Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Bouncerrific!

Last year on Thanksgiving Day my mom rented a bounce house for all the grandkids. Pure genius! This year we did it again 2 days before Christmas and my whole family was there. This time we got the SpongeBob SquarePants edition, complete with over sized romper room AND inflatable basketball hoop. Oh, it's ON! We also had Kelly and Brian this year, and I am pretty sure that Kelly has more energy than most people I have met in my life combined. Needless to say, the nieces and nephews now love her even more. If that is even possible :)

My kids screamed with freak-out joy when we drove up to Grandma's house.

Addie demonstrating some of her "Addie-tude"...

I am so glad Kelly offered to take this picture for me. It is one of my favorites :)

The "adult" supervision. Don't worry about Chris down there, he's a doctor.

Luke was doing some pretty sweet Iron Man jumps out the door.

All the siblings and Kelly played a very intense game of HORSE in the bounce house. I pretty much dominated. But there were some amazing moves going on in there- spectacular shots and spectacular wipe-outs. We were all crippled the next day.

Brian and Kelly mixing up some Chex Mix happiness. Seriously, it had coconut and almonds, butter- oh, it was good, despite Brian's face indicating otherwise. He was going for the look of 'robot chef' I believe...

Grandpa and Wyatt with the ice cream. Wyatt got to try all kinds of new things this year at Grandma's- there hasn't been a dull food moment over there for two weeks. My waistline can totally verify that fact :)

Alright, we are almost to Christmas! But tomorrow will be interrupted with a year-end post that I have been dying to publish. Hopefully it will accidentally push lots of readers to my blog and help us all make better decisions. Tah tah for now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cindy J. Sweeney: Toothless Wonder

Well, it finally happened. Cindy's tooth that became loose back sometime in November is finally out! It was hanging on by a thread yesterday afternoon, and since we were all headed out to the Temple and the kids were staying with a sitter all night (and I did NOT want to miss this moment), Jacob decided "just to look at it" and whattayaknow! It came right out :) She was a little disturbed by the blood and the wierd-feeling hole it left, but she returned to normal (her version) pretty soon after. She spent the night at Grandma's with her cousin's last night, so the Tooth Fairy will have to visit tonight. Although, I have a feeling the Tooth Fairy is fresh out of cash, and might just have to leave her an expired box of off-brand stuffing mix. Which is WAY better than a dollar if you ask me...

And coincidentally, that tooth is first one she got as a baby. Amazing how that works!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just a Little Bit

With all that I have been doing with my family, I decided I better start posting a little here and there or I would be boring everyone to tears with the world's longest blog post for 5 days in a row. So here are some of the highlights for now....until I find more pictures on other cameras because I know I am missing some good ones.

For starters, two Fridays ago when Brian and Kelly got here we went camping! My children have never slept overnight in a tent and it was time to remedy the situation. I am such a good mom. Actually, it's the grandparents that are so good. My mom and dad got everything reserved, set up, taken care of- it was great. We just spend one night down in Ft. Meade, so we weren't exactly summiting Kilimanjaro, but we did get to play on a playground, throw stuff in the peace river, have an awesome fire, eat hobo dinners, make smores and hot dogs, do lots of singing, go on a nighttime hike, freeze to death because the low was 55 that night (okay, I am a giant wuss), and take my niece to the bathroom at 3:45am on account of her bladder that is apparently the size of a walnut. (I love Ana, but she goes to the bathroom every 7 minutes I think). Oh and of course we had the awesome the opportunity to absolutely get soaked Saturday morning because it poured until noon. :( But we still had fun and all the cousins realized that Kelly is the best Aunt ever because she literally knows about a eleventy bajillion campfire songs. Really. Eleventy bajillion. Just ask her- she will break into song.

Kelly and kids doing The Jellyfish song

Around the fire

Leaving the menfolk to take down tents in the rain. They really took one for the team that morning! Thanks again to Ma and Pa for making it all happen. I know all the kids had a blast :)

Let's see, I finally got a picture of Cindy and Luke in their Christmas clothes!

Luke is a stud in his tie and sweater vest combo, is he not?

There has also been some MAJOR cousin bonding for my children the past two weeks. They have gotten to see every single one of their cousins.

Cindy and cousin Michelle in the water headlock.

Cindy and cousin Wyatt watching some TV.

Luke, Addie and Sadie on grandma Bingham's bed.

Sadie, Cindy and Ana enjoying some root beer floats.

Cindy, Addie and Luke with some Chick-fil-A tomfoolery.

Luke with cousins Lauren and Eryn.

Whew! As you can see, it hasn't exactly been boring around here for the past few days. Tomorrow I will hopefully post our adventures through Christmas day. Maybe...

