Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook 183

FOR TODAY: December 4, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... Christmas lights

I am thinking... about how full and deep God's grace extends.

I am thankful...for good tea.

I am wearing... Jeans and a purple sweater

I am creating... a bulletin board display

I am reading... The Lopsided Christmas Cake and The Books of the Bible.

I am watching... just finished first season of Supergirl, When Calls the Heart, Gilmore Girls with Sister, The Pretender with Mom, and Tuesday is Firefly night with Sister and her friends.

I am geeking out... the return of Young Justice. Season three has been announced after it was cancelled in 2013.

I played... Stoneage last week
One of my favorite things... Christmas cookies

Verse of the week... Exodus 15:2 NLT
The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has given me victory.
This is my God, and I will praise him—
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Song of the Week:

In the Kitchen... I have been having a lot of sauces made with mushrooms, craving creamy mushroom soap it seems.

A few plans for the rest of the week:...tonight we are going to a volunteer banquet and this weekend is Fill-A-Bag.

Happening On The Blog:... I still have two movie reviews to write for Hacksaw Ridge and the new Anne of Green Gables, expect them later this week.

A few pictures to share:...
The Christmas Parade

Our Christmas Tree decorating night

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Advent Bullet Journal Page

I don't have much to say about this. I wanted something advent-ly to colour each day. This is what I came up with.

Sister + Lee Movie Review: Doctor Strange

Sister and I love movies and we were so excited to see Doctor Strange. It was Marvel so we liked it but it wasn't our absolute favourite. To give a balanced view I asked my friend Lee to contribute to the review after he posted on Facebook that it was one of the best movies he's ever seen.

Fun Fact: While filming, Benedict Cumberbatch walked into a comic book store, in full costume, and bought an actual Doctor Strange comic. Source: IMDB

Important Fact: Stay till the very end of the credits. There is the normal extra clip after the first credit break but there is a second Easter Egg clip at the end.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

The Good
Sister: The special effects and story was cool. I liked Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange. And there were parts I laughed at like the Cloak of Levitation whipping away a tear.
Lee: I loved the whole "expanding your perceptions" angle of the movie. The journey he took, the master characters who trained him. I loooved the special effects. I thought they were some of the best I've ever seen. And the showdown in the end? I thought it was great how Strange annoyed Dormammu into submission
Me: I love a good origin story and this had many great features. I liked the Ancient One and all her interactions with Doctor Strange. I liked the learning sequence but felt it could have been more flushed out...with that I did enjoy this method of borrowing books. I loved the special effects in the mirror world and the mystic out of body fight in the hospital. Oh, and also just how Doctor Strange worked out alternative solutions like trapping opponents in the desert and then changing the dial or the bartering with Dormammu Lee mentioned.

The Less Than Good
Sister: The sarcasm and humor felt forced and not as natural as other Marvel movies.
Me: I am in agreement with the humor. There were moments it was perfect but other times it was too little or felt forces. I don't think it was a lack of timing on Cumberbatch's part. His sarcasm was always well delivered. It was more that there wasn't a balance in the script. He didn't have the same continual funny lines like Iron Man or Ant Man. I also found parts slow and others rushed or explanations brushed over. I also did not like Mordo turning away from Doctor Strange at the end.

Favourite Character
Sister: The Ancient One
Lee: Doctor Strange
Me: The Cloak of Levitation

Sister: 3 Infinity Stones out of 5
Lee: 4 magical artifacts out of 5
Me: 3.5 forbidden books out of 5

P.S. 24 Sleeps Till Doctor Who Christmas Special

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sister Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts

Saturday Sister and I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You can barley tell we are in the picture but we are there.

And we loved the movie! I want to see it again.

There are spoilers ahead and I don't have the magic to wipe your memory so read on at your own risk.

Sister: Everything. Also Newt Scamander and his nice face. I was so excited seeing a new Harry Potter-world movie for the first time.
Me: It was wonderful. I loved the setting and time period. The movie felt like a new and fresh story but with appropriate ties that reminded us its connection to the similar Harry Potter world. I liked the set up at the beginning with the newspaper articles letting us know these are dark times and that Gellert Grindelwald is a threat. I loved discovering new magically things especially walking through Newt's animal suitcase sanctuary. I loved the catching of all the missing beasts and the friendship that builds between our four heroes Newt, Jacob, Tina and Queenie. I also adored Queenie and Jacob together. I loved that there were characters to hate, and characters who did dumb things but for confusing reasons, and characters you wanted to shake but understood there motivation. I liked that there were some predictable things like Graves being evil but there were still surprises. Also since I avoided most previews I loved the reveal of Grindelwald.

