Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amy Roloff on Portland Morning show: AM Northwest Dec 2009

Amy Roloff was on the Portland Morning show AM Northwest promoting her charity foundation. They have a very brief clip on their website.




http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/80288112.html

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Ron and Peggy Roloff!




Congratulations to Ron and Peggy Roloff! They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary this month.

Family had a party for them this weekend when Ron and Peg returned from Thailand. They were there helping victims of the child sex-trade problem that exist. This website has all the information you should know about that.

http://www.remembernhu.org/about/the-problem/

Peg Roloff explains in her blog that the cameras were there for the party, but were gone when these pictures were taken so they could relax. Matt's sister Ruth, is holding a laptop because her daughter, Ron and Peg's grand daughter Rachel was stuck in a snow storm so she joined them via 'Skype' for the family photo. They made that recent photo as the main picture for their website. Good choice!

Check out Peggy's website for more pictures of Ron and Peg on the front porch.

http://www.peggyroloff.com/ronpeg/

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TLC's Little People, Big World to return Jan 4th, in the meantime, more and more LPs on TLC

For any confused viewers, Little People, Big World featuring the Roloff family will return next Monday, January 4th, 2010. As has been the norm lately, there will be only one new episode: "Zach's ear"

"After months of increasing problems with his hearing, Zach learns he needs ear surgery. But what begins as a short and simple procedure, becomes a lengthy reconstruction of Zach's eardrum."

The 8:30 episode Jan 4th will be a repeat, "Downhill Dwarf" -- when Matt and Jeremy go skiing/snowboarding.

Little People, Big World was not on last night, Dec 28th. It was a marathon of Cake Boss, with a bit of a new TLC show "Little Chocolatiers".

Tonight, Tuesday on TLC is a marathon of "The Little Couple".

About a month ago, TLC had another show, featuring an LP couple having a baby.

We've received several emails and comments about TLC's love of Little People, so we thought we would open it for discussion.

What do LPBW fans think of TLC introducing so many shows featuring people with dwarfism? Is it exploitation? Is it a case of the more exposure the better? Do you like seeing new TLC shows featuring people with dwarfism other than the Roloffs or do you roll your eyes and think TLC is over-doing it with the LP themed shows?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Amy Roloff Radio Interview

Amy Roloff was on the KPAM Radio station in Oregon December 3rd. They now have it on their website.


http://www.kpam.com/upload/file/32931%20Amy%20Roloff.mp3



A quick recap of the main points:


*During the introduction, Amy says she does a little of a lot. Amy corrects the host when he says "You're a pre-school teacher, right? Amy answers "I was a pre-school teacher".


*Asked if she ever gets used to cameras. Amy answers it was hard in the beginning. After a while, her and the kids understood what TV was about. Amy says a big reason why it works is the great crew. Two of the main producers, one has been with them for almost 3 years, the other for a year and a half and they're like family.

*Asked if she ever tells the cameras to go away if she's yelling at the kids about something, etc. Amy answers that there has been a few things. "One incident was with Jacob, he was either feeling bad about something or I needed to talk to him about something; I can't remember what the reason was, but I knew he wouldn't talk to her because the cameras were there so I asked them to go away. You know what? They're more than glad to do that. The family and what we need to deal with is ultimately more important than whatever they may get for that moment."

*Amy explains that it's hard for her to watch the episodes and sometimes she wishes they (the cameras) had stopped filming gone away.

*Amy says the biggest thing she tells people is: "What you see has really happened. But they do have to remember that it is just that moment that they are seeing, so they don't see the build up getting to that moment or the downward after that moment".

*Amy states that they get great fan mail, but they also get a lot of criticism. Host asks what about, the way they handle their kids? "The way we handle it or how we act or something I may have said, that's all well, that's great, feedback either way, that's wonderful, but I like to remind people that they are just seeing a moment, we do deal with issues."

*She's asked about what she hopes people learn from their show. Amy gives standard answer that most fans have heard about breaking down barriers about LPs and seeing similarities.

*The host makes the point that halfway through you almost forget the whole dwarfism aspect. Amy agrees and says she thinks that's the appeal of the show for people because they are just like any other family. Amy and Matt disagree, the kids act up, they deal with the same issues, but they have a lot of fun, they have a great life, a great adventure and they live in a great place.

*Amy says Pumpkin season went fabulously this year, Matt did a getting it ready and she enjoyed meeting all the people that came from all over. Amy says one of the advantages of the show is that there are a lot of great people and to be able to meet them is wonderful.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Star of Soap Opera "General Hospital" is a big fan of Amy Roloff

This was passed along to us from a self-described "soap opera fanatic" fan who spotted a reference to the Roloffs and Little People, Big World and thought other LPBW fans who also watch soap operas might think "Roloff love" was neat.

Nancy Lee Grahn, the actress who plays the character "Alexis" on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital" was "tweeting" this week about how much she loves Amy Roloff after watching last Monday's marathon of LPBW on TLC:



http://twitter.com/nancyleegrahn



"I've watched 4 episodes in a row of "little people big world" r greatest family ever! I want to be bff's w/ the mom. She is too cool!"
2:07PM Dec 21st from web

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all Roloff followers and fans

Just a quick "Merry Christmas" wish to all of the readers of our site and of course, to the Roloffs themselves. I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas.

A Roloff Christmas photo from last year, Jeremy and "Santa" Ron to put you in the Christmas spirit :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TV ratings bounce back for the Roloff family and Little People, Big World December 21st

With an episode back on Roloff Farm and back focusing on the marriage problems of Matt and Amy Roloff, Little People, Big World television ratings bounced back a bit from under-whelming performances in the ratings the last few weeks.

The December 21st episode of Little People, Big World, "Married at Mid-Life" received a rating of 1.809 million. This was a big rebound since the December 14th episode received the lowest ratings of the season, a 1.4 rating.

1.8 is the highest mark for LPBW since the season high of the November 2nd week when episodes drew 2.1 and 2.4 million viewers.

Here is the full list of television ratings for Little People, Big World -- Season 5.

Dec 21st Little People, Big World (8pm)- 1.809 million viewers

Dec 14th Little People, Big World (8pm) - 1.463 million viewers

Dec 7th Little People, Big World (8pm) - 1.617 million viewers

Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8pm)- 1.564 million viewers
Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 1.735 million viewers

Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.554 million viewers
Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.716 million viewers

Nov 9th Little People Big World (8pm) = 1.573 million viewers
Nov 9th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.682 million viewers

Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8pm)- 2.110 million viewers
Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 2.410 million viewers

Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.667 million viewers
Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8:30pm ) = 1.976 million

Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.766 million
Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 1.820 million viewers

Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.864 million
Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 2.198 million

Monday, December 21, 2009

Guest Episode Roloff Review by Rap541: Little People, Big World Dec 21st

Our next guest episode reviewer is Rap541. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Rap541).



===============



Written by Rap541

Matt and Amy walk across the gravel. Matt says its critical to buy a new tractor. Matt wants it bad. Amy notes it still works. Matt says he wants something new. This quickly turns into a discussion of their marriage and how Matt wants to trade up to a new woman.

Matt drags Amy out to the garage and shows her his *second* new car. Amy overviews that while a new car is nice, they are theoretically sending the kids to college in the fall. Matt notes one of the new cars is for her. They argue a bit over whether or not they have the money to buy two new cars at auction but Amy gives up basically. Matt hay bales what a good deal they were and how he and Amy have always driven modest cars. Amy wonders where the money is coming from.

Reality check. The Roloffs have a lot of cars. Amy and Matt both started the show with minivans. They got a new minivan. Matt has two fully restored VW bugs. Amy has some sort of fully restored 1940’s truck. That’s before we add the three driving children’s cars into the mix. I appreciate the thought, but these folks aren’t modest car owners, driving old ghetto beaters.

Amy and her girl friends plan a graduation party for June 21st. There’s a lot of chatting about birthdays and middle age, and Amy hay bales basically about how its time she had a mid life crisis, and how the twins graduating means she and Matt will be alone. Really Amy? Really? I’d throw Amy a bone if this was the first time she equated her oldest kids graduating with being done as a parent.

Matt goes on about buying Mercedes and how Amy is cheap and won’t even buy good bacon. Amy at this point seems less pleased about the new cars. Matt tries to jolly her along over it. Her concern, along with the often mentioned marital issues (and they are mentioned every ten seconds) is where the money came from and we never get an actual answer. Jer gets behind the wheel and says he and his friends call Matt “the Big MR”. Really Jer? That’s so… lame. They drive. And then return the car to the massive parking lot, full of the Roloff fleet of “modest“ vehicles. Amy drones on and on about Matt’s midlife crisis and notes how they don’t need another car.

The sun rises over the farm and we are in crisis! There’s a pretty deep gouge on the black Mercedes and Amy doesn’t care, and Matt is annoyed that Jeremy gouged the car. Amy thinks Matt is annoyed that Jer didn’t tell them Amy is all “its just a car”. Matt roars off on the mule.

For the record, no apology from Jeremy, no punishment for Jeremy for the fairly noticeable gouge, and not one word from the blessed babe’s mouth. Jeremy held accountable? Pshaw. I simply point out we have another example of what a fantastic driver Jeremy is.

Amy heads back to her girls to party plan. They consider a bouncy house for the high school seniors… Really ladies? A bouncy house? Amy is all about spending cash on the kids. She hay bales about moments and memories and tosses an idea over bowling since it has connotations of little people freak show entertainment.

