Digging Into Dallas

I’ve been contemplating the New Year for the past week wondering what it will bring. I don’t remember thinking about it that much last year. Last year we had just moved to our new home in Dallas and then the first week of January brought home two new children to adopt. I don’t think my mind was capable of creating a prayer nor had a moment for quiet contemplation about what the New Year of 2009 would bring. No, my mind was in shock with all the crazy change and the obvious focus for 2009 was right in front of me. New home, new kids, new life and my husband passing his boards were last year’s gift to us!

This year is different though. With 18 months of Dallas under our belt and fairly adjusted children in our home and a mostly put together house and my husband board certified I actually have been able to take the time (meaning a few minutes here and there between laughter and chaos) to mull over the possibilities God would have for me and for us this year. It seems that what keeps coming back to me is the word intentional. My friend Jennifer first dropped the word in my heart when she shared about wanting to be more intentional for the Thanksgiving holiday. That word stuck with me as I sat through Bible Study and was challenged to think about the place where I live and what would be my part. It stuck with me as I washed my dishes, sat through church services, did laundry, helped my kids with school projects, and walked through my neighborhood. How was I going to be intentional in my home? With my marriage? With my kids? In my church? How was I going to be intentional in Dallas?

The more I thought about 2010 the more I began to feel a stirring. We are over the “newness” of the city but are far from being planted here. I strongly feel that an overall theme for us will be to continue to dig into Dallas. A few months back I felt God showed me our life in this city. It was like a man on the top of a granite mountain chipping away. He stood tall and strong and he swung his pick axe. It was hard work and it was slow and it was going to take awhile but it was what we had to do in Dallas. Dig. So how was I going to dig? Even though it was hard and most of the time I didn’t see any point I had to keep getting out there. I had to keep putting myself out there even if I felt progress wasn’t being made. I had to keep attending things, meeting people, starting new relationships, and exploring possibilities. Slowly but surely we would plant here in this city.

So for 2010 I feel a gearing up in the spring to a new launching in the fall. I have things to do this spring that I’m already doing like help my children through their second semester of school, support my husband in his job, finish up my women’s Bible Study, finish up my last year of MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers), serve in my church nursery and finally plan and have a memory filled summer with my family. I have new relationships in the baby stages to foster and grow and I have two friends who don’t know Christ that I need and want to be intentional with. I also have relationships I see being deep, meaningful, and extremely important to me in the years to come that I want and need to continue to develop. We also have a neighborhood society that we want to join. It’s time to spread our roots wider in our community than our own back door. It’s time to keep digging into Dallas.

 As for the fall I see us branching out here in Dallas even more. With Zack in pre-school for a few hours a day what is it that I will do? How will I impact my neighborhood and my community? Where is it that I’m supposed to have influence? I’m not totally sure this early in the year but with six children in the school system by then and some “free time” on my hands I can’t help but think by the fall some of my time will be spent volunteering and impacting their world away from home, their schools. But for now I will focus on today, tomorrow, this week and perhaps next month for my digging plan. There is much work to be done and although I know the progress will be slow I know that it is okay. We are doing what we should be doing…we are digging.

On the First of September

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Pause. I could feel my eyelids attempt to open. Things were hazy and I had been deep in my sleep. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Slowly I peeked through my lashes and assessed the situation. It was still dark out with a hint of light glowing through the blinds on my bedroom windows. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Silence. “Heeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”. I sat up in bed. The haze had totally cleared and I knew exactly what was going on. Snapping my head around I squinted then glared at the clock to see that it was barely after 5:30 a.m. Whipping back the covers I yanked on my jeans that were in a wrinkled pile on the floor and headed rather swiftly out of my room and up the stairs. Reaching the top I was just in time to catch the little culprits red-handed who had awakened me almost two hours before the necessary time. 


