Another Memorial Day weekend has come and gone. We celebrated with our 3rd annual BBQ which left me with no arms available to even snap off a few pictures, but earlier in the day I did manage to get the kids to take this picture! Thank you for all the Facebook likes, comments, and whopping 1,051 page views and shares on my blog post from last Friday: You Don’t Have to, But You Should
It’s unofficially, official!
We are in the adoption process, finally! We filed all the paperwork and paid the fee to an amazing family lawyer to get the older three children adopted by The Chief. We put it off for so long because to be honest with you keeping Bruiser’s special namesake as the IV generation just threw us for a loop; then life happened and we realized we had to stop hiding behind that excuse, especially after this last fiasco.
Just a month ago, The Chief took War-Dog in for an important surgery only to be told he’s not the father and they weren’t going to operate. Then he had to tell our story , make phone calls, give attitude and finally the nightmare was over… but all the while War-Dog stood there being told by strangers that his Daddy is not his real Daddy. It just hurts every time we go through this. It makes the whole family feel divided and so that was it. Done! We stopped procrastinating!
We have decided to keep all their names but moving, for example, Bruiser’s middle, last, and generational suffix to the middle, so basically he’ll have three middle names and a new last name. We told the kids that this decision is to unite the family as one whole unit, to keep them safe, to avoid legal and medical nuisances, and to avoid having to tell our story every other week. We also told them that when they turn 18 they can change their names back (if that’s what they want) but that as parent’s we had to make that tough decision right now for them.
Blue Eyes Again
Coming from an Italian lineage of brown hair, brown eyed family members, it’s pretty cool to have 2 kids with blue eyes. One looks like she will be blonde hair with blue eyes and our little nugget Natalie will be brown hair with blue eyes. Crazy but very cool!
Rap Music=Agitating Rhythms?
I know, I am almost 40 years old and I listen to rap music. Weird, huh? But I don’t just love any rap music, I love Christian rap music…specifically Lecrae. He is the one rap artist I just can’t get enough of. The poetry in his rap music is beyond edifying, it’s empowering, spiritually. I use his lyrics to help our kids make spiritually tough decisions in a secular world because Lecrae speaks to them where Mozart can’t:
When the kids feel left out by what their friends are doing, I make reference to these lyrics from Lecrae’s song, “Rebel:”
Jesus was a rebel, a renegade, outlaw
A sanctified troublemaker but He never sinned, naw
And He lived His life by a different set of Rules
The culture ain’t approve
So you know they had they had to bruise em
And when the kids get all caught up in their identity I go to this song titled the same “Identity:”
Hair check, shoes check, brand new fit looking cool check, looking in mirror like “ooooh yes!”/ cover for an insecure dude check/ She wont’ feel me and they wont like me if I ain’t in them J’s or them brand new Nikes/ but lets dig deeper inside my pysche/ when it’s all said and done even I don’t like me/ He live in the gym and his hair stay faded/ late model car so they think he made it/ but he’s Christian he gave his life/ but he still ain’t satisfied in the savior Christ/ still finds his identity in looks and cars/ if he only knew that he ain’t have to look so hard/ If looked in God though it may seem odd he be so satisfied he could leave it all/
And when we’re driving and listening to the radio and I turn the station for the umpteenth time, I point to this song about why we should censor what we listen to, “Jesus Muzik:”
They talk about it all the time and put it in they songs
They drive around and play it loud like it ain’t nothin wrong
And all they talk about is sinful stuff
Recently, our boys wanted to rap/sing Tell The World by Lecrae for the talent show. Well, come to find out rap music has agitating rhythms making it less than edifying and so my boys’ hard work got canned, even though they were the only ones with a Christian themed song at a Christian school. I conceded on one line, “I tried getting high, but it left me low…” agreeing it was mature for the audience, but I am still left confused and hurt. Other students are singing about above age content: dying, dating, PDA, love, boys, girls which then leads me to believe it has everything to do with rap music itself, which I find very sad. How do you tell your boys that their spirituality and form of evangelization is predicated on someone else’s opinion? What do you all think? Should my boys have been able to sing this song at their school?
So this past week we invited one of our priests over to bless our house. It was a very cool experience for the kids and us adults too. I whipped up a quick some Baked Ziti, Caesar Salad and Robert Mondavi Merlot for our special guest! It really was great getting to know Father. We all had questions that we thought up beforehand to ask him. He answered all of them delightfully and with such joy. He even gave me permission to put ‘The Blessing’ in my blog with some of the pictures I had taken. He’s pretty cool with the social media stuff and was very encouraging to me to keep up the evangelization. After we ate and chatted, he enlisted Bruiser’s help while he did the blessing in the library. Afterwards, he went into every room and closet and sprinkled holy water. The timing was great since both Bruiser and Addy Cakes had such bad nightmares the previous 2 nights that they came into sleep with us. We also plan to get a boat load of candles to be blessed and kept at the house. He liked how we knew about the three days of darkness!
Finding My Voice
I loved this article: 14 Habits of Highly Likable People. It helped me to realize that in my failure at most of these, I just may not be a likable person, especially behind the computer. I really want to work on #2 and #8.
#2 They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.
This is a tough one I have to admit. Sometimes I get really passionate about something and when I go to express my thoughts on it it might come out fierce and unfriendly. I say might because so far I haven’t gotten any negative feedback save for an off the cuff statement I made on Facebook; lesson learned on that one, however true I felt the statement to be. Really, it should have been saved and cultivated for a larger discussion on my blog. I hope the more I blog, the more I can find the tone that fits me but is readable to others at the same time without compromising the integrity of the topic. I like what the Pioneer Woman said on blogging, to paraphrase, ‘write like you are talking to your sister.’ Maybe the voice I am looking for is one of more discussing instead of cramming a topic down someone’s throat. I am a work in progress like we all are, but I plan to stay on the horse even if it kills me!
And #8 They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed.
Ouch, another tough one for me… I find it almost impossible to not open my mouth. My mom and I are peas in a pod on this one. When it comes to perceived injustices, we can barely take a breath let alone not point it out. It’s a blessing and curse that’s for sure because while I pray to be better and expressing my thoughts sometimes it’s better than nothing. Too often I see people stand by indifferent or put on airs and I can’t stand it. I was taught to take a stand and I do it. My husband and I will fight tooth and nail for our kids, our family, and our God! But sometimes, yes, it is better to remain silent and pray, pray very hard!
Natalie’s new blog name will now affectionately be called Nuggie! Why? She’s soo tiny and cute! My little nugget (nuggie) is already 8 weeks old. I shot this picture outside for about an hour. Still trying to improve my photography skills but it is so hard!