Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pride and Prejudice

FYI: I finally saw the P&P series that was done back in 1996 and it is good because it does stay true to the book. But I do say that the leading actor in the 2005 movie portrays more of Mr. Darcy's character than the actor in the series. Love both, however, the movie portrays more of Austen's Characters and Romanticism in the book than the series even though you see less of alot of the characters that take part in the book. And yes, my husband once again, laugh with me, not at me, mind you after I sat him down, yes again, to tell him the difference between the series and the movie. I know he's glad I'm done with P&P.

By Mark Earley
Not Just Another Romance

This month’s Great Books Audio CD with Dr. Ken Boa is about one of the most popular books of our era—even though it was published nearly 200 years ago.
As Ken says, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is an “enduring classic of romantic comedy.” “Enduring” is almost an understatement. Austen’s work, always well loved, has exploded in popularity in recent years—with the help of film and TV adaptations and even updates and spinoffs. And Pride and Prejudice is by far the most popular of all.

Ken explores the reason for that popularity, and finds plenty to celebrate. Austen, he says, shows “incredible wit and moral insight” in this “novel of the mind and of the heart.” Even within her relatively narrow field of experience, she was a highly skilled observer of the human condition. Her work provides “rich social commentary” that still rings true today, along with “subversive satire and elevation of the status of women.”

Ken traces Jane Austen’s remarkable depth of insight to her Christian faith. As her brother wrote, Austen “was thoroughly religious and devout.” Yet, as one critic said, her faith was “not forced upon the reader.” Yet it certainly helped to give her a deep understanding of both the faults and virtues of human nature, as well as a concern for showing the importance of character growth in her work.

(As some of you may recall, my former colleague Lori Smith has written extensively about Austen’s faith and morality in her book A Walk with Jane Austen, which I highly recommend if you haven’t already read it.)

Pride and Prejudice, as you may know, is the love story of two intelligent people who nonetheless start by completely misunderstanding each other. Austen excels at helping us identify with the viewpoint of Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine. We see through Elizabeth’s eyes, experience her mistakes along with her, and, as Ken says, we “go through the same learning curve that she undergoes.” So by the end of the novel, we too have learned something about snap judgments, first impressions, complacency, and cynicism.

All these qualities in Austen’s work add up to make Pride and Prejudice something far beyond a conventional romantic novel. And I think it’s telling that Austen’s work is so incredibly popular in an era that lacks so many of the beliefs, values, and manners that she held dear.
It’s ironic that while a society like ours may love Austen’s work, it’s not always willing to change to reflect her principles.
It was true in Austen’s own time, and it’s doubly true in ours. But no matter how far short our society falls of the Christian ideal, something in us hungers to read about people of character and virtue—about what Ken Boa calls “the need for recognition and reconciliation between the conflicting claims of the individual and the culture as a whole.”

Above all, it is this reflection of timeless ideals and standards that makes Pride and Prejudice truly enduring—and a great choice for this month’s installment of Ken Boa’s Great Books Audio CD Series.
With summer coming up, hopefully you’ll have some time on your hands. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Part Three of Three - Memorial Day Weekend Wrap up!

Sunday, it was family gathering time. Every holiday, we just need to get together somehow, somewhere and this time it was at Yesenia's house. Her community has a pool, and it so happened that Monday was hot!
Here's John with Sofia. Sofia didn't like the cold water so we placed her in the very very shallow part of the pool where she was happy and content.

Here she is at the shallow part of the pool where she's waving her hands like she just don't care.
Here she is displaying her beautiful swimsuit that her Auntie Yesenia bought for her and John approved.
After we all had our filled with the pool we went back to Yesenia's place and ate John's famous grilled burgers and some. Here's Sofia eating watermelon. She was crying because she wanted to hold on to this piece of watermelon. In fact, she was just sleepy and tired and fuzzy.
At the end, we all sang Happy Birthday to our mom.

THE END. Or until the next Birthday, graduation and/or holiday or just because party.

Part Two of Three - Memorial Day Weekend Wrap Up!

Part Two of Three took place on Sunday instead of Saturday. Saturday we were all too tired to do anything. We napped all day. The only thing we did was drive to Mass and back. So, Part Two we drove to...Scarborough Fair. Against my will but with a smile on my face we drove to Waxahachie about an hour from our house. Not a bad drive but at least the weather was nice that it didn't bother me at all.

Here's John with Sofia at the Welcome sign.
Sofia was not too happy or excited with the elephant. She couldn't take her eyes off him, but didn't want to get close either. It was funny to watch.

Sofia is just too little to do anything at the fair. So, she could only watch kids having fun. We think next year she will be able to get in some rides.

This dude is tall. VERY TALL. well, maybe for me, because I'm short. But he looks mean too. But if you place a tip on him he will take a picture with you, but he won't smile.

