Friday, November 30, 2007

Anonymous No More . . . . . . .

As I have told ya'll in an earlier blog post, a few other ladies and I are about to start a blog where we post reviews on pre-teen and teen books. We decided to this after receiving the email circulating about the Golden Compass movie based on the books by Phillip Pullman. Pullman has left little doubt about his book's intended meanings when he said in a 2003 interview that "my books are about killing God" and in a 2001 interview he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief".

Now, I don't require that the books my children be "Christian", but I do require that they are not anti-Christian. I also don't want them to have bad language, sexual situations, drug use, etc.

But, how do I know what's in those books. There are no book review sites that give the kind of information I want to know. For movies there are many: Christian Spotlight on Entertainment and Plugged In Online to name a couple. Movies have ratings, books don't.

My son had actually read the Golden Compass book, and was just starting the third in the series. After finding out about how the books get progressively more anti-Christian, we returned the third book to the library - unread.

So, this new website will be an effort to try to inform parents about what books their children are reading. Reality is, I just can't pre-read every book my son wants to read. But, if several people help out, we'll have a great start on a place to look for suggested readings, or warnings of those to avoid.

I SAY ALL THAT TO SAY - I AM NOT GOING TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS ON THIS BLOG! On Monday I will begin using my real name and introduce myself all over again. The reason? I have friends I want to tell about this new review blog. I am too scatterbrained to be able to keep two "personalities" going on the Internet - I would eventually slip up.

So, come back Monday - and we can all properly introduce ourselves! I'm so excited!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Note from an Overprotective Mom . . . . .

I had the comment below left for me recently by a reader in regards to my review/opinion of the movie "We Are Marshall" . In the section where I stated what I felt about if it was OK for kids this is what I said:

OK for Kids? Well, I let my 12 year old watch this, but if I had of know how much bad language was in here, I may have rethought it. It was the sh*t word or the da*n word like 10 times or so. Yes, it's a great story, it's inspirational, and no sex. But I don't like my 12 year old hearing swear words thrown in with regularity (even mild swear words), thinking it is ok to use in normal conversation. The Christian Reviewer here suggests it for teens. Put it this way, if my son had a friend over, I would not let them both watch it.

Anonymous said...
Lol. I'm sorry I really had to laugh. You don't allow your 12 year old to even hear the word damn? You have to be kidding me. Very sorry, but in 6years time the world is going to eat him alive.

OK, it's not that I don't allow my 12 yr old to hear the word "da*n", he hears it every day at school and aftercare at the YMCA. It's that I feel like when I show him a movie, when I watch it with him, that if there is bad language in it, or sex, or drug/alcohol use, then it is saying these things aren't so bad, it's OK to watch stuff like this. And at his age, no I don't feel like he should be watching movies with that stuff in it. I don't want him desensitized to those experiences. The more you are around something, the more acceptable it becomes.
Yes, I am pretty conservative on the TV and Movies I allow my kids to watch. They don't watch much TV (only on the weekends during the school year). And because I have such a range in ages (6, 10, 12) if the 12 year old is watching TV, it has to be something OK for the 10 and 6 year old to watch. Today they are all going to see the Bee Movie and are quite looking forward to it! (We have a XBOX game, some Sonic game where every time he dies he says a curse word, I think it is "s*it". - They must turn down the volume when they play that game.)
Is it so wrong that I don't want my 12 yr. old hearing a bunch of cuss words on TV? Guess what - I don't allow them to say a lot of words that other people say. Words such as shut-up, or butt, or OMG, or freakin' or crap, the list could go on and on. But, those words just don't sound good coming out of the mouths of children (or anyone else for that matter!). I try to teach them to be more creative and thoughtful when speaking.
Do I think he's going to be "eatten alive" when he is 18? No. My son is one of those types of people that gets along with most anyone. He is funny, athletic, smart, and polite and well mannered. He is surviving the 7th grade at the public middle school he attends, he's very much in the "real world" (more so than I wish he had to be), and he's still expected by my husband and I to behave. To avoid using bad language, to be nice, to be polite, to avoid violence when possible, to be responsible for his actions and decisions.
This world, our society, are trying to tell you that sex before marriage is OK, that sex with anyone, anytime is OK. That using bad language is OK. That stealing because you want something you don't have or can't afford is OK. That you don't have to work for what you need or want, the government will give it to you. That violence in the face of poverty or desperation is understandable. That saying the "f" word, smoking pot, getting drunk, all are fine, they are just part of a cool kids life. I don't agree with any of that. And I am trying to bring my children up so they don't either.
When I was growing up, my divorced parents were very busy, tired and somewht uninvolved in my day-to-day life. I watched what I wanted to watch, my Mom even took me to "R" movies when I was 12, I spoke how I wanted to speak, hung out with people I shouldn't have, went places they never knew about. And I suffered the consequences of those actions/decisions for many, many years. I am trying to teach my children to live better than I did. To make good choices. To make right choices. To live in a way that honors Christ.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And the Winner is . . . . .

