Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gain A Daughter, Lose A Son?

Check SpellingThat is the saying when your son gets married right? How about this one I have heard,

"A daughter's a daughter all your life.
A son's a son till he gains a wife."

I'm not terribly thrilled with either of those quotes.
Writer Son is leaving our hometown and moving himself (and most of his belongings) to the great state of Texas in about 11 days. His fiance, the adorable Miss M was born and raised there. The wedding of the century will be there on the fun date of October 10, 2010 or 10/10/10 !! Love it!
My heart is all over the place. Writer Son is my first born and this is totally new territory for me. Hubs and I think that starting their new life far away from us is actually a really good thing for our son. He needs to step into his new role on his own.

But I got so excited about gaining a daughter that I overlooked the reality that my mother-son relationship is about to change forever. What are your experiences in this stage of family life? How did your relationship change with your child when they married? Do you love your daughter or son in law?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Move First...Then Blog!

Today I spent some quality time with my exercise bike & my favorite yoga work out videos. And yes, I did not allow myself to come see you in blogland until I had worked out after getting home from work! Yay me!

Yesterday I confessed to you that I was going to BRIBE myself to get my butt moving & get back in shape by holding up blog time as my sweet REWARD after exercising each day. My bike is inside now & I managed to hold up a book between the handle bars to help the time go by faster.

So again I say YAY ME!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good-Bye Oinker

This morning I did not allow myself to open my Mac until I had done some yoga stretches for 20 minutes. That's right, I am bribing myself with laptop time to get myself to exercise. It is seriously time to get rid of my extra poundage that makes me feel like a flying piggie rather than a flying butterfly!

An important deadline is usually a good motivation for me and I have a doozy coming up in a few months. Writer Son is getting married on 10/10/10 !! (Fun wedding date huh?) Wedding photos that last forever! Pictures that are passed around and sent sailing through the internet to who knows how many people! Meeting my son's new inlaws.....and photos, photos, photos!!

Can you hear the panic in my voice? Not so long ago I was a faithful exerciser, but this Mac, (yes, I am blaming an inanimate object!) has really thrown me off course. My free time after work used to be full of a variety of, reading, walking, yoga & exercise bike. But now, it's all about the Mac & Face Book & you ,my bloggy friends. (Ok, now I am actually blaming you! Pretty low right?)

So yes, I am going to try to move this body around a bit after work each day before coming to visit you all. Getting up earlier does not make sense because I am already getting up at 6am in order to be at work by 7:30 and I am often home by 3 in the afternoon, so there is time after work. I just don't usually feel like doing anything but sitting after a busy work day full of people. Unfortunately, when I sit down to visit the internet I often stay there for hours! It is often work stuff on my laptop at first, letters to interested students etc. But then it is so dang easy to slip on over to FB or blogger and is 3 hours later!

Today I began getting back into shape by just doing a bunch of stretches so I won't hurt myself. Tomorrow I'll get back to the basic moves and push myself more everyday, including getting back on my exercise bike. I do not have a scale but my jeans & the mirror do a great job of condemning me into realizing that I'm in trouble.

Does my confessing this all to you help me? We will see........

ps ......I googled "Fat people" while looking for a picture for this post........Do not ever do that ok? Not good....very bad images are now in my head!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Fun Photo Task to Pass Along!

My new blogfriend at Chronicles of A Veteran Kindergarten Teacher passed this task on to me. Thanks for mentioning me in your blog and highlighting me as a blogger you tagged. I am excited to do this fun task! Thanks VKT!

Here are the rules:
1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people

This pic is of some of our students in our ministry training school a couple years ago. I love twenty-somethings so much! I used to be intimidated by them because they made me feel old or out of it, but I have found that brutal honesty is a great way to communicate to & with them. They love it!

This little group are off all over the world doing very different things. Let's see Navy, youth pastor's wife, Military, In & Out Store Manager are some jobs represented here. Some characteristics of 20's...
*Love humor, the edgier the better.
*Hate fake-ness with a passion.
*Care about the environment.
*Passionate about under-privileged. Have a sense of responsibility for others.
*Love to push the boundaries in all areas, especially old church thinking.
*Have a need for more than one set of moms & dads.
*Have huge dreams of their futures but need encouragement to go for it!
*Love clothes & shoes passionately! (Not just the girls!)
*Have a beautiful view of God without too much religiosity, so it is actually FUN to follow Him!

And I get to spend my days with these amazing people!!

