Saturday, March 26, 2011

Long, long ago...

in a galaxy far, far away....

the younger generation of Doepkens also fell in love with Star Wars.  Especially Susannah, who developed a huge crush on Han Solo.  Yeah, we know.  She knows.  He's 'old' now.  She doesn't care.  He's cute in the movie and that's good enough for her.  In fact, she's so enamored of the first (last?) three movies, Susannah has orchestrated two different movie marathons with her friends to introduce them to the joy that is gazing at Mr. Solo.

Susannah is currently at a friend's house, possibly watching part two (or five?) right now.  Or maybe she's asleep, dreaming Han Solo dreams.


Samuel, Moriah, Jim and I all watched The Count of Monte Cristo tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it.  After the movie, we had a discussion about whether or not the movie followed the book (it doesn't completely, according to one of Samuel's friends who's read's still on my mental reading list).  Then, we had a discussion about the name of the friend who betrayed the 'count'.  None of us could remember what it was, but we all knew that it wasn't whatever Samuel was saying it was.

That led us to to look at the cast.  Aha!  Guy Pearce played Count Mondego.  Jim (now James) Caviezel played the 'Count' of Monte Cristo (I swear I thought it was the Count of Monty Crisco, once upon a time).  I followed various links to see what actors had been in what movies, thankfully satisfying Moriah's nagging suspicion that she had seen Guy Pearce in something else.  Yes! an ad for The King's Speech.

What in the world does this have to do with Star Wars you ask?  Good question!  Somehow, and I truly don't recall the particular rabbit trail at this point, we looked up Mark Hamill's imdb listing.  Did you know that he's been a hugely successful and prolific voice-over actor for tons (and tons!) of animated series and video games?  Yep.  Stickybeard and The Joker and some part on a Spongebob episode.  Well, he has.


I scrolled way down to see what movies or shows he had been in right before he hit it big with Star Wars.  And there it was, sandwiched between Corvette Summer and The Empire Strikes Back.  Do you know what I am talking about?  Do any of you have flashbacks from a childhood viewing of what I'm about to reveal?  Okay.  Here goes.

There was a Star Wars Holiday Special.  In 1978.  A TV movie, apparently starring Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill and James Earl Jones' voice.  Seriously.  Oh, and it also starred Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll and (wait for it...) Harvey Korman!

Amidst all of the laughter and snorting, I went directly to Netflix to look for it.  Sigh.  Not there.  Off to YouTube, where we found it, uploaded in segments.  The 'channel' I found looked to have the 97 minute movie in five-minute pieces and we began to watch.  And giggle.  And chuckle.  And wonder why in the WORLD anyone thought this was a good idea.

We ended up watching the next two (or three?) segments, cringing at the 'plot' and noting that the number of views for each segment kept decreasing.  Smart people stop watching really bad movies when their eyeballs start to itch.  Not us.  What finally got us to stop watching was that it was after midnight and we had to get to bed.

But we always have tomorrow....

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The kids and I now have competition for Jim's attention.  Possibly for his affection.  Actually, I'm thinking that even Hurley-dog might have to worry. 

It came in such an unsuspecting little box, looking so innocent, so generic.  With very little fanfare, it arrived while we were all away from home.  Maybe that was the plan all along?  Sneak in, under the radar, and make its move.

Of course Jim was far away when it arrived.  This new addition that he had sought after and dreamed about and squirreled money away for.  I was cheeky enough to tease Jim by asking to play with this newcomer, never intending on usurping Jim's place as the first to establish a relationship with it.  But I confess I did enjoy his somewhat anxious "I'd rather you didn't" response. 

And now, Jim is fully engaged in acquainting himself with his new friend.  In full-on grin-and-discovery mode.  He's been home a little over an hour and I feel like chopped liver.  Or something. 

I know, soon, I'll come to accept this new addition to our family.  Maybe even get to know it a little.  If Jim will introduce me.  We'll see about that one. 

Welcome home, iPad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I 'cut' Abigail's hair once.  A while ago.  And only because her hair was growing straight down into her face and you couldn't see what a cutie she was.  So I did what any nervous-to-be-wielding-scissors-close-to-a-toddler's-face mom would do.  I grabbed her hair, lifted it straight up away from head and face, and cut.  Hey, it worked well enough.  I could see her eyes afterwards.

But since then, Abigail's hair has grown with the exception of the small snip of 'bangs' she gave herself about a year ago.  Bethany has never had a hair cut that I recall, although my brain seems to be recalling at least a desire to rid her of her baby mullet.  I'm not sure I did anything about it, though.

