Friday Funny

An old man was grocery shopping with his little grandson. The toddler was crying and at times screaming at the top of his lungs. As the elderly gentleman walked up and down the aisles, people could hear him speaking in a soft voice...'We are almost done Albert. Try not to cry, Albert. Life will get better, Albert.'

As the grandfather approached the checkout stand, he carefully brushed the tears from his grandson's eyes and said again, 'Try not to cry, Albert. We will be home soon, Albert.'

As the old man was paying the cashier for the groceries, the toddler continued to scream. A young woman in line behind him said, 'Sir, I think it is wonderful how sweet you are to little Albert.'

The old man blinked his eyes a couple of times before saying, 'My grandson's name is John. I'm Albert.'

This Family Needs Our Prayers *UPDATED*

Steven Curtis Chapman and his family need us to cover them in prayer. His youngest child Maria (5) was run over and killed yesterday by an older sibling in their own driveway. I can only imagine the magnitude of pain and sorrow they are facing. To see more details on this story, please go here.

*UPDATED* There is a new blog in memory of Maria, where you can see a video clip of her with Steven. There were over 6500 comments when I checked it. You might want to stop by and leave a prayerful comment.

The Aggie Sickness

Can you guess where we went this past weekend?

That's right. We visited Aggieland. The baseball team was playing tu. (That's the University of Texas, for those that are not well versed in Aggieology. tu because they are not THE university of Texas. Ahem.)

Before the game, we took the boys on a little tour of the campus. This is the first time we've all 5 been down there at the same time. No visit to College Station would be complete without stopping by Kyle Field, the stadium where we hope some real football will take place this coming fall.

Here are all 4 of my men saying "Gig 'em!"
We decided to hop on over to Potbelly's for some dinner before the game. After eating, Liam had some energy to burn and decided to "get down" to some tunes in the middle of Potbelly's.
And he knows he is HOT!

Finally, it was time to hit the game. We were on the very back row, which was actually nice. We felt a nice breeze, and we didn't feel claustrophobic.

Liam and Jack while waiting for the game to begin:
And Garrett:
I'm not sure why he's giving his goofy grin, but he was, hands down, the happiest little Aggie fan. Garrett is passionate, PASSIONATE about baseball. And Aggie baseball makes his world go round.

When Coach Childress came out of the dugout, Rick pointed Garrett's eyes in his direction. Garrett's face lit up like I've never seen it before! He said, "That's COACH CHILDRESS?! That's HIM?! YEA! COACH CHILDRESS!!!"

Now, I have to digress from the game to explain something about G. I'm sure I've explained a time or twenty that he is "my" child. Although I'm certain he was adopted, he somehow obtained my DNA. We are strong-willed. We are perfectionists. We are moody. We love to laugh, but we're often seen crying as well. When we love someone or something, we love that person or thing with our whole hearts. We both love baseball. God clearly knew what He was doing when He gave me this child.

Part of Garrett's strong will rears its ugly head at the dinner table. He hates most of the dinners we serve him. He would rather hold one bite of food inside his mouth for an hour instead of swallowing it in one second. His eating issues and lack of weight gain were so bad as a toddler that we had to see a nutritionist monthly. Our nutritionist was awesome, because she would listen to me say this every month: "I feel strongly that he is underweight because of his strong will. Please give us more time to find ways for him to eat." And she would let us go another month without harsh testing. We were eventually given clearance from that monthly regimen, but it wasn't because Garrett's eating problems were solved.

Recently, G was stalling over dinner for the umpteen-millionth time. Everyone else had cleared their plates, but his plate was hardly touched, and his first bite was still filling his cheeks. Rick tried a new technique. "Garrett, I'm calling Coach Childress. [He picked up the phone and pushed some buttons and then faked this conversation.] Hi, Coach. I'm sorry to tell you that Garrett is not eating again.... No.... Okay, I'll tell him.... [Ended the phone call.] Coach says you can't play on the team if you don't eat. He only wants big, healthy boys on the field."

Wonders never cease. He cleared his plate that night. And every night since. And when he eats a really good meal, we call Coach to let him know that Garrett's ready to play. It's Reverse Psychology 101, and it works.

Back to Saturday's game. When G saw Coach, he wanted us to take him to the field. The boy thought that he could play that night. Poor boy! We had to explain that he needs to be 18 before he can join the team. He took the news rather well, all things considered.

The Ags didn't play too well without Garrett, however. We lost 5-2. I'm pretty sure that Garrett's left-handed fast pitch would have come in very handy if they would merely bend the whole age rule.

