Friday, August 28, 2009

A Double Blog Day

With only 1 week left before school starts (I'm squeezing in lots of fun time with my kids), Maine family visiting soon (YAY!), and an upcoming holiday weekend (an extra day with my hubby), I'll be taking a blogging vacation! I will be back to posting on Wednesday, September 9, 2009!  Today however, I have rolled 2 blogs into 1.  Enjoy!!!

P.S.  I have discovered a new fairy that I wanted to share in honor of the upcoming school year...
a little Calvin & Hobbes on Summer vacation


Part 1

I have a very special treat for everyone today...  A blog guest star!  He begged for this opportunity and is very excited to share his brilliant post for you today.  Introducing, my son, O!

Star Wars 7:  Sciwalkrs Hope
Acros the younvrs, Jeadi won the battle.  And the won agein.  And then the ships arivde.

The End

I hope you enjoyed this guest post and I apologize that the drawings to accompany this story are not scanned into our computer at this time.  However, some original photos by the author have been added for your viewing pleasure.  Obviously, my son is hopeful that George Lucas will create more movies for the Star Wars saga.  May the force be with you!

Got a comment for my guest blogger & Star Wars fan?  I'll be sure to share these comments with him as he's quite excited to be a blogger!


Part 2

I am so proud of my boys!  I love them with every piece of my heart.  When the day comes that I am not here to tell them, God willing that will be a very very very long time from now, they will without a doubt know it to be true. 

One of the best parts of being a Mom is the gifts that our children give us.  No, not the flowers or homemade cards, although those are very dear to my heart, but the endless gifts that are not purchased in any store.  We get to explore the world all over again through their innocent eyes, dream and hope amazing things without "rules", and feel an unbelievable sense of admiration directed at us for no other reason than we are Mom.  Holding the title of Mom, Mommy, Mum, or Mama brings blessings that you never knew existed until you are bestowed with the honor.

As a Mom myself, I hold a deeper appreciation for the woman who raised me.  I admire her for all that she has done for me and my 3 siblings, as well as all that she has survived.  My Mother is a strong woman.  She often gives more than she receives, and has as strong sense of compassion for others.  I'm very grateful to have her in my life.  She's not just an outstanding Mom & Grandma, but an unbelievable person.

I want to take this moment to honor her and say...

We love you!
September 6, 2009

If you have kids, what "gifts" do they give to you?  Did becoming a mom make you have more admiration for your own mother?  What is your favorite part of being Mom? 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As The Washing Machine Spins: Drama In The Laundry Room

Yesterday, I debated on what today's blog topic would be.  I had a number of great ideas, but finally ended up deciding on one subject before bedtime.  Then I picked up a book to read so it would occupy my restless mind before I went to sleep. 

Upon waking this morning, I discovered that I would be washing an extra load of laundry that I hadn't intended to wash today.  I put my blog post on the backburner so it would simmer until this afternoon and went about my chores.  I have no plans to go out today.  The only exciting thing I have planned is an escape into a new book.  I finished the one I was reading last night and am starting the next book in the series today.  My to do list is rather boring.  Let me show you...

Mindy's To Do List
1. Take care of the kids as you do every day
    breakfast, lunch, plan/suggest activities for them/help them write letter to Great-Nana
2. Laundry
3. Laundry
4. More Laundry
5. Blog
6. Switch Laundry
7. Read (Taking a break! Yes!)
8. Laundry again!

So you see, I have a little bit of laundry to catch up on.  For some reason, we have a lot of blankets.  When those blankets need to be washed, they get pushed aside in favor of washing every day clothing items... and they pile up.  I really don't mind doing laundry.  In fact, I kind of like it.  Except for hauling the large and sometimes heavy baskets of clean laundry (remember pixie sized female here) from the lower level laundry room to the upstairs bedrooms.  Thankfully, my husband is very fond of me and doesn't like to see me break my back carrying the loads, so he tackles that task whenever he is home.  Never the less, I still enjoy tackling the laundry.  Why you ask?  Well, I often get caught up in the quiet time it allows me.  I pop on my headphones and listen to a good audio book or sing and dance to some great tunes on my ipod.  I find that my imagination often runs wild as well.  Getting lost in the places my mind takes me can be great for my creativity.  While taking clothes out of the dryer this morning, I did just that. 

