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Welcome to BBMI, Ink., where you'll always get a fresh dose of opinion mixed with a little humor and love.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Haberdashery Conspiracy

First of all, thanks to all of you for your kind words about “Dear Birth Mom.” It was an emotional day and I thank you for sharing it with me. I apologize for the ruined makeup and otherwise embarrassing responses you may have experienced. One man even stopped me at church and said, “I really liked your blog.” Then he leaned in closer and said, “I may have even shed a tear or two or maybe my eyes were just leaking.” Whatever your response, your kind words encouraged me.
Here in Kansas, we’re bracing ourselves for two types of storms. First, the birthday party festivities will be ramping up around 6:30 tonight. Isaac woke up at 3am. I think he might be a little excited.

Second, the weather forecast for this weekend has us all in a tizzy. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a meteorologist in Kansas (or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter) right now. Depending on your TV/Radio/Interwebs weather forecaster of choice, we’re getting anywhere from 1 to 6 inches of snow in the next 48 hours. Before it snows, we may get ice (again, depending on who you choose to listen to, or is it “to whom you choose to listen”?). One of the weather dudes is going to get something wrong and then everyone will blame him/her. Despite our love/hate relationship with these prognosticators, we’ll all run out and buy up all the break and milk from the grocery stores. I’m headed to Wal-Mart soon. I’ll pick some up for you.
Finally, after my last blog, I feel the need to lighten things up a bit and help you get through this last push through the holidays. To do so, a couple of stories:

Yesterday, I was at Sam’s, busily checking out (I love the self-checkout thingies there – that’s a whole ‘nother blog). A nice gentleman walked up to me and said something like, “I like that present you gave my dog.” The look on my face had to have been priceless. In my mind I’m thinking, “Is this code for something? Am I suddenly in a spy movie and this guy is trying to pass off some kind of government secret that will eventually lead me to some form of water torture? Or, is this the worse pick-up line ever?”
Then I took another look at him and realized he was my friend’s husband. I’ve met him a couple of times, but he was out of context. We all know how that feels. Remember what it felt like to see your third grade teacher at the grocery store? Yeah, it was that feeling.

After I recovered, I realized he was thanking me for this:
No pick-up line, no espionage. Just a little Chihuahua humor. (Am I the only one who can spell Chihuahua because of Les Nessman? Anyone?) This is my friend Ann’s little Pinot who I thought would enjoy some Christmas apparel. Turns out, she’s a little stunned by it.

After meeting Ann’s husband at Sam’s, I stopped by her office to give her a lamp. We tried to figure out how to get the whole thing on the plane with her to California. This was one suggestion:

I think it works. Especially if she plans to stay for New Year’s Eve.
Merry Christmas, everyone!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Birth Mom

Dear Birth Mom:
Today is their 13th birthday.
But you know that. Every year as we celebrate our babies’ birthday, I have the best time. We usually start the morning off with breakfast and gifts and then end the day with dinner at the restaurant of their choice. Sometime during their birth “week”, we have a party. This year is no exception: Seven tween-age boys plus two 13 year olds are descending into my basement to wreak havoc and eat a lot of junk.
But as each year passes, I never fail to get a little (or a lot) melancholy on this day. I can’t help but think of you. And I wonder, are you thinking of us too? Do you wonder what they look like? Do you think about their voices and how they’ve changed and are changing this very moment? Do you wonder where we live and if they have siblings? Do you…?
I often wish you would have chosen to stay in our lives. At the time of their adoption, we gave you the choice, but you couldn’t. You needed a clean break. You’d had them for 34 weeks in utero and six months in an apartment. You recognized their need for stability and for two parents who could be there 24/7. You didn’t have that luxury – you were too busy just making sure all those living with you were surviving. There was little margin for thriving or any such frill.
We’ve done our best (so far) to make sure they know they are loved by us and by you. Does it help to know they ask about you? They wonder if someday you’ll want to meet them. I know you will, when the time is right. But for now, let me tell you about them.
Isaac is tall. And pretty. He’s already about 5’7” and growing at an amazing, sometimes alarming rate. He would die to be called pretty, but he is. He has great big brown eyes and a beautiful smile. He loves our dogs. Every day when he comes home from school, the girls greet the boys at the door. Isaac always stops, gets down on the floor and gets his daily dose of dog germs. He’s the quiet one – until you get to know him. Then you have to ask him to kindly shut it. He has favorite topics: Minecraft and various other games, our dogs, and food. Yes, the kid loves to eat. He gets up from every meal and wants to know when and where the next one will take place. He loves buffet restaurants. He told me when he was about seven that he wanted to go to that place “where you can randomly choose your food.” I read something the other day that summed him up completely:
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.  “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.
 A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh 

