Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mr. Titus Goes to Austin

Becky, her mom, and the boys got back home around 9:45pm last night. I haven't received a full report, but here's what I know.

On Sunday, after Becky decided to go, it was a furious display of activity while everyone prepared. Aidan, Tucker, and Cade washed the Suburban after they had packed their bags. Becky "fretted" a bit about what to wear and finally settled on her combination of clothing and jewelry (had to show a little bling). Meanwhile, I worked on finding them a hotel that was reasonable in cost/distance from the capitol.

Once all were packed, they took off around 4:30pm on Sunday - arriving at 9pm in Austin. Upon arrival, Becky discovered her luggage was missing and in fact, still sitting in the master bathroom. She looked up and the "promised land" was across the street (Target) and was still open. She and Aidan made a very quick shopping trip where she purchased the basics (and the "heaviest earrings ever" which kept falling off.)

While she was traveling, she asked me to write up the testimony to present since a written copy is generallly left behind. I worked on that and Becky edited upon arrival.

On Monday, Becky had to be at the hearing room by 7am to sign-up to testify. After enrolling, Becky, her mom, and all 5 boys then showed up at 9:30am for the hearing and testimonies. Becky wasn't called up to testify around 11am. (And yes - that means all the boys were occupied during the two hours to wait).

Becky was able to speak to how services provided from the state of TX through various programs dealing with Deaf / Blind children have been incredibly beneficial for Titus. She pleaded with them to not cut funding for these programs since they are vital to the health and quality of life for Titus and other deaf/blind children.

After her testimony, and on the way to lunch, they caught a glimpse of Governor Rick Perry, saw the Pony Express ride up to the capitol to present a proclamation, and Tucker climbed the rail next to a very rare painting and gave the security guard a heart attack (I'm sure he won't do that again).

During the afternoon, Becky had the opportunity to also testify at another hearing or go visit the Texas School for the Blind - and honestly - this is where my update ends. I'm not sure which she decided to do and the next quick call I got was that they were headed out on the road to come home. They got home last night around 9:45pm - all quite exhausted except for Titus who was ready to play since he was out of the car seat. I took care of getting Titus to bed and as I was finishing up, the night nurse showed up, and it was lights out for the rest of us.

Becky has pictures and more to say - but I'll have to get that from her tonight.

Thanks for all your prayers. I know some people thought we were absolutely crazy to drop and go like that, but we are learning that if we are not an advocate for Titus, no one else will be. And, it's also about obedience. When you hear the call, you have a choice. You can sit around and discuss/debate about it for hours/days/weeks (and possibly miss the opportunity) or blindly obey and receive the blessing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


While sitting at lunch after church today, Becky looked at me and said "Don't think I'm crazy, but I just got an email and they need families to speak at the Tx House of Representatives Appropriations Committee tomorrow as they review budgets for deaf/blind children. Can I take the boys and go?"

And I said "sure - what a great opportunity".

And that's our life in a nutshell - you got to be flexible when opportunities come up.

And I know my mom is thinking "See - all those times I told you to "play it by ear" are now paying off."

The boys are excited to stay in a hotel. Becky and I are excited that they will get to see the state government at work. But most of all, I'm excited that my wife will get the opportunity to be an advocate  - not just for Titus, but for all the kids in TX that have disabilities. There are approx. 700 kids in the TX school system that are deaf/blind. And we are very fortunate to live in Dallas where we receive great services from the Division of Blind Services and other related agencies. And, as you have heard, the TX state budget is looking at a $10 billion shortfall. There are numerous places they are looking to trim the budget - education being one of the biggest targets.

Our prayer is that Becky will represent our family and all families who live with a child with special needs and receive services offered from the state. These services are vital to the life and education of our children. So join me in praying for her tomorrow as she shows up at 7am to be part of the open testimony period.

(Right now, she's more worried about what to wear than what to say - you know my Beck - never at a loss of words, but she keeps asking me "what does one wear to an appropriations committee meeting?"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Down to Me

Last weekend, with all the boys sick, Becky and I were thankful that we had not caught anything. But last night, the stomach virus hit Becky. As you can imagine, I am now paranoid that I am the only one remaining who has not gotten sick.

I've yet to understand why stomach virus's wait to hit till 10pm at night. And I swear this virus has a timer that goes off every hour for 4-5 hours. Poor Beck  - we have been keeping her in bed today and making sure she gets her rest.

Titus is slowly improving, but still has a hacky cough and secretions. As soon as I say his fever goes away, he starts a small fever. So, I'll just say, he's making improvement.

We are now going on our 3rd day of being house-bound due to the icy roads and below-freezing temps. It has not gotten any where close to above freezing since Tuesday morning. And now they are saying there's a possibility of snow tomorrow before the temps rise for the weekend.

My theory is that Dallas is doing everything they possible can to keep the Green Bay Packers feeling "at home" with the cold temps. But yesterday, it was actually to cold for even the Packers to practice outside. So they used the Highland Park High School indoor stadium for practice. (And for those outside of Texas - yes, we have High Schools that have indoor football practice facilities.)

Thanks for the prayers and concern.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brrrr - It is COLD!

If you are in the USA, then you know we are experiencing quite a winter. And right now, it's 13 degrees in Dallas and I have several inches of ice covering my driveway (and all the roads) with a light dusting of snow. And, it's not suppose to be above freezing for the next few days.

Let's just say, it's really putting a damper on the Super Bowl events planned all over the city this week. But, should be all warmed up by the weekend. But at least, it's keeping the Packers acclimated so they are ready to beat the Steelers on Sunday.

A quick update on all the illness - Cade is still running a fever, Noah and Aidan are still coughing, and Titus is still hacking/coughing with thick congestion, but he's not running a fever. With the ice tonight, our night nurse has cancelled. If we can just get everyone to stop coughing, they will all get to sleep.