Thursday, December 22, 2005

Last night Benny was wired. Someone broke into our home and gave him caffeine or something. Here is a pic of him in the dark playing with his crib toy, sluffing off some energy. At this moment he is doing the same thing, so here is a typed message from Benny as he continually grabs for the keyboard:


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My favorite getting-in-the-spirit Christmas music is sung by Johnny Mathis. I could sing lockstep every song he has recorded about the holidays. Notwithstanding Amy Grant, an honorable mention is Lindsey Buckingham singing "Holiday Road". It's crazy, but the only words I know are....Holiday Road. If it's good enough for Fletch-it's good enough for me.

We are a travelling family. This is well documented. In the 8 weeks we have had Benny, we have travelled back from Guatemala, flown to D.C., Flown to Denver......but we have never been in a car with him past St. Charles. I am looking forward to him meeting all of his family over the holidays, but I'm wondering how often we'll have to stop....we'll come to think of it, when I drive, I drink coffee. Benny's daddy is said to have the smallest bladder in the civilized world. B and G will probably be rolling their eyes at me.

If you have time, click over to Mike's blog (link to the right). His essay on their family Christmas history will bring tears to your eyes.

Tonight was our Christmas here on Lockett Lane. Here is a pic of our manly boy with bows in his hair. Life is wonderful. I hope you look at your respective lives to find joy. No matter what the situation.

Them's Big Britches

...and you thought everything was big in Texas? Here's a story off today's AP wire about a bouncing baby boy in Oklahoma:
Hospital officials at McAlester Regional Health Center say a 14-pound, 3-ounce baby delivered there is the largest ever born at the hospital. Lillian Elizabeth Ross was born Friday to Adrienne and Anthony Ross.

A hospital spokeswoman said the baby already wears clothes made for children six to nine months old.

"The nursery had to go to pediatrics to get diapers for her because they didn't have any that would fit," Adrienne Ross said. "We've already had to start buying her new clothes. None of the stuff we bought will fit either."

The baby was born by a scheduled cesarean section without any serious complications

Monday, December 19, 2005

If you have time, click on over to Brad Stevens' blog (the link is on this page). He is having surgery tomorrow and would probably appreciate a kind word. He is a warrior for God. Also, click on his son-in-law's link from his blog to see how his daughter, Rachel, is doing in the aftermath of her surgery. To this point prayers are definitely answered.

Today marked a highlight in my business. A builder signed up for our services. This is the official first one-since our original client decided to wait until next year to start using us. I am thankful for having a great mentor in Larry M in OKC. He has been through building this type of business, and has some great insight. Larry and I go back 20 years, and I love the fact that throughout the years we can maintain a good friendship, even when a few years lapse between conversations. I am excited that he has a new son this year. This makes 3 kiddos for him and Susan. I'm looking forward to seeing them next week. I am also anxiously looking forward to seeing family in Neosho, Mustang, OKC, and Woodward.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Here are some precious pics from yesterday. We had a party at the Bogey Club and the Robinson's were awesome to help us in a pinch. We love them, and are anxiously waiting to meet their baby (due to enter this world on Thursday). Benny absolutely loves Grace. He was slapping and cackling when he saw the bathtime pictures with her.

Yesterday was a great day on several levels. Mostly because of the time I spent with Benny. Here are some worthy moments to recap from yesterday:
1. Listening to Amy Grant sing about Christmas. I had tears because we had looked forward for many, many moons to when we would spend our first Christmas with our child. Here we are, and here he is.
2. Watching a John Denver promo on PBS. I had tears because..we'll just because his music hits me on several levels. It's all about the human condition. I was happy to sing to Benny, and it flooded my memory banks. I can't help but think of growing up, just dreaming of the mountains. The mountains were a way to connect with my dad, and a way to reconnect with my mom when we came back from our trips. The exception was when we went as a family (sans Laura who was in Germany). I remember mom crying because we hit a dog on the way out, but all of us laughing on the way back. It so happens we discovered this new bread called "Bagel" in Telluride. For whatever reason, they were good....but were hilarious. Such visionaries, huh? On that trip, I still like to think that was John Denver who we spied at the Aspen airport getting out of his twin engine. It sure looked like him. After G and I moved out there, It was wierd hearing that he died in California. To me, a part of my Colorado "lore" passed on with his death. We no longer live there, but it still feels like home...not to take away from STL...which also feels like home. This is the beauty of making good friends wherever you live.

