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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

9 Years Ago...

9 years ago today, Rusty asked me to marry him.
His proposal set the stage for our marriage.
He washed my feet after reading Ephesians 5 to me.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by God's word."
Ephesians 5:25-26

Rusty has done this. How appropriate that he washed my feet at the beginning of our marriage journey, because he has been a servant leader to the core! He has washed me clean with God's word by encouraging me in my walk with the Lord, refining me, calling me out, and leading by example.
This man gets up before anyone should have to in order to study God's Word. He has ever since I've known him.
He loves me unabashedly, and I have no idea why.
He leads our family, not according to his own wishes, but with a heart that seeks the Lord.
He does what he says he will do. His word is for real.
My husband is brilliant.
He's the best Dad in the world, and SO FUN!
9 years ago, he chose me. That still baffles me, but he did.
He has made me so much better! You really do become like your spouse after you've been married a while, and I got the better end of that deal.
Just like my relationship with the Lord, I don't deserve this man.
My heart overflows with gratitude!!!
Happy engagement anniversary Honey!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Half-Birthday Treston!

How I love this little boy!
Happy Half-Birthday Treston!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Calling All Crock-Potters

I used to LOVE the part of my day when I cooked dinner. I was creating something wonderful. I would search and search for the best recipes. I had a subscription to Cooking Light and Southern Living. I would cut recipes out and glue them onto cute little notecards. I cooked things with LOTS of ingredients in them. Really good things, that even took some time. Creative things. One of our favorites was a Pork and Pear Saute. We loved that! It's been a thousand years since I made that. What happenned?
We had kids. Many kids. Once we started, we just couldn't stop. We have a kid every two years. We love them, but they've taken over dinner time.
I still love to cook, but that time of day is probably the most crazy time of my day. Cooking with Justus pulling on my legs, and "helping" me, and tending to a baby, managing art projects...well, let's just say it's not the same. I now cook things with very few ingredients. Casseroles. Things that can be cooked in one pot.
I feel I am being forced to adopt a new crockpotting lifestyle.
Our semester is back in full swing. For those of you who don't live in a college town, life here still revolves around semesters, even for those of us whose college years are behind us.
Our awesome HOPE group has begun (I love you Bacak groupies!), and we start a new Countdown class tonight. (Check the Countdown link if you don't know about this ministry that Rusty and I love so much!) So those are two very busy nights for us...getting dinner on the table, doing Math, which they do with Lisa in the evening, bath time, and all the chasing, tickling, reading, etc. that must be done before glorious bed time.
Tuesday night was my first HOPE group night since we expanded our family, and trying to cook dinner BEFORE Rusty came home, with all four kids, nearly drove me to drink! So, I've decided I MUST find some new wonderful Crockpot recipes and use this brilliant slow-cooking machine twice a week. For the sake of my sanity. For the children. No one wants me to start drinking, right?
So this is where I am calling to you.
Hear the desperation in my voice?
I need some wonderful crockpot recipes. I have a few, and Heather's new cookbook has provided a few new ones, one in which I'm cooking right now. (Or should I say slow cooking?) But we can't eat these same things every Tuesday and Thursday. I need to expand my reportoire. And not with any kind of beef stew, because I really hate that.
Just one recipe.
Give me one.
Friends, you could e-mail it to me if you want.
Let's have a contest!!! My whole family will be the judges. Whoever gives us the very best recipe wins a special prize.
A prize to be disclosed.
Grab your recipe books and run right back to your computer.
Thanks! The winner will be announced on a future post.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ladybug Larvae! by Emma Bacak

I got ladybug larvae right. Now they are pupa. Now three of those pupa are ladybugs. Maybe in the spring, I might have ladybugs and all of them might be ladybugs. Daddy says they eat raisins. Soak the raisins for 5 minutes and cut them in half. Ladybugs like to eat bugs that live in flowers in the spring. In the spring, we'll get those bugs, and feed them to the ladybugs. We won't need a jacket when we catch them because it will be spring.
I was so excited when I saw this morning I have THREE ladybugs! Maybe someday, all my pupa will be ladybugs. One time, when they were just little babies, they runned and climbed way up to the glass. Can you believe that? But now they're not babies. But I still love them as ladybugs. I might have to keep them until the spring when they can look for food. These ladybugs are not eating the raisins right now or yesterday! I have to find those bugs, so they eat faster. But there's one little thing Daddy told me...catepillars are larvae for butterflies! And people, they're kind of like cocoons. I love this. I hope they all turn to ladybugs. I think each day, one by one, they'll turn ladybugs. Let's best see. Oh, but one thing...they're yellow. Not red. That's all.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lisa's here!

