Sponsor a Child Today!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Few Highlights from our Christmas 2006

Highlight #1...
Studying the Christmas story with my kiddos. It was different this year...maybe because Emma knows Jesus, and is just that little bit older. But we studied the scriptural account of the story all through December, chunk by chunk, and some days they journaled about it. Emma's journal pages about Christmas have been priceless! Seeing them grasp Christmas for what it really is, even just a little, has been awesome! This is us making our Happy Birthday Jesus cake for our party on Christmas Eve.

Highlight #2...
On Christmas Eve, we go to Santa's Wonderland for a little family fun. We drive through the lights, and then get out, EVEN in freezing rain and lots of mud. (Getting out in mud means 10 muddy feet coming into our house!) But it was still fun! I had a moment, standing by the fire because it was stinkin' FREEZING, trying to keep Treston warm. I was watching Jax dance around in the fake snow. Emma and Justus ran off to the petting zoo, but Jax would not leave the fake snow. He danced to the down-home country Christmas music, which was quite pitch offensive, but still fun. It seemed to be the happiest moment of his life! He was having so much fun, and I couldn't have been more content myself watching him. I love Christmas!

Nothing completes family fun for the Bacak kids like a petting zoo. Seriously.
It kind of grosses me out. I want to bathe them on the spot, instead of bringing in barn-like germs to our house, on my children, but I have to stifle this urge for the joy of my children.

Christmas P.J.'s. How I love them. We all sleep in brand spankin' new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. You can see that Justus and Treston are wearing the cutest matching firetruck pajamas. So darn cute!

Can I interrupt this Christmas story, mainly because I got this picture in the wrong order, and say that this was me and Rusty's 10th Christmas to celebrate together! 10!!!! Years!!!!! How old are we anyway???
We were up late one night, wrapping some presents and watching "A Christmas Story" which has been a tradition since year 1, and a movie that we love to the point of obsession, and I asked him, "Could you have imagined ten years ago that we'd be here, celebrating Christmas with our four kids?" But we both kind of went..."yeah!" It's exactly where we wanted to be. God is good.

Santa brought a trampoline. But Santa could have dropped off some elves to assemble it in the freezing rain, right?
Seriously, Rusty and a Christmas angel we call Willis, who hardly knew us but still volunteered to assemble a trampoline in the dark, freezing rain, worked for four hours, and when they were done, they could not feel their hands. I did the very last part with Rusty after we sent Willis home, thanking him profusely, and offering him Happy Birthday Jesus cake and it was really, REALLY cold. Rusty took a hot shower, and still came out with cold hands. However, they both survived, thankfully, without losing any fingers to Hypothermia, and we now have endless bouncy fun in our backyard! Turns out I can still do Cheerleading jumps with the help of a trampoline. The kids are loving it! And girls, you'd better stand in line to meet this guy Willis, because I know what it's like to be married to a true servant, and it makes my life blissful. SERVANT HEART- #1 on the list, ladies!!!! Not kidding!!!

Turns out Justus is the sweetest big brother ever! He is always loving on Treston, which is almost always resulting in pain for Treston, but he is so loved by his siblings, it's crazy!!!
Justus, the music-crazed two-year-old, got his own headphones and immediately shared them with Treston. He did this with all his toys. Precious.
Treston got this Bumbo seat, which is so cool!
And fun to say!

And Lastly, because I've lost count, because it's really late at night, and I only blog well when pumped up with caffeine in the daytime, I conclude our Christmas highlights with cousin time.
We had a blast with our Bacak cousins, though I'm lacking in the photos to prove it.
We also had a blast with the Seay fam cousins. There are 150. Okay, just 15, but look at them!
(They are wearing their Cousins Club t-shirts from Aunt Liz and Uncle Robbie.) Imagine sleeping 15 kids and 12 adults in one house for three days. Add a few more to the dinner count, if you will. It's so much like going to camp. I pack for an entire day before going. I label all of the kids' socks, and anything else I can stick a label to. The excitement of being all together is great, life-long memories are made, there are fireworks shows, bonfires, roasted marshmallows, a chocolate fountain (new this year, and quite messy), huge dinners, which look more like mass feedings for the kids but taste nothing like camp food, politics talk, church politics talk, and late night laughter. But by the third day, you're so tired you just can't wait to get home and SLEEP.
Christmas is so wonderful, but it truly couldn't come more than once a year.
However, I hope we spend this whole year with this same excitement over what Christ's presence in our lives means.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday too!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We're Savin' Trees!

We're saving trees...no paper letter this year. That's why God made blogs. Let me give you a quick year update on us.

And then there were four...
Everybody meet Treston. He is new in the Bacak household. You can scroll down on this blog and read about how this unexpected journey began not even one month ago. God is so amazing!
Treston is our foster son, and our intent is to adopt him the moment that becomes possible. The last thing we thought we were getting for Christmas this year was a beautiful four-month-old baby boy, but God exceeds what we could even imagine to wish for!

He was placed in our home on December 6th, and he's fitting in beautifully with this crazy group.
We are all crazy in love with him!
Please pray for Treston, and what the next year holds for him.

Emma is 6, and in Kindergarten.
Jax is 4, and in Pre-K.
Justus is 2, and in full-blown toddler mode.
Treston, 41/2 months.

What's new this year? HOMESCHOOLING.
I would not have believed you had you told me one year ago that I would be embarking on this adventure, but here we are! Again, God's plans for us are so much better than our own! He made it clear that this was right for Emma and Jax this year, and I'm so glad we listened. It's been awesome! Watching the light go on as they learn is my joy! We have taken many, many fun field trips to art museums, the Fire Station, Police Dept., a cotton field (and picked cotton), a plant nursery, a Veterinarian office, Doctor's office, (good thing I knew one), and many more! Hands-on learning is our favorite. Doing school in our pajamas while Mommy drinks coffee is also our favorite. I'm busier than ever, but feeling more fulfilled than ever in my role as their Mom and teacher.

We got away to Mexico in May...heaven on earth. This is our happy place. This was our second time to this wonderful resort called X-Caret in Playa Del Carmen. We highly recommend it. We don't know when we'll get to go back, now that we have another baby, but when we dream, it's in Spanish, at this beautiful place.

Another highlight this year was flying Kathleen, Justus' birthmom, here from Las Vegas for Justus' second birthday. Don't they look alike? Which is great, since she's so beautiful. We had a wonderful weekend visit with Kathleen! We wish we saw her more. Kathleen is Muslim, and we got the chance to talk to her about Jesus. We are praying daily for her salvation.

Another highlight of the year...my sweet Emma came to know Jesus. She has had countless talks with her Daddy about spiritual things, and Rusty knew when she was ready. (I prayed that we would know.) And boy was she ready! She prayed that prayer, and the Holy Spirit came in and made a change! She loves the Word, and can't get enough of it in our daily Bible Study and prayer time! Her heart is so sensitive to the things of God, and she has a heart that desires to please Him. Seeing my baby girl come to salvation was the sweetest moment I've experienced as a Mom yet!
(This is our wonderful Pastor Butch at our home church, WHICH WE LOVE, Living Hope Baptist. You can see the link here on the blog. We are overflowing with gratitude to the Lord for this Body of believers, where we feel so at home.)

So that's it. 2006 for the Bacaks in a nutshell. Thanks for reading, and we hope you experience God's love like never before in 2007!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Confessions of a Coffee Diva...and other possibly little known facts of Jenn and Rusty

Yes, we've been tagged, like everyone else. I don't know how to define "little known facts"...known by whom? That entirely depends on the reader, and because I don't know who's reading this, you may or may not know these things about us. But I will do my best to dig up the only 5 potentially interesting things about us.

1. This is not interesting. But I'm a coffee diva. I hate to use the word diva in a sentence that describes me at all. Rusty always likes to say how I'm low-maintenance. And I am! I'm pretty easy to please. I don't require too much. But I do require good coffee. Possibly the most romantic thing Rusty ever did for me was buy that espresso machine for Christmas last year. I have a hard time remembering life before it. (I didn't have enough caffeine I'm guessing.) I didn't start drinking coffee until Justus came along. I was sleep deprived, and had no caffeine restrictions this time! (I was not pregnant or nursing, as I had been for many years prior.) So my survival began to depend on coffee. But when we got this machine...a new world opened up every morning. We are without it this weekend because it's being used in the church Christmas play, and we are walking around in a fog...where's the good coffee? We tried brewing some of that old-fashioned kind, but it just came out like muddy water. It's no good! This may be the most sacrificial gift we've ever given to the church. No dollar amount could equal this. I have completely blown the whole Matt. 6 command, of doing your good deeds in private...you know, don't let your left hand know when your right hand has lent out your heavenly coffee machine. My reward in heaven is blown.

