Saturday, May 29, 2010

Best Fantasy Films

Leaving out animated movies, here are my top 10:


The Princess Bride

The Fellowship of the Ring
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
The Return of the King
Tenth Kingdom


Wizard of Oz

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Best Comedies

I couldn't narrow it down to ten, but I was amazed at how quickly I came up with this list and felt like it was definitive.

A Christmas Story
Noises Off
The Man Who Knew Too Little
O Brother Where Art Thou
So I Married An Axe Murderer
Better Off Dead
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Three Amigos
Cold Comfort Farm
The Princess Bride
Tommy Boy
Notting Hill
Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Today Was A Gorgeous Day

Brandon mowed the lawn.
The kids went to play in "Rainbow Valley."
Jonah chased a butterfly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Best Period Films

I will define Period Films as any movie which takes place earlier than 1900.
Now that I have begun movie lists, I may not be able to stop!  To balance out my the masculine Action-Adventure list, I chose something considered incredibly feminine this time, but I must note that those with stars were both watched by and highly enjoyed by my husband at some point.

My Top 10

Wives & Daughters (possibly my very favorite movie ever)
Anne of Green Gables
Pride & Prejudice* (1995)
North & South* (2004, BBC, not relating to the American Civil War in any way)
Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Persuasion (1995. Wow, what was up with Jane Austen movies that year?!)
The Moth (from the Catherine Cookson Collection)
He Knew He Was Right
Anne of Avonlea
Cranford (my 3rd movie on this list based on a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, I've got to read her books!)

Horatio Hornblower series* (6 short films)

And an honorable mention to two Action-Adventure period films: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (laugh all you want but I love it) and Lorna Doone.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Best Action-Adventure Movies Ever

My Top 10 

The Fugitive - amongst my favorite movies of all-time.  I found myself sucked into it last night when there was nothing to watch on my DVR and I was channel surfing for the first time in ages.

X-Men - definitely in my top 10 movies of all-time.  I've finally come to admit that I'm a huge super-hero fan and a wanna-be Marvel geek.  This movie is so well-written and character-driven and full of great action and fantastic visuals.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) - Though arguably more of a Drama, this movie is high Adventure and also incredibly funny.  I've seen three versions of this movie, all are good, but this is the best.

The Lord of the Ring series - Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favorite movies ever.  I realize this makes my list longer than ten if you count all three.

Star Wars movies (the 3 originals) - Again, this is more than one movie, I know, but I don't care.  Plus, I haven't seen them in so long, I couldn't tell you which is my favorite.

The Mask of Zorro - sword-fighting, eye-candy, great dialogue...

The Count of Monte Cristo - it's been a long time since I've seen this one but I remember that I loved it, especially the ending (harkens to The Man in the Iron Mask for some reason).

Casino Royale (2009) - Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery and this is the most action-packed Bond movie ever.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - I'm just now realizing how much I love Harrison Ford.  Clear & Present Danger and Patriot Games almost made this list as well.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - how can you go wrong with both Harrison Ford and Sean Connery?

For me, an Action-Adventure movie needs to be both well-written and well-made.  It must be reasonably well-acted but can certainly be cheesy at times.  Probably the most important thing in this genre for me is plot, though characters are extremely important in all good films.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Elora's 2nd Birthday

Elora's second birthday was a cold, rainy day, just like the day she was born.  In fact, we woke up to snow on our lawn on Saturday morning.  That ruled out going to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point to ride the ponies and see the sheep being sheared, so instead we decided to go to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy with Papa.
Manta Ray petting pool.
After lunch and naps it was time for Elora's birthday party.  Aunt Andy stopped by to drop off a gift and play for awhile.  Uncle Brandon, Kathy, Bryson, and baby Bailee stayed for dinner and beyond.

Grammy Linda & Papa Alan made a delicious dinner of grilled salmon, corn & black bean salsa/salad, and couscous.  Dawn, Forrest, and Nicolas came over with gifts and tons of balloons and to enjoy the cake.

