Saturday, June 23, 2007

This Man Eats Maggots

Alrighty.

It's time to talk about this fella.

Oh yep.

Have you seen this show?

Man vs. Wild?

If not, here's what happens:

This man, Bear Grylls jumps out of a helicopter and lands in the middle of nowhere.

He has to get back to safety using only a few survival tools.

Usually those few survival tools consist of a flint and a water canteen.

I have seen this man smack a live fish with a piece of wood, hold up that fish and say, "This will make a tasty meal."

"That's nice," I think. It will. Fish is good. It's low in cholesterol. I'm glad this dirty man is going to get to eat.

But then he says, "Making a fire will be too much trouble, so I'm just going to eat it raw...right here...in front of you."

And then he does.

And then I gag.

Too much trouble to make a fire?

Too much TROUBLE?

It's more trouble to make a fire than to eat a fish RAW?

I would need a million years to wrap my brain around that logic.

Holding the stunned, flopping fish he says, like it's no big deal..."You take one big bite, then stick your hand in the hole, and rip all it's guts right out."

No. No you don't.

No. I want him to stop that.

My family begs me to watch this show with them.

At a rate of about three times per show this happens in our living room:

Bear does something so nasty that my boys start DANCING around the room, high-fiving each other, beating their chests, so proud of their hero and that they have the same boy parts that he has.

I on the other hand almost vomit into the cushions on the couch.

Here are some highlights of his shows that have sent me running out of the room or made me start beating the couch saying, "No! No! No! God please, No!"

He held up a cute little tree frog and said, "There are no poisonous tree frogs in the swamps of Louisiana."

"That's nice, I think."

And then he ate the frog.

And then Bear called that frog, "protein."

No. That was a frog, fool.

It was alive.

If that wasn't bad enough, he said, "You have to kill it on the first bite, or it wiggles all the way down your throat."

I almost gagged when I typed that.

Really.

I've seen him walk up to a dead animal and:

A. shew away the vultures and then start EATING the raw meat right off the bone. I'm not making this up. It was a zebra. And Bear almost threw up. I was practically crying, it was so traumatic.

B. talk about how the meat is too old and so he can't eat it or he would get a disease or something..."Whew!" I think..."I'm so glad he's not going to eat that, because that would be disgusting." But wait...hold the flint...that's when he starts eating the maggots.

The maggots.

He ate them.

Maggots.

I can't get over it.

I've seen this man pee on his shirt while saying, "Man my pee is stinky because I'm so dehydrated." "Gross," I thought. But not gross enough, obviously, because then he took that stinky pee shirt and WRAPPED IT AROUND HIS HEAD.

He wrapped his head with pee.

Stinky pee.

And the shirt was wrapped around his mouth.

Pee.

On his mouth.

And then he talked about how great it felt.

That's when I think, "I want to punch this man." I want to hit him with a stick, while sobbing and screaming, "Stop it! Just stop this! Please, I need you to stop doing these things!"


I've seen him eat LIVE snakes.

And then last night, I almost DIED when he ate a sheep's eye.

I had to type that sentence with my eyes SHUT, and now I am straining very hard to keep from looking up at the above sentence with said eye nasty in it.

I'm sure the point of this show is to do more than just make three little boys, their dad, and sometimes Ryan, raise their hands and cheer when Bear does something so repulsive, you want to pretend it's a stunt...a magic trick, or an illusion.

I'm sure the point is to teach the audience how to survive if they were ever stranded in some far away, harsh environment.

But this show has not done that for me. Not at all. Instead, while watching it, I have actually said, out loud, unashamedly, "I hate nature."

It's true. God made it, but Bear makes me hate it. When I see all those mountains, and the snow and him eating maggots, it makes me glad to be on my couch; with my blanket; holding my Sonic cup full of clean, non-buggy water; in my house; in the city.

