Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 30th Roloff Review -Roloff kids don't need rules, babysitters and SAT's...well maybe

The first episode this week "Who's in Charge" consisted of Matt and Amy taking a trip to Hawaii (without cameras - only brief video of a home video) and leaving the Roloff kids at home.

Amy assesses each of the kids and how their role while left alone. According to Amy, Zach is the enforcer - he will make sure things get done. Molly is the most responsible. Jeremy...um...he will have his shining moments but won't exactly be consistent. Jacob will be left to fend for himself.

As has become habit, Amy shoots Matt down at every turn involving the kids. Matt took it upon himself to call the parents of the friends to let them know they'll be away. A good idea, in my opinion. Amy scolds him for doing that without her approval. Matt states that Molly is more responsible than Jeremy and Zach. Amy is quick to disagree and declares that the boys are responsibile as well.

Personally, in the last year, I've found Matt to have a much more realistic take on the kids and especially on Jeremy than Amy. In Season 4 part A - we heard Matt try to set a curfew for Jeremy, ask to know where he was going to be and encouraged him to stay home for one night - when Jeremy resisted by getting lippy - Matt admitted he thinks Jeremy is playing games and didn't trust him. Amy shot Matt down as Jeremy summoned her out of the house because "Dad is gettng upset". This time Matt muses that he knows Jeremy is going to try and break the rules while they're gone. Matt admits that when he was 18 and his parents went away, he would have thrown a party. He suspects Jeremy will be doing the same and is already thinking of ways to break the rules. Amy chides Matt for projecting his teenage ways onto Jeremy. Later in the episode, Jeremy makes the statement "Rules are a challenge. Rules are made to be broken". Sorry Amy, the parenting point goes to Matt.

Speaking of rules, Amy read the rules to a smattering of the kids and their friends. The camera quickly scanned the list, here are some of the rules from the list that you might not have caught:

*No girls except if invited by Molly at the house after 8

*No nudity (including skinning dipping) to any girls (including Molly and her friends) at the house.

*No smoking at all - no cigars

*Jer and Zach can only have 4 or 5 friends over at a time.

*Pick up after yourselves. House must be clean when parents return

*Don't do anything dumb or illegal

*Watch your language! {**I wonder why that one had an exclamation mark behind it**}

*No more than 8 guests total (parents must know that mom and dad are away)

*All Roloff kids must be home by midnight

*Pick up and take Molly to volleyball/Jacob to practice

*Never swim alone

*Never leave Jacob home alone

*Communicate your plans with each other

*Make good choices - liability concerns

*Turn off lights before you go to bed

*Close pool cover at night

Zach drives Molly, Jacob and few of each to the beach where they climb on a rock and dig tunnels in the sand. I'm impressed that Zach, Molly and Jacob actually appear to enjoy doing things together.

Jeremy is back at home with a few friends over, skateboards through the kitchen and plans to have some friends over later. They're seen doing some flips into the pool. Zach doesn't take part, he explains he doesn't like swimming because he needs to wear earplugs due to the tubes in his ears, it's too much of a hassle for Zach to get ready to swim so he sits out.

Jeremy, Jacob and some of Jeremy's friends give Rocky a bath. Matt and Amy sent one of Matt's employees and her family to check in on the kids and the house. This annoys Jeremy who states that it's embarrassing because he's 18 and doesn't need a babysitter.

That was about the extent of what was shown of the kids on their own. Jeremy encourages Zach and Molly to clean up before Matt and Amy return. Personally, I thought it was odd that such an emphasis was placed on the house being spotless when Matt and Amy returned since the Roloffs have never placed a premium about the house being clean, it seems like a rather odd plot that they kept focusing on throughout the episode.

Molly and Zach aren't impressed that Jeremy is gung-ho about getting them to clean up. They feel that Jeremy is terrible at cleaning and doesn't do much in that regard. With the support of some of his friends, Jeremy cleans up trash around the pool from their party, several silver cans of something are seen scattered about. Zach and Molly sweep and take clean up around the house. Jeremy does the dishes, just in the nick of time, as Matt and Amy pull in the driveway (doesn't it always happen that way).

The second episode is about the new school year (it actually took place from September to November 2008). Jeremy and Zach are Seniors and Molly now joins them at the high school as a freshman.

They take their senior pictures. Amy wanted them done at the farm because that's where all their memories took place. Amy told them to have their clothes ready, for the pictures, but they didn't. Amy helps them get their clothes together.

It's time for the twins to take their SAT's and they aren't prepared. Amy registered them. She attempted to stress to them how important it SATs are for their future, but Zach and Jeremy weren't buying. Amy tried to get them to study, but both Jeremy and Zach admit that they never studied. Amy wakes them up, feeds them breakfast the morning of the test, when Zach informs her that they don't have calculators. Amy rushes around to find the boys calculators for the test. The twins walk out to the van to leave, but Amy runs out after Jeremy who forgot to bring pencils and his identification. I wonder if Jeremy regrets making his earlier declaration that he doesn't need a babysitter?

Two weeks later they receive the results. Amy sits them down in her office and the news is not good. Amy tells Jeremy that, Jeremy is quick to say it's not awful either. According to Jeremy he was in the middle. He can't get into top colleges, but could get into some. Amy's reaction wasn't as positive as Jeremy's. Zach was rather bummed at how poorly he did and mentions the word failure. Jeremy from the other side of the office, quickly disputes that he (Jeremy) is not a failure and can do anything that's not in a book. Zach says it looks like he will be working for his dad, Matt Roloff, for the rest of his life.

On to other matters, two of Jeremy and Zach's friends, Daniel Meichtry and Bryan Roth are very serious about their music. They were playing a show at a local coffee house, Insomnia. Jeremy helped make up posters and handed them out at school.

To clear one editing note up - this epsiode was presented in a way to make it look like Jeremy and Zach were attending their friends' concert right before the SATs. This is not true. The SATs were on October 4th, 2008. Bryan and Dan's show at Insomnia took place November 21st, 2008. It's not a relevant point though, because they admitted they didn't study anyway!

