Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amistad vs Titanic... are you kidding me?

I finally saw the movie Amistad last night, and I can't believe it took me 10 years to see it! For those who don't know, Amistad is an amazing movie by Steven Spielberg, and this plot summary on IMDB.com succinctly describes it better than I could:

Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. It is carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba, taken on board, and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque, who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. They continue to sail, hoping to find help when they land. Instead, when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves. They don't speak a word of English, and it seems like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decides to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. The case finally gets to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release.

came out the same year as James Cameron's Titanic, and my favorite movie As Good As It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. The reason I'm flabbergasted about the movie vs Titanic is because of the awards that were bestowed upon the movie. Amistad was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Music (Original Dramatic Score by John Williams). It won none. Zero. Zilch. I can count on one hand the number of awards it won overall from the slew of award presentations throughout the year. Why? I have no clue. However, Titanic, which admittedly was beautifully done, with breathtaking music and fine acting, won ELEVEN Oscars. It was a great movie, and I remember getting caught up in the Titanic hype, but to now be a bit older and wiser, and cannot believe that it won so much and Amistad won so little. My favorite movie, As Good As It Gets, won Best Actor and Actress that year (Nicholson and Hunt) and even I am flabbergasted that Nicholson beat out Anthony Hopkins, or that Djimon Hounsou (as the "lead" African, Cinque) wasn't even nominated!

I watched this movie, on the edge of my seat, often weeping openly at the atrocities depicted toward these Africans aboard the slave-trade ships, and literally jumped to my feet for joy when they are victorious in the Supreme Court at the end of the movie. It is everything a great movie should be. And Spielberg wasn't even nominated for Best Director. Are you kidding me? I guess I'm feeling now what many people probably felt 10 years ago!! Anyway, if you are looking to Netflix a movie and choose this one, prepare yourself. It is gore-ishly violent, but it is necessary. I think you will agree that this movie deserved more than it got.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I hope these work!!

We will be traveling for several hours in the car tomorrow, so I was wanting to find a good pillow for the girls to use w/ their booster seats while they nap. I hate the way their heads droop down, it looks soooo uncomfortable. Well, I'm a cheap-o and didn't want to spend $15-$20 on a fancy pillow for the car. So, I found one that I liked online and made it myself! I even tried it myself, and it's really comfy! I may have to make another one just for me! I figure we can use them on the airplane this summer when we go to San Diego also... Anyway, it was really simple: I got a yard of some soft material (different pattern for each girl) and I cut out a candy-cane shape. Then I turned it wrong-side out and sewed around the edges and left the end open so I could stuff it. Then I turned it right-side out and stuffed it w/ cotton batting and sewed up the open end. Here are the finished products!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pastor Tim Wheat... AKA Indiana Jones!!

Every Father's Day, our pastor does something over-the-top to introduce his sermon. They always show a pre-taped video on the big screen of him doing something funny or extreme, and then he comes into the church at the end of the video doing something related to the video... One year he did a golf video and came into the sanctuary in a golf cart, one time it was a motorcycle video and he rode in on a Harley. This year was the best!! They did an Indiana Jones spoof, and in the end he comes running in from the back of the balcony and rode a zip-line from the balcony to the stage!! It rocked! The video is grainy (it was on my cell phone) but you can get the idea... At the beginning of the video I tried to get footage of the big screen where it shows Indiana Jones busting into the window of a building, and then when the figure looks up at the camera, it's Pastor Tim. Then it shows him running to a door, and when he opens it they shined the spotlight on the door at the top of the balcony. That's when you see him run in wearing Indiana Jones garb...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Rude!!

This morning the girls and I went to the Summer Movie Playhouse at the Cinemark Theater... it's only $1 per ticket, and they show kids movies that have already been in the theaters recently (Bee Movie, Charlotte's Web, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) Sean stayed w/ Mimi so I could have quality time w/ the girls, and it was really nice. We got there 20 minutes early because I knew it would be busy, and by golly if it wasn't packed! By the time the movie was supposed to start at 10am, they still had a line of people outside waiting to get in. There was a young woman behind me w/ three young children trying to find a seat, and her youngest was in a wheelchair. There was a whole row of handicapped accessible seating seats in the theater, but they were all full. There were 4 "pairs" of seats w/ a wheelchair accessible space between them, and then a place at the end w/ three seats next to a spot. She needed the three seats for her and the two other kids and the wheelchair space for her youngest. When an usher came in to check the seating situation, the young woman told her the problem. The usher said she couldn't ask the woman to move from the seats. The mother said that under the People w/ Disabilities Act that her son had the right to sit in those seats. The usher then said she could ask the lady to move, but if she refused she couldn't be forced to move. The mother asked if she could ask the lady to move, and the usher said that was fine. So the mom went down and you could see her talking to the other lady. She came back and said that the other woman refused to move! By that time another lady (a lady I actually know named Tracy) came down and asked if she could help. She said the noticed the problem and that the mother was upset. The young mother was near tears and explained the situation to Tracy, who offered to go speak to the woman in the seats. She went over and you could see her waving her arms and pointing to the young mother. She came back and said the lady still wouldn't move! So, the usher offered to bring in some seats for them to sit off to the side w/ the wheelchair, but by that time the mother was so upset that she just wanted to leave. I couldn't believe it! The woman in the seats was asked several times to leave an area that was designated for someone w/ disabilities, and when someone showed up that needed the seats she refused to budge. For a ONE DOLLAR movie!! All I have to say is KARMA! I may not believe in the New Age idea of Karma, but I do believe "what goes around comes around"... Incidentally, the movie usher came back in after the movie and announced that they would be holding another $1 movie date on Thurs also to accomodate more people.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Colonial VBS