Speaking of driving, Jeremy apparently gets it from “The Big MR”. Matt promptly wrecks his new car’s mirror and Amy laughs since Matt is usually a twit about people damaging new things. He hay bales about how the kids are supposed to close the man door and honestly I really can’t visualize how he managed to tear the mirror off by the people door being open. I mean, someone want to help me out? Because the door seemed to be on the side, and there’s a foot of clearance. Matt calls for Molly and they text her inside the house. Geez. Texting from inside the house?

Amy throws out trash. Gets in the new black Mercedes. Matt asks how it is. They smooch. But Amy doesn’t seem to like it and notes Jeremy has her van.

Matt wants to take Amy driving on the Mule and basically rants pleasantly about all of the things he wants to spend money on around the farm. Amy hay bales about how maybe there’s too many projects running at every moment. Matt wants to set up a green house, metal tank cows and an art bridge with expensive timber. Amy is all “huh”? over the bridge concept and Matt hay bales about how he’s the creativity one and refers to various things on the farm as art. He wants to do some sort of Noah’s ark thing. Amy notes he doesn’t have to do 50 million projects and Matt says he needs a project in order to get up. Amy notes on the hay bale that this is part of Matt’s basic fatalism, and why he can’t enjoy any of the end results because he is too busy setting up a new project. That’s actually rather insightful of Amy.

Matt hay bales how he and Amy are growing apart and how interesting he finds that, and the evolution of their relationship. Honestly they are both going on about this way too much to not be seeing a marriage counselor.

Oh look the lavish senior party. Amy notes how Matt wasn’t around for it. Zach hay bales how the parents are different. The school kiddies take pictures. I note how there doesn’t seem to be a bouncy house. Amy hay bales how Matt tends to take over. Matt notes from the Mule that he feels he was excluded from the entire party by Amy. A bit passive aggressive, that.

There’s some sort of pyramid with Zach on top. Amy notes again how Matt gave the party a pass. Now there’s a fire with the kids. Matt wanders into the bonfire and wishes the kids well. Amy expresses more concern about the marriage. Matt gets a comment or two from Zach… doesn’t seem to ask Jeremy his opinion of the party.

Now more and more “Oh geez are we breaking up?” talk. Amy notes how sad it is.

Yeah honestly, get a divorce or work on your marriage. And am I the only one who thinks the Littlest Chocolate Making Dwarfs is a clever meld of the “adults making something creative” show and the “We’ve got something wrong with us and don’t let it keep us down” show types?

Guest Episode Roloff Review by Expressed: Little People, Big World Dec 21st

Our first guest episode reviewer is Expressed. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Expressed).



===============



Written by Expressed

*We start with Matt and Amy going around the farm. Matt says he needs a new tractor. Amy says the old one works, but Matt just wants a new one, just because. Amy jokes that Matt thinks she is old and worn out and that's why he's trying to replace her...awkward.

*Matt takes Amy into the garage, surprise! He has bought a new car. Two new cars! Mercedes Benz! Amy is ecstatic. Seriously. She looks happier than she has all season.

*Cue the drama filled voice-over, Amy says she is very worried about their finances because Jer and Zach are going off to college and she's concerned Matt is spending money on these new cars. Back to the live footage, Amy is still smiling like cheshire cat and laughing.

*Matt says he got the two of them for 25% below wholesale value an it was too good of a deal to pass up. Amy says she doesn't understand where they're getting the money....

*Ok, my thought. I love the Roloffs. They have an entertaining tv show that I like to watch (and a very cool and hot son!). I'm glad for them that they're stinking rich. I don't care that they have 18 cars and buy 2 Mercedes Benz just because they can. But the fake drama part and the pretend lying about how are they going to pay for it is getting tiring. I don't think Amy was mad about Matt getting two new Benz'. Her expression didn't say that! She was thrilled. But I think they don't want everybody in the family to be seen jumping up and down happy over them spending their wealth because they know it will piss off some viewers so they dream up this fake drama with Amy supposedly being all against it and talk about how are they going to pay for it. They're rich from the TV show! We're not stupid. Gosh!!!! Just be honest. End of rant.

*Amy is planning the grad party with her friends, two mothers of Jeremy and Zach's friends who will be graduating with them. Hey people! This is the big grad party! The now infamous grad party with the missing pictures!

*At lunch Amy is talking with her friends about how much is going to change with Jer and Zach graduating and leaving. This is anti-climatic since we know nothing has really changed except now Jer and Zach are going to Portland Community College a few days a week and it's closer to home than Faith Bible High School was. But Amy talks about how things are changing and goes into one of those very boring and drama filled "what will become of Matt and I when the kids leave?"

*Matt is showing off his new Mercedes. Mueller seems to like it. Jer and Matt take it for a spin. Jer speeds down the road. Jer said he and the buds came up with a new nickname for Matt, "The Big M.R."...because Matt Roloff does everything big and in grand style.

*Uh-oh. Matt and Amy come out to look at Amy's new car. There's a scratch on it. Matt says Jeremy is not allowed to drive the car until he finds out what happened. Amy doesn't care. They voice over that Jeremy took Amy's car and when he had it out someone scratched it up by the door. Amy doesn't care because "It's just a car" (and let's be real, it's not like it's any trouble for the Roloffs to have it fixed). Amy doesn't care that Jeremy dinged up her car, but she says Matt is pissed. Amy says Matt was more mad that Jeremy didn't even tell them that he happened. Matt goes on about how very frustrating it is. He doesn't actually sound too mad to me. It's a good time to point out the change in Amy about Jeremy. In the first season she probably would have been all over him. Like the garage door incident when Jeremy backed the trailer into the garage, Amy didn't care about this either.

*Speaking of garage doors. Matt tore off the mirror on his new Mercedes. He's blaming the kids for Matt backing into the door. There was a man door in the garage that the kids left open, Matt didn't see it and smashed his side mirror to pieces. Amy laughs at him. Matt wants to speak to Molly. She's playing Rockband. Amy tells Matt to call her on her cell. Matt and Amy are in Matt's office in the house. You know you're living in a mansion when you have to call on your cell from room to room to get a hold of your own family.

*Amy says she wants to splurge on events like the graduation party for Jeremy and Zach because that's what important. This is the theme of the whole show tonight. Amy says Matt wastes time and money on projects and stuff that doesn't matter and isn't as concerned with important life moments....like giving Jeremy and Zach and their class the best damn Graduation Party in the history of the world!

*Amy is driving off in her car. Matt comes to the drivers door and asks her if she likes it. Amy says "it's alright". This will go over well with all the poor people watching. Nothing like seeing rich people get two new Mercedes and then being all ho-hum about it. Matt kisses Amy on the cheek. He stays standing there, so Amy leans over and kisses him on the cheek. Matt likes that better. Amy drives away saying "I can't do this anymore". Is that supposed to be a reference to kissing Matt or driving a Mercedes? Poor Amy.

*Matt and Amy go around the farm again for Matt to show her the latest projects. Cut the theme of the show tonight. Amy says Matt cares too much about projects and not things that are important. Matt says being creative and his projects is the reason why he wakes up in the mornings.

*Matt explains that the farm is his creativity and it's his legacy. Matt talks about how they're figuring out what they do that's good together and what they do that doesn't work and they're wondering if they really want to spend the rest of their lives together.....Gosh I'm so sick of this. In Matt's newsletters he's saying everything is great, so please Matt, stop with the "on the show" "Do we want to spend our lives together?" Liar liar pants on fire!!! (semi lie because he phrased it as question, but it's the same thing!)

*Moving on....it's the graduation party! The infamous grad party, we (at least the members of The Jeremy Lovers Society which I am a proud member!) have been looking forward to seeing this....

*There are a few shots of Jeremy playing soccer with the rest of the grads, but they're ruining it......just like they did on the BVI trip and the Utah trip....it's Amy talking about how Matt isn't there and they didn't see Matt too much. Then they show Matt, he explains that Amy wants to keep him at a distance because this is her thing.......I want to see the Grad Party not Matt and Amy giving the same speech for the two millionth time this season!!!!!!!

*They come back from a commercial and at least give us a few seconds of the grad party. Yay! Jer and his friends build a human pyramid. Zach climbs up on them. For the shameless lovers of Jeremy's ass, there is a very nice shot from behind as Zach is climbing up :)

*They show the graduates around a camp fire. Note. I think most of us knew this but in case you didn't, yes that was Dani, Zach's sort of ex, with Zach and Jer's friend Brendan or BJ.

*Matt comes to say happy graduation to the grads around the fire.

*Maybe he's tired or maybe sad about graduation, but for some reason, Jeremy looks especially sad sitting around the fire.

*They don't even end the show with stuff about the grad party. They end with the same old drama. Matt talks about the future with Amy. Amy says she thinks they'll probably still be together in 20 years but now when she thinks about that, she has some doubts.....

End of episode.

There is no LPBW next week and Jan 4th will be a new episode about Zach having ear surgery. Ouch.

This week was good to be back on the farm, but I'm really getting sick of the marriage drama taking over everything. They don't even let the viewers enjoy the stuff Jeremy and his friends are doing anymore, it's all about "Watch to see if we divorce!!!! We might, we might not. We might. We might not. We might. We might not.....frustrating.









Saturday, December 19, 2009

Matt Roloff's friend, U.S. soldier Russell Hayes answers your questions about the Iraq family seen on Little People, Big World




This will be a very special and a very emotional item on our site. So many viewers who watched the Little People, Big World episodes about Matt Roloff going to Iraq, have been touched by the story of Salman family. We have posted a few articles on our site and some fans have found out more on their own, particularly about the U.S. soldier seen on the show Russell Hayes and his personal dedication to helping the Salman family.

