Top Ranch Pen Posts Of 2014–#3

The third most viewed post of 2014 was this one co-authored by the happiest extrovert I know, our border collie dog, Nellie. Nothing dampens her vibrant enthusiasm for life. Sometimes she makes me think of the lines in Dr. Seuss’ timeless book–a favorite of my grandkids–One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:

“Did you ever fly a kite in bed?

Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?

Did you ever milk this kind of cow? Well we can do it. We know how.

If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good…”

~Dr. Seuss~

Anyone who suffers from the doldrums needs to come and hang out with Nellie for a bit. She is fun and fun is good.

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IMG_4869Nellie’s “nelfie” 

Felfies?

I didn’t go ahead and succumb to my disease of last week, but while laid up, I did a lot of reading. Somewhere on the internet, someone declared that 2013 was the year of the “selfie”. Farm people have joined in the selfie craze, too. They’ve been posting what they call “felfies” of themselves doing chores around their outfits with their livestock and so forth. What an idea to my fevered brain! Gramps and I could also take felfies to entertain educate the public. Even though we here at the Ranch Pen are often a day late and a dollar short, we eventually try to get with it and keep up with the times.

Temporarily Foiled Again

Before we could implement that public service, however, I was forbidden by my sister a close relative to take selfies of…well…myself and post them on the blog. All is not lost, however. Our border collie, Nellie, has graciously agreed to let me post some of her un-copyrighted “nelfies”.

Who Said Beauty Is Only Skin Deep?

Nellie is about nine months old now, and she has grown into a beautiful dog with lovely, silken fur. In spite of her unusual beauty, she isn’t a bit puffed up about it and has maintained a modest, down-to-earth–but rambunctious fun-loving–attitude. If you are looking for shots of low cut tops, short skirts, or exposed muffin tops, you have come to the wrong dog’s blog.

Without Further Ado

The best “nelfies” of 2014, so far:

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Nellie has a few problems handling the iPhone without opposable thumbs, so that’s all the “nelfies” for now, but she wanted to include one more even though it’s not technically a “nelfie”. She calls the one below–taken on a very windy day with her Pack Leader/Old Person, or PLOP–a “wet wilfie” in reference to the ol’ tongue in the ear, or “wet willie”.

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Until next time, God bless all y’all and in honor of our grandson, Kevman, who Son and Daughter #3 adopted into our family almost seven years ago, I’ll leave you with Steven Curtis Chapman singing, All I Really Want For Christmas. To anyone who wants a child, or two, or ten, I urge you to consider adoption. There’s a world full of kids waiting for someone to love them.

Kevin for blog

[youtube.com/watch?v=XvDBGVoGKD0]

Top Five Ranch Pen Posts Of 2013–#1

And finally, I am tickled almost to death to say the #1 viewed Ranch Pen post of the year was the recent one written by my youngest son, about his son: The Boy Who Made A Difference–How Adoption Change My LIfe. Adoption has made all the difference in our family–from our grandson, Kevman, to our daughter-in-law #1 coming all the way from Japan to live with her aunt and uncle who also became her adoptive parents, and to me personally, an adopted daughter of the Most High God.

I loved this post and y’all did, too, so I trust you’ll enjoy it again.

*****

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Son #3 and Kevman

Today, I’m beyond pleased to feature a guest post from our youngest son, Preston. He has been married to an awesome young woman for the past six years and is the dad of the grandsons, Kevman and Einstein. His experience in the food industry covers the entire range from the farm to the plate and he is currently retailing food to the health conscious of north central Oklahoma. His writing ability speaks for itself, and most of all, he has a heart for the Lord. Enjoy.

*****

I am not a blogger or a writer. I can barely text. I am, however, the father of a boy who turns eleven today, and I have something that I need to share with the world.