Today is the drawing for my PASS IT ON book giveaway. The book is - The Elevator by Angela Hunt. Congrats to the winner - and thanks everyone for entering!

The Winner Is . . . .

ChristiS at Blah Blah Blog!

I used the to draw a number!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I will post my next drawing the first week of December!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Deceptively Delicious or Sneaky Chef?

OK, the idea of adding spinach to brownies and avocado to chocolate pudding sounds great - as long as the kids eat it!

Seriously, what parent wouldn't love ideas on how to make their cooking more healthy - and squeeze in a few more nutritious ingredients into food we will be making anyway?!
Apparently a couple months ago there was a controversy that one of these authors was getting more publicity than the other, that one may have "stolen" some recipes, etc. I think overall, the controversy helped both ladies sell more books.
So, do you have either of these books? Do you like it? Do your kids eat the food? Favorite recipe in the book?
I'm thinking about asking for one of them for Christmas - your opinion will help . . . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do You Know What Your Child Is Reading?

A couple weeks ago, many of you received the Email warning you about the upcoming movie The Golden Compass. Finding out about this movie which is based on a book - troubled me. My son has read 2 of the 3 books in the series, and was actually in the midst of reading the 3rd. I had no idea that the author and the content was so anti-religion and anti-Christian. My son is an AVID reader! He panics when he finishes a book and doesn't have another waiting to be read. The library is one of his favorite places to be.

I can not read every book he wants to read before he does. I do read the jackets, and turn some of his selections down. But that is not a very thorough way to determine if a book is acceptable or not.

A few blogging friends of mine were discussing this last week and have decided to start a community blog where we read and review pre-teen and teen books from a Christian perspective. This way, like I do with movies, I can go to this website and read a review that presents information on the book so I can make an informed decision on if a book is OK for my teen to read, or not!

We have a few bloggers who have agreed to participate, to read 1 - 2 books a month and post reviews.

We want this to be a God-centered endeavor, something that would glorify Him.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting new blog, leave me a comment or email me. And if you know of anyone who may be interested, send them my way!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hamster Advice?

OK, so I am thinking my 10 yr. old daughter will finally get the Hamster she has been wanting for the last 5 years - for Christmas. I am not a big rodent person myself. I had hamsters when I was a kid, and I'm over it. But she is a HUGE animal lover, and I think she's old enough to clean up after it herself.

When I was at the pet store the other day, there were many different types of hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc. Any suggestions on what to get? I thought the black/brown hamsters were cute, but they cost more. I need something gentle (the 6 yr. old will want to hold too), low maintence, etc. Any cage suggestions? Big, small, medium, toys, etc. . . . .

I do know - no stairs. I had a hamster who would take his food out of his bowl, put it under the stairs, and eat it while under the stairs. Well, he ended up one day, getting too fat to get out from under the stairs (we were away for the weekend), and died under the stairs.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Jill!

