C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Club Chaos Eye Candy: Little Minion TV (LMTV-11) Spring Fresh Tour

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The fun thing about taking your kids to work with you is they have a way of bringing a new perspective to what might otherwise be a routine day. My little Realtors-in-training are both coping with learning disabilities so I try to include them in as many life activities as possible to give them real world perspective. I guess all kids can do strange things.

Remember the Blur Minion's attempt at toasting our cell phones? Boys being boys, Hubby has been hooking them up with some interesting Manly-man projects to keep them busy. Now it seems that my kids aren't happy unless I pop the hood so they can "fix the car" before we leave for school in the mornings (LOL). The popping of the hood usually is requested after the weekend. Noah always starts by announcing with great authority that, "the car is broken. Fix it Mommy?" :-)

The men have also been cooking together. Chef of the future stuff in infrared. Remember our first "members only" infrared moment? (It really is a members only post. Sorry for the restricted link, my dear public.) Sometimes I get an excellent meal. Other times the resulting eye candy has me wondering if there's a hot wheel car hidden somewhere in that lumpy mass that appears to be meatloaf. That, in itself, is a whole other blog post. I shall make that one public so my readers can partake of the virtual meal (LOL). Alas, I digress... back to the Spring Fresh Tour. :-)

The cool thing about our quirky, talented children is that they are very hands on, self-directed and curious little people. When they are as young as my pookies and you want to keep them with you, you have to figure out how to make "work" a game. I have collected all types of parenting tricks to keep them interested in taking a road trip and enjoying the industry. Snackage is a must have. Getting them "hooked on photography" is a plus. (You can thank "Hooked on Phonics" for that idea - LOL. What a catchy little phrase, eh? Very useful, indeed.) Teaching them to love the details and adventure of a renovation works wonders as well. Letting them paint a door or nail the crap out of a piece of wood makes them feel very strong, self sufficient and important. Real tools will do that. Can you say Jelly TellyHandy Manny and Bob The Builder? Gets them working every single time with big cool aid grins. :-)

Turns out they both are predominately visual rather than audio learners, so when I started handing over my Sony and Nikon, I wasn't sure what I'd get. You can get a lot from little kids if you put the cameras on a tripod an let them take aim, then push a button. They catch on very quickly if you turn it into a game. Stephen currently works for M&Ms (must have peanuts), however, Noah has negotiated a raise: miniature toys replicating animals from The Lion King and dinosaurs (LOL).

Working for food and toys seems to agree with everyone. It lends itself to another life lesson: how to shop. Can you say, "Minion Happy Dance?" They love to work. Trust me. Incentive is leverage (LOL) Don't get huffy. It's not like my pookies are working hard. After all, auto-focus makes their life very easy and going completely digital means there's no film to waste. As a result, I have a lot of quirky pics and funky, funny video to share (and toys everywhere). We can take our time playing on location because we control our schedule and the two year old is the boss (LOL). Sometimes, I get a real gem of a shot and people refuse to believe that my learning disabled kids are capable of pulling it off. Fact of the matter is, they do. A lot. Did I mention AUTO-FOCUS? (LMAO) I think I did, but I may need to remind a few of you that means that a two year old can pretend to be A Adams if he wants to. We can also crop what we don't want out - like a finger along the bottom  (LMAO).

Sometimes, you can't tell where we, the adults, left off and Noah, our seven year old, picks up. When it comes to video, everyone knows where Stephen starts. He always turns the camera around to look at himself (LOL). At least he's smart enough to check and see if it's on (LOL). Makes us all very proud and gives us a goal to keep trying to improve the family's multimedia craft. The baby likes to sit in my lap while I blog.:-)

We take the kids out with us a lot and I treat them like partners. My boys are each a member of my road crew and I ask a lot of questions that never get answered but they give me very interesting looks, so I keep talking about what we are doing, where we are going and what's about to happen next.

The first time we let them run amuck was with some of the Shea Stadium footage. I drove around in figure eights and let the kids shoot through the car windows. Sometimes, we'd walk up to a fence and take pictures through it. Other times, I'd just let 'em run loose and see what we'd get. Although we haven't posted them all yet, we have a lot of footage and photographs to share. The kids have been going hyper-local with their Mama for quite a while.

