Monday, July 30, 2007

eBay update

I updated our eBay auctions today and just wanted to mention that if you know any Lord of the Rings or Star Wars fans there are two collectible items up for grabs, both limited edition items from film screenings, which would make great gifts, as well as the usual assortment of CD's. Happy bidding!

Win $300 Horizon Organic Products

The contest to win $300 worth of Horizon Organic Dairy Products at 5 minutes for mom has been extended to this Thursday, Aug. 2nd (is it really almost August?!). We go through at least a gallon of milk a week here, and that's with only 2 adults who drink it, so this would be a great benefit to our grocery budget, not to mention healthy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dear Mrs. Rowling,

Thank you.

From one mother to another, thank you for writing a book series that I look forward to reading with my children and my children's children and any other children after that. These books are for the generations, not just ours.

I'm only sorry I didn't discover Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when it was originally published. We American Christians are often very silly indeed about what we choose to ignore. At least it only took me a few years to catch on...and since then, I have been delighted to enjoy the series as it has been released.

With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you did not disappoint. Though I am sad that this long adventure is over, I am also glad. The groundswell of anticipation, the aching longing throughout the series climaxed perfectly into a revelation of what was always meant to be. I pray that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will read and understand.

If I am ever fortunate enough to meet you, I'd like to hug you, Hermione-like, and hope that you will understand why.

In sincere gratitude,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I won something! Again!

(For those of you very few faithful readers, yes I did receive a $50 check from Blingo a few months back...)

Reading all these mommy blogs is paying off. Liz over at the incredibly fashion-savvy and fun Cool Mom Pics just informed me that I won this SaraBear Diaper Caddy. I chose the one with the stripes, called Jack. I think it'll go well with the greens and blues in his room.

Woo-hoo! I am all about some stylish organization!

Be sure to check out the Polkadot Platypus for all sorts of trendy baby and kids items. I've got my eye on the Babylegs Jack set and their collection of Pedipeds.

Jacob has made me one lucky mom. Seriously. Before March, I'd never won anything. Not even all those times I called into 106.7 KMX as a child, trying to win a CD.

Pimp my Crib: Jacob Update

In news from the home front, Jacob received his very own brand new white wooden crib (thanks, mom and dad!). He's been slowly outgrowing his Pack n' Play bassinet, and the grandparents have been dying to have this set up for ages. We finally got it last week and Gaines and I put it together on Saturday night. I'm so glad we didn't try to do it while I was pregnant. One, we wouldn't have had anywhere to put it because the room hadn't been cleared out yet and two, I really enjoyed having Jacob in our room for the first four months. Also, I didn't pick out the crib bedding until after he was born! (Don't worry, the blanket on the railing is just there for's neatly packed away at the moment as he snoozes beside me.)

Other accomplishments include a newfound mobility! Although Jacob technically has been rolling from his stomach to his back (ever so slowly) for a few weeks, in the last few days he has quickly learned to roll from his back to his stomach. He looks up, wide-eyed, as if to ask, "How'd that happen?" He still hasn't yet completely mastered rolling onto his back yet from this position, but he seems to be enjoying time on his tummy more and more. So much so, that he now sleeps about half the time on his stomach, which freaked out his parents at first. He's growing up, our boy. I'm looking forward both with trepidation and joy to the day he figures out how to crawl. Right now about all he can do is scoot himself around in a circular motion, thank goodness. We'll be getting new carpet in our apartment in the next month or so (since it's AT LEAST 5 years old...have we really been here that long?), and it couldn't be at a better time.

Where are Harry Potter's grandparents?

Have I missed something? I've been re-reading the first 6 books (yes, I know, I'm cutting it close...I'm still on book 5!), and I've not yet come across a reference to what happened to Harry Potter's grandparents (or any of the other wizarding kids' grandparents besides Neville's).

Sirius, in OOTP, mentions that he spent the summer holidays with the Potters, but no one ever says how they die. I imagine they must've died before Harry was sent to live with the Dursley's, but then, we never meet Dursley's grandparents either, just his Aunt Marge. In the Mirror of Erised, Rowling doesn't specifically mention grandparents, just at least 10 other people with "other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry's knobbly knees..."

Are we to assume that most of that generation died out due to Lord Voldemort's reign of terror (including the muggles)?

I suppose being a new mom has got me thinking about this sort of thing, since, as of later today, we will have received visits from both sets of Jacob's grandparents in one week (yay!). I guess we'll have to wait for book 7 to see if we get any mention of Harry's. Perhaps Harry will visit the elder Potters' home in Godric's Hollow, since the home his parents were living in was destroyed by Lord Voldemort. Perhaps he has a ancestral wizarding family home much like the Blacks and Malfoys, which has been lying empty for over 16 years, magically hidden by his relatives. I loved my grandmother's old stone house (still in the family--now my cousin's), and imagine the Potter house to be of a similar sort, only much, much older.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Deathly Hallows Predictions (SPOILER-FREE)

Since everyone else is making their Harry Potter predictions this week, Team Redd might as well join in on the fun. As a disclaimer, most of my predictions end up being wrong anyway, so this post will probably be pretty embarrassing in the near future. And just in case you were worrying about spoilers, these predictions were not based on any advanced knowledge of the book. Here goes!

The Big Questions
  • Dumbledore really is dead, although we'll see him in portrait/Pensieve form.
  • Snape is loyal to Dumbledore until the end. (Dumbledore, who was already dying due to the cursed ring, arranged to have Snape finish him in order to save the life of Draco.)
  • Harry is not a Horcrux, nor is his scar. [Allison says: The scar is a Horcrux.]
  • Harry will survive. Voldemort will not. (Voldemort's undoing will ultimately --somehow -- result from Harry's blood that is now coursing through his veins.)

