Monday, May 31, 2010

Ryan and Oma at the Farm

I got to with Ryan on a field trip with his pre-school class to Upland Hills Farm last week.  Upland Hills is a farm in the area that gives school age children from all over Southeast Michigan the chance to experience rural life.  It's been around for as long as I can remember.

For Ryan's trip they focused on introducing his class to the baby animals around the farm. They got to see a calf, lambs, a piglet and chicks.   While visiting Izzzee the Mama cow, each of the children got the chance to milk her.  When Ryan's turn came, he stepped right up and milked her.  Granted Farmer Josh was there to help them all.  I was real proud of him.  (Thank goodness, Oma didn't have to go up and help.)

Rumor has it...his Poppy will be so proud.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Card of the Week

Just finished a card I created using the CPS Sketch of the Week.  Here is the sketch:


And here is my version:



Have a great holiday week-end.  Can't wait to share Ryan's field trip to the "farm".

Friday, May 28, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

What a wonderful night.  James Taylor and Carole King brought their Troubadour Reunion Tour to the Detroit area last night.  Performing at The Palace of Auburn Hills, it was very clear that these two talent powerhouses are having the time of their lives.  At one point in the evening, James made a joke about when they first sat down to create the set list and it was "7 hours long".  Considering all the music these two have written and performed, how they whittled it down to a few hours is close to a miracle.

On this evening we got to hear all their biggest hits: Fire and Rain, You've Got A Friend, It's Too Late, Natural Women, Shower the People, I Feel the Earth Move...just to name a few.  And they clearly love each other and love performing together. 

Carole is so dynamic on stage.  I can't tell you how many times I overheard someone in the crowd say "She's 68!"  If she's 68...that's the kind of 68 I want to be.  She really gets into the music and the crowd. Not to say that her voice doesn't show some wear and tear, but the energy that surrounds her more than compensates.


James' voice is as true and pure as ever.  His shows are always amazing and I really think Carole helps off-set some of his on stage quirkiness.  (If you've ever seen him perform before, you can tell he's sometimes uncomfortable when he's not singing.)

They were also surrounded by their original Troubadour musicians which added such depth and joy to the evening.  I have to say I loved the fiddle - accordian combo during the evening.

The theater in the round set included a slowly revolving stage which gave everyone in the arena a clear view of James and Carole throughout the evening.  The use of the double-sided video screens was freakin' awesome.  It took us a little while, but we think we figured out how they did it.  Brilliant staging!

Not that there weren't a few little downers in the evening.  Who knew that The Palace doesn't have air conditioning. Also...our 6th row seats, weren't exactly 6th row seats.  If you include the "mysterious" two rows and wide aisle in front of us, it made our seats more like 10th row. Kind of bummer considering how much we paid.

And finally, that little camera nazi that hounded us....ridiculous!  Kathy and I both have Nikon D3000s with the original lens.  Nice cameras, but certainly not professional zoom lens cameras.  Our little camera police dude kept telling us we could not use "those kind of cameras".  Seriously....you have got to be kidding me.  Any idiot can look at our cameras and tell they aren't professional cameras.

But...those little things didn't take away from a simply marvelous evening.  Thank you James and Carole from bringing your show to Michigan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

James and Carole....Tonight!

We are going to see James Taylor and Carole King in their Troubadour Reunion Tour tonight.  I'm pretty geeked about it as we have 6th row seats...Yeah!  Heck, I'd be geeked about sitting in the nose bleed section.

This will be my 9th time seeing James and my second time seeing Carole.  Can't wait!  I'll give you all the lowdown tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Chance...Last Dance for Brown Bag Lunch

I just packed my last lunch for Stinky today and I don't feel the least bit sad or nostalgic about it.  I just feel relieved.  No more turkey sandwich, cheese nips, fruit snacks etc.  I'm planning on saving a lot of money not buying anymore prepackaged lunch food.

Now, that's not to say I won't be making an occasional lunch for Ryan, Austin or Luke in the years to come but, for now....I'm Free.