Late this morning, I was so focused on the warm laundry in my hands and the details that my mind was working on that I never heard someone approach me from behind.  It was completely quiet downstairs and I knew my boys were watching Shrek 3 while playing upstairs.  I was in my little world.  I had just pulled a shirt out of the dryer and was fixing a fold that shouldn't be there, when I felt a light drum like tapping of fingers just above my shoulder blades!  Fear shot through me, my heart was acting as if it was at a gymnastics meet, and I was terrified for a brief second before I jerked around to see what I assumed was a stealthily quiet intruder... or a really scary vampire or monster or alien!  You see how my imagination was really running wild at this moment.  When I turned, I saw my oldest son starring at me with a giggle in his eyes and a chuckle from his mouth.  I can only imagine the look on my face that he saw in that moment.  I began to breathe again and spit out, "don't ever do that to me again!  Don't ever sneak up on my like that again!  You scared the heck out of me!"  My face must have still held a frightened expression and combined with that and  my words, my son began to cry.

I felt horrible.  He certainly wasn't trying to be naughty.  I didn't know what to say, except explain more calmly that he scared me and I was sorry if I had scared him as well.  That seemed to make him feel a little better, but also telling him I wasn't mad was important and he started to relax a little more.  By the time I laughed and said, "you got me good!"  He had a small grin back on his face to go along with the solo tear traveling down his cheek.  Then we decided it would be a good idea if he hung out with me while I finished that round of laundry. 

My boring session of laundry was boring no more and my blog topic had an instant makeover.  Thanks to my very stealthily quiet son O!

If you have kids, have they ever "got you good" or pulled a really good prank on you?  Have you pulled off a good prank yourself?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Somebody Save Me

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me.  All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning:  Please leave your kryptonite in it's lead box!  Should you stumble upon a secret identity, please remember to protect that secret with your life if you must.  I would like to thank you in advance for doing so, as you are now helping to keep the rest of the world safe from harm.  For those among us who are SUPER, you are safe here.

The worlds of super heroes and villains all began with an overactive imagination.  What's not to love about that?  Can you imagine for a minute how these many characters came to life?  If you wonder, take a minute to read this article by the NY Times, written after the passing of a co-creator for one of the biggest comic book heroes in existence... Superman.  In reading this, it's easy to see that even the simplest things can give us astounding ideas!  The man of steel is one of my favorite artistically induced imagined superstars.  I'm a fan of SUPER HEROES!

If you asked me to name my all time favorite TV show, it would quickly land in the comic book inspired genre.  This is true throughout my years.  As a teen it was Lois & Clark The Adventures of Superman starring Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher.  When I was a girl, I loved to watch reruns of Wonder Woman and the old Batman TV show.  As a fan of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Metropolis, I couldn't contain my excitement when The WB (now known as The CW) announced that a show titled Smallville would premiere on October 16, 2001!  I must admit, I was hooked before the pilot episode.  There's something special about watching Clark Kent discover who he is and what he is capable of.  However, there have been some big changes in the show over the years.  If you compared the first season with current Smallville episodes, you'd see more comic book storylines now than before.  Only 2 of the original cast remain as well, Tom Welling as Clark and Allison Mack as Chloe (most missed- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor aka Sexy Lexy).We've seen various other heroes on the Smallville scene as well.  Let me name a few:  Green Arrow (I heart Justin Hartley), Cyborg, Aquaman, Impulse aka Flash, and of course Supergirl.   Although there have been many changes, I still LOVE this show!  It's obvious that others feel the same way, as we are moving into Season 9 this Fall.  There is even a dedicated website for fans of the show, beware the spoilers!  Just a reminder for fellow fans, don't forget to pick up Season 8 in stores tomorrow!

Beyond my love for all things Smallville, I own a few different kinds of super hero memorabilia.  In my closet hangs a Supergirl costume that my Mom made me in high school.  My most obvious collection is clothing, I'm addicted to the shirts showcasing my favorites.  Wonder Woman and Supergirl clearly stand out in my wardrobe.  I know, it doesn't make me look any older, but I just can't help it!

I could take a long time to list more of my favorites and the reasons why, but maybe I should just tell you why I love super heroes in general?  Okay, but first I must just add that I made sure I was able to watch Smallville while in the hospital after giving birth to my first son (except a special was on that evening instead) and my first time away from my first baby boy was to see an X-Men movie in the theatre.  It's not about the handsome men, although Hugh Jackman can call me Bub any day & Chris O'Donnell is one dreamy Robin, but about how I feel when I see the good guy/girl doing everything he/she can to save the day.

