Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sex doesn't sell!

It's about time that someone noticed what others have been saying for years...and that 'someone' was a large study! I'm hoping that Hollywood notices this soon, too!

Check out this article here: or read it below! *smile*

How sad, yet how true, that today's generation "yawns" at a lot of objectionable material out there. I thought this was interesting. What are your thoughts?

Does sex sell movies? Uh, not really

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
December 29, 2009 1:39 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- When it comes to movies, it may be that sex doesn't sell.
A recent study concluded that nudity and explicit sex scenes don't translate to success for major motion pictures.
"Sex Doesn't Sell -- nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema" examined more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005.
The study found that, contrary to popular belief, sex and nudity failed to positively affect a film's popularity among viewers or critics and did not guarantee big box office receipts.
One of the study's co-authors, Dean Keith Simonton, said theirs was the largest sample of its kind used for film research. The results surprised him, he said.
"Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or international box office, and even after controlling for MPAA rating," said Simonton, who is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. "In other words, even among R movies, less graphic sex is better."
The top-grossing films in the study included movies like "Shrek 2;" "Spider-Man;" "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," all of which contained mostly minor to mild sex and/or nudity.
Simonton said the research went beyond others in that it also examined other forms of "objectionable" material that might earn a film an R rating including violence.
The study was prompted by an experience almost a decade ago of its co-author, Anemone Cerridwen.
Cerridwen had been taking acting classes and increasingly became uncomfortable with some of the sexualized content she was encountering. That led her to consider the work experiences of film actresses and the pursuit of data about the lucrativeness of sex in movies.
"I assumed sex sold, and wanted to know by how much," Cerridwen said. "I braced myself for the worst, and got quite the surprise."
Craig Detweiler, director of the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture at Pepperdine University, said the study's findings reflect the culture's post-sexual revolution sensibilities.
"Nothing is as shocking anymore," Detweiler said. "You can see it in Britney Spears' kiss with Madonna and Janet Jackson's Super Bowl performance. Things that were a big controversy among some, the next generation kind of yawned at it."
Rather, Detweiler said, he has seen among his students that the new form of rebellion against the older generation includes "not doing drugs, not sleeping around and not getting divorced." That might explain the popularity of some of the Jane Austen films and movies like the "Twilight" series, he said.
"Those stories are really about sexual separation," he said. "They are all about wooing, not winning."
Tom Jacobs, staff writer for the academic research periodical Miller-McCune, wrote about the study and said there has long been the belief that the many young males who make up movie audiences are enthralled by female nudity.
"These researchers really put that belief to the test and crunched the numbers," Jacob said. "What I took from the study is that a hint of sex is perhaps more enticing than out-and-out nudity."
The study's authors are hopeful that their findings will have some impact on moviemaking.
Simonton said he has had one inquiry from a researcher at a major studio that he declined to name, though he has no idea if the studio plans on acting on the data.
Cerridwen said she thinks movies continue to be influential on the public and believes their study could also have an influence, especially if other academics pick up the torch and continue the research. Until then, she hopes Hollywood takes notice.
"I do believe that there are a fair number of people in the film industry who want to make better films, and this study may give them some ammunition," she said. "I know that Hollywood has been trying to make more family-friendly films for a while (since the '90s) and it seems to be helping ticket sales, so my guess is that this research would complement that."

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Walk with me, Mom"

Bryn had set up the whole living room in a nice walking course, taking all the cushions off of the couch and laying them on the floor, and placing toys strategically in a pathway. He circled this course several times, tweaking it here and there, and testing his speed and the durability of the design. Then he said to me, "Walk with me, Mom."

And off we went. On our trek. Over cushions and past toys, around and around.

Not Me! Monday! 12/28

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This past weekend, I did NOT just put the two youngers into the bathtub in the middle of the day just so I could clean my bathroom.

And if I had done that, I certainly wouldn't Not have handed them some toothbrushes so they could clean their teeth in the tub, while I cleaned the toilet. Nope! Not me!

Friday, December 25, 2009


My Christmas wouldn't be a proper Christmas for me if I didn't hear this song to end the day. My Mom loves Handel's Messiah and listens to it every year, but growing up I was never interested in it because operas aren't really 'my thing'. They still aren't! But I admit that I would Love to finally sit down and listen to this oratorio. At home is fine but in person would be amazing! I have definitely "A Thing" for choirs and orchestras! *smile*

I found this version doing a search on YouTube. I find is so fascinating that no matter who sings this song, or the size of the choir, it always sounds so powerful and Large! This is a great version b/c it has an at-home sing-a-long with the lyrics on the screen! *smile*

I'm not too sure what it is, but I always cry when it gets to the end of the song! H'mm....maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is such a powerful song and when I sing it (and I have to sing along no matter if I'm listening to a choir or not, lol...I just sing under my breath!) I imagine being in Heaven and seeing Jesus and standing in His glory, when all of us will be praising Him and singing songs just like this!

King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
And He shall reign forever!

