Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well, we're officially giving up on the Christmas Card this year.  We'll get some kind of mailing out... in 2011.  The kids had a cute idea which we turned into a glog that you can see at the end of the post.

The holiday season kicked off with Xavi's Market Day.  (Link goes to his blog for the full business report and more pictures.)  As he and Karen slaved over delicious chocolates, Bela and I headed to Desserts by Design for some gingerbread construction.

We got a chance for an extended Audrey visit.  She was huffing and puffing, rocking and rolling, and was five star enetertainment until she passed out. 

 We had a quick visit to the other side of the state, but got in lots of visits thanks to Aunt Peg hosting the Meyer family Christmas party, with 4 generations of family.  Traditional caroling had some new spins this year.

Aunt Peg, Karen's goddaughter Julie (up from Atlanta and on her birthday) and Aunt Mary.

Xavi also took the opportunity to document for his friend Cam that his grandfather knows a thing or two about cars.

From there we headed on to Monroe, for a nice visit with Carmen.  We took some pictures down in the cutely decorated Loranger Square, and Bela posed in front of the Monroe County Courthouse, where generations of Goldens have practiced law.   Is that her fate?

We even got a rare picture of Karen and I together! 

The glog is a kind of internet poster.  Click to go to the poster directly.  Click and hold on a picture to enlarge it.  Some pictures are links to other sites or blogposts.  You can pause the music if it's at all annoying!  The scripture is what Karen's bible study has been on, so we've been talking about it as a family also.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harry Potter 7

Yeah!  Finally got to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, movie 7, part 1a.  The following has NO SPOILERS because to do otherwise is just mean.

J's review: I was very (surprisingly) pleased.  Definitely the best this director and screenwriter has done at getting the feel of the book.  The acting was terrific, and there were lots of very atmospheric scenes full of menace and emotion.  Only a couple places where they substituted an inferior line for one from the book that would have been stronger, and none of the infuriating additions that marred movie 6.  Rupert Grint (Ron) was really strong, and Emma Watson, often berated in our house, was  ... actually good.  There were several difficult-to-film sections of the book where they got across the important bits and the feeling in a quick visual way, like the opening scene in the Malfoys' house or the camping sequence.  They even worked around several omissions and oversights from previous movies in an elegant way.  For me this ranks third in the movies so far, behind only movie 5 and the great movie 3.  Worth a watch or two at the theatre.

So, who would you rather take on?  Bellatrix, of course, has the out of her gourd thing going for her, but if it has any planning to it, I'd take K in a fight.

K's Review:  Overall, the short cuts taken were needed and was perhaps one of the better attempts in the series to bring the books to life.   I liked it enough that I'd like to see it on the big screen.

Thumbs up
  • Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour.  Too little screen time, but understandable as they had to move the plot along.
  • The gates and Alan Rickman's performance as Severus at Malfoy Mansion.  For those who have read all the HP books and understand the complicated feelings Rickman needed to portray, these few minutes on screen were amazing.
  • Emma Watson steps up in this film and gives her most realistic portrayal of Hermione Granger.
  • The three actors who gave performances of Harry, Ron and Hermione transformed.  Those folks did an amazing job of making us believe they were really Harry, Ron and Hermione.
  • Great job of portraying the Malfoy's distress of having the worst house guest ever.
  • The seen with Bathilda Bagshot in the cemetery and walking around her home was like watching the pages of the book come to life.
Thumbs down
  • Too little of Luna and omitting the ceiling in her room was missed opportunity that would have cost little time yet had big effect.
  • Messed up Ron's and Harry's best lines after the deluminator.
  • Omission on the redemption of Harry's relationships with Dudley and Kreacher.

 Looks like  Severus has selected X for a special opportunity.  Concentrate...

X's review:  Do I have to review it?  Can I just say... "I saw Harry Potter part 1 and I loved it. I liked the part where the  Deathly Hallows story was animated.  I also liked when Ron broke the locket horcrux."

Y's review: 7 is much better than 6. It had more details and it was funny. Though some people (oh no, not you, Xavi) say criticizing a movie you like is a horrible and unjust thing to do, I think even good movies have faults, and this one had several. It had a couple parts where you had to have read the book to understand everything. There were also some things they could have fixed by just switching a sentence of lines for another one, but otherwise I would say it is a movie worth watching.

We got all four reviews!  A family first.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Friday: Pumpkin Carving

 The costumes:  Athena (I am not a princess I am the goddess of wisdom and war) and Flash (seen here mind-controlled by Starro).

Stick Man?  What Stick Man?

Saturday: Trick or Treating with Elizabeth Swan, a Knight Templar and Baby Death Santa Claus in Pajamas.  You know how sometimes you'll see someone else in the same costume?  We did just once. Baby Death Santa Claus in Pajamas.  Really.

We were also joined by Baby Sweet Pea.  Mostly the moms gave out the snacks.  Literal snacks in our case as we are now "the house that gives out chips."

As you can see, Baby Audrey already has figured it out.  In fact, she must be pretty on the ball, since she is the only one who notices the figure in the background!

Worst werewolf ever.  Even if it's a decent Rum Tug Tugger. Good thing Ysabela likes cats.
Sunday:  monster cupcakes at church.  Good turn out of kids made some really excellent monster cupcakes.  These are our pals Gwen and Tess with their creations.

Sorry so slow to post.  As you can see, a grand time was had by all.  As usual, click on a picture for the full glory.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Phot Ops

We (erm, Karen, that means) took some nice pictures of the kids.  And then a visit from baby Audrey, which always makes a big splash on the cuteness meter.

Prepared for the mess.

And who are these guys? 

It's enough to make you start singing Time in a Bottle or the Cat's in the Cradle.  Or...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Must be October

 We know it must be October because we've seen the Dynamic Duo.

And their nemesis, the Craw.

Batman escaped a death trap due to a timely batarang.

Ysabela and Miss Nataly took Lady for a blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis.

The hydrangea has had a good year.  Lots of blooms, the butterfly incident, and now this mysterious arrangement where all but one of the blooms has changed color.

Today's big adventure was the Pumpkin Roll in Montague. 

The central event of the festival is the eponymous roll.  It begins with wave after wave of 3 year olds.

The kids patiently (sorta) waited their turn.  An hour in, it was finally time!

Bela was very enthusiastic but Xavi got the ribbon.

Even the dad rolled.  With form like that, is it even a question that we won more than one ribbon?

The prize pumpkin this year was 480 pounds.  The farmer who grew it was beaming.   There was general agreement that we'd like to see it rolled, though.

Afterwards, we skipped the festival snacks for Mia and Grace.  We discovered that Bela is known there as hot dog girl and that one of her hot dog art pieces is up in the kitchen.  See, she only orders the hotdog, and always draws one while she is waiting.  So please call her Hot Dog Girl the next time you talk to her.

If you have not been to Mia and Grace, please go!