Max isn’t as tall as Isaac. He’s not too happy about this, but we keep telling him he’ll get taller. He already taller than me (okay, so that’s not all that tall!) so I think he’ll hit that growth spurt soon. Unlike his brother, he talks constantly and to whomever will listen. And sometimes, he keeps talking to people who stopped listening long ago. He’s quite the ladies’ man. We’ve always joked that he had a girlfriend in every port: preschool, church, neighborhood, wherever he went. I think we’re about to cross over into the “that’s not funny anymore” region. Frankly, 13 year old girls scare me to death! At 13, he’s “dating” a darling girl. However, I’m not sure what that means since they only see each other at school and occasionally at church. He knows we’re really strict about phone calls, emails, texts, and all that. He’s a good kid with a huge heart. He has a friend whose family is in a constant state of crisis because of their father’s illness and a sister’s teenage depression. Max always wants to bring this kid everywhere we go: church, restaurants, family outings, even our vacations. When we made plans for a family trip this past summer, he told me, “Mom, I’ll sleep on the floor so we can take (his friend) along. He never gets to go anywhere and he’s never been on a vacation like we have.” That was the ultimate horror for Max. He hates the fact that someone else might not have fun like he does – every moment of the day. His heart is huge and it comes out in the beautiful smile that graces his face 90% of his day.
Birth Mom, you gave me a great gift. I get to mother these boys and it is a constant joy. No, it’s not always easy, but compared to what you did to give me this gift, it’s a walk in the park. You gave them to me; I’m doing my best to see that they do you proud. They love you, even though at this age they can’t express it. They love me, too; I know because they look at me with grateful glances and smiles that will melt your heart. And occasionally, when their tough boy shields are down, they say, “Love you, too, Mom.”
Thank you, Birth Mom. I hope this December 18th is filled with sweet memories and happiness and that, somehow, God will visit you today with special peace that passes any mortal understanding. We love you.

From one mom to another, 





Friday, August 16, 2013

Our Schedule in India

Our team:  Holly Miller, Julie Chippeaux, Stephanie London, Brenda Neuhaus, and Candice Anderson
I leave next week (gasp!) for India with this wonderful girls!  Many of you have asked for our schedule so you can pray specifically for us.  I've listed it below.  Remember, we'll be 10 1/2 hours ahead of Central Time, so when it's Tuesday morning there, it's Monday evening here.

We have quite a busy trip planned during our eight day stay in southeast India. 

Our first stop will be at the India Gospel League’s headquarters where we’ll visit their orphanage, meet some of the women Pathway has sponsored in the Women to Women microloan initiative, and attend their Sunday worship service. 
Next, we’ll travel to the Women with a Mission Conference.  IGL has chosen “We are the Body of Christ” as its theme this year.  We’ll be teaching and sharing our personal testimonies with the women at the conference.  We’ll conclude our trip with a church dedication in the city of Akiveedu.  In this area of India, less than 3% of the population has heard of Jesus.  IGL has designated it as an area of concentrated ministry in the years to come.  We’re excited to be there for the opening of the Life Center.

Our schedule:

·       Thursday, August 22 through Friday, August 23: Fly out of Wichita, through Frankfort to Bangalore

·       Saturday, August 24 through Monday, August 26: Travel to Salem and visit Sharon, IGL’s home base.

·       Tuesday, August 27:  Travel to Chennai; fly to Hyderabad, then to Vijayawada.  Travel by van to Akiveedu.

