My 3 Favorite Blogs (Right Now)

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. But I have been reading other blogs. Here are my three favorites reads right now (they are all over the map topic-wise).

1. House Tweaking: The Millers are fixing up a mid-century ranch after downsizing. They have two sons and just had a little girl (I might be a bit biased). I love Dana’s style and all the information they share. I love seeing their new house come together. 

2. Mama Pop: Snarky, sarcastic coverage of pop-culture written by parents. I have a little dream of writing for this blog someday. 

3. Practical Theology for Women: I’m honestly not adding this in just so you won’t judge me for loving the pop-culture blog so much. Wendy Horger Alsup writes this blog (titled the same as her book). She says the blog is a “lecture to herself” but I am so glad I get to listen in. When I see a new post in my reader, I know I have to save it for when I can really pay attention because there is so much to take in.

7 Quick Takes Friday

UPDATE: Keanan (Howerton) and Amos (Ivey) are coming home! Praise the Lord! And don’t stop praying for all the other orphans and people of Haiti.

Another set of quick takes – current events edition…

In entertainment news…

1. Tonight is Conan’s last night as the host of The Tonight Show. There have been so many great moments this past week from Conan (and David Letterman). I think this whole thing is ridiculous. I can’t wait to see what Conan comes back with in September.

2.  For some reason I can’t embed videos today on the blog.  But I would recommend you watch this, just in case you were thinking about blaming Conan for this mess: Don’t Blame Conan (David Letterman)

In local news…

3. Last night, I went to my school district’s public budget forum with my friend, Heather, who is a teacher in the district. They need to reduce the budget by $19 million dollars due to cuts that the state is making. As a supporter of public education, this bothers me and I certainly have my opinions on what should and should not be cut. If you live in my city, I hope you will consider either attending one of these forums or reading the summary online (I posted the link on Facebook). And take the survey as well to share you thoughts.

In world news…

4. Yesterday, Anne Jackson posted this on Twitter:

And the link goes to this photo. Beautiful.

5. I’ve been keeping up with the news on Haiti by following Soledad O’Brien on Twitter. Yesterday, she covered the departure of a group of orphans being transported to their adoptive families in the US. Thanks to all who have called and prayed for humanitarian parole for these kids.  The Howertons and Iveys are still waiting for news.

6. The earthquake is drawing a lot of attention to Haiti but there are people who have been ministering there long before the tragedy. Thanks to my husband for sharing a link about this family that has been there since 1994.

In American news…

7. This weekend marks the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and on Sunday many people will acknowledge the right to life through Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. The statistics are overwhelming.

According to the Allan Guttmacher Institute, African-American women are nearly five times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion. Almost one in every two African-American pregnancies ends in abortion. (source: World Magazine)

I am thankful for many churches who will be showing this video on Sunday morning. Consider what could have been.

*Hosted at Conversion Diary

Celebrity Promotes Foster Care Adoption

Remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Mom, I know you do because we saw it three times in the theater)? Well, Nia Vardolos and her husband Ian Gomez (who played Javier on Felicity) just adopted a toddler through foster care. Although they adopted her months ago, the released the information this month to bring attention to National Adoption Month and half-million children in foster care.

I think Nia’s last project failed (the TV version of the movie) but you can be sure I will be supporting any of her future projects.

For Fans of The Office

I was listening to NPR today and heard this great interview with “Pam” from The Office: Jenna Fisher on Fresh Air.

I laughed and, even teared up a bit, listening to the interview. I just love this show so much and feel emotionally involved with the characters. I know in like 20 years I’m going to be making my kids was re-runs of the show on TV and they will probably think it is stupid, sort of the way I am with my parents and MASH.

The whole interview is great but my favorite part was when Jenna said, “The Pam part of me is very much in love with the Jim part of him (John Krasinski).” D and I have high hopes for a real life love match.

She Made Barack Trendy, Can She Do the Same for Being Gluten-Free?

First of all, let me say…I’m not an Oprah fan. I think she has done some great things with her money but overall, I find her pretty arrogant. She interrupts everyone she interviews and puts herself on the cover of her magazine every month. Even Martha Stewart doesn’t do that. She carries so much influence, it scares me.

However, one of the headlines on People.com today was: Oprah Winfrey’s 21-Day Detox Diet. The diet includes eliminating all animal products, sugar, caffeine and GLUTEN. Sounds awful. I am gluten-free and there are days when that alone makes me want to cry (this usually happens when I drive by a Hungry Howies). What would I do if I had to give up cheese, coffee and chocolate? I would be very cranky and Dan would probably ask me to move out.

Everything she promotes seems to catch on so I am hoping her 21-Day Detox will do something in the restaurant industry and make it a little bit easier for those of us who do not eat gluten to enjoy a night out. A few more gluten-free products at Meijer wouldn’t be terrible either.

Chiming In on the Recent Hannah Montana “Scandal”

Last week I was driving from one job to the next listening to Talk of the Nation on NPR. They were talking about Miley Cyrus and her photo session with Vanity Fair magazine and famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz. And they kept talking and talking and talking about it. All I could think was, “Wow. This photo must be pretty bad for NPR to be so upset about it.” They are not exactly known for their conservative mindset.

The host of the show asked one of the commentators who was to blame for this photo shoot and I thought she made a great point in her answer. She explained that the problem is in the hands of the adults who were in charge and felt it acceptable to ask a 15 year old girl to pose in such a fashion. Should Hannah Montana have known better? Maybe. Should her parents have been there to protect her? Definitely. Should any adult – artist or not – ask a child to pose for such photos? Absolutely not.

One caller on the show said she didn’t see anything wrong with the photos, that they reminded her of “18th Century portrait art.” The problem with this is that most of Hannah Montana’s fans are not familiar with 18th Century portrait art and all they see is Miley Cyrus wrapped up in a bed sheet with her back exposed.

I don’t know much about Miley Cyrus. She seems like a sweet girl…not really a Lindsey or Britney type. But there is something about our culture that would love to see her fall into the same category as other teen stars. I highly doubt that Vanity Fair was surprised by the uproar these photos cause; my guess is that it was their intent to gain this attention and thus, sell more magazines. Because it really is all about money.

I am sure growing up in the spotlight is difficult but all of this just reminds me that being a teenage girl is difficult. So many mixed messages, so much pressure to be “perfect”. I often tell people, “There is not enough money you could pay me to go back to high school.” I’ve had perfectly beautiful girls tell me how fat they think they are and heard terrible stories about how girls talk about and treat each other. The message I want to communicate to girls is that they are made in the image of God and He is a God who loves and accepts them. It does not really matter who rejects us because we are accepted by the creator of the universe. Such a simple message but it is so hard to wrap our minds around when everything around us is telling us differently.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts. I would love to hear any thoughts anyone else has on how to deal with this and also, any Christian books that deal with the subject. I’ve yet to find any good ones.

Links:
Here is the Talk of the Nation segment I mentioned.
The Body Project – a fascinating book I read in college on the history of female adolescence in America. You are welcome to borrow my copy if you are interested.

Remember when they were fighting over Noel?

As you know, I keep on top of all things going on in the celebrity world. It is my guilty pleasure.

I saw this post on Celebrity Baby Blog of Jennifer Garner & Keri Russel out with their babies. They look so normal (well, besides Violet’s $300 coat!), just taking a nice stroll through the city.

At first I thought, “How to these two know each other?” but then I remembered that in Season 1 of Felicity, Noel has a girlfriend who lives out-of-state, Hannah. And Hannah was played by Jennifer Garner.

Alright, that is my shallow celebrity post. Have a wonderful Christmas!