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Friday, August 31, 2007

Laugh till you snort

My sister-in-law, Liz, put this on her blog, and it's too funny! As Liz put it, you'll laugh till you snort. I did. I've watched it about six times now. This is exactly why we occasionally pause when pageants are on TV. Moments like this. Priceless.
I'm really mean, aren't I?
Y'all pray for me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

JAX...all-boy, and a little evangelist!

Emma and Jax have caught pet frogs, Toadie and Freckles.
Toadie goes everywhere with Jax in the backyard. The other day, they were playing with the frogs on the trampoline (poor Toadie and Freckles) and Rusty didn't see Toadie anymore. He asked Jax "where is your frog? Did he get away?"
Jax said "Oh no! He's here!" and pointed down his pants. Only boys will carry their pet frogs down their pants. (Well, and maybe Emma.)
But Jax really surprised us this past weekend! When Kathleen was here, Jax took her in my bedroom by themselves, and Jax asked Kathleen if she knew Jesus? This melted me, because Jax has actually been the designated pray-er for Kathleen all year, and it shows me how God is working on his own heart, truly burdened for her. What a sweetie!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Justus!!!

Our Little Bear is 3! Wow! We had a fun "woo-woo-woo" celebration this weekend, visited the fire station (No. 1-they are awesome over there) and had the coolest firetruck cake in the history of little boys who love firetrucks, made by Erin Whitley at Sweet Memories. Awesome! Erin, you're a super star!

Kathleen, Justus' birthmom came to visit! We fly her here from Las Vegas, her home, to be with us for his birthday. It was a WONDERFUL visit with Kathleen, and I had the chance to have many conversations with her about the Lord. Please pray for her as she searches for Truth. Pray for God to make his Son's name known to her everywhere she looks. She is looking for a "sign" for the right religion. I told her we are standing in front of her holding up a billboard sign with the name Jesus on it. We love Kathleen, and are enjoying a closer and more intimate relationship with her. Our adoption has been busted wide-open now that she has been to our home. It feels good to me. I love this woman so much!

It was sweet for me, watching them together. I was overcome with emotion on Sunday night after she left. She is not an emotional person, but I could see on her face what she was feeling when she left, and I felt it for her. I watched Justus stand on the driveway and wave goodbye to her until she was out of sight. She knows she won't see him for another year. As she was leaving, she was telling me what she knew I needed to hear...what a great decision she made for him...how well he's doing...how she saw God's hand in this...how thankful she was for us. Again, this woman is thinking of Justus and us, and not her. This overwhelms me! I know Christ, and I'm still not that selfless!
There is an undeniable connection between them. There should be. I hope there always will be. I am his real Mom, no doubts about that. I am the one who holds him, bathes him, laughs with him, and spanks him. But she has a place in his life as Kathleen, his birthmom. It was neat that he knew who she was this year when she came. That thrilled her!

The Ambulance Bed:

So here is Super-Dad! He is building an ambulance bed to go in Justus' fire house room. It's awesome! It will be a bunk bed, so Treston can share a room with him when he gets a little older. It has a trap door that you can lift up and crawl in. Could that be any cooler? Justus talks about this all the time, he's so excited! Super-Dad wanted it to be finished today, so he woke up at 4am and started painting. Yes, it's dark in this picture, not because it's night, but because it's morning. I love my husband!!!

The end result is going to be spectacular! Can't wait!
Happy Birthday Justus! We love you so much!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back in the Swing of Things

Ahhhh, a schedule. How I love it.
We had a very lax summer schedule, and did school work here and there for the purpose of maintaining their math and reading skills. But I have really missed the routine! I was a little nervous, knowing that schooling Emma and Jax even more this year, and adding some Pre-K work for Justus, was going to be a lot! I was starting to wonder if we could pull it off! But today was wonderful!!! I am so glad to be back in the swing of things, and excited about everything we are going to learn. ( I do mean WE because I am already learning stuff!)Of course, I have wonderful Erin here with me in the morning to help out. What would I do without her? We are a great team! Love you Erin!

