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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.