Friday, August 31, 2012

Won't Back Down: A Movie Review



     I was excited to be invited by Circle of Moms in partnership with Fox Studios and Popsugar to be one of forty Mom bloggers from across the country to see a special screening of Won’t Back Down.  I was moved to tears just by seeing the movie’s trailer! I had to laugh at myself.  I mean, who does that?  I made sure I packed plenty of tissues when I went to the screening. 
 
     Won’t Back Down features a talented cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal, who portrays Jamie Fitzpatrick a loving and determined single mother and Viola Davis who plays Nona, a passionate mother and teacher. Holly Hunter is featured as a higher up in the teacher’s union who has lost perspective about the school system.    At the start of the movie, we were introduced to a failing school where a teacher played with her cell phone while chaos and bullying ran rampant in her classroom.  Emily Alyn Lind portrayed Jamie’s  daughter Malia.  My heart went out to Malia as she struggled to read while students openly made fun of her.

     After Jamie saw the condition of the school on her visits, she was motivated to get her daughter out.  When all her options to change schools fell through, she became determined to transform the failing school in her neighborhood via the fail safe law which allows parents and teachers to take over failing schools. She enlisted the help of Nona (Davis) one of the teachers who made the difficult decision to help lead the movement to take over the school.  Nona’s choice was unpopular with her colleagues who were also her friends and it was heart wrenching to see her ostracized from her friends who were previously a source of emotional support.

     The unstoppable pair took on the bureaucracy with determination born from the heart. It was touching to see them turn a neighborhood of disconnected families into a community with a purpose.  Teachers who had been a little hardened along the way from working in a bad situation reawakened with a renewed focus on the children.  My tears flowed as they put their fears around job security aside and did what they thought was best for the students.  My parents were both teachers and often used their own money to buy much needed supplies for their classrooms.  Teachers are driven by their love of learning and their desire to help students while parents are driven by the desire for their children to have a good education.  When the two teams united against a tired bureaucracy in a passionate fight, I wanted to stand up and cheer.

     I recommend that you go and experience this powerful movie.   Pack your tissues.  You are going to need them.  It is a wonderful reminder that with passion, determination and focus we can all make a difference.  You may be inspired to take risks in your own life.  You will walk out feeling better than when you walked in. 
Disclosure:
     I did not pay to see the screening of the movie and was compensated for my time.  All opinions expressed in the review are my genuine thoughts on the film.

Official Trailer for Won't Back Down. 



    Please feel free to share your thoughts.  As always, comments are welcome.

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

 



Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3
 
 
 
      Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3, where each week blogs add links to their posts about arts, crafts and play activities for children. I cannot wait to see what great projects will be added today. Lately the babies have been learning about colors and shapes. So, I decided to combine the two and they decorated colorful shapes using glue and rice. I put the glue on for them and they sprinkled the rice. They enjoyed the feeling of the rice sprinkling from their fingers onto the paper.  As they decorated, we talked about the different shapes and colors.
 
 
 
The rice added a nice texture to the shapes.
 
 

Xayden loved to sprinkle the rice onto the triangle
 
 

while Ryder liked to see the rice clinging to the glue.
 
 

Capri sprinkled handfuls of rice
 
 

and joyfully reached for more.
 
 

Grayson touched the glue and was surprised by the rice stuck to his fingers.

 


       It is your turn.  If you have a blog with posts about arts, crafts or play activities, do not wait another minute.  Add your links now and join in the celebration of ideas.  It would be great if you would grab the html code from the Artsy Play Wednesday button above and add it (or a text link) to your linked posts so that your readers can come over and enjoy the party.  If you have children in your life and are looking for creative ideas, sit back, relax and indulge.  Feel free to pin any of the posts you like or you can always pin Artsy Play Wednesday so you can go back at your leisure and see all of the ideas at once.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the blogs or, as always, I love to hear from you right here.  It is time to inspire and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Multiples Monday

multiples monday with capri +3
 
 
     Welcome to Multiples Monday on Capri + 3. It is hard to believe that it is already the end of August and that many kids are back in school. Summer is melting into fall as stores feature Halloween and even Christmas decorations. I hope that you are enjoying the end of summer and looking forward to a fun filled fall season. We are still experiencing near triple digit heat which makes it seem like fall is not really approaching.

