Thursday, April 30, 2009

LOST: The Variable

To make sense of last night's unbelievably convoluted episode of LOST, I think I need to start from the end and then work my way backward.

So, Daniel's mother really was Ellie, as I have been speculating for a while. And his dad really is Charles Widmore.

Ellie killed Daniel in 1977. Even though this ended Daniel's life, it doesn't mean that Ellie couldn't go on in her own life and give birth to Daniel in the future. And if time travel is working the way I understand it, Ellie would have a memory of killing Daniel, so she knew in the future that when she sent him back to the island, she was indeed sending him to be killed.

I am thinking that after she shot Daniel, Ellie took his journal that was stuffed inside his shirt. This, then, gave her all of the information that she needed to understand time travel and all of the events that were supposed to happen in her future son's life. That is way she was so adamant that even as a child he needed to put his scientific brain to its best use.

This also would explain why she made the statement that for the first time in her life she didn't know what was going to happen next. Up until the point that Daniel died, she had all of that information spelled out for her in his journal. But when he died, the journal ended.

So, the big question now is whether the Oceanic 6 really will be able to change the past by stopping the leak in the power source and preventing their own plane from crashing in the future. And if they are able to do this, what will that mean for them?

Will they be able to turn the donkey wheel and travel back through time? Or will Ellie help them time travel? Or will they be stuck in their current place in time?

Also, why do you think Eloise wanted them to return to the island? How did that fit into her grand scheme? Could it be that Eloise is living in a constant time loop, much like the one in which Desmond was caught during that episode way back when, and she needed the Oceanic passengers to return to make her loop stop?

The next big question that I have is whether it was really the leaking of the power source that caused the death of all of the Dharma people? I wonder if Ben really did kill all of those people or if he only made up that story.

We haven't seen the writers interject any lies up until now in the story line, so it seems improbable that Ben just made up the story about gassing the Dharma people. But at the same time, Daniel said that when the power source was released, it would wipe out the people on the island, so maybe that is what caused all of those deaths.

I'm also getting really anxious to find out what Sun, Locke and Ben are doing back in their time zone. I'm looking forward to another episode with that part of the crew. And I can't wait to find out how Sun and Jin will be reunited.

Oh, so many questions, but so much great information in this episode.

What did you think? Can't wait to read your theories!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

don't blame the stinkin' pigs

OK. I've tried to take a very calm, wait-and-see approach to the Swine Flu story sweeping the world. I mean, yes, it does sound very serious. But I'm not sure we all need to go into complete seclusion just yet.

But a headline today has me so upset I can't contain myself anymore. "Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs."

First of all, how many pigs ARE there in Egypt? Maybe like 127?

I'm being sarcastic. I read the story and their are actually 300,000 pigs. But in a nation that is 90 percent Muslim, the pig population is not a major source of food.

I have to say that I was able to spend 12 weeks in Africa way back when and I never saw a single pig. Oh, there were plenty of cows walking beside the road. And people bought their chickens in the market alive and then carried them by the feet all the way home, sometimes even taking them on a bus ride, before slaughtering them for dinner.

I saw hippos, rhinos and elephants, but those were the closest thing I ever witnessed to a pig, a pork product, a hot dog, sausage or piece of ham. Pigs just aren't real popular in Africa, as far as I could tell.

Oh, but I digress.

So, maybe I missed something, but I haven't read about a big problem with pigs giving each other the pig flu. I haven't heard any stories of pigs going on vacation at Mexican resorts and bringing home the flu. I haven't heard of any pigs traveling on airplanes or crossing the border.

Isn't the problem that the pigs gave humans the pig flu and now the humans are spreading it to each other?

So, now on a continent that suffers from extreme poverty, the most widespread AIDS epidemic in the world, not to mention killer ants, malaria, dysentery, Hepatitis, and general hardship, but has seen zero cases of the swine flu, does it really make sense to kill all of the pigs?

Doesn't it make as much sense to kill all of the people since they are the ones spreading the swine flu to each other? And before killing all the pigs, would it be possible to test one of them to see if they even have the flu?

And what happens after all the pigs are dead? Is that the end of pigs in Egypt? Would it ever be safe to raise another pig in that nation or will they be banned forever?

Now, if Mexico wanted to kill its population of infected pigs, THAT would make sense! But to take one of the sources of nutrition in a continent where people are more in danger of dying of starvation than the flu, I'm in disbelief.

That's my soapbox for today. What do you think about the swine flu? Is it scaring you?

I'm thankful that our three-week bout with strep throat, followed by Fifth's Disease, accompanied with a few other random fevers has finally passed through our house. Otherwise, I might be on my way to get a supply of surgical masks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

quotes of the day

7:25 a.m.
Five minutes left until it's time to leave for school. First Born opens his backpack and realizes he had a homework sheet to be completed over the weekend.

"Observations of a beautiful sunny, spring day:"

"What do you see around you? What do you feel when you're standing? What do you smell? What do you hear? Any other thoughts?"

First Born looks outside at a cloudy, dreary sky.

