Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Know You Mean Well but Let Me Help You Get That Foot Out of Your Mouth....

"Honey does this make me look fat?"

How is a man supposed to answer that question? It is a trap I'm sure many men have found themselves in at one time or another.

I think you can actually tell a man's "female knowledge quotient" (FKQ) by the way he answers this loaded question. FKQ does not necessarily equal "relationship experience", but knowing how to handle this question is all about how many women you have personally offended (or seen offended) by the answer.

Growing up with one brother and no sisters left my husband somewhat clueless when it came to the mind of a woman. Over the years he has been known to say things like:

"You could have a great body if you worked out" or "are you sure you want to eat that?" and I love the classic "be careful" (usually accompanied by a wink) as I am about to indulge in some calorie laden bliss.

The only reason I am not a widow today is because when he made these comments he wasn't being cruel but (in a twisted way) he believed he was truly thinking of my best interest. In fact, he claims he was giving me a compliment and providing friendly support. Hard to understand I know but I try to give him the benefeit of the doubt.

I remember Christmas of 1996 very well because I had just found out I was expecting our 5th baby. About a week before Christmas my dear husband placed a large wrapped gift under the tree for me. I was so excited to see such a big box. Ususally he doesn't even shop until Christmas Eve so I knew this had to be special.

A few days later I was shopping at Walmart and I saw a box that was similar in shape and size to the gift under the tree. But surely there was no way my dear husband would have bought his newly pregnant wife an AB Roller! Funny how when I mentioned my crazy thought to him (and how insulting it would be) the gift under the tree mysteriously disappeared.

I don't remember what I got for christmas that year but I do remember that after the baby was born and I was trying to get back in shape I bought an AB Roller for myself.

My husband may be slow but he is not stupid and I think he has finally come to the conclusion that if he keeps his mouth shut he cannot put his foot in it. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Now who will answer the "fat question" for me?

DISCLAIMER: (I do want to make it clear that I don't think I am really FAT but I also don't want to make a fool of myself by choosing clothes that don't fit right. Is there anything worse than thinking you look great and then seeing a picture of yourself only to realize you look ridiculous? And besides 70+ months of pregnancy has left me a little hyper-sensitive when it comes to my battle with bulges!!)

So who can I ask, "Honey does this make me look fat?"

--I could ask my little girls who don't yet know what "Fat" is and I certainly don't want to set off any eating disorders.

--I could ask my teenage daughter who is rail thin and thinks she looks fat so I am sure I must look like a double wide trailer in her eyes!

--I could ask my teenage son who has grown up with 5 sisters and has more "female knowledge" than most men twice his age (this kid is smooooth!)

Anyway, as I was packing to go on the cruise with my husband last month I came up with a great solution. I couldn't decide between 3 dresses to take for "formal night" so I tried all of them on and had my girls take my picture. Now I could see for myself whether or not I looked fat.......

Much to my surprise all 3 of them looked pretty good and since none of us could agree on which one we liked best I decided to take my two favorites.

SO there you have it, another use for your digital camera. Never again will the men in your life have to answer the dreaded "does it make me look fat" question.

Of course these pictures did make me realize a couple of other things:
1) how badly my bathroom needs a makeover.
2) I need to look for more opportunities to dress up (perhaps more vacations????)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The "Celebrity House Warming Party"....

Now where was I???

Oh yes, my daughter was having a party......
After moving in to her new place she and her roomies had spent weeks preparing the house and deciding who to invite. Now the "big night" had finally arrived.
Lauren (left) has known Andrea (right) since 2nd grade. Nathan is a friend of both of them! Can somebody cue the Three's Company theme song???

Unfortunately I had spent the better part of that day battling a headache and upset stomach. By 8:30 I was feeling better but by then I was tired, weak and ready for a good night's rest. I was in my jammies and ready to read myself to sleep. You know one of the advantages of age is that you are no longer expected to "Dance the Night Away" just because it's the weekend.

Of course no one has told my daughter that. She was calling every hour to see if I was well enough to come and make an appearance. Finally I was so riddled with guilt that I couldn't take it any longer.

But before we could go we had to come up with costumes because this was a celebrity look alike party! Who could we be? We enlisted the help of our (at home on a Saturday night because she is grounded) 16 yr. old daughter and this is what she came up with..........

In case you don't immediately recognize us let me give you another hint......

Still don't know?

It's the Kardashian's and Bruce Jenner of course!! (Actually the only thing about me that resembles Kris Kardashian is my initials, KK)

What? You've never heard of them?

Well neither had I until I had teenage girls. Just another one of those blessings you sometimes forget to count, HA!

Seriously, why would I need reality TV?....

---Here I am, barely recovered from the stomach flu and dressed as some woman I have never heard of, with a husband who is waaay too excited about being Bruce Jenner!

Oh, and did I mention that we were twice as old as anyone else at that party? One girl was wearing a tiara so I asked if she was Princess Diana. She gave me a blank look and said, "she must have been before my time". I felt a little better when she told me she was Audrey Hepburn and I could say, "she was before my time!"

