Friday, February 27, 2009

The Opossum's Rebuttal

This strange note was left by our front door around 5:23 this evening. It was scrawled in very messy handwriting:

Oh, I'm not cute like a puppy
I don't cuddle like a kitten
But I still need some love
Even though I might chew your mitten

Did you have to put me out
Just dump me in the cold?
Not even a goodbye
Or some fruit covered in mold?

I heard her pull up in her van
The lady dressed in blue
Ms. Animal Control
The one who brought the cage to you

She carried me outside
Upside down she shook the trap
I tried to hang on tight
But she poked me in the back

I walked to a tree
I sat there for a spell
I couldn't find an apple
An orange or anything with a smell

No Fritos out here
No Cheetos, Ritz or Lays
No Frosted Flakes or Coke
No carrots, cookies or cheese

Please let me back in
I beg you, Mrs. Neal
I'm just a baby opposum
Can I have just one more meal?

It's cold in the lawn
I can't find a sleeping bag
Not a tent or a blanket
Like those cozy ones you had!

I know that I'm ugly
And my teeth are really sharp
But I'll make a great pet
Don't you have a heart?

I won't poop on your toys
I won't pee on your stuff
Just give me one more chance
Life out here is rough!

(Emily with hands held over ears: Lalalalala... It's not working!!!)

Ode to Mr. Possum

There's a possum in the garage
And he's making lots of noise
There's a possum in the garage
And he's chomping on our toys

He has sharp, scary teeth
And a long, pointy nose
He has a striped furry tail
We don't know where he goes

He sleeps way up high
On the shelf by the tent
We never saw a possum
When a-campin' we all went

We don't see him in the day
He walks around at night
He pees on the mower
And he poops on the bikes

He eats all our scraps
He rips open the garbage
Oh, please, Mr. Possum
Won't you get out of our garage?

Just walk into the trap
And close the little door
We'll take you to the forest
You don't have to live indoors

There's a possum in the garage
He's making me lose sleep
But now that he's in the cage
He looks kind of sweet

(What can I say? The possum has made me so crazy that I'm writing poetry about him!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

LOST: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

I thought last night's episode of LOST was one of the most disturbing, thought-provoking, shocking episodes I had seen in a while.

While it did answer some questions, I would say it raised even more questions.

Let's start with why it disturbed Benjamin Linus so much when John mentioned the name of Eloise Hawking that it caused him to kill Locke. I have speculated before that perhaps Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore had been married (remember seeing the young Charles and Ellie together on the island?).

According to Charles, he and Ben got into a power struggle over who was the leader. Perhaps that is also when the young Ellie switched sides and went with Ben. Whatever the case, Eloise is pretty much running the show with Ben and he didn't want Locke making any attempts to find her.

Ben also seemed really freaked when he heard Jin was alive. Why?!?

The symbolism of Locke as the Christ certainly continued last night.

When I first saw that Locke chose hanging as his chosen form of suicide I was thinking WHY?!?! Aren't there better ways to kill yourself?

But then the hanging took on another meaning. Locke has been portrayed as the sacrifice that had to be made to bring the other O6ers back to the island. Once he was murdered by Linus, I thought the hanging was sort of like the hanging on the cross.

After the plane crashed, Locke was "resurrected". PLEASE tell me that it had NOT only been three days since his death?!? I really can't handle that much of a comparison to Christ, especially not on Ash Wednesday.

But anyway.... Then we see Locke sitting on the ground with his head covered with a cloak. Again, kind of reminded me of Christ coming out of the tomb and revealing himself.

So, if Locke is the sacrifice, what does that make Richard?

Matthew certainly stressed the point that if Richard told you you were going to die, there was no avoiding it!

OK... onto another big question. The O6ers were taken from the plane in a flash of light. Does this mean they were transported back in time to the day of the Dharma initiative while the ones who weren't "chosen" landed in current time? And how interesting that Locke wasn't taken with them.

This part was so strange, confusing and mind-bending for me that I can hardly wrap my little brain around it. How will they all be reunited in the same place in time??

Just when we were ready to wrap things up, we have two new characters on the scene: Caesar and Ilana.