We have wonderful Lisa living with us! Lisa is student teaching, and we are so glad she could stay with us this semester! She is teaching the kids Math, and doing a wonderful job! My kids are so blessed to have the wonderful college students we have in our lives. What would our lives be like without them? BORING. I've decided all the girls that come to stay with us should wear the same size clothes as me too. This is working out beautifully. It's fun to have girl roommates again!
Love you Lisa!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Unique Opportunity

My husband has some unique opportunities to share the Gospel.
It amazes me sometimes! For example, this week a man was dying, and Rusty had to let him know that he didn't have much time left, and then immediately went into 'what do you believe about God?' This man believed the God-thing was a bunch of junk. But my husband did all he could to share Christ with this man. He prayed with the man's family, as he so often does. I wish I could say the man accepted Christ, but he didn't. He passed away yesterday. Rusty was grieved, not only to lose a patient, but to lose him before he would accept the Truth. I know this is discouraging for him, but the fact is he has opportunities that I will never have. He meets people when they can feel the need for God more than ever. He ministers to families in crisis. And I'm so proud of him that he seizes these opportunities so boldly. Every patient that he sees fills out a spiritual questionnaire, asking if it would be okay with them if the doctor prayed with them. This is not PC. I can't imagine the professional criticism he might receive from some. My husband is so bold, and I'm so proud of him for making his whole life and work about sharing his faith. I pray that God would open my eyes to see the opportunities that He gives me in MY life, and make me bold. Pray for Rusty, and that God would use him to bring people to the Lord through his medical practice.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby.

Oh, how I'm loving ice days. These are pics of ice day 1. Today is ice day 2. The main reason I am loving it is because Rusty is home!!!!
Yes, that's right. If you know my husband, you may not believe it. But I convinced him that people would not keep their appts. (Which they wouldn't. People cancel their appts. if they are having a bad hair day.) So it's like Saturday, and then Saturday again. Awesome.
The kids have enjoyed playing outside, intermittenly. Here is Emma, breaking the top layer of ice on the trampoline. So fun! They have also been collecting icicles, of course expecting them to live when they bring them in the house.
Today, Ice Day #2, they actually went sledding!!! We are the few people in the Brazos Valley who own sleds. (And we'll rent them to you for a small fee. Gotta' make up for the loss of work somehow, right?!) We moved here from Amarillo, where we got snow, and loved it! So the kids went with Rusty to Wolf Pen Park today and did some ice/mud sledding. Well, first they just went down to the side of 6 and did a little sledding there, but a very nice police man came and told them there had been several wrecks off of 6, so they should probably move. What's funny about that was that Jax thought they were going to be arrested! So funny!
I am loving this ice thing. I have Rusty home, and the trees look beautiful. We had a little ice party last night with a few of our Hope Groupers...made a massive fire that set off our smoke alarms, and then watched American Idol. It doesn't get much better than that. Bring on the ice. We might have to sell our house due to lack of income, but for now, it's fun!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Justus Has Bounced Back!

He's back! With a vengeance!
For real, look at his face...doesn't it look great?
He's giving you his best CHEESE face.
He had 9 stitches removed last Wed. We underestimated how many there were, and it was so swollen initially, we couldn't even count!
But he has healed beautifully, and we are buying Mederma in bulk, applying it 3 times a day.
He's going to be perfect.
It didn't take him long to get back to his mischevious ways.
For example, in the last week, he

1. Took a bottle of blue Tempera paint and bounced on the trampoline, while pouring out the bottle all over the trampoline. The trampoline is now blue.
2. He took my super expensive Pro Active (miracle stuff) moisturizer and squeezed every last precious ounce into the sink and washed it down the drain. I almost cried. I had to call Heather and ask her to feel sorry for me so that I wouldn't cry.
3. He sneaks into the crib with Treston, while he's supposed to be sleeping, or sneaks into Emma and Jax's room after he's been put to bed.