Finally, after an hour of being introduced to my daughter's new friends and reconnecting with the ones I remember from her middle school years, my husband and I had enough of being the only "Mr. and Mrs." at the party. It was kind of like when you take your baby out and people gawk over it for awhile but eventually lose interest and move on --- the novelty of the "old people" had worn off.

By 10:30, when I was finally back in my jammies and turning out the lights, I found myself thanking God for giving me such a special relationship with this beautiful woman who has turned out to be not only my daughter but also my friend!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blue Mood....

As you can see I finally got around to changing my blog design.

I know a lot of you (including my Mom) said you liked the green but for some reason I just wasn't feeling it. Besides, Christmas is over and I am feeling blue....

NO, not the depressed kind of blue, the color kind of blue. I really like the feel of this design. I think it says "winter" without feeling too cold! Of course I have prepared myself for the "arctic chill" I will get from the 3 kids not pictured on the header, lol.

To tell the truth I only have one daughter who will care. My 16 yr. old girl has as little contact with me as possible right now and I think my oldest son has no idea I even have a blog. Besides I think he is a bit camera shy ever since the poor guy was totally humiliated on Christmas Eve when my husband took all of the kids to visit Santa.

JAKE: "I am almost 18 yrs. old and I am NOT going to sit on some strange man's lap!"

OK, so he has a point. But the picture would not have been the same without him. Besides, the older girls all wanted to go and majority rules.......

I just know he will thank me one day!

It is my oldest daughter who will give me grief. She swears I NEVER blog about her, which isn't true. You can see for yourself here, here and here.

Actually, this daughter gives me hope for my relationship with her 16 yr. old sister....

There were times when she was a teenager that Lauren made me so mad I dreamt I had beat her. I really believe that was God's way of keeping me from hurting her in real life.

Although we still have our ups and downs the road has leveled out quite a bit in the last year or so. I feel honored that she calls me (sometimes several times a day) to share her drama, ask advice or just to tell me she is "bored".

About a month ago Lauren moved into a rental house with a couple of friends and last weekend was the "much anticipated" housewarming party. It had a "dress like a celebrity theme" and my husband and I were on the guest list.....

WOW! I just realized that this would be a perfect "cliff hanger". Besides this post is getting awfully long and I don't want to take up your entire day. Sooooo, if you care to read about the party (and what celebrity I went as) then be sure to come back tomorrow and I will tell you more than you ever wanted to know!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Plans vs. His Purpose....

*Today I would like to share with you a small portion of the teaching lecture I delivered to my CBS class this week....
The bible, unlike any other book, is not just a story -It is God’s story.

It isn’t just non-fiction - It is truth in it’s purest form.

It is not just inspirational - it is where our joy is found.

It is not a self-help manual but a promise for restoration.

It covers many different time periods, locations and people. And just as God has given us the written record of these people of the past His story continues today as He is writing each one of us into that story even now.

As Thanksgiving ended and the Christmas season began I had a lot of plans for how I would spend my holiday.....

--I knew my husband and I were going on a cruise that he had won at work.

---Christmas was coming so I knew I had shopping, wrapping and cooking to do.

---I was expecting to spend a lot of time working ahead in my bible study.

---I had boxes of Christmas decorations I intended to unpack.

---And I had anticipated spending some quality time with my kids.

But as life would have it things didn’t turn out quite like I had planned. Proverbs says- “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails and I can honestly say that has been my experience over the last few weeks.

As for the cruise, I got seasick...

And everything else I had planned was interrupted by a 3 am. phone call the week before Christmas.

--My Dad, who was living in Maine, had been injured in an accident and would I give the hospital permission for treatment?

--Another phone call that there was nothing they could do and did I want them to remove the tube that was helping him breathe?

--A final phone call that he was gone and since he had made no final arrangements that was now up to me and my sister.

Sometimes the pages of our life story are tragic and painful. This wouldn’t have been the story I would have written for myself or my Dad but I am not the author of my own story, God is and He has promised that through my experiences and through my pain His purpose will prevail.

The question is “do I trust Him as the author of my life?" Will I relinquish my attempts to “rewrite” what God wants to speak to me and through me. Hagar and Ishmael are an example of what happens when we try to Co-author with God or write the story the way we think it should be.

It is easy to worship and praise God when our lives are going smoothly and we are successful but what about when life takes a sudden or unexpected turn? When there is an illness or job loss?
When the economy is failing or when things become difficult and are not going the way you want them to will you trust Him with the story?

When I first got the call from the hospital I remember thinking “I can’t do this” but then immediately my mind was flooded with the thought: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Since then I have found myself doing things I never would have imagined I could do. Things like donating tissue, arranging cremation, writing an obituary, planning a memorial service and delivering a eulogy. And in all of this I can honestly say that "His abundant grace was more than enough!"
The story God is telling is one that has included all kinds of time periods, settings, characters, drama, action & sub - plots. Each and every one of us is a part of that story but in the big picture there was one beginning and there will be one ending.

"In the beginning God created the heaven’s and the earth” Genesis 1:1
and someday
“the heaven’s will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

One day God will write the final chapter of our life stories. So let me ask you…..