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Riddle

What do you call it when you cross really bad counting skills and way too many relatives visiting for Christmas? The answer is my 12 Days of Top Ten lists on my blog. I'm pretty sure that number 12 is supposed to happen on Christmas Eve, but yet according to my radical math skills I was due for that one yesterday. Add in the fact that I have spent about 6 minutes in my own home over the past 4 days combined and it means that blogging hasn't exactly been on the front burner on the cooktop of my life. Anyway, on Christmas Eve, as it should be, here is list number 12 :)

Top Ten Leftover Items from Other Top Ten Lists that Never Made it to Print:

10. Sabre-toothed Nutcracker
9. Pupperoni
8. Build your own water heater
7. The Horcrux and The Ivy
6. The Little Engine that Could but who Flat Out Refused
5. Whack-an-elf
4. Pin the Tail on the Dementor
3.Cream of Stocking
2. Reindeer Spit
1. Shower Toaster

Boy that was the easiest list I ever wrote! Hope all of you are enjoying your Christmas break. I have 19 relatives in town (all siblings from both sides of our family) and it is pretty much non-stop options for fun and activities. Too many good things to choose from. But what kind of loser complains about that? Not me! It's been awesome :) Bounce houses, eating, camping, swimming, kickball, eating, shopping, Balderdash, eating, the park, Xbox Kinect, eating, sibling hijinx- it has been some GOOD TIMES :) Can't wait to write up some of the highlights and add some pictures up in here again! That may be the one downfall of Top Ten Lists. And I do mean one...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 11

Today I bought a fruitcake and I read the list of ingredients. I was shocked by what I found...

Top Ten Most Surprising Ingredients in My Fruitcake:

10. Keopectate
9. WD-40
8. A shredded dryer sheet
7. Half of a Charelston Chew candy bar
6. Bowtie pasta
5. 6 drops of original Polo cologne
4. A cat's eye marble
3. Cilantro
2. 2 Beggin' Strips
1. Anger

I told you it was surprising! (P.S. A big thank you to my family who wrote this list together in a mere 5 minutes at the end of tonight's dinner. Boo-yah!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 10

Top Ten Off-season Elf Jobs:

10. Substitute troll
9. Shetland pony jockey
8. Table leg
7. Assistant to the Mayor of Munchkin City
6. Trophy Model
5. Following President Obama around with a tiny ashtray
4. Coo Coo Clock cleaner
3. Pillsbury Doughboy stunt double
2. That sweet gig for Travelocity
1. Squirrel Wrastler

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 9

I have decided that getting "a lump of coal" in your stocking is a little old-fashioned. So I have composed this list of new classics. Which one would you like to get instead?

Top Ten Alternatives for a Lump of Coal:

10. A giant pile of staples
9. A half-eaten Mentos
8. Baggie full of cat sand
7. Half gallon of outdated cough syrup
6. Tub of dried up spackle
5. Jewel's Greatest Hits
4. 13 pounds of hair clippings from The Cuttin' Corral
3. Lifetime supply of lake trout
2. Autograhped 5X7 of Nancy Pelosi
1. Giant rusted lawn dart

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 8

Top Ten Signs You Hate Christmas:

10. You were voted "Most Likely to Steal Christmas" your senior year in High School
9. You have a friend born on Dec. 25th and ever year for his birthday you punch him in the face
8. You joined the Facebook group "I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who hate Christmas"
7. Inside your Christmas cards is a petition to end Christmas
6. You named your two cats "Christmas" and "Sucks"
5. You have an "I hate Christmas" bumper sticker on your car
4. Your one phone call from prison is to your state Senator asking him to pass a bill outlawing Christmas
3. Everyone on your block refers to you as "that creepy loser who hates Christmas"
2. You have a BS degree in "Christmas Hate Studies"
1. Your mail is addressed to Mrs. Ima Scrooge

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 7

You may not know this, but Christmas was just one of the many things stolen during the Grinch's life of crime...

Top Ten Other Things Stolen by The Grinch:

10. A 1988 Civic
9. The identity of LifeLock CEO Todd Davis
8. 13 staplers from the supply closet during the office Christmas Party
7. The bacon (who knew?!)
6. The parmesan shaker off table 6 at the Bartow Pizza Hut
5. His best friend's girl
4. The secret recipe for the perfect Orange Julius
3. East High's mascot just before Homecoming in '69
2. 33 rolls of toilet paper from Housekeeping during last year's Grinch Convention in Phoenix
1. The heart of America

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 6

Top Ten Rejected Christmas Cereals:

10. Captain Grinch
9. Cocoa Prancers
8. Marshmallow Mangers
7. Frosted Frankenflakes with Mini-Myrhhs
6. Krunch Kringle
5. MistleToasties
4. Hollycomb
3. Honey Bunches of Elves
2. Cream of Wreath

And depending on how you behaved this year...

1. Naughty Pebbles or Nice Crispies :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 5

Top Ten Worst Christmas Gifts:

10. IRS Gift Card
9. Burlap Snuggie
8. Nancy Pelosi Makeup kit
7. The Barack Obama anything
6. Scene It? Saturday's Warrior Edition
5. Travel ShamWow
4. Slap Chop for dogs
3. Justin Bieber's Guide to Amazing Hair
2. Rattlesnake of the Month Club
1. The Ron Popeil Pocket Breadmaker

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And for my brother?