Here's Sofia. I couldn't sit at this chair, my pregnant belly wouldn't let me.

The End. However, I would like to add that after attending this place several times in the past, I have NEVER noticed there were kids rides and stuff for them to do until now. I guess you really have to be a parent to notice stuff like this. -Sandra.

Part One of Three - Memorial Day Weekend Wrap up!

It was a long Holiday Weekend. But it was fun! Let's begin with Friday. We took this day off to drive off to Austin to witness my beautiful niece's UT graduation. It was a hot day down in Austin, but we made it in time for her graduation. Lesley graduated as a Journalist major. Soon you will catch her in someone's tv news! So proud of her! All I can say is, GO HORNS!

Here's Sofia as a UT Cheerleader. Everyone loved her outfit.

Here we are waiting to get in. This is becoming Sofia's favorite position.

Here's my sister Medith with her daughter. She's a true Proud Texas Mom!

Here we are. Sofia was cut off from the pic. I blame my brother.After this we all took off for a beautiful sitdown dinner at this really nice restaurant by the Hills. Yep, I finally saw the famous Austin hills everyone has talked to me about for years. They were beautiful, never in a million years, I would have imagined to see something like that in Texas. After dinner, we drove back home. We got home about 12:30midnight. We were so tired but the trip was worth my pregnant back pain!

Rude Kids

As far as in our household, Sofia (only 15 months old) knows that when dadda and mommi say "don't touch" or "don't go there" she obeys. We are teaching her the principal of boundaries and obedience.

By Chuck Colson
The Fruits of Overdeveloped Self-Esteem

A recent report on MSNBC suggested that parents’ pre-occupation with their kids’ self-esteem may have produced “rude” children who lack compassion for others.
According to MSNBC, “many experts say today’s kids are ruder than ever.” The word “rude” encompasses a variety of behaviors, from selfishness to deliberate malice. In one example, a pre-schooler deliberately tripped a woman in a crowded restaurant and then bragged to her mother about it. In another, a child continuously insults his mother in front of his mortified grandmother. In both cases, the parent neither says nor does anything.

Apparently, these aren’t isolated instances. A 2005 Yale University study found that “preschool students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral problems.”
It isn’t only preschoolers. The media has documented the behavior in the workplace of those born between 1980 and 1996. Words used to describe the behavior of the so-called “Generation Y” include “self-centered” and “arrogant.” As one management professor put it, “They don’t know when to shut up.” And having grown up questioning their parents, they now question their bosses.

Whether or not today’s kids are actually “ruder than ever,” the article and others like it reflect the sense that something has gone wrong in the way we raise our children. Specifically, it has to do with “popular parenting movements focusing on self-esteem.”
These movements produce parents who “[respond] with hostility to anyone they perceive as getting in the child’s way.” By “getting in the child’s way,” they mean doing anything that might make the child feel less-than-wonderful about him or herself—in the classroom, among their peers, or on the playing field.

So today we have a generation of children who believe that the world revolves around them and that they are entitled to feel good about themselves.
Expecting children raised this way to be compassionate or even polite betrays a profound ignorance of human nature—the same ignorance that led to the “popular parenting movements” that created the mess in the first place.

These movements were inspired by the ideas of Romantic Enlightenment thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. According to Rousseau, “There is no original perversity in the human heart.” So, he says, “when children’s wills are not spoiled by our fault, children [desire] nothing uselessly.” So parents and teachers should strive to produce children who are “authentic, self-sufficient, and autonomous.”

According to E.D. Hirsch, this Romantic ideal that “each person has a natural and uniquely divine spark, which, if nurtured, cannot go wrong,” is behind the emphasis on self-esteem. The problem, as Hirsch points out, is that there is no proven connection between high self-esteem and actual achievement.

In other words, feeling good about yourself isn’t enough to make you good. You have to be taught right from wrong and made to feel bad when you deserve it. As the Scripture says, true parental devotion includes the willingness to correct our children.
The alternative isn’t “authenticity”—it’s spoiling their wills in the worst possible way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sushi Obsession

Lunch was good today. I had Dragon Roll. Everything cooked of course! and also had Summer Rolls. Just lovely. What I like about the Dragon Rolls is that it is cover in avocado inside and out and my love for avocados runs in family and I couldn't let this delicious meal just stay behind for someone else to enjoy. no.
One of these days, I'll convert my sisters.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sofia's Corner

This is what Sofia has been up to lately. My mom bought her this Cinderella towel. She does love it

One of her favorite toys. She knows where to push to make it sing. Which is great for us because we get to sing along and memorize the song after she hits the button like 15 times! John already knows the Spanish part.

Reading time with Daddy!

Cleaning the yard.

Riding her Pony!

What a life!

