Dr. Laura, America's #1 Relationship Talk Radio Host
On: SiriusXM Stars Channel 109
Call 1-800-DR LAURA (1-800-375-2872) 11am - 2pm PT
Image 01 Image 02
Parenting
05/07/2010
IconCrisis Meal Planning Copyright 2003 Deborah Taylor-Hough; Used with permission. All rights reserved hometown.aol.com/dsimple/ If your home is anything like mine, you've probably found that five o'clock each evening is one of the most hectic times of the day. Mom and dad are just finishing up a long day of work at home or at the office. The kids are hungry and tired after a full day of school and afternoon sports. It's time to fix supper -- or at least we should be getting dinner started if we want to eat a meal before midnight! But what's for dinner tonight? Well, your guess is probably as good as mine ... and it seems like more often than not, nobody knows! So the whole family hops into the car and heads through the local drive-thru for the third time this week. Someone I know once called it "crisis meal planning." Each night's dinner is the latest in a string of mealtime crisis management decisions. Everyone's tired. The kids are hungry. The whining has started in earnest. What's a parent to do? Rather than planning ahead to prevent panic and poor nutritional choices, many families coast through their day without giving a thought to dinner, and then discover that they've crashed headlong into that nightly mealtime crisis once again. Cooking ahead for the freezer can be the answer to this all-too-frequent mealtime dilemma. I've discovered as people become more adept and experienced at cooking for the freezer, they often switch from doing a full one-day-each-month cooking frenzy to using a simpler process referred to as "mini-sessions." A mini-session consists of choosing one main ingredient, such as chicken, and then preparing a group of chicken recipes in a single afternoon or evening. A mini-session usually involves only an hour or two of cooking rather than the eight to ten hours often required for a complete month of cooking. By waiting for main ingredients to go on sale at your local market, you can stock up on large quantities and take advantage of great prices. For example, if you stock up on lean ground beef at this week's sale, a relatively short mini-session could easily supply you with five to ten ground beef meals tucked away in the freezer. When chicken goes on sale later in the month, you can add another five to ten meals to your personal stash of Frozen Assets. Simply by purchasing and cooking in bulk as you follow the sale flyers from the grocery store, you can save a great deal of time and money without ever investing an entire day in a monthly cooking session. For more information on cooking ahead for the freezer, go to: hometown.aol.com/oamcloop/ Or consider joining the Frozen Assets Email Discussion Group to share tips, recipes and encouragement with other cooking investigating the benefits of preparing meals ahead of time for the freezer. For details and subscribing information, go to: groups.yahoo.com/group/frozen-assets/ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: --Deborah Taylor-Hough (free-lance writer, wife and mother of three) is the editor of the Simple Times and Bright-Kids email newsletters. She's also the author of the popular book, Frozen Assets: how to cook for a day and eat for a month , and the newly released Frugal Living For Dummies(r) (Wiley Publishing, 2003). For more information, visit Debi online: http://hometown.aol.com/dsimple/ You can also subscribe to one of her free ezines! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
IconHomebodies Hints: One-Income Living By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2003 Holly, a SAHM from Indiana, has been an at-home parent for nine years. She has four children (ages 7, 9, 18 and 22) plus three grandsons, and is well-versed in managing a one-income budget. #147;We are considered a middle class family with an annual income of $34,000,#148; Holly says. #147;We have one auto payment and a house payment. Those are the only payments we have going out a month besides our utilities.#148; She counsels prospective at-home parents to #147;make sure all your bills are paid off before you quit your job. We had everything paid off except our house but eventually got a van because of our family size.#148; She and her husband finished paying for their van before buying him something different, so they would only have one car payment at a time. #147;We shopped around for his vehicle and feel like we made a frugal purchase.#148; Holly applies this same money-saving mindset as she gathers other things her family needs. #147;Food items are usually on sale and I cut coupons faithfully every week. Ninety-eight percent of our clothing is from garage sales or Good Will. We Christmas shop at garage sales and clearance isles. You can get like-new items for pennies on the dollar. So far no one has complained at all about our purchases. It is also a good way to spoil our grandchildren.#148; Although it#146;s important to take advantage of cost-cutting options available to families, communicating with your spouse is the key to frugal living. #147;I can't stress enough that you need to take time with your husband every day to talk to him,#148; Holly says. #147;Let him know what a great husband he is and how proud you are of him for supporting his family.#148; Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit the messageboards at www.homebodies.org , where you can interact with at-home parents from around the country and throughout the world. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