Some days, editing with an Autistic and a PDD-NOS partner can make one fantasize about wanting to take a Valium. I've never had one, but I hear they can be a blessing when someone really needs to calm down. Other days, I laugh until I can't breathe and wonder if I should or shouldn't post the footage. Did I mention that my kids are crazy? Love 'em, but they're very unique and brilliantly peculiar, each in their own specific way (LOL). I think that makes my entire family a little crazy. We all seem to fall under that particular definition in various degrees, but I digress...

Stephen, the Minion Blur is prone to clicking on all of the delete buttons at least once. It appears he likes stuff marked in red so I have to make a dupe file so he can destroy actively participate. Other days, it's a real pleasure to have them on board because they can get very serious about which pictures they do and don't like. The cutest thing is when Noah repeatedly asks Stephen if he wants a particular item and the wee one says, "no" 99 times, only to say,"yes" once, making his big brother's day. Of course, insanity is repeating the process so we can get around to adding another photograph into the line-up. :-) Yes, this process can go on for days... The things we do for our children (LOL).

That bit of insanity that I previously mentioned usually means I have to sit in the same spot for over an hour per photograph watching them click, drag and drop files all over the electronic editing decks. When my eyes start rolling up into my head I sometimes turn on iTunes and sing along to Hillsong United or practice my language lessons.

It's Spring, so I figured we do a new thing. We'd take a ride and ask Stephen where he wants to go today (instead of me picking the spot and selecting the eye candy). Dude likes pointing, so we put Mr. Non-Verbal to work by shutting off the navigational system and pulling over near the major intersections to ask him, "which way?" Dude never misses a chance to say, "that way?" He will wake you up in the middle of the night to navigate your bleary eyed self into the kitchen for a snack. Mind you now, it's a very small apartment, but little man will insist that you have to pick him up so he can point you in the direction he wants you to carry him. He also likes to drag you along by the hand. Assertive or bossy? I don't know. Cute? Hell yeah! ;-)

We couldn't wait to see where Stephen would take us. Turns out my soon to be three year old has excellent taste. I think he was trying to find the park. We came close a couple of times, but he sent us in the wrong direction (LOL).

Here's where we wandered off to in Queens County, New York for the last couple of days. The boys were my virtual supervisors for the tour of home joy rides and I am happy to report we collected some very nice eye candy for you. I hope you enjoy the Little Minions Spring Fresh Tour of Homes. We strolled, skipped, ran and rode from Fresh Meadows to Jamaica Estates (LOL).

The tone is a little gray because it has been cloudy and raining off and on. I wonder where we'll turn up tomorrow and what type of lighting effects we'll have to work with. I hear it's going to rain again. It's raining now. Stephen is in his fave window checking out the weather with glee. Ya' think my kids would be sleeping, but noooooooooo. Spring is in the air. "April showers bring May flowers..."  Did I mention they were minions? Yup. They are (LOL). I enjoy the wee companionship and the curiosity in their make up... but late nights with the Blur Minion can be a bit much (LOL). Shorty is very demanding and affectionate. He enjoys community walks and loves dancing in the Spring rain. Puddle stumping is mad fun to both of my minions (and their daddy). I'm looking forward to seeing my family play in the rain... Wonder what kind of eye candy we'll get tomorrow. :-)

Stephen, The Minion Blur replaced my TomTom today. I loved every minute of it.

Noah has the Captain Seat tomorrow.

Might be doing a part two...

See ya' in cyberspace. :-)

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Comment balloon 43 commentsC Tann-Starr • April 14 2009 10:11PM


Carolyn, this home tour with Stephen and Noah and great background music is fantastic. Your little assistants!!

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Gary. It's fun running the streets with the boys. :-) 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

...delicious looking Strawberry Shortcake your little minion was eating in that video !!!!

Hope you are well :o)

PS: You have a place in the Boroughs for Sunday Lunch ???