     I enjoyed all of the wonderful posts last week on Multiples Monday.   In case you missed it, here is a recap. Mary from A Day in the Life shared adorable pictures from her twins' birthday party. Beth from Pickles in my Tea & in my Soup soaked up the sun and took adorable photos of her twins at two months and their big sister Emily.  Katie from In This Moment went to the Children's Museum with her family and enjoyed some time at the park in the nice weather. Kami Shea from 4 Little Lambes designed all new bedrooms for her quadruplets and pulled off the amazing transformation in just one day. Pam from Pyjammy's Triplets took us on an amazing vicarious vacation to the beach with her family. Jill from Our Cozy Casa shared a delicious recipe for Pizza-dillas that her kids love.  Emily from the Tale of the Little Dilbatos divulged that one of her twins is beginning to walk while the other is starting to stand.

     Rebecca from A Beautiful Ruckus, The Ishum Quads, gave her boys cute haircuts and shared a hilarious story about the first time she cut her husband's hair. Mom of 4 told us about how her children eat wonderful healthy meals, but it is so spread out that she feels like she is in the kitchen much of the time. Kristin from Just Breathe Mama is beginning the tradition of family meals around the dinner table.  Paige from Our Quadruplet Story shared her experience of emergency cerclage surgery. Kristen from Caution Twins at Play demonstrated some great spelling games and other educational activities that she enjoys with her twins.  Stephanie from the McCleary Quadruplets shared their story of the quadruple eye exam and some fun pictures of Elizabeth in her new glasses.

     I can't wait to see what all of the wonderful families with multiples have been doing lately.  If you have a blog about multiples, please add a link directly to one of your posts (rather than your blog's homepage or a contest) so that everyone can find it months from now.  It would be great if you would grab the html code from the Multiples Monday button above and add it (or a text link) to your linked post so that everyone can enjoy the party.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the great ideas, cute photos and fun adventures shared here today.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the blogs, or as always, I love to hear from you right here.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Make a Soda Can Sticker Stamp



     I have seen several posts online about using foam stickers as stamps.  Some people used a stack of cardboard glued into a square.  Many people used the stickers on bottle caps for a stamp similar to a rubber stamp.  That would be great for older children and can even be used with a stamp pad.   The babies do not have the manual dexterity to use such a tiny stamp.  So, I decided to use a soda can with a piece of cardboard and three stacked foam stickers instead. 

     They enjoyed using the stamp and were fascinated to see that pushing on the can left a heart shaped print on the paper.  I worked with the babies individually and designated one shirt as the smock.  In the end, to my surprise, the 'smock' was clean.  Three out of four babies spontaneously put the can up to their faces.  I thought this was interesting as they did not see their siblings do it first.


The stamp was easy to make with cardboard, tape and stickers.



Grayson was intrigued



and joyful in his process.



Ryder was pleased by his prints


and paused for an imaginary sip.


Capri loved to create hearts on the paper



and the feeling of the cool can on her face.


Xayden marveled at the heart he created


and made a funny nose with the stamp.


     The babies all loved the stamping project.  The nice thing is the stamp can be used again.   Have you tried using foam stickers as stamps?  What did you use as the stamp base?  If there are art projects you would like to see featured here, let me know.  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

 



Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3
 
 
 
     
        Last week on Artsy Play Wednesday, We Made That Blogspot linked a post about how to make tambourines from paper plates. That looked like a perfect project for the babies at this age, so we gave it a try.  In order to make it easier, I did the gluing and stapling while the babies were napping.  They decorated the tambourines and were able to play with them right away. We used crayons and paint rather than markers.