Icon"School of Rock" Movie Review "Know Before You Go" reg; Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Philip Boatwright, Editor Theatrical Release "School of Rock." Jack Black, Joan Cusack. Paramount. Comedy. Hell-raising guitarist Dewey Finn (Black) worships the power of rock and roll. With a penchant for stage-dives and 20-minute solos, Dewy is determined to lead his rock group to victory at the local Battle of the Bands#133;but his bandmates fire him instead. Down and out, in need of rent money and wallowing in his apartment strewn with take-out containers, Dewey picks up a phone call intended for his roommate, and impulsively accepts a job as a substitute teacher at the prestigious Horace Green Elementary School. While Dewey hasn't a clue how to teach, he does know how to inspire confidence in his young fifth graders. And when he accidentally overhears them performing in an orchestra class, he decides to mold these young musical prodigies into a high-voltage rock band, and allow himself to lead the unknowing students to victory in the upcoming Battle of the Bands contest. Anti-establishment to the hilt, irreverent to the max, Jack Black's Dewey Finn is Mad Magazine's answer to "Mr. Holland's Opus." Self-centered and slovenly, this is one movie teacher not concerned with being educator of the year. He just wants to know when it's time for lunch. But along the way, don't you know, he learns life lessons. Parents beware, however; although he gets his pupils to overlook their outward appearance (some are overweight, some fear they are perceived as geeks), Dewey is teaching them to "kick ass" and "stick it to the man." True, nothing can be taken seriously in this overwrought comedy, but I'm not sure many of you will want your little ones sensing they must rebel against "the man." I think it's best to wait until they graduate grammar school before they join Greenpeace, don't you? PG-13 (a few expletives - some from kids - and several rude comments, but no harsh or profane language; while the lead does promote rebellion, and while there is the occasional drug reference, the lead is anti-drugs and believes in heading an RR band, not to "get chicks," but as an artistic expression; he tells lies continuously, but by film's end teaches the kids that it is wrong to lie - well, sort of; a long running gag implies that one of the students has gay tendencies; the lead takes the school principal - an excellent Joan Cusack - out for drinks, attempting to get her drunk, thereby winning her over to his deceitful plan to get the kids out of school and to the contest audition; though he teaches the kids to respect themselves, Dewey doesn't show much tolerance for those he does not like, sending the message that we should care for our friends and loved ones, but simply use others - not exactly a New Testament teaching). Vid. Alt. "Yours, Mine and Ours." Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda. Based on a true story of a widow with eight kids who marries a widower with ten. Lucy is very funny in this film for the whole family. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
IconSpendaholic The Dollar Stretcher by Gary Foreman I am 22 years old and I live in NYC. I am in some serious debt, which I have turned over to a debt consolidation company. I make a decent amount of money, however, I can't seem to keep it for more than a few hours. I end up spending my entire paycheck within the first day I have it....seriously. I am trying to find a support group in NYC, but am having no luck. I know I have a problem and I can't continue to live like this. Donna My Dad used to call it 'letting money burn a hole in your pocket'. Call it what you will, but it's a serious problem for some people. If you regularly spend all the money you have, you'll always be broke. There are two main strategies that Donna can use. First, she can severely limit the amount of cash and credit that she has available for spending. Second, she can change the way that she relates to money. Let's begin with the tools that will limit how much money Donna has at any time. If her employer offers it, she should use direct deposit. If that's not available, she'll need to deposit her entire check as soon as she receives it. Donna should use payroll deductions to force savings. Otherwise, she's probably going to have trouble accumulating any. Deductions are also a good way to save for retirement. She might want to consider making regular monthly contributions to an IRA or mutual fund account. It's foolish for Donna to carry much cash. She'll just be tempted to spend it. Before she leaves the house in the morning Donna should list the items that she expects to buy that day. Include everything. Even snacks and the daily paper. The idea is to only carry the cash she'll need and get in the habit of only making purchases that are on the list. Donna has already seen what credit cards can do. They're meant to be convenient to use. And, that's the problem. It's easy to keep charging until she reaches her credit limit. Leave them at home unless they're needed for a planned purchase. Once Donna limits the amount of cash and credit that's available, it's time to change the way that she relates to money. She already recognizes that it's easier to reach your goal if other people are involved. Contacting a local social services agency could turn up a support group for spendaholics. Another source of support is an 'accountability partner'. It could be a friend, relative or mentor. Someone who can be trusted. Donna would regularly report to the partner on how well she was doing. Sometimes just knowing that we'll have to confess our failures is enough to keep us from stumbling. That partner can also be helpful when Donna does suffer a setback. And they will come. A compassionate partner can help dust us off and get us back on track. If you can't find someone to hold you accountable, create a system to hold yourself accountable. It could be as simple as keeping track of the days that you stuck with the morning spending list. Donna should also consider using a budget. It would put her on notice when she had already spent the money that she had allocated for entertainment, clothing or any other category. Avoid the places that are most likely to trigger spending. Just as the alcoholic can't hang around bars, the spendaholic shouldn't go window shopping. It's like dancing with the devil. You're bound to get singed. Use rewards and punishments to encourage good spending behavior. We all respond to appropriate rewards. Donna might find that she's never had the money for good seats at a Broadway show because the money is always gone. The idea is to pick something that had not been attainable under the old system and then reward yourself after an important goal has been met. It will get easier the longer you persist. It's hard to break old habits. Especially if they contain some behavior that could be addictive. Remember that tomorrow will be easier than today. But you have to get through today first. Donna has already taken the first two steps. She's recognized the problem and started to look for help in solving it. Hopefully she'll be successful in using some of the tools to take control of the situation and begin to build a new pattern of relating to money. Gary Foreman is a former financial planner who currently edits The Dollar Stretcher website TheDollarStretcher.com and newsletters. You'll find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
