Wednesday, July 29, 2009
According to a new article in the LA Times, TLC had record-breaking ratings last month. Of course, this is without Little People, Big World, which will return in the fall.
Some food for thought, Jon and Kate Plus 8 which is TLC's highest rated show used to regularly draw numbers in the high 2's, 2.7 or 2.8. Little People, Big World often received low 2's, 2.2 or 2.3 -- which were considered very solid ratings. Ratings spike when there are special episodes such as scandal or tragedy (ie. Jacob's trebuchet accident episode, Matt's DUII trial, and Mike Detjen's death). After the Jon and Kate frenzy, as the article states, their "divorce" episodes drew over 10 million viewers.
The article is about TLC President, Eileen O'Neill, who took over last July, and how ratings have improved under her control. When she took over, apparently TLC ratings had dropped 30%.
In September 2008, just before the start of Season 4 of Little People, Big World (and just after the National Enquirer article aboout Jeremy's use of racial and homophobic slurs), Eileen O'Neill made these comments about the show in a press release:
"Little People, Big World will continue to share the big surprises and little moments that make the series one of the most engaging and addictive on TV today," TLC president Eileen O'Neill said in a statement. "The series helps remind us of all we share in common, despite any differences we might have."
I know there are a lot of naysayers about the future of Little People, Big World, but I predict continued strong ratings - perhaps better than ever if the network as a whole is doing well.
"Heaven and hell" is how Eileen O'Neill describes her first year at the helm of TLC, the cable network that is home to the controversial reality hit "Jon & Kate Plus 8."
O'Neill, 42, took over as president and general manager of TLC last July after the channel's ratings had dropped by 30% under predecessor Angela Shaprio-Mathis. Now she's wrapping up a record month. The channel averaged more than a million viewers in prime time, a 43% gain from the same month a year ago, including a 43% jump in female viewers ages 18 to 49, one of its target demos. The improvements are even more striking given that there were no new episodes of "Jon & Kate" during that period.
So that's heaven, and now here comes hell.
Next week, "Jon & Kate" returns. The show, which follows the life of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kids, went from timid to tabloid. The couple's very public marital woes have played out on the small screen and in every gossip rag, and earlier this summer TLC put the show on hiatus after the spouses split.
Although all of this has been great for business -- the audience for the show has skyrocketed with the last episode, which ran in June and drew a record 10.6 million viewers -- it also has led to criticism that the network is exploiting the couple's problems for commercial gain.
The guarded O'Neill, who was instrumental in the development of "Jon & Kate" when it initially premiered on Discovery Health Channel, acknowledges that documenting the rocky road that the Gosselins are traveling has been "tough to navigate."
"Their status as a couple has obviously been disappointing; we can't change anything about people's lives," she said, adding that the show had "delivered for the family things that were important to them ... opportunities for them and the kids."
It also has delivered things that were important for Discovery Communications-owned TLC. Before O'Neill took over, the knock on TLC was it had lost its way creatively and financially. Though she won't talk money, industry consulting firm SNL Kagan said TLC's ad revenue tumbled 5% to $270.5 million in 2008, a figure the channel should easily beat this year, according to people familiar with the situation. TLC also is now positioned to negotiate better distribution fees from cable and satellite operators. According to SNL Kagan, the channel currently gets 16 cents per subscriber. That is less than half of what cable networks such as USA and FX command and below the industry average for a network of its size.
Although no network would turn down the ratings and revenue that "Jon & Kate" have brought to TLC, the flip side is that the pressure increases on O'Neill to capture lightning twice.
"Now we have to grow over ourselves," O'Neill says. "That's the hard part."
She's off to a good start. TLC's new show "Cake Boss," about Hoboken, N.J., baker Buddy Valastro and his family, has averaged more than 2 million viewers and has just been renewed for a second season. Getting some traction on new shows is key because sooner or later the "Jon & Kate" juggernaut will fade.
Fortunately for O'Neill, Valastro's biggest personal problem appears to be his nagging mom, Mary, and they can't get divorced.
-- Joe Flint
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
As previously stated, Zach is currently in Belfast participating in the World Dwarf Games. Here is a copy of a letter with a few more details about the games. It's the letter Amy Roloff helped composed as part of her position on the board of DAAA
Dear Athletes, Parents, and Staff,
We are writing to let you know that the World Dwarf Games will be held this year in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from July 26 through August 2, 2009. As an organization, DAAA is looking forward to forming and sending a team of U.S. athletes to participate in the games.
As an individual, parent, staff member, or, most especially, athlete, we are hoping you will be able to either compete in the games or attend in support of our athletes.
If you are unfamiliar with DAAA and the World Games, both our organization and games in Northern Ireland are open to all who are interested in participating. Athletes interested in these games do not have to qualify. Even if this is you or your child’s first attempt at competition, we encourage you to participate.
The World Games, last held in 2005 in France, are a wonderful chance for dwarf athletes to meet and compete with athletes from all over the world. For those who have already participated in World competition, these games will provide the opportunity to relive the thrill of competition and camaraderie while making new memories.
