One more Swarr off the market. Check it out! Way to go, sisters!!! You made all of the PA Swarrs happy and PROUD!!!!

From the Tuesday edition of the Seattle Post Intel.

tired. but satisfied.

Last night was was an odd night. As I stated, my mom was watching Declan, so we cleaned the house very fast and sat down to finish HP and the DH [don't worry...still NO SPOILERS]. Although I had the amount of chapters accurate, the page count was wrong. We had around 270 pages to go. So we read and read. Again, we couldn't stop. Before we knew it it was time to pick up lil man. The events in the book were already in motion so we had a hard time stopping. But alas: no choice.

I laid down with Declan to get him to go to sleep and he did around 10:00. I walked over to our bedroom and there was Maribeth: in bed with the lights off. I bugged and pestered and grumped, eventually getting my way. The lights were on and we were reading again. Then around 11:30 we turned the lights off with sighs of near exhaustion. We still had 70 pages to go. I was so anxious I couldn't sleep. I wasn't even tired and Maribeth knew it. She was happy that I made the choice of sleep over keeping her awake o finish the book, but apparently there must have been something chewing at her too. After about 6 minutes she said, "Ok. You can read."

It didn't even dawn on me what she had said. Then, after a second or two it clicked. I was out of bed faster than Dudley on a cupcake. Book in hand, glasses on my face reading. I was going full throttle. But realizing the reality that we both have to work the following day I said that we can read until 12:15ish. If I didn't finish, I told myself, it would have to wait until tomorrow night.

However, by the time 12:15 rolled around, things were so intense in the book that we both lost track of time. We pressed on and finished the book at 1:37 AM. Utterly fantastic. Totally worth it.

So I realized, there comes a time when one is reminded of what one has. I was reminded last night of what I have. I have a stubbornness beyond all measure. I also have a beautiful, loving wife that would do anything for me and who understands (mostly) how my brain works. This morning I realized that last night's events were attributed to the latter of those two. Although I know that the former played a part at times :)

Thank you for staying up and finishing the book with me.


Harry Potter- NO SPOILERS!!

[No Spoilers here!]

Ok...first off I just want to say that we are still reading the book. And obviously, others are still reading too. So I won't post any spoilers nor will I tolerate any in the comments section...they will be deleted and you will have problems.

Maribeth and I have been pushing through reading the book aloud and we have only 10 more chapters to go (plus the epilogue from what I hear). I'm being told that the ending is amazing!

All I will say thus far is that the book is an utterly fantastic roller coaster of story and emotion. Wow! I CANNOT WAIT TO FINISH!!!

My mother has graciously agreed to watch the lil man tonight so Maribeth and I can finish the book (thanks, Mom).** When we do finish, I still will not post any discussions until it seems that the Harry Potter fans out there start resurfacing from their spoiler protected hidey-holes. I don't want to ruin it for anyone.

So if you are reading this, please post in the comments section whether or not you are still reading and also when you are finished...I can't wait to talk about it.

Happy reading Potter-fans!

-The Swarrs

**If you try calling our house or stopping in unannounced tonight you will be ignored. I don't care if you look in the window know that we are home. Unless you are bleeding profusely and are in need of medical attention, you will be completely ignored. My feelings won't be hurt in the least.

My job

By: Mrs. Swarr

While working for a living usually isn't fun (I would much rather spend my days hiking through the mountains and hanging out with Zach and Declan), I have to say that I am lucky enough to have a job that I can enjoy. And on the days I don't enjoy it as much, at least I can believe in it and feel good about what I am doing.

For those of you who don't know, I work at Mission Research makers of GiftWorks. We make fundraising software for nonprofits. Ummmm..... who cares? It's just a software company.

But see that's not the point. Our CEO (frustrating though he may be) has this vision that we are going to make the world a better place. He's one of those people who can turn a piece of software into the idea that we can help enough nonprofits who can in turn help more people (or animals or whatever) and then our world will be great. Ok so I don't say it as well as he does. The thing is, every person I work with thinks like this. We are all here to help the world one nonprofit at a time.

I have never experienced a place like Mission Research. While it is not the same as taking a journey to Romania to help the horribly condemned orphans, I can come to work everyday hoping that what I do will further the cause of those working to save those same orphans.

I'll admit it, I'm an idealist. I am convinced that if we all do these little things to help the world, eventually it will all add up and we will find ourselves living in a better place. And if that is not the case, well, at least I will have done my part and will feel that I have done something good with my life.

Our new endeavor is SustainableNonprofit.org. This is our attempt to bring the world of nonprofits and nonprofit experts to one place where they can share their experiences, problems, issues, insights, and whatever else is on their minds. Like Mission Research, it might not change the world, but if we help just one nonprofit who makes a difference in multiple lives, we will have done something good.

