Readings for April 5, 2015

Isaiah 25:6-9

Kings would often hold feasts for their subjects. For whom is this feast on Mount Zion given? Why are these people invited (see verse 9)? Who, then, will be excluded from the feast?
Psalm 16

This psalm is often called a Messianic psalm because it is quoted in the New Testament as referring to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both Peter and Paul quoted from this psalm when speaking of Christ’s bodily resurrection (see Acts 2:25-28, 31 and 13:35-37). For what blessings does David praise God? How does David’s hope in verse 10 come true?
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Why does Paul remind them of the gospel? What three points does Paul make about Jesus’ time on earth? To whom did Christ appear, after His resurrection? Why does Paul stress these appearances?

Mark 16:1-8

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Why do you think the women went to the tomb so early? Seeing the empty tomb and the man sitting beside it, what thoughts were probably racing through their heads? Why do you think the angel asked them specifically to speak to Peter?

Sun Daze Parody

It was Hayden’s idea. As she found herself humming Sun Daze (by Florida Georgia Line…yes, that’s country music…yes, we’re those kind of people), she started filling in her own words. Soon, she had Josiah and I sucked in, and we were brainstorming new lyrics. Here they are…

“I’m gonna wear my new dress and
I’m gonna look my very best
I’m gonna rock along to the praise band, and organ, and Tomlin
Drop some cash in the offering plate
Gonna celebrate being saved
The way that its going God’s grace is gonna be flowing

All I wanna do today is wear my Sunday best and leave home
Work a little less pray a little more thats what this day is for
And all I really need is grace, forgiveness, and some rest for my soul
Worship my Savior, ain’t nothing wrong with getting my Sunday on

God you know that your the purpose in my life
You gave your life to save me from sin’s strife
Your preparing a place for when I die
So you can grant me eternal li-fe

So now I’ll worship you my king
Of your praises I’ll forever sing
He gave me salvation
I’ll never repay him

All I wanna do today is wear my Sunday best and leave home
Work a little less pray a little more thats what this day is for
And all I really need is grace, forgiveness, and some rest for my soul
Worship my Savior, ain’t nothing wrong with getting my Sunday on

All I wanna do today is wear my Sunday best and leave home
Work a little less pray a little more thats what this day is for
And all I really need is grace, forgiveness, and some rest for my soul
Worship my Savior, ain’t nothing wrong with getting my Sunday on, getting my Sunday on
Getting my Sunday on!”

Then she had the idea to create one of those parodies you see on the internet all the time, and she convinced the youth group to help her out.

For unrelated reasons, we didn’t have a huge turnout at youth group that night, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. The kids had a lot of fun making the video.

And then it was Josiah’s turn. Using his ipad, he edited the clips precisely and seamlessly. He and Hayden had fun with this part of the process, too.

So…you can watch the video here. Enjoy!

Free?

According to my dictionary…

free: without charge, free of charge, for nothing; complimentary, gratis

Jason and I got new glasses last week. It was long overdue, and we were both happy to go. We are blessed to have eye insurance that covers our exams and our frames (as long as you shop from the “cheap” side), but…even with that…new glasses (especially as our eyes continue to worsen) are expensive. In fact, for just the two of us, our total bill was $871.47. Eight hundred seventy one dollars and forty-seven cents. Good heavens.

So you can imagine my snort of laughter when the technician tried to convince me to buy a $7.50 bottle of lens cleaner, because (and I quote), “We’ll refill it for you as often as you need it…for free.”

She must use a different dictionary.

Gotcha Day

Tomorrow is Gotcha Day at the Rensner house! Yippee!

Actually, we have two dates floating around for Gotcha Day…the first is the day that we celebrated with a party with the kids’ friends…

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followed by a fancy dinner with the grandparents…

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followed by a wait outside the courtroom…

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followed by the time with our attorney and the judge…

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followed by new jammies for everyone…

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That was a big day.

The other date came a few weeks later…after the caseworker finally got the paperwork filled out and the court finally got it officially processed. Two dates. One occasion. I can’t even remember which date is March 29, and I’m too tired to look it up.

When the kids were all home, we always did a little something to celebrate this big day in our family history. For years, we got the kids new “Rensner” t-shirts to mark the occasion, but…alas…the Adoption Pixie blew it this year…she (like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny) has been falling a bit behind these days.

Regardless of that…Haley, Quincy, Zachery, Josiah, Hayden, and Dillon…we love you guys so much! Happy Adoption Day!

That’ll Teach Him

Some of you might find this story disgusting. I get it. In fact, if you belong to a family where everyone expects (and receives) privacy while going to the bathroom, you probably better move on to a different blog. If not…

Jason was doing his business the other day, when soon-to-be-five-year-old Feff walked into the bathroom. (No, we don’t lock the bathroom door. Mainly because we don’t want them to lock the bathroom door. So far, it hasn’t dawned on them that this is a possibility, and we’d like to keep it that way.) Jason told Feff that he was pooping (Do other people use more delicate terminology?) and to go downstairs, please. Feff, though, was interested and promptly sat down on the step stool that we have by the sink. “I’ll just watch you,” he told Jason calmly and then settled down to do just that.

