Friday, July 31, 2009

Harry Potter and the Five Hours of Your Life You Will Never Get Back

You know a movie sucks when half way through it you are reviewing your grocery list and thinking about chores at home. By the end of the movie I was just mad that they took so long to tell their story and then didn't even finish the damn story. There should have been a warning with the opening credits that said: This movie is twice the length of a normal movie and will then will fail to complete a plot. Do not watch it unless you have religiously read the books and love teenage relationship drama.

Spoiler alert. I was told before I went that the film ended with the shocking murder of Dumbledore. By the time we were into the THIRD HOUR I was thinking "Come on, people. You gotta get on with the business of killing this guy if we are ever going to get out of here."

Also, It drives me nuts that they market this movie to children despite the fact that it is so clearly inappropriate for kids. I'm not one of those people who has anything against the witchcraft and wizardry theme but I do have a problem with the all out focus on "snogging" and characters hooking up and all of the boyfriend/ girlfriend angst. In addition, the scene where the skeleton creatures come out of the water and attack Harry was way too visually horrible for a child to see. I may be retentive about kids and movies but I was shocked.

I have an issue with the fantasy genre in general. If you don't have to adhere to the rules of reality then your character can get out of anything. It seems like kind of a cop-out for the writer of fantasy. So lets say that our hero has a big problem. How will he ever work it out? Oh... he is going to use the good luck serum or maybe use a spell that reverses time or fight the bad guy with his magic wand. At first glance this stuff seems all very creative but then when you think about it you realize that if you are rewriting the laws of physics, then anything goes.

I know a lot of people who worship these books and movies and will disagree with me on this negative review (you know who you are, Lisa). I am interested to hear what everyone else thinks. Were the characters and their love interests as totally under-developed as I thought they were? (Why was Harry into Weasley's sister?) Did they not start a million random tangent storylines and then leave them all unaddressed? Was the climax as anti-climactic to everyone else? By the way, why are we supposed to care that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince? Because he made some helpful notes in a textbook?

Couldn't they have told this complicated rambling story in an hour and a half? I could go on forever. We never go to the movies anymore so I was really disappointed when this one turned out so lame. Luckily we had free babysitting and gift certificates for tickets so all we were out was the five hours of our life. At least I got to be on a hot date with my hubby and snuggle with him in a dark theater with buttery popcorn and caffeinated beverages.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Sunday evening was an eventful one. All of the kids were out back playing on the playset and Ham fell off of the top platform right on to his head. I was standing in the kitchen with Spencer and Christina and Spencer saw it happen. We all ran out there right away. I could tell that his head had been hit hard. I was terrified. He didn't lose conciousness but there was a huge goose egg above his left eye within 5 seconds of the fall. He also had a scrape on his crown and I couldn't tell how bad the injury really was. I thought he had broken his skull or bruised his brain or something. I scooped him up and ran into the garage to strap him into the van and rush him to the ER. I was thinking I could get him to medical help before they could get out to us. John came downstairs and told me to stay put and call 911. John put him on the cround and immobilized his head and neck while I talked to 911. John is so much better in an emergency than I am. Abe was not showing any signs of serious head trauma or concussion but I was still scared. Really scared. John gave him a blessing while we were waiting for the paramedics and the blessing said that he would be totally fine and that the whole incident would be nothing more than a bad memory. I was comforted.

The paramedics arrived and did their thing. They strapped him to a board and wrapped him in a stiff thing so that he couldn't move at all. by that time he had totally stopped crying and was just interested in all of the straps and machines.

We took a ride to Gilbert Emergency Hospital. John drove down in his car and I rode in the ambulance with Ham. The Ambulance driver seriously drove about 5 miles under the speed limit the entire way. Like to the point that he was causing a traffic jam behind us. At this point I knew that everything was going to be okay and that all of this was precautionary but I wanted to yank the dude out of the driver's seat and floor it to the hospital.

Eventually we got there. Abe's good mood didn't last long. He got sick of being immobilized on his back and he was hungry and tired and thirsty. They wanted to CAT scan his spine and head before they would let him get out of the restraint. It took half an hour before they could get him in for the scan. They had told me that once they got the pictures they needed they would let him out of the thing. He was crying so hard. They had me put on a metal apron and hold his arms and chin while they did the scan to try to get him to hold perfectly still. Even though he couldn't move because of the device he was so upset that he was shaking and they couldn't get a clear scan. I was singing to him and holding his arms and chin and promising him that if he would just hold still for a minute then he could get out of this thing. When we were done they said that he couldn't get out yet until they had the results of the scan which would be another half hour. Ham totally understood what was going on and he was so mad not to be let out as I had promised him. He was over the edge emotionally. It was so hard to see him so upset and totally unable to move. I felt like crying too. Every minute felt like a year.

