Video shared by Jay Shetty

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Movie Review - Running Scared

I have to admit, I rented this movie because of Paul Walker, and I was very glad that I did. Running Scared kept my attention all the way through. It was one of those movies that starts at the end and then goes backward 18 hours, so you know (or you think you know) how it ends. It is set in either New York or Chicago and has that dark, tense, mob-type feel about it.

At the beginning, the scenes are shot in an unusual way and if you have ever seen CSI, you will know what I am talking about. Specifically, when the bullet shoots through the house from the neighbor’s house, they shoot the scene in slow motion, doing possible scenarios of how it could have happened, versus the final outcome (very interesting). This is the first time that I have seen Walker play this kind of gruff, violent, tough guy, but he is still believable as the “good guy”. The supporting characters do a great job as well, with bad guys that you love to hate – especially the child molesters.

The movie is based on a continuous pursuit of a missing gun that keeps falling into the hands of yet another person that Walker has to catch up with. There are some graphic scenes (blood and nudity) and lots of profanity, but it wasn’t bad enough that I had to hide my eyes or cover my ears. In closing, the last five minutes of the movie left me with varied emotions, and to me, that is the sign of a good movie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Repost: Approval, Do We Really Need It?

Ever since we were little, we searched for approval to make ourselves feel better. We may not have been aware of how important it was or that we were even looking for it. When we heard that "Atta Girl" or "Way to Go" or even better, "Good Job!" it made us feel so wonderful. The start of this need for approval began and continues throughout our lives.

Many people brag about their accomplishments so that they can receive the praise they are searching for. Others sit back and wait and hope that someone notices. When we hear something other than praise, it can be devastating. And what about when we do something we know will not win the approval of others? This is when lying comes into play. We have all lied to hide a mistake or to keep something from someone we respect. We respect those people for their opinions, but don't want to hear about it when we are wrong. We are so funny that way.

What happens when you are living your life the way YOU want to and don't expect any one's criticism or approval, and you get it anyway? Say for instance, from your boss, parent's or in-laws. That's when you have just got to hold your tongue and change the subject!!!!!

Has there been an instance lately when you got an opinion and you didn't ask for it? Was it an opinion that you valued? Did this opinion change your mind? How did you feel after hearing it? Let's hear from you.........................

Monday, October 27, 2008

These Are Some Great Blogs

I recently came across some good blogs that I wanted to share with you:

1. Mommy Mayhem

2. In The Trenches Of Mommyhood

3. Scary Mommy

4. The R Family Diaries

5. Who's Yo Mama?

6. The Stiletto Mom


8. Annie Anderson Blog

9. Mommy Blogger

10. Lessons From A Recovering Doormat

Happy Exploring!

Movie Review - 88 Seconds

I was excited to watch this movie since seeing the trailer at the theater. Sadly, I was disappointed. This is one of those movies that has so much going on that you feel you are missing things and that you will have to watch again just to get a good idea as to how it all comes together. Halfway through the movie I knew how it would end. It was a crazy 88 minutes for Al Pacino and I felt as stressed as he looked just from watching it. This is a "ah, I have seen everything else, okay, I will get this" kinda movie.

Did you see it? What did you think?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Review of Nintendo's Wii Fit

Dan bought me Nintendo's Wii Fit when it first came out. We were both very excited with the purchase and actively played it for a couple of weeks. If you have not made this small investment for your Wii system (it's about $100), you should. It's a fun activity for the whole family.

Wii Fit is meant to help you improve your balance, get exercise and have fun doing it. There are four core options in Wii Fit: yoga, strength training, balance games and aerobics. Within each of those sections, there are lots of fun, useful activities.
When you start doing Wii Fit, you get to create a character and choose what kind of goal you are trying to acomplish. You will weigh yourself and be able to set up your own, private account. You are given a piggy bank that keeps track of the time you spend doing your workout throughout the system. Everyday you sign in, you will be given an opportunity to do some balance tests and determine your Wii age. You will also get to place a stamp on your calendar if you decide to do certain tests. After each activity, you will get coins in your bank. After thirty minutes of exercise, you will be reminded to take a break. Throughout the game, your Wii Balance Board talks to you and makes exercising fun. In addition, each time you perform an activity, you will see what rank you receive for your efforts. This is a fun tool for motivation. You will also be able to open more activities within each section.

I will start with the funnest section and that is the balance games. There is soccer heading, ski slalom, ski jump and table tilt. There are also more games that open up once you have played more. These include tight-rope walking, a penguin game and a bubble river game. These are all fun to do and help to build balance.

