Friday, February 27, 2009

Poetry Friday

by Matthew Sanders, James Sullivan, Brian Haner Jr. and Zachary Baker

Yeah, you've been alone
I've been gone for far too long
But with all that we've been through
After all this time I'm coming home to you

Never let it show
The pain I've grown to know
'Cause with all these things we do
It don't matter when I'm coming home to you

I reach towards the sky I've said my goodbyes
My heart's always with you now
I won't question why so many have died
My prayers have made it through yeah
'Cause with all these things we do
It don't matter when I'm coming home to you

Read the rest HERE.

"Gunslinger" isn't actually a poem, but a song about a soldier away from home by the rock band Avenged Sevenfold. I love poetry, and I love music. I love the rhythm and word choice of both. When I purchase a new CD, I always look to see if the lyrics are posted. It's like reading poetry! I am going to see Avenged Sevenfold (with Buckcherry and Papa Roach) tonight, so I thought I'd post one of the songs I will hear (and sing along to) tonight.
Dance on over to Mommy's Favorite Children's Books for more poetry links!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This or That Thursday

Today’s This or That concerns a body part. An important body part. Especially to us writer folk. I’m talking about your hands. I am curious. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Some famous left-handed writers include Lewis Carroll, Peter Benchley, Mark Twain, and H. G. Wells.
A soon to be famous right-handed writer includes Ben Esch (his debut book, Sophomore Undercover came out this week!).
A not so famous right-handed writer includes me.
The following presidents were/are left-handed: James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama.
The following presidents were/are right-handed: the ones not on the above list.
These musicians were/are left-handed: Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Phil Collins (Genesis), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Crystal Gale, Jimi Hendrix, Glenn Frey (the Eagles), Paul McCartney (Beatles/Wings), Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin).
Did you know that Bart Simpson is left-handed? Cowabunga, dude! But not Homer. Doh!

Please use your right or left hand (or heck- use your toe!) to vote on the poll on the right if you are lefty or a righty and/or comment!Photobucket

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tune For Tuesday

This weekend I am attending another concert. I'm going to see Avenged Sevenfold, Buckcherry, and Papa Roach. Today's tune is by one of these artists, Papa Roach. Papa Roach was formed in 1993, but their major label debut album, Infest, came out in 1999. Their first single, "Last Resort" became a radio success. Today's song comes from their fourth album, The Paramour Sessions. Today's song, "To Be Loved," was the first single from this 2006 album. It was also the theme song to WWE Monday Night Raw (which I have never seen in my life nor plan to). But the song rocks! Their next album, Metamorphosis, drops March 24th.
I always liked Papa Roach's sound. "Last Resort," "She Loves Me Not," and "Forever" were some favorites of mine. Last summer they were part of the line up for the Cruefest concert fest which I was attending, so I purchased many songs before the concert. I ended up liking Papa Roach even more than their radio songs. When I saw them live in concert, my opinion of them changed even more dramatically. I have seen a lot of concerts, and I have never seen a frontman put as much energy into a concert than Papa Roach's lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix. He was all over the stage, came out into the crowd (see picture), and whether you liked the band or not, you could not help jumping up and down to the music. So after that concert, I became a huge Papa Roach fan. This band can bring it live.

Photobucket At Cruefest!

Listen up, turn it up and rock it out!
"To Be Loved" by Papa Roach:

Also, please check out Christy's blog! Leave a comment, and you have a chance to win P.J. Hoover's cool book, The Emerald Tablet!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Night

I do like the Oscars-the glitz, the glamour, the beautiful gowns. I’m not terribly qualified to write about movies as I only see a few a year, and when I do it is usually silly comedies that never get nominated (like Step Brothers or Forgetting Sarah Marshall). I did see a few nominated movies: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and the animated ones! I do want to watch some of the nominated movies like The Reader and Revolutionary Road, someday on DVD…But I did watch the Oscars (okay, I fastforwarded through them- it’s a long flippin’ show!) so I will write about it. Find the winners here.

Random Thoughts about the Academy Awards
1. Wolverine can sing AND dance!
2. Meryl Streep has had 15 Oscar nominations! WOW! She is one classy, talented actress.
3. Goldie Hawn is so gosh darn cute.
4. Loved Tina Fey’s and Steve Martin’s entrance.
5. I think Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black should do a movie together.
6. I had to laugh at Seth Rogan and James Franco.
7. During Best Actress, it was very touching to hear past winners speak of each nominee. You could feel the nervousness and heartfelt emotions of the nominees.
8. Ack! My DVR didn't tape the whole show, it cut out at Angelina Jolie's nomination.
9. Though I'm not too disappointed, this show is soooooooooo long!
10. I need to get out more and see more movies…

Of course most everyone looked beautiful, but here are some of my favorites of the night.
My fave dress: Sarah Jessica Parker. She looked like a modern princess(but I hate to say I didn’t love her hair tonight…).
Best dressed male: Robert Downey, Jr.
Best dressed females: Diane Lane (classic and exquisite with the perfect accessories) and Taraji P. Hensen (again, beautiful strapless with a gorgeous necklace)
Best hair and makeup: Alicia Keys

Friday, February 20, 2009

Poetry Friday

My son received a mini stamper with a frog on it with his preschool Valentine’s Day goodies. He has been stamping that lil green frog on all the boxes, papers, and magazines he can find. So I found this funny frog poem to read to him and will also share it with you.