That's our boy. He's a real, live two-year-old. Everyone stop and say a prayer for this beautiful boy, that he uses his powers for good and not evil.
On the up-side, he is learning new words! He is definitely improving in speech, PRAISE GOD! He has a new friend, Becky Blackmon, whom he calls "Be-Be" who is working with him three mornings a week for a few hours. This has been AWESOME! We are really proud of him. He actually verbally requests his CDs at night. For example "Baa, Baa" is Baa Baa Black Sheep, "shoe" is one, two, buckle my shoe, and "HO, HO, HO" is a Christmas Lullaby CD. Verbal requests!!! Yea!
Thanks for your prayers for Justus.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Martin Luther King Day

We are taking a day to learn about Martin Luther King. If you read my post on Rosa Parks Day, I promise not to rant.
But there's so much I didn't know about this man.
Did you know that he won the Nobel Peace Prize?
Did you know that his family's home was bombed?
Did you know he entered college at the age of 15?
There are many remarkable facts about him. Most of all, he was a man who was killed because he fought for equal treatment for people of all races. An excerpt from his famous "I Have A Dream" speech says...

"I have a dream today... I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls can join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

I am seeing that dream come true in our church. I worked in the nursery Saturday night. I worked in Treston's room, the baby room. We only had three babies. We had David, Treston, and Danaya. We had every beautiful skin color in one room. Fair skinned David, light golden skinned Treston, and beautiful dark skinned Danaya. It just made me happy. I am seeing more and more in our Church Body the break-down of the last surviving existence of segregation...the Church. Segregation was outlawed decades ago, but on Sunday mornings, it has lived on. Our churches are an intimate place for us, and our culture has been 40 years overdue in truly melding together our lives. Not just being together, blacks and whites, in the places we have to go. But being together in the places we choose to go... to share our lives with others. I am blessed by Living Hope, in that I see an increasingly beautiful tapestry of color being woven into one Body. And it's not something anyone is necessarily taking notice of. It's just people, families, being church family, being known not by the color of their skin, but as Dr. King put it in his speech, the content of their character. My dream is that my kids, as they grow up in one house with "blonde" skin, as Emma puts it, and brown skin, that they are shining examples for others to see. I am grateful for the other families around us doing the same.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Justus Update

A new healing picture will be posted soon. Justus' stitches were removed on Wed. night, and he is on the mend! Thanks for your prayers, and I will post an update in full color very soon!

Let's Throw a Party!

He did it!!!!
He slept all night! Not until 3. Not until 4. Until 6:20! I was already up! It was amazing!
He deserves an award...he deserves a cookie...though he has not teeth- that doesn't stop Justus from trying to feed him his favorite food. POPCORN. He deserves whatever he wants. A car when he's 16. As long as he will do this again. Now we're not new to this game. We know this may not happen again for 2 months. But he has done it, and we are ecstatic.
Sleep has always been a favorite of mine, so this makes me want to throw a party.

This pic is just thrown in for my family, and for his former foster family, the Le Walls. They are baseball fans. It apalls my family, but my kids have never been to a baseball game. They hardly know baseball exists. My brothers have told me in no uncertain terms what kind of parent this makes me. But neither Rusty or I are baseball fans really. Rusty will watch whatever sport is on TV, but he doesn't follow baseball carefully. (Like he does college football.) So...go Stro's? Here's the Bacak's show of support. Treston in an Astros cap, given to Justus by Nana and Pop-Pop. How cute is he?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Lesson on Petting Strange Dogs

This is not the most flattering pic of Justus, but you all know how beautiful our boy is right?