The aerobics section has boxing, step aerobics, running, and hula hoop. Each of those are available in beginner and advanced. If you continue to do several of the activities, without stopping, you will find that you do get a pretty good workout. No workout is more than 5 minutes long, unless you choose an advanced level, and then I believe they might be a little longer.

For the strength training and yoga sections, you will be offered one of two personal trainers who will guide you through each exercise. They are great at encouraging and helping you to perform the exercise properly.
The strength training section which includes various activities, when done in repetitions can be really beneficial. Again, as you continue to perform the exercises, new ones open up.

With the Yoga section you will be given many popular poses to strengthen your body and help find the center of your balance. These include the Warior pose, the Half Moon and the Standing Tree.

As you can see, Nintendo's Wii Fit is fun for the whole family. In my opinion, it is not meant for mega workout freaks, but I think it is a good low-impact type of exercise for anyone who just wants to get off the couch, have fun and get a little bit of a workout.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Introducing Danifer's Daily Commute - Vol. 1

I have found that I have a lot to say about traffic, driving, idiot drivers and various topics associated to my daily commute to and from work. In keeping with that trend, I will have a post series titled, "Danifer's Daily Commute". Don't worry, I will not post everyday about my frustrations with driving, I am sure that you have your own. I am writing this series in hopes that we can get through traffic together and express our feelings about it and possibly have a laugh or too as we relate to others' stories.

These are the top 8 things that bother me the MOST about driving/drivers:

1. Tailgating - It's not nice and it really upsets people. If you need to drive fast, go around. If you can't go around, try to pass when safe.

2. People who do not use their turn signals - Every car should be equip with them, why can't you use them? It just takes a second and it allows others to know what you are about to do.

3. The carpool lane and fast drivers - The carpool lane was made to reward drivers who transport other drivers and/or who ride motorcycles. This was not made to be the SUPER FAST, INDY 500 lane!

4. Waiting to get out into traffic - When I am waiting to make a right-hand turn and looking at the flow of traffic, as soon as I notice it is safe to go into a lane, I expect to go. Instead, someone from another lane sees the opening and switches right as I am getting ready to enter the traffic. Ugh!!!

5. Stand-still traffic

6. Never-ending construction

7. Merging, see my post about me being a lane blocker.

8. Slowing down coming toward a light - the person slows down as they approach the intersection just enough to get themselves through in time and once the light turns yellow, I am forced to run the light.

What about you? What bugs you.......?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I am a Lane Blocker

As some of you may recall, I recently posted about teamwork and how I love to see people come together for a cause. Today's cause that I am excited to talk about is "lane blocking". What is lane blocking? It's something we all have either done or wished we had done when we get stuck in traffic. Let me paint the picture:

Here you are, tooling along on your way to work, making excellent time, thinking about how you will definitely be there before your boss today. The windows are rolled down, the birds are chirping, the air is crisp and refreshing, today is a good day. All of a sudden, you come to a complete stop. A stop that seems to last a lifetime. You try to see around the gigantic truck in front of you with no luck. You see the people in the lane to your right, flying by, as if they are privileged to not have to get stuck where you are. You think, "I want to be like them, I want to go!" No luck, they are driving as if they are in the Indy 500, not allowing you in, leaving you stuck with exhaust from the truck in front of you. So, you sit, and eventually are able to move forward. As you do this, you realize that your once excited, happy mood has been replaced by an anxious, frustrated one. "I am going to be SO late!", you think. As you move forward, you notice a merge sign up ahead, stating that everyone is merging into your lane. Now, I think you understand where I am going with this, right? The mean people, who flew by with no regard to anyone else, they saw this sign and knew that they would not wait as long as you. They wiggle their way into the front of the line, in front of everyone else who has waited their turn.

I don't know about you, but this really chaps my hide! But wait, there is a happy ending:

Take the above example, except I am the driver, stuck behind the truck. One day, I saw a woman in front of me start to head into that right lane, the one that was going to have to merge. As she attempted her journey, I thought, "Where is she going, doesn't she know that she is going to have to get over? Figures!" But to my surprise, she ended up sitting half way into the next lane, but just enough to ward off any passers. "Wow," I thought, "She is fighting back! She is the protector of all good and is here to help us!" I immediately put my car in the same position and noticed others following suit. At that time, I felt proud to be a part of such teamwork! And today, I was the fearless leader, watching others back me up. What a great feeling! Oh, by the way, I got to work before my boss.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Welcome To My Thoughts

Welcome to my blog. I am fairly new to blogging and have spent the last week getting to know the blogging community. I have enjoyed reading various blogs, including Barbara's insight on Blogging Without A Blog, reading about life's lessons on Sara Healy. And I can't forget Jen's wacky antidotes at Absolutely Bananas, or Eric Hamm's informative posts on Motivate Thyself. Over the last week, I feel like I have made some friends if not by talking to them, by reading all of their interesting posts. I would like my blog to have the same effect on YOU!