Fast forward to today. This mornings services were incredibly inspiring. I was on the Praise Team, but feel I was generally ineffective as a singer...but not as a guy just trying to have a relationship with My Savior. I try to dwell on the words I sing, therefore I start to get large lumps in my throat to the edge of crying. My mic is on roughly 70% of the time. I am understanding Gods love in a clearer way. The throat lumps come out when I realize that my loves are miniscule when compared to how God chose to save us. The capstone of our worship was when Mike chose some great words on Christ, Salvation, The Holidays... and ended it with introducing us to a new Christian, and his future family. I wish we would have more services that focus on Praise and Celebration, and de-emphasize an official sermon with the obligatory "invitation". This is not a commentary on preaching. I happen to think we have a stellar preacher. I just think it's good to change things up on occasion to help us focus on God in a different way.

I guess this post is about family. I feel blessed by:
1. The family I have right now with B and G.
2. My family growing up. My parents did something right. I love them, my sisters, my extended family, and most importantly God.
3. My family at McKnight.

Life isn't perfect, and people aren't perfect. I wouldn't trade any of these for anything. Period. Now I gotta work on that crying stuff. You would think I'm a teenage girl.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Shutterbugging is a hobby of mine. Anyone care to guess as to what this is, and where it was taken?

As we found out-Benny loves dogs. My favorite pic of him and "Exa" from Highlands Ranch is unfortunately out of focus (middle pic), but here are a few Pooch Pics to peek at.

Benny is certainly unique and has some very funny mannerisms. One such habit is to lock his elbows and repeatedly slap his knees with his stiff-as-board arms. He does this when he is extremely excited about something-most noteably when we fire up the Baby Einstein videos (ie: kiddy cocaine). He is doing this with Exa in the first pic.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Here are a few pics from CO. The first is our great friend Marsha hamming it up with Benny. If you don't know her-Marsha is Geri's proverbial older sister-a pea in the same pod.

I am so glad to be back in the mens class on Wednesday. One of the special aspects of having a mens class is the opportunity to "open up" and communicate. Ed JR is doing a great job in this class. We are discussing the 12 apostles.

Men that have the abilities to open up impress me, and these are the very ones I want Benny to know and emulate. One guy cut from this cloth really shined tonight in class. I was moved by his words. He grew up in a home with an alcoholic father that did nothing to foster a loving relationship. In fact his fathers words were crafted to undermine his self worth as a son and as a person. His father did not approve the thought of his son wanting to go to church and have a relationship with God. Despite all this-this fathers' son has grown up to be a behind-the-scenes warrior for God. Even despite this difficult upbringing, he has an awesome wife and family. I am looking forward to getting to know J on a more personal level. If Benny grows up to have what he does-I consider his life a success.
Twas the night before, it does not seem like Christmas is around the corner.

This past week we were in Colorado to see old friends and clients. I am so thankful for Harry and Marsha. They are family to G and I, and they graciously opened their home and snacks (pretzel rods/corn nuts/peanut m&m's) to us. Not only that, they hosted a baby shower in honor of Benny. The cake was magnificant. The icing was the best! One thing we confirmed-Benny loves dogs. Maybe I can steal Kari's little yapper from Neosho around Christmas.

There were highlights I want to mention from this trip. First, speeding down E-470 to see G and B after 2 days. Second, seeing old friends from our days in Golden-and work. Third, marveling at and reading the homemade blanket from Jenna (my teary-eyed episode #1). Fourth, Having lunch with Chris/Christine-and explaining my take on finally holding your adoptive child (my teary-eyed episode #2). They will have Olivia from China the next time we meet again. Fifth, watching the Broncos pull out a verrry ugly victory over the Ravens. I love seeing the games at Mile Hi, listening to the Rocky Mountain Thunder, and yelling "In...Com...Plete" with the rest of the Bronco fans. Sixth, pulling back into our garage. There is no place like home.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

read at your own risk

Ahhh slumber and sleep. For the next few nights I am batch'ing it. My loving family has seen it fit to abandon the Paternal One (that would be me), and fly the coop to "the ranch"...Highlands Ranch, that gold...texas tea..... We'll you can tell I am already stir crazy with them gone. With work behind me, and the evening in front of me, I wanted to let you in on my one random thought on the day.