2. I had brain surgery. I had a brain tumor when I was seventeen years old. I had brain surgery to remove it the summer before I left for Baylor. This was fun, because in all those "get-to-know-you" games you play when you start at college, I had a fun and memorable fact to throw out...I had brain surgery 6 weeks ago! No one forgot that.

3. I have a permanent hole in my right ear drum. I busted it for the first time when I jumped off a cliff in 1996 at Lake Powell. It was a very high cliff. But all the boys were doing it, and having three brothers, that immediately brought out the "I can do it too!" feeling. I've outgrown that by now...I hope. My daughter may have inherited it. You'll never find me swimming underwater, because I would spring a leak. And it would hurt.

4. I know American Sign Language. I am an interpreter for the Deaf, and also used to teach Deaf Education. That's what I did for money before I became a Mommy. My kids are now learning to sign, and they're awesome!

5. I do this weird typing thing in my head compulsively. I've done it since 9th grade when I took typing class. (Yes, on real typewriters! Some of you people born in the 80's have never seen one.) Anyway, if you know anything about typing- (this totally excludes my husband) your fingers go on the homerow keys- asdf jkl; - and all the keys are reached from those. Well, in my head, when I hear a phrase, or sentence, or read something, I instantly compute what homerow keys are used, and then put them in order from left to right on the keyboard. Ex. the phrase "Starbucks coffee" would then be asdfgjk. This is hard to explain, but I used to do this so much, my brain would never stop, it would drive me crazy. I'm better now.

That's it for me...You may be feeling very reticent about being my friend, so let me legitimize myself by telling you things about my husband! He has been tagged, but a blizzard will blow through Texas before my husband will get on this computer to post something, so I told him I was going to. I love to embarrass him! He asked if he could pre-approve these embarrassing facts, but I said of course not! So here we go...

1. This is my favorite thing to tell people that embarrasses him...he's brilliant. He made a 4.0 here at A&M as a Biology major. He made a 1400 on the SAT. He graduated at the very top of his class in Med School. Baylor Med School was actually very unhappy with him for choosing Family Medicine. It makes them look better when their Smarties choose some prestigious specialty. Anybody could go Family Medicine. But this was always my husband's desire. To treat the whole family. He loves doing Pediatrics, and he loves getting to treat such a broad range of things. He's so smart, and if you're his patient, this is to your benefit to know this. You want to know this about your doctor! He is going to kill me for this!

2. Rusty LOVES meteorology! He is totally obsessed with the weather! The radar is his favorite. His biggest dream for his children is NOT med school, it's the Weather Channel! Storm Chasing! It's his passion.

3. At one time, Rusty thought he was supposed to be a Catholic Priest. He was hearing the Lord's call on his life, but luckily he realized that was not it. (Praise the Lord!) He was just realizing he needed a close, personal relationship with the Lord. God had something else entirely for him. The kids and I are so glad!

4. My husband loves to decorate for Christmas!!! We love Christmas around here! We figure the whole neighborhood should know how much we love Jesus...so our house glows. I mean, it really glows! Rusty lives for the one day of the year he gets to climb on the roof with a staple gun and execute the master plan he's been concocting in his head for an entire year. Every year, I pray really hard that I won't be a Christmas light widow. Him on the roof scares me, but so far so good. He's like a little kids when it comes to decorating for Christmas, and this brings me immense joy. Plus, we don't have to give out our address around this time of year. You just follow the glow.

5. Rusty loves to do circumcisions. He prides himself on his ability to do so. He is a self-proclaimed "penile artist." Not many people like to wear this title. I believe it sets him apart.

6. BONUS: Rusty used to be a d.j. He d.j.ed junior high dances, weddings, whatever. That's why we have every CD made in the 80's and early 90's. I brought his d.j.ing career to a swift stop after I helped him with a "gig" on our fourth date (Rusty was an intern in residency.) He d.j.ed a friend's wedding in Waco. We lugged heavy speakers up 4 flights of stairs, stayed for 3 hours after the bride and groom left the reception, where the relatives stayed to dance and kept demanding we play the song "Trashy Women." We got payed in a $15 gift card to Dillard's, which amounted to socks. We got payed in socks! Anyone calling to inquire after a d.j. after that, I promptly told them Dr. Bacak was out saving lives and didn't have time to d.j. their wedding.

That's it. If you still want to be friends with us, let us know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Treston is here...

Here he is.

He's so perfect.

I have some really great ones of him smiling that I haven't downloaded yet. You have to see him smiling. He lights up the room! And he smiles all the time.

He's an amazing baby. We had a wonderful first night. He's fitting right in with this crazy family. I am bracing myself for my first real day with four kids (FOUR KIDS! When did we become such a gi-normous family!!! Who hung up these thousands of stockings on our fireplace??? This is crazy!), but the house is quiet right now (it's early in the morning), and I am feeling euphoric. I could not be more grateful that God chose us to bring this baby into our family right now. What a blessing he is already! What a miracle! Part of the miracle was that my husband said yes! I want to testify to a few things with that...

A. College girls, do not marry a man who will not lead your family by listening to God's Voice in your lives. If he is not seeking the Lord all the time, but instead seeks his own desires, I can't imagine the uncertainty a wife would feel! I don't believe you could experience the fullness of ministry and life that God calls us to. It's so good, and I"m so proud of Rusty. He was adament we didn't need any more kids in this house. He made a point to tell me, usually at the most chaotic point of the day, that we were done. We were maxed out. This was it. But I could rest easy, because I knew that when it came down to it, he would make that decision based on the Lord's leading, and not on his own feelings. The last two weeks his feelings have changed 100%! He is so excited about this baby, and from Day 1 has taken care of every tiny detail QUICKLY to get this baby here ASAP. What an amazing man I married!

B. When we talk in our Countdown class about God being the Planner of our families, this is what we're talking about. This is a risky situation. Our hearts are on the line. Our kids' hearts are on the line. People keep calling us brave, and I don't know if that's a euphemism for stupid, or if they really mean brave. But this I know...true ministry will break your heart sometimes. We know this firsthand already! It's not safe! But, and my kids need to know this too, it's not about us. We cannot be self-preservasionists and real Christians at the same time. (You may all need to remind me of these words in the future. I would appreciate that.) If we are going to be a family that lives out Phil. 2 everyday, God's going to teach us more sacrifice than is comfortable, and I'm glad.

I can't wait for all of you to meet him. He's a super good baby! He's SUPER BABY! And I don't think we're making this up...he's darn cute. Seriously.

We appreciate your prayers and love!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Rosa Parks Day

Today is Rosa Parks day. (You gotta' love Kindergarten, otherwise you would never know.) What a brave woman!
As I taught my kids today about who Rosa Parks was, and what she did,
I had to introduce them to racism.

This was a sad moment.

They had no idea. Before I got two sentences into Rosa Parks' story, Emma grabbed Justus and hugged him with a look of terror on her face.

The thought that people could hate people for having darker skin is unfathomable to their pure and innocent minds. They are so untainted by the world sometimes. I hated to even introduce them to this idea. People still today would show hatred or unfair treatment to their brother because he is brown. This is unthinkable.

It should all be unthinkable to us as Christians. But unfortunately, racism still lives on, even in the church today. I pray that we would ALL examine our hearts, and find where the racism lives there. I know, that with the power of the Holy Spirit, He can change hearts. But we have to be willing to go there. We have to be willing to break the power of generational sin. We have to be willing to look for the deeply hidden, ugly roots of racism in us that we have buried. The jokes we have laughed at...our earliest memories of how our grandparents or great-grandparents spoke of black people...our distaste for the culture of the lower socio-economic class mixed with our basic feelings and assumptions about people based on their skin color alone.

This is not okay.

How would you feel if my son wanted to marry your daughter? Does the thought bother you, somewhere deep down, even if you don't want to say it outloud? Is my baby considered to be of lesser value in this world because of his gorgeous, coffee colored skin?

Sadly, I know the answer to this question. The fact that people are lined up around the block to adopt white babies, and only a handful of people want to welcome a black baby to their family answers that question. I know firsthand...I've heard responses from prospective adoptive parents' very mouths...the thought of getting a baby with even a HINT of African-American descent...or even the appearance of it...is totally unacceptable to them. You may be shocked to hear some of their responses. You may not.

I was just very, very sad. And sometimes angry.

As a Mom, this is difficult for me.
I want the Christian people of today to celebrate how far we've come concerning racism. We should all recognize and commemorate the dates like June 19th, (Jax's birthday...I've had some very weird comments about this) the day slavery was abolished...the day our country outlawed treating beloved children of God being treated like animals and owned, abused, killed, without a thought.
If that day was celebrating this kind of victory for white people, we would all celebrate.
But we don't. We ignore it.
Martin Luther King Day. What a brave and amazing man who changed history.
He was martyred for this reason. He was a Godly man.

