Sunday, December 29, 2013

Several things I learned during this Christmas break

One thing I learned is that the movie Enchanted is absolutely fabulous!  I have never seen it.  My children had seen it, when we sat down to watch it together the other night.  They were convinced that I had seen this movie before.  Nope!  This movie is so cute, and so clever.  I was glued to the TV the whole time. If you have not spent two hours of your life watching this one, I highly recommend it.
While I was watching this movie I watched a Disney message.  The message was to little girls.  It highlighted personality traits in the D. princesses that are important to their successes.  These traits did not include, wears high heels with great finesse, big boobs, or perfect hair and make up.  The traits were things like, fearlessness, courage, creativity, and ability to laugh at oneself.

Another thing I learned is how fun it is to watch this movie with your children--once they are six years old or so.
This movie is so funny, and my children were laughing their heads off!  We just sat down to watch it last night.  Our tree is down, the Christmas decorations are put away, but I have been wanting to watch this movie for weeks and last night I decided to buy it off of cable on demand and just watch it!  We did and we laughed and laughed.  An eight year old boy, boobie trapping this house, and using a map to set up the traps to catch the bad guys...this is an irresistible plot for a six year old little boy.

Another thing I learned is how fun Zumba is!  We received an Xbox 360 Kinect from Santa.  It has a sensor so you can play games with your body.  So, Zumba is a possibility for my now.  No going anywhere etc.  I just go into the living room, and start to dance.  It saves your data and you earn new songs and post cards etc.  SO FUN! :)
It's a good thing I heard that Disney message b/c I certainly need to be able to laugh at myself when I am attempting Zumba moves in my living room! :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Consider the source, and ask yourself, "do I care?"

This is my soapbox post for the past several weeks!
It has been rumbling around in my head.
For several mornings the news kept having blurbs about how "US students perform in Reading, Math, and Science compared to international peers."
First of all --does anyone else notice that this "report" comes out every year since the beginning of time, and {we}--the United Statesian students have {never} been at the top?
Second of all--has anyone else ever noticed how the press reports this as some impetus to make all school teachers, parents, kids, and other school related people scramble like hell?
I think to myself--oh, oh, oh!! We better scramble so we can do better than those....{whoever}--pick a random country --and I bet they are {ahead} of us on the this {list}.
So I have to ask...who compiles all this data, and what are they using?
Then I ask--do I really care?
Do I really care that our fifth graders do not {read as well} than those of {pick a country}, when
all of those people are gonna be scramblin to
be educated in
OUR UNIVERSITIES???
If we are all so dumb here...why in the world do all of these countries have to send their
{genius} students to get an education here??
ugh...aren't all their smart{er} than ours people starting up some stellar houses of higher learning there?? ugh...
Also, if I am going to compare myself to someone, I think I will pick a {someone} who I might look up to, or aspire to be like in some way.
So what in the hell difference does it make if people in China or Romania, or {whatever} place read better than our children in third grade...have you listened to some {other news} about big Red lately??
Their cities are so polluted that they cannot breathe outside on many days.
People have become so desperate to grow and grow infrastructure-wise--and Real Estate-wise, that they have whole cities built, mimicking other cities in the world..
with no one
living there..???
Have  you seen any of their students in an interview?  It can be very sad to see troubled minds that have been stretched and worked to the edge, but not stimulated.
No thanks.
Do I want my children to be learning robots--not if it means that they do not use common sense.
I am very thankful that {most} of our US cities...with all of our sub-{par} students--have air that is decent to breathe!
Nope, I want my children to learn age-appropriate material, at a steady clip--provided by college educated, very smart teachers who understand childhood development.
I want them to see funny movies, go on hikes, bake cookies with me, and shoot b.b. guns in the yard. I want them to go to church and then eat at Grandma's on Sunday afternoon.
If one of them happens to be the kind of {genius} who is smarter than all of those {smarter} than them children all over the world--well, then I am sure nothing I do will stop them from learning all they want to.
I am very thankful that our population is made up of lot of common sense people who know how to fix things and build things when we need them--even if they can't {beat} other students in some
arbitrary metrics that get reported on the
{news}.
So, the next time you start feeling {terrible} about how {dumb} our U.S. babies are...just think...
Who did this measuring?
Who am I being asked to compare myself to?
Is my kid really dumb???
Then turn the TV to the Home Garden Channel, and ignore the hell out of that
{data}.
Gotta get off the soap box now and check out this house that these cutie pie twins have completely overhauled this house for this cute couple.
Man!-- Jonathan and Drew, they are {smart}--must be Canadian (I think they actually are.) LOL