Ok five bloggers I enjoy among the hundreds that I love! Yikes! Here goes:
Anything Fits A Naked Man ...a fun & funny blog with a name you'll never forget!
Life With A Little One And More...Jenners was one of my first Followers & she entertains me every time!
An Inch of Gray....A lovely friend who shares about her family, good deals & wonderful do-able crafts for the home.
Sheri's adorable twenty-something who loves books & travel & tells about her life adventures so far.
Gerber one of my newest followers & she looks delightful. I am looking forward to getting to know her thru her fun blog!

OK Ladies, Grab those rules, tell us about one of your photos & pass this fun task on!
PS - Gerber may or may not be my follower, but she commented me & I'm going to follow her!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

See Ya!

Just too too gorgeous out there,
can't stay in
even for you Bloggyland!
See you later!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lions and Butterflies Oh My!

Today has been so warm & sunny & summer-like that it almost tempts me to want to skip over Spring & jump right into Summer! Just like those lovely ladies above. Can't you practically hear them singing, "Tra-la-la-la-la!"? (Spell check hates when I get creative with words like that!)

While walking in the sun a bit this afternoon I was thinking about my last post on figuring out who we really are. I know many believers who say that they know God sees them as bold, or they have heard God tell them that they are strong...but they do not feel it or see it at all! They get frustrated with the huge clash or difference between who God says they are & who they see in the mirror.

I totally understand this place. If you have been reading me a while you know that my history is full of fear. I was living in a self constructed & safe cocoon for many years. It worked for me. Until God began to whisper very foreign thoughts to me. Always in short little phrases that I knew did not come from me because they were totally opposite to my thinking.

"You are my worshiping warrior."
"Wisdom & strength are yours."
"You are My oracle of truth & emissary of peace."

WHAT? I felt like looking behind me to see who He was really talking to. Didn't He see me hiding so cleverly that no one even asked me to do anything big any more? I had crafted a covering that only revealed a shy, quiet & worried lady. BUT He kept telling me what HE saw (& He is still telling me what & who He sees) when He looks at me. The cocoon had to go. It could no longer hold the butterfly that needed to escape because she no longer fit.

The first steps out of the cocoon have been scary. Sometimes I have felt like I was FAKING or pretending to be the strong, wise & peaceful woman He described. Seriously! I often take a deep breath before entering a roomful of people or meeting with a student. Even walking up to someone after church to chat takes courage for me. Am I pretending when I go ahead & do the thing that scares me? Am I being fake when I raise my hands in worship in front of a roomful of students? It almost feels like it sometimes, but it is not is PRACTICING! (Thanks Graham Cooke, our Guest Teacher today!)

We can embrace the big, beautiful words that God uses to describe us....put them on & walk around in them a bit to see how it feels. Does it seem strange & unreal? That's okay because you are figuring out how to walk in those new high heels, it takes time to feel comfortable in them & natural. You are practicing. But they were made for you & the positive words that God uses to describe you are more real than the small, insignificant picture you have of yourself.

I am still practicing being a butterfly who flies rather than a butterfly who walks all the time. (I know I am mixing metaphors like crazy here, forgive me.) But there is coming a time when the flying will be more comfortable than the walking or hiding. The view that my God has of me is beginning to feel real & even though I do not see it all the time, I am confident that His picture of me is more TRUTHFUL than mine.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

This graphic has been around for quite a while now and most of us have seen it and nodded in agreement. So have I, but there are a few thoughts I would add or change about it.

But first let me tell you how I am learning to know myself in a much more clear and truthful way. Over the years as I have spent time talking to God and listening to Him talk to me in a variety of ways, He always seemed to be stuck on one theme again and again. "Child, I love you."

Well, of course you love me, you're God, you love everyone, you kind of have to, right?

But time after time this is the message He sent me, through others as they prayed
for me, it's all over the Bible, and through hearing those love words in my own heart and thoughts when I prayed. I would hear others tell of God giving them huge visions and jobs to do in the world. But not me, to me He continued to just whisper intimate, sweet nothings of love in my ear.

After years of trying to believe that the Holy God of the universe actually loves little old me, I finally began to grasp it, claim it and revel in it! Me! God loves me! My walk became a bit taller, my smile to others became more genuine and the confidence of knowing I was loved by God affected every part of my life and personality. Then He began to tell me what He loved about me! He loves my compassion for others, my wisdom from years of walking with Him, my humor and the way I accept people just as they are. He told me things about myself that I did not see yet, some things that I still do not see yet. His idea of who Brenda Susan is, far outshines my picture of Brenda Susan.

Knowing who I am has made me stronger when the little nagging negative thoughts come and try to pull me down. I am not easily intimidated by negative thoughts about myself. I hope this does not sound arrogant but I simply don't allow those doubts about my worth to linger in my mind. I used to wallow in that negative place for weeks and weeks. That is why my God had to keep sending me those intimate love notes over and over again. I just did not believe it.

