Sunday, May 24, 2015

Duggar Drama

I have always been a BIG fan of 19 kids and counting.

Anyone that can be that organized and raise 19 kids, and give birth to 19 kids, and still be "together" enough to even string a sentence together, forever has my highest praise.

Then this week happened.

Apparently, Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the giant clan, had some issues when he was a teenager.

Let me just state my opinion here....he was WRONG in what he did.   WRONG.

Now.

If you live in Oklahoma, you have experienced torrential rains, tornadoes, high winds, extreme weather.  Some days, you are thrilled to death to have the weather men on your tv, reporting where that F-5 is about to touch down.....other days,  it seems like the weather men are REPEATING every sentence 3 times in a row, and just showing old footage to make sure they stay on the air.  In other words, they are beating a dead horse.

My point is......They are beating a DEAD DEAD horse. 

For.the.love.of.all.that.is.holy...... Josh Duggar was 14 years old.   FOURTEEN.  I have a fourteen year old in my house, and I'm pretty sure she is not the brightest tool in the shed (if you catch my drift).  14 year olds are CLUELESS.

LET ME REPEAT MYSELF HERE,   What he did was WRONG.

BUT, HE was 14 years old.  He was severely dealt with, and 12 years later.....the girls he touched have been apologized to, counseled with, loved on and MOVED on with their lives.  His WIFE knew of all of this.

So, here is a low life scum of the world, digging for dirt, tabloid, that "Breaks" this story.

Imagine if you will, all your past sins (10-15-20 years ago) being thrown to the World for scrutiny.  Holy Moly.  I hope that never happens to me.   I was molested when I was a tween.  I hope to God above the heavens and hills that it never comes up again.  I have worked through it, dealt with it, and NEVER wish to relive it again.

I feel sick for all of the people involved in this.  I feel outrage that TLC has pulled their show.  I cannot BELIEVE that Josh Duggar lost his job.  It's just all ridiculous.   He is paying (and paying big) AGAIN, for his childhood mistakes.

The victims, the accused, they have moved on with their lives.  What if TLC had used this for a wonderful way to help people deal with molestation?    Comparing this show to Honey Boo Boo's mom's molester boyfriend is just ludicrous.  He is a MOLESTER NOW, been to jail as an ADULT molesting children.  This was a kid (a very SHELTERED kid), acting out.

REPEAT, WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG.

But....he was stupid 14 years old.  He hasn't done anything inappropriate since that time.

God forgives EVERYONE of ANY SIN.  You ask for forgiveness, you TURN FROM THE SIN, and you DO IT NO MORE.

Josh Duggar did that.  His family went through hell during that time I am sure.  And they still maintain their morals, their love of God, and have done a tremendous job of raising 19 human beings.

Let anyone among you, that has NOT sinned......throw that first stone......

Please don't ever look too hard in my background..... God has made me new.   And because of that, I am held blameless for my past wrongs.  THANK GOD for that.

Josh Duggar has paid the price for his sin, let's move on to something far more important...... making sure we live our life the way God wants us to......as adults......and talking with our 14 year olds about wise choices and respecting privacy.

Molestation is rampant.  If you haven't been molested, count yourself lucky.  Learn from this.  Protect your kids with knowledge.  It's a hard subject, but a very real one.

And let God be the judge, not you.

As for me, I hope TLC pulls their head out and puts that moral high road show BACK on the air.... it's a breath of fresh air.   We are subjected to Mistresses, Bachelorettes, Fifty Shades of Porn, Teen Sex on just about any channel.....we need more of the Duggars.  Not less.

That's all I have to say about that. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

5-11-15

Well other than being a palindrome, this day rated in one of the top 5 of my life. 

My grandson was born. 

He missed my birthday by 2 days, and Mothers day by 1 and that's ok by me, because He will have a fun palidrome birthday for his entire life.  Frontwards or backward the numbers are the same  5-11-15. 

Amazing.   Just like him.

Lacey has been running a Blood Pressure (BP) that has been on the risky, high side pretty much the last 3 months of this pregnancy.  She's swollen like a sponge on steroids, and had no feeling in her fingers for weeks. 

