Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Movie Reviews

It's really not that I think everyone is obsessed with my opinion about things. I guess I am just intrigued by anyone's opinion about things myself. I like a good review. So, not that it is too terribly important what I think, but here are a few more reviews of movies we have seen lately. I wanted to also review a book or two and even a few products, but this post has already been a work in progress for a week. I just haven't had much computer time lately. So, as it stands, it's just movie reviews, with the hope of album, book, recipe and product reviews to come. 

As a brief disclaimer about movies, let me just say that I have two hopes when it comes to watching movies. 1) I want it to be well done. No thanks to cookie cutter comedies or that hackneyed story of the teacher/coach who comes in and inspires the kids to look at the subject/sport and even their lives in a different way changing the school/community. There needs to be something intelligent and original. And, as I mentioned last time I reviewed movies, the sequence of events, and particularly the climax and resolution should be believable. There should not be some big change in the situation that makes no sense. This is Story Writing 101, yet somehow movies are constantly coming out that would have been hacked to pieces during the first classroom critique in my Fiction Writing courses.  2) I want it to be entertaining, which is, of course, a matter of opinion. I am never entertained by "thrillers" because they cause me entirely too much tension and, to me, the point of watching a movie is to unwind. At least a little bit, I hope to laugh. And I need to be able to like or care about the characters. So "entertaining" holds a lot, I know. But the point is, I am likely not going to enjoy a very artfully done tragedy. Because it's tragic. And that's not entertaining. Okay, those are my disclaimers. So if I think a movie leaves me feeling, more than anything else, awkward or angry or sad, while I realize that that is often the goal and does not mean that it was not well done, I still don't like the movie because I don't want to be manipulated that way.

Bella. Have y'all seen this? Why hasn't anyone ever talked about this film to me? It is hard to say what it is about without giving the whole story away. It's a beautifully redemptive, pro-life story (which may answer why the media wouldn't have talked about it) that is artfully done. I promise, you will love it. Or we did. It won some awards, but it is hard to tell exactly which ones are the most prestigious. But, in any case, people besides us liked it. See this






Marley and Me. It's no secret that I am a huge Owen Wilson fan. I think he's hilarious. And I tend to enjoy Jennifer Aniston. But George sort of groaned when I brought this home from the Redbox. He thought it would be a silly dog movie that ended in contrived tragedy, as many animal movies do. However, even he really liked it. It was sweet, but not sappy; sad, but not heartbreaking. It was just a tender and humorous story of a family and their dog. We actually felt sad for Owen and Jennifer after it was over, that the story wasn't their story, that their lives aren't as rich and full of the joys of family as the characters they played. Who knows, maybe they are a little sad about that too. I wondered if they would be able to pull off a married couple with three children. And if it is true what they say about the difficulties of acting with kids and animals, they must have really had a tough job filming this. But it didn't show; they both played their roles well. It was always going to be funny, but I was glad to see how uplifting it was, how pro-family it was. Wilson's friend is a sort of philandering bachelor (Grey's Anatomy's "McSteamy") who, in the end, is definitely depicted as the one missing out. They do well to show the struggles of marriage and raising children, but are just to show how the rewards outweigh the costs. You are shown, not told, that this is a loving, happy family. 
 

