Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lately The Dog has been into counting his money.  We recently opened a bank account and he's all about earning money and saving money.  In the process we have talked about tithing, giving to others, saving for college etc.  He has a blue, ceramic pig where he keeps his booty...it's sacred.  No one touches the pig.  Often, K-man carefully takes out his precious porker, jiggles it obnoxiously, dumps the money out on the floor and counts it.  (Psssst, do NOT tell him that he is doing math *wink*)

On one such occasion, the following was overheard:

Dog: Lou, I'm sorry to tell ya, but I will be moving out.
Bear: WHAT?!
Dog: Well, not today, but when I go to college.
He vigorously shakes his piggy bank filled with money.  
Dog: I'm already saving up.  You will totally miss me.  You will cry a lot.
Bear: Oh, yeah, well I have a bank, too.  I am going to college, too.

She indignantly stomps off and returns armed with her petite, prettily-painted butterfly bank that is no bigger than a minute.  She jiggles it under his nose and looks a little disappointed at the pathetic bit of jingling.  

K-man chuckles, points his thumb and out of the corner of his mouth cracks, 
"I guess someone's not going to college."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eternal Journal Entries (ad infinitum...so if you're bored)

Tonight is the eve of Lou Bear's birthday.  She will be 7-years-old tomorrow.  As I have written before, on the eve of our children's birthdays we always share their birth story with them.  They are adopted, so that looks a little different to us.  Shoot, the last time I blogged about my baby girl's birthday was when she turned FOUR!  How sad is that?!

Well, tonight I was starting to reflect on what an incredible blessing she is, when I remembered my journal!!  I have a journal with letters to the kids before they were born.  They are prayers, hopes, thoughts, rants etc.  They also help me remember, and if you know my memory...this is a very good thing.

So, my longing for child #2 started shortly after Christmas 2003!  (K-Dog was a really good baby)  I just had to share God's faithfulness...
Dear Little One, 
Do you know that I love you already?  Do you know that God loves you?  I cannot wait to hold you in my arms one day.  I can't wait for K-Dog to meet you, he will be a wonderful big brother.  I pray that God will allow you two to be close and that you will get along well together.  Oh, precious child, may God protect you as you grow...whenever that may be.  I pray that your birthmom loves you.  I pray that she knows that there is a Father our that that she can lean on during scary times...a loving, faithful Father she can turn to when she feels afraid and alone.  I hope you are a joy to her and you will be to us.  I excited and a little bit scared to be your mommy.  Oh, sweet one, you are loved.  

Dear Precious Child,
I can sleep tonight because I am thinking about you.  I'm wondering whether you will be a boy or a girl.  I talked to the social worker at LSS, she said there would be a class coming up soon and that we could get our profile in.  However, she said that there weren't a lot of women placing right now, so it may be a while.  That's okay, but I was kind of disappointed to hear that.  I wonder what your disposition will be like.  Will you be super sweet like your little brother or will you be a spitfire?  
Oh, Sweet One, I just pray so often that you will be healthy.  I pray that your birthmom is taking care of herself and of you.  I pray that she is talking to you and loving you.  I pray that you will know love right away. My love for you is already so great.  I can't wait to meet you.  God is is with you.
Love, Mommy

Dear Precious Child,
We started the process today!!  We signed up for a workshop!!  Once we finish the process we can submit a profile and become a waiting family.  Little one, I love you so much already.  I can't wait to hold you.  I pray for you every day.

Dear Little One,
Every day we get closer.  We are working on our profile!!  Once we submit it, we become a waiting family.  Oh, baby, you are so wanted, you are so loved.  I pray that you relationship with your big brother will be strong.  I pray that your mommy and daddy with be a good example of a godly marriage.  I can't wait to touch your hands and feet and kiss your forehead.  I just love you so much.  I pray that you are safe and growing stong and healthy if you are already growing.  Remember, God is with you always.  
Love, Mommy

It's mommy.  I was cleaning out some cupboards today and I saw some bottles and formula.  I thought, maybe I will get to use these again, soon.  Oh, I do so pray that is the case.  I hope we don't have to wait long for you.  I trust the Lord's timing, but I am so anxious to meet you.  I pray your birthmommy is safe and cared for.  I pray sometimes that you are a girl.  I would be fine with a little fella, but sometimes my selfish heart wants a little girl.  Oh, who am I kidding, I will take you if you are a green boy!!  I will love you so much...I already love you. 

