Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

We've had a nice week, how about you? Last Wednesday, I went with Roan's preschool class to a classmate's house for an Easter Egg Hunt and games. They had a lot of fun. Then Saturday, there was another one with my church. Kai came along and was a good big brother. They played games, blew bubbles and even flew a kite! Yesterday, for Easter Sunday, we took pictures before we went to church.
Saturday, the temperature was in the seventies, Sunday morning it was in the 50's! Alyssa was COLD! Yeah, yeah, I know, sweater, whatever.

The service was really good. Alyssa came into big church with me and had her first taste of coffee! In about one inch of coffee she had a french vanilla creamer and added sugar, she said she liked it. Well, who wouldn't? LOL! Like some coffee with your sugar? She wanted more. I said no! Later Brandy & family came over for dinner. It was delicious!For dessert I made a cake but it wasn't as yummy as it looks IMHO. I wanted angel food cake but they only had one small one left. They did have strawberry angel food cake, so I bought it and made a four layer cake alternating pink and white layers. The filling between layers was whipped cream, vanilla pudding, and pineapple. The cake was frosted with whipped cream with strawberries on top. Sound good? Unfortunately, the strawberry angel food cake was not very good and ruined the whole thing for me. Humph. Here's a picture anyway.

I hope you all had a great Resurrection Weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Roman Holiday

Last weekend I went on a ladies retreat. We had a 'Roman Holiday'. We went down to St. John's Island near Charleston for the weekend. We stayed at St. Christopher's which was beautiful with nice 'hotel-like accomodations' and great food. Brandy, Lydia and I drove down together and Brandy and I shared a room. After arriving and settling in, we went to dinner. Following dinner we had a little 'social' to get to know each other.

Brandy and I

There were 50 ladies there! Later we went out to the beach and had a bonfire, sang songs, ate smores, etc.

The beach was really beautiful at night. There was a half moon with a huge halo, the biggest I've ever seen! It was breezy but not too cold. After leaving the beach we went back to the rooms and hung out with some other ladies for a while introducing ourselves, then we went to bed.

The next morning after breakfast we went to our first 'session'. We studied Romans (obviously!) with the emphasis of how dearly God loves us. Deborah was the speaker. I always love her classes/bible studies. She's definately gifted in this area. We took a break for lunch followed by some free time. During this time I and some other ladies went for a walk on the beach. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect! We saw dolphins, pelicans, sandollars, and a LOT of jellyfish!

Suzie, Brandy, Michelle, Paula, and Me

We came back for Session 2. More free time after where we did some crafts and hung out some more. We had a few minutes to spare before dinner so we went back to the beach for a few more pics.

Right before dinner we went back to the room to dress for the 'Murder Mystery' that would follow dinner. It takes place at a spa so we were all dressed in bath robes unless you had a character requiring a specific costume. Some of these were hilarious!

I think this one was my favorite, LOL, love that chest hair!!!

The unscheduled event of the evening was right after the mystery was solved (good timing, huh?) when we were evacuated to a gymnasium because tornadoes had been seen 3 miles away at a neighboring island! Before the party the weather was fine, by the time we were being evacuated it was pouring rain and REALLY windy. I wasn't too worried because they said the building was built to withstand 200 mile winds. I did a little check, realizing I had my camera and my phone with me which was good, but knowing we'd be stuck for a while in the gym, I regretted that my really good book and my palm with games was back in the room, LOL! We passed the time though:

The funny thing was that we were not the only group at St. Christophers. There was a group of teenagers there, too. So in we walk all dressed in bathrobes and jammies or dressed like men with hairy chests! Hahahaha! You should have seen their faces, it was hilarious! We were in the gym for little over an hour (not too bad) while 3 cells passed overhead. Finally, the storm was over and we went back to our rooms to bed.

The next morning was Sunday. We went to breakfast, then met in the chapel for our last meeting. This was a beautiful little chapel with wall-to-wall windows on three of the walls with a view of the ocean!

We had a time where we could publically offer thanks to God and pour water into a bowl sybolizing the 'pouring out' of our love for Him.

After that we had a nice time of praise and worship followed by communion. We served each other.
It was a really nice service and a fitting end to the weekend. After the service we packed up then had lunch. At this point we were free to go, but Brandy, Lydia, and I went on one more walk on the beach. We saw dolphins again. This time it was a mom and baby. Cool.

