Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I am always moved to tears anytime the worship team sings something and shows Jesus dying on the cross.

It moves me.  It overwhelms me, how He did that for me.  He took shame and beatings and nails in his precious hands and feet.  And did it all for me.

Today as I was discussing Easter with my lovelies in the car, wanting them to understand the enormity of this day... (Big Sis spent the weekend too), she summed it up beautifully,  "There is nothing in the world I shouldn't do for God". 

It's as hard, and simple as that. 

There is nothing in the world I shouldn't do for God.

As I sat and watched the lovelies interact with their bio parents today, and felt that old bitterness creep over my soul, I closed my eyes and prayed over the father of this family.  I prayed boldly that he changes.  Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead.  Laynie lived 30 months.  Jeff Buchanan died and was sitting on the pew at church 3 weeks later.  God can change things. 

So I have to believe He can change this man.  And my heart changed toward the dad today, as I watched him awkwardly interact with his children, and I prayed a bold, significant prayer of healing on his life. 

God can change him.

Lacey was so beautiful our first Easter without Laynie.  She said so simply,  "I know firsthand the pain of the loss of your child.  And God sent his son KNOWINGLY to die for us.  There is truly NO GREATER LOVE than that."

So simple, and so hard. 

Please let the reality of the cross change you.  Please let God's sacrifice mean something in your life.  For me it means children in every square inch of my house.  And writing about it, and showing that it isn't rocket science to foster, it's God's love shining through your life to others. 

Let the reality of the cross change you.

It just has to.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


This whole day has been just weird.

Hallie spent the night with a friend, so it was just lovelies and me. 

I know that Lacey & Kip are in California, but mom is next door, and Hallie is just 1 mile away, but all the sudden I feel terrifically alone.

Yes, I have children all over my house, and noise everywhere, but the reality is, two of MY children are grown. 

And before long, Hallie will be whizzing off to college, and if she has her way, she will be states and states away from this place. 

So the reality won't be too long, until it's just me. 

And mom. 

Then what?

I'm not scared, or heartsick, just a bit reflective this evening.  Hal has been hanging out most of the day today at a friend's house, and It's just been me and children that are living with me here.

I'm being frank.

I could have spent the entire day getting a pedicure, lounging through the mall, looking for sales, seeing a movie, watching something other than netflix on tv, and just being lazy and doing what I want to do.

Instead I took kids for haircuts, I shopped for big girl sizes, and picked up a big sister that thinks I'm a cross between Mother Theresa and the devil, depending on the time of the week it is.  I fought with a three year old over taking a nap, that he so desperately needed.  I cooked supper for 6 people, and finally at 8:00, am sitting down.

I got a text from Kip about 5:00 California time that they had arrived, and was met by my precious Aunt Nancy and Uncle Lavonne, and then Brandon taking them to turn in their very reliable rental car, followed shortly by a surprise welcome home at Brandon's house.  A picture of the three of them, whizzed on my message and my lovelies cheered like a rockstar had walked in the house.

Brandon is loved well in this house.

Of course, I had to skype and meet everyone, and the sound wouldn't work, so we talked through the speakers of our phone.  It was great and sad, all at the same time.

It's my new reality.  Something I am going to have to embrace. 

My children are now past the point of needing me every day.  Even Hallie is there, though she still needs me to haul her to and fro, she is so close to being grown, it's unbelieveable.

Tonight, with big sister here, Lovely has been having serious meltdowns, because Big Sis constantly reminds her that this is all temporary, and that she will be going home soon.  I finally had to hush her up, because Lovely was escalating toward near panic, and the last thing I need is for her to go to sleep with big problems on her mind. 

But even the reality of that, is that they probably ARE going to have to go home.   I don't think it will happen soon, but the attorney's attitude is  "Even a marginal home, is still a home." 

So i'm reflective this evening... my mind a whirl of thoughts of daughters growing up so quickly, and not taking advantage of their young lives. 

