Save our Dad

7/12/2016 Laura Watkins 2 Comments

We've moved! Read this post and more on my new website.

Den in 2008 vs July 2016
Our dad/granpda/father-in-law, Den, was the sole caretaker for his disabled wife for years (literally, since before I met him in 2001) until she passed away last year.

Donna (left) and her mother, Myrtle (right)
Amazingly, during that time, he also cared for his 99 year old mother-in-law when she was unable to live on her own. This angel of a man endured back breaking labor and fatigue for years, always giving a brief shrug to our concerns. He insisted that Erik and Ryan (his two sons) continued their education and lives in Utah as planned.

When Donna, passed away, Den fell into a deep depressive state. Us living in Utah while he lives in California, we could only guess that things were not going very well. We had no idea. Over the phone, he'd mentioned that he had some health problems and was lonely but... We had a strong feeling that we needed to see him to really know what was going on, especially since he's not one to complain.

Den last month (before he lost another 10 or so lbs) and his newest grandbaby
This last week, we finally were able to come visit. What we saw left us in shock! Just a shell of the tall, Haiwiian shirt-wearing man we know and love, he'd lost more than 20 lbs in the past 2 months alone (when he didn't have anything spare to lose). His strong back is hunched over, his cheeks hollow, one lung has shut down almost completely, and he's barely able to eat. On top of it all, he told me that it was all his own fault for not taking better care of himself when he was so sad his wife was gone.

It didn't take Erik and I long to decide that we need to move our family of five here to take care of him.

Our dad literally gave his good health to care for his wife until her dying day. It's time we took care of him!
Our children, 3 of 5 of Den's grandchildren
That's where you come in. We're willing and able to care for him and help him recover his health but getting there is financially impossible for our young family. Please consider donating or sharing this to help us relocate so we can give this wonderful man the care he deserves and allow him to be nearer to some of his grandchildren!

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    Captain America: Civil War Spoiler Free Review and Parental Guide

    7/01/2016 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

    We've moved! Read this post and more on my new website.

    I finally got to see Captain America: Civil War, so of course it's time for another Spoiler Free Review and Parental Guide. :)

    I had mixed feelings going into this because movies like Iron Man 2, 3 were really disappointing, and, while Avengers 2 was pretty good, it wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be. Captain America: Civil War actually surprised me!
    While it wasn't exactly the party/dance off I would have loved (it was really dramatic and action heavy) it was still entertaining. 

    Captain America: Civil War Spoiler Free Review

    Overall, I'd say that Captain America: Civil War had it all: action, humor, drama, fun, etc. Definitely worth watching in the theater!

    The Good
    • While this movie was full of drama (it had to be for all the Avengers to be fighting each other), the comedy had me laughing like crazy. 
    • They tied in elements from other movies. This is something I really love about Marvel movies—they're so good at incorporating different characters, events, references, etc., making it all one continuing series and a cohesive universe. 
    • It had heart. Without spoiling it, I will say that the reasons behind their Civil War and the emotions we see/feel throughout the movie are compelling.

    • New Characters. While some of the new characters were underplayed and much too briefly included, I absolutely loved Black Panther. He's been one of my favorites for years (I even named one of our pets T'Challa after him), so I was nervous but excited to see what they did with him. He is so much of what I was hoping for!

    I also loved Spider-Man! It actually made me look forward to seeing his upcoming movie (which is a big deal for me because Sony's had me Spider-Manned-out for a while now with all their garbage). He was funny, lovable, and more true to the comic version—exactly what I wanted to see in the last few Spider-Mans with one exception (see spoiled part below my Parental Guide).

    The Bad
    • Too much action. I know it's a superhero movie, lots of action is a given, but there was just too much fighting and not enough plot. 
    • A bit redundant in parts. Again, It felt like they squeezed in a bit of story here and there and focused on the action instead of plot and character development. Not too much more I can say about that without spoiling it (which I will do below the Parental Guide). 

    Parental Guide

    Language: There was quite a bit more profanity in this movie compared to the other Avengers movies. While most of it is minor, there are several instances of heavier profanity, especially the "S word".

    Violence: Pretty heavy on the violence. I'm not letting my younger two kids watch it, but I think it's fine for my 12 year old. The violence was more realistic since it was all human vs human style fighting, including a lot of punching—you see a lot of black eyes, bloodied lips, etc. The violence is even a bit scary at times. This might be especially hard for younger children to watch as you see heroes fighting each other and don't know how far they will go to stop each other.

    Sexual Content: Unlike the Iron Man movies, there was no sex or sexual content in Captain America: Civil War, which I really appreciated.

    Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

    Can we just take a moment to appreciate the humor in this movie? I mean, half the time, I was having trouble breathing because I was laughing so much!

    And Spider-Man? Ahaha! LOVED him. For the most part, his personality was spot on:

    But what the heck was with Spidey not knowing Star Wars?? Everything else about him was perfect but our geeky Peter Parker would know Empire Strikes Back by heart. I know they were trying to be funny but that's one really shot holes in the credibility of their Spider-Man. 

    And what was up with Aunt May being like 30?? Not cool, Marvel. Not cool. 

    LOVED this part but decent person would tell someone that the love of their life had just died via text message??! Would've been so easy to have a quick phone call or even for him to pick up the phone, then show him at the funeral. Grrrr!

    Also, Peggy just died and he's getting together with her NIECE??? What the crud! Give us some time to move on here!

    Having Crossbones in the beginning was kind of fun, but it just seemed like he knew way too much without us getting to know him first. He almost defeated the Avengers and we didn't even know why until they blew him up...

    Poor Baron Zemo! He was quite diabolical, as he should have been, but they spent way too much time focusing on action scenes instead of giving him the character development that he needed. Zemo is one of Cap's major villains and he seemed more like an afterthought to me. Don't get me wrong, by the end of the movie, where T'Challa was talking to him, I did feel for the guy, but they just could have done so much more! It also seemed like a huge let down that he just killed the other super soldiers instead of using them for his cause, as was his M.O. in the movie...but that would probably have made for an even longer action-focused movie.

    Finally, we have Stan Lee's traditional cameo. Am I the only one who thought it seemed really forced? It seems like it should have been funny but I just didn't enjoy it.

    What are your thoughts about Captain America: Civil War?

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