When we finally left, Brandy and Lydia humored me and allowed a little detour to Folly Beach where we ate an early dinner at Taco Boy's. They have the best guacomole and awesome taquitas! Thanks, ladies!

Our drive home was delayed by over an hour due to traffic. I don't think it was an accident though. It seemed to be road crew cleaning up felled trees from the storm. We had great fun though, singing old tv tunes and stuff.

I always love these retreats. Some people don't go because they're not 'retreat people'. I'll say that sometimes not everything we do is 'my thing' but I always enjoy getting into the word and closer to God as well as getting to know other ladies. We had a great time!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've Converted

I’m no longer the person I once was.

My whole life I’ve been confronted by a certain lifestyle. It has constantly tried to tempt me wherever I’ve gone. I was convinced of its innate evil. I’ve even tried it a couple times, but have only confirmed my original opinion.

I was frustrated, constantly surrounded by people who had given in. I was on the outside looking in, always aware of the community around me. Society caters to these people like family. But I was alone.

Then, last Sunday, I was tempted once again. This time, I gave in. I am now one of them.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm...."

QUOTE: "I don't know why [violent] movies like The Brave One (even the title suggests tacit approval) should appeal to me and so many others. I can only hope they serve as a mental gutter through which our worst fears and impulses are channeled safely out of our emotional systems. The Greek word is catharsis, and I have used it many times to justify my own violent creations, but I have never entirely trusted it." —Stephen King [Entertainment Weekly, 10/12/07]

QUOTE: "I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful, lit-up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. ... I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat." —author, actor, economist and speech writer Ben Stein [CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, 12/18/05;]

QUOTE: Among young adults, pornography is losing the social stigma previous generations once attached to it, according to a study by Brigham Young social sciences researcher Jason Carroll (published in the Journal of Adolescent Research). Carroll and his colleagues studied 813 college students from six different schools. The results: 86% of young men reported viewing pornography in the last year, and 20% said they looked at it every day or nearly every day. Among women, 31% indicated they'd viewed porn in the last year, with only 3.2% saying they did so weekly or daily. But nearly half of the young women said that viewing X-rated material was an acceptable expression of one's sexuality. Researchers found that those who used porn regularly were more likely to indulge in other risky behaviors, such as drinking binges and sex with multiple partners. [, 12/12/07]

QUOTE: "[Juno] gives the impression that one can hand a baby off to strangers, have a few tears at the time the baby is born, and then the next day get on with your life as if nothing happened. That is of great, great concern to me. I think that's a terrible, terrible message to get across to teenagers and their families." —Mirah Riben, a board member for Origins-USA, a national organization for mothers who've placed their children up for adoption. Riben, a 63-year-old who gave a baby up for adoption 40 years ago, adds, "These situations take time to really digest and really understand. Juno hasn't done that. She has no idea how this decision is going to impact her for the rest of her life." [, 2/21/08]

"We are all completely inarticulate about how much we hate this movie. We all kind of sputter. ... It's a really painful thing to watch because Juno, just her entire attitude—we can all remember having that attitude that we knew exactly what we were doing. A few people around Juno said, 'You know, you should think harder about this,' and she's like, 'No, no, I don't need to think.' We can all remember being that way and watching your folly play out on the big screen—it's just not pretty." —Kateri McCann, 30, rejecting the idea presented in Juno that the choice to give a baby up for adoption is a short-cut to a happy ending [, 2/21/08]

A 1993 Columbia University study found that six months after giving a baby up for adoption, 38% of birth mothers felt a lot of grief, 46% felt some or a little grief, and 16% felt no grief. Four years after the event, 9% felt a lot of grief, 36% felt some or a little, and 55% didn't have any. According to a 2006 report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, American women voluntarily relinquish about 13,000 to 14,000 infants annually. [, 2/21/08 stats]

QUOTE: "It's definitely not easy being good. When you're the only one trying to do the right thing, it can feel like you're the odd girl out. But stick to your guns—people will respect you for being strong. And eventually, girls who lacked the confidence to do their 'own thing' will follow your lead." —the editors of CosmoGIRL!, encouraging teen readers to follow the example of a new breed of "good girls" such as Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood [CosmoGIRL!, 4/08]