Maybe that is why you treasure grandchildren so much, because you know how in an instant they are grown. 

Today I will focus on treasuring the gifts that are in my house to treasure, and know what an incredible gift I've been given.

Today I will be thankful. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What A Week....

What an emotional week.


Saturday was a roller coaster of emotions with the TEAM HOPE run.  Cold, rainy, good amount of people, but no really good picture of the whole crew, because the weather was so poopy that everyone rolled out of their cars at the last minute, so I don't have a great team picture like we have in the past.

But lots of Laynie love.

Then I stood at the water stop with the lovelies, my cousin Shannon and friends, Stephanie, Gina and Jacque, and my bubba, and proceeded to hand out water to the running brave.

Well I say I handed out water..  No one wanted water from me, they wanted water from the short little smiling water boy.

He was adorable.  But I was in a mixture of sadness and elation at the run, because I missed Austin, I missed Laynie, and I was anticipating Kip leaving, and I was just a big ole ball of sadness..pretty much all day.

In addition to the run, Hallie took on a volleyball tournament and played for about 8 hours after she finished running 3.1 miles as fast as she could.

They took 2nd..  it was fantabulous.  I was a hoarse mess after being out in the freezing rain, then yelling my brains out.  It's embarrassing for everyone.  I am a loud, obnoxious yeller.  it's so true.

My girls were there with me for a minute, so we got to take a picture representing TEAM HOPE at the volleyball tournament.

That was Saturday.  Sunday was church and it was so fantastic going to church with my girls and Mike, Shannon and Megan.   I held Kip hands and kept hugging her, and cherished every second I stood with her, knowing that she wouldn't be sharing church service with me anymore.  Then I shook off the stupid sadness, and told my cousin, Shannon, that I was a big fat idiot, because she was only moving.  Shannon reminded me that she would rather have Austin in California than in heaven, and that her grandbaby was going to be stinking born in Okinawa, Japan, so I didn't have problems.   Isn't it great to have someone that loves you, put your stupidity into perspective?

So Hallie and I are already planning our road trip.

Speaking of road trips, let me tell you how I know Kip is supposed to be going to California.   If you know anything about Kip, you'll know that she inherited my 2003 Toyota Solara when we sold her worn out Jeep Cherokee in college.  It did it's job, and carried her to and fro from college to work, to home to various road trips, etc.  When she announced she was moving to California and was taking old Solly with her, to say I was worried would be understating it COMPLETELY.  I knew there was NO way that old car would make it.  Yes, it had a new battery, and tires, and a full tank of gas, and a fresh oil change, but it also had over 200,000 well earned miles.  So after she filled the gas tank up AND packed every single belonging into the car, she was driving up Broadway Ex, when the transmission blew out.  I mean BLEW OUT.  Kaput....history.   Enter Lacey.  Unload all of the belongings, calm down her frantic sister, and make Plan B. I knew at this point that God's hand was all in it, and if she was not meant to go, nothing would work out from that point on.   Every stinking thing worked out from that point on.  Rental car worked out fantastic, able to leave earlier,  great mileage.    Guess what?  Kip is leaving.  And Lacey is heading out on the roadtrip of her life.  

When planning Kip made a 16 hour day for them the first day.  Lacey gulped and said, "Hey now, I haven't travelled the whole world on horseback like you have.... 16 hours??"  Adventurous Kip assured her they could do it, and by golly they did.  They are into day 3 now and having the time of their lives.  And I haven't worried one second, cause their guardian angels are all over it.  

Tuesday I spoke about Laynie to a group of wonderful ladies (several I knew) in Shawnee at Wesley UMC.  It was so much fun, and I just absolutely love speaking about that little miracle.  Any nerves I have, just flow out the window after I start, because I love so much to tell her story.

I was glad I had walked through it again, the weekend before, because I am here to tell you, I sobbed in the telling of it, because I can't begin to tell you how hard it is sometimes, to relive her last days.  God had us wrapped in such supernatural peace that I am continually overwhelmed how calm and accepting we were.  Even though I did tear up in the telling on Tuesday, I held it together, and was blessed to be able to share it with some sisters in Christ.  