     Eleven years ago I was sixteen years old. I was fixing to graduate from twelve years of homeschooling under the watchful eye of Mrs. McGriffith, and getting ready to spread my wings and change the world. I had a Dodge Intrepid that hadn’t been wrecked yet, a job at a small town steakhouse, and dreams of how I was going to make a difference in people’s lives. Little did I know that the person that was going to make the difference in my life had just entered the world.
     So I went to college, dropped out of college, and started running my own restaurant. I got married to the love of my life, and we were enjoying our first year of wedded bliss. Shortly after celebrating our one year anniversary, we got a call from my wife’s sister. There was a little boy that needed a home and would we be interested in taking him?
     Now, we had discussed adoption some and had decided that we would be willing to do it, but never thought that it would happen so soon. We prayed about it, felt good about it, and went to meet our son.
     You never know what to expect in those life altering moments. Will he like us? What will he be like? How will he feel about coming to live with us? We arrived at the trailer, where he was with his biological father and some family. We walked in, and standing there in front of us was a little boy that had the most penetratingly blue eyes you will ever see. He had sandy blond hair, pants that were too big and shoes that were too small. He came over to my wife and said, “You have blue eyes just like I have blue eyes!”
     We visited with his family for about fifteen minutes before they told us we could take him to the park. He has been with us ever since.
     People like for things to be clean and orderly. We like for situations to be pleasant, problems to be quickly resolved, and for abnormalities to be quickly changed into normalities. Adoption doesn’t work that way. Adoptive situations are rarely clean. Many times they are situations where selfish adults have trampled on the well-being of their children, leaving them hurt and broken. Someone may come along and try to help heal those wounds, but where there was a cut, there will always be a scar.
     We have loved our son from the moment we met him. We have struggled from the moment we met him. How do you compensate for the years of bonding time that you missed? I didn’t see his first tooth or help him take his first step. I missed his first birthday party. I didn’t get to spend sleepless nights holding him in the rocking chair while singing to him, or change his diapers, or give him a bath. I joked at first that getting a six year old would be great because you didn’t have to do any of that stuff, but I quickly realized that those times are times to be treasured. The only picture we have of him before he turned six years old, is a grainy black and white picture from off of a paternity test report.
     How do you answer when someone finds out that your son is adopted and says, “So he isn’t really yours.”? How do you explain to people that it really isn’t your fault that this little boy is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store, because you have only had an influence on him for a week? How do you explain to the other kids that your son doesn’t play the same as they do because he wasn’t taught how to play by a loving mother and father? How do you deal with the fact that one day you know that your son may choose to leave the nest and go find his “real” mom and dad?
     What if he asks why? Why did my dad let complete strangers come and take me after only knowing them for fifteen minutes? Why did my mom never come see me even though she had visitation rights? How do you impress on this child that none of it was his fault, that the people that have missed out the most are his biological parents? How do you let him know that it is okay to ask these questions?
IMG_4635
     I have always wanted to change the world, to make a difference in someone’s life. I didn’t know that someone could make such a difference in my life. My life changed when my son went from calling me “Boy” to calling me by the name I now go by: “Pops”. It changed when we went into the backyard to play catch and he actually caught the ball! It changed when I saw the look on his face when we got him a puppy, and when I heard him playing by himself and he was pretending to have a conversation with me saying, “Good job, bub!”. It changed my life when he hugged and kissed me good night for the first time. It changed when I would sing his bed time song, “Whisper a prayer in the morning, Whisper a prayer at noon, Whisper a prayer in the evening to keep your HEART in tune!” and I would grab him when I said “HEART” and he would shriek with laughter. It changed when I helped him pray for the first time, and knew that he knew who God is. It changed when I heard him talking to someone else about me and he told them that I was his dad. My life changed when I heard my son say “I love you” for the first time.
     Why is it worth adopting a child? Because it changes your life; and maybe, just maybe, it will change theirs too.
     I am so proud to be the dad of a boy that turns eleven today.
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And I am so proud to re-run this favorite post of 2013. Thank you all so much–new friends and readers, old friends, family, and church family. I appreciate your visits to this blog more than I can ever say. God bless all y’all and enjoy David Wesley singing Beautiful Things, which seemed an appropriate way to end this post and the old year.
[youtube.com/watch?v=BblhO2Wk_LY]
*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love his music.

The Boy Who Made A Difference–How Adoption Changed My Life

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Son #3 and Kevman

Today, I’m beyond pleased to feature a guest post from our youngest son, Preston. He has been married to an awesome young woman for the past six years and is the dad of the grandsons, Kevman and Einstein. His experience in the food industry covers the entire range from the farm to the plate and he is currently retailing food to the health conscious of north central Oklahoma. His writing ability speaks for itself, and most of all, he has a heart for the Lord. Enjoy.

*****

I am not a blogger or a writer. I can barely text. I am, however, the father of a boy who turns eleven today, and I have something that I need to share with the world.