When I was a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on.  Including my older brother's comic books.  I think that's where my love of super heroes began.  The idea of having super powers and standing up for what you believed in, drew me in.  Who wouldn't want someone like that around to save you from the bad guys in your life?  I know I did.  As I got older, I felt more drawn to wanting to be the hero than being saved by one.  I don't have super human abilities, shhh I'm sticking with my secret identity here, but I do want to stand up for what's right.  Superman is inspiring in that way.  Of course, there is a lot of responsibility with those powers, even super heroes can't do it all or save everyone.  Which leads to the guilt factor.  How many of these heroes walk around feeling guilty or heartbroken because of someone they couldn't save?  Would you be surprised that most of them do?  All of these factors equal one great story after another. 

I'm not sure if I've accurately captured or explained my love for super heroes, but I think you get it.  I'm a Super Nerd! 

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Big Catch

The end is near!  The end of Summer that is.  *sigh* Oh how it makes me sad.  Until the last few years, this feeling has not hit me in the way that it does some.  I'm not a Summer girl, in fact Autumn is my favorite season, and my kids were too young to be heading off to school.  I was simply unaffected.  When my oldest was exactly one year from beginning Kindergarten, it hit me.  It hit me that I had just enjoyed the last unattached Summer, as the following Summer would end with an attachment  to a first day of school.

Summer is like a fish on the line.  Once it's hooked, you start to reel it in.  There's so much fun and excitement as you begin pulling it through the water.  You make a myriad of plans, because you are certain this is going to be the catch that tops all catches and you want to enjoy every bit of it.  You could mount it and make sure it's beautiful for everyone to see, or get every piece of "meat" out of it that you could possibly enjoy.  Of course, this fish is the largest to hit the scales, so there is plenty to go around.  As you continue to reel in your award winning fish, you start to see that it's getting smaller.  That can't be true!  It can't possibly be getting shorter each time I reel in a little more of the line?  You attempt to ignore the thought and throw yourself into the entertainment of it all.  All of a sudden, that champion bounty is right in front of your face!  But wait!  It's just a tiny trout and you know that you must let it go so that it may grow.  Hmmm... maybe next year it'll be big enough to hold onto.  You try to let go of your disappointment  and realize the best way to do so.  You pull back your fishing pole and send out a new cast.  Within seconds, you have a bite!  Your expectations are high as you begin to reel in the next big catch... Autumn!

Are you sad to see Summer go, excited about Autumn's upcoming arrival, or full of mixed emotions?  Did you get everything out of Summer that you planned or hoped for?  What is your favorite season or do you live in a climate where the change of seasons isn't reflected in the scenery?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mom's Day Off

Although moms never really get a full day off, occasionally we need a little break.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I was struggling with an attempt at relaxing and letting go of the worries that always seem to climb back into my life.  When I vented to a good friend, she told me to "take the day off."  Her suggestion was to let the kids watch movies or play games, while I just kick back with a good book or some other good distraction.  I decided to take her advice.

I got my kids settled with a Disney dvd, grabbed a book I had been reading, and headed straight to the couch to step out of reality, and into the story.  The boys were really into their movie, and then really into playing after that.  By the time my husband got home, I was so relaxed I was practically falling asleep.  It was wonderful! 

While reading the book of fiction, I ran across the perfect advice given by one of the main characters.  Here it is...

"I know you're thinking that this whole... situation is something you have to solve.  That it's somehow your responsibility to make sure nothing bad happens.  But you can't control everything.  You'll start making yourself crazy if you try." 

I guess taking it easy and reading was exactly what I needed!  Even works of fiction can give you some perspective.  I have found that this kind of thing happens to me fairly often... and I love it when it does!