Icon"The Fighting Temptations" Movie Review Know Before You Go Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Philip Boatwright, Editor The Fighting Temptations. Cuba Gooding, Jr. Beyonce Knowles, Mike Epps, Faith Evans, T-Bone, Shirley Caesar. Paramount. Musical/comedy. D- Jonathan Lynn. 9/19/03 Jesus being worshiped in a modern-day church service #150; wow, that#146;s something a Christian critic doesn#146;t get a chance to experience often at the local Cineplex. And while as a film reviewer I have a few complaints, I do feel the film has merit. Darrin (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a marketing executive from New York (and a bit of a con man), has just been fired when suddenly he#146;s called back to his rural Georgia hometown to collect a sizeable inheritance. The catch? In order to collect the cash, he has to take over his aunt's dismal church gospel choir. And although he has no musical ability himself, he struggles to lead the members of the small black Baptist choir to success in an upcoming competition. A good premise. Alas, there are some problems. Indeed, when people stop singing, this film stumbles around searching for a plot and a few honest emotions. With only about fifty percent of the jokes rising to their full potential, and several thematic elements coming across as half developed, this theme deserved far more attention by its writer, director, editor and the casting exec. Closely resembling #147;Sister Act#148; 1 and 2 and so many other films about a worldly con artist who learns what#146;s truly valuable by film#146;s end, the magical elements that derive belly laughs or move you to tears are not as well conceived as possible. Beyonce Knowles, the lead singer of Destiny#146;s Child, who proved she had a screen presence in #147;Austin Powers in Goldmember,#148; dully attempts the cool goddess image here, imitating Janet Jackson#146;s screen persona. Unfortunately, she has even less success with that routine than Ms. Jackson. The novice thespian should avoid being too controlled and too aloof on screen. Rather she should develop that warm appeal we only occasionally glimpse. As for the script, it#146;s lackluster, stale and often a pale imitation of other films. So what we have here is a film wherein the leading lady needs acting lessons, the joke writer needs a second opinion and the filmmakers need to address the theme with a fresh slant. But even with these negatives, I would still view this film again. Why? That music. The music in #147;The Fighting Temptations#148; is pure joy. There are several singers and musical styles that truly will delight as they bring this movie to life. There#146;s even #150; and I can#146;t believe I#146;m going to say this #150; a terrific rap piece. I kid you not. That song is full of energy, humor and insight. It#146;s #150; and I really can#146;t believe I#146;m saying this #150; the high point of the film. Sadly, the filmmakers seem almost apologetic about the Christian setting. You can be a gay, Wicca-practicing anarchist and still be one of the gang in Hollywood. But Heaven forbid you should acknowledge a reverence for things Christian. None of the characters is ever given a chance to express a love of Christ. Indeed, Christianity is downplayed, except for the hypocrisy of some churchgoers. But does every film representing the Christian walk have to contain an altar call? I don#146;t think so. I think films such as #147;A Walk To Remember#148; and #147;The Fighting Temptations#148; are ground breaking in that they present Christians as real people, warts and all. What#146;s more, I think the film does represent spiritual truths within its music. Another plus #150; most black films these days, like most films starring whites, are permeated with coarse, crude or vulgar language and images. There have been exceptions over the years (#147;Sounder,#148; #147;Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored,#148; #147;Lilies of the Field,#148; #147;Green Pastures,#148; #147;The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,#148; to name a few), but all too often black America is portrayed in a stereotypical buffoonery manner. Well, #147;The Fighting Temptations#148; is an exception I will be able to use as a video alternative for years to come. As a reviewer, it#146;s my job to analyze a film. By looking at it critically, I try to examine its strengths and its weaknesses, hopefully giving you information that serves when choosing a movie. I felt some things could have been better handled in this production. But I don#146;t think many viewers are expecting this to be Academy Award material. While leaving the theater, I overheard a gentleman say, #147;Now that#146;s a good, clean movie.#148; And you know what? That#146;s really the review. While it has its faults (so does just about every film other than #147;Casablanca#148;), #147;The Fighting Temptations#148; fills a void left by many of today#146;s comedies; entertainment without incessant coarse humor. And that music. I want the score! PG-13 (2 fairly mild obscenities and three or four expletives, but no harsh or profane language; a couple of sexual conversations, but mild by today#146;s film standards; Beyonce sings a sensual rendition of Peggy Lee#146;s #147;Fever#148; and there is a scene where two men stare at a woman in short shorts). Phil Boatwright publishes The Movie Reporter, a weekly film review guide from a family perspective. Check out his website at www.moviereporter.com . Know Before You Go Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Published by C. C. Publications Philip Boatwright, Editor, Box 7178, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359 copy; 2003 C.C. Publications. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. Article: Major Movie Presents Gospel Message Philip Boatwright It seems I#146;m always falling short of being worthy. But He still loves me. That#146;s an amazing lyric to be heard in a comic movie produced by MTV Films and Paramount Studios. What#146;s more, those dynamic words are being sung by Destiny#146;s Child lead singer Beyonceacute;. The song is sung in a church, backed by members of a gospel choir, in pure dedication to our Lord and Savior. #147;Did you say Paramount Studios? MTV?? Beyonceacute;???#148; Yep. Movie-going audiences are in for an unexpected treat this September 19th when the new comedy The Fighting Temptations hits movie screens. The previous lyric is in the moving He Still Loves Me , sung by Beyonceacute; and Walter Williams, Sr. (of the O'Jays). And it#146;s only one of several gospel offerings supplied by the likes of Shirley Caesar, Ann Nesby, Faith Evans, Melba Moore and Christian rap artist T-Bone. Audiences who follow Destiny#146;s Child or hip hop artists such as P.Diddy and Faith Evens, may also be astonished to hear songs proclaiming Jesus, he loves you so and I#146;m getting ready to meet the Lord . Paramount Studios and MTV Films are releasing this musical comedy about a New York yuppie who returns to his childhood home in rural Georgia where he expects to inherit a sizeable financial endowment. The catch? In order to collect the cash, he has to take over his aunt's dismal church gospel choir. And although he has no musical ability himself, he struggles to unify the members of the small black Baptist choir and lead them to success in an upcoming gospel competition. The film stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. ( Jerry Maguire ) and Beyonceacute; ( Austin Powers in Goldmember ). Neither of these stars, nor most of the supporting cast, which includes the usually bombastic Mike Epps, is often associated with Gospel messages. But both the film and those that participated in its production are surprising. #147;I grew up in church. But when I was 12 years old we started going to a another church where I experienced the power of gospel music,#148; says hot singing sensation Beyonceacute; Knowles. #147;I joined that choir for two years and this film was like going back there. There#146;s so much power in gospel music. These songs are full of rejoicing and happiness. They lift your spirit,#148; she continues, her face beaming. The film#146;s producer, Loretha Jones, also grew up in church. She began her entertainment career first through her legal background, then moving into co-producing projects such as the Spike Lee-directed School Daze . Soon her interests led her into producing other films including The Five Heartbeats, Meteor Man and the television series The Parenthood . #147;My grandmother was sort of the music teacher at our church. I grew up listening to the likes of Shirley Caesar,#148; says Ms. Jones. #147;Our film begins in the 1980s. At that time, gospel was much more traditional. And Shirley Caesar sort of epitomizes that traditional sound. I just had to have her start the movie off.#148; Jones continues, #147;As gospel has evolved over the past twenty years, it was important to try to find a way to evolve the music along with the choir. So with hip-hop artists and Beyonceacute; involved, you have a more contemporary feel. #147;If you have any sort of message in your film, which we do, you can get it across better if you#146;re not hitting them over the head with it. I felt if I didn#146;t incorporate some contemporary rhythms, beats and sounds into the gospel, it wouldn#146;t feel authentic to members of the audience who follow Beyonceacute; or Angie Stone, or hip hop.#148; Actress Latanya Richardson, who plays the film#146;s antagonist, Paulina Pritchett, is also a Christian and churchgoer. #147;I grew up in church. And I#146;ve seen some people who were like Paulina. You wondered how they can do that or say that and still be a Christian. But in finding the truth of who she was, I gained an understanding and knew that despite her faults, she had a personal relationship with God,#148; she states. #147;There are positive examples of what a Christian is supposed to be in our little film, but you need to show faulty people. That#146;s what salvation is all about,#148; says Ms. Richardson. Richardson, who in real life is married to Samuel L. Jackson, further states, #147;I#146;m interested in doing a movie with a strong Christian message, but how we live together and the choices we make are the basic messages of this film.#148; Hip-hop and gospel artist, T-Bone, was the most outspoken when it came to his faith and the purpose of his music. #147;There is so much negativity in rap music. But what we have to remember is that music in general was not created by Satan. It was created by God, Himself. Music was intended to give God glory, no matter what kind of music it was. The devil has perverted much of it, turning it around and using it to his glory. I#146;m trying to take it back from the enemy and use it for its original purpose #150; to lift up the name of Christ.#148; When asked where his life was going before he met Christ, T-Bone succinctly states, #147;Straight to Hell.#148; He continued, touchingly with, #147;One of my best friends was shot and killed in a gang related incident. As he was lying in the grass, twitching in his blood, he told those standing over him, #145;tell everyone to wear red at my funeral.#146; He died for that color. And I knew I was going to end up like that. I knew I needed to turn my life around. My parents are pastors. I went to their church and accepted the Lord into my life. And that#146;s when I became a #145;redeemed hoodlum.#146;#148; T-Bone strongly, but without hostility points out, #147;Don#146;t put God in a box. Don#146;t say he can#146;t use this music. God can use whatever He chooses.