Why do all these songs keep popping into my head.  Maybe cause what I really want to do is DANCE!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Found a New Blog I like and a Monday Question

At some point recently,  I found this very fun blog.  It's called What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?   Emma is one of the adorable characters on Glee and this blog discusses everything about Emma's unique fashion sense.  How much fun it that.? I just love Emma's distinctive style.  Her sweater sets are just amazing.  Plus I even love her quirky OCD issues.  She's just so cute as she individually cleans every grape before eating them.

Go visit and you can even help create an Emma look.  Have fun.

This also got me thinking about a Monday Question.  Who's style, real or fictional, do you admire?  Is there anyone you try to emulate?  I'd love to find out.

Letters to Juliet Movie Review


Movie:  Letter to Juliet

Grade: C

If you've seen any of the previews for this movie, you pretty much know before you go in to expect a certain level of predictability with this movie.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  A well done predictable story can be comforting and encouraging to the viewers.  This one...not so much.

This is the story of Sophie (Amada Seyfried), a fact checker for The New Yorker magazines with dreams of one day becoming a writer. On a pre-honeymoon trip to Verona with her finace, she finds herself on her own visiting the home of Juliet (of Romeo and Juliet fame).  Woman of all kinds visit this site leaving notes asking Juliet for help with their matters of the heart..  It's here that Sophie stumbles upon a 50 year old letter written by Claire (Vanessa Redgrave).  When Sophie writes her back, it starts an adventure as they search the countryside for Claire's first love.

See...it sounds intersting doesn't it, but the script ended up being rather trite and obvious. There seems to be a growing trend in movie making whereby the story is rolled out very quickly with no subtlety.  In addition, I don't think the actors were given much direction as most of the performances were flat.

Note, I said most of the performances.  There was one notable exception that made the movie worth seeing for me and that was Vanessa Redgrave.  In all her scenes, she just lights up the screen.  She is as beautiful as ever and she is able to convey feelings and emotions with just her eyes.  Also it was great to see Franco Nero again.  They made a cute and very believable couple.

Mid-way through the movie there is a very special scene with Vanessa (Claire) and Amanda (Sophie) where Claire brushes Sophie's hair.  It was very touchingly sweet and not overstated. I wish there had been more of those moments in the film.

I've also got to let you know that the scenery is amazing.  I've always want to visit the Italian countyside and this movie makes me want to do that even more.  

Overall...wait for it to come out on DVD or cable. 

BTW, our popcorn tasted burnt and the Coke was flat...I wonder if this added to our frustration level.  Possibly as I am very particular about my Coca-Cola.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Queen Helen

Have you freakin' seen this picture?  OMG...she is my style heroine.  I'm guessing there are some serious spanks going on here, but I think there also has to be a serious workout program as well.  I would love to look this good now, yet alone at 64. 

Glorious look Helen!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iron Man 2 Movie Review

Iron Man 2


Grade: B

Great special effects...mediocre story line.  I'm still glad I saw it.  Visually, it is a lot of fun, but I just didn't care that much about the characters and the story.  They chose to develop a storyline that showcased Tony Stark's narcissistic tendencies, which simply isn't the best part of his character.

I've also been told, by a Marvel comic book aficionado, that the choice of Whiplash as the villain for this story was not the best.  According to my source...there are so many other Iron Man villains that are more popular with the fans that he couldn't understand why they chose Whiplash.  Although, Mickey Rourke was very menacing and did a great job, but can I just tell you that he was defeated...way too quickly.  Drag it out a little.  Develop the climax of the movie a little more.

I found it interesting that the director, Jon Favreau also has a role as Tony Stark's employee.  Kind of fun in a Hitchcock kind of way.  Also, stay around through the credits to find out the next villain!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

AWOL

Well, I've been AWOL from blogging all week.  Mostly because I've been taking care of Ryan and Austin during the day and then busy every evening.  Cait and I are working on Luke's Birth Announcements and I'm also working on Mikey's graduation announcements...which I should have already mailed out.  Bascially, I'm exhausted, out of control and way behind on EVERYTHING.