I don't think many white folks show up for his parade.

If we truly see each other as humans, created by God, loved by Him with the exact same love, why is there still such a division in our minds?
Why is interracial dating and marriage still such a hot topic?

I know this is the rantings of a mother today. But I hope it will stimulate thought and conversation among even just a few people. Rusty and I have searched our hearts on this. The Holy Spirit had to clean us out before we could add Justus to our family, and I'm so glad!!! I want this ugliness out of us! And as we are about to welcome another brown baby to this home, it weighs heavily on my heart.
I hope it will on yours too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Meet Treston...

The Bacak house is never boring. God always has something new for us.

Meet our something new...Treston.

New Life, our wonderful adoption agency, called us last Wednesday asking us to pray about this baby. They needed a new foster home for him, and quickly.We were not looking to foster, but these women don't do anything randomly. They pray, pray again, and then fast. And then they pray some more. They felt the Lord gave them our name to call about this baby. So I called Rusty, and we started praying. We prayed from Wednesday until Sunday, and I waited on my amazing husband to hear from the Lord. I cannot tell you how peaceful it is for a wife who knows her husband listens to the Lord.

On Sunday, the sermon was God's provision for us. It was about worry and Phil. 4:6-7. Our worry over whether or not we can do this...our fear about what will happen...all of it is sin. All we needed to ask the Lord was "Are we supposed to do this?" And his answer was Yes. Rusty let me know on the way home from church that we were definitely supposed to do this.

We are so excited!!! Look at this cute baby!!! I am totally impatient to have him here now. We have no idea what the future holds for him, and we can't answer many of your questions about his story, but we would appreciate your prayers for him. Nothing has been easy for him in his little life, and he is also sick right now, possibly with RSV. Thanks to so many of you who have instead of looking at me like I'm crazy when I have told you this, have responded with excitement and "how can I help?" You're amazing!

We love you, and can't wait to introduce you to Treston.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is Love?

This is Lola and Rico.
My Emma and Jax can throw together a new look in the blink of an eye. And where they come up with the names Lola and Rico, I will never know. They are so entertaining!

Yesterday Emma and Jax were playing outside, and came in to settle a backyard dispute. This one was not about who could climb the tree higher, but about "what is love?" Emma had told Jax that spankings mean love. Jax said emphatically no! Love was hugs and kisses.
My little Bible scholar Emma was trying to quote a verse to him that I have shared with her several times. "If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them. If you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them." Proverbs 13:24 I have told them every time I spank them or discipline them that I do it because it is my God-given job, and because I love them SO MUCH! Jax's response to that one time, just before receiving a spanking was, "how 'bout you just don't love me!" Very clever, but then he realized he would have no one to make his food, drinks, teach him, wash his clothes, hug him, kiss him, or have fun with. In his mind, he was still weighing the options though. (ha!) I've also shared the verse with Emma that says "Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death." Proverbs 23:13 She said "Wow! Mom, I'm so glad you spank me." A six-year-old said I'm so glad you spank me!!!!! Can you imagine? She knows that letting her have free reign to sin does not equal love. Jax resists this idea, but his sister is teaching him. Just as the Word says, the Father disciplines us because of love. "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." Hebrews 12:5-6 It's funny, because I think our kids know this instictively from a very young age. Justus will blatantly defy my authority just to see what happens, and when he gets a spanking, he will always give us a kiss right after. It's amazing, but they truly do know they are loved when they are lovingly corrected and disciplined. I do NOT love my children by letting them become a Nellie Olsen (a "Little House" reference- I'm a big fan). I am loving myself more by not doing the hard work that it takes to mold my children into obedient, God-loving people. Parents who fear discipline will never like the result they get in the end. It is hard work, but it is true love.
So I settled the dispute. I said Love was both spankings AND hugs and kisses.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Justus the ROCKER

Justus loves music!
This picture captures it.
He now likes to wear the headphones and rock out.
He can't say music, but he has his own special sign for it. It's the crazy little dance he does when he hears music. It could be country music, Watermark, Norah Jones, Baby Symphony, and he does the same hilarious dance. That's what he does when he wants to tell us he wants music.
So I started putting the headphones on him when I would go jogging and he would ride along in the stroller. (He's amazingly calm while in the jogging stroller!) He listened to Watermark and did his little dance in the stroller as he watched the trees and houses fly by. (I say 'fly by' like I run really fast. I don't. I jog.) He was quite content. It was the cutest thing ever!
His birthmom is recording a rap album, so maybe he's got a rhythm inside of him that this white family can't destroy. We can only hope.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Everything You Need to Know You Learn in Kindergarten"

I almost believe this statement...there are a few more things we could stand to know in life, but I think everyone should go back and repeat Kindergarten, starting with me! Like Rusty could definitely go back and learn to write his letters. I know he's got that all too cliche excuse that he's a Doctor, but his handwriting is hardly legible to himself. Sometimes I will ask him for clarification on what he's written, and even he can't decipher it! Mind Boggling! He blames his Kindergarten teacher, who was a man. All I know is writing all your letters from the bottom is messed up!
Teaching Emma Kindergarten this year has been way too enlightening! I mean how dumb must I have been? I'm learning where things are on the globe, who the heck Christopher Columbus was, what the deal is with all the planets, how plants really grow, and so on.
Last week, the unit I taught was on art. We spent a whole week just immersing ourselves in art. My daughter is a self-proclaimed true artist, and is quite passionate about it. (She gets that talent from her Daddy.) I knew I would have to give my A-game to challenge her. We started out learning the basics...you know...warm colors, cool colors, how to mix the primary colors together and make colors like purple, green, and orange. But we also looked at books of paintings and sculptures and studied what they meant. It is way fun to listen to a four and six-year-old analyze art! Our field trip was to the MSC Art Exhibit. Who knew it was Art Emphasis week at A&M too? (We saw a banner up when we got there saying so.) I can't prove it, but I think they're following my lesson plans. Anyway, I bravely entered the quiet, pristine art gallery, with a pre-schooler, Kindergartener, and a terrible two-er, pushing a stroller, and carrying a Superman backpack... and they were in awe. Emma could not leave until she saw every single thing there. I observed her just standing there, silent, studying sculptures, all on her own. I thought I would have to walk them through each piece, and pull some sort of observation out of them, but I totally underestimated my children. Emma was enthralled, and Jax kind of tagged along, as normal. Justus wanted to touch everything there- no surprise. It was really fun!!!
But I discovered a new passion myself for art last week, and for one particular artist...

Norman Rockwell. This is my absolute favorite. It's called "Marriage License." When reserving books of art from the library I chose a Norman Rockwell collection, knowing that I liked him, from what I knew, and that his work was fairly obvious and easy for kids to look at. He also paints a LOT about children, so that piqued their interest. But I didn't know how I would fall in love with his paintings! They are so true to life, and what I would call "precious." I want to own this one someday.

THIS WEEK, we are learning everything I never knew about Thanksgiving. All I can say I really knew before this week was there were pilgrims, there was the Mayflower, there were Indians, and there was a feast with turkey, corn, and some squash on the side. I was pretty sure they made friendly and supposedly were thankful.
I'm learning the long version! Today we went out on our fort and pretended to board the Mayflower, or as my kids keep calling it, the Cauliflower. (How funny is that?) We pretended to be passengers, and learned all the details of life on the voyage to the New World. We read a story that was from the viewpoint of a child on the ship. I can hear them outside still right now pretended to be sailing, yelling things like "Land Ho!" and "anchors down!" It's awesome.

How I love homeschooling, and how I love Kindergarten...the second time around.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Not So Warm Welcome for Happy Marco

This turtle looks a bit like our new pet, Happy Marco. Emma and Jax couldn't decide between Happy for a name, or Marco. We kept trying to get Justus to be the tie breaker, but his vote was unitelligible, so they decided for both names.

My kids have wanted a turtle for a long time, and so has Rusty, actually (my big kid), so when Rhonda Patterson called us about a turtle in need of a home, my husband was all too eager. Rhonda delivered the turlte to us, and we didn't yet have the aquarium, so Happy Marco settled into the kids' bathtub. Keep in mind, this is no box turtle! It's huge! So we put a little water in there, and we waited for Daddy to come home with a happy habitat for him.

Rusty came home and spent over an hour in all setting up this aquarium, with a light, and rocks, and a filter, etc. While Rusty did this, Justus helped out by dumping a whole bottle of turtle treats into the bathwater with him. This stunk up the bathroom with nasty turtle smell just as our dinner guests were arriving.

Happy Marco was adjusting to his new aqua home, and Justus was so happy to see him the next morning. He wanted to sit in the bathroom and watch him, so I let him while we did some school work. I mean, what could he do to a turtle, safely enclosed in an aquarium? I have so much to learn as Justus' Mom, obviously.