#148; He then adds, #147;I want to point people to Jesus Christ. There are so many people searching. They#146;re involved in drugs, in gangs, in pornography, in unfaithful relationships. I want them to know that the fulfillment to that emptiness they#146;re trying to fill is Jesus. Some youth group leaders may be nervous over the PG-13 content (two fairly mild obscenities and three or four expletives, but no harsh or profane language; a dance number to the song #147;Fever#148; is somewhat suggestive, but it is the only song done in such a style; there are a couple of coarse conversations referring to a woman#146;s backside from one comic sidekick, but mild by today#146;s film standards). The filmmakers, however, do their best to present a modern-day story that both a young audience and older filmgoers can appreciate, one that entertains without the bombardment of obscenity and crudity found in the majority of today#146;s comedies. While the film is not without its artistic shortcomings, the pure joy of the Gospel music makes for a fun night at the cinema. Certainly, it is impossible to find any film not guilty of some objectionable word or deed, but #147;The Fighting Temptations#148; struggles valiantly to offer up positive messages. It blends together traditional music such as Love Me Like a Rock , and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot with newer takes on the genre, including rap. But fear not hip-hop haters, To Da River , sung by T-Bone, may be one of the most joyous, entertaining, masterfully done pieces of music you are likely to hear. Yes, but is the Gospel preached in this film? I come back to the lyrics in He Still Loves Me. It seems I#146;m always falling short of being worthy. But He still loves me. Ain#146;t that the Gospel?! The Fighting Temptations opens nationwide, September 19th and the soundtrack is now in stores. For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
Icon"Secondhand Lions" Movie Review Know Before You Go Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Philip Boatwright, Editor Secondhand Lions. Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Kyra Sedgwick (now there's a cast for ya). New Line Cinema. Comedic adventure/fable. WD-Tim McCanlies. 9/19/03 The opening scene has Mae (Kyra Sedgwick), a struggling divorcee who's completely inept at motherhood, driving her introverted 14-year-old son Walter (Haley Joel Osment) through rural Texas. Much to the boy's surprise, he is being taken to meet and stay on with two crusty old great uncles (Michael Caine and Robert Duvall), while dear old Mom goes off to court stenographer school - or so she tells the boy. It's a klutzy scene. Osment, now going through that awkward stage with voice changes and facial features not quite settled, seems uncomfortable not just with his character's fate but with his dialogue as well. I was alarmed. Was this going to be another PG movie that we were to accept as quality family fare simply because there's no bad language? I actually uttered to myself, "Uh-oh." How glad I was the moment Robert Duvall and Michael Caine appeared, assuring us almost immediately that the characters were not going to be cartoonish, but complex and interesting. And how glad I am to report that "Secondhand Lions" quickly becomes one of the funniest, most charming and uplifting films of the year. Set in early 1960s Texas, a quiet boy, abandoned for the summer on the farm of his unusual uncles, learns about their exotic and mysterious pasts as the men become role models and help the boy become a man. As the story develops, Walter begins to take interest in the past lives of his uncles. During their youth, both men had great adventures. A teller of tales, which we are not sure are truth or imagined, Garth mesmerizes young Walter with the exploits of the brothers, which involves a love story with an exotic beauty and chronicles of derring-do. The Arabian Nights-styled accounts fascinate Walter and at the same time represent some of the lessons that the uncles are trying to teach him - what it is that a man does and how a man comports himself. How do I describe Hub and Garth McCaan (Duvall and Caine)? Gruff, eccentric, old, none of those one-word descriptions seems adequate. For if any characters in recent cinema history have grasped the Big Picture of life, it's these two ol' boys. While it is a word critics too often rely upon, delightful best describes these two veteran actors and the men they are portraying. Duvall's Hub could easily be the descendant of "Lonesome Dove's" Augustus McCrae and the more benign Garth (Caine) is a moral version of Peachy from "The Man Who Would Be King." The two actors make few if any false moves. They do so much with a mere glance, using dialogue only as a last resort in an effort to express their intensions and moods. So versatile are Caine and Duvall that it would have been a simple task for them to switch roles, bringing equal integrity to either part. And though Duvall's Hub may seem the flashier of the two, Caine is never outgunned by his costar. Gone is his familiar cockney dialect, replaced by a believable, if hard to locate, southern accent. There is gentleness in his speech and movement that adds a dimension to the old codger character that many actors would have left out. Both actors inhabit their parts with empathy that never becomes maudlin. They find life amusing, because they have lived it and learned not to take things too seriously. They aren't silly. What makes them fun and funny is that they ignore the absurdities that still puzzle those around them. Once past that clumsy opening scene, Osment also shines in a role that calls for him to be part Poindexter, part Hardy Boy. In "The Sixth Sense," Osment impressed because he revealed a quality found only in the best of the best - an ability to transmit a revelatory look into the mind and soul of his creation. Few actors are able to say so much with their eyes as this young thespian. You know just exactly what he's thinking. What's more he's always developing thoughts that are profound even when dealing with simplistic ideas. Here his Walter's young life has been marked by broken promises. He desperately needs to believe in something. While on his journey to manhood, Walter gets to wrestle a lion, introduce his gun-happy relatives to the sport of skeet shooting, and discover a cellar full of loot. After he comes to love his uncles, a question arises as to how their fortune has been accumulated. Was it from an African prince who admired them as honorable adversaries, or did the two just rob a bank, as rumored by money