Saturday, June 25, 2011

Telling stories

The last few days, I've been helping Molly & Erik at their new house. When I say "helping", I don't actually mean that I've scraped old wall paper from the walls, or pulled bags of weeds from the flower beds. I've helped by entertaining Ellen since there isn't much she can do in a big, empty house that is a construction zone right now.

To stay busy, we've picked up sticks in the front yard, watched bunnies in the backyard, colored in coloring books and told stories. Ellen has turned into quite the story teller. She remembers her favorite books well and has started "reading" to us when we come to visit.

This weekend when Ellen & I were coloring, she wanted to know about the story in her Fairy Tale coloring book. It was Hansel & Gretel and I did my best to retell what I remembered about the tale, using the blank pictures to help me. Ellen was fascinated with the witch and she's decided since last Halloween that ALL witches are "scawey". I agree, Ells. 100%. Oh, and clowns, too :)

Here she is retelling our version of Hansel & Gretel. I'd say she's ready to run her own classroom! Sit back and enjoy the story.

Not bad, huh? She insisted on watching herself on my camera multiple times that day. She likes to smirk at herself in videos, which is worthy of another video, too. If only I had multiple cameras and pairs of hands.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barbie, I love you ... but what happened!?!?

When I was little, I LOVED playing with my Barbies. I dressed them up. I sang to my Barbie & the Rockers cassette tape. I brushed & braided their hair. I made a Barbie mall with my childhood friend, Sarah. I took their heads off to swap bodies and then was very sad when they never went back on the bodies correctly. I had favorite Barbies: Peaches & Cream Barbie, Rocker Barbie, Crystal Barbie, California Barbie, Jewel Secrets Barbie and Tropical Barbie. I played with her canopy bed, shop, Corvette and pool party accessories. I still have most of my Barbies and her clothes in Mom & Dad's basement.

In a recent trip to Target, I found myself strolling through the aisle of dolls and Barbies. I immediately started to oooh & ahhh over the pretty clothes & hair found on current-day Barbies. I also like to look at the fancy Barbies that should really be kept in their boxes. I saw the Happy Birthday, Ken doll and couldn't get over how beautiful her dress was! Mattel also came out with a line of Barbies called Back to Basics Barbies. Her dresses are simple LBDs (little black dress), but you can choose to buy a set of accessories to add to her dress. These dolls are really pretty. Some others in this collection come in simple jeans and a white t-shirt.

I'm okay with all of those dolls. Then, I came across a new line of I Can Be ... Barbies. I thought, "Oh! How nice! Barbie in different jobs to show girls that they can do many different things when they get older." Then, I looked a little closer. You should, too.

Teacher Barbie:
Why is her skirt so short? Why is her shirt ruffly and satin? Does her computer have a picture of herself on it? Oh, and the glasses? Stereotypical image of every teacher. At least Barbie can be beautiful in glasses ... right?

Kid Doctor Barbie:
Are we not allowed to call them "pediatricians"? I don't know too many doctors that wear pink capri pants and a fitted white coat, but I'll let it fly. At least she's not showing too much skin. However, I don't think her heels are very practical, and I'd like to think that a doctor would carry more equipment with them other than a stethoscope and a big brush.

This one also seems to be a "kid doctor" ... so I don't know why they are different. For the same price, you get the Barbie and her small patient. The small girl apparently GROWS, but I'm not sure how that happens. Now that I'm comparing this outfit to the "kid doctor" outfit ... I'm suddenly very okay with the pink capris. Doctor Barbie is actually wearing a satin coat, mini-skirt and shiny pink tights with her white heels. VERY impractical. Grrrr.

She gets a free pass for her skimpy outfit for her job since she spends her time by the pool. I didn't notice until I got home and looked at the pictures that her lifeguard chair acts as a catapult so she can dive in to save the swimmers. The description on this link says: Your daughter can play out her dream of being a stylish, heroic lifeguard. Yes! That's just what all girls want to be. Stylish AND a hero!

Snowboarder Barbie:
Her outfit is pretty cute, minus the mesh, see-through shirt she has under the cropped snow jacket. But look! She won some sort of an Olympic medal. Way to go, Barbie!

Again, can't we just call her "veterinarian"? There is another one online called the Kitty Care Vet Barbie. She has more equipment with her, like a slide for the cat to slide from the scale INTO the bathtub. Right. I think this one has the same tights as the Doctor Barbie.

I found many more I Can Be ... Barbies online. Dentist Barbie. Babysitter Barbie. Computer Engineer Barbie (who has a totally cute outfit that I approve of). Chef Barbie. News Anchor Barbie. Ballroom Dancer Barbie. Architect Barbie (I also approve of her cute outfit). And Pizza Chef Barbie.

One of the last Barbies I saw before I left the aisle was this pretty, Princess Barbie. I really liked her. Although, when I took a closer looks, I noticed something about her outfit. She has a pretty ballroom skirt on. And no top. No seriously. Look. She has glitter painted on her top, but that's it. I guess you can't change her clothes ... but you could cover her up with a cute cardigan :)

Enough of my rant. I took these pictures on June 2nd and I just now got around to writing about them. I knew I had something to say about each of the outfits, but this post actually turned into a trip down memory lane. When looking for links for the top of this post, I had a lot of fun remembering all the fun I had with MY Barbies. I played for hours and refused to give them up, even though I haven't played with them for years. Jill was here as I flipped through literally hundreds of pictures online and we talked about which accessories we each had. She had Barbie's Dream Apartment and I had Barbie's Dream Shop. After hours of looking, she said, "I could go to my Mom's house to get my Barbies so you could see them ... and maybe we could play! Ha!"

I appreciate the attempt to open up every occupation to little girls. I just think that there is a long way to go. Slowly but surely, Mattel makes changes to make Barbie more PC for little kids. Her body has changed to be a more realistic shape (so they say) and the names on the dolls are no longer "Blonde Barbie", "Hispanic Barbie" and "Black Barbie". You might find her fictional history interesting ... and definitely read the controversies listed on this page. I learned a lot about the company.

As much as I made fun of some of these Barbies, I hope that she's still around when I have kids. I hope that Ellen wants to play Barbies some day with me and I'll be interested to see how much more she's changed by that time.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just 16 months ago ...

... these two love birds were announcing their engagement! And today ... THEY'RE GETTING MARRIED! Many changes have happened in their worlds in the last 16 months, but the one thing that never changed was Kristin & Matt's love for each other. If anything, their love has only grown stronger!

I can't wait to be there tonight to help you celebrate the start of your marriage together! I know it is going to be a fabulous party ... you wouldn't have it any other way! I love you both very much.

Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Zender!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Welcome summer!

I've been a total slacker when it comes to this blog. Ugh. I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a month. I'm still posting daily on the photo blog for those of you that don't check every day.

I'm just about 10 full days into summer, and I've had plenty of time to relax and be lazy. Of course, this happened after I spent my first official day of summer studying for my National Boards exam. Then, I took said exam on Saturday the 4th. I'm now ALL DONE with my Boards for this year and have to wait until early December to find out if I've passed. After that, I had two days of a Leadership Team conference for the district. When that was over last Wednesday at noon ... I've caught up on lots of relaxing!

My DVR is officially caught up and is down to 0% full ... it hasn't been that way since I first got it 3 years ago. This means that I can upgrade to my fancy HD-DVR to show off the nice picture on my fancy, new TV. I also have taken time to catch up on sleep. I've done a little bit of reading. A little bit of pool time. A little bit of shopping. And lots of time with friends.

I don't have any more requirements this summer ... I decided to take the summer off from tutoring. I felt I deserved it after working harder than I ever have this year. This will also allow me to get a few projects completed around home and make more time for family and friends. I'm going to work on getting back in the groove of writing for this blog. I have a few posts already planned, so they will be scheduled to post soon. I just wanted to let you all know that I am still around ... I just needed to take a little hiatus from the blog. Glad to be back in this creative world.

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