"Well, it's not sunny and beautiful. I don't have to do it."

With no time left, I have to agree.

Middle Child gets home from kindergarten.

"Your play is on Thursday! What kind of costume did your teacher say you should wear?"

"I'm supposed to wear sort-of old, stained clothing. Maybe I could wear my white uniform shirt with the chocolate stain on it. And I could wear my brown uniform pants with the grass stain."

"Perfect," I agree. "So, it's pretty much what you would wear to school anyway!"

Carpooling home from school. I notice a sheet in the backpack explaining options for summer camps.

"I don't want to go to any camps, Mom," First Born interjects.

"Why not?" asks carpool friend.

"My mom makes summer way more fun than any camp could be!"

Aww. Highlight of my day.

7 p.m.

Youngest Child laying on the floor.

"Someone folded up all of my edges!"

my life is like the laundry

I'm sure you all know the feeling. You had a great get-away weekend. The family played hard, stayed up later than usual and had a great time.

Then Monday morning comes and you are facing five suitcases full of dirty laundry. Plus five more laundry baskets of clean laundry that you never folded last Friday in the rush to leave town.

Somehow, more piles of laundry have planted themselves and started multiplying in bedrooms while you were away.

My whole life has been feeling like the laundry lately.

When I look at the piles, the task seems too big to bear. Where should I even begin? Perhaps if I just ignore the baskets of dirty they will go away. And worse yet, I can't even look at those baskets of clean that have to be folded, carried and stuffed into drawers that are already bursting with clothes.

But then I decide to take it one step at a time. Give it an hour. Focus. Don't answer the phone. Keep moving ahead.

At the end of the hour, all five baskets of clean are folded. I've even managed to go through the boys' drawers and sort out all of the too small clothes. I actually have room to put the clean clothes away!

I'm starting to be able to breathe better now. Stay focused. I have a system to make this easier, but I have to use it. Dirty clothes go in the brown baskets. Clean clothes are thrown in the white baskets. Otherwise, my husband will find the basket of clean clothes in a brown basket and wash them all over again.

I make rules for myself. I'm not allowed to put another load in the washer until I have folded and put away at least one of the white baskets.

I'm really making progress. I even bought fabric softener for the first time in more than a year and my house is starting to smell good!

Oh, but let's face it. This won't last long. As soon as all of the laundry is done, the dirty will be piling up in the baskets once again. There's always more to do. I've just finished and already I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.

At least my life isn't like laundry in every way. I prefer to do the laundry myself. In 11 years of marriage, I have fired my husband from the job at least 37 times. I just don't like it when my favorite shirt shrinks or my PJs are hanging in the closet. I like to do it my way.

Thankfully, I don't have to go it alone when facing those dirty piles in real life. God has been guiding me through some challenging situations lately. And he seems to send just the right person across my path at the most unexpected moments.

And while he's not the best at folding and putting away clothes, my husband couldn't be better at sorting through the laundry of life together.


Come back tomorrow and find out how my life is like cleaning the toilet. (Oh... you know I'm only kidding!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

me and my tambourine

Now that I'm 40, I'm thinking it's time for me to fulfill one of my deepest desires. You know, to become a rock star.

Well, I've been giving it some serious thought. I asked some of the really talented singer-type friends in my life if they think it's possible for a very average kitchen singer like me to learn how to sing. Believe it or not, they said it is.

I've heard this several times before. Experts say that anyone can be taught how to sing. Of course, it takes 83 years and by that time, your voice is kind of wobbly and you can't really do any dramatic moves on stage, so it's kind of pointless.

So, I've been trying to figure out how I can take my talentless lip syncing show on the road. And I do think I have a pretty good idea. I stink at the piano, I have no clue about the guitar, my singing is pretty weak, and I don't have any experience on the drums.

But what about the tambourine? I can shake a tambourine like nobody's business. And you should see me with the maracas. And the cow bell? Well, just get out of the way because I can "clock, clock, clock, clock... clock, clock, clock" out some rhythm on that thing.

So, here's my plan. I go to a really contemporary church and the people on the worship team are pretty much like rock stars in my mind. I'm thinking I could start there. Maybe I could get a spot in the worship band, playing the tambourine.

I really got serious about this idea a few weeks ago when one of the ladies on the worship team let it slip that no one is really THAT crazy about playing the tambourine! So, they NEED me, huh?!? Here's my chance!

But as I've been going through this in my mind, I know I have a few obstacles I would still need to overcome:

1. Whatever I try in life, I have a tendency to take my job a little too seriously. I know that during each song, I would be stressing over how exactly I should play the tambourine. It's not as straightforward as it looks. Should I shake it up high with one hand? Or should I hit it against my leg? Or should I just do the tambourine hand clap?

I can see it now. In the middle of rehearsal, I would be going up to the leader, saying, "Excuse me. Do you think I'm doing OK here with the tambourine?" And he would be like, "HELLLOOO?!? The rest of us are trying to play ACTUAL instruments here! The tambourine isn't exactly the focal point. Would you mind to just kind of scoot back there by the piano and be a little bit quieter?"

