Thursday, December 24, 2009

Princess and the Frog Review

Steve and I saw Princess and the Frog last night as part of our anniversary. It seems the craze is to see Avatar and The Blind Side, which seem like good movies, but there was hardly anyone in the theater with us. We were reluctant to see it, but we actually enjoyed it. This review won't spoil the movie.

The good: The story was charming. I was afraid it would be about racial issues, but it wasn't! How refreshing. I'm not one to say that we should completely ignore racial issues, but it's refreshing to not see it all the time. I liked the resolution and how the main characters interact with each other. The main characters were refreshing too. I never wanted to kick them or yell at them (which is a common thing with recent Disney animations). It was fun.

The bad: Most animations feel like they have to appeal to kids with violent and bathroom humor. I've been greatly disillusioned with cartoons such as Looney Tunes where they only rely on violent humor. I think that is the lowest type of humor. I admire Disney's old Mickey Mouse cartoons more because they try to have other types of humor. I think kids (and everyone else) are above that. The best humor comes from relatable characters in silly situations in which they take the situation seriously. This movie, like most other animations, had silly supporting characters doing silly things trying to appease the little kids. The truth is, they weren't funny at all. Steve gave the example of Mary Poppins (which is one of the most brilliant movies of all time, btw). It doesn't have violent humor, but children love it and adults laugh and enjoy it too. Kids may not laugh as hard as the adults, but they still love the movie. I wish this movie had that.
The movie relied heavily on getting to the next song. Some of the songs seemed under developed. The plot was fast paced, and I wished it could have slowed down more. Taking out all the violent humor would have helped.

Other: The bad guy was weird. He worked, but he was weird.

Should you see it?: It's still worth seeing, despite my criticisms. It's a step in the right direction with the charming story and characters. My question is, will animations wise up and drop the dumb humor? Hopefully.

What did you think of the movie?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sammie's Mission Call

My gorgeous sister Sam just got back from Hawaii today, and her mission call has been waiting here for her about a week. The temptation to sabotage it of course was very strong, but we made a promise to Sam that we wouldn't open it at all...

So with some wicked awesome photoshop skills (actually, I used the free version of photoshop. It's called Gimp.), and illegal copying of postage barcodes at Kinkos, we made a convincing enough fake mission call without even touching her's.

Here's the fake. How would you react to "Disneyland West Mission"? I thought she would know it was a prank 100% at that point, but it looked so official that she second guessed it.

Anyways, that's not important. Sammie is going to Lubbock Texas. As she read that, the spirit touched me so strongly. Sam is going to be an awesome missionary, and not because she's good at selling or tricking people. It's because she knows it's true. She has a strong testimony and she strives to live as her Father in Heaven wants her to live. She is so kind and friendly, I know she will reach out to so many. I am so proud of her!

Love you Sammie!

Here's the fake versus the real letters:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fantastic News!!!

Steve's book The Bent Sword is getting published by Cedar Fort Publishing! We are so extremely excited about this. We'll probably make a separate blog in excitement for the upcoming book, so we'll keep you posted!

Thanks for all of you who have supported Steve in this.

Who hair

I was a Who for the Provo City Christmas parade. Miss Kristi Hill did my hair and helped me figure out my costume. Thanks a ton Kristi! I stole this picture from my friend Donna's blog. Thanks for taking it Donna! Having my hair like that was fun, but it sure made my head sore.

Future home ideas

Steve and I got to go to a home show here in Provo, thanks to Steve's aunt Carol. The houses were absolutely stunning. They all knew how to use space and color very well.

At first, I admit I was feeling negative feelings towards "the rich". Some things seemed so frivolous and overly ornate at first. But as we went through, I felt like I was starting to get to know the people who lived there, and my feelings completely changed.

The most amazing house was the Peay house, which is owned by a widowed woman. She has family pictures everywhere, and we could tell that she hosts people at her house all the time. She served a mission by herself and returned just earlier this year.

Another house that caught my attention was one with a young family. It was fun, because the family was there and the little kids gave us a tour. I was greatly impressed because they were so friendly and kind. Of course it was clean for the house show, but I noticed that they had a good organizing system for a family with 5 little kids.

I don't know much more about any of them, but Steve and I left feeling edified. I strongly believe many, if not all of these "rich people" share and give as much as they can.

I was tempted to take tons of pictures, but I decided to just take a few of ideas that could be practical to incorporate into our future home. Ok, you may argue that some aren't that practical...

I thought these curtains were cute, but after I took the picture, Steve said he didn't like them. Oh well.

Gift wrapping station! A must!

I love nooks! I'm not sure if Steve is a fan, but I just love them!

My dad actually made a play house into the wall similar to this one. I totally want to do this for our kids.

Brilliant organization!

A telephone booth! Ok, not so practical, but I think it's awesome.

This was taken in a gym room, with mirrors all across. We both agreed we'd love a room like this.

These are Grandma's Glasses

Ward Christmas Party

The babe is 15 months now, which only means one thing: 3 more long months until nursery! This is such a hard age, because she wants to move around and play during church. When I take her to Relief Society with me, she goes on commando missions stealing other ladies things and bringing them to me. Oi. So, I spend a lot of time in the hallway with her. There should be a pre-nursery where moms and dads can stay with their kids and it can prepare them to interact with other kids. But alas, I have to wait out in the hallway for 3 more months.

She knows how to smile for a camera.

Gashler Family Photos

Angie and Miguel Berrio did these photos for us. I highly recommend them if you're looking for a photographer. Here is their portfolio site.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TotRags Messy Face Contest

I am entering this lovely picture in a contest here. Check it out, and if you've got a good messy face picture, you should enter it. It doesn't matter if it was you years ago or your child/neice/nephew now. You could win 2 bibs, and they aren't just ordinary bibs. They are made of recycled material and cover a lot more than your regular bib. I love mine.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Scenes from Thanksgiving

Do you ever wish that you had a professional photographer with you all the time? Ok, not all the time, but most of the time. My problem is when I'm having a lot of fun, I forget to take pictures sometimes. So, these pictures lack me, Steve, and Linda. Luckily, we got family pictures taken the same week, so those will have all of us in them. But I hate not getting everyone.

Thanksgiving was so fun! We had a lot of bonding time. We played games such as the extended version of Mafia (a lot more fun than the regular version) and Supreme Exalted Overlord. We discussed life and politics a lot. We stayed up late every night talking. I am so grateful for fantastic inlaws!