Saturday, June 30, 2012

More Random Updates

So, things have been a little crazy around here lately (what else is new?). ;)  It's funny...things were supposed to be slowing down for a while here so that I could get a few "real" posts in, but it just hasn't happened!

One thing that unexpectedly came up was a huge neighborhood-wide yard sale that will be held a week from today.  I hadn't planned on doing a yard sale again anytime soon because they're so much work, but since everyone else is in charge of the advertising, and I do happen to have a lot of stuff I want to get rid of, it seemed like a logical idea to take part.  As a result, I've been spending these past few days de-cluttering my house and getting boxes of stuff ready to price.

On the same day as the yard sale, I'll be singing for a wedding (thankfully some of my extended family members decided to be part of the yard sale too, so things will still run smoothly while I'm I'll have babysitters for the girls!). :)  And then, the following Monday, the girls and I will be leaving for a 4 day trip.  We're heading to the Los Angeles area for a visit with friends.  

So, needless to say, the posting may be pretty scarce for a bit, aside from a few sale updates from the Disney Store or other places.  I'm planning on publishing my Media Musings posts within the next week, but I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to do any other posts before the yard sale and my trip.

Posts will most likely be a bit bleak on Jane Austen and Unicorns and Belle's Bulletins, too.  They have a difficult time posting when there are so many humans around. ;)  I'll see if I can get them to do at least a little update post to tide you guys over, though.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to let all of you know so that you're not worried if the posts aren't as regular as usual for a while. :)

And in case you're wondering, I haven't forgotten about my 2 year Blogoversary in July. :)  Stay tuned for a fun celebration on Tuesday, July 24th!  I'm not sure exactly what's happening yet, but I've started doing some brainstorming.  Additional ideas are welcome. :)

Also, a quick weight-loss update, for the purpose of being completely open and honest (and to help all of you out there remember that I'm human). ;)  This last week, I was up .8 pounds at my weigh-in.  Honestly, I"m not surprised.  After spending a week with my family and pretty much not counting points at all (along with performing minimal exercise), I'm amazed it wasn't more of a gain.  I'm still keeping on, though.  I've come so far...I'm not about to give up now!  I'm trying to really watch what I eat this week so that my next weigh-in is an improvement. :)  Of course, I got a $25 gift card to Red Lobster from my Prayer Pal at church  to use for my anniversary (if you're reading this, thank you so much!!), so that could pose a bit of a challenge.  Hmm, grilled shrimp on a skewer with rice or popcorn shrimp, shrimp pasta, and shrimp scampi (with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, at least one cheddar bay biscuit, and a yummy Caesar salad).  Maybe I can eat vegetables for the rest of the week to make up for it! ;)  Seriously, I won't be totally bad, but I'll probably splurge a bit.  The key is planning ahead and making it doable with my points. :)

I guess that's about all for now.  So far, Hubby isn't working today (Yay!), so we might try to do something together once he wakes up.  He's had a huge week and I pretty much didn't see him unless I stayed up till 11 pm each night.

Talk to all of you again soonish! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

10 Years (A Post Dedicated to Hubby)

Ten years ago, I married my friend and high school sweetheart.

Ten years ago, I wore a white dress that made me feel like Emma Woodhouse.  I wore a long, filmy veil behind my curls and flowers in my hair.  I did not wear shoes (best decision EVER), but my French pedicure and sparkly anklet made my feet feel elegant all the same.

Ten years ago, you wore a black tuxedo and looked very dashing indeed. ;)  You did wear shoes...until the end of the wedding, when you took them off and we ran down the aisle together.

Ten years ago, we were so glad that Mimi was willing to take our pictures for us, and so glad she didn't make us stay in place and smile for hours. ;)

Ten years ago, we were too full of butterflies to eat our wedding cake, even though it tasted delicious.  When we got to our reception, we almost turned around and ran because there were so many people there!  (It was slightly overwhelming). :}

Ten years ago, it took us almost 20 minutes to take all of the bobby pins out of my hair once we got to our hotel.  It took me three days to wash out all of the hairspray! ;)

Ten years ago, we ate a whole pizza in our hotel room.