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Re-cap

 I received some handy-dandy costa del mar sunglasses from my hubby. :)  This is such a stretch for him...going to buy name brand sunglasses for me!  --He laughs at name-brandy things (b/c he likes to buy mostly cheap stuff).  BUT this time he took my 500 hints since last summer, and he cruised in like a champ to our handy dandy favorite store downtown and hooked me up! :)
 This is my mom sporting a scarf and some cool olive dishes from Sevilla--our annual package is really the best part of Christmas presents for us.  The letter that came with it this year from Spain was quite distressing.  If you want to read some news..Google the spain situation right now--it ain't perty.
 Elena and Kit got a hot dog stand from Santa.
 Eva got a leap pad ultra--a {purple I-pad} just for her, thank you very much!
 V-man got some Star Wars Pjs from P-barn...and an Xbox...we just had a lot of fun opening presents, can you tell??  Victor bought this toboggan for Elena.  He took a lot of pride in going out to buy each of us something this year.  --Which makes my heart melt, to be honest. :)
 Elena and I spent the morning yesterday making Cake pops!  It is very very very fun. :)
We took them to dinner last night at the Hill's house, and they were gone in a flash! :)
 And you know, no Christmas is complete without a little pageant action.  This picture was taken in the Church I grew up in, and the one Andy and I got married in --coming up on 13 years ago.  My children sang songs--into a microphone, solo!--It was absolutely wonderful!--No video camera was available..so it will have to live on in my memory.

 This was after their performance.  Andy is sporting his beard from November!  He just keeps waiting to shave it. :)
And finally today.  These are Hill cousins.  We ate pancakes this morning.  And I took down the tree. Andy took it out to the woods, and the cousins declared that I am the GRinch! :)--no worries.  I was just ready to clean house, and there was a spark of energy.  This has been an awesome Christmas season.
I hope that each of you has had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season.
We did not send out a card this year, so I hope this re-cap will suffice. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soapbox in the Stadium

Raising a little boy has made me think differently about so many things.  I have to consider situations and information that I never would have if I were not raising someone who, one day, will be a grown man.  For the most part, my life has always been about being girly, somewhat a feminist--always on the lookout for someone being a sexist LOL!
Now, I listen out for messages that are sent to little boys in the media etc.
Recently this whole football {bullying} has been in the spotlight, and then {very quickly} it went away.  Did anyone else notice this?
I mean one week in mid-November everyone in the media was talking about this mean/ugly football situation in which grown men were being so mean to one another, that one of them was run off from a million dollar job!
Whether he was bullied or not, the language of what was said was striking to me.  The guy who was accused of being the {bully} was using all the language he learned in Anthropology 101 (he must've really taken that class).  He was passing off all this meaness and foul language as the "culture of pro football"  I kept thinking he sounded like an idiot, and then Andy sounded in on it.  He was listening to CNN one morning, half-asleep, and he said, "That is not culture!  That is harrassment in the workplace!"  It is not someone's culture to go and be subjected to physical and verbal assaults! ick!
Has anyone else noticed that this has just faded right out of the spotlight??
I am still curious about it.
As much as I do not like football, this is really sad for football too.  Having Victor is making me come around on this one a bit.  He loves to watch football, and he wants to play it.  Football is a game.  Football is a game that is rough, and very physical.  Football does not have to be, and should not be, grown men saying horrible things to one another and threatening sexual assaults.
On to another little football tid-bit.
The one about the helmets.
The NFL seems to be {conveniently} sweeping this one under the rug too.
Which, to me, is like pissing in the ocean...keep sweeping..the crumb pile is going to be too big soon and you are going to be tripping!
250lb men running into eachother on with full force, head first--There is gonna be TBI!  There just is, point blank, no doubt about it!
Do I blame the NFL?  NO!  I think this is a case, just like boxing (which I love to watch, by the way).  My philosophy on boxing has always been...those men know they are going in there to get their ass kicked, and their faces punched in, if they still pick to do it, hell, I'll watch!  They know they want that money...
Football is the same way..those men cannot sue anyone!  If they thought that they were going out on that field and run into other grown men, and not damage their brains...their brains were already damaged at baseline!  This is common sense...look at what they are doing! --duh!
The Only reason I know about most of this is b/c of coverage on CNN--the NFL and college football are all really big, important news there.
The state of legislation that is tearing apart the nation's public schools...nah! not so much!
Maybe we can just raise all the little boys to live in the {culture} of the NFL--they can make millions, be complete meat heads, and entertain us all!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Superlatives (UNC football game)

