April 29, 2011

Hmmmm......What To Write About Today

I do hate to be predictable, but a royal wedding just doesn't come around very often! There is nothing else I can really talk about when the world got a new princess today....or whatever it is that the Queen is officially calling Kate. Does it matter? To the whole world, Kate is a princess.

(This would be the proper place to insert a picture of Kate in all her Grace Kelly splendor but for the life of me, I can't get a picture of her to upload.....or download....or copy and paste to the blog. Basically, I am not computer literate enough to fully round out this post with the proper pictures!)

I remember lying on my stomach on the floor of Jenny Key's house with my chin in my hands at the ripe 'ol age of eleven when I watched Princess Di walk down that long aisle towards her Prince. I was young enough to be completely enthralled with the magic of it all.

I can remember speaking only in a British accent with one of my friends as we pretended to be part of the royal family. My friend was much better than I was at it. Then again, she was my friend that tried to give me flirting lessons and insisted I practiced until my handwriting was more bubbly and every "i" was dotted with a heart.

I failed miserably.

On both accounts.

I have to admit that all week I've had moments where I've wondered what Kate must be thinking and doing. A wedding under normal circumstances is filled with details and preparation for the bride....can you even imagine what these last few days were like for her? What in the world was she thinking about when she was shaving her legs this morning in preparation for the big day? Was she rehearsing all of Will's names? I must say that is not something I did the morning of my wedding. I kinda felt like that was one thing I had down pat!

It's crazy to think that many years from now I could be talking to my Granddaughter about where I was the day Kate and Will got married. That I was in Asia watching with three boys who could honestly care less but watched all the same.

It's a long way from Jenny Key's house in Albuquerque, NM and a VERY long way from eleven years old but it's not any less magical.

April 28, 2011

Finding My Way

I recently had an opportunity to tour a mosque. It is the second time since being in Singapore that I have had an up close and personal look inside of a Muslim's place of prayer.

There were two things I found particularly intriguing.

1. I took this picture of a man sitting against the column inside the mosque where I was not allowed to go. Others around him were kneeling on their prayer rugs but he just sat. I took quite a few pictures and he never seemed to notice that I was there and I was so incredibly curious as to what he was thinking about. I assumed he was meditating on life either prior to or just following his own time of prayer.

But then I realized that many times people will see me in church and assume that I am being introspective and meditative on my relationship with God when in reality my mind could be wandering all over the place. So, for all I know, this man was actually forming a grocery list in his mind.

2. Just outside the mosque was a gift shop where we were shown this compass of sorts. It is used by Muslims as a way to find Mecca from wherever they happen to be in the world. They always pray in the direction of Mecca and around here it is not unusual to see arrows high on the walls of public buildings pointing the direction of Mecca so when it is time for a Muslim to pray they always know which direction they need to face.

I am so grateful that I always know which direction to send my prayers. That I serve a God that is seated on His throne, is with me always, and knows my very deepest need. That I can be on my knees praying out loud or silently whispering a prayer and He's going to hear me.

I have so enjoyed the experiences and conversations the religious diversity here has allowed me. It has strengthened my faith more than I could have imagined and certainly has challenged me.

I am a long, long, long way from the proverbial Bible belt and in some ways.....the loosening of that belt has given me room to grow.

April 27, 2011

Give Up The Soup!

Life with my boys is never dull. Just when I think there are no surprises lurking around the corner, I get clobbered in the head with something.

Apparently we have a budding activist in Nathan. We got our first taste of this when he was in the 2nd grade and decided to become a vegetarian because of animal rights issues. He actually stuck with it for about 6 months until the lure of a #1 at Whataburger was just too much to resist.

Then about a month ago during dinner, Nathan announces that he has been collecting money at school for a certain fund and will no longer be eating fish because of cruelty to fish. Especially cruelty to sharks in the making of shark fin soup which is a delicacy in this part of the world.

My initial reaction was slight irritation mixed with awe at his tenacity in getting out of eating something he didn't want to eat in the first place. Then he reminded me of how much he loves to eat tuna. It's his favorite Subway sandwich (and we happen to have one within walking distance of our apartment) and now he was going to have to pick something else to eat.