There is a website which makes it very easy to help this family if you've been moved by their story and have the means to help in any way you can. They have set up an easy paypal system or a mailing address if you prefer:

http://www.dwarfchildren.org/

This site always aims to represent the great viewers of LPBW and bring you stories that are interesting or informational. We contacted Russell Hayes and asked him a few questions that we were receiving from viewers about his life, the Salman family and the episodes seen on the TV show. We also expressed the appreciation of thousands of LPBW viewers and readers who have heard his story and have been inspired by the sacrifice that Russell and his family have made to help others.

However, rather than just post the link to the site, Russell Hayes offered to speak directly to you, readers of the Spiritswander/Keeping Up With The Roloffs site, fans of LPBW and all who might see this. What follows below was written directly by Russell Hayes himself.



================
By Russell Hayes:

Dear Readers,

I have been asked to answer a few questions that some of you might have.


1.) What touches you most about the Salman Family?

Their warm and loving spirits. They give love with out expecting anything in return. They loved just to have the attention of all the soldiers. Here is a picture of when I first told them that I had a daughter with dwarfism. It was the first time they had seen another dwarf. I also showed them the pictures of the LPA conference, and of Matt Roloff and his family.





2.) I understand that the kids have started school. Do you know what that has been like for them?


My wife Carmen and I took them to their first day of school. Baraa came across a little shy, but soon warmed up to her first grade teacher and classmates.
Ali was not shy. He introduced himself to his teacher and asked where was his seat, and when could he start using the computer at the back of the classroom.
Ali and Baraa love school. The other kids all know their names and just love them both. They are very popular in school. While we were in Iraq, the other kids made fun of Ali and Baraa in school. Here it is just the opposite. I am very proud of how well they do in school. They hate to miss school.





3.) Has the family mentioned to you what they are most grateful for now that they've been in the United States for the last 6 months (beyond the obvious safety and medical care)?

That's an easy one!!! They discovered WalMart!!!!

Of course they are looking forward to getting the life saving operations for their kids.

We have had a little set back. Prior to Saja's visit with the doctor they required an MRI. I took her to the appointment and they put her onto her back, and into the MRI. We had to leave her in there by herself because of the power and danger of exposure to the X-rays. I watched from a window as Saja layed there quietly. They started up the machine, then a still small voice in my mind told me that something wasn't right. I asked the operator to please stop the machine and to put a monitor on Saja. She did, then restarted the MRI, within a few minutes the operator stopped the MRI. Saja's vital signs were going down hill fast. Her neck was so unstable that while lying on her back her airway was closing off. We took her out of the MRI, turned her back onto her stomach and she recovered her airway. I'm afraid that if we had just left her in there, she would have quietly passed away.

4.) Do you know what has been the biggest culture shock for the Salmans going from Iraq to living in Idaho?

I think that it's the language and the food. Carmen and I have tried to take them to McDonalds, but they will not eat the hamburgers, they are afraid that it might have pork in it, so all they eat is chicken Mcnuggets.

5.) For viewers who are unsure from just watching the show, will the family permanently stay in the U.S?

Yes, because Abdul and his nephew Ibrahim had been working for the U.S. for nearly 2 years, and because they were threatened by the terrorists, they qualified for Special Immigration Visas.

After they had been threatened, Abdul escaped from the terrorist, and hid out with his family in a shack in the "Green Zone." Ibrahim was not so lucky. He was kidnapped by the terrorists, held for three months and then was rescued by U.S. soldiers and Iraqi national police. He had been beaten so severly by the terrorist that both of his kidneys had been ruptured. He stopped breathing in front of me, was revived then passed away 5 days later. He was only 22 years old.

6.) I know some details get lost in editing of the program. Early in the show, Amy mentioned that the Salman's would be staying possibly for 2 nights at the Roloff Farm. When you and the family arrived, Amy said Jeremy and Zach were on a trip and Molly and Jacob were sleeping. However, at what appeared to be the next day at dinner, Warda had still not seen the Roloff kids (she asked Amy if all her kids had dwarfism) and viewers did not see the Roloff kids during the meal or when the Salman's left. Can you fill in the details for confused viewers?

We arrived at their home a little after midnight. We slept in the next day and the kids were already gone. What you thought was dinner the next day was around 10 am. We ate a brunch, then had a quick tour of the farm and then left before Molly and Jacob came back from school. We were only at their home for about 12 hours. We had to make our flight to Idaho in the early afternoon.




7.) The other minor detail that left a few confused was when the family spoke to the female US soldier on the phone who obviously has a deep bond with the entire family. Saja, Bera and Ali called her "mom". Is that just a term of affection they have for her or is there a story about how that began?

I'm glad you asked. After Matt's first visit to Iraq, and after the first show aired on "Little People Big World" about the Salman family, many soldiers came up to me and told me that they had seen me on Matt's show, but none of them inquired about the kids.

I was in the PX buying shampoo for the Salman's when a female soldier came up to me and asked if I was the soldier that she had seen on "Little People Big World." I said yes, then her comment was completly different from all the others. She said, "oh I want to see those children." I was on my way to take them the shampoo and she came along. She fell in love with them at first sight, and they with her. After that she went with me everyday to take them food and to visit with them. The love that she has for them and they for her is very deep. They call her "Mom Tammy" because they love her.





8.) Since the airing the LPBW episodes, have you or the Salman's been recognized when out in public? If so, what has that been like?

I am not usually recognized, but they are. Most people dote over Ali and Baraa. Their mother is a little more reserved. Saja most of the time is not with us. It is so hard to travel with her because of her unstable neck and her bulky wheelchair. Her wheel chair doesn't fold since I modified it so she could lay down on it.

9.) How has your own daughter with dwarfism reacted to having the Salmans in her life?

Corina is our youngest, she was born 11 years ago when I was 47 and my wife was 45. I am now 58 and our older children are in their 30's. Corina has been raised almost like an only child, so when she found out that she was going to have a new family, and have new brothers and sisters join us, she was very happy.

Corina has been wonderful and patient. As with any family, brothers and sister sometimes have a few spats over toys and attention. Corina and Ali have in the past had some arguments but they soon get over them.



10.) What has this entire experience been like for you and your family?

When Carmen and I decided to become the sponsors of the Salman family, we thought that the medical expenses would be something that we could handle. They have proven to be overwhelming, and more complicated than we had imagined. Although this experience is very difficult, it has also been very rewarding spiritually. We pray more together as husband and wife and as a family asking God the give us strength. Our faith has increased and our relationship between us and Corina has become more unified.

To let you know how difficult the strain of the medical problems of the Salmans are, I'd like to share a very personal event that happened two weeks ago.

As most of you have seen on the television, the left side of Abdul's face is paralyzed. We thought that he had Bell's palsy. I took him to the doctor. The doctor ordered a CT scan. It was not Bell's Palsy, it turned out to be a brain granuloma. The granuloma has eaten away at the bone at the base of his skull, and the nerves that control his face are gone. The damage is permanent and can be fatal. We have to operate before the granuloma gets to his carotid artery.

That night, Wardah walked next door to our house and wanted to speak with us out side. Carmen, Corina and I stepped outside and Wardah started to ask me about her husbands brain granuloma. She never got passed the first few words when she burst out crying and dropped to the ground in my driveway. She sobbed loudly and uncontrolably. Carmen sat down next to her and rocked her as she cried. We tried to comfort her as best we could.

Wardah has three handicapped children, and her husband is in danger of losing his life. Wardah is under a lot of stress. I would like to ask each of you to please pray for the Salman family. Their journey did not end with their arrival in America. It is just begining.

11.) Is there anything you would like to say to viewers who watched the episode, read the articles and now are aware of the Salman's situation?

Yes. When Abdul escaped with his family from the terrorist, and his nephew had been kidnapped. He was overcome with despair. In desperation he prayed that God would send Angels to help him and his family. God answered his prayer and sent hosts of Angels to help him.

I would like to ask those that read this, to become one of the Angels and help the Salmans with your prayers and donations to help them get the life saving operations that they need.

May God Bless each and everyone of you that read this.

Sincerely,
Russell, Carmen and Corina Hayes



===========================================

I would like to thank Russell, for taking the time to speak directly to the public by answering the viewers questions and writing this heartfelt piece.

As mentioned, please visit the site linked below if you've been touched by this story and can help out in any way you can.

http://www.dwarfchildren.org/

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on the Iraq family seen in Little People, Big World

This You Tube video features Russell Hayes and includes footage of the Salman family at their new home in Idaho. Matt Roloff is mentioned at 3:10 in the video.







There are a few more details about the Salman family, the people featured on last night's episode of Little People, Big World. After the show, some viewers were wondering whether the family would stay in the United States or returned to Iraq. Some viewers were also wondering how they were able to obtain a visa to come to the United States in the first place.

This article explains it all and has several interesting details that were not covered in the episodes. The article is primarily about Russell Hayes involvement, who is the American soldier who made it his mission to get the Salman family help. The article states that the producers of Little People, Big World have provided valuable assistance to the family.

As of September 2009, the Salman family were renting a home next to Russell Hayes and his family in Idaho.

Here is some of the article:



The American soldier's heart immediately went out to the family, but he realized there was not much he could do to help. The family had sought the help of local doctors, but little assistance could be found.

Then a series of frightening events changed the course for the Salman family. Mr. Salman had been working as a laborer with a few of his relatives inside the U.S. military "Green Zone" outside Baghdad.

One day he was approached by a group of Iraqi insurgents demanding that Mr. Salman and his relatives help them kill Americans. They refused and trouble began.

Two of Mr. Salman's relatives were abducted a short time later. One would later die from the beatings he endured at the hands of his captors. The Salmans found themselves in grave danger. Because Mr. Salman was being targeted for his association with the U.S. government, the family was eligible to apply for a special refugee visa that would allow them to move to the United States.

