Thursday, February 28, 2008

13 Bits of "Lost" Trivia

This is a Thursday Thirteen "re-run," but I think it's worth re-visiting!

Trivia courtesy of,,

1. Jorge Garcia (Hurley) was the first person cast for the series.

2. In the original description for Kate (Evangeline Lilly), she was a slightly older woman separated from her husband, who went to the bathroom in the tail-section of the plane. However, that idea ended up being used for the character Rose.

3. Josh Holloway was trying to cover up his Southern accent while he was shooting several of his first scenes in the first season. It wasn't until director J.J. Abrams told him that the reason they cast him was BECAUSE of his accent that Holloway changed it. There are still some scenes left in the pilot where Holloway doesn't use his Southern accent.

4. Jorge Garcia, Matthew Fox, and Dominic Monaghan all auditioned originally for the part of Sawyer as the other characters had not been developed at the time.

5. Michael Keaton was considered for the part of Jack, but turned it down. Had he accepted, he would have been killed off in the pilot episode.

6. Charlie (who sadly died in last season's finale) was in a band called Drive Shaft. Their only hit was called "You All Everybody". That song can be heard in the background of an episode of Alias, another show created by JJ Abrams.

7. During Charlie's heroin scenes, Dominic Monaghan is actually snorting brown sugar.

8. According to several Official Lost websites, the plane crashed on September 22, 2004. The journey was supposed to be 13 hours and 52 minutes long, leaving Sydney at 08:04 and arriving at LAX at 18:16.

9. There is a common misconception that since Claire (Emilie de Ravin) is eight months pregnant and in her third trimester, the airlines wouldn't have allowed her to fly. While airlines may not necessarily recommend flying when eight months pregnant, they cannot and will not prohibit a pregnant woman from taking a flight if she really wants or needs to.

10. Evangeline Lilly (who plays Kate) and Dominic Monaghan (who plays Charlie) were engaged to be married to each other in real life until just recently.

11. Naveen Andrews' character, Sayid, is Iraqi; but in real life Andrews is of British and Indian origin.

12. A goof in last season's Desmond-centric "time-travel" episode: When Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick)passes an army careers office he stops to look at a poster for 'The Royal Scots' which has some inaccuracies proving it is not a poster that would be found in Britain. Firstly the word 'honor' is spelt 'honour' in Britain. Secondly the small print refers to 'boot camp', which is not a phrase used in the British military.

13. Go here for some fun "Lost" quizzes.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Heads up about the Ultimate Blog Party...and a Musical Meme

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

So you say you want to promote your blog? Want to introduce some new readers to it? Then you need to make plans to participate in the Ultimate Blog Party, coming up March 7th through the 14th.

Click on the graphic above to find out how you can get involved.

I participated in last year's blog party, and it was great. I found some blogs that have become favorites of mine, and hopefully I gained some new readers as well. It's also a chance to win some great prizes!

And now for something completely different...

Because my mind is somewhat blank right now, I thought it would be a good time for a meme! (meme: "A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." In blogs, it's usually a fun, lighthearted quiz.)

So here we go...

A Musical Meme

Senior Class Song: "We May Never Pass This Way Again," by Seals and Croft. It's still a great song, by the way:

Song That Makes You Think of College: Bear in mind, I went to a Christian college. But I can never hear any Andrae Crouch song without thinking of college. For example, here's a great one:

Favorite pop song: Way, way too many to list here

Favorite Country Western Song:: "God Blessed the Broken Road," by Rascal Flatts

Favorite All Time Love Song: "Night and Day"

Song That Reminds You Of Your Husband: "What a Man" by Salt 'n Pepa

Favorite Broadway Song: "On My Own," from Les Miserables:

Song That Always Makes You Cry: "Somewhere Out There," by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram. It always makes me think of my mom and how much I wish I could be with her.

Also, I've been known to get emotional while singing hymns--just when the reality of Christ's love for me really hits me, his sacrifice on the Cross, it's a powerful and overwhelming thing. "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" is one of those.

