Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

December 27, 2013
Merry Christmas to all! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to all! Happy New Year!

I’m trying to stay off the computer (FB in particular) for these two weeks the children are on school break but my smart phone is replacing it and I still check e-mail and am beginning to really like Instagram. Really–I’m only on Instagram to stalk my child. Really.

Nothing out of the ordinary for Christmas, just having the Chief home has been great.

Both children managed to throw tantrums on the 21st and 22nd (one each day) and after 5 hours of shopping on the 23rd I was feeling pretty depressed about a lot of things. The freezing rain did not help. How did we go from 70 degrees on the 21st to 38 degrees on the 23rd? My mood improved for Christmas Eve at my in-laws and Christmas Day at my folks.

T2 is under the weather with a confirmed ear infection. I took her to the clinic on the 26th and didn’t even notice I was wearing two different shoes.

The girls and I have been overloading on Doctor Who (maybe too much, according to the Chief who would like us to be a little more productive).

But it has gotten me thinking: if my friend can have a Harry Potter themed 40th birthday (keep in mind, her birthday is just after Halloween), can I have a cosplay costume party for mine? Would anyone come? The Chief will be at sea so he shouldn’t be bothered by the logistics of such an event. T1 would love to come to the party as Katniss and doesn’t think it would cause too much damage to her reputation if I threw such a party.

So if I don’t get back on here to post for New Years, I’ll be on shortly after that. The Chief and I are trying to make plans for our anniversary…



Opening Up A Can of Worms…

December 27, 2012

Everybody parents differently. Everyone has different standards.

So I posted the question about which movie to go see with my mother and daughters today. Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Les Miserable, or Parental Guidance. I wasn’t personally interested in seeing the first or fourth choice but my mom had mentioned Parental Guidance more than once. I really have to be in the mood to see a comedy. And watching a movie about familial dysfunction however humorous with my mother is not entertaining. My mother is not that into fantasy so I wondered about the Hobbit. When the original LotRs all came out we saw them with my in-laws. The final LotR the Chief and I saw solo because the girls were now of an age where they actually stayed awake for a film. So that left Les Mis … but being a disgrace to all those that call themselves English Majors I have neither read the book nor seen the Broadway play. I have caught snippets of the PBS anniversary special featuring Nick Jonas though. So I know it is about the French Revolution. War. War can be ugly.

My question got lots of votes for the Hobbit and a few cautionary remarks about Les Mis. I looked up reviews on a website that scores movies for sexual content, violence, and other. Remember War can be ugly so there did seem to be some scenes I might find a bit much for the girls.

And beheading a giant goblin isn’t?

So here is the deal: when I posted our choice and why (that Les Mis might have more objectionable material) we went with the Hobbit and my mother loved it, one acquaintance posted that “if the Hobbit was okay for them to see than so was Les Mis and even her 8 year old loved it.” I posted back that the Chief and I are sort of weird parents.

“Fantastical violence with a healthy discussion about reality is preferred over historical violence or violence with more of a chance of happening or something innately evil–for example they have not seen Anakin become Darth Vadar yet … or Raiders of the Lost Ark or Braveheart … but battling orcs and goblins or evil wizards as long as we discuss it … well just makes us weird parents.”

I didn’t want to offend this acquaintance. But I strongly disagree with letting third graders read the Twilight series and taking them to the midnight showings of the movies. The inner monologue of the main character is just too much for any young girl trying to figure herself out. My children have not seen the Half Blood Prince or either part of the Deathly Hallows because we felt the theme was becoming a little too mature for them. They need to finish reading the books and have a discussion with us about them first.

Last year we objected to T1 reading The Hunger Games solely on the idea that it is a possible future on our planet–not some Star Gate–where children are killing children for entertainment. We explained to her that when she reads The Lottery and Lord of the Flies we’d love for her to read it and discuss all of them with us. Lord of the Flies was 9th grade reading material–not 6th grade. Thankfully it was only for a book club and there were other choices and the librarian was totally behind us. As I posted, T1 read it behind our backs but I couldn’t fault her for it as I did the same thing (only it was because of all the hype surrounding North and South and the miniseries).

So is there a difference between flying orc blood and the death of a Nazi by propeller blade? Yeah … yeah there is a difference. We have emphasized fantasy is fantasy. Nazis were real. War is real. Death in war is real. Let’s look at Captain America. Nazis are in that movie. It is about war … but ray guns and genetically enhanced heroes and villains just aren’t real–and I really feel the makers of that movie kept it campy enough to keep it fantasy.

