Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Remember those commercials from long ago, when the father was given a quick phone call and charged by the word or something ridiculous and he crammed all the words together for one long word?  "Hadababyitsaboy"..... well, after saying that at church about 200 times while Lacey & I were keeping kids on Sunday, (and trust me, she was close to smacking me for saying it so much) I'm happy to say that we will be

"Havingababyit'sagirl" on Saturday.

Yep, we're getting a foster lass.

And I'm thrilled and excited.

So much that I got all my homework done for the next two weeks, so I don't have to jack with it at all her first week here.

Now that was what I call incentive.

Hallie came running in from volleyball practice, and informed me that "YAY, I get to play barbies and polly pockets without looking like a freak"...

Kip texted me  "FINALLY" and Grammie is totally on board "Poor little pumpkin" and then, waiting for Lacey's take...

She calls me, and I reveal our "Precious" birthday to her and she realizes that Little Miss is 15 days older than Laynie.

How's that for God deals???

We are going to be blessed with a little fireball 4 year old, and I sure hope she likes barbies and grilled cheese and Grey's Anatomy....wait, I don't mean that.  (kind of)


That's what we are in for.  We are only going to get to keep her a minute, and I already love her.  Full out.

Value your prayers.... we are so thrilled!   IT'S A GIRL!    (and found out my new great niece is going to be a girl, too, so GIRLS ALL AROUND)

God is good, all the time.

For your viewing pleasure.......  Bob Wehadababyitsaboy  commercial

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A new Man in my life

My heart has been stolen.



My placement officer called me yesterday, and told me about a 7 year old currently staying in Children's Center in Bethany.  She wanted me to come and "meet him".  I agreed.

He was preciousness in a shirt.  His grandma and grandpa live in Tulsa, and they can't take care of him, and because of his high needs, he is here.

I want my Tulsa friends to network with their friends, and their friends, and their friends, and find Mr. Hugs a home.

I took Lacey with me, and the first thing he said to her was "Hug", so he is forever dubbed Mr. Hugs to us.  He has some special needs issues, and is in a wheelchair (a little one), but don't think for a minute that will stop him.  He is lightning speed, and so very very smart.

Probably too smart for this old chicken.

So, I am putting out the word that our Mr. Hugs needs a foster home in Tulsa.  All my Tulsa amongst yourselves, and your friends and help me get him to Tulsa.

Meanwhile, I am courting an almost 3 year old boy.  He informed me he was eating "Gilled Cheese" and I needed to go "Bye Bye".  Little stinker had me at "Gilled Cheese".

I'm praying that God finds him a way to my house.  I think I like short men.  Really short men in tiny little wheelchairs.  I'm weird that way.

I'm naming him Dimples.  Because in my blogs I can't give names, or PICTURES, which is going to kill me, because as I get these little lovelies, I am going to want to share their lives and stories with you.  But NO.  Privacy and all that.   Pffft. .  Privacy.   Totally overrated.

Let's hurry up and wait.  Systems.  Pfffft.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Perfect Conditions

You all know I've been waiting to get my fosters for a bit now.  I rushed training so I could get them in the house before school started, so they could feel "Normal".

Today, I was given an "option", if you will.  It was put in my head, about a disabled 3 year old, that needs a foster family.  My first reaction was  "A BABY?" "A 3 year old?"  What? What? w h a t ?  and a BOY?  a BOY?  a b.o.y.?

Then I paused and thought about it.  Why not?

We went in this at the beginning thinking we'd get someone in here for Hallie.  Someone she could love and hang with and be "friends and sisters" with.  Then we got past that, and realized we are in it for more than just us, and our convenience, and what we want.  So we opened that invitation up to 2 girls, specific ages, and blah blah blah.   We were "opening ourselves up".

We thought.

Then today, the thought got to flash through my brain that there are other types of children out there.  Namely, boys.  Also, disabled children.

So, in true Lacey fashion, I pulled out my notepad, and started making MY list.  What I thought could fit, what would work, what was 'important".


I grabbed my bible, and closed my eyes, and uttered, "God show me your will".....and I turned to this...

Yes, God. I hear you.  So I am opening up my home for whomever God sends.  I will not put a condition on it.  I will receive, with gladness, and an open heart....who He sends us.  