I really love words. Look at this......I have found my ID in my intimate times with God. Knowing my ID has protected me from negative ideas that try to intimidate me. My INTIMATE times give me my ID and do not allow doubts or fears to INTIMIDATE me. What is the difference in those two words?

I love that! Cool huh?

OK, about the cute
pic up top. The words I would prefer would be.."What matters most is how God sees you."
Also, which is more real, the little kitty or the image in the mirror? It looks like the reality is a kitten and he just thinks he sees a lion. But the true message is that the kitty REALLY is a lion, not just that the kitty SEES a lion in the mirror. What God see and says you are is MORE REAL than what you see or feel.

Who are we to argue with God? :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


My 75 year old mom just spent 3 days with us and seemed to enjoy and appreciate the guest room we set up with her in mind. There is still a huge, really huge desire & urge to please her and prove my worth. Is that normal after all these years? I do not know because I only live in my own head. Hubs notices my sometimes out-of-proportion scurrying to get & be what mom wants and mercifully he will come up and warmly calm me with a quiet hug. It helps me stop, drop and breath!

Mom and I had an interesting time trying to get her pictures developed in one hour as she is used to doing at one of her local stores where she lives. I assumed Wmart would do it, they do everything right?

We approached the brightly lit camera counter and got the attention of a cute girl about 19 years old. My mom asked if they do photos in an hour. The girl looked confused. Mom then held up her ROLLS OF FILM! Ha! The poor thing really looked lost now and her eyes darted around for someone who could help with this crazy request! The look on her face was priceless! She finally managed to say that they did not do that anymore and we walked away.

As we headed out of the store Mom told me that the girl at the last store had been much more rude by stating loudly, "This is the digital age m'am!" We stopped at one more place and gave up. I sometimes miss having my pics on actual paper, but totally love the digital age too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seven Things About me....

Janet Ruth over at ALONG THE WAY has awarded me with an unnamed award, but I will assume it means she like & adores my blog! I do know that I love to go to hers often! I am now supposed to tell you 7 things about me.......

1. My big toes curl up so much that I wear out the toes of canvas tennies.
2. I am trying to lose this tummy bulge before Writer Son's wedding in the Fall!
3. I love Meg Ryan.
4. My favorite foods are pizza & veggies.
5. I just learned that my mom does not color her hair! She is 75 & still black haired!! Yay for me!!
6 .I am in love with God & He is crazy about me!
7. I am seriously addicted to Face Book!!

Now there is no way I'm going to choose 5 of you to give this award to, so if you want it just grab that cute little pic at the top & tell us 7 things about you ok?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cousins, Casseroles & Caffeine

On Monday I attended a gathering of my cousins whom I have not seen for many years. I was nervous about a seemingly simple event because I have changed in many ways since we were kids & teens together & I was not sure I could be my new true self. Would I fall back into my old safe, cocoon of silence & passivity?

You, my lovely Blogger Friends were very encouraging in your comments & assurances. And you were right, it was not bad at all.

I relaxed soon after walking into my cousin's home & giving her a hug. It quickly became a noisy marathon of trading photos of our kids, grandkids & spouses. Thankfully I had the fun news of Writer Son's recent engagement to chat about! I am the oldest of everyone in this picture, but one of only three that do not have grandkids yet.

I did lie/lay (?) in bed that night & wish I had told them certain things about my life that I had not mentioned, but we will keep on getting together now even though we live hours away from each other. Next time I will have some of my pictures printed before I go. But it was fun to pull out my Mac & impress everyone with my sweet new toy!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Topless Topper

I am positive that the thoughts and memories that pop up for me when I see a top hat like the one above, are pretty different from yours. Most of you, if you are older than 50 will think of the old "Topper" TV show that aired many years ago. Or you are picturing a tiny bride & groom on a wedding cake. Not me.

My maiden name was Topper. Not a bad or ugly name, there were no bad rhymes or anything, but in the sixth grade one dorky, skinny guy insisted on calling me "Topless Topper" every time he saw me on the playground! And I definitely matched the description and still do unfortunately. Mother Nature did not heavily endow me at all. I kept waiting to be a late bloomer, but I am pretty sure that we have passed the expiration date at this point in time. Oh well.

But the top hat also brings back good, warm fuzzy memories. My mom hand-made her baby announcements for my little brother's arrival and I still have one. You guessed it, they were black construction paper top hats that opened up to announce the newest Topper. Very cute & original.

Tomorrow I am joining my Mom to have lunch with cousins and aunts from that side of the family that I have not seen or talked with in many years, other than Facebook recently. I am the eldest of five cousins that were born in 1955, we are "The 55'ers" that I told you about a while ago here.