Bedtime Stories. Think of an Adam Sandler film that is not chock full of disgusting seventh grade boy humor. I know, it almost doesn't exist. There is Spanglish. And in Spanglish, we saw why we really do like Adam Sandler. I mean, I laughed until I cried the first time I saw him rip the shirt off and then punch that guy on the golf course in Happy Gilmore, and his Halloween costume bits on Weekend Update are among my favorite quotable SNL skits. He always plays a real sweet guy, but he can be so gross, you know. I will never understand why he insists on casting Rob Schneider in everything he does either. 50 First Dates would have been absolutely delightful and worth owning if not for Rob Schneider (well, and "Alexa"). Anyway, Adam Sandler. Besides his endearing roles in Spanglish and 50 First Dates, his other noteworthy performances are as the lovable (and laughable) 80s musician, Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer (feel free to disagree with me on this one, but this role was the one in which he took the first step away from being the screw up that you had to learn to like to being a likable and not overly immature human being- and then he did The Waterboy and Little Nicky...), the strange, sad but sweet Barry Egan in Punch Drunk Love, and the lost and alone Charlie Fineman in Reign Over Me. If those films were somehow isolated from his Happy Madison fare (and only 50 First Dates of these is a Happy Madison production), he would be a lot more distinguished. Bedtime Stories is a Happy Madison film though. It is also a Disney film, however that works (evidently, Disney distributed it?). I'm not going to say it's great. It's not great. But if you like sweet and silly Adam Sandler but wish that he would leave the potty humor, the eccentric supporting cast, and sexual innuendo at home, then you've got your wish. The tagline is "what if the stories you told came to life?" It is a story about an uncle (Sandler) who keeps his niece and nephew for a week and tells them bedtime stories after the fashion of the ones his father told him. He is co-sitting with Kerri Russell who plays Jill, the teacher friend of the children's mother, played by Courtney Cox. It is pretty predictable, so you have probably guessed part of the plot already. And it could have been done a whole lot better. But it was Adam Sandler that I felt like was okay for my kids, and when has that ever happened? I'm not telling you to run out and rent it, but if you were thinking about it anyway, yeah, it's alright. 

Rachel Getting Married. This is a movie I wanted to see because I liked the previews, I like Anne Hathaway, and it had great reviews. But it was strange. I knew that Anne Hathaway played a sort of messed up sister of the bride who was released from rehab just in time for the wedding weekend. So I was prepared for sadness and dysfunction. But the wedding part is weird. There is a really long, embarrassing rehearsal dinner scene in which people are making toasts that are just as awkward and all around mortifying as real rehearsal dinners. Snaps to the writers for getting it so right, but it's too true to be entertaining, and too long no matter what. A lot of the movie is this way- real to life arguments where people are sidetracked or off the point completely, real to life conversations that are distracted or fragmented- people say what people would really say and do what they really would do. One positive example is a scene where the groom and the father of the bride get into a friendly little disagreement over the loading of the dishwasher which sparks a contest to see who can do it the most efficiently, and the whole wedding party is gathered in the kitchen for this impromptu competition. This scene is flawless- true to life, but true to life's quirky joys and not life's little agonies (except that the scene does, at the very end, go back to the agonizing). Bill Irwin (besides his stage credits, most popularly Sesame Street's Mr. Noodle or that guy that did the Vaudeville act with Rudy and her friends on The Cosby Show) plays the father of the bride and her messed up sister and is precious. I was so touched by his performance as this sensitive and protective father, a man who has been through horrible grief but is everyone's cheerleader, dotes on all of them, particularly his troubled daughter, always offering food and making sure they're all okay in the moment. He's just this sweet, broken hearted man who has done the hard work of not becoming bitter. Most of the cast does a good job, even the obnoxious friend who thinks she should be the maid of honor. It is painfully human in so many places, an awkwardness I'm sure was intended, but that makes it hard to enjoy. The other thing that makes it hard to enjoy is that it isn't at all redemptive. I can see why these people, in real life, would be living as they are and that there would not be a whole lot that could redeem their stories. For Rachel, she is married now, so perhaps there will be a happily ever after for her. For Kym, the messed up sister/main character who Anne Hathaway plays, there is only trying to move on, though she states in one of her Narcotics Anonymous meetings that she can't believe in a God who would forgive her for the things she has done. So wow, yeah, sort of sad. But, like I said, very well done, though extremely uncomfortable with a bizarre Indian themed wedding. It's pretty over the top in that regard, even Lost has less collision of different cultures at one place! Rotten Tomatoes has it as 87% fresh, so people seem to be more impressed with it than I, though I wasn't really disappointed, just unsettled.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Thoughts on Truth and Bad Days

