Friday, August 28, 2009

Cutie Pie

Titus fell asleep while feeding - and although he doesn't really hold his feeding tube while we feed him, he does "hold" it (and a few times, has pulled the syringe out of the tube which makes for a lovely mess to clean up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It was finally time for it to happen. After years of wearing my glasses at the end of my noise, or carrying them around constantly, it came down to either putting them on a chain around my neck (not acceptable) or getting new glasses. It was no surprise when they stated they would be putting my into multifocal lenses (that's a new way of saying tri-focals).

And you know you're a bit old when you are actually looking FORWARD to getting new glasses since we all know my arms have gotten way too short.

Two weeks ago, after getting off the plane from India, I went to pick up my new glasses. The technician told me it would take at least 2 weeks to get use to the new lenses. And after 5 days, I have to agree. I find myself "searching" for focus and then locking in once I find it. But, I amazed at the clarity of things that I was missing before.

And this has led me to thinking about my own focus on things: how nearsighted is my world? It's easy to get into the trap of only looking at those things in my immediate area and concern. It's easy to have a selfish view of the world. It's easy to only focus on the one child in the family with special needs and to forget their are 4 other boys who also have needs.

Dear Lord, May I view the world as you see it - a world of hurt and opportunity, a world of pain and joy, a world where there is so much need and you have blessed me with so much I could give, a world outside of my self. Remind me to just not focus on the little things right in front of me, but to also see all that surrounds me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Last night, while eating Indian food at the hotel restaurant, a cello and electric guitar starting playing in the lobby. My first thought was that was an interesting combination of musical instruments, but they were quite talented. As we listened, the music sounded very familiar. And then the words of the song hit me - "I'm on the Top of the World looking down on creation . . . ". Yes, it was the Carpenters "Top of the World". I don't think I've heard that song since I played it on my 8-track player in the 70's. And then they followed it up with "Oh Shenadoah".

Let's just say, it was bit surreal hearing American folk music considering the surroundings.

The office is convinced they are going to get us out of the building today so we can sight-see and go shopping. We'll see how that goes.

The reflecting pools surround the pool which is down the steps. If I open my curtains in my room, the reflecting pools are right up to the edge. Every morning, they clean out any leaves or flowers that may have fallen in the pools. Let's just say, I wasn't expecting to open my curtains in the morning and see the maintenance guy in his waders right outside my window picking up leaves in the pool (and I don't think he was expecting to see me there in my PJs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It’s nothing like what I expected – although I’m not entirely sure what I was going to expect.

From the moment we stepped out customs, it was a sea of people. There is a certain relief when you see your name on a card being held by taxi service to take you to your hotel. Once in the car, the traffic, even late at night, amazes me. The lines on the road mean nothing – they are just lines on the road. People are walking in the median on the freeway, rickshaws are cycling on the shoulder of the freeway with anywhere from 1 to 8 people inside, stop signs and traffic lights are ignored. People drive whatever speed they feel comfortable with. If you need to pull across traffic, there’s no need to wait for an opening in traffic, they just drive into oncoming traffic and wait. If you need to get around a car, just drive into the oncoming lane of traffic to get around. To an outsider, it may seem like chaos, and yet, traffic moves, horns honk, but there are no accidents. Maybe because I was jetlagged, I didn’t care, but even today, I sat there motionless and let the driver do the driving.

As chaotic as the city can be, the moment we pull into the hotel compound, the world changes. After driving through the gates, the noise and smells of the city seem to immediately stop and you are greeting with quiet and the smell of lemongrass and sandalwood. Someone opens my car door and escorts me through the calm pools and gardens to the lobby. The front doors are opened and the cool air of the lobby slaps you in the face. I try to keep my jaw from hitting the floor (acting like I check into world-class 5-star hotels all the time), but my mind is reeling with opulence, cleanliness, and beauty of this place.

Since most of our India office supports work in the UK, they tend to work UK hours. We have showed up both mornings at 10am and even still, we are the first people in the office. Most people show up between 11 and 12 and work to 7 and 8pm. I also realize the commonality of all our offices globally. All of our offices utilize an open-office concept. There are very few offices, and very few walls.

Power outages occur often – at the hotel and office. Every place has backup generators that kick on, but let’s just say, when you are in the bathroom and all the lights go out for 1 minute, you just learn to stay where you are at. They always kick back on after a minute or two.

The drive to and from the office lets us see a bit of Delhi. The basic things I have noticed are no zoning, no parking lots, and farm animals in the city. It’s not uncommon to see wild pigs, dogs, cows, and horses roaming around. I’ve been told there are monkeys around, but have yet to see them. You look up and see beautiful high-rise apartments and office buildings, but when you look at the base, you see the tin lean-to’s where kids are running around and raw sewage runs through the shacks. Construction is everywhere in Delhi. They have told us how so much has boomed in the last 5 years and that property values have shot up 400%. Since the cost of living in the city is high, many of our workers live a ways out, but they have taxis pick up every worker and bring them in to work every day and take them home every night. They are considered a preferred provider since they do this and use air-conditioned taxis. It’s basically a car-pool service picking up to 6 people, but logistically is a nightmare to manage.