Ilana was the one guarding Sayid when they got on the plane. We don't know much about Caesar yet, but it seems certain that he will have a major role in all of this. Could it be that those two were planted on the plane by Widmore or perhaps Ben? They seem to be working closely together. And they don't seem too alarmed about being stranded on an island after their plane crashed.

And finally, we come to the ending scene with Ben, lying on the bed all battered and bruised from the crash. I loved it when Locke described him as the man "who killed me."

There was so much more to discuss in this episode...
  • The mysterious Matthew Abaddon: who is he and is he really dead? I thought he had a really sneaky look after he was shot.
  • Widmore versus Linus: Who is good? Who is bad? Or are they both bad?
  • Does the island bring people back to life? And will everyone who died on the island come back to life? Or is John truly special and that is why he came back to life?
  • Was Ben sincere when he came and rescued John? Or was he planning to kill him all along?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on all of this!

Monday, February 23, 2009

we all have our jobs

My husband is great about sharing the housework to keep things running around here. But there are some areas where we each have our strengths.

His jobs include:

  • Carrying the garbage out to the curb
  • Picking up gallons of milk and other miscellaneous items at the store on his way home from work
  • Replacing light bulbs
  • Repairing things
  • Starting fires
  • Grilling
  • and Killing bugs

I am willing to help with all but the last one.

"Mom! There's a bug on the toilet seat!" my daughter screamed this morning.

"Go tell your dad. He's in charge of bugs," I was able to calmly reply. (Whew! Got out of that one!)

I do a lot of the picking up of rooms, folding laundry, dusting, vacuuming and kitchen cleaning, which makes sense because he is gone at work all day. He would actually help more if I didn't keep banning him from certain household chores. I just like things done my way, sometimes.

But there are a few things we both agree are definitely MY job:

  • Determining whether an outfit is appropriate and if it matches. ("I don't think you are allowed to wear pink socks with a blue shirt. Better ask your mom.")
  • Deciding if a snack is appropriate at a certain time. ("I don't think you can eat Cheetos for breakfast. Better ask your mom.")
  • Making phone calls. You know, arranging car pools, play dates, making doctor's appointments.
  • Figuring out WHAT we will eat at mealtime. My husband has no problem cooking a meal, but deciding what we will eat is another story.
  • Finding ANYTHING. A lost sock. A lost backpack. A lost toy. I am the only person in the house who is capable of that job. And it's not for lack of effort. It seems to be a genetic code that is only granted to women of a certain age. (I'm exaggerating, of course!)

Sometimes it's tempting to get frustrated if someone else can't match up a shirt and pants or find the missing glove. But then I have to remember, it's WAY better than killing spiders... or carrying out the garbage!

What about you? How do the chores break down at YOUR house?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

things I love

I'm sure you've all seen that survey that's been going around called "25 Random Things About Me". I've tried to do it several times, but it always turns into: "25 Chronological Facts About Me", which really isn't very funny or interesting.

Maybe my brain just can't handle such random thoughts. So, I decided to post 25 or so Things I Love. Of course, I use the term "love" loosely! How could my love for artichoke dip possibly compare to my love for my children? But you know what I mean.

These are in no particular order, since I'm going to do my best to keep it random.

1. I love unusual foods that start with the letter A: artichokes, avocados and asparagus.

2. I love Mexican food and could eat it everyday. I especially love guacamole (see #1).

3. I love summer. I would go so far as to say I'm addicted to summer. I try to do and see as much as possible in summer to the point that I sometimes make myself crazy with my expectations.

4. I love traveling. I was thinking about some of my favorite places I have been blessed to visit: Moab, Utah (Arches National Park); Olympic National Park in Washington (the only rainforest in the continental U.S.); Rio deJaneiro; Zambia, Africa; Sequoia National Park in California; the Smokies and the Rockies; and the North rim of the Grand Canyon (part of our mountain biking adventure). Those are some of my favorites, but I can get excited about a trip to almost anywhere!

5. I love it when the flowers start to bloom in spring.

6. I love my Mac. I love my MacBook and I love my iTouch. I've been a Mac user since the first Mac was invented and I've never owned anything else. I get very excited about getting a new computer.