Like meatballs. That come from cows. And I'm sure they were loved on and treated very well until they took their last breath.

I digress.

As the story unfolded, and was later verified with Nathan's teacher, I was honestly shocked at the effort some 10 year old boys took to take a stand against something they had an issue with.

I expect fundraising in an effort to establish a fund to abolish chores to commence at any time.

I think the easiest way to describe what happened is to interview Nathan and let him tell it in his own words. And by own words I mean that he requested to keep all editing rights and to be quoted verbatim.

*insert an eye roll from mom here*

Me: Tell me when this all started.

Nathan: We were doing an Ocean unit in Science class. We all, based on our table groups, were placed into a group. My group was "The Way We Fish and Hunt". Within our groups we each had our own question which mine was "Who and What Suffer From the Way We Fish and Hunt?".

Me: Ok, buddy......so what in the world got you all worked up?

Nathan: Well, what got me worked up was first, my teacher pointed out something called The Cove in Taiji, Japan. Basically what they do is herd the dolphins into a hidden cove and slaughter them. When people found out about this they made a movie and showed it to the people on the streets in Japan.

Another thing that people found out was that they were giving away some of the dolphin meat to schoolchildren which was highly concentrated in mercury.

Me: What did you decide to do?

Nathan: My friends Jay, Lucas, and I decided to collect money to donate to Sea Shepherd which helps not only the dolphins in Japan but also the whale hunting stuff that happens in that Whale Wars show in TV. I also made a power point presentation about it to show to the class.

(Let me just comment here that a few weeks ago Nathan found himself in the principal's office for something that was a case of Nathan being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While he was in the office these same friends made signs that said, "Nathan is innocent" and held them outside the window to the principal's office. Nathan was quickly absolved of all wrongdoing.)

Me: So what was the deal with the Shark Fin Soup?

Nathan: I found out how they get the shark fins is by pulling up a shark and cutting off their fins and then letting them drown.

Me: They drown?

Nathan: Mom.....you know. They can't swim without their fins. I found out that Shark Fin Soup has no nutritional value and no taste.

(Interesting argument except he claims the same to be true with lettuce and most vegetables. Lost points for validity on that one.)

Me: Have you actually tried it?

Nathan: I was put in a situation once where I could have, but I denied it.

Me: How did you go about collecting money?

Nathan: We had jars and we would go around the cafeteria during snack time and we did a quick summary of what was happening and if they had any extra change we asked if they would donate it.

Me: You asked the kids?

Nathan: Yes......well, and any adults that were there. But then Mrs. Baildon interfered because she was all fine with it but didn't know if the office would approve. We had already collected over $75 and that money is still being held to be donated to Sea Shepherd.

Me: What did you hope to accomplish with all this research and collecting money?

Nathan: I wanted a good grade.

And there you have it folks. I think he is truly bothered by what he learned but at the end of the day, it was all about the A. You gotta love the honesty!

This issue with fish has gone beyond Nathan's class as evidenced by the stickers that covered his shirt one afternoon when he came home from school.

Oh, and yes, he is still boycotting the eating of fish.

I will tolerate it until he tries to convince me that asparagus is treated badly and wants to boycott that as well.

April 26, 2011

When your hippety goes missing

It's 10:55 p.m. so I'm barely going to get this blog post finished to count as day 2. That's right....day 2 and I am already rushing to comply with my own challenge.


No deep thoughts from me today which I know is just devastating.

But if I was going to come up with something deep, it would be to infer all kinds of things about the wild storm that came through here and destroyed this. Like, 39 hours after I wrote this post it was upside down in the planter.

Not going to read anything into that......just not going to go there.

Oh, and one more thing? Remind me when Easter rolls around next year that I can make a bazillion dollars selling EMPTY plastic Easter eggs on the black market here. This is something I learned after spending $11......yes, that actually says ELEVEN DOLLARS.....on a package of 12 eggs. Did I mention they were empty?? Plain 'ol plastic eggs used for hunting eggs and I paid $11 for them.

I am obviously not going to get over that anytime soon.

Never mind how difficult it is to find white eggs here to dye. They are all brown, unrefrigerated, and have feathers still stuck to them.

Just kidding.

