Monday, December 31, 2012

OK - an (almost) unbiased review of Les Miserables

So I saw the movie that people either loved, or didn't really like at all.  Or didn't like some of it.  Or mostly liked it, but had criticisms about this, that, or something else.

I am a person who loves music, have performed in jr. high school musicals, sings (on and off) in the church choir, have taken just a few voice lessons to improve what tiny amount of talent I might have, and (though I hate to admit it) generally don't like movies with a lot of singing it them.

So, the pretty average viewer.  

And though I love movies in general, I have a hard time staying awake to see the whole thing, even in a theater.  And watching them at home, well, forget about it . . . (it's a slightly genetic thing, I think.  You'd believe me if you know my Dad).

Read a few reviews by regular people and talked to a couple people who saw it and liked it / didn't like it / liked it, but had some criticisms.

The harshest reviewers were the ones who had seen one or more live productions of the play, large and small.

They said the singing wasn't the greatest.  Some performances were better than others, but generally, lower quality than Professional Opera Singers.

But for me, the only time I saw this play was a not-very-professional tape recording of a semi-professional production.  And I was aware of the general outline of the movie and the characters, something that I had seen and heard during my brief run of voice lessons.

So I really didn't have any firm, preconceived notions of this movie.

Nor do I have real training, or an ear, for the perfect pitch, tone, or phrasing.

(Unless, of course, you include the training I get when I watch American Idol or America's Got Talent or The Voice.   I love those shows!)

I think that was to my benefit
when I saw this Les Miserables.
THIS movie, I stayed awake for.
Not one single moment of nodding off for me.

After the first few minutes, when I became adjusted to the fact that this movies was indeed going to be mostly sung (see second paragraph) I settled in and really got caught up in the story.

This movie, without exception, was the most emotionally performed of any movie that I have ever seen in my life.  (And I have been alive for quite a while).

The raw emotion, the more-than-heartfelt and gut-wrenching performances of the actors, who mostly are known for acting, and not singing, along with some really really great unknown (to me, anyway) vocalists, really made me feel the emotions of what those individuals must have gone through during that era of time.  I know, I know, this is not a true story but there is always truth in every good story.  It is based on historical truths of the era.  I felt those truths as they were sung with such passion.  

A special note about Anne Hathaway.  I first saw her in "The Other Side of Heaven", which may have been her first role.  Not a big part, but her career spring-boarded from there.  Some bad, some good, and some excellent movies.  Usually the Good Girl, always at least the Pretty Girl.

So, for her to put herself through what she must have, emotionally and physically, to play this role, is beyond compare.  Shorn locks, dirt, and decay, through and through.

Her performance of the heart-wrenching "I Dreamed a Dream" was, hands down, the most passionate, anguished, and beautiful performance of any song that I have seen or heard, anytime, anywhere, by anyone.

I loved this movie.

And in the wise words of my son, Chad, "the entire point of the movie is to teach a Christ like principle.... and they did it without being overly churchy.  Really cool."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chloe's Day

Well, with just a little drama (scheduled induction bumped, called in a few hours later, started labor, breech, and a quickly scheduled and successful c-section!)

...we now welcome Chloe Belle Hildesheim to our gang!
 6 lbs 14 oz, 18.5", born 12-06-2012


Mom and baby are doing well.

This morning ~

Friday, November 30, 2012

Well, I For One Never Get Tired of Posting Photos of my Grandbabies . . .

Chad with his tiny daughter . . .
(Elena's mom is in the background.  So sweet)

( . . . and yes, there are going to be a LOT of these kinds of photos here, with our new little Alli, and Chloe Belle due any day now!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Little Shower....

...for a couple of sweet baby girls.  MY baby girl, and the baby girl she is growing!
 Chloe Belle will be born sometime in the next few weeks.....we can't wait to meet her.
(And thank you, Becca and Britney, for the fantastic shower you provided!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Running With Friends (Right?)

Motivation is always a good thing.  Especially when I comes to working out.  Last year during the holidays, I did the Ironman Challenge (the Ironman 26.2 run, 112 mile bike, 2 mile swim - done over a two-week time period).  That went pretty well, so I decided to do it again.  Started yesterday.
This morning I read a friend's blog.  This is what she posted:

So I am going to do it, too!  I will also only do it 6 days a week, for the same reason she gave.

And I will post my progress on my sidebar - on the right, at the top!