2. So, then, I have a feeling that I might get a little bored just shaking my tambourine, and I would try to get the female vocalists to join me in some choreographed dance moves. "Come on, girls. Just step, step, step, turn, clap! It's easy." And they would be like, "Yeah. No. We don't really do a dance step on worship team."

3. I can see it now, no dance steps, no tambourine jamming... I would probably get it in my head that I could be helpful to the lead singer. You know how during a concert, the lead singer will run up to the other band members and hold up his microphone so they can sing together?

So, I would decide to try it. I would run up to the guitar player and start jingling my tambourine. He would get totally off track and be like, "Um. Would you mind to stop playing the tambourine in my ear? You're kind of piercing my ear drum."

4. Finally, I would take my place, standing still behind everyone else with my tambourine. I would look out at the crowd and realize, "Oh my. All of those people are looking at us." A blank stare would fall across my face, I would drop my tambourine in terror and run off the stage.

I'm really thinking I'm not ready to take my tambourine act in public. And I don't think the public is ready for my tambourine.

But if you want to stop by my kitchen, I have a mean song and dance act ready to go. And, yes. It includes a tambourine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

you're the best person in the whole world

I've always been a bit of a birthday card snob. It just seems like the biggest scam in the world to pay $3.99 to buy a birthday card!

Over the years, I have tried to revolt against Hallmark and it's high-priced cards in many ways. I've made cards: I've done the computer-generated cards. I've rubber stamped. Heck, I've even drawn pictures and used stickers.

Then, I started going the route of buying something else for the same price (or less) than a greeting card and adding a personal message. I've given journals. Calendars. Little inspirational books.

But I have to admit that since the card companies started making those cards with the sound chips, I have no problem plunking down $5 for a greeting card. I have spent some good chunks of time standing in the card aisle lately listening to "Super Freak", "Brick House", "All Star", "I Feel Good" and the other famous songs they put inside those cards.

And I love it when I get one of those. Not only does it make me laugh, but it becomes a toy for my kids. They run around all day with it. Open. Close. Open. Close.

My hilarious friend, Caryl, got me one of the funniest sound chip cards I have ever heard. And truly, people, even though you can't get the full effect without hearing it, it would not be fair if I didn't share it with you here.

The card features Hoops&Yoyo, those little bunny-like creatures with the strange, slightly-demented voices.

The front of the card says, "You're the best person in the whole world! And we should know..."

"We searched every corner of the globe to prove it!"

When you open the card, you hear Hoops&Yoyo panting, as if they've been running.

"Hah, hah, hah (panting)... It's true. It's true. Yeah. We just got back. And you are the best.

"We went alphabetically. We just got back from Zimbabwe. Algeria, Angola, we went through all the aaaahs.

"We actually made it all the way through China. And you wouldn't believe. You wouldn't beeeelieeevee how many people are in China. There's a lot of people. LOOOOTTTS of people in China. We knocked on a lot of doors. And it's true. It's true. You are the best."

That's it. I'm sold. I love Hoops&Yoyo. They even have a blog.

a new decade

Oh, me. Oh, my.

I have certainly put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with something to say on my 40th birthday. I have whined. I have counted down. I have counted up. I have dreaded. Then I started looking forward to it. Now, finally, it's here!

Lots of people have been telling me that 40 is only a number. It's just another day. It's all in my head. Of course, most of these people are between the ages of 34 and 36. No one who is 38.5 or 39 have made these statements. =] And the 42-year-olds just laugh because they have moved on.

But I like milestones. I think God gave us a calendar and a clock for a reason, and that is to mark the passage of time. I like to reflect. Look ahead. And celebrate.

I've tried to come up with something inspirational to say today. Then, I went for motivational. How about nostalgic? Funny?

Oh, boy... so much pressure.

Mostly, I'm thankful. I am so blessed. I have a wonderful family, amazing friends and more blessings than I could ever imagine on my 40th birthday.

Whew! I think I'm going to need a wind-down period. How about another 40 days? (just kidding!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

bolt, hurley and the other not-so-famous

I'm sure you've heard of the kid's movie, Bolt.

It's about a dog who plays a superdog on TV. But the real-life Bolt thinks he really has super powers.

When he runs away from the TV set, his powers don't work anymore because they were special effects. Slowly, he comes to accept the cold, hard truth. He is just an ordinary dog. In the end, he becomes a hero in his own right and his regular powers seem super.

My kids have watched Bolt at least four times.

All three of them believe the movie is about a dog who REALLY DOES have super powers. When he leaves the set, he loses his powers and becomes an ordinary dog. But in the end, he regains his powers.

No amount of explanation will convince them otherwise. Bolt really is a super hero, in their minds. "See Mom," they explain at the end. "He regained his super powers."

This reminds me a little of my blog reading lately.

I like to read some of the really "famous" super bloggers. You know. The ones who get like 25,000 comments on a post about cows. These are just ordinary women who seem like celebrities because they can write in a way that's funny and entertaining.