Brother Hayes took the lead role in working to secure the visa. He was granted permission to spend extra time working on the request by a high-ranking officer based in Baghdad. That man, a full colonel, was also the father of a child with dwarfism.

Last June, the Salman family left Iraq and moved to the United States

Abdul and Warda Salman and their children are practicing Muslims. Their beliefs are dramatically different from those of their new American friends. "But Mr. Salman himself sometimes says to me 'mua'geza, mua'geza,' — which is Arabic for 'a miracle.' 

The Salmans are now renting a home next to the Hayes home in Kuna, Idaho. Although the family members no longer fear for their lives, they still face many challenges. Leaving Iraq and settling in English-speaking western Idaho has been a huge culture shock. There are not many Iraqis or Muslims in Kuna. There have been a few misunderstandings along the way.

"But despite that, we all love each other," said Brother Hayes.

The local Church members have also done much to help, donating furniture and cooking and kitchen supplies to help the Salmans settle into their new home.

The producers of the popular television program "Little People, Big World" have also provided valuable assistance to the Salman family.

The children who have dwarfism are still in need of costly surgeries. Mr. Salman, meanwhile, is hoping to soon enroll in a barber college. "We're doing all that we can to help the family become self-sufficient," said Brother Hayes, who also directs the International Dwarf Advocacy Association.

You can read the entire article here:

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/57927/A-miracle--Aiding-children-with-dwarfism.html

Lowest Television Ratings thus far for the Roloffs and Little People, Big World Dec 14, 2009

The television ratings for the December 14th episode of Little People, Big World -- "Little Americans" - were the lowest ratings thus far in this season of LPBW. Perhaps feeling the effects of the departure on Monday nights of Jon and Kate Plus 8, Little People, Big World drew 1.463 million viewers. The first 1.4 rating for the Roloffs this season. TLC's Cake Boss, which took over Jon and Kate's time slot at 9pm, also had a 1.4 rating.

These are the ratings for each week of Little People, Big World in Season 5.

Dec 14th Little People, Big World (8pm) - 1.463 million viewers

Dec 7th Little People, Big World (8pm) - 1.617 million viewers

Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8pm)- 1.564 million viewers
Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 1.735 million viewers

Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.554 million viewers
Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.716 million viewers

Nov 9th Little People Big World (8pm) = 1.573 million viewers
Nov 9th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.682 million viewers

Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8pm)- 2.110 million viewers
Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 2.410 million viewers

Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.667 million viewers
Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8:30pm ) = 1.976 million

Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.766 million
Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 1.820 million viewers

Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.864 million
Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 2.198 million

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest Episode Roloff Review by Rap541: Little People, Big World Dec 14, 2009

Our next guest episode reviewer is Rap541. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Rap541).

===============

Written by Rap541

8pm episode: "Little Americans"

Matt is packing and Amy is reminding him of what to pack. Matt talks about heading off to the Middle East. They show a whole “shots fired” in the plane sequence that I really don’t recall from the previous episodes but who knows? How exciting and dangerous!

Matt voices over about the Iraqi family and how the kids need more surgeries. Basically this is a lot of voiceovers and a huge information dump. Ali has problems because the Iraq doctors took the pins out too soon. There’s lots of the boy crying. I mean its obvious the poor kid in in pain. I feel for him. Russell Hayes, the soldier from the first episode is basically letting this family move into their home in Idaho. Yay! That’s pretty awesome and Amy hay bales how she wasn’t keen on Matt going to the Middle East again but Matt wants to do it, needs to, etc. Matt flies off.

To Kuwait and the kids aren’t in Kuwait. This seems like a typical mess up but this is all on commercial airlines this time. Matt notes he has no vest, no helmet, no idea where they are… I dunno, I kinda suspect they had SOME idea where the family was. The guy at the airport wasn’t “They’re MISSING” but was more “they aren’t here yet”. It seems like some of the chaos and unknown status might be a little exaggerated. As in, I bet they know where the family is, but there was a mess up in the travel, not a family missing and no one with no idea. I mean, they overplayed this a bit.

Its night, in Baghdad. So scary, except that this is a commercial flight and there doesn’t appear to be any gunfire. Matt is greeted at the airport by the entire Solimen family, who seem to be waiting there and ready to go. Without a desperate search all across war torn Bagdad! I am SHOCKED at how easily this resolves! They seem to get on the plane just like that and they are off to Idaho! Its very sweet and there is hugging especially from the dad Abdul and its very touching how exciting and happy the family is. Good for them! Iraq may have been the birthplace of civilization but it’s a pest hole now.


Back at the Roloff McMansion. Amy is prepping a spare bedroom. She goes on about how she has no idea what they want. Really Amy, you could make them sleep in Western Town and they would probably be delighted.

There’s a storm! Ohnoes! Maybe the plane will crash! But no, of course not, its just a stopover in Washington DC. The kids are very cute, especially how they can say Obama. I also like how Matt refers to Lincoln as “one of the good presidents”. There’s a hay bale about how awesome America is. Then the kids are singing America the Beautiful. Its adorable. Ironically even the slummy areas of the greater DC area would look like paradise. Compared to Bagdad.

Russell Hayes is there to pick them up and haul them to the farm. Amy hugs the little kids. She thinks they didn’t seem timid. Apparently the twins were away on a school trip and Molly and Jake are in bed. Its quite the contrast. Especially since I suspect that room they are in is as big as their entire house in Iraq. I’m kind of surprised at how none of the Roloff kids were visible in this episode. You’re having an Iraqi family that your dad has a heavy connection to come and visit and you’re on a school trip? You can’t stay up to welcome them into the home? I mean its not like dozing off on the couch isn’t standard practice in that home when you’re tired. Kinda weird. Hope we get some explanation.

So its day and Matt tries to tell Ali to come look at the farm. Ali notes “dog?” and Matt assures him the dog is away. The kids don’t really get the concept of an Old West play town. Matt makes shooting noises. Yeah um…. Maybe not such a great choice for the kids from the war torn place there, Matt. The old west down looks as nice as their old house.

The Iraqi mom cooks food. She seems to speak English very well. She and Amy talk about the kids and how tall they are and Iraqi mom seems pleased for Amy. Amy hay bales how hard it must be for Iraqi Mom especially since things suck hard in Iraq even for the average height. Everyone eats in a circle on the floor. They seem to pray in Arabic and I think they are Moslem. My Arabic isn’t that good, any more. Amy hay bales how great the commonalities are and how the Iraqi family just wants good things for their family. A nice point but still, who doesn’t want their family to have decent medical care and not to be shot at or suicide bombed?


A soldier who was close to the family calls. Ali is very touching on the phone and the family is a little teary eyed. There is hugs and crying and lots of I love yous. Its all so adorable.

Now the kids are leaving and Ali is adorable and they are off to Idaho. In a van. Kind of a long trip but also fun I am sure. Matt hay bales again about how awesome America is and how blessed the Iraqi kids are.

Yeah, as I finish this up, we’re onto the next episode and the Roloff’s *garage* is nicer than the Iraqi family’s house.

Guest Episode Roloff Review by Expressed: Little People, Big World December 14, 2009

Our first guest episode reviewer is Expressed. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Expressed).



===============



Written by Expressed



8pm episode: "Little Americans"

*Matt is going to Kuwait to bring the Iraq family to the US. They're coming to the Roloff Farm. Amy asks for how many nights. Matt says 2. I'm already thinking what a culture shock it'll be. It would be for a normal American home, but the Roloff Mansion? Wow.

*Molly's in the kitchen as Matt is packing and having the conversation with Amy about the Iraq family staying with them for a couple of nights. I think it's a bad editing choice. Just as Amy says they'll be staying with them, Molly's expression doesn't reak of "happy". More like "Okayyyyy, I'm not thrilled."

*I'm always surprised in these episodes that a bigger deal isn't made about Matt going to Iraq or Kuwait and war torn countries like that. The kids don't seem to care that dad is leaving. If they did, it's not on camera. No Jeremy sightings yet.

*Matt explains that after the surgery the Iraq kids had, the Iraqi doctors screwed it up by removing the pins too early. They show very heart breaking footage of the little boy crying in pain as they remove the pins.

*Now they need to come to America to get the surgeries they need. Matt is going to be their escort.

*Matt gets to Kuwait and is told the kids aren't there. Now he needs to fly to Baghdad. Matt isn't happy, that isn't what he planned. Now just Matt (and the unspoken camera crew) need to travel by themselves. Matt is nervous because last time he was surrounded by soldiers, now it's just them.

*They arrive in Baghdad and the Iraqi family along with Russell Hayes are waiting for Matt. It's very touching. The kids give Matt big hugs. It's emotional seeing the father. He's very grateful to Matt for helping.

*I'm surprised the Iraqi mother seems to be speaking pretty good english. I can understand her.

*Amy's back at home getting the guest room ready. She's not sure what they want or what they'll think going from Iraq to the Roloff mansion.

*Matt's with a translator and they stop in Washington, D.C. They look at the White House. The kids say "Obama" a lot.

*It's sweet that the little boy is riding on the front of Matt's scooter. They arrive in Portland, Russell Hayes is with them too. He's the U.S soldier that befriended the family, contacted Matt and started this all.

*They arrive at the Roloff Farm. Matt calls Amy, she meets the family. They all give her big hugs. Amy speaks to the camera that her impression was about how grateful and appreciative they were and they were very open.