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) almost 12 years ago

I'll come back to read the whole story....but did you tell your little guy there wasn't anything but the stick left lol!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Sheldon. That cake didn't have a chance. Every time I turned around that kid had a spoon, would smile and chirp, "good cake?" (LOL). Life is so simple when you're an innocent looking to score some sugar. ;-)

I have been looking every day for our next Laugh Lunch spot for Gigglefest. Parking is an issue but I do have four candidates. I may have to pick something in walking distance of a Muni Lot and not to far from the LIRR (2 for Queens) and I've been asking about a spot in the Bronx. I also have my eye on a spot upstate. I need more feedback. Will get back to you on that. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C-Sally-C, if there is a remnant of sugar left on anything that kid will find it (LOL). Oh the memories of that lollipop (LMAO). He looked so pleased and peaceful I couldn't resist catching him for a moment. We are getting ready to paint the apartment. Wont that be an interesting blog post? Noah is going to help. I may have to film this. Stephen, however, has got to go. We tried painting with him in the house once before. Can you say huge disaster and ruined clothing? (LOL) Sooooo not happening! ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Those are some beautiful homes. I thought the first one might be yours, then the houses kept changing. Fixing under the hoods at that age? I'm 35 and get confused with plyers.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Greg. I have to keep asking my hubby which cap is for the oil and where do you check the break fluid? ;-)

Alas, we have not purchased in NY, but have other places. Just waiting to eventually build something...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I can tell how much you love and enjoy being with the men in your life.  I enjoyed reading this post...you are so into your kids...and I admire how you get them involved.  The video and the music was awesome...not to mention the cake eating and almost eating the lolipop stick. Look forward to the next one...

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Rebecca G. I adore them. They keep me on my toes and make life very interesting. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C - the minions are adorable and I LUV the music of the video too.  Thx for the tour.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Donne. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. You are very welcome. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Blogging and eating cake.  Carolyn, you had me from the get go. haha Great looking homes tour!

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn, cool music and great video. Thanks for the tour of homes...

your building consultant for life in Brentwood, TN...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Me and 1/2 a cake in a room together...one of us would not survive! Great tour Carolyn and so much fun with your kids. They do pick up so much of what's around them. My daughter was talking like a drywall expert when she was 6 since I sold new construction for 10 years. Made me laugh all the time.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn : you are so creative and what fun it is to be part of your adventures wtih your "minions." Realy enjoyed this. Is our daughter free for some dry wall work next week ? :)

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) almost 12 years ago

Jesse, gotta have cake (LOL). We've got a thing for donuts as well.  ;-)

Thank you, Michael. I have to finish the PA tour with Susan. Over 400 photographs takes a while (LOL). :-)

LOL @ Barb. Now that sounds very interesting. :-D

Thank you, Janice. (Are we having a drywall par-tay? Count me in - LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

What I love:

You let your kids eat the whole cake with a fork - Who wouldn't want to eat it that way!

Your kids think you can fix the car. Brilliant!

The visual of you searching your meatloaf for hot wheels tires, inconspicuously.

Cell Phone Pop Tarts...what a great idea :) Did you send it to Kelloggs?

And you hated that Tom-Tom anyway....looks like you've replaced it with a Stephen-Stephen!

Carolyn you are a great Mother. Seriously (there's that word again LOL) You let your kids learn what they live, you let them make choices and validate them for who they are. You are a Rockstar girl!


Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) almost 12 years ago

C - love how your kids are such a part of your biz life.  They WILL be little videographers because Mom taught them it's a part of self expression.  And I love how you don't teach them the RIGHT way... just the expressive way (which you can only encourage, not teach).  Has off to ya, girl.

Posted by Sally Dunbar, Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area)) almost 12 years ago

C - A few years back I worked at the Research and Development Center for an international software development company.  When Kid's Day would come to the Center, I was in charge of it, and always loved the activities of the day; but I always went home feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck afterwards.  With kids, you need to be ahead of their game, or things can get out of control in a hurry.  Our location was cradled in the Sierra Nevada foothills in El Dorado County.  It was remote, hidden, and WILD.  We had Rattle Snakes, Deer, Foxes, Skunks, Mountain Lions, Wild Turkeys.  