Less Than Good
Sister: Jacob having his memory erased, there were other solutions.
Me: I agree. Jacob losing his memory was not cool and him having a successful bakery was not as satisfying as it would have been for him and Queenie to run away to England where muggles and wizards can marry.

Favourite Character:
Sister: Credence Barebone
Me: Jacob and Queenie

Favourite Creature:
Sister: The Thunderbirds
Me: The Niffer or The Bowtruckle

Sister: 5 thunderbirds out of 5
Me: 4.8 occamy out of 5

We really liked the movie and think you will too. However, knowing that not everyone enjoys the same thing, if you didn't like the Harry Potter series or don't care for fantasy at all then this isn't the movie for you. I am sure others will find more wrong with the movie or how it is full of plot holes. I don't care. What I know is that it was an enjoyable time watching something new but familiar and I want to see it again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Friend Movie Review: Moana

Sunday five kids from my youth group and I went to see Disney's new movie, Moana. Two of them agreed to help review the movie for the blog. We've tried to keep the big plot points secret but we are discussing the movie so there are spoilers ahead.

Rhiana: I loved the music, and the story. It was beautiful. It was a nice change to have an adventure with no romance, even Brave had the adventure because her father wanted to find her a husband. In this it was just quest for the sake of a quest. I love that the casting choice was an actual 14 year old from Hawaii.

Hope: I also really loved the music. The animation was amazing, the water was always moving and Te Fiti was beautiful. It was nice having a Disney movie were both parents live. I also liked how it was gave a look at a culture I was unfamiliar with and told about their culture in a neat way.

Me: I loved colour and animation. It was bright and cheerful. I loved the "sidekicks" but was sad her pig didn't get to go on the big adventure. The script was fun. There were so many great lines and even meta jokes about Moana having a sidekick therefore a princess. I liked how the Ocean was made a character especially the interaction with the toddler Moana. I listened to a "making of Moana" video and liked how the song "You're Welcome" quickly told many of the different legends about Maui.

Less Than Good:
Rhiana: Chief Tala was a typical Disney father with the, "don't do this thing" harshness that was all forgiving at the end, "I am so glad you disobeyed me." It would be nice just once to have a supportive parent.

Hope: the scene with the Kakamora pirates seemed pointless, I don't see how it furthered the plot and for character development it only seemed to show that Moana is awesome -but we already knew that.

Me: I agree with Hope about the Kakamora, I thought there was going to be another show down with them at some point, there wasn't. There are a more than a few moments that felt like I was watching a previous movie not the story, but the telling on the story. The acting out tattoo reminded me of the Muses in Hercules, the conclusion reminded me of something from Princess Mononoke, and the music at times reminded me as a cross between the Tarazan score and Hamilton. Also, every time see started practicing her "I am Moana" speech I wanted to say, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya..." None of those things were truly bad, they just took me out of the movie for a bit while I tried to figure out what was similar. I found this especially hard with the music.

I also didn't immediately love the music. It didn't have that same ... whatever it is that makes Disney music magical. After so many Disney movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and Frozen) I had a song I loved therefore needed the soundtrack. I already had the song stuck in my head. I've only seen Pocahontas once and yet I know all the words to Colour of the Wind. I wanted the Moana music to be the same way. And I think it was that magical for the teens with me. But I didn't find myself wanting to sing-along in the same away. This time there was no one line or lyric that stayed stuck in my head at first. As I researched I listened to the music my feeling changed. But at the time I remember being underwhelmed.

Favourite Scene:
Rhiana: I think my favourite scene when Moana is in the cave and discovers her ancestors were explorers.
Hope: My favourite scene is how the heart was returned. Where it was and the song Moana sang.
Me: I think I liked the scene right after the Moana song (diving into the ocean) and the reforming of the phrase she'd been saying though out the movie.

Favourite Song:
Rhiana: You're Welcome
Hope: We Know the Way
Me: We Know the Way

Favourite Character:
Rhiana: Heihei
Hope: Grandmother Tala
Me: The Ocean

Rhiana: 4 sting rays out of 5
Hope: 3.8 canoes out of 5
Me: 3.8 Kakamora (pirate coconuts) out of 5

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Thursday #212

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

As they celebrate it seems like a good time to write a new Thankful Thursday. Over the past month I've been thankful...
  • ...for safety when traveling. I've been on the road a lot and glad that we always arrive at our destination.
  • ...that I get to be with my family.
  • ...for new friends. It's been slow settling in and I still miss my Nova Scotia friends. But I am so thankful for each new person I meet here.
  • ...for good books and movies. I love stories that inspire me.
  • ...fluffy blankets.
  • drinks.
  • ...cold medication.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook 182

FOR TODAY: October 16, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... night, I am not sure why I keep this section. I am more often writing at night and the answer is always a variation of the same idea...night, darkness, stars, etc.