For those who don't know Jill at "Who Could Ask for Anything More", let me assure you - you are missing out.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon her blog about a year ago, but in that year I am sure I've visited her blog 5 out of 7 days of most every week.

She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me think.

I remember feeling so robbed as I looked back at my childhood - we never celebrated May Day. I mean, who knew? Gifts on May Day? Jill enlightened me . . . .

I, like her, haven't drank a glass of milk in about 20 years, but unlike her, I love all things cilantro . . she inspired me (to make some homemade salsa, heavy on the cilantro) . . . .

Her love and devotion to Doug, make me want to be as good a wife to my HWH. Yeah, my HWH is as handy as Doug, but not as motivated . . . . Jill inspired me - to motivate :)

Jill's touching words about all her children, leave me never wanting to be away from mine, so for the next 444 days . . . . . . (well, OK, I do have a cruise scheduled, so I'll have to say for the next 444 days I won't part them, in spirit.)

I'll never forget her admitting her fear of one of her children dying, and the learning to trust God with that fear, she said "and I must remember that Adam's little hand, if it should slip from mine, will be caught without fail by God's". I squeeze and hold my little one's a bit tighter now.

Jill, Happy 40th Birthday! Enjoy this day that the Lord has given you - just as you do this life that you have chosen and that chose you . . . . .

To Jill, Love Doug . . . .

Doug has asked Blogging Friends of Jill's to post this sweet note he wrote about/for her . . . .

Birthday’s can be difficult. Milestone birthday’s can be devastating. To some more so than others, but to most people…they really seem to matter, to an extent, anyway. (How’s that for covering both sides of the fence?)

That is most people, except my wife Today is her 40th birthday and my co-conspirators I call BFOJ’s (Blogging Friends of Jill’s) have allowed me the distinct honor of being a guest columnist.

My hope is that wherever my wife goes within her circle of BFOJ’s today, she will see this message and know how much she means to me, not to mention how much the BFOJ’s think of her for letting a grizzled hack like me hijack their fantastic and very personal blogs.

Rather than do the traditional acronym exercise (J = Jazzy!) or the “40 Things I Love About My Wife” entry, I thought I would share the four most wonderful things about Jill -- the things that make me love her more every day.

She loves my older kids – Not everyone who marries into a new family will connect with the entire crew, but Jill never missed a beat. With my older kids, she accepted them and loved them – at first simply because they were my kids – and now because of who they are. She treats them with kindness, respect, gives them guidance on chores and other responsibilities, but is very respectful of their mom and never tries to “mother” them. She educated herself about Bay’s food allergies and is very cognizant of his limitations when planning and preparing meals. Rarely a day goes by that she doesn’t make a special version of our family meal just for him. Many times Jill has invited Kendra to come along to the salon to get their nails done. At 11 years of age, Kendra has always gravitating to older girls and more mature activities and this is a special way for them to spend time together.

She loves my parents - I can’t say I was ever really “close” to my folks in the sense that I sought them out for advice about life. So I wasn’t sure how that dynamic would play into my relationship with Jill. She has such a kind heart for that generation and quickly threw her arms around my folks and loved them unconditionally. Since we first met, my Mom has passed away and my Dad has endured a mountain of health issues. Through it all, Jill has been a steady, loving partner. In fact, on the occasions when my Dad visits, we have to make some alterations to the house to accommodate him, his wheelchair, his walker and his personal needs. Jill not only goes with the flow of the décor disruption, but lovingly plans meals that my soon-to-be 82-year-old father doesn’t get as often as he would like. It’s amazing how a simple plate of fried eggs and bacon can light up a proud man. My favorite time of our visits is in the evenings. Jill typically beats me home from work and when Dad is in town, they have usually already cracked open a new bottle of wine. Dad isn’t afraid to ask for service and Jill takes great pleasure in keeping his glass full. It is a precious time.