Ah, the bliss of pregnancy.

She started having strong braxton hicks on Friday night.  And had them for 3 days.  With the storms on Friday night, I sat in my house helpless, unable to even think about getting to her, even if she were to deliver her baby in the front room floor.  Thankfully that didn't happen, and on my birthday  (I'm 8, by the way, that's a whole other story), I chose to head to Shawnee and hang out with the pregnant lady and watch and see what happened.

We ate brownies, laughed like hyenas, watched a movie, ate grams chicken and dumplings and then the kids and I headed for Norman.   No baby.   On Sunday, Lifechurch.tv launched it's 24th location in Shawnee OK and the kids and I were there for the launch and helped Tyler herd and wrangle kids in the classrooms and still....no baby.  

Thankfully, yesterday, Monday...she had a doctors appointment and of course, her BP was through the roof, and the doc said, "Whatcha wanta do" and my very pregnant OVER IT daughter, opted for a C-section and 5 hours later....my heart was stolen from my body.

But of course Gram & I had cheetos and Snickers whilst we waited. 
 

Because of her c-section, we were all in the waiting room, waiting to hear......anything.   This picture was on Tyler's brother's phone and my heart was gone. 

Shortly after, I got to see this....and seriously?  I told everyone in that hospital....more than once, too....that my daughter just gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world. 
All is right with the world. 

He's a big 8 lb 4 oz, and he has darling tiny fuzz hair, and a dimple on his right cheek.  He makes sounds when he sleeps, he LOVES his daddy, ADORES his mommy, and he wasn't a fan of the bath. 

Lacey is doing amazing, she has the compression belt (a gift from the Csection Gods) so her guts don't feel like they are going to fall out on the floor, and a few nice pain medication to help her get up, shower, scrub and feels like about $50 bucks.  Not a million, or even a hundred yet, but she feels like $50. 


I love his tiny little hat that has his name all over it, a gift from one of Lacey & Tyler's million friends.  Facebook literally blew up last night as I started posting pics.  It was slightly awe-inspiring.  I had to turn my phone on and off twice because it kept locking up, I was getting so many notifications.  Lacey was reading through some of the comments, and finally threw her phone down and moaned, "I can't keep up". 

I do believe he might be the most anticipated baby in the history of mankind.  Or the history of Lauraland.  
Everyone says....OMG I see Tyler....he's just a tiny Tyler.  And Yes,  He does look like Tyler.....but I have to argue that almost 31 years ago, this beauty came on the scene and there's no denying who his mom is, either. 

Same hair, same eyes, same lips, same ears.  This kid has his dad's hands, feet and lungs.  Truth. 

It melts your heart out of your body to see this giant man love his son...

 They did a ton of skin to skin contact today, keeping his sugar level elevated, so his stats would stay good.  Deaton dug it A Lot.  For Tyler's sake, I just did skin to shirt contact with him.  He likes me ok, too, even with the shirt. 

We are all in love and enamored with a tiny little human named Deaton Alan Holt.  He is our prince, our prize, our hearts.  He is one lucky little boy to have those two for parentals.  They are naturals. 

Welcome to our world, brother of my Laynie.  You have some pretty big tiny shoes to fill.  And she will guide you.

As we were in the waiting room, and I was nervously scrolling though all my apps, doing ANYTHING to keep from worrying, I jumped on Timehop and found this gem....

May 11, 2008..... Laynie Hope was dedicated by Miles Paluden at Lifechurch Edmond.   7 years later, her brother was born on the very same day.

There are no coincidences in God's great plan.  And what an honor to have a front row seat at the show. 

God is Good all the time.  

And did I mention I have the most beautiful grandchild in the whole world?


 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Prayer and Power

We are talking about prayer at church.

It is powerful and true.

I used to say the vague, general prayer.  Enough to bless the food, keep me safe as I slept, keep the kids safe.  And I didn't say them very often, either, if I'm being superbly transparent here.

Then Laynie came.

Laynie, as you all know, was the game changer.

