Where Are The Wise Men?

Mike's Ramblings

Category: Life

Fun at The Joslyn

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Gina was busy on Saturday morning and Leah requested that we do something "fun". It was cold outside, and we have a six-month old foster son, so the zoo was out. Leah also suggested (OK, begged) for the Children's Museum, which would have been fine but it cost money and, frankly, I'm cheap. But I knew that our local art museum was free on Saturday mornings (10am-noon) but I thought, "What do they have for a six-year old at an art museum?" So I did some research.

The answer is that the[Joslyn Art Museum][] has a lot of kids stuff. [Quite a bit in fact.][] Actually, [they have a whole website worth of stuff.][] And we had a ball.

We kinda walked around the special exhibits and[saw some interesting things.][] But Leah wanted to make her own. Leah sat at the Can Do Art display, where they have paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc. Even a few games! If you know Leah very well, you know that she loves that kind of stuff. A grandfather was there with two grandkids and he started making paper airplanes. That meant we made some too.

After that, we went to the Cafe and had a little snack. Then Leah asked for something that I casually mentioned to her. I read it off the website but really didn't know what it was. So we went and got an [Art Pack][] and got going.

We did the "Go West!" pack. The best way to describe it is a scavenger hunt or a geocache in the museum. They gave us a backpack and it had a journal with directions, and a compass. The journal told us where to start and then gave us directions of "Walk 6 paces North then turn East . . ." until we eventually got to a painting. We read about the painting, and then reached in the backpack and got an activity out there to do (make a journal, play a bingo game, etc.) And we had a blast with it! And, while we didn't see a lot of different art on this activity, we actually learned a lot about the pieces that we saw -- and isn't that the point.

Leah is excited to do it again and I am as well. We need to take Gina next time. And how did our foster son do? I had to feed him during our stop at the Can do Art display, and then he slept until waaay after we left.

Weight Watchers Mulligatawny

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I know -- I haven't had a recipe or talked about cooking for a long time. But this may make up for it -- Mulligatawny, but the Weight Watcher's version. One cup is one serving. We doubled this and will freeze the rest.

Weight Watchers Mulligatawny


  1. 2 T Canola oil
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 carrot, chopped
  4. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  5. 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  6. 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  7. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  8. 2 t curry power
  9. 1/8 t ground mace or nutmeg
  10. 1 whole clove
  11. 2 cups chicken broth
  12. 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  13. 1 t lemon juice
  14. 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  15. 1/4 t salt


saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Saute the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and apple until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, curry, mace, and clove; cook, stirring 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock. Add the tomato and lemon juice; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Put a stick blender in the soup and puree the chunks of carrot and apple that are left. Add the chicken and salt, heat to serving temperature.

Search, share, and cook your recipes on Mac OS X with [SousChef][]!


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I usually have a full post about LifeLight but, really, there is only one band that I really want to talk about. And that's [Reilly][].

We were sitting around on campsite on Saturday morning and, while looking at the schedule, there was a band that was playing on the something like "alt-rock anthems with violins". Well, that sounded at least interesting. I said I was going to go. Gina, Leah, and our sister-in-law said they would come along, and a couple more people said they would come in a little while.

We got their early, so we sat and watched them to their sound checks, etc. We heard them sing and play the violin and our eyes got wide. Gina and I looked at each other and one of us said, "Um, these guys are going to be good." We looked over at our sister-in-law (who also had wide eyes ) and we said, "Call the other two and tell them to get over here!"

And then they started -- and Reilly didn't disappoint. In fact, they exceeded our expectations even from the warm-up. Not only were their songs full of great lyrics, they are fantastic musicians and had a wonderful stage presence. This is not what you expect first thing on Saturday morning on the third stage! For a taste of what we saw, [see this video on their blog.][]

At the end of the show, they reminded us they were playing on Sunday at 6pm and said that they were going to add a couple songs and that they hoped they would be there. Our group all agreed that we wouldn't miss it. And that this was probably the best show we had ever seen in our years of coming to LifeLight.