    Death Watch
  • Either Hagrid or Ron will die -- more likely to be Hagrid, which is sad. (If John Granger is right, then Rowling is using the alchemical process as a major motif for the series. The main phases are Black, White and Red. Sirius and Dumbledore died in the last two books, so we need the death of a "Red" major character to complete the pattern.)
  • One or more of the Weasley clan will die. (There are just too many of them for the entire family to survive.) If not Ron (see above), then I'm guessing Percy will die, albeit after some sort of reconciliation with the family. Ginny will survive, and probably Fred and George.
  • At least one of the remaining members of the Order will die, probably Moody or Kingsley. (Lupin and Tonks will survive.)
  • A number of Death Eaters will meet their ends, including Lucius, Bellatrix and Wormtail. Greyback will probably die, too.

    Other Things We Are Likely to See
  • Fawkes will make a crucial appearance, perhaps to help Harry fight Voldemort or (more likely) Nagini.
  • Drama at Bill and Fleur's wedding.
  • Wormtail will lose his life while helping Harry to defeat Voldemort.
  • Draco will be redeemed, and may even significantly help Harry. (Crabbe and Goyle? Not so much.)
  • Neville will do some cool stuff, perhaps Herbology-related. He will definitely be facing off against Bellatrix again, but I don't think he'll be the one who kills her.
  • Scrimgeour and the Ministry will try yet again to recruit Harry as their poster boy and will probably try to impede his quest when he refuses them.
  • Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes will defiantly remain open for business, despite the escalating conflict between good and evil.
  • Each of the magical brethren will play a role in Harry's quest: house elves (Kreacher and Dobby for sure, if not more), goblins (something cool at Gringotts?) and centaurs (Firenze at least, and maybe more, depending on how the rest of the Forbidden Forest herd react to Dumbledore's death).
  • Love prevails-- like a good Shakespearean comedy/Austen novel, it will end with pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Lupin/Tonks, Bill/Fleur.

    Long Shots
  • Ollivander is making wands to arm the Hogwarts house elves. (H/T to Travis for this theory.)
  • Harry will journey beyond the veil and back, possibly to receive guidance from Sirius, Dumbledore or his parents.
  • The Gringotts goblins rebel and plunge the wizarding world into financial chaos (which Voldemort exploits, of course).
  • Stan Shunpike is freed from Azkaban and is given a cushy job at the Ministry of Magic as restitution for wrongful imprisonment.
  • Luna's dad buys-out the Daily Prophet.
  • After the final showdown with the Dark Lord, Harry becomes Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts and holds the job for many, many years (since the curse on that position is removed upon Voldemort's death).
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Appendix M

    Speaking of Andrew Peterson, he is releasing another collection of bootleg recordings and other rarities. Titled Appendix M: Media/Music/Movies , this compilation will have ... well, the title pretty much spells it out for you. Read more here.

    Pre-orders are now being taken, and the proceeds will help fund AP's next studio album, Resurrection Letters, which is currently in the recording process.

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Make Your Own Wizarding Wand

    Who needs Ollivander when you've got instructions on how to make your own wand using little more than paper, a glue gun, and paint?!

    This is a great project for those (with or without kids!) attending a midnight release party this weekend.

    "Accio Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!"

    Well, it was worth a try.

    I discovered this via Apt Therapy: Nursery, which has loads of great ideas for design-conscious parents (and artsy wannabes like me).

    New Andrew Peterson Album

    Andrew Peterson is working on a new album, and he created a blog to document the recording process. There's some entertaining stuff here!

    Ready for Deathly Hallows

    Done! I finished my re-read of the Harry Potter series last night, and I am now ready for this weekend's release of the final installment.

    I'm also going to heed Travis' warning and avoid media coverage of the book to the greatest extent possible, to keep myself from reading anything I don't want to know in advance.

    Only five more days!

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Order of the Phoenix Non-Review

    With Allison's mom in town to babysit, we were able to get out last night to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. No time for a full review right now, but I'll just say that I had high hopes for the movie and was not disappointed. It was really great, definitely one of the better of the films. As usual, they cut or changed a lot of things from the book, but that doesn't really bother me as long as the movie works. This one did (for the most part).

    Travis at has written a pretty good review of the film. Check it out.

    Also, here's an interview with the screenwriter for OotP. Very interesting reading, and it provides some neat insight into the adaptation process, especially the question, "Why was [insert favorite scene] cut/changed for the film?" (H/T to Barlow Farms).

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    I'm in a race!

    A Harry Potter race, that is.

    I wanted to read all six books before the release of Deathly Hallows, and I think I just might make it (without neglecting Jacob and household duties, of course!). The last four months of being a new mom were overwhelming and left me little time to read, but our vacation spurred me on to victory!

    During our time in Annapolis, I finished the first two HP books, and am gobbling up the third now. I have less than 2 weeks to read the last 3 before book 7 releases. I think I can do it...if Gaines finishes the sixth book with enough time to spare for me to enjoy it!

    We're also watching the movies. Two down, two to go, and my mom is babysitting while we take a date night to watch OOTP on Wednesday! We promise a full review...


    Our week of vacation was great, but, alas, all good things must end. We had a terrific time up in Annapolis for the JEI summer conference. Jacob's first major road trip went very well. And the Transformers movie didn't ruin my childhood. More on these later.