Here's what I learned this week.

1.  Childcare is best provided by those much younger than me.  Lugging Austin up a few stairs and needing a rest to catch my breath was only one of the many signs of this fact of nature.  Granted I got lots of love and hugs and memories, but I need a vacation to recover from my week off.

2.  Mikey's Open House will just have to be what it will be.  So far...all I've got is a tent.  No tables, chairs or food ordered yet and it's less then a month away.  Hopefully, I can pull it all together next week.  Keep your fingers crossed, but I've got to stop stressing about it.

3.  I need to get more sleep!

4.  I am actually looking forward to going back to work and to my normal life.  I function better when I go to the office and get into "work" mode.

5.  Krissy and Jay both have laptops that they take to work with them so there is no computer in their house. I really missed popping on the computer whenever I wanted.

7.  If I never see Mario Brothers cartoons again...I will be one happy person.

8.  Austin occasionally can go pee in the potty chair, which is pretty impressive for a 2 year old boy, but he has to do it completely naked.  That includes his socks!

9.  Ryan is very good at Candy Land, Trouble and HiHo Cherrio.  Although he's not ready to loose yet. He almost lost it when he had to dump the bucket. (Oh...Ryan, that was a wrong spin...spin again!)

10.  I eat more when I'm not at work, so I'm going to have to come up with a plan before retirement.  Is there a Retirement 20, just like there's the Freshman 20? Just wondering.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Virginia

Just wanted to take the chance to say Happy Mother's Day to the finest woman I know.  She is an amazing woman who has been my guide and I am now proud to say...my friend.  In her 80's, she has been transformed into a full time caregiver.  Her continual ability to face the challenges ahead of her each and every day, never cease to amaze me.  She constantly tells me she is disappointed in not having more patience, but I think she has an abundance of patience and provides exceptional care to dad.

Love you Muma.  I hope you have a great day.

This photo was taken on her wedding day in a gold lame "traveling suit".  Isn't it just divine?  I sure wish she would have kept it.  Don't know if I could have every fit in it, but it would have been fun to try.


Traveling Suit Update:  It was mauve...not gold.  And she passed it on to her sister. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And He's Off and Running...

Prom 2010.  Big day for Mikey and his classmates.  I'll be heading off to take pictures of the entire group and hopefully Mike's date, but for now, here's just a little glimpse.






He seems to be in a pretty good mood.  Considering how cute his date is...I'm not surprised. (And I wished he would grow his hair out.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recent Cards

Here are a couple cards that I worked up over the week-end for BW's nephews, who both recently turned 18.  Very shocking to have them be 18.  Also it leads up to Mikey turning 18 in a little over a month.

For the first card, I used some letter punches that BW found at a garage sale.  I really liked how it worked out.  I embossed the birthday greeting on both cards to give it some extra pop.  I'm also really liking the kraft colored paper that I recently ordered from Stampin' Up.  







I still haven't made my Mom's Mother's Day card.  I've got the idea...just need to get-er-done.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Birthday Boy!

I'm Ryan and I'm 4 years old today.  I am just the most amazing boy and no...my Oma's isn't the least bit biased in her opinion of me.

I'm so cute that the night before my birthday I cried, cause I didn't want to turn 4.  I guess I don't really like change.

Didn't my Oma take a really great picture of me.

(Sorry I posted this so late today. It should have been up early this morning.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Letters to God Movie Review

Letters to God


Grade: D

I feel like I just got struck over the head with a sledgehammer by a Afternoon Special masquerading as a theater released movie.  I recognize that their efforts are very noble, but noble or not...they still needed to write a good script, perform well and please....respect your audience's intelligence.

This movie deals with a cancer stricken young boy and his unwavering faith in God and the effect he has on everyone around him.  Tyler provides his inspiration by writing letters to God.  Should have...could have been a good story.  And maybe to some it is, but it is directed with such a heavy hand that nothing unfolds in a way that draws the audience into the story.

All this makes me feel bad, cause this is all based on a real story and a real boy...he just deserved a better movie.