The cost of the traveling to Northern Ireland can vary from $1,000.00 to $2000.00 USD depending on the airport. Athletes and families have two options in terms of accommodations. First is staying in a University dormitory complete with meals, for approximately $90.00 USD a day per person. The second option would be at a local hotel. (Local hotel rooms are approximately $130.00 USD a night, this plus the dormitory meal plan would put the daily cost to approximately $175.00 a day per person). More information about the games and accommodations can be found at www.daaa.org. Please be aware that the DAAA website is
under construction; however, we have created a link from the DAAA home page on the World Games.
Unfortunately at this time, DAAA doesn’t have the funding to assist athletes who want to participate. But local fundraising can be pursued through Lions and Kiwanis club, business or professional sponsorships, churches, family, friends, as well as newspaper
articles and fundraising events.
Attached please find a registration and information packet for the World Games.
Since we will have Athletes traveling from various major US cities, we are asking all athletes to arrive in Belfast Northern Ireland by July 25th. This will give us the opportunity to meet up as a team, practice, rest up and get over the jet lag. Opening ceremonies will be July 26th.
The DAANI is asking for complete registration packets from all athletes who will be competing by February 25th. Therefore DAAA will need to know your intent NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 20th. We are interested in putting teams together for as many of the events as possible. Therefore, if you are an athlete who currently participates in only one or two events, please give consideration to participating in a team sport other than your specialty. This will help us field more teams for competition. We know that many of you will not know if you are able to make the trip at this early date, BUT if you have any thoughts about going, please let us know. It will be much easier to take your name off the list than to add it at a later date.
If you are interested in participating, please complete the attached forms listed below and return them along with a $100.00 registration deposit to DAAA by February 20th.
Make checks payable to DAAA. Please note that the DAANI registration fee for this event is £20.00 pounds. This amount will be deducted from the $100.00 registration deposit. DAAA
will notify you as to what additional monies are due after your $100.00 registration deposit has been received.
Please mail all forms and deposit to Dwarf Athletic Association of
America, 708 Gravenstein Hwy, North, #118, Sebastopol, CA 95472 1-888-598-DAAA (toll-free)
• General Information, Schedule of Events, World Games Registration Form,
• Medical Release Form
• Code of Conduct Form, Rules, Photo Consent Form
• Accommodations and Meals Form
• Belfast Zoo, The Giant Causeway Day Trip Form
• Track & Field Registration Form
• Basketball Registration Form
• Soccer (Football) Registration Form
• Swimming Registration Form
• Boccia, Badminton, Table Tennis Registration Form
• Powerlifting, Kurling, Uni-hock Registration Form
Whether this is your very first time or you have gone in the past, we hope you will
consider participating in the games. Remember, DAAA needs to know your interest no later
than February 20th.
Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions
Looking forward to seeing you all in Northern Ireland.
Amy J. Roloff, DAAA Board Member
Maureen Mushett, DAAA Board Member
World Dwarf Games
Representing the ‘Statesmen’ team from America, Eddie Piedra (23) said: “It's a great honour to represent your state in Northern Ireland, knowing all of us were selected by our country. It's nice to be here to compete against all the other countries in the world.
“Everyone wants that top spot, everyone wants the gold. Track and field times can go towards qualifying for the Paralympics.”
Amy Roloff, Statesmen team coach, said: “The team is very competitive, but we also know football is a European sport, not necessarily an American one.
“We have some wonderful athletes here. Either we'll get some good competition or we'll give them good competition.”
Amy, who also stars in the American reality television series ‘Little People, Big World', said: “My crew are covering this event. The television series is one of the first to depict little people as just regular people.”
The Games will run until Sunday."
You can read the full article about the games here:
As with the DAAA, athletes are encouraged to participate in many sports even if it is not "their" sport. However, the big event for the Roloffs and the one that fans will be most interested in is football/soccer. That isn't scheduled until Saturday August 1st.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Can anyone decipher the conversation Amy is having? The last part is "I have 5 kids, I have kids"....is that referring to Matt as the 5th kid or Jacob Mueller? ;-)
On that note, the blog has been informed that although it might come as a shock to fans, Jacob Mueller did not accompany Jeremy on the Roloffs current whirlwind tour through Europe (they are now in Belfast, Ireland for the World Dwarf Games). Just in case you're not aware, Jacob Mueller replaced Zach on what would have otherwise been considered the Roloffs father and son trip (Matt, Jeremy, Jake and...Mueller) to the British Virgin Islands during March break and in the summer of 2008 he vacationed with the Roloffs for most of their two month vacation so now whenever the Roloffs or at least Jeremy travels, there is an expectation that Mueller will be with the Roloffs. But! He is not, maybe he will be back on board for the next vacation! ;-)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
You can make donation to CoDA if you choose, at their website:
"Jane Elizabeth McKenzie, 18, was one of two recipients of a scholarship awarded by the Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy (CoDA) at the annual Little People of America national conference in New York City earlier this month.
