Thursday, December 24, 2009

It’s a . . . Dog! (Part 2)

I mentioned in the last post that the kids were excited. Here is a video where you get to see their reactions first hand.

And a few shots of the dog that we took of him at the organization that is now caring for him.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It’s a . . . Dog!

Our kids are always asking for a dog. The conversation usually goes like this:

Kid: Dad, can’t we get a . . .

Dad: No!

I don’t even give them a chance to finish their sentence. Over the last decade I have projected nothing but a impenetrable wall on this topic.

But inside, there have always been secret fissures in the wall.

A few years ago we were on a trip to Purina Farms when I came into contact with a small Golden Retriever of the field retriever variety. I knew I could take that dog home on the spot. But that dog was not available, so the NO-DOG wall was still strong.

This year around Thanksgiving CrazyMom starting asking me if we were going to do individual gifts for the kids or if we were going to do a family gift. Always hoping for an easy Christmas shopping season, I am partial to family gifts so I asked her what she thought a good family gift would be.

“Well, we could get a dog,” she said.

As you probably already know, we humans have the amazing ability to rationalize just about anything. It was so easy to convert my top-10-reasons-not-to-get-a-dog list into a top-10-reasons-to-get-a-dog list. So, like the Berlin wall, the unthinkable happened, the NO-DOG wall crumpled.

It turns out that looking for a family dog did not make for the “easy shopping season” that I had hoped for, but in the end, I think we found a real winner. As you can imagine, the kids were quite excited when they found out. But more on that later . . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Blind Side

Once a year or so CrazyMom and I go to a movie in a theater to maintain the false pretense that we are connected with modern American culture. A few nights back we went to see The Blind Side, which is the adoption story of Michael Oher.

We loved it . . . but please be advised that you should never take movie recommendations from people who only see a movie a year. Also, as adoptive parents, we might be a little biased.

There were a few themes in the movie that resonated so strongly with me that I was able to overlook any other faults the movie may have.

Consider the following moment in the film (it is in a trailer, so I don’t think I am spoiling anything here). Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother who took in Michael, was having lunch with her friends.

“I think it is just great what you are doing for that boy. You are changing him,” said a friend.

Softly, almost to herself, Leigh Anne replied, “No, he is changing me.”

That moment drove home a larger theme in the movie - that the adoptive family is blessed just as much as the one who is adopted. So many times people have said similar things to me – “Those kids are so lucky to be a part of your family,” or “How blessed they are to have you guys.” While I think this is true, these comments leave out half of the story. “They have not been blessed as much as we have,” I often reply.

Another theme that resonated with me was captured well in this scene (this one was not in the trailer, but the movie is not a mystery, so I don’t think I am ruining anything here). Leigh Ann and her husband Sean are getting ready in the bathroom. Leigh Ann is pressing Sean to agree to something that he is not ready to agree with.

Leigh Ann: Will you at least think about it?

Sean: Alright.

Leigh Ann: “Alright” you will think about it or “alright” you agree with me?

Sean: Aren’t they the same thing?

Yes, in the end they are the same thing and women like Leigh Ann and CrazyMom do get their way. Of course, this is how the world ought to be since they press forward to do what is right.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Crazy Hat Night

Last Wednesday was "Crazy Hat Night" at our church's AWANA program. Buddy came to me the night before and said he wanted to wear a wheel on his head. If you recall the crazy outfit that he came up with for Halloween, this type of thing should not come as a surprise. So we went to the garage, pulled a wheel off of my beloved scooter, drilled a hole in one of his baseball hats, and mounted the thing.

When we were done, Buddy was proud of the finished product and said, "I think this is the first year that someone from our family will win the hat contest." Well, Buddy did not win, but he was happy with his second place finish. I was happy, too, because I enjoyed seeing Buddy's creative mind at work.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Breakfast Time-Lapse Video

I am obviously on a video kick right now. My place of employment issued me a new MacBook Pro this year and I have been playing around with iMovie, Garage Band, and the like. Here is a time-lapse video of our family having breakfast last Saturday morning.

A special thanks to one of my students, Brad, who tipped me off on how to hack my small Canon Powershot camera so I could program it to automatically take a photo every 5 seconds. This saved me from having to go out and buy an intervalometer.