     Eleven years ago I was sixteen years old. I was fixing to graduate from twelve years of homeschooling under the watchful eye of Mrs. McGriffith, and getting ready to spread my wings and change the world. I had a Dodge Intrepid that hadn’t been wrecked yet, a job at a small town steakhouse, and dreams of how I was going to make a difference in people’s lives. Little did I know that the person that was going to make the difference in my life had just entered the world.
     So I went to college, dropped out of college, and started running my own restaurant. I got married to the love of my life, and we were enjoying our first year of wedded bliss. Shortly after celebrating our one year anniversary, we got a call from my wife’s sister. There was a little boy that needed a home and would we be interested in taking him?
     Now, we had discussed adoption some and had decided that we would be willing to do it, but never thought that it would happen so soon. We prayed about it, felt good about it, and went to meet our son.
     You never know what to expect in those life altering moments. Will he like us? What will he be like? How will he feel about coming to live with us? We arrived at the trailer, where he was with his biological father and some family. We walked in, and standing there in front of us was a little boy that had the most penetratingly blue eyes you will ever see. He had sandy blond hair, pants that were too big and shoes that were too small. He came over to my wife and said, “You have blue eyes just like I have blue eyes!”
     We visited with his family for about fifteen minutes before they told us we could take him to the park. He has been with us ever since.
     People like for things to be clean and orderly. We like for situations to be pleasant, problems to be quickly resolved, and for abnormalities to be quickly changed into normalities. Adoption doesn’t work that way. Adoptive situations are rarely clean. Many times they are situations where selfish adults have trampled on the well-being of their children, leaving them hurt and broken. Someone may come along and try to help heal those wounds, but where there was a cut, there will always be a scar.
     We have loved our son from the moment we met him. We have struggled from the moment we met him. How do you compensate for the years of bonding time that you missed? I didn’t see his first tooth or help him take his first step. I missed his first birthday party. I didn’t get to spend sleepless nights holding him in the rocking chair while singing to him, or change his diapers, or give him a bath. I joked at first that getting a six year old would be great because you didn’t have to do any of that stuff, but I quickly realized that those times are times to be treasured. The only picture we have of him before he turned six years old, is a grainy black and white picture from off of a paternity test report.
     How do you answer when someone finds out that your son is adopted and says, “So he isn’t really yours.”? How do you explain to people that it really isn’t your fault that this little boy is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store, because you have only had an influence on him for a week? How do you explain to the other kids that your son doesn’t play the same as they do because he wasn’t taught how to play by a loving mother and father? How do you deal with the fact that one day you know that your son may choose to leave the nest and go find his “real” mom and dad?
     What if he asks why? Why did my dad let complete strangers come and take me after only knowing them for fifteen minutes? Why did my mom never come see me even though she had visitation rights? How do you impress on this child that none of it was his fault, that the people that have missed out the most are his biological parents? How do you let him know that it is okay to ask these questions?
IMG_4635
     I have always wanted to change the world, to make a difference in someone’s life. I didn’t know that someone could make such a difference in my life. My life changed when my son went from calling me “Boy” to calling me by the name I now go by: “Pops”. It changed when we went into the backyard to play catch and he actually caught the ball! It changed when I saw the look on his face when we got him a puppy, and when I heard him playing by himself and he was pretending to have a conversation with me saying, “Good job, bub!”. It changed my life when he hugged and kissed me good night for the first time. It changed when I would sing his bed time song, “Whisper a prayer in the morning, Whisper a prayer at noon, Whisper a prayer in the evening to keep your HEART in tune!” and I would grab him when I said “HEART” and he would shriek with laughter. It changed when I helped him pray for the first time, and knew that he knew who God is. It changed when I heard him talking to someone else about me and he told them that I was his dad. My life changed when I heard my son say “I love you” for the first time.
     Why is it worth adopting a child? Because it changes your life; and maybe, just maybe, it will change theirs too.
     I am so proud to be the dad of a boy that turns eleven today.
*****
And Gramps and I are so proud to be the grandparents to that boy. Happy, happy birthday, Kevman. Gramps and Nana bless the day God brought you into our family.
Thank you so much for the awesome post, Pres. It’s my very favorite Ranch Pen post to date. God bless all y’all and enjoy #3’s song choice, Steven Curtis Chapman singing All I Really Want For Christmas.
[youtube.com/watch?v=xi6NJHVmQTw]
*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, we just love his songs.