CoDA was formed by Matt Roloff, known for his role on TLC's Little People, Big World, and others "to advocate for individuals with short stature (dwarfs) in the areas of medicine, vocation, education, adoption, and public accommodation."
CoDA also works with other nonprofit organizations "for the betterment of the lives of dwarfs, and to increase public awareness of the needs and abilities of such individuals."
McKenzie is the Little People of America National Teen Coordinator and the daughter of Jack and Joy Campbell McKenzie of College Station. A 2009 graduate of A&M Consolidated High School, she will be a pre-nursing major at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches."
Saturday, July 25, 2009
You can see more photos of Amy from the event on IndependenceFirst's Flickr account:
Thursday, July 23, 2009
After the Portland Timbers had visited the Roloff Farm to practice with the Roloff kids and Zach's team "The Statesman" for the World Dwarf games, the Roloffs attended a game between the Portland Timbers and the MLS team, Seattle Sounders.
If you're not a soccer fan, to put it in perspective, the attendence for this particular game was over 16,000 people. From a few pictures that have surfaced, the Roloffs, or at least Zach was invited down to the sidelines. He also appears to have received his own jersey.
This is not the first time that the soccer-obsessed Roloffs have met professional soccer players and been given special access to the players. Of course, the Roloffs really did out do everyone by having some members of the Portland Timbers team come to their home, but as for special access at a game; viewers recall how excited Jeremy was back in the second season when Mike Detjen took Jeremy and his friends to a game where David Beckham was playing. Jeremy had the opportunity to go under the stadium in the players tunnels and get autographs -- he even had the chance to ask Freddy Adu a question and was given advice about his soccer tryout.
I personally think it's wonderful for the Roloff kids that they get the chance to meet the players, get jerseys, special sideline and 'backstage' access to the players. It's nice to see people who are big fans of anything get a chance to enjoy themselves. Jeremy's expression of pure joy and excitement in that picture speaks for itself and Zach also looks quite thrilled on the sidelines of the Timbers game (consider that there were over 16,000 paying spectators who I'm sure would have loved to have been given the Roloff treatment).
The only negative I take away from these things is that it make it even more disappointing that the Roloffs themselves, neglect their own fans as much as they do. You can see how much they enjoy these special perks and I don't think any of their fans resent them for it.
However, it would be nice when they're in the role as the ones with the fans if they would devote sometime towards their fans online. After all, without LPBW fans, Zach wouldn't be on the sidelines talking to team personnel, Jeremy wouldn't have met and spoken with Freddy Adu, the Portland Timbers wouldn't have hung out at the Roloff Farm for a day and on and on.
Seeing Jeremy and Zach happy to be that involved with soccer at that level is nice, but at the same time it does put people off (the blog has been receiving emails from disgruntled fans in the wake of recent fake Roloff accounts on Facebook and twitter (again) and the lack (none really!) of actual Roloff fan interaction) to see the Roloffs excited to interact with people they're fans of -- and the entire reason they are given that opportunity is due to fans supporting the show - yet the Roloffs value their own fans so little that they won't devote any amount of time to getting online and doing something with their fans like the majority of other celebrities these days.
By the way, there are more fake twitter accounts of Roloff family members. They are not the real Roloffs. However, the real Roloffs should take a cue from their impostors and learn something about doing something tangible that shows their gratitude towards their fans for everything they're able to do. Certainly the Roloffs aren't the first celebrities to take their fans for granted and neglect them but it really does put people off to see how much disregard the Roloffs have for their fans while thoroughly enjoying all of their many perks; yet when it's time for them to show some appreciation, nope, nothing, Nada... all they have is handful of bad excuses they expect fans to swallow to explain why they treat their fans like they have the plague.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thank you Mike
Published June 7, 2008
For all the things I never thanked you for: Mike Detjen.
Thank you for taking us all to Ivar’s in Seattle.
Thank you for fixing my car that one time.
Thank you for taking us all to the movies.
Thank you for letting us come to your house to watch movies.
Thank you for always knowing every piece of trivia.
Thank you for never getting tired of explaining soccer to me.
Thank you for being an example of giving and commitment.
Thank you for always being welcoming and kind.
Thank you for being a hero and a faithful friend to some of my best friends.
It is personally pathetic that I never thanked you for all that while you were here.
I hope soccer in heaven exceeds every dream. You’re still supposed to be here, schooling us in your vast knowledge of trivia and wit. You’ve left a huge whole in their hearts and I can’t imagine not seeing you when I come to Portland.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Jeremy and Zach Roloff also visited Portland State University in their quest for college/university plans
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you already know that back in January the Roloffs visited Corban, College - a private Christian college located in Salem, Oregon.
However, that was not the only stop on the Roloffs trek for a college or university for Jeremy and Zach. They also toured Portland State University. PSU blogged about the Roloffs visit back in January
Thank you Roloff's! Plan your campus visit!