Have I told you that my BIG FAT HAIRY GOAL is to tour with Woman of Faith and tell her story all over the country?  

It's true.  

That's what I would love more than love to do.  Of course, I'd have to take my lovlies.  And Hallie, and my mom.  And probably my dog Arlie.  

That's what I call an entourage. 

This is way too long, but that's what happens when I don't blog for a few days.  There is way too much to tell.

God is good people, and He continues to bless and bless this family.  Thank you for continued prayers for the girls safe travels.... 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A mother's greatest masterpiece....

are her children.

I heard River of Dreams by Billy Joel today, and I was taken back to Kip's kindergarten year, where as soon as we dropped Lacey off at school, to do her 3rd grade things, Kip would have to listen to 1) river of dreams, and then 2) the Free Willy theme song by Michael Jackson.

Those were her fight songs to get her day started.  It had to be in that order too.

I'm reflecting about my Kipster Queen this evening, because come next week, she will be leaving this fair state to follow her heart to California.

And as much as I am thrilled for her, my heart is oh so hurting..

They say to me, "Well just be glad it isn't Africa!", and my response??  "Well, it feels like Africa".

Your biggest dream for your child is their complete and total happiness.  When they are newborns, all you can do is wish them the best things in life.....and work as hard as you can to make those things happen for them.

You rub their soft downy heads, and coo baby talk at them

all it takes to make them smile is a spin toy and a blanket on the floor

and their great grandpas to hold them.
"Grandpa-Great" Self, he was about 85 here.

Then as they get older, you start to worry about other things, like, 

 "How old is TOO OLD for a paci and baby swing? and is  wearing the shoes on the right feet really that important?"

And, "Does an Easter hat go great with a christmas sweatshirt and red boots in February?  Probably only yes when wearing the right sunglasses and carrying the right purse.  And posing always helps too".

And giving bowl haircuts.  And perms in moms hair.  These are things you ponder on.

And I just have to say here that though my polka dotted shirt was ridiculous, Kip was the cutest one year old
on the planet earth. 

Then you turn around two times, hit about 8 dance recitals, and 1000 haircuts, 100 football games and pom camps, and twelve paint colors for their bedroom, and , just like that....they are grown up....

And so beautiful, they take your breath away..

And they fix YOUR hair, instead of the other way around.

And they become your firiend, in addition to your daughter.

But they are never too old to sit on dad's lap and take a picture.  

And all the sudden, you are cool enough to rate a "I <3 Mom" tshirt.  

and it's sort of creepy cool that you both sit the exact same way, without planning it.

I love this girl.  She has a servant's heart, and an unwavering spirit.  She can be oblivious to drama, because she rises above it so gracefully.  She fights for what she believes in, and has the most adventurous spirit I have ever seen in any other human being.  She is beautiful, both inside and out, and I am so proud to be her mama.  

Follow your heart, Kip, and know that all roads lead you to me, no matter how far you go.  When you're happy, I'm happy, and I've never been happier, so I know you feel the same.

We may soon live in different states, but your heart will always be part of mine.  You are a wonder, and a gem, and you deserve the world.

Remember to Skype me at least once a week, and texting is unlimited.  

Safe travels, my love....

Forever and always.... your #1 fan.

Monday, March 18, 2013

It could be You

My friend, Amy Astle facebooked me this fabulous article on Foster Parenting.

I'm going to share it VERBATIM, because it is written so perfectly, I don't want to miss anything.

What Foster Parents wish Other People knew...

There are SO MANY ways to help, if you don't think you are equipped to foster a kid in your home right now.

For example....

If you can't do it full time, think about being a "rescue home".  It's just a short amount of time, and you have the kids in, while the caseworker finds them a foster home that matches their needs.  Babies 2 year and under can't stay in the shelter and the caseworkers HAVE to find them somewhere to stay, and it' can't be their sometimes babies have to stay at the DHS offices until they are placed.  That is terrible.   Caseworkers can't go home, babies aren't anywhere warm and's not an option.   Consider this VERY IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle.  It's short term and desperately needed.

