Tuesday, April 19, 2011

...and Another Thing...

From One Thing to another Thing, John was also in Seussical the Musical as Thing Two. He was assisting in the technical side of the performance also. 

Over April 9 – 10, we – Richard and I – were honored to accompany John to Berea, Kentucky to visit his alma mater, Berea College. While John was off doing his thing we had the joy of visiting with Dallas who is in his second year studying at Berea. 

So what was John doing?  He was making a quantum leap into his future.  On Saturday evening he asked Erin Hay to marry him.  She agreed and now sports the engagement ring of proof.  Erin will be graduating on May 8 at the top of her class.  They hope to achieve a summer wedding but more information on that to follow.  Meanwhile, John ducked closer to the happily-ever-after side when he was affirmed this week that he is now a full-time counselor at South East Missouri Behavioral Health. He had wavered about proposing while he was in only a part-time job situation.  He is rejoicing that the Lord honored his step of faith. 

Future Things?

Sarah has added her share of excitement to our lives again – this time in the form of twins.  About a year ago Sarah and Neal began the application process to qualify as adoptive parents.  Last month they received fifteen-month-old identical twin boys to foster with the anticipation of adoption.  Having been placed into the public foster system only nine months before, the boys were still in the legal process of termination of parental rights. This past Wednesday the courts gave the nod to proceed with the legal transfer of parenting rights to Neal and Sarah. They anticipate the process may take up to six months, but in the meanwhile the boys are thriving in Sarah and Neal’s home.  We hope to make the journey to Florida to see them in May.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Clown Sighting? No. Thing Sighting.

It is no wonder that Richard can have challenging days with moments of confusion when one looks out and sees a Thing in the yard.

Emory was quite a Technicolor spectacle while he was mowing the yard today.  That green mop on his head is really his hair dyed for his part in Seussical the Musical.  You see, he is a Thing - Thing One to be exact.  You may recall that the Things were the blue-haired helpers The Cat in The Hat let loose to liven up the rainy day for the poor boy and girl left at home.  Emory has dyed his hair blue so he can serve as part of the technical crew for the play that ran last week. He has to touch up the color tomorrow so that he is back to neon blue for the last four performances this week.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Waiting is Over... Again

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!   Ps.27:14

I looked at the expiration date on the small can of tomato sauce – January, 2013. That snapped me back to the reality that we are living in a new series of timetables. The tomatoes would expire before Richard’s first term of disability. The waiting was over. The anticipated disability notification letter arrived yesterday with all of the time frames laid out for us for up to four years.

To qualify for disability support the first two years, Richard must be unable to perform at the capacity to fill his most recent post. The next two years will require that he try working at any profession in which he has the ability.  With any job, disability will supplement his pay up to his former pay scale. After four years he will be moved on to early retirement with the state for a fraction of the price they pay for disability. 

Over the past months I had collected verses on a little bookmark in my Bible.  The verse at the top of this entry was the first one, and it was so very appropriate for the days until now. Whenever I risked despairing I would recite that verse to get re-centered.  Now that we know some time restraints and just what our financial resources will be, it seems to be time to move on to the next verse which happens to be –

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!   Ps. 30:10

When I would give a child a challenging task I would often have the child appear at my elbow with the complaint that so-and-so sibling was not helping with the task.  My retort was always, “How can he be helping you if you are not working? Get back to work to show your sibling what obedience looks like. Then he might just be inspired to help.”  When I saw the child return to work I could then deliver an inspirational speech to the idle sibling to pitch in to help, and we would all live happily ever after. 

The one called on to help could not help when the caller was not working. It seems our Heavenly Father may have that advice for us now as we search out His will, His work and His plan.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011



Over the past weeks we have been submitting letters and applications regarding Richard’s work future.  Last Wednesday, March 30, he submitted a letter to his employer requesting an old-fashioned leave of absence.  He is currently off work under a federally mandated Family Medical Leave which expires April 19.  Since there is no way that he could be ready by April 19 to return to a nursing position providing care for 50 residents, he hoped the old-fashioned leave of absence without pay would push off the date of return while keeping the job door open. 

Back on March 9, Richard had submitted application through his employer for long-term disability. He had been informed that the disability application was received and the material he had sent was adequate to support a ruling. As the time moved on he felt the time pressure of the April 19 deadline to return to work. 

Yesterday, he received a reply from his employer declining his request for the additional four months of leave, but instead was granted two days. His employer said that he had been approved for long-term disability and the two days she granted would create a seamless transition from his leave to his disabled status.  Once he enters the disabled status he is automatically classified “voluntarily resigned in good standing.”

We took that all in with mixed emotions. This was a second-hand report about his disability status being approved. After all this is Missouri, the Show-Me State, so show me the official papers.  Anticipation will heighten our vigil for the postal carrier until it arrives.


Meanwhile, other things have arrived this past week.  In all, 26 chicks arrived on Thursday – Buff Orpington cockerels.  The little fluff balls are so very entertaining as they scamper around of the brooder area.  I could just pull up a chair to watch them for hours on end. 

That brings to mind a story…
In Africa, Sarah was on a safari trip with her cousin Carla.  Sarah happened to comment to a guide that there are seven children in our family.  The guide snidely asked, “What, don’t your parents have television?”  “No,” Sarah retorted innocently, “they have chickens.”  He didn’t get it, but Sarah had a good laugh at his puzzlement.     


Another arrival with a future to be invited to dinner was five or six baby bunnies.  As a part of Richard’s therapy, the family made it clear to him to decide when our bunny couple could strive for progeny.  While they had come of age back in November, they had been held back from breeding, first to avoid a winter birth and second simply overlooked amid the surgery hustle. Early in March Richard declared that it was time to permit them to be fruitful and multiply.  With a 30-day gestation period, we are proud to announce the arrival of the baby bunnies today.

But this brings to mind another story…
Let me share a flashback to clarify just how passionate Richard is for rabbits.

One of his last comments before his surgery involved the rabbits. When he was in the pre-op holding he had vowed that “the next person who asks me if I have any questions, I have one for them.”  He was prepared to ask his then-most-recent favorite joke. 

The joke goes…
As the rabbits were put together for mating, what did the male bunny say to the female bunny? “This won’t take long, did it?” 

Sadly, after he made that resolution, no one asked him if he had any questions.


The socks were done three days before the temperatures got warmer.  Yippee.  Let the warm air come in.