~ Maribeth

Blah blah blogging

Alright. It has been fairly uneventful at Swarr Family Inc. lately and that's not necessarily a bad thing. With the upcoming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie (which we have nearly a dozen people going to see tomorrow evening!!) and the 8 days away release of the seventh and final book, I attribute the lack of goings on to sheer disbelief (for myself anyway). I honestly don't know how I'm going to control myself when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits the shelves...and my hands. So because of the lack of eventful things, I am going to blog about uneventful things. Yay! Like to hear it? Here it goes.

Declan and I were riding in the car this morning and he had his first taste of classic They Might Be Giants. I played 'Flood' for him and more specifically, 'Particle Man.' He loved it. His little arms were up and he was wiggling. "Dance, lil man. Dance." I explained to him that Daddy and Uncle Gabe listened to these guys and they are a lot of fun. All he heard was that Uncle Gabe liked them, so now they are "Uncle Gabe's favorite songs." Regardless, listening to old TMBG was a little nostalgic this morning. It was a good break from NPR and Harry Potter audio books.

Last evening was also uneventful. I decided to light a little fire relax. I pulled the fire pit over to the middle of the patio and then I got some matches. Next I needed wood, so I shifted some wood on the woodpile and in a torrent of grossness, around a hundred earwigs scattered across the patio. I started smashing them with the fire-poker and then set that down to use a piece of wood and my feet. Lil man picked up the poker and started hacking away at them saying, "Bad bugs. Those are the ouchy ones that pinch."

After lil man went down for the night, Maribeth and I finished watching Pan's Labyrinth. I don't want to speak for Maribeth, but I know I felt it to be a little disappointing. I liked it. Don't get me wrong. Conceptually is was great, but I thought it was a little lacking. The previews and reviews played it off to be much more along the lines of Mirrormask, only darker. Overall I guess I was just expecting more fantasy world and less real world. Ah well...it was still good.

So here we are again. After some much needed sleep, another work day started and the morning ritual of sending back and forth email forwards and crazy internet pictures began...I stumbled upon this site which I absolutely must try. The many uses of flies never cease to amaze me.

I'm a geek. But not a sell out.

Well I went to see the new Transformers movie and I must say that I liked it. Liked. Not loved. I attribute most of that like to the fact that I had such low expectations for the movie ever since it rolled into production.

Let me just start by saying that I am a huge Transformers fan. I have been since they first came out. My childhood was The Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man, etc...80s classics. I will also say that I have the entire 80 issue run of the Transformers comics, Headmasters miniseries, G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover, Transformers Universe, etc... I will even tell you that I was very excited about and still love to read and re-read the Transformers: Generation 2 series. It was good. They did a great job. So hopefully you can see that I am not a total purist when it comes to the Transformers. I love G1, but I also watched Transformers: Beast Wars (somewhat reluctantly). And naturally, I got caught up in the new Dreamwave TF series, but that died when they crapped out X amount of spin-off titles.

Like most everyone else, when I heard they were doing a live action TF movie I was excited. Who wouldn't be? After a lot of convincing (by myself and others) I decided to not pass judgment until I saw the movie. That was hard, because that meant that I couldn't see or hear anything during the production period. What made it nearly impossible was that a certain individual -cough-Dean-cough- would try to tell me every blasted thing he read on every fansite in the world. So needless to say I did hear some mumblings and I did see some images. Most made me unhappy. But I still reserved judgment.

So judgment day arrived. It wasn't off to a good start: I didn't sleep well the night before, my back hurt, I had a headache and it was Independence Day (I have much better things to be doing than sitting in a theater for 2 1/2 hours...). But again, I kept an open mind and tried not to go into the situation with a crap attitude. I got a big tub of popcorn and ice-cold Cherry Coke. That cheered me up. The previews came and went. Then it was time...everything went dark. And then you heard it. The awesome, rumbling voice of Peter Cullen. Fantastic. Also, you hear the ever classic transformation sound (albeit the only time in the movie). Fantastic. Then you see Cybertron...not fantastic. But Peter Cullen is still talking, so that makes it tolerable. The nostalgia hadn't worn off yet.

I'm not going to sit here and type a play by play of the movie. But I will recommend seeing it. As a movie with giant transforming robots, it's amazing. From the eyes of a TF fan...I didn't like it.
There were a million things I'd change and I won't list them all, but I will say two words: Welker and Frenzy. Two of the worst decisions of the movie. Another big gripe is this: because Michael Bay screwed with the look of the TFs and made them all look the same (aka 'crap'), it was very tough to tell what was going on in the battle scenes. The cinematography was all over the place and it moved very fast. So a lot of the time you're just trying to figure out what you're looking at as opposed to seeing giant Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot battles.

To end this post on an upswing, Shia LaBeouf was the perfect choice. Absolutely hilarious. His delivery was killer and his acting was right on for the movie. And don't get me started on Megan Fox. I'm just glad she could act too. In fact, the casting (with the exception of Welker) was great. There were a lot of unnecessary characters in the movie, but overall it was good. Again, I recommend going to see it. But go see it not as a Transformers movie, but as a big transforming robots movie. Big robots and big explosions should be seen on the big screen.

'Til all are one...