I know I have already met your humor quota for the day with awesome top ten, but I had to post this...

My brother Dave and his family are moving to Augusta, Maine. No, not a typo. For a job. They leave after Christmas. Yes, Maine, really. Yes, people live there. No, he is not a lobster farmer, he will be using his newly acquired IT degree to work for the Dept. of Revenue doing techy things. Yes, Maine, really!! Anyway, as they have been online searching for homes to rent when they move there, my brother came across a website that rents cabins. He sent me the link to the BEST CABIN AD EVER. Simply click HERE, read the description at the bottom, and I triple dog dare you not to call right now and put down a deposit...

Day 4

Top Ten Ways to Mispronounce "How The Grinch Stole Christmas":

10. Wow, this wrench is selfless!
9. A wretched bowl of Sixlets
8. Allow my finch his mouthwash
7. Help! Newt Gingrinch stole my Crispix!
6. Yodle-lay-hee-whooo!!!
5. Mow the grass stalks sideways
4. Oh my poor meniscus!
3. Drink your lousy Swiss Miss
2. Cows just love my Mom's bold Chex Mix
1. And now I'll prowl around pantsless

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 3

Top Ten Christmas Songs Sung at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

10. Oh, Come All Ye Muggles
9. Here We Come Awizarding
8. Jingle Spells
7. O Little Town of Hogsmeade
6. Umbridge Roasting On An Open Fire
5. Walkin' in a Wizard Wonderland
4. Dobby the Snowman
3. Grandma Got Ran Over by a Thestral
2. Here comes Dumbledoor
1. Rudolph the Red-nosed Patronus

Monday, December 13, 2010

90 Minutes of Torture

Today's Top Ten List follows this post, just FYI...

Movie #29- Saturday's Warrior
Suggested by Myself

Okay, so this is a mormonish movie from back in the 80's. A lot of my contemporaries have seen this movie and make references to it's cheesy music and acting. Jacob even says he used to watch this as a kid as a Sunday-appropriate movie. I had never ever seen it and thought, "What the heck, let's take a look." And now I want to scratch my eyes out and scrub my brain with a Brillo pad. Why didn't anyone warn me? No, I mean, REALLY warn me???!!! What kind of friends are you?!

Saturday's Warrior
Overall: does my scale go into negative numbers? Let's say 1/10 just to keep it real
Deductions: The acting, the singing, the script, the dancing, the horrible clothes, the horrific hairdos, oh, the tremendous amount of FALSE DOCTRINE being taught, maybe?
Bonus Points: When the DVD froze up in the Xbox and I didn't have to watch the end. YAY!

Let me just clarify that although this is a "Mormon" movie, it is not made or endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in any way. (Because if it was, I would have to go inactive. But, I digress...) I guess this was presented as a "thought-provoking" stage production by a film student or something and then it was turned into a movie in 1989. Even my own father says he saw it at BYU on stage because his roommate was in it. I am forever grateful that he somehow lived through that experience and was able to go on to have a family that included me. Really, this movie was atrocious. It was goofy, the screenplay was syrupy and over the top, and the whole concept of "finding" each other on earth to fulfill promises from the pre-existence was just killing me. I will however have to give the award for the most hard to swallow moment of the movie, to the song and dance by Jimmy's rebellious, too-cool-for-school criminal friends entitled Zero Population. You know, because when you're a teenager who likes ditching school, fast cars and drinking, you tend to also be very aware of pressing social issues like overpopulation. Especially when your own friend is singlehandedly causing the problem! Time to set that jerk straight with an in-your-face 80's dance, am I right? Oh, it was all just so torturous!!! I was thinking of giving it a 0 out of 10, but the ONE (and only) thing that saved it from a shut-out was that when anyone leaves to go to Earth, they teleport out just like on Star Trek. If I am wishing that anything out of that movie was actually true, it would be that :)

Day 2

Top Ten Reindeer Who Will Not Be Pulling Santa's Sleigh:

10. Dander
9. Sloucher
8. Bulbous
7. Loafer
6. Wheezy
5. Creeper
4. Spatula
3. Felon
2. Flakey
1. Oprah

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas Are Here!