I am thinking... about costumes and cosplay ideas. It's because Sister is practicing her Halloween make-up at the moment.

Been thinking about theology, church history, and John Wesley. I had a very Wesleyan/Methodism moment a few weeks ago.

I am thankful... being close with my family

I am wearing... Christmas pants and a red tank top

I am creating... fancy nail art. Really I am a beginner but I had fun:

I am watching... I introduced Sister to Gilmore Girls last weekend, it's become our weekend show. I forgot how much I loved the show, The Pretender with Mom, and Tuesday is Firefly night with Sister and her friends. On my own I've been watching Midsommer Murders and trying to watch Daredevil (second season) and Luke Cage. Both are very good but my tolerance for violence is...heightening.

I am geeking out... DC, I know I'm weird but I really like it.

I played... Warmachines, it is a strategy/tactician game like Warhammer and Stoneage.
One of my favorite things... Thanksgivings walks followed Thanksgiving feasts

Verse of the week... Exodus 15:2 NLT
The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has given me victory.
This is my God, and I will praise him—
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Song of the Week:

From the Garden:... we harvested most of the vegetables last weekend, there might be one last zucchini to pick this week if the frost doesn't kill it.

In the Kitchen... Thanksgiving was so much fun, Mom and I worked together on preparing the meal over three days. I tried to make Maria's very yummy sweet potato casserole. It turned out well and I learned a few things for next time.

A few plans for the rest of the week:...the week is packed there is the regular things plus Monday night I'm going to the city to shop. Tuesday have a ministry lunch followed by youth ministry leaders networking meeting (that's a mouthful) followed by Firefly TV night. I've started attending a Bible Study on Wednesday looking at 2 Timothy. Thursday I'm back in the city to participate in contemplative worship. Friday is the most exciting activity, Toby Mac concert! And Saturday I visiting the Ottawa Vineyard church, because even pastors need to find ways to worship.  

Happening On The Blog:... I have no plans. I mean I do have plans but I haven't been the most quick to actually write. My goal is to write twice this week. That might include my non-regular weeklies Daily SaladThankful Thursday, and Wednesday Art.

A few pictures to share:...

A few weeks ago I was at a pastor retreat and conference. This was my view every morning.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sister + Friend Movie Review: Storks

Two reviews in two days! Yesterday I finally posted our review of Suicide Squad.

And Friday we saw Storks.

It is ridiculous and awesome.

I didn't expect I'd want to see the movie few months ago, just looking at the poster. At best it would a "renter" (not that we really rent movies these days.) However the more we saw the previews the more we wanted to see it. For the last month Sister and her friends have been quoting the wolves just based on the previews. 

We are glad we went. It was such a fun love. It has been awhile since I have laughed so hard. It was a great film and as a group we saw "go see it."

Warning: there are a few spoilers in the review, but nothing that will harm your enjoyment of Storks.

Darby: Creative idea and the wolves were the best.
Zack: It was the right mix of comedy.
Sister: It was quiet entertaining.
Me: We were laughing hysterically through out the movie; it helped being the only group in the theater. It was just plain fun. Just when I began to think, "this is ridiculous" one of the characters would acknoldge the feeling with some type of "how is this possible." I think my favourite example was when the wolves formed a "wolf bridge." It made the next wolf transformations hilarious and allowed the story to be very creative.

Less Than Good:
Darby: there were not enough wolves
Zack: the stork-human family bond felt awkward
Sister: I just liked it...all of it.
Me: Most of our favourite lines/scenes we knew going in because they were in the previews.

Favourite Character:
Darby: Wolves
Zack: Orphan Tulip
Sister: Wolves
Me: the kid, Nate Gardener

Best Scene:
Darby: The wolves falling in love with the baby, "tastes like flowers"
Zack: The baby controlling the robot "Babies are smart -babies are dumb"
Sister: The wolves falling in love with the baby, "Are you in love cause I'm in love" "I'm love" "I agree, I agree, I agree"
Me: The stork facing off against his nemesis "glass"

Darby: 5 bad-ass mini birds out of 5
Zack: 4 wolves out of 5
Sister: 5 blue haired babies out of 5
Me: 4.5 plates of glass out of 5

Finial Thoughts:
I love it and highly recommend Storks. It reminded me of Jimmy Neutron. It has a similar off the wall humor, child-like imagination, and unexpected twists. But the movie isn't for everyone. It was a hit with our group and it I could see young children also enjoying it. If animation annoys you I would skip Storks.