We would like to thank the Roloff Family for visiting the PSU campus on January 23 and seeing if this is the place to continue Zachary and Jeremy's education! We were thrilled to welcome you to the campus and to have you film your show here!
For those comparing Portland State University and Corban College, they are quite different. One of the first questions Roloff fans ask about possible colleges is how far is it from the farm and does it mean Jeremy and Zach will be leaving home; and will they be on the show less.
Corban College (Salem, Oregon) is approximately a little of an hour away from Roloff Farm.
Portland State University is approximately 30 minutes away from the farm.
Corban College had an enrollment of just over 1000 students.
The enrollment for Portland State University was 25,000 students
The other big difference between them however is that Corban is a private Christian College and PSU is not. In fact, as part of their mission statement, PSU highlights that they value diversity and supports different beliefs and points of view. Corban, while having an excellent reputation from those familiar with it, has also been called an extension of Faith Bible High School by some in that it is heavily based in the Christian faith.
One would think that Corban might have more an appeal for the Roloffs given how important it appeared to be to Amy to ensure that her kids get a Christian education and Jeremy's own checkered past regarding diversity once you get beyond people with dwarfism.
If you're in a "Which college or university will Zach and Jeremy be attending" pool, some have not ruled out Portland Community College. Depending on which campus it is, it can be as little as a 15-minute drive away from Roloff farm and some of Jeremy and Zach's life long friends (The "DBU") will be taking classes at PCC. That sentiment is mainly coming from people who simply don't think Jeremy and Zach are ready to separate from their friends yet.
Some fans have been hoping that Jeremy and Zach will go to separate colleges, feeling it would be good for them to go their separate ways and form their own identities, although thus far, their visiting the different colleges and universities make it appear as though it will be a package deal.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Somebody on You Tube uploaded what was arguably the best scene of Little People, Big World - Season 4 -- certainly the most humorous. The classic: 'This is where the Blues began....but why???' scene. Jeremy's facial expressions and frustration is priceless throughout the clip. He was just not going to accept Amy's lack of an explanation.
Reflecting last year's Roloff summer vacation, Amy and Jeremy really did carry the summer vacation episodes both in on camera time and narration duties. Certainly, as this clip is proof of, in entertainment value as well.
For those wondering about the answer to Jeremy's question, there doesn't appear to be one absolute answer that everyone agrees on, but this seems to be the most popular legend.
Robert Johnson is the man credited as"The father of the Blues." According to the myth, Johnson went down to the Crossroads at midnight and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for superior musical abilities. Thus where the legend comes from...the Blues began at the Crossroads where he sold his soul for the ability to play the guitar that well.
"According to legend, while Johnson was living on a plantation near Clarksdale, he made his desire to be a great musician known to those around him. Someone, or something, instructed him to go the crossroads of highways 61 and 49 outside Clarksdale at midnight where he was met by the Devil. The devil took Johnson's guitar, tuned it, and then returned it to Johnson in exchange for his soul. After Johnson's meeting with the Devil, his guitar and singing skills improved to a level beyond this world."
Here is a more detailed explanation for those interested in the subject:
"Much has been associated with Robert Johnson and The Crossroads.
To those familiar with his music, one of the first songs that comes to mind is Cross Road Blues. It became a very popular song when it was covered by Eric Clapton & Cream in 1966. Crossroads almost became a household word, after the film release of the same name.
Since the 1930s, rumors and legends grew, surrounding Robert Johnson and how he'd sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads, at midnight, in exchange for superior musical abilities. Johnson never actually said that. So how did this association begin?
When Robert left Robinsonville in 1931, to look for his real father, he met Ike Zinnerman. Ike was an amazing guitar player in southern Mississippi and befriended Robert during his stay there. He picked up some amazing techniques from Ike at that time -- and played obsessively.
When Robert returned to Robinsonville, he was a master at his craft, and everyone was amazed. Son House, who was another outstanding blues musician in the delta area, said - the only way he could have become so good in such a short period of time was to have sold his soul to the devil.
One of the originators of the delta blues style was Charley Patton, who was also the first local ''blues superstar'', if you will (however this was the 1920s). Patton had an enormous impact on many early delta musicians. He grew up on Dockery Plantation near Cleveland, Mississippi. Many blues historians feel that this is where the blues began. The land where slaves, and later, sharecroppers began to communicate and sing in a style know as ''field hollering'', which gave way to the blues.
Highway 61 runs south, right through the middle of the delta. It intersects Highway 49 at Clarksdale, MS. Clarksdale was the home to such people Muddy Waters, W.C. Handy, Junior Parker and John Lee Hooker, just to name a few. Over the years, Clarksdale has become the home of the blues, so it was just assumed that this is where The Crossroads was. In later years, the ''61/49 Clarksdale'' thing was also heavily advertised as The Crossroads.
