7.07.2015

A K-drama update

I'm way way behind in rating my k-dramas so these "reviews" are probably going to be pretty short and sweet and I'm just hoping I remember everything I watched.

Marriage Not Dating - 4 stars

This show is a wonderful example of how you don't need a crazy innovating plot to have a good rom-com (although if your the Hong Sisters I say go for it!). Well developed characters and solid writing and bam - 4 stars!

Secret Hotel - 3

This was a weird mish-mash of murder mystery and rom-com. Had the potential to be cute but spun its wheels in the plot department and didn't end up doing either very well.

Pinocchio - 3.5

I enjoyed this at the time but now that it's been a few months, I don't think I remember a whole lot about it. Despite my love of both main actors, it was just kinda there. I do remember that I liked the main couple and loved the scenes with the family. But the show was mostly about their work. Not bad but not amazing.

What's with this family - 3.75

This is a family drama. Which means its long and slow. I won't take any stars off for that because when you watch a family drama you know what you are getting yourself into. You just have to feel free to fast forward the story lines you don't like which in this case was the in-laws. I did wish my favorite story line, which appeared to be the main one at the beginning, got a bit more screen time. I also have to say that had I known what this would be about, I wouldn't have watched it. Just so you all know, it's about a father who finds out he is dying of cancer and how he choose to live his last few months with his family....so not my personal favorite topics for a relaxing hour of tv watching. But once I found out that part, I was already pretty far in so I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it and its realistic but sweet ending. For me the best part was that it was realistic. It's not that once dad has cancer, everything else in life becomes roses and hearts and love in comparison. The family still struggled with all the different relationships and family dynamics (I loved the youngest brother's girlfriend and the other brother's new wife struggling to get along) and emotions. But they also realized what mattered. The dad's goal was to use his time to impart his last few life lessons and teach them to enjoy life and it took 50 hours of screen time but he somehow managed to do it.

Healer - 5 stars

Healer, you complete me. No seriously, this is drama crack. When you start watching dramas live, you have to take your chances. Sometimes shows let you down and other times you remember why you love dramas so much. I have a lot to say but I'll try to refrain myself from just gushing for paragraphs on end.

I didn't start watching it at the very start because I don't think it was well marketed. An errand boy action show? But I'm so glad I listened to the hype and picked it up a weeks later. It was nice to be able to binge watch it. It's very similar in style to City Hunter, which I also loved, but with a slightly less complicated plot and more time spent on the relationships. Not just the OTP, although its a great OTP, but the main character and how he re-enters the world. Lots of tension but not a lot of angst with just the right amount of humor thrown in - at the right moment too.

I love all other characters two - the dad, adjussi, ahjumma who is every k-drama every (seriously, what kinda of role has that lady not played!), the clueless co-worker. The second male lead and how he fit into the story is something I wish more k-dramas did. 2nd male leads don't just have to follow the female lead around looking mopey! Even the bad guys were great in an awesomely scary but not ridiculous way.

But back to the OTP. They were pretty awesome. Park Min-Young was great. It actually took my into the 2nd or 3rd episode to realize she was the same female lead from City Hunter. I didn't think she was bad in that although I know others thought she was kinda flat there. This show just gave her a lot more to work with I think and she delivered. I think the whole k-drama world is sad that Ji-Chang Wook has not done more stuff because he was amazing in this and nobody really wants to watching Bachelor's Vegetable Story just to be able to see more of his acting. I loved their relationship and how it developed. I'm guessing if you could check viki/drama fever stats you'd see that the beginning of episode was watching at lesat 3-4 times as much as the rest of the show. But being a k-drama, that means its a cut-away - which implies there is something to cut away from. Other than that its pretty clean and still action packed but less violent than City Hunter which I did like (mostly just the 1st and last episode of City Hunter). And I didn't have an issue with the City Hunter ending because I have an imagination but this one was more satisfying. I could have seen another hour of just show cuteness but that's because its pretty much perfection. I even liked the slighty corny soundtrack and if Craig calls me, I get to listen to it a bit more. Okay, I think I got the Healer addiction out of my system.