*Amy also explains that "unfortunately" none of the Roloff kids are there to greet the Iraqi family. Jeremy and Zach are on a school trip. I'm not sure what time of year this is, maybe it's senior trip in June? Amy says Molly and Jake are already in bed. Weak! Lame excuse! Honestly if I was Molly's or Jake's age and if a family from a country Iraq were coming to my house, I think I'd want to be there to welcome them. But they aren't, I guess it doesn't matter to the Iraq family anyway so no big deal, but I think it's was kind of bad on Molly's and Jake's part (yes people, Jer and Zach have an excuse!)

*Amy takes the Iraqi family to the guest room. They all want to sleep in the same room. I keep thinking what they must be thinking. They go from living in an almost shack to the Roloff mansion as they walk through the 10 different play rooms the Roloffs have, the movie room, the room with the pool table, etc.

*The Iraq kids get to the guest room and look in awe.

*I think it's the next morning now. Still no sign of Molly or Jake. I thought they were just sleeping because it was late when the Iraq family arrived? Hmmmm. Matt is going to take the Iraq family on a tour of the farm. The boy is confused and thinks Matt said dog. The kid seems nervous? Matt says no, the dog is locked up. Poor Rocky. I'll plead ignorance. Is Iraq one of those countries where they eat dogs and stuff? Or is he just afraid of dogs?

*The kids look scared of the Western town. At first they don't want to look around. Matt thinks they're confused because they can't figure out what it is, if they live there or what.

*The Iraqi mother wanted to prepare a traditional Iraqi meal to show their gratitude so she is in the kitchen with Amy cooking.

*They still obviously have not seen Molly and Jake. Nice touch Molly and Jake. Very classy. They are great hosts. Well, we already know about Jake's hosting abilities with his own friends so maybe it's a good thing he went AWOL.(sarcasm off). The Iraqi mother is asking Amy about her parents and her kids and if they're average size or if they are LP. Amy explains that only Zach is a LP. The Iraqi mother says "Thank God!"

*Amy tells the camera she thinks the Iraqi mother said that because of all the medical problems that she has faced with her own kids.

*They Iraq family asks if they can eat on the floor, they spread out a blanket. They all pray with Amy. I'm not sure if Matt is there but later they show him.

*Amy gives the similarity speech. They appear to be very different, but they have similarities, they both love their kids, etc.

*I think it's a US soldier that befriended the family in Iraq, calls them. The kids and the mother are very emotional talking to her. A lot of tears.

*Matt says the family is now leaving for their new home in Idaho. Russell Hayes seems to be going with them.

*Matt and Amy wave goodbye to them (still no Roloff kids)

*Matt says he hopes they Iraq family and kids realize that they've given a blessing and now it's up to them to make it work.

End of Episode.

It was very touching to see the emotions of the Iraqi parents and the kids are sweet, especially the little boy. I wish them the best, but honestly, this isn't why I watch LPBW.

Except for the 3 seconds in the opening scene of Molly looking horrified to hear that the Iraq family would be staying with them (since Molly and Jake never did appear again maybe that look foreshadowed what was to come!) there was absolutely nothing of the Roloff kids. Jeremy wasn't in it at all.

The second episode is a repeat. Boo. Not a great night of LPBW.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Television rating for Little People, Big World Roloff family December 7

The December 7th episode of Little People, Big World at 8pm, "Amy On Her Own" received a rating of 1.617 million viewers.

These are the rest of the ratings so far in Season 5 of Little People, Big World.

Dec 7th Little People, Big World (8pm) - 1.617 million viewers

Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8pm)- 1.564 million viewers
Nov 30th Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 1.735 million viewers

Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.554 million viewers
Nov 16th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.716

Nov 9th Little People Big World (8pm) = 1.573 million viewers
Nov 9th Little People, Big World (8:30pm) = 1.682 million viewers

Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8pm)- 2.110 million viewers
Nov 2nd Little People, Big World (8:30pm)- 2.410 million viewers

Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8pm) = 1.667 million viewers
Oct 26th Little People, Big World (8:30pm ) = 1.976 million

Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.766 million
Oct 19 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 1.820 million viewers

Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8pm = 1.864 million
Oct 12 Little People, Big World 8:30pm = 2.198 million

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

5 new bonus Roloff videos of Little People, Big World released by TLC

TLC has 5 new videos up of Little People, Big World, most of which are bonus or deleted scenes not shown in the episodes that aired on television.

I believe the video that will be of the most interest to viewers might be the video titled "The Boys Meet With The Soccer Coach" during one of the college visits Amy took Jeremy and Zach on (before they ultimately ended up going to Portland Community College). Jeremy's future in soccer has been a long running theme on the show ever since the first season of LPBW.

I thought it was nice of Zach to attempt to build Jeremy up to the coach by telling him about all of Jeremy's All Star selections throughout his high school years. You get the impression that quite a bit of their meeting was left out of this very brief clip. The coach didn't appear to say anything too critical from what is shown in this clip, however judging by Jeremy's facial expression at the end of clip and Amy's comment, the coach must have said something to shake the Roloffs confidence that Jeremy could make that team.



Amy's comment on the meeting: "From a mother's point of view, what I heard? Basically Jeremy, you're not going to make this team because you do not push yourself."

The other clip that viewers might find fun is entitled "Race The Barrells" -While at the Rockin' R Ranch in Utah; Jeremy, Zach and Amy race (or attempt to) race a horse around barrells while being clocked.

Another video "Giddy Up" was basically included in the episode on television. Amy and Zach get on a horse.

Zach coaches soccer is another video clip; Zach tries to think up drills for the soccer team he is coaching.

"Dinner's Ready" features Amy and Molly going to "Dinner's Ready". Amy is leaving for a few days for her Florida trip (which viewers saw as Molly's frozen pork meal that Jake and Matt weren't exactly excited to eat...). Amy explains that she's concerned if she doesn't get food ready for Matt and the kids they will only eat junk food while she's away.

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/little-people-big-world-season-5/

Monday, December 7, 2009

Guest Roloff Episode Review by Rap541; Little People, Big World December 7th

Our first guest episode reviewer is Rap541. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Rap541).


===============

Written by Rap541


1st Episode:

So Amy starts by helping Zach make food. It seems to be some ort of chili mac. Bleh… I feel sad for the kids who eat that. I mean ick. Now in fairness, chili mac grosses me out.

Amy is heading off to a charity thing where she will speak for low income housing. She notes how she has become a good public speaker, it makes money, and she is starting to like it. She chides the kids for knowing nothing about being clean. Ironic, that.

She heads off to do tons of stuff in Florida. She goes to Habitat for Humanity. She notes her shyness is related to her size. She worries people sorta automatically look down on her. There’s fun where she does counters for the house. Honestly it’s a little too cutesy contrived for me but I get where they were going.

Amy heads to the golf tournament. She has never played golf. Ehh… I find golf dull but she seems to enjoy being the beginner. She seems to have fun. Good for her. I hate golf. Its a dull game to me.

Amy heads to a an emergency home for kids who need help. She seems at a loss at first but breaks the ice well over prom talk. She seems like a good, warm speaker to kids in trouble. On the other hand, I kinda get the vibe she has no idea what the kids have been through. It’s a bit weird.

Jeremy and Zach head to the bank to get their first checking accounts. Jeremy notes he has no idea what is happening and he has no idea and its “mumbojib”. He and Zach get debit cards which is scary when Jeremy notes he hasn’t ever actually balanced a real check book. Ok. I had a savings account when I was eight and a checking account when I was eleven. This isn’t that hard, and the two big boys… oh wait, realistically the two *children* were actually adults who both confessed they had NO IDEA what was happening as they engaged in a basic life skill that retarded people manage.

Now I know people are going howl…. But let me confess something. I work in the finance industry. I see stupid kids like Jer and Zach who’s parents don’t bother to teach them anything about money get cards every day and when the big boy adults SCREW UP because their parents never bothered teaching them a DAMN thing about managing money, who gets on the phone to bitch and moan? Not the big boys in their big boy panties, but Momma and Daddy and then I have to explain to Momma and Daddy how the Big Boy Babies are in fact ADULTS and have to pay their bills because they are not momma and daddy’s lil babies who are blameless any more. . Folks if you don’t want someone like Rap541 explaining to you in detail how dumb you made your adult children, explain to them how credit cards, debit cards, and checking accounts work. Because really, Jeremy and Zach have been set up to fail by both of their parents and its unpleasant watching the impending doom begin.

Amy heads to “Hannah’s House” which is for homeless pregnant girls and girls with babies. They seems pretty grateful to be there. Amy notes how her problems are a lot less and seems humble. She tries to reassure the young mothers that life is gonna get better. They all actually seem pretty confident

She heads back to the fundraiser- still not sure what this is for - I would be a little miffed if I was expecting advertising, just saying. Amy notes how she is awkward but this is for kids going to college! Still no idea what the name of the charity is.

She sorta yells at people to donate. She nicely plays on football rivalries… It seems to work.

Molly makes weird food. She needed to um… unfreeze it first…..Molly? You need a crockpot. It’s sooo easy in a crockpot, I wasn’t a good cook until I got the crockpot.

Amy does a keynote speech. She notes how proud everyone must be and voice overs how she likes giving back etc. They raised 18k which does seem like a lot. It’s nice to see Amy so self confident.

She heads off to a tat parlor. I think it’s a fake tat she gets, but who am I to know? It’s nice, a bit tribal which is an amusing choic , all things considered.

Amy has souvenirs to show the kids. And shows off her “tat”. The boys seems horrified at mom getting a tat. Then she *wipes* it off and the boys seems very very relieved. Aren’t these the same two who wanted DBU on their butts so they could willfully commit adultery?