As I listened to Craig unpack his message today, I felt chills and I felt tears.  So thrilled that I am a sold out Jesus Freak now, and that without the hardest, most trying time in my life, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Craig drew a circle on the board and wrote in 4 things....the cycle of Prayer and Life as I know it now...

1st of all-   Share.  You have to actively share God with everyone.  My Grandpa, God rest his soul, was a religious zealot.  He talked to everyone and I MEAN EVERYONE about God.  He was over the top, out of this world in love with the Bible and God and the message of Grace.  But he was so OVERZEALOUS in his attempt to share His religious beliefs....he could turn people off in a heartbeat.  People like me.  I semi didn't like church because of the religious zeal he delivered his "Are you going to heaven, Laurie or HELL"  Uhm, grandpa I just wanted a glass of water.  So, I get it.  I understand the hesitation some people have with sharing God.  No one gets it better than me.

But my family went through a painful, wonderful, life-changing time.  God gave us a story to share that would and could help people.   We could have set back and shook our fists to the heavens and said, "GOD why us?  Why did this happen to us?" but instead we took the story he gave us, and we shared it with others.  And in the prayer life I developed when I was praying and looking for answers in the bible....that ONLY I could find there..... I developed a deeper understanding of the grace, mercy and power that only God can give you, when you are walking through a valley.

And the most wonderful thing of all......when you are sharing with others, your story of grace and goodness....your focus on life becomes outward.....you focus less and less and less on  yourself and your struggles and your wants and desires.....it becomes a life of peace and trust that I can't explain to you.

This is the cycle of prayers..... Sharing your story, getting a deeper understanding, and focusing less on yourself. and because of that you share your story, get a deeper understanding...and on and on.....when people look at me and say,  "you are genuinely happy, and I want to know how you do it"...that's my secret....that's the magic ingredient....prayer, sharing and outward focus.  The magic cycle.

There is a new show on CW called "The Messenger".  It has already been cancelled, which doesn't surprise me at all, because it deals with the final days.  The premise of this show is that the devil has showed up to wreak some havoc and bring the world to an end.  There are 6 people (messengers) trying to figure out his next move and stop him.   (this is a pitiful explanation of this show, but for lack of time, I'm going with this flimsy critique)....

But here's where I'm going.  The Devil won't show himself to you all scary and spooky.  You won't want to run from him, because He will present himself as everything you want.  His ultimate goal is to kill, steal and destroy.   He is depicted in this show as a beautiful man, who says everything you want to hear, and ultimately takes your happiness, your well-being, your strength, your independence, your life.  He tempts you, he seduces you, he gets you right where he wants you, and he then ruins you.

It is so powerful to watch this terribly acted show, yet see exactly what I fear happen to these people.  This devil knows how to pull the strings of your heart and makes you his puppet and you don't even know it is happening.

But here's the good news. ..  The closer you are to God, and living in His pocket, the less likely you are to be seduced by the devil.   I worry for the "part-time christians"...the Christian I used to be.  I was easily swayed by the devil, because I didn't live in God's pocket.  He took my life, he shook me and took me on a roller coaster from hell that almost destroyed me.  I was going to church, tithing, doing everything I thought I needed to do to be a Christian....

And the devil had his way with me.  And I was powerless to stop him.  I finally took control of my life in 2004.  I said NO MORE to the devil and I changed my life.  Lacey invited me to Lifechurch and I found hope there.  And when God shook us to our core in 2007, with our precious gift, Laynie....I learned to lean on Him and rely solely on His grace and mercy.  I became a warrior for God.  I remain a warrior for God.

And it changed my life.   Now I say, "Ah, HELL NO" to the devil and He still comes at me, but I realize it's Him, because I live in God's pocket.  He tries to pull me out, but I'm planted pretty firmly in that pocket.

I worry about my friends that are seduced and attracted to the Devil's snare.  You don't even realize it's there, he makes it looks so inviting.

Even typing this I am doubting I will push PUBLISH because the Devil doesn't want me putting out this word of caution and HOPE that your life can change.