·       Wednesday, August 28 through Friday, August 30:  WWM Conference in Akiveedu

·       Friday, August 30:  Attend church dedication service in Akiveedu

·       Saturday, August 31:  Travel by van to Vijayawada; fly to Bangalore;

·       Saturday, August 31 through Sunday, September 1:  Fly from Bangalore through Frankfort, arriving in Wichita Sunday evening.

Please pray that we’ll have the strength to maintain healthy minds, spirits, and bodies as we partner with IGL. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm Going to INDIA!

I haven’t blogged in ages.  I know.  But I have several “excuses.”  Along with all the usual goings-on in the Neuhaus House, I have some exciting travel/ministry news:

I’m going to India this summer!  I’m traveling with a group of women from two Wichita churches:  Pathway Church (my home church) and Central Christian Church.  We’ll be ministering with women in south-central India at a conference sponsored by India Gospel League (IGL).

These are the five who will be going from Wichita:

Meet my new friends:  Holly, Julie, Stephanie, and Candice. 
 (I'm the short one with the gold scarf in case you've forgotten.)
I’ll be traveling August 24th through September 1st.  Our itinerary includes:

·       Flying into Bangalore;

·       Visiting IGL headquarters in Salem where we’ll work with women whose lives have been changed through microloans;

·       Traveling to Vijayawada and Akividu to lead a women’s conference;

·       Attending a Life Center (a community outreach center built by IGL) dedication in Akividu, a rural area adopted by Pathway for Christian development.

Holly, Candice, Julie and I spent some time praying over our detailed schedule last night.
(Steph was at a conference, but we know she was with us in Spirit.)

We’ll be traveling to large metropolitan areas as well as small towns and villages.  I’m excited about the opportunity to see a cross-section of this beautiful country and participate in many activities geared toward women.

Many of you have asked how you can partner with me on this adventure. I've already received an overwhelming response to support requests I mailed to a few of you.  I'm about 2/3 of the way to being fully funded.  (Update:  As of 4pm today, I'm FULLY FUNDED!  I know!  God is so faithful!  If you'd still like to contribute, my fellow travelers can use your help.  Thanks so much!)

I humbly ask for the following:

·       Please pray for me as I embark on this God-directed adventure.  I don’t enjoy flying and it takes a lot of it to get to India!  Pray I’ll be able to rest on the flight and arrive in India ready to go. 

·       Pray for Brian and our kids as they remain home.

·       Pray our team will reach its financial goals and everyone will have their trip monies on time.

·       Consider giving a financial gift toward my trip.  Instructions to do so are included at the end of this blog.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this trip.  God has given me a heart to teach and minister to women; the chance to do this in India is simply breath-taking!

Thanks for your prayer and support.  If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me via the comments on this blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
Thanks so much! 

Giving information:

For on-line giving: 

Go to Pathway Church website:  www.pathwaychurchonline.com

1.     Click “Giving” in  left hand column

2.     Choose “Give Online”

3.     Click on blue “Donate” button

4.     If you don’t have a log-in ID, you will need to “Create an Account”.

5.     Once logged in, click on “Mission Trips” in the gray box on the left

6.     Select the appropriate “Mission Trip” from the drop-down menu

7.     Select “Contribute to Mission Trip”

8.     Type in the name of the person you are donating to (trip attendee).  Then click “Verify Attendee.”  If you are unable to verify attendee or have any questions on the online giving, please email:  mary.kranick@pathwaychurchonline.com

9.     Type in amount you wish to contribute

10. Click “Next.”  It will take you to the next page where you will put in your debit/credit information.

 **To view giving history, please allow 2 business days

**If the person you are donating to is already fully funded, your donation will still be applied to this serving trip.  If the entire team is fully funded, excess donations will be put into the mission project account for projects of future teams.

**If you would like to donate to the team and not a specific team member, skip step 8 and put in the amount you would like to donate.

 To give by check: 

1.     Make your check payable to Pathway Church (this will ensure it is tax deductible).

2.     Include “India” on the memo line, but DO NOT put my name anywhere on the check.

3.     Send it to me (message me on Facebook or Twitter or through the comments on this blog and I’ll send you the address).