Isn't There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas Is All About????

This is my favourite part to the classic movie, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Linus explains just what Christmas is all about. I pray that your Christmas is full of love and joy and that the true meaning of Christmas is real to you.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

~Luke 2:8-14 (King James Version)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jingle All The Way

I had this SU! Decor Element from last year and just didn't know what to do with it. I had seen these cute glass blocks that were drilled to add lights inside and the vinyl on the outside, which I'd love to do, but I haven't a clue where to find those glass blocks! Then I saw a wonderful project that my up-upline had done at her quarterly meetings. Now, I can't attend these as they are in another province, but I get to hear the news after and see the pictures. (Actually, you can read all about the last meeting here, as the Special Guest was Linda, a great speaker who worked at SU! She's so much fun! See all her great pictures? Check out that great vinyl Dasher! And do you see the awesome Jingle bell shadow box? Well, that's what I'm talking about....)

So there's this great shadow box that's filled with bells and has the vinyl I have on the front. So cute! Love it! I knew that's what I wanted to make. However, no matter where I searched, I could not find me a shadow box that was the right size or the right price. Harumph!

So I came up with this instead. It made me happy anyways!

The whole thing is one piece of vinyl, with the bell image on the bottom beneath the words, but there wasn't enough room to keep it together, so I had to be creative with my cutting. I ended up with the words on one side and the bell on the other. To top it off, I added a small tea light to the jingle bells....looks very cute lit up, but you need to be careful as it's not the most flat of surfaces. It took me some wiggling and adjusting to get it to stay in place and drip the least amount of wax!

I just found a square glass cup from the dollar store (the Dollar Max in Fleetwood is my favourite one to go to, but b/c it's in the opposite direction of where I usually shop or go, I don't pop in often enough. I used to live in the neighbourhood and was so excited when it opened up! The Largest Dollar Store in the Lower Mainland, I think it boasted! LOL Not too sure if it can still claim that or not, but it still makes me happy! The one in Powell River rocks too! But I digress...) Then I picked up a bag of jingley bells that was too expensive from Michael's. Simple as that!

It's beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas

Abi's class was doing a unit on Pioneers and they made a craft with fruit and spices. She brought hers home unfinished because they ran out of Cloves, so I picked some up. Then the boys wanted to make one of their own too! Of course, they only got a few whole cloves pushed in then gave up and grew uninterested! (they didn't last much longer than this picture, but you get the point!)

I love having this on my table to smell everyday! It looks like a porcupine though, but how aromatic! It smells all of Christmas cheer!

Before the end of school, the class had a Pioneer Day, which they all had to dress up for. Of course, I forgot all about it! Luckily, MIL knows how to sew in a flash! She came by with an apron and a long skirt for Abi to wear. Then, Abi got out the shirt and overlay from her traditional Welsh costume, with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. (which we were given from a good friend who lives in Wales to celebrate Sant Dafydd Day, if you remember the post. Bryn still wears the jersey, now handed down from Kai, and Rhys can wear his old one! I love hand-me-downs!) She looked perfect with her braids too!

They had a challenge to be Pioneers all the way down to their lunches too, which meant not using her usual Disney Princess lunchkit. Instead, she was so clever and grabbed the empty ice cream pail I had just washed and set out for recycling pick up! She also didn't use her backpack, but carried her binder. She told me they used their own chalkboards to write on too!

I have to admit that when I grew up, I always thought I should've been born in a different era. I loved the idiologies and simplicities of other times. (I still do) But as much as I would love to "live off the land" with my own farm (oh, how lovely that would be. Be still my little heart!) I can't help but think of how much nicer life is today! 'Simplicity' then meant working for 12 hours each day with no central heating or hot water. I much rather like my luxuries today, thanks! But oh how adorable the little girls dressed then! *smile*

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Just playing around with my retired papers from last year's Christmastime. I love the way it turned out! (even if I didn't come up with my own design and CASEd a card my sister was given years ago!!!)

A real simple card using our shimmery white cardstock (I love how thick and shimmery this paper is!), Old Olive and Real Red cardstock, some DSP, drafter's vellum (it's thicker than typical vellum and I got it for free from my Hunny!) and a beautiful script stamp. Love it!

Lego boys

Kai absolutely loves LEGO. it's his favourite thing to play with every day. He's a proud member of the Lego Club too, which he likes to tell people. (he doesn't know that it's free to join yet!) His creating has gotten more...uhm...creative too. I am impressed at what he comes up with on his own.

Bryn loves to copy and follows his big brother, so he wanted to show off his "creation" also!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

her own design

Abi has her own design. She loves colour, and loves to dress up, and loves to experiment. I love her style. Sometimes I have to bite my lip from criticizing or reminding her that stripes don't go with dots, or that you shouldn't mix plaids with pictures, but then I tell myself to let it go. After all, she is only (newly) 8. She won't always be this adventurous. And she may not always have this confidence with fashion. When she grows up, she'll be directed by others in her clothes and will know what "goes" and what doesn't.