Favorite Christmas Song:

--Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (traditional)

--Strange Way to Save the World (modern)

Favorite Hymn: "And Can it Be That I Should Gain," words by Charles Wesley. The picture painted by the following verse is incredibly powerful:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

"I woke, the dungeon flamed with light..." Wow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Melange

Main Entry: mé·lange
Pronunciation: \mā-ˈläⁿzh, -ˈlänj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from mesler, meler to mix — more at meddle
Date: 1653
: a mixture often of incongruous elements

Some widely varied things to tell you about today:

--Did you watch the Oscars? I didn't...there wasn't any movie or performance I felt strongly enough about to root for.

But here's a note: Amazing Grace was named Best Spiritual Movie of 2008 by Beliefnet. (You can read my interviews with Chip Flaherty of Walden Media about "Amazing Grace" here and here.)

--Audrey Hepburn's black sheath dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's (seen here) was voted the classiest classic cinema gown by voters in a USA Today online poll:

The classiest classic cinema gown is Audrey Hepburn's Givenchy sheath dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's, more than 3,800 USA TODAY readers decided in an online vote. In second place: Marilyn Monroe's white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch. No. 3 was Julia Roberts' red velvet dress from Pretty Woman.

Well, I think when you think "Audrey Hepburn," you pretty much think "class." But I've never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's. Have you? Should I see it?

--Linda of 2nd Cup of Coffee is as hooked on "Lost" as I am...and she's written a very cool newspaper article about it, which you can read here.

--I love discovering a "new" author! Actually, Mindy Starns Clark has been around quite a while, but a friend just loaned me the first in her "Million Dollar Mystery" series--A Penny For Your Thoughts. I stayed up waaaay too late last night reading it, and now I can't wait to read everything I can get my hands on by Clark!

--Remember the ordeal of missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham? They were held hostage in the Phillipines, and Martin was killed. Well, now their son Jeff is following in his father's footsteps.

--Pioneering Christian music artist Larry Norman ("Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?") passed away yesterday at the age of 60. Rodney Olsen of The Journey blogs about Norman's passing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

13 things to tell you about

Lots of stuff to tell you today...if you're busily cruising Thursday Thirteens, bookmark this page and come back when you have time to check out some of these links!

1. Looking for some great new recipes? My blogging friend Ashley Todd, who has always posted the most mouth-watering recipes and is a Pampered Chef representative, is debuting her new recipe blog, Ashley's Cafe. Looks great!

2. The 10 biggest differences between Christian schools and public schools (according to

3. If you love horses--or just heart-touching videos-- you'll want to check this one out.--(Hat tip to Angela Hunt.

4. If you're scared of snakes, this article might give you the heebie-jeebies.

5. The last book that kept me up reading way too late? The Innocent Man, by John Grisham. A true story that made me think about how I would handle being falsely imprisoned. Not well, I assure you.

6. Yes, I'm enjoying American Idol! My faves so far? On the guy's side: David Hernandez, David Archuleta and Jason Castro. On the girls' side: Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson and Brooke White.

7. Here's a chance to win a free book by Christian fiction writer Rebecca Seitz.

8. Mrs. Fussypants--the dynamo who's responsible for Fight the Frump Friday--is launching a new online magazine called Blissfully Domestic, and along with that, a new online network, Blissfully Domestic Living. She's billing it "Everything you need to make family life easier."

9. It was on the Blissfully Domestic site that I found this old video predicting what fashion would be like in the year 2000. Pretty funny--but they were right about at least one thing: a lot of men are wearing phones!

10. My son Justin gave my daughter Elizabeth a CD recently: Colm Wilkinson's Stage Heroes, and I've been loving it. Wilkinson is best known for playing Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and he has an amazing voice.

11. From Evangelical Outpost: a post and a video about how Barack Obama seems to make women faint a lot. Kinda strange.

12. If this isn't enough to put you off plastic surgery, I don't know what is. Yikes...I'm beginning to think we're better off taking our chances with natural aging...

