Tag Archives: Family

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

The BFG (Movie Review)

A few days ago I plundered through Netflix looking for something to watch that wasn’t going to cause my body to tense up like it had while watching Dunkirk. (That proved a bit of a problem for my syringomyelia.)  I came across The BFG (2016) based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Being a fan of Dahl, and never one to shy away from movies made for kids, I decided it would be a great way to relax and spend a couple of hours. Then I realized it was a Stephen Spielberg movie and I knew I had made a great choice!

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage and suffers from insomnia, so she reads in bed. She also wanders around during “the witching hour” of 3 a.m. and one quiet night she looks out the window and sees a giant. The Giant (Mark Rylance) scoops her up and takes her to Giant Country. When she finally calms down enough to question him about it, he replies “Because I hears your lonely heart, in all the secret whisperings of the world.”

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Eventually, Sophie comes to refer to the Giant as The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, as he protects her from the other mean, children eating giants that live around him. The BFG is also picked on and bullied by the others. Sophie realizes that something must be done to stop them, so she comes up with a plan to enlist the Queen (Penelope Wilson) to rid the world of the bad giants, but not to harm The BFG.

This movie had me literally laughing out loud, sighing, a little anxious, and at times a little tearful. A children’s movie! CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was used to make the Giant and add a little bit of a cartoonish air, but leave in everything about the characters to make them real. It is truly a magical experience of the best kind.

The BFG. A Propensity to Discuss movie review.

Add to that the wonderful words of The BFG, like phizz-whizzing, snozzcumbers and one of my favorites: “I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.” Not to mention, Sophie’s no-nonsense way of trying to logically work everything through and you get a very unlikely pair working together in a heartwarming way to solve a problem. 

So whether you are 5, 30, or 60, or any age in-between, you really need to see this movie! It is wonderful, and I promise you will like it.

A couple of interesting tidbits:

The Giant played is by Mark Rylance who also plays Mr. Dawson in Dunkirk. And, the Queen is played by Penelope Wilton who was Downton Abby’s Isobel Crawley.

5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.


Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link:  https://propensitytodiscuss.wordpress.com/book-reviews-list/

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Hello From The Gillespies by Monica McInerney

I am sure you all know someone who sends out a family letter every year telling every positive thing that happened with their family over the previous year. You read these things and think one of two thoughts: “Wow, what a wonderful family.” Or, more likely, “Yeah, right, I am sure nothing bad ever happens to them!”

Since Angela Richardson married Nick Gillespie and moved to an Outback Australia sheep station 33 years before, she has sent a letter like clockwork on December 1st of each year. The heading was alwaysHello From the Gillespies. Her letters told of all the wonderful things her handsome, loving, romantic husband had done for her and how beautiful, funny, and engaging her children are.

Goodbye Harmony. Hello Hurt. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Hello from the Gillespies.

The letters became somewhat of an embarrassment for the girls and they stopped reading them, as did Nick. But year 33 changed for Nick and Angela. Life was still a bed of roses, but the thorns had started to cut and scratch and hurt.

So on the day before the letter was to be sent, Angela could not bring herself to write a merry, jovial, all-is-well letter. Instead she writes the truth. And, for her, it is very cathartic. There are problems at home and with the kids. They are not insurmountable problems, but to Angela, they seem to be.

She has no intention of sending the letter; she was just getting things off of her mind. But in the blink of an eye there is an accident and, amid the chaos, the letter is sent. To all 100 people on her e-mail list.

Goodbye, Harmony. Hello, Hurt. After the letter, it seems that nothing will heal the hurt in the family now. Their family is in more of a conundrum that it was before. And Angela has no idea how to fix it.  Just when it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel, something terrible happens that takes the entire family to the edge. The question is, will they make it back?

In this sometimes sad, often funny, extremely well-written story, you will often see yourself and your family. No one lives a perfect family life, it is what we make of those imperfections that matter.

Goodbye Harmony. Hello Hurt. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Hello from the Gillespies.

Trust me, Monica McInerney’s Hello From the Gillespies is truly a book you want to read.