Emma started 1st grade today. She was really excited. She has been asking me for an alarm clock so she could wake-up in time for school to start! (Precious!) So we gave her an early birthday present last night. I found the alarm clock created just for Emma. It's a stuffed dog that barks when the alarm goes off. She wakes up to barking, and she is thrilled about it! She was actually so excited this morning, she woke-up before the barking, and lay there for a long time waiting for the barking. She had a great first day!!!

Jax started Kindergarten today!!! I can't believe it!!! We started out by journaling (drawing and writing) about "For God so loved the world..." and his journal, of course, consisted of pirates. I love him! He is rip-roarin' ready to go for Kindergarten and learning to read! We learned about nomads today, from ancient history, and he thought it was awesome that the men carried spears and killed animals. That stuck with him. He told the workers at the gym all about the nomads! My precious boy is a Kindergartener!!!

School in our pajamas/storm trooper costume. Love it!

It was Sage's first day of school too! Betcha' didn't even know we had a Sage, did ya? Well, Emma and Jax call her "Stage" so you could call her that, also.
Sage moved in last week. She will be here all year. She needed a place to live, and we needed a Sage. She is sleeping in Justus' room, which Justus was thrilled about, since he's had a major crush on Sage all last year. She was in our HOPE group, and he was always hitting on Sage during HOPE Group.
We are so excited to have her in our home this year! I had to take her picture as she was on her way out of the door for school, too.
I'm sure many of you all experienced first days of school today too! Hope it was a good one!

Check out Emma!

I guess we know what Emma will be wanting for Christmas.
Both top teeth are missing now. I love this look! It's so very 1st grade.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

La Bodega!!!!!

Tonight I am going to La Bodega. I feel like this place is the best kept secret in town. If you live near College Station, TX, or EVER come here, this is important information for you. At least 50 times, I have mentioned my great love for this place, and people tell me they've never eaten there.
I'm baffled.
I'm confused.
It's right across the street from Cafe Eccel, and I've never met anyone in this town who's never been there.
It's owned by the Cafe Eccel owners.
It's in Northgate.
It's guacamole!
a+b is not equalling c.
I'm going tonight, and I am super excited. It may be ridiculous and a little sad that I get this excited about food, but if you know me, you are not surprised in the least.
I will have the queso guac, Crab Enchiladas, and of course, a Strawberry Tart. (Beamed down from heaven to Cafe Eccel, and transported across the street to me.)
I also recommend the burritos, because they're nothing like the burritos served on a school lunch tray that come to my mind...nothing! And I've never had the tacos, but I've heard they're good.
Their chips and salsa are even the hands-down best, if you ask me.
This is also our favorite date night site. This is where Rusty and I sit in a booth and look at each other. And as soon as we sit down, we take a deep breath, as if taking in the quiet of a restaurant and adult conversation, and Rusty says "You're pretty." I say "me?" and he nods affirmatively. Then he winks at me. This is a date night ritual. Gosh, I love date nights. I smell pretty. I wear clothes NOT smeared with undesirable things. I do my hair. (at least a little.) I eat guacamole, across from my favorite person ever. What could be better?
So I just felt the obligation to spread the word. It's almost never crowded, so selfishly I thought "why tell people?" but it's just too good to keep to myself. Awfully altruistic of me, hu?
Anything for you people.

JUST A TIP: La Bodega is one of our more pricey date night places, but we get on www.restaurant.com and occasionally (like this past week) their coupons are 1/2 off and we buy a $25 value coupon for $5. You must spend $35 to use this, so ultimately we spend $15. If this confuses you, go to restaurant.com and check it out. We are using a dining certificate from there tonight. I feel like I've beat the system!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Loving Birthmoms

In light of the fact that Justus' birthday is coming up, and his birthmom is coming to visit this weekend, this is on my mind.
My Mom has written a brief post on her adoption blog that says it so well. My Mom has been working with birthmoms for 18 years now, so she has incredible insight to share. Here is just a peek into the decision a birthmom makes. Click here and take a moment to read it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Rusty!

Happy Birthday Daddy!
These are some things that we love about Daddy!