13. If, like me, you're a "Lost" fan, here's something to help you warm up for tonight's episode.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Discerning truth from error

Book by blogger Tim Challies stresses the importance of discernment

Discernment is the skill of understanding and applying God's Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.--Tim Challies, author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

If you're a Christian blogger, you've heard of Tim Challies. Tim's blog is one of the most widely-known and read in the Christian blogosphere.

Frankly, I've always been a little in awe of his blog. I don't know what I was expecting when I called him up to interview him about his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, but it probably wasn't the soft-spoken, gracious and humble young man I spoke with. Apparently you can be an uber-blogger and still be nice and approachable. I genuinely enjoyed interviewing Tim, and I can recommend the book to anyone who wants to know more about this vital topic.

Sound clips from the interview

--Tim is the first to admit that his blog helped pave the way for this, his first book. He explains in this sound clip from our interview.

--The book is clear, practical and reader-friendly. Well-placed anecdotes and relatable illustrations keep the attention, and Challies generally avoids obscure theological verbiage in favor of more accessible layman's language. That was intentional, as Challies explains in this sound clip.

--Why is it important that Christians discern truth from error? Tim explains with a fitting analogy in this sound clip...and talks about why a belief in the inerrancy of God's Word is central to discernment.

A skill we need to develop

Tim Challies says discernment is a skill that Christians need to develop,not a trait with which we're automatically gifted-- and his book gives you practical advice on how to go about developing that skill.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Justin and Elizabeth!

My daughter Elizabeth turned 21 on February 16th, and my son Justin turns 25 today. Happy birthday to my precious children! I love you more than words can say.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tragedy at Northern Illinois University

My 101QFL co-host, Darren Marlar, and I pretty much ditched our regular generally humorous and upbeat show today to respond to the tragedy at NIU. We opened up the phone lines and just let our listeners call with their stories, their condolences, their prayers and support for the victims and their families. It ended up being an enormous outpouring of love and concern.

Danielle is an NIU employee who called us and asked for prayer:

Besides the phone calls that lit up our board, we got an outpouring of e-mails as well. Here's a sampling:

--"I wanted to email you and share with you that my oldest daughter, Angela, who is a senior student at NIU, was just a few buildings away (in Stevenson Towers). She was working at the food service area in that residence hall at the time of the shootings. For quite some time we couldn't reach her or her fiance, but thankfully she called and said that they were all right.
The time we spent not knowing of their safety was the hardest thing to go through.... Hopefully, they will be safe and sound and home with us today for the weekend."

--"It is such a blessing to wake up to a positive radio station that is giving support to the community *I* grew up in. I attended NIU several years ago, and I did have classes in that specific buidling where the shooting occured, and I cannot even fathom how those students felt, nor how they were able to react and get out. It is an old-style auditorium, with uncomfortable seats, the aisles are so close together, and it is not easy to manuver on a normal day... it is a blessing that more people were not injured or killed. I have been praying and crying for those injured, killed and involved since yesterday afternoon. Since graduating from there with my degree in education nine years ago, I have had many former students attend NIU. None of them were involved in this tragedy, but still, I was scared for their lives as well.

After the Columbine incident, Michael W. Smith wrote 'This is Your Time', for one of the students who died in THAT tragedy. I'm not sure if you can play that, but it is certainly fitting for those who have lived and those who are with Jesus at this moment. For the survivors, this is their time to live, those who have come to Jesus and also those who haven't, may they find solace finally in His words.

I have found that Psalm 27 may be a comfort to some. It answers the question, whom then shall I fear? (Included in the song you just played, Never Let Go.)"

--"No doubt my heart and prayers go out to all of the students at NIU affected by this terrible thing at NIU. As you know my son Justin is going to NIU and I am praising God so much this morning for his safety. Justin was in the class next door in that same building as the shooting. He was in a hurry to get out of class early yesterday because he had an important church event that he was preparing for this weekend. He left that class around 2:45 only minutes before the shooting. We felt that God had called him out of there, he is really shook up but doing fine since he has a lot of friends that were there. We can't stop hugging him. PRAISE GOD!"