If you are mired in a despair of infidelity, of addiction, of chaos, of no hope.....it can change in a second, just stop and PRAY and MEAN it, and be specific in your desires and ask for help from me or a Christian friend....I believe in the power of prayer and when two or more gather in HIS NAME and ask for the same specific request....GOD HEARS.

I want everyone to feel the peace I have and to understand we are on the FRONT LINE and it's our job to be a light in a world of Darkness.....

Be BOLD and SPecific in your prayers.....Be ACTIVE in Sharing.....And know with a full understanding that when you are powered by the HOLY SPIRIT, your light will be a CONTAGIOUS faith....and your life will be the LIFE that EVERYONE wants.

I know....because it's mine.

God is GOOD....all the time.

  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Aruba or Bust ..... 2015

The company I work for has the most incredible incentive trips.  Basically, you work your tail off for 12 months, sell about $1 million in business, and Boom.... you find yourself in exotic places....with a guest of your choice. 

Last year I took Lacey.  We went on a cruise and had some FUN FUN FUN.  You can read about our adventures on last years blog.  I'm too tired to give you the link, so get creative and look in April of 2014 and you will find our fun there. 

This year I was delighted to find out that we would be treated to an extraordinary week in beautiful Aruba.  I got to work, and made this happen.

Kip is my next choice of travel companion, so I asked her how weird it would be to ditch her husband on their 1st anniversary so she could go lay on a beach with her madre, and she quickly replied,  "He'll get over it."

Ok, she didn't really say that, but she did say a version of that, and he agreed that she should accompany me to this fairytale getaway, with one condition.... he gets in the rotation of the trip companions. 

Everyone knows that Lacey is about 100 weeks pregnant, so I flew Kip home on Saturday (before we left on Monday), so she could rub her sister's feet, and see how fun it was to be 100 weeks pregnant.  I had the crew with me in Dallas for Hallie's volleyball tournament (gee, what's new), so she and her sister organized Deaton's room and got the Kipalicious finishing touches, and now, all that room needs is the baby.






The children and I rolled in from Dallas about 5 pm on Sunday, and as I frantically got all my Aruba gear ready, and got everyone organized for a week "without mom", the hours rolled by, and the next thing I knew......it was 4 am, and Kip and I were rolling toward the airport.  (Yes, our airplane left at 6 AM)
The flight to Atlanta was short (since we slept the entire way) and again, I marveled at how easily my Kipster can sleep.  I've always said this kid can sleep standing up, and she didn't disappoint me. 



When we got to Atlanta, we started seeing faces that we recognized, especially these two beauties, ready to hit the beach!!!

Lauren and her look alike sister, Leah Baughman from Ohio sat right in front of us on the plane.  Lauren and I met when we went through training a couple of years back, and I am always thrilled to see her, and had a great time meeting her sister this trip.  They are FUN, with a capital FUN.  (and super tan now, thanks to their week in the sun)

I have to tell you.  I am a lover of flying.  I have never had too many problems with flying (ear problems here and there, but nothing serious).  It was turbulent for about half of the flight, and I sat with the air conditioner blowing full blast on my face, and two hurl bags clutched in each hand, fearful that the next bump bump bump of the plane was going to have me bring up all my sweet tea I had been inhaling that morning. 

It. Was. Miserable.   For.the.love.

I still managed to take some great pictures between nausea bouts

It's about a 4 1/2 hour flight from Atlanta to Aruba.  Aruba is ALMOST to Venezuela.  You can actually see buildings in Venezuela from the beach, when it's clear.  So it is quite a ways to Aruba.  And seasick most of the way was NOT a stellar way to travel.   As we were taxiing in, I swear if we hadn't touched down when we did.........it would have not been pretty.   But thankfully, we landed in the nick of time, and TAH-DAH, we were THERE!

80% humidity and about 85 degrees.  I immediately looked like a sweaty hot mess.  It was glorious.