At the coffee house, there is a large gathering of friends, classmates, teachers and parents, including Amy. Jeremy introduces his friends. Bryan and Dan are shown playing a few songs as Jeremy, in his most likeable moment of the night, in my opinion, explains in a voiceover to the camera that they've all been friends since kindergarten and now their seniors and their lives will all take different paths next year. It hasn't quite hit him yet that life will change forever after this year.

It's moments like this that cause a dilemma for viewers. I listen to that and think that it's rather sweet that they're all such good friends and everybody can relate to those moments in life when a certain chapter of your life is ending or approaching an end and good friends will go their separate ways. Jeremy reflects on how much fun they've had together over the years.

However, then you're reminded that Jeremy and these friends are the same guys whose idea of fun and bonding sometimes consist of using ugly hate speech slurs, saying cruel and mean-spirited things to and about well-meaning fans of the show. With that in mind, a lot of the sweetness of hearing Jeremy speak about how they're such good friends quickly dissipates.

If you did like the music of Daniel Meichtry and Bryan Roth, you can hear more of it on their music Myspace page. The first song that begins to play (if you aren't familiar with Myspace, it is along the right-hand side of the page - a picture of a radio with a list of songs) is a song on a piano called Out in the Corridor. It's very well done in my opinion. We're told that Bryan's mother passed away several years ago, if you're wondering what some of the words might refer to. I like the second song as well.

http://www.myspace.com/strikesmeasodd13

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Episode previews, Jacob at space camp, Lost episode

New episode previews for April 13th have been released. It will be an episode about Jacob attending space camp. The second episode will be another 'Lost Episode' - this time it will be back to pumpkin season 2007 when Matt and Amy took a cruise, Becky, Matt's assistant was left in charge.

Apr 13, 8:00 pm

Little People, Big World

Space Jake
Jacob is excited when Amy takes him to Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Amy stays busy by touring local historic sites and learning about the contributions that Helen Keller and Rosa Parks made to our national legacy.

Apr 13, 8:30 pm
Little People, Big World

Lost Episodes:
Of Mud and Management

The pumpkin season of 2007 was a stressful time on Roloff Farms. Matt and Amy went on vacation, missing the first week of business. Matt left an assistant in charge, but it didn't take long for the family to run afoul of their new boss.

http://tlc.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=2.15576.55833.26915.x&start=0

Tonight, Monday March 30, the episodes will be Who's in Charge - Matt and Amy take a trip to Hawaii and leave Jeremy and Zach in charge. The second episode is Big Twins on Campus, they are in high school starting their senior year.

While watching the Who's in Charge episode, all the eagle eyes will want to be watching as Amy is reading the list of rules and the list is shown.

The third "rule" for while they are away is of interest to some viewers who always ask if Jeremy Roloff smokes.

-No smoking at all - no cigars.

That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Involved in the whole 'Jeremy Roloff scandal' were a bunch of other comments. One of which was Jeremy's friend telling him that pipe tobacco was even better than Swisher Sweets (cigars).

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 23rd Episode review: Roloffs build homes, welcome homes, bridges and anniversaries

It's time for a recap of the March 23rd episodes of Little People, Big World - Roloffs in Relief.

Amy and the kids volunteered to help out with Habitat for Humanity in Biloxi, Mississippi. They stayed at Camp Victor and were informed that it will be "lights on" at 6:00Am. Zach explains that Roloffs don't get up at 6:00Am. Zach, Jacob and Jeremy discuss the plan to wake up at that early hour; Jeremy's suggestion was to have all their clothes and everything ready to go to save time in the morning. It's good to see that Jeremy learned something from the "I can't find my pants" debacle a couple of seasons ago. Upon hearing the conversation, Amy chimes in that she's glad they're doing this, welcome to the real world boys. I'm with Amy on that one, too.

They do manage to wake up with the help of Sean and his bagpipe playing abilities. You can read a story in his local paper about his moment of fame.

http://ludingtondailynews.com/news.php?story_id=43942

The Roloffs arrived at the site ready to work. Zach and Amy began putting waterproof wrap around the house, Molly and Jacob painted baseboards, while Jeremy worked on the roof. The next day, Jeremy helped complete the roof, Amy and Zach helped install the windows and Molly and Jacob helped construct a shed. They did not completely escape injury. Jacob was involved, but he wasn't the injured party for a change! He accidentally hit Molly's finger with a hammer. Molly held no grudges as she gave Jacob a loving hug afterwards. However, later when they were finished Jacob did have band-aid on his thumb; it might not be accurate to say Jacob escaped all injury, although obviously very, very minor.





On a personal note, one of the contributors to this site had a family member who worked on a neighboring project while the Roloffs were working with Habitat. They were quite impressed with Amy especially. The Roloffs and the TLC crew had a tent they were using to escape the heat. Apparently Amy was very caring towards the other kids working on the project and kept inviting them to sit with them in the shade.



The Roloffs also spent a day helping a 74 year old man, Billy Mitchell, whose house was damaged by the hurricane - holes and mold in the walls.

I applaud the Roloffs for the work they did. So many people who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina have been forgotten. Anything that brings attention to their plight is a good thing. I share Amy's opinion that it was good for the Roloff kids to help people less fortunate.

The Roloffs finally returned home after their nearly two month summer vacation. Matt said he hadn't seen them for almost two weeks and asked for some welcome hugs from Molly and Jacob. Matt explained that the kids were glad to be home and see their friends. And boy, was Jeremy and his friend Jacob Mueller glad to see each other! Jacob Mueller had only left the Roloff vacation a couple of weeks earlier, but you wouldn't know it from their reunion. It consisted of Jeremy calling to Mueller across the field (the western town), sprinting towards each other and ending with Jacob Mueller leaping into Jeremy's waiting arms. If you missed the episode, right about now you're probably wondering if that recap was sarcastic? It was not...it is simply a description of the scene. Jeremy Roloff and Jacob Mueller certainly know how to draw attention to themselves. People already thought it was odd that Mueller had been wearing a t-shirt with Jeremy's face on it and now that over-the-top welcome home, along with the fact that they appear to be inseparable (Zach has commented that if they take more than one vehicle, Jeremy usually insists that he must ride in the vehicle with Mueller) has sent the talk about them into overdrive.