A couple more entries on 2/27, 3/4, 3/5 saying much of the same

Dear Child,
I am thinking about you a lot lately.  For some reason, I am imagining you are a girl.  I also have been praying that you will love your birthmom.  I pray that we will always remain close with her.  I pray that when you are older, you will embrace the fact that you are adopted an that you will LOVE being adopted.  I so want to be an example of that for you.  Oh, how I want to be an example of a Godly woman for you.  I pray every day that I can be the kind of woman my children can be proud of...I want you to see Jesus in me.  I love you my sweet.

Hi there Little One,
I have been praying for you.  Lord, let this child grow healthily and strong.  Father, protect our little one.  Cover her birthmom with your love and protect them both with your Holy Spirit.  I pray for your birthmom.  I hope she knows that she is loved by you, and by us.  I pray that she is taking care of herself, not just for the baby but because she is worth it.  She is YOUR child, God.  Love her Lord, help her to know You, love You and lean on You.  Lord, help her to love this little baby, show her that her decision is a good one and that we will never let our children forget their birthmoms.  Thanks for BOTH of them...what a blessing they are. 
I love you little one,
Love Mommy

WE GOT OUR PROFILE IN!!!  WE ARE A WAITING FAMILY!!!  I stopped by LSS yesterday.  The birthmom counselor said they have 3 or 4 birthmoms currently looking at profiles.  She also said that they are all pregnant with girls!!  Hmmmmmm...could I even dream that one of those birthmoms could be carrying our baby?!?!  I know, I know, settle down!!  Well, whatever the case we are starting to move Big Brother into his big boy room.  I mean, you never know things could go quickly?!  I pray that your birthmom is talking to you, singing to you and loving you.  I pray that she has support.  I pray that she knows that she can lean on God and trust Him if she feels scared.  Lord, you are faithful and I trust you.  

Mommy's been busy teaching.  While I haven't written much, I have been praying a lot!  We are starting to prepare the nursery and get things ready.  K-Dog moved to his big boy bed, so there is a crib should God decide that you will join our family soon.  I know it will happen in God's time.  God will find you for us and get you ready for us in HIS time.  I pray you are safe and loved.  

YESTERDAY we received a phone call from LSS!!!  They said a birthmom had chosen our profile!!!!!!!!  Oh, my word, what if I'm not ready!!  I was so calm when I talked to her, but now, I am so freaked out.  Here are the details we know:
BM - 22-years old, red hair, lives with her family (who is very supportive of the adoption) caucasian.
BF - Older, cannot support a baby, still with birthmom, african american.  
Your due date is in July we are going to meet your birthparents on June 1st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, if you made it this far you get a gold star.  I am not really even sure why I shared this, but my heart felt like someone needed to read it.  I have no idea who would even GO to all that trouble, but I know this.  God, is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot believe how many prayers have been answered.

The Bear's first mommy is still very much a part of our lives.  LOU...my little GIRL is more precious than I could even believe.  I am so, incredibly humbled to call her my daughter and I am SO awe struck at God's faithfulness.

Thank you Lord for adoption!!!!!!!!

Isaiah 25:1

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sticky, but not Sticky

I am not now, nor have I ever claimed to be a cook. While I have come a long way in my nearly 15 years of marriage, I am no Emeril. Shoot, who am I kidding, I'm not even Sandra Lee! But, since I started homeschooling, I figured I'd better get cookin'. After all, I want to do everything I can to perpetuate my smocks and suspenders reputation!

