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Ah the million dollar recurring question we receive so very often.  Well, more often than not it’s “How’s Trey?”  Both are equally difficult to answer.  I have fallen into a standard response (most often) in regards to the Trey question of, “Short term/long term.  Short term great!  Long term, well…”  Either they get it or I go on and explain.  The first question is a bit sillier and far too ambiguous.

My brother, who like all of us, has more than a few things on his plate and his own story.  He and I have come up with several different answers depending on our mood, how much sleep we’ve had, and who is asking.

1.  We typically ask the person to refine the question by asking them to give us a category.  Right now?  How are the kids?  How’s work?  How’s ministry?  How’s my health?  It helps.

2.  If we are tired and not wanting to go through all of that (assuming that we don’t just give ’em the old “fine fine”) we may…may say, “As far as you can help?  Just fine.”  We rarely actually answer this way.

3.  Lastly, I’ve never actually said this but have to admit it has crossed my unfiltered mind more than once and praise God it got filtered, “As far as you care?  Fine.”

4.  Now, in a given moment with the situation and asker of said question being trusted and altruistic I will give them an honest detailed answer.  Sometimes I fear I’m too honest or give them too much but I figure that they will learn not to ask such things in the future if they don’t like the answer.

5.  Many of you are now reading this and are terrified to ever ask me how I or anyone else this again.  Trust me, it’s not you who falls into 1-3, well I may have given you a #1 response but that was much more about me than you.

Hmmmmmm, all of this 1-5 stuff makes me feel like I’m doing a list post.  Why not?

Here’s how we are…

6.  Trey likes to push buttons (figurative ones that bother people).  One such button is memorizing and, since he prays first, stealing Joe and Bella’s bedtime prayer (that each of them has come up with on their own).  He passes it off as his own, just to troll for buttons to push.  Joe has never taken the bait.  Bella gets frustrated or even straight raged.  He will recite her prayer as his and then let her know it’s her turn to pray by calling her some made up name, “…thank you for this great day.  Lulla!”  This just caps off her anger.

7.  His new thing is to make the same angry grumble she makes as she begins to pray HER prayer (as if she is stealing it from him!).  Well played Trey, well played.

8.  Bella knows what he is doing and yet most often can’t ignore it and “loses” to him.  We have told her (after comforting her and redirecting Trey…on a given night) that if she shows him that it bothers her that he wins.  Now, she trumps her frustration with losing.  Something she hates hates hates to do.

9.  Since his trip to Philly we have not had to give him pain meds more than once (and that in the first day or so).  He has not revisited the horrible “My bed is cold” cycle once.  He is very able to sleep through the night.

10.  He is able to sleep through the night and sleeping through the night are two different things.  Probably 5 of 7 nights he does not and wakes Rachel and/or me up to sleep with him (typically only Rachel will do).  Sometimes she will, other times she won’t.

11.  It’s really hard to tell him to go back to bed when he says, “But I’m scared.”  Yet, the boy knows how to play you.  However, so what?  Thus, our 4:15 am. conundrum.

12.  He has been eating…everything.  He was not eating much before he left and basically ate nothing in Philly.  The boy wasn’t fat to begin with.  His first day at the pool was a scary one for anyone there.  Basically once he got back the eating began and it hasn’t stopped.  This was even before the doctor gave him a script for an appetite stimulant.  That took it to a whole new level.  He eats everything, all day.

13.  An example would be, for breakfast one egg, toast, 3 pieces of sausage, dry cereal, a banana, a cup of blueberries, 4 strawberries, a nectarine, a yogurt, then…combo’s, string cheese, a frozen go-gurt, cheese crackers, bag of popcorn, orange juice, milk, all before 11:30 am.

14.  Another example of a specific item would be the other day when I (who got to get up after the kids…yay!) came downstairs and noticed a tupperware in the sink.  I asked Trey what he had eaten “for breakfast” to which he replied, “that yogurt cottage cheese.”  That “yogurt cottage cheese” was a full can of heavy coconut cream (think the condensed base ingredient for coconut cream pie).  It is so heavy that it stayed in the can upside down.  It has the consistency of smearable PlayDough.

15.  I gave Joe a job of pulling weeds on our walk ways around our house and in the mulched swing set areas.  Upon completion of said pulling (with a mask on) he was to spray week killer on the area (without killing the grass).  I must say he did a fine job.

16.  Bella wanted in on his action (it was a paid gig) and lasted roughly 5 minutes.

17.  Bella shrieked and ran away when Joe found and Rachel tried to show our little scientist a locust/cicada shell.  She came back minutes later holding a handful of worms that she began to manually dissect.

18.  One way Bella is not exactly like her mother is that she (Bella) is the huggiest hugger whoever hugged and needed a hug.  So, I hug her a lot.

19.  Joe has a new way of walking that is kind of a slow, forward moving “running man”.  It’s really funny, especially because he does it when you aren’t inherently paying attention.  He does it in case you notice.  It’s really a high level of comedy.

20.  Bella is very good at playing outside by herself.

21.  Joe, who struggles at creative writing, will play with his Leggo’s forever and has made up many very detailed creative scenes and dialogues.

22.  Both Joe and Bella got straight A’s.

23.  Rachel has done amazing work redecorating our living room.

24.  Other than the carpet, I have done an amazing job of keeping the costs to an absolute minimum (as has Rachel).

25.  In one day, Rachel took the kids on a two hour hike on a trail in the woods in the morning and then the Pirate game that evening (I had open gym).

26.  