Finally they got the results and gave the all-clear to liberate him. He was soaked in sweat and tears and he was so happy to be held and to have a big cool drink. I have never been so relieved to hold a baby before. I couldn't snuggle him hard enough and I was so happy that he was fine and that his little noggin was only bruised. Ultimately he didn't need to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance but when it comes to kids its always better to err on the side of caution.

Right before we left the hospital I looked up and saw Rob and Clark. Apparently Clark is sick and they brought him to the ER to get him help with his breathing. It was a family affair. Maybe we can get a group rate.

All day today I can't get enough of my Babyham. There's nothing like a good scare to make you appreciate what you have. I am so thankful for the health of my children. We are putting up netting on the playset today and I'm not letting Ham anywhere near the thing for a while. Clark is feeling better too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Day of School

Jack's formal education has begun. Yes, I cried when I dropped him off (afterwards in the car). Yes, I have been relishing the time I have during the day now.

The great news is Jack LOVES school. He is the kind of kid who doesn't like change. He tends to get shy is a group setting and nervous about new situations so I was a little worried that it would take a while to get used to school. This picture is a perfect illustration of his hesitation.I had Kristen snap a picture of the three of us in the classroom. She didn't think that it was worth mentioning that Abraham was totally pulling my dress off without my knowledge. This combined with Abe's totally soaked shorts and my slightly disheveled hair is a great example of how motherhood challenges you but you just suck it up and keep on rolling.
Jack's teacher is named Mrs. Knighton. After school when Kristen asked what his teacher's name is he said "uh...Mrs. Darkton" I thought that was so funny to see how his brain works. Mrs. Knighton seems very nice although she made no attempt to hide her irritation at the fact that we named our child John and call him Jack. I apologized profusely and explained to her that the damage was already done and she would just have to make the mental adjustment because we are not going to start calling him John and we are not going to legally change his name to Jack. Deal with it. Here are our two little scholars after a long day. They didn't see each other until they were released and it was cute to watch them get call caught up with each other. Ella told the harrowing tale of being yelled at by her teacher to get a paper towel after spilling a bottle of water. We tried to explain to her that the teacher was probably not yelling, per se, but just expressing a sense of urgency with her voice. She wasn't buying it. Finally we resorted to telling her "Sometimes people yell. Get over it."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Baby is All Grown Up

I went shopping this afternoon for school clothes for Jack. I am still in shock that he will be starting Kindergarten on Monday. That is 42 hours away. Yes, I have an hourly countdown going. I have everything ready. His brand new clothes and backpack, the camera is ready to go, I have tissues in my purse for when I bawl my eyes out. I'm ready.

Sending my oldest child off to school is a huge milestone for both of us. I vacillate between the following two sentiments in regards to him being gone all day every day:

1: How did you grow up so fast, my precious baby boy? I'm not ready for you to leave the nest.

2: Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Okay, that's a little harsh but he really is ready to end the boredom of summertime and I can't wait to have only one child at home. Hambone has no idea that his life is about to change. What will I do with myself?

Years ago John and I talked hypothetically about the possibility of homeschooling our children. At the time I couldn't imagine leaving the education of my little genius to someone else. This homeschooling fantasy is what I like to refer to as "a crack-smoking pipe dream". Now I realize that he needs school. He needs the structure, the social experience, the learning, the stimulation.... everything. He is ready. I am ready. It will be hard to see him go but I know he will thrive in school.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Myrna Pratt

I just found out that Myrna Pratt died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Although this is sad news, a person couldn't ask for a better life. She was in my opinion, practically perfect in every way.

I was one of the thousands of friends of Myrna's children who traipsed through her home over the years. She had so many children and yet I never heard her get upset or angry or even mutter a negative word. She was the quintessential example of the peace the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring into your life. She was fun and funny, she was spiritual and accessible, she was perfect but approachable. I feel honored to have known her.

Her example was so important to me when I was an adolescent. Her testimony was so authentic and her love of the gospel was so real and she showed by example that it was totally applicable in day to day life. She played a huge role in the development of my own testimony and for that I am eternally grateful.

I have no doubt that Myrna's reunion with the Savior was a gloriously happy occasion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

God Has a Sense Of Humor

Part of my testimony is that I know God has a sense of humor. There is an experience that I often think about to illustrate my point.