My Frog is a Frog by Jack Prelutsky

Hop on over to The Holly and the Ivy for more poetry!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This or That Thursday

Today's This or That is about beverages-pop/soda specifically. Now that I wrote that, I am curious, do you refer to it as pop, soda, soft drink, or carbonated beverage? I say pop, which I think is a Midwest thing...But that is not the true question of the day (but feel free to answer it in the comment section!). I'm talkin' brands today. Pepsi brand or Coca Cola brand... PepsiCo sodas include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Diet Sierra Mist, and the new Mountain Dew Voltage (anyone tried it yet?). Coca Cola soft drinks include Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Sprite, and Fanta! Did you know that Coca Cola offers more than 2,800 products in over 200 countries? Wow!
My pick is below. My favorite Coke is the fountain pop from McDonald's...Yum. I'm thirsty now. I'm even thinking of giving up pop for Lent (even though I'm Lutheran, but the rest of the house is Catholic). My son is giving up all sweets, so I thought I'd give up something. Not sure I can do it though, even though I only have three or four Cokes a week....
Do you enjoy Coca Cola soft drinks or Pepsi soft drinks? Don't forget to vote on the poll on the right!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Disney Highlights

I'm baaaack! My family had a fabulous trip filled with good rides, good food, good weather, and good family bonding. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which allows you to watch animals like giraffes and zebras roam in the savannah off your balcony. Our favorite Disney restaurant, Jiko, is also located here. Here are a few of the many highlights of our trip.
Day 1 Animal Kingdom
We enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari , It's Tough to Be a Bug 4D show, and Dinosaur ride (see below). You can't see any of my three children because they are hiding! This ride is dark, bumpy, and scary. I liked it, but my four and six year old were a bit scared. The Maharaja Jungle Trek was fun walking around seeing exotic animals. We were a few feet away from giant bats! With no screen or windows to separate us! Yikes! My husband and I also enjoyed the rollercoaster, Expedition Everest.
Day 2 Magic Kingdom
My top three rides were the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (my favorite), Space Mountain (my two oldest rode this for the first time), and Pirates of Caribbean ride. My kids favorite was Splash Mountain. I took my youngest to Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor which is a cute interactive comedy show. The park was not too crowded so we enjoyed many different rides and attractions.
Later that night my husband and I went to Epcot while his parents watched the kids. We enjoyed sampling different foods at each country. Here we are having champagne, cheese and baguettes, and creme brulee in France!
Day 3 Sea World
We enjoyed seeing the dolphins, manatees, alligators. We "Dined With Shamu" and had a great buffet lunch next to the killer whale tank and saw them up close. My favorite was the Atlantis water ride. My son's (in the green shirt) look is hilarious!
We had dinner in Epcot's Norway at Akershus with the Disney princesses.

Day 4 Downtown Disney
We had never been here before so we met my inlaws' friends here for lunch at TRex, a cool, loud prehistoric restaurant. We basically shopped and visited here. It was a good break from the parks. The kids liked the huge Lego store the best! I liked the huge Virgin megastore filled with music CD's and clothing.

Day 5 Hollywood Studios
The new Toy Story Mania ride is awesome! You try and hit targets throughout the ride. The kids and adults had so much fun on this ride. It was the longest wait in all the parks though! We are huge Star Wars fans so the Star Wars tour ride was fun. We also saw the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. I was even picked to be part of the show (see photo) ! The Tower of Terror is my favorite ride at Disney, but I had to skip it this day as my daughter got sick, and I whisked her back to the hotel.
What a great getaway!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Disney or Bust

M-I-C...C you real soon. K-E-Y...Y? Because I'm going to Disney World! My blog will be on a short hiatus as I visit the wonderful world of Disney!
With three kids, I've seen my share of Disney movies and Disney TV shows. I know most of the words to the High School Musical songs. I dance to the Imagination Movers. ("Turn around, turn around, turn around!") I've even been front row to a live Wiggles performance.

I also enjoy most Disney movies. My favorite though is a classic. I love Lady and the Tramp. I've watched that movie so many times!