Thanks to Facebook we have all reconnected after more than 20 years apart. We just got busy raising our kids and living our lives and forgot to make the effort to reach out to one another. This last summer as I contemplated turning 55 years old this year and being born in '55, it inspired me to try to connect with my cousins through Facebook and it worked! We have been sharing stories and memories like crazy and it's been great!

But, now comes the LUNCH together and I am nervous and wishing it were over. Sounds awful, I know, but how do you catch up and explain yourself to people that you should have been talking to all along? They all knew me as the oldest but the most fearful and hesitant about everything. They always had to talk me into any new adventure or fun. I was the "sensible one" as my Mom would reassure me.

So we will sit around in a kitchen with our potluck offerings and tell stories and compare photos tomorrow and hopefully I will be the strong, adventurous freedom-loving woman that I am today. I'll let you know.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I love my new background AND I love my new header pic.....BLAST!
BUT they do not compliment one another!!
I think I shall let it go for now & return another day to rectify the situation.
Can you tell I am watching Little Women as I make this post? I love Jo!

Read more:

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Won!!! That Makes Me A Winner, Right?

I have a blogger friend who is super creative with jewelry among other things & she recently had a drawing and Tada! I won this gorgeous Smokey Grey Pearl Bracelet set!! You can visit Janet at Along The Way . You will be glad you did! Now what can I wear tomorrow that will show this off just right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Menopausal Barbie

Apparently this is a picture of Barbie after menopause. When I saw it I wondered of the photographer had read my post on Menopausal Barbie! She is over fifty now, so it has to happen some time. I am completely through it now and gotta say I am loving it. Well, I am loving the freedom from cramps, etc. NOT loving the extra weight, somewhat close to the Barbie pic ,in my mind anyway!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Hubs, Writer Son (bleached blond next to Hubs) & me
shopping with some of our students
in China!!
(A few years ago.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tony Is Blue....And Some Poo

Along with the rest of us, Tony The Tiger is a little blue today as we said good-bye to Miss M & sent her off to fly away home. She left me an adorable thank you gift in "her" room. The young man ( Writer Son, newly engaged) she left behind is now working on how to get himself moved to her home state within the next month if possible. There are a few job offers in her local so it looks like I may be saying good-bye again pretty soon.

In the meantime Rocker Son (23) just called and asked if he could come take a shower at our house. I said "Sure, but what's the problem with your shower?"
Brace yourself.........
"Our tub is full of poo & the landlord is being a jerk!"

Ugh! Disgusting!!

Another call came from him.........
"Never mind, he said to open the drain into the backyard & it's all OK now."


I am SO glad he lives way over on the OTHER side of town!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boy Oh Boy!

I have been a mom to boys for exactly 27 & 1/2 years. I loved having boys. Having one of our bathrooms be in permanent yuckiness was tough, but overall I think I rolled with the rowdiness & stinky sox pretty well. I got over being repelled at the sight of dirty soap along side equally grimy bath towels. Did they use water AT ALL?

My constant companions in this boys world were superheroes & dinosaurs. I never knew where I would find a strangely dressed action figure in my home. Superman liked to hide in the freezer for some reason. And Batman would show up in the bowl of (ignored) fruit on the dining room table. A huge green plastic tyrannosaurus rex (Thnx spell check!) loved to hang out in the back seat of our van. Yes, I have lived through & survived the van-era of our family life! I marveled at the differences in my two sons...chopping worms apart or looking for the worm mommy & daddy. Burping, belching, farting or making those same noises by using the underarm were special talents that I had to learn to at least smile at, if not outright applaud!

As the only girl in the house it was nice to be special & kind of mysterious to my 3 men. I loved the many cards, valentines & flowers that were grandly presented to me over the years. BUT, I am now getting a taste of life with another woman in the house & I LOVE IT! I did not even know what I was missing! Writer Son's FIANCE is staying with us while she is in Cali. She loves the beautiful guest room we recently redecorated after Rocker Son moved out at Christmas time. A sample scenario the other day:

I am in the kitchen talking to Hubs, we are dressed to attend a wedding.
Miss M (haven't invented a good name for her yet) enters with a cute little dress on and a cowboy boot on one foot & some high heels (a high heel?) on the other foot.
Hubs says, "Yah that's a great look!"
Miss M looks at me & says "Which one?".
We discuss the merits & choose the cute & funky boot look.
Hubs steps back during the somewhat lengthy chat & looks mystified.
Miss M sees his look and dramatically opens her arms & says, "Welcome to the world of women!" Ha!

I realize what I have missed & determine to enjoy every bit of it while she is here, adding some glam to our belching, horror movie, motorcycle land of men.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ready For Warm Weather

Where can I order this? There must be a place online right?
Then I will be all set for this summer!