About the feather part, but not about the rest.

Needless to say, there was no Easter egg decorating at our house. In fact, the Easter bunny had a major brain fart and didn't even bring any Easter decorations to Singapore. I'm not sure if I thought that by now I would have jumped ship and run home or if by the time I made it through our attic when packing I just didn't care anymore. The Easter bunny did manage a few chocolate pieces for the boys that were packed in gift bags with tissue paper and raffia ribbon.

That's how the Easter bunny rolls here in Singapore.

Despite expensive plastic eggs, the lack of pretty Paas decorated eggs, and a Easter bunny that lost a little hippety in her hop, we had a wonderful Easter weekend. We spent Easter Sunday with 7 other families and a load of good Southern cooking. Many sticks of butter were sacrificed in the making of our meal and I loved every single bite!! The kids went on an egg hunt and I was just momentarily overklempt when Garrett decided this was the year he was crossing over from hunter to hider of the eggs.

I love Easter. I cry every single Easter Sunday no matter what kind of service I'm in. It is the basis for everything I believe in. I get to experience grace and mercy in my life because of an empty tomb and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend!!

And if you happen to find an extra "hippety" laying around, can you please send it back to me?

April 11, 2011

It's all in the timing

And.....I'm back.

Despite numerous attempts at a nice and neat explanation for my lack of blogging, I can't come up with anything. A little bit of laziness, a little bit being overwhelmed with so much I want to say and not knowing where to start, and probably a little (or a lot) of pride that makes me feel like if I can't produce something epic I shouldn't even try at all. So I just shut down for a bit.

Basically, I need to get over myself. That happens a lot. I get a little worked up over myself and need a good swift kick in the hiney to get me grounded again so I can move on.

So....moving on.

Everyone is in countdown mode here. 6 weeks until school is out and as Scot will say, "Seconds later Keri and the boys will be on the plane". That's not exactly true....it's more like 24 hours after school lets out we will be kissing Scot good-bye for 7 weeks and heading to the states.

You know, where I plan on wearing a red shirt every single day so even when I'm not actually shopping at Target, I'm thinking about it. And then there's Chuys where I plan on knowing the waitstaff by name and Sonic......where my rental car will automatically pull in at 3:00 every single hot summer day we are there for a Route 44 Diet Coke with fresh lime in it.

Then there's the Mall. Mall and I do not have a very good relationship as I don't enjoy spending time actually nurturing the relationship. However, after a year of wearing the same clothes day in and day out with no real shopping options, I'm thinking the Mall and I are going to be very, very good friends.

Ahhhhh......I can almost smell the fresh Houston air.

*Cough* *Cough*

Or not.

In looking ahead at 6 busy and fun weeks before leaving Singapore I have decided to engage myself in a couple of challenges.

1. I need to get into tip-top Ultra-Support Tankini shape. I have been running more often which is awesome until you nosedive into insane amounts of chocolate before the sweat has barely had time to dry. So.....I am trying the no wheat, no sugar, no dairy thing and seeing how that works. Today is day One so don't hold your breath folks.

2. To further the progress of aforementioned "getting over myself", I have decided to try blogging every single weekday for the next 6 weeks. I am probably crazy for even trying, but this is the kind of thing we do around here to keep things exciting. That and walking into clothing stores just to see the salespeople break out in a sweat at the thought of trying to find something to fit this 5'11" frame of mine.

I am so tempted to write more! But alas (Don't you love that word? I'm using it in honor of our upcoming royal wedding), I need to save something to write about tomorrow, and the next day, and the next because I may have just bitten off something more than I can chew.

You know how much I love pictures so let me leave you with a good one. This is not for the faint of heart so I will give those with a weak stomach time to turn away.

Ok....consider yourself warned!!

This is a shot of a poor little fella that didn't have his timing down right. Like when you're 4 and you're trying to negotiate the timing of not getting taken out when running in front of other kids swinging on the swingset. He looks like he was at a dead run when the door slammed. See the look of shock in his eyes?

We left him where he was in the doorframe into Scot's office to serve as a warning to others. Just recently he has been moved to his eternal resting place. Rest in peace my fine reptile friend.

It's going to be an interesting 6 weeks!!

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