And just exactly how are we all going to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas here in Sweeneyville? With an ostrich in a pear tree, of course! That is what Cindy sings every time we hear that song. We get a kick out of it :) No, really, I will be posting a top ten list every day for your viewing pleasure. I didn't write these all alone, it was a family affair :) Drumroll please for Day 1:

Top Ten Little Known Facts About The Grinch:

10. Hates Jim Carey movies
9. Thinks Theodore Geisel is a real doctor
8. Often mistaken for the Stanford Tree mascot
7. He really wanted to steal Halloween but Nancy Pelosi beat him to it
6. His spleen and pituitary gland are also 3 sizes too small
5. His pancreas is 4 sizes too big
4. Combs his hair way forward to hide his hideous bald spot
3. Encourages Max to drink from the toilet
2. Hates the way he looks in jeans
1. He's Team Jacob

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Tangled Webs We Weave

#27- Labyrinth
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Maggie Hsu

Maggie is my mail carrier. Here in little old Lakeland, I still have a mail slot on my front door and all our postmen are on foot. No crazy jeeps or little mail trucks here! During the summer months I got a little careless with my front yard sprinklers and more than once they would come on right when she was making the approach to my front door. She never got mad, she just got an umbrella, and for her limitless patience, I say, Thank You. Well, Maggie really is my most loyal blog reader and is especially awesome at blog commenting. She used to live and go to school here in Lakeland, but currently lives in Washington state. She has three cute boys and one darling little girl (she really is sooo cute). She always takes her kids hiking, to play at parks, to children's museums and all kinds of stuff. I read her blog so I know all the cool things she is up to. She attempts all kinds of crafts, sewing, cloth diapers (that is not a typo), and pretty much I would not agree to watch this movie for anyone else but her.

Overall: 6/10
Deductions: David Bowie, David Bowie's singing, David Bowie's clothes, puppets
Bonus Points: still thinking...

So the background on this movie for me is that I have seen bits and pieces of it and always thought it was just really creepy. Tons of people I know "used to watch this when they were kids" but I never saw it or ever wanted to. Maybe it's a Bingham thing because none of my siblings like this movie either. In fact, my brother Dave, says, and I quote "Each time you watch this movie, it takes 5 years off your life." It just looks utterly strange and scary. I mean, it has funky goblin puppets, crazy music, a baby that has been kidnapped!!! And could David Bowie look any more spooky? He looks spooky without makeup, so with his crazy get-up it's even worse. Not a David Bowie music fan either. Never have been. So the fact that there are songs and he sings them!!! was a little bit torturous. However, I will say I understand the attraction to the idea of the movie. A fantasy film where you have to navigate a strange labyrinth with riddles, adventures, and interesting creatures is a good start. But I found Sarah's character annoying and I still don't understand why in the end all the characters came to life and they had a party in her room. Wasn't her mom saying she was old enough to date? But yet she still has stuffed animals and sees imaginary friends. I did notice that maybe JK Rowling took a little inspiration from this movie, though. 1. Sarah accidentally calls Hoggle "Hogwart." 2. The name "Ludo" is used in both stories and 3. The final task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament was a Labyrinth of sorts, was it not? Hmmmm.... So there you go, Maggie. I watched it. And lived to tell about it :) I still don't judge anyone who likes it, but it's just not my cup of cocoa.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movie #27- The Spanish Prisoner
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Chris Bingham

When I had my appendix out in 2003, Chris was the surgical intern on the operating team. If not for him, I would be walking around with one less appendix, yes, but also four extra sponges and a pair of scissors in my abdomen. Good eye, Dr. Bingham! Of course Chris is actually just my second oldest brother. But he really is a doctor. In fact, he moves to the magical land of Tennessee next summer to begin his life as a non-resident. Finally! He has two girls, one son and of course an amazing wife, Molly. He told me to watch this movie, so I did. And here is what I thought...

The Spanish Prisoner
Overall: 7.5/10
Deductions: 90's fashion!
Bonus Points: music done by the same guy that did Twilight (he loves his clarinet and drums!)

So this was billed as a really good con movie and so in the spirit of The Sting, I was game to check it out. Well, it was a con movie alright, but overall it fell a little flat for me. I found it a little weird and anti-climatic at the end. I mean, if you are like me when watching a con movie, you assume from the get go that EVERYONE is some sort of double crossing secret agent. So for me, movies of this type really have to go above and beyond and take some really interesting twists to avoid me lumping it into the "you've seen one you've seen them all" category. The big "gotcha!" moment at the end has to be pretty darn surprising. Don't get me wrong, the story was good. I liked the actors. But the dialogue and behavior of everyone was a little odd to me. The style of the movie was to not explain everything until the very end (you hope). But I didn't really get the answers to my questions, which was frustrating. Steve Martin was okay in this dramatic role, but it wasn't him being serious that was hard to buy, it was him being evil. He is almost just too likable to pull it off. So overall, it wasn't horrible but it definitely didn't blow me away. And that is my professional opinion. Do you concur?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Luke Quickie

The other night we were watching TV and a commercial came on for Chia Pets. They were announcing a new Chia Pet- the Spongebob Squarepants one. When Luke saw the commercial he started laughing and pointing it at said, "Ha ha, SpongeBob BroccoliHair!"

P.S. Today I pick up a new movie from the library and get one in the mail from Netflix, which means that by Saturday, the last four movies will be watched, blogged and in the history books!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time for Disney! Who's Excited?

This is definitely one of the Top 5 pictures of Luke I have ever taken....