For He is good, and He knows my plan.  

Let's do it.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Laynie Lessons: Finding Joy

I love to get pics on my phone from friends.  Especially ones like this one.

There is nothing about this picture I don't love.  Lawson's pure abandonment of joy.  His mom's text to me read, "If I were to open my heart for the world to see what's inside...And an inkling of the praise I pour out to God, It could be pretty much summed up like this."  

Good way to start a Monday.  

Joy is tough to find sometimes.  Joy is pretty much a decision.  I'm reading Jan Pace's facebook entries every day, as she is watching her beloved daughter, Laurann, die to cancer.  Slowly and painfully, she is ebbing away.  Most days my eyes fill with tears when I read her brave, beautiful mama's posts... but today I smiled, because she wrote.... "Right now I am cracking up at Laurann.  She must be having a wonderful time in that dream she is having."   Joy.  In the midst of pain, and heartbreak, Jan chooses to find JOY.

I remember the night before we lost Laynie, we pulled all her photo albums, and photo books, and everything we had about Laynie, and we relived it all.  We laughed, we cried, we snorted...we found JOY in the midst of pain and sorrow.  And the reason we found JOY, was because we asked God to find it for us.  To help us and to shield us, and He gave us joy.

Don't let everyday life overwhelm you.  God will give you Joy, all you have to do is ask.  There is NOTHING bigger than God's love for you.

Absolutely nothing.

Start with Joy.  Seek it, be it, live it.    JOY.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Laynie Lessons: Overcoming Disappointment

When we found out the baby that Lacey was carrying was going to be a GIRL (!), I was over the moon.  I promptly went straight out and bought some princess crowns, tutus, boas, and wands.   I bought a pink set and a blue set, one for our soon to be Laynie, and one for my granddaughter by heart, Payten.  I dreamed of the tea parties we would have at my house, the fun we were going to have, the hope of futures and bright dreams and rainbows.

Then we found out that Laynie would probably not make it to birth.  We pressed through it.  I put on my coat of armor that NOTHING could penetrate, and seriously BULLIED my way through the pregnancy... never losing sight of my faith in God, believing that HE could heal her.  HE could change the outcome, HE could make the difference.

What I didn't expect, was to be cleaning the closet weeks before she was born (nesting in my house, while Lacey nested in hers), to stumble upon those forgotten little tiaras and wands.  I sat in the middle of my closet and cried and cried and cried, and let all the disappointment of broken dreams, broken hearts and disappointment just rain over me.  I cried for Lacey, for the baby she loved so much, and the fact we wouldn't be able to watch her grow up.  I cried for our family, for having to face a loss so early, so unexpectedly.  I cried for the future, of what our lives would look like.  I cried over a tiny tiara, and prayed a mighty prayer for expectancy and hope.

God heard my anguished cries, and he delivered.

Life is full of disappointments.  I found out today that I may not get to go to OU this fall because of a stupid grade I made back in 1983.  Who knew?  I still haven't gotten my fosters.  I am so ready for them to be here, and I so feel my heart pinch at the time they are having to be in a shelter before they make their way to our home.  Disappointment can overwhelm

But the beautiful thing is, God knows our disappointments.  God knows our every minute of every day.  He says to take heart in trials, for he has overcome the world.   It's easy to get caught up in the "World" of your life.  The "World" says, you need more shoes, you need more clothes, you need to lose weight, you need to drive a nicer car, your kids need to be smarter, you need to more driven at work, you can't be single, you aren't happy married, you hate your job, you miss your friends....and when you put that kind of pressure on yourself, you can be overtaken by the world.   But John 16:33 says...

Don't get overwhelmed with disappointment, this is just the warm up of better things.  God will never put more on you than you can handle, though sometimes I think he confuses me with Thor.  Pretty sure.  

But you can overcome disappointment, because God has overcome the world... and you don't have to stay mired in it....Hand it over to the one that loves you, and wants to carry it for you, and Overcome your disappointment.  

Look how I did .....

God is good.  All ALL the time.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trains, Automobiles and Planes...The adventure of Getting Kip home

If you know me, you know that I am the world's worst secret keeper.  I forget I am not supposed to tell anyone, and end up blabbing, and can not STAND to keep a secret.  I like transparency.  It's the "new black" in my life.