We checked into the hotel and was greeted by the most organized and efficient staff EVER.  Marriott Stellaris Casino and Hotel....2 huge thumbs up for the staff and resort...just incredible.  The girl that checked us in, excitedly exclaimed to us,  "You have ZE best Rum in Ze resort!", and we smiled and nodded, and as we walked off, Kip ventured, "That had to make the dude checking in next to us feel special".

And seriously.....She was NOT kidding

  

Here's the pano from our balcony of our view.  It was stunning.


We got to open our eyes up and see this every.single.morning.   What a paradise on God's earth.

We dumped our bags, and we had been given a magic green bracelet to wear.  This bracelet assured us food and drink all the live long day. 

We took advantage of it right away.  We were both starving, and it was about 3 hours before we had our first company function, so we availed ourselves of the restaurant on site. 

After we had swallowed our tongues when we viewed the prices, we decided we weren't going to let that deter us, and ordered us some dinner.   $120 later, we left. 

Speechless.

The prices were horrendously ridiculous, and I just seriously don't know how families that don't have that green bracelet can manage to vacation there.  We ate at a pasta/lobster buffet, and a plate of penne pasta with just marinara (no meat) and we both had a couple of pieces of shrimp and a big plate of salad.  $240.

But mainly, when we weren't fainting over the price of our food, we laid on the beach and stared at the ocean.  and the people.  and the ocean.   and the people.  and each other.   and the ocean.   Then we'd go get a virgin strawberry daiquiri and have brain freezes, and stare at the water some more.   and the people.  then the water.  

We did that for about 5 days. 

It was supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.

I didn't realize just how tired I was until I sat on a chair in Aruba.









We did a lot of this.

And when I wasn't doing that..... I spent some quality time in here.

It's extremely rare (almost non-existent) that a bathtub can fit my whole body in, without feet having to be up on the wall, or crossed indian style to fit in a tub.....this tub was a 6 footer and probably 12 inches deep.  If it had had jets in it, I would have been hard pressed to ever leave it the whole week.....so it was probably a good thing it didn't.  I was a squeaky clean citizen.



Even with 50 spf sunscreen I still managed to burn the ole limbs.  I had crossed my right leg over my left leg as I sat and ocean/people gazed, so I had a gnarly white streak across my left leg.  It was super duper sexy.



I enjoyed the contrast of traveling with my girls.  Last year, it was all about the people, staying busy, doing stuff, keeping to a schedule, all the things my Lacey loves to do. Super duper fun.....keeps things a movin. This year, it was all about the way the brick was laid to make the path to walk on, the big giant vases in the main foyer of the hotel, the architecture of the pool, and the landscaping.  It was all about how long we could sit still until we were almost comatose.  I took the right kid with me for this trip.  She is all about "island time".  It took us an entire game of Phase 10 (Hall rules), to get our meal one evening.....if you are familiar with phase 10, you know that is a LONG time, even playing Hall rules.  Kip never gets ruffled about much, even when an iguana falls off an awning, practically in front of her, she just keeps on trucking.  I was kidding her about taking Hallie with me to next years trip (Moon Palace in Cancun), about how she will NEVER let me rest one second next year, and sure enough...when I got home, Hallie has ALREADY researched ZIP LINES and found the one we are going to be excursioning to next summer.  Good thing she gave me a heads up, maybe I can start a zip line fund to get that done.  Phew.....my daughters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We had an awards ceremony on the final night we were there, and I wasn't expecting anything at all this year, because I didn't have a banner year in sales.  Oh I won the trip, but there were a ton of people that sold over a million, so I went to eat and cheer on my comrades.

When Todd Carlson, our company VP started talking about the Jay Pittman Memorial Award, I remembered last years winner, Steven Moore, how he courageously fought cancer, and came out a victor in his journey, and worked through the whole process.  What a guy.  I tuned in when he started talking about the winner for this year, and I thought to myself.....Hmm.  That sounds kind of like me....and when he said "Blog", I thought (I'm sorry to say I did think this)  CRAP,  That IS me.  My manager, Kristen Beulen, wrote a terrific nomination letter, which made me sound way cooler than I really am, and I'll be double dogged danged, if I didn't win that sucker.  And got a standing ovation.  SHUT. UP.   It really happened.