What is your favorite Disney TV show or movie?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tune For Tuesday

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d play a love song for my Tune for Tuesday today. It might not be considered a love song by everyone, but it is for my husband and me. My husband and I met the summer of 1992. A handful of songs from that summer still remind me of falling in love. And yes, I even made a mix tape for him during that time! We had a long distance relationship that fall as I went back to college, and he attended graduate school. “Even Better Than the Real Thing” by U2 is one of these songs from the summer of ‘92. (Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet and “Not Enough Time” by INXS are two other memorable songs of that time.)
U2 is a band that has stood the test of time. “New Year’s Day” and “I Will Follow” were the first two songs that I loved by them when I was in junior high. I enjoyed their newest song, "Get on Your Boots" that they played at the Grammy Awards. Bono is an amazing singer and an even more amazing humanitarian. U2 is a brillliant classic and current band.
"Even Better Than the Real Thing" is from U2's 1991 album Achtung Baby. Enjoy this song that takes me back. What songs remind you of your significant other?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammy Wrap Up

I have to admit, I taped the Grammy's last night and watched Dark Knight with my hubby instead. This morning I quickly ran through the 3 1/2 hour show in about 30 minutes. Because I'm efficient that's why! Here you can read the Grammy winners.
TWELVE RANDOM THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING THE GRAMMY AWARDS 1. Loved U2 as the opening act! Cool new song. I loved how some of the lyrics were shown on the background screen as the sound equipment didn't seem to amplify Bono's vocals well. I just checked out a Bono biography out of the library last week; he's an amazing man. Did you know that U2 has won over 20 Grammy awards?
2. Whitney Houston looked good. I hope she remembers that "Crack is Whack!"
3. Kid Rock's name should be changed to Man Countryish Rock.
4. The Taylor Swift/Miley Cyrus duet was very young and sweet. Really!
5. Jennifer Hudson has one powerful voice!
6. I never expected a Stevie Wonder/Jonas Brothers duet. I'll have my kids watch this later. I have to say I enjoyed this Burnin Up/Superstition duet.
7. Apparently Blink 182 is back together.
8. I hope rapper MIA doesn't give birth on stage! That poor girl is ready to pop!
9. I love the Beatles, and I love Foo Fighters. I so enjoyed Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl's performance. Dave played the drums while Paul sang a Beatles song. So cool!
10. Sweet Caroline is a great song, but I think I've heard Neil Diamond sing it better...
11. I thought Zooey Deschanel was Katy Perry for a second.
12. John Mayer is racking up the awards like he racks up celebrity notches on his belt.
That's the wrap up!

Also, Kim Kasch tagged me! (Thanks, Kim!) This tag involves looking into your photo folders. Picking the fourth photo in the fourth photo and posting it! Here's mine. This is a picture on a Princess cruise ship when it was docked in Vancouver. My husband, his family, and I took an Alaskan cruise in 1998. Alaska was breathtaking!

Tag, you're next! Photobucket

Friday, February 6, 2009

Poetry Friday

When I was a senior at the University of Illinois, I took a children’s literature course as part of my elementary education curriculum. This was one of my favorite courses in all of my college career. My professor, Violet Harris, was so intelligent, so friendly, and so sincerely excited about children’s books that I always looked forward to her class. One of my class projects was to make a compilation of poetry. My theme was Love Poems. I wrote out each poem and illustrated it on large index cards. I later had them laminated. I fondly remember Professor Harris asking me about my collection and if I was “in love.” I was in fact madly in love with my now husband. We were in the first year of our courtship at the time. She then went on to say that she read some of the poetry I compiled to her boyfriend over the phone at which the class giggled. Oh, yeah, I so did get an A!

Two of my selections for the compilation were from Eloise Greenfield’s book Honey, I Love and other love poems. Honey, I love this poetry book! I could not find a complete poem to link to of her complete poem but here is a snippet of the poem,

“I love
I love a lot of things, a whole lot of things
When my cousin comes to visit and you know he’s from the south
‘Cause every word he says just kind of slides out of his mouth”

I highly recommend this book. What a great gift for a child (or adult) on Valentine’s Day!
Elaine at Wild Rose Reader is hosting Poetry Friday today. Stop by her site for more poetry links!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This or That Thursday

Today's This or That is about one of my favorite hobbies: MUSIC! How do you prefer to listen to your tunes? On the radio, CDs, or your MP3/iPod?
Here is me with mine. My four year old took this picture, and I believe I am listening to Papa Roach.