And if you love audio books, the audio version of Hello from the Gillespies is performed by Ulli Birvé. She does a wonderful job, not only with the story, but also with the characters. You can tell who is talking just by her differences in inflection. Add to that a wonderful Australian accent, and an amazing story line and you have the makings of a perfect audiobook.

Have any of you read this book? What did you think?

Also, anyone out there write family update letters? Any of you receive them?

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

9 Board Games to Ward off Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

9 Board Games to Ward off Boredom

Our family loves to play pretty much any and all kinds of games. And we are a little bit extremely competitive. To the point of yelling and screaming. Except for hubby, who just shakes his head and says things like “I can’t believe you didn’t pick my card, you don’t really know how this game works.” Then the eye roll. Except for the one time when he actually did raise his voice. At his mom! Yep. Competitive.

We have a few go-to games that always come out when we are all together. Some cause more arguments than others, but all of these are tried and true for our family. If you haven’t played them, maybe this will help you and your family to “unplug” for a little while and have some good old-fashioned non-electronic fun.

I have put them in alphabetical order except for the first one, which is by far one of the most fun games I have ever played. It goes to the top of every list. 🙂

Marbles and Jokers

Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Marbles and Jokers from Wizard Wood Works.

Marbles and Jokers is our absolute, number one, go-to game. We LOVE it. And it has been known to run into marathon game nights of 4-5 hours. We purchased ours through Wizard Woodworks. It is a beautiful, colorful, very well made set. They run about $64.00 a set, but I promise it is worth every penny! There is a learning curve to this game, but don’t worry, there is a video tutorial for playing and there are moves/rules cards included with the set. You can play with 2-8 people and you can play teams.

Honestly, over the Christmas holidays our family probably played this game more than 20 times. It is so much fun and can be a little cut-throat. If you are competitive, you will love this game!

Apples to Apples

Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Apples to Apples is a game of analogies and comparisons. A topic card is chosen by the “judge” and the other players play cards that describe the original card. This is the game that has hubby shaking his head and the one that once caused him to yell at his mom. Our kids still bring that up every time we play, which is pretty much every time we are all together at their house. This is a great game for middle grades and up. There is also a Junior version for younger players. So if you have a group ranging from ages 12 – 112, this is a surprisingly hilarious choice for around $25.00 ($15.00 for the Junior version).

Cards Against Humanity

Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Cards Against Humanity

Where Apples to Apples is great for all ages, Cards Against Humanity is not. This is not a game you want to play with multiple generations. It probably isn’t a game you really want to admit you play. But I can tell you that once you get over the “I can’t believe I just played that card” feeling, you get into it and your little dark side comes out. I also have to say that there are some cards that we felt were over the top and we tore them up. We can be a little dark, but we are not blasphemous, so those cards went into the trash. That being said, hubby shakes his head at this one, too. A whole bunch! At around $25.00 it is absolutely worth the money, but if you play it for 8 nights straight, you begin to know the cards by heart and may need to buy some expansion packs.

Crooked Rummy


9 Board Games to Ward off Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Also known as Shanghai Rummy, Crooked Rummy is a good bit like Phase 10, only you play this with regular decks of cards. We were introduced to this game by the friends that I talked about in this post and when we get together we still play this (along with Marbles and Jokers). There are 10 phases that you have to complete. You can play two ways: One where you do not move ahead until you phase or one where you move ahead each round. Either way, it takes a good while to play the game. There was one night that 10 of us were playing and the last hand took 4 hours to finish. And then it was only because someone may or may not have cheated. Let’s just say that J is no longer allowed to play this game with K! 🙂


Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

LCR (Left Center Right) comes with 3 dice and a few plastic chips. If you are under 10, play with the chips, but if you are older, play with money. It is so much more fun with money! Everyone starts with 3 one dollar bills (or higher denominations if you are the recent lottery winner). The more people you have playing, the more fun it is. You roll the dice. If you get a C, you give a chip or dollar to the pot. If you get an L, you give one to the person to your left and so on. If you are out of money, you are not out of the game. No one is out until the final roll and the one with the last chip or dollar left wins the pot. Lots of loud fun for about $10.00.


Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Mancala is a board with holes in it in which rocks or stones are placed. The object is for one person to move his/her stones around the board and knock out the other player’s stones. There is some logic involved. To be honest, my favorite way to play is on my phone. My daughter and I play it often while waiting in restaurants for our food to arrive. The board version of the game can be purchased from a number of places for a variety of prices. Amazon has a wooden set for around $10.00. It can also be played using an egg carton and jelly beans as seen here.


Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

OK. Just to warn you, Quelf is a game for people who have no self-esteem issues. You may have to walk around clucking like a chicken. You may have to yell out some random phrase every time someone talks. You may have to rearrange all the furniture. All in the name of the game. It is loud, strange and hilarious fun for 3-6 players ages 12 and up. The cost is around $30.00, but if you have a large group who likes to have fun, it is well worth the money.


Board Games to Ward of Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Our family has played Rummikub for a really long time. This is a pretty inexpensive game (around $20.00) and can be played by young and old alike. It is like playing Rummy except instead of cards you have plastic rectangles that look somewhat like dominoes. If you like to play Rummy, definitely check out this game, you will like it. And instead of holding cards, the tiles sit on shelves like in Scrabble.


8 Board Games to Ward off Boredom. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

An old favorite that has withstood the test of time. It has even gone digital and you can play it online. But playing the live version of Yahtzee with friends and family and hearing the dice hit the table and yelling Yahtzee is much more fun! And for less than $12.00, it is not only fun, but inexpensive. Play can be a little slow at times, but you have a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper that you can doodle on. What more could you ask? Besides, this games allows time for some really good conversations!

So if you like games and have folks to play with, try some of these. I really hope you like them. If you have tried them, which one is your favorite? If you have others that you think we may enjoy, please leave a message and let me know. You can never have enough go-to games!

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

Boy, have I been blessed!

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

Boy, have I been blessed! With the boys! A Propensity to Discuss Post

Somehow my children have grown up. I don’t know how it happened, or when it happened, but it happened.

Last April, my oldest son got married. This week, my middle one got engaged.

Let me assure you that there is actually some sort of time-continuum thing going on, because I am pretty sure that I am NOT old enough to be a mother-in-law twice over! I’m only 29! HA! 🙂

Actually, I have celebrated a few anniversaries of my 29th birthday, but I really do not feel that old! (I do NOT want any comments inserted here from my children or niece or nephews! I know where you sleep at night and I will retaliate!)

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that having a son get engaged would fill me with such awe, hope, and excitement. But it did. Both times!

I am so very blessed. I have three absolutely wonderful kids for whom I thank God for the opportunity of raising them and for the blessings they have been in our lives.

And I am so thankful that God has blessed my boys with young women who fully compliment who they are as young men.

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

I have to be honest here. I have prayed for these women since my boys were in diapers. I have prayed for my future (not yet revealed) son-in-law since my daughter was in diapers. I wanted my children to have a spouse that I knew to be the right choice, and I knew that was the only way to make that happen.

Guess what? It worked.

My daughter-in law and soon to be daughter-in law are just right. They are wonderful, gracious, loving and beautiful, inside and out. And for that I am so thankful.

My daughter-in law and soon to be daughter-in law daughters-in-love, as well as my daughter are quite different in personality from one another, but they get along so well. They are all very strong young women with confidence.

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

Boy, have I been blessed! A Propensity to Discuss Post

They are all very honest and hard-working and intelligent. They all have a strong sense of self-worth. They all love to help others. They are all kind, sweet, and very, very artistic.

All of them have some little spark of daredevil in them, always ready for the next adventure.

They are fun-loving and funny. They all love to laugh and when they are together there is a LOT of laughter. Throw my niece in there with them, and there is even more!

And that is a beautiful thing!

When I prayed for my kids’ futures, I never asked for wealth. I never asked for power. I never asked for prestige. I only asked for love.

And boy, have I, no,  we been blessed!


Wedding photography by Woodland Fields Photography.