grabbing distant kin? Are their stories true or just fables? Are they men of honor, or just loveable rogues? Young Walter discovers that to believe, you must have faith. (Hmmm.) The film deals with the boy learning life lessons and we are reminded of the importance of a father figure upon a child's development. Many religious folk may at first be disappointed that as Hub describes what's truly important in life - courage, honor, and virtue - a reverence for God is not verbally included. But in the scene, and throughout the rest of the film, faith in things unseen subtly becomes evident. You've heard the phrase, "This movie has something for everyone." This film certainly lives up to that credo. While it's a rite-of-passage for young people, it also addresses issues for the elderly. A bit "Stand By Me," a pinch of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and a smidgen of "Princess Bride," "Secondhand Lions" borrows from classic coming-of-age movies while adding its own charm. It is a great outdoor adventure for the entire family. PG (26 expletives, mostly "damns" and "hells," but I caught no harsh or profane language; one use of the expression "By God"; shotguns are used to frighten off wearisome traveling salesmen and used instead of fishing poles (hilarious); after Hub beats the daylights out of some young hoodlums who taunt him (a fight scene, but handled with humor) he takes the young men home, feeds them, patches them up and then gives them a speech about becoming a man that actually connects with the young toughs). For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
Icon"The Legend of Johnny Lingo" Movie Review Know Before You Go Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective Philip Boatwright, Editor As a baby, Tama washed up on the shores of a South Seas island, but as a boy he's been labeled a bad-luck troublemaker and shunned by the entire village. His only real friend is Mahana, an unloved and unwanted ugly duckling whom the other village girls tease mercilessly. Tama finally decides to seek a better life and leave the island on acanoe he built, but promises to return one day for his friend. His travels take him to the home of the famous sea trader Johnny Lingo, and there Tama grows to be a man of honor and virtue. Under the tutelage of the fatherly Johnny Lingo, Tama learns about sacrifices needed in the name of love. Eight years later he returns for Mahana - but will she take him back? The budget was small, there were no name stars, indeed the acting won#146;t garner Oscar attention, yet #147;The Legend of Johnny Lingo,#148; much like the little engine that could, is very determined. It struggles to entertain despite its shortcomings. With its pristine Polynesian locales and simple yet engaging story, the film becomes captivating. It#146;s a small film that very likely will go to video quickly, but in a summer season where most cineplexes rumble with aggressive fantasies that do little else other than go boom, the gentle little film is a treasure. #147;The Legend of Johnny Lingo#148; is a satisfying, eye-catching family adventure. G (I found nothing objectionable, but parents beware, our young hero and his only friend are put-upon throughout the film. People say the most unkind things to them, including the girl#146;s drunken father, who ignores his daughter whenever he#146;s not telling her how worthless she is. But by film#146;s end, many of these folks learn how special these two are, including the father, who we discover has deadened himself to the world through alcohol due to the loss of his beloved wife in childbirth. Like characters in countless Dickens' tales, these children take much verbal abuse, but they survive. The film sends a message that while you can survive bad behavior from others, it#146;s necessary to find someone who believes in you and cares for you. People, like everything else in nature, must be nurtured). #147;A great outdoors adventure for the entire family#148; For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
IconA "Batty" Adventure By Patricia Chadwick patti@parentsandteens.com I#146;m about to tell you a true story in the life of my family. It#146;s a story of courage #150; staringdanger in the face and doing something about it. It#146;s about looking out for each other; watching each other#146;s back. It#146;s about a mom and two nutty teens trying to rid theirhouse of a very unwelcomed guest#133;a bat! It was 11:00 at night and my husband was gone on an overnight trip. I was settling into bed and my two teens, David (15) and Jeni (17) were settling in also. Next thing I know, David comes running into my room. Breathlessly he exclaims, #147;There is a bat in the house!#148; At first, I didn#146;t believe him. Baby D, as we lovingly call my 15 year old, loves to play practical jokes on me. When he#146;s not joking, he#146;s usually exaggerating. So I calmly replied, #147;Okay, what did it look like?#148; As I continued flipping through the pages of my magazine. #147;What did it look like? Duh. You know, a black thing with wings#133;that flies through the air. It was huge. It flew over my head and then out my bedroom door.#148; #147;Are you sure it wasn#146;t a moth that looked really big in the shadows?#148; (We tend to get a lot of moths in the house). #147;Mom! It is a bat!#148; So I told him to calm down. I had to think. Now, I generally think of myself as a very independent woman. I know how to take care of myself and my family. But this was different. We are talking about a flying creature, here, stuck in my house. What would I do? I hate bats. To be honest, I more than hate them. Bats freak me out. I suppose I should be used to them by now. It seems we get at least one bat in the house every summer, but my darling husband is always home to take care of them! The first time we ever got a bat in the house, we were in bed at night sleeping. I woke up and saw the shadows of the bat flying in my bedroom and my cat was trying to catch it. I screamed, #147;Bat!