Here I am with Robert Finley, fellow Select Producer extraordinaire, with his Top 10 salesman award!! (He won a rolex this year, making President's Club....I'm doing that next year (fingers crossed)... we will see).  Robert and his wife Robyn live in Peoria, Illinois and I got to know them last year on the cruise, when Lacey & I shared the dinner table with them every night.  Robyn and I are sisters from another mother.  True Story.  And this year, they gained another family member, when Kip got to know them.

I laugh so hard when I am around them, because Robert is a nut, and Robyn is his darling half, and together they make just the most perfect couple around.  Love me some Finleys.  And we also enjoyed spending time with Brenda Roberts and her husband, Monte.  The stories they share, and Kip and Brenda's love of architecture and design, made them the perfect dinner companions for our evenings out.  Just a wonderful blend of humor and knowledge.   What a great time.

And that meal only cost about $250.  Thankfully they put it all on Monte's room.  That was cool.

And before we turned around twice, it was time to go.  Kip left three hours before me, with Robyn and Robert and headed to Houston, and ultimately back to Sacramento, where Brandon and Brielle were there to meet her.

I traveled through Aruba's custom area (3 hours, that's a WHOLE nother blog), then barely made my connecting flight in Atlanta, due to torrential rain, and at 10:40 landed in OKC.   Another wonderful vacation for the books.   Thanks FDLIC...... I couldn't have a life without you.  Looking forward to 2016...Cancun...Moon Palace.  I hear the Zip Line Excursion is really "rad". 



 P.S.  There were many other wonderful things, people, Orphanage mission trip, etc that I didn't cover in this blog.  All of it was important, wonderful and meaningful.  I, unfortunately, am Old, Forgetful and tired.  Forgive me for any exclusions. 


                                                                    





Sunday, April 12, 2015

Certainty

I've been reading through my old blogs and I am soooooooooo glad I wrote about our stuff.  Sometimes my kids get a tad offended I just put us "out there" for all  of your reading entertainment, but seriously, without some of it, I wouldn't have any remembrance of it.


So if I repeat myself in this blog, of things I have said a million times, sorry.  My mind...it is a fleeting.

I lost a friend this past week.  He died in his sleep.  I can't think of a more perfect way to die.  Just go to sleep and not wake up.

I have no fear of death.  Not. one.second.

I know my friend was saved as a little kid.  But he lived a fast, furious and out of control life.

My biggest regret was not talking to him seriously about his salvation.  Oh, I tried, and I would get the "If I walk in the church, the roof would blow off"....or "Lightning would strike me".

I've screwed up so many times in my life.  I could write novels, and novels and more novels of the idiot things I have done.

It took me a LONG LONG time to come to terms with forgiving myself for some of these things I did.  I truly believed that there was no way that God could (or would) forgive me. 

But the truth is, the minute I gave it to Him, and asked for forgiveness....He forgave me.  It's taken me decades to wrap my head around the fact that God loves me and would do anything for me.  I sabotaged 10 years, shrouded in guilt for crap I had done. It took me much longer to forgive myself, than it took for God to forgive me.  He was just waiting for me to give it to Him.

Wasted, wasted time.

Today in church, Craig was talking about the crowd gathering to stone the adulteress....and how Jesus asked the crowd of outraged "Christians"......"If any of you are without sin....you cast the first stone".  And one by one the crowd dispersed.

Then he looked at the girl standing before him, and he told her, "Go from here and sin no more".   Just like that.  His love is so deep, it's overwhelming.

One of the many excuses I get from people that don't go to church..... "I'm such a sinner, church is NOT the place for me".   Well, excuse me, but CHURCH is the perfect place for you..... just the RIGHT church.

After my divorce, I basically got ran out of the church I had played the piano for, for almost 5 years.  That was tough.  I didn't blame God, but I sure blamed churches.  Thank the heavens, Lacey found Lifechurch and plugged me in.  I have a relationship that feeds my very soul, through the worship and services I have experienced at that church.

