Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Movie Stats

I never used to go to the movies too much, but since movie-watching is one of Kyle's all-time favorite things and something we like to do together, it seems like we've been going almost non-stop this summer.  I've really enjoyed our movie-watching experience and am very, very sad that our day trips to an empty theater has to end!  With coupons for free popcorn and drinks and reduced matinee prices, it made seeing all of the summer movies fairly affordable!

So, in a nutshell, here are our summer movie-watching stats:

Movies we saw so far this summer:  11 (Thor, The Conspirator, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Super 8, Harry Potter 7 Part 1 (combo deal), Harry Potter 7 Part 2 (twice), Captain America, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Cowboys and Aliens)

Movies we still need to see this summer: 2 (The Help, Crazy Stupid Love...and we're trying hard to find time to fit them in!)

Movie we should have watched this summer (but didn't): 1 (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)

Favorite movie of the summer: Super 8 (no questions about it!)

Movies we still want to see this year: 8 (Contagion, The Three Musketeers, New Year's Eve, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, The Adventures of Tintin, We Bought a Zoo, and War Horse)

Next summer is supposed to be good, too!  We're looking forward to The Avengers, Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Bourne Legacy as well as James Bond 23 in November...

Hurray for summer movies!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Update 9: Demolition Derby :)

The Jay County Fair was in full two weeks ago and it was a week-long debate here of whether or not we'd get some time to go.  We'd gone to the Delaware County Fair last year, but I couldn't help but be slightly miffed at the size of it and what was available to do.  It's TINY and hardly qualifies as a county fair at all.  Kyle never went to his county fair (when you live in Indy, county fairs are kind of a joke next to State), so on Friday of fair week we decided to head out to Jay County to see what we could get into...

...and it was steaming hot.  Yikes!  Thank goodness the business exhibits gave away free hand-fans.  They were a life-saver.  We went mainly to see the Demolition Derby with my grandparents and my brother (Kyle was super excited because he'd never been to a derby before), but until the derby began, we filled our time with:

-getting fair food
-looking at exhibits
-getting fair food
-running into people I knew EVERYWHERE (hey, it's Jay County, what do you expect?!)
-checking out the midway (the rides were a lot cheesier than I remember!)
-getting fair food

Oh and did I mention we got some fair food?  Lots of it!  I know it's bad for you and all, but it's the one time of year I indulge, so indulge we did.  We both got breaded tenderloins, fries, hand-scooped ice cream, an elephant ear, deep-fried breadsticks, and soft-serve ice cream.  We did go healthy on the drinks though and got tons of water.  It was the most delicious day of my life!

Now for the Derby!  If you're not familiar with how a Derby works, here it is: 

The Derby takes place on our racetrack and is blocked off by large cement blocks.  You have to stay within the blocks, so if you get pushed out or try to leave the boundaries to get more traction, that's a no-no.  Also, the track is wetted makes things more interesting when it's muddy and slick!

You enter an old, beat up car that you've spray-painted and written all your friends and family members' names on (okay, that's optional, but everyone does it!).  Doesn't seem so impressive, but to succeed in the Derby, you also need to be (a) an awesome driver that knows a lot about cars, i.e. where NOT to get hit and how to hit other people without damaging your own car, and (b) someone who's invested a lot of time and maintenance to what's UNDER the hood of your car.  You can't just show up with a half-sputtering engine or someone will knock you off right away.  It amazed me how transmissions dropped, gas leaked, tires blew, and whole front sides got crunched in on some of these cars and they still worked perfectly!

All the cars also have long sticks taped to the driver's side door.  An intact stick means that the car and driver are still in the running.  If you have to break your stick, you're out of the Derby.  A driver can break his or her own stick if they give up, but that doesn't happen unless the judge calls on them to do so.  Basically, judges make you break your own sticks if your car's not running.  So, for example, if you get hit to the point where your engine dies, you have 60 or so seconds to get your engine restarted.  A lot of times it's not an issue, but after being hit so many times, the engine needs to sit in idle at the very least for several minutes before it can be restarted.  So if you can't restart your engine, you have to break your stick.  This also applies to if you get hung up somewhere and your car doesn't go anywhere.  You have the same amount of time to get your car unstuck or you're out.  You also have to break your stick if you're not hitting any cars within a certain time frame, I think, to prevent cars from just sitting in a corner and trying to win that way. 