I took the kids on a walk between our building and the main building, and this plucky red-haired 8 year old girl was talking to another kid about snakes, and how they hide under things.  Can you believe that girl picked up a rock, found a 4 1/2 foot King Snake, and grabbed it around the neck, and hauled it out.  She had me, two other adults, and ALL of the kids doing the tap dance away from her.  She was absolutely fearless. . .I think she would make a GREAT Realtor one day:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Teresa. You have such an interesting way with words. Loved the recap! Thank you (LOL).  ;-)

Thank you, Sally. My Daddy and Grandpa did the same with us. My Grandpa was a carpenter and I was playing with power tools at a very early age (LOL). When Dad realized I was obsessed with paint he placed me in every art class he could find. Sometimes I'd be the only kid there. I believe the only reason why I can paint and became an artist is because my Dad encouraged it once he realized the raw talent was there. My sister Michelle had a thing for Music so she played in the band when we were little. I didn't get the formal lessons but it did rub off on me. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Oh my word, she could be President! I bet we'd never have to worry about someone like her making a decision to go after snakes (LMAO). If she were a Realtor she'd probably be running NAR. Kids are a hoot! ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi C—Very creative! You are incredible with your little minions. Thanks for participating in the Spring Fresh contest. Good luck!

Posted by Linda Bourgault (lulugraphix-creative photography & fine art) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn - what a post full of great little snippets of life with your boys!  Loved the homes tours, and all the other little goodies thrown in there.  I can remember eating lollipop sticks just like that....even ate some of the paper before because it still had just a hint of sugar still in it!  ;-)


Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Linda. :-)

LOL @ Ann. Ahhhh, the good old days... I may have to go indulge in a gummy bear (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I'll do anything for cake and lollipops, too. Love the home shots as well. I don't know where you get all your energy, C. You wear me out.

sacramento agent

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Elizabeth. Wait until you meet the little minions up close and personal. You think I have energy? Hmm... (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn. Congratulations as a winner in the Spring Fresh Contest. The little minions get more famous. Watch out when their contracts are up. They'll want more dough. Well maybe dough as in chocolate chip cookies! : )

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

ROTFL @ Gary. Oh my word... cookie payments! Quite a payday, eh? (LOL) I understand them completely. You can get a lot out of me for Hagen Daz. (LMAO) Ooo. I placed in the contest? Very cool. Have to go say thank you. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn, congratulations!!  Kids often provide a totally new perspective to all things and they are great for providing you with that freshness of attitude that we have lost as we've all gotten older. 

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Houwzer Inc) almost 12 years ago

June, thank you. Very well said. It's true. My kids have me shooting film three feet off the ground now (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn, just wanted to return and congratulate you on this entry. 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Rebecca. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C - I enjoyed your post and the video! Your kids are great and it's awesome that you involve them in real estate and photography! They will have incredible childhood memories :-)

Posted by Lara O'Keefe (North Texas Home Finders) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Lara. I'm hoping as they explore the digital media it will help them overcome their learning disabilities. I want them to express themselves as clearly as possible and the computer is something they both love. I can't keep them out of YouTube (LOL). My 7 year old Googles everything. He has sight words so YouTube and Google takes him all over the world. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn - cool houses, cool kids, cool video.  Really cool is your relationship with your kids and how you enjoy them.  Every minute matters, they grow so fast.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Virginia. They do, don't they? Stephen will be three soon and he is certainly asserting himself more. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


Here I see the future of the online consumer-facing real estate WIN...and I am thrilled...

most of all, though, I loved spending those special moments, set apart, with your kids...

THX for this delight

Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

Hi sweetie. You are very welcome. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Your little guys are getting the best kind of education -  hands on and with a loving teacher, Mom.  Congratulations on your blog entry.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Cynthia. I am learning a lot from the wee people as well. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I wish I had a little Realtor-in-training. She used to be my assistant. Then the little adult decided she wanted to be a psychologist.  >=I  Now, not only is she in college AND analyzing me, I no longer have my assistant =(   Man, it stinks when they realize they can actually think for themselves. LOL

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) almost 12 years ago

Aggggghhhh. You just put me on notice to enjoy them helping out while I can (LOL). Oh well... such is life... Looking forward to see them making their own choices down the road. That should be very interesting. :-)

Lisa, you psych major may still make a really good Realtor... think about it... ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

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