He has not made me excited about survival. My boys love it. They talk about Bear Grylls like he's a super hero. They would wear, WWBD bracelets. They make lean-to forts called, "shelters" in the back yard, in their bed room, and in the school room. If they are hungry and we're out running errands, they will talk FOREVER in the back seat about all the nasty things they could eat that they see on the side of the road, or in the floor at Target. I've heard Hayden say, "Man Versus Wild Man would eat this." I can say, "Put that down" without even looking back to see what he has. I know it's gross without turning around.

Before watching this show regularly, if you would have asked me if I would survive in the wilderness I would have given you an unsure, "I don't know. Probably."

Not anymore. Instead of honing my survival skills, he has taught me that if stranded in the middle of nowhere, I would do one thing:


DIE

I would die.

No question about it.

First I would cry.

And cry.

And cry.

And if a bug even touched me, much less got into my mouth, that would be the end of me.

If someone said, "Now make a fire, with no matches or lighter," I would laugh so hard, I would pee on MY shirt, but not on purpose, and I would certainly NOT wrap my head with it.

No. I would cry that my shirt had pee on it, and I couldn't change my shirt, because I only had a flint and a water canteen, neither of them sufficient for shirt replacing.

I would sit on the ground, after wrapping myself in my coat and cry...and then a bear would eat me.

Bear Grylls has taught me to stay home. He has taught me not to venture far from a highway.

Bear Grylls has taught me to never pack light. And where do you buy a flint? I'm getting one sewn onto my leg or something.

And what about his camera man?

How does camera man not at least GROAN when he sees Bear squeeze a big Elephant Poo into his mouth, so he can "rehydrate" on the pachyderm's poopy liquid?

How does one keep silent when witnessing someone squeeze Elephant poo juice into their mouth?

How?

How does the camera man not say, "Dude...seriously. I'm going to hit you if you do something like that again."

And what about his wife?

If Aaron came home from being stranded in some awful place, but told me he wrapped his head in pee and then ate maggots to survive, I would stand far away from him, tell him I loved him in sign language, blow him a kiss, but then demand that he go swim in a pool of gasoline, set himself on fire and then get his teeth ripped out at the dentist.

Welcome home, honey!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Photos!

Last weekend, we went to the Texas Red's Festival a few blocks from our house. I was so impressed with all the cool things they had down there for kids! I was also impressed that in the grown up section they had a "butt sketch booth." It's what it sounds like. A man stands there and draws a picture of your backside. Really. I kept waiting to come upon the "stretch mark sketch booth." I would want a sketch of those as much as I would want a sketch of my behind.

We had a great morning walking around with Allen and Kendra and Ryan and Sara.

Our silly family


High Hayden

High Anson with High Hayden Behind Him.


My baby. He looks a little unsure at this point.
But he got over it.
I kept telling him, all day, "You can't do that one, you're too little. It's for big kids." Then he would say in his tiny, Ashton voice, "But I want to do it, please, mommy?" Then I would let him, and then he would do wonderfully at all those big kid things. Where did my baby go? Could someone please tell me and bring him back? I mean it!


Ashton and Hayden climbing a super tall tower. Again...that's my baby up at the top. What on earth is happening? Anson climbed it too, but was so fast, we didn't get any pictures. Crazy!

My crazy little pirate!

One would assume that since he's in a pirate costume, he's probably headed to a party, or a festival, or just hanging around the house.


Nope.


This is what he wore to the library this morning.


He was not happy at all until his costume was complete.


He had to have a mustache.


And not just a regular mustache.


A "pirate one."


This is a mustache, that goes around your mouth, in case you are ever at a loss, as I surely was, to what a pirate mustache should look like.

We had a great time with the Bacaks, Kelli Williams and all her boys, Fernando and Kathy and girls and to Hayden's excitement, both of his favorite Ms. Beckys were there!