Well, I wasn't kidding when I said it's December and here is your proof: Disney! For the past 2 years I have taken Cindy to Disney World at Christmastime. I usually go the first week of December before the crowds get real crazy, but about 2 weeks ago DeAnne told me there was a church member (who works for Disney) that offered her some free tickets to go on Friday, December 3rd and be part of the audience for the filming of the ABC Christmas Day Parade. Getting in FREE to Disney? Who says no to that, right? So this time I got to take Luke and Cindy and DeAnne! It was fabulous :) Luke is getting to be the age of Cindy the first year I took her and there is NOTHING like taking a child to Disney and watching their excitement at seeing their favorite characters and places in real life. It is entirely priceless :) A quick rundown of the day:

We reported to Disney right at 9am as requested. When we got there there was a crowd forming down Main Street to watch the parade and then a large audience was pooling right at the base of Cinderella's castle. They were beginning a dress rehearsal of a stage appearance by Mariah Carey. She was not there yet however (and I am not sure if she ever finally showed up) so they had this really creepy stagehand guy be her stand-in.

After about 3 times watching this rehearsal (and you can see just how good our view as anyway, we all decided that being in the audience and watching the parade was going to be long and lame. So we ditched and headed for a regular day of rides, food and fun :)

And when you get there right at opening time, there aren't really any lines for anything. Let the good times roll!



More Teacups!

International Raceway!


Both Cindy and Luke LOVED It's Small World. We rode it twice in a row, in fact!

Even though we ditched the actual filming of the big parade, we did get to see parts of it coming down the street as each piece marched to Main Street to film their particular part. We did happen upon Lightning McQueen driving down the road!

And wonder of wonders we got to see and talk to Rapunzel and Flynn Rider! I actually took this picture at the exact moment that Flynn pointed to Luke and said, "Oh, It's Prince Charming!!" (because his shirt said "Prince Charming" across the front) To which Rapunzel sweetly said, "Oh, he looks just like him!" You could do a meet and greet with them in the park, however the wait was 75 minutes and I decided this encounter was perfectly sufficient ;)

Grandma Bingham gave Cindy this adorable Cindy Lou Who t-shirt the night before and it was THE perfect shirt for our day. In fact, when Cindy met Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Cinderella again, each one of them asked her name and then made reference to her shirt.

DeAnne left with Luke at about 2pm. He was getting tired and she had to be back in town to fulfill her churchy opportunities, so after grabbing some corn dog nuggets and chocolate milk they headed out. I definitely need to take him back for his birthday. He loved every minute of it. We rode the train around the park and he kept telling me "I just know that Thomas is pulling us!" Oh, so cute!

So as Cindy and I stayed behind, we added a few new experiences to our Disney repertoire this year, one being the Haunted Mansion (which we did with Luke earlier and it was a HORRIBLE experience for both my children. Scared the living tar out of both of them) and the other was the blue PeopleMover that takes you around Tomorrow Land. Cindy and I rode this about 5 times because she just thought it was the best "ride" ever. I liked it because my poor aching feet could take a much needed rest :)

Oh and the other new thing we tried was riding the old time Steamboat, the Southern Belle. Cindy was in love with this thing! I stayed in one spot while she ran up and down the stairs and all over the place on this boat. I didn't think she would like it that much, but she had an amazing time!

And actually THIS was the best new thing we tried: Funnel Cakes and Mickey Mouse shaped waffles with whipped cream and strawberries. I dare you NOT to eat this when it is sundown, getting a little chilly, you haven't eaten in a while and you smell it being cooked from 2 miles away. Impossible to resist! And Disney makes a mean Funnel Cake, I must say. HEAVEN!

In the past when I have taken Cindy to Disney we have done multiple parks and fireworks, etc. but this time it was just Magic Kingdom and not even any fireworks. And you know what? It was just as good! We stayed to see Cinderella's castle be lit with Christmas lights and by the time that was over we were good and tired :) It really was a perfect day. Great weather, hardly any crowds, so much fun with BOTH my kids- I couldn't ask for anything more! A huge Thank You to St. DeAnne for scoring the tickets and coming all the way with us :) Until next year! Or April, as the case may be...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Better Off Having Watched This

Movie #26- Better Off Dead
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader
Lana Dahle

When I donated blood last summer at Polk County Family Week, Lana was the nurse that stuck my arm over 23 times trying to find a vein. She's a persistent little thing! Good thing I persevered through all that pain though, because waiting on the other side was a free T-shirt! Unfortunatley it was a triple extra large and big enough to tent my house the next time we fumigate for roaches, but a free t-shirt nonetheless. In all reality, Lana is the wife of Mark Dahle, who is a friend of mine from Church all those years ago (and he is also my good friend Karin Salisbury's brother). She is a mother of two super cute boys and is a very loyal blog reader. And though she lives in Bradenton and I don't really get many occasions to see her in person, when I do have the pleasure to do so, she is always the most complimentary, kind and positive person. Her middle name is actually Joy and she really is a joy to be around! Her parents were psychic :)

Better of Dead
Overall: 8/10
Deductions: Who names their child Badger? His mom totally stole my idea of giving TV Dinners for Christmas gifts- Ugh!
Bonus Points: Winchester! DOTTIE!