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever heard exactly what you needed to hear when you were watching a movie or reading a book?  Have you gotten some perspective from something or somewhere unexpected?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Adventures With Pixie Dust

Meet Me On Monday:
This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me.
All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning:  Meet Me On Monday usually includes a crazy warning...  However, today it's just a THANK YOU!  Thank you to my husband, C, for helping me update my blog space!  I love you!
The drum roll has been played, the curtains have been pulled back, and the new look of CMOM Productions has been unveiled!  TA DA! 
After a lot of hard work on my husband's part, and a little pixie dust, I have a new blog background!  It did take a number of adjustments and some compromises from my original design plan, but it's me.  I put together the buttons and flowers, but my husband handled the majority of the "putting it all together" details.  All in all, it was a team effort, but he deserves most of the credit because I would not have been able to pull this one off on my own.
If you peruse the bulletin board of buttons, you will find a little piece of me in each one.  Ah yes, you can't fully understand the meaning without a bit of  description to coordinate it all. 
Okay, off to Mini Mindy Land!  Here's a little  *.*.*. Pixie Dust .*.*.* and off we go!
It all begins with the self explanatory CMOM Productions piece.  It has a scrapbooking feel to it and is one of my favorites!
Look out!  It's a fairy fly by!  Here we have the beautiful Tink resting upon a flower.  She's a major favorite of mine.  Not many can beat a short girl with spunk and determination.  For someone who is pixie sized, you can't go wrong with the #1 fairy in everyone's hearts!
On we go to the beautiful scenic shores of Lake Michigan...  Look at those adorable blonde boys!  Oh wait, those two handsome little men belong to me!  I love this old photo of my guys playing at the water's edge. 
Looks like we left some footprints in the sand.  Well, maybe not exactly.  This is a representation of faith for me and many others. 
Please be careful of my tiara as you pass by.  Again, being the only female in our home I cannot be seen without it. 
Look out below!!!  My love of books is lovingly showcased as simply as possible.
Moving forward you will see a bird, I mean a plane, okay I mean the logo of Superman (or Supergirl) and WonderWoman.  If you were not aware, my nerd-dom branches out into the lands of comic book heroes.  Before long, an entire post will be devoted to my favorites and why I love these heroes so much! 
Bounce upward and keep right on bouncing!  Hoo hoo hoo hoo!  Tiggerific!  Before I was born, my Mom made me a baby blanket and Tigger is featured upon the back.  I believe my love for this bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun character began there.
Let yourself float down towards the beautiful Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Aaahh... I feel calm, relaxed, and invigorated by the ocean air already.  Don't you?  With half of my family being Maine natives, and 6 wonderful years of my life spent there, I had to showcase a state that is my 2nd home (in my heart at least).
Walk with me once again.  The pink ribbon you see is a reminder and a statement.  You see, I supported a dear friend in her battle with breast cancer by creating a Race For The Cure team in her honor a few years ago.  Today, she's a survivor and I'm truly grateful to have her in my life!  *HUGS* You know who you are!
Do you hear that music?  Follow it's sound to the retro style microphone you see before you.  It represents my love of song!  I could make this "brief" statement go on forever, so let me put it as simply as possible.  Listen, sing, play, dance, & love!!!!
Be careful as you move forward, this path is not always so easy or simple.  I know this to be true and I salute the men and women of our armed forces here!  Thank you for all you do!
Now we must cross the soft petals of a light blue flower and jump into the land of Scrapbook.  I hope you brought along your trusty scissors so we can crop ourselves out of here, before we are forever captured in time.  Many memories are stored and cherished here... and many hours can be spent in this fabulous world.
M-I-C-K-E-Y  M-O-U-S-E!!!  Well, Mickey & Minnie go hand in hand so I couldn't possibly post one without the other.  *sigh*  Disney is more than just a bunch of crazy characters in my book.  It's a piece of me, and there is no question that my family feels the same.  My husband and I can even say "it all began with a mouse..." when we are asked about our first date.
This adventure has been fun, but it's about time to make tracks.  The paw print you see in front of you is that of a wild animal!  Actually, it represents my school spirit, both past and present!  From high school cheerleader to PTO Mom, I love being true to my school.  Well, now days it's my kid's school.
Wow!  I'm sure you are in need of a nap after that long *.*.*. Pixie Dust .*.*.*  fueled journey!  I hope you've enjoyed just a little bit more insight as to what makes me who I am.  Before you leave, please let me know what you think of the new layout.  Do you think it captures the essence of CMOM Productions?  Thank you for visiting and come again soon!  Send my regards to you travel agents!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Simple Scrapbooking

Before getting into today's topic, I must first apologize. My updated blog design will not post today. The details are still being worked out before it can make it's debut. I can't promise, but I sincerely hope it will be unveiled on Monday. That should be just perfect for a "Meet Me On Monday" blog I'd say!


A little over a month ago, I spotted a book in Hobby Lobby that I considered buying. Before I did however, I wanted to check it out from the local library so I could look more closely at the book before making the purchase. This seemed to be the best choice for a lady who doesn't like to spend money. A few days later, I logged on to the library's website, and placed a hold on "Real. Life. Scrapbooking." by Rebecca Cooper. It didn't take long before it was in my hands.