And today, as I listened and nodded in agreement, I feel lucky I know who holds my tomorrows.  People think it's hard to be a Christian.  Too many rules, too many standards, blah blah blah.   I say, it's harder to NOT be a Christian.

I saw a post on facebook the other day that says,  I'm a Christian, but I cuss a little.  That's probably me.  And when I hear the preacher tell his road rage stories, I immediately feel better.  You DON"T have to be someone you aren't, to serve someone that knows you better than you do.  You just have to show up and pray, and believe that God is there for you....then.....He shows up.

Discussing life with my friend, Janis and she tells me how she KNOWS when she sins now, as opposed to how it never even hit her radar...  and I told her.... "That's Christianity maturity.....you are quicker to ask God to forgive you, and you try as hard as you can, to not do those things".  How far I've come, how far I have to go......

I guess I thought when I rose out of the water when I was baptised I would be different.  How I wish I had had someone to tell me that everything around me would stay the change, it would be how I viewed it all, that's what was different.  

Thank the Lord, I know where my future lies.  My days are so uncertain, and I am so overwhelmed 99% of the time....with kids everywhere I look, messy bathrooms, laundry strewn everywhere....not enough time in the day to even get everything done.   But all I have to do, is close my eyes and ask for God to carry me through, and He NEVER lets me down.  He is my certainty.  He is my stability.

I hope you'll consider letting Him do the same for you.


  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Updates on the Kiddles

I'm just so overwhelmed by the goodness of my 3 take-outs, I have to stop a minute and just blog about them.

To say I was overwhelmed at the prospect of having a 5 year old (to my ancient 53 yr oldness) is putting it mildly.

He has come a LONG way in 2 years, but somedays, I'm just hoping that the kid will be developed enough mentally to start kindergarten by the time he is 10.

About the same time I did.

So, imagine my delight and surprise, as I was driving his babbling butt to daycare (Pre-K) this morning, when out of the blue, the backseat booster seat boy throws out,  "Lolly, what do you do to make this car go?", followed by,  "and how do you make it stop?"

Well, slap my face and call me nancy.

Real LIVE cognitive thinking going on in that little Vietnamese head.  It was a PROUD mom moment.

I told him, "Gas means go, brakes means stop".   His repeated "Gas means go, brakes means stop", make me smile all over my face.   I have to tell you, that's the first time EVER he has ever reasoned anything out.  He basically works off visual cues on everything.   Since I'm filling out Kindergarten paperwork for him  (I know, I know), it's reassuring to know that he could ACTUALLY learn something next year.  So either he's going to be a really young car thief, or his cognitive reasoning is FINALLY starting to develop!  either way, he's a cute little sucker. 


Next, I want to talk about my Steven.  He's been playing basketball on two teams this winter season, and it's been an exhausting 3 nights a week practice and 2 games on Saturday.  (Really, what was I thinking?).  In one club he played age appropriate teams, and the other club he played against 7th graders (he's in 5th).  So it was WIN really big or LOSE really big.....not too much middle ground.

He is super duper fast, and can steal with lightning speed, and when he is "hot" at shooting, he can bang a three pointer in like an NBA pro.   Not bad for a boy that barely tops 4ft 7 inches.

He was released from his IEP (Indivdual Education program or placement I can't remember) at our last meeting.  He is working far ahead of schedule on math and science...just a whiz.  This is such a blessing.

He loves to clean and helps me with our house unbelievably.  I think he is so thankful to have a decent home to live in, and clean and ample clothes to wear, that he can never do enough to thank me.  I am grateful for my little "Vietnamese butler".

Our disabled neighbor saw Steven out working on his mad skills on his skateboard and called him over.  He asked him if he would like to have a job, walking his elderly dog everyday, as he just can't do it anymore.  Steven jumped all over that (ANYTHING to help anyone, he is there).  Yesterday, after he finished walking Remy, he delivered him home, and Jim tried to pay him.  Steven shook his head and said, "Oh, no Sir, It My pleasure".

That kid.  How much can you love someone?  He teaches me new heights every single day.

Now, Gina.