I remember as a teenager that many, many of my friends had seen this movie and I never had. So when it was suggested to watch this movie for this project, I was not going to let the moment pass me by. So glad I didn't because this movie was a glorious combination of all things utterly bizarre and funny. I read the synopsis of the movie and thought the movie was going to be all about suicide and then turn into some sort of Weekend at Bernie's-type fiasco. I was not impressed by the prospect. But after about 30 minutes I realized it was more like a Napoleon Dynamite and I was totally laughing at the spectacle before me. First of all, I loved that he was trying out for the High School Ski team. It's always basketball or football with movies like this, so skiing was a refreshing change. Secondly, his mother was a joy to behold. Oh, if only we had characters like this in movies today! Her random cooking escapades and especially the reindeer outfit on Christmas morning were absolutely priceless. Of course he does kinda try to kill himself a few times, but even that manages to be hilarious. (It's not creepy. If you see it, you will know what I am talking about.) There is too much more to list of classic moments from this movie, so you will just have to see it sometime. Bizarre? Yes. Entertaining? Yes. Best movie ever made and worthy of an Oscar? Not even close. But if you have a spare 97 minutes, take a look :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1 Movie for 1 Sister

Movie #24- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Kelly Bingham

Kelly is my Jazzercise teacher. In our first class I was having a little trouble with the steps to "Move your Boogie Body", particularly doing the jazz hands in conjunction with the step ball change combo. But Kelly never gave up on me. She saw the inner Jazzercise star that was just waiting to come out. And now I am training to become an instructor myself. Bless you, Kelly! You made my dreams come true. Actually, Kelly is my new sister-in-law, but she probably would make a darn fine Jazzercise instructor! She likes to dance, has tons of energy, she's fun and happy most all the time. Yes, if her whole Elementary Education degree dosesn't pan out, I have the backup plan right here! Although she graduates in April and will be an official teacher by next fall, so it's probably pretty settled. Anyway, we share a deep love for the musical Singin' in the Rain, and she recommended I watch another classic musical that I had to see in its entirety.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Overall: 8/10
Bonus Points: Salutation of "Good day, backwoodsman!" was a classic, grown men in full-body red underwear (complete with button-up rear compartment)= Awesomeness
Deductions: Adam's mustache gave him a classic Joker-esque look that was very distracting and he was a giant of a man, was he not? And of all the last names in all the world, it had to be "Pontipee"? Really?

Wow, this movie was very entertaining but kinda ridiculous at the same time. I sort of knew the plotline going in, but it was much more fun that I had planned on. First off, this guy getting married in one day puts all the plotlines in my Jane Austen movies to shame. I mean, he sings "Bless your beautiful hide!" (Oh, the romance!) and then proposes 5 minutes later. And she says yes. Ha! It's like a BYU microcosm or something. Anyway, the barn raising scene was by far the best part. Cindy was watching it and trying to copy the dancing. And when the rival men from town were "accidentally" hurting the Pontipee brothers so they could win the contest, both my children were rolling with laughter. They are suckers for slapstick physical comedy, what can I say? Overall it had funny dialogue, the songs had clever lyrics (my favorite being "You can't make no vows to a herd of cows") and it was kinda cute how it ended. If you like musicals and haven't seen this one, put it on your list. Most musicals from the 50's are worth seeing. Do it for nostalgia's sake if nothing else.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2 More Movies, Order UP!

Okay, so I obviously didn't make it to 30 movies in 30 days, but I am still working on finishing. I have the library helping me out and Netflix, so as soon as I get the moives I need in my hands and watch them, I will post them here :) Oh, and Happy December! No, seriously, it really is December already.

Movie #22- Tangled in 3D
Suggested by Sweeneyville contributor Cindy Sweeney

Cindy is the little girl that lives next door to me. Her parents are never home and she spends an inordinate amount of time over here telling me about her ant farm and love of cinnamon donuts. Not true, of course. Cindy is my soon-to-be 7 year old daughter and the subject of many, many blog posts. She is a good dancer, soccer player, student, big sister, general helper and she loves to pick flowers, plant seeds and look for the ever elusive 4-leaf clover that just HAS to be in our yard somewhere...