I opted to use rice and pasta instead of beads.



Ryder took a moment of contemplation as he colored his tambourine



and Capri paused with her paint in hand.



Xayden had a taste for blue


while Grayson indulged in several colors.



Grayson, Capri and Ryder had a little jam session.


     It was a fun project.  The babies enjoyed playing with the tambourines after they made them and proudly showed them to Daddy when he got home.  I love to read about all the great ideas on Artsy Play Wednesday and try out the ones the babies can do now.  If you have a blog with posts about arts, crafts and play activities, please add links directly to one or several of your posts (so that everyone can easily find your great ideas later).  Please grab the html code from the Artsy Play Wednesday button above and add it to your linked post (or a text link) so that your readers can come over and enjoy the party.  Feel free to pin posts you enjoy or pin Artsy Play Wednesday so that you can come back and try the activities when you have time. Feel free to leave comments on any of the blogs who link up today, or I always love to hear from you here.   It is time to inspire and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Block Party






     We took the babies to a local block party sponsored by the church.  There were lots of people who braved the heat to get out and do family activities.  There was a big blow up water slide for the older kids and carnival games.  They had a bounce house for kids of all ages.  We approached it, knowing that the babies could not be in there with a bunch of big kids jumping.  They offered to do a 'baby jump time' with no jumping.



      We were excited to have the babies in a bounce house for the first time.  They were intrigued by it but were cautious in their exploration.  Capri was the only one brave enough to try standing up.  Ryder melted down at first and Greg took him out.  Then he put him back in and Ryder sat right by the entry to the house the whole time but clearly enjoyed watching the other kids.  I do not imagine we will have many opportunities to put them in a bounce house with no jumping allowed, but we were grateful for this chance.


Xayden loved to watch the other kids walk around the bounce house



while Ryder stayed so close to the edge that I had to take his picture through the mesh.



Capri bravely stood up slowly while Grayson cautiously stayed at the edge.



The babies had fun and were all smiles before the ride home.


     They each enjoyed a mini cupcake as a highlight of their time at the Block Party.  They loved to watch all the people playing games and listening to the band.  Ryder danced in his seat as soon as we got out of the car when he heard the music play.  What have your families been doing to beat the heat or enjoy yourselves despite it?  Maybe you are already enjoying cooler temperatures.  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Multiples Monday








multiples monday with capri +3
 
 
      Welcome to Multiples Monday where we come together each week and read about the happenings of families with multiples or who are expecting multiples.  Last week, Paige left a comment on the Multiples Monday post announcing that she is expecting quadruplets.  I hope she will be a regular here on Multiples Monday and will add links so that we can follow her on her exciting journey. 

     In case you missed last week's post...  Kristin from Just Breathe Mama shared a belly photo from when she was pregnant with her triplets and gave us a wonderful heartfelt eighteen month update.  Jill from Brooks and Jill shared a delightful story about what her twin girls would like to be when they grow up. Mom of 4 Va shared some wonderful short cuts to make life easier.  Heather from the Cox Quads shared a photo of her belly now compared with the same time in her quad pregnancy.  Congratulations to Heather on your new baby. Beth from Pickles in my Tea & in my Soup shared an 8 week update of her twins and she shared some adorable photos of her daughter when she was the same age. Emily from the Tale of the Little Dilbatos gave us an update on their sleep situation, which had improved from the last post.  I hope they have continued their pattern of longer sleep.  And Babies Make Six created individual pages of updates for each of their four children (one plus triplets).  Rebecca from a Beautiful Ruckus, the Ishum Quads, talked about the challenges of raising quads.  Gabi from Mad about Multiples gave some great advice about purchasing strollers for multiples.