Hyde, Jeykl, Me - 2.5 stars

Only my love of Hyun Bin kept me watching this to the end. Luckily, he played two characters so we saw him a lot. Unluckily, the female lead was awful and the writer didn't seem to know what the point of the show was. And what a waste of Sung Joon's talent.

Superdaddy Yeol - 2.5

 No. Just no. I don't even know what this show was trying to do. It had its cute moments, but then they would be followed by the main character being a horrible human being. To her own young daughter. All because she loved her so much? And why is it cute to show a woman being violent towards a man? Hint: It's not. If you complain about the amount of wrist grabs in the k-drama field, you should be just as appealed by this.

Girl Who Sees Smells/Sensory Couple - 4

Despite the name, this show is not nearly as weird as one might think. It's another cop procedural/rom-com. This show did the rom-com part really well. The main couple is adorable and I loved the way their relationship developed. So sweet and realistic. And the seeing smells and sensory part, which could easily have gone all weird sparkly vampire, was actually really well done. In fact, I almost wish there was more of it. The cop part, not so much. It was just a little ridiculous how inept this crime fighting team was, especially when they had been put on the case of a high profile serial killer. That said, I was totally in it for the rom-com so I was able to overlook the logical flaws and enjoy the cuteness. All the cuteness!

7.01.2015

Lucy's Art

I won't try to hide the fact that this is a total mommy brag post. But I just took a bunch of pictures of Lucy's recent art work to save for posterity's sake and I figured if you have, either in the past or currently, the same last name as me, you might enjoy seeming them too.

This was a story picture and the story that went with it was quite extensive. It involved a fox that had eaten a hen and then some pirates (she said she didn't know how to draw pirates so those are the two angular line people in the middle towards the top) who were following it's path looking for treasure, that I believed turned out to be cheese. The purple is Jonah's unwelcome contribution.There was also a castle but I'm not sure how it was involved. I actually couldn't quite follow the plot because she was telling it quickly and it was lengthy but I'm sure she could repeat it if you asked.

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She does lots of what I call "Classic girl art" with rainbows and flowers and princesses. This one is mostly funny because it's her, as Princess Rapunzel with lots of hair (far left) a couple of other princesses (two on the right) and her real life friend "M", who she "didn't draw as pretty because she's just a girl in this picture, not a princess. So she's pretty, but not as pretty as me". I don't think we'll be sharing this particular picture with "M."

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A scene from Phantom of the Opera. And judging by all the empty chairs at the bottom, not a very popular performance (or maybe just rehearsal?)

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More flowers and hearts, plus a camel? and her "fancy letters" which are usually so fancy that I can not in fact, read them.

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Some fairies. One of which is just learning the subtle art of lipstick.

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The arch. Which we all know, she loves dearly

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And to be fair I had to include one of Jonah's. He's more into modern art these days.

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6.29.2015

Breezeway Stage 1 aka No Poop Allowed!


We spent this past weekend finishing up stage 1 of the breezeway remodel. It's a really akward space to photograph but here is it almost at the beginning, dark wood, wood paneling and falling down ceiling texture. Craig had already taken off some odd fake support pieces but you can see where they attached in the upper corner. And the possible asbestos tiles were removed before we moved in almost 5 years ago but their lines remained.

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This is after Craig

  • took the texture off the ceiling
  • primed everything
  • painted ceiling and trim white
  • painted walls gray


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Then I was up. I laid the main tiles Saturday afternoon and Craig helped me cut the rest and place them after the kids went to bed. It is not a square room to say the least (he had a heck of a time leveling that door) which made for a few annoying cuts but working together we got it done by 10pm which made me happy.