Anyone want to join me?

Update:  with the holidays upon us, I have decided to wait on my Ironman Challenge until after Christmas, when it will be a little more do-able.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cutie Pie!

Baby Allison is doing well!  She weighed in at
6 lbs 14 oz, 19 inches.
(She still has red hair.  I just can't get over it)

Happy Thanksgiving 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Meet Allison.....

Born this morning just before 8 am, Texas time, this is Allison LaRee Carey, our newest granddaughter and the newborn baby of our son, Chad, and his wife, Elena.  
More photos to come soon!  
(And, Yes -  She is a redhead!)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where Did It Go?

So this whole summer went by without a single non-political post.  And only just a few of those.
Sorry about that.  I do have a life.....

But what can I say?  This whole election has got me all worked up.  I just need to get it out of my system.  I know you must feel like I do, right?

So, my 3 readers, I will soon post about something else.  My family.  This summer.  What my family and I did this summer,....etc.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Little (true) Story About Mitt....

My Mom sent this in an email to me today.    I love getting these kinds of stories about Mitt Romney.   It shows so much about his true character.  
I checked facts on this and could find no disagreement. He seems much more prepared and experienced for leading our nation than our current "leader".       Suzanne

Mitt Romney is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as theMormon Church. The church is a lay church. This means that all church leadership is made up of volunteers who are not compensated monetarily. Members of the Church become accustomed to finding themselves in positions for which they had no real prior training or experience and simply jumping in. They consult more knowledgeable people, they study, they practice, and most importantly, they pray. In time, they become skilled at the task they’ve been assigned. Mormons learn to do whatever needs doing.

This has been the background of Mitt Romney’s life. He learned throughout the years to do whatever needed doing. In 1968, when he was a young man, he accepted a call to go to France for two and a half years to teach the people there about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries are sent away from their homes and families and are expected to learn to thrive in and understand the new cultures where they’re placed.

France was a troubled place when Romney arrived there and provided some unnerving experiences for a young American man. There were riots, disrupted communication, and a government near collapse. Romney, who faced the hardship of trying to teach religion in a country filled with chaos, prepared later in his mission for a new challenge as assistant to his mission president. Even then he was consistently a leader. He worked hard and got results. He was ready for leadership.

Things were not perfect on his mission, however. As Romney was driving the mission president, the mission president’s wife, and Romney’s missionary companion to an appointment, another car came speeding around a curve, missed a turn and swerved into their lane, hitting them. Romney was pronounced dead by police. Though he did survive, Romney had to overcome some injuries, not the least of which were pyschological and emotional: the mission president’s wife did die. Romney’s grief was intense.

However, despite grief and the physical pains of the accident, Romney was not allowed much time to recover. His mission president left for a time to take his wife’s body home. Romney, who was only 21 years old, and his companion found themselves in charge of an entire mission, a task normally assigned only to much older men. They were responsible for overseeing 200 missionaries and assist in serving 3,000 church members. Another mission president, assigned to Geneva, was sent in to provide emergency training and support, but he quickly found the young men knew what to do, so he returned to his own mission. He said they were quite capable. Romney pushed aside his grief and pain and focused on the task in front of him. He was excited by the opportunity to learn to do something extremely difficult under difficult circumstances.

The expectation was that Romney and his companion would do the minimum required to keep things functioning, a tremendous task in itself. However, Romney was not then—as he is not now content with doing the minimum. He decided that although they’d only baptized 70 people the first half of the year, they’d baptize a total of 200 for the entire year. He went around the mission, speaking to the young missionaries and getting them excited about this new goal. He learned to speak to large audiences, a skill which has benefited him greatly in his secular life.

Mitt Romney’s mission introduced him to a life of unselfish service, of putting the needs of others before your own, even in the midst of great trials. This is one of the blessings that can come from a well-served mission.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kindergarten Grad!

Last week my granddaughter Evalie graduated from Kindergarten!

Here's she is with her brother Evan and Aunt Noelle.  

(Sorry about the terrible cell phone photos)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Has America Become?

This was posted online by Raymond1 today in response to President Obama's latest press conference, where he said the "private sector is doing fine".    Only to retract his statement just hours later, by saying that the economy is actually NOT doing fine, which is why he held the before mentioned press conference in the first place!

