Archive for November, 2013

Are you going to see ‘Frozen’ today? Did you go on Thanksgiving?

My 12-year-old and 6-year-old have talked for weeks about seeing the new Disney movie “Frozen,” and we are going to see it Friday morning. (It opened on Thanksgiving Day.)

It turns out almost all of Lilina’s first grade class wants to see it too so we are meeting many of her classmates at the theater. Even her teacher is coming with her first grader. I think it’s going to be a big crowd – including boys.

Entertainment Weekly magazine reports that “Frozen” has tried to play down the princess aspect of the movie marketing the snowman in their ads to bring in those little boys. (My 10-year-old son is going with us but I think he’d rather be seeing “Thor” again.)

From EW:

Frozen – $64 million
Disney has experience opening successful princess movies over Thanksgiving weekend. The studio released Enchanted on this weekend in 2007, and the film brought in $49 million over its first five days. It also opened the Rapnuzel tale Tangled over this weekend in 2010, …

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Will you shop Thanksgiving night?

(Editor’s Note — I did have old information. Nedra, our Bargain Hunter, sent me the new opening times. So please check again if you are making plans. Also Nedra will be sending me the new doorbuster deals around noon and I will get then up.)

Bunches of stores are now opening on Thanksgiving night, and I am wondering if you will leave the house and family to take advantage of deals and get a head start on Christmas? (I think a lot people decorate over Thanksgiving and that’s getting a head start too.)

According to AJC’S Bargain Hunter:


A sampling of major retailers:

Belk: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

Best Buy: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving

BrandsMart USA: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving

Disney Store: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

H. H. Gregg: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

JC Penney: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

Kmart: 6 a.m. Thanksgiving

Kohl’s: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

Macy’s: 8 p.m. Thanksgiving

Old Navy: Opens at 9 a.m. – 4 p.m Thanksgiving (some stores to open at 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day)

Sears: 8 …

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Heretical or personal choice: No turkey on Thanksgiving?

I have been threatening for the last few years not to make turkey for Thanksgiving. Michael hates turkey. He thinks it’s always dry no matter how many techniques you employ to improve the bird. He complains about it, and it’s the only food he refuses to eat as leftovers. The kids could take it or leave it, and I love the stuffing and gravy more than the bird.

Last Thanksgiving, I didn’t cook turkey because we traveled to Disneyland with my parents. We did have turkey at the princess luncheon on Thanksgiving Day.  Michael stayed home, and I think at salmon he made for himself.

This year it will just be the five of us. No family or friends coming to visit, and I think I really may NOT make a turkey

So far I have not bought a turkey. I am thinking of either roasting a chicken with extra legs  (they all love chicken legs) or maybe grilling salmon. (The Pilgrims did have fish at the first Thanksgiving.)

The advantage to the chicken is you could still do a nice stuffing and …

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What topics are off the table at Thanksgiving dinner?

A friend posted this story from The Onion about a family meeting using PowerPoint to determine what topics were safe to discuss at the holiday table.

From The Onion:

DELMAR, NY—In an effort to ensure a smooth and enjoyable dinner with their relatives, siblings Jason, Alyssa, and Leslie Conroy reportedly sat down together Tuesday evening for a PowerPoint presentation covering all of the conversation topics that will be off-limits during the family’s Thanksgiving gathering. “As you can see here, we’re unsure whether or not cousin Jessica is actually college-bound, so we’re going to avoid that subject and stick to the key talking points listed in this table,” said Alyssa Conroy, 26, during the siblings’ 48-slide presentation, which reportedly featured pie charts breaking down the state and national voting histories of extended family members, as well as Venn diagrams illustrating what each relative knows about their father’s upcoming surgery….”

(Please click …

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Do you help in the classroom even though you pick up germs?

I woke up Friday morning feeling awful and discovered Saturday I had a terrible case of strep throat. I’ve been on antibiotic for four days and still feel fairly awful.

This is my second illness in three weeks, and I always seem to come down with it about two days after I help in Lilina’s first-grade classroom. (None of my kids are sick so it came from some place else!)

I picked up a terrible cold the first week of school helping in the kindergarten class. I ran into an aide in the class later in the week, and she was sick too.