So, we had a traumatic Friday night. Rusty took the kids down to our neighborhood park to play. It was about 5pm. The kids encountered a woman walking her dog on a leash. Emma, being the all-time biggest animal lover, asked her if she could pet the dog. (We have had to teach our children to do this, because their instinct is to touch every animal they see.) The woman didn't hesitate to say yes, and told Emma she wanted to teach her how to approach the dog correctly. She told her to stick out her hand for the dog to smell, and then pet the dog on the head. Emma followed directions, and the dog was fine. Then Justus' turn. (For those who are faint in stomach, read cautiously.) He did just as she said, and when he went to pet the dog on the head, he lunged at Justus' face and clamped down.
We rushed him to the ER, where they stitched him up, 6 in the lip, one on the nose. His lip was lacerated in several spots, but one of them went clean through to the inside of the lip, leaving a gaping hole. This freaked me out, obviously, when I arrived at the park. Rusty had called me immediately, and told me to get there ASAP with lots of rags. Justus' clothes were completely saturated with blood when I got there. I kind of lost it, despite Rusty telling me not to. We jumped in the van, and sped to St. Joseph's ER. (Luckily, Lisa had just gotten here, so we were able to leave the kids and run!) Rusty called ahead, spoke directly to the ER doctors, which probably sped us along in the ER process. (I know, it's not fair, but if you had seen my child, you would have begged for someone to attend to this boy!)
We got a great ER doctor, and she was very compassionate towards Justus. But holding a two-year-old down to stitch him up for 30+ minutes is never fun. Justus was a stud!!! He is incredibly stoic with pain, which we already knew from previous stitches experience, although very minor compared to this. (No, I will not be receiving Mother of the Year anytime soon.)
My brother was attacked by a dog, very seriously, when he was three, and this has always been one of the most traumatic events in the life of my family. My Mom has always said that she can still see it in her mind at any given time. I'm afraid Rusty feels that way now, and my kids might as well. This was a very bloody, ugly scene, and I feel grateful that I can't see it in my mind, because imagining it, and having to watch him cry while they stitched his face, is more than enough. We took a jog this morning, and every time we pass the park, my stomach tightens into a knot. We will never forget this as long as we live.
What can we gain from this? Well, for one, I want to make it known to all of you with children that even when an owner confidently instructs your child they may pet their dog, it is not always safe. I will for sure only be allowing my kids to pet Disney, and maybe only Golden Retrievers for the rest of their lives, because I'm pretty sure this has never happenned with a Golden Retriever ever in the history of dogs. But the direct quote from my friend Heather is "Down with Dogs!" BE CAREFUL with dogs and your children. Unless they are tried and true kids' dogs, avoid them! I would never wish this on your child. We couldn't identify what kind of dog this was, probably a mixed breed of some sort. But it was definitely NOT a scary looking dog. My kids are not even allowed within sight of the scary killer type dogs. This was totally unexpected, according to the owner as well.
Thank you, all of you who have called or have come by to visit. It means so much to us! Family and church family, as always, we love you.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

We're thinking globally...and we need your help!

This semester, we are thinking globally in the "Bacak School of Higher Learning." (This is my Mom's nickname for our little homeschool. It's really more sarcastic than arrogant, keep in mind.)
The kids and I are studying the globe. All about it. We are going to spend a week studying each continent. We will study about the people, a little about the economy and government, the weather, and most importantly to Emma, what animals are indigenous to that area of the world.
We also will be praying for a specific missionary on that continent, and their work to spread the gospel there. We would like to send a small package to them, or let them know that we are praying for them. The kids and I have been looking at the Great Commission:

"Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved." Mark 16:15

So this is where we need your help. If you know of a missionary that we could pray for, let us know. We have a missionary in Africa, Europe, and Asia (Brooke). But we need missionaries for Australia, North America, and South America. (I am doubtful we will find one in Antarctica. Maybe a missionary to Polar Bears, which sounds like something my daughter would want to commit her life to!) I know we could tap into the Mission Board, but I think it's more fun to pray for people that our friends know and support. So let me hear from you...