--"Marlar and Cindy, thank you. Thank you for being there for us. I went to NIU, I graduated, and I still live and work in Dekalb.

A friend of mine works across the street from the student center/cole hall area, and the moment shots were heard, a woman came in panicking into my friend's front office and told him what was going on. Here's the thing... if my friend's boss hadn't gone out to valentine's day lunch, she wouldn't have been feeling so sluggish, she would have gotten her paperwork done faster, and my friend would have been cutting through cole hall to deliver said paperwork just as the shooter was going in.

Incidentally, I was at a prayer vigil last night... I don't know if there was more than one, I certainly hope so... we were outside right in between the two largest dorms, singing and praying, and I hope we were a comfort to all the people on the other side of the open windows. (Open windows in February because the dorms are usually overheated.)

What doesn't make sense to me though, through all of this, is why a Sociology graduate student would have a motivation to shoot in an Oceanography freshman/sophomore 100 level classroom. Was it just because it was a lecture hall? I don't like not having information, but I don't suppose I have a choice in the matter.

One of the blessings in this is the social networking sites. Within an hour or two I was able to go online and see everyone's status messages on facebook and myspace, townies saying 'I am safe' and out of towners saying 'I am praying for NIU.'

I hope I made some sense in this email. As you can imagine, I feel rather confused and shaken about this whole thing... but through it all, God is my rock. Thank you again for shining his light."

--"Dear Cindy and Darren:
Thank you for your show this morning.
I can't imagine being anywhere else.
I was thinking of an old Billy Sprague song, 'Blessing of the Fleet'.
I keep hearing,
'Sometimes the pilot of a ship can make head way in a raging storm!'
I had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night. It was after 2 AM before I got to sleep.
And I had a good day (including bell practice) and it was not clear why I was called to prayer.
Now I know!
I'm also praying now for the parents and family of the shooter. How dreadful to know your son is dead. And then need to process what he did.
Keep up the good work!
God's Peace!"

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families.

If you would like to express your thoughts and condolences, you can do so here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

13 Great Love Songs

There are so many great ones--these are just a few! Click on the title to hear the song. Happy Valentine's Day to all!

It Had to Be You--Frank Sinatra and others

At Last--Etta James

Suddenly--Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richard

Unchained Melody--Righteous Brothers

In Your Eyes--Peter Gabriel

Night and Day--Frank Sinatra and others

Eileen's Song--Burlap to Cashmere (not that well-known, but lovely)

Beautiful in My Eyes--Joshua Kadison

Endless Love--Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

All I Ask of You--from "Phantom of the Opera"

For All We Know
--The Carpenters

Unforgettable--Nat King Cole

And last, but not least--I dedicate this one to my husband today--Steven Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here":

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Slugs, Bugs and Lullabies

While I was in Texas, I got to hear several songs off of Andrew Peterson's "Slugs, Bugs and Lullabies." I would sit on the back seat with 1-year-old Payton in his car seat, as he would vocalize along with the charming songs.

The CD has actually been out for quite some time, but this was the first chance I've had to really listen to some of the songs.

As one reviewer writes:

For those that are searching for music that can be enjoyed by parents and children alike, the search is over. Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies is here to the delight of children and their parents everywhere. This is a collaborative effort between two very talented musicians, Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame.

I found this extensive review, by Gabrielle, from which I quote:

The album starts out very silly. They sing about postmen, tractors, bears, playing ball inside, and piggy toes. They sing about bizarre parenting tasks like burping and making a child eat beans. The songs are goofy and clever and very singable. Andrew and Randy are obviously having a good time together. Their fun spills out in their songs and is infectious.