So, to my surprise, I am not so embarrassed by my last post. Thanks, everyone! I feel kind of freed up now to not obsess over trying to think of unsad things to say. Unsad can be a word, right? And it's amazing how easy it is to think of unsad things when you are not trying to look for them without acknowledging the big sad elephant in the room. While everything I said in the post is still true, it is often a matter of perspective that tells us if we can or can't handle it. I feel less alone in it after the encouragement of friends, and that does a lot for anyone's point of view. I also took many of your words to heart. This is a major valley for me. And the idea that I have to keep things as normal as possible is really too much. But the idea of the decisions I make now, for the sake of ease or mercy to myself, becoming poor habits that remain is scary to me. Then again, perfectionism is crushing me. So maybe merely surviving this year of homeschooling does not mean that if I homeschool in the future, when things are slightly less askew, I won't be able to do a more fun and thorough job. Like Jennifer said, couldn't I just stop homeschooling today and still have Amabel test into third grade? Absolutely. And really, couldn't I just pick up a few bags of frozen chicken fingers to have on hand to spare us from the last minute, frantic necessity of the Happy Meal? It doesn't mean we will eat chicken fingers for dinner every night for the rest of our lives. (And why is this my logic but Chicken McNuggets don't scare me?!) I know this in "normal" life- crazy days happen! But I have begun to panic as the crazy days have far outnumbered the rest. 

Another friend who has had experience with pneumonia pointed out that I may be expecting too much from myself so soon after hospitalization. I'm not saying seven weeks is soon, but what I do think is that I was up until 3am dealing with some extended family issues several nights almost as soon as I got out of the hospital. And my husband is often gone from seven to eleven three or four days a week. So, maybe for those first six weeks, the ones when you're really supposed to take it easy and rest, I didn't take it so easy and didn't have a lot of rest, physically or emotionally. I had a ton of rest from meal prep for about two weeks and that was invaluable. And I had a wonderful first week home from the hospital with 'round the clock childcare. But I didn't really ease back into it after that; I pretty quickly went from operating on like 20% to trying to do 100%. It was dumb. And that's how you get people seven weeks out from pneumonia who still feel like ten hours of sleep is perfectly reasonable and making a grocery list is the most tiresome prospect in the world. 

I also don't want to sound ungrateful. Just like you can be grateful that you have two children and still be heartbroken when you lose your third pregnancy, you can be grateful for your husband's employment and still be heartbroken that the time and energy and resources that were put toward a plan for five years have not come to anything. You can be grateful for a pay cut that kept you from being laid off and still recognize that you were barely getting by before the pay cut.  You can be grateful for the many things people have done for you again and again and still feel a frustration that you are dependent and needy. Everyone dreads being that guy who always has problems and needs. But I'm that guy. It's not that I'm ungrateful for everyone's loving and practical response, I just don't want to be this guy. 

But I know the Lord has called me to this, at least for now. I know that. And I am doing the work of trying to be okay with that, of trying to trust in his kindness and love. It's never his sovereignty that I question, always his interest or concern. A lot of people take things like this and decide he is not sovereign so that he can be interested and concerned, as if he can't be both loving and intentional in their sufferings. But I think Scripture says he is both. So I am counting on both, even though I have a lot of days where I feel like he doesn't care. That's when it is good to have so much to be grateful for, and to see his hand in all of it. 

While I am talking about all of this, it makes sense to mention that a lot of people run the other way and make the Lord completely sovereign but minimally loving, in the sense of him being a personal God who cares about even the sparrows. They want to remind us of how far he is above us and how his mercy in our salvation is amazing love defined and we certainly don't deserve that nor anything more. But I don't think God has his arms crossed and is annoyed with our broken hearts wondering why we have feelings or desires (this is the feeling I have gotten from J. Piper in the past, for those who have asked what my problem is with him- not that I have read much from him, especially not in a long time). While we don't deserve salvation or happiness or whatever, I think God loves us and is happy to give those things- not always, not to our peril, but I think he made us unique and complicated and personal and he delights in meeting our individual needs even more than we love to give to our own children. 