7. I love trying new recipes.

8. I love dancing.

9. I love singing really loud to really loud music.

10. I love 80s music more now than I did in the 80s.

11. I love it when my kids all bust a move and we dance together, sometimes for a whole CD.

12. I love putting on a complete lip syncing act to three songs (especially if my children or other adults will join in as back-up singers): Make it Happen (Mariah Carey), All-Star (Smash Mouth), Lose My Soul (Toby Mac). I wish there was a place in society for a crazy, almost 40 mom who loves to lip sync. I can play a mean egg shaker, too.

13. I love getting together with my extended family.

14. I love to achieve goals.

15. I love to help other people achieve their goals.

16. I love to encourage other people. It makes me feel really good. (I love the book, "Encouragement Changes Everything" by John Maxwell.)

17. I love listening to books on CD while I fold the laundry. I don't love to fold laundry (or any other housework, for that matter), but I LOVE it when the laundry is all folded!

18. I love the TV show LOST. (You hadn't noticed?!?!)

19. I love getting together with friends.

20. I love organizing things.... events and activities, not sock drawers or closets!

21. I love singing "I Love You So Much" to my three kiddos before they go to sleep. I really love it when they sing along. And I really, really love it when they beg me to sing it.

22. I love my three children so much it hurts.

23. I love my wonderful husband. I seriously don't know how he puts up with me.

24. I love my church because the people there are so warm.

25. I love the fact that God loves me despite all of my flaws. I love having the hope that no matter what happens to everything else I love, his love remains.

I would love to hear about your loves! You can comment here. If you want to write a post about things you love, include your link in the comments section and then link back to mine!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm a big grump today. I really have no right to be.

You see, this week seemed to go about as well as it could have. I was productive, worked hard, had some great times with my kids and even stayed on top of my Bible study, exercised and almost finished reading my book for book club!

But today I woke up to a world covered in blowing, cold snow. It's not the kind of snow that makes you want to grab your sled or make a snowman. This is frigid, swirling snow that makes you want to run for cover before it stings your face. I just want to hide under a blanket and go back to sleep.

Plus I have a really bad headache that won't go away. A woman in my small group last night predicted that with the snowstorm on its way, the barometric pressure would shift and she would wake up with a headache. "Naaaaa," I thought. Oh, but she was so correct.

My house is also a piggy, pig-sty, piggy pig mess. I don't even know where to begin, but a messy house makes me feel grumpy.

So, I decided to see what was up in BloggyLand. That's when I found out I have had a record-setting ZERO visitors today. What's everyone else doing? Either you are all out having fun or I am about to be nominated for the Worst Blog in the World award. =]

That's when I decided to make some tortellini soup. I haven't made it before, so I started looking for recipes on the Internet. I don't exactly have any beef broth, or fresh tomatoes or zucchini. No fresh basil or garlic or spinach. But I refused to be deterred.

I started grabbing cans out of the cupboard and slamming them on the counter and announced to everyone that I would be making tortellini soup and no one needed to eat it but me. Ahhh... The freedom of being able to make a horrible recipe and not have to listen to the complaints of everyone else at the table.

So, I substituted fresh tomatoes for a can of stewed tomatoes.
Red kidney beans for mild chili beans.
Fresh basil and parsely for a scoop of Homemade Gourmet Basil Garlic Seasoning.
Zucchini for a can of corn.
Beef broth for some water and chicken bullion cubes.
I actually had some carrots.
And then I threw in some tortellini.

My husband named it Grumpy Pants Soup.

And let me tell you, it was bad! Do not try this at home. I think the chili beans are what really threw it over the top from just kind of nasty to grump-a-licious.

But for some reason, it made me feel better. Just eating some really hot soup that filled up my tummy. Maybe it was the torture of eating something that tasted so awful.

And now I plan to hide under the blanket for a while until the Tylenol sets in. Grumpy-night-night.

Friday, February 20, 2009

please pray...

For Gretta, a friend from our old church, who is undergoing her third round of chemo today... and for Baby Kendall who has been having a rough time breathing the past few days.

Thanks! =]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LOST: 316

So, here we are. Right back where we started in the first scene of the first episode of the first season of LOST. Jack lying on the ground in the middle of the forest. The camera focusing on his eye.

They made it back.

Of course the big question of the night is: "How?"

Did the plane crash? Were they simply "taken" from the plane? Did the other passengers also end up on the island?