But lately, I've been taking a break from the Super Bloggers to read the blog of an actual TV star, Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley on LOST. Garcia really is a celebrity, but he writes a blog about his real life. He doesn't write in a way that's funny or entertaining, he just IS (funny and entertaining).

Watching Bolt with my kids made me realize that I act like the famous bloggers really are famous just because they write a blog. They are actually just normal people who seem famous.

But when a celebrity writes a blog, it makes me realize that (gasp!), he's a normal person. Jorge Garcia is not actually stranded on an island in the year 1977. He is not a mental patient. He doesn't wear a DHARMA jumpsuit.

I feel like I have to be very secretive when I read his blog so he doesn't find out it's me. Then he will know that I know that he's not really one of the Oceanic 6. He's just a guy with a girlfriend and a garden. A guy who travels and eats pancakes.

It's one thing to watch someone on TV who is creating a work of fiction. But it's hard for me to accept when I read his blog that he's just a normal guy who plays a funny person on TV.

Sort of like Bolt. I'm not really sure how it's the same, but it seemed sort of similar when I started.

P.S. I'm just going to tell you Jorge Garcia's blog address because I don't want you to create a link from mine. Then he would know that I am reading his blog and that I know he just plays a funny person on TV and that would be soooo uncomfortable. It's: dispatchesfromtheisland (dot) blogspot (dot) com.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bloggy business

If you are looking for my LOST post, scroll on down.

For everyone else, I have a few burning bloggy issues I would like to discuss today. I would really like your input on this one.

First up, I was wondering how most people do their daily blog reading.

I keep track of everything on my Google homepage. If you don’t have one of those, when you click the link to Subscribe to a blog, a window will pop up asking you if you want to subscribe on your Google homepage or in your Google Reader.

If a blogger doesn’t have a Subscribe link, you can go to your Google homepage and click “Add Stuff.” Then, you simply type in the web address of the blog you want to include in your homepage.

A lot of people like to get their daily blog fix through a reader, such as Google Reader. If you do it this way, does that mean that you don’t ever actually click on the blog itself? And if that is the case, can you view all the photos and read all of the comments?

Does it make you less likely to leave a comment on someone’s blog if you are viewing it in a reader?

Another option is to become a Follower. I had a gadget on my blog for a while to allow people to become my follower. But it was taking a lot of space and I noticed that the people who seemed to be the most consistent readers weren’t signing up to be followers.

If you sign up to be someone’s follower, then their blog is listed both on your Blogger dashboard, and in your Google Reader. I like having the option of getting a quick peek at everyone’s latest entry this way, but it isn’t my primary way of following people.

I was just wondering if others have found it effective to either give people the option of being a follower or of becoming a follower yourself.

Along those lines, did you know that Google Reader will tell you how many subscribers you and other bloggers have? To do this, click on the name of the blog in Google Reader and then click on Show Details in the upper right. This will show you how many subscribers you have.

Ahh. One more thing to obsess about. Now, not only can I waste time compulsively checking my stats, but I also can find out if I have any new subscribers.

One last question. If you are a blogger, why do you do what you do?

It seems that we spend a lot of time not only blogging, but trying to figure out how to get more readers, more subscribers, more followers and more comments. But why?

Do you make money through your blog and if so, how do you do it?

Is it more of a creative outlet for you? Is it a way to express yourself? Or mostly a digital scrapbook of sorts to keep your memories and share them with family and friends. Or do you do it more for the interaction with other people?

I would say my reasons are a mix of all of the above. It gives me a creative outlet, and I love the interaction with people who comment. But I also tend to turn most of my passions into a business, being the little entrepreneur that I've always been. I'm just not sure the best way to do that with blogging. I'm not sure if it's even possible to make more than a little money through advertising, but I would love to hear of anyone else's experience.

These are the mysteries that rattle around in my head, distracting me from important issues in life.

I’m really curious to hear your answers. And if you know of another way to organize your blog roll that I didn’t mention, let me know that, too. I would love to hear.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

LOST: Some Like It Hoth

How cool was that to get a completely Miles-centric episode? Miles has really been growing on me this season and I've been intrigued to find out more about his past. We got so many little nuggets in this episode of LOST.

OK, we knew that baby of Pierre Chang's had some significance in the storyline. I was still hanging on to my belief it was Sun, but whoever predicted it was Miles gets some major kudos.

One of the most amazing points to the show for me was that we found out you can interact with yourself when you time travel without spontaneously combusting. Plus, so much more:

  • We got to see that the guy who grabbed Miles off the street is Bram, same passenger who turns up on the island with Ilana in last week's episode.
  • Bram uses the same question, "Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue?" to try to determine Miles' depth of knowledge about the island.
  • We found out why Miles tried to bribe Ben last season for $3.2 million. Remember how Ben made fun of Miles for choosing such an odd sum of money?
  • We got to see how he was recruited by Naomi to go to the island.
  • We heard more about how Widmore created the fake remains of the original Oceanic flight.
  • And then in the biggest smack to the head, we see Daniel Farraday coming out of the submarine. And, no, it's not a Daniel of the past, it's a current day Daniel who knows Miles.