Justus alerted me that he had done something mischevious. I got that sinking feeling. I went into the bathroom and found that he had dumped a whole bottle of sunblock into the water with the turtle. I didn't see how this was possible! He had climbed up on the counter and opened the aquarium? But no, he didn't need to. He simply poured it directly into the vents on top and watched it run in with pure joy. The pure joy he gets from mischief. He was sent to his room while I dealt with my first turtle emergency. I called Rusty in a panic. What do I do? The kids would be DEVASTATED if their turtle died on it's first day here! All Emma was talking about was how this is all she's ever wanted in life...a turtle. A turtle is better than toys. Better than anything! How could I hold the life of this turtle in my hands! So Rusty says the obvious to me...grab the turtle and put it back into the bathtub. (I'm pretty sure he's having this conversation with me while he's with a patient because I called him directly on his cell phone. I felt it was warranted for a turtle emergency.) But I answered back with the obvious...I don't touch turtles. It has claws. It is huge. It actually makes hissing noises when you go to touch it when it's not in water. I DO NOT TOUCH TURTLES. But he told me it was that or I let it die, so I had to buck up. I did the touch and scream dance for awhile, freaking out my kids, made another call to Rusty and he had to tell me to basically suck it up. He can't leave work to grab a turtle. So he told me to cover it with a towel, grab and run. That's what I did. It took all the bravery I had. But I rescued Happy Marco, and my kids cheered.

Later in the day, I found that Justus had secretly put all his Play-Doh in the bathtub with Happy Marco and it had dissolved into his water. Again with the Play-Doh, I know!!! So again, I rescued him from Justus' third assault, and he lives on. Happy Marco is still a bit skittish. Wouldn't you be if you saw Justus looking at you through the glass? It's kind of like in Finding Nemo when they see Darla coming. He hides in his shell anytime we get near the glass. I really thought a pet with built-in body armor would be safe from Justus, but maybe not. We will see.

But please know that Happy Marco is dearly loved. No one loves a turtle like Emma loves him. They all check on him hourly, and get great joy from watching him. As long as Justus doesn't try to flush him down the toilet, we should be good.


We just got back from the Doctor, and it's great news! He said that his spots are mongolian spots, and some congenital moles within those, but only one did he call a true cafe au lait spot. This is not enough to worry about neurofibromatosis. He felt confident of this. He said we could biopsy them to be sure, but neither he or Rusty wanted to do that. We are so relieved! His beautiful, coffee colored skin can stay beautiful! (This disease causes terrible tumors to grow all over the body.) We are filled with joy!
Rusty apologized to me for putting us through this, but I want you all to know, that this is what makes my husband an amazing Dad and Doctor. He is a very thorough thinker, and brilliant to say the least. (It's okay for a wife to brag for a moment, even though he will desperately try to erase this from our blog.) God is always reminding us how incredibly thankful we should be! What a great reminder during this season!
Your prayers and love again bless us beyond measure. We are so proud to be apart of our Body at LH, and to have families that will pray for us faithfully. Continue praying for Justus, and his speech and language development. We see the fruit of your prayers already.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Call For Prayer

I hesitate to write this, and I don't know why. What is it about us that makes us want to crawl into our shell when some trial is upon us? It makes us long for privacy, even when it's not what we necessarily need. This is a strange first paragraph, so let me just jump into it.
Rusty is concerned that Justus could possibly have a disease called neurofibromatosis. He's concerned by the spots he has on his back. He definitely has mongolian spots, and if you know him or have kept him in the nursery, you know what I'm talking about. But he also has what Rusty thinks are "cafe ole spots.' These can be indicative of this disease. I don't really understand this disease. I know it can affect many different things, like bone formation, eye sight, tumor growth, neurological delays, etc. It can affect learning abilities, and language development. Rusty's concern began with Justus' speech delay, but is mostly due to these spots. He just would like to rule this out in his mind. So we are seeing a dermatologist tomorrow. We are nervous. We would like your prayer. We hope the dermatologist can give us a definitive answer, as to whether or not we need to pursue testing for this disease. This disease is untreatable. There would be no course of medicine or treatment. But knowing would make us aware of what could come, and what to look for.
We've been kind of emotional today, and we feel weird writing this. But we want as much focused prayer for our Little Bear as possible! Hopefully, tomorrow, maybe by the time you read this, we will have victorious news to share! But whatever we find, we know our God loves Justus and us generously, and we just want to bring glory to Him in whatever our circumstances.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"My Two Loose tooths" by Emma Bacak

One time, afore I layed down at nap time, and Mommy feeled my wiggly tooth, and said there's 2 wiggly tooths! I was so a-cited! I had two loose tooths, when Daddy got here I told him. They're gonna fall out sometime.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Recipe of the Week!

I think this is one of the best recipes I have! I get asked for it frequently. I didn't like chicken pot pie before this. That frozen blob you buy at the store and cook is nothing like this! You can use the bag of frozen mixed vegetables, but...don't!!! The fresh vegetables, green chiles, and sour cream make this recipe different and AWESOME!
Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 c chopped onion
4 T butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c sour cream
2 c cooked chicken
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/2 c chopped butternut squash
1/2 c chopped broccoli OR 1/2 a bag of frozen peas
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1/2 t pepper
1 box Pillsbury ready made pie crust
Saute onion and all fresh vegetables in the butter in a skillet until tender. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except the pie crust. Pour the filling into the pie crust and cover with second crust. Make a cute design if you like. I love to do that! I made this tonight, and I cut leaf prints out on the top crust.
Bake for 30-45 min. at 375 degrees. Keep an eye on your crust so it doesn't burn. I use a pie crust halo to protect it.
Serve with grated cheddar cheese on top!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Latest Mischief of Little Bear

Our Little Bear...
never a dull moment. His energy is ceaseless.
His talent for mischief remarkable.

I was getting ready one morning this week, in my most hurried try to get a little make-up on, pull your hair back in a pony tail, and put on some deodorant, before the house burns down from your inattention.

I left Justus on the porch at the art table with some Play-Doh, happy. I realized he'd been there for a while, for him, and went in search of him. He wasn't on the porch, and I started the room-to-room sweep, calling his name loudly. There was no answer. But I did find him in the kids bathroom.
Like this.
The water in the toilet was very pink from a canister full of pink Play-Doh. This sent a shot of panic through me, because one of his favorite things to do is flush the toilet. If he had flushed Play-Doh down the toilet, my mind flashed to a plumbing bill that would have us eating Ramen noodles for a month.
But God was with us. He had not flushed. Miracle! However, there was a lot of Play-Doh to be fished out of the toilet, and odds are, before that water was pink, it was yellow. Emma and Jax aren't the best flushers. So I had no desire to get my arm into that potty up to my elbow, just before we were due to leave the house. So Justus had to fish it all out himself. I'm not sure he minded. This was his idea of fun, evidently. As you can see in the picture he had already gone through a roll of toilet paper on the floor, so he was having a BIG time!
The Play-Doh was retrieved, and I was saved from swimming in the nasty toilet. All in all, the damage was minimal. He did get a spanking, but then I pulled out the camera for this pic. However, I gave my sternest face and voice while clicking away. This may be one of my poorest parenting moments, but if we can't laugh from the constant mischief of the Little Brown Bear, I could lose my mind.
The key to parenting toddlers: laughter!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Cowboy, an Indian, and Tinkerbell

After we decided on a cowboy and an indian for the boys, Rusty really wanted to go with a Village People theme...but I shot that one down.

Emma was Tinkerbell, but when someone asked her if she was a princess, she looked at them with utter disghust, like "No! I'm Tinkerbell! Come on!"

We had a house full of fun last night. We had our awesome HOPE group over. Erik won the prize for most frightening (which I'm not sure should receive a prize, scary man! The girls were ready to call 911 when you came in!) Michelle and Erin receive the most creative prize, as they came as ceiling fans. Not literally...they were fans (like Aggie fans) with pom-poms and such, they did a cheer...it's hard to explain but kudos to Katy St. John and Heather for getting it.

Some kind of prize goes to Aaron for most scuzzy. He came as Joe Dirt, and although I didn't know who that was, he looked stinkin' hilarious. Like straight from a trailer in rural Kentucky. It was good.

Heather and I win prizes because we were Moms who dressed up in addition to getting a slew of children dressed in costumes. Yea for us!

Taylor Joy Duty gets the prize for the cutest little thing ever! She was Pebbles Flintstone, and it was perfect! So glad you came Dutys!

What a fun Halloween you guys! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

I told you I love Fall.
I love Fall recipes, with pumpkin.
This stuff is heavenly. My friend Jen White passed it on to me, and I'm so glad she did. So I'm passing it on to you.
Even if you think you don't like pumpkin, you could like this. You know why? Because it has a cup of melted butter on it. No matter what you make, if it has that much butter on it, it's good.
Are you ready?