We made a library stop, while on our way to get groceries, just so I could pick up the book. Sadly, I get carsick when I'm not keeping my eyes on the road so I tried very very hard not to peruse the book that was on my lap and singing to me. Alas, I could not resist skimming the siren song full of words, photos, & layouts. By the time we got from the library to the store, I was feeling slightly ill. That was all the looking I would be able to do for days, due to a busy weekend.

Just a little bit of perusing pictures and layouts of this book brought me an epiphany. You see, it's all about scrapbooking your real life simply, hence the title. My idea was sparked when I spotted a page showcasing a notebook with paper removed and photos placed into it. How much fun would it be to take a regular journal and turn it into a personal scrapbook? However, my idea was not really to scrap it in the traditional sense, but to use it to record "a year in the life" through the eyes of my kids. Evan & Jaron, a brother singing duo, recently did a project called "52 Sundays." Each Sunday, they released a new song to be downloaded. Remembering that inspired me to set this "scrapbook" up in that same way.

The Scrapbook Journal Project:

*What you need- a journal or notebook of your choice, pen or pencil, & photos/drawings/mementos collected throughout the year.

*Personalize your cover page, or the inside cover of your journal, to include your name and the date you start your journal scrapbook, you can include the end date or add it later.

*Use your first solo page as an "about me" page. Include your likes, dislikes, favorites, etc. This will be repeated at the end of the year on the final solo page of your journal. It's nice to compare and see how you've changed over the course of the year. When you get older you may have many laughs over these, along with comment such as, "I can't believe I loved that movie so much!"

*Once a week (52 Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or any day of the week- try to stick with the same day) write about the week you've just experienced. Use the paper on the right hand side of your notebook for journaling. Maybe it's just a simple week, or maybe you had a big event, record it just the same. The page on the left hand side should be used to place a photo, drawing, or memento (ticket stubs, postcard, etc) from the week. Be sure to record the date on one of the pages as well.

*This can be done as a "year in the life" or "my year of school: grade X 2009-2010." You can start the project in January, on a birthday, beginning of the school year, or Summer vacation. It can be changed into a daily account of your road trip or Christmas break. The possibilities are endless.

*Encourage your children to keep this kind of scrapbooking journal. If you have a child that cannot write, record what they have to say about the week (or day) in their words or let them draw a picture. For kids too young to express themselves with words, try to capture their reactions or funny faces.

I truly believe these types of things will be precious to our children when they grow up. That's one of the reasons I scrapbook. My children will also be starting a journal like this when school starts in a few weeks, starting with the open house and meeting the new teacher. My hope is that my children will continue this as they grow up and in the process learn to appreciate the little things in life.

For the record, I finally had time to sit down and go through "Real. Life. Scrapbooking." and loved it! I even discovered a few more alternatives to the project that I came up with. Rebecca Cooper captures great ways to keep your scrapbooking simple and remembering that it's about the memories rather than fancy embellishments. Her ideas and layouts were exactly what I was looking for. A brand new copy of her book now resides in my scrapbooking center.

As I said, Rebecca Cooper has variations of this idea in her book. If you are considering tackling some simple scrapbooking, head to the library like I did. You will be able to find her book, as well as many other books with the same theme.

How do you capture your memories? Your child's memories? If you scrapbook, do you journal your pages? Do you include the point of view of different family members or just your own? If you don't scrapbook, is it because it's too overwhelming or you don't feel you have the time? Do you think the scrapbook journal project would solve that problem?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Kids Say

In our home everyone hangs their best masterpieces on the fridge... Except for me. I haven't found strong enough magnets to keep my kids up there!


My kids say the most hilarious things, as most kids do! They also have the ability to melt my heart with a few of their precious words as well. I've even caught them being so kind to each other, in between the sibling torture, that I can't help but feel a tug at my heartstrings.

Today, my kids are missing and have been replaced with none other than Superman & Batman. My youngest, I mean Superman, told me that I can be Batgirl, but later decided that I would be Supergirl. I play right along with these fun games, because secretly I am... well I can't tell you that or my cover would be blown. It's moments like these that I love being a Mom of 2 boys with imaginations.

Often times, my kids and I have silly conversations. One recent talk was a combination of me being goofy and my youngest son, M's, youthful honesty mixed with sweetness...