I love when Daddy takes me to horsey lessons... (Emma)
I love when he comes home to each lunch with us...(Jax)
I love when he jumps on the trampoline us...(Emma)
I love when he swings us...(Jax)
I love when he eats ice cream with us...(Emma)
I love when he chases and tickles us, and jumps on the bed with us...(Jax)
I love when he tucks me up in the bed at night...(Emma)
I love when he watches movies with us...(Jax)
I love when he takes us to the movie theater...(Emma)
I love when he toots with us! (ha, ha)...(Jax)

And I love that he is my best friend, that he makes me laugh, that he is a servant-leader to the core! I love that he is the kind of Dad that doesn't want to miss out on anything! I love that he sharpens me spiritually, and makes me better. (Jenn)
We love you Daddy!
Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In A Doctor's Refrigerator...

There are some interesting things about being a doctor's wife.
You see people's rashes in Wal-Mart. (When they show them to Rusty.)
You get used to the on-call nights, where the phone can never stop ringing.
I used to hear every call, and now I hardly ever wake-up.
I have actually become quite a helpful nurse, where I can answer many medical questions, advise on some medicines, and take your basic info. for a prescription to be called in.
But another interesting thing about being a doctor's wife is what you might find in the refrigerator. It struck me the other day that we find things among the butter sticks and apple juice containers that a lot of you don't.
Right now in my refrigerators (because we have two), we have three examples:

1) hypodermic needles- people come over wanting things injected, and Rusty obliges.
2) Phenergan suppositories- I firmly believe every family should have these handy. You never know when a stomach virus from the devil is going to hit, and you will be calling us in a hurry.
3) A urine sample- No family should have this. This really grossed me out when I went to my outside fridge to find sliced turkey, and I found this instead. But sometimes people need their urine dipped, so here we are.

But HOLD THE PHONE! We have something really great in our refrigerator right now too!

The Chocolate Caramel Creamer has been restored to my refrigerator, and my life!
You may remember my love for this, and I posted about it long ago.
Well, ATTENTION HEB SHOPPERS, because they quit carrying it.
What is wrong with them?
Who makes these decisions?
Do they even drink coffee, or do they just randomly point to things in a catalog without thinking this through?
Well, I found myself in a creamer crisis this past week...we were going to run out...in the middle of the week.
I do my shopping on the weekend, and I don't go back. I try to NEVER step foot into HEB on a weekday.
But I had to go to Target for something, and I decided to grab some creamer there.
Lo and Behold, there was my beloved creamer.
Hello Happy Mornings!
We will face them together...we will read the Bible a little happier...we will warm and re-warm our coffee cup 20 times because it is so good.
I love you International Delights Chocolate Caramel Creamer.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Heart For Worship

Look at my super serious dancer!
We had Kidshine last night, and it was awesome!
Emma had her "game day" face on, as Rusty puts it. She was all business.
She was really nervous beforehand. The perfectionist in her (a little like her Daddy!) was really coming out, and the thought that she could make a mistake was intolerable to her! Almost panicky!
What we loved about last night was it was all about worship. It was a worship service led by the kiddos. They prayed sweet prayers, sang praise songs at the top of their lungs, shared their succinct testimonies, and danced their hearts out. The Children's Minister, Howard, preached a great sermon about how we hinder the children from coming to Jesus, like the disciples did in the Bible, and reminded parents that they are imitating us. We are supposed to be modeling Christ to them all the time! The video skits of the kids acting like grown-ups, being sinful examples, was so good! Like Moms gossipping on the phone, Dads stealing office supplies, lying to get discounts, yelling at each other, etc. I'm sure every parents' heart was pricked.
The fact that this was ALL ABOUT worship, we were able to answer Emma's fears simply; this was not a performance, where the outcome depended on her. All that mattered was a heart of worship. That was truly the point of the entire night. I love that our church has never done goofy kids musicals, where gobs of people come to snap their cameras at their cute kids, but never feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit before they leave the building.
The Holy Spirit was speaking loudly last night, and I truly worshiped along with the kids.
What a blessing to see my Emma taking part in something like that!
It was nothing short of wonderful.
Thanks to all of the adults who worked with the kids in Kidshine! You are a blessing to our families!
We were so proud of Emma. She looked pint-sized up there, next to all the other kids! We are proud that she enjoyed worshiping all summer with Kidshine, and that she is learning how to lean on Jesus. What joy to watch our kids fall in love with the Lord!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A brand new teacher's desk, and shiny new school supplies