1 can pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
yellow cake mix (butter recipe is best)
1 cup chopped pecan bits
1 cup melted butter
Vanilla Cool Whip

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Combine pumpkin through salt in a large bowl.
Pour it into the pan.
Pour cake mix over it evenly.
Sprinkle pecans on top.
Then drizzle the butter over it, and bake at 350 for 50-55. Golden bubbly.
Serve with Cool Whip, and I have paired it with the Vanilla Cool Whip, which is a heavenly combination. I think Vanilla Cool Whip was made specifically for this dessert.
If you make it, or eat it, tell me if you like it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

5 Minutes of Deafness

As many of you know, when I received a paycheck in the working world, I was an interpreter for the Deaf, and later became a Deaf Ed. teacher. So it only seems natural that as I'm teaching my kids at home, they should learn sign.
We do a signing lesson everyday, where we go over a list of vocab. for the week, and put them into sentences in ASL (American Sign Language.) But my favorite part of our signing time is now our "5 Minutes of Deafness." I have found this to be so effective in teaching them to understand and sign expressively. I set the timer on the microwave for 5 minutes, and if you talk to me during that time, I can't hear you. Everyone MUST sign to communicate. Jax gets utterly confused much of the time, but Emma signs like a little Deaf kid! It's amazing! It's a lot of fun. If you are teaching, or learning, any language, I think this is vital to really learning to use language practically. If the kids don't know a sign for something, they have to act it out, which improves their expressive skills. (Facial expression and animation are actually a part of the grammar of ASL.)
If anyone is interested in teaching their kids to sign, there is a great show on PBS on Sunday mornings called "Signing Time." Anyone can learn from this show, and you can take the vocab. from one show and practice it for a week. It is awesome for communication for little ones. This is especially important for us right now, as Justus is needing non-verbal communication like crazy. Our whole family can sign. You can too! Then you can join us for 5 minutes of Deafness!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Sometimes we make-up our own words.
Like: Nastify v. or adj. - to make something totally gross and nasty.
Let me us it in a sentence for you.

Justus got into my lip gloss and totally nastified it.
(That was the word used as a verb.)

Justus got into my lip gloss and now it is all nastified.
(used as an adjective.)

Feel free to slip that into your daily conversation. It works quite nicely.

I want to know if other people make-up words in their house? Tell me, so I can use them too!

Fall Family Fun Day 2006

Fall is my favorite season.
I like to pretend that we have a fall.
There may not be any changing color of leaves,
but we might get the occasional sweatshirt weather cool front,
and that makes me all too happy!
With fall, comes the annual Fall Family Fun Day!
Mock us if you must, but we Bacaks love our little traditions.
On FFFD, (which we conveniently had the week we studied the letter F) we get to
pick out our pumpkins. Everyone gets to pick one, but there is a spending limit.
I like to pick one of the so-ugly-they're-pretty gourds, with funky colors and warts
all over them. Rusty seriously makes fun of me for this.
We carve our jack-o-lantern, and by "we" I mean Rusty. I am not fond of touching
pumpkin guts, and neither are my children really. So I stand back and unwrap the
caramels. This is the heavenly part. We make caramel apples with nuts and toffee
bits and all! This is way too messy to make on a regular basis, but WAY TOO GOOD
to not make once a year for the FFFD! My children were covered from head to toe
in caramel. It was on their feet, in their hair (with the exception of Rusty and Jax
because they don't have hair), on every sticky finger, leaving a trail of stickiness wherever
they thought about touching. But still, so worth it for the FFFD.
Our cutey jack-o-lantern is positioned proudly on the front porch now, and Justus keeps pointing
to the other pumpkins and then to the knives, waiting for us to butcher the others. Not going to
happen. One is enough. But who doesn't love the Fall Family Fun? Who?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prayer for Justus

This is a letter I sent to my family, but I thought I'd share it on my blog, so that we could enlist all of you for prayer!

Hello Family!
I wanted to ask you to pray for Justus. We have recently started Justus in Speech Therapy, as you probably know. Rusty and I have been contemplating what is really going on with his speech. His frustration level has really escalated the last 2-3 weeks, and he is somedays filled with rage! He gets so angry that I don't understand what he wants sometimes, and he is hitting me and throwing things A LOT! He knows, with 100% certainty, that he will get a spanking for this. But he has no self-control. He is so frustrated! As you can imagine, I am frustrated too.
It seems pretty clear to us that Justus is not just exhibiting a normal speech delay. His receptive language has always been awesome, but his expressive language is hardly improving. He is really bright, so we are not at all worried about his IQ, but still he rarely intiates speech. He probably intiates 5 words in a day, with a total of maybe 12 words that he's able to say. I don't know if anyone else could recognize these "words" like we can. He has NO names for his brother and sister, who he's with his every waking moment, and no name to request his paci, still can't say the words he has been signing since he was barely a year old, etc. These are things he should definitely be saying on his own! There are so many reasons why we are feeling like this is more than a speech delay. (I could elaborate, but am trying to keep this brief.) I didn't retain everything from college, but just enough to have a slight edge in this area. (All this loan money should be worth something!) Obviously, Rusty has so much to offer in knowing what is on target developmentally as well. We know that it is no mistake that God put Justus in our family! Praise the Lord!
We spent several days praying before we approached his speech therapist with this. I was afraid, because he is so young, and nobody wants to diagnose a two-year-old with anything, that a SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) might dismiss me and say to give therapy more time. However, this could definitely change his management, and I don't want to waste another year in therapy, and him be a three-year-old who is hardly improved. So I prayed, and I approached this cautiously. But our prayer was fruitful, because our SLP, Brandi, seemed very open to this idea. (She and I were actually in school together at Baylor.) The Speech Disorder we think is a possibility is Speech Apraxia. (You can look at the website http://www.apraxia-kids.org/) But we truly are not qualified to make any assumptions. Only an SLP can do that. Thankfully, she was anxious to think about it, gather more info. on him, she listened to me, and she wants to research and talk to other SLP's. I could not ask for more.
Please pray for Brandi, that God would guide her and use her. Pray that we would find the right approach to help Justus communicate better. We are doing more signing, as suggested for kids with Apraxia, using the total-communication approach. Communication is my top priority!
More than all of that, pray for his healing. God can definitely give our little brown bear words if He chooses to. We know, no matter what, that God is going to use this all for His glory.
Thanks for loving Justus, and your prayers will mean so much!

Church Signs

This is one of the books I want to write.
Church Signs.
You know, the ridiculous, "catchy" slogans churches put on their sign for all to see, that is supposed to do...what? Entice people to come on in! Convict them of all their sin as they're driving by?
This has been a soapbox of mine for many years.
When we drive to Arkansas in the summers, they get even more entertaining as we go. The misspellings are more heinous. Sometimes the meaning of the catchy phrases are totally lost on me!
Recently, we saw one in this town that said something like "Beef a lot, and you'll get in a stew."
Based on these tiny representations of our churches everywhere, why would anyone ever go to church? If I were lost, and I read one of these signs, I would thank my lucky stars I'm not one of the crazies that park my car there on Sunday morning. If I went there, I would start parking in the back, where no one could see me. How embarrassing is this?
I'm so, so, so glad our church doesn't have a goofy sign. But if we did, isn't scripture enough, if you want to put anything on it at all? Or like my Dad's church, how 'bout just the service times? Something useful. Something non-retarded. If our church had a sign, I know who would be in charge of putting something up there...my friend Heather...and who knows what insane thing she might choose each week. It would be truly entertaining.
This needs to be a new break-out session offered at the Southern Baptist Convention. Stop driving people away from the gospel with your ridiculous, meant-to-be-clever, but totally not, signs.
Someone stop the madness!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nacho Mama!

I decided on my Grandma name.
Nacho Mama.
I saw a letter addressed the other day to "Nacho Mama."
That's all. Just Nacho Mama.
I think that is the coolest Grandma name.
The other Grandma won't choose it.
No one will forget it. Everyone will say
"Hey, it's Nacho Mama!!!"
And I love nachos. I made them for dinner this week
and they were GOOD!
Your Grandma name is very important, because you could
have it for like, 50 years. It's about as important as
your real name.
I've got dibs on Nacho Mama.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I want to be her!!!