However, when I was in Memphis in the mid-90s (asking a lot of questions) I heard from two different sources, that 61 and 49 were not The Crossroads. The legend supposedly began around the turn of the century from the originators of the blues ... at Dockery Farms. The location I was given by both people is ''WHERE DOCKERY ROAD CROSSES OLD HIGHWAY 8'' This would be between Cleveland and Ruleville. The ''Old 8'' runs parallel to the current Highway 8, just south of it. I saw it - it's still there - it's a dirt road. The Crossroads doesn't look like you would think - too many trees ... but it was a unique experience, just standing there."
So I say it's understandable that Amy didn't know the whole story, and she was close, she said it had something to do with a song and a devil reference.
However, I felt this article about a person with dwarfism was worth passing along. It touches on the darker side of dwarfism, when the woman talks about how her daughter has really struggled. Of course, LPBW aims to be positive and inspirational, thus they tend to put a happy face on everything; so it's interesting to read a different perspective from non-Roloffs/wealthy celebrities.
'She says she has to ask for help four or five times a day in reaching things around the house and noted that all the dishes in the kitchen are down low so she can reach them.
"Other than that, we really just have some stools to stand on," she said, noting that she did the same thing when she worked as a waitress and cashier in a restaurant.
"When I worked the register, they gave me some stools to stand on and I was fine."
"I would love to have my kitchen remodeled like the woman in that show ["Little People, Big World"] does," Gravely said. "Heck, I wouldn't mind if they came and did a show out here! I like to cook, but it's not much fun standing in front of the stove trying to cook bacon when grease is splattering in your face!"
Gravely is happy and optimistic about her life, but she does admit that having dwarfism can be difficult -- and not just with reaching things around the house.
"There is always prejudice and hardships, no matter who you are. Little people feel unwanted, especially as teenagers. I mean, your mom and dad obviously want you and love you, but you feel like nobody else does.
"My son is 23 now and looking for his soul mate. It's hard enough for any little person, but I think it's harder for a guy who's little than for a girl.
"Being a dwarf really hurt my daughter," she added. "She was a follower, and it was harder for her to be a follower because of the way she was made. It really got to her."
You can read the full article here:
Friday, July 17, 2009
This year, personally, I thought Joey Newman's music was top notch, especially the episode dealing with Mike Detjen's passing and the piece he called 'Remembering Mike'.
I enjoyed the music more in that episode than the one that earned him the nomination last year, but unfortunately he wasn't nominated when they announced it yesterday.
These were the nominations this year:
Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
* Ghost Whisperer
* Legend Of The Seeker
* The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
* The Simpsons
For those wondering, the nominated reality programs were:
* Antiques Roadshow
* Dirty Jobs
* Dog Whisperer
* Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
I don't watch any of those regularly :-)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
However, here are some pictures of Amy and Zach Roloff at the recent LPA conference in New York.
In the near future, we will have another item where we'll attempt to clear up some information about fake Roloff accounts on social networking sites.
To cut to the chase, the following pictures were taken by attendees of the 2009 LPA conference. They were originally posted or linked to an impostor account of a Roloff family member. The pictures are real of course, it's just they think they were posting it to a real Roloff family member's page and it's not. Since the people obviously don't mind having their pictures appear on the (fake) page of a celebrity and available to all the people who follow the celebrity, we here at the blog thought we would post the pictures for all of our readers - we are aware that many don't have accounts on all the different social networking accounts and appreciate this site for that reason.
If there was a website with the pictures, we would certainly link it and give them credit for the pictures, however since it is a person's profile on a social networking site, out of respect to them, we won't link it. I hope you follow - obviously they don't mind people seeing the pictures since they put them on what is essentially a (fake) celebrity fan page, however people don't necessarily want their profile page link posted everywhere.
So with no further delay...
A few of Amy -
These are nice pictures of Zach. He looks much more comfortable in photos with fans these days, even putting his arms around the people.
Not sure what Zach is doing here; preparing to give the kid an elbow? ;-)
That's better :-) Another nice picture of Zach
Here are some soccer pictures of Zach and of Amy coaching on the sidelines.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
There are several pictures of Zach and Jeremy. A few of Jacob Mueller, one of Dan Meichtry. Several of some of Zach's LP friends that have been seen on the show often, Bill and Casey. I spotted Molly in the background once, Jacob in a group picture, a couple of Amy with her team and perhaps the real gem, a picture of Matt from the LP conference in the mid 1980s! I can see how Matt was a wrestling champion back in the day.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
For anyone with a heart, if you didn't already before, after reading the mother's blog you'll understand the hurt the word "midget" can cause and how it's usually used in a degrading manner.
I'm not sure if I've ever seen a more effective description of how heart-breaking it can be to have a child with dwarfism or any other difference where they're the subject of ridicule and teasing.
It's a very touching story so we thought we would pass it along to our readers, and it never hurts to bring a story like this to the attention of some influential people -- the 2010 LPA conference is a whole year from now, perhaps the Roloffs might see the story and be moved to send the young man an email or post a You Tube comment with a few words of encouragement.