Guest Roloff Episode Review by Expressed: Little People, Big World December 7th

Our first guest episode reviewer is Expressed. All opinions and statements made belong solely to the person making them (Expressed).



===============



Written by Expressed



1st Episode:

This is the Amy own episode. If you know me, I haven't been looking forward to an episode about Amy on her own doing charity work (the kids make the show, esp. Jeremy!) That's my bias right off the start.

*In the kitchen. Jer and Zach. Jer looking good in a tank top and shorts. Does Jer ever wear socks or is he always barefoot? Zach wants to make Mac and Cheese. Amy helps him. Amy talks about the importance of the kids being able to feed themselves because she's traveling more doing public speaking. Some will bash them, but I'm not much of a cook either. I won't belittle Zach for not knowing much in the kitchen. I'll try to be unbias here. I think Jeremy is either smart or the editors throw Zach to the wolves. lol. Notice when there is a cooking scene about them not knowing what to do, Jeremy fades in the back and Zach is the center of attention as the guy who doesn't know what to do? And they say Jeremy isn't smart. Haha! He knows when to back out to salvage what's left of his reputation :) (for some people, as a representative of the Jer lovers society, we like Jeremy just the way he is!)

*Amy says she's been invited to participate in a fundraiser and give a speech. Does everybody notice the little white lies? Invited to participate sort of leaves out that she gets paid $7000 for these speeches. I don't care, but I notice the little distortions of truth in how they say things. Help me. I'm becoming cynical! lol.

*Amy is getting ready to leave. Jake won't put his dirty dishes in the sink. Amy lectures him. As usual, Jake is giving nonstop Bratitude (thanks my anti-fan, Rod for that one! :). Jake whines, moans and complains. He's shown taking a huge garbage bag out to the dumpster as Amy yells at him. Sorry Jake fans, I just don't like him. He's always whining or complaining. He never looks happy.

*Amy is in Florida. She volunteered at Habitat for Humanity. She's there to work. She meets the supervisor. He looks around for something for her to do. Amy haybales (thanks Rap! For the non-haybale people, this means she's talking to the cameras, there are bales of hay behind her) that she saw the doubt in his eyes that he didn't think she could do it. Wow, I think she's kind of being unfair to this poor guy. Amy is using this as a 'Mean average sized people discriminate against LP". He has her get into/under the sink to screw some things in. It works well. Amy said she was satisfied when he said she did a great job because he doubted her. She goes on to say hopefully she proved to him that LP are worthy and the next LP that comes he won't be discrimatory against. She didn't use those words, but I think that's what she meant. She's being totally unfair to this Habitat supervisor. She's a LP. All he was doing was looking around for something for her to do because let's face it, there are some things she can't do. He found something that was perfect for her. That's not the same as being discrimatory. I wonder what that guy thinks of what Amy said about him to the world television audience. :)

-Amy is golfing for the golf tournament. She's never been golfing before. She hits a good first shot but struggled after that. It seems like I'm one of the few people not into the golfing craze. I hope golf doesn't become a big part of LPBW!

- Amy is speaking to kids who are homeless or have family problems. She says she doesn't know what to say. They show her speaking...being lost for words, saying "um" a lot, long pauses. She said it's tough because she thought she faced tough times, but the kids are facing truly tough things.

*One kid (he looks about 18), Greg, asked Amy to go prom. Wow. Amy talks about it and said she told him yes, she'll go when he asks her. Wow. After the speech she walks around with the kids, this Greg seems to really like Amy! I just heard a song on the radio today about a guy hooking up with some lady in her 40s, there's a line in the song that said it was awkward when her son came home and he knew him from school. I keep thinking of how Jeremy and Zach must be reacting to some guy their age asking Amy to prom! lol.

*Jer and Zach! Yeah!!!! They're at a bank. That's a good place for them because we all know they're loaded because of the show, although they won't say that. Viewers are supposed to think they got all their money from mowing lawns at 11 and Zach's soccer coaching job at an indoor place....sometimes we need to suspend real reality. Back to the bank, I'm distracted by Jeremy. He's wearing a blue shirt. He looks huge. Really bulked up. The person from the bank talks to them about opening accounts and explains, they're getting bank cards. Jeremy said they didn't understand, it was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Uh-oh, bad thing to say on this show! Cue the Jeremy bashers. Jeremy says he knows how to balance a check book, but has never done it before and it's different if you haven't actually done something before for yourself. He's right.

*Jeremy and Zach walk out of the bank. Jeremy is wearing those shorts made famous (for us in the Jeremy lovers society!) by the disappearing grad party photos. On the behalf of the Drooling Jeremy Lovers Society, I would like to thank LPBW editors for making a habit of showing Jeremy from behind leaving all these places. They're doing that a lot this season. Keep up the great work! Those shots of Jeremy leaving are great, especially in episodes like this where we don't get much of Jer.

*Amy is talking to young mothers. She rushes over to the hotel for the fundraiser. She said it's not going well and the pressure is on her to make it successful. You can see where this is going. Amy the hero to save the day.

*Maybe that's how it really was but I'm noticing how much the show is butchering all the other people involved in these things. I keep thinking about what they think when they watched tonight. First there was the poor Habitat guy who was made to be some prejudiced jerk who doubted Amy because she was a LP, when really he was being reasonable and polite. Now the fundraiser people are looking like they're ineffective idiots, only to be saved by the brilliance of Amy Roloff.

*Amy says she knew sports rivalries are big down there. She had an idea. She made it a war between Auburn and Alabama. $100 from Auburn. Alabama can you match. It seems to work. Though people are putting bills on the chair. How much money can they be raising if people are giving cash? There's not that many people there. I thought these things went by check? Maybe this is all staged so they could do the Amy brilliant idea thing?

*Back at the farm! Yeah!!!!!!!!! Molly is making dinner. She's confused. Uh-oh. She's making pork, but it's still frozen. Jake comes to eat. He complains. He says it looks weird. A Matt sighting! He's in the kitchen too. He's not saying a word. No hay baling from Matt tonight either. Jake is still complaining about Molly's cooking and very carefully tries a bite. He doesn't like it and is repelled by the look of it. Matt gives a few facial expressions. I don't think he likes it either. He keeps asking for water. Jake, the charming brat that he is, asks if it is "feedable" to Rocky. Molly, let Jake starve next time! Molly complains in a voice over how she sympathizes with Amy now. She says it's frustrating to spend 2 hours cooking something only to have people nitpick and complain that it isn't good.

*Back in Florida at the fund raiser. The fundraiser person is too emotional to read the total money raised. Amy reads it. They made $18,000. I guess I was right that it wasn't all cash donations!

*Amy says it's nice to know she makes a difference in people's lives. It kind of sounds like an arrogant thing to do, but I know what she means. It was a good thing she did, helping raising money, although I think she got paid for it, at least for her speech and being there.

*Before she leaves Florida, Amy said there was one last thing she wanted to do. Get a tattoo. She gets a tattoo on her leg, just above her ankle. I don't watch TLC tattoo shows. I assume that guy wasn't anybody?

* Amy is back home. Jake is on the computer. He doesn't care that she's home. More charming Jake.

*Amy goes outside. Jer, Zach and their friends are playing soccer. Jeremy has those shorts on again! Yeah!!!! :)

*I will take a cue from Em earlier this week in comments on this site. I don't care about being called shallow. I don't care about being made fun of. I don't care about annoying people. As part of the Jer Lovers Society, I must speak the truth. Jeremy does have the greatest butt ever. Sorry but it's true. Look! Other Jer lovers, send Spirits screen caps. lol. I'm already working on that :)

*Back to the Jeremy playing soccer. Where was I? Jeremy has a great looking ass in those shorts. I'm distracted. Amy shows them her tattoo. Jeremy seems in a controlled shocked. Zach says something. Jeremy says Matt went through his mid-life crisis and bought a car. Editing out of order episode scheduling error! They haven't aired that episode yet. Jer says Amy's mid life crisis includes getting a tattoo. Amy then wipes off the tattoo. It wasn't a real tattoo. Zach says they got punked by Amy. I think the whole scene was staged. Jeremy and Zach's expressions looked like they were acting and pretending to be surprised. Screw that staged crap, and give us more of Jeremy running around in those shorts! :)

End of episode
=========

Next episode...there isn't any new episode!!!! It's a repeat. It's the BVI episode. That was a great episode. Jeremy shirtless in the BVI's. That was the highest rated episode of the season. But we've come to expect new episodes. At least give us Lost Episodes. This sucks. We got robbed! lol.

I'm in a bad mood now. All we get for our weekly Roloff fixed is one episode of mostly Amy and a repeat. Boooooooooooooo!




Saturday, December 5, 2009

Original article on the Roloff Family from 1998 -- A must read



This is a blast from the past and a special treat. I believe this is the original article from the Oregonian that is credited with starting it all in terms of media attention that lead to the Roloffs being on television. This is the local article that brought the Roloffs to the attention of the New York Times, which then got the Roloffs into People Magazine and from that got the attention of Discovery. No doubt this is best article that has have been written about the Roloffs.

It's an outstanding article; so interesting to look back on it now knowing what things are like for the Roloffs present day and read this old article from 11 years ago. Jacob was only 15 months, Jeremy and Zach were 7 years old.



Particularly with all the marriage drama being depicted on the current season of Little People, Big World, it's noticeable according to the article how in love Matt and Amy were back then. Amy initiated warm embraces with Matt.

Some enlightening quotes from the article:

"She takes care of me," Matt says so tenderly that Amy turns away from her chore to meet her husband's eyes. "She's the one who makes me responsible."

When Matt met Amy in 1986 in Dearborn, Mich., she had resigned herself to a life without love or children. She had dated only twice -- in contrast to Matt, who dated lots of women of all sizes.