I love, love, love helping in Lilina’s classroom. The kids are wonderful. I am good at teaching phonics and working on reading skills with them. But I just can’t get sick every week!

I used to get sick when I would babysit too. At one point my mother said she would pay me not to babysit.

I am taking all kinds of probiotics and vitamins to boost my immunity but I just catch things easily.

Have you ever gotten sick after helping at your child’s …

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Interesting fundraiser: Middle school rents out theater for ‘Catching Fire’ event

Our local middle school has rented out a theater for the students to watch “Catching Fire” this Friday on opening night. The PTA is selling tickets for $15 including a seat, popcorn, water and a raffle ticket.

I think it’s such an interesting model for a fundraiser. It’s something the kids will really want to do. The school can make some money and the cost is not outrageous. It’s a nice outing for the students too. They are selling tickets through Wednesday and they think they will sell out.

Is your school doing a similar “Catching Fire” fundraiser? Have they ever done movie nights and rented out a theater? (They often do movie nights at the school playing movies outside but I’ve never seen one at a theater.)

Along these same lines: Sesame Street has come out with its version of “The Hungry Games: Catching Fur.” See what you think.

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Blessings with some upheaval: We’re moving again!

I wanted to share with you guys some big family news. My husband has been named the new global sports editor for The Associated Press. Here’s the story that ran in the AJC when they announced it a few weeks ago.

Michael officially starts the job today. He will be working some in Phoenix, some in New York and some where the news takes him. He will be at the Super Bowl. He will be running the Olympics coverage from Sochi, Russia, and he’ll be leading World Cup coverage from Brazil in June. (He wants me to come to Brazil for part of the time but I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to sell a house, buy a house, move kids 3,000 miles across the county and show up in Brazil. Those plans don’t really seem congruent to me.)

This is literally a dream job for him. He has talked about the job since college. He eats, sleeps and dreams sports. But it does come with complications.

After four years I finally have the kids settled in the right schools. We’re finally making …

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How I spend my day: What would your pie chart look like?

I was practicing data visualization to teach my digital media students, and I created a simple pie chart about how I spend my day. I thought it would be interesting to share and see what your pie chart would look like. (I pasted the actual numbers below. The percentages are interesting though for perspective. These numbers are averages as they can vary day-to-day.)

On the pie chart it looks like I spend an inordinate amount of time sleeping. I estimated seven hours at night. I have been trying to get eight because then I drink less caffeine. But lately I’ve been lucky to get six hours.  The homework with kids number is closer to four some nights, and generally I am working with more than one child at a time.  (By helping I mean helping them organize what all they need to get done, checking on their progress, assisting with information if needed and then quizzing them for tests the next day. This is mostly spent with Walsh. His school is crazy hard.)

Time …

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Does Facebook break up marriages?

I was telling my husband recently about a couple we know who recently broke up. He said without missing a beat, “Did it involve Facebook?”

I didn’t know at the time of  our conversation if it did involve Facebook but found out later, it DID. So I started searching online “Facebook and Marriage breakups” and found some interesting stats.

From The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch blog:

“More than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a  legal services firm. And over 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of cases using social networking, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” says Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn. Of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60% exclusively involve …

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Do toys need to be gender-branded? Would you buy girl-branded Nerf blasters?

I noticed this weekend the girl-branded Nerf line called Rebelle. This image is a screen shot from the Target website.

I noticed this weekend the girl-branded Nerf line called Rebelle. This image is a screen shot from the Target website.

I was perusing the Target holiday circular this weekend and noticed a whole section on pink Nerf blasters. The girl-branded Nerf guns are called their Rebelle line. (See image from the Target website.) The line was launched this fall.

If you remember, last year the boy-branded Easy Bake Oven hit the market so I guess it was just a matter of time.

But my question is do girls really need the Nerf guns to be pink to play with them? If a girl wanted to shoot Nerf blasters would the color really matter?  (Contrary to my own point I do remember that my Huffy dirt bike was pink.)

I found this article on Entertainment Weekly about the launch of this new product. Hasbro says the difference is not just that it’s pink.

From Entertainment Weekly:

“I think if anything, we went into this without any stereotypes and instead talked to young girls, found out what they …

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