I love her.
I've been dying to tell you how much I love her.
I mean, I want to be her. I always have.
(You can pray for me if you want, that I want to be a "witch."
I'm totally fine with it.)
I don't want to be her, like with her most annoying husband Darren, who
is totally unworthy of the most beautiful woman ever. (Truly, if you asked me who is the most beautiful woman of all time, I think it's her!) But I want to look like her, and have her superpowers.
Think about it! Have you seen what she could do? Do you know how this would change your life?
I think about it all the time. I've probably spent a hundred hours thinking about it from childhood up until now. If I watch an episode, which I can at anytime now because my wonderful husband bought me the first season on DVD, I just can't stop day dreaming about twinkling my nose, and poofing-up dinner, or when she makes the vacuum cleaner work on its own! Or snapping my fingers and having lunch in Paris. Can you imagine? Why didn't God give me superpowers? I could handle it. I'm sure I could.
I used to think I also wanted to be Jeannie, but then I grew up and realized she was a dim-wit. AND, she was paired up with that totally over-bearing jerk of an astronaut for a master. Yeah, the smoke and the bottle were really cool, but she was always baring her midriff and was shacked up with that guy. And she truly had the IQ of an eight-year-old.
I found this website while looking for the picture of Elizabeth Montgomery (above) asking the poignant question, "Jeannie or Samantha? Which would you rather be?" There's no doubt about it, Samantha. She rocks.
I so want to be her!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pre-Kids...Just a Distant Memory

I was thinking the other day about things I used to do pre-kids.
Or even when I had less kids!
It's hard to remember that era of my life, but I vaguely do.
I was thinking how I would like to hear some of the things that
you, fellow parents, did before kids. Reach way back, into your memory.
The children may have burned that part of your brain, and fried
it beyond repair, but TRY! You young mothers (i.e. Sally and Kendra), it was not too
terribly long ago, but your lack of sleep may make it equally as difficult.
So here's a short list of mine. Some things you didn't know about me:

1. I used to arrange fresh flowers once a week in a vase in my house. It was quite lovely.
For those of you who have witnessed my dead plants, you know that is no longer the case.

2. I used to be an interpreter for the Deaf.

3. I used to wear make-up on a regular basis, not just on Sundays, and always checked the mirror before leaving the house.

4. I used to spend hours and hours clipping recipes out of magazines, and made things that required a long list of ingredients! (Cooking has had to be a bit more simplified now-a-days.)

5. I never, ever, ever exercised, except for a brief period before my wedding, thinking I could get a brand new beautiful body for my wedding. I did not.

6. We went to movies on a moment's notice, without planning it 5 days in advance, and paying $10/ hour in addition to the cost of movie tickets. Sometimes we even went on a WEEK NIGHT!

7. We randomly went on weekend adventures...to wherever we wanted. We drove to cool places, slept in, and shopped for clothes for ourselves!

8. We watched live TV, payed our bills long before they were due, and our to-do lists were much easier to achieve.

These are just a few. Now, by reading this list, you may think I would wish to go back to that time in my life.
The odd thing is, despite all of this, now is the best time of my life BY FAR! I love my life, and would not trade being a mother for anything in the world!!!! Our time and energy is a lot less about US, but our life is so full. We are so blessed.
Now-I want to learn new things about you people!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Come see #3

You must see the new soccer player in our house.
Jax had his first game last Saturday, and y'all, this is entertainment at it's finest. And free! No one will charge you a ticket. Just bring a chair and have a seat. You're garunteed to laugh.
Jax did a great job last Saturday! He scored a goal, which was way exciting! He had the proudest look on his face. He assisted others. (This sounds very professional, for players who can't remember which goal is theirs.)
He was awesome! What surprised us was he was an aggressive player! Rusty was thrilled. (Not aggressive like throw other kids down and stomp on them, but intent on getting the ball, and not afraid to get in the middle of it.) Yet he was still focused mostly on snack time, and blowing me kisses from the field. Goodness, he's too cute.
We tried soccer last year with Emma, and it was an interesting season. It turned out soccer was not Emma's thing. She was the team flower-picker. She's never felt the need to follow the crowd, and soccer was no exception. If everyone is huddled around the ball, she'd rather be somewhere else. And as you can imagine, we had a hard time keeping her upright on the field. She spent much of the time on all-fours. We were always yelling "Stop being a puppy Emma!" She would bark back at us. Soccer didn't go so well last year. We got smart and followed her true passion with horses. She excels at riding horses and is dog-gone beautiful doing it! She and her horse are ONE!
But soccer could be Jax's thing. Who knows? Either way, this season is going to be so fun to watch!

The Poop-Flinger Strikes Again!

Since this story has become renown in the B-CS area (which is what I've always wanted my family to be famous for...throwing poo), I thought I'd give you an update.
He did it again.
It was approximately 5pm yesterday, and I had a million things to do. Thursday nights we have Countdown here, so I was trying to get my dessert made, plus start dinner, and get it all done quickly so I could get to Praise Team practice...it was just that kind of afternoon.
So there was no time in my schedule for poop flinging.
The worst part- Rusty wasn't here.
It was just me, alone, face-to-face with my two year old poop flinger.
I went to pick him up out of bed, and I re-lived the nightmare I shared with you weeks ago.
Poop everywhere.
Smeared on the bed.
Thrown in every direction.
Now, the first time he did not get a spanking, because I felt partly responsible. I had put him in bed in only his diaper, and I thought maybe it got heavy (wet) and came off. Then he decided, 'Hey, here's my poop. I should see how far I can go for distance with it.' Like I said, he's got quite an arm.
But this time, he went to great lengths to achieve his goal.
For goodness sake, the boy was wearing overalls.
OVERALLS! He took them off. Threw them so far, I couldn't find them at first.
Then his diaper, so on, so forth.
I don't know what he's thinking at this point? I think I have poo in my diaper. Maybe I'll use it like Play-do? Or is it purely for my face when I open the door and start shouting 'NOOOOOO!'
Anywho, he got a spanking with this one.
When Rusty came home I had him give the boy his stern Daddy face, which tends to work better than my spankings.
As I was cleaning this up, ALONE this time, I was seriously praying 'Lord, please keep this child out of prison. Please! Break this rebellious spirit in him!"
Every two-year-old must be broken, but he might take a little more work.
Good thing he is crazy cute!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Okay, we've got a new one. Ready?
"Get a load of yourself!"
Interject it casually into conversation.
That's the way it's done.
If you want to say it Jax-style, it's going
to have to be a little louder than anyone's
"indoor voice" should be.
Jax is still keepin' it real.

Jax's version of Humpty Dumpty

Nursery Rhymes are a party of our Pre-K/K curriculum in the Bacak School. Jax's versions always kill me! Like when we did "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary..." He would say "Mary, Mary, white and cherry." That week, and for a long time after, he was obsessed with cockleshells. I don't know what cockleshells are!
Anyway, this week is Humpty Dumpty. This is what Jax recited today.

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a big wall.
....and he fell....
All the kings mans, and all the king's horses
put him back in pieces a-gether."

It's close. Evidently Nursery Rhymes don't necessarily have to rhyme. I love it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Caught Red-Handed

I know, the title was just too easy.
This is our two-year-old.
This is him playing on the porch, with the grown-ups pre-occupied with the dishes.
He got a hold of the red paint and was just squeezing away when we found him.
You can't see it in the picture, but red paint is everywhere! All over the porch and grass.
Rusty says it looks like a bad scene in CSI.
He wanted to draw chalk outlines around some of it for effect.
That's his innocent face he's giving to his Daddy, who is looking at him AND me disapprovingly because I got out the camera. This is not the face he gave me after the poop flinging incident. He was purely proud of himself for that one. But his Daddy wasn't there either. That seems to make a difference. Rusty assured me, while scrubbing everything and everyone of red paint, no matter how many cute babies I see at church, prompting me to beg him to get me another one, this is it! In these moments he feels very sure.
You gotta love the 2's!

The Amazing Race Predictions

I love this guy! Phil. I love the way he talks. He's got an accent. Rusty hates accents, but I love them. Everything he says sounds smart.
This show rocks. My friend Bethany got me going on it, and I love it!
Amazing Race watchers, any predictions?
I want to hear who you think will be top 3?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Meet Jodi!

For those of you who don't know, this is the angel, Jodi, who is living with us right now.
(And Emma has a blue balloon above her head.)
Justus is madly in love with her! He stalks her in the house.
Jodi is also the kids' Homeschool Math teacher. She is doing a fabulous job! Emma is counting to 100! They love math time with Jodi. (Jax is mainly in it for the stickers, but whatever works.)
Jodi will only be here this semester, sadly. She will be headed back to Dallas with her family, and then will be marrying Andrew in June. (Andrew's great!)
We love Jodi, and wanted to fill everyone in on the latest in the Bacak house.