Matt's latest idea was to build a bridge for the wagon tours during pumpkin season. He called on the contractor who helped with the building of the house remodel/extension. There was the expected drama-filled moment where Matt decides the first run across the narrow-looking bridge should be with people in the wagon - Amy and friends. After a commercial break with Amy and Sven nervously looking over the edge, all was well and they made it across no problem.

Matt and Amy celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary in a very low-key manner. Amy explained sometimes they do something big and sometimes they don't. Matt gave Amy a card. Their anniversary dinner took place eating on stools in various places of the kitchen.

Matt did sing the praises of Amy's cooking. Matt counted down the clock to an enchilada Amy was making, until she left to go get Molly. Matt and Jeremy shared their love enchiladas as they munched them down.

Next week: Matt and Amy go to Hawaii and leave the kids alone. Jeremy declares "Rules are meant to be broken" and is seen skateboarding in the house on the new wood floors and a rambunctious pool/hot tub party takes place.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Roloff family were on Good Morning America today



The Roloff family were on ABC's Good Morning America, this morning. It was a segment under 4 minutes in length featuring TLC's other reality families, Jon and Kate Plus 8 and TLC's newest reality stars, the Hayes family.

The segment was asking about what goes on behind the scenes. It featured all three families separately.

Although the entire Roloff family were present for the interview, only Matt and Amy were shown speaking. There was nothing new said that hardcore followers of the Roloffs haven't heard before. The question was posed how real is what the viewers see on the reality show? Matt answered that they are committed to telling it like it is as raw and open as they possibly can. They were asked what is off limits in the house? Amy replied Our bedroom."

As they spoke some new material shown, presumably from the episodes to air in the next couple of weeks. Amy is heard laying the ground rules for while the kids are home by themselves. She tells the kids no chaos around the pool. They show the boys and their friends pushing each other and doing flips into the pool.

You can watch the entire segment on ABC's site.

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7148660

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Previews for April 6th - Molly Roloff gets a driving lesson from Jeremy and a "Lost episode" about the road trip

New episode details have been released for the episodes to air on April 6, 2009 on TLC.

Apr 06, 8:00 pm
Little People, Big World

Driving Miss Molly

Upon turning 15, Molly focuses on getting her drivers permit. When a driving lesson from Jeremy ends with them running out of gas and a ride with Amy goes awry due to a near collision, Molly's driving career appears ill-fated. Will she pass the exam?

Apr 06, 8:30 pm
Little People, Big World Season 4

Lost Episodes: On the Road Again

The Roloffs recall their adventurous RV road trip from the Summer of '07, with never-before-seen moments and a new look at some of the trip's highlights: including an Old West gunfight, beach fun in San Diego, a pit stop, and a scary fireside ghost story.

http://tlc.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=2.15576.55833.26915.x&start=0

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jeremy Roloff hurt Jacob's wrist on the summer vacation - kicked a soccer ball at his cast

There are some interesting videos on TLC of scenes that you probably haven't heard about. It details Amy and the kids visiting Central Michigan University.

As you recall, Jacob Roloff originally fractured his wrist in May, 2008 when he fell off a slide at school.

On the summer vacation, he is seen wearing a black brace on his wrist. Amy's mother, Pat Knight, made a reference to her "injury prone" guy.

There was more than just the original injury. Zach explains they were were kicking the soccer ball around on the field, when Jeremy kicked the ball hitting Jacob's wrist. It was still healing and started hurting really bad. As Jacob is crying, Amy comes to his aid to ask what happened. Jacob says "Jeremy kicked the ball as hard as he could at it (his wrist)" at his arm. Amy tells him "You were playing soccer, it's bound to happen honey". An exasperated Jacob momentarily starts to argue yet puts his head in his hands.

I have to be honest. I'm sure Jeremy's intention was not to actually cause pain, but I can certainly understand why Jacob is often frustrated. If Jeremy intentionally belted the ball at his healing wrist, I don't really consider that something that is "bound to happen" as Amy told Jacob.

They went to the campus health clinic where they're told they can ice it and give him pain medication.

Amy states: "We've been on vacation last than a week and Jacob has already been bitten by a tick, fallen, and hurt his injured arm. I think if Jacob makes it to adult life without killing himself he will be very proud of those war wounds he has and will have stories to tell."

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/little-people-big-world-season-4-lifts-soccer-injury.html

Also a video of Amy taking photos before Molly's 8th graduation

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/little-people-big-world-season-4-lifts-graduation-photos.html

A day on the town - More with Amy and the kids visiting in Michigan with her parents, Gordon and Pat Knight

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/little-people-big-world-season-4-lifts-a-day-on-the-town.html

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Orleans resident upset about "insulting" portrayal of the city by the Roloffs on Little People Big World

We received a passionate complaint from an upset New Orleans resident who felt TLC or the producers of Little People, Big World did an injustice to the city of New Orleans.

Personally, I don't agree. The episode featuring the Roloffs in New Orleans would not deter anybody from visiting the city, in my own opinion. Amy faulted herself for not researching the historical spots of the city. I don't think it was insulting to the city.

However, someone took the time to write, was very passionate about it and wanted their voice heard, thus we are passing it on. While I don't agree with the complaint, I admire the pride the author has in the city and the desire for the city to get the best possible showcase as possible.

Subject: Roloff visit to New Orleans

As a resident of New Orleans, I was VERY disappointed and disturbed by the recent episode of Amy and her family in our City. It was the most insulting vision of New Orleans I have ever seen.