--What are the things you will be leaving behind and who will you leave them to?
--How will you be remembered?
--Will your legacy be one of sadness and regret or will it be one of faith & hope?

These decisions are not ours to make after we die but instead they depend on how we live our lives now. God never promised it would be easy, in fact Jesus himself said “in this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” And what exactly does that mean? It means that through Jesus God has already written the end to our story and we can trust Him with all of the details in between.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WFW~~Psalm 119

One of my "prized possessions" is a large framed photograph showing the bottoms of all my children's bare feet. They are lined up, side by side, in a row with the smallest in the middle. Under the picture is a scripture from Psalm 119. The photo was taken a few years ago by one of my daughters friends who was studying photography. She added the scripture and presented it to me as a gift.

Unfortunately my picture is is too large to share on my blog but when my friend Lelia was visiting she shared with me a photo she had taken of her grandbaby Amiyah's little tootsies. She wanted to do something similar to how my picture looked. I convinced her to let me "play" with the picture and this is what I came up with........

For more inspiring scripture and photos be sure to visit Amydeanne here! Oh, and Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Monday!!

AAAARRRRGGG! Something has to be done about that green in my blog design!! I really can't stand it! Thank you for the kind comments and for not letting this hideous color keep you from reading my post. At least I don't have to look at it while I type.

(fyi-that first word is supposed to be a scream of frustration but I think it might be some kind of Pirate language, lol)
I have to tell you, I was pleasantly shocked at all of the comments I got from my last post! I honestly thought no one would even be checking my blog anymore and there you were. Honestly, by the time I was done reading all of your sweet words I had tears in my eyes. Thank you my friends, what a blessing you are!

To borrow an analogy from my friend Janna, it feels like I have been on a roller-coaster ride ever since my birthday (in Mid-November) and the ride is finally slowing down enough that I can get off and collect myself. At least I hope it is slowing down. Otherwise I might have to jump off of a moving roller-coaster and I don't think that would be pretty, lol!
In my next few blog posts I am looking forward to looking back (does that make sense?) at all that has transpired since Dec. 1 (my last post).

But today I am looking forward to the appointment I have with my two youngest children. This afternoon Sophie and Pablo Quin are meeting with the leaders at church to discuss baptism. Sophie is 8 and has been asking to get baptised for awhile now. Quin is only 6 but probably understands more about the Christian faith than the rest of us combined. Case in point:

As we left bible study last week I was very excited when I heard Quin talking to himself in the backseat of the car.

Quin: "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.."
Me: "Wow Quin, I didn't know you could say the Lord's prayer! Do you know the whole thing? Our Father, who art in Heaven...." (then I recited the whole prayer).
Quin: "You got that from Spiderman!"

Apparently they pray in the movie Spiderman!.... who knew???

Well as my cruel and sadistic encouraging and motivating instructor at the gym says every week, "Have a Happy Monday!! And I will be back with more before you know it!!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Been Awhile.....

Here is a question for you; If I haven't blogged in over 6 weeks do I still have a place in blog world?

I suppose that would depend on why I blog in the first place. HMMM? Now that is something to ponder...

--I blog in order to stay connected with friends and family and to keep them updated on what is happening in the life of my family.

--I blog to meet new women and make new friends.

--I blog because I enjoy writing and this is a place where I can build and sharpen my writing skills.

--I blog so that I can record and remember events in my life and the lessons I am learning from them.

--I blog because, as I have often said, "one of my 'spiritual gifts' is sharing the drama from my own life in order to make others feel better about what they are dealing with!" LOL!!

So I guess with all of that said I need to assume there is still a place for me in blog world. In fact I think I have a new theme song..... "It's my blog and I'll blog if I want to.....You would blog too if it happened to you!"

Seriously though, I don't know exactly why I have avoided looking at my blog for the past few weeks. I HATE excuses but in order to understand how I can avoid "blogging breaks" in the future it would be good to know what caused this one. Here are a few reasons I have come up with along with their solutions:

1) I intensly dislike the Christmas design of my blog. The green is just "too much"!
I am working on a new design, the sooner the better....

2) My laptop became very "high maintenance"! The cable for the battery charger had to be held in place and this resulted in "one handed" typing!
Guess what my hubby got me for Christmas!! I love him!

3) The holidays distracted me! (Shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, laundry...)

4) I feel guilty for not getting to "pay back" visits to my blogging friends!
I promise to visit when I can....in the meantime, please don't think me rude!

5) My brain wouldn't cooperate leading to a case of "blogger's block"!
Thinking, thinking, thinking....

6) Medical issues with my husband, daughter and dog!

7) A vacation in the middle of the holiday season!
Home again!

8) A death in the family!
More on that later.

9) Exhaustion (or laziness, depending on how you define it).
This is just part of getting old I'm afraid. (lol)

10) I have way too many children!
It's too late to do anything about that now!

I have to say it feels awfully good to finish a post (lame as it may be) and hit the "publish" button. Thanks for not giving up on me completely, I love it in blog land and I hope there will always be a place for me here!

See you all soon (I promise)....