Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Halloween 2016 -- Small and Very Funny

Quick, before it's Thanksgiving!

We had Halloween.  It was lots of fun as expected, and even more exciting than last year.  I had a total of three costumes this year (what, don't all adults have several costumes to wear over the course of one day?), and we took the kids to Auntie Cami's orchestra's family-friendly Halloween concert, including a costume parade and trick-or-treating.  They loved it so much, it might have brought a li'l tear to my eye to see how into the music they were (it helped that the selections included Phantom, Ghostbusters and Thriller).  Trick-or-treating was a big hit, and we went much farther than last year, which also meant that we weren't home to give out much candy... But we would both rather be out with the kids being cute and having fun just now, so maybe next year we'll finally just put the bowl out on the porch while we're gone and if someone takes it all, SO BE IT.  The Charlie and Lola themed costumes, complete with yarn hairbows/Foxy accessory and new Charlie shirt, were a hit with those who recognized them (I was Lola's imaginary friend Soren Lorenson and The Wife was the title page/screen, just to help people who were on the edge of realizing), and it actually felt like an old-school Halloween with loooots of kids running around our neighborhood and a fun buzz in the fall air.

Also, I'll point out here that The Wife made quite a little killing on Etsy selling her Care Bear tummy iron-ons.  It was pretty exciting seeing the orders (and special orders!) coming in on the regular, and I'm sure plenty of nursing teams spent the day doing some great Care Bear stares.  Let's see how well her really cute earrings do for Christmas!

Here are Instahighlights:
Fall!  This boy had been wanting to do this for weeks.
They loved the symphony so much!  There were even plenty of John Bytheway ramblings to take a potty break.
Getting work ready for our Ghost Town theme... No time like the very last minute, right?
Work costume 1 (individual) and work costume 2 (team)
We didn't do as well as last year in the costume contest, but it was still fun and came together and at least we did SOMEthing.
Tada!  Again with the relatively obscure costumes, but I'm all for it.
Variations On Two Jacks.  We did these on the day of this year, but don't worry, we left them out for a good few weeks before finally throwing out the one remaining (who knows what happened to Classic Jack).
We had a good time and are still occasionally enjoying "our" candy and The Boy is preeeeetty excited that Christmastime is coming next, though, as we remind him, not until after Thanksgiving (not that we aren't listening to Christmas music now and then, which he always enjoys in the car).

It's all happening!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blogkeeping -- Fall/Winter 2015

Well, this is certainly long past due.  Without further fanfare, here's blogkeeping.

100 MOVIES from July 2015 (bottom) to February 2016 (top) -- featuring an HP marathon, Star Wars, Christmas 2015, Agatha Christie and the elusive first three seasons of Survivor:

Thor: The Dark World [r] *** • The X-Files (Season 10) **** • Annie (1999) [r] *** • Annie: A Royal Adventure! * 1/2 • Annie (1982) [r] **** • Self/less *** • The Town ** • Lady and the Tramp [r] **** • Love & Mercy **** • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl *** • Annie (2014) *** • Daniel Deronda *** 1/2 • Tak3n * 1/2 • Grease Live! *** 1/2 • And Then There Were None (2015) **** • Galavant (Season 2) *** • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ** 1/2 • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ** • Tangled [r] **** 1/2 • Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer ** • Fantastic 4 [r] ** 1/2 • The Borrowers ** 1/2 • Emma (1996) *** • The Walk **** 1/2 • Fant4stic * 1/2 • About Time **** 1/2 • Star Wars: The Force Awakens [r] *** 1/2 • Sense and Sensibility [r] ***** • The Secret World of Arrietty ** • San Andreas ** • Bottle Shock *** 1/2 • Aladdin [r] ***** • The Last Five Years [r] **** 1/2 • Captain America: The Winter Soldier [r] *** 1/2 • Far From the Madding Crowd **** 1/2 • Ant-Man *** • Pan *** • Sherlock: The Abominable Bride *** 1/2 • Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation *** • The Wiz Live *** 1/2 • Inside Out [r] **** 1/2 • Josh Groban: Stages *** • Luther 2015 *** 1/2 • Mickey's Christmas Carol [r] **** 1/2 • Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everybody! [r] ***** • The Nightmare Before Christmas [r] ***** • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi [r] *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back [r] **** • Star Wars: The Force Awakens *** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope [r] **** • Survivor: Cambodia -- Second Chance (Season 31) **** • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [r] *** • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones [r] ** 1/2 • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace [r] ** 1/2 • The Amazing Race (Season 31) *** 1/2 • Mr. Holmes *** • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. *** • Still Alice *** • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 **** • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (1 & 2) ***** • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [r] **** • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [r] ***** • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire [r] ***** • The Peanuts Movie ***** • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [r] **** • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [r] **** 1/2 • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [r] **** 1/2 • Woman In Gold *** 1/2 • Project Runway (Season 14) *** • Jurassic World [r] ***** • The Conjuring *** • Jeeves & Wooster (Season 3) **** 1/2 • The Prestige [r] **** 1/2 • Pitch Perfect 2 ** 1/2 • My Girl 2 [r] *** 1/2 • Goosebumps **** • Furious 7 *** • My Girl [r] **** 1/2 • Poirot: Murder On the Orient Express *** 1/2 • The DUFF * 1/2 • Bridge To Terabithia [r] *** 1/2 • American Experience: Walt Disney *** • The Avengers: Age of Ultron ** 1/2 • Miss Marple: The Body In the Library *** • Cinderella (2015) ** 1/2 • The Last Exorcism *** • Suvivor: Africa (Season 2) *** 1/2 • The Age of Adaline **** • Murder On the Orient Express *** 1/2 • Survivor: The Outback (Season 2) **** 1/2 • A Good Day To Die Hard ** • The Sapphires *** 1/2 • Flight ** 1/2 • Survivor: Borneo (Season 1) *** • Exodus: Gods and Kings ** • The Imitation Game *** • And Then There Were None (1945) *** • Poldark (Season 1) *** 1/2 • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell **** • Phenomenon ***

Usually I just do the last 50 books, but since I've been reading a loooot of children's books I'll do twice the amount compared to movies instead of half...

