Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scamp's Big News

You don't want to miss this! It's short. Let me know if you can't view it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do You Want to Know About Me?

A month or so ago I asked my blogging friends to give me questions to answer about myself. Today, I'm going to begin to answer them.

Karen asked, "I know you have a passion for writing. Have you always loved writing? If not, how and when did it start?"

It's hard to say when my love of writing began. I didn't write anything outside of assignments for school, but a couple of teachers starting in middle school commented that I had a gift for writing, which sank fairly deep. I entered a "Just Say No" writing contest in the 8th grade and won for my school. I was thoroughly surprised. Writing had always come easily to me, but I didn't think anything of it. But, by high school I realized more of my desire to write when I joined the high school newspaper.

My newspaper teacher was very encouraging and inspiring. She saw a gift, which I was yet to see, and pushed me to write better and better. I later become the editor-n-chief (one of two I might add) my senior year, an accomplishment I'm proud of still today. I loved writing for the newspaper, but I didn't want to seek journalism as a career. My teacher was disappointed that I wasn't going to continue writing after high school. I did, however, discover my love of writing poetry that same year. I wrote to cope with my feelings of depression. Beyond poetry, I wasn't that interested in writing.

Through my early twenties I only wrote for school assignments in college besides poems ever so often when I had the inspiration. I married at 23 and wrote several love poems to my sweetheart husband. As our relationship continued we began to have problems and sought counseling. My counselors encouraged me to journal, not just poetry, and my love of writing deepened.

Then, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Scamp, almost 3 years ago. I started my blog with Scamp as my inspiration, and God revealed to me (again) the passion that had always been instilled in me. I hadn't realized my passion before or at least how deep it was. God had been preparing me all along and continues to today. I want to share my life struggles and how God has miraculously brought me through. I feel as though I am only beginning. I'm at the cusp. He opened the door for me (and another blogger) to start a book review blog entitled Teen Lit Review. I'm able to share my love of God through this ministry. But, He's still preparing in me a deeper message, and in what outlet it will be shared I'm not completely sure. I do believe, however, part of it will be in writing.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: The Movie

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Moral Rating: Average
Intended Audience: Teen

The sisterhood is stretched thin as each girl moves in their separate directions in the sequel to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Tibby is living her dream to attend film school while Lena is taking an art class. Bridget is leaving for Turkey on an excavation dig, and Carmen, believing they all will be home for the summer, cancels her plans of attending an acting internship until she realizes they all will be going their separate ways. Their hope is that the pants will once again hold their friendship safely in place even as they take their own paths and perhaps find new love.

The movie highlights many issues young women will face on their journeys into adulthood: heart break, sex, losing loved ones but most importantly discovering that wounds even well-denied ones need to be dealt with and allowed to heal. The film also addresses such topics as believing in oneself, facing the death of loved ones, forgiveness, and healing family ties.

The girls have grown into young women and have naturally progressed into more mature situations. The biggest issue is pre-marital sex. The film begins with Kostos explaining to Lena that he is now married due to a pregnancy. Later, Tibby and Brian celebrate their anniversary with a bottle of wine although each only has one sip before progressing into making out. Tibby decides it’s time for the next step in their relationship, sex. Not much detail is shown, and the scene quickly cuts to Tibby on the bed wrapped in a sheet and Brian entering the room clothed with a towel. The tone becomes serious when Brian announces the condom broke. Tibby is horrified that she may be pregnant and soon withdraws from Brian and the rest of the sisterhood, refusing to talk to them or return their phone calls.

Lena is taking an art class for the summer, which will include painting a nude model. She is extremely embarrassed by this especially when a handsome guy approaches and asks if she’s a virgin, because of her obvious embarrassment. The guy ends up being the model, and Lena is even more mortified. The scene is made to be comical and no private parts are shown although the camera goes in for a close-up at his bear chest, arms and legs giving the impression that Lena is admiring his body. Spoiler warning: Kostos and Lena spend the night together on his boat. Kissing only is shown, and we are left to wonder whether they were intimate or not.

Besides pre-marital sex many viewers may be offended with the overuse of the various exclamations “Oh G**”, which totaled over ten times. Jesus name was also misused, s*** was exclaimed, and the milder b****** (illegimate child) were all used at least once. H*** as well was used on more than one occasion.

There was no violence in the movie.

Some fans of the books may be saddened to see books 2, 3, and 4 spliced together into one movie. At times, having the background knowledge of having read the series made some of the scenes less confusing especially when new characters were introduced (although some of the plotlines have been changed from the original books). However, those who enjoyed the series as well as those who’ve only seen the first movie will still enjoy the same quirkiness of all four girls. Their well-known personalities shine even as they face more mature situations. Many young women will be able to identify with at least one character, and each character is equally fleshed out for all to enjoy.

The main theme in the film is, of course, true friends will remain even in the toughest of situations. But, romance and the issue of sex before marriage is also a heavy plotline that is shown in a secular light. Tibby’s pregnancy scare does not result in her determining that she should wait until marriage for intimacy but has more of a lesson about trust in others. Brian’s character (Tibby’s boyfriend) is supportive and loving vowing to make things work if Tibby is pregnant. Although these are good lessons to learn and qualities to exhort, sex within the context of marriage is not mentioned. The more accepted notion of saving sex for being in love is honored. I think the film does at least spread light on the fact that sex outside of marriage is not always the glamorized version the media portrays but can have some serious consequences like teen pregnancy. God’s perfect plan of intimacy within the context of marriage was not only designed for our benefit, but for the protection of children resulting in the union as well.

The girls have matured. They are faced with mature situations; therefore, the audience should be more mature for this sequel as well, perhaps older teens and young adults. One can still leave the movie in a positive light. The message of hope, healing and having loving, supportive friends shine. But, be prepared to talk with your teens about the tough issue of sex outside of marriage.

For another Christian review of the movie visit Christian Spotlight on Entertainment.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Carnival Winner

I used the Custom Random Number Generator to generate the winner for the book Snow Angel by Jamie Carie.

The winner is:

Shilo from Samsakara

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Things Scamp Does

I'm here catching up on my blog stuff while Scamp is supposed to be in her bed sleeping. I hear some banging from upstairs and go to investigate. She's in her bed trying to hide because she's taken her pants and pull-up off so that her pet kitty (stuffed) can wear them! I bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I help her back into her clothes, well pull-up anyway because kitty still wants to sleep in her pants, and then put her back to bed. It's always a riot around here!

A Week Alone

Where has the time gone? I've neglected my blog posts lately as well as my Bloglines! Hopefully, I'll catch back up soon. This week Beef is in Arizona for his work. It's the first time he's been on a business trip since we've been married. We both got teary-eyed on Sunday afternoon when he left. Scamp has been doing fairly well without her daddy being gone. He left for his flight while she was taking a nap. When she woke up, she cried for him but we went to McDonald's and the bookstore to keep her mind off his absence. She asks about him everyday.

I've been trying to conserve my energy for the week since I'm solo in taking care of her. Tomorrow, we are going to my sister's to spend the night to help watch my nephew, so that should be fun. Beef will get back on Saturday. Scamp and I will pick him up from the airport, and I'm sure she'll be ecstatic.