Thoughts From A Down-To-Earth Girl are snippets of who I am and what I have to say. My blog can be about my opinions on parenting, my family, life's lessons, or tips on how to be organized. Along the way, I will throw in my attempts at humor, with posts like There Are Headless Men In My Car and The White, Construction Hat.

My blog is my creative outlet and I hope you will find it interesting (and maybe even laugh a little). My email address can be found on my profile page if you would like to contact me privately. Thanks for visiting!!!!


This picture reminded me of a recent event that left me feeling very emotional.
My daughter had the opportunity to play soccer at a professional stadium. While my son and I were sitting in the stands, the announcer called for everyone to rise and prepare for the singing of the National Anthem. During the song, I looked around at all of the people coming together to appreciate the freedom that we all have as Americans. I saw the men, hat in hand;the children looking toward the flag and then back at their parents as if to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to. I saw the attention that everyone gave, even during the rather long song and I was so very proud to be a part of this group. Somewhere along the way, the tears began to well in my eyes and after the song was over, my 8-year old looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told him that I was happy and proud of where we lived and explained to him the importance of the National Anthem.
I know that it would have been more fitting to have put a picture of the American Flag at the top of this post, but when I saw the spider, the frog and the turtle it reminded me of how great it is when we all come together for the same cause.

Questions for you:

Is there a time where you have felt a part of a team?

What thoughts go through your head during the National Anthem?

Do you want to share a comment? Please let me know what you are thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Those Nasty Pet Peeves

Wikpedia describes a pet peeve as: complaints about specific behaviors, rather than general dissatisfaction.

On any given day, I can think of about a gazillion things that irk me. I know that I am not alone in having pet peeves, so I thought it would be fun to list some of mine and ask YOU to comment and ad to my list. So, here goes!

  1. People who tailgate (in the car, grocery store or at the mall) - "Just go around"
  2. Graffiti
  3. Litterbugs
  4. People who interrupt me (while I am talking to someone else)
  5. People who use the word "like" when they talk - "I know, I do it sometimes too, but it is annoying!"
  6. Solicitors - "Take me off of your call list - NOW!"
  7. The sound of people chewing
  8. No turn signal - "I know they gave you one with the car"
  9. Lost signal (in the middle of a phone conversation)
  10. People who curse
I KNOW you have some to add - so let's hear it......

There Are Headless Men In My Car

I know, the title kind of scared you, huh? Imagine driving along knowing there are decapitated people in your car. In the spirit of Halloween, I think I am aloud to be a bit morbid. After all, a little person that I have birthed and raised is the decapitator of the heads. Colton, my 8-year old son is really into action figures, primarily the ones that come apart. He sleeps, eats and lives by his obsession with "lego guys" and other "guys" he can take apart. Should I be worried? Or should I hope that this interest will later lead him to become a doctor/surgeon who will support me in my old age? In the meantime, I have about half a dozen bodies in my car and their heads rolling around. Happy Halloween!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Re-Post: Parenting

There have been countless debates about parenting styles and practices over the years. From era to era you have to admit, things have definitely changed. I believe that children raised in the 50's, 60's and 70's experienced things a whole lot differently than the kids raised later. It seems that kids raised in the 70's made some pact or vow to be COOL parents and raise our kids with not so many rules. I may be wrong, but the way I was raised back then was perfect. Rules and structure and discipline worked wonders. I was a good kid and teenager. I respected my elders, I did not talk back, I hardly used profanity and I was not promiscuous.

Now days, it seems as if the kids my children play with are from another planet. They are rude, they don't have any manners, they don't listen and they are lazy. I wish my peers would see that there was nothing wrong with the way they were raised. Bring back the days of spankings for horrible behavior, the teaching of manners and respect and the limited time on the computer/video game machine and television. Give them structure and routines and schedules. Talk to them, listen to them and spend time with them. Don't use the television to baby-sit your kids. Stimulate them as people and give them praise and love as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with trying to not be like your parents, but if you turned out okay, then maybe they did did it right!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What was I doing then?