The dichotomy between the hotel and the city strikes me. I know we are told to “live in the world, but not of it”. Living in the hotel is quite, peaceful, calm, beautiful, and a safe haven. But I can’t work there, and I can’t stay there (I would like to stay there, but I think I would get to fat and happy being waited on hand-and-foot). We have to leave the comfort zone and go into the world. We have to see the poverty, feel the heat, smell the city, and work among the people. We have to stop being served and serve others. As Christians, you need the safe haven for retreat from the world, for worship, for fellowship, but you can’t stay there. You have to go out into the world, make a difference, and work. Matthew 29:19 “Therefore go . . . “.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Saturday morning, prior to going to the airport, we were having some fun family time. The boys were playing twister, and then we all sat down to play UNO.

During the game, Aidan turns to Cade and says, "You are so unpredictable."

To which Cade replies "I am not dedictable".

Of course, we all start laughing, and Cade then says "I"m gonna hang you on the wall with nails."

And then Tucker adds, "Just like Jesus".

That's made me laugh all day long.
After 20 hours, I have finally made it to Delhi and the hotel. We are staying at a phenomenal hotel. The gardens and pools alone make this place spectacular (and I've only seen it in the dark).

It should be a fast and furious week here, but will be great to come back to the hotel and rest in comfort.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Last night, Becky wanted to go for a quick walk around the block. But I piped up that I would go with her, and then before you knew it, we had two little boys who wanted to write their scooters with us.

After what seemed like 30 minutes of getting shoes on and getting scooters out of the garage (side-tracked by taking the garage bins out to the street for pick up on Friday morning), we finally started on our walk.

Tucker and Cade whizzed by us, amazing us with their agility and balance. One of our neighbors drove down the street and waved, and we kept walking, enjoying the gentle breeze of the summer evening.

A few seconds later, the same neighbor drove back by and pulled over.

"I've been meaning to come over and talk to you - how do you feel about Medical City Dallas?"

Since most of Titus' doctors are at Medical City and we have spent literally months there for the last 21 months, we answered "love it".

And then she told us that her husband, our neighbor - Bill, had just been diagnosed with leukemia and had been checked into Medical City for chemotherapy and treatment.

As Becky gave her information on Medical City and a friend's number to call who has recently gone through this, she stopped and prayed with her.

And that's when it hit me on timing - a few minutes earlier or later and we would have missed her on the street. And that's when you know, God's timing is always perfect. He's never late - He has set the appointments of life where we have a chance to be a witness, to be a minister, to show we care.

And now that we know, we have the responsibility to pray and to assist. As I told her, anytime day or night, knock on our door if you need something. Vanessa may answer if she's there, but do not hesitate to call on us. And, we told her we would pray and I would like to make that request of you also; I ask that you pray for Bill and Cindy as this new, unexpected journey has taken them down a path they weren't prepared for.

On another note, Noah just got home from camp. I asked him what was the first thing he wanted to do when he got home (thinking he would say "take a nap"), but he said "Dad - what do you think - I'm gonna take a shower!" I'm glad he will have accomplished that before I get home. But he was ecstatic and bubbling over with excitement about the fun he had at camp.

Titus has had a good week. His stander and new chair are doing wonders for him. Many of you also saw my posts on Facebook this week that our day nurse, Lisa, fell down the back stair case at the house on Wednesday. She did not break in any bones, but she is still in pain and very, very sore. Lisa is "one of the family" and when she hurts, we hurt. Please continue to pray for her healing and pain relief.

Last of all, I head out to India tomorrow for a week of work. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this trip, but I'm sure it will be incredibly eye-opening for all the senses. I have to say, that as a young kid growing up in a small south Texas town, I never dreamed I would have a career that would take me all over this world.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Off to Camp

"Noah, time to get up. It's 5am". I quietly walked through his room careful to step on any Legos that might be on the floor.

"I'm ready" Noah stated. He popped out of bed, already dressed.

Why am I not surprised that he slept in his clothes last night.

He came downstairs and read the newspaper with me while fixing his pop-tart and giving me time to drink one cup of coffee.

I look at my 11-year old, second-born son. He is getting so tall and yet still maintains that child-like innocence. He towers over his friends, and can spend ours discussing the details of all 6 Star Wars, or how to build anything with Legos.

"Go tell mom good-bye, and let's put your stuff in the car"

He runs off to snuggle with mom in bed and then we put his suitcase and sleeping bag in the car.

The ride to the church is mostly quiet. I provided him with a quick verbal lesson about how to roll-up his dirty clothes and put them back in his suitcase, along with a reminder to hang his towel up to dry and to please "PLEASE" (for the sake of the rest of the campers) take a shower everyday.

As we arrive, we stop the car and pray.

If there is one thing I want my boys to know as they grow up, it's that their dad prays for them. And that they hear their dad pray in their ear, specifically when they are facing something new or different. We did it Friday night before Noah walked out on stage for his program and this morning, before we got out of the van, we did it again.

"Father, watch over my son this week while he is at camp. I ask for safety and protection, but I also ask you show him great and might things through the word of God this week. Remind him to reach out to those looking for a friend, help those who need assistance, look for ways to serve when the need arises, and have fun. And, remind him to take a shower everyday - just cause he's swimming twice a day doesn't keep the boy clean. Thank you Lord for a boy who steps up, goes outside his comfort zone to try new things, and is a friend to all."

With Noah gone this week, and with Ashley, Morgan, and Leighton back home with their family, it's going to seem very quiet with only 4 kids in the house. And, Tucker and Cade are spending the night at MeeMaw's and PeePaw's, which only leaves Aidan and Titus tonight. It's going to be very, very quiet.