So, do you think Dr. Pierre Chang shared Miles' ability to communicate with the dead and that is how Miles turned out the way he did? When Miles was asked to deliver a dead body to Chang, I was thinking that perhaps that was done so Pierre could find out how the dead man died.

Thank you to the writers for giving us a big dose of comic relief through Hurley this episode. He was able to psychoanalyze Miles' father relations, explain his own unique ability to communicate with the dead, witness the branding of his numbers on the hatch and even write the script to The Empire Strikes Back. What more could you ask for out of Hurley in a mere one-hour show?

He had so many classic Hurley lines that I can't even decide which one is best. But, "Ewoks, suck, Dude" had to be right up there.

And what did you think about the interaction between Roger Linus and Kate? It's kind of weird how Kate and Jack have gone from being the stars of the show to these annoying background characters. If their acting wasn't so bad, I think I would feel sorry for them.

Finally, I was happy for Miles that he did get to see that his father loved him in the end. I was suspicious of his mom's story about his dad leaving them. I hope we get to find out what really happened.

What did you think? Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

a whole lot of nothing and a little bit of something

You probably won't believe this, but I've been trying for several days now to write a post about Facebook. The unfinished post goes from sarcastic to serious to nostalgic to whiney. And then it just goes on and on and makes no sense. It's a little like Facebook, I suppose.

Well, I finally decided I better just write a post about something else. I feel like I can't get my day going until I just write something! Seriously, you can only look at those photos of my kids' teeth for so many days until you decide to leave and never come back.

I have so much going on in my life right now that my head is completely muddled with a million different thoughts. I can't really unleash all the craziness that would like to leap onto the page of my blog.

So, in the interim, I offer you a list. I was going to call it "things I've learned this week" but it isn't even that. It's just a random collection of thoughts swirling in my brain.

1. My prescription for Nasonex cost $80. Doesn't that seem ridiculous?

2. Thankfully, Meijer fills prescriptions for Amoxicillin for free. And since we needed three of those this week, that saved us $45 at the pharmacy.

3. It's impossible to buy a chocolate Easter bunny that wasn't made in a plant with peanuts. Why don't I ever plan in advance that I need to get some melting chocolate and make one instead of spending three hours driving from store to store reading labels?

4. Kids who have eaten Easter bunnies know that consuming the low-quality chocolate is barely even worth the effort to rip off the bunny's ears. But when a child has never had one, it becomes the most longed-for object on the face of the planet. Life is just like that, isn't it?

5. I used to be really good at the game Memory. Now, my 4-year-old daughter sneaks her matches onto my pile so I don't feel as bad about her margin of victory. "We can help each other!" she explains when I catch her putting her pairs onto my pile.

6. It really doesn't matter when the tax deadline is. I will wait until that day to file my taxes. I kind of wish they would move it up to February. That would save me a good two months of agonizing over my bookkeeping.

7. My assignment was simple. "Can you send an object to school with your child that begins with the letter C? Please send this object in a paper bag. Sign this paper and return it to school with your child if you can participate. Do not sign the paper if you are not able to do this." I signed the paper. When I picked up my child from kindergarten, he hopped in the car and said, "It's OK, Mom. We can bring the C item tomorrow." Oh no. I signed the paper and then I forgot. Do you think more games of Memory might help?

How about you? Do you have any random thoughts you would like to share? Oh, come on! I need a laugh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

baby face

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! What a beautiful day to celebrate the best day of the year -- Resurrection Sunday!

We actually had a visit from Mr. Streptococcus Bacterium. He was not a very nice guest. Instead of eggs and candy, he gave the kids fevers, delirious dreams, headaches and sore throats. No offense, but I'm hoping he doesn't decide to join us for any more major holidays.

I've been watching this year as my three children have been losing that sweet baby look to their faces. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye and it's as if I haven't seen them for months. "He's such a big kid now! Where did my baby go?"

Well, I have decided it's all about the teeth. When they lose those cute, little baby teeth, to be replaced by gargantuan adult teeth that seem way too big for their mouths, they are officially transformed into Big Kids.

Tooth fairy visits have become almost a weekly event between the two boys lately. And they both suffer from their own struggles with eating as they maneuver their food around loose teeth, missing teeth and new teeth cutting through the gums.

This is my daughter. She's four and has all of her baby teeth.

This is my 6-year-old son. He has an old man, gummy smile right now, without his top two teeth. Once those big ones grow in, it makes the ones to the sides look even more babyish.

This is my 8-year-old with his big, honkin' adult teeth in the middle. He's losing all four of he ones next to the middle teeth.

His baby teeth have roots of steel. That one on the bottom has been sticking out straight for over a month now while the one behind it grows in. We twist and turn that thing, but it won't fall out. It just stands straight out from his gum and rubs against his bottom lip.

He is definitely not a baby anymore.

Can we just take one look at this eye? He says the boys make fun of him for having such huge eyelashes.

I love those eyelashes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

resurrection rolls

This is one of our favorite things to make around Easter. It's a great way to talk about the resurrection of Christ with your kids. And it's fun to see their reaction when they open the "tomb" after the baking is done.