If I am learning anything, it is that people who love the Lord are happy to give. Well, maybe I am learning other things too, but my point is that I love to give and how arrogant is it to think that I am the only one in the world who is excited to stumble upon a great gift for someone and buy it for them for no reason or pack up a bunch of hand me downs for my nephew to help out my sister or bake a batch of cookies for a friend who had a bad week and wrap it up with pretty ribbon? It's not just me. My friend Jessie sent me a surprise in the mail this week just because she saw it and thought of me (can't find a picture online, but it is an owl vase from Anthropologie- perfect!); this was not an isolated incident.  The amazing love that has been shown to us through the giving of fellow saints has really floored me. We have been given a home, a car, thousands of dollars through dozens of people, clothes, food, toys, and on and on just in the past six months. I mean, generosity looks different for everyone, but we all get that from the Lord, Christ living in us. He loves to give. Don't you think he is really excited right before we deliver our babies, like he just can't wait to see the look on our faces when we get the perfect present from him, when we hear that first cry and hold our tiny one, just what we always wanted and never even knew how much! Or when we move somewhere new and meet people who we have no idea will become some of our most treasured friends. Surely he is excited about these things. Surely he loves this part of our story just as we love the moment when Elinor realizes that Edward did not marry Lucy Steele after all and bursts into tears or when Guido and Joshua shout out "Buongiorno Princepessa!"over the loud speaker and Dora, sorting through the discarded clothes of murdered children, learns that her son is still alive. He knows our stories, he wrote our stories, so I can imagine that the God who filled the sky with angels the night he gave his son to his people and who "takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his mercy." (Ps. 147:11) is delighted to give us the desires of our heart (Ps. 37:4).

And in the meantime, those of us who are in the valley can comfort in that "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all." Psalm 34: 17-19. And, ever my comfort, "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17. 

Peace be with you today- good, bad, or crazy! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Truth, On a Bad Day

Well, I am sorry that that was a fairly negative post before. Anything that starts out with "hardships" in the title is bound to be a little woeful, I suppose. And the thing is, y'all, I am just really sad and hurting these days. That's the way it is. There isn't anything anyone can do about it. It's just reality. And I have no idea when it will get better. I have tried all the usual prescriptions for this sort of thing- think of others and how you can serve them, "keep on truckin'," have a glass of wine, "make lemonade," have some perspective, "tie a rope and swing..." I mean, honestly, what do half of those things even mean? I have been surprised to find that even my attempts to serve others leaves me more overwhelmed and panicky. It's like all the times I thought I was on the bottom rung, and doing this helped me, I still had something to give.  But make a meal for someone now? Have someone over for dinner? It's practically undoable. It takes days to prepare for and days to recover from. I mean, I can't get meals for my own family. Really. So today we picked up lunch and dinner, because I can't get to the grocery store. And we can't afford that! But I can't think what to put on my grocery list. And I can't get up and get us all dressed to get to the store. And even when I do that, I can't get the energy to get out a knife and chop or whatever it is I need to do to get dinner ready so the things I do buy are always going bad. If I do find energy and have unspoiled groceries, we don't eat until eight o'clock. We almost never eat until eight anymore. How tired am I by eight o'clock after teaching and mommying all day long? Pretty tired. Eight o'clock is supposed to be bedtime. 