Stopping dead in his tracks Little Brown Eyes gazed up at me with what I assumed was shock as I reached out and snatched up Little Z who had thump, thump, thumped his way right past him for an early morning run. Those little turkeys had been running the length of the hall into the family room for entertainment! With Little Z tucked under my arm I marched back to their bedroom where Little Brown Eyes had already lighted onto his bed with his head sunk deep into his pillow and guilt fixed firmly in his eyes. Tucking Little Z in I strongly told him that he’d better keep to his crib and I had better not hear a sound. Staring up at me he knew he was busted and simply wiggled under his “Scooby Doo” sheet with his puppy dog snuggled under his arm and grinned. Lately he had become quite the little escape artist and I could see that he was right proud of himself. With that I turned to tuck in Little Brown Eyes whose guilt had not ceased and with a big kiss on his forehead and cheek I bid him goodnight without looking back and headed back down the stairs. Flopping onto my bed still in my jeans I listened intently and was satisfied to hear utter and total silence permeating my house.


This week was a big week and I had to find humor in the situation since I wouldn’t be finding any more sleep. Husband would be taking his big test on Thursday and needed his rest so I had to be the morning police mama today. Normally I would have feigned sleep and allowed him to correct the course of our rambunctious boys but knowing the importance of his test I leapt into action like a good wife should. Of course crazy things like children running the halls during the wee hours of the morning waking everyone up should have been anticipated and expected because of this big event looming over our home. Why should I be surprised? Frankly I wasn’t. Strange things like this were actually a regular occurrence in our home. Still laying flat on my belly above my covers in my wrinkled jeans I at least could take comfort that my husband was quietly slumbering as I watched the subtle glow get brighter through my window blinds on this first day of September.

Story Time

Waking up this morning to a little voice saying “mama I want you” over and over again I finally rolled over, grabbed two pudgy brown arms and pulled my three year old up into the bed with me. Giggling he rolled around smacking my various body parts so happy to be with mom. Groaning I squinted at the clock and saw it wasn’t quite seven o’clock. It was a mystery to me how he had gotten out of his crib but I had my suspicions that Little Brown Eyes had released him from his captivity. I knew I had to get up since I had put off making lunches the night before and soon I would be driving my other kids around to three different schools to start the day. Swinging my legs over the side of my bed I was acutely aware that neither my body nor my mind had adjusted from our summer schedule to the new fall school one. Mentally checking off my day I smiled faintly to myself that today was the day I would take Little Z to story time at the library. I was positive he would love it.


Putting on a tired but positive attitude it wasn’t long before lunches were made, backpacks were gathered, shoes were on feet and bodies were out the door. Blowing kisses to my little ones as they hurried into school I ran back home to pick up my son. He was waiting with a “surprise” for me. Shuffling me into the kitchen he had made me eggs and toast and offered me something to drink. Touched by his actions I thanked him and silently wondered why I hadn’t adopted him sooner. He proclaimed that I deserved breakfast because I had signed a billion forms and filled out hour’s worth of paperwork all in the name of school. Looking down at my breakfast I did have to smile because instead of butter on my toast he had applied peanut butter and the eggs were mostly done but actually quite runny. I didn’t care. I ate it anyway. Who was I to reject a meal that I didn’t have to cook. 


Rushing out the door a few minutes later I reminded my twelve year old son that he had his first football practice after school and tried to be cool and not wave like a crazy woman as he sauntered up the steps. Before I knew it I was back home where my daughter was watching the new Shakira video critiquing her unoriginal dance moves and how her last album was so much better. Staring at the blonde singer I agreed that her music did nothing for me and then scooped up Little Z in my arms for our final drop-off of the morning. Zipping through morning traffic I listened as my daughter was trying not to admit she liked school lest her positive confession cause something unsavory to come of her day. Spotting a friend she jumped out of the van with her new dark grey Converse on that had given her blisters yesterday and hurried off to catch up. Sighing I glanced back in the mirror at my son as we headed home. Now it was just me and Z. 