 Linda outdid herself with a dark haired doll cake.  Orange flavored with blueberry filling and orange cream cheese frosting dyed purple for the dress skirt.  Jonah loved the cake but Elora seemed unsure as to why we were singing Happy Birthday to a doll and why the doll had two weird, tall candles on it.

She was not convinced it was a cake until she tasted the frosting for herself.

Elora's gifts consisted of darling clothes, cute mini kitchen accouterments, and lots of gorgeous dress-up stuff.

Thank you everyone for making this a great party!
I am redoing Elora's room as my big gift to her.  We are getting her a big girl bed, cleaning the carpets, hanging cute stuff on the walls, painting her little dresser, and I got her the fanciest new bedding.  Before and after pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AZ Weekend

Friday at 11am I dropped my kids off with "Papa" Alan, picked up some takeout from Himalayan Kitchen, and headed to the airport.  There I enjoyed the beginning of two blissful hours of nearly uninterrupted reading.  Simple, childless pleasures.
My mom picked me up from the Phoenix airport.  I got to see Mark, Spencer, Gabe, and my dad before they headed out to the Father & Sons campout.  Said hello to Claire before leaving with Karen, Sarah, and Sarah's friend Melissa and her daughter Morgan to Cheesecake Factory where we met up with Robin and her two daughters, Charlotte and Paisley.

Sarah, Melissa, Morgan and I did a little shopping at the mall afterwards.  After Sarah fell asleep I played with Gabe's dog Charley and watched a little Glee before turning in myself.
Saturday I took Sarah to a radiation appointment in Phoenix, then after Starbucks we did a little shopping at Kohls.  Grabbed a burrito at Armandos and by the time we got home, all of Sarah's boys had beat us there:)  We hung out that afternoon.  Chandler and I ran some errands (dropping something off at Nana's, grocery shopping, taking flowers to Autumn, and mailing stuff at the post office).  After that we picked up Sarah, Gabe, and Jackson and we all headed over to Robin's house for a BBQ.  The kids were bold and swam in the pool too.
Dinner was really good!
Sarah and the boys went to bed early and I spent four hours hanging out with Adam that night.  We stayed up way past our bedtimes and had so much fun just talking.
Sunday Sarah's family and I went to Dad's ward since Mark was speaking in Sacrament meeting.  Good talk, Mark.  After a little snooze, we headed over to Mom's house to hang out with our siblings.  Everyone was there except Adam, who had to work.  Grandma Donna came for the fun too:)

We had a great time just hanging out and talking.  And laughing til we cried at some of Ted and Mark's mission stories.
My cousin Mike stopped by later with his darling family so I could see and hold their new baby, Elliot.  Adorable!
That night I went and saw my friend Autumn, who I've known since birth.  She was in a car accident a week and a half ago.  We talked for three hours before we both decided we needed to go to bed.
Monday morning Sarah, Karen, and I grabbed drinks and headed to Sarah's radiation treatment.  She only has 12 left now and the doctor said she should get her energy back about two weeks after they are over.

We went out and had a delicious early lunch in Phoenix before they dropped me off at the airport.
It was a great trip.  I miss you all already!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our Weekend

Saturday morning was yard work time.

Jonah and I planted six new strawberry plants, bringing us up to an even dozen.  They are planted on the lower front step garden tier where there are also two larkspurs, an iris plant, daisies, and lavendar.  A very cute bed, in my opinion.

In the meantime, Brandon was expanding our second vegetable garden plot.  While the peeps foraged there he dug into the hillside for the site of our new compost heap.

Sunday morning I got to sleep in and then Brandon and the kids woke me to find this gift on the porch.

Brandon had made splendid omelets and I'm still enjoying the lovely and fragrant bouquet he got me Saturday morning.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Usually on Wednesdays the kids and I go to the library for story time.  Last month they announced that on May 5th there would be no story time but that we were all invited to ride the Heber Valley Railroad.  It was an hour-long ride that normally costs $28 but they gave us a story time group discount and tickets were only $6 :)  Dad had the day off too so it made for a wonderful morning.