(It’s probably worth mentioning that Feff is still pooping his pants. Two or three times a day. We’ve tried bribery…which doesn’t work. We’ve tried gently and calmly holding him on the toilet when he gets that look in his eye…which doesn’t work either. In fact, this particular method scares the feces so far back up his colon that we have to double his Miralax…and then he poops his pants four or five times a day. It’s a lose-lose. So we’re waiting it out. However, it should go without saying that if he’s interested in watching one of us poop, we’re okay with that. We would like to prove to him that people do it and live to tell the tale. The child has watched me poop several times, and I always strive to make it appear to be a fun and painless activity.)

Anyway. Back to Jason. Evidently, it takes him longer to go than Feff was anticipating, and the little guy started getting restless. He started messing around with the sink…and the water…and the toothbrushes…which were soaking in mouthwash (a once-a-week treatment to help fend off the germs). Helplessly, Jason told him to quit messing around and leave the room. Feff, knowing that Jason was…um…occupied, kept goofing off. Of course…inevitably…he spilled mouthwash all over the sink, and Jason’s voice rose in exasperation as he again told the child to leave. the. room.

Now, Feff can’t stand being reprimanded. At all. Not at home, not at school, and certainly not in the bathroom…by the very person he was honoring with an audience. Flustered and frustrated, he jumped down from the stool and marched toward the door. Turning to Jason one last time, he huffed, “I don’t like when you yell at me, Jason! I’m…not…watching…you…poop…ANYMORE!”

And he left the room. Take that.

Finding My Words

I’ve been pretty short on words lately. I know that surprises those of you who know me. But my cousin sent me a link to this article…and somehow reading someone else’s words…someone who gets it…has helped me find my own again.

The littles are hard…again…still. After a new round of thefts and destruction, the boundaries have been tightened (again!), and the alarms are set more often than they’re not. None of them even go to the bathroom unattended. Even church (my weekly reprieve, at least during the Sunday School hour) will need to change. Our little darlings will need to stay with their Sunday School teachers until I pick them up. Ugh.

In addition, Dillon has kept up his nonsense. Last week…as I sat on the floor of Fiffer’s room, staring at three walls covered in permanent marker…stolen from school?…and a closet wall and ceiling squirted with green craft paint…too discouraged to do anything but sit in the middle of the floor and cry…while Fiffer lay on her bed with her arms crossed in anger…since all of this was my fault…since I was the one who had put her in her room…after she had used the f word four times…and I had been afraid for her safety if she wasn’t away from me…right in the midst of all that…Dillon proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t adopt these kids…because I shouldn’t have adopted him…because he would have been better off with anyone else than me…even his birthmother…despite her issues with alcohol and drugs. He tells me repeatedly that he plans to run away ASAP. And when I tell him we will call the police, he responds that he’ll go with someone who will hide him from the police, someone who understands the horror they will be rescuing him from…you know…school work…and chores…and the fact that all I ever want to do is work…and then he wonders why we don’t let him hop on his bike and go wherever he wants. Add a layer of lies from him too…and…wow.

So our house is feeling a little less like a family home and more like a group home for delinquent children. And I have to pull back emotionally from all four of them…and…trust me…it pains me to group Dillon with the littles…but you know what they say about the shoe fitting. I have to stop being so hurt by their behavior and words…mostly because my hurt comes out as anger…hot, white, terrifying-to-all-of-us anger…and God’s anger doesn’t bring about the righteousness that He desires (James 1:20…ironically part of our current memory work).

So…we regroup…and rethink…and reassess…not whether or not we’ll keep them…that decision has been made…unless something changes with the case…because I couldn’t live with myself if I denied children a loving home (and…despite what Dillon will tell you…this is a loving home…because the very things he hates…boundaries and expectations…are signs of love) simply because they wrote on my walls…and called me names…and stole my stuff. And we try to focus on the positive (cuddles and stories and games and school programs and summer plans)…just alarm the doors against the rest…and get some rest…and find our words again.

First Date (?)

Feffer went to his very first for-a-friend-from-school birthday party last weekend. He was beyond thrilled when he got the invitation, and his excitement only intensified as the event drew closer. He asked a lot of questions (Who else will be there? Are you staying with me? Is Jason staying? You mean…you’re just going to drop. me. off?), and he had very strong opinions about the gift (She would like a watch. I know she would. She loves Hello Kitty. Pink is her favorite color.) which he did, in fact, pick out himself.

The only problem was…the more he talked about it…it became clear that he wasn’t visualizing a party with many (if not all) of his classmates coming together to celebrate H****’s big day. He was…instead…visualizing a date. He confided to Hayden that he was pretty sure he was the only one H**** invited. He wondered aloud what gift H**** would give him. He seemed unusually excited that Jason and I weren’t staying with him and even tried to convince us that we didn’t have to walk him in.

We should have known, though. We should have known that he was head-over-heels over this little girl two weeks before the invitation arrived, when we saw H**** and her family at the sledding hill. His blue eyes sparkled when he saw her, and our normally-pretty-cautious little guy stood right in front of her and said boldly, “Hey, H****, watch this.” Then he proceeded to throw himself backward down the hill (without a sled…it wasn’t his turn…and he evidently couldn’t wait). He rolled all the way to the bottom and then jumped up to make sure she was still watching him. She was.

Ah, young love. It reminded me of this Tim Hawkins clip. Enjoy.