"Gevan is my oldest and smallest child. He has a form of dwarfism. I want to point out that he, and most other little people, prefer to be called a "little person" and that the term "midget" is degrading. Please don't ever use that word. We "think" Gevan has a form of dwarfism called Cartilage-Hair-Hypoplasia but we aren't very sure of that. We can't find a doctor who is confident enough to make a diagnosis because his symptoms don't exactly match the most well known types.
Gevan has often felt out of place in a world that was not created for him and by that I mean the world society has created, not the world God created. God likes variety! But this world has certain standards and cater to the most desired average. Fast food counters, water fountains, arcade games, and theme parks are pretty much out of the question for a person of short stature. He simply can't reach without sitting on my knee and having me boost him up. He also still sits in a car seat, which for a twelve year old, is totally uncool.
All of these things are on his mind everyday yet, it is only every once in a while that I hear him say, "Mom. I wish I was bigger."
On those days I cry with him. Then I tell him how God designed him, his height, and everything else while he was still inside the comforts of my womb. He knows he is safe and very much loved and accepted with us but when he is around strangers his countenance changes. He feels the stares. He sees the fingers pointing. He hears when they call him a "midget." The world can be cruel when it sees someone unlike the photos of perfection they compare everyone to.
But he is my baby.
For years he has asked to go to the LPA conference so he could meet lots of other little people like himself. Then, ever since the show started we have sat together on the sofa watching TLCs Little People, Big World. I often catch him gleaming out of the corner of my eye. He just starts glowing. Now with the new show, The Little Couple, that is one more half hour each week where he feels like he belongs. I can't thank TLC, the Roloffs, and the Kleins enough for sharing their world with us but more importantly for bringing us into our son's world. Of course, seeing these shows only caused him to want to attend the LPA conference even more. Without a lot of money to freely spend we turned to God.
.....and for two and a half years we have prayed that God would provide a way for him to go.
Then I opened that email. She said,
"We’ve been praying a lot and we both really feel like the Lord wants us to give money over to you on behalf of Gevan. I’m not sure if you are interested in it or even if he has an interest, but we feel like the Lord may want it to go toward an LPA conference."
I almost hit the floor. I don't know that I ever felt more significant to God than at that very moment. I had never told anyone online of Gevan's desire to go to the conference and so for God to think so much of my son that He would speak to someone else and have them provide this for my baby, well, it just left me in awe and I was speechless. The kids thought I had lost it because I was just crying sitting there looking at the monitor. Then Gevan read it. He squealed and pointed, "MOM! Is that for me?!!"
He spun around a few times and did his manly, "yeah!" because you know his friends were watching and all but then he just stood there somberly and I saw tears well up in his eyes. He looked at me and smiled and said, "Ma. I really get to go now, huh?"
I could finally tell him yes.
The check came in the mail two days ago along with a beautiful note for my little man. I just wanted this generous and loving family to know what they have done for Gevan and thank them for listening so intently to God. I pray that God blesses your socks off for this. Gevan will be attending the 2010 LPA conference along with his entire family and you better believe we will be blogging about it. We are going to make a vacation and celebration of it. He has something to say to you:
"Ron and Peggy live only a few miles from Matt’s family, which gives them the opportunity to visit the family often, and they are regularly featured on the show.
“The feedback on the show has been so positive,” Peggy Roloff said. “Matt and his wife Amy were only going to do the one pilot and then decided to do a full season after all the positive feedback. Then it turned into the second season, and now they have finished the fourth and they are twice as long as the first. The fifth season should start anytime.”
Although filming a reality show has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it also created a strain on the family, Peggy said.
“I hope they don’t do a sixth season,” Peggy said. “I mean, we don’t have access to our family as much as we used to. They are always having to do something, but it has been a good influence and touched a lot of people.”
Season 6 however is a long time from now. They are currently filming Season 5 and have been for quite a while. Season 5 will begin airing in the Fall. Part A of Season 5 traditionally airs from October to December. Part B airs usually from April to June. You're looking at seeing new episodes of LPBW until next June even if there is no Season 6, however don't rush to any conclusions about that.
You can read the full article about Peggy and her friends here:
As we mentioned previously, Ron and Peg Roloff have been on an extended road trip. Peg blogs quite frequently about their trip. You can read it here:
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
After their complaints were dismissed by NBC and Donald Trump, the LPA proceeded to file a complaint with FCC regarding the word "midget".
The LPA and Amy Roloff are in New York speaking to media about their desire to ban the "M-word" from television.
This year, the group is calling on the FCC to ban a word from TV they say is derogatory and offensive. It comes after it was used repeatedly on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in a scenario they say was meant to humiliate people of short stature.
"The 'M' word -- midget. It's created as highly offensive to us," said LPA Conference Co-chair Clinton Brown III.
"A word is easily to be dismissed. It's a lot more of the meaning and the impression it gives about little people, that we're always down here instead of reaching up here," said LPA conference participant and star of TLC's "Little People, Big World" Amy Roloff.
