Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Greatest Showman

Want to read my novel on my relationship with the Greatest Showman? Oh good!!

So this particular subject and blog post have been on my mind for DAYS. I'm not exaggerating. When it first came out, one of the first things I heard about it was from a friend that I love and respect. She voiced her concerns over the historical inaccuracies and mistreatment of those with disabilities. For good reason, too. She will be helping her ridiculously adorable son for most of his life fight for every opportunity- she even had to fight for his life when the whole world was against him (doctors included). She's the most incredible mom!! Anyway- being an empath, this kind of thing really had me thinking hard about this movie!!

In the meantime, my newsfeed and instagram and family members were abuzz. EVERYONE seemed to like this movie. My mom couldn't stop talking about the incredible message and story. And if anyone knows my mom, they'll know that she would NEVER be an advocate for treating people poorly. I was SO confused!!

Then I was invited to go see it. I'll admit, I went in wanting to be able to point out the blatant flaws and mistreatments and horrible things in this movie. But there weren't any. At least, not any that encouraged people to be rude or justified the way those with disabilities, physical abnormalities, or anything else. The movie acknowledged that PT Barnum exaggerated the truth (putting stilts on the already tall man, stuffing the fat man with more pillows, etc). He even at one point said that he couldn't trick anyone else into giving him money and that people pay for the pleasure of being hoodwinked.

And the music!!! Oh, and the DANCING!!!! It was like watching White Christmas for the first time all over again!! I was entranced. I cried. I laughed. And I couldn't get enough. But did I love it? In principal, COULD I love it?

So I sat on it. I came home and read more about Mr. Barnum's not stellar way of treating people and starting his business. And I listened to the soundtrack- over and over and over again. Those who know me well know that I do NOT like things on repeat. And yet I found myself listening to album 3 times in one day! I also couldn't stop talking about it. To anyone who would listen, I presented my moral dilemma. And then I talked to the person who instilled in me my moral compass- my mom. I said to her, "MOM! Did you know that he purchased these people from their families? Like, bought them from their homes for money?" and she had the most beautiful response. I don't remember the exact words, but it was full of compassion and love, much like my mother herself. She reminded me that at the time, many of these people were literally hidden, neglected, and their families were often ashamed of them. Whether or not their lives were improved by PT Barnum, we don't know for sure. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren't. But they at least had a chance at something different.

So with that on my note, I started thinking about standards. How many historical pictures to we shame and feel anger at because we hold them to today's standards. Is it, in any way acceptable NOW to purchase people? No. Is it ok for any kind of slavery now? No. And yet.... Do we try to change our US history because former presidents owned slaves? Do we smear their name at every chance we can? No. Why? Because his accomplishments were greater than his misdeeds. And- did he really know better? Many people slam Christopher Columbus for the terrible things he did, but how much do we know about what were HIS choices and what were by command of the crown? Remember he had to ask many people to fund his trip. We don't know what he had to agree to to get said funding. But do we refuse to live on this continent because of his misdeeds? No. We're grateful to be here anyway. His accomplishments, in the scheme of NOW, outweigh his misdeeds. After writing this today, I found this video that I found fascinating:

What if in 50 years, scientists find that the best way to keep children completely happy and cancer free is to lace all of the kids food with weevils and weevil bits? Do I want to be called a terrible mom because now, without that knowledge, I'm doing everything in my power for my children NOT to eat weevils? No. We don't know exactly what the thoughts were in PT Barnum's time. The world was a strange place where all kinds of things were acceptable. It doesn't make it ok for now's time. But he's dead. That's between him and Heavenly Father at this point. His judgement has already passed.

What good has come since his time? We're able to see people's differences for what they are and without fear. We can find out what causes disabilities and we understand now that they are people worthy of as much medical attention, care, and respect as everyone else. Do they always get that? No, because people are still people.

Anyway- I digress. So back to whether or not I'm ok to like this movie, lol. I realized that one thing different here was that I went into the movie already knowing a bit about PT Barnum's shady past. How many movies have I watched "inspired by true events" that I LOVED and then found out that wasn't really what happened, but then still loved the movie? Remember the Titans- Gosh, still one of my favorites, even though not really the way it was. Also, did you know if a movie is "inspired by" true events, it's mostly fiction. If it's "based on" a true story, it sticks closer to the truth. So there is that.

I'm almost done, I promise!! So I listened to the soundtrack- a LOT and my son said to me, "Wow, Mom. You must really love this!" and it kind of decided it for me. I love this movie/music/story for what it was, what it is. And I went again at the very next opportunity. I went in allowing myself to love it and guess what- I SO did!! THIS story (whether accurate or not) is about family. It's about accepting yourself for who you are. It's about appreciating what and who you have in your life. And the DANCING. I just can't get past the dancing.... AMAZING!!

So there you go. Go see it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

This doesn't belong here.

This doesn't fit with anything crafty or any kind of reviews or digiscrapping. It has nothing to do with anything, but I needed an outlet. I needed to be able to tell my story and this was just available.

Maybe I'm jus crazy, but in the event that I'm not, I need to write this down.