Respite providers open their home for the weekend for other foster parents, or even kids in the shelter.  There is a lady at church that takes someone home from the shelter EVERY WEEKEND from Friday night until late Sunday afternoon.  She brings in her "Visitor" to church every sunday and takes them in their class.  She is my hero.  Her daughter comes in from college on the weekend to help her.   They are God's hands.

Donate your kid's gently used clothing to places like Foster Wishes or Citizen's caring for Children.  These kids have NOTHING when they come into custody, and foster parents get a $75 voucher for the kid to go buy them everything they need.   $75 doesn't go a long way.  I've gotten to be a magician at the things I buy.   Actually, I have fantastical friends that hook my boys up with the most incredible things.  They are the best dressed foster kids in Oklahoma.   For reals.

Mainly pray for the foster system.  Pray for the healing of the parents and the healing of the children.  This is a very broken system in this state.  It needs constant and continual prayers.  If all else fails, pray constantly for this important system.  It gets a bad rap for a lot of publicized crap, but all the hundreds of GREAT stories go without praise.  Yes, it has its flaws, but don't we all?   Just pray for them.

Ok, I'm reflective tonight, because I look at the three little boogers in my house and I know how precious they are to me, and how lucky any of you would be to share their lives.  I know I got lucky when these 3 came into my life.  They are precious little gems, and God knew I needed them to show me what I was missing.

Life lessons still being day at a time.

God is good, All the time. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013


It's been a week.  It seems like the deeper I get with God, the harder the enemy works to make everything seem impossible.

Ain't going to work.  Never going back.

They showed this video at Lifechurch a while back, and I have unsuccessfully searched and searched for it..

Until Today.....

God makes us new.  Pray without ceasing.  Never stop doing good.  

Pray with me for my lovelies bio parents.  Instead of being mad at them, I am going to increase the blessings on them through prayer.  If anyone can turn them around, it's God.  Look what he's done with their kids.  
He makes beautiful things.  He makes beautiful things out of dust.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Devil Get Behind Thee

Well this has been a weird, crap factory kind of week.

The only good thing the whole week was getting BB here.  He has been a delight and a joy, and other than NEVER EVER shutting his mouth and not talking (except at volleyball practice, where he had a major meltdown) he talks like a chattering magpie non stop.

Wednesday was pretty low key, no new drama, or anything out of the ordinary, and then THURSDAY happened.  I like Thursdays as a general rule.  Next to last day of the work week, I normally have a load of appointments on Thursday, so I like 'em.

Except this past one.

Everyone woke up weird.  LB forgot his glasses going to school, Lovely wanted to wear her new dress, with WINTER BOOTS, and it all went downhill from there.

BB threw a fit at daycare, then I had to go write an imminent funeral (which means someone is dying in the very near future), and I dislike those intensely, because I just am an awkward social backward mess, trying to be mature and calm and not just bawl like a baby, because I know EXACTLY what they are going through....

Plus, all I could remember about this family was their address.  At least my pea sized brain had retained that much (since I couldn't find the note I wrote the appointment on).  So I was already off my game when i got there, because I went in not knowing their names.

Daughter was a doll, and immediately bonded with me, and mom was running in and out, caring for dad who was in a hospital bed in the front room.  Broke my heart.

Ended up not only writing the dying sweet dad, but the mom, the daughter and the daughter's son, who has cystic fibrosis.  Well I say I wrote them..... I was clicking right along, 2 hours in  (TWO HOURS IN) and after taking TWO HOURS worth of information from them, my computer decided to shut off.  Just turn the program off.  Just off.   Poof.  Like That.   Gone without a goodbye kiss.

I was mortified.

They kept assuring me I was "wonderful", and all I could do was think that surely I would get out of their house without my skirt falling off around my ankles.  (You all have heard that story).