The day started unlike any other day. The night was long. Benny was slumbering in his usual position (that is until the first of the year)-firmly anchored next to my side, and somewhat cemented to my arm. This is typically a good feeling, except he had a very pronounced nose-whistle all night long-consistently lodging and dislodging his "nose candy". Trust me we tried saliene solution in the middle of the night, and the vaunted blue, bulbous nose sucker. All we seemed to extract were cries of helplessness and frustration-and that was just from me! Needless to say when morning rolled around Daddy was tired. So in a very unkempt state I loaded up all their "stuff" and went to the airport to drop them off.

When I got back home to get ready for work I fixed a nice warm bowl of maple flavored oatmeal to collect my thoughts and ready myself to face the day. This is where my random thought popped in my pineapple-shaped head. Really it is more of a poll that I gave myself. Feel free to give me your preference, but let me first back up to Christmas' long ago. Many kids grew up getting toys, games, etc... not me. There was a period that every year I got a big jar of Dill Pickles. I love pickles, pickled okra, pretty much pickled anything. It doesn't stop there. When I played football, I used to run home and make a salad with vinegar. I can't get enough of salt/vinegar chips. I still can't get enough of vinegar based food/condiments. My wife says I am missing a "Vitamin V" in my diet. I have a serious problem.

On the other end of the dietary spectrum I can't get enough Recees. I tend not to buy them because my self control is always lacking, and I end up sick. Is it the peanut butter or the tasty chocolate? I can't rightfully tell?

Herein lies my random poll:

If I had to give up either Vinegar or Chocolate for the rest of my life, which would it be?

This stupid question had me pondering for a good moment this morning. I was almost in a state of panic until I realized that I can still have both. What is it? Salty or Sweet? I love the peanut butter/chocolate, but man...vineger? There is no substitute. Equally good on different spectrums of taste. My final conclusion is that I cannot, absolutely cannot, live without Vinegar.

This being said, while I have opted to make-believe live without Chocolate, it is going to be very hard to live without the other sweetness in my life for even a few days. Ben and Geri. Of course a pint of Chunky Monkey might chase away the tears for now.

This is a perfect "pre" Christmas day. It's cold and snowy outside.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

When G and I started dating way back when, I was going through a phase in life where the holidays didn't really strike a chord with me. Fortunately over the years I have been drawn out of that holiday funk. As long as we have been married, we have been hit and miss on Christmas decorating, though. When we lived in CO, it seemed that we were always going to OK and MO. Our feeling was why mess with it-or something to that effect. Since moving to MO, we have been battting 100%. That's right 2 for 2 years that the Christmas Tree is up in time for the holidays.

Last year we pondered what the Christmas of '05 would be like. We were in the adoption process, and figured we would be "with child". Today we have soaked it in. It started innocently enough...gradually bringing some boxes up while G was at Costco, and ended up with hauling up the tree, ornaments, and accessories. When G got home, she put on the Amy Grant Christmas CD and we took pictures and shot some film. These days I love Christmas. My Holiday cheer really starts with pulling out the ornaments that Mom and Dad gave me over the years. Mom is pretty good at putting the particular year each ornament was given. One I like is the Oriental Lady ornament she gave in 1986. First of all that is one strange ornament. Second of all, who knew? I think she was kin to Nostradomous or something. Looking at the ornament/year, and pondering the past holidays is one thing I look forward to doing when unpacking all that stuff.

I was one proud Daddy, so I called both Mom and Dad to so they could hear Benny making his funny rasberry sounds. When they started talking to him over the phone, his eyes lit up. I think they will like him. He now knows their voices. I hope they can come up to meet Benny soon. Yeah. I think my days of being ambivilent about Christmas are over.

The picture with Santa was taken with Paul. He is Karla's cute little boy. Karla is G's friend from Dallas, and they spent the weekend with us. Here husband has one of the best Italian joints in the free world. Pizza Getti. Check it out if you live around the Metroplex.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Man, what a week. If you haven't simultaneously experienced a new baby, starting a business, and being sick enough that your lungs feel like they are on fire-welcome to my world the past few weeks. Today I am feeling somewhat on the mend, and my attitude is better adjusted after a brief talk with my mentor (G). Somewhere between the fluid-y lungs, and the ups and downs of sales calls, I forgot that this is a pretty exciting time God is giving me. Give me one more night of R & R, and hopefully I'll have some pictures and creative thoughts to write about.