My guess is that once they were within the force of the island, it drew the previous island dwellers back in time and plopped them back on land. What about everyone else? Hmmm. With Frank Lipida as their pilot, he could have either steered them clear or landed them safely. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

At first, I couldn't handle the idea that the O6ers were just drawn off the plane onto the island without a scratch because of that whole deal with the force of gravity. But then, I remembered the improbability that the original plane would break in two in midair and the passengers would still manage to float gently to land and end up without much injury. So, apparently, the island has a way of drawing people to it in tact.

So, they landed back in time during the Dharma initiative. I believe that when John Locke turned the donkey wheel the island was stabilized at this point in time. Jin and the all the rest were then forced to join ranks with the Dharma folks, get fitted for jumpsuits and find jobs on the island. I wonder what job they gave Sawyer?

Of course, this brings up the obvious answer that this is how Charlotte met Daniel when she was a young girl.

Now, at first I started wondering how they would avoid being killed in the purge. But I realized that it probably won't be necessary to even worry about that.

I think that once the members of the original flight gather, they will try to find the donkey wheel and turn it forward in time to the point before the helicopter landed, before they let Daniel and his crew on the island and before Charlie died. They will then be allowed to change the course of history.


Well, this is where Desmond comes in. Ms. Hawking said the island wasn't done with him yet. And despite his reluctance, he will be drawn back, as the only person who has the power to change the course of time and prevent the island from ever being found.

Why is Ms. Hawking so scared to go to the island herself? Well, she knows this won't be an easy job. She knows she could get killed or have a massive nosebleed before she is able to accomplish the task. Or perhaps, she knows that Desmond is the only one who is capable of fulfilling this role. Or maybe she has a completely devious and horrible plan all together. She sure seemed sneaky, that's for sure.

OK... So, back to John Locke. I believe that Locke is Jacob.

He has been told that he is the true leader of the Others, so it makes the most sense that he is Jacob. That is why Ben was so surprised the Locke could see Jacob, who was, in fact, himself. Now that Locke is dead, he will live on in spirit on the island as Jacob.

Ms. Hawking said Locke was a "proxy" for Christian Shepherd. Do you think Locke knew that was why he was killing himself? I don't. I think in pure Locke style, someone told the poor guy he needed to kill himself to save the island and without fully understanding why, he just did it. His belief, his desire to fulfill his destiny in life outweighs even his own desire to be alive. Now, that's some kind of belief!

We got some great answers in this episode, but many, many more questions, such as:

  • What the heck did Kate do with Aaron? I'm thinking she probably gave him to Claire's mom back in the hotel room. We can only hope.
  • How could Sun just leave her baby girl behind?
  • Isn't Jin going to go crazy mad when he finds out that not only did they bring Sun back against his wishes, but she just left their baby girl behind?
  • Did Ben make it to the island? I think he did. What fun would it be otherwise?
  • Who is Ms. Hawking? Was she part of the army? Remember how Jack was staring at that poster?
  • WHY, WHY, WHY was Ben so bloody bloody?!? Please tell me he did not get in a fight with Desmond in an effort to kill Penny. I really couldn't handle it if Desmond had to go through any more sorrow regarding that woman, although perhaps that would draw him back to the island??
  • And the biggest question, how does the island decide who it needs and then drawn them to it?

I can't wait for next week's episode, which I heard on a LOST podcast will be the story of what happens to Locke. We'll probably get another break from life on the island to find out more about John's fate. And then, hopefully, everyone will be reunited island-side for some real fun.

the boy in the blue

Our middle son loves to understand all the details of a situation. Today, he was trying to figure out who a certain student at his school is. My son is in kindergarten and this other boy is much older, so they don't cross paths that often.

"He's tall. And he has blonde hair," I tried to explain.

"Ohhhh... does he usually wear brown pants?" my son asked, as if a light had suddenly turned on. " And he wears a blue shirt?

"Yes, that's him," I agreed. "And sometimes he wears a white shirt."

By the way, all the students at his school wear uniforms: Brown pants with a blue or white shirt.

Hey... if that description works for him, then it's good with me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

winter is a good thing... right?!?

Ever since we returned from our vacation to Mexico, I've been trying to convince myself that living all YEAR long in a place where it's sunny, warm and downright beautiful is overrated.

I mean, seriously...

If it was hot all year long, wouldn't I miss the joy of spring flowers, budding trees and chirping birds?