#148;, flipped on the light, ran out the door, slamming it shut and leaving my half-dazed husband in the bedroom with the bat flying around his head. I proceeded to lock myself in the bathroom. So as you can see, I wasn#146;t going to be much help here. Good thing I trained my teens to think for themselves#133;because I certainly wasn#146;t thinking clearly. My son assured me that he#146;d protect me. But just to be safe we better get his sister, to help. #147;Jennnnnnni! There#146;s a bat in the house#133;help!!!! Since bats are known rabies carriers, we had the foresight to protect ourselves. We all put on pullover sweatshirts with hoods. And believe me, the hoods were up. We also decided we needed weapons. So we each grabbed a tennis racket, David grabbed a baseball bat, and Jeni grabbed a roll of wrapping paper. Yes, wrapping paper. When fear is involved, rational thought flies out the window! So we were set for our quest to find the bat. We were really quite a sight, clad in our hoods and armed to the hilt. I mustered the courage to lead the troops, tennis racquet in hand, swinging wildly in front of me#133;just incase the bat was anywhere in the vicinity. We looked in all the bedrooms and the bathroom. We checked curtains and closets. No bat. We went down the stairs to the main floor of our home and checked the living room, dining room, front porch (it didn#146;t matter that the door was shut.) No bat. We proceeded to the basement, turning on all the lights and checking the entire area. No bat. My daughter and I turned on my son. #147;Are you SURE you saw a bat? We think you were seeing things!#148; But my son insisted, #147;There was a bat! It flew over my head.#148; As they walked into the kitchen, the kids screamed. The bat was hanging upside down on one of my kitchen cupboards. That threw me for a loop. Every time I saw my husband take down a bat, it was flying and he used the tennis racquet to knock it down. But this stupid bat was latched on to my cupboard. #147;Okay,#148; I whispered, #147;NOW what do we do?#148; First, I got close to make sure it WAS a bat. My eyes aren#146;t what they used to be. It was indeed a bat. But it just sat there. My kids decided to turn this into a science lesson. #147;Do bats hear?#148; #147;Can they see in the light?#148; #147;Will it attack us?#148; Geesh. Are we city folk or what? My son then piped up with, #147;Is it a Vampire bat?#148; After hearing that last question I decided that my kids watch too many movies. I approached the bat with the tennis racket ready to hit it, but I just couldn#146;t do it. I was afraid I#146;d break the cupboard door or, worse yet, it would fly in my face. My son said, #147;I#146;ll do it#148; and as he started forward I screamed, #147;No, don#146;t#148;. I hate to admit it, but I was almost paralyzed by fear. If we couldn#146;t do this ourselves, we needed a Plan B. So our next thought was, #147;Who can help?#148; I thought of calling the police, but my son just laughed at me. #147;Who#146;d call 911 because a bat was in their house?#148; Obviously I would. Then I thought of our new neighbors. Some young adults moved in across the street and a young man lived there. My daughter voted against that one. She#146;d rather sleep in the house with the bat then ask this guy to help. What if his girlfriend was there? She#146;d feel like a baby. Jeni then suggested the older gentleman across the street (you know, ancient#133;my age). He was a more fatherly figure; so she didn#146;t have to worry about losing her cool. I went outside to see who had lights on, but felt so childish that I couldn#146;t take care of this myself. I went back in. We were back to square one#133; #147;What are we gonna do???#148; My daughter, the outgoing one of the family, decided to take the matter into her own hands. SHE would go get the neighbor. She dashed across the street clad in her wacky PJ#146;s which consisted of a long t-shirt and a pair of her dad#146;s boxers. She rang the bell and meekly told the neighbor our dilemma. #147;My dad is gone and we have a bat in the house. Can you come and help us and kill it?#148; Poor guy. What could he say. So Dan trudged over across the street to our house to assess the situation. #147;What do you have to capture it with?#148; #147;Tennis racquets and a Tupperware container. That#146;s about it.#148; He came in the kitchen and stared at the bat. #147;Yep, it#146;s a bat.#148; Seeing that the #147;men#148; didn#146;t need us at this point, my daughter I ran out the door and hid behind the van in our driveway. In a matter of seconds Dan and my son came out with the bat caught between two tennis racquets. They tossed it into the grass and then it flew away. Then they walked toward us with a swagger. #147;Well, that#146;s taken care of#133;#148; We thanked our neighbor profusely and I assured my son that he was very manly, even though we needed another man#146;s help. We tried to settle back into bed. It was tough. #147;Can I sleep in your room?#148; asked David. #147;Sure#133;just keep the door shut#133;just in case.#148; Jeni didn#146;t feel the need to sleep with us#133;until one in the morning when I heard my door creak open. David I both screamed. It was just Jeni, not the bat. *whew* #147;I can#146;t sleep#133;can I come in here?#148; So there we spent a rather restless night. We jumped at every noise and laughed about our zany antics as we tried to get rid of the bat. And we thanked God for a friendly neighbor. We were sure glad when Dad came home. Tonight we can sleep in peace. Patti Chadwick is a freelance writer and creator of two websites: www.parentsandteens.com is geared to help parents connect with their teens; www.historyswomen.com is an online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievementsof women throughout history. Visit her online and sign up for her FREE newsletters! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