All the famous sites are NOT bars as was stated, and the streets do not look like one is in Disney World.

People do not normally zig zag around being totally disoriented and turned off.

If someone wasn't there to guide them with historical facts about our fascinating City then the Roloffs should not have been here at all.

You are not doing a favor to a City that is slowly trying to recover from one of the most devastating hurricanes in our history.

That the Roloffs are inspired by helping to rebuild in Biloxi but yet have "torn down" New Orleans is not to be believed.

I do not blame them but rather the producers who allowed this to happen.

I hope you will not show this episode again and further display a very ugly vision of one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Country.
Thank you

March 16th Episode: Roloff family arguments, exasperation, bad moods, bugs and bonding

Review of the March 16 episode.

*Matt is back with the rest of the Roloff family (and Jacob Mueller) aboard the American Queen riverboat. For those asking for more information on the boat the Roloffs were on, this is the website for more information about the American Queen riverboat.

http://www.americanqueenriverboat.com/american_queen.cfm

Amy explains her idea of a vacation is to get out and see new things. She wants the kids up early. They would like to sleep in. I can't blame them there. There needs to be happy medium between sleeping the day away and getting up too early. We find out that Matt doesn't want to leave the boat and doesn't. He would rather sit and relax then be out everywhere.

*Amy and the kids split up while shopping. Amy gives strict instructions to be back by 5pm because that's when the boat leaves. They almost miss it, as a nervous looking Amy is shown on the boat worrying if the kids will make it when they're shown sprinting towards the boat. A couple of things about that made me go Hmmm. Amy said the kids didn't answer their cell phones. This is where the third wall that they don't ever refer to would come in. There was a camera crew with the kids. You would have to think the producer/crew would give a call to the camera crew with the kids...Also when they showed the long shot from the boat over-looking kids sprinting towards the boat as they made it just in the nick of time, there is no sign of the camera crew. Perhaps they had let them go off by themselves later but it could have been one of those suspense plots they love.

*There was more drama to follow. When Amy and Matt are a no show for dinner, Jeremy heads back to their room to find them. As Jeremy approaches he says "I'm scared". A stressed and emotional sounding Amy opens the door and tells him she'll come and sit with the kids. Matt is heard in the back saying "maybe" they'll come to dinner, but only Amy eventually goes. Zach explained that he and Jeremy know what's going on when Matt and Amy are fighting, but they try to shelter Molly and Jacob from it. Amy and Matt never did explain what the argument was about. Amy said they didn't like the way the vacation was going, but that's about it. Jeremy talks to Amy again and says Matt was very intense.

*On a lighter note, we can confirm that Jacob Mueller was indeed wearing a picture with his best friend's face on it (Jeremy of course). The picture on the shirt is one of TLC's promo pictures of Jeremy from the first season:



Have to say that is quite odd. It's obviously an inside joke between them. Perhaps it's teasing Jeremy about a picture they think is a bad picture. However, given Mueller's reputation with fans and particularly fans of Jeremy, perhaps it is some way of making fun of Jeremy's fans? I wouldn't put it past him. Either way, a little odd if you ask me.

*Back to the action. As the boat goes through a narrow lock it brushes against the walls. The older kids (except Zach obviously) reached over the rails to touch the wall. Jake can't reach and in a split second leaps over the rail, stands on the outside hanging on with one hand and leaned back to touch the wall. A shocked Molly watches on. Zach scolds Molly and speaks for most of the viewers when he says "It's Jacob Roloff. Of course he's going to fall!" However he didn't and Jake escaped injury for once.

*Matt then leaves on the often mentioned "farm business" that he must take care of. The kids have long faces, but then Amy explains that the kids were bummed because Jacob Mueller had to leave the trip and head back home as well.

With Matt and Mueller gone, Amy and her four kids head off on a road trip to New Orleans. Along the way Jeremy and Jake picked up a harmonica and work as a team playing one song together. Over and over again. It eventually drives Amy over the edge after 5 hours of driving, but she later explains how wonderful it was to see Jeremy actually devote time and attention to doing something with his little brother because it she rarely sees much interaction between those two.

*I also give Jeremy the award for the comedian of the night in this episode. The funniest scene of the night was when Amy took the kids to Crossroads. Amy explained to Jeremy on the way there that it was "Where the Blues began". While in the van, Jeremy let it go with an "Oh". Once they arrive at the spot, Amy takes pictures of the baffled kids at the spot who still don't understand the significance. Jeremy asks Amy a couple of more times about it, Amy kept repeating that it was "where the Blues began". Jeremy confesses to the camera that he still has no idea what it was all about. He wonders aloud if there was an old cafe there and that was where the first blues song was played. As Jeremy and Amy stand together, Amy once more points to the corner and happily says "that's where the Blues began". Jeremy finally let out an exasperated "But HOW?!?!?!???" and makes a face at the camera as he walks away. Very humorous.

*We then learn that Zach is apparently in a bad mood. He complains in the van and while walking through New Orleans. Zach whines that he wants to go home. Amy tried to reason with him and told him to make the best of it. This made Zach more upset. He went on to complain that Amy is horrible at reading him. Molly told Amy to not even talk to him. Jeremy tells the camera that it's a bummer when he's having a great time and his twin is not and lets everybody know it. It puts damper on the trip.

They try to see some more historical spots in New Orleans but when they arrive at the places Amy has marked, she said they turned out to be bars. Amy blamed herself for not researching the history of the landmarks and for not being better prepared.

They headed to the Insectatorium which improves Zach's mood. They also eat bugs. This is the second time the Roloffs have ate bugs on an episode. Perhaps they're trying to let the producers of Survivor and Fear Factor know that they're ready and willing to eat insects? Jeremy appeared to thoroughly enjoy eating the bugs and joyfully prepared a sampling of several insects for Zach to eat all at once which he did, but not quite as enthusiastically as Jeremy.