The two didn't get together until after they met at the convention -- when Amy, living with her folks in Michigan, doggedly wrote him in San Jose until he responded. Their romance moved swiftly; they spent a total of three weeks together before their wedding in September 1987.

"Ever since he proposed, I've been on a big adventure," Amy says, stepping down from the stool to wrap her arms around her husband's neck. "If I had not married Matt, I never would have experienced what I've experienced. I used to think that I wasn't good enough for anyone.

"Matt made me feel worthwhile."

Some things seem so different. Some things stay the same (the army of the twins friends piling through the house, Matt being in charge; convincing people that they're lucky to do things for him). Interesting that they said they were against customizing the house to LP size because they wanted to maintain the resale value and for their average height kids. Neat to see all the references to Matt hoping to be noticed by Disney.

The most poignant portion of the article, in my opinion, is the part about Matt actually getting out on the soccer field and being able to run (apparently not well, but that's not the point) and kick the soccer ball. It puts into perspective how much Matt's health has deteriorated when you consider what he's like now.

Another note of interest in the article will be the part about the soccer game. What Jeremy was like when he was younger compared to what viewers have seen of Jacob in the last few years on Little People, Big World has always been a much debated topic among the different faction of fans. The article tells the story of Jeremy and Matt taking on Amy and Zach in a soccer game. Fans will want to read about Jeremy's reaction after a rare loss.

On a light note, Ron Roloff must have grown a few inches while he was in his 60's...on the show Ron has been described as being over 6 foot, in the 1998 article it states he is 5'10".

It's a lengthy article, but well worth the read. It gives some fabulous insight into Matt -- his determination, his dreams, and his drive. You have to give Matt so much credit, it is hard to imagine a person having a better outlook on life and on their own differences or disability.

Amy's own confidence has grown so much. It's sad to hear her describe herself before she met Matt - feeling like she wasn't good enough for anyone and being resigned to the idea that she would never find love or have kids.

Very interesting to look back at it now. I've scattered in some old pictures of the Roloff family that you might not have seen for those whose eyes glaze over when they see too much text without anything to break it up ;-). Not all of these are necessarily from the same year as the article.

April 26, 1998
Measuring a man's worth Deal-maker, father and dwarf Matt Roloff shows success and ambition aren't reserved for the average-size world By Michelle Mandel of The Oregonian staff

Measuring a man's worth
Deal-maker, father and dwarf Matt Roloff shows success and ambition aren't reserved for the average-size world
By Michelle Mandel of The Oregonian staff



Matt Roloff roars his 4 x 4 rig up a slender slice of hill he calls Top of the World, cuts the engine, leans back and soaks in the spoils of his success.

His eyes roam his 34-acre Washington County farm, built with money he makes as a top deal-maker in the high-stakes computer industry. His gaze pauses at the peach orchard, the llama pens and red barn he rebuilt, but he stops for a good stare at the pirate ship and three-story Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.

But the half-built Old West town, with its sheriff's office, hotel and post office, draws a sigh. He frets that it won't be finished by May 10, his twin sons' eighth birthday.

His worry eases as he looks past the pond and soccer field into the future. He envisions a spectacular avenue like Disneyland's Main Street -- a signature entrance to his cream-colored farmhouse and burgeoning U-pick fruit farm.



Barns charm him, so he envisions a big one just inside the gate. Beyond it, he sees barrels and wagons and other farm tools lining the 200-foot driveway.
Except everything will be big. Really big. So everyone who enters will feel small.

Very small.

Like him.

Inspiring others

He often forgets that he's a dwarf, until he sees himself in the mirror or when somebody stares intently. But Matt Roloff was born a dwarf, and a diastrophic dwarf at that, with the telltale lousy joints. His crutches have been his hips and knees all his 36 years.




Sometimes, when he looks in the mirror and sees a hunched-over man on crooked legs, he ponders whether long legs and arms would have reaped him greater glories. Then he wonders whether his deformities drive him, whether his need to prove his worth in a world of comparable giants makes him twice the man he otherwise would be.

Either way, he considers himself a lucky man, whom God has blessed with many breaks in life, including a high-paying job; appearances in "Return of the Jedi" and other movies; three lucrative side businesses; a loving wife; four healthy children; and a fairy-tale farm that he secretly dreams Disney folks will notice -- because he doubly secretly thinks he's got something Disney needs.




Although others might view his handicap as carte blanche for self-pity, Matt's transformed it into a powerful catalyst that charges both his business and personal lives. His rapid-fire mind -- honed during childhood years spent in a hospital bed -- drives him to overcome his physical limitations. In doing so, he inspires friends and family to conquer their own limitations.

He hasn't exactly spun gold out of straw, but the self-made man has mastered standing tall at 4 feet 2 inches.

His seize-the-day attitude, though, leaves little time for reflection. He guns the Toyota Land Cruiser backward down the hill and takes off around the treehouse, pirate ship and pond to his remodeled 1930s farmhouse. Grabbing his crutches from behind the front seat, he hobble-swings inside.

"Hey," Matt calls out to his 35-year-old wife, Amy, who's sitting on the family-room floor with pink curlers in her hair and pink eyeshadow smeared above her deep-set hazel eyes. Scattered toys surround her on the carpet.

"We're playing beauty shop," she says, grinning, as their daughter Molly rolls another chunk of chestnut hair up her mother's head.



Matt met Amy at a Little People of America convention 11 years ago and married her 14 months later. Amy's an achondroplastic dwarf, the most common of 100 dwarf types. Like Matt, she's 4 feet 2 inches, but like most "acons" she stands straight and doesn't need crutches.




He lifts his youngest child, 15-month-old Jacob -- who already reaches his father's chest -- and kisses him softly on the cheek. Physical problems prevent most dwarf couples from having more than two children. The fact that the Roloffs have four gives Amy significant bragging rights at little people get-togethers.

The twin boys blast into the four-bedroom house trailed by half a dozen dirt-smudged friends. "We've been playing Army!" says a panting Zachary, an acon dwarf whose squat legs must pump twice as fast to keep up with the pack. His twin, Jeremy -- like Molly and Jacob -- is what the dwarf community calls "average" size, meaning he'll grow to normal height.



Already, 7-year-old Jeremy is 2 inches taller than his parents.

The fact that he is a dwarf, married to a dwarf, with a dwarf child and three average-size children doesn't seem odd to Matt. Like 90 percent of all dwarfs, he and Amy have average-size parents and siblings.

To him, he's just a husband, a father and a businessman with a whole lot to do in a short space of time. He's a man who happened to be born small, so he knows for sure he'll never be a star basketball player. But that's about all he'll concede.

The phone rings, as it does every 10 minutes or so in Matt's office, which sprawls across the family dining room. He answers with his characteristic "Matt here," then leans back as if reclining in an invisible chair, resting his beefy biceps in the leather straps of his crutches, taking his 120 pounds off tired knees and hips. The fused middle knuckles of his stumpy fingers don't bend, so he more or less pushes the phone up against his ear. A ghost of a goatee encircles his mouth.

Friends tell him he looks like actor Dustin Hoffman, with his Roman nose, and he sounds like actor Joe Pesci, with his raspy, streetwise voice. He's not so sure, but he doesn't argue. He'd rather be compared with Dustin Hoffman than the Hobbit.

The caller is one of those friends, among at least 200 people in his personal phone book. Matt makes a point of calling them monthly, even if only to say hi. Later, he balks at naming just one best friend.

He has, he says, so many friends.

Life at full speed

Yelling goodbye to Amy, Matt swings out the front door and to the Land Cruiser -- now towing a 16-foot flatbed trailer -- and pulls himself into the driver's seat.

He's practiced the move so it looks easy. Then he's off, his right foot gunning a pedal extender as he pulls onto Helvetia Road.



As usual, he's in a hurry, hoping to cram five errands into one hour. He wakes up calculating how many chores he can squeeze in before midnight, when he finally passes out and rests his bullet-train brain. Downtime is wasted time; he figures he's read just 10 books in his life, too impatient to tackle others. He rarely feels frazzled, but when he does, he plays Blitz chess. The five-minute computer game saps his mental energies but momentarily distracts him.

"Life is very short," he says, barreling past fields of alfalfa and clover, window unrolled, seat belt unfastened. "It comes and goes very quickly, and I think people waste a lot of time in their lives. When I retire, and I sit back in my rocking chair, I don't want to have any regrets."

As reluctant to waste money as time, he's calling three lumber stores on his hands-free cell phone to find the lowest price on 30 railroad ties for his western town. Settling on Home Depot, he briskly hobble-walks inside and stops the first clerk he sees.



He's witnessed the pause before -- the "you're a dwarf, how should I deal with you?" moment -- but he hardly notices. He considers the pause a definitive edge, his 30-second chance to show folks he's no slouch.

The pause works especially well in business, where new clients rarely know he's a dwarf before their first meeting. Matt, in sports coat, slacks and tie, plows into the room like nothing's up. Then, while everybody's taking in his shortness, he makes bonding chitchat before blasting them with a multimillion-dollar sales pitch.

"He has an incredible ability to break down barriers and to build a warm and fuzzy feeling very quickly," says his boss, Ashok Kuruganti, Pacific Northwest manager of Clarify Corp., a computer software company based in San Jose, Calif. Matt fell into computer programming after an academically undistinguished high school career, and he quickly became expert at customer support system software.

Matt came to Oregon from California in 1990 to take a job at Sequent Computer Systems Inc., where he worked mostly behind the scenes. He's amazed that Clarify would even consider putting him on its front selling line.