After getting home, grabbing a quick shower and gabbing for a few minutes on the phone with a friend we were ready once again for a trip in the van. Today was story time at the library and since Little Z wouldn’t be in pre-school for the fall I was trying to find creative free ways to expose him to school like activities. Parking and unloading we followed the signs that declared the existence of story time. Entering a big room I glanced around at the arriving parents and children. A few men dotted the room with their children sticking out like a sore thumb while mommy after mommy filed in and sat on the floor with their child. Grabbing a seat toward the back I was wedged in between a lovely African woman and a very friendly Hispanic woman. I noticed Barbie Mommy to my left with her three little perfectly coifed Skipper’s and stared down at my own wild haired, peanut butter faced, banged up kneed boy. He was certainly no Ken…perhaps G.I. Joe, one of the X-Men, or even perhaps a naughtier version of Diego but he was not Ken. How come I always ended up in the groups with the perfectly manicured mommy’s and their absolutely obedient children?


Finally a slightly built brown haired lady in her 60’s came to the front of the room to start story time. Straining forward to hear I found myself smirking to myself. The lady had the voice of a mouse and there were at least 40 children milling about, falling down, standing up, calling for snack, crying, wrestling, slapping, and laughing. Out came her frog puppet which caught Z’s attention and with that I sat back to read lips. I couldn’t help but laugh quietly to myself at the African lady sitting next to me. She shouted the whole time in her native tongue to her two little girls who had moved to the front of the room. Between the 40 milling about children and the African lady shouting to her girls I couldn’t help but wonder if we were secretly being taped. 


Next she pulled out the large duck puppet which brought on ten children accosting the poor grandma and her duck. I could read her lips as she said “sit down please” about twenty times. Finally she put down the puppet and pulled out a book which we couldn’t see because of the children standing, shoving, and squirming and the duck puppet swaying in front that had the unfortunate experience of landing in the hands of a three year old girl with pig tails. Didn’t this lady know that her duck would end up violated and thrashed about? When I almost couldn’t take it anymore the little slightly built brown haired lady with the voice as loud as a mouse attempted to do a flannel board with ducks. That was it for me. By this time Barbie Mommy had flown the coop with her three little Skippers and one of the two daddies had quietly excused himself while the other leaned against the wall with his Blackberry. 


Whispering in Little Z’s ear I headed out to the main library to pick up a few books and found it swarming with story time mommies. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t take it and made the mass exodus. After checking out my books I loaded little Z up and placed “The Berenstain Bears” in his little hands to read on the way home. It looked like today story time would be in the van and that was quite alright with me.

Me Too, Me Too

Shutting the door from the house leading into the garage as quickly as I could I turned to catch three of my boys piling into the van. With a few shoves here and there I knew if I didn’t zip around to them and intervene I would never stop the squabbling or the offenses. Thankfully and miraculously they settled in on their own and just after I helped Tommy buckle himself in I heard a “bang bang bang” on the door. I knew just who it was. 


Stopping to listen I heard two long wails and then “I wanna gooooo to schoooool”. Turning my lips up in a sympathetic smile I hurried to the door and gently pushed it open sliding my three year old that had collapsed with his face and belly against it out of the way. There standing in the dimly lit entry was Little Z with his legs braced apart. His new shoes graced his feet and on his back was a bright electric blue and fire engine red “Thomas the Train” backpack that was haphazardly settled onto his heaving shoulders. It was unzipped everywhere and hanging lopsided looking frantic just like him.


Looking at him I knew exactly what had happened. As I had been scurrying about helping kids get backpacks and shoes and reminding them to grab lunches he must have hurried up the stairs, gone all the way down the hall to his room and dug in his closet for a backpack then hurried back down as fast as his three year old legs could carry him to join his big brothers for school. Unfortunately I had already made it into the garage and was blatantly leaving without him. 