As the episode closed around dinner, the kids say they enjoyed the time to bond as siblings and as sons and daughter with Amy. Jeremy continued to fill the role of comedian as he had the family laughing as he humorously told them what he planned to order "and my soup will be the snapping turtle"

Those were most of the highlights of the episode. Next week Amy and the kids head to Biloxi to help Habitat for Humanity build houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New episode previews: Roloff twins as seniors in High School

TLC has released new episode previews covering until the end of March. The March 30th episodes will once again center around Jeremy and Zach and their performance in high school. It's notable because quietly there was no talk about how Jeremy and Zach finished their junior year.

I'm somewhat surprised that they're already tackling real-time footage from September/October in a few short weeks. If you like to keep track of when the episodes you see were actually filmed, the summer vacation you're seeing now actually took place in July. The LPA convention and the time in Michigan occurred in June. As Matt noted in a newsletter, there will be an episode about Jacob Roloff attending space camp and that took place in August. That hasn't been mentioned in a preview yet, but Little People, Big World is famous for showing episodes out of sequence.

Below are the episode previews starting with the new episodes tonight, March 16th, 2009.

Mar 16, 8:00 pm

(30 minutes) Little People, Big World
Troubled Waters
TV-G, CC

All is not well now that Matt is aboard the riverboat with the rest of the family for their summer cruise. Matt just wants to relax and hang out on the boat while Amy pushes the family to seek new adventures and make the most out of every vacation moment.

Mar 16, 8:30 pm

(30 minutes) Little People, Big World
Southern Comfort
TV-PG, CC

With their riverboat cruise finished, Matt heads home, leaving Amy in charge for the final days of the Roloff summer vacation. She does her best to keep the kids happy on their road trip through the South to New Orleans.

Mar 23, 8:00 pm

(30 minutes)
Remind Me Little People, Big World
Roloffs in Relief
TV-G

After a long vacation, Amy wants the family to give something back. She and the kids head to Biloxi, Mississippi where they learn firsthand how much work is still left to be done as they help build new houses and repair one damaged in the storm.

Mar 23, 8:30 pm

(30 minutes)
Remind Me Little People, Big World
A Bridge Too Near
TV-PG

Matt embarks on his most ambitious farm attraction ever: a long, curvy bridge that slopes from the highest point on the farm down to the tree house. With all Matt's attention focused on the bridge, Amy worries that he'll forget their anniversary.

Mar 30, 8:00 pm

(30 minutes)
Remind Me Little People, Big World
Who's In Charge
TV-G

Now that the twins are 18, Matt and Amy finally feel they can take a trip and leave them in charge - sort of. After giving the kids a long list of rules and stern warnings, Matt and Amy go to Hawaii with their friends, Rob and Amy Haines.

Mar 30, 8:30 pm

(30 minutes)
Remind Me Little People, Big World
Big Twins on Campus
TV-G

Zach and Jeremy are having a hard time balancing their social life with academics in their senior year. The twins help pack the house when their buddy's band performs at a local coffee shop, but they can't seem to cram in enough study time for the SAT.


http://tlc.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=2.15576.55833.26915.x&start=0

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Roloff kids (minus Jeremy) eat soup with Ron and Peg

As some of you know, Matt's parents, Ron and Peg Roloff have a YouTube account where they often post cooking videos. They have a recent video recorded on March 10, 2009 of Zach, Molly and Jacob eating soup with Ron and Peg. Not much happens, but it's recent Roloffs, so we're passing it along :)

In case you're wondering, Peggy says Jeremy was at the gym while the rest of the kids were visiting here.

Peggy looks great considering she had hip replacement surgery not too long ago.

The soup eating video



The actual cooking video

Roloff friend attended the Academy Awards

A Roloff family friend that has appeared in many episodes of Little People, Big World, attended this year's Academy Awards.

Now I know you're asking, the same thing I was, what was Jacob Mueller doing at the Academy awards? No, no, no, I'm just kidding, these recent episodes have really increased Jacob Mueller's profile and the inquiries we receive about him; he's probably the first name that comes to mind when I say "Roloff friend".

In all seriousness, it is this site's favorite Roloff friend, Jen Montzingo, who wrote a very touching blog about her experience at the Academy Awards (along with some celebrity photos for those interested) and what it meant to her. It does show how far society has progressed in terms of the opportunities for people with dwarfism vs the more demeaning "opportunities" not that many years ago. Here is a portion of Jen's story. I would like to re-iterate how much those of us at Keeping Up With the Roloffs respect Jen ( I could have done with a vacation swap of Mueller for Jen! although Mueller really hasn't been portrayed badly on this vacation...but if we were going to get to know a Roloff friend for several weeks I would have preferred it was Jen!). If Little People, Big World does another episode where they dedicate time to a friend of the Roloff family, I'm hopeful they'll give Jen her chance in the spotlight as I think she has a lot to offer with her story as her blog portrays.

Tears that don't seem to fade
(Written directly after the Oscars)

I remember when I was a little girl, about 12 years old, I went to the circus in Idaho with my family. After the circus, somehow I was introduced to a boy, a little person about 19 years old, who was sent away to work in the circus. How this happened, I really have no idea. All I know is that he lived and travelled with the show and had no idea that a life outside the circus tents might be possible. When he found out that my father was a teacher, his eyes lit up and he seemed surprise that such a path might be possible. What was conveyed to me most specifically was the realization that the world had not changed very significantly from the days little people were side show acts in the “carnivale freakshow”. While I understand that this was probably a rare encounter, it impressed upon me that my human dignity could only be taken as seriously as I carried myself. And that certain privileges had been bestowed upon me, an education, that had I remained with my biological parents in Israel, would have never been possible. A scary encounter but an encounter that planted a mustard seed of hope that sparked a desire to live boldly and fearlessly.