The highlight of the game, however, was when we stood to sing and sway to the Aggie War Hymn. And my baby boys, all 3 of them, sang and swayed with the best of us. We were a proud papa and mama. I can think of only one other moment that will make us more proud...for us to sing the War Hymn while our boys are on the field.

After the game, we headed to Motel 8, because we're classy people. While Liam and Jack were running amok in the hotel room, Garrett sat down to study Aggieland Illustrated. And when I say "study", I mean he spent the next 30 minutes looking at each page in depth. He wants to be an Aggie, people! It makes my heart swell!
(Actually, if you look at the background of the above photo, you'll see Jack's leg shaking off his pants and underwear. He was getting into the shower, so he wasn't really running amok. But Liam was, I assure you.)

After the best night's sleep of my life, (Oh, I kid. Motel 8 left me feeling exhausted.) we filled the boys with pancakes from IHOP and headed back to campus for some more photos. This Aggie stuff might be a sickness, but I'll never tell.
On our way home, we stopped at the famous barn for one more photo. (For those Aggies that travel the same route from College Station to Fort Worth, you know what barn I'm talking about.)
Aggies are not dumb. We do realize that the "s" is missing. This barn just survived a move by the TX DOT, but the "s" didn't survive the turmoil. We must get us some maroon and white paint to remedy this.

Back on the road, G resumed his study of the Aggieland Illustrated. He spent an hour reviewing it this time. People, he's three! Have you ever seen a three year old so serious about a team or a sport?!
Apparently, we wore the boys out, because this is what they did for the last half of the trip:
[Imagine "Silence is Golden" playing. Indeed, silence on a road trip is golden!]

Friday Funny

It's been a while since I've had a Friday Funny. This one took place about a month ago.

The setting is the dinner table.

Rick to Liam (5): You don't have to clean your plate. But if you want anything else to eat, you do have to eat all of your dinner first.

Liam: [sticking out his bottom lip and tearing up] Daddy, you make my heart broke!

Dear John

Dear John, I mean Mr. Pollen,

I simply cannot carry on this way any longer. You have caused many a sleepless night with the running water faucet from the left nostril and the stuffed cotton ball on the right. You have turned my throat into ground chuck. You have caused me to eat Ricola throat drops as if they are Skittles. Because of you, I cannot step foot outdoors and you have caused my eldest child to be on an Albuterol high 24/7.

You claim that Zyrtec would be our happy pill, but it's just not cutting the butter. You make me want to gouge out my eyeballs, cut off my nose, and scratch my throat with a stick. I've contemplated moving into an oxygen chamber, but it will cost you greatly.

I see no other way than to say good bye.

Goodbye, John Pollen.

My Mom

They call her Didi. I call her Mom.

The very first memory I have of my mother is when I was about two or three years old. I was sitting on the bathroom counter, in front of the mirror of course, and she was standing behind me patiently taming my hair.

Another memory is when I was about 8 years old. Instead of making it to the bathroom to puke, I spewed all over myself and the family's favorite chair. She didn't yell at me. She calmly cleaned me and my mess up.

During the tough teen years, she was a constant shoulder to cry upon. During my college years, she quietly prayed me through major life decisions. When Rick entered our lives, she immediately began planning my wedding. When we learned of my infertility, she cried with me. With each failed adoption, she grieved with me. With each adoption, she celebrated with me.

But those are the major milestones. Day to day, I can call her at any moment for a laugh, a cry, a recipe, or a prayer.

She's my mom, my confidante, my coach, my counselor, my teacher, my best friend. I pray that I can be half the mom she is.

Happy mother's day, Mom.

Wordless Wednesday: Sandal Season

Not much longer and my feet will be as dark as my children


I introduced the boys to the state of Tennessee a couple weeks ago.

Introduction means that I pointed to the map and said, "This is Tennessee." I just wanted to clarify that I did not physically take them to TN without telling you that we were taking a road trip.

We reviewed some other states for a few minutes before I pointed to TN and asked, "What is this?" To which Jack shouted, "Tennis ball!"

Tennis ball. Tennessee. "A" for effort, JMan.


5MinutesForMom is hosting a $1,000 Mother's Day Giveaway. I could have some fun with $1,000! To enter, I need to post one photo that explains what motherhood is to me.

The above photo is hands-down the best photo to explain my experience with motherhood. It was taken 5 years ago yesterday, the day I got Liam. My face shows the joy and peace I felt once I finally held my baby. Liam's posture shows how quickly we bonded/attached.

If you would like to try for the cash, go here for details. But you might consider splitting the prize with me!