Staring down at him and his already cried on face I noticed his eyes were a well of tears that threatened to spill over as he said once again that he wanted to go to school. Picking up my littlest boy I pulled him close and felt the dam break as his glistening tears overflowed onto my cheek. Snuggling my nose into his sweet brown neck and kissing his wet little eyelids he sucked in air and sobbed some more about going to school as I crooned in his ear that he could ride with his big sister to her school. Then I plopped him down on a chair for “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and got out some “Fruit Gusher” special school snacks for his chubby little fingers and all was well in the world.


Leaving him behind with his big sister and brother so I could maneuver the halls of the middle school with my third grader, first grader, and brand new kindergartener was a must. Today he could not come, not when I had the other three to contend with. Sighing I thought that it must be so hard to be the tag-a-long. Everybody else had a lunch bag, a backpack, and a school uniform and everybody else was going on an exciting adventure today. Standing in the door way watching him munch away with his backpack securely in place I couldn’t help but notice how big he had grown. Already that morning he had insisted that I help him put his new shoes on and then approached me with big brother's hair gel so he could have spiky hair too for school.  I obliged of course and he went on his merry way.  When did my baby figure this all out?  I realized at that moment that this would be my last year of having him home before he trotted off with his brothers next fall to Pre-K. I would not take this year for granted. He was my little buddy and I was going to do my best to enjoy every moment. Bringing my mind back to the present I knew it was time for me to go. Three anxious little boys were waiting out in the garage.  Looking around for my older kids I let them know I was headed out and would be back soon. Peeking in on Little Z one last time I knew he would be fine as he sat enamored by Mickey and his "big kid" snack so I slipped out my back door to my loaded van to drive my other boys to school.

The Reinvention of Me Part 2

Deeply unsatisfied I turned up my soon to be thumping worship music as high as it would go and I jumped on my new treadmill. I had been trying something new lately…spirited worship music while I worked out instead of my usual fair of secular radio. I knew I was a dry soul as of late and had expressed such to some friends here in Dallas. There encouragement to me was baby steps and this was one of their suggestions. 


Today had gone pretty well. Husband was out of town with our six and eight year old leaving me home with only four kids. It practically felt like a vacation as we visited the animal shelter, park and library. Laying around in the afternoon watching David Copperfield  while Little Z napped and then throwing together a quick dinner I really couldn’t complain about my day. However, the deep unsatisfaction that had taken root in my heart frightened me somewhat. What had I become as of late?


As I thumped along to the rhythm of a song whose lyrics I couldn’t make out I set me mouth in a grim straight line. I wasn’t happy. Slowly as I tread along I was aware of my hunched tight shoulders and short gait. I wasn’t just all balled up on the inside but on the outside also. Feeling my throat constrict and my breathing quicken I fought back tears unsure of how to handle my current personal predicament.   Was it okay to confess such things to God that were ruminating in my head? The deep matters of the heart that I didn’t want to even think in the safety of my mind let alone whisper out loud? Instantly I knew that it would be okay. My God liked me to be real and raw I was just sure of it. He would want me to tell him no matter how ugly it was. He knew anyway, right?


By mile two a verse popped into my head, one I had heard probably hundreds of times. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I grasped onto it like a newborn grabs his mother’s hair, tight and in a fist interweaving fingers with strands making it difficult to pull out. As I thumped along I spoke out loud with emphasis create and renew. Those two words were it. He needed to create in me a new heart. He needed to renew my spirit. I couldn’t do it and believe me I had been trying.   So there I ran and spoke aloud several times this little verse that had welled up in my heart like a city park fountain. Standing straighter I threw back my shoulders and lengthened my stride. New energy came into my step as the music thumped reassuringly in the background. I could even breathe easier as my outlook shifted ever so slightly one wouldn’t know by looking but rather only by feeling. A change was coming and I took great comfort in knowing that just like my life…Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, the process had started. A tiny shift that I hoped would bring me to a place of satisfaction once again.


