A Proud Moment...

Most parents are proud of their children because they're theirs.  I'm a proud poppa, there's no denying it. I couldn't be prouder of my "Katiebug." I'm not blind to her childish and selfish behavior. Let's face it she's only three going on four to expect more would be ludicrous. I do spend a lot time wondering if I'm doing the right things as her parent.  But I had a proud moment not long ago.  I had gone into "Dollar Tree" to pick up Stephanie to babysit with us one night while we went to a party.  While I was in there I happened notice pez dispensers for the Disney movie "Tinkerbell."  Well Katie just loves Tinkerbell and so I decided to pick them up for her since there were only three, and since the next day was Jasmyn's birthday I wanted to have something for Katie.  She doesn't really understand that she doesn't get gifts when it's someone else's birthday.  Well I gave her the pez dispensers and she absolutely loved them and began to carry them wherever she went.  
One day several days later Jasmyn was upset and Katie was sitting there wanting to comfort her baby "sister" and she slowly handed Jasmyn one of her beloved dispensers.  That's a moment to brag about, because it's an indication of where her heart is.  She's not perfect and won't be in this life, but I hope this is an indication of where she is headed.

Food Fight

Well last night I disqualified myself for father of the year. As Katie went to bed she said she was hungry and Janet told her no food. I left the room and went on about my nightly business and finally went to bed about 10:00 PM. About 12:30 AM Jasmine starts screaming I have no idea why, but Janet was handling it and since it did finally wake me up I went to see if I could help. But by that time Janet had managed to get Jasmyn calmed down and back to sleep. So back to bed we went.

A short time late I was awakened by a small hand patting me on the chest. I lifted her into our bed since I knew that was what she wanted. "Poppa, I'm hungry" was next on the hit parade. My first instinct was to tell her no since there was (in my mind) no way this child was hungry. Before she went to bed, she had eaten enough to have fed a small third world village. But she whined and I relented. As I stumbled to the kitchen I muttered to myself (or to the cats) "one day I'm going to wake up and find that she has eaten us." I got some honey ham and brought it back to her.

"No. I don't want that ham." she said as I placed it before her. "I want the other ham." Not being in the best frame of mind at that time of the morning, I grabbed her out of bed and took her to the den where we sat in a battle of wills over honey ham versus lunchables. I did not want the crackers in my bed and we are not running restaurant. Silly I know, we finally after two hours compromised on cereal and grapes and I fed her the cereal so there was no mess. She was happy and I was glad to get back to bed and near as I can tell she still loves me. Lesson learned after bedtime is no time to fight over food.

I Don't Want Them To Grow

Yesterday I dropped the kids off at the babysitters, Kathy's. As I went to leave Katie reached her arms up to me and whined "Poppa!" I guess many parents at this point would have been annoyed, but although I was cognizant of the time, I was not. I just reached down and picked her up. I could have held her forever. There is just something about when she reaches up for me and says "I want to hold you" that just warms my heart. I love to sit and watch TV with her on my lap and it doesn't bother me when her extremely curly hair tickles my nose. I love and cherish every moment of it. I know the time will come when she will be much more independent and won't want or need me anymore. I'm already beginning to miss her when she was younger, when she had to be carried everywhere.

I remember when she first learned to walk and hadn't learned to talk quite yet. She and I would walk to the mail box when we lived in our apartment. She would chatter the whole way to and from. She would chase after the neighborhood dogs, even though I tried to teach her that you don't run up to strange dogs.

I remember teaching her to walk. Everyday we would come home (Janet wasn't home yet) and I would prop her up against the couch and hold my hands out for her to come to me. What a wonderful day when she took those first steps!

I see Jasmyn learning things differently, she has learned to crawl and she is everywhere we let her go. She just loves to be mobile and I think she may be ready to start learning to walk.

One day in the future I'll be wishing for these days back.

God and the Election

Well I guess we all know about the election. I'm going to have to say, I am not pleased but thanks to our pastor, I realize it doesn't matter. God is in control.

A Day in the Life

I was able to get Katie up with little fussing and whining this morning. Yesterday was a wash because she cried from the time I got her up until the time I got her in the car. Bear in mind that I have to get her up and dressed and then get Jasmyn up and dressed. Most mornings she wants me to carry her to the car. I know she could walk, but I know the day is coming when she won't want to be held by me anymore and I'll take all I can get while I can still get it.

About a month ago we took the girls to see Disney on Ice, and Katie hasn't forgotten. Every time we pass by the coliseum she wants to go in to see the "movie." We would like to take her to see The Wiggles next week but we have visitation that night. We're going to ask Jasmyn's grandfather if he wants to go and bring his other granddaughter.

I don't know if Katie is starting to take to the potty training but she wants to wear underwear, I'm taking this as a good sign. We'll see.

I hope that a job offer comes through soon, because this job is driving me nuts. I know I don't have far to go.