Me: Am I a nerd?

M: Shakes head no

Me: Am I cool?

M: Shakes head no and whispers... Me just love you.

Me: Me just love you too.

Realizing that our kids see and understand things differently than we do can sometimes lead to laughter. Eavesdropping children can also lead to hilarious moments. We experienced both of these things recently. It all began with standing in front of a magazine rack while waiting to purchase our groceries.

On the way home from our shopping trip, I was expressing my thoughts to my husband. There was a photo, on a magazine cover, of an actress that I thought was beautiful and talented. However, her attitude in interviews drove me crazy. My husband, C, responded with something along the lines of "Yeah, someone should tell her to shut up."

Little did we know that our oldest son, O, was eavesdropping on the conversation. He quickly piped up with a "Dad you can't say the S word!" Instantly, there was panic written on my husband's face as he tried to go through the entire conversation we had been having to determine when he might have slipped and spouted "the S word." He then stated "I didn't say the S word." Our smart little O man spouted quickly back, "yes you did and it's not nice! Mrs. A says we shouldn't say shut up, because it can hurt people's feelings!" The look of relief, and embarrassment, on my husband's face was revealed. I was silently laughing hysterically, hidden from my son's view by my seat, but managed to say "Yeah Dad!" My husband then humbly apologized for saying "the S word."

Lessons learned:
You can be uncool without being a nerd and still be loved, but please don't say "the S word" for any reason!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Mini Mindy Monday Madness

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Mondays here after, my blog will reveal something about me.
All Meet Me On Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning: Mini Mindy Monday Madness will ensue further into this posting! Please proceed with caution and be careful not to step on the pixies!

I love thunderstorms! However, this weekend I didn't enjoy them as much as I normally do. You see, I was unable to spend the amount of time needed on the computer creating my personalized blog page. I was actually in the middle of working on one of the pieces when our power, and my computer, clicked off. Thankfully, I hit save just before the power went out. All of our electronics, okay only the tv and computer, were quickly unplugged before any serious damage could be done. So, I will be working on my update over the week and plan to unveil it Friday morning!

In spite of the disappointment, I would like to take my "Meet Me On Monday" topic to a new level. I call it Mini Mindy Monday Madness (aka M4). On M4 days, I will give 5 random facts and/or photos that showcase a little bit of who I am. Enjoy!

1. I am known as Melinda or Mindy. Professionally, I always planned to use Melinda Marie. Those who really know me just call me "Mindy." Lately, I have been debating on what name I want to use if I do someday, somehow publish a book.

2. I'm really tiny! Before I met my husband in person, I tried to make sure he was fully prepared for my mini Mindy status. He thought he was prepared, and then he saw me. Later he told me his reaction was "She wasn't lying! She really IS short!" At just a hair over 4' 10" tall and under 100 lbs (a mark I hit only while pregnant), I've learned how to live in pixie style and fully embrace it! In fact, when we travelled to Pixie Hollow in the Magic Kingdom, where everyone is "shrunk" down to pixie size, the tiniest fairy was Tinkerbell... until I arrived.

3. I'm a princess. Okay, not technically, but in my own home I certainly am. I recently bought a shirt that says "it's a girl's world, boys just live here," but in my house that's not entirely true. I'm the only female to occupy my home, which makes me the princess! Just ask my boys and my husband.

4. I am musically inclined. I used to play the flute and I dabble in the art of guitar, but singing is the music in me. While I love most kinds of music, I used to sing country. Almost 10 years ago, I recorded 2 traditional country cds under the name Melinda Marie. Although I don't think those cds showcase who I am or my abilities today, it is a part of my past that I can be proud of. That past also holds plenty of performances of the National Anthem in Michigan and the East coast, as well as some weddings, funerals, and other events.

5. I am a "Crafty Mama." I sew, scrapbook, paint, decoupage, and do many many other crafty things. My sister, sister-in-law, & Mom gave me a crafting apron that says "Crafty Mama" on it, along with a "Queen of Crafting" mug. I think this "craft it all" attitude is the type A in me. At times, my desire to constantly be busy with something gets out of hand... and it takes over the living room.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Childhood Toys Turned Movies

It always seems to surprise me at how exciting it is to see one of our childhood toys come to life on the big screen. Fairly recently, a friend and I were talking about the latest kid cartoons turned movies (and sequels) and our kids' desires to see them. However, the sad truth is that our kids will most likely miss out on these big screen releases.