New Orleans Visit

Last week we were visited by my Aunties from New Orleans! It was such a great suprise! We had "planned" on driving to Florida and stopping at New Orleans to see our relatives but unfortunetly, we can't anymore so, it will have to wait two years before we make that trip. God willing. Sofia had just taken her bath and going night night and as you can see her curly hair comes out at night. We don't mess with it.

Below is my Auntie Connie!

Below my Auntie Mari.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pride and Prejudice

I have been absent minded since Mother's day. John gave me as a gift the movie: Pride and Prejudice. I have seen this movie only when the Oxygen channel runs it and I have seen parts and pieces of it and I have understood somewhat the dialog of the movie only due to their heavy British accent. So, I was so so excited that John remembered that I really wanted to see the movie with subtitles so that I could understand what that heck was the problem between Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy and why Lydia's elopement with Mr. Wickham marriage and annual income was fixed by Mr. Darcy. But of course what Mr. Darcy and Lizzy were saying to each other but mostly what Mr. Darcy said to Lizzy when he proposed to her twice! If you understand what I'm trying to say, you know my drift!

So, I finally watched the movie after two tries! The first time there was so much going on I couldn't concentrate. So, after seeing the movie, I had more questions than answers. It was a great movie, but I needed to know more, so, when I get into something it consumes me. I went and bought the book, only $6.95 at Barnes 'n Nobles thank goodness! It took me 4 days to read it and I will have to agree with all the reviews of the 2005 movie based on this book that they left out a lot of stuff, so what do I do next: I rent the 1996 version of the book. But this is not a movie, is the SERIES!!!!!! with Colin Firth and there is not one single bad review that I could find. Anyways, Colin Firth is the same guy that played, again, Mr. Darcy in the Bridget Jones Diary movie. After I watch this series, I'll rent Bridget Jones and watch it with subtitles, I understand Bridge Jones is the modern day version of Pride and Prejudice.

So, after all of this, I blame John. Poor him. I sat him down and talked about the difference between the book and the movie that HE also saw with me until I was satisfied talking to him about it. All he could do was laugh at me for my ridiculous new found love in Jane Austen's novel. I will probably read another book from Austen's collections. It only takes one book for me to read the authors whole collection. Silly me, but I love it!
I don't really like romantic movies much, love action movies and my latest favorite is Quantum of Solace, (James Bond) I love car chases! However, most romantic movies are so full of explicit stuff it takes the innocence out of it, so, when I run into movies like this, I love it. Another one of my favorites, thanks to John is "Ever After" is another version of Cinderella telling story. -Sandra.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

It was an awesome day. Here we are at an Italian Restaurant in West Plano. Thankfully, John had made previous reservation we didn't have to wait forever to be seated. I woke up with a cold and my right eye was so red it hurt and I wasn't feeling a 100%. But I made it throught the day.

My crazy sis at another restaurant later that day. We took our mom out to continue on celebrating Mother's day.
And finally here's Gadi and Sofia getting to know each other.

Yesenia's Graduation

My sister graduated from Richland College this past Saturday and moving on to UTD. We are so very proud of her! Here's the pics of the reception. Unfortunately, John and I couldn't make the ceremony due to lack of entrance tickets.

Uncle David and Sofia.

My mom and my sis.

David and Yesenia.
The Future Graduate!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Roll

I knew there was something missing in my life: Sushi. I can't never say no to Sushi. Is like saying no to water. I have been craving Sushi since the day I found out I was pregnant...3 months and one week ago.
So, today, I went and bought me Summer Roll's. There were four of them and oh my gosh, they were so good. I knew that's what I was missing. Not to fear the shrimp was steamed, and John found out for me that I can eat Eel. So, I'm getting me some Eel Sushi next week. I might even go to the Sushi place on Beltline and Tollway with John on our Lunch date next week and get me a Tempura Box with summer rolls on the side. This stuff is Yummy. Our children will eat sushi too. I will make sure they love it as much as we do. -Sandra.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sofia's Baptism Cont.

Msgr. Don doing conducting the baptism ritual.

Group picture at the end of the baptism with Msgr. Don in front of the altar, at exactly the spot where John and I were married.

The End! Afterwards, we all went out to eat.

Sofia's Baptism

This past Saturday, May 2nd, we celebrated Sofia's baptism at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, where John and I were married 7 years and 11months ago. Msgr. Don, who also married us, officiated Sofia's baptism.

I love this picture of us. Thank you Vanessa and Javier for being our unofficial photographers!
Here's Msgr. Don. We love our priest! He's so full of the Spirit!
There were 3 other couples also celebrating their child's baptism. Sofia was the biggest baby that day.
Here we are at the holy water fountain waiting for Msgr. Don to start. Besides John is Wendy and James Maloney, Sofia's godparents!