Monday, February 9, 2015

Family Night with The Boxtrolls

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite

   Every Monday night our family likes to get together to spend time with each other. What we do varies from week to week. Sometimes we have discussion about an issue affecting our family, sometimes we play games, and sometimes we go on an adventure! The one constant on all these activities is that focus is always on how will this activity help us to grow closer as a family and increase our faith in Jesus Christ.

   Last week we had a wonderful time evening at the "drive-in" to see a movie. It all started last week when I was at Walmart with my oldest son. As we walked in he squeezed my hand and said, "Dad, I like being with you. We go fun places, you listen to me when I talk, and you always buy cool stuff!" My heart melted and I knew I had a reputation to uphold. We had been talking about The Boxtrolls coming out on DVD. Garren spotted it on the shelf so we grabbed it, along with a box of Pop Secret 10ct Home-Style Popcorn. The shelves were pretty empty for both items, so stop by Walmart and pick them up while supplies last.

   On Monday I got home a little early (on time) and started our activity. I brought home some cardboard boxes and my wife Kristie gave the kids some paints. The kids loved making their CAR-dboard boxes so they could have something to sit in during the movie. While they were busy, Kristie and I got busy on the Family Night treat. Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn is a great and fast snack, but we don't do anything halfway on Family Night.

   In theme with The Boxtrolls' trash digging habits, we made popcorn garbage balls. They aren't incredibly hard, and taste great! 

  • 1 Bag of Pop Secret Home-Style Popcorn
  • 1/3 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1/8 cup of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1/2 cup of marshmallows
  • 1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • assorted treats and candies 
   You basically throw everything but the popcorn and candies in a sauce pan on low heat until it all melts together. Pop your corn and put in a large mixing bowl. Then pour over your glaze from the sauce pan. Though it should not boil, it will hot, so caution if cooking with kids. From here, grease your hands and mix in your favorite candies and treats lying around the house! We made two batches. One had M&M's, Oreos, and Animal Crackers; while the other was more fruity with Nerds, Skittles, and Mike & Ike's. Then just form the mix into balls and serve!

   The kids loved watching The Boxtrolls at our in home Driver-in with their Popcorn Garbage Balls. I don't think I have even seen them sit on one spot for so long. Even our little Ginger stayed in her box for the whole film. The Boxtrolls is the story of a young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors. He tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator who has convinced the town that the trolls will steal their children in the night.

   After the movie ended we made sure to take time out to discuss the themes and lessons from the movie. Having just celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday the month previously, the kids were well versed in awful outcomes of prejudice. We also spoke about being loyal to your friends and supporting them during the good times, and in time of trial. 

   It isn't always easy making sure we get together every Monday, and honestly there are some nights that we just slap it all together. We continue to do it though because we never want our children to doubt that we love them, that home is a place they can feel safe, and that if they ever need to know what to do or how to act; they can feel comfortable having an open conversation with their parents about it.


  1. Grady, this breaks my heart! I am no expert on this, but I was regularly excluded and picked on while growing up. I wasn't the cutest girl in school and I was teased for being "gifted." One kid in my 5th grade class convinced everyone to call me "smart freak" for a while. At the age when you feel especially vulnerable, the last thing you want is to be singled out and ridiculed.

    The thing that helped most was having supportive parents who helped me see the bigger picture. They helped me understand that some kids have low self-esteem and tear others down to build themselves up. They reminded me that my talents and gifts would help me to become a successful adult someday. And of course, they always lovingly validated my concerns and hurt feelings instead of dismissing them. I know you are a loving parent and you and your wife certainly provide this foundation of safety and security for your children, too.

    I recommend reading Max Lucado's "You Are Special" with Garren, if you haven't already. It should belong in every family's library! Such a great parable about being different and not having to fit in.

    Also, is there anyone in your ward who attends Garren's school who could be a special friend to him? Perhaps you could reach out to another family with children of a similar age or who share similar interests with Garren. Aspberger's is just a label that helps therapists understand people, but as you know, "Aspies" are such gifted, beautiful people who can be friends with anyone. :)

    I wish you the best with such a difficult issue. Hugs to you and your family!

  2. Max Lucado is most certainly in our library! I don't know many of the kids here. His birthday is coming up and we hope it will help serve as a catalyst to forging some meaningful friendships.


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