If it was always summer, would I really appreciate getting away for vacation?

If it was always warm, would our minds grow dull? How would we ever finish homework?

It it was sunny everyday, would I grow tired of putting on sunscreen and want to stay indoors?

If it was summer all year long, would I miss hot cocoa, reading a book while snuggled under a blanket, or going for a brisk walk on a cold day?

If it was always beautiful outside, how would I concentrate to get my work done? Or clean my house?

If it was always warm, sunny and beautiful, wouldn't I get bored with the never-changing temperatures?

If it was always summer, wouldn't I miss Facebook, blogging and e-mail? I mean, I would be able to go outside to actually see and interact with people?

I don't think so. But I'm trying to convince myself.

Monday, February 16, 2009

grandma dot

While our family was traveling to Acapulco, my grandma died. Her death wasn't unexpected. In fact, we had anticipated that she would have died several weeks earlier. But she has always been very strong, and she held on.

We debated nearly every day that we were in Acapulco whether we should return home, since the funeral was scheduled for our last day of the trip. Our family at home, as well as our small family and our "DT family" all agreed that Grandma Dot would want us to enjoy our vacation, so we stayed.

We had celebrated her life while she was with us. We had just gathered in September for her 95th birthday. We spent Christmas Day with her when we moved her into the nursing home. And I was able to talk to her on the phone and tell her good-bye while she was still very alert.

I really wish I could have been at her funeral to give me the chance to gather with family and friends to remember her. But I found it helpful to write some thoughts about my grandma while I was in Acapulco. I wanted to share her with you here.


When I think about my grandma, the most vivid memory that comes to mind is playing in the living room of grandma and grandpa’s house so many times when a knock would come at the door.

“Ask them if they want ice cream or a candy bar!” Grandma would yell from the kitchen.

All of the children in the family knew what she meant. We would open the door to reveal a little child standing there, often with one or two others hiding behind the one who had knocked. The child often didn’t say anything, and he or she didn’t need to.

Her house was the place on the block where kids from throughout the neighborhood knew they could knock on the door and be rewarded with a treat from the freezer or the candy drawer.

Getting sweets from Grandma Dot and Grandpa Paul was such a routine part of my life that I never really questioned it as unusual. And it didn’t enter my mind until I was a bit older that some kids didn’t have grandparents like mine.

Of course, Grandma was good at reminding us.

“Who’s glad to be at Grandma’s house?!” she would ask with gusto as we all gathered around the table for our Sunday evening dinner.

Or, “Oh, honey. That’s what love it!” she would say when she did something special.

We didn’t mind to agree with her that we were happy to be at Grandma’s house because we were. Our 4 p.m. Sunday dinners were a special traditional gathering time for our family that brings back so many memories.

The smell of Grandma’s house. Her famous homemade noodles. And her less famous, but just as memorable concoctions like taco chow mein -- when she insisted on combining chow mein noodles with meat flavored with taco seasoning. I’ll also never forget her special recipe for iced tea, which involved dumping so much instant tea in the pitcher that the drink was a dark brown. Or her “salad” which was a wonderful mixture of mayonnaise, bacon and a bit of lettuce.

We would listen to her recitations of all the news that had made the Olney Daily Mail over the last week, then move out to the front porch to watch people drive by while we all told more stories.

Sundays at Grandma’s house would always end with grandma or grandpa giving the children instructions to get a paper bag and fill it with candy from the drawer. The drawer always contained an array of Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers and lots of Juicy Fruit or Doublemint gum.

Then she would usually call us over one by one.

“Honey, come here.” She would grab our hand as if to give it a shake. Instead, she would deposit one of her “fire crackers” -- fives, tens or twenties rolled tightly to the size of a fire cracker.

I think my grandma was born a few decades before her time. She was an independent woman who wasn’t afraid to travel the world. She loved to talk about the trip she took to Africa, and she and grandpa ventured around the country on a tour bus on many, many trips.

I will never forget when she babysat for us one time in the summer while my parents were away. We sat out in the backyard for hours with a map of the United States. Although it wasn’t a requirement in my classwork at school, she insisted that I learn all of my state capitals. I supposed I should have been begging to go play. But I really loved her drilling me on my geography and felt good for years afterward that I knew them all.

