What a year of change 1997 has been for us! It brought a new job in a new town, a new house, a new church, a new son, new friends, new neighbors, and will soon yield a new niece or nephew, as Jennifer’s sister and brother-in-law are expecting their first baby any day now.
We put our house in Mesquite up for sale by owner the first of January and sold it 16 days later, but not without a steady stream of prospective buyers first passing through our doors. We met some very interesting characters during the course of those two weeks. The most unforgettable was a 60-year old bleached-blonde who wore huge false eyelashes, drove a car like Cruella de Ville’s, and came to see our house despite the fact she was violently ill at the time. We made it as far as our dining room before she lost her cookies, spewing them all over our walls, cabinets and floors. It was incredible! Despite our best disinfecting efforts, our entire family was wrenching from the same virus within the week. Before it hit, we showed the house to a newlywed couple who returned two hours later with a contract in hand. They loved the house, but were willing to wait until July to close, which meant we only had to move once. What a provision from the Lord!
Our five-year old David has matured so much in recent months, it’s hard to believe he is the same child who in March used Mommy’s razor to shave off his bangs, then cemented his eyelashes together with bubble gum. We weren’t sure whether this was some desperate cry for attention or merely a re-enactment of a Sunday school lesson on Samson, but to play it safe, we promptly scheduled some “together time” for him and Dad. The two of them flew to Corpus Christi on Palm Sunday to visit Doug’s grandmother. David’s coming along seemed to revive Nanny’s failing memory, as he is the spitting image of his father at that age…. Mesquite’s Bank One was held up this month by a group of armed robbers who led the police on a merry chase before abandoning their get-away car fifty yards behind our house. Police choppers and news services swarmed above our roof and squad cars zipped down our alley for days on end as they attempted to track down the fugitives. Our boys begged to go out and help hunt for the criminals, but we kept them inside all week with the doors and windows locked, instead.
Doug turned thirty in April. He made his radio debut this month, filling in for Jennifer one week on “Schooling with Software”. Cyber-line moved to WBAP NEWS/TALK 820 this year, so we can now be heard live in 38 states every Sunday night at 7:45. We still get tons of free educational software for doing this weekly review; consequently, the kids keep our computers running almost non-stop. David and Samuel have been known to get up as early as 3 a.m. to have first shot at a new program.
Our little 9 lb. 7 oz. Joseph Tyler arrived promptly on his due date, September 11. Jennifer’s labor began at four, we got to the hospital at five, had the baby at six, and Doug reported for surgery at seven — just like clockwork! Doug finished the one case that had been scheduled that morning, then took the next five days off.
Joseph has the prettiest blue eyes, which as yet show no sign of changing color, and the longest little fingers, which he laces together whenever he nurses, as if he were saying his prayers. Bethany first saw him do this when he was but hours old. “Look!” she called to her brothers, “Joseph’s saying ‘Thank you, God, for giving me such a sweet and loving family.'” But Papa contends he was really asking God to protect him from this mob of siblings who were all clamoring to hold him at once!
Believe it or not, Joseph was not the first baby to join our family this month. That distinction goes to an 8-week old puppy whom the children named “Lucky” (as in, she was “lucky” it was their push-over father who’d taken the kids shopping that day, and not their pragmatic mother). Doug was told at the pet store that she’s an Australian heeler and will grow to be a mid-size dog. Naturally, he took their word on this, never mind the fact she looks just like a German shepherd and had outgrown our Lhasa apso by the end of the month. Jennifer was concerned that Lucky might overwhelm our youngest ones with all her playful advances, but the children soon proved they could hold their own against the dog. When Lucky was tormenting Benjamin one morning by repeatedly licking his face and relentlessly tugging at his clothes, Ben finally got fed up and bit the dog square on the back. Lucky thought twice before approaching him again…and since the second bite, she’s left him alone completely!