So for right now, I'm going to enjoy her. For her individuality. For her passion. For her fun-ness. For her confidence. For her pride. For just being HER.

I pray she never loses those things. I loves her.

Trying to be helpful

I was on the phone having a good, deep conversation with my Mom, in the privacy of my room, when I started to smell some type of cleaner. Windex? I think so. I had left the kids in the living room, watching tv quietly. (or as quietly as four children can be in a small room together) Maybe that was my first mistake, but you'd think all would be relatively fine. After all, Abi's in charge. She's responsible!

I emerge from my room, sniffing the air with curiosity. And see this:

The kids in the hallway, each with their own towel, wiping down the walls! Abi and Kai have the spray bottles: windex and simple green! Oh lovely! Even Rhys has gotten in on it!

They move their way down the hall and move into the bathroom.

(poor Kai was getting over a fat lip...a bizarre accident that happened when his mouth met Rhys' head.)

(ignore the bathroom decor, the renos for it are on our 2010 Things-to-do-desperately List!)

Then they move back into the hallway, working on the errant marker and pencil marks on the walls and doors.

I have to admit that I do have a very helpful bunch. I just wish they would do these things in the daytime, not at bedtime, and I sure wish they'd clean up what I ask them to, like their toys! But I'll accept this happily. After all, really, when is the last time I cleaned my walls with Windex? *smile*

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas in Heaven

This song has been playing on the radio here and it is such a beautiful song that I had to share it. It is sung by Sarah Scheiber. This song was recorded out of her grief of the sudden loss of her husband while they both ran in a marathon. Check out her story here
The song is entitled "Christmas In Heaven," and written by Paul Marino and Jeremy Johnson.

This is dedicated to all who have lost someone close...and having to go through this Christmas season with grief. (((HUGS))) to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Tale of Three Trees

My Mom sent me a link to this story a while ago, but it took me forever to actually go and see it! But now that I have, I can say it is truely beautiful and I'm glad she sent me to read it. And now I share it with you!

The Tale of Three Trees
A traditional folk tale, retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars twinkling like diamonds above him. "I want to hold treasure," he said. "I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I will be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. "I want to be a strong sailing ship," he said. "I want to travel mighty waters and carry powerful kings. I will be the strongest ship in the world!"

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and busy women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave this mountain top at all," she said. "I want to grow so tall that when people stop to took at me they will raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world!"

Years passed. The rains came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall.

One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell.

"Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest," thought the first tree. "I shall hold wonderful treasure."

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell.

"Now I shall sail mighty waters," thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship fit for kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.

But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me," he muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought him to a carpenter's shop, but the busy carpenter was not thinking about treasure chests. Instead his work-worn hands fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals.

The once-beautiful tree was not covered with gold or filled with treasure. He was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took him to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ships were being made that day. Instead the once-strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat.

Too small and too weak to sail an ocean or even a river, he was taken to a little lake. Every day he brought in loads of dead, smelly fish.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.

"What happened?" the once-tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted to do was stay on the mountain top and point to God."

Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.

But one night golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box.

"I wish I could make a cradle for him," her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful," she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening, many years later, a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.

Soon a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. He knew he did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace, be still!" The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun.

And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her.

She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything.

It had made the first tree beautiful.

It had made the second tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.

That was better than being the tallest tree in the whole world.

This Christmas, may you feel the beauty of the season and may the power of the birth of a child be significant to you, and may you let His love in.

I forgot to add: the site I got this from is here: KLove is a radio station around the USA that my mom listens to online occassionally. It's a good one to check out if you don't have a Christian station nearby. At this site, there is an Advent Calendar which is fun to check out! (yeah, uhm, I just discovered how it works! *blush*) Just click on the door to open it, then click again on the picture, then scroll down to see the entry. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Time sure is passing by, isn't it? Sorry, I've been so MIA. When I started a blog, I thought I'd be on it every day, but the truth is that I don't have time. I have other things I do and it slips my mind. But the other thing is that I am a *bit* of a perfectionist. I have things to post about, but want to make sure it is written correctly, that I have the pictures and can make more of an effort! I'm silly that way! *smile* But then I remind myself that it's MY blog. I can write it the way I feel, and when I feel! So there! (I still wish I were able to post nightly though!)

Things have been happening here. Assessments. On Baby Honey. On the house. Concerning jobs. Bank appointments. Birthday parties. Doctor's appointments. Talks of moving. Lifestyle changes. Budgeting. Shopping. Trying to purge items. Rearranging the house. Making plans for the future. Discussing the future. Rediscovering dreams again. Visiting with friends. Connecting with old friends. Preparing for Christmas. Stressing about finances. Trusting in God and choosing NOT to stress. Learning good news. Learning bad news. Praying for guidance.

It's been busy! There is a lot to talk about. We're going through some changes here and making tough decisions. I will talk about them as soon as I can. Until then....

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