Therefore, my mom gave me a recipe for homemade pizza crust. (In fact, she even sent along some yeast in a ziploc bag because let's face it, if she hadn't I likely would never have gone to the store to buy any.) In preparation, I faithfully line up the ingredients on the counter, get out all my Pampered Chef measuring tools (I still want to have the appearances of being a cook) and look at the recipe. As I am reading I think to myself, I'd better call mom and discuss the best way to go about this.

ME: Hey mom, I am making that pizza crust.
Mom: (squealing) YOU ARE?! That's wonderful honey!!
ME: So, I just follow the recipe and it will be fine, right?
Mom: Of course, it's SO easy!
ME: What temperature do I set the oven at?
Mom: Oh, I don't know 350, 400, maybe 425.

Um, that is three completely different settings.

ME: Which one of those?
Mom: Oh, I don't know, you just have to watch it.

Watch it do what?

ME: Mom should I set it at 350 or 400?
Mom: Well what do you think?
At this point my heart rate starts to increase, as I would have no idea what temperature to set the oven. I think maybe I'd better ask a different question. You know, let her think about it for a bit. I'll come back to it.
ME: Okay, well, how long do you cook it?
Mom: Oh, well that's easy, 20-45 minutes.
ME: What? So, like 30 minutes?
Mom: It just depends on the pizza. I’d say 20-45 minutes.

Ladies and gents, I am not cook, and I also tend toward the stupid when it comes to numbers but a 25 minute span of time seems like an awful lot of wiggle room.

ME: So, I am thinking Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, maybe some veggies. How long would that be?
Mom: Oh, I don't know ovens all vary.

At this point I feel like I am in a hamster terrarium running on the spinning wheel. I mean, I am getting nowhere fast. The scary part, I am planning to prepare this for company. I'm under a time crunch and starting to question the intelligence of making something I have never made before. So, I decide to rephrase the questions with the hope of coming to some sort of conclusion.

Me: So, you have seen my oven, what would you set it at if you were
making a pizza?
Mom: Oh, I supposed about 350, 400 or maybe 425.

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Me: MOM, please, I beg you, give me something here. Say I pick 400. Will that work?
Mom: I think so, try it and see.
Me: Okay, so if I have it at 400, how long will it need to cook?
To which she rankles, "Honey, you aren't listening to me!"

Nope, nope, I am not even kidding. At this point we hang up the phone and I get busy mixing the ingredients. At some point, I call her back. (I know, I know, what can I say, I guess I was missing my wheel.)

Me: Hey, I think I've got it. But, the dough is kind of sticky. Do I need more flour?
Mom: Yes, I just guessed when I gave you the recipe.


Mom: You must have enough so that the dough is sticky, but not sticky.

Did she just say what I think she said?

Me: Um, sticky, but not sticky?
Mom: Yes

Ancient Chinese Secret, hmmm??

Me: Um, what does that mean exactly?
Mom: Well, it means that the dough is just right.

Because sarcasm is one of those things I tend toward in frustration, I say, "Oh, of course, just right - you mean sticky, but not sticky."

And because my mother is so blissfully oblivious to sarcasm she praises, "Exactly!"

The pizza was wonderful, everyone loved it! I give all the credit to my mothers detailed instructions.   What can I say, she's a cook!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jonah: Before and After

My son is likely an evangelist. No, I'm not talkin' Benny Hinn!! Nor, am I necessarily talking Billy Graham. Rather, he is a simple, precious, truth-telling faith sharer. K-Dog does NOT shy away from telling people about Jesus! Frankly, his boldness freaks me out and challenges me in the same breath. More often than not his encounters leave me questioning my heart and motivating me to spread His love throughout my world! The Dog talks to homeless veterans about Jesus. He talks to his friends about Jesus. He talks to MY friends about Jesus. Shoot, he talks to perfect strangers about Jesus! The following is one of those times:

Picture this, Silver Dollar City, sweltering heat, a never-ending line in hopes of sweet relief by way of the Lost River of the Ozarks. You will have to take your items with you. You will wait in line for an hour. You will get wet. Really? UGH...okay, after all it's for the kids.