Our new school year is upon us. I am getting really excited! (And scared, of course. It's quite a job, schooling my children.) I will soon go on the thrilling school supply shopping trip, and I can't wait!
Brand new sharp crayons...all in a box...not one missing. That should last at least 15 minutes, but they are 15 glorious minutes.
New school boxes...they get to pick theirs out. That's fun.
Sharp new pencils...and exciting for me, a new electric pencil sharpener (such a necessity) and a new stapler.
We have new exciting material to cover in 1st grade this year! We're starting Spelling (which Emma hates but I adore!) and Jax will learn to read!
Also, we just bought me a teacher's desk, pictured above! Wow! It's awesome. It's crazy functional for me, and it looks just like my teacher's desk in my old classroom, but way prettier. (Rusty antique white painted it for me to match our house.) As soon as I got it set-up, and was squealing with delight, Emma did the sweetest thing ever...she went and got an apple and set it on my desk! Is she precious or what? It only took 2 minutes for Jax to nab it and eat it, but it was a lovely gesture.
So exciting!
But as you may recall, our journey towards homeschooling was a scary, bumpy ride for me about a year ago. I wanted to remind some of you why we homeschool, because I am asked about it often, but also to remind everyone that we DO NOT think this is "God's Way" for education...that we have not signed a 12 year contract committing ourselves to homeschool forever. We just know what God is telling us to do right now. But our kids could easily go another route if the Lord so directed. I have copied the text of one of those e-mails where someone asked me why I homeschool. Here is my explanation, in a nutshell.

As far as the homeschooling decision, that has been a journey!
Prior to this school year, Rusty and I were totally anti-homeschooling.
I thought it was mostly for freaks who wear prairie dresses, grow their own vegetables, and make their own soap.
(Man I wish I could grow my own vegetables!!! I am fine with buying my own soap though.)
That wasn't me.
I thought those women were crazy, to be honest, to take on their child's eduation all alone!
But God has a sense of humor.
Most of the time, if I mock something, he's going to make me eat my words.
Emma went to Pre-K at a great Montessori school with wonderful teachers. I chose it because it was very creative and independent, as she is. She is a uniqe learner. But come March, she still hadn't learned anything. She didn't know any of her letters. She didn't know anything she really needed to know. I started panicking. I was a teacher, so I was thinking, "my child has a learning disability!" So we started working one-on-one at home doing "school" with some alphabet lessons. Magically, anything I taught her one-on-one she learned. I came to realize she desperately needed that one-on-one. But I still enrolled she and Jax for school the next year. As the summer was coming to an end, every time I thought about school starting, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. When I enrolled them the previous Spring, I knew Emma needed something more, but I was basically praying "God, please don't tell me to homeschool." But it was August, and I couldn't sleep at night. I had absolutely NO PEACE about her going to Kindergarten. I thought at first I was just being a freak-out Mom about her going to school, but I realized it was something more. I seriously couldn't stop the feeling. (When you have that feeling PAY ATTENTION. I have made a few brilliant choices based off of paying attention to that feeling in the past, even though they seemed illogical at the time. That's the Holy Spirit!) So I started praying and praying. And I asked Rusty to pray. (Rusty, still totally anti-homeschooling.) I knew the kids would be going to school all morning, and then we were still going to have to work at home, because that was the only way she was really learning. What a waste of time and money! So, basically the Lord DRUG me toward homeschooling, and made it clear to Rusty as we prayed about it that it was the best thing for Emma. PRAISE GOD that we listened!!!!! Emma is a totally, totally different child because of it. She's kind of a nerd now! She is so smart, we just didn't know it. We hadn't tapped into her ability to learn. She had to LEARN how to learn. I have no doubt, I would have gotten that call saying "We think Emma needs ritalin!" She couldn't focus. But I had to teach her to do so. I also learned my child well, so that I could teach her in ways that are creative and interesting to her. She has devoured everything I've ever taught this year. She loves it!!!! She can't wait to see what we're learning next! We do lots of field trips and hands-on learning. It is a challenge to challenge her enough now! I learned a LOT in Kindergarten!!!
Besides the educational benefits that I've seen in her, it's been awesome for about 100 other reasons. I've enjoyed it so much! We're doing it again next year, but if at any time the Lord says to do something different, public school, private school, we will do that. We are not locked into this. We just simply had to follow the Lord's lead when it came to our child's education. I have seen more immediate fruit from this one act of obedience than I can possibly measure!

