Culture, Current Events, iFamilyKC, Reviews

Hey, Look! It’s a Movie Review! “After Earth”

After Earth

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some disturbing images.

Cast: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo

Running Time: 100 Minutes

Release Date: May 31, 2013

Potential viewers, take heed: After Earth is most definitely not a 1990’s Will Smith sci-fi movie. Cypher, as portrayed by Will Smith, is not the alien punching, cigar munching, one-liner spouting Will Smith that we all know and love.  Well, maybe he used to be, but now he’s retiring to become a better dad.

In the world of After Earth, what was once humanity’s home planet has been abandoned due to irreparable human-inflicted damage. In the meantime, the creatures remaining on Earth have evolved into fear-smelling human killing machines.

The only way to protect one’s self is to become devoid of fear, and thus be absent of the fear-induced pheromones that draw the creatures’ attention. Cypher is good at “ghosting” his fear. So good, in fact, that he is the Prime Commander of the Interplanetary Authority that deemed Earth uninhabitable. His son Kitai (as portrayed by Smith’s real life son, Jaden) is not so good. He flunked out of Not Being Afraid of Stuff school (not its actual name) and, along with everything else he fears, is afraid of being seen as failure in the eyes of his father. In an effort to bond, Cypher plans to bring his son on one last, nice and easy mission.

Obviously, predictably, and inevitably, they crash on Earth and have to face great peril in order to survive. The only problem is there’s not that much peril.  For a movie where the main characters are stuck on an entire planet that is out to get them, there is a surprising lack of action and excitement.

What there is, in abundance, is father and son bonding, and that is where this movie succeeds.  Over the course of the film we see both father and son trying to protect the other and each of them grows in the process.  The movie does not succeed as a thrilling sci-fi adventure as it portrays itself in its trailers.

Also of concern is the philosophy of fear being a choice that should simply not be chosen.  In the world of After Earth, fear is what gets you killed.  In the real world, it is just the opposite.  Healthy and rational fear prevents people from making stupid choices and putting themselves in dangerous situations.  Obviously one does not want to be paralyzed by fear, but it should be something that is acknowledged and overcome rather than totally suppressed.

After Earth is a surprisingly heartwarming father-son story about a boy learning to be a young man, and a general learning to be a father.  Those going in with that expectation will be pleased, but those looking for action will find that it missed the mark.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best and 10 being the worst again, I give it an 8 and an emoticon based sub ranking of, “Confused Face”. 

Daily Life, iFamilyKC, Kansas City, Parenting, Pictures

It’s Just Pictures: Johnson Family Farms in Belton, MO

I had the opportunity to attend an event at Johnson Family Farms last week in Belton (a small town about forty five minutes from where I live). The morning was hosted by a local magazine and online publication called iFamilyKC (you might remember that I’m blogging for them). You can find my Johnson Family Farms review here but I also wanted to share some pictures that I took while we were there..Enjoy!

Belton MO Events at Johnson Family Farms Flowers at Johnson Family Farms It's An Ordinary Blog Johnson Family Farms 2 Johnson Family farms 3 Johnson Family Farms 4 Johnson Family Farms Belton MO Johnson Family Farms Johnson Farms Belton Johnson Farms in Belton Johnson Farms Kids at Johnson Family Farms in Belton Johnson Family Farms 2 Johnson Family Farms 3 Johnson Family Farms 4 Johnson Family Farms 5 Johnson Family Farms 7 Johnson Family Farms 8 Johnson Family Farms 9 Johnson Family Farms 10 Johnson Family Farms 11 Johnson Family Farms 13 Johnson Family Farms 14

Daily Life, iFamilyKC, Parenting, Reviews

iFamilyKC Fun at Gage Center in Blue Springs, Missouri (Pictures)

If you’ve been following along you may remember that I blog for iFamilyKC, a local resource for families in the Kansas City metro area. As part of my blogging arrangement, I have the opportunity to attend fun events and visit some great places in the area. On Saturday, my husband and I brought our daughter to an event at Gage in Blue Springs. I’ll post a link to the review, along with more information about the center, on my Facebook page (have you ‘liked’ it yet?!) as soon as it’s available. Until then, I hope that you’ll enjoy some of the pictures I captured of the event.

