I Want To Shop At The 'Minus Size' Store!

I hate clothes shopping...

okay, I'll take back "hate" (I tell the kids all the time, "you shouldn't 'hate' anything")

I DISLIKE IMMENSELY clothes shopping...too subtle?...

Last night Mark drove me into town to go to the mall, because I had a coupon for $50 off at a specialty store ('specialty' being code for 'plus size') (another reason to DISLIKE IMMENSELY clothes shopping, my clothes being labeled 'plus size'...but anyway, I digress....)

So my wonderful husband drove me to the mall and waited patiently outside the 'specialty store' while I circled the inside of the store like a 747 flying above the airport, waiting to land...

I couldn't find anything...the clearance stuff had been pilfered through, and all that was left were a few black (the official color for the 'plus size' of America) blazers from 1988, some scoop neck long sleeve shirts (scooped way too low) and some kind of black and white sweater that had a huge flower across the chest (just what every 'plus size' woman needs)

I managed to find a couple of things and then had to go into the dressing room with it Fun House mirror (which just engages my
"That'sNotReallyMeIsIt?-itis") I then spent the next 17 minutes trying on clothes that I went ahead and bought anyway but still ain't too thrilled about...

But the one, lone, bright spot in all this is the knowledge that I'm not in this boat alone...women all across our land go through this trauma each and every day. Most just aren't crazy enough to write about it...

I think I'll go put on the pink duster...one size fits all... :)


We Have A Winner!

*******Comments Are Closed!*******
And the winner is...Carolyn G ! Congratulations!!!! Here's Carolyn's answer to the question...

"If you could pick anything or anywhere to pamper yourself,
what or where would it be?"

Well I think I would choose to go on a spa trip to a resort. My friend went to Ojai Resort and loved and said it was the best. SO I would do that! I would get a spa treatment or 2 a day, eat fabulous food and just relax and get pampered.

Carolyn, email me at deb@nefcom.net to claim your Bath and Body Works prize!


It's Another Giveaway!

sniff...sniff...what is that delightful scent I smell? why, I think it's vanilla...Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath and Body Works to be exact...

I thought it would be nice to finish up the first month of 2009 by treating ourselves to a little something vanilla, its one of the girls favorite scents, and one of mine too...so my next giveaway is...

From Bath and Body Works:
(1) 12 fl oz Warm Vanilla Sugar Volumizing Shampoo
(1) 12 fl oz Warm Vanilla Volumizing Conditioner
(1) 8 fl oz Warm Vanilla Sugar Creamy Body Wash
(1) White Body Blossom Spa Sponge
(1) 1 fl oz Limited Edition Vanilla Noir
Eau De Toilette Luxe Travel Spray
(1) 6.3 oz Limited Edition Vanilla Noir
Luminous Bath Pearls

So here's what you need to do... leave a comment to the question, just one comment per person please (and if you leave a potty mouth comment a.k.a. leave a comment that is inappropriate, it'll get deleted--) and when time's up, I'll have my panel of judges pick the winner...actually they aren't available this week so it'll be up to fate who wins (and by fate I mean putting the number of comments in a hat and picking one!)

The giveaway ends at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
on Thursday, January 29th, 2009...

so I guess that's about it...wait, oh yeah, the question...hmmm... what is the square root of...naw, just kidding...
My question is...

"If you could pick anything or anywhere to pamper yourself,
what or where would it be?"
So let me hear from you!


Life With Hayden: Guess What Came In The Mail Today

When Mark and I got married, we felt that there was a chance that our future children might be tall. We just had a feeling...can't really explain why we felt this way, just one of those things you have an instinct about...

and then there are the wedding photos.

Our beautiful wedding photos, those showing Mark's family, sitting on the groom's side of the church, smiling and wearing their Sunday best. And as you look at the photos of the people sitting on my side of the church, and your eyes go to and fro, you begin to notice something...Mark's peeps are TALL.

Even sitting down they're tall.

To start, Mark is 6'4. His older brother Michael? Ditto. Two of their cousins, 6'7 and 6'8. And it's not just a guy thing. No, even the girls. Mark's mother? 5'11. Mark's aunt? 6 even.

And to top things off, I'm no pixie...5'10, barefooted.

So we knew that the kids would be tall. And we've not been disappointed...Kaitlin is 5'10, Taryn is 5'11, and Hayden at 14, is already 6'1.