So, we start our wait. And about 10 minutes into our wait, K-man strikes up a conversation with a little boy. He's a precious little Indian boy. They are both pumped to find out that they are the same height AND the same age. (This is very rare for K-Man as he is, um, he is, vertically challenged) The boy's father, mother and much older sister are all watching this unfold. The whole family is BEAUTIFUL, all of them. Their skin is flawless and lovely. Their hair is thick and rich, all a shade of some sort of strong coffee.

The mom is wearing a Sari of every shade of pink and gold. Her daughter, stunningly flawless, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt translates the happenings of the moment. Both ladies have the traditional bindi on their forehead and both share an obvious affection for little Situ, the boy in line. Shoot, all of us share in the joy of these two precious fellas, these two scalawags who have formed an instant bond in an eternal line.

Even the father, resigned at first, cannot help but be delighted by K-man and Situ. The man breaks from his stoic stance to joke with the boys about getting soaked on the water ride to come. The conversation ranges from the rides they have been on that morning, to holes in the side of the fence, to pizza and everything in between.

Ken and I turn around and start to chat whileK-man and Situ linger over a spider web. In that moment, K-man looks at the little boy and in his shootin' the breeze fashion, K-man says, "So, do you know Jesus Christ? You know? Son of God? Died on the cross for our sins? Jesus?" He spreads his arms out like Jesus did on the cross and looks at the boy with big, questioning eyes. The lil' fella says, "What?" The Dog continues, "Jesus. He loves you, he died on the cross for you. You know, your Savior, Jesus?" The boy quietly says, "Um, I think I have heard about Him..."

The thing I find interesting is MY reaction. At first, I almost pulled him away and politely changed the subject. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit stopped me!! But, I just sort of awkwardly turn around and talk quietly to Ken hoping not to interrupt the Power of the moment.

K-Man continues, "Well, you should now that He will NEVER, EVER send a flood to cover the earth. Every time you see a rainbow, you should be reminded of that promise." (Earlier that day, Table Rock Lake was going to release the Dam for controlled flooding purposes. KJ was kinda worried that they were flooding things on purpose which could totally mess with God's plan! We had just been explaining to him that there would be flooding. But, there would NEVER be another flood like the flood of Noah that covered the whole earth.) Situ just listened as K-man went on about how Jesus loved him and died for him. All the while, I just stood face forward praying the Holy Spirit would bless this boy and his family. WOW! WOW! My little soon to be 9-year-old son was completely sharing the gospel in the boldest, simplest way possible. Then in one single second, the conversation switched back to pepperoni pizza and it was done. The two of them bantered again about all things boy. The adults looked at each other and parted ways, each to our own round, river ride.

Yes, we did wait an hour, we did carry our stuff with us and we did get wet. And amidst all of that, a sweet, Jesus-loving boy could not hold onto the secrets that spilled over in his heart. He could not stop himself from sharing with this little boy. He thought this little boy was too neat NOT to know his deepest, coolest, most amazing things on his heart and he just had to tell him for fear he would burst!

As we exited the ride, I looked at my boy and said, "WOW, son you are so bold! I love how you told that little boy about Jesus. You are braver than mommy. Do you know that?" He looked at me and said, "Mom, you are like Jonah before and I am like Jonah after." Ouch. Um, uh, um, yeah...

I said, "Hmmm...you know what, you are exactly right! Thank you for being an example to me, son. I am proud of you and I love how you have such a desire to share about God's love." To which he humbly replied, "Mom, I had to tell him about Jesus, you know why? Because he didn't know about Him." I got goose bumps to the roots of my hair. I said, "How do you know he didn't know Jesus?" He said, "I don't know, I just knew. Somehow, I just knew." Somehow, indeed.

So, my challenge to myself is to try to be like Jonah AFTER...you know after the running away, after the being swallowed by a whale, after the obeying God part.

Yeah, that K-man, er I mean, Jonah.