Tangled in 3D
Overall: 9/10
Bonus Points: Long hair actually serves a purpose, great songs, Chuck!
Deductions: Hopefully Cindy does not get any ideas about growing her hair that long

I didn't plan on seeing this in 3D. I am not really a fan of the technology nor do I care to spend my life savings on one flick. However, the other movie times didn't work out for me, so Cindy and I threw caution to the wind and upgraded. My verdict on that is as it was before: unless you are seeing something made for 3d (i.e. Avatar) then it is not worth the price. I was not overwhelmed. BUT, the movie itself was fantastic. Super cute, great music, good story line, likable characters- Cindy was sucked in the entire time. She was even actually biting her nails the last 30 minutes or so. It was almost as fun to watch her as it was the movie! So if you have little girls, this is a great Mother/Daughter activity. But skip the 3D, not neccesary in my opinion :)

Movie #23- The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
Suggested by Sweeneyville reader DeAnne Sweeney

DeAnne was an airline stewardess on a flight I took from Tampa to Albequerque, New Mexico when I was 13. I was an unaccompanied minor on my way to the annual hot air balloon festival, an ironically, very afraid of flying. DeAnne took care of me the whole way there. We read magazines, played cards, ate way too many Biscoff cookies and she even let me deploy the emergency slide when we made a crash landing in a retention pond outside of Santa Fe. She was the nicest person I ever met. Even though that story is totally false, the part about her being the nicest person ever is totally true. DeAnne is my mother-in-law, of course. She is patient, kind, generous, a good example, smart, and one of my best friends. Let's just say that the whole "mother-in-law" stigma is completely lost on me :)

The Scarlet Pimpernel
Overall: 8/10
Bonus Points: Gandalf! Luke was entranced by the sword fight toward the end
Deductions: Pretty sure Jane Seymour's hair was defying several laws of gravity and physics

After watching this for a few minutes, I think I remember knowing of this movie. Especially after Sir Percy says his trademark "Sink Me!" a few times. This was a very enjoyable movie. Sir Percy's character is flamboyant, goofy and very entertaining. And seeing Ian McKellen so young was pretty cool! I have never seen him in anything besides Lord of the Rings. I will say the one drawback was trying to remember all the characters and their French names. I was having a hard time trying to figure out who was related, who was a good guy and who was not. But a fun movie, nonetheless. Will the Scarelet Pimpernel escape? Can he stay one step ahead of the Frenchies? You will just have to find out for yourself!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The One We've All Been Waiting For

Movie #21- The Notebook
Suggested by Me

So this is it! This is probably the one movie that I feel like everyone in the entire world has seen except for me. Some of you out there like it, some of you hate it. So I am going to end this feud once and for all!

The Notebook
Overall: 7/10
Deductions: LOTS of flesh, Noah's beard
Bonus Points: Dad eats pancakes for dinner, Rowing in a boat on a lake with that many ducks would be incredible. So long as they all decided not to turn against you...

I can honestly say I don't really know what to make of this movie. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. Most of it for me was quite cliche. The whole story of forbidden love, separation, meeting again, having to finally decide whether to follow your heart or society's conventions- it's not exactly a new story. But the one thing that was a little different was at least the viewpoint of the characters when they are old and the twist of her haivng Alzheimers. I did find that storyline very touching (and simultaneously extremely depressing. I don't like movies that remind me of my own mortality and show me what I have to look forward to as I age. Blech.) So overall I can say that for those that love it, I don't see what the big deal is. For those that absolutely hate it and think it is the worst movie ever made, I would ask if you have ever seen Batman and Robin? Suddenly The Notebook is looking pretty darn good, eh?

And lastly, if there is anything in the world that The Notebook teaches us, it it this-

If you are watching a movie that has this guy in it:

Things are not looking good for his relationship...

Exhibit A: X-Men, boyfriend of Dr. Jean Grey, loses out to super hot Wolverine

Exhibit B: Enchanted, engaged to Giselle, loses out to McDreamy

Exhibit C: Superman Returns, engaged to Lois Lane, loses out to Superman (but who could really win that one?)

Exhibit D: The Notebook, engaged to Allie, loses out to Paul Bunyon, I mean, Noah

Someone really ought to tell him he's a terrible judge of character...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stone Cold Jane Austen

You like the awesome WWE reference to open my official Jane Austen smackdown?? Of course you do :) I was asked by three different readers to watch three different movies based on Jane Austen novels. I have never in my life read a novel by Jane Austen or seen a movie based on one either. And I have to admit I was not really excited by the thought of this task. However, after watching the three, I am totally surprised and happy to announce that they were actually pretty darn good! But which one prevails when they go head to head in a battle of Ladies, Lords and empire-wasted gowns? Let's find out, shall we?

Contestant #1- Sense and Sensibility
(Movie #18) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Kaylee Adair

Kaylee was the photographer for the local paper who took my picture when my deep-fried Raccoon Fritters won the blue ribbon at the Polk County Fair. She was a little skeptical about my choice of ingredients, but one bite and she was slapping her grandma! Totally kidding, of course. I would never use raccoon, when armadillo is so much more tender. Kaylee is a former BYU roommate. She was a couple years older than the rest of us and she was probably the wisest of us too. We all loved her for her good example and ability to always get along. She lives in Utah with her hubby and two kiddos. She has the best funny stories about what her kids say and do. I thoroughly enjoy reading the updates on Facebook :)

Contestant #2- Persuasion
(Movie #19) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Amy Schmutz