When we were pregnant with Abraham, we both felt that there was another baby waiting for us. There's nothing you can do about that, so we just tucked that information away in our hearts.

When the Captain was a few months old, a friend felt prompted to share with me some information on how to keep kidney stones away while pregnant (since I'd suffered from Calicum stones the last 2 pregnancies). We both felt like we should try for a baby in June. June came and we both felt like it meant NEXT June. So we waited and made a plan. We even stuck to the plan, which, to be honest, is not something I do well. The plan was to go off my ADHD meds in March or April, off of birth control at the end of April, and probably be pregnant by June.

In the meantime, Roger and I went to the temple. We did sealings and the sealer asked how many kids we had. Immediately after I answered 5, I felt so ashamed. I felt like I had lied to him and that my other child was saying, "What about me?! Don't forget about me!!!"

May came, and with it a couple of pregnancy symptoms. I, foolishly, got my hopes WAY up, where they came crashing down over the Memorial Day weekend when I realized that I was definitely NOT pregnant. I was bummed. And embarrassed. But it was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it.

Enter June. June I had a LOT of pregnancy symptoms. I was gagging when I brushed my teeth, had no desire to eat sweets, completely exhausted, and a whole number of other symptoms (some of which I had to look up because I had never had them before). Out of the blue, Abraham would be playing on my belly and start saying, "Baby." The kids all felt like I was pregnant. Roger felt like I was pregnant. I did, too, but incredulous because of May. Most of my previous pregnancies were confirmed by my youngest children. So I put quite a bit of merit on that.

Before all this- we almost always have 1 or 2 names picked out per gender before we even GET pregnant. Previously, our girl names were Persephone and Evangeline. Our boy name is Lorenzo. The kids would always say they were SURE our next one is a girl because we have boy, girl, boy, girl, boy and that's the order would be consistent. I always joked that Heavenly Father had a sense of humor and that he'd be more likely to send us twin boys than to keep a nice, pretty pattern.

During all this June baby talk, we really did ALL feel like it was a girl. Persephone seemed ALL wrong. Evangeline wasn't sitting the best with me, either, but I wasn't going to worry about that right now. One day, the kids were all in the room when I was finishing an episode of Gilmore Girls and one of the kids asked, "What about Lorelai?" Now, truth be told, I've loved the name Lorelai since the first time I watched the first episode of Gilmore Girls, but I figured it was popular due to the show and didn't want people to call her Rory because I don't like that character, lol. But now, all the kids were on board and it sounded just as pretty as ever.

As the days and weeks passed, I was so preoccupied with feeling pregnant. I took way too many pregnancy tests and didn't stress too much that they were all negative. After all, 1. It wasn't time for me to start and 2. Both of my girls had each taken FOREVER to show up positive.

Then, Sunday happened. According to the online forms you fill out said that I was supposed to start Wednesday. I took one of those "5 day early" tests. It was negative. That's when I knew. I knew I wasn't pregnant. Even though false negatives are common that early. I had Roger give me a blessing. It was beautiful. In it, he said Heavenly Father was proud of my decisions. He reminded me that I'd get my answers soon, but my thoughts and feelings were from Him. Again, I just kind of knew at that point, but still hoped otherwise. I asked Abraham if there was a baby in my tummy. Instead of the kind, sweet, "Baby" response I'd grown used to, he said, "NO BABY. "

I sent a text to a couple of friends expressing my frustration. One friend responded, "Love ya... And... Patience, Iago. Patience. Lorelai Patience Fish..." We knew that is her name. Lorelai Patience.

Tuesday, Roger and I celebrated our anniversary. We went and saw Wonder Woman (fabulous movie, btw). I went to the restroom at the restaurant and sure enough, a day earlier than planned, I had 100% proof that I was not pregnant. When I told the kids, Vaughn didn't believe me at first. I cried on the way to my mom's house because I felt Lorelai wanted to come just as desperately as I wanted her to.

When I told Abraham today, he seemed to be agitated and almost angry. "NO BABY!"

I feel like I've lost her for a time, but not forever. I feel like she's still supposed to come to our family with a body. We just have to be patient. And so does she.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Earbud Review by Xander

                           Review by 12 Year Old Xander

These Riwbox X7 Sport Headphones  are great! We got these earbuds in exchange for our honest review. 

Here is a list of what I look for in earbuds and if it has it:
 1 Pause button: yes (the phone button on back)
 2 volume control: yes (don't turn it up all the way)
 3 comfy for my ears: yes
 4 noticeable*: yes * I have 4 siblings that will talk over what I am listing to.

Buy them HERE:

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Little Bit at a Time

My family is doing a food challenge. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. I really, really like my sugar. A lot. And I've learned that my body uses is a bit differently than most people do. I know that I need to make some permanent changes in my life so it can be ling and healthy, but sometimes the sheer amount of preparation it takes to eat better is so overwhelming. One thing that is making it easier is my new toy!! I shouldn't say toy because it's WAY too sharp to be a toy.

Check out my new mandolin!

I even made a video using this! I did not get this for free, but did get it at a discount.