I made an appointment with them for Saturday (after I have time to try to rebuild their vast information) and got in my car and started to back up in the driveway.  Don't even ASK ME why I backed up, as I had an ENTIRE circle drive at my disposal right IN MY LINE of stinking vision.  BOOM.   Sccccratch....CREAK.. Took out a pole.  I hope they still have electricity.

Oh my cow of america.  Are you kidding me??

Several other things had transpired that morning that don't bear repeating, but let's just say, I got my butt handed to me, every time I turned around.

I screamed in my car,  " YOU WILL NOT  STEAL MY JOY"

Then I ran my hose, (YES I STILL FREAK WEAR THEM) and blew out two light fixtures, and broke my back door knob, before I went to bed.  It was a terrific day.

Then today my friend from my bank that I used to work at, called me and told me that the Secret Service had contacted her that they had arrested a dude in Norman with my bank account number.


Now I get to move all my accounts to a new account and change my deposits and all that fun stuff.


I kept waiting for my funeral directors heads to spin off their bodies, and my friend, Bruce, summed it up beautifully.... "It's been kind of like trying to get a drink out of fire hose" kind of day.



 BB looked at all his friends at daycare yesterday, and said, in clear precise English  "This is Lolly,  She's my friend".

So, all that other stuff?


Don't sweat the small stuff.....and really, it's all small stuff.

I'm just glad the week is over.  For reals.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


BB wasn't thrilled to go to bed last night.  I went in and laid the law down, and next thing I knew he was flip flopping on the bed like a possessed fish, and when I re-tucked him, and told him it was time to go to sleep, no more messing around, I saw him fly Buzz Lightyear over his head a few times, then finally at 11 pm, he was sawing some logs.


We packed his little back pack, and talked up "school" to him, and even though he struggled walking with me in, and resisted and pulled, I got down to eye level and told him that I was coming back to get him as soon as I was done with work, and we would have spaghetti (his favorite) for supper.


He didn't have one second of trouble.  He ate like a moose, he played like a champ, and even made a couple of friends.  He didn't take a nap, so between staying up flopping like a fish, and getting up extra early, then no nap, followed by eating 3 helpings of spaghetti, by 6:10, he was toast.

Washed his face, threw on his pajamas, and off his tired, cranky butt went to bed.  He squalled like a stuck pig for about 10 minutes, and now he is snoring so loud, we had to turn up the tv.


After watching the makeovers on Biggest Loser, and seeing some of the preteens that are on there, losing weight getting makeovers, and one of the girls that is Lovely's size, got the cutest little dress and jean skirt, worn with her converse.  I asked Lovely if she would ever wear anything like that, and she was like,  "Well, duh, of course I would, even though I no EVER wear a dress, EVER".


I have a little girl that has hidden in a boy identity for her whole life.    She is finally embracing her inner female, and is excited about a dress.

I found one at Tarjay today, and the cutest short jean jacket on the planet, and made a quick purchase.  She came walking out of the bathroom, and I swear to you, I teared up.   This old hardened bird, all sappy over my mean little "hagatha" dressed in her cute dress and jean jacket, so thrilled with how she looks.  WHAT a miracle.  What a blessing.  How sweet it is.


First school days.  First back packs.  First dresses.  Firsts.   Things we all take for granted.  So blessed and humbled to experience these small things in big ways and find out what really, really matters.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear Baby Brother,

We are so excited for you to come and live with us.  I have had extreme exhilaration and then a near panic attack all day.  It took my friend from work, Donna, and me, BOTH, to figure out your car seat and install it correctly.

As I watched your solemn little face driving home from the drop off with you current foster mom and dad, I wanted to reassure you constantly that you were here to stay.   You didn't hear or understand me, and sighed and sighed, all the way, like you had the biggest problem on your mind.