A little over ten years later, I find myself at the Academy Awards. While not on my own merit, it was certainly a “full circle moment”. Over the years I’ve heard Oprah talk a lot about dreaming. Often times, during the course of her specific shows, women will say that their biggest dream was to attend the Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah will usually smile and say, “you’ve done it honey, now dream a BIGGER dream.” My experience at the Academy Awards was never exciting to star-gawk or wax poetically about being less than five feet from so-and-so. While that was random and surreal, that was not the reason I was so weepy at nearly every acceptance speech and moving moment. (The weepiness has not faded three days later). My tears come from the fact that the realization of achieving a smaller dream now allows me to have just a little more confidence to dream a bigger dream. The immense gratitude I feel in even being allowed to experience this makes me abundantly thankful. I now have just a little more spark inside me to realize my own potential and be able to carry the liferaft and hopefully be able to pull someone else up too. I have always wanted to be an actress, without it, nothing else in the world makes sense.

You can read Jen's full blog and leave her a comment on her experience at her blog:

http://hopesprouts.wordpress.com/


Friday, March 13, 2009

Roloff summer vacation time in New Orleans - Streetcars, shopping and palm-reading

Here is a little article that is a preview of sorts for the new episode Monday, detailing the Roloffs time in New Orleans this summer.

According to the spokeswoman of the New Orleans travel Bureau, her staff reports that the Roloffs were "delightful" to deal with and lists a few of the things they did while in New Orleans.

"While in New Orleans, the family visited the Audubon Insectarium and Cafe du Monde, rode through the French Quarter on a horse-drawn carriage and dined at some of the city’s most popular restaurants, in-cluding Brennan’s Restaurant and the po-boy hot spot, Mother’s.

Cameras rolled as the family fun – and a little family drama – unfolded.

Kelly Schulz, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the Roloff fam-ily’s visit was a boon for the city be-cause it illustrates that New Orleans is not just a party destination for adults.

“There’s a lot more to our city than that,” said Schulz, who did not meet the Roloffs personally, but said members of her staff did. “They were just delightful.”

Schulz said the Roloff family went shopping, took a streetcar ride, vis-ited a palm reader, listened to some jazz bands and toured historic Jack-son Square and St. Louis Cathedral."

You can read the full article here:

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20090313/BIGFUN/903130934?Title=-Little-People-take-on-the-Big-Easy

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The low-down on the Roloff family and their fan interaction

We're been receiving a lot of inquiries and requests asking about the Roloff family and their fans; everything from what is their reputation with dealing with fans to how to contact the Roloffs. Obviously there are exceptions, but we will attempt to give you a general rundown on the Roloffs reputation with fans.

In person, most fans report that the Roloffs are polite and gracious. Thousands of people travel to Roloff Farms to buy pumpkins and pay to go on the wagon tours in October. Almost all visitors report that the members of the family are very nice at the farm. The feedback is the same from people that attend the speaking engagements of Matt and Amy, and sometimes the Roloff kids -- they are polite and kind to people that meet them face to face.

However, for many fans, they don't have that opportunity, so like many celebrities, fans are hopeful to communicate with their favorite celebrity through the internet - or at least hear them communicate with other fans. That is the question people are asking. What is the buzz on the Roloffs and fan interaction via the internet? It's not nearly as positive as the in-person feedback.

Matt Roloff: There are contact forms on the Matt Roloff official site, http:/www.mattroloff.com . Matt has said he has staff that sorts through his email and will sometimes bring any important emails to his attention. approximately two to three times a year, through his employee, Matt will answer filtered questions which are posted on his site by his appointed moderator. It's infrequent, but if averaged out, about once every four or five months.

Amy Roloff: Amy's website http://www.amyjroloff.com/ is relatively new, springing up in October, 2008. Amy also has a "contact me" feedback form where according to what is written on her site, she welcomes hearing from fans. Since Amy's site is new, the jury is still out on her reputation as far as fan communication, but the early returns suggest it would be very rare for Amy to return a personal email or question - unless it was a request to have her as a guest speaker at an event or function.

The Roloff Family: Through TLC's official website for Little People, Big World, they have recently introduced something new. Fans can leave voicemail messages (make sure you're comfortable with the public hearing your voice/message because they are available for anyone to listen to) for the Roloff family and apparently the Roloffs will answer. It is new and they haven't answered anything as of yet. Again, expect it to be the filtered questions that would be of interest to all viewers that you would expect on an official site. http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/lpbw/audio-chat/audio-chat.html As for the other Roloff communication on TLC, it does not exist. Years ago Matt used to post on the message board. According to Matt, he was asked to stop posting on TLC's website. Since that the Roloffs have had no communication with fans on the TLC official site.

Jeremy, Zach, Molly and Jacob Roloff: Like many kids and teenagers, most of the Roloff kids (I feel like putting an asterisk beside "kids" because Jeremy and Zach are only 3 months away from being 19 years old) have accounts on the various social networking sites. As you would expect, fans seek communication from those pages. Their reputation? They Roloff kids don't add fans and they ignore fan messages, questions and comments. Some people do want it known that Zach Roloff had the best reputation out of the Roloffs in terms of being open to occasionally answering questions or returning a comment. However, most of the positive feedback appeared to take place a couple of years ago. I don't think anyone would expect Jacob to have contact with fans and Molly until recently. Jeremy was infamous for wanting nothing to do with fans. More on that a few paragraphs down.

Obviously the easy thing to do for the Roloff family is to cherish their travel and possessions as Amy has spoken publicly about how blessed the family is to travel to new places. The easy thing for the kids to do would be cash their weekly paycheck that Matt has said they receive from being on the television show, hang out all the time with their friends in their many vehicles, swim in the new pool and hot tub, play the latest video games in their rooms on their HD flat-screen televisions...and never give a thought about "fans" and how all of this came about or how it is able to continue.