This week at our church has been Vacation Bible School (VBS), and it's been exhausting but fun! The church used to do VBS in the mornings, but opted to do it at night this year so that more people could be involved (i.e., people who have REAL jobs during the day!) So, when I was asked where I wanted to work for VBS, I immediated requested the nursery. Normally, babies wouldn't go to VBS of course, but if you're a volunteer and have young children, then they come to VBS also. So, 4 yrs and under come to VBS if their parents are working, and that means the girls get to come also! We have 7 babies in the nursery and 5 workers! It's so great! I almost feel guilty, but since I teach 3-yr-old AWANA Cubbies during the school year, I kind of feel like I deserve an easy job for VBS... that's just my own justification I guess. Anyway, I work w/ the most fun ladies, and we basically sit around and talk about childbirth, in-laws and sex. The babies don't understand us, so we don't care! *lol* We don't really talk about sex, but we do get pretty graphic w/ the childbirth stories. Last year myself and another friend 36 and 34 weeks preggo while working the nursery, and one lady had just had a baby the week before. This year there is one pregnant worker in the nursery, so that's always good fodder for conversation. It's always so interesting to hear other people's labor & delivery stories and baby experiences. It's a nice break from the kids and I get good time w/ Sean in there, since he doesn't get a lot of alone time while the girls are home for the summer...

The girls are having a blast also! They are so happy to see me by the end of the night, but they talk non-stop about what they did in their class also. The parents are given a sheet of paper that tells us what they learned about in class that night and questions we might ask to reinforce what they learned, so last night I saw that they learned about Moses's sister, Miriam, hiding him in the reeds from the soldiers (Exodus 2), and how we should try to help our family. I asked,
"What did you learn about in class tonight?"
Sarah said, "Um... we learned about picking up toys, loving God and helping our friends!"
Wow! So, I asked, "What was was Moses's sister's name?"
"...and what did she do?"
"She hid Moses in the reeds!" I was so proud!
I asked, "What else did you learn?"
Sarah said, "We should pick up our toys and that's a BIG help to mommy and daddy!"
Now if they'll only apply that train of thought...
Tonight their story was about the men who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof of the home so that Jesus could heal him (Mark 2) I asked them,
"Did you learn about the man that his friends lowered him through the roof to Jesus?"
"What did Jesus say to the man to heal him?"
Sarah said, "Go out of your bed!!"
Aubrey said, "No, get up and walk!"
Sarah said, "Go up out of your bed AND walk... whatever!"
At least they're learning...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blog Again...

After taking a multi-year hiatus, mainly due to internet message board overcommitment and just plain LAZINESS, I've decided to take on the task again. My girls are becoming such little people now, and I don't want to miss sharing one little anecdote!

Just a quick update: Sarah and Aubrey are now 4 years old... going on 12!! They are really displaying their independence now, trying to tell Mommy what to do a lot and getting very upset when I tell THEM what to do. I'm told it's normal, but I'm not enjoying it at all. However, they are also learning that they can get more things when they use manners, so it's not unusual to hear Sarah ask me, "May can you get me some juice?" or Aubrey give me a sweet hug and say, "You're the best mama!" before asking me for something. Aubrey Linda is quite the manipulator! They are really blossoming into pretty little girls instead of cute toddlers now, and sometimes I just stare at them in amazement at how beautiful they are becoming...

Aubrey Linda in the sun and Sarah Grace in uniform

They now sleep in bunkbeds, Aubrey on top and Sarah on bottom. They are doing really well with it, and it's created more room for their things so that I can finally get all their kiddie stuff out of the family room and make room for baby Sean's things.

Oh, yeah, did I mention I have an 11 month old baby boy also! *lol* To steal a phrase from my friend Jennifer Gordon, "My girls were the icing on the cake, but Sean is the corner piece!!" Since I started with twins, I never knew what it was like to have just ONE baby at a time. Six wee
ks after I had Sean, the girls started a 3k program at a local private school, and I was home with ONE baby from 8am to 3pm. I tell people that I felt like I was getting to have a "first baby" experience, without the nervousness of being a first-time mom! He's a very good baby, too, who has a very calm demeanor and I have to admit he's pretty darn cute!

Life is never dull in my home, and since I don't have a job outside the home, I'm sure I will be sharing my experiences on this blog often... it's like talking to myself but also sharing it with everyone else!