Why? "Why?" you ask. Why is this such a problem? I don't know. I don't know why I have ceased to function as a normal person. But I will tell you one thing, I am painfully homesick. And the thing is, everyone has gotten used to the pain. I have gotten used to the pain. Everyone was so sharp and in tuned with our emotional distress when we packed up everything we owned and put it into storage over nine months ago. But nine months later, we've all gotten used to it. Except that I'm really not used to it. It's actually much worse and much more scary nine months later. I have a couch, a lovely blue and white ticking stripe couch, and an armoire, a lovely red armoire that looks so nice with our living room rug and my red toile chair and our old post office box turned CD rack. I have wedding china and family photos and curtains and quilts and a toaster oven and a stereo system just like you probably do. I do have those things, but they are five hours away in my parents' basement. And the way I talk myself out of missing all of it, of missing "home," is to say that even if George could find the time and drive down there and rent a truck and bring it all here, I wouldn't really want to unpack it because who knows when I'd have to pack it all up again. I tell myself too that it isn't just the stuff that is causing the homesickness, it's the stability, and we won't have that until George gets a job and we know we're going to be somewhere for a little while. But I also know that we are totally and completely at square one when it comes to the job hunt. Almost a whole year out from graduation, we're at square one, sending out resumes. We've been doing that since November of 2007- something like a hundred resumes. 

Why am I talking about all of this? I don't know. For one thing, I feel that the expectations are still out there. People expect me to be normal. Or maybe it is just that I expect me to be normal. But this is not normal. We have been camping for nine months. My husband has a four year graduate degree and works as a janitor making $9 an hour. I know there are oodles of people with much worse things going on. I know. I know this may be complaining. I have lost my understanding of what that is. We've got Paul telling us to be content in all things and we've got David crying out for mercy and recounting his woes. For my part, I have always jived a little better with David- I am named for his wife and all. (feeble laugh) Anyway, this is where I am, but it is all too ugly and painful for blogging so I just write boring homeschool posts. I haven't written anything this gut wrenchingly honest since who knows when. And I know some people think blogs aren't the place for gut wrenching honesty. Evidently, I agree on some level or I would have been blogging more lately. And I can also guess that I will be mortified if I actually hit "publish post" on this and will make attempts within the week to write much lighter and more positive posts to help everyone forget this vomit of the soul. Yet here I am at the end of the post, and I still have every intention of hitting "publish post." I'm not even going to ask George to see if it's okay. Just "publish post." See, now I'm hesitating. Do note that today was a bad day. No particular reason, just a day where I felt like I was completely falling apart and spent hours pouring over recipes trying to come up with a meal plan and make a grocery list and get to the store. At seven o'clock tonight, I had nothing in the refrigerator and a list with just 12 things on it;  I called George crying and he brought home Happy Meals for the kids and crab cakes for me. That is the good part, going through all of this would be infinitely worse were it not for sweet, wonderful George. 

My apologies for this post. I think I just feel like I have been hiding. I wonder why no one "gets it," but I don't talk about it. On the other hand, how could anyone "get it?" Why should I expect that? So, don't feel like you have to now think it is perfectly understandable that I am even more of a mess than usual. Mostly, this is just therapeutic for me. I suppose I could write it in the owl journal instead of on the world wide web. But why would I do that? (nervous laugh) Well, I don't know if it will make me feel better, but here it goes...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hardships of Homeschool

Just for reality's sake, I feel compelled to share that I am not so enamored with homeschool as my homeschool review post may have made it sound. Well, let's just say that me and homeschool have a love-hate relationship. I mean, I don't want to be negative and grumpy about the turns our lives have taken. There is a lot of blessing in our daily lives because of how it has worked out that the kids and I are together all day every day. And I really am kind of "into" this. But, there are dozens of "happy homeschooler" blogs out there, and I really don't want to shoo away the weary homeschool mom with detailed reviews that sound like I am organized and on the ball and loving every minute of this. For example, right now it is 11:41am. We are all still in our pajamas. We read poetry and storybooks for about two hours this morning and now Amabel is reading Ramona the Pest and I am blogging. I don't have time to be blogging, but I gave myself an extremely easy school week this week because last week was so rough. I had an extremely organized week that had me in tears several times, so we are having a disorganized, Abby style week this week. 