     I cannot wait to catch up on what is happening with all of the wonderful families of multiples this week.  If you have a blog about multiples, please link directly to one or more of your posts (rather than your blog's homepage or a contest).  That way, readers can easily find your posts months from now.  Please grab the html code from the Multiples Monday button above and add it (or a text link) to your linked posts so that your readers can come over and enjoy the party.  Please, sit back relax and enjoy as you join with families with multiples on their journeys, smile at their photos and learn from their tips. Please feel free to leave comments on their blogs, or as always, you are welcome to leave comments here.  I always enjoy hearing from you. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

County Fair Fun



     We enjoyed going to various county fairs, just the two of us, before we had the babies. I remember early on in our dating going on a ride that spun us upside down and shook us. Greg had bought a fist full of tickets for hours of rides. After that ride, it was all I could do to not get sick in the nearest trash can. We ended up finding a family full of kids and giving them the tickets.

     Now that the babies are here, we wanted them to experience the county fair. They are too young for rides. Greg can take them on the ones that spin when they are older. For them, it is all about the animals, sights and sounds.


Their hands were a blur as they pointed in all different directions.



A camel flashed the babies a dazzling smile



before a whimsical insect stared at them with beady eyes.


A garden clock  lit up the hillside with color



as the babies watched the ferris wheel spin round and round.


     We had fun at the fair.  It was wonderful to see the babies with wonderment on their faces as they took it all in.  Has your family been to the fair this summer?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3
 
 
 
     Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3.  Each week, creative blogs add links to inspiring posts about arts, crafts and play ideas for children.  Last week, we had a wonderful turnout of blogs and were treated to great ideas.  I was inspired by Love Play and Learn's post on Oatmeal Play dough and made some while the babies were napping. It was an easy recipe which required no cooking.  If you try this, make sure you have the flour open within reach to get the dough to the right texture.  As Love, Play and Learn's post points out, it starts out very sticky and then transforms into nice, workable dough.

Cutters designed for holiday pies worked very well in the dough.



Ryder enjoyed the texture as he worked the dough in his hands



and Xayden enjoyed trying out the pie crust cutters.



Grayson joyfully squeezed a bit of dough between his fingers



while Capri cut out shapes.


     This linky is designed for you to gain inspiration and try out the ideas shared here.  Some, like the oatmeal play dough, only take a few minutes to prepare while others require a little bit of planning ahead.  I encourage you to pin individual posts or to pin Artsy Play Wednesday so that you can come back when you have more time and have a one stop shopping spot for ideas.  If you have a blog with posts about arts, crafts and play ideas, please link directly to one or more of your posts (rather than your blog's homepage or a contest).  Your direct link allows readers to come back at their leisure and easily find your posts.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the blogs who link up today, or you can always share your thoughts right here.  Now it is time to inspire and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beachy Keen


    
     We were inspired by a post from In Lieu of Preschool and decided to make a baby pool at the beach.  The timing was spontaneous, so we used what we had at home, which was a plastic sheet designed to cover the floor or furniture when painting instead of going out and purchasing a shower curtain.  We learned that we could still have a whole lot of fun with a pool made from a thin plastic sheet, though the shower curtain would have made for more durable leak-free fun.  The babies revisited their appliqué shirts from the 4th of July for our day at the beach. 


They waited in a pack'n'play under an umbrella for Daddy to make a baby pool


and then got in while Daddy filled the buckets in the ocean multiple times.



They were keen on the beach baby pool



and loved to feel their feet in the cool water.



Xayden foreshadowed a five o'clock shadow



as the thin plastic broke through and signaled that it was time to go.



Ryder surveyed the beach one last time.


     We placed the plastic sheet in the recycling bin and Greg filled the hole from the baby pool back up with sand.  This was the longest time the babies have spent on the beach and they loved it.  It was nice for us to escape triple digit temperatures and allow any stress to melt into the ocean.  We got our workout pushing the loaded quad stroller, which was not designed for off-roading, across the beach back to the car.  Have you been to a lake or the ocean this summer?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.
 
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