One thing that's cool about a music festival is that you can bump into some of the musicians. I talked to Matthew at the booth when we were buying a CD (which we never do at LifeLight but we wanted to show our support). I also ran into John randomly by the restrooms and saw Noele at another band's performance later that night. I made a point to tell all three the same thing -- they were fantastic and, yes, I was going to seen them again.

Sometime during the festival, my brother-in-law and I were talking about a band we were listening to on the main stage and we were both liking them. I asked him, "Do you think it's better than Reilly?" He said, "You can't be better than the best." And that pretty much sums it up.

For the Sunday night performance, I went early to squat on some seats, figuring that word got out. And it was a good decision. The first show had around 500 to maybe 1000 people there. Gina and I estimated there were around 3,000 people at this show and at least 20 people deep along the edge of the tent. I could tell the band was a bit nervous when they started, but the crowd was ready to explode. Heck, we even clapped during their warm-ups! But when they started play, they fed off the energy of the crowd and had a better show than the first one! Sure it was mostly the same songs, but they put more heart and soul into the music. One of the songs they added was the most worshipful yet rocking version of "[Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus"][]I've ever heard -- or sang. So now that was the best show we had ever seen at LifeLight!

Apparently they filled in for another band on the Coffeehouse Stage between their first and last performance. Not catching that scheduled performance is one regret I have of the whole festival.

So, yes, see [Reilly][]and by their music. If they are scheduled to be close to you, go! You won't be disappointed.


My Prayer for My Blueberry Girl

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Ladies of Darkness,
Ladies of Light,
and Ladies of Never-You-Mind,
This is a prayer for a blueberry girl.

I decided that it was time that Leah got her first Neil Gaimen book. Instead of getting some of my favorites like [American Gods][], [Neverwhere][], or even [The Graveyard Book][], I opted for [Blueberry Girl][]. OK, actually I was looking for something special for Leah before she started kindergarten this fall and found out about this book and, yes, it is perfect for my Spiderman-loving, bike ridin', science experimentin' daughter.

I want her to be safe, but also to experience life as she makes a big step into the world. I think this book explains all that.

Why We Are Running Science Experiments

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Recently, on Facebook, I've been talking about different science experiments Leah and I have been doing (okay, we will have the egg in vinegar we haven't dissected yet). But there is a story behind it. I'm going to tell it [Memento][]-style

I got home from work and saw this large Ziploc bag sitting in a large bowl on the counter. The contents of the bag can best be described as vomit. Or, at least, vomit-like. No chunkies, but definatly yellow. You get the idea.

Gina wasn't in the room, so I yelled, "What's this bag on the counter?"

Now things were getting more interested. [Gina's mom][] entered the room (she was visiting for a few days) and I asked her what the bag was for. "Why, that's Leah's stomach!" And Gina and her mom filled in the cracks of the story:

That day, the other two kids were gone and it was just Gina and Leah. While Gina was typing, Leah decided she wanted to do a little science experiment. Our little five-year old got a Ziploc bag out, some crackers, and other food and headed to the bathroom. She put some water in the bag, and then crushed some of the food up into tiny wet bits in the bag. Leah made sure she sealed it well, and put it in a drawer. She wanted to show her "stomach" to us later.

When Gina's mom came later that day, Leah's excitement had really built up so she had to show someone. She showed Grandma and said, "I will show Mom and Dad later," but Grandma said that this secret should be shared.

After I heard this story, I said "You know where she got this idea, don't you? [Sid the Science Kid][]!"

I recalled a couple of weeks ago where Leah was watching Sid the Science Kid while I was reading the living room. She said, "Dad we need to do this sometime!" and I looked. They were simulating stomachs -- with lemon juice, crackers, and other food. I nodded and said, "We'll do it sometime."

The day after I saw the stomach on the kitchen counter, my mother-in-law bought a book of science experiments for Leah and I to work through. "If she has an interest," she wisely said, "you need to encourage it."

Hence why we are now doing supervised experiments.