We skipped Church this morning. I was feeling the need to clean, and Carey didn't get home until 2 anyway. No way was I getting him up in time to get there anyway. Although, in the end he was actually up at 9 and he was nice enough to let me sleep in. So Kitty and I stayed curled up in bed for another couple of hours. James has had more diarrhea. :( This time he made a huge mess all over the carpet and our Bissel Little Green handheld carpet cleaner just wasn't up to the job. It tried, but there was still a nasty mess and quite a stench. So, Carey made up his mind to go and get a Hoover SteamVac that he'd seen recently at Bed, Bath & Beyond. He'd also checked at Sears, and it was on sale there for $20 off. However, I'd recently gotten in a coupon for 20% off at B, B & B so we went there instead since it was a savings of $60 vs. $20. In fact, Carey picked up a few other items and after the coupon savings, we still payed less than we would have if we'd just bought the carpet cleaner by itself without the coupon so he's pretty pleased.

On the way out of the mall, Carey was pushing us to hurry because he had something planned (wouldn't tell me what) but I did insist on stopping for a few moments while he went on out with the cart and Deedee. There was a band playing and I really enjoyed listening to them. There were trombones, a trumpet, and a couple of tuba's. It sounded great and I liked their spirit. They all were wearing Santa hats save for a couple of elf hats and the conductor was wearing a hat that made me think of Dr. Seuss and the Grinch. It looked like something a Who would wear. I loved it. The boys also had fun saying a quick hi to Santa. Charles especially was really excited. :D I reluctantly made our way outside, helped get the kids loaded (had a hell of a time getting the new cleaner loaded) and then we made our way to the theater. Yep, Carey took us to watch The Golden Compass. It's based on books that I read years ago, but don't remember much about.

The story has a large controversy surrounding it. There is a heated debate raging that says the movie is a direct attack on organized religion. The books were written by Philip Pullman, an atheist and in a recent interview by The Times, he put down any notions that his books and the film, are anti-religious. In an ironic twist, the story has been praised by countless clergy and religious scholars, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, for deep spirituality and the exploration of important theological issues. While I did see a fight against the overbearing system that was in command wishing to bring their people to heel so to speak I saw nothing speaking out against religion itself. Bah. I myself really enjoyed the film and am looking forward to adding it to our collection next year. There was some violence, the most noted being a fight between two polar bears. The lower jaw of one is completely knocked off, but it took me a few seconds to even realized that's what had happened. There was no blood and the scene was quickly gone. The special affects were wonderful and the acting was well done.

As we stood waiting for Carey to purchase the tickets, the James was busying putting his change in some contraption for charity. When the coin goes in, it follows paths and stuff around before it hits the bottom, like a marble run. The kids had a lot of fun with it, and their excited squeals garnered several smiles from people watching them. We had arrived just in time to site through thirty minutes of previews. Bleh... There were a few interesting ones that I took note of though and that I look forward to watching. The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and Inkheart. The kids enjoyed it, and they even stayed relatively quiet during the whole thing. Kitty was the loudest and even then she only got really noisy when she was demanding pop. She for the most part just wandered around quietly. We sat in the back row, on one end so we wouldn't disturb anyone with our frequent bathroom breaks. There was one cute moment. One scene had asked a question, or was expecting something to happen (I don't remember what) and in the silence waiting for the person to comply Kitty said a very distinct "no". There were several chuckles scattered throughout the other viewers. The biggest thing of note happened to poor Deedee during a potty break. She was coming out of the restroom and she collided with one of the ushers who had her hands full of a broom and other cleaning implements. She landed on her butt when she backed up in surprise. So she got up and took off to go back to the viewing room only she kept running to the wrong doors! LOL

When it was over, James informed us that he wanted to go and buy it and he was really disappointed when we explained to him that it wasn't available to buy yet. When we emerged into the real world again, we discovered that it had started snowing. It was really cold and the powder wasn't compacting. The kids were super excited, expecting to go home and go sledding and they weren't happy when we informed them that there wasn't near enough snow for sledding.

Carey took off to write the last of his final paper after putting the kids down for siesta and I spent the next 20 minutes putting the new SteamVac together. It was actually super simple but I kept getting delayed (including looking up the review at Epinions), so it wasn't until two hours later that I was able to finally try it out. It was awesome. I chose the biggest ugliest stain in the living room that happened a few weeks ago when Kitty snagged Carey's chocolate milk and Bailey's concoction off of the table and took off. She didn't drink any of it, but she ran squealing into the living room with it and had just dropped it when we finally caught her. Sigh... Carey didn't clean it up properly like he was supposed to so it left a huge stain right inside the front door. I attacked half of it, and there was a marked difference. Even the color of the carpet changed drastically. I was embarrassed to note just how dirty our carpet was. The new cleaner is very simple to use and although it's bulky and looks heavy, it's easy to move. I'm well pleased with this purchase.

James volunteered to help me with the dishes tonight. He pulled out the step stool all by himself and then insisted that he wanted an apron too. I could only find a small half apron vs. the full one that I usually wear so I tied it on right under his armpits. He says he really liked the bright colored stripes on it.

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