This is who we all went to see. A singing zoologist. It was so great! This man rapped about wetlands. He had puppets. Really. It was incredible. His songs were so smart, but sounded super. Anson bought his CD with his own money...which is a HUGE compliment to this man, because my goodness, the boy is FRUGAL. After the singing zoo man gave Anson his CD and said, "Thanks for buying this, I hope you enjoy it," Anson stood there and then said, "Um, I gave you a $20 and so can you please give me my change?"

So smart.

The man apologized profusely.

Everyone in line laughed.

I was so proud of my sweet, brilliant son.

I've only caught one math error in my entire life...at HEB...and I was so nervous to bring it up, I was almost sick...because SURELY I could not be right about math and the cashier be wrong.

But she was wrong.

And I ran home and insisted Aaron celebrate with me, because it felt so good to catch a math mistake.

And Anson is only 7.

My heart is filled with pride.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Option Adoption


It's been an emotional week for us.

Last week, we once again thought I was pregnant.


Weird.


And right after we posted that post about getting the truck...getting the money.

Some of you may remember that last summer, this same thing happened to me. That's why we kept it to ourselves this time.

Last summer I thought I was pregnant.


Felt pregnant.

Took pregnancy tests.

They were positive.

Got blood work done.

No baby.

Same scenario happened last week.

When I took the positive tests, we were so confused.

We thought for sure that we were supposed to be adopting a baby next.

We were not trying to get pregnant.


God gave us the money.


Before getting the money, the ONLY reason we were going to try and have another biological child was because we didn't have the money to adopt.

Now we did.


Then three pregnancy tests said I was having a baby.

Then the blood work said we weren't.


After all of that was over, Aaron and I talked about what we were going to do.
We want children. I confessed to him that it's going to be hard for me if I really think I will NEVER get pregnant again. We make some stinkin' cute, and fabulous kids!

So here goes.

Here are all the things I threw up on Aaron when we had our final heart to heart about whether or not we were pursuing adoption, or birthing another baby.

1. I told Aaron that I like our kids and they are cute and I want a hundred more just like them. If I HAVE them, from my past record...these kids will be super duper and so fun and so smart and so talented and so cute...so why stop when you're on a roll?

Aaron said he wanted to adopt because we had already been given a HUGE privilege to birth three fantastic children and right now...there are other fantastic children out there who need homes.


2. I told Aaron that I'm scared we'll get a messed up kid. I told you I was going to be honest! What if they are dumb, or ugly, or have mental problems or webbed feet?


Aaron said, "Hayden has problems and you still love him. Can you imagine life without him?"


I couldn't.

And then it hit me that this was a faith issue. Do I trust Him? Do I believe that I really had nothing to do with the kids that came from my body...God did all that...he perfectly placed them inside me and then in our home, because this was the home where they would come to know Him?

If we adopt, God does not stop being sovereign. He does not stop being in control. We simply get to see Him move and place a child in our home without us having anything to do with it. Nothing! We weren't even the ones who will pay for that child! God did!


3. I told Aaron, just today actually, as we were writing our life's story on the adoption application... Wouldn't it just be easier to make a baby and be done with all this? It would be so much easier than doing all of this work...and so much cheaper...and so much more fun!

I knew I had him.

Anything with the phrase, "make a baby" in it was sure to persuade.

He did like that idea.


He looked up at me for a moment while he was sitting at the computer typing up an answer to a question...paused...and then went back to typing.


That was his answer.

4. What if after we adopt the baby, I want to birth another baby, will this kid feel weird being sandwiched in between biological kids?

Aaron said...

"That's stupid."

5. What if it's hard to feel like this baby is really mine? What if it's hard for our family to feel like this child is just as much a part of this family as any other child?

Aaron said, "I think that's silly. I think from fostering Danny, we were shown that our families responded well. We may all have to learn through this, but that's fine. We can! God may need to grow all of us."

6. Formula is expensive. I won't get to nurse this child, and they aren't a foster child, so that means we are going to have to BUY formula. What are we going to do?