Ten years ago, we strolled along the beach, toured a lighthouse, ate barbequed meat and salad, saw the fireworks for the Fourth of July, shopped at an antique store for Disney McDonald's toys, watched a day's worth of "The Planet's Funniest Animals", read through Song of Solomon in the Bible, and watched "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Avonlea".  You said that watching those two movies really helped you understand me a lot more. :)

Ten years ago, we dreamed about what the future would hold.

Today, I look back on all of those memories and can't believe that ten years have already gone by.

Today, I am so thankful for you.  Your love, your unending patience with my mistakes and flaws, the way you can always make me laugh when I'm in a bad mood, the way you think I'm still as beautiful as the day you met did I ever get so blessed?

Today, we have three beautiful daughters who love you just as much as I do.

Today, I realize that I never could have dreamed how much we would grow and change together.  We've both become better people and better followers of Christ just by knowing each other.

Today, I can't wait to see what the next 10 years will hold for us.

Happy Anniversary, Babe.  I love you! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Releases From American Girl

Late last night, American Girl released several new items.  While most of these are not in my budget at this time, it was fun to see the new things. :)  I won't put up photos of all of the new stuff, but I'll just touch on a few of my favorites.

First off, they finally changed the My AG Meet Outfit! :D  

Here is the new outfit.  I have to admit, I like the boots, but I don't think I would have chosen them to go with this outfit.  They would make great separates, though. :)  The shirt and skirt are separates, allowing for lots of mix and match options.  And yes, you are right...that happens to be the newest My AG doll modeling the outfit:  My AG #58! :)

She has an adorable Addy mold and sweet, soft ringlets.  I hope she's a good seller for them.  She certainly deserves it. :)

I also liked the My AG accessory set.  I would be tempted to buy this just for the hat, although it's a little spendy for that. ;)

There were several new outfits for the My AG line, as well as for the Bitty Babies.  I didn't include any photos of the BB stuff, but here are a few of my favorite My AG additions:

This is the Butterfly Garden PJ set.  I love the colors on this one.

I loved this new Volleyball set!  I used to play volleyball in junior high, and then I was the volleyball scorekeeper for our high school team, so this sport is close to my heart. :)

I liked this one too.  It's called the "Weekend Fun Outfit".  I love the colors in the top.

There were two new additions to the American Girl pet family:

An adorable bulldog named...Meatloaf.  Love the dog, not so fond of the name. ;)

The other addition was a revamped Licorice the cat.  Some of my online doll friends really didn't care for her new look, but I think she's pretty cute. 
One of the coolest yet waaaayyy expensive historical releases was Julie's Car Wash set.  Look at that perfect VW Bug!  Too bad it's $350. (choke, gasp)  That's over half of a month's school tuition for my girls. :} 

The 2012 girl of the year, McKenna, also got some new goodies:

Here's her "Performance Set"...

...and her "Team Gear".  I liked both additions, and I think they'll be especially fun for little girls with the Olympics right on the horizon. :)

One other thing that really impressed me about American Girl's new releases was their attempt to reach out to girls outside of what we think of as the typical demographic.  

You can now have a hearing aid added to your doll.  She goes to the doll hospital for a special fitting (they have to put a hole behind her ear to help it stay on), but the hearing aid is still removable.

The other new addition is the option of purchasing a wigless doll.  Now, little girls suffering from the effects of cancer can have a doll that looks just like them.  I applaud American Girl for this decision.

By comparison, this allergy-free lunch seems a little unimpressive.  But perhaps this will be an easy way for little girls with allergies, or their mothers, to explain to their friends why they have to be careful about the foods they eat.  For many girls, this is a day to day reality.  Why not give their dolls allergy-free food, too? 

I didn't include the picture, but there is also a service dog set for the AG pets, which goes along the same lines.  

I think American Girl's effort to include those with physical handicaps or health issues in their products is absolutely wonderful.  Growing up is hard enough when you blend in with everyone else.  It's even harder when you have a condition that others may not understand or want to talk about.  I think that these products would be a great way to start conversations and promote awareness of hearing loss, cancer, allergy problems, and blindness, a way to give our girls compassion and understanding for others.  No matter what our differences, we're all human beings, created and loved by God.  We don't have to be afraid just because someone is different.  

The only thing that would make it better would be if a portion of the proceeds from the sales of these special items went towards research in each coordinating category.  How cool would that be?

So that's a taste of most of the new items.  If you want to see all of them, you can visit  HERE is a link to most of the new MyAG stuff, and HERE you'll find McKenna's new things.  HERE'S a link to Julie's new things, and click HERE for more information about the doll hearing aids and wigless dolls (you can click on the tabs towards the bottom of the page). :)  

Which new releases are your favorites?  I'd have to say my favorites are Meatloaf, the new My AG, and the new My AG meet outfit and accessories.  How about you? :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Disney Princess Dolls are at! :D

Just like the title says, the newly designed Disney Princess fashion dolls are now available at!  You can see all of them HERE, but you'll have to scroll down the page a bit, as they kept all of the Brave dolls at the top. :)

The Prince dolls appear to be exactly the same, and the clothing/accessory sets appear to be the same aside from different packaging.  One thing that's a bit frustrating to me is that everything has gone up in price.  The Prince and Princess dolls and the clothing sets are now $14.50 each instead of $12.50 each, or 2 for $22 instead of 2 for $20.  I can understand about the Princess dolls...I'm sure having the extra poseable joints increases production cost.  But to have them raise the prices on the Prince dolls and the clothing sets, which haven't changed, is a bit frustrating and disappointing.  I know things are getting more expensive to make on the whole because of increased gas prices and things, so perhaps that's part of the price increase too.

Another thing I noticed was the new look of several of the princesses that can be seen on the newly released t-shirts and other items with screen art.  In the UK, the Disney Store has been releasing a special Princess charm bracelet with new charms every month.  The cardboard packaging for the charms featured the Disney Princesses with new hairstyles and dress variations.  I thought they were very pretty and wondered if these new looks would make it to the US.  Now they apparently have. :)  You can see what I mean by looking at  THIS T-SHIRT.  You can see all of the princesses on THIS T-SHIRT, but they're not as clear (you'll want to click on the zoom feature to get a closer look, and even then they're still a little fuzzy!).  Snow White and Aurora have very minor bow and hair changes.  Poor Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel got left out of the upgrade. :}  What do you think of the Princesses' new makeovers?   I really like Cinderella and Ariel's new looks, but I have to say that my favorite is probably Belle's (surprise, surprise!). ;)

Is anyone tempted to get one of the new princess dolls?  I have to admit, despite her severe eyebrows, I'm still thinking about adding Belle to my collection eventually. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Madame Alexander Play Wonder Dolls on Sale at Target

Hey everyone, just a quick post for now.  I was in my local Target the other day and saw that the Play Wonder dolls by Madame Alexander were on the end of the aisle and were on sale for $24.95 each.  This may possibly mean that they are phasing out the Play Wonder dolls.  Then again, they may just be trying to clear out their current stock.  I'm not sure if this is the case in every Target, but you might check yours, just in case.

I checked Target's site online, and three of the dolls are on clearance there, too.  In fact, those three dolls are the only Play Wonder items left available to purchase online.  The other dolls and all of the outfits are out of stock (although some are marked as "available in stores"), so this seems to confirm my suspicion that they may be phasing them out.  You can see them HERE.

I've had a lot of readers interested in this line, so I wanted to let everyone know. :)  For those of you who are unfamiliar with these dolls, you can read my review HERE.

Talk to you later, everyone! Be back soon. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mattel Special Sparkles Belle Doll Review

Okay, I'm starting to try to get through some of the posts that have been sitting around as draft posts for a while. :} I'm just about finished with my second Media Musings post, but as this is primarily a doll blog, I like to try to keep some space between my movie reviews so you guys don't get annoyed. ;)

A couple of months ago, I had a little spending money in my pocket and decided to peruse eBay to see what I could find. :)  There are still several Belle dolls that I've been keeping an eye out for to round out my boxed collection.  One of them was Mattel's "Special Sparkles Belle" from 1994.  She was part of the "Special Sparkles" series, which also included Snow White, Cinderella, and Jasmine.  While I was browsing, I found a Special Sparkles Belle, still in her box, for $24.99 Buy it Now with free shipping! :)  

I couldn't resist such a great price for something I'd been wanting for so long.  So, Special Sparkles Belle came to join my boxed Belle dollies. :D

Here she is in all of her boxed glory:

As you can see, her dress, jewelry, her eyes, and even the lining of her box are extra sparkly, in keeping with the theme.

Here's a view of the back of the box.

I adore this lovely bit of artwork on the front of the box. :)

Here's a close-up of all of the official info on the back of the box. 

Here's a closer look at her lovely face.  I was a bit disappointed that they made her eyes green (a common error in Disney Belle dolls.  Her eyes were brown in the'd think Disney and Mattel would be able to remember that.) ;)  Nevertheless, she is a beautiful doll and I'm very happy with her.

And here's another head shot just because I couldn't decide which one I liked better. ;)

I don't have any more pictures or details because I'm not planning on deboxing her.  I would highly recommend this doll for any Belle fan, though.  She's a wonderful, unique addition to my collection.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thoughts on "Brave"

Well, I ended up being able to go see "Brave" with my hubby after all tonight! :D  Happy Early Anniversary to us! ;)  I thought I'd share some of my thoughts about the movie while it was still fresh in my mind.

This is not the post I thought I'd be writing after seeing Pixar's latest installment.  I've come to expect the best from Pixar:  a solid story with a great message, beautiful animation, fairly clean content, and a few laughs.

Most of these things were present in Brave.  The music was lovely, the animation simply breathtaking (especially the scenery and Merida's hair!!  I heard they developed a special program just for all of those lovely red locks!).  The positive message of family, especially as it relates to mothers and daughters, was very touching and made me want to rush home and hug my own girls.

However, there were several issues I had with the movie that left me with mixed feelings as I plodded out of the theater.  Instead of leaving with a huge grin and marveling over an amazing movie, I was left to wade through my muddled thoughts to try to figure out how I really felt about the film.

Honestly, the story itself didn't seem as tightly wound as some of Pixar's previous films.  It's nothing I can put my finger on...just some parts seemed rushed and some parts didn't seem to gel.  It didn't click for me as much as some of their previous works.  This itself is not a huge problem, and it's possible I might not even feel the same way if I saw it a second time, now that I know what to expect.

As was mentioned in Plugged In's review, there was also a bit more crude humor in this one than there has been in the past.  I think the parts that disturbed me the most were the naked bottoms in one quick but still "blech" scene (Really?  Did you guys honestly think throwing in this cheap laugh was a good idea?  Come on, Pixar!  You're better than this!) and a quick joke involving ample cleavage.  There were a few other small things, but these two scenes were the most disappointing for me.  Like I mentioned, both are over in a matter of seconds, but I still wish they hadn't been included.

I also had a hard time with some of the early scenes between Merida and Queen Elinor.  The two exchange some heated, hurtful words, especially in one scene that's hard to watch as a mom.  Later, Merida tricks her mother in order to try to get her to change her mind about forcing Merida to do something she doesn't want to do.  The princess's thoughtless action unleashes unexpected tragedy as a result.

There is also a witch character who is played more for laughs than for fright, but she still comes across as a bit creepy, and one part involving the character is a little intense.  And for those of you who are not into magic and sorcery, you probably want to skip this film.  Potions are made, spells cast, and a deep, mysterious sense of "fate" and "magic" pervades the entire movie.