However, this is my view on this. I think it's undeniable that the Roloffs have achieved their goal of helping the area of LP awareness. They have in a way, it sounds archaic, but true, humanized little people for a lot of the public. Many people have never known a little person and the show has enabled the public to see people with dwarfism as anybody else. Having said that, in achieving that, it's also undeniable that the Roloffs have benefited greatly from the perks of their fame. The Roloffs, particularly now, have said they completely support and enjoy their role as celebrities doing a television show. They love their lives they say. Amy told Gordon Knights' church that God has blessed her and her kids with the opportunity to touch people. Amy has spoken about the power a person has to bless another with a small token of kindness, even if that act seems very small. The Roloffs in print and television interviews express their appreciation for their fans, say they love their fans, are thankful for the support and ask for continued support.

So when their reputation is that they dedicate very little time making an effort to communicate with those fans, it makes their words of appreciating fans and their words of gratitude look very empty. Particularly when part of the Roloffs appeal has been that they are real people that relate to the public. Yet they wouldn't be caught dead dedicating a little bit of their spare time to show some appreciation for the life they say they are grateful for? In my opinion, it doesn't reflect well on them.

I'm not suggesting that they must answer every letter, every email, every message. I'm not suggesting that they become best friends over the internet with strangers who are their fans. I would like to think if I were in the position of someone like the Roloffs, that as I use all my material possessions and express gratitude for the opportunities my position as a "celebrity" has provided me, that I would still force myself at least a couple of hours every couple of weeks to staying in touch with the people whose support has made my life style possible. The easy and selfish thing to do is enjoy all the perks, spend all your free time enjoying those perks, say a few empty lines in an interview about how you're grateful to the fans whose support has blessed your life and never make an effort to communicate with fans.

From maintaining this site, we can say that every member of the Roloff family have fans. I don't think it is unreasonable for Molly Roloff, 15, to show some gratitude and give a little back to the fans whose support has enabled the travel she enjoys or the car she'll be driving. She's at an age where many kids are working low-paying part time jobs where they have to be polite to the public. She can understand that the trips, the house, etc have been made possible by having a television show and the network continues the show because people watch the show. Without the fans support, the Roloff kids would not be enjoying many of the perks and experience they cherish. If the fans that the Roloffs appear to take for granted, stopped caring about the Roloffs, TLC would stop the television show. The large crowds at Roloff Farms in October would fade away. There wouldn't be a demand to pay Matt and Amy their fee to hear them speak. The Roloffs material possessions and life-style that they say they enjoy now, would take a hit. The Roloff kids probably wouldn't like that too much.

For example, people inquire all the time about Molly, they would like to know how she made her Christmas decorations or wondering what kind of tattoo she appeared to have on her ankle. I don't think it's unreasonable for Molly (just using her as an example) every Sunday or every second Sunday, from 7pm to 8pm, to skip the hour of self-enjoyment with friends and say this is my hour of showing appreciation for the life I have. Certainly, many people in the public eye are able to achieve this whether it's with a fan page that they truly use to communicate with people and sometimes returning the comments that an answer would be appreciated. Again, it's not an all or nothing type of thing. They'll never be able to answer everybody and some will always feel jilted, but it is a matter of effort and a tangible way to show gratitude.

Having said all that, if the Roloff family don't feel it's important to maintain contact or have any personal interaction with their fans, I would strongly urge people, kids and parents of kids, to not attempt to contact some of the Roloff kids and their friends on various social networking sites.

Friends of Jeremy and Zach that appear on the show: There are many infamous stories on the internet with disastrous results of fans attempting to ask the Roloffs or their friends from the show questions. When it was well known that Jeremy refused to associate with those fans, some ventured out to asking his friends questions. Some of the responses fans have reported receiving have been downright despicable for anybody that believes in moral decency. Jeremy's friends, including Jacob Mueller (which is one of the reasons why many people groan every time Matt and Amy Roloff talk about how the friends are such good Christian kids), have returned messages to fans by cursing at them, calling them "b*tches" or "losers", or mock the physical appearance of some of Jeremy's female teenage fans, and telling them to do horrible things. If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager, strongly discourage them from trying to contact the Roloffs or their friends and avoid the cruelness that they sometimes have been known to dish out.

As for the Roloff twins themselves, Jeremy and Zach, they were caught years ago telling their friends what they really feel about fans. They called them idiots, said they want to tell them to F off while discussing their beach birthday party that TLC organized for them, Jeremy said fans suck the unsuckable (I still don't know what that means, but I know it's not a compliment!) and he totally ignores the "losers" despite Matt's pleas to him to be nice to fans.

Given that information, do you really want to have contact with them? Particularly with Jeremy's online conduct in that past, he's proven he doesn't have the ability to communicate in any respectable or decent manner to people, so it's probably in the best interest of all involved that Jeremy remained muzzled on the internet.

Although, it certainly would not make them unique as celebrities that see their personal fortune increase and want nothing to do with fans.I don't think I need to expand on how it reflects on their character or gratitude. Lets be honest -- that kind of talk makes them look like spoiled, nasty brats.

Ending on a positive note regarding Roloffs and fan communication online, Matt's parents, Ron and Peggy Roloff have the reputation for being nothing but kind and gracious to those contacting them. There are contact forms available on their website http://www.peggyroloff.com/ronpeg/ as well as being active on various other websites where they have the reputation of fairly regularly returning comments in a kind and appreciative manner.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3rd review: Roloff family in Mackinac Island, Michigan featuring- Veal, Jeremy's sexist comments and a LPA conference

A few thoughts on the episodes last night and quick episode review for those of you that might have missed it. The first of the two episodes was a continuation of Amy and the Roloff kids (plus Jacob Mueller - to avoid confusion I'm going to refer to Jacob Roloff as Jake) visiting Amy's parents, Gordon and Pat Knight, in Michigan. For those that notice the condition of the homes shown on Little People, Big World, the Knights' cabin was immaculate.

As was shown in the previous week, Gordon made an effort to keep the kids entertained with some history lessons. Gordon Knight is in great shape for being 80. He then demonstrated his tomahawk throwing skills which was of interest to Jeremy who also was eager to try it. Jeremy commented on how he would like to spend more time in Michigan getting to know his grandparents. Amy reflected on how she was at the twins age and how Jeremy is so much more confident than she was at the same age. Amy was shy and lacking self-confidence when she was younger.

