Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This and that

Our family's news right now is that Peter is back onstage after a 6-year hiatus! He's going to be in a local Easter production that retells the life of Christ. We brought the boys to see it two years ago, and they were really moved, even at their young ages.

It's a very well-done production, and usually sells out for the five shows they offer. Peter auditioned, and was cast in the role of Jesus. I'm so excited for the boys to be able to see their dad in the show this time, and I just love hearing Peter sing a solo. He would never type this on the blog, but he has a truly incredible singing voice. Our friend Kim is also in the show, so we have two good reasons to see it this year.

I'm going to take Anya Rashi to part of the dress rehearsal, since she will definitely not be able to make it through the entire show. If Peter is singing or making an announcement up front at our church, she yells "Daddy!!! Daddy!!" and announces "All done!" in the quiet when the song ends. That will probably not be appreciated during the show. :o)

In other news, we have been having lots of fun outside and inside. After an unusually cold winter, it's finally staying warm enough after it snows so that the kids can play outside. We've had lots of fun, and are thrilled to discover that our sons are now old enough to actually be helpful with shoveling. Up until this year, it had been more of a search-and-destroy mission with a shovel -- there was as much snow left on the sidewalk after shoveling as there was before, it was just rearranged.

Indoors last weekend, the kids played dolly hospital. Anya started by laying all the babies on the couch to feed and read to them, and give them a bottle and medicine. Aaron and Nathan decided to make it a bit more dramatic by pretending they were surgeons. The overturned laundry basket became a surgical table, and various kitchen tools were the instruments. A few paper napkins taped to everyone's faces, and they were ready to operate!

Hooray for Smile Pinki and Slumdog Millionaire! For the first time in years, I stayed up to watch the entire Oscars ceremony, and it was worth the wait to find out these two films won. It was unexpectedly moving to see Indian faces up on the award stage many times that night.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Indian movie to root for at the Oscars . . .

My sister told me about another Indian movie nominated for an Oscar. It is called Smile Pinki, and is a documentary about a young Indian girl. Pinki was born with a cleft palate, and the film is about her being discovered by a doctor who arranged for corrective surgery that dramatically changed her life.

To read about the film, click here:

In other news, we have zero photos to post because our healthy streak this winter has ended with a vengeance! In the past three weeks, Nathan and Anya Rashi have had a stomach bug, and then Aaron came down with a fever and persistent cough . . . that he passed along to the other kids and Peter. Anya Rashi had been coughing the past few days, and just got the fever today.

So that's why there are no pictures lately . . . unless you want to see photos of floppy, housebound children. :o) Poor things -- Aaron missed a Civil War reenactor's visit to their class, Nathan missed his Valentine party, and both boys missed their Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet tonight. Hopefully, we will get back to normal sometime this week!

Friday, February 13, 2009

We finally saw the movie!

After a few tries thwarted by sick kids and a cancelled babysitter, we finally got to see Slumdog Millionaire. I have mixed feelings about the movie. I have read many reviews that referred to it as a "feel good" movie. Although it has a happy ending, I didn't think that description was completely accurate.

On one hand, I totally loved the movie's compelling story, and the tenacity of Jamal's love for Latika. I also love a story about an underdog who triumphs. I thought the story was told masterfully, and I loved the plot device using flashbacks related to the questions on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The child actors were especially amazing, and Peter was nodding in recognition at the scenes of Mumbai, a city he has visited a few times.

(As a total side note, I was amused by the scene in which one brother fills water bottles with tap water and glues them closed to sell to unsuspecting customers. We read in our guide books to watch out for this. :o)

I was torn, though, about the depictions of the self-identified "orphanage," which was really not an orphanage at all, but a crime scheme. I felt really defensive on behalf of the dedicated people who took such good care of Anya Rashi for almost a year, and on behalf of the Indian parents I've met at my sons' school. I was wondering what they thought of the movie's depiction of their home country, and whether it reflected their own experiences or not.

What I hope is that people who see the film are moved by the plight of street children and orphans everywhere . . . I hope many more people will consider sponsoring children, supporting charities that serve children, and adopting children whose future will otherwise be very bleak.

After we came home, Peter found an article in the UK's Daily Mail about the "beggar mafia" in Mumbai who really do maim children so they will earn more while begging. Sadly, this part of the movie was not invented for shock value. Here's the link:

For those of you who have seen Slumdog, what did you think?