200 BOOKS from August 2015 (bottom) to July 2016 (top):

Lines That Wiggle (Candace Whitman) **** • Carrie (Stephen King) **** • Home (Carson Ellis) **** • Hondo & Fabian (Peter McCarty) *** • The Firefighters (Sue Whiting) **** • Wave (Suzy Lee) **** • Click, Clack, Peep! (Doreen Cronin) *** 1/2 • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin) **** • The Rain Train (Elena de Roo) **** • Little Tug (Stephen Savage) **** • Book (David W. Miles) *** • The Midnight Library (Kazuno Kohara) **** • Boats: Speeding! Sailing! Cruising! (Patricia Hubbell) *** • Airplanes: Soaring! Diving! Turning! (Patricia Hubbell) **** • C&L: I'm Really Ever So Not Well (Lauren Child) ***** • C&L: I Would Like To Actually Keep It (David Ingham) **** • Catch Me If You Can (Frank W. Abagnale) **** • The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Mordicai Gerstein) **** • How Green Was My Valley (Richard Llewellyn) **** • Red Truck (Kersten Hamilton) *** • Off We Go! (Jane Yolen) **** • Snuggle Puppy! (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Ten Little Dinosaurs (Pattie Schnetzler) **** • Can You Cuddle Like a Koala (John Butler) ***** • Bear About Town (Stella Blackstone) *** • My Friend Rabbit (Eric Rohmann) *** • Wemberly's Ice-Cream Star (Kevin Henkes) *** 1/2 • Whose Truck? (Toni Buzzeo) **** • Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! (Patricia Hubbell) **** • I'll Be There (Ann Stott) *** 1/2 • Always (Ann Stott) *** • Shh! Bears Sleeping (David Martin) **** • Mummy Cat (Marcus Ewert) **** • Fuddles (Frans Vischer) *** • C&L: Charlie Is Broken! (Lauren Child) ***** • C&L: I Am Really, Really Concentrating (Lauren Child) **** • Steam Train, Dream Train (Sherri Duskey Rinker) **** • Corduroy (Don Freeman) **** • Have You Seen My Dragon? (Steve Light) **** • Blown Away (Rob Biddulph) **** • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) **** • Frozen: A Sister More Like Me (Barbara Jean Hicks) *** • Ralph S. Mouse (Beverly Cleary) *** 1/2 • Runaway Ralph (Beverly Cleary) **** • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary) ***** • How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? (Jane Yolen) **** • Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming! (Patricia Hubbell) *** 1/2 • Look! (Jeff Mack) **** 1/2 • Two Little Trains (Margaret Wise Brown) **** • Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss) ***** • Tuesday (David Wiesner) *** • Edgar Gets Ready For Bed (Jennifer Adams) **** • The Wonderful Things You'll Be (Emily Winfield Martin) *** • Wait (Antoinette Portis) ***** • Cars Galore (Peter Stein) **** • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Laura Joffe Numeroff) ***** • The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • Sea of Dreams (Dennis Nolan) ***** • I Love My Daddy (Sebastien Braun) ***** • Bears On Chairs (Shirley Parenteau) ***** • In This Book (Fani Marceau) *** 1/2 • The Chronicles of Prydain: The High King (Lloyd Alexander) [r] ***** • LMNO Peas (Keith Baker) ***** • Shhh! This Book Is Sleeping (C├ędric Ramadier) **** • Whose Hat Is This? (Sharon Katz Cooper) *** • No, No, Gnome! (Ashlyn Anstee) **** • I Am Extremely Absolutely Boiling (Lauren Child) **** • The Chronicles of Prydain: Taran Wanderer (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • I Can't Stop Hiccuping! (Lauren Child) ***** • Jamberry (Bruce Degen) **** • Froodle (Antoinette Portis) **** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Castle of Llyr (Lloyd Alexander) [r] ***** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** 1/2 • Peggy (Anna Walker) **** • First the Egg (Laura Vaccaro Seeger) ***** • The OK Book (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • The Chronicles of Prydain: The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) [r] **** • Hail To Spring! (Charles Ghigna) **** • Red Car, Red Bus (Susan Steggall) *** 1/2 • Little Bear (Else Holmelund Minarik) ***** • Fire Truck (Peter Sis) *** • Open This Little Book (Jesse Klausmeier) ***** • Strider (Beverly Cleary) **** • Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary) **** • Bears In a Band (Shirley Parenteau) **** • Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (Lindsay Mattick) **** • The Martian (Andy Weir) **** • Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! (Dr. Seuss) **** • The Queen's Hat (Steve Anthony) ***** • Bently & Egg (William Joyce) **** • Bread and Jam for Francis (Russell Hoban) ***** • Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories (R.J. Palacio) ***** • Potty (Leslie Patricelli) ***** • Fire Engine No. 9 (Mike Austin) ***** • Dinosaur Colors (Paul Stickland) *** • Rokko (Paola Opal) *** • Danny and the Dinosaur (Syd Hoff) **** • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (Jeff Kinney) ** • The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince (Serena Valentino) *** • The Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of a Sleeping Beauty (Elizabeth Rudnick) ** • Little Oink (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Little Hoot (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Locomotive (Brian Floca) *** • Harry the Dirty Dog (Gene Zion) **** • A Kitten Tale (Eric Rohmann) ***** • Shh! We Have a Plan (Chris