Fast forward to about two months ago, when Abigail began asking for a 'haircut like Maile's'.  The style in question was a bob, and a very cute one at that.  Considering what a nightmare it could be to brush her long hair, the prospect of a short hair style was definitely appealing.  But there was a small part of me that resisted, mostly because (if I am to be perfectly honest here) I coveted Abigail's hair.  A little.  Okay, a lot.  Her silky, shiny, straight blond hair was right out of my curly-haired daydreams.   Not only was I reluctant to cut that beautiful hair, but I also was reluctant to tote the little girls to Anchorage to get a haircut.  Not my idea of fun on a Saturday. 

Then a friend told me about a gal who comes to your house and cuts hair.  For a very reasonable price.  Okay...this may just work!  Especially since Bethany and Moriah both started making requests for haircuts as well.

She came to my house with only a few days advance notice (waaaaay better than the gal who cuts used to cut my hair in Anchorage, who has a waiting list at least a month long) and quickly got to business.  In no time at all, Abigail, Bethany and Moriah were shiny and shorn and her bill was only $30.  For a haircut house call!

The results were totally worth it and totally adorable.   I must say that I learned a new lesson that day:  put newspaper or another something on the ground to catch hair.  Otherwise it's a bear to clean up.  (the price of doing business with someone who doesn't have an official place of up your own hair)

Abigail's first snip
Bethany's first snip



Their new 'dos make them look like real little girls now, not just preschoolers.
Eek!  Where does the time go?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fourth Birthday post with pics

Now seems like a good time to post the few photos we have of the little girls' fourth birthday.

It was on a Monday, which is a Little Bears day and which meant they could bring some cupcakes to share with friends during snack time.  Somehow, I was actually ahead of the game and made the cupcakes with enough time for the littles to help decorate them the night before.

The random blobs you see on the cupcakes?  Well, those are princess-themed sprinkles that I had seen at the store and had squirreled away for a time such as this.  The cupcakes were liberally covered with Cinderella's 'slippers', Snow White's 'apples', Sleeping Beauty's 'crowns' and little 'pearls' that, according to Abigail, are from Tiana (of The Princess and the Frog fame, if you're not as familiar with one of the newer princesses).

The beaming four-year-olds were treated to some wonderful off-key singing from their friends and then they were all off and munching the delicious cupcakes.  Abigail and Bethany opted to stay a bit longer and play, so we left them there and I came home to work on the family birthday cake.

Abigail and Bethany were fairly convinced that they'd be having a party this year, since a couple of their little buddies had had parties.  I quickly disabused them of that notion because I refuse to start that whole crazy-ness before any of my kids turn five.  By then, they may be old enough to really get the Kris-Malecha-Party-or-Present option*, something introduced to me years ago and that I totally and completely LOVE.  I did, however, tell them that they could invite over special family friends and they chose to invite NeNe (aka LynnĂ©) and her two daughters.

The cake I made for them was definitely not my finest, but it was fun.  They wanted a princess cake, with a castle, so I finagled one out of cake rounds and sugar cones.  In the planning stages in my mind, the cake was going to be rectangular, but it just didn't end up that way.  It did have a 'moat' with 'fish', a grassy area and a walkway leading up to the front castle entrance, though.  Not too shabby.

No matter, Abigail and Bethany were thrilled and enthusiastically blew out the candles and ate their cake.  And they also donated some of their plastic princesses to the cause, even though a couple of the princesses looked about half as tall as the towers on the castle.

And, FYI, the cone 'towers' were dipped in sparkly just can't tell in the photos.  Just sayin'.

They also opened some gifts that night and loved every single one.  They played with the ice cream parlor toys that reminded them of what their big brother does at his job.  They cuddled their new baby dolls.  They built new structures with their Magna Tiles.  And we had a hard time getting them to bed, away from all those cool toys!

All in all, a happy fourth birthday.  Hard to believe that much time has passed since the day they were born.  

*Our kids all have the option of a party OR a present from us.  If they have a party, then it can be a 'big' one such as a roller skating party or bowling party.  That, then, is our 'present' to them.  If they choose a present, then it can be a 'big' one such as a wooden doll house or pierced ears/earrings.  It's a great option and one that we will incorporate with the littlest Doepkens as soon as they are old enough to host a party.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lenten motivation

I just went 'dark' on Facebook for the remainder of Lent.  A little late in getting started on that because I allowed my brain to go into complete vacation mode while we were in Hawaii.  Now that we're home and settled back in somewhat, I figured it was a good time to follow through on my decision to give up one of the things that is wasting my time and keeping me from doing other things, like blogging here.

To echo something I wrote in a post a while back, I plan on trying to get at least a little caught up with what's gone on with our family in the last several months.  I have no idea how quickly the posts will appear but I do know that without my Facebook distraction I should have a little more time on my hands.

For now, though, I'm heading to bed.  The last two nights have been very light on sleep (see future posts for an explanation) and I am exhausted (even after a four-hour nap this afternoon!).

Nighty night.