As I drove by your daycare, and showed you where you were going to go to "School" and you informed me, "I don't go to school" with clear and concise English, I smiled inside.  Then when you saw your brother, and your face lit up like a Christmas tree, and you asked for "Sister?", I knew all was well.

I want you to feel unconditional love, and I want you to feel free to learn in a safe, and warm, and loving environment.  I want you to be a 3 year old, and not the wise old eyes that look so solemnly at me, when you are in a new place.  I want you to be a kid.  I want you to mess up and learn that bad acts aren't treated with violence, but with a loving and gentle guidance, and that there is a different road for you now.  You are going to be well loved here, little one, and I fear, when your time is done here, and you are going back to your home, this lolly's heart will never be the same.

I want you to learn, like your brother and sister are already witnessing and being part of, a big Christian filled home, that loves and is loud and obnoxious, and has each other's backs no matter what, and that GOD has your plan, whatever that may be.

But mainly I want you to be happy and feel safe and well loved for the first time in your young little life.

That is my prayer for you.

Love to you, and your brother and sister.....


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

I just want to share with you a minute of blessings.

I was talking with Chad Vice today (the managing partner at the funeral home I work), and we were talking about blessings.

How once you "Get" it, and see the blessings that begat blessings, you are so propelled into doing more than you ever dreamed you could.

Ok, let me back up.

I haven't been faithful in tithing.  I have been a faithful tither most of my adult life.  And I've been abundantly blessed in my financial life.  I never connected the two.  I just thought I was a stud at work.  (LOL).

Then God decided I needed to learn a lesson.  And my wealth was taken away from me.  And I was stripped down to the minimum of everything.  (except my smart phone, which I refuse to live without).

In my scariest no money times, I faithfully tithed.  And God supplied my needs.  Every time.

I haven't been convicted to tithe the last couple of months, because it's been really tight.  I mean REALLY tight.

But this past Sunday, I felt that conviction come over me and I abundantly gave my tithe.And knew I didn't have much to live on until the 15th, but a deal with God, is a deal with God.  10% baby.

Then one of my friends came up and gave me a handshake, which is a little less than the hug I am used to with her (LOL), and in my hand I found money.  "Buy your family lunch on me".   WHAT?  How awesome are you?

Then, just a little bit after that, another friend (staffer at church) handed me an envelope with a mazzio's gift card and a 7-11 gift card (knowing my love of pizza and Big Gulps).

I just smiled all day Sunday.

Then Monday in my mailbox was a precious letter from my friend, telling me how proud she was, and how she felt led to share her side business money with me.  I'm supposed to keep in on the Downlow or Lowdown (I never can remember which way to say that), so here I am blogging about it.  A LOT of money. A blessing of abundance.  I just cried in my car.

Then I got the news about BB today, and another monetary gift arrived from an unexpected source.  I just was speechless.

Friends, you can't outgive God.  For those of you, worriedly hoarding your money, instead of tithing, and worrying about how you will make ends meet if you do the simplest act of obeying God, and that is giving of your 10% tithe.

He will abundantly bless you.  Not a little, not a smidge, not a nose....but BIG and AMAZING and JOYFUL.  The more you GIVE, of your time, your energy, your love, your sacrifice, the MORE he blesses you.

"God nudged me to help you".    "I had to do it, I was being told to".   Don't ignore the voices in your head.  (Unless they are weird and sound like Claude Van Damme, then ignore them).   BE GENEROUS.  Not just at Christmas, and Not to me..... to everyone around you.   Be extravagant in your lives, and you will not BELIEVE the abundant blessings that will come over you.

You can NOT outgive God.   I dare you to try, because it will ROCK your world.

God is SO good, all the time.

Go Big or Go Home

You know.  I'm a bit of an overachiever.

I don't like to do anything halfway.

Change jobs?  Sure.

Foster?  Sure.

College?  Sure.

Club Volleyball?  Sure.

Speak about Laynie?  Sure.

Date?    Wait....

Ok.  So maybe I do some things half way.\

But today, I got the call that we will be having the three year old boy child come and live with us.