QUOTE: Dina Lohan, mother of troubled tabloid diva Lindsay Lohan, will star in an E! channel reality show that will track her efforts to propel her youngest daughter, 14-year-old Ali, to stardom as well. According to an article on E! Online, "The unscripted half-hour series will feature momager Dina as she does her best to strike a balance between family and career, helping her mini-me navigate the waters of budding stardom while doing her best to help the teen avoid some of the all-too-familiar negative trappings celebrity can often bring." [, 3/5/08]

"[Dina] Lohan ... does not appear to have a close personal relationship with reality. 'Lindsay's no different than any other 20-year-old girl who's doing some experimenting,' Dina says to me during our brief phone conversation, which took place several days before Lindsay, fresh out of rehab, got arrested again, this time for DUI and cocaine possession. 'It's just that when we did this kind of thing we didn't have cameras turned on us all the time. What were you doing when you were 20, for goodness' sake?' I didn't have the heart to say, Well, not crashing my Mercedes into a tree!" —Vanity Fair's Judith Newman, in a story titled "Moms Gone Wild" [Vanity Fair, 11/07]

QUOTE: YouTube is facing criticism for allowing the uploading of a violent and sexually explicit video of a young mother being repeatedly raped in front of her children. The three-minute video was recorded with a mobile phone by one of the three teen boys who assaulted the drugged and physically helpless 25-year-old woman. "Putting [the video] on the Internet was an abomination," the victim said. "I was raped on film, and you could hear my daughter and 4-year-old son crying. I cannot understand how any Web site could show such a thing." About 600 people saw the footage before it was taken down. A source close to YouTube said it is impossible for the site to review every video posted because more than 10 hours of content is uploaded every minute. [, 3/5/08 stats]

QUOTE: Citizens of the tiny town of Arlington, Ore., recalled their mayor after she posted risqué photos of herself on her MySpace page. Now-former mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist said before the recall that pictures of her clad in her underwear had "nothing to do with me and my abilities as being mayor." But others disagreed. "I think everyone has to ask in light of what has happened, 'Is this the representation of what we want as a community?'" said Arlington resident Grant Wilkins. It has been suggested that Kontur-Gronquist's narrow recall had more to do with some controversial political decisions she made than the photos themselves. Nevertheless, the pictures became the pretext for the recall—a cautionary warning, perhaps, to anyone who believes what they post on social networking sites won't come back to haunt them. [, 2/27/08]

QUOTE: A love affair between two young men on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns has triggered an angry protest from viewers. But it's not about what you might think. Fans have started a letter-writing campaign and posted an online petition because the daytime soap has only shown the two characters kissing twice—and fans want more. "There are some people who want to see sex between Luke and Noah," said 34-year-old Theresa Webber, who lives north of Boston. "I've been watching soaps long enough to know that they're a teenage couple, so it's not going to happen anyway. But for them not to kiss at all, it's a little extreme." Producers of the show, however, have stated that there's no kissing ban. In fact, Barbara Bloom, CBS senior vice president for daytime programming, said that she would like to see the gay romance continue. "If that means there is a natural progression to the physical relationship, I would be in support of it." [AP, 3/2/08;, 3/3/08]

QUOTE: According to a recent study of almost 400 third graders that was published in The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, about 70% of the group had a television in their bedroom. The data indicated that the children with their own TV scored significantly and consistently lower on math, reading and language-arts tests. In a similar study of 80 children in Buffalo, N.Y., the presence of a television in the bedroom increased average viewing time by nearly nine hours a week, from 21 to 30 hours. [, 3/4/08 stats, c&e]

Thursday, March 6, 2008

They Think They're So Cute!

It has occurred to me of late that I quote Roan a lot. There is nothing wrong with this. Due to his age, a lot of what he says is pretty cute. I do not often quote Kai or Alyssa, though, so today I offer up a quote for each of them.

Kai Quote: The other night I woke up because I heard a noise and saw the light turn on in the living room. I went out and found Kai sitting on the couch holding the Wii remote in his hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was waiting for Roan and Alyssa to get up. I asked if he knew what time it was and he said no. I said, “It’s 1:23am!” He smiled and said, “Well, that’s a record!” I told him to go back to bed for 6 more hours.

Alyssa Quote: Today after school, Alyssa came to me and said, “Um, Mommy, I’m just warning you that I had kind of a bad day today and I’m really on my last nerve, so try not to bug me, OK?”