This may seem like a small thing to some, and I understand that it was played for laughs, but I have to admit it kind of bothered me the way Queen Elinor "wore the pants" in her relationship with King Fergus.  I realize there are many relationships like this out there, and I do appreciate that Fergus was not just portrayed as a buffoon.  However, I'm getting tired of the constant bombardment of the feminist movement in our movies and TV shows.  It's almost like men aren't allowed to be the strong leaders in the relationship anymore.

And finally, this movie had to be, without a doubt, the darkest, scariest Pixar film I've ever seen.  The "demon bear Mor'du" is one freaky critter!  I would have had nightmares for WEEKS if I'd watched this movie as a little girl from his parts alone!

But worse than the just plain scary parts are the scary parts packed with emotional intensity.  MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!  DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!!!  One of the things I disliked the most as a mom involved Queen Elinor's transformation.  Okay, so by now, between the previews and the marketing, we all know that the Queen changes into a bear, right?  But what we don't know until watching the film (unless you're reading this spoiler) is that during her time as a bear, there are instances where Elinor forgets her humanity altogether and even threatens her daughter.  I get it from a story point of view...I really do.  This frightening occurrence adds a desperation and intensity to the story, and makes it even more vital that Merida find a way to break the spell.  It also adds a huge emotional layer to Elinor's character as she comes out of her "bear mood" and realizes with horror what she's come close to doing.  But having a mother figure turn into something scary and menacing?  That's huge emotionally, especially for a movie that is mainly marketed for children.  It was difficult for me to watch as an adult...there's no way my daughters would be able to handle the emotional scariness of those scenes.  And let's not forget the scenes later on when Merida tries to convince her dad not to kill her mom (her dad is a mighty hunter and thinks the bear has killed the queen).  Once again, the emotional intensity of those scenes is pretty extreme.

Now, lest you think I despise the movie completely, I thought I'd share some of the things I liked about Brave.

First off, there are quite a few parts that are laugh-out-loud funny.  Pixar is great with comic timing, and this movie is no different.  Between King Fergus, the adorable but full-of-mischief triplets, and the hilarious lords of the land, there are some great scenes that Hubby and I heartily enjoyed.

Another thing I appreciated was the way the movie didn't go the route of the stereotypical overbearing mother and the stereotypical rebellious teen.  I thought they did an excellent job of making both Merida and Elinor layered characters that truly cared about one another but had lost their ability to connect and communicate.  And I loved the fact that both characters had to grow and change in order to make amends.  More and more, I'm learning as a mother that the best parenting involves training your children firmly, but with love.  And it is vital to spend time with them, hear their side of things when it's appropriate, and try to remember how it felt to be their age.  I think that this message is beautifully conveyed in Brave.

And as I said, the animation is simply stunning, and the music instantly swept me away with its haunting beauty.

So, all in all...I'm not really sure what to say.  I suppose it will take me a few days to figure out all I think about Brave.  I can say without a doubt that I would NOT recommend this movie for young children.  And really, even sensitive older children may have a hard time with some of the thematic elements and scariness of some of the scenes.  (Hubby mentioned as we left that while he enjoyed the movie, it's not one that he would be interested in seeing a lot of times or purchasing on DVD, and not one that he would feel comfortable recommending to most of his acquaintances.) seems like they don't believe in making kids movies actually for kids anymore.

Have any of you, my readers, seen the movie yet?  What were your thoughts? 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hayden's Vacation (Picture Heavy!!) ;)

While I was on my trip, I had the opportunity to take some great photos of Hayden.  I thought you might enjoy seeing some of my favorites.  Hayden also did a guest post on Tess and Maggie's blog, sharing all of her special adventures from her vacation.  You can read all about it HERE. :)  

It was absolutely lovely up at my sister-in-law's house.  I had a lot of fun getting pics of Hayden outside, enjoying the outdoors:

The tiny creek that runs through my sister-in-law's front yard is just the right size for dolls! ;)

On our last day, we traveled several hours to the Trinity Alps Resort, which was a special place for Hubby and his family for many years.  Hayden enjoyed getting to see it too, especially since there was so much "scope for the imagination". ;)

Hayden loved the beautiful scenery and wading in the river.