Plus, they are yum-my!

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon

  • Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll. This represents the tomb.
  • Each child takes one marshmallow which represents the body of Christ.
  • Dip the marshmallow in the butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the oils and spices the body was anointed with upon burial.
  • Lay the marshmallow on the dough and carefully wrap it around the marshmallow.
  • Make sure all seams are pinched together well. (Otherwise the marshmallow will "ooze" out of the seams)
  • Bake according to package directions.
  • Cool.
  • Break open the tomb and the body of Christ is no longer there!

Do you have a favorite Easter recipe or tradition? I would love to hear about it!

I hope you enjoy this blessed weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

LOST: Egyptian mythology

A few weeks ago, we were playing Trivial Pursuit and I got a question about a war hero whose own elephants turned on his troops in a battle against Rome. At least I think that was the question.

"Just a second," I told my opponents. I ran up to my second grader's room and happily found him still awake. He is obsessed with ancient history and knows as much about Greece, Rome and Eygpt as he does about Luke Skywalker, Anakin and Jabba the Hut.

"Do you know some famous military guy who fought against the Romans?" I asked.

"Yes. It's Odysseus."

"No, this guy had elephants," I explained.

"Hannibal, Mom. Definitely Hannibal."

I ran back downstairs with my answer. Correct! Phew! I never get the yellow history questions right!

If only I would let me son watch LOST, I think he could provide me with a world of insight into last night's episode. His mind is jammed with information about Egyptian gods.

On the other hand, I'm so dumbfounded and overwhelmed I have nothing intelligent to offer. So, I wanted to point you toward THIS if you haven't read it already! Whoa!

So, a few questions for you:

Why do you think the writers are taking this work of fiction, but giving it such a basis in Egyptian mythology? The similarities are amazing.

Did you not love it when Alex reappeared and scared the ba-geebers out of Ben? (Of course, I don't know how to spell ba-geebers.)

What's up with Ilana? Do you think she was sent there by Charles Widmore's group and uses the question about "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" to determine the identity of other people Widmore planted on the plane?

Ben told Widmore he was going back to the island. Would Widmore have had time to somehow get his own people on board to go back?

Do you think that Ben did kill Penny? If he didn't, why did he tell John to apologize to Desmond?

Why do you think Widmore was removed from the island in the first place?

And why wasn't Ben killed by the Smoke Monster?

How did Locke know how to find that temple? I know we saw the Smoke Monster come out of the crack in the ground before, but I don't remember Locke being there.

Finally, wasn't Locke great last night? He had some great lines and I was so happy to see him stand up to Ben.

It was probably the best episode ever, so I'm sorry I don't have more to add. My brain is so full of information I can't process it. I think I will show a few scenes to my second grader to see if he can help.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

babe tag

Jenny at Jenny-Jenny who can I turn to tagged me in this game called "Keeping it Real".

Here are the rules:
Take a picture of yourself right now.
No primping or preparing.
Just snap a picture.
Load the picture onto your blog.
Tag some people to play.
That's it, easy as PIE

I have cheated in every way. Does this photo count?

When Jenny tagged me yesterday, I was running around like a crazy woman and I didn't have time to do it immediately. So, I took my photo this morning.

OF COURSE I have on make-up and I'm fully dressed. Because, seriously, I don't do anything without make-up and my outfit for the day. I even go to the pool with at least a little make-up. I know, it's crazy. But girls, when you are my age, mascara never hurts.

However, I expect the people I tag to follow the rules! Take the picture immediately with no primping! hee hee.

You can check out Jenny's blog for an example of someone who FOLLOWED the rules!

OK, I tag:
A Musing Mom
Hello Little Peepers
Sarah Eliza at devastateboredom
Heather at Not a DIY Life
and Maggie

Can't wait to see your photos!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

what's wrong with this picture?

April 6, 2009.

The day after Spring Break.

That's pretty much all I can say about that.

I know you are all probably dying to know why tens and sometimes dozens and occasionally twenties of people have been coming by the everydayMOM blog lately. Well, my stellar, mind-blowing, information-packed LOST reviews help, especially since I secretly submit those words to the search engines to try to improve my listing.

And you can't believe the number of people who still want to know about the dangers of paraffin wax. This seems to be an especially hot topic in the UK, as well as certain parts of China, according to my site stats.

But the No. 1 search phrase that has been bringing people here lately is "examples of chiastic structure". For those of you in my Beth Moore study, you know that one of our assignments recently was to give an example of chiastic structure. And, Nice Readers, I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it seems that dozens of people are looking for a little help with answering their Bible study question. (I WILL NOT imply they are cheating. That would just be harsh.)

Unfortunately, they won't be getting a very good example of chiastic structure from the one I wrote. However, I think it will work for the sweet soul who used the search phrase: "example of chaotic structure."

And that officially concludes this post void of any meaningful information.