Aaron said, "Heather, someone gave me a truck.  I think everything else is going to work out fine."

The other night, after hearing all my concerns Aaron said, "I want to do this, Heather. We want more kids. There is a need for adoptive homes. 



I'm sure I'll have a million more crisis of faith between now and when I die.


We chose to go through New Life, the adoption agency Jenn's mom is a part of in Houston.

It's close.


It's cheap.

They know exactly when the trainings will be, which works well for our crazy schedules.

They love the Lord and are seeking His face about where these babies need to grow up.

I love that.


For the next post about all this, I'll share with you our struggles initially with open adoptions, how the Lord changed our hearts, about keeping names birth mothers give their babies at birth...NOTHING has come easy in swallowing any of this.

Our first reaction, in our flesh has always been wrong and stupid.


Thankfully, God is patient.


Thankfully, His Word addresses every fear, every concern and every issue.

Pray for us!

This has been hard, especially for me.

Until going through this process, I had NO IDEA the amount of selfishness and pride that lives inside of me! No idea! I know God is not done in this area. Bring it, God! It hurts to see my insides and how dirty they are, but it feels good to flesh it out and let it go.

Forgiveness feels mighty fine.

We mail in our packet tomorrow!

Friday, June 08, 2007

The body, a truck, a jeep and a baby


This is a little story.
A little story about the body.
It all starts with a Jeep.
A Jeep is not a part of the body, but that’s where this story begins, nonetheless.
A jeep.
Aaron’s jeep.
Red.
Cool.
Broken.
Sitting in our driveway for years.
This is also a story about a truck.
Aaron’s truck.
Red.
Runs
But is
Run Down.
Aaron has driven this red truck for years. It was a free gift, so generous and such a blessing. It has served our family well. It has no air conditioning. The seats are ripped. Hayden can’t ride in it because it’s too hot, he gets itchy and because it’s hot, Aaron rolls the windows down and so the red truck is also…
Dirty.
Dusty.
Down right dangerous for Hayden.
I can't drive it.
Kids can't fit in it.

So, we're basically a one car family if the family is indeed the ones that are traveling.

It also burns oil like nobody’s business. Aaron is single handedly destroying the ozone with his one, red truck.
But does Aaron complain?
Never.
That’s just not the way he rolls.

Does the ozone complain?

I'm sure.

And so does Al Gore.

Enters Wade Amy from Living Hope.

Wade is not going to like that his name is on here, or next to Al Gore's name.
Wade Amy is from our Hope Group.
Wade Amy is husband to Liz, father to Grady and Will.
Wade Amy is the man.
He found a friend who wanted the red Jeep and Aaron sold it to him last week.
Awesome.
We love Wade.
So we have money.
Aaron can FINALLY buy a different vehicle.
Our hearts are elated.
Aaron would have already bought some wheels, he was so excited. But, VBS was this week and after VBS ended at LH everyday, VBS started at our house. Our home has been full of kids from noon until dark every day this week.
Good thing we were busy loving kids.
Because
Today, someone from Living Hope GAVE Aaron a truck.
Gave.
They gave him a truck.
A Truck.
Not a gift certificate, or a lawn mower.
A Truck.
A Good One.
A Perfect One.
Free.
For real.
This man told Aaron that God said to give him his truck.
His truck.
His Trrrrrrruck!
Holy Cow a Truck.
God told him two weeks ago, and he fought with God about it ever since.
But God won.
The man gave.
My eyes well up with tears just typing that.
Can you imagine the talks we have had with our kids today about God’s provision? About generosity? About the body sharing with those in need? About gifts so big that saying, “Thank You” sounds absurd and stupid? About grace? About Jesus?
We’ve had camp and revival in our home this evening with our kids.
But why did God give Aaron a truck NOW?
It’s so weird.
We finally sold the Jeep last week.
Aaron could finally buy another vehicle…not a very nice one, but better than the one he has.
Why today?
Why not weeks ago?
Why when we have some money?
Because this man had no way of knowing it, but he didn’t just give us a truck.
He gave us a new Hendrick.
We have wanted to adopt a newborn baby so badly.
And not just any baby.
There is a great need for families to adopt children who have African American blood running through their tiny little bodies.
The only reason we haven’t…
The money.
Who has a lump sum of money just sitting around?
Not us.
Now us.
One day this man will see a brown little child running around the halls of Living Hope and know that his truck…that unfathomable gift…was so that child could run the halls of Living Hope.
One day that baby will drive around in that new truck he gave to Aaron.
One day, because we were connected to Wade Amy, and he had a friend and that friend bought our jeep, Wade can squeeze that new little baby and know it's because the body works when the body works the way God intended.
I love God's people.
I love my church.
I love my HOPE Group.
Praise the Lord.
Praise God for the body.
Praise God for adoption.
Another gift given to us as believers that is so big, so grand, so unreal that saying, “Thank You” sounds silly.
Thank you simply isn’t enough.
It simply will not do.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I'm Back


