, I remember the stabbing pain in my right ear.

I finally broke down and called the doctor Monday and made an appointment for Tuesday.  The doctor I hadn't seen in 2 years because I can't stand going to the doctor.  In my desperation, I agreed to see the nurse practitioner, who I always refuse to see because I believe she's incompetent.

Monday night, I took Tylenol PM at midnight.  At 1:40am, my eyes popped open when I heard the distinct sound of a 5 year old who's about to vomit in the bed beside me.  In my drugged stupor, I pushed her off the side of the bed while yelling "RUN TO THE BATHROOM" in that slow-motion voice.  Then I lay in my bed and helplessly watched as she projectile vomited cherry limeade and chicken nuggets all over my room.  The front of my husband's dresser, the carpet, computer chair, computer desk, computer screen, computer keyboard....pretty much anything connected to the computer...before leaving a trail behind her when she finally ran to the bathroom. 

Six short hours later, I arrived at the doctor's office to discover that my son had once again neglected to return my credit card to my wallet.  I sent him a really mad text.  We're talking all caps, people.  This was his response:  "I laid it by your purse. I thought you'd see it. I guess we're both to blame for this."

After being diagnosed with an ear canal infection, I picked up my drops and stopped at the library to administer my first dose.  I parked in the spot directly in front of the library fountain. I use the term "fountain" lightly.  It's actually a large metallic gold monstrosity with what appears to be a faucet that must never turn on because I've never seen water in the thing.  I don't ask, because I don't care.  I just wanted my drops.  As I'm sitting in the van with my head tilted to one side waiting for drops the consistency of molasses to roll down my canal, an elderly lady pulled her car into the spot directly across from me on the other side of the fountain.  Then she gunned the gas, sped over the parking curb and hit the fountain.  THUNK.

She casually backed away from the fountain, off the curb, back into her spot, turned off her car, removed her walker and teetered into the library without a second glance back.  Maybe this happens often.  Maybe that's why the fountain doesn't have water.  Maybe I'm the lunatic in a sane world where no one asks questions like, WTH?!

That was just Tuesday.  What happened to lounging on a raft?  Oh yeah, I've been forbidden to swim for 7 days per doctor's orders.  What happened to my perfectly cleaned house?  Oh yeah, a 5 year old reenacted a scene from Exorcist and spewed vomit while her head spun in circles.

Which brings me to this morning when I felt an undeniable urge to order my next Beth Moore study. A study on Esther about how hard it is to be a woman.  I was on the final step of the check-out process with my hand on the mouse and the little arrow hovering over the words "Place Order," debating what to do. 

With my heart beating wildly from fear of what God has planned for me now and whether or not I'm  ready for the ride, I thought....WTH....*click* 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We're baaaaaaack!

On the day K turned 13, Z graduated from High School.  Right after the ceremony, we left for our favorite place. 

Quiet, peaceful and dignified Hilton Head, Island.  Doesn't exactly sound like our kind of place, does it?  That's part of the fun.  When we drive across that bridge, I can practically hear the Beverly Hillbillies theme song.

We don't premeditate our antics, mind you.  (Well, usually.)  But material always seems to present itself.  And this year, it didn't waste any time.

Check in is at 4pm.  We arrive at 11am.  This happens every year.  Last year, we stalked our condo until we saw the cleaning lady leave and then we moved in.  What we weren't expecting, was the visit from the cleaning inspector.  I'm not sure who was more surprised when he let himself in and we were sitting in the living room soaking wet from our visit to the pool.  Thankfully, not naked...yet.  I had stomach cramps till Wednesday, convinced they were going to kick us out.  They didn't.

This year, they simplified things for us.  We arrived to discover that the peep hole to our front door had been removed.  When we put our eye up to it, we could see directly into the front of the condo.  From all appearances, the cleaning lady had come and gone. But before my husband could start unloading the van, I voiced my concern about the cleaning inspector.  He made fun of me.  I finally convinced him to at least wait until we returned from the bicycle rental, buying us a little more time.

When we returned, Z ran to the door and pressed his eye against the peep hole.  Then he screamed out in surprise when the cleaning inspector looked back at him from inside.  So we did what any quiet, peaceful and dignified family would do.....we took off running and hid behind our van.  Yeah, we did that.  Then the dilemma became, how will we know when she leaves?  That started an elementary style argument between my husband and Z that went something like this:  "You look in the hole."  "No, you look in the hole."  That exchange was still repeating when the cleaning inspector rounded our van on her way to her next stop. 

We rock at first impressions.

And that began our 7 day adventure on Hilton Head Island.  An adventure that included a visit by Tropical Depression Beryl.  Most vacationers let that stop them.  They missed out.  Beryl brought giant waves.  I may have come close to drowning in the giant waves, but ya gotta live on the edge sometimes.

We enjoyed a lot of bike riding adventures.  Whenever we would pedal away in our Von Trapp family line, Z would crank the Benny Hill theme song on his iPod.  That was especially appropriate the day he was wearing his morph suit. 

Speaking of the morph suit, that made many appearances on this trip.  As did Security Guards when store owners freaked out.  But he quickly discovered that when he stayed out of their establishments, he was very popular.  He stood like a statue and had people wondering if he was real.  When they would get close, he would move and scare the crap out of them.

That became a regular activity throughout our week, as did periodically wearing his graduation cap and gown on the beach, then walking around with his hand up in the air like he was blessing people.

It wasn't all fun and games, though.  I almost stepped on a snake, I had a slight accident in my pants when K rear-ended Z on her bike before falling off and when we were out shopping, I got trapped into buying a pair of shorts when they didn't have a dressing room and I opted to strip down in the far isle that suddenly filled with people and I couldn't change back.  Yeah, that wasn't hard to explain to the cashier as she ran the scanner over the tag hanging off my butt.

Quiet, peaceful and dignified, right?

Hey, it's only one week out of the year.  Or so it was.  Somebody at our resort didn't get the memo about our family and accidentally sold us a Timeshare for September.  Forever. 

Don't worry, Hilton Head Island.  We're usually tired by September.  Kind of quiet.  Maybe even peaceful.  Don't hold your breath for dignified.

Just for kicks, here's a link to another way we entertained ourselves on the beach this year.  

The goal:  Freak out the joggers.
Mission accomplished.

Causing the bike wreck was just an added bonus....