I'm now taking requests for real topics to post about this week. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Or if you have any random thoughts of your own, I'd love to hear them.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

my second childhood

When I was a kid, a week off of school would have meant lots of time wandering the neighborhood. I would go out in the backyard and hang out by the creek, the neighbor’s swing set or in another neighbor’s yard until some other kids showed up.

We would round up a game of kickball or tag or we would all grab our bikes and ride in circles up and down one driveway over to the next and back again.

In the summer, we would find a bucket and catch crawdads in the creek behind our house. If a friend invited me over, I would cut across backyards and crawl over fences to her house for a day of hanging out in her backyard or basement.

After a long afternoon, my mom would yell out the backdoor or call my friend’s mom to ask me to return home.

Now that I have kids, we live in a world of 6-foot fences. We barely see many of our neighbors, and don't know all of their names.

Within a mile radius of our house, children attend school districts in three different suburbs. Intermixed with those, kids go to Catholic schools, Montessori schools and Christian schools. Many others are home-schooled.

Most of my children’s closest friends don’t live within walking distance. Some require a 20-minute drive or crossing a four-lane road with stoplights, making it a journey that can’t be achieved without being driven in the car.

I have spent hours longing to give my children the same type of childhood that I had. I have wondered what we have done raising them in suburbia. I have felt guilty that I have deprived them of some of the joys of childhood -- running freely from one yard to the next, living in a world where it's OK to climb a neighbor's tree, spending hours wading in the creek.

But last week was Spring Break.

We started the week with no plans. But then I decided we should act like we were tourists just visiting all this place has to offer. We spent a day at the Arboretum, climbing the treehouses at the Children’s Garden and then playing Alice in Wonderland in the Maze Garden.

We visited Legoland Discovery Center, which is about 30 miles from our home, but a place we hadn’t yet visited because of the ticket price. It seemed expensive, but I realized we wouldn’t blink an eye at the cost if we were visiting here for the week.

We hit the indoor waterpark, and spent a day at the Children’s Museum. We had been there dozens of times, but now that the kids were a bit older, their eyes were even wider as they figured out how to make the biggest bubbles or construct a waterway or make cloth balls zoom through air tunnels.

These adventures are different from the ones I had as a kid. I would have been overwhelmed with excitement to have gone to one of those places in a year, not to mention everyday for a week.

I also realized something else that makes the experiences unique. Out of necessity, I spend a lot of time with my kids. Oh, they have play dates with other kids and cook up their own fun. But instead of sending them outside to play all day long, we tend to do a lot of things together as a family, or we meet up with another mom and her kids. I’m not sure who enjoys these days more -- my kids, or me reliving my childhood a second time around.

We are close. I love spending these long days with my children. I especially love it when all three of them are out of school and we can all be together.

Going to museums and zoos and the arboretum is a normal part of my children’s lives. When we visit my sister’s farm or the small town where I grew up, they think it’s exciting to run free, without fences.

What was normal to me is a treat to them. And what would have been an adventure to me as a kid, is everyday life for them.

If our life now was like it was when I was a kid, I would probably long to give my children the kind of experiences they have now. I still wish I could give them some of what I had, but they are growing up in a different way. Not better. Not worse. Just different.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

if you aren't lost, please come back

Yeah, yeah... I know. For all of you who don't watch Lost, those Thursday posts get really boring.

All that time travel, yada yada, Smoke monster, blah, blah, blah, Jack, Hurley and Kate nonsense is definitely more than one can handle IF by some chance you actually bother to read it.

But I realized today after reading the blog of a non-Lost viewer, that I feel a little bit sad for those of you who don't watch. You see, Lost isn't just a TV show. It's more of a hobby... no, no... It's kind of a part-time job... no... let's see. It's actually a lifestyle.

It probably seems like just another 60 minutes of mindless entertainment to fill a void on Wednesday nights. Turn it on. Turn it off. Go on with your life.


You see, watching Lost requires dedication, research, commitment and hours of hard-core thinking! The show itself is only a small part of being a Lostaholic. Once an episode is over, that's when the real fun begins.

True addicts lose sleep on Wednesday nights searching the message boards and blogs for clues, hints and theories. I've heard of people missing work on Thursdays to make more time for their research.

Viewers have to learn about time travel, world religions, ancient history and even quantum physics. They have to decipher the meanings of strings of numbers and review past episodes for tiny references that were missed the first time.

For those who are over the top, they can join Lost book clubs and read other works that might give clues to the storyline.

When a friend recommended I watch Lost about a year and a half ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. She loaned me the complete Season 1 on DVD and I watched it in a matter of weeks. I missed an entire week of my life in a mind-numbing blur my husband and I now lovingly refer to as "Season 2".

At that point, there was no turning back. I was starting to realize that this was quite possibly the best TV series in the history of mankind, and Season 3 was definitely offering proof.

Now, being a Lost junkie has added a whole new dimension to my life.

My husband and I have a standing date every Wednesday night in front of the TV. We both look forward to this time to kick back and hang out. When I meet a new mom in the park, I can casually ask her if she watches Lost. If she says yes, we suddenly have made a connection that gives us HOURS of conversation. It's like we've known each other our whole lives.