A Little Sad

I've been a little sad this weekend...Started to feel better yesterday, but I think I'm sad again. Sometimes it's hard to explain why you feel sad, just that you do. That's the way I felt over the weekend. I'm not sure I why I was sad, I just knew I was. It's fairly odd when I'm sad because I'm usually an upbeat person with temper. So I'm usually happy or angry, mostly happy.

I started to feel better yesterday, especially when I took Katie outside to play with her. It was a beautiful day, but we could only stay outside for so long, before the mosquitoes drove us inside. Katie would have stayed until she became one big bite.

I was well on my way to recovery when I read April's newest post. I knew that she and Brian had gone through a miscarriage. I wanted to say something comforting, but I knew there was nothing to say. That's what I said -- nothing.

But it wasn't the fact that I said nothing that made me sad. It was remembering that years ago Janet and I went through the same thing -- twice. I remember Janet and I crying, and sometimes if I allow myself to dwell on it, I get sad.

I also remember a well meaning Christian brother (I didn't know him very well), offered to talk. He also told us about his experience. I didn't want to hear it, a hug or a pat on the back would have been better.

And so we want to adopt, not to replace the children we've lost, but because we love God, we love each other, and our love grows. There's plenty of room in hearts and our desire is to become a family.


Katie and Jasmyn

I love to tell stories of Katie and Jasmyn. Well more Katie than Jasmyn. I love Jasmyn, but she's not really doing a whole lot yet, so there's not a lot to tell.

The other night, I had Jasmyn to myself (with Katie that doesn't happen often). So I decided to teach her to walk (I know she's only ten months old, but she's gifted) . I propped her up against the recliner and held out my hands, she laughed (I told you she was gifted). At least she stood.

About a month ago, I took the kids to the babysitters and one of the mothers (I was going to say other mothers, but I'm not a mother) arrived. She said "If you need help, I'll take the baby."(I think she just wanted to hold the baby). I said "Okay," and then went around to get Katie out of the car. Katie began to cry and said "My Baby." If we have to give up Jasmyn, it's going to be hardest on Katie. Janet and I won't be far behind though.

Consistency

I've come to the conclusion that everything in life in order to be successful needs to begin with consistency. You want to be a good parent be consistent about you discipline. You want to do well at your job be consistent about your work habits. You want to get in shape be consistent about exercise. You want to be successful in your walk with Jesus then be consistent about your prayer and bible time.

The trouble is, I believe, we live in this fast food society where we can go through a drive through and get a tasty but less than nutritious meal in less than five minutes. And we want to do the same thing all the other aspects of our life. We are bombarded with ads like "Get fit in as little as 10 minutes a day!" And we buy into it. But the truth of it is we are just going to have to make some hard choices and turn off the TV. Get off the couch and start to move, eat properly, read our bibles and pray.

Tagged


I was sorta tagged by the rebellious April. She tagged anyone who read her post. And my mother had to go and teach me to read. I could tell you there is nothing interesting or noteworthy about my life, but that really not a prerequisite (thank you spell checker). Just random/weird things. (Deep breath) So here goes.

1. I was single until I was 36 years old. It wasn't that I didn't want to get married, but there were a lot (okay maybe not a lot) of women out there that just plain got on my nerves. Before Janet, my longest relationship was about four months. Janet and I might not have lasted very long either but she fed me.

2. I went to college on the twenty year plan. I started at Christopher Newport in 1984 when it was Christopher Newport College and graduated in 2004 when it was Christopher Newport University. If you think you are too old, "fogedaboutit." In my graduating class there was a woman who 69 years old.

3. I didn't become a poppa/dad until I was 44. We were already trying to adopt when we were asked to take in Katie. When we were asked, we didn't have to think about it very hard. We took her into our home and into our hearts. We haven't regretted a day since, a minute maybe, but never a day.

4. I hate driving, which is why you see Janet driving most of the time. She's not crazy about driving, but she hates it less than I do. And she is far more patient than I am.

5. I am completely deaf in my right ear. Whenever, I walk with people I'm always jockeying for the position to the right of them so I can hear what they are saying. If you watch Janet and I, she is almost always to my left.

6. While this is not necessarily weird, it is random and needs to be said constantly: I love my wife. She is the first person who always made me feel important and unconditionally loved. Sometimes I think I don't always treat her the way she should be. But she is the damsel for this knight in not so shining armor.

7. Lastly, but not most importantly, I want to be liked by everyone. I envy Janet because she is. She is very shy and very quiet, but when you get to know her she is also very genuine and everyone likes her. I think maybe I try too hard.

Well that's enough about me, and I'm going to be less rebellious than April and actually tag someone. I'm going to tag Christina Clayton Brandal. One because she's my neighbor and Keith doesn't have a blog, two because she's the only other person I know in the blogshpere that hasn't been tagged and three because she needs to update her blog.