Here is my teenage flower blossom.  She's snarky, mellow, happy, sad, manic, loving big ole ball of mess.  She continuously amazes me.  She took pictures at Lacey's baby shower this past weekend, and what a great little photographer she is.

She built an amazing volcano (with the help of our friend and my right hand, Amanda) and wrote her paper, all on time.

She helped at Loveworks (an afterschool program ran by Journey church here in Norman) and helped put together a Culinary kitchen plan to help build at the center...and also helped them come up with a Salsa plan.  When she first started saying "salsa".... all I could think of was "So you think You can Dance".   NO, MOM, you know, salsa you eat!  Oh.

They are building a business plan and making models to present and sell.

What valuable tools they are learning at this magnificent program.

Gina was in Leadership early in the year in Loveworks, but then stepped down when she thought she needed to become the next Kevin Durant in Middle School basketball.  I was pretty sad because I knew she was going to miss out on the Leadership Spring break trip that they take over ....Spring Break  (hence the name).

Imagine my delight and surprise when the leader Mr. D called me last week and invited G-Dawg along with the leaders on their "Surprise" trip.  He invited us to the trip planning session this past Sunday and we found out that it will be an AIRPLANE trip and the meeting was a mock Security area and check-in for Southwest Airlines.   All of these kids (none of which have ever traveled), got to experience how to go through the checkout line, the security and shown how to pack and what to pack for a trip!

I don't have words to describe my girl's reaction to all of this.

I just hope they know what they are getting in to.  So I drop my girl off at 4:30 am next Wednesday and I will be given an envelope with their itinerary and destinations.  I think I might be as pumped as she is.

Three short years ago, this wouldn't have been possible for this girl, ever in her wildest imagination.  Now she is going to get on a plane, and learn practical skills that will serve her all of her life.  Thank you Loveworks, what a magnificent role you have played in this little girl's life.

She enrolls in HIGH SCHOOL this Friday.  Going to be in 9th grade.  She is doing so much better at her classes and works hard to understand and take in all it has to offer.  She's a skilled artist and the most friendly, gregarious kid you will ever  meet.  (unless it's asking her to clean her bathroom)

How fortunate that God put them on this earth for me.  And how fortunate I am, that I answered His call for my life.

If you want to be blessed beyond reason.....consider fostering kids.   It's something that will change your life for the better.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Did you say MOO?

When I found out that Lacey was all set to attend her first childbirth class by herself, because Tyler was out of town with the men of the church, I offered up my services.

I remember 30 short years ago, when my mama accompanied me to my first childbirth class, big and pregnant with Lacey, because her dad was on TDY in some other state. 

Memories.....

I remember sobbing to my mom, on the way to the car after that first class, slightly hysterical by the scenes still graphically in my mind....."I'm NOT doing this!!!!!   I'm going to become an Elephant, and carry this baby TWO years!"  

And my mom's calm, assured,  "Oh, you can do it".  

So, fast forward thirty years.  Lacey & I, walking in, clutching pillows to her very first childbirth class. 

This pregnancy so different from the last.  No classes, No nursery preparation.....this time, so much joy surrounding our days....building baby beds, buying bedding......all the things we so carefully avoided last time. 

But tonight.  I learned two things I did not know from my childbearing days. 

First off.   You can be 75 years old, and still manage to hook and marry a 50 year old.  True story.  Our spry little instructor, on introducing herself, made herself out to be a cougar, and by golly, the gal owned it. 

Secondly.   Mooing is relaxing. 

If you don't believe me, just try it. 

There is never a time I'm with my eldest child, that I don't laugh, cry, snort and have the perfect movie quote. 

Ever. 

And, her face, watching "The Video".....the whispered,  "I'm definitely having a c-section", to the ashen face, "Oh my gosh"...... to finally,  "I'm not going through that, I'll have an epidural". 

So funny, everything so precious to me......what an enjoyable evening with my silly. 

Tomorrow, our Kip will be home and Saturday we are going to celebrate with many friends and loved ones, the beautiful joy of a new little boy entering our lives.

How magnificent.

God is good, all the time.