My grandmother was a sharp woman. She worked a crossword puzzle everyday until she lost her vision. She then kept her mind strong by listening to books on tape. She knew the names of nearly everyone who ever lived in Olney and could tell you their family history.

I always was -- and still am -- amazed at how many people knew my grandma Dot.

Most of all, she loved Jesus. It would have been rare to have been part of a conversation or a phone call with Grandma Dot when she didn’t mention her faith, her belief that God would provide for her needs or an encouragement to give what we had to someone less fortunate.

It’s so difficult for me to believe that my grandma has passed on. She was so strong, so bright and so positive even up until her final days. I am so happy for her now to think of her in heaven with grandpa, her friends and her family, rejoicing in a body that isn’t slowed by old age, blindness or disease.

I will miss her so much. But I know that many, many people’s lives were touched by her time here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

little things make me laugh

There's just something about our first born.

He and I have a way of being brutally honest with each other. We make each other laugh. And cry. And sometimes we just connect.

Like the other day when he told me: "Mom, remember back in first grade when I really didn't like you that much?"

Um... no... I didn't realize that you didn't like me.

"Well, I'm really starting to like you now!"

Great!... I think??...

Then, there was last night. On Friday and Saturday I worked a Discovery Toys booth, which required me to lug about 10 huge bags of toys into a convention center, get up at 5 a.m. two days in a row and then stand on my feet for 12 hours straight each day, before tearing it all down and loading it back in my van. By the time I got home, my wimpy little bird-like body was pooped.

"I've got to get in better shape," I moaned as I plopped down on the bed.

"You do, Mom! I'll get your shoes!" little Mr. Always Energetic said. Moments later, he ran back with my running shoes.

I lifted one eyelid and laughed before falling asleep.

Today, we have been working on finishing the five days of homework that we missed while on vacation. This is our punishment for daring to leave the tundra and selflessly enjoying ourselves while visiting another country. Nevermind that we actually got to SEE Mexico, we need to STUDY the countries of Asia. (Just ignore my sarcasm.)

I try to use my best teacher sing-song voice when I'm helping him with the homework.

"OK, class! Let's all sit in a circle!" I chirp, reading from the teacher notes.

He obliges by sitting in a one-person circle on the floor. At least, I think it was a circle. Might have been a square. Or a triangle.

"Guess what, Second Graders?!? Your teacher hates phonics! You get to take a break while I go take a nap!"


He gets me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

old enough to be... WHAT?!?

A few months ago, I set up a booth selling Discovery Toys at a day-long conference. A nice man had a booth next to me for the pharmaceutical company that he represents.

The guy was probably in his 60's. He immediately struck up a conversation with me and we chatted most of the day.

I had invited one of the new consultants on my team to stop by to see how I set up my booth. This woman has been out of college a few years. She worked as a teacher and now stays home with her 1-year-old son.

After the woman left, the older man asked me, "Was that your daughter?"

"WHAT'S YOU TALKIN ABOUT WILLIS?!?" I answered in my head. Then I replied, "Ummm. No."

"Do you have children?" the man asked.

"Yes. They are EIGHT. SIX. AND F-O-U-R!" I answered.

Well, today I was working another booth and the same woman came to help. We were chatting about her mother-in-law. She explained that her husband's mother is very young to be a grandma. She's 40.


For the record, I am NOT old enough to be this woman's mother. I am exactly 39 years, nine months and three weeks old.

Not 40.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost on the island of death

Tonight's episode of LOST made my head spin. And gave me a headache. And a bit of a nosebleed. And brought back a few memories from childhood. And made me want to eat chocolate before dinner.

So, let's start with what we now know:

Charlotte was born on the island and grew up there. She left with her mother, who tried to convince her she had imagined the island. She became an anthropologist and made it her life's mission to find the island.

When she was a child, she met a crazy old man who told her that if she ever returned to the island she would die. That man was Daniel Faraday. And he was correct.

So, we knew that Daniel was on the island 20 or more years ago working with the Dharma initiative. We also knew that he was about the same age or older than he is now. So does that mean he was traveling back in time from where he is now or does it mean that he was on the island originally and traveled forward in time?


Jin is alive. He got to meet Danielle Rouseau when she first came to the island. And he got to witness how all of her friends were sucked up by the Smoke Monster and turned into Smoke Monster Droids who tried to manipulate her. She wasn't so crazy after all.

