Thursday, November 20, 2014

Netflix in November: What I'm Watching, with Whom, and Why

As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I'll be doing a monthly post highlighting certain themes and movies from their service. In exchange for these posts, I received a year's membership to Netflix and a streaming device, but the opinions expressed are entirely my own! So be warned. : )

My family's got a big weekend coming up—back-to-back birthdays for Cate and Felicity, who turn 14 and 12 respectively. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be out shopping for turkey...and I'll get to that...maybe...though right now I'm trying to wrap my mind 'round the fact that my baby girls are growing up.

Can't I just, like, spray them with some sort of anti-aging lacquer?

"Please will you just stay ELEVEN?!"

"And YOU THERE! Would you just stay THIRTEEN?!!" 

Time, like the seasons, keeps marching along, and I hang on for the ride because WHAT CHOICE DO I HAVE? I'll tell you what I have been doing—I've been watching movies with my sweet, sweet girls and know for a FACT this is a good way to bond.

The way to a teenaged son's heart is through baked goods.

The way to a teenaged daughter's? Back-to-back episodes of Psych

* * *

That said, when it comes to watching movies with your teens and pre-teens, the key word is preview. Preview! Preview! Preview! And if you can't pre-view—i.e. view the program before they do—then watch it with them, 'cause there's lots of junk out there.

For example, I've recently discovered The Gilmore Girls and am smitten (already!) with the characters. Is it appropriate, though, for my almost-14-year-old? I'm not sure yet.

We also watched The Boy in Striped Pajamas as a family, but when I saw where the movie was going, and sensed that the ending would be really sad, we turned it off and just had a discussion. 

(I do like a good dose of reality now & then. It's a good remedy against being too superficial and spoiled, both for myself and for the kids.)

Here's a good website with plenty of common-sense advice. It's called Common Sense Media, coincidentally, and here are three great articles to get you started:

It's hard to be vigilant, especially with the holiday season approaching. We were at another family's house for dinner once and Forrest Gump was on the TV. I walked through the living room and it was just...playing to an empty room! Now I happen to really like that movie but it's definitely not for kids.

That Jenny girl had some issues. 

* * *

Getting back to the idea of my girls growing up...

We're talking a lot about school and friendship these days, and what it means to be a real friend. My 8th grader has commented on some of the cliques at her school and that some girls can be "extremely negative."  I feel anxious when I hear this and want to give these gals a stern talking-to, yet what can you do? You can be there for your girls and you can keep your home a cozy, safe place.

Bake them some peppermint chocolate chip cookies ('cause who doesn't love pairing peppermint and chocolate?) and cuddle up with some super-cute shows. I find that even my "big" girls like to watch the old favorites, and hey! Veggie Tales has a new movie on Netflix! It's called Veggie Tales: In the House and previews on November 26th.

We'll be making these cucumber rolls alongside those cookies.

The movie's called VEGGIE Tales, after all. ; )

Monday, November 17, 2014

In which I inadvertantly dye my hair black and attend a Garth Brooks concert

...We interrupt this blog's normal High Brow Reporting with a completely ridiculous and irrelevant post...

Last Friday night started out normally.  Well, "normally" for me, anyway, in that I was getting ready to go out with friends and was using that as an excuse to color my hair. (These days I need a good excuse because coloring my hair is  SO INCREDIBLY BORING.)

I poured a glass of wine and opened my 830th box of hair color. I buy the same brand every time: L'OrĂ©al Feria in my usual shade, "Bronzed Brown." 

Except for whatever reason it wasn't Bronzed Brown. 

It was Jane-from-Breaking-Bad-Blue-Black.

 Only older and with fewer drugs in my system. 

I immediately complained on Facebook, of course, and then finished my glass of wine and left for the concert. 

Jan, Amy, Tina & Raven

A Goth Brooks concert, in my case.

Get it? Ha ha. The joke's on me.

 Yes, this shot is really blurry. 
"Blame it all on my roots..." 

The concert was a ton of fun. He puts on a good show, as did his band.

(This from a gal who's less country than most.) 

(I do love me a good fiddler, though, and Garth Brooks is touring with one of the best.)

It was interesting to me, his approach to this tour. He took a break from touring to be home with his family--he's married to Trisha Yearwood, which you probably knew--and is now 52 and doing two shows a night for most of his tour.
Proof that the tiny little guy in the above photo was Garth. 

We attended his second show of the evening, which started at 10:30 and went until 2:00 a.m.

That's stamina, for both him AND me.

* * *

Now I am back to being your average wife-and-mom, albeit one with jet black hair.

You can bet I'll check the label next time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Organ Meats, Orange Peels and an Ordered Life

If you stop by my weekly menu, you'll see that I'm making adjustments as we go. For example, originally I'd thought that tomorrow (November 13th) was the Feast of St. Josephat. Silly me! It's today, which means that we'll have to honor him tomorrow with those Polish pierogies 'cause I'm not ready to make them tonight. 

Sorry, Mother Cabrini. We'll do pasta for you on another day.

I did, however, make "Poor Man's Goose" last night, and can now cross "serve my family liver" off the bucket list. Honestly, it wasn't bad, and frying it in bacon drippings made all the difference. As Jem remarked, "It's just really texture-y", so I think that "next" time, (should there be a next time), I will not bake the liver after frying it. That way, it'll keep its crispness.

Or so the theory goes.

Hey, at $2.89/lb, liver is an economical and extremely healthy choice. I do think I'll keep experimenting.

* * *

And hey, did you notice? Oranges are back in season!

Being every bit a mother, I finished off those oranges after he'd sucked out the juice.

(TMI? Forgive me.)

* * *

Lastly, you may have also noted from my weekly menu that I am not (currently) following the Whole30 plan. Au contraire! Au EXTREME contraire. Meanwhile, my paunch remains stubbornly in place as I try to decide which food philosophy to follow.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of food philosophies. Eat meat and no grain; eat grain and no meat; eat low-fat dairy; eat full-fat dairy; eat no dairy whatsoever; have a glass of red wine with every meal. (Now that last one sounds the most appealing.)

How about this? Eat less and exercise more.

Yeah, I agree. That one's WAY too hard.

* * *

It's true that personally, I do better with limits. It's an all-or-nothing thing, and I really do hate that about my temperament. That's why the Made to Crave book hit home; I know that I can only overcome my issues with God. I'm told that it's the same way with Light Weigh, and think that should the scheduling stars align in my favor, I'll join a Light Weigh group if offered the chance. 

Meanwhile I'll continue to discern and pray. God is good, all the time...and all the time, God is good.

(Name that movie! Jamie, I know you can.)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yes, the week is halfway over. Yes, the days are rushing past.


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