So what's this got to do with what came in the mail today? Well, as a tall person, you normally have big feet, just a fact of life that you learn to live with. But when your a teenage boy, and you need a new pair of shoes for school, things can get tricky. In August, Hayden and I spent about 3 hours, going store to store in the mall, searching for a pair of Chuck Taylor's. He likes those shoes and I wanted to get him a pair to start off the new school year. But we had absolutely no luck finding his size at the mall...oh, what size were we looking for?

That would be a 14. He wears the same size shoe as his age.

So we have to order his shoes online and his newest pair came today...

Hayden took this picture for me and it was his idea to put the yard stick next to his new shoes...yes, I said yard stick, a ruler isn't long enough. Measuring over 14 inches, Hayden thinks his new maroon Chucks are pretty cool...me too


Taryn And The Chicken...A Little Goes A Long Way

This photo was taken at our youth Christmas party last December...most kids are passionate about sports, music, fashion...not Taryn.

No, for a few moments last month, on a freezing December evening, chicken chasing became her passion. Notice the giddy smile, the shoulders tense with excitement, the utter glee on her face. The thrill of the chase, the exhilaration of the catch, the anticipation of the release...

Of course right after this photo was taken, the chicken started to fidget and flap a little and Taryn immediately panicked, let out a scream, dropped Henny-Penny and high-tailed to the barn, leaving nothing but a dust trail behind her...(the chicken was fine)

So much for farm life...


Loose Ends Vol. 1 No. 11

Weird things about my family...the name edition...

1. Back in our hometown, there is an entire neighborhood named after Mark's family...his mother, his aunts, his grandmother, and the towns they're from in Michigan. About 8 or 9 streets in total. And the weird thing? My grandparents house was on Georgiana Street, the street named after Mark's grandmother. And I lived there for 5 years before I met him.
Ooohh, weird huh?

2. When I was a kid, a teenage girl in our neighborhood found a ID bracelet at the beach one day. It turned out to be my cousin's bracelet. And the girl and my cousin had the same last name. That was how she knew it was my cousin's bracelet. My mother had mentioned to the girl a few years before that she had a niece with the same last name. Weird, but true...(Stephanie, that was your mom's bracelet!)

3. About 16 family members on Mark's side have the same middle initial, "D". We have 4 "Dale's", 4 "Douglas", and the rest...Duane, David, Donald, Dryer, Davis, Danielle, Davin. And we even have a "Dixielee".

4. All three of my kids first names end with the "n" sound...Kaitlin, Taryn, Hayden...and we didn't do it on purpose...

(we're not that creative)

5. I have two maiden names...my biological maiden name and my adopted maiden name. Gets confusing on applications.

6. One of my maiden name's is also a part of a fish (I can't believe I'm writing this...my maiden name was Finn) ...not only weird but embarrassing...

7. When Kaitlin was born, the nurse misunderstood Mark when he said her name, missing her first name and only hearing her middle, she said, "You named your baby after an appliance?"
(Her middle name is Dryer, my mother-in-law's maiden name)

8. My mother's middle name is Zella. Enough said.

9. My great aunt's name was Sabra. Too much said.

10. and finally, my father's middle name was Lee. A very common name for those brought up in the South. Nothing weird about that. My grandmother was reading a book about the Civil War when she went into labor with my father, so she gave him the middle name, Lee, after the great Southern general, Robert E. Lee. Only thing was, my father was born in Canada, my grandmother was from New Hampshire and my grandfather was Jewish and named Abraham.


I'm Putting Up A Red Velvet Rope Outside The Laundry Room Door

My laundry room is alive, I'm convinced of it...

My house is nearly 30 years old and the fact that I actually have a laundry room is great. Growing up, our washer was on the back porch and we had a clothes line...so I'm definately grateful for the indoor convenience...

...but my laundry room is alive (did I mention that already?) Well, not the actual room itself, but I know there are some little creatures that have made themselves at home among my Maytag and Bounce dryer sheets...

It has to be them...how else can I explain the fact that sometimes when I go into my laundry room, there's evidence of some kind of shindig going on that I wasn't invited too (not that I want to be).

For instance, what I witnessed this morning...

Clothes are all over the place, the washer and dryer are slightly skewed from the wall, like they've been taken out of a joy ride, detergent and bleach bottles are knocked over, and dirty towels everywhere that seem to out number the actual number of people who live in our home, 4 to 1.

Somebody had a party in there and didn't bother to leave a tip for the maid (that would be me).