And of course, she had to keep the family tradition and have ice cream from the General Store! ;)

My imagination was also in full gear during our time there.  Here are some shots I got to inspire me for my novels I'm working on:

Things are definitely coming along with my writing...I'll keep all of you posted! :)

Also, stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of my "Media Musings" series. 

Brave in Theaters Today!! Plus, Free Shipping on Brave Items at the Disney Store

Disney Pixar's Brave officially opens in theaters today!! Yay!!  I have been waiting for this movie to be released for such a long time. :)  Hubby and I are going to try to see it today if we can get it in around his work schedule.

I read the Plugged In review (click "Plugged In" to read it for yourself, but be warned...there are some spoilers in the review), and it sounds like the message of the film is the typical great family message that the Pixar films are known for.  Unfortunately, it sounds like they've also added more crude humor than they normally do, which is so disappointing to me. It also sounds like there will definitely be some very heated words exchanged between Merida and her mother, which may be disagreeable to some of my readers.  I should also mention that it's going to be pretty scary...not one for little ones.  I'll let you know more about it after I see it.  (Okay, I used way too many "alsos" in that paragraph!!) ;)

I also wanted to let you know that your entire order ships free with the purchase of any Brave items from now through Sunday!  You need to apply the code "BRAVESHIP" at checkout.  Hmm, maybe this is the weekend to get my classic Merida doll!! :D  Click HERE to see Disney Store's Brave items.

Are any of you planning on seeing Brave this weekend? :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Media Musings Part 1: The Avengers

I had the opportunity to watch "The Avengers" a second time at the end of May with my dad, and it got me thinking about some of the movies and TV shows I've been watching lately.  My original thought was to "briefly" share my thoughts on each one.  Those of you who know me are smirking right now, because you know that being brief is not usually my specialty. ;)  I realized this partway through this post.  So, to avoid putting all of you to sleep with the longest post known to mankind, I decided to break this into a 3-part series of posts instead. :)

Before I start, once again I'd like to remind everyone that my thoughts will be coming from a Christian worldview, so if that bothers you, you've been fairly warned. ;)

Because of my faith, there are certain things I look for and enjoy in the movies I watch.  I'm definitely a fan of films that have a positive message, demonstrate a lesson learned in the lives of its characters, or illustrate a Biblical principle or truth that I can apply to my own life.  I have a hard time with films that have an ambiguous message or no message at all.  To me, everything I watch should have something in it that I can come away with and think about in my own life.  In fact, many things I watch I will mull over for days afterwards, thinking over the plot lines and the moral of the story.

Of course, content is important as well.  My favorite movies are those that have no swearing, no innuendo or inappropriate situations, and no violence.  As you might guess, these are getting fewer and farther between, even in movies meant for children!  Since perfectly clean movies are hard to find, I try to go for those that have very little swearing and inappropriate situations and minimal violence.  Which pretty much explains why I don't watch very many of the mainstream movies or sitcoms. ;)  Like everyone else, I tend to make a few more exceptions when it's a story I like, which I need to be careful about. :}

Aside from this, I'm also big on good acting.  I was involved in drama for the 4 years I was in high school, and while I am not an expert by any means, it did give me an appreciation for good acting.  I especially love watching how an actor or actress uses their facial expressions to convey what they are feeling or thinking.  It's amazing what you can reveal with a simple blink, a twitching of eyebrows, or a slight flinch.  My hubby totally glazes over when I start talking about this, but I find it completely fascinating!! :}

I had the privilege of seeing several live plays when I was in high school and college.  Whenever I saw one, it was absolutely essential to me that I had a pair of binoculars.  I wanted to see the actors' faces.  If I couldn't, the show was not nearly as enjoyable.  Then, after the play was done, I'd review their facial expressions over and over again in my head and geek out. :}