My husband is an enormous fan of Transformers. Before we had children, he collected a few of the old and new robots in disguise. These were mainly "mint in box" but I will admit that one red and blue leader of the Autobots made it to his work desk. His love stems from endless hours of being entertained by the cartoon and the toy in his childhood. When the first Transformer movie was released to the big screen, he was there (and multiple times afterwards as well). Sharing this great piece of his life with his sons is one thing that he really looked forward to.

Transformers the movie holds a "PG-13" rating, but with the majority of the "bad parts" being clumped together in a couple of different spots, it was easy enough to distract or block out for our sons. After my husband had seen the movie, he knew just when to strategically cover eyes and/or ears. As much as we wished these portions were not included within the movie, we were able to swing it. When Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen was schedule to come out, we assumed this would also be the case. Unfortunately, this is not so.

My husband, back at the theatre on opening day, was disappointed that there wasn't a clear way to block out "just the bad parts" so he could again enjoy a Transformers movie with our sons. The sequel, to one of the most popular movies of Summer 2007, is littered with swearing (among other things). In fact, according to director Michael Bay, characters Mudflap & Skids were said to be created specifically for the kids but seemed to have the worst potty mouths in the movie. My boys love Transformers, and the toys are everywhere, but I refuse to let them have these 2 characters as toys.

This leads me to the newest release, GI Joe. I have not yet seen this feature film presentation, so I can't say exactly how this one will play out. However, before the PG-13 rating was announced, a rumor was floating around that it would be placed in the R rating category. My thoughts were instantly... Seriously? GI Joe? Please say it isn't so Joe!

I have no problem with these movies being full of fun and excitement, but why must we take our innocent childhood toys and cartoons and turn them into sexual, violent, cuss word filled movies? Wouldn't we love them without all of the extra "filler?" Wouldn't those of us who enjoyed these characters as kids love to have our own children embrace them as well? How can we do that if the rating is going to be above PG? Why do we set up endless displays in the toy aisles for our young kids to ooh and aah over if we don't intend to make the movies kid friendly? Take a look at the toys out there as well. Flip open level 1 Transformers were created for young fans, ages 3 and up, and I have seen Mr Potato Head with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee pieces as well. Why make some of these movie toys geared toward the very young if they aren't even able to watch the movie?

I'm not saying I don't enjoy the movies, but I just wish I didn't have to tell my kids, "you can play with the toys, but you can't watch the movie." Maybe it's not that at all. Maybe I'm just a little jealous of the full grown boys getting all of their toys made into movies. I mean I just wish Rainbow Brite or My Little Pony would get a movie and call someone "b****" or something... that'd grow up our girl cartoons! I even have a few ideas that could work....

Extreme Makeover: Rainbow Brite Edition

Actually, this one is partly real. Rainbow Brite dolls will be re released this Fall with a "new look" per a website I came across. RainbowBrite could come back bigger than ever!

Pony Talk
Smurfette Goes Wild Meets SNL's Greatest Hits

It's amazing to think that Barbie has been around for 50 years and still manages to be a lady! Well... almost! Barbie Girl by Aqua

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let's Get Personal, Reflections of Me

Before I get into today's topic, I would love to share a sweet little song that my oldest son made up and sang to me moments ago.

Mom I love you
Because you are so sweet
I'm glad you are my Mom
And you will always be

Did he want something? Maybe, but it was still adorable and made my day!

Okay, let's get personal. I've been looking forward to personalizing my blog page for a while now. My husband is a computer nerd, he knows I mean this as a compliment, and can help me figure out what I can't handle on my own. I'm not a generic soul, so this weekend we are hoping to upgrade & update my background. It may be unveiled for my "Meet Me On Monday" blog! That's the plan anyway.

I would love to make my blog space a simple statement of who I am. With a personality that is multi dimensional, I'm not sure how I'll be able to achieve the simplicity. I have high hopes that my husband, with a little help from me, will be able to create a look that "pops" as much as I do at times. He is good, but maybe this is an overwhelming tasks for anyone. I know I must exhaust him with my energizer bunny routine. I'm no "busy body," but I do like to keep myself occupied. I'm not sure how exactly to create a reflection of me that touches on all of these activities, hobbies, and "likes." Does that make me complex rather than simple?