That's basically how we arrived here. It's been another one of those situations where I wasn't even asking God the right questions, because my own desires or hang-ups were getting in the way. I'm so glad that He knows what's best for us, and cares about every detail of our lives. I'm glad He also showed me that even though I felt totally overwhelmed at the prospect of this (and still do sometimes), He has equipped me to do all that He asks of me.
Emma is so excited about our new school year starting! She loves learning so much now! (Miracle!) She asked me recently for an alarm clock so she could wake-up in time for school to start. How cute is she?
However you are schooling your kids this year, I know God will bless your obedience to be just where He has you. Happy Schooling and enjoy your own shiny new school supplies!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We Were Married 9 Years Ago Today!

It hardly seems possible, but the calendar doesn't lie. 8/8/98, the coolest wedding date ever, was nine whole years ago.
I love this man! I love being married to him! It is a dream being his wife!
I walked into the kitchen this morning to find a lovely arrangement of white roses. He proposed to me with white roses, so I still get them from time to time.
We have a journal that we write to each other in, and at the bottom of his journal entry, he wrote "...after nine years, we haven't lost us. We never will."
What a comfort to hear those words!
We teach about marriage in our ministry called Countdown, and so we are called out, semester after semester, to practice what we preach.
One thing we know for sure, is we have to be intentional about not "losing us." That was much easier when we had no, or fewer, kids. Oh, how we love the little people in our house! They are a pure blessing from the Lord, but they will suck the life out of our marriage if we let them. They would take as much as we give them, and our kids have grown up thus far knowing that there is time and space that belongs to Mommy and Daddy alone. For us, that is date night! We know, FOR US, that we need this. We need to sit across the table from one another, somewhere outside of our house, away from the place where laundry, bills, un-returned e-mails, and yet-to-be-dictated charts loom. We need to look at one another and talk. We often do a lot of catching up on Friday nights. It's not that we're holding anything back from each other during the week, it's just that a busy life and a house full of kids tends to sweep us up, and we are trying to shout at each other through the noise futilely. We must make sacred time for our marriage. We crave it. And our children are blessed by it as well.
Our marriage is not new anymore. Sadly, we can no longer claim to be newlyweds. The newness has been replaced with other wonderful things...like familiarity, the ability to mind-read, and our lives pre-each other drifting so far away, we can hardly remember it.
We are still learning! We seem to take something new from Countdown every semester that we teach it, and we are embarking on Countdown 10!!! (Hard to believe!) We learn how to raise the bar higher according to God's Word, and not the world's standards. I still have so far to go in learning how to serve and love Rusty the way I should.
But it's a joy learning alongside, and being loved by, my husband. I'm immensely grateful for 3,285 days of being Mrs. Rusty Bacak. I hope for thousands upon thousands more!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jeremiah Study

I have posted the first part of my Jeremiah Study. There is a link here under my Bible Study list, or you can click here. This is Chapters 1-10. It may take you over a week, and that's fine! This is just how I have broken it up. I would feel honored if you would try this study out for me. I have not taught it yet, so you will be my guinea pigs! (That's a great sell, hu?)
This Bible Study is a totally overwhelming task for me. When God pulled my heart toward this book over a year ago, and drew amazing truths out of it for me, I couldn't deny the call to write about it. But if you've ever done my studies before, you know they're brief. So a book that's over 50 chapters, and one as daunting as Jeremiah, scares the life out of me! I am almost half-way through. Pray for me to have the stamina to finish. I could never do this on my own!!!
This book is all about rebellion, and it is so convicting and applicable. Jeremiah's example of boldness and steadfastness has become a beacon for me.
We are choosing Treston's middle name when we adopt him, and it's going to be Jeremiah, according to Jeremiah 1:5
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."
That is what we are claiming for our Treston!
I hope you'll come to love the book of Jeremiah along with me!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Robbie Seay Band- free downloads!