Gage Logo

Gage Center Blue Springs, MO

Inflatable Slide

DodgeBow

Toddler Room at Gage Center in Blue Springs

Gage Center Blue Springs

Toddler Room Gage Center

Toddler Area at Gage Center in Blue Springs, Missouri

Gage Center in Blue Springs, MO

It's An Ordinary Blog

iFamilyKC Event at Gage Center In Blue Springs

iFamilyKC at Gage Center Blue Springs

Rock Wall

Gage Center in Blue Springs MO

iFamilyKC, Kansas City, Pictures

Science City Photos Part 2

Yesterday I promised to post more pictures from our trip to Science City at Union Station in Kansas City. So, without further adieu, enjoy:

Union Station

Union Station Photo

Union Station

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

Science City

iFamilyKC, Kansas City, Pictures, Reviews

Science City at Union Station (Kansas City)

As you know, I recently started writing for iFamilyKC online and one of the perks is that I get to go to some pretty cool events and activities around the metro. Most recently, I went to Science City at Union Station and had a blast. I’ll be sure to post a link to the review on my Facebook page (have you ‘liked’ it yet?!) as soon as it’s up. In the meantime…

I had a really great time at Science City and it isn’t just because the inner nerd in me squealed with delight when I found out we were going, but because I think it’s a wonderful place for people of any age to spend the day. One thing that I thought was weird (and also very cool) is that, unless you’ve been there, you really have no idea what to expect when you first get there. In order to get into Science City you first walk through the gift shop and then into a long hallway with only a few things (like a tube with scarves ‘floating’ in the air and a solar-powered car on display).

 Ball Floating In Air

Toddler at Science City

I will admit that when we first walked into the hallway I thought to myself, “Really?! This is it?!” but once you navigate through, it’s like entering into a whole new world…and I loved it. Take a look:

Melody Park at Science City

A Day At Science City

Astronaut Training Center at Science City

Astronaut Food

Astronaut habitat

Police Helicopter

Science City Crime Lab

Wind Power

Wind Power at Science City

Melody Park Science City

Science City

Science City

Have these pictures piqued your interest?! Check back tomorrow for more or head on over to the Science City website for ticket information.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, iFamilyKC, Kansas City, Parenting, Reviews

We Went to Paint, Glaze, and Fire! (And I Have Some Exciting News!)

Paint, Glaze, & Fire

I had the opportunity to take C to a local ceramic art studio called Paint, Glaze, & Fire for a fun event hosted by iFamilyKC. I am so excited to announce that I will be blogging for iFamilyKC in addition to my posts here on It’s An Ordinary Blog. You can find my first post, about the event, here. I wanted to talk a little bit more on my blog about our experience at Paint, Glaze, & Fire and share a few extra photos that I snapped while we were there.

It's An Ordinary Blog

I definitely think places like this are a great way to make creative gifts for special days in your life and I may or may not (I can’t give too much away because my husband reads my blog, hi honey!) be planning a little something for my husband for Father’s Day.

Paint, Glaze, Fire

I think those mugs are a lot better (and more meaningful) than anything you could purchase pre-made.

Paint, Glaze, Fire

Next time we go I’m definitely planning to try one of their Mocha Frappes (they looked really good).

Paint, Glaze, & Fire

If I get a chance to go with my girlfriends for a GNO I have my eye set on one of those owls. Whooo wants one?!

Paint, Glaze, & Fire

This photo doesn’t even do justice to the amount of ceramic pieces they have on hand.

Paint, Glaze, & Fire

Overall Paint, Glaze, & Fire was a great experience for C. I think it’s an activity that’s probably more suitable for older children but I know that C will be thrilled when we get our pieces back next week. It’ll be a fun reminder when she’s older of an event with mommy…and isn’t that really the point anyway?! She was so tired when we were getting ready to leave that she plopped down on one of their chairs and didn’t want to get up:

It's An Ordinary Blog