 This post has a whole long story, and even though the pictures put themselves first, please, read the story too! :)








For the longest time there has been a post in my head rumbling and rolling around in my head and I have just neglected to post it.
Does anyone else notice that in our media and in our culture everyone looks for a superlative, even if the superlative is so contrived and was so hard to come by that it does not even make any sense.
I could give examples, but instead of writing that post I decided to write one about our fun weekend in Chapel Hill! :)
Last weekend we went to Chapel Hill to the Duke UNC football game because Victor WON tickets.
He was awarded tickets for being one of the TOP students academically and all-around at his school.
The UNC athletic department decided to do some public outreach, and I must say, we benefitted. :)
We woke up earlier than anyone else in town to get ready to go, we were all soo excited!  Probably the most excited we have been in a while.
Andy got home from working in the AM and he took a shower and we were off!
We had the easiest drive ever....all the way to the east side of Chapel Hill.
And then at 10:30 we hit the worst traffic I have ever seen on 15-501!  It was a parking lot!  Victor was in the backseat DEVASTATED!  We sat there for an hour and a half--and heard the game begin on the radio.  I am quite sure that Victor was crying harder than anyone else on that highway.  At that point all of Andy's exhaustion overtook him and he began to lose his temper as well.
ick.
At that point Victor insisted that I change lanes and get in the lane that was creeping just a tad faster and we finally got moving.
We cruised in the back way and thanks to my better than anyone else's memory (LOL) we got moving.  I dropped everyone off and they began walking to the game.  I went to the farthest parking lot away!! and I parked the car.  Then Eva and I trekked it to the game.  We pulled the sneakiest trick ever and snuck Eva in with no ticket--She had to pretend to be a three year old (LOL).
Once we got there we were truly in Carolina heaven--on the sunny side--in the best seats ever!
We got lucky and we were sitting beside some friends of ours! 
Eva was the best behaved four year old in the stadium! and we stayed the whole three quarters that we were there to see. :)  After the game we trekked back to the car.  We arrived at the car to find the worst traffic back up any parking deck has ever seen.  We sat in the car for a minute and decided "Oh no! There is fun to be had if we walk back up to Franklin St. and eat and walk around."  So we got out of the car and executed the best plan two parents ever came up with to avoid traffic.  We took the kids on a tour of campus, and drank some of the best water on the planet from the Old Well, and then we ate at Linda's--Andy's favorite bar of all times.  After that we had a cab ride back over to the parking lot, b/c no one would want to walk that far again..you know?  (That was part two of the best plan ever)
Then it was off to a hotel over by South Point mall--the best mall in the world!  We played in the hotel and went to bed so we could rest up for a day of fun looking at the mall decorations and riding the escalators. 
Overall we had the best weekend!
...and that post about Superlatives, well I will get to that one later. ;).