20 years ago:
1. I was making plans to marry my high school sweetheart.
2. I was a junior in high school.
3. I was excited to move to CA.

10 years ago:
1. Enjoying my new life as a mom.
2. Going on lots of camping trips with Mark, Sedona and Aussie.
3. Mourning the loss of my Grandma Ingebretson.

5 years ago:
1. Thought the grass would be greener being a "single" person.
2. Going through one of the toughest times of my life.
3. I didn't realize that my kids would be moving away from me.

3 years ago:
1. I was missing my kids and driving a long way to see them, every other weekend.
2. Dan and I were riding in the El Camino.
3. I was trying to get out of the profession I was in.

1 year ago:
1. I was going through the second toughest time of my life.
2. I was starting a new position at work.
3. I was happy my kids were with me.

so far this year:
1. I am living in a great neighborhood and I love our home.
2. I am so very proud of my great children.
3. I am learning a lot about myself.

1. I took my kids shopping for Halloween costumes.
2. I was actually busy at work.
3. I watched some shows I had been looking forward to watching.

1. I spent the day at the park watching the kids play sports.
2. My daughter and I got to go to the library and the grocery store.
3. I went for a nice walk with the kids and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

in the next year:
1. There might be lots of changes.
2. I will be another year older, but hopefully 15 pounds lighter.
3. I will be with people who love me and we will all be happy, healthy and safe.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Art of Organizing A Party

Call it my Virgo nature, but I have always been an organizer. Sometimes my organization even HAS organization. I am forever cursed with this blessing. A person should share what they are good at, so I thought I would throw out a few hints, tips and pointers to some of my "not so organized" friends. Here are some ideas for planning a party or get-together.

Before sending out your invitations, you will want to sit down with a piece of paper and map out your event. Write down the date, time (start and finish) and location. Keep in mind, if you are having a party at your home, you will need somewhere for your guests to park, along with directions to your home. If there is a theme for your event, such as a luau, baby shower, 50th birthday, etc., you will want to note that.

You can't have an event without guests, so the next step would be to determine who should be invited. Your list should be divided into two columns, the first column should be labeled "adults" (this would include anyone who you think would consume an adult size portion of food/drink). The next column would be for the little guests who don't eat or drink much. This list will be used for your invitations, this way you will have a good idea of how many people you have invited. When you begin receiving your RSVP's, you can put a check mark by those that confirmed their participation.

In the meantime, a menu should be developed based on what theme you have chosen. Remember, the time of day your party is given will determine what kind of menu to have. Once you have decided on a menu, you will want to mark it on your event map in a list format so that you can use it to go shopping or contact caterers.

In planning for your party, there is almost always something that is forgotten, so don't stress. Take a mental tour of your party and begin another list; anticipate silverware, plates, napkins, cups, center pieces, table coverings, decorations, condiments, side dishes, appetizers and desserts. You will need plenty of serving bowls and dishes along with utensils to serve. If you are having a bar, you will need to remember the entire bar equipment needed. Don't forget to make sure you have places for your guests to sit as well as a place for them to eat. If you don't think you will have enough chairs or tables, see if any of your friends or family can help out or as a last resort you can contact a rental agency.

If you are having some form of entertainment such as a disc jockey, clown, inflatable, or a dance floor, you will want to make sure to book early as professional entertainment is popular. If you are opting to use an IPod, CD player or the radio, you will want to stage an area close to the right amount of light and outlets.

I know that the worst part of a party is the cleanup. To help with planning for this, make sure that you have several places for people to throw their trash and or recyclables. To cut down on a large amount of paper cups being used, you can provide a marker for everyone to put their names on their cups. This helps with kids not wasting and provides them a sense of ownership of their drink (not to mention this helps grown-ups too).

I am sure you will think of other things that I have left out, but I hope that this helps you to get the ball rolling with planning and organizing your party.

I was inspired by I Help You Blog's 101 Great Posting Ideas For Your Blog to write this post about organizing a party.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Animal Rescue Site

A friend (thanks Mitch) just sent me a link (click the title of this post above, the words The Animal Rescue Site) to help animals in shelters. It's really easy. All you do is go to their website, and at the top you will see that all you have to do is click the purple button that says, CLICK HERE, IT'S FREE. When you do that, it will help feed the animals. You can also sign up over on the left hand side to get a daily email reminder to "click". They also have free E-Cards that you can send to someone or if you have a blog or website, you can post a link to the bottom of a blog or a website (like I did toward the bottom of my page).