I met Amy on the TRAX train in Salt Lake City back in 2001. We were both on our way to a Winter Olympics Volunteer training meeting. Come to find out, Amy speaks Basque and was to be a translator to the Spanish short track speed skating team. Wow, that would be amazing to actually meet someone who speaks basque, wouldn't it? Amy is also a former BYU roomie. She was from my very first year, very first semester. She had a CAR and I remember the days of our awesome trips to Super Target with Jen. She was part of BYU Singers (elite singing group, it's a scholarship thing), so she is pretty much an amazing vocalist. She has two cute girls, one on the way, she sews the most adorable modest Barbie clothes AND she gets to do all that while moving to Las Vegas from St. George this month. Supermom? YES :)

Contestant #3- Pride and Prejudice
(Movie #20) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader David Bingham

Two years ago Jacob and I went to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. During the bottom of the 6th inning Evan Longoria hit a wicked foul just over the third base line wall and it was making a bee line right to my forehead. If it weren't for the guy sitting right behind me (David) and his cat-like reflexes, I wouldn't be here to write this blog. In return for his heroism, he demanded I sign an indentured servant contract and in only 5 more years I will be able to move back home. Yippee! Dave is actually my oldest brother. And I am still trying to find out if his suggestion of this movie was real or not.... He lives in Tallahassee with his fam and he graduates from FSU next month with some sort of IT degree. Which is pretty much a Bachelor's of Computer Hacking Skills. I think I need get one of those...

Sense and Sensibility
Overall: 9.1/10
Delores Umbridge!
Bonus Points: Snape! Rose! House!

I really enjoyed this movie because of the amazing cast of characters and possibilities of how it could turn out. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen and the last thirty minutes were kind of torture for me. And I actually teared up a little at the end for Ms. Dashwood, well, actually both of them. Loved that the steady, noble, nice guy wins in the end. Plus, I am a total sucker for anything Hugh Grant.

Overall: 9.2/10
Two people taking bad falls in one movie
Bonus Points: Her entire horrible family was brilliantly acted, Aunt Petunia!

This movie plot was more of a "will they or won't they" kind of movie. You will like this movie because of three things: The main character, Anne, is the perfect underdog to root for, her sister the hypochondriac and her high-and-mighty father say some of the funniest things, and the dialogue is very witty and quick throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed this movie! And I dare say that you will too.

Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version)
Overall: 9.4/10
Mr. Darcy's giant sideburns and mini mullet were killing me
Bonus Points: Mr. Collins, The MUSIC

I just have to say that I really, really wanted to come away from this movie not liking it so much. Everyone I know loves it and it is by far the most popular Jane Austen story that gets redone and redone and redone. But darnit, I really, really loved it! This is a movie that I have been thinking about since I saw it. I even dreamed about it all last night. At first I was not impressed with Mr. Darcy's looks at all. But he totally grows on you! His hair definitely looked best in the rain. I admit, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for me about it, which maybe is why I kinda have to declare it the winner. But if all these movies were comparable for the most part in how good they were, then I guess the one thing that would push me over the edge for this movie was the music. I am a total move music person and the score to this movie was INCREDIBLE. I even bought a few of the songs off the soundtrack on Amazon this morning. Best movie music score I have heard since New Moon.

So as you can see, they were darn close to each other. It was actually terribly painful trying to pick a winner because they were all different, but all very good in their own way.

And watching all these movies was not completely frivolous, for here are three things I learned from watching Jane Austen movies:

1. Never, ever, EVER get caught in the rain. You will die.
2. Apparently it's quite acceptable and not uber-creepy to marry your cousin.
3. If you don't play the pianoforte, like to take long walks or enjoy gossipping, don't bother getting out of bed :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

And so the brainwashing begins...

My friend Davina had told me about a 5k in our area that was on Thanksgiving morning. I ran a Turkey Trot with her and my friend Michelle down in Bartow last November, but actually doing a race ON Thanksgiving sounded fun. So I signed myself up. And since they offered a kids Fun Run for $5, I signed Cindy up too. She is always, always talking about how fast she can run (despite any evidence of this fact whatsoever on the soccer field). So here was her chance to be like Mom and get out there and hustle!

A HUGE, GINORMOUS, INCREDIBLE Thank You to my dad who got up way early and drove us to the race. He waited with Cindy while I ran my race, he took pictures, he held all my stuff, he took us to 7-Eleven afterwards- I don't think anyone out there has a better Dad that I do :)

The day in picutres:

I actually did pretty decent. Especially since there were almost 500 people in this race! I serioulsy could not believe how PACKED this thing was. I ran it in about 27 minutes, which was great for me because I haven't had a really good run in a while. But it went fast, no cramps, great music- I was really pleased :) Plus in the last half mile I think I picked off about 7 ladies who seemed to be in my age group. And the only ones passing me, were groups of teenage boys. Which I can handle because they are young and haven't started to rust yet. I keep checking for the official race results online, but they have yet to post...

What's a Turkey Trot without a turkey?

Cindy is looking confident before her run!

Cindy did great, she got a ribbon and I am happy she got to go with me and start her own journey of running torture- I mean, greatness and joy.