We also know that Eloise Hawking is Daniel's mom. And we know that Charlotte can speak Korean. And that Jin somehow knew Charlotte would be able to speak Korean. And we know that Charlotte's eyes get really red and freaky looking when she travels through time too quickly.

Oh, and we also know that eventually everyone will die if someone doesn't make the time traveling stop soon. Everyone but Daniel, that is. He seems to be immune.

We also know that if the Smoke Monster pulls really hard while someone is holding onto your arm that your whole arm will rip off. Ouch.

What we don't know is a bit more complicated.

Why the heck was Christian Shepherd underground in the Orchid after Locke was buried there? Did he come back to life when his coffin landed on the island? Or did he time travel to a point before he died, and then he was alive on the island? Or is he really Jacob? Or was he also born on the island and then, somewhat like Locke, he had to die in order to return?

Should Sun come back? Ben and Ms. Hawking say she must. Charlotte says that she should never, ever return. Jin doesn't want her to and made Locke promise to tell her he's dead. But he didn't make Locke promise to tell Ben he was dead.

"Don't let them bring her back. No matter what. This place is death," Charlotte said with her freaky bright blue eyes glowing out of her red eye sockets.

Big questions of the night:

What happens to Locke? It seems like he will move the island again and then travel back to civilization and find Ben before dying. Somewhere along the way, he will change his identity and Jack and the other O6ers will know about this new identity because they recognized his name when he died. But how did Locke's death convince Jack that they should return?

What is the relationship between Daniel and Charlotte? Is he really her father? Or maybe her brother? In that case, Ms. Hawking could be her mother? Or could Charlotte be the little girl that Ben loved when he was a child?

And what is the deal with Christian Shepherd? It seems that he had a much larger role in all of this. Perhaps he was born on the island, too. Maybe that's why he drank so much. Maybe someone was trying to bring HIM back to the island after he died, in much the same why the O6ers have to bring Locke back.

I'm feeling a little light-headed this evening so I would love to hear any better explanations.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a little update from vacationland

Oh my, oh my... We are having the most incredible vacation in the history of our family. I wanted to give a quick update and share some photos.

The weather is a perfect 87 degrees everyday here. It's tough, but we're adjusting.

On a serious note, this was a sad day because I learned that my grandma died while we were on the trip down. I wish I could be with my family as they gather to celebrate her life. But I also feel good that I was able to see her before she died while she was still alert and I was able to tell her good-bye. I'll write more about this later, I'm sure.

Not only are we having a wonderful vacation, but we have been excited to hear about some amazing changes happening with Discovery Toys. For those of you who are fans of our product line, you will probably be as surprised as I was to find out that we have a new, more modern and updated logo. It's one of many GREAT changes happening at the company!

Here we are posing under the logo. Let me know what you think about it.

Boy... going on a free vacation to Acapulco is tough. We are staying at an absolutely amazing hotel. The rooms are gorgeous and the food is incredible. I have joked that I love Mexican food so much I could eat it for breakfast. Here in Mexico, I really can! I am on a continuous diet of fresh guacamole and chips. Heaven.

Our toughest daily chore so far has been trying to decide whether to swim in one of the five pools at the hotel or walk a few extra steps to the beach. When the decision is too much to handle, we know it's time for more guacamole.

Here are a few photos:

P.S. I haven't had time yet to watch LOST! How was it?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

the reward is near

It started with a goal. Then a plan for each month.

Then came the family meeting. I couldn't do it alone.

Next was the coloring chart. We needed a visual to track my progress. It was a great reminder for the whole family of where we were going.

One party booked. Then another. A toy sold. Then a thousand. Two thousand, three thousand. Twenty thousand.

A new consultant and another and another. A system to train them to sell a toy. And a thousand. Two thousand, three thousand. Thirty thousand.

By summer, it felt like it was time to quit. It's so warm here.

But remember February. The temperature will be zero. Remember the beach and the pool. Acapulco.

Think of the dinners. And the friends. And the guy with the Discovery Toys sign waiting at the airport.

Remember the gifts waiting in the room each evening. And the laughs.

And the time together.

It's almost time to go. It's hard to believe. A great reward for a year of hard work.

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