Her patience – Full disclosure: patience is not my strong suit. In fact, it is probably my greatest weakness and barrier to volumes of peace and happiness. That said, I find myself much more patient in the last four years in so many areas of my life (hmm…coincidence?). If you look up the word PATIENCE in the dictionary, you see a picture of Jill. Despite the chaotic nature of our house, I have rarely seen her react with desperation. In fact, I just see her continuing to raise the bar. As my patience has improved, she get even MORE patience. Her thoughtfulness and patience with Adam is uncanny…not that all mothers’ don’t have that nurturing gene…but even after a solid 10 minutes of whining about something that I find unintelligible…Jill merely says (for the umpteenth time)…”Adam, use words to tell Mom what you want.” She is amazing.

She makes our house a home – Imagine buying your first home together…and it’s already 27 years old. Granted it was in good structural shape, but the majority of the décor was stuck in the 70’s. Over the past two years, Jill has developed a beautiful vision of how our house should look…how it should become a home. We started with dark wood throughout and some of the most exciting beige paint you could imagine. We’ve progressed to vibrant colors, amazing window treatments and bright open spaces. The original kitchen was hideous, but is now a show place. The powder room was engulfed in mind-altering striped wallpaper but now looks like a museum exhibit. She goes bits and pieces forward as time and budget allows and every step of the way she is filling the gaps of her master plan. We’ve both said that this home is the first, last and only one we will ever buy and we joke that our next stop is either the Retirement Home or the Funeral Home. We want a home in which we can build family traditions and memories and one that the kids will want to bring THEIR kids to. We want to grow old right here. Together.

There are obviously many more things that make Jill the woman to whom I have given my heart and want to give my life. She is the woman I dreamed of marrying. She is sweet, but tough, Honest and direct. Kind and loving. She gives without request or expectation. She nurtures with care and patience. She loves unconditionally.

Truly…I am blessed. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #13
Brock Gill - Hidden Agenda
Starring: Brock & Auny Gill
Rated: N/A
Type of Movie: Live footage of Brock's Show
Theater or Rent: Neither - you have to buy here
Description: Forget what you know about illusionists: no cheesy tuxedos, no rabbits to pull out of hats. Brock Gill leads a new generation of edgy, daring illusionists, amazing audiences across America with his unique live performances and mind-blowing street magic...
OK for Kids? I would say yes to the illusions. However, at the end is a short "play" that may scare/confuse kids younger than about 10.
Opinion: Our family watched this together one evening during a "family night". We all were awed by the illusions. With these creative, different shows, Brock and Auny reach people and communities with the message of Christ. Many of the shows feature "extreme sports" demos and other "cool" attractions to draw teenagers in to the shows. The Gill's are having fun and reaching thousands of teens with the message of Christ. I haven't been to one of their shows . . . . YET! Would make a great Christmas gift to a teen son!
Brock's Blog: Life With Brock Gill
Brock's Website: Brock Gill - Creative Evangelism
Auny's Blog: Life on the Road and have a copy of the show Brock did for Discovery Channel - The Miracles of Jesus.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Big Step . . . .

My darling daughter (10 yr. old) got invited to go to the beach with a friend for 2 nights. I have never allowed her to go out of town with anyone not related before. My eldest (boy) does often, but I know his friend's parents very well from church. This girl is a friend from school (public school). She's known her for a few years. I've met the mother on several occasions and talked to her about various things. I've been in her house. I like her, and trust her, what I know of her, but I don't really know her well. My daughter has spent the night at her house several times, her at mine. I'm nervous. But, we did tell daughter she could go. We reviewed sleepover rules: don't be alone in a room with a male, don't watch shows/movies you know you shouldn't watch, be polite, behave, use good language (my version of what is good is very strict compared to what many at her school use - no "OMG" - no "stupid", "fart", "butt", you get the picture. If it had been anyone else at her school I would have said no, but I feel OK about this family.
I'll be praying without ceasing this weekend.

Now, on to eldest. he is 12, in 7th grade, and acts exactly as such. The other day my Mom babysat while I went to a PTA meeting. When I got home she asked where the old version of eldest went. She said she missed old version. I replied, "so do I"! He never has a kind word for his siblings, he argues with me whenever I try to talk to him - he is driving me crazy. He is a very smart boy - I think he must be at that stage where he feels he's smarter than his parents.
Joy, joy!