So, when Lacey & I hatched a plan to surprise Kip in Dallas, on her way home from Costa Rica, at the end of her journey.....I had my doubts I could do it.

So we booked our stuff, and I tried to forget about it.  Didn't tell my mom, didn't tell Hallie...nobody.  Didn't even really talk about it with Lacey, because I just didn't want anything to slip.

Well, that would have been great and perfect, had I not left the itinerary on my printer, and the 13 year old see it.  "What's this, Mom?"  "Why do you have train tickets....plane tickets.....what's happening, what, what, what??" says the persistent 13 year old.

"WearesurprisingKipinDallasandyou'renotsupposedtoknowaboutituntilafter" I yell at her in my best no-nonsense mom voice....  "WHAT?"  "WHAT?"    "I'm totally going", she huffs as she slams in her room.


"You have to pay for it", and remember, "This day is not about you".  were my mantra, anytime she started in.  Well, she totally came up with the money, and anytime she started to talk about it, AT ALL, I'd say, "HALLIE, what is that day NOT about?" and she'd hang her head, and in a small voice say, "Me."  Ok, she was in.

So, here was the plan.  Kip had a 2 1/2 hour layover in Dallas, and we were going to be there to welcome her.  Since we purchased plane tickets, we could totally be at the GATE when she unboarded the plane.  WHAT A PLAN!

We boarded the Amtrak to Ft Worth on Saturday at 8:30 am, and only had Grammie make 3 trips back and forth with various things we had forgotten in our squealfest in the morning of the big day.

I have long arms so I get to take the pictures.  I even got our heads in it.

We made it to Ft Worth about 1:15, and we had finished our portion of the "Train" of our day.  We were feeling good at this point...  thinking that our "Plane, Train and Automobile" day was going to be stressfree, no problem.   bahahaha.

Got a cute rental car, that was so tiny we could fit it in our purse....but it used $1.70 worth of gas for the time we drove it, so I have zero complaints.

We met my cousins, Mike and Shannon and son Austin at Olive Garden in Irving and had a superb, lovely lunch.  Then we skipped over to the Irving Mall, and the 7 of us were the only caucasians in that mall.  It was great.  We made a video of what we thought Kip's reaction would be, and the Gaffneys were rolling at us...not to mention the other 40 people that walked by while we were squealing like stuck pigs in the mall.  Of course, that was before "We Knew", and were still in LaLa land of thinking plans are always in stone.

I seriously love these people.  They are "My People".  I even licked Austin on the cheek because he was so tall.  I don't know why I did it.  I guess I have a compulsion to lick tall guy's cheeks.  Better keep me away from USA men's volleyball team.

He's super way taller than Hallie.  How fast our kids are growing.

Megan caught up with us after lunch and shopped with us.  We were rocking the hats.  Megan just got back from a two week trip to Beirut Lebanon working with special needs kids.  Our family is weird like that.  We wear interesting hats and dig people with disabilities.

It might have something to do with the fact that we are a bit "Special" ourselves.  

We killed 2 hours of time going to see perhaps the cheesiest movie of all time, but I was surprised at how much I liked it.  Cheese and all.  I LOVE seeing So You Think You can Dance alumni, and this movie was packed full of them.   So we are pressing down on 6:00 when we exit the movie....Hallelujah, let's go get KIP!!!!!!

Lacey checks her phone to look at the status of landing, so we will know exactly when to go deliver our rental toycar back to the place, and with dismay says, "Mom, I don't think Kip's plane has even left Miami"...  WHAT??? She is supposed to be halfway to Dallas by now...and she hasn't even left MIAMI?  

We go straight to the airport, trying to figure out what in the world to do, when my phone rings... it's Kip, calling from Miami.   "MOM... the plane broke, and we are now waiting for another stupid plane, and it's going to be after midnight before I even get to Dallas.....whaaaaa" ...    I'm freaking out, not wanting to spill our secret, yet, so unsure of what is going to happen when we get to the airport, knowing how they are about changing i spill the proverbial beans..... "Kip we are in Dallas, and we'll probably have to take the stupid plane you were supposed to be on with us, on home'       Busted.  After holding it in for WEEKS, and not telling anyone, I ruin it at the very last second.  