When I was 18 I lived in Provo for the summer with a few roommates. Our singles ward was doing baptisms for the dead at the Provo temple one evening. I was very excited to be participating in the baptisms but I was running late after work in Salt Lake. Also, I needed to pick up my friend Sara and give her a ride.

At this point in the story, I should tell you that I am an animal lover. Animals love me and I love
them back. I am particularly anguished by the thought of animals suffering or dying. I have been known to cry real tears when passing roadkill. real tears.

I am also known to be a speeder. Yes, this is why I married my husband. It was all an attempt to get out of speeding tickets. by the way, it worked. I get pulled over for speeding all of the time and now that I'm in the law enforcement family, the cop usually walks away from my car having left directions to his house for a barbeque instead of a citation. Cameras are a whole other story, but suffice it to say that I am a lead foot and always have been.

So back to the story: I picked up Sara and headed for the temple. There I was speeding down Canyon Road, stressing out about being late for the temple and a cat darted out in front of my truck. I didn't even have time to tap the brakes. Thud thud. The cat went squarely under my front tire and then my back tire. I instinctively looked out my rear view mirror. I literally saw chunks of feline fur flying all over the road behind me. The sun was down but the street lights caught the gleam of atomized kitty guts. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked Sara if I should go back and see if I could help the cat. She had had an even better view of the incident and informed me that no, I should not go back because there was definitely nothing that could be done for the cat. he was dead. I cried and cried. It was the single most traumatic thing that had happened to me in my 17 years. I couldn't drive because I was crying too hard. I didn't want to go to the temple anymore, I was too devastated.

Sara was so sweet and was trying so hard to make me feel better and knew that I would be better off if I went to the temple and did the baptisms rather than sit all night and ruminate about the carnage I had caused. I remember I kept thinking it through and then I would come to a part in the thought process where I would say "Maybe I just clipped him. Maybe he is okay." or "Maybe we should take him to an animal hospital." Each time Sara would gently say "Staci, the cat is dead." She suggested that we say a prayer. In the prayer she said "Please bless the cat, who is dead." Eventually I got calmed down and we got to laughing about the line "who is dead" because it was said exactly like they say it when they do baptisms for the dead. The laughter broke through the sadness and we went to the temple.

When I got to the baptistry that night I felt a little better but was still shaken. I prayed for comfort and for the burden of guilt to be lifted. I also prayed for the cat.

It was my turn to be baptized and they assigned me an alphabetical chunk of the list of names. The entire list was people named Cat. I swear to you that this is not an exaggeration or a tall tale. They were all Cats. Some of them were Caterina or Catherine and some of them were literally just plain Cat with no last name even.

I laughed out loud when I realized the coincidence. Sara and I couldn't look at each other when the person performing the baptism would say "I baptize you for and in behalf of Cat, who is dead."

It was more than coincidence. It was a tender mercy. It made me feel better. God knows my personality and my sense of humor and He was messing with me in good fun. I have a testimony that God is hilarious sometimes. He is perfect, afterall.

I have never since hit an animal in my car. well, probably a few lizards and there was one very suicidal pigeon with what had to be Al-Qaeda training, but never a cat or dog.

This lesson I learned about God's sense of humor comes in handy every day. Especially when I am raising children and trying so hard to do everything right. It helps to know that God is laughing along with me when things are funny and crying along with me when they are sad. I know that we can always get exactly the thing we need emotionally from Him if we ask and look for it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Tub Full of Cuteness

Could this trio of babies be any more cute? I really don't think its even possible. Clark is one, Christopher is three and Abe is a year and a half.
Here they are toweling off after the bath. These three are hilarious together and we hope they will all grow up to be best friends. With the taking of these pictures we now have good blackmail material for all of them. Especially Abe's pink flower getup. Not that he chose it, but dang, he sure is pretty in pink.

Raising our right-wing nut job

Today we were watching Noggin and they had a little in-between thing about the Earth. It said things like The Earth gives us everything we have. She gives us a home and makes us happy etc. etc.

Jack was watching skeptically and then said, "That not the Earth that they are talking about....that's Jesus who gives us all of that.

"Well, keep in mind that Jesus did give us the Earth" I answered helpfully although Jack's scowl didn't fade.

"They didn't even talk about Jesus. They totally got it wrong."

Before walking away I heard him mutter "Freakin' Liberals."

Wow. I didn't even know what to say. I just let it go. He is already suspicious of the leftist agenda that seems to invade all of these so called kids networks. I wonder why.

here is a good article from the Wall Street Journal about Noggin's political slant. The claim of political neutrality is a lie that even a five year old can see through.

Kramer Boys

Kramer Boys