But Kuruganti, who counts Matt as one of his closest friends, says he's invaluable. "He knows what clients need and how to solve their problems better than anybody else," he says.

To think straight, Matt needs an uncluttered mind. So he delegates, a skill he developed while growing up in the San Francisco area where he enlisted entire neighborhoods to help him build go-carts and magnificent backyard forts.

"He kind of played the other kids, like, 'If you're really lucky, you'll get to do something for me,' " says Ron Roloff, his 5-foot, 10-inch father, who lives with
Matt's mother, Peggy, in Grass Valley, Calif.

Matt still convinces people they're lucky to work for him. He pays some of them, such as the 15 hired hands hammering together his floor-wobbling Tower of Terror. Others simply consider themselves privileged to be able to lend a friend a hand.



"He's amazing," says friend Sven Baidenmann, a graphic designer and brainstorming buddy. "Just when you think you know everything about him, he tells you something else he's doing -- and it's been on the burner for quite a while -- and it's so exciting, you just want to be a part of it."

Hauling back down Helvetia Road, flatbed filled with railroad ties and 40 bags of fertilizer, Matt thinks about summer coming and the big barbecues he'll throw. He throws them because he likes to show off and believes in spending money to make money. Big-shot executives remember little Matt Roloff long after the shindig ends.

"It gives executives confidence in me," he says, talking at his racehorse pace. "They know if I can handle doing what I do on the farm, I can handle their project, too."

He's famous among friends for picking up the tab, and he's a generous tipper -- especially at hotels, where he needs help with everything from adjusting the shower head to schlepping his luggage to buying razor blades from a vending machine where "the dollar feeder's up so high I can't reach it, unless I find some trash can to stand on."

Fortunately, the night he needed the razor blades, a bellboy he'd tipped heavily earlier came by and helped.

Unlike Amy -- who would sometimes rather suffer than let somebody help her, determined her height never be an excuse for failure -- Matt admits his weaknesses and seeks others who can disguise them. He mentally catalogs the talents of every person he meets and, if he ever needs that talent, calls them.

Some people don't even realize they have a talent until Matt tells them. "I never would have gotten into real estate if Matt hadn't asked," says his business partner, Dick Mann of Northwest Portland. Mann takes care of anything having to do with numbers because Matt's an impatient, go-with-his-gut guy.



"I think of Matt like a kite, flitting around all over the place getting ideas -- and

I'm the string that keeps him grounded," says Mann, 52, who's also Matt's partner in a butterfly kit business. Matt has a third business dismantling barns; he uses the old wood to build his creations.

Matt's met a lot of America's estimated 20,000 to 100,000 dwarfs at Little People of America conventions: He can name a dwarf politician, a dwarf doctor and a dwarf lawyer. But he also knows that 25 percent of little people are unemployed, mostly because they don't want to deal with the average-size world. Before she met Matt, Amy hated applying for jobs, fearful she wouldn't be hired because she was short and paranoid she'd be hired out of pity.

But Matt always has shoved himself into the spotlight, more than willing to exchange stares for an E-ride on life's edge. Risk puts him on equal footing with men twice his size; the greater the risk, the greater his glory.

Everything he does, he goes all out, whether it's risking half his fortune on a dicey but potentially lucrative real estate deal, racing his dune buggy at breakneck speed around his property, jacking up a barn by himself or building massive bonfires.

Of course, danger has its downside. He sprained his foot when he dropped the barn on it, and he flipped the tractor digging out the pond, landing upside down in the dirt. He also spent five days in the hospital recovering from second-degree burns after a helper mistakenly poured gasoline instead of diesel fuel on a bonfire in the making.

"When I lit the match," Matt says, "the explosion literally blew me 10 feet backwards out of my crutches."

Lessons for his children





Matt hobble-runs down the soccer field, kicking his crooked legs at balls he usually misses, in an impromptu game that pits Jeremy and Matt against Zachary and Amy. Long-legged Jeremy scores the first goal. Ten minutes later, Matt huffs and puffs off the field, leaving Jeremy to face the dwarf duo, who prove too swift and soon win the game.

Jeremy is used to winning and is plenty steamed at losing. He stomps to the pond, sits on a rock and fumes.

"You can't win all the time," Amy yells across the lawn at her pouting son.

"It wasn't a fair game!" Jeremy yells back.

"Life isn't fair sometimes," Amy yells back.

Dwarfs learn this early in life, when other kids call them midgets or ignore them. Already Zach -- who stands a full head shorter than his twin brother -- hears the whispers and feels the stares. He knows that no matter how hard he tries, no matter how hard he practices, he never can be as good a soccer player as Jeremy.



The Roloffs knew when they decided to become parents that the odds were 50-50 whether their children would be dwarfs. Sometimes they wish they'd had another dwarf child so Zach would have a like-size playmate; his nearest dwarf friend lives in Seattle.

As small as Zach feels, Jeremy feels just as large, acutely aware of the inches between himself and his parents. "Sometimes I feel like I'm in this bubble," the lanky boy says, "and all the little people in my house are in this other bubble."

Matt tells his children size has nothing to do with success, plucking proof from his childhood to help them understand: At age 12, on a modified Schwinn 10-speed, he had a paper route twice as long as other kids. At age 15, while his average-size peers flipped burgers at McDonald's, he bought and sold cars.

He also thinks it is better to be upfront than to try to hide what can't be hidden.

He often speaks at his children's school or in other classrooms to help dispel false notions about little people.



His parents felt the same way, three times over. Matt's older sister, Ruth, now 38 and married, was born a "perfect specimen," as Peggy Roloff puts it. But brother Josh, 33, suffers from a congenital heart problem, and brother Sam, 30, is a diastrophic dwarf dependent on crutches.

"We took it as a challenge," says silver-haired Ron Roloff, an ex-Marine and retired truck driver.

"We accepted our kids, and with the Bible behind us, we figured whatever problems they had, we could deal with it."

Matt knows his parents tried to make his childhood as normal as possible, even though he spent nearly three years in a hospital recuperating from 15 bone-altering surgeries. For an additional two years, he lived in neck-to-ankle body casts.

"I'd wake up after these surgeries," Matt says, his voice trembling at the memory, "where they had cut out part of a bone in my foot, or my knee or my hip, and I could actually feel where they had cut out the piece, and it hurt so bad."



His brother Sam endured similar surgeries. To compensate, every time the boys got out of the hospital, their parents either had a big party or went on a trip.

Matt best remembers the trip to New York when Ron Roloff rigged pulleys on the Volkswagen van's ceiling to suspend his sons -- both in body casts -- so they could move around on the road.

"We looked like slabs of beef hanging there," Matt says.

Building a partnership

Matt offers equality for all in his family, short or tall. He and Amy did not lower counter tops when they bought and remodeled the house eight years ago. They wanted to maintain resale value and didn't want their average-size children to have to stoop as they grew up. Instead, footstools litter the kitchen and bathrooms.

When Matt goes inside for a fruit drink, Amy's standing on a stool washing dishes. She's shaking her head, because Matt's talking about the children becoming filmmakers when they grow up. He videotapes every aspect of his life and predicts his children will have the same passion. He's had nonspeaking roles in several movies -- he played an ewok in "Return of the Jedi" and a munchkin in "Under the Rainbow" -- but acting doesn't interest him as much as filmmaking.



Amy rolls her eyes at this plan. That means it probably won't happen because she oversees all aspects of the children's education. "I want them to be doctors or lawyers or something else remarkable,'' she says firmly. "They can make movies as a hobby."

Matt smiles at Amy because he thinks she's right. He can't imagine life without his "sweetie."

"She takes care of me," he says so tenderly that Amy turns away from her chore to meet her husband's eyes. "She's the one who makes me responsible."
Especially, he knows, when it comes to raising the children. Matt's good at the fun stuff, but all his wheeling, dealing and building leave little time for the daily duties of child-rearing.

It's 95-pound Amy, in her size 4 Nordstrom blue jeans and extra-small preppy shirts and sweaters, who runs Molly to preschool and dance lessons, or the twins to private Christian school in Beaverton and soccer practices, or chases Jacob around the house. She also takes the children to Cedar Mill Bible Church on Sundays (Matt goes when he's not working), buys the groceries, cooks and does the laundry.



When Matt met Amy in 1986 in Dearborn, Mich., she had resigned herself to a life without love or children. She had dated only twice -- in contrast to Matt, who dated lots of women of all sizes.

The two didn't get together until after they met at the convention -- when Amy, living with her folks in Michigan, doggedly wrote him in San Jose until he responded. Their romance moved swiftly; they spent a total of three weeks together before their wedding in September 1987.

"Ever since he proposed, I've been on a big adventure," Amy says, stepping down from the stool to wrap her arms around her husband's neck. "If I had not married Matt, I never would have experienced what I've experienced. I used to think that I wasn't good enough for anyone.

"Matt made me feel worthwhile."





Another great day

At midnight, when Matt crawls in bed, he rubs his scarred feet up and down the sheets, as he always does. Tingles shoot up and down his spine, as they always do. He's performed this nightly ritual since age 16, the last year doctors forced him to wear leg-straightening braces to bed.

He pulls Amy into his arms, and then his eyes drift to the window and his world beyond. In the moonlit night, he sees the pirate ship, the treehouse and the Top of the World. His favorite fantasy -- the one where Disney calls to say the Magic Kingdom needs a guy like him -- dances through his mind.

"Today's been a great day, sweetie," he tells Amy, kissing her cheek and shutting his eyes. Soon, he sleeps and dreams that he's flying.

Dreams that he's flapping his crutches across the sky.

-- By Michelle Mandel of The Oregonian staff