What has America become?
Has America become the land of special interest and
home of the double standard?
Let's see: If we lie to the Congress, it's a felony
and if Congress lies to us it's just politics.
If we dislike a black person,
we're a racist
and if a black dislikes whites,
it's their 1st Amendment right.  
The government spends millions
to rehabilitate criminals and
they do almost nothing for the victims.
In public schools you can teach
that homosexuality and lesbianism is ok,
but you better not use the
word God in the process.
You can murder a child in the mothers womb,
but it's wrong to execute a mass murderer.
We don't burn books in
America, we now rewrite them.
We got rid of the communist &
socialist threat by renaming them progressives. 
If you protest against Obama's
policies you're a terrorist,
but if you burn an American flag or George
Bush in effigy, it's your 1st Amendment right. 
You can have pornography on TV or the internet,
but you better not put a nativity scene 
in a public park during Christmas.  
In America, criminals are now called sick people.  
Parenting has been replaced with Ritalin & video games.  
The land of opportunity is now the land of hand outs.  
And how do we handle a major crisis today?
The Government appoints a committee to 
determine who's at fault, then threatens
them, passes a law, raises our taxes,
then tells us the problem is
solved so they can get back to
their reelection campaign.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Crazy Boys!

Could these boys possibly be any cuter, crazy-er, or adorable?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time Out for Women (and girls!)

Love, love, Loved it!  Great weekend, and we will do it again, asap!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bike Hike

Lately, Isaac and I having been doing a little exploring at Farragut National Park.
 Jumped on our bikes and had a great time.
This creek is runoff from the mountains, headed to the lake.  Super, duper cold in April!
I know, I am late late late posting this!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Lucky 7th Birthday!

Happy Birthday Dillon!  Your Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins all LOVE YOU!

Pinewood Derby winner!

Congrats on your first time out, First Place finish!  You are awesome!
(and so is your dad!)

....and sorry about the terrible cell phone photo, buddy.
Love you,

Saturday, April 21, 2012


My son Isaac turned twelve today.  He is one of the best kids around.

I will tell you a little story about his cake - yes this cake -  to give you an example.
He wanted a cake that he could decorate himself with his favorite candy.  
All boy, this one.  
So we picked up a cake at Costco, his favorite flavor.    
He didn’t want any cartoons or pictures on it 
and he didn't really want anything written on it, either, 
(but mom prevailed).
We got it home in one piece, 
but I set it down on our bench near the fridge 
while we moved things around to make space for it.  
What I didn’t realize is 
that I had set the edge of it on a binder 
so it was at a slight angle, 
and while we fussed with the fridge,
it s-l-o-w-l-y slid off the binder and upside down onto the floor.  
THANKfully the thick plastic wrap was still on it 
so I was able to pick it right up and flip it over.


It was pretty odd-shaped and mushed, to say the least.

But instead of having a meltdown 
or refusing to have it at his party, 
Isaac just dealt with it.

He knew that it was too far to drive back and get another.  
(We live about 12 miles from town, 
and we have a Suburban.  Yeah.)

He knew that I didn’t have the time or 
the baking supplies to make him another. 

So he just cheerfully covered it with candy – 
I know - it looks kinda crazy. 
But crazy like the 12-year-old young man that he is becoming! 

Happy Birthday, Isaac!  I Love you!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Conservatism, Explained

Why My Liberal Neighbors Aren’t Speaking To Me Anymore

I recently asked my neighbors’ little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, are liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, ‘If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?’
She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’
Her parents beamed with pride.

’Wow…what a worthy goal.’ I told her, ‘But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that! You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, (*or to the neighbor who hasn't had a job in a year; or to the student who is getting ready to go to college, etc etc) and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.‘
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, ’ Why doesn’t the homeless guy (*OR the unemployed man, OR the Student) come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50? ‘

I said, ‘Welcome to Conservatism.’
Her parents still aren’t speaking to me

From the Independent Journal Review

*My additions, lest you think that I think that the homeless guy is just too lazy to get a job....I don't)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We have a Nominee!

Have all of my fellow Republicans been following the primaries like I have?

I doubt it.

The state of our country has been weighing heavily on my mind, and so I have immersed myself in political news every day.  It's driving my kids batty, I know.  But they don't really understand what I have seen these past few years, the radical changes and disregard for the Constitution.

Whatever your ideas and opinions about Mitt Romney may be, these photos will bring to life the real person that he is.    I am going to support him 100% (of course) and I hope that you all will, too.

Enjoy the photos!