It just has to be some kind of elf or gremlin or maybe even a fairy (although fairies seem to be very neat and tidy).

Because I know my kids wouldn't do something like that...they wouldn't leave the laundry room looking like the morning after a New Year Eve's party...

well, now, when I think about it, I have seen the inside of their bedrooms recently...maybe they might have...hmmm...

naw...they wouldn't do that...has to be a gremlin living in there...


Yes, We Are The Meanest Parents On The Planet

the cable is gone from our television...

No, we haven't cut the cable primarily because of the cost, although that will help us each month...

no, we cut our cable because of, quite frankly, the filth.

We try to be good stewards of our entertainment viewing. We don't watch R rating movies or videos (and really, we don't watch too many PG-13 ones, either). We have the appropriate filters on the internet. We have one television for the whole house (none in any bedrooms). We really try to be diligent to what is coming into our home via the web and of what's being played out on our tv screen in the living room.

Doesn't mean we're perfect at it...just means we try.

But with all that, it is still tremendously hard to watch television and not get your senses blindsighted by something vulgar. If I have the tv on in the afternoon, sure enough there's gonna be a half naked woman, or someone cussing, or a guy needing some kind of pharmaceutical help on the screen.

At 4:00 in the afternoon.

My 14 year old son doesn't need that in front of him.
And neither do I.

My friend Sue always says, "if you wouldn't let them do that on your living room couch, why would you watch them do it on your tv screen?" Once again, sage advice...

What sparked this sudden "cable-disconnectomy"? Well, it really wasn't sudden. My struggle with Mr. Pottymouth goes back decades. (that's my pet name for our tv). I posted about that struggle last year. So this wasn't something we decided to do off the cuff. During the summer we tried to be creative about our tv viewing. We got out an old dry erase board and made a tv chart. Every member of the family had the option to write in what shows they wanted to watch for the week, with the idea that when there were no shows on the chart, the tv would be off. We thought the less the tv was on, the fewer chances of being assaulted by filth. So we did that for a while...and then we started to slack off...the tv was being left on longer and longer, and then the chart got put up during the holidays because it wasn't pretty to look at with all the Christmas decorations...excuse, after excuse...so finally after the holidays, Mark and I both came to the conclusion that we just needed to cut off the cable.

So Mark called the cable company and they said they'd be out the 14th...

and that's today.

And I have to admit, last night I was having second thoughts. I thought about the news channel, the food channel, the home channel, etc. But I want to be obedient more than I want to watch a cooking show I've already seen 16 times...

and when I read in Scripture,

'I will set before my eyes no vile thing.' Psalm 101:3

I know exactly what He wants for me. He makes it very clear. He's not sugar-coating it. And He also knows my struggle with putting things before my eyes that are not pleasing to Him. So the phone call was made to the cable company...

...2 hours later

Well, the cable guy just left...and the plaintive wail of my son, saying "nooooooooooo" could be heard outside.

It's gonna be a long night...


He Is There In The Ways Of His People

How I've witnessed God's people glorifying Him these past few weeks.....

a friendship only months old, but they became as close as father and daughter...and when he passed away, she would comfort his widow as only a daughter could...

a man stricken, burned from the treatments meant to heal him, when asked, "what can I pray for you?" his response..."that I honor Christ"

a college student, unshakable in the knowledge that this is His will for her, even in the heartache of leaving home...

a granny, teaching her grandkids His ways, even in the tiniest of moments around the Sunday dinner table...

Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth;
Untie my heart to fear Thy name.
I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God,
will all my heart,
And will glorify Thy name forever.

Psalm 86:11-12


Life With Hayden: Photoshoot + Hayden = A Chance To Try Out His Stand-Up Routine

We decided to have a few family pictures taken at a local park over the Christmas holidays and I got the proofs back a few days ago. And I noticed a theme running through most of the unedited photos...Hayden and his knack for being the center of attention...for example...

His dad and I were laughing at some comment he made,
I can't remember what he said,
but I do recall saying right after the photo was taken...
"Stop goofing around, son"
Notice his sisters...
Kaitlin is looking at him, thinking,
"I can't wait to go back to school, he's driving me nuts!"
and his co-conspirator, Taryn,
whispering in his ear, egging him on.

Just another Saturday morning in late December.


Put A Fork In Me--I'm Done

I've been in an egg nog fog this holiday season.

I've made excuse after excuse to eat whatever and whenever I wanted the past few weeks. But the calendar says 2009 and I can see Monday from here and the self-appointed start of "eating better".