Oh yes. We've had to give up a few things. But really?!? Do the kids actually NEED me to pack their lunches on Thursday mornings when I am busy reading message boards? Is it SO BAD if I forget to cook dinner one day a week? I realize I have forgotten it was my turn to drive the carpool ONCE in a WHILE because I was so preoccupied with leaving comments on other blogs about Lost.

People, I never said this was an easy life. But when you are committed, you CHOOSE to ignore the tension headaches and carpal tunnel.

Besides, with only a few episodes left in Season 5, we are near the finish line now. We only have one more season after this one and then it's back to the life we once knew.

Nothing to look forward to on Wednesday nights. Boring Thursdays. No more countless hours spent trying to understand the Time Loop Theory. No more searching the blogs for clues.

Sure there are other shows. I've heard people talk about them. The Office. The Bachelor. The Biggest Loser. But do any of THOSE have a BOOK CLUB?!?!

So, I must ask you, my dear Bloggy Friends who don't watch Lost. Will you consider getting on board before the end? You still have a chance to join the fun! I hate leaving you out every Thursday morning. Will you just rent Season 1 and give it a try? Please?

If you won't do it for me, consider doing it for the Smoke Monster.

LOST: Whatever happened, happened

OK. I think I'm starting to understand. Seriously. It's all starting to make sense.

That conversation between Miles and Hurley about time travel had to have been one of the funniest moments in the history of LOST. It was classic to see them debate the issue just as we addicts -- I mean, viewers -- do every Thursday morning after the show.

It was so funny that it felt like they were actually making fun of us out here in TV land for all of our theories about how people would cease to exist if someone changed the past. If only Hurley had suggested going on a message board to look for clues and then had to remind himself that he was in 1977 before the Internet existed.


Daniel Faraday had tried to explain things before using the whole record-skipping analogy, but I guess I needed Miles to help me wrap my brain around what he was talking about. So, if you are like me, and just a few episodes behind on time travel theory, this is how I picture it in my mind.

You know how the needle on a record moves around in a circle in a continuous path until it reaches the end of the album? At that point the record (just like a person's life) stops.

But the needle for the O6ers is skipping from one groove in the record to another. Instead of going around the record following the path, it is taking a line from the outside of the record toward the middle, and then sometimes hopping backward.

As Miles explained, what is happening to them now is THEIR future, even if it happened in the past. The past events affected their future, but what happened in the future on a timeline is now the past to them because it already happened. And as we all know, whatever happened, happened.

Does that make perfect sense? Or can someone offer a better explanation?

With that theory in mind, we now assume that not only did Sayid shoot the bullet into Ben that almost killed him, but Kate and Sawyer also were responsible for helping turn him into crazy, evil, cruel, heartless Ben we know today.

Even knowing what he would become, they could not live with their conscience if they let a little boy die. And so they are responsible for handing him over to Richard Alpert, who apparently has some sort of super powers that not only can heal Ben, but also rob him of his innocence.

The really amazing twist is that the only reason Kate and Sawyer had such good hearts and nagging consciences is because of their own experiences with deserting children, which took place during the three years of their lives before they went back in time. However, the current time with young Ben is their present, so the outcome is affected by all they had learned in the future (which is now their past).

We also can place some of the blame on Jack. If he would have helped save Ben, Kate and Sawyer wouldn't have had to take him to Richard in the first place. But, yes they would have, because whatever happened, happened. (I just wanted to blame Jack for something because he was really bugging me.)

Could all of this be the reason that Ben needed to bring everyone back to the island? Or is Jack correct when he speculated that the island wanted to make things happen the way they were supposed to happen?

This episode also revealed just a tiny bit more about Alpert's role. He knows Ben Linus and seems to know when he takes him from Kate and Sawyer that he will have a very special role to fill and must be saved.

Alpert carries the dying Ben to a being who is more powerful than himself, most likely Jacob (or maybe the Smoke Monster?). And he also mentions that he is not accountable to Charles (Widmore) or Ellie (who I believe grows up to be Eloise Hawking). Those two apparently are the leaders of the Others at the time Ben is brought into their camp.

I still find the whole "love story" between Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet to be rather annoying. But can I just say that I'm starting to really like Juliet? And Kate is really getting on my nerves. Good for her for 'fessing up to Cassidy, as well as Carole Littleton, but enough already with all of the sighing about how "I needed Aaron."

This week's episode is leaving such mystery and suspense for next week.

  • Will we get to find out who Jacob is?
  • Will Jacob remove Ben's heart and turn him into some sort of droid?
  • Will we find out why Richard never gets any older?
  • Will Juliet ever forgive Jack for his cruelty in not saving Ben?
  • Will Sawyer fall back in love with Kate?
  • Will Roger Linus try to become a better father?
  • Will Daniel come back, and if he does, will he still be wearing that skinny tie?
  • And can we see more of Miles in the future? He is starting to become one of my favorite characters.
I can't wait to hear YOUR thoughts about this week's LOST!

** If you haven't read the Time Loop Theory yet, WOW! Click here. (But don't forget to leave your comment here first! =] )

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