She goes on to write about the lovely lullabies on the CD, including my favorite, "You Can Always Come Home to Me," which includes the lyrics:

I love you today and I love you tomorrow
I love you as deep as the sea
I love you in joy and I love you in sorrow
You can always come home to me

Gabrielle writes:

I think what is charming about this album is that it is explicitly Christian while still being silly. Too often Christians assume that the only reason for media is to instruct and so often you have music or books or movies that are doctrinally sound, but overly serious and boring. Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame made an album of songs that are enjoyable, are fun, but never escape being Christian. Because they set out to make, first and foremost, fun music when the songs do get profound I am more likely to sit up and take notice.

I just hope little ones get the humor in the lyrics of the impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head "Bears" *smile*:

Bears, bears, they got no cares
Bears don’t drink from a cup
Sharp teeth and claws and furry paws
To catch you and eat you up
No, grizzly bears don’t wear underwear
Socks, or jammies, or gloves
No baby bears, don’t wear diapers
No Pampers, no Huggies, no Luvs

You can hear "You Can Always Come Home to Me" on this video:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Payton's First Birthday

...and, my little injury

OK, you didn't think I was NOT going to post pictures of my only grandchild's first birthday, did you? :)

It's taken me a while to get my pictures in order even though I actually got home from Texas Thursday night...partly because of an incident that took place Sunday morning. More about that in a moment.

Here's Payton enjoying his first cake and ice cream.

Any trip to Texas is made more wonderful by getting to spend time with my precious mother.

This is actually the first time that the two grandma's have been together with baby Payton! My daughter-in-law Daylyn's mother, Debbie, lives in Boise, Idaho. We were delighted to share this special milestone in Payton's life.

And my injury ordeal...

I am typing this post very carefully, because I have a bandage and splint around the middle finger of my right hand.

It happened Sunday morning, just as my husband was about to begin teaching his adult Sunday school class. The class meets in the school cafeteria, and there area several pop and snack machines that make a lot of noise. I had just gotten a snack and was trying to lower a garage-type door that covers the machines and blocks the noise. Well, I got my finger stuck in one of the divisions of the door!

About three emergency-room hours later, I ended up with five stitches and the knowledge that the tip of the bone in my finger had been broken. I'm not sure how long they want me to use this splint (they do let me remove it at night), but I will say it's interesting how awkward it makes doing a lot of things when you don't have the use of that one finger! My hat's off to people who live with far worse disabilities every day.

By the way, thanks to all who comisserated with me about the closing of my gym! I still haven't decided on a new one, although I want to do that soon...I don't want to lose any ground I've gained with my weight-training. I did manage to ride my stationary bike last night...the hurt finger didn't matter with that. We'll see what happens!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Back from Texas...and a sad note for my Fit Friday report

Well, my visit to Texas was wonderful. Payton's first birthday party was a fantastic experience. I was so happy to even get some one-on-one time with my adorable little grandson, and of course, I took tons of pictures! It was so awesome to spend time with all my loved ones there...and the weather...gorgeous. I'm a little bummed to come back to a foot of snow on the ground!

While in Texas, I was able to take advantage of the beautiful weather by going on walks almost every day I was there, so I kept up with my fitness regime while on vacation.


I was all set to go to the TruEssence today (the gym where my daughter and I are members), and I got a surprising bit of news this morning. The gym is closed...for good! The owners are looking into filing bankrupty.

I am EXTREMELY disappointed. For the past five months, I have been a very faithful member of this gym...going there 4 to 6 times a week. I love this place...the atmosphere, the facility, the staff, the machines and weights have just been awesome. Not only have I lost money (I paid for a three month membership for my daughter, and she's only used about a month of it), but I'm going to have to find another gym...and I'm not at all sure I'll find one I like as much. For one thing, TruEssence is women only...I think there's only one other women-only faciliy here, and I think it's pretty pricey.

I guess I'll be doing the stationary bike and Pilates videos at home until I figure out what to do. What a bummer.

Well, this will test my resolve, but I'm not going to let it steer me off course!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed weekend!
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