So mostly what you see is cars backing into each other to do as much damage as possible while still preserving their engines.  There were a few regular heats with several larger cars and the best 4 of each heat was taken to the final heat.  There was a powderpuff heat where only women were allowed to participate and a compact car heat where the cars were much smaller (and not the boats of yesteryear).  In the final heat, there's prize money up to $750 for the top three finalists.  I'm not really sure if these guys made a lot of profit, but it is an excuse to be sponsored by companies to wreck your car and hit others, too.

Kyle really got into it and was shouting and screaming and laughing the whole time.  I'd forgotten how much I love Derbys.  I think we're going to come back next year!

Starting positions...


Kyle was enthralled!

Safety first, of course!  They were needed to put out some small fires and take care of a huge gas leak in the powderpuff heat.

The worst hang-up you'll ever see :(

Lots of cars look like this but are still going!

Update 8: Goodwill Shopping Spree

So some good teacher friends of mine from my student teaching school went on a Goodwill Shopping Spree over Spring Break this year.  They went to Indianapolis to shop and only went to Goodwill stores.  They loved it because they got really nice clothes (especially from the Noblesville/Carmel area) for super-cheap.  So, I mentioned to my mom (who is also a Goodwill shopper) and my sister that we might try it out, and we did just that a few weeks ago!  

We were gone for nearly 10 hours and went to only 3 stores!  My sister got TONS of clothes for her student teaching semester this fall and I got several tops and pairs of pants/skirts for school as well.  I made off like a bandit in their book section, though!  I decided to use Goodwill stores as a means to stock up on cheap books for my classroom library.  My library now houses over 200 books, thanks largely in part to the Goodwills of Indy and Muncie :)

50+ Young Adult novels featuring: A Series of Unfortunate Events (nearly the whole series), the Twilight series, the Royal Diaries books, The Lovely Bones, the Left Behind books, Gossip Girl books, Georgia Nicholson books, and several random fantasy, science fiction, sports, and non-fiction books that I supposed boys to be interested in...

I used the JFK movie to teach part of a non-fiction unit at Daleville, so I picked it up. Peter Rabbit was just for fun!

I can't shuffle cards, so this is a life-saver!


This was right before the last movie came out and we were watching all 7 of the other movies in a marathon, so I got this to see how well we were paying attention. I rocked this game.

Childhood favorites!
Score!  I'm ready for our next Goodwill trip...maybe Fall Break?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Update 7: Keebler Ammon

On July 7th, Kyle and I decided that we needed another kitty to switch things up at our house.  We'd been thinking about it for awhile but were concerned with how much space we would have if we got another cat.  The kicker was when we were gone so long for the wedding and Chicago...Tiger about went insane from loneliness!  We figured a little playmate would be just the thing to keep him company and get his lazy butt out of the chair!

Keebler does a pretty good job of both, but Tiger still likes his alone time.  They are complete opposites.  Tiger is private and very careful of his coat.  He hates baths, getting his nails trimmed, and sharing.  He likes to snuggle, but only really, really late at night when everyone is almost asleep.  He has a specific way that he has to lay in bed with us and I can only put my arm over him just so so he'll stay :)  It's awfully sweet in a grown-up cat kind of way.

Keebs won us over at PetSmart with his personality.  He was bouncy and wanted to climb all over us and we just couldn't let the shelter take him back with them.  He may not be the best-looking cat (he lets his hair go crazy and it annoys Tiger), but he sure is adorable.  Keebler loves strangers and likes to steal their glasses and sneeze on them.  He doesn't sit still very well, though, so while he's willing to cuddle almost anytime, he likes to get away and keep moving.

We took them both to the vet after we got Keebler because they kept passing a cold that Keebler brought home with him back and forth but they're both great now.  They cuddle and wrestle a lot.  We're very glad we brought Keebler home with us :)

Keebler has some ridiculous ear-hair.

Cattle at a trough!

Tiger likes to curl up tight and Keebler likes to stretch out.

This might be the cutest cuddle I've ever seen :)
We also have an outdoor cat that we've been feeding, too.  We've named her Tibby and became concerned when we found her rummaging around outside our house for food.  She stuck around even though we scared her to death by catching her to take her to the vet.  We got her fixed so we wouldn't have any small kittens running around outside breaking our hearts.  The organization Action for Animals has a wonderful catch-and-release program that allowed the spaying and shots to be free for us!  Tibby comes around in the early morning and at night and we've seen her visiting neighbors before, too.  She's really beautiful, even if she is shy...