Haughton) **** • Exclamation Mark (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Chopsticks (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) **** 1/2 • The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (Susanna Clarke) **** • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke) ***** • We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog (Lauren Child) **** • Benjy's Boat Trip (Margaret Bloy Graham) **** • Help! I Really Mean It! (Lauren Child) **** • Little Bear's Visit (Else Holmelund Minarik) **** • Corgiville Fair (Tasha Tudor) *** • Planes Go (Steve Light) ***** • I Love My New Toy (Mo Willems) **** • Train (Elisha Cooper) *** • I Am Too Absolutely Small For School (Lauren Child) **** • Boo! Made You Jump! (Lauren Child) **** • Looking For a Moose (Phyllis Root) **** • Do You Know Colors? (Katherine Howard) ***** • Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken (Kate DiCamillo) **** • Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Pajama Time! (Sandra Boynton) ***** • Snoozers: 7 Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids (Sandra Boynton) ***** • The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) **** • Go! Go! Go! Stop! (Charise Mericle Harper) *** 1/2 • Peek-a-Who? (Nina Laden) **** • Animal Babies (Little Bee Books) **** • London: A Book of Opposites (Ashley Evanson) ***** • A Whole New World - A Twisted Tale (Liz Braswell) *** • The Way Back Home (Oliver Jeffers) ***** • The Incredible Book Eating Boy (Oliver Jeffers) **** • Octopus Alone (Divya Srinivasan) **** • Little Owl's Night (Divya Srinivasan) **** 1/2 • Snowmen At Christmas (Caralyn Buehner) ***** • An Otis Christmas (Loren Long) **** • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss) ***** • The Polar Express (Chris Van Allsburg) ***** • Merry Christmas, Curious George (Margaret Rey) **** • A Christmas Carol and Other Stories (Charles Dickens) ***** • God Bless Us, Every One!: The Story Behind A Christmas Carol (John Rhys-Davies) *** • Milly and the Macy's Parade (Shana Corey) *** • The Marvels (Brian Selznick) ** • Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Karen Foxlee) **** • The League of Unexceptional Children (Gitty Daneshvari) **** • The Kissing Hand (Audrey Penn) **** • The Scarecrow's Dance (Jane Yolen) **** • Helping Daddy (Atsuko Morozumi) **** • Hollow City (Ransom Riggs) *** • Monkey and Me (Emily Gravett) *** 1/2 • Again! (Emily Gravett) *** • Blue Chameleon (Emily Gravett) **** • Jasper & Joop (Olivier Dunrea) ** • Winter Concert (Yuko Takao) **** • Hooray For Amanda & Her Alligator! (Mo Willems) *** 1/2 • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Mo Willems) *** 1/2 • Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct (Mo Willems) ** 1/2 • A You're Adorable (Martha Alexander) **** • Good Night Missouri *** 1/2 • Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story (Mary Downing Hahn) **** • Oh No, George! (Chris Haughton) ***** • Illusionarium (Heather Dixon) ***** • The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (Mo Willems) **** • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! (Mo Willems) ***** • The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! (Mo Willems) **** • The Pigeon Loves Things That Go! (Mo Willems) **** • Little Quack (Lauren Thompson) **** • Little Pea (Amy Krouse Rosenthal) ***** • Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket) **** • Matilda's Cat (Emily Gravett) **** • Spells (Emily Gravett) *** • Wolves (Emily Gravett) ** • The Crucible (Arthur Miller) **** • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne) *** 1/2 • Time for Bed (Mem Fox) **** • Train! (Judi Abbot) ***** • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Lauren Child) ***** • Bridge To Terabithia (Katherine Paterson) *** 1/2 • The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread (Don Robertson) **** • Dusk (Uri Shulevitz) *** • The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper) **** • N or M? (Agatha Christie) **** 1/2 • The Body In the Library (Agatha Christie) *** • Hey, Al (Arthur Yorinks) *** • On Your Potty! (Virginia Miller) *** • Deep In the Forest (Brinton Turkle) ***** • Big Fish (Daniel Wallace) *** 1/2 • Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! (Mo Willems) ***** • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Mo Willems) ***** • Curious George (H.A. Rey) ***** • Murder On the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) **** • Owl Babies (Martin Waddell) ***** • Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears (Emily Gravett) ** • The Odd Egg (Emily Gravett) **** • Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? (Martin Waddell) ***** • Ten Apples Up On Top! (Theo LeSieg) **** • June 29, 1999 (David Wiesner) **** • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) ****

Now to clean out the sidebar and blog about something more important.

Oh, I guess this is also a good moment to take The Jungle Book, Zootopia, Brooklyn, Creed, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alien off my to-watch list (even though none of them are in this group) and Catch Me If You Can, Carrie, The Maze Runner, How Green Was My Valley off my to-read list (most of which ARE in this group).