IconUntil Kids Do Us Part Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2003 "I love being an at-home mom," says Lee, a 30-something with a couple of boys, ages 2 and 5. "I love the rewards of children. But I feel like it will be an eternity before I get my husband back, all to myself. "We have a very wonderful and solid marriage, but with little ones around, all our conversations are hurried and interrupted." Lee misses quiet walks and spur-of-the-moment getaways, and when she heard some friends were going on an exotic vacation - again - her heart sank. "What I wouldn't give to spend a week all alone with my husband, to savor the joy of being married. I would revel in the opportunity to lay on a beach somewhere and watch the sun go down, momentarily leaving the cares and worries of life behind." But she's a stay-at-home mom. There's no money for exotic vacations. There's hardly enough money for a movie! "People tell me that this time passes quickly, but right now it feels like a life sentence," Lee admits. "I strive to find the joy in the little things that I do to serve my family. And most days I am successful." She still misses quality time with her husband, though. I'm sure there are lots of women nodding their heads as they read Lee's words. It's easy for our relationships to get off-balance, especially when children are very young. Babies and toddlers are so high maintenance! The good news is, it does get easier as they get older. Preschoolers are easier than toddlers; 6-year-olds are easier than 4-yearolds. The bad news is it may be MONTHS before the current stage eases. So what to do? If I can't head to the islands with my lover, what's Plan B? "Bump time with your husband up on the priority list," suggests Nina, a Canadian stay-at-home mom. "Keep him in mind as you survey the different areas of your life. Some things about having a busy, young family you can't change, but others you can. "It's said so much that now it's a clicheacute;, but PLAN IT IN! If you get too caught up in the day to day, you'll never have time to relax, grow, have fun, etc. You know in your heart that if you neglect yourself, you and your family will suffer for it." "Make sure the kids are getting to bed at a decent hour so that you and your husband have some time together in the evenings." Note Nina's key phrase "decent hour". Wait until you're exhausted, and you slip into a coma instead of into something comfortable. "Write notes to each other. I tape little notes inside my husband's lunch pail." Get out of the house and away from the kids. "When you visit relatives, take advantage of it," Nina advises. Let them enjoy the youngsters while you and your spouse go spend time together. "Brainstorm with your husband about other ideas such as these that you can incorporate into your life to ease some of the struggles."Where there's a will, there's a way. Stand still in the swirling storm of diapers, tricycles and Beanie Babies. Look your husband in the eye, tell him you love him, and join forces. You'd be surprised how many creative ideas a motivated couple can develop in carving out time together. And the children will ultimately benefit, too, as that primary relationship in the home - between husband and wife is given the nourishment it needs to grow and shine. Get more family-friendly ideas from Cheryl's "Stay-at-Home Handbook: Advice on Parenting, Finances, Career, Surviving Each Day More", available at your favorite bookstore . For an autographed copy, visit http://www.gospelcom.net/homebodies/bookstore/orderSAHH.php . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/07/2010
IconStay-At-Home Checkup Homebodies www.homebodies.org By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2003 If you're like most stay-at-home parents, you put a lot of time and energy into planning your move from the office to home. You lined out reasons for making the change, gathered the support of family and friends, and got your finances under control so you could ease into your new lifestyle. Likewise, you've probably given considerable thought to moving back into the workforce someday, after the kids are older and you're ready to pick up your briefcase again. Great - you've got the past and the future covered. But what about now? Every six months or so, I suggest couples sit down and take an objective look at how things are going. It's very common to go through a honeymoon period when Mom first comes home. You're reconnecting with your children, enjoying time with your husband, and feeling the relief of working a single full-time job instead of two (one at work and one at home). But then the stresses start seeping in. Money gets a bit tight; former co-workers call less frequently. There's no one to relieve you from the colicky baby, the kids are squabbling more than you expected and your husband's focus is once again on projects at work (instead of your adventure at home). You can't seem to get ahead of the housework, or you're all caught up and don't know what to do next. Frustrations build until you realize you're one unhappy mom and Oreos have become your new best friend. Stop! Step away from the Haagen-Dazs and ask a friend or relative to watch your kids for a few hours so you and your husband spend some quiet time together. It's time for a "checklist chat". STAY-AT-HOME CHECKLIST Why are you home? Why does your husband think you're home? What do you love about being a stay-at-home mom? What does heappreciate most about your arrangement? What frustrates you? What is he uncomfortable with? Do you need to revise the way you're handling money? How can your husband help you be more successful as anat-home parent? How can you make him feel more secure? Which friendship would you most like to cultivate? Schedule ablock of time each week when Mom will be "off the clock", free from household and childcare responsibilities. Mark your calendars for another checklist chat in about sixmonths. Comments? Email Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit www.homebodies.org to read more articles relating to at-home parenting. Copyright 2003 Cheryl Gochnauer. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Make an Appointment
Stay Connected
or connect at a place below
Normal Gear
Latest Poll
What is your biggest fear when you are involved in a small talk conversation with people you don't know?
Saying the wrong thing
Not remembering names
Not being able to make a clean get away
Not knowing what to talk about
Archives  |  Results
Programs
About Dr. Laura
Letters
E-mail of the Day
From Listeners
Audio & Video
YouTube Videos
Stay at Home
Parenting
Relationships
Simple Savings
Work at Home
Tip of the Week
Subscription
Membership
Help & Support
Family Premium Help Center
Podcast Help
Contact Us
Legal
Terms of Use
© 2015 DrLaura.com. Take on the Day, LLC
Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
Powered By Nox Solutions