I love, love, love my iPod. All of your favorite songs in one place! I actually have an iPod nano which holds 500 songs, so that is where my favorites are stored. I also have a bigger one that holds I think 20,000 songs! How will I ever fill that up? All of my songs are stored on the computer on the Itunes application. You can import your own CDs on it and buy individual songs or albums from the Itunes store. I like that you can purchase song by song.
I listen to my iPod in the car (I have an adaptor that lets it play through the radio), when I take walks in the neighborhood, and when I grocery shop. I also play songs on Itunes through my computer in my home. I listen to the radio a few times a week as well so I can hear any new songs that are out. I used to listen to my CDs constantly before I received my iPod (which I received from my hubby three years ago because he knew I'd love it. Believe it or not, I was skeptical!).

How do you listen to your music? Don't forget to vote on the poll on the right!

I also want to give a shout out to Katie from Katie Darby Recommends. She held a rock haiku contest, and I won a Worn Free t-shirt. Thanks, Katie! Check out my winning haiku here!
I beat out fellow blogger Ben Esch who in turn was forced to write a haiku about the winners...Read them here. Ben's book Sophomore Undercover comes out this month!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tune for Tuesday

Today's tune is from a hard rock band called Brides of Destruction. Brides of Destruction is a band formed in 2002 by Motley Crue/Sixx AM bassist and lyricist Nikki Sixx and LA Guns lead guitarist Tracii Guns (who was also an original member of Guns and Roses). This band has released two albums, Here Come The Brides and Runaway Brides. I own both albums and truly enjoy the hard guitar and punkish vibe from the group. Today's song is one of my favorites from their first album titled "I Don't Care."
My sister and I went to a BoD concert in 2005. I was pregnant with my third child so I called ahead to make sure I could get a balcony seat. I did not want to be on the general admission floor that I was sure would turn into a mosh pit. The venue was very accomodating and ushered my sister and I in first when the doors opened so I could get the seat of my choice. My baby also came in handy later when I asked security if we could meet Nikki so I could get a picture for the baby book. A security man told me no, but a security woman told me she'd see what she could do. We did end up waiting around after the concert and took these pics with Nikki Sixx and London LeGrand, the lead singer. I was a little starstruck as Nikki is one of my favorite musicians!
Photobucket Photobucket
My next connection with the Brides came when my boys and I were able to have a brief cameo in the music video for their single, "White Trash" from their second album.
Rock out to "I Don't Care."

Alas, Brides of Destruction is no longer. They broke up and the members moved on to other groups. Alas again, my internet has been out of commission so I will not be able to visit everyone's blogs for a few days. I'll catch up when it is up and ready again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wii R Fit

Last year my exercise routine usually involved walking on the treadmill 3-5 times a week while I watched my favorite soap opera, The Young and the Restless. The soap opera is a good motivator because I won’t watch the show unless I am working out. And I have to know what is going on with Nick, Sharon and Phyllis!
I received Wii Fit for Christmas, so my exercise routine has taken a change - a change for the better. I still use the treadmill 3-4 times a week, but I add exercises or games from the Wii fit to enhance my workout. I love it! I am using muscles that have been long ignored for way too long. Also, it mixes things up a bit to make exercising more fun.
The first day we used the Wii Fit, each of my five family members did a weigh in, checked their BMI and did some of the training and games. We also set a goal to work toward. My children’s goal was to maintain, because obviously I am not going to encourage any worries about weight. Plus they just want to play the games! My weight and BMI were at normal levels, but I could stand to be a little more fit. I set a goal of losing 9.9 pounds to make my ideal BMI according to the Wii Fit. Plus I have a high school reunion coming up, so dude, I am so going to get a bit more fit! After you weigh in, your Wii Mii character adjusts to your actual weight. My kids Mii’s got string bean skinny, mine grew slightly around the waist, and my husband’s Mii grew chubby. My kids thought this was hysterical!
I am thirty days into my Wii Fit trial. I am pleased at how I am consistent with the routine. I have worked out on the Wii 15 days in the month of January. My BMI has gone down slightly, and I've lost 2 1/2 pounds. Not dramatic, but slowly but surely I hope to reach my goal. I’m sure adjusting my eating habits will help me make my goal so I will try and do that little by little. That is much harder as I love my pizza and chocolate chip cookies!
Here are some silly pictures of some of the activities on my Wii Fit program.PhotobucketPhotobucket
This is Wii Plaza where you choose which Mii will begin training. If you haven't checked in for a few days, your Mii falls asleep...
Photobucket This is the aerobics step class. It also works on your rhythm.
I like the hula hoop game, though I cannot beat my husband's score! I didn't know he could shake it like that!
Photobucket Photobucket Above is a balance game (I need work) and obviously a skiing game. I ski just as good on the Wii as I do in real life (which is not so good...)!
Besides the aerobics and balance games shown, there are yoga and strengthening exercises to get you in shape. I do a few of those each time I check in as well.
How do you keep fit?