You have no idea how close to death I have been without the internet.

No idea!

I want to be thankful all the time, but monkey pants this has been hard!

Without the internet, you have to call people. Gag!

Without the internet, you have to look things up in the real-life phone book. Ew!

I think I had the chicken pox when we learned how to alphabetize in school...because I am a moron. The phone book...as in the actual book...is equivalent to the card catalog system. Did anyone ever really understand that thing? Not me! And so I won't pretend to understand the phone book. Besides, phone books are made out of newspaper paper...just turning the pages makes me cringe and think about how I don't know what's going on in the Sudan...or in the United States, if I'm being completely honest.

Something as simple as having to use a phone book for an extended period of time could give me depression. I'm sure of it.

I never found BCS swimming pools in the white pages. I never did. And I tried for about a week!


And the yellow pages? Who can work those? Someone needs to make a Yellow Pages for Dummies Book. Then, you would look up what you think a place would be called and it would tell you what the phone book people think it's called. I want to learn how the phone book works, so that if I ever want to get a real job, I could put on my resume...

I'm bilingual.

I speak English and Phone Book.

Then I would write...

You Can't Touch This.

I still can't find where Wal-Mart is listed. What is Wal-Mart? It's not a store. It's not a grocery store. It's not a department store. It's a nothing! It's a store that falls under no categories in the phone book. This has me greatly disturbed. Does anyone know what Wal-Mart is? I have always wished ill will towards Wal-Mart...but mostly because if I want to know how intimately I'm walking with the Lord...I just go to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart exposes the sin in my life like nothing else. I walk out of there hating blue vests, walking long distances and the dead Sam Walton. I leave wanting to take that yellow smiling circle and beat it to pieces with a big bag of frozen chicken breasts. Now I despise Wal-Mart because it doesn't know what it is...so it can't be put in the phone book.


Without the internet, you have to go to stores to look for things. Who does that? I don't shop online much, as in make actual purchases, but I do narrow it down online to what stores I should even think about actually visiting in person.
Going to lots of stores means lots of parking in parking lots. I'm no good at parking. As I pull in and out of my spot, I think to myself, "Seriously...what is wrong with me?"

Without the internet, you have to just guess with paint colors instead of painting entire rooms with your mouse, mixing and matching and color coordinating all your walls. No fun!


Without the internet, you just have to wonder what is going on in the lives of your blog savvy friends...or sit and think about what they may be writing...or what you wish they were writing.


I wrote a new post for all of you and then read it and then commented on it...all in my mind...but not on the internet, because the internet didn't know where our knew house was yet.

But now it does.

I've hugged my computer two times.

I'm so back and ready to write down what I think about:

painting

roaches

trains

hospitality


phone books


Exxons

walking

I have missed you!

And I've missed my modem.

Long live modems!

Down with Wal-Mart.

Down with maroon books full of phone numbers that a ghost puts on your front porch.