Picking up my pace for my last mile I began to pray. I prayed over my house and over our particularly difficult four year old child. Aware of how I had been dealing with him naturally and on my own with no help from God and failing miserably over and over again I took great care to listen for His voiced as I prayed. I was reminded that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but principalities and rooted out the insecurity, rejection, and abandonment in my son and asked for wisdom and patience for us to love him into being right and whole again in this world. My thoughts moved onto me and my insecurities; my indwelling thoughts and my longing for rescue, love, appreciation, and admiration. These things I had been looking to the world for and was coming up painfully short. I could see now that this was one of the deep roots securely attached to my dissatisfaction. Pondering the things that triggered my pain I tucked them away in my heart to think on them and await opportunity to deal. There was too much in a short three mile run to hash out and felt good about my progress today. I was glad that I had felt the shift in my spirit, almost like a trickle in the dam before eventually down the road it gushes out and breaks.  


Cooling down to a walk I chose to not be overwhelmed by all the work and adjustment that needed to happen in my life.   Wasn’t this what our journey was all about? About growing, groaning, learning, laughing, falling, rising, climbing, leaping and so forth? I took great comfort that I truly was a work in progress, clay on the potter’s wheel. Jumping off my treadmill I headed out my front door for a quick walk around my neighborhood block. Breathing deeply through my nose of the sweet Texas air I exhaled out just as deeply into the pitch dark night already thinking about what tomorrow night’s run might bring.

The Reinvention of Me Part 1

I cannot even look back and remember what it was that used to make up the person that I see in pictures of past. But maybe that is the way it’s supposed to be. No one ever told me that in my early thirties I would feel slightly washed up and mostly done all the while frantically searching for who I was. Does everyone feel this way or is it just moms with a lot of kids that wrestle with an identity crisis. I find myself lately glancing longingly at those in their 20’s totally footloose and fancy free without really a care in the world. Do they know to live it up now? Do they take advantage of their alone time and independence? Probably not. I know I didn’t. Now as I’m quickly closing in on the ripe old age of 34 I feel a bit stifled and for lack of a better word contemplative. I’m searching right now for me. 


Though the joy in my journey to motherhood has been overwhelming at times this newest phase of life that has me changing a two year olds diaper one moment and then incessantly gabbing about "Twilight" and other important teenage phenomenons the next, has me feeling like a slightly new mom and an almost empty nester. How can this be? I’m only 33. I’m too young to have a child in high school (yet I do) and really I have too many kids now to have much of a life outside of my four walls of living. I’ve become someone I don’t even recognize and I wonder if it is someone I can learn to love again, or at least appreciate and accept.

Crazy as it may sound I contemplate getting a little ink on my back or buying a little lower cut shirt to jazz up my day. Is this how we women in our thirties with children try to reclaim our youth? What has happened to me? I swear I am losing my mind. All that I can think of now as I’m up to my elbows in laundry and dishes and sometimes good hair days is that I would like someone, anyone to rescue me. I know that really and truly the only one who can completely and utterly sweep me off of my feet is Jesus. I know this in my head but my heart is looking elsewhere. So here I sit in my spiritual crisis looking to anything and everybody but Him. But even in the midst of that truth I take a strange comfort in the fact that God knows that. I’ve told him as much. I’m in a bottomed out place trying to find my way out. Eventually I’ll get there I’m sure.


Not knowing really what I’ve left totally behind of the old me, all that I can do now is square my shoulders forward and assess the situation and get to know the new me. We’ve chosen a life in Texas with six children and a busy schedule sans husband who is studying like mad for his boards. This is what it is so this is what I have to work with. I just didn’t know these choices would lead to a total reinvention and drastic overhaul of me. I can only hope that as I forge through this phase that when I emerge on the other side I am stronger, more spiritual (even though right now I’m floundering), and more beautiful than I have ever been before. So here I sit sorting out the alarming details of the reinvention of me and realize really that the show must go on.