Every little bit helps and it's a great cause!

Balance Is Not What It Used To Be

When I was a kid, I was able to climb trees, ride my bicycle with no hands, and I was hell on wheels when it came to rollerskating. Somewhere along the way, I lost my great sense of balance. Is it that "old age" thing creeping up on me? No, make it stop!

I decided last night that it would be a good idea to put on my in line skates and get some exercise. Dan immediately was worried. He kept asking me if I thought it was a good idea. "What, do you think I am going to fall or something" I asked. He just looked concerned and made sure that I wore my wrist guards. He suggested letting me wear his motorcycle helmet, but I declined.

Once I stood up and attempted to move toward the front door, Dan was sure I shouldn't go. Secretly, I was having my doubts too. Standing on those wheels in the center of my foot was not very comfortable and my feet were really wobbly. I put on a brave front and took off out the door, holding onto the car for dear life as I headed down the driveway.

"This is crazy," I thought. "I almost skated professionally as a kid, this should not be that hard!" I said my good-bye to Dan and headed down the street. I was glad he did not watch me, I felt pretty juvenile.

I started getting some momentum and headed to the end of the block. Along the way I hit a rock and almost fell, but I recovered and hoped no one was watching how silly I looked. I needed to stop several times since my ankles were not used to such torture! The trip back was not as bad as the going and I made it safe and sound to the house. I stumbled inside and threw myself to the floor in exhaustion.

I vowed I would make this attempt again, as I was not going to let "old age" win!!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Have Some Great Kids

Colton came home with a big, orange Certificate of Appreciation from school yesterday. He was recognized for Trustworthiness because he is always on task and when finished with his work has something he is working on. GREAT JOB, COLTON!

Anthony seems to have come out of his shy shell and has a lot more to say at nights when we are all at the dinner table. He is also always very eager to do his chores when he is asked and never puts up a fight. He is doing WONDERFUL!

Sedona also came home with a big, orange Certificate of Appreciate. She was recognized for Trustworthiness as well because her classmates and her teacher voted for her! We were also surprised to receive a notice in the mail from the School District stating that she had been selected as Student of the Month from some of her teachers. They said that she was a great example of the Six Pillars of Character to other students within her class as well as all the students at her school. YOU ARE INCREDIBLE, SEDONA!

I am so very lucky to have such wonderful kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The White, Construction Hat

Have you ever had a day where something small and insignificant keeps popping up? Maybe a particular word that seems to be used in excess by everyone you talk to? How about a song? Don't you sometimes hear a song from the past that you haven't heard for years and then all of a sudden, you hear it 2-3 times in one day?

Yesterday, I was driving along the 303 highway and saw a white, construction hat. You know, one of those hard hats that people wear when they are working a construction job? I saw it just laying on the side of the road, next to a field, all alone. My mind started thinking about why someone would forget the hat. Didn't they notice that it fell to the ground from their head? Why wouldn't they pick it up? The likely hood is that it fell from their work truck, just tumbled out as if to say, "I am gonna stay here! See ya around." I realized I was done thinking about the stupid, white hat. Until.....later in the day.

I was driving along the I-17 freeway, and what did I see? A white, construction hat! Was it the same hat? Did it get up and find it's way across town? What's with this hat? It's one of those things that makes you go, "Hmmmmmm....."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My New Post

I just re-invented my blog and have spent this evening transferring posts from my old one. I plan to start posting several times a week and add lots more to my page.

This blog will have family and personal updates, my opinions, fun stuff and much more.

Please stay tuned....

Friday, October 3, 2008

We Are All Doin' It

Dan and I have been busy being "sports parents". All three of the kids are playing sports: Sedona is doing soccer and Colton and Anthony are both playing Flag Football (on different teams). I am even going as far as assistant coaching Colton's team. Why did I do this since I don't know A SINGLE THING about football? I am still asking my self this question, as we are well into our season. I am learning and spending time with my wonderful son, so I am going to give myself an A+ for effort!

Dan is gearing up for a men's softball team that he will start playing on. He hasn't played sports in awhile, so he is going to take it slow. Unfortunately, his games are on nights that we have practices for the kids, so Dan will rarely have a cheering squad (but we are super proud of him!)

I decided since everyone else is doing it, that I was going to do an activity. Sunday nights I will be bowling. It's not exactly the cardio activity everyone else is doing, but I like to bowl and I think it will be fun. I might even get out and drag one of the kids or Dan to play tennis with me soon.