I have a few questions for those who know me, or have gotten to know me recently. How do YOU visualize my page? What colors do you see on it? What about me would you expect to (or like to) see represented? What would you be surprised NOT to see?

Are you a blogger yourself? How do you personalize your blog? Do you give it a unique look or background? Do you say "who cares if the background is generic, because the writing sure isn't!" What makes your blog "you?"


O just sang me a new song, with plenty of kisses from M throughout. Do you think they are up to something? Oh well, I'll take the extra love any day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meet Me On Monday: Two Loves Meet

Meet Me On Monday:

This Monday, and random Monday's here after, my blog will reveal something about me. All meet me on Monday blogs will be clearly labeled.

Warning: Caution! Extreme crafty book nerd, with a strong love of the public library... Continue reading at your own risk!

As you may have previously read, I love books. Since learning to read as a kid, I was rarely seen without one in my possession. My Mom told me recently that she spoke with some former customers (of the family business) and they asked how her daughter was doing. To clarify, they said "the book worm, the one who was always reading." It's true, I'm a book nerd... and simply proud of it.

After having my children I found less and less time to read. In fact, at times it felt as though I was thirsty and the water was in reach, but I was unable to drink it. My kids however, kept me busy and fulfilled so I didn't often have time to think about how much I truly missed reading.

This past winter, while on the website for my local public library, I noticed a posting for a reading club. It was set up specifically for adults. The library had cleverly set it up as a BINGO card to be filled out. Every space held a different category, for instance mystery, a book from a series, craft/hobby fiction or non fiction, etc. There were prizes as incentive, but filling out the card was goal enough for me. Choosing a book in each category was my biggest challenge. The library had once again ignited my love of reading! *I will list the categories and books I read at the end of my blog.

While filling out my BINGO card, I decided to choose a scrapbooking themed fiction title to read for the crafty/hobby fiction box. I looked at some suggestions made by the library and came across a familiar sounding book. It was Coming Unglued: A Sister's Ink Novel by Rebeca Seitz. I had seen the first book in this series while browsing in a bookstore one day. I had put it on my "to read" list at the time, but not yet had the opportunity to actually read the book. I decided that now was the time to do so. I checked out the first available book in the series, which was the second, Coming Unglued. Long story short, I loved it and have since read all four of the Sister's Ink series novels by Rebeca Seitz, as well as a 5th book titled Prints Charming.

While reading these wonderful books, I began to wish I had a group to scrapbook with, just as the sisters (and friends) do in the novels. I wanted a chance to get together and bond with other women without having to pay a scrapbooking store to use their space. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to make it happen. My big question was... "but where?" Most people don't have enough room in their homes to have a group event. Then my thoughts went to the local library, where in a sense this desire all began. Our public library already has a knitting club, so starting one for scrapbooking made sense to me. I decided to take a chance and contact the library, via the website, about my idea. A short time later, I received an email in which interest was expressed. I was told to speak with the librarians at my local branch. I did just that, and they full embraced the start of a scrapbooking group!

Today is my second ever monthly scrapbook group evening at the local library's community room. Not only did the library help me get back into my reading habit, but it also gave me the opportunity to start a group that will hopefully involve making new friends, while enjoying one of my favorite hobbies. I certainly do love the library!

Yes, I scrapbook and I'm a book nerd... and I wouldn't change it for a second!

Winter Reading Club Books
International Theme or Author Atonement Ian McEwan
Pet/Animal Fiction or Non Fiction Anyone But You Jennifer Crusie
County Program Book/Readalike Plainsong Kent Haruf
Your Choice Sisters Ink Rebeca Seitz
Book to Movie Nights In Rodanthe Nicholas Sparks
Mystery or Thriller The Spy Who Came For Christmas David Morrell
Your Choice Where Are You Now? Mary Higgins Clark
Hobby Fiction or Non Fiction Coming Unglued: A Sister's Ink Novel Rebeca Seitz
Biography Fiction or Nonfiction Three Weeks With My Brother Nicholas Sparks
Your Choice Confessions of a Shopaholic Sophie Kinsella
NY Times Bestseller or Award Winner The Lucky One Nicholas Sparks
Green Book (by color or topic) Edge of Winter LuAnn Rice
Your Choice Anne of Ingleside LM Montgomery
Book in a Series Women's Murder Club Series: 7th Heaven James Patterson
Historical Fiction or Nonfiction One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd Jim Fergus
Staff Picks Home: A Memoir of my Early Years Julie Andrews