While Roloff says she doesn't expect the word to ever go away completely, the LPA says increased advocacy has allowed them to make great strides toward that goal."
Ok, we must be real and honest here.
The Roloffs are full of mixed messages regarding this issue. How can anybody who are aware of the Roloffs not gasp at some of these statements?
Seven months ago Matt Roloff said "I don't care if someone calls me a midget". He went on to say that it's intent that matters and the word midget is only offensive to him if it's being used in a demeaning manner - such as referring to people of short-stature as objects to be owned (Comedian Jimmy Kimmel did an offensive routine stating everyone should own a 'midget'").
Matt's statement was a glaring change from what the Roloffs had taught for years -- which was to eliminate the word "midget" completely. Their goal was to make it like the N word. To followers of the Roloffs, it was rather transparent that the reason for their stance changing was because of Jeremy's racial and homophobic slurs. The Roloffs were seen as hypocrites. They teach don't say "midget" but Jeremy had said many offensive slurs and the Roloffs wanted people to just ignore it.
Anyhow - according to Matt's Dec 2008 statement, it would be ok for you reading and this blog to say "Midgets have gathered in New York this week. The DAAA games were held Sunday. They include midget soccer, volleyball and basketball. Midgets are also participating in track and field events."
The context or intent is not to demean. So the above paragraph is ok and not offensive? I have a feeling the LPA would disagree. How would the reporter doing that story have been received by the LPA if she had introduced her story with the words in the above paragraph?
Even Amy in her speeches recently has stated that she strongly dislikes 'PC-ness'. And Amy kind of, sorta said that it's sad that Jeremy needs to watch his foul mouth now because people are too sensitive and might get offended again when they see Jeremy say the N word and versions of the gay slur. Amy also said she's disappointed that people called her a hypocrite over her reaction or lack of a reaction to her own son's slurs towards other groups.
Yet here Amy Roloff is July 2009, partnering with the LPA to say the word "midget" should be banned from television completely.
I'm tired of this blog and anybody in general who spoke out against Jeremy's use of slurs and said he was wrong being vilified by the Roloffs and a small segment of Matt Roloff fans. I saw the responses to the articles stating Jeremy was wrong. Some said those who thought an apology from Jeremy should have been forthcoming were trying to limit free speech.
Yet here is Amy Roloff, part of a group saying the word midget should be banned from television completely. Is that being too politically correct? Are the Roloffs and the LPA being too sensitive? Is Amy Roloff and the LPA trying to limit free speech? Where is the consistency?
It has become obvious that the Roloffs and a certain segment of Matt Roloff fans and his official website are hypocrites. I'm not attempting to be insulting, I think it's a pure fact. They have double standards. They want people with dwarfism to be respected at all times, but they don't think they should show the same level of respect to other groups. Jeremy Roloff uses words such as N*****, Fa****, and beaner and their primary reaction was to get angry with those who were offended and said he was wrong and disappointed that Jeremy did not apologize.
Every time this issues raises its ugly head, we receive a couple of emails saying 'why are you blogging about that again?' Well, it's because when something is so glaringly hypocritical, it must be mentioned. I can't read an article such as the one linked, see that Amy is trying to ban the word "midget" from television and not remember that this blog and many fans of the show were told that they were trying to limit free speech and were just vicious haters on poor Jeremy Roloff because we felt he was wrong calling people N words and F*****holes. It's at the heart of their message, that's why it keeps on coming back.
None of this would have been an issue if the Roloffs had simply reacted as Daniel Meichtry did -- accept full responsibility, acknowledge that he was wrong and sorry and learn from it to educate people to be better. Instead the Roloffs play the game of you're the bad guys and girls if you thought Jeremy was wrong and didn't smile and turn your head at his offensive language.
For the record, so no one is confused, I actually completely agree with the LPA about the 'M word'. I think it would be great if the word "midget" was not used again. I don't see value in it. I think one of the greatest accomplishments of the Roloffs and Little People, Big World (until last year when they altered their stance) was teaching society that "midget" was a bad word and it should not be used.
One thing that cannot be said about this blog is that we are not consistent. The M word shouldn't be used, the N word shouldn't be used, the F-gay slur shouldn't be used....even if it comes from a Roloff. Unlike the Roloffs who go back and forth about whether the "M word" can be used and when their kid is using racist and homophobic language they think people should just shut up about it and cut him a break and if they don't, they're just mean haters...but by the way, don't ever say 'midget' on television....it's so hypocritical.
Here is another article about the LPA's attempted ban on the word "M-word".
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This is obviously not an issue with the Roloffs, in large thanks to Little People, Big World/TLC as the Roloffs will be spending the majority of this summer (as they did last summer) traveling, but have you ever thought about how difficult financially it is for some people of short-stature or parents with an LP child if the family has a modest income?
The purpose of the conference was supposed to be the one time in a year that LP had a chance to be around other people like them and to meet other LPs, to catch up with old friends, etc. If you were a little person or had a child with dwarfism, the appeal for attending the conference is obvious.