Me at an Aggie Game

This is me at my second Aggie game ever.
I'm even wearing maroon under that pancho, can you tell?
This is hard to believe, considering how my husband loves Aggie football (or hates it, depending on the moment), I'm a Baylor Bear, and the fact that we live in Aggieland.
Most of the time, he watches the games at home.
He doesn't like to watch them in groups.
He watches them standing up...the whole time...pacing.
Now that we have kids, he TIVOs them, and watches them without interruption.
He doesn't watch too many sports on TV, but Aggie football is important to him- so it's important to me.
Because we had been living far away in Amarillo, it had been years since he had attended a game when we moved back here. For his birthday that year, I gave him tickets to a game. We went together. Considering my first game experience, it is most surprising that there was a second.
We had just moved here, and I hadn't fully appreciated what the Aggie cult was about.
Now, keep in mind, I love living in Aggieland, and love Aggies!!!! (i.e. my husband!) So I feel one must embrace this world, to a degree, Aggie or not. I went to Baylor and loved every minute of it, but I will probably never again attend a Baylor game, and that's totally okay with me. It's not even on my radar screen.
So we went to this first game in 2003, in the afternoon, in the blazing sun. The sun was directly in our eyes the whole game, and we STOOD the whole time. I was wedged in on every side by tall, sweaty guys. (One of them was Rusty, which was okay, but the rest of them, I was not excited about sharing skin-to-skin contact with.) I could only see about a third of the field, and I don't know that much about football anyway.
There was sweating. Then singing. And SWAYING. It seemed to be constant, sweating, singing, and swaying.
Now I love you Aggie people, and have great respect for your tradition, but I draw the line at singing and swaying, yelling hell, and "sawing horns off." This is where I have a seat. I have some real thoughts about the fact that your school song is almost entirely about UT... I mean just love yourselves! Why is there so much focus on them? Is there school song about you? Isn't that kind of sad? But I know no one is interested in my thoughts on that, so I'll move on.
I think whooping is fun...except at my wedding...and I asked Rusty if someone brought one of those air horns to church and just blew that little tune, would everyone whoop out of reflex? He said adamently yes. It's a little strange, but a well-placed whoop can be fun. (Not for me, of course, but for others.)
At this first sweaty game, what followed the sweating, singing, and swaying was dehydration. I went out to buy $4 water! How wrong is that!!! It's like in NY, where the umbrellas sold on the street go up $2 when it's raining! On my way out to buy water, I watched a boy puke into a trash can. I'm thinking- THIS IS NOT FUN!
I was glad Rusty could attend a game. But I was sure he would be attending the rest of them without me. That was 3 years ago. He has attended a few freebie ticket games since then with guys, and had a good time.
Last weekend, Jodi and her fiance Andrew, who have season tickets, offered us tickets to go to the game with them. I was excited for Rusty! And I love hanging out with Jodi and Andrew, obviously! I know Aggie tickets are like gold, so I felt honored.
My weather savvy husband was up on the weather report, so we packed our backpacks like we were going camping for a week. We were fully prepared, with water bottles, rain panchos, towels, trail mix, and granola bars. (No lie!) This came in handy for the two hour rain delay. But this was a much better experience, barring the 2 hour delay...and the rain. It went fast in great company.
I love watching my husband revel in his Aggiehood.
Jodi and Andrew have amazing seats. And we had fun! (Thanks again Jodi and Andrew!)
But still- the singing and swaying! All the time! And that song gets so stuck in your head!
I enjoyed the Aggie Band. That really was impressive!
I have to say, coming from Baylor, some things are really different. (Like we don't often win games.) But our school mascot is so much cooler. We get to watch the bear drink Dr. Pepper at games.
You've got a dog who barks- a lot! A dog. We all have dogs at home.
If she were really like Lassie and saved children stuck in wells or something, that would be cool. But from what I hear, her only trick is biting people.
This poor dog lives such a strange life! I think she's wondering about the singing and the swaying too!
And the strangest Aggie thing I've heard so far is that you have former Revellies (sp? sorry) buried under the outisde scoreboard, so that they can always "look up at the score"! Come on! That's creepy, and weird! Give these poor dogs a break! And everybody knows all dogs go to heaven, so they are free from their duties as Super Aggie Dog. In heaven, they're free to just lick themselves and sleep all day, like other dogs.
All in all, we had a great time, and truly, I know I'm skating on thin ice with some of you Ags.
But I love you Aggies. I would be pleased for my kids to go to school here. You can't live here without just rolling with it.
Beside my husband, I have deeply loved so many Aggie girls since moving here! Starting with Camile, Arlene, Morgan, Sarah, Lisa, Jodi- and so many more! I adore you!
It's all a little strange, but I love you Aggieland.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." James 1:19

A while back, we taught this verse to the kids, and we were working on not interrupting each other. We wanted them to learn the value of listening to others, and not just thinking about what THEY had to say. (Something we grown-ups can work on too.) So "interrupting" has become a major offense in our home. This is huge for a four and six-year-old who are constantly fighting for talk time. I don't know what we'll do when Justus finally tries to get a word in!
So Jax gets quite frustrated when someone interrupts him, but he says "Emma! Please don't uncle-rupt me!" "Uncle-rupt" gets me every time! So there's a new word to work into your vocabulary. Uncle-rupt is way more fun to say than interrupt!

The Poop Flinger

I hesitated to put this story on the blog when it happenned because I fear that some of you childless people, with weak stomachs, might not be able to take it. Or that you might swear off having children. Or you young marrieds would immediately double up on your birth control. But the story has been requested by more than one, so I'm posting it. Read at your own risk.
Our precious little two-year-old bundle of joy had a surprise for us one afternoon. I went to get him out of his bed after nap time on a Saturday afternoon. What I found was him standing in his bed, covered in poop, poop flung all over the room, (I mean, to every corner of his large room! On the guest bed, etc. As Rusty would say- He's got a good arm.) He had also rubbed it all over the rails of his crib.
Somehow, his diaper had fallen off, and he had peed on his pillow and thrown that out of his crib. Then he pooped, and just had a big party with it I guess. When I went to pick him up, tip-toeing through a mine field of poop, I couldn't stop saying "Sick! Justus, gross!" and of course, hollering for my husband. I very gingerly plucked him from his bed, and headed straight for the bath, since the poop was now getting crusty all over him. Now the real hero of this story is my husband!!! Yes, he cleaned and sanitized the room. He's a man like no other man. He's my knight and shining armor. Single girls, marry a man who will do such a thing for you! It's just lucky for me my husband is a doctor, and sees and does things in a day that would make the rest of us common folk dry-heave on the spot.
As for Justus, he was quite proud of himself. No kidding, in the bath, he was giggling away. It was nothing but good fun for him. The adventures of Parenthood!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Addition to Favorites List

Faithful Bacak bloggers: Remember the favorites list? I want to make an addition. (Is anyone else hooked on that creamer? It gets me up in the morning.)
Are you ready?
Jogging in the rain.
Yes, Rusty and I went jogging in the pouring rain last night, and I felt a little like Rocky. It was awesome.
The sad thing was that when I returned home, despite the theme music playing in my head, I didn't look so hot. I forgot I put on eye make-up, and it was streaked down one side of my face. I looked more like that messed-up chic on Star Trek with, like, half of her face melted. Jodi was frightened of me.
But jogging in the rain- you got to try it! Okay, I know, it's still jogging, but that's just a necessary evil in my life. If you're going to jog, you ought to try it in the rain.

Noah was a righteous man

The kids and I have been reading through Genesis. We learned about Noah, and that he was a righteous man. When I taught them this, I told them that I thought their Daddy was a righteous man too. He tries to do what is right for God.
You never know when your words will come back...
Jax was talking back to Rusty today, and Emma piped in, how she doesn't talk back to Daddy...because he is a righteous man!
She then was saying a prayer for "Mommy to be a righteous Mommy, and Jax to be a righteous Jax," etc. She was praying for our whole family to do what is right for the Lord.
I covet the prayers of this sweet child of God. She has such a pure relationship with Him, it humbles me. I pray that we would be a family who does what is right for the Lord. It's just that simple.