We are doing an out of town tournament this weekend (imagine that), so we won't get his happy little countenance until I am home and ready to roll on Monday..... but


Right now I am vacillating between thrills and hyperventilation.  What the HECK HAVE I DONE? then, OH MY GOSH, I CAN DO THIS.   then  "WHAT THE HECK HAVE I DONE?"  quickly followed by  "OH MY GOSH I CAN DO THIS"

Not too far off from how I felt when my mom moved next door.  (Lacey told me she felt the EXACT same way when she moved next door to me, so it's a definite MOM/Daughter thing).

Anyhow..... BB IS COMING.

I will have a quasi potty trained,  somewhat verbal (every 20th word I get), THREE year old.  Ok, I'm getting back to hyperventilating.

Just a minute, I have to put my head between my knees.




Ok, I'm fine. 

I Can Do All Things Through Christ who Gives ME Strength.

It's all good.  It's all good.  It's all good.

What have I done?

Sorry to draw you in to my bipolarity.

That's my word for bipolarness and hilarity.  Welcome to my world.


We watched Emporer's New Groove the other day when we were waiting for court, and my favorite part, when they are tied together and heading for the cliff...   "tell me, 40 foot drop, straight down, sharp rocks on the bottom, no chance to make it through?"   "Yes"   "Bring it on". 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Safe havens and cool hats

After the sad scene of dropping Baby Brother last weekend, I had not only decided that he needed to live with us, but, that until he came to stay with us forever, I wouldn't put any of us through that again.

Until his foster mom called on Friday and told me she had "Plans" and needed me to keep him.

Well, Forever more, and crying in a bucket.

I had a houseful of new fun boy toys, and a closet full of clothes.

Bring it.

He was so thrilled to be here.  He played Chef boy R dee with his new grill and carried his Buzz Lightyear around all evening.

Every outfit I put on him.....he STRUTTED.  I'm not kidding.  The kid can strut.

We had a couple of hats given to us, and he rocked those hats.  Wouldn't take them off, I had to force them off to sleep.  He would have LIVED in the hats.

Everything has been just fine and dandy and BIO mom called today demanding a visit.  So, because I am her "Beck and Call" girl, I dropped everything and took them over to see their parents.

I have to count to 10 and sing worship songs in my head the ENTIRE time to keep from junkpunching that bio dad.

Really Christian of me, isn't it??

I busily played 4 pics 1 word on my phone and ignored all the people around me (including the kids).  I apologized to the caseworker after, telling her I was a rude whanker to those bio parents, and she said,  "Oh no, you stayed to yourself to keep from interfering with the visit, and it still amazes me how even with the bio parents there and you studiously ignoring them, all three of the kids would gravitate to you, touch you for reassurance, and visit with parentals, then gravitate back to you.  You're their safe haven."

I like that.

The only reason I am someone else's safe haven, is because I found my safe haven in Jesus Christ.  God has given me the patience, the perserverance, the unending love that defies logic (for these kids), and an overabundance of loving friends that reach out and humble me with their constant flow of love and gifts.

Even today, I was humbled by blessings.  While BB gave it an all college try to throw a fit and get out of staying in his room at church, he finally realized that it might be the second best place on earth and was happily pushing a doll buggy around with trucks in it, when I picked him up.  Two different friends humbled me with gifts today (and couldn't be timed better).  Another friend (I call mom) blessed us with donating to Hallie's volleyball fund (Couldn't be better timing).

God's blessings and constant love from all sides gives me more strength than ever to get BB here.

When we left the bio visit today, BB didn't even spare a backwards glance to his parents.  He skipped to the car, chattering like a magpie.  Then we had to drop him back to his foster parents, and the drama started.  He went CRAZY.  I have never seen anything like it.  (except when I took Kip's paci when she was 2, that was a close 2nd).   I had to just get in my car and drive away.

Pray, friends.  Pray for Baby Brother to get approved tomorrow to stay here with us.  Pray for the bio parents to PULL their ... (Ok, never mind)  Pray for the Bio parents.  They need so many.