Writing again

I told someone I enjoyed reading their blog and they thought I was being sarcastic. I don't understand why they would think that. Anyway, they hadn't posted in a month or two, but I had only begun reading it. I was reading the archives. She said that when she blogged she wanted to be witty and entertaining, which I understand, because I think that's why I was so sporadic in the beginning. But I figure I'm only so witty and entertaining so I'm going to settle for not dull and dreadful.

The Heart

If you have been reading my blog (I'm wondering who that individual is) you know that we have been reading Tedd Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart." I have begun to realize that in order for me to shepherd a anyone's heart, I am going to have to start guarding my heart and everything in it. I was really made aware of this yesterday when I was taking my children to the babysitter's house. I had my cruise control on riding in the right hand lane when I came upon an exit (or entrance) ramp. There were cars on my left so I couldn't move over and a car was trying to get on the interstate. Instead of speeding up he maintained his speed and moved over in front of me. Well I find this kind of driving extremely aggravating and called him (under my breath) "stupid." I could go on for days about how bad of a driver he was, but the real issue here was how I reacted. Even though no heard me, including the two little ones in the back, this was still about what was in my heart.

Jesus said "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." Matthew 15:18-19 (NASB)

Sometimes we get into this mode of "they did this or they did that" and we feel that we are justified in our reactions. But if we use Jesus as our model, we would react differently. I'll confess this is a major issue with me, I usually want my revenge in the form of a harsh word or an evil stare. It is my goal that I become a man of God and I know that the first place to start is my heart. Pray for me that I focus on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute."

Off Topic

I know this is off topic, if I really have a topic, but I have something that sort of bothers me. Why is it that when you drive to work and set the cruise control and ride in the right hand lane there is always someone who will speed up and pass you at an extremely high rate of speed, and then get into the right hand lane and slow down. I mean I wasn't going fast enough so they passed me and slowed down slower than I was going. It seems to me that they could have just stayed where they were. Grace, I must remember grace.

More importantly I must remember to pray for Jasmyn's mom (Lizzie) and grandfather (Blaine). I'm pretty sure they both need the grace of God. I would like to see that relationship healed, but it looks like they need a miracle right now.

Are you crazy...

Well Katie and I had an interesting conversation on Sunday and not very flattering. She had gotten hold of something and I was trying to get it from her without prying it out of her fingers. She ended the conversation by looking at me and smiling while she said "Are you crazy?" There was nothing more I could say or do other than laugh.

Discouraging

Well, yesterday we spent three hours waiting for the court case for Jasmyn to start. The case lasted 20 minutes without much being resolved. What was ordered was that they were going to try and reconcile (or return) Jasmyn to her original home and if that doesn't work they are going to try to place her with relatives. I suppose it would be selfish of me to hope none of that would happen and that Jasmyn would be placed with us permanently. Janet lamented afterward that we have friends who have adopted multiple children and we can't even adopt one. It is very discouraging.

Writing

I've always had this hankerin' to write, but I've never been able to sit down and do it. It's just that a blank screen or piece of paper makes my mind go blank. They say to write what you know, but what if you don't know anything.

Shameless movie plug

Janet and I had the opportunity to have date night and we both wanted to see the new Fireproof movie. We both enjoyed it immensely, and highly recommend it. Go see and let me know what you think.

Kids do say the darndest things

Well let me introduce you to Jasmyn our foster daughter. She has the greatest smile, although she is smiling in the picture. Katie just loves her and wants to play with her all the time. We just have to be careful that she is not to rough with Jasmyn. At 3 1/2 she doesn't quit understand the need for gentility. Jasmyn has been with us for a couple of months, and the grandfather, Blaine, has just started visitation in our home.

Last Thursday we told him that Jasmyn has started crawling and he wanted to see. So he put Jasmyn on the floor and Katie looked a Jasmyn and said "One, Two, Three, GO!!!" I don't need to tell you the adults busted out laughing.

Introducing the Savior

Last night we began a group study of Tedd Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart." Let me start out by saying even though I've read approximately 50% of the book, I like what he's saying. He talks about getting to the "heart" of the matter or the reason children misbehave. The same reason we do, because our hearts are not right. But my complaint is that there doesn't appear to be any practical application. How do we start to introduce our three year old to Jesus? And then how do we address those issues?

Let the Air out of your Ego

Okay so I'm not so good at this blogging stuff. I can't seem to do this on a regular basis. My goal is to write everyday and if you look at the date between this post and the last post you can see I'm extremely bad.

Last night at church I went down to get Katie from the nursery so that she and Janet could go home. Janet was getting Jasmyn, our foster child. Christina our neighbor from across the street was picking up her little girl, Victoria. (Next story I'm just going to post a cast of characters). Christina said, "I'm so lucky to have a child that makes me feel loved." Apparently Victoria had screamed in delight when she saw her mommy. Well knowing that Katie always screams "Pappa" at the top of her lungs whenever she sees me I said "Watch this", and went in to get Katie. She took one looked at me and said "noooo." I was interrupting an important game of "Duck, Duck, Goose." My ego was severely deflated. Oh well very little lasts forever.