Squeals and a sob come forth over my phone.... "WHAT?"  MOM?!?!  and I finish, with,  "We'll see you in Oklahoma, we'll watch the boards".

I hang up and look at my two daughters that have been sworn to secrecy and they are basically sitting there staring at me with their mouths hanging open, like,  "You just blew it, mom".      Sigh.   I suck.

We get to the airport, dejected as crap, and of course, the ticket counter lady, in her best broken English, tells us that "Sure, we can change your ticket for $150 each".   WHAT?  We didn't even pay that for the original ticket.

We dejectedly go through security, all the fun sucked out of us, when Lacey says,  "I don't care how much it costs, I'm not LEAVING WITHOUT MY SISTER".  and all the sudden all is right with the world.   

YEAH.  We aren't leaving without her.  Period.

We go to the gate and find a sweet older guy named Santi (I called him Santa), and Lacey pours out our sob story to him... "We haven't seen her in a YEAR....this was a SURPRISE....we are so SAD....what can YOU do..."  (she's good), when he looks her up on the screen, says  "Yep, she's stuck in Miami", and proceeds to book her on the 9 am Sunday flight.  Then he gets all our names, and books us on it too....  "You're not paying anything, just watch the board, she may get in, in time to make the connecting flight".   yeah, and monkeys might just fly out my booty, too, there Santi....but THANKS for the encouragement.

Our Santa Claus at DFW airport, Santi

Well, now it's 7:00 and Kip's flight is delayed until 11:30.  Yippy freaking skippy.  What does one do in an airport for 4 1/2 hours.   Especially at the gates, where no one is allowed except passengers???  We watched everyone in the airport depart, and all the sudden, we are about the only people left there.  So, we did what anyone in our place would do,  we raced wheelchairs.

I even had the granny look's a must when racing wheelchairs.

Then we took a picture of our reflection in the glass.  I'm really glad I was sitting so cool.

We were so excited, we couldn't sit still.

We were still delusional at this point, that we could somehow make our connecting flight.  At first it was only 4 minutes from landing to take off, and only 4 gates away, but as time progressed, they moved our outbound flight to another terminal, so we knew that running would be futile...but we still went in the skylink anyway to time it and see just how long it would take to get from Gate D to Gate A.   12 minutes for those of you that need to know for future reference.  

THEN FINALLY, Her plane came taxi-ing in.   You have to remember, that she knew we had been there, but was thinking we probably had to get on the plane that was taking off at that very minute.  Her teammate Charlene Geddes, who happened to be on the same flight as her, told her,  "There is no way they will leave", but Kip wasn't sure.


And when she walked out of the gate, I have never been so happy to see a beautiful tanned face in my life, like I was to see my girl...


The airlines put us up at the Hyatt (I think) and Kip was overwhelmed at the nice-ness of the room.  She just squealed and squealed until the person in the next room banged on the door that joined our rooms.   Oopsy, yes it's 1:00 in the morning.   Sorry, sleeping person.

The best part of the stayover was we got to spend a few minutes with Kip's teammate, Charlene, whom I felt I already knew, being as I had stalked her like crazy for the last 11 months.   What a joy to meet this precious person...

Heading to the airport, Sunday  morning.

She wasn't leaving without her sister, and by golly, she didn't.  Flying home.

...finally.......we landed in OKC, and headed to Grammie's house, for the homecoming party with the family.

First up...Grammie....

Then grandma and grandpa...

And one of all my girls, just because I could. 

And my brother and nephew sneaked in (of course, no pictures), but the one she could not wait for, had yet to come...and she kept checking out the peep hole in the door to see if he would EVER get there....

Then finally......there he was....and she couldn't even wait until he got out of the truck...

HI DAD!!!!!!!  Boy did I miss you.

Come take your picture with me dad!!!

So glad to see you!

Now let's EAT!!!!  Woohoo....okra, hamburgers, let's do it.

Cousin Lindsay, Tadd and Baby Makenna snuck in, and the family was there to welcome our girl!


What a joy to travel with you on your adventure.  Just don't count on me to keep a secret. for