Are we splitting hairs? Are we still desensitizing them toward violence? Maybe. After reading the summary of a scene where soldiers were “enjoying the spoils of war” I just felt that was a little too real to be an enjoyable movie experience just yet. BTW, that ratings website gave Les Mis a score of 6 for violence and the Hobbit a 5 but Les Mis obviously got a higher score for sexual content for the aforementioned scene and nudity. I actually had to laugh about the Hobbit‘s near-naked trolls and ogres being objectionable according the website. Heck, that’s the poster child for exactly why any male not a Olypic diver should NOT be wearing loin cloths and speedos.

But as I said I hope I didn’t offend this acquaintance for her choice of letting her 8 year old see the movie. I didn’t go on a rant about Twilight or midnight premieres. Or what about a show called “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC FAMILY? Oh that’s quality family television. I am exploring what we do let them see–Alphas is a rough show and it does blur the line of fantasy and reality but we are dialoguing about it as we watch it. It has a lot of social issues and morals to discuss. I do wish I had started them off with Heroes. We’re watching Once Upon A Time together but Grimm is all mine for that gritty and blurred line. And one deep social discussion is about all I can juggle right now.

I usually don’t like to post any controversal and I certainly don’t want my opinion and parenting style attacked. I hope it didn’t stir up a debate or offense. We shall see.

I’m happy with my choice. Glad there will be two more movies. We will have a LotR marathon tomorrow. I will get to see Les Mis when the girls are back in school. Maybe I’ll finally see the last Twilight too!

And just when I thought it was safe to go to bed… I remembered that my much touted quality family television Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman had quite a few mature themes in them, least of which as a very brutal scene where Grace has her “hair cut”. Not to mention Myra’s profession. Those made for interesting discussions. But maybe being able to hit pause and to actually discuss gives me more of a sense of control of the flow of information. Yup. It’s splitting hairs. Sorry.


Writing Workshop: Double Take!

February 2, 2012

4.) Share a photo that was taken of you, that you think really captures who you are. Oh my, I must be feeling bold. But seriously, just like my Bride picture, you can’t really tell this is me. In fact, JenontheEdge, this is the picture that had my friends thinking I was you! The wig and the fact we share the same first name makes it easy to see the confusion. I’m flattered that they think I could be the author of your awesome blog!


Tonks Lives!


This was taken in 2010, about a month before I started blogging, before my world crashed down around me, one year before my diagnosis of PA… this is me. This is the me that wears superhero t-shirts. This is the me that bench presses 110 lbs. This is the me that is evolving this year. I missed her. I’m glad she’s back. 

Writing Prompts:

1.) Last week we covered your Top 10 Life Stories…this week choose one and share all the details.
2.) Are you on Pinterest? Share the last five items you pinned, choose one and let it inspire a blog post.
3.) What were you like in high school?
4.) Share a photo that was taken of you, that you think really captures who you are.
5.) The one place in my life that I know better, but haven’t been able to do better is… (inspired by Oprah)

For more information and to join Mama Kat’s world-famous Writing Workshop, click on that trophy over there….


Looking Back

December 26, 2011

This post is based on a post by Soccer Mom.

I’m going to try to find pictures to go with these posts. I am inspired by Soccer Mom’s beautiful photography and 365 project, as well as her new photography business, to try the 365 project myself in 2012. I wonder if I’ll get a new camera out of it too… ?


Pop Up Hippo Tent

I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary with little fanfare as DH was still at sea. We had a visit with my sister and her 16 month old. When I crawled into the pop up Hippo tent and began a game with him and the opening of the tent I have never laughed so hard. DH arrived just in time to 1. celebrate his father’s 70th birthday on the day of the surprise party, and 2. to fix the leaking pipes from the kitchen above my office.

Thank goodness for drop celings and handy husbands!



We had blizzards and days off from school. On February 21st, T2 was baptized by DH. I have yet to see pictures from that event (Hint-Hint, dear BIL!). I spent the month frantically trying to figure out what was business casual and what was business formal. I also discovered that Miracle Tailoring costs a bundle, especially if you have no butt. DH and I left for Scotland on the 27th.

My what big teeth you have!


Glasgow Symbols

We spent 5 days in Glasgow, Scotland. I really had a good time. I also celebrated my 37th birthday with good friends at my annual scrapbooking weekend.