So today I kissed my two year olds brown chubby cheeks and the bridge of his nose and shoved aside thoughts of my inner total melt down.  Today I dropped my daughter off at school teasing her about her fluttering butterflies because she may get to talk to a boy she deemed cute.  So what if I don't have it all figured out.  At least I was being real and beginning to sort throught the complicated matter of growing up and growing older.  The complicated matter of finding balance and peace when one is feeling empty, overwhelmed, and unsatisfied.  Even if things in my heart and my mind aren't quiet and settled my day must go on.  My kids need that.  My husband needs that.  I need that.  With that I hummed along to the radio searching  once again for the answers that so profusely eluded me.  Smiling slightly to myself I was sure they couldn't elude me forever.  There will come a day when I will embrace this new me and walk in total confidence again.   That day will be the reinvention of me.

Last Night

Staring up at the Houston skyline I couldn’t help but shrug my shoulders a bit at our pile of luggage and kids. We certainly didn’t look like we fit in at the posh hotel that towered over us as the doorman elegantly stacked the “Lightning McQueen” sleeping bag onto the cart just over the snack bucket. Husband and I laughed that we looked like we were going camping…not about to spend the night at a downtown hotel. 


Ushering the kids through the giant revolving doors I wondered if one would get squished and breathed a sigh of relief when they all made it through. The marble floors looked as if they had never been walked on and I shushed and hissed at the kids to be quiet as we stomped like elephants past a quiet bar to the elevators. Pushing number seventeen I stared down at Little Z who took great joy in the swift ride up even though he was oh so tired. The day had been a long one and we were glad to finally arrive.


The excitement started at noon as I picked Grandma Mooshie up from the airport. I couldn’t imagine how tired she must have felt after a day of flying and then a car trip from Dallas to Houston. We left as close to after school as we could…which meant about two hours later and then managed to land at every ghetto gas station along the way.   Gone were the days when you “held it” for the next nice new road stop. No, now when a kid had to go he had to go and there was no waiting or tempting fate lest I ended up with pooped in underwear or a peed on car seat. Nope. We stopped at ghetto and were grateful. 


Now it was late into the night and we had an early morning court appointment for our adoption and the run down gas stations seemed so far behind us. Sliding my card key into the hotel room door I was glad to finally see a bed. The kids however ran straight for the floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the sparkling city. Our two oldest gazed out the expanse in awe. Never had they been in such a place before. Smiling at their excitement I was glad they were happy. Opportunity to see new things was important to me and it gave me joy to know that the moment in the hotel was a fresh one for them. 


Dividing and conquering husband took three kids next door and got them into bed while I, my mom, my daughter and the two little ones worked on bedding down for the night. Little Z bounced non-stop in his pack-and-play wired from little sleep and Tommy insisted on sleeping with Grandma. Removing him from my bed because I certainly wouldn't fit in the "Lightning McQueen" sleeping bag I tucked Tommy in on the floor next to grandma.  No way no how was I giving up my spot next to my mom.  Finally the lights went out in our room and through a slit in the curtain the city shone through. I knew that the morning would come too soon. Closing my eyes I let the flurry of the day subside as the surreal moment fell upon me that in just a few short hours the children that we now knew as our own would officially become family. The excitement of court kept my mind awake as my body sunk into the fresh white linens. Listening quietly to the heavier breathing of Tommy and the finger sucking of Little Z, I knew that they hadn’t a clue what was about to transpire. For them it was just another whirlwind trip with the family. Silently in my mind I checked off all that needed to happen in the morning until I dozed off to sleep as a mother of two for the last time.

Zackary Nicholas Calvin

Tommy Matthew Lyle

A New Outfit for Niki

Staring through the opening of the double bathroom doors I caught a glimpse of Little Z in his Sunday finest. I had told daddy that his shirt was hanging in the closet so I couldn’t help but sigh when I saw what he was wearing. There draped over his little stocky body was a giant plaid shirt just grazing his ankles. It was Little Brown Eyes shirt he was wearing that almost completely engulfed his little form. Didn’t daddy notice? Plus it was a wrinkled mess.   Not only was it three sizes too big but it looked like it had been pulled out of the bottom of the laundry basket.