I actually thought earlier today, "What else can I eat before Monday?" and "I wonder what the white chocolate baking squares in the pantry taste like?"

...unfortunately I know now, they taste like white chocolate....sorta

As far as exercising, I don't think I'm going to walk around our neighborhood for a week or two...I don't want my neighbors to think, "there she goes again, another new year resolution...I wonder how long she'll last this year?" and "does she EVER get out in the sun?"

I could always join the Y or a local gym, but last time I did that, I didn't go for about 4 months, but I didn't cancel the membership...that's right, I let the gym take money out our checking account for about 4 months because I didn't want to face the lady at the counter. But one afternoon, after circling the gym parking lot half a dozen times, I finally went it and said to the lady, "I-I-I need to cancel my membership, heh, heh, sorry". And she said to me, "I was afraid you were going to do that. On the fourth time I saw your car drive by, I figured that's what was coming."

My bathroom scale is really dusty but I think I might leave it like that until at least early next week...I can't really see what the exact number is so it might encourage me a little. I'll get the Windex out later and then face reality.

all for now...think I'll check out the pantry and find out what unsweetened cocoa powder tastes like...


My First Post Of 2009-And You Might Win A Prize!

****The Giveaway Is Now Closed And We Have A Winner!!!****
Barb H! YEAH!!! Congratulations!!!
Here's Barb's Comment to the question:
"What is your favorite Bible verse?"

I have several favorites, but this has always been one of the main ones...
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

OHHHHH the power, mercy and faitfulness of God that is displayed here! There has been great reassurance and comfort to me through the years in these verses.

Oh by the way....


January 1, 2009 7:53 PM

Thanks Barb!!!

Be on the look out for another Giveaway this month!!!

Hey everybody! Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and blessed New Year's Eve. We spent our evening with our church family at our Watch Night service. What a blessing to hear testimony after testimony of the many ways our Lord has blessed His people during the past year. To hear heartfelt thanks given, to see joy-filled tears in the eyes of others, to feel the love of His Spirit, and to witness hands raised in thanksgiving was glorious. The ones who thanked God for their recovered health, a new granddaughter born that morning, relationships restored. The man who had blamed God for his problems, now speaking words of repentance, coming back to Him, knowing He would be there to receive him. The young woman with a broken family and her honest confession, wanting to start fresh. The 20 year old, wiser than his years, inspiring much older folks (like myself) to know His Word better. Ringing in the new year, at midnight, on our knees, gathered together in prayer gave me such hope for this coming year.

I decided a few days ago that I wanted to try doing a giveaway on my blog. A simple way to bless others and a sneaky way to find out who might be reading this thing! So periodically I'll be having a giveaway and all you have to do to enter is....leave a comment! Just one comment entry per person please (and if you leave a potty mouth comment a.k.a. leave a comment that is inappropriate, it'll get deleted--)
This could be a very humbling experience either way this thing goes...tons of comments or none at all!

So here's the question...and its an easy one...

"what is your favorite Bible verse?"
told you it was an easy one...

The giveaway ends at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday (1/2/2009) and the winner will be randomly picked. And by random I mean, I'll put on a blindfold, have Mark spin me around three times and then I'll point to a comment on the computer monitor. So that's about it...oh wait, I forgot! What's the giveaway?!?

Okay, my first ever giveaway is from one of my absolutely favorite Bible teachers, Kay Arthur. I was invited to a Kay Arthur study way back in 1993 (thanks Barb T.) and during the first week of the bible study I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I've done many of her 'Lord' series studies as well as attended a Precept training. She is one of the most powerful Bible teachers I've ever heard. I was even blessed to meet her at a Focus on the Family event in Tampa in the late 90's.

So the book I've chosen to give away is:

'Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 days' by Kay Arthur
on the back cover:
'Do you long for a greater, more personal understanding of God and His Word? A way to study the Bible that will transform the way you think and live? With inductive study, God Himself becomes your teacher as you learn how to "hang on His every word" and discover truth for yourself. It's life-changing!
With Kay's helpful explanations, hands-on exercises, and discussion questions, your Bible reading time will become an exciting step forward in your spiritual walk.'

plus pencils, pencil sharpener, pens, highlighters, colored pencils, 2009 planner and a journal!

So get ready... get set... comment!

A simple shopping story...

Her cart was dripping. The grocery cart she was pushing around the produce section of the big box store I had just entered was drippin...