You can buy one here:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lightning Fast French

I wanted my first post of the new year to be the amazing bedrooms the kids got for Christmas, but, it's not. Because they are not done. Because mommy forgot to incorporate the cost of hardware and time to hang everything up. I feel like my whole house is in shambles at the moment. Anywho- I am back to reviewing.

Today's review is for this book called Lightning Fast French.I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. Juliana made a video explaining how it's different than other programs she's used:
Here's a still shot of the cover:
You can click on the picture or HERE to purchase it from Amazon. It's fun to see Juliana excited again. I was worried that our French days were done. I know they have a few other languages as well.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

3D Pens Review

For Juliana's birthday, she got these 3D pens. I thought she would use them a TON since she does lots of craft projects, but after the first couple of days, she didn't seem excited about it. Not sure why. Maybe I'll have to sit down and play with her so I can get a better feel, too. Maybe it was because she only followed the instructions and didn't realize how much she could do on her own. I hope she'll give it another try, because this girl can do amazing things!! #ido3d

Here's a link to her review video:

Purchase the 3D pens HERE or HERE.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Christmas Plans pt 2

So now that  themes have been established, work has started! Thrift stores have been visited! Art projects have begun!

Here's what I've purchased so far-

Girls Room- Dolphin Pillow Pet, Candelabra (for the fork, knife, and spoon), metal whale decoration, tray to display seashells (and I traded some work for some GORGEOUS seashells)

Boys Room- Apothecary Display case, "Magic" journal, some Hogwarts House coat of arms I found at ComicCon, and the beginnings of the owl cage.

Projects that have been started and/or finished-

Girls Room- Temple Mermaid Painting
Mini Paintings

And, in progress,  the giant mermaid. This started as the idea to do the stained glass mermaid from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but those colors were BORING! So now..... here is where we stand

I'm currently using these Art Chest round paintbrushes that I'm reviewing. I got them at a discount in exchange for my honest review. They are absolutely fabulous!!! I love how close and detailed I can get the edges! It is still supposed to look "stained glass-y". #theartchestbrushes

Boys room- Ok, I'll be honest, I have not entirely sure I've started anything for the boys room aside from Xander's afghan. I'm not using a pattern at all, so I really can't show you much. I have LOTS of ideas, but haven't started in them. Terrible, I know!

Ok, so that's all for now!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Logic Games!!

Can I just tell you how much I love the company "Think Fun?!" I've been trying to incorporate logic games and thinking games into my kids' school day for a while, but they can only play so many Sudoku games, you know?

I have previously reviewed games from this company. Both Balance Beans and Clue Master were immediate favorites of my kids!

I applied to review the game Shape Logic, but the company accidentally sent me Brick Master. They were SO professional about the mixup and even agreed to let me keep the extra game. Tonight I'll be reviewing Shape Logic. Brick Master will be in a video sometime in the future. (I did receive these for free in exchange for my honest review)

First up- Shape Logic! You can purchase this on Amazon.

In this game, you have to make the shape it tells you to by stacking and turning other shapes. I know that doesn't make a ton of sense, so here is a video of my kids explaining it.

My dad, who loves logic puzzles said that at the very beginning, he wasn't too impressed because the puzzles were easy. He was pleasantly surprised, however, when they quickly got MUCH harder and made even HIM think!

My kids don't love this one as much as they love Balance Beans, but it's a great way to get them to think and be quiet during the day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gettin' My Storage On

I'm sick of having a house that is a big giant dump because I can't afford to buy stuff to make it look cute or organize it and the wall unit I've wanted built in for the last 10 years is barely closer at all. So I found this review...... (I got this for free in exchange for my honest review).

These are for Toys and Storage, but that's not necessarily the coolest thing. The coolest thing is that outside, it looks like fancy jute. Inside, though, is plastic lined!!! WHY is this cool? Well, how many times has your kid spilled something in the toy box? Or a leaky sippy been thrown in and forgotten? Or crumbs and dust from laundry piled up at the bottom of a basket that yo could never get out?

You should totally order your own #ziggybaby

This was the official review I gave it.
In finding storage for baby toys and the like generally has two problems. You can get super cute baskets that look nice and hold your things, but what happens when cute kiddo decides to pour his juice over his toys? Yick! They are generally hard to clean. So you could go the opposite direction and stuff everything in totes. But then you either look like an uber-organized neat freak or.... just very utilitarian. This is the perfect balance. These are lined with washable plastic on the inside, but look like they are fancy jute totes on the outside! They hold a whole mini library of baby books, or a baby, or the baby's toys.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adulting for the win!!!

This may sound stupid. But there are times in my life when I look around and go, "Hey, I guess I am really a grown up." I had one of those moments recently. Was it because I have 5 kids and my 12 year old goes off to Young Men's each week? No (well, not after the first few times). Is it because I have a mortgage payment and a car payment? No. Is it because there are home improvement projects that need my attention? No. Is it because I got REAL GROWN UP steak knives? Yes!!!! I had the opportunity to review these #slitzer knives for free in exchange for my honest review and they are SO COOL! They are like, twice the size of my cheap-o knives I got as a wedding gift and definitely sharper!! Aren't they pretty?

And here is a video I made about them: