Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Posted by The G Fam at 9:04 PM
We are excited to announce that Lily has another new cousin! Forest Isaiah was born on June 29th, weighing 6lbs 6oz. Can't wait to meet the new little guy next week. This is the only pic I am going to post for now, I will let his parents do all of the bragging on their blog in the coming days... check back soon at Tiff and Robert's blog.
Posted by The G Fam at 8:36 PM
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Posted by The G Fam at 12:59 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Ben and I don't waste all of our free time watching movies, we also happen to read a decent number of books. Ben usually sticks to either political or theological reads but he is also known to throw in an occasional Wilbur Smith or Michael Crichton into the mix. I on the other hand, avoid political books like the plague and tend to comfortably stick to the chick-lit genre (especially books by Marian Keyes). Even though chick-lit will never fail to entertain, it is the equivalent of cotton candy for your brain. Once in a while I will venture outside of my favorite genre and pick up something a little more engaging. Hence the most recent book that I devoured....
At the urging of my friend Jennifer, I decided to check out an autobiography entitled "Escape", by Carolyn Jessop. "Escape" is a dramatic first-person account of Carolyn Jessop's life inside of a polygamist fundamentalist cult ( The FLDS) and her eventual flight to freedom with her eight children in tow. Jessop's book exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in cult-run schools. In her book, Jessop goes into detail about the rise of self-proclaimed prophet, Warren Jeffs and the bizarre power that he wielded over thousands of people. For those of you unfamiliar with Jeffs, he is the nut-job that had the huge compound with 400+ children in Texas. Due to accounts such as those of Carolyn Jessop, Jeffs is currently serving time behind bars.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am slightly intrigued (only in a curious outsider kind of way!) by polygamous groups and their bizarre lifestyles.It is mind blowing to think that people are still living like this in modern North America. "Escape," is a riveting account of an inspiring and intelligent woman. Even though the book touches on some dark subject matter (child abuse and an 18 year old's marriage to a 55 year old man, ect.), "Escape" manages to not be a gratuitous. After a bit of research I was also thrilled to learn that the book was recently picked up as a movie that will be starring Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy fame.
Overall, "Escape" was the perfect escape from my usual diet of chick-lit and made me appreciate a brief, albeit excellent, foray into literature that made my brain work a little harder. I highly recommend this book.
Posted by The G Fam at 8:56 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Posted by The G Fam at 9:46 AM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I am not naturally bent towards things that are rugged and outdoorsy. But you know, I am willing to give the great outdoors a shot once in a while. We figured that camping is something you are supposed to do with kids. Kids are often covered in dirt- camping is really dirty. Kids can act like wild animals and wild animals belong in the forest (or jungle but we don't have one of those nearby). So we decided to pack up The Lil, the family tent trailer and a load of warm blankets and head for the trees. We also convinced our friends, the Driebergen Family, to join us in our woodsy revelry. The Driebergens are practically professional campers and even have a propane powered 'camping coffeemaker' that they bring along with them. A couple of the highlights of our one night camping adventure included:
1. Meeting a local Raccoon.
2. Meeting several local mice friends.
3. Being randomly checked on by two sets of parents. This really did happen, I guess they did not trust us all with small children in the wilderness?
4. In no specific order...Eating Schezuan chips, s'mores, hot dogs (with melted cheese), twizzlers, steak, chicken, strawberries, eggs, sausage, chewy chips ahoy, Tim Horton's coffee, hot chocolate and Timbits, hash browns, smokin' stampede chips, caesar salad and various other beverages that I will not divulge on the world wide web. Umm.. apparently you just gorge yourself when camping? This all took place in a 15 hour window which included a few hours of sleep too.
5. Learning the hard way that my husband snores in the great outdoors.
6. Realizing that the Sesame Street DVD and our portable DVD player are some of the most precious items that we own (see pic below for example).
I am still not totally convinced that being smelly, cold and surrounded by small vermin is the be all and end all. Give me a beach resort any day but I suppose it can be nice to be in touch with our inner nature enthusiast once in a while.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I have been severely neglecting my Movie Madness posts for the past couple of months. As you know Ben and I rent a ridiculous number of movies each week and have seen almost every new release unless it is a horror show or a really lame chick (or animal) flick. I am hesitant to put up all of the movies that we have recently seen since I know we don't exactly have PG taste. But what the heck, I like to think that some risque movies are worth viewing if they have a great story line and redemptive value. Here is a very brief rundown of a few of my personal favorites and also some definite losers that we have viewed:
Gran Torino- Just finished Gran Torino today and was pleasantly surprised by this fantastic movie. Clint Eastwood's crusty character quickly grows on you and becomes endearing by the end of the flick. Just be warned that this movie has its fair share of foul language. Grade: A
The Reader- I was looking forward to watching Kate Winslet in a couple of her latest movies and I can say that The Reader does not disappoint. This movie gives the viewer a personal look into the illicit relationship between a young German boy and an older woman in post WWII Germany. This movie has LOTS of nudity (too much for my taste) but the story woven in between the nude scenes is riveting. Grade:A
The Children of Huang Shi- I don't know if this movie ever made it to the Big Screen but it called out to me from the shelf of our video rental joint. The Children of Huang Shi stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers (from The Tudors) in an interesting biography of the life of George Hogg, a British journalist who saved a group of orphans during the Japanese occupation of China in the 1930's. Grade: A-
The 4th Season of Weeds- I am a HUGE fan of Showtime's Weeds so I was anxious to devour the 4th season. In typical Weeds fashion, this television series does not disappoint. It has the perfect mixture of dark comedy and some good old fashion drama. For those of you who are not privy to what Weeds is all about, the series is based on the life of a suburban housewife that decides to start dealing pot after the unexpected death of her husband. Sounds a little morbid? Yeah, maybe. But this show rocks. Grade: A
Big Love- I have a bit of a fascination with the polygamist sub-culture that habitates in places like the state of Utah, so I was game when Ben brought home the first season of Big Love (don't worry I am not planning on adding any 'sister wives' to our happy home! ahaha). Big Love is based around the lives of a polygamous family that is trying to live a normal life in Salt Lake City. Big Love is big fun. The show has a slew of quirky/interesting characters and great writing. There is obviously a bit of sex in Big Love, but come on they're all married, right?!
He's Just Not That Into You- This is what my mother would dub 'a trashy little comedy." Based on the book by the same title, He's Just Not That Into You was a guilty two hour delight. After hearing mixed reviews about this flick (even despite its all-star cast) I was pleasantly surprised by its endearing storyline. It is worth a rent. Grade: B
Defiance- Ben thought that I should place this movie under my 'Good' category but I am still hesitating this decision even while I write. Defiance is decent enough movie. The flick stars Daniel Craig (the new James Bond) as a Jewish man who decides to create a community of Jewish survivors in a Russian Forest during WWII. The movie is violent and sometimes edges towards gory. Not totally my cup of tea but it was well-made. Grade: B-
Revolutionary Road- After watching The Reader I was anticipating the release of Revolutionary Road. This 1950's biopic reunites the steamy duo of Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio- the story is based on the couple's tumultuous relationship. The dialogue is quick and witty. The acting is decent. But overall Revolutionary Road was a downer and the script didn't seem to go anywhere. Grade: C+
The International- If you are looking for a half-hearted, predictable, thrillerish, conspiracy movie, then check out The International. I generally like to watch Clive Owen films because he is my 'older man' crush but this movie just plain crushes my brain with boredom. Even the flashy international sets, Clive's accent and his lovely co-star Naomi Watts do not redeem this lame attempt at a thriller. Grade: C-
Phew... that is a lot of hours sitting in front of my television. It actually disgusts me a little in retrospect.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Bella found a new home today! Hurray! Our poor kitty has been unsettled ever since the birth of our maniac daughter. Today Bella found a new home with a nice lady and her 13 year old daughter. I am both nostalgic and a little bit relieved. I think that it will be a few years before we invite a another pet to share our home. Best wishes Bella!
Posted by The G Fam at 8:03 PM
Monday, June 8, 2009
Perused the flowers with Mommy.
Posted by The G Fam at 9:12 AM
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Fam Pic. You can see some of the Star Wars aficionados if you look very carefully in the background.
Posted by The G Fam at 5:27 PM