Next up, was a trip to Mackinac Island with Amy's parents. The kids seemed amazed that there were no cars, just horse drawn carriages and bicycles. They went to the Grand Hotel and stayed where the classic film "Somewhere in Time" was made. They had a dinner there. Jacob Mueller asked was Cornish Game Hen and veal were. Amy wasn't entirely sure. Amy remarked that her kids were more of hamburger, chicken and plain fish type of kids and aren't quite in their element at a place like that.

They dropped in on a few gift shops. Zach wanted to get another civil war hat that he always wears. The store clerk informed Zach they had none left, but never fear these are the Roloffs. The store manager found one for him. I think the lesson here is having a camera crew with you is a good way to improve the customer service you receive :)

Amy wanted the family to have special t-shirts printed up for the family to remember their trip. The decided on a saying of Roloff Road Warriors and listed the stops on their summer vacation. Jacob Mueller and Jeremy campaigned to get Mueller recognized on the shirts, Amy agreed, so they decided on Roloff Road Warriors plus one.

It was time to say goodbye to Amy's parents, Pat commented on Jake being her accident prone guy. For those asking, the brace Jake's arm was from the same accident dealt with in the episode about the twins 18th birthday when Jake fell off a slide at school, was knocked unconscious and broke his wrist. That happened in May 2008. The first leg of the Roloff summer vacation took place in June 2008.

However, the Roloffs could not leave without Jeremy drawing the ire of yet another group of people. As Amy was having difficulty backing out of her parent's place, Jeremy made the rather sexist comment "Women and backing up are the worst." Of course it should be pointed out that Jeremy Roloff is the one who backed into the brand new garage door/house. So perhaps we can add women to the list of people Jeremy has offended. Jeremy is becoming quite the villain as Family friendly TV programs go.

The second episode featured the Little People of America conference in Michigan where Matt met up with the family. Matt and Amy originally met at a LPA conference in Michigan. Amy told about how she traveled out to California to see Matt and year later they married and eventually relocated to Oregon.

Amy had a reunion with her basketball team from the DAAA games and shared some fond memories.

Zach met Amy's old boyfriend. Zach was blown away that Amy dated someone before Matt, apparently Amy didn't quite tell Zach the truth about that when he had asked when he was younger. They both seemed to be very amused by the experience.

On the recent episodes, Zach is looking and sounding more mature. He said he still doesn't like the dances at the LPA conventions, but he explained that he was making more of an effort to be more social and seemed to be handling himself well. You can really see how much his self-confidence has grown since the show began.

We're already receiving inquiries about Mackinac Island, so I'll include a link to tourist information. The hotel the Roloffs stayed at was the Grand Hotel, which according to their website ranked was one of the 100 best hotels in the world.

http://www.mackinac.com/

Monday, March 2, 2009

Matt Roloff speaks about struggling to teach the Roloff children about diversity and appropriate language

There is an interesting video up on an ABC news station of Matt Roloff being interviewed in January preparing for his event in Saratoga, California back on February 12, 2009.

There's some interesting parts to it. Some of it is the basic interview material that hardcore followers of the Roloffs could answer in their sleep, but Matt made some interesting comments.

He was asked about if they ever get annoyed with having the cameras in their faces? Matt echoed what Amy often explains, that they love their crew. They've basically had the TV crew around them since 2002 and the crew has become very good friends. Due to this friendship and how well the crew understands the family; when the Roloffs don't want to be filmed they just give the sign and the crew knows to stop. Matt then corrected himself and said it's to the point now where he doesn't even need to say anything, they know from his look when it's time to not film the family.

Matt talked a lot about educating kids about Little People and how he used to go to as many 4th grade classes as possible and teach the kids there. Matt feels dwarfism and little people are a great way to teach kids about accepting all forms of diversity and difference.

I did like Matt's attitude towards being someone who as a child was going to be ridiculed. He pointed out that many people never get noticed and kids should actually use their difference as a blessing, they get noticed and they should use the opportunity to have a voice. It might start off as ridicule, but people take notice and want to hear what he says and it gives him a chance to grab their attention and turn that ridicule into education and acceptance.

The most interesting part of the interview was this quote from Matt as he was talking about teaching other kids about accepting all areas of diversity.

Matt Roloff: "I think dwarfism is a perfect metaphor for all kinds of differences, because if you can understand a person who is half your size is a real person, you can understand that someone without an arm is a real person, etc...so it's a great way to teach kids that. Of course, our show is accomplishing that on a very broad scale which is very helpful. It's never too early to teach kids....even in our family which is very diverse, we still struggle with teaching our kids about appropriateness and language and diversity. We're up in Oregon, we don't have the blessing of being down here in the Bay area. Up there in Oregon it's quite a bit less diverse, so I had to re-double my efforts to get the right message across."

I think everybody is aware the the elephant in the room is the fact that Jeremy Roloff and his friends that Matt and Amy are fond of, were caught using racist, homophobic and other offensive language and mocking other diversity groups. It's interesting that Matt is now acknowledging that. Matt's statement about Oregon being less diverse is actually very similar to a quote the National Enquirer included in their article "Big Bigot in the Land of the Little People" from what they said was a childhood friend of Jeremy's. The supposed friend, explained that they didn't feel Jeremy was malicious or hateful, but his language and mocking was because he was sheltered and isn't exposed to many people who are different than he is. Matt Roloff's point here is actually very similar to the quote that was in the article (no, I'm not suggesting that Matt spoke to the Enquirer and was the anonymous quote :-)

Matt brought it up all by himself although he didn't refer directly to it, but I think it's a good step that Matt is now being more honest about it and acknowledging that it's something he's trying to work on with his own kids.

The entire interview is available for your viewing:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/everything_else&id=6616094