However, personally, I question the LPA's decision to hold their National Conference in New York City. Anybody who has ever been to New York City, knows how expensive it is to do anything. The LPA conference is no exception.
The LPA, obviously recognizing that they might have out-priced some LPs from joining in, was even asking for Sponsorship.
Last year, a hotel room for the LPA conference cost $99. This year they were $179 + (and that was based on 2 person, 1 bed occupancy!). If you were staying for the whole week, that is roughly $1200 for just the hotel room. You can see how pricey it would be when you factor in activities and food (again, if you've ever been to NY, you know what that means, mega $$$).
I suppose if you were an LP and you always dreamed of going to New York because it is tourist destination, the LPA conference would be a nice way to combine the two. Perhaps most LP families do plan their yearly vacation around the conference and appreciate the destination being a tourist hot spot.
Maybe that's what the LPA was thinking; choosing a city where there is lots to do would make the conference more attractive and in turn, more successful, but I wonder if they've lost their priorities. Is the appeal the conference or the night life of the city? I would rather pick a 'boring' city where the costs are affordable to all LP's then a city where the conference is going to be too expensive for many.
It seems that every year after the conference, the LPA announces that the conference was the most well attended in history, so apparently they know what they're doing. However, I'm sympathetic to the LP or LP family who would be hard pressed financially to attend knowing that their child would be looking forward to it. I think perhaps the LPA should be a more cognisant of cost, unless of course they're aiming for a Country Club style membership. However, estimations were that New York would be the most successful convention yet, so maybe cost isn't a factor or hey, perhaps the majority of LP's are just wealthy and money isn't a concern.
The 2010 LPA conference will be held in Nashville, TN. The 2011 Conference will be in Anaheim, CA.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
As you can see from the article about the Portland Timbers visiting the Roloff farms and Zach's soccer team, The Statesman, the Roloffs are already preparing. There are more sports than just soccer, but everybody who watches Little People, Big World knows there is only really one sport that matters to Zach and the Roloffs.
Who will Zach be competing against? That is both interesting and disappointing.
Apparently there are 15 countries that are going to be competing at the World Dwarf Games including: USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Russia, UK, Austrailia, Ireland, Nigeria, Benin, Turkey, Denmark and Ghanna.
Unfortunately, Brazil is not listed as participating. I say disappointing, because in 2008 and team of all dwarf players in Brazil generated some attention.
They call themselves 'The Giants of the North'. They're managed by a professional coach. They regularly compete and defeat teams composed of 13 year old average sized Brazilian kids. Considering how soccer-mad Brazil is, beating 13 year old Brazilian kids sounds like quite an accomplishment for a team comprised of all dwarves. Those games used full size goals.
Wouldn't it have been fun to see how Zach's team stacked up against the mighty Brazilians? It's disappointing if that Brazilian dwarf soccer team does not compete at the World Dwarf Games. It would be like an Olympic Hockey tournament that doesn't include Canada or Russia.
It's unfortunate that some sponsorship money couldn't have been found to send that team from Brazil to the Dwarf games. Perhaps if the Roloffs have any excess sponsorship money that they successfully raised to send Zach and his teammates to the World Dwarf Games, they could look into what it would take to get this team from Brazil to the Belfast for the games. It would probably be quite a thrill for Zach to say he competed against the soccer powerhouse from Brazil.
Here is a nice article about the Brazilian team. They were formed to raise awareness about dwarfism in Brazil.
Brazilian dwarves who are giants of football
By Lucy Cockroft
Published: 9:08AM BST 08 Apr 2008
Brazilians have long held a reputation for being the giants of football, now they can also lay claim to being the first country with a team made up entirely of dwarves.
The players may be lacking in height, but after choosing the team name Gigantes do Norte - the Giants of the North - it appears they have a generous sense of humour.
Managed by professional coach Carlos Lucena, the Giants were put together in an effort to raise the profile of dwarves in Brazilian society and challenge "sizeist" attitudes.
The average size of the team is about 4ft, while the smallest player is just 3ft 3in.
Together the 11 dwarves play in Belem, north-east Brazil, taking on youth teams in 40-minute matches.
The diminutive team use full size goals, but this hasn’t proved to be a setback for their 4ft 7in keeper who managed to keep a clean sheet in their last match, beating the opposition by 4-0.
Their friendly game was against the Barcarena under-13 team, in the Barcarenao Stadium at the mouth of the Amazon River.
As is common in the beautiful game in Brazil, the players take nicknames.
Brazilian striker Ronaldo is known as "The Phenomenon" while star player of the Giants, Cazemiro Ribeiro, is called "Vagner Love".
The smallest players in the English premier league are Tottenham Hotspur’s Aaron Lennon and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. Both are 5ft 5in.
And there are videos of the Brazilian team. These guys are good! It's inspiring to hear the one player speak about how the team has changed his life and increased his confidence.
This is more of an introduction to the team:
This shows the games. Check out #9.