Monday, March 30, 2009

The Little Things

There are times, it's the little things you miss that you didn't realize you took for granted.

For example, a full night's sleep is a blessing. The nights we know Vanessa is caring for Titus, we know we can rest peacefully. But, I never realized how much I took for granted the luxury of just falling in bed to sleep with no alarms going off.

And going to church - another little thing that I didn't realize how much I took that freedom for granted. These days, I only make it to worship service 1-2 times a month. One of us is generally staying home with Titus (or if we take Titus, one of us sits outside with him). I am so glad our church broadcasts the service live on the web on Sunday mornings, but it still doesn't replace the experience of corporate worship, of being there in person, of worshipping with the body of Christ.

This last Sunday (after a rough night with Titus), I was so excited to be in worship, but so exhausted after the sleepless night (which makes me ashamed of nodding off a bit.) I never want to take for granted the freedom I have of corporate worship - to be in God's house with God's people praising Him. And yet I realize, that for years of never missing church on Sunday or Wednesday nights, that I have really taken that freedom for granted. It's not until you lose the ability to do what you have always done that you realize how much you did it without thinking about it. And, when you think about it, worship is something that should never be taken for granted. We were born for worship, we were made for worship and yet, sadly, too many times we just show up. Sad to say, but I am just now coming into the realization of how often I have just showed up.

I Peter 2:9 states "But you are a chosen people . . . a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

Lord, remind me again of my purpose to declare your praise.

And while I'm on the subject of worship - I want to thank a few people.

Curtis R. - you are the best Bible teacher I have sat under. You make me think, you challenge me, your passion is contagious, and you are always prepared. I so appreciate the time you spend preparing (and now blogging) so that we as a class will learn. I so appreciate your openness and honesty.

Myron W. - You usher me into the throne room of Jesus each and every Sunday with your music, your scripture, the videos, the entire experience. One of the things I have commented the most about our music on Sundays is that it's not a production, but a worship experience. Thank you (and your awesome staff) for your preparation, your humbleness, and your willingness to serve. I miss singing in the choir - and one of these days will get back there.

Pastor Jeff - When we joined FBC, McKinney several years ago, we had several objectives in choosing a church. One of them was that we had a pastor who was real and attainable - not just a man on the screen or behind the pulpit (or bistro table), but a man who would be real - specifically for my boys. You have reached out to our family and shown my boys the character of a humble servant-leader. You are a true shepherd. Your passion for your flock is so real. You are a man of vision. Very rarely do men of vision see all that they dream realized. My prayer is that you will see those dreams realized and that your legacy lives on for generations to come. And Happy Anniversary for your 10 years at FBC.

Happy Birthday to You!

To my wonderful, incredible, amazing wife,
Happy, Happy Birthday! I have so enjoyed sharing the last 15 birthdays with you and look forward to many, many more. It was so fun planning your surprise and spending the weekend with you shopping/eating/spa'ing/sleeping and eating some more.

You run a triathlon everyday between the boys, house, and homeschool. You are truly an iron(wo)man!

Love you dearly,


Thursday, March 26, 2009


We were at dinner last night with friends. As I was getting our chips and salsa (yes - we were at Tin Star - I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone), there were two pre-teen kids talking. They were having dinner with their moms and were getting the drinks for the table. As they were walking back to the table, I overheard this conversation.

The boy (about 10 years old) says to the girl, "My mom wants me to try smoking a cigarette so I can see how bad it is. I keep telling her I don't want to do it, but she wants me to try it so I'll know".

Wow - is that what parenting pre-teens has come to?

Well, mom - if I may, can I ask you a few questions?

What are you going to do if he does like it? Are you going to let him keep smoking?

Are you going to do the same thing with alcohol? I could see you drinking your glass of wine, so at what age are you going to let him have a drink?

And what about teaching your child about sex and relationships? What choices are you going to provide to your children in that arena?

Maybe we need to go back to Genesis and remember what happened in the Garden. God the Father created an incredible place for Adam and Eve to live, provided them with all their needs along with one caveat - do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And life was good.

And then the serpent came along. It wasn't God the Father that tempted Eve it was Satan. The Father provided boundaries, guidelines and life; Satan provided temptation, lies, and death.

So, then why as parents should we tempt our children with things we know that are evil? Yes, our children will make choices, but should we as the parents be the ones encouraging them? It just amazes when I see parents playing the role of the serpent instead of the protector and the provider.

So, I pray this little boy stands by what he knows is right and his mom doesn't undermine that teaching.

I'll get off my soap box now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mom is Home

Becky got home last night around 11pm. Her flight from Chicago was cancelled, but she was able to get on an earlier flight (which didn't matter since they sat on the ground for awhile prior to take-off).

Tucker and Cade went to a friends for the day and night where they are being spoiled rotten (a trip to pump-it-up, non-stop play in the backyard, trip to Walmart and new clothes). And then Tucker complained of the water being too hot in the bathroom, so he forgot to turn it off, and apparently flooded their bathroom.