If you are considering getting a cat or a dog, please please PLEASE get them from a shelter!  All of these animals need a loving home and have nowhere else to go.  If not, consider making a donation to a shelter or animal organization of your choice.  Adopting pets is one of the best decisions we've made together since we got married and it's brought so much extra love into our home.  I know our kitties are also very thankful!

Update 6: No Limbs!

Early in the morning during mid-July, Kyle and I were taking one of the cats to the vet when we walked outside to this:

Notice the power line on which the limb is resting!

I literally screamed.  I had absolutely no idea how this was possible.  It had stormed the night before, but we never heard the limb fall.  With houses so close together here, we're very lucky that it didn't land on our house or Heather's.  We also had our cars parked on either side of where the branch fell.  The couple of feet in between were completely taken up by fallen tree.  We were very fortunate that there was no damage anywhere!  We didn't even lose power! 

When I titled this entry and began my post, the limbless pun made me think of Monty Python, so I decided to add one of my very favorite clips from the movie.  Although it has nothing to do with trees (although it takes place in a forest), I still find it amusing.  I feel bad for our tree's "flesh wound!"

Update 5: No more DEB!

For the last two years I've been working at DEB in the Northwest Plaza here in Muncie.  My last day there was July 16th, and it couldn't come all too soon!  Before I left, though, I had an awesome opportunity to baby-sit on my day off for one of my coworkers, Ariel.  Her little girl Auryiah was just too dang cute!  She was the smallest baby ever!

Kyle and Ariyah watching Cops.

So adorable!

On my actual last-last-last day, we had a work meeting before the store opened.  DEB debuted a new line of Reign denim the week after I left, and the meeting was about how to get customers to buy the denim and add-ons at the register, etc.  I didn't really pay too much attention to the meeting since it didn't really apply.  But I had a great time role-playing the sales scenarios as well as selecting my own outfit for a small fashion show!  Also we made breakfast, so that was a plus, too. 
You can tell who opened that morning...look for people who didn't show up to the meeting in pajamas!

Mmmm...eggs, breakfast casserole, and muffins!

Amanda and Ariel looking over the Reign Denim packets.

Michaela and Katie during the meeting.

Amber C. looking over the material

Melissa being a cheeseball.

Fashion show--Mel started out with her own outfit.

Look at that denim!

Amber C's outfit

Michaela's outfit

My outfit and Ariel (it's kind of weird how Michaela, Amber, and I sort of picked the same thing, huh?)
Leaving DEB was bittersweet, but I don't miss it, honestly!  No more rude customers leaving their clothes on the floor, no more memorizing promos, no more sexual harassment over the phone, no more buying stuff that I don't need with my more, no more, no more!  I may never go back again!

Well, I do need to pick up my last two paychecks, maybe one more visit before school starts...

Update 4: Ice Cream Sculpting

Kyle and I have callings in our church to work with youth ages 12-17.  Kyle is in charge of the 12-13 year-old Young Men (and is the Scoutmaster) while I'm an assistant in the leadership with my friend Regina for the Young Women aged 14-15.  Each age group in both the Young Men and Young Women take turns planning activities that everyone participates in on Wednesday nights.  When it was our class's turn, Regina, our Young Women, and I planned a fun activity called ice cream sculpting.  The best part?  The activity was EDIBLE!

Since temple worship is a large part of our faith, we decided that the groups would sculpt temples.  Regina took responsibility for getting large blocks of ice cream and condiments for decorations.  I took charge of the scavenger hunt and getting the pictures for sculpting.  I turned the scavenger hunt into a small learning activity (because what's the point of activities if no one learns anything, right?) and provided clues for the kids to find that would help them figure out what temple they were going to sculpt.  After the sculpting and judging, we all read our clues to the group.

Check out the awesome temples that the Youth created!

And the finished product!  This is quite obviously the Dallas Temple!

And the Salt Lake City Temple (see the resemblance?)

Washington, D.C. temple

Chicago Temple

Los Angeles Temple

I advise if you decide to do this activity that you get large groups to help and get the judging over with super-quick because everything starts to melt!  The Dallas Temple won after some impartial judging (we pulled someone in who was playing basketball at the church), but there were no hard feelings.  I think everyone just wanted to eat and didn't care who won!

Mmm-mmmmmmmmm....that was a good day!