I also love seeing how actors play off of one another.  I always enjoyed ad-libbing with my fellow drama buddies.  It was amazing what we could come up with in a group of 2 or 3 that we might never have created on our own.  When I watch actors interacting on the screen, I look for little details.  Are they connecting with each other?  Can you feel their emotion, or catch the excitement building up inside of them?  What facial expressions or movements do they use to express what they're feeling?  And I always wonder, how much is planned and how much just happens on camera?  (See why Hubby starts zoning out?) ;)

I don't do much in the acting department anymore, aside from being involved in my church's Christmas and Easter cantatas.  But it's funny...I've found that my writing has almost become an acting outlet for me.  When I write my stories, I become the characters.  It's a way for me to experience that same rush that I did on the stage, a chance for me to see what it's like to be someone else for a while.  When I write, whether it's for the blogs or for my stories, I can see the entire scene I'm creating in my head like a movie.  I love it because it makes me feel like my characters are real, living beings.  Hopefully, if I feel that way about them, then I'll be able to pass that sense of realism on to my readers, too.

Okay, here I go again, giving you a huge, lengthy introduction before I get to what these posts were really going to be about! :}  You guys are always so patient with my long-winded chatter. ;)  Anyway, at least now you'll understand a little more where I'm coming from in the next few posts. :)


What can I say?  I love superhero movies! (Well, okay, not ALL superhero movies...some of them are a bit too intense for me...but I do have a soft spot for these guys.) I especially admire superheroes that are just normal guys who happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the right time and now have the responsibility of this incredible power that can help all of mankind.  I suppose as a girl I always longed for a superhero type to protect me.  I always felt very safe and protected with my dad, and I think that was something I really sought out in my relationships, too. [Side note here:  I didn't exactly end up with a superhero, but I still think Hubby's pretty amazing! ;)  Besides, when he's late coming home from work, it's nice to know that it's just because he had a longer day on the job, not because he was being held captive by some evil super villain.] :}

Anyway, when it comes to a superhero movie, you can't get much better than one that has six superheroes in it! :D  Especially when most of them have had their own movies, so you feel like you already know them.  And especially when their personalities are all so different that you find yourself wondering how they'll ever manage to get along and save the world. ;)

Positives:  Constant examples of bravery and sacrifice in the face of impossible obstacles; examples of the importance of teamwork; hilarious script; well-rounded, likable characters; great acting

Negatives: violence, swearing, some innuendo, small mention of man "evolving", tight and low-cut clothing worn by Black Widow, creepy-looking alien bad guys; conflict and antagonism between major characters as they try to learn to get along.

Would I Recommend It?  I would cautiously recommend this movie depending on your tastes, standards, and age.  It is a very well-written movie that stresses the importance of working together for the "greater good", and seeing past seemingly insurmountable differences to achieve that goal.  The characters are real, flawed characters who sometimes make mistakes but try to make things right when they do.  Several instances of great sacrifice and courage are shown.  There are some great spiritual lessons that can be drawn from this movie.  But for some, the highly intense story line, constant violence, sporadic swearing, and tight, low outfits worn by the female lead may be enough to keep you away.  It's definitely not a movie I would recommend for kiddos because of the intensity of the plot line and the violence. (This movie has a lot more action violence than I normally watch.  Of course, when you mostly watch Disney movies and period dramas, I suppose that's to be expected!) ;)

I've tried to keep this fairly simple and spoiler-free.  If you'd like to have a more in-depth review before you decide whether or not to see it, you can go to Plugged In.  They're a Christian media review website associated with Focus on the Family, and they list all objectionable (or possibly objectionable) content in every movie they review.

If you're up for a little more info, you can also read Maggie and Rachel's review on Tess and Maggie's blog HERE.  :)  Interestingly enough, Maggie, Rachel and I had a lot of the same thoughts on the movie. ;)