Aidan and Noah spent the day at MeeMaw and PeePaw's where they did chores and played the Wii with Peep. We then had a guy's night with dinner at Pei Wei and a movie at the house.

Titus has had a great week - and it looks like there are a few teeth just moments from poking through. But he was one happy boy this morning with his mom. He was just a laughing and playing knowing that his Mom was back home.

The rest of the week is busy - we have friends in town tonight, parenting seminar tomorrow night, and then Becky's birthday is this weekend. Since it's a significant number, we have some big plans for her, but she has no idea. But if you happen to see her, please wish her a happy birthday!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Me and the Boys

Becky left for Niles, MI this afternoon with her sister Angela. Angela will be moving up there as soon as she finishes raising her support and will be working for Nancy Lee DeMoss. Angela has found a brand-new house that the builder has dropped the price on significantly. Last night, she found a very cheap, last-minute flight for her and Becky so off they went for a few days.

That leaves me and the boys fending for ourselves for the weekend till Tuesday. We've already gotten the lawned mowed, the aquarium cleaned, the house picked up, and now we are off to Dickey's for dinner.

It looks like Titus has caught a bit of my cold that I brought back from the UK. He's had some increased drainage and a slight fever the last few days, but has slept incredibly well in spite of it all.

Yesterday, Titus went back to the ENT to have his cochlear programmed for the next level. We can already tell he's hearing a bit more things now. It's incredible to see how he responds to sound.

So, we would appreciate your prayers for Becky and Angela as they are in MI - and that Angela find the perfect house. And for me and the boys here in town that we relax and have some fun around the house.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recent Pics

I downloaded a few pics from the last few weeks that I thought I would share.
Titus has always slept with his arms straight out - we think it comes from the weeks in the hospital when his arms were strapped down. But to this day, he sleeps all sprawled out.

And, then here's the pic from the night they did the sleep study. They had probes all over his head. I can only imagine what he was thinking.

And, a few weeks ago, we moved Titus to a high chair during meal times (not his meal time but ours). This puts him at the same height as the rest of us during dinner and gives him a new place to sit and play. He's still a little short for it, but he sits up in it just fine.

And last of all, here is Titus with PeePaw the day PeePaw came home from the hospital. They hadn't see each other in 6 weeks. I love how they are checking each other out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Becky's Entry

I was reading a Karen Kingsbury book about a baby who had anencephaly. The family chose to carry the baby to term and celebrate the few hours she lived. In the book it was talking about the story of Elijah in First Kings... First there came a powerful wind, but the Lord was not in the wind... next there wan an earthquake,but the Lord wasn’t there, either. Then came a fire, but He wasn’t in the fire either... then he heard a gentle whisper and knew God was in the whisper.

As I read through the painful joys and sorrows of this sweet baby, it carried me back to the day Titus was born. It was one of the greatest days of my life... It was just Paul and I for the afternoon at the hospital. It was quiet, sweet time. When Titus was born, not a sound was made. The room slowly filled with Drs, nurses and such and still not a sound was made that I could hear. Fairly quickly they took Titus to ICU, and Paul followed. That day, His still small voice was heard in the gift of Titus. I was left alone in a hospital room for quite some time... The only words I kept saying to God was, “You are good and I trust you.” It truly was a time the Lord carried me through, filling my soul with a peace that only He could give. On a day I thought would be full of celebration and a baby’s cry, instead was full of empty arms and 4 sweet boys who all had to leave the hospital without kisses and hugs for the baby they had prayed so long for.

Tonight as I was weeping, I was reminded of what His gentle whisper is in my world today... the quiet beeps of the heart monitor while He sleeps peacefully, sometimes it’s the labored breathing as Titus is fighting to keep his airway open while he sleeps, and it is also the wide toothy grin when he senses you are close to his face.

I must admit some moments feel dark and that the storm may overtake me, but it is often followed by His joy and pure delight that is shown between the brothers and Titus. Life is God’s to give and His to take. The world doesn’t always value broken babies, but I consider myself blessed to be Titus’ mom.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ring Bearer, Batman, or James Bond

Tucker put on the tuxedo and said, "I'm Batman!" And that was pretty much his tone for the day. He did a great job as ring bearer for cousin Kris' wedding to Kim. You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful couple on a perfect day for an outdoor wedding. Tucker did great and gave a shout-out to Noah as he walked down the aisle. He leaned against cousin Justin during most of the wedding. It's a good think that Justin is around 6'4" and could take the constant pressure of 30 lbs hitting you right at the knees.

So, Tuck-Tuck, we are all proud of you. You did good!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Busy Day, Busy Week

Tucker is to be the ring bearer at our cousin, Kris D., wedding today. He did a good job at rehearsal last night so we anxiously optimistic that he will do a good job today. It's an outdoor wedding at White Rock lake. And so far, today is a beautiful day with a light breeze. We are praying it stays that way (it was a bit overcast and windy yesterday). If you have the chance, please say a prayer for Kim and Kris - not only for the start of their beautiful life together, but Kim has had the flu and strep throat over the last few weeks, and now she has mono. She was incredibly gracious last night, but if you have had mono before, you know how it can just wear you out.