The pub across the street ... gives new meaning to going to "Church"


DH was home for just a few days longer and was able to escort T1 to the Father-Daughter Dance while my other BIL escorted T2. The girls and I had a very quiet Spring Break. T1 was selected to be in the All District Chorus–it was a fabulous concert. I have no pictures to post… boo.


I fell victim to a Wii related game injury! This soft tissue injury to my left foot was probably the very first symptom of what became a mystery illness. The month was hectic and full of year-end school activities as T1 prepared to “graduate” from elementary school. My co-leader and I took our troop to an overnight at a zoo a couple of states away. What were we thinking?! Actually, it was a great trip and the scouts did great too. It was the squawking peacocks that drove me batty!

Never sleep overnight a zoo with peacocks during mating season. Never.


School ended and T1 was finished with elementary school. T2 stunned all of us with earning perfect scores on all FOUR of her SOLs. DH arrived home just before T1’s birthday and Father’s Day. Cassie had started limping on the leg she had splinted in May for a dislocated toe. We were given the horrible news of her bone cancer and after considering all our options we were told we’d have the summer with her.

Birthday trip underground!


I took T2 to camp for a week. During this time I started having more symptoms–swollen pinky, sore knees, pain all over. All my blood work was coming back negative. T1, her friend, and a nephew went to camp for a week as well. I enjoyed being there for “Christmas in July.” Pain management was working but not solving the problem–or figuring out what it was. DH stayed close to home and kept an eye on Cassie for us.

Christmas In July includes watching counselors act out the Grinch!


Frustrated and no closer to an answer I was referred to a rheumatologist but I delayed making the appointment. The girls were finishing up their room make-overs (T1’s 11th birthday gift; T2 just got the benefit of new carpet and paint). Cassie was slowly declining as we tried to keep her comfortable. I’m going to give away a little of my anonymity and say that the start of school was delayed by some natural disasters–the children will be able to tell their children of the year school started late because of an earthquake. This little event did not help my anxiety of T1 starting middle school. She was so excited and I was so worried. We had Cassie put to sleep while the girls were at school.

Saying Good-bye was not an easy thing to do.


My pain was increasing daily. My appointment with the specialist brought us closer to answers and some pain relief. More tests, more x-rays. DH was home through T2’s birthday and his. We celebrated at Great Wolf Lodge with the troop–what an awesome time! (Although I think DH probably would have preferred some other way to celebrate his birthday. LOL)

T1's new viola


Fall really is my favorite time of year. The weather this year has been gorgeous. I finally had a diagnosis–psoriatic arthritis–and some medicines to try. It has been slow going. The girls and I enjoyed our annual trip with my in-laws. I was kind of bummed for DH who had to miss his reunion from USMMA–I had been looking forward to going with him but if we wanted him home for Christmas he would have to be at sea this month. I got up the courage to sign up for an online writing course … only I haven’t kept up with it. UGH.

Somehow the Monster carrying a pretzel just is not that scary!


Usually this is a relatively quiet month for us. I made a last-minute decision to run away with a good friend to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. What a fabulous trip. It felt crazy to just up and leave the girls (with their grandparents and my friend’s with her husband) but it was so worth it. I was grateful for each step I could take, even on days when the pain was a little more than I was expecting. I was a little more outspoken than I should have been, choosing to speak exactly what was on my mind but saying “No” to many unneccessary demands and people who weren’t as important was helping me stay in control and on top of things. We started looking for new greyhounds to adopt, deciding we want two new girls and letting the girls pick out new names.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ... running away was never so awesome!


Black Friday Shopping and new holiday traditions with dear friends has totally helped the Christmas mood around our house. It is amazing what a difference one year can make. I couldn’t wait for DH to get home and make everything complete. It has been a peaceful and relatively stress free. This has to be one of the better Christmases in a long time. We don’t have dogs to adopt yet but we have applied to a rescue group and they are looking for us from our “wish list”. It was a weird Christmas without a dog but DH had the girls pick out new collars and leashes to start getting ready. I’m still frustrated that the medicines aren’t working as well as hoped but I’m confident we will find something. I know 2012 will be a much better year.

Christmas morning at our house.

And now I know why I do not upload this many photos at one time… I have been working on this for 4 and half hours! And I’m stillnot satisfied with this post, having to reformat a few pictures. ARGH!!!
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