Emma's new slogan

I knew this day would come. From the time she could point and make noises, we knew she was passionate about animals. Not in the normal, little kid way, but to the point of obsession. Still, as a five-year-old (almost 6-aaaaaaaaaahhhh!) she lives half of her life as some sort of animal.
This week we are studying farming. I knew I needed to tread carefully in the subject of farming for meat. It's not as if I showed her pictures of a slaughter house. No. I simply told her that some farms raise cows for us to eat meat, and chickens, etc., so on.
Well, at the lunch table today, she declared to Rusty and I, as we ate meat, that killing animals for meat was "not fair" and she would not do it anymore. This slogan was actually almost verbatim what she said. She wants to save the lives of animals. She wants to buy her own farm so that she can raise them to live.
Rusty tried the whole "God gave us animals to eat...blah,blah." But her adament response is "it's not fair." So she will not be apart of it anymore. I told her she was becoming a "vegetarian", which is strange for a child who boycotts vegetables.
We'll see how long this lasts. I told her I respected her decision. This may last until tomorrow, or until she's 16. Or maybe she has made a life-long choice at 5. I don't know. But knowing my Emma, it doesn't the least bit surprise me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Grandparents Day Luncheon

The Grandparents Day Luncheon was a smashing success! (If you ask me.)
As I saw Grandparents Day approaching, I remembered when I was in elementary school, and my grandparents came to eat a nasty, tray lunch with me in the cafeteria...and I thought it was the coolest thing that happened to me all year.
I wanted to make Grandparents Day cool for my kids in our own homeschool way.
(When my Dad arrived, he asked where my Prairie dress was? I have yet to don the prairie dress, and we have not yet made our own soap. We are on our own unique homeschooling track.)
We invited my grandparents, Rusty's parents, and my Mom and Dad. I told the kids this would be theirs to host, and Jax immediately told everyone when they came through the door that "he was in charge." These are rare words for a four-year-old, so he was drunk with power! (Please pray for Jax to come to love Jesus, so he uses his powers for good and not evil!)
They served everyone, and were as cute as they could be. They also got to show off all that they are learning. Emma read some books to them, and they both signed a book "Ten Little Ladybugs." The Grandparents were able to peruse their journals and their review book, a scrapbook of everything we've done so far, as well as their artwork already on display. We had a great time!
It was good to celebrate Grandparents. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives. The legacy of love and Godliness they have passed down to us continues to trickle down to my children. That is priceless! We love you Ed, Cindy, Ray, Bern, Bob, and Betty!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Emma's new supertalent

My daughter has many talents. Like the uncanny animal noises she makes. Or travelling at the speed of light on all fours! (Challenge her to a race if you don't believe me.) She can climb any tree. She can catch a bug, no matter how fast, slimy, or disghusting it is. (Some may not deem this a supertalent, but in the Bacak house, it is.) But we have a new one this week...
READING! My little girl read three early reader books today!!! I am awed and amazed! We are just in our third week of Kindergarten, and she has begun reading! I feel like I just gave birth, or potty-trained a kid, or one of those achievements that Moms remember for a lifetime. It's so exciting! She has come so far so fast, and I could not be prouder of her! So come over and let Emma read you a book!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Only in a Doctor's House...

Jax is a simple little guy. Save your money at Christmas, because his favorite toys cannot be bought at Toys R Us. Right now, all he wants is a rubber band (for a bow and arrow), a straw (for a sword), and a pap smear stick.
Yes, you read that correctly.
He doesn't exactly call it that. (There may be a more professional name for it that I'm unaware of.) It looks like a popsicle stick with a bone shape at the end of it, so Jax calls it a bone stick. It makes a handy sword as well.
Am I raising him to sell weapons on the black market, or what? I have no idea. There is something very strange packed into the DNA of a boy.
Anyway, I knew that he was bringing them home from the office when we went to visit Daddy, but I didn't know what they were for!?
I asked Rusty to bring him home a bone stick, since that's all he was talking about. He said "You mean the ones for pap smears?" I was a little sicked out, but how would I know what they look like! I'm not down there when it is used to torture me! We don't know what those tools are being used. But I tell you what, they don't look like what you imagine. By the time you can gather your paper gown around you and get vertical, the tools have disappeared. It's really one of the strangest things that happen to us as women.
Of course Rusty wondered if he was going to be an OB someday.
That's also a weird thought. My little boy! I'm much more comfortable with my sweet and totally politically incorrect Indian.

Funny tidbits on the other munchkins:
Jodi, the sweet college girl who is now living with us, came to me the other night and asked me if we were keeping Disney's food in her bathtub. Of course not, I answered. Disney's food and water dish go in that bathroom, but we don't expect Disney to crawl into the bathtub for food, although that would be a cool trick.
She said that the last two nights she found dog food poured into her bathtub. This sweet, childless young woman didn't know what Justus is capable of. She cleaned it up the first night, thinking it a little odd. I'm glad she asked the second night. You never know what Justus is going to do in a split second.
His favorite thing right now is a simple spray bottle. He has literally spent hours entertained on the back porch spraying water on every surface, window, and of course, himself.
I'm serious people. Save your money at Christmas!

Emma, who is learning her vowels, has put a new spin on our "I learned my vowels today" song. When singing it with me, she will yell out "Sing it baby!" or "I'm doing it baby!" It's hysterical, and then we go into our vowel song dance, clapping and going crazy.
Homeschool is a trip.
On a more serious note, Emma took her first Lord's Supper last night at an amazing serving at our church. Emma cannot get enough of the Bible at home. I had already done our Bible Story for the day, and she has been begging me to sit and read more and more stories. I think her main motivation for learning to read right now is to read the Word. It's awesome!

Rusty: He is going to love that I published this story! Last night he was on call. He got hit hard last night, with atleast two admits, and dozens of calls. He uses a flashlight so he can write things down without turning on the light (since the calls don't even wake me up anymore. The life of a doctor's wife.) So he went to grab his huge, mega flashlight in the dark, and instead, grabbed a cup of water, and poured it all over the bed and his crotch region. (Am I allowed to say crotch on my blog?) He slept a lot closer to me last night to avoid the spill.
Just so you know, when you call your doctor in the middle of the night, he could be delirious. Somehow he still makes life or death calls in this state, and hasn't killed anyone yet! He's amazing!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Do you see a resemblance here? You should, because this is Justus and his birthmom, Kathleen. I do think he looks like her, and she is beautiful, so that's great!
We spent this past weekend with Kathleen, and I treasured every moment! We flew Kathleen here, since she lives so far away, and we haven't seen her since Justus was 7 months old. She came for Justus' 2nd birthday, and it happenned to be her birthday, just 2 days before his. It was an amazing weekend!
At least once a week, someone says to me "I want to talk to you about adoption." I always say "I love to talk about adoption!" Because it has been a beautiful, growing experience, as having children always seems to be. I am in awe of our God, who uses everything to draw us closer to Him. So much of what I have to say about adoption centers around this lovely woman pictured above. We are a perfect picture of open adoption, if you ask me, and how good it can be when you allow God to remove fear and pride. (Only He can do that!) I cannot separate Justus from Kathleen. I cannot say to a woman, who loved this little boy so much, she put aside her own feelings and chose something better for him, "thanks for your baby, now go away. We don't want to see or hear from you again." She gave me my baby!!!! There is no selfishness is that decision! I always tell her, it's a pure picture of a mother's love. As mothers, we put them first, and us last. Kathleen has no other children, and I know still longs for a child. But she knew, for reasons that I won't get into out of respect for her and for Justus, that she couldn't give him everything he deserved. Mainly, a Dad. (I think he hit the jackpot on that one, by the way! Kathleen agrees, Justus couldn't have a better Daddy!) Kathleen will always have a place in our lives. She will definitely always be important to Justus. He will grow up knowing, 'that's Kathleen. She's my birthmom. She loves me.' Doesn't that take the mystery and agony out of it for the adopted child?
For those of you who feel totally freaked out by this- and there's people in our own family who still are- let me just assure you of some things. With semi-open adoption, like New Life does, we don't exchange last names or addresses. She still doesn't know what town we live in. Communication and visits go through the agency, and they are there to assure that a proper boundary is set in place. They are amazing at their jobs! But I do not fear her. And she does not fear me. We are two moms who are constantly reassuring one another. I tell her over and over that we always want contact with her, and Justus will always know her and know that she loves him. That's all she wants!!! For me, she constantly tells me how happy she is with her decision, and the immense peace it gives her to receive our pictures in the mail of him playing with his siblings, Daddy, or his dog Disney. She told me several times this weekend, being with us and seeing him brings her no sorrow or regret! Only joy and peace. She is so happy for him! This is a self-less woman, who doesn't even know the Lord.
That's another aspect of this relationship that I want to share. Kathleen is Muslim, and we had the opportunity to take her to my parents' church with us. I knew that I needed to seize the opportunity in the car on the way to the airport to talk about our Lord Jesus with her. It was just me, her, and a sleeping Justus. It was an easy, open, honest conversation, and I told her what Jesus means to us (which she has heard many times before in letters and cards), and asked her if she would just pray and ask God if Jesus is the Way? Please, if you know what it means to have Jesus in your life, pray for her to come to know Him too. I know, beyond any doubt, that bringing me my sweet little brown bear was not God's only purpose in this adoption. I believe that God is drawing Kathleen to Himself, and I don't want her to miss Him!
Make no mistake about it, I am Justus' Mom. If you ask me about Justus' "real Mom" I will tell you "you're lookin' at her." (That's me!) There is no confusion for any of us in that. But there is still a lot of room in his life for her, and for her family, who love him. I wouldn't dream of shutting them out. Why? To nurse my Super-Mom ego? Or out of fear? My faith in Christ dispells that fear. He holds our family in His hands. If you have any questions at all about open adoption, or about New Life, a pregnancy crisis center and adoption agency in Houston, please let me know. Like I said, I love to talk about adoption! Look at the end result.