And as soon as the wedding is over, I'll be headed to the airport to fly to the UK for a week in Manchester. I am attending a series of meetings over the next few days as we gather information about HR processes around our company. It's kind of funny in a way, Friday was my 3rd year anniversary with this company, and I am finally doing the job I was hired to do 3 years ago.

Titus and I are spending the morning together before we head out for the wedding and airport. He has been so happy lately. He is really learning to play and interact. When playing, he reaches and waves those hands out in front of him - searching for your hands or the toy you are playing with. And when he finds your hands, he just smiles and laughs. And, he's really learned to do this at bedtime, which makes it difficult to let him go to sleep since he is so alert and wants to play (little stinker is learning how to postpone bedtime).

I'll post pics of the wedding as soon as I get the opportunity. Tucker looks might spiffy in his tux.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dad is Coming Home

After 57 days at Parkland/Zale Lipshy, Dad is being released to go home today. He is so excited (and so is Mom). He will spend several weeks at home in the wheelchair, then will go back for therapy for walking after they are assured all the bones are healed.

This week, when my tank was leaking under the aquarium, my first thought was "where is my dad?" He would know how to fix this in a split-second (or 5-minute job as he would call it - that would generally turn into an all day job). But then I thought, Dad didn't raise me to watch, he raised me to do - so I thought - what would Dad do with a leaky tank. And I took action. Now, it ain't pretty, but it's functional and it's fixed. I think Dad would be proud! And, I'm proud of my Dad who has endured the last 57 days. I know he can't wait to get home tonight and have his bowl of ice cream before bed time (his frozen bottle as we would call it).

Secondly, I have mentioned Ethan C several times before. He's the teenager who was in the PICU with Titus at Medical City. Ethan is still there, but we got the call last night that he is having surgery today at noon to replace his pacemaker. If all goes well, he should be able to go home soon. This is so encouraging since that morning, they stated surgery may not happen for several more weeks. The surgeon had a cancellation and was able to slot Ethan in today. Please continue to pray for Ethan and his family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Old - Part 2

Last week when we got the call that Titus could come home from the hospital, we had to arrange to get Becky's suburban to me since I didn't have any oxygen in my car or the car seat.

Becky's mom, Nana, brought the car down to my office. Since my cell phone was acting up, Nana came into the office and asked the receptionist to page me. I come out, Nana and I exchange keys, and I walk back into the office.

And, my platinum blonde receptionist asks, "Is that your wife?"

"NO", I replied, "That's my mother-in-law!"

Yep - officially old.

Old - Part 1

Ever have just one of those days?

After an incredibly busy day at work, I come home to find the tank the sump pump is in for the aquarium is leaking. It takes a little ingenuity, but I get the tank drained and everything dried out.

Meanwhile, all of the boys are running on extra energy and could barely stay in their seats at dinner. And, Titus joined us at the dinner table! We put him the high chair for the first time (it was reclined a bit) and he loved being up at the same level as the rest of us. It was such a joy to have all 7 of us around the table.

After dinner, Becky and I are catching up and the phone rings. I jump up and run down the hall to get the phone, except that I didn't make the corner in the hall. The next thing I know, my feet are going up in the air, my shoulder hits the wall as my hip hits the floor - and as they use to say "fatboy is down".

Aidan answers the phone- it's for me - and Aidan says "dad's fallen and he can't get up".

Yep - I'm officially old.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Boy

Titus is back to his happy, content self. It is always amazing to see how resilient and fast he can bounce back. He started back to Therapy this week, and although his muscles are tense/tight, he was a trooper. Before we went into the hospital a few weeks back, Titus got his leg braces. They look like little boots and will go below the knee. They will be used to provide and support to his legs. We are working on turning his hips/legs in so he will sit with his legs straight out in front of him.

He has been laughing and playing with his toys more and more each day. We have also learned to clap our hands in front of his chest before we pick him up. He will then reach up and grab our hands. When we praise him, he just grins and laughs. But lately, when we put him bed, he decides to play - and will laugh if we tickle him in bed or play peek-a-boo. It does seem like he sees more and more. Someday we will found out how much vision he actually has.

He's in desperate need of a haircut. I do believe his hair grows twice as fast as the rest of the boys. They all got haircuts last night, but after getting through all 4 of them, I was too tired to do one more. Now, I have to also explain, we setup our new 150 gallon salt-water aquarium yesterday (we meaning mostly Mike M - thank you so much) . So not only did I load/unload 30 5-gallon jugs of salt-water, but then I had to raise them over my head (or balance on the ladder) to slowly pour them into the aquarium. Let's just say, I definitely got my workout yesterday. So after lifting a ton of water, cutting 4 boys hair wore me out. But Titus will get his haircut today and I'll take new pics to post.