This past week was probably the worst of my year so far. Lots of things just went wrong and took me away from things I needed to be doing. One thing seems to be going right, something I hope to tell you all about soon . . . . . .

Have a great weekend! We have a HUGE football game tomorrow - rivals playing each other. We have about 30 people tailgating together - it should be a great time. Hope we win!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Heard about this website the other day while listening to Rush.
True Mom Confessions - Motherhood is Hard, Admit it. - this is a website where women go to "confess" things. From silly things - such as:
"When the phone rings, I sing.."the phone...the phone is riiinggging. The phone... I'll be right therrrreee."
To more intimate thoughts that are obscene with bad language.

Personally, I do my confessing in private prayer.

Sometimes it comes out as complaining - and my sister has to listen to it. Not sure what I think of a whole website (actually there are about 5 or so, one for dads, military families, office confessions, etc.) dedicated to confessions.
Would you ever use the confessional website?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Heart For Africa

I have always had a special place in my heart for Africa. I believe God plans for me to visit and more importantly pray. I could go on a whole diatrabe on my opinions of Africa and the problems, solutions, etc. . . .
But it all comes down to Jesus. He is the only one who can heal Africa. It is only through Him that true change will occur in Africa. And it is happening.
Phil and Lori Hunt are missionaries in Zambia. They are helping out with Faith Children's Village Orphange and Central Africa Baptist College.

My children and I decided to be a sponsor of one of the children at the Orphange. They will be using a portion of their allowance, supplemented by me to make the $25 a month committment. I am happy to find out about this program. Often I have been tempted to give to other African charities, but you know, I'm always unsure of how the money is used, etc. I know with this donation, that our money is being spent well. Hopefully, one day, we can go visit the child we sponsor!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Because Books are Too Precious to only be read once . . . . PASS IT ON OK, finally, another book giveaway! I messed up sending out my last FALL FREEBIES giveaway, I didn't know if I'd ever recover (I got the packages mixed up and sent to the wrong ladies, then had to fix it. Trust me this Fall was not FREE for me!)

I guess the lesson here is to only have one winner at a time! Then, I can't send it to the wrong person!
The Elevator By Angela Hunt

In the path of a devastating hurricane, three very different women find themselves trapped in the elevator of a high-rise office building. All three conceal shattering secrets—unaware that their secrets center on the same man.
The betrayed wife, eager to confront her faithless husband, with rage in her heart and a gun in her pocket…
The determined mistress, finally ready to tell her lover she wants marriage and a family…
The fugitive cleaning woman, tormented by the darkest secret of all…
As the storm rages ever closer, these three must unite to fight for their lives in the greatest test of courage—and faith—any woman could ever face.


This was the second Angela Hunt book I've read, I enjoyed it, it was a quick, fun read. I didn't want to put it down - I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I found all the characters interesting and believable. I have to admit there is one aspect of the two books of hers that I have read that always irritate me a bit. SPOILER COMING UP HERE - DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. In both her books that I have read - Uncharted (my review here)and The Elevator - people die. And I didn't want them too. Not telling you who - just that they did.
Anyways, hope you enter, hope you win, hope you read it then PASS IT ON!
Home of the original PASS IT ON BOOK GIVEAWAY - Pay It Forward at Overwhelmed With Joy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Movie Review #12
Rush Hour 3
Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan
Rated: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content, nudity and language
Type of Movie: Action, Comedy, Crime, Martial Arts, Sequel
Theater or Rent: Not at the theater, have to rent. Visit RED BOX for $1.00 rentals!
Description: After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads' secret leaders.
OK For Kids? No, this is an adult movie.
Opinion: More of the same. If you saw Rush Hour 1 or 2 - this film is not much different. I'd say it will be the last - but who knows. Entertaining. Predictable. And at times I really feel it was a bit forced.

A full review here.
(2 stars out of 5)