Also, funny story (don't you love diy stories that start out that way). We've had this tile in the basement ever since the bathroom project. After I used it there and liked it, I knew I wanted to get more matching tile for this room and since it was on sale and I was worried the pattern would be gone, we got it then, knowing we wouldn't use it for a while. Imagine my surprise when I opened the new box only to discover it was a different pattern. So I had half a box of tile that matched my bathroom and 2 boxes of a similar color scheme but very different pattern. Oh crap! Luckily, I really liked the new stuff, it had bits of grey but also more tan and I think it looked even better in this space than the old stuff. But I was still short about half a box. We tried thinking of a pattern that wouldn't look awkward but eventually Craig ran to Home Depot. And as luck would have it, they not only had it in stock (we had ordered this online) but they had some tiles you could buy loose. He bought all but the last one and we were only out about $15 in the end.  I'm just glad I looked at all three boxes before I had already laid the old. And that the new stuff matched my wall color, because I had color matched it to the old and there is no way Craig was going to repaint if it didn't go.

Then it was time to grout. Because apparently, grouting is what I do when I am 5 months pregnant. And apparently, I always steal Craig's clothes to do it, since I think I am wearing the same shirt of his in both pictures. But it makes sense. I have a very limited maternity wardrobe and there is no way I would risk getting grout on my one pair of maternity shorts. Those things have to last until September at least! But this time. I had more "help" overseeing my work

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But as of yesterday afternoon:

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I love it so far! We still need to trim out the door, put a new light switch and outlet in and then figure out the organizational part to help with the functionality. And I'd love a new light fixture. I know pineapples are a symbol of hospitality but it's not really my style so how about I just say "Welcome" when I open the door. But already it is so much brighter and cleaner. I'm teaching the kids to be very vigilant about shutting the doors because for some reason, the chickens love this space and want nothing more than to poop in it. Which was annoying before but it now strictly forbidden. Because even with a pineapple on the ceiling, poop isn't welcoming to guests. 

6.25.2015

Weaving Fun

Lucy has been asking to "sew" for a little while now which fits right in with my ideal. I don't really want to do a bunch of cutesty but pointless crafts if we can do make something worthwhile and beautiful. That said, she's only just turned five so our options are limited. Luckily, she considers everything from sewing machine work to crocheting "sewing" so I've been keeping my eyes open for a fun but simple project we could do together. I kept seeing weaving projects on pinterest and they were all almost what I wanted, but not quite or exactly what I wanted but the directions were not in English so I just decided to wing it. And it worked!


I made a simple loom with a thin piece of cardboard. This is the bottom of a shoe box but I think a cereal box would work well for a slightly larger loom. I wanted to keep it small so we could finish before her 5 yr old engine ran out of steam. I glued thin strips of the same cardboard to the top and bottom to help lift the yarn off the backing but I don't think that was completely necessary, especially if you keep the yarn loose.

Then I cut notches on the top and bottom and wound the base (warp?) yarn around those notches and taped it to the back at the beginning and the end. It probably would have been helpful to take a picture of that but I didn't.

Then I tied on the fun (weft?) yarn on to the top, added a piece of tape to create an easy to find and hard to unravel end and off Lucy went. We had done a simple paper weaving project a few days earlier so I could illustrate the over/under concept. Even so, I was worried that it would be confusing for her in the yarn since its a lot harder to see but she didn't have any issues.

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I used this particular yarn because it was leftover from my stash and she loves pink but it turned out to be a really fun choice since it created stripes without the need to switch colors. And she started estimating how many stripes of one color it would be before the next color came which added in a bit of math fun.

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The only things I needed to help her once she got started was pushing up the yarn to keep it snug, keeping the outer bands loose (the tendency is to pull to tight and the project gets narrower) and tie a new piece of yarn if she ran out. With 10 notches, she was always starting a row with an "over" and she quickly learned this but if she did accidentally start with an "under" it just undid the last row and she started again. No biggie.

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When she reached the end, I cut the back strips and tied them together in groups of two and using a yarn needle, tucked any extra side pieces of yarn (from adding new weft yarn) in. Then she trimmed them to the length she wanted. And despite the picture above, she was really pleased with the result and begged me to take her picture! This was just after a long afternoon of swimming and she's already in pajamas here but she was determine to finish before bedtime despite to being exhausted.