Just like God never gave up on me,  I'll never give up.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Understanding the "Why?"

With my fall on the stairs on Monday, I have been gingerly walking and carefully moving all week.  It ain't easy taking a fall when you're an oldie but goodie.

Lovely sang with her choir in the All City Concert on Tuesday.  Grammie, LB and I accompanied her.  I watched her prance on stage, and just knew in my head, she would launch out from the group, and do a solo dance in the middle of the stage, but instead she just looked for me and grinned a big grin, and waved.  She also talked to EVERY breathing person as she was leaving, "You like the show? You see me sing?"   I vacillate between pride and intense embarrassment at all times with her.    She.Is.A.Mess.

IT's ok.  It takes one to know one.

The news on BB is there is no news.  The exception has made it up two levels and has one more to go.  He needs massive help, I have come to find out.  Apparently there are behaviors I wasn't aware of (And saw NO indication at my house).  I think little dude is OVER where he is, and is doing whatever he needs to do to get out of that house.

I'm hoping I don't step on a landmine with him, and blow up the whole house.

It's hard to believe that a three year old has that much power.

It's been a hard week.  Falling, stressing about BB, dealing with court, having a flat on the highway, Hallie breaking her BRAND new smart phone (which took her 3 years to talk me into and less than 2 weeks to break, and NO, I did not take insurance out on it), overwhelming amounts of death and families at work, and  then most of all, NBC contemplating cancelling the tv show, Parenthood.

WHAT?  No Braverman's?  Have they done lost their minds?

My cousin, Shannon, wrote something so eloquent on her wall on facebook the other day, and I want to share it with you because it caught my heart.

"This house echoes with my desperate pleas for answers".

If you remember, my precious 16 year old cousin, Austin, drowned over Labor Day. His mom is begging for answers why.

There are so many hurting people out there.  I deal with them every single day.  And the hardest thing for me to hear is "WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?"  because I have no answers for them.   I can hold their hand and offer them a cookie, or some cashews, but I can't answer the one question they are begging for closure.


Life is tough.  I truly believe we could never understand true joy, without intense sorrow.  I remember reading once, that life is a railroad track, the good running right alongside the bad.   Equal in number, equal in size.  Sometimes you are on the happy track, and without any sign, you can find yourself on the sad side, and there is no rhyme or reason.

I don't know why God gives babies genetic disorders.  I don't understand why He allows 16 year old athletes to drown in a lake.  I don't get why wonderful men and women, that are leaders of their families, get cancer and die, far too young.  I don't understand how precious brothers and sisters can be behind of a wheel of a car one second, and  just like that, be taken from us.  I don't understand why the beloved matriarch's of our families, start forgetting basic things, and before long, they are gone from us, their bodies still present, but the grandmas we loved and cherished are gone forever.  I can't comprehend that parents can be so self-involved, that their children are taken from them.

For these things I have no answers.  All I know, is through the extreme pain of losing Laynie, we allowed God to fully take our lives over, and He changed us.   Through extreme pain you are made pliable (if you allow it) and God can make you new.  It's only through this kind of pain, that you really accept that God can change your outcome.

It's easy to blame God.  It's easy to say "God, Why?"  when in truth, bad things happen.  If you haven't had a tragedy befall your family, you are very lucky indeed.  Bad stuff happens all the time.  God isn't the Good Fairy handing out pardons and saying "You die today, or You live today".  If anyone understands our grief, it's God.  He sent his beloved son to walk among us, and show us the right way to live, and then, allowed his own son, to die on a cross.  A terrible, painful death for a pure, innocent life.  He allowed it, so that you and I could have the opportunity for heaven.  That overwhelms me, and humbles me.  God gets it.  He understands pain.

So take it to him, and let him shoulder that pain.  And you try to march on back over to the happy track, and keep living the life God gave you to live.

Let him change you.

I did, and it has made all the difference.