Just some Harry Potter ramblings...

Harry Potter is like a member of our family. He's like that favorite cousin that comes to town every year and a half or so, and just pops in while we're eating dinner, and we're all so excited to see him that we get up from the dinner table and forget about our roast and mashed potatoes. He breezes in, hugs and handshakes all around, visits for a short time and breezes out again.

HP came into our lives when Ryan was about 7 or 8. My mother-in-law was trying to think of what to get Ryan for Christmas one year, and asked me if he would like to read the Harry Potter books. I wasn't sure that he would at all, they'd been out a couple of years, and he'd never shown any interest in them, but I told her we'd give them a try. So shortly after the holidays we began reading "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Together. Side note - I always loved reading to my kids, and was sad when they got old enough to want to read all by themselves... Anyway - we read the book - and LOVED it. We were hooked. So after we finished, we read "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". Again, together.

The third book is where we parted company on reading. Ryan was old enough to read big books on his own, and I was more than a little sad about it. What I was mostly sad about was that I had to wait for him to finish so that I could read it myself! This was also around the time that the first movie came out. We were shocked to learn that we had been pronouncing Hermione's name wrong the entire time! It took two or three more books before I was able to hear "Her-MY-uh-nee" in my head instead of "Her-MEE-uh-nee" when I read her name.

The movies gave life to the characters we had grown to love. AND to hate. They were perfect.... All the red-headed Weasleys, Snape and his greasy hair, HUGE and lovable Hagrid, and Dumbledore. Dumbledore was perfection - he was THE MAN! And McGonagall, and Sirius Black, and Dobbie... they were all special to us.

When Becca was 8-ish, she and I started reading them, (and I pronounced Hermione RIGHT this time). She loved the books too, except for the part about Aragog the giant spider. She STILL hides her eyes during that part when we're watching the movie!

And yes, we were that family that went to the midnight book releases, and bought all of the gimmicky stuff like Bernie Botts Every Flavor Beans. And we still watch the HP marathons on Saturdays on the ABC Family Channel. Through the years we've all four read all seven books AT LEAST once and had LOTS of conversations about them. Both of my kids are avid readers, and I believe with all my heart that Harry Potter was the reason for it. I never understood all the controversy that surrounded the books. I know many people felt very strongly that they were inappropriate. All I can say to that is, those people must never have read any of them, for they were truly wonderful stories.

So now the 2nd part of the 7th and final movie awaits. Looming out there for us to go and watch and be done with. We'll go as a family, of course... (even though Ryan couldn't wait and has already watched it once) And as we move on past all the Harry Potter chapters, we would do well to remember what the wisest wizard said... "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" Thanks for everything, Dumbledore.

I remember

...when my babies were two years old. It was a time in my life filled with many emotions - love, happiness, frustration, impatience, etc... But mostly joy. I know, I know, that sounds a little cheesy, but that's what it was. Pure, unadulterated joy. When Ryan was two, his favorite thing in the world was his stuffed Baby Bop, or "Boppy" as he called her. Barney - he could take or leave, but "Boppy" was a pretty big deal. When Becca was two, she wanted to live at MeMa's and PaPa's. She couldn't say Becca, she said "Gugga", and if you asked her what her name was, she would say emphatically "Gugga STEWART"!

These wonderful "2 year old" memories make today's events simply unbelievable. I, like many of you, sat and watched over the last few weeks as lawyers in Florida recounted the life of another 2 year old. Then today, we learned there was to be no justice for that life which was cut way too short. This ordeal has been painful to many, but the people I feel the most for are the mothers that have had to watch this unfold that don't have their babies to hold ... the mothers that have lost their babies to accidents or illnesses... mothers who would never discard their child in a vile, uncaring way. They're the ones that have to be hurting the most.

Poet Rabindranath Tagore said "The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." And like a butterfly, this beautiful little two year old angel only had moments, but had time enough to touch the heart of a nation. Godspeed, sweet Caylee.

Flags Flying over H-Town

Happy Independence Day everyone! We may not have fireworks in Henrietta, but we have plenty of patriotism!


Hello, we're the Riggins Family and we're addicted to fireworks. This fireworks ban that we're under is warranted, important, and we certainly intend to abide by it.... but to say we're disappointed is an understatement. Yes, we're the family that gets about 58,000 free mortar shells because we spend so much $$$ at the fireworks stand. And don't forget to throw in our free sparklers because Mike's a volunteer firefighter! The pictures here show just a few of what we had LAST year... But all that being said, it's entirely too hot and dry to even consider lighting fireworks. To risk people's property and homes for a fireworks display would be selfish and irresponsible. So please, have a wonderful Fourth of July, cook out, throw a party, have a blast.... just be smart. And if you just gotta have fireworks, watch the Casey Anthony trial like me!

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