Yelling up the stairs at my husband that our two year old was swimming in a size 5T button up shirt he yelled back down that I had told him it was in the closet. Humored I yelled back that three little boys shared the same room so therefore three little boys shirts hung in the closet. His response back was simply that he had gotten the shirt from the closet where I had said it would be.


Stripping him down to his jeans I hauled the baby back up the stairs in search of the right size shirt for him to wear. My mornings, my days, well my everything had become this. This all consuming around the clock saturation of children. Heading toward the bedroom I saw husband was already all over the “right” shirt and I handed the chubby cherub to his daddy for an appropriate dressing. I was done with the baby at the moment…my make-up needed to be applied and my hair done if we were going to make it to church on time. 


Still grinning as I headed down the stairs I couldn’t help but think how my life had changed over the past two weeks.   Adding two older kids to our routine had been helpful and stressful all at the same time. The kids were great there was no doubt about it but I was still trying to find my footing in this new world. Cooking, cleaning, and laundry for eight was a full-time job and I had not had one second to myself since they had arrived. My neat and tidy family of four a year ago had exploded into an array of eight very different people acting as a mirror of my former self. Who had I become and would I ever find out who I was supposed to be?


Carefully applying my mascara I pondered the thoughts I had been having. Over the course of the last few days I had found myself swimming in them, almost immersed in them as I paddled and steered my new course. I did feel lost but something inside me knew that eventually I would be found. Perhaps by my children, maybe by my husband, probably by me and most certainly by God. I had to be okay with that. Dabbing on some perfume made me happy to be a woman and smacking my lip glossed lips I knew I was ready to face the world one more time. Spinning around while I adjusted my necklace my eyes caught site of my newly dressed baby all shiny and fresh for church. He had wandered back into the bedroom looking for who knows what to plunder. Scooping him up into my arms I held him close under my chin and planted a lip gloss sticky kiss on his temple. Smiling, squirming, and giggling at my close proximity sniffles of love his little fingers flailed about with admiration for me and my antics. No matter who I became or what was to become I had my family, my big beautiful family. Things were different that was for sure.  Besides, who wanted to be the same old same old for the rest of their lives?  Setting down Z in his right fitting shirt I knew he was a reflection of my life.  Watching him toddle his way out the door I thought to myself that maybe I wasn't really lost, I just had to get used to the new outfit.

I Wish I Could Hug God Today by Marsha Breeser

My mom sent me this via e-mail this morning.  It was on her heart when she woke up.  Heres to my brothers two little girls and our adopted and soon to be adopted children!

I Wish I Could Hug God Today

I wish I could hug God today

Sounds silly doesn’t it

Me, hugging God

Well it’s true I wish I could hug God today

I’d tell Him I care and say thank you

I’d tell Him I’d share

Share my heart with the wonderful ones He has given to me

I wish I could hug God today

Tell Him I remember

Remember when I noticed

Noticed the blessings

First a wee little girl

Then a wee little boy

No two could be more different

One crowned with peach fuzz

The other a shock of hair

Next came a toddler, sweet and snuggly

Then another baby, wiggly and warm

Later a little boy cautiously steps into my life

Then shortly one other, timid and spry says, “Hi”

Now two more, excited, brave and full of joy are seen at the door

So now do you see why I wish I could hug God today?

Doesn’t sound so silly any more…my wish to hug God today

Things Heard At the Dinner Table Tonight...

Mom:   Alex, please don't put your pancake on your head.

Alex:  What are nuts mom?  The mayor in "Horton" got hit in the nuts.

Carlosse:  (Proudly.)  I taught him that mom.

Dad:  We'll talk about this later.

Mom:  They are your privates honey.

Alex:  Well they shouldn't be calling them nuts they should be calling them your privates.

Mom:  Let's talk about this later.  Eat your pancake.