I can hardly wait for this album to come out on August 28th! I love it so much...and only a little bit because this is my baby brother! It's an amazing album! You can download two free songs to get a preview. Go to www.freersb.com to get your free songs. You can also get this album for 7.99 on itunes when it comes out on Aug. 28th! Pretty awesome!
Go to www.robbieseayband.com or www.myspace.com/robbieseayband to check it out. If you have NEVER owned an RSB album, this is the one to start with for sure!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Baked Cheetos- So much better than you think!

I know, I too was skeptical.
You really shouldn't mess with Cheetos.
It was a gamble when I bought them.
But they're SO GOOD! Seriously, I can hardly tell a difference.
My kids didn't even notice.
And they're less than half the fat of regular Cheetos.
Really, this is my favorite new find!
Try them, and tell me what you think.
You're still going to have bright orange all over your fingers, either way.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Holy Dancing

Emma had a pajama party last week.
No, I'm not insane. Not the kind of party where a group of girls spend the night, giggle, run around, freeze someone's panties, cry, and do everything else but sleep.
Not in a million years.
No, this was really a DANCE PARTY, where the girls were invited to wear their pj's, come dance with us, and eat brownies.
This idea was prompted by the fact that Emma is in Kidshine at our church this summer. This is where the kids put on a program that speaks to the adults about something different every year. It's always amazing! This year, they are leading an entire worship service on their own. (That will take place August 12th. It will be an amazing night of evangelism.)
It was time to sign-up for a group to be in, so I took Emma to the sign-up desk weeks ago, so curious as to what she would choose. Her interests are not the norm...dance, singing, etc. It's more like Cheetahs, horses, and anything in which she could run around on all fours. I love that she is so unique! No pretense. She's the real Emma!
I was very surprised when she signed up to be a dancer. A dancer? I was trying not to sound so surprised. But I was thinking, really? You've never danced in your whole life! Don't you want to sign up to pray or something?
The mother in me was scared and nervous. She was not.
So a dancer she became.
I have had the opportunity to peek in on her while I was between teaching Pre-K music on Sunday nights. My heart was moved! She was dancing her heart out! Watching the other girls closely, so she could follow them. She was a little embarrassed that I was looking in on her, but seemingly not embarrassed to be moving her body to the Praise music.
I wrote a post last April about Dancing Like David. There are times when I am worshipping that I would love to move like David did, unhindered by our dignified church personas. Children don't have that! Emma has such a pure understanding that dancing is a form of worship to the Lord. She doesn't know that it is for anything else! I love watching her dance, like I can't even tell you. Not because she's a super dancer. She has no special inclination or talent for it that I could identify at this point.
But she knows that she can move her body in a way that glorifies God, and that moves me!!!
We don't have to sign her up for dance lessons, do the whole leotards and make-up routine. No thank you.
She can learn in her very own church, in our very own living room, how to worship through dance.
Because this has touched my heart as her Mom, we invited some girl friends from Kidshine to come over last Tuesday, along with Ms. Tara, who is one of the dance teachers, and we danced.
We danced!!!
We danced before the Lord!
We did our Kidshine dances. (me included)
And then we just put on some Kirk Franklin and the girls kicked it free-style.
They had so much fun!
Emma's favorite part still might have been the brownies we ate, but she loved it too!
I want to continue learning, as a Mom, how to introduce my kids to new things...things that the world will use for personal glory...and ask the Lord to show me how to make it ALL ABOUT HIM.
Everything we do needs to be completely about Him.
I'm learning more and more what that means.