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I think she did a great job. It took about 5 sessions over 3 days. While that is pretty quick, this is really the first project she's done that really had to stop and come back to so many times and I'm proud of her for sticking with it. Goodness knows I don't always do that with my handicrafts! So overall, I think its a great beginning handicraft.

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And the result makes a perfect blanket for a pony in a magna-tile castle!

6.24.2015

A Mother's Daybook - June 24th

Doing - Not much and yet a lot. By that I mean I felt like we were really busy last week but I'm not sure what we were busy doing. I barely even did anything for Father's Day. I called my dad and left a message and the kid's made Craig cards (in fact, I think Lucy ended up giving him six because she kept making them and couldn't decide which was her favorite). No cute t-shirts with car racing massage paths or mustache themed key dishes here. In fact, the poor guy spent his day painting our breezeway and then helping me give a chicken a sitz bath (ah, the glamorous life of a homeowner!) I do feel a little bad we didn't do more but then again, we just aren't big gift or (non-liturgical) holiday people. I take that back, we did have brownies and ice cream. I never turn down an excuse for chocolate or ice cream.

Planning and Preparing - For Kindergarten. I feel like I say that every one of these but I keep bringing the start date forward. I've just (re)learned lately that Lucy does NOT do well without some sort of school schedule going. Which is a bit ridiculous for a 5 year old but these past few weeks with her I dropped table time, math and reading in lieu of more free play time and the result has not been a success. As in, I'm about to wring this child's neck not good. She has many wonderful gifts that God will use for his glory. Just keep telling yourself that, MacKenzie!

Reading - Raising Your Spirited Child - a reread :-) Also, the bible. I'm sure a big contributing factor to our hard June was my being lax about bible reading in the morning. I finished up leading a study on Philippians and I have to say, I've kinda given up (temporarily) on memorizing it. My brain just can't function that way while pregnant/on zofran. I've continued to study it and I know it really well right now and God has certainly used it in my life these past few months but I can't seem to make the step from knowing it really well to word for word memorization. And I'm okay with that but when I stopped studying it, I never started studying anything else and that was an issue. So yesterday I just kept going past Philippians to Colossians and I only had to go a few verses before I had read what I needed. I think Colossians 1:11 is going to be my new morning prayer for this season!

Watching - On nights when the weather is bad and we get the kids to bed at a decent time, some fun BBC documentaries. (H/T to Karen and her pinterest page). Right now I'm on At Home with the Georgians. On nights when the sun has been out, I can't seem to deny them that last bit of summer fun so they stay up late and instead of a show, I end up watching them ride their bikes, Lucy now without training wheels, and Jonah now without any sort of caution at all. Seriously, the kid finds a hill and glides down it, only stopping inches from whatever barrier he comes upon. Or he takes it up onto a rock wall and seems shocked when he falls off the three inch wide surface. Luckily he seems to bounce.

Listening - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Lucy started piano lessons with me a few weeks back and can now play an actual song. It's so cute to listen to her play. As I mentioned above just a couple of times, she and I have been having a bit of a rough patch so its nice to appreciate the few things we've cooperated well on (piano and bike riding mostly!)

Eating - Blueberries. After tons and tons of rain, the sun finally came out long enough for me to be able to say "Yes!" to the kid's repeated questions of "Is it a good blueberry picking day?" We got two bucketfuls (4 gallon sized freezer bags plus enough for a cobbler or two and plenty of fresh eating) before their helpful attitudes began to fizzle out. Now we just have to find our copy of Blueberries for Sal. We couldn't find it last time we went blueberry picking either. I swear we read it all year and then the one week we intentionally look for it, it's gone!

Making - A teeny tiny blanket. While we dropped everything else, we are still finishing up The Alphabet Path but the last few weeks have not been the greatest. U and V just aren't great letters. But W turned out to be surprisingly fun. There are a couple great W books - Where the Wild Things Are and Wemberly Worried are the two biggest hits. And Lucy and I started her first big handicraft project - weaving. It's been a hit and as soon as its done, I'll be sure to share more info. Then I've got a few picture books to read for the letters X and Y but really all that's left is a trip to the Zoo for letter Z.