Yesterday, we went to the bank and the post office and didn't actually start school until after lunch. Actually though, that's sort of what I hate about homeschool. Everyone has to go to the bank and the post office and the grocery store. It's unavoidable. If you have preschoolers, you take them with you. If your kids are in school, you go while they are in school. But what if you are their teacher and you have a toddler who naps until after four? I guess you gain a lot of compassion for the thousands of working moms out there who go after work. But when do they fix dinner? Maybe I should do all my errands on Saturday. There aren't enough hours in the day! Anyway, my point is that just cleaning or doing necessary errands during the week seems to put me, and therefore all of us, behind. (Not to mention the discouragement that lingers after this inevitable exchange- friendly inquiry "They don't have school today?" which forces me to answer,"Well, they're homeschooled." which is almost always followed by the disapproving "Ooooh.")  But since this is an easy week, we managed to start after errands and still knock the school day out before dinner yesterday. I talked with a friend about some of this last week on a particularly bad day. I had started at 8:30am and didn't finish until 5:30pm. This was nothing like the first time it had happened that way. It doesn't make sense. Even laid back George was floored. How could it take me so long? So I understand if you think I am crazy. But this friend, a mom of four who homeschooled for years until just this year, said that that happened to her regularly. 

The other thing I hate about it is that I am always always always with my children. Go ahead and think that is a wicked thing to say, but I just need to be Abby and not Mommy for some portion of the day. And that rarely happens lately. I also really miss the days of having other moms over so our kids can have play dates. If I choose to do this now, I have to take an entire day off school. But I do have more than one child, and I figure the younger ones deserve to have their needs catered to as well. (Not that I don't stop teaching umpteen times a day to make snacks, discipline, change diapers, clean up messes, break up fights, get out a new toy or activity, read Where is Baby's Bellybutton, etc. ) And, as I said, this also helps meet a need I have for adult interaction. 

Okay, so I have said "hate" several times during this post and I know that is a pretty strong word. I feel like I have been positive about homeschool in the past, but this came across fairly negatively. But because I am writing on an easy day so it came out way better than the posts I attempted last week! I think I am just in a process. I am trying to figure out how doing this will look for us. If I have learned anything about homeschooling from reading and talking with people who do it, I would have to say that it seems to require constant trial and error. So I am not alone in this love-hate thing, I don't suppose. Even for moms who instinctively love the idea of homeschool, I suppose there are plenty of things they find themselves hating even if it is just a math book they want to throw out the window. One thing I have been thinking lately, because I do get so stressed out when we unexpectedly lose a day, and because I get a little depressed during the summer months, is to think about doing school year 'round, with a week or two off when we need it. Doesn't that kind of sound like me? I'm in no way sure I want to do this, but I have just been thinking about it a little. Let me know what you think. 

One thing I would be wondering if I were you is what an "easy" week looks like. And for that matter, what does a "tough" week that brings me to tears look like? Well, I'm so glad you asked. But I don't have time to answer today. I'll let you know once the easy week is actually over. It appears that I won't even get the little bit I had planned accomplished, but I will care less because I know that the underlying idea was just to regroup and stop panicking. If you had talked to me last week, you could definitely trust that I am much better now which, in my mind, renders the "easy week" priceless no matter how little we get done! Mercy for all! Hurray! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Something Helpful from Nancy Wilson

Sometimes I hear sermons or read books or blog posts and think, "Well, that is a good reminder, but I certainly hope that so and so is paying attention." or "Yes, I can use this message from time to time, but man, she could use this message like every second of every day and it is just really too bad that she is not here to hear it." Obviously, I am not saying that this is the most humble way to be, I'm just admitting to something I can imagine we all do from time to time. 

I enjoy reading what Nancy Wilson has to say over at Femina. I often read her posts and think the same things I just confessed to thinking, usually with a little more recognition of my own failings because she speaks to women in particular, but never so much as today when I just thought, "Wow. Yeah. I should be doing that." I didn't think of anyone else, just "this is so for me." However, it could be so for you. As someone who has always been told I am too sensitive and my expectations are too high, coupled with the quality of being very dramatic and rash, this was very helpful

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hippity Hoppity, Easter's On Its Way

I went to Target in Kirkwood  last night and they were nearly completely sold out of Easter candy. All that was left were Peeps, Cadbury eggs, all manner of chocolate bunnies, and hoity toity Lindt chocolates that cost a million dollars a piece. I was glad to see on Lindt's website that they are donating $.10 to Autism Speaks for every gold bunny they sell this year. Well, because I paid freaking $7 for 3 Lindt chocolate bunnies, I am glad that some of that money goes to help other people, though it seems like they could have made it a full quarter. What do I know about the chocolate biz though? I'll tell you what I know, they need to make more! Or at least Target needs to purchase more. I have two dozen plastic eggs and nary a Reese cup nor York patty nor Sweettart bunny or chick to hide inside. What is an Easter egg hunt if the Easter eggs are empty? A disappointment, that's what. The selection at our Shnucks is somewhat pitiful, and so, I am sorry to say, it appears as if I may need to head to Walmart! (Gasp!) All hope is not lost, I have a Walgreens I can try on the way. 

Anyway, whilst staring at the oodles of Peeps still left on the shelf and wondering why on earth Target would purchase so many, or if it is just that no one likes them, I started thinking about how many people have strong feelings associated with many Easter candies. My college roommate thought Peeps were the most disgusting food substance one the planet. And while, compared to my roommate, I am somewhat indifferent to the Peep (it's just a marshmallow, but then again, I never eat marshmallows apart from smores or hot chocolate), I tend to think that those Brach sugar egg things (link takes you to a hilarious post about how gross these are) and most jelly beans about as appetizing as opening a sugar bowl and having a snack. My dad used to love those though. My sister-in-law is a huge fan of Cadbury mini eggs, the kind with the candy shell and milk chocolate inside, but I don't think it has anything on an M&M. And the big Cadbury egg is somewhat polarizing as well; generally speaking, you love 'em or you hate 'em. B.J. Novak was on Conan a while back talking about how he buys enough Cadbury eggs at Easter to get him through the entire year. When Cadbury shrunk the size of their eggs substantially two years ago, he decided to look at the website to see if there was any mention of the change, and the home page had the announcement, "They're not smaller; you've just grown up!" (or something to that end). Novak was pretty sure he had an old egg around there somewhere and dug a couple out of his freezer. It was pretty funny to see him holding up a new Cadbury egg beside an old Cadbury egg (link above) which was a good bit smaller. Speaking of pretty funny, George really loves the Clancy T. Bachleratt and Jackie Snad toddler, spaceships, Model T cars, and jars of beer skits on SNL. Until this week there was just one such skit, but they made a new one for Easter. George finds these exponentially funnier than I do, but I still get a little chuckle from them.  

So have a laugh, enjoy Peeps, or don't, Cadbury eggs, or not, and please forgive me for this painfully pagan looking Easter post. I used to try to buy those chocolate crosses instead of bunnies and sort of "Christianize" the Easter basket. But, while our focus is definitely on the Resurrection and not on chocolate eggs, I am okay with having a basket of candy that has nothing to do with Jesus. Of course, we also recognize that, ultimately, everything has to do with Jesus and the shape of chocolate doesn't change that. However, if you were hoping for more, last year I posted some interesting (and redeeming?) historical facts about Easter eggs if you are interested. And my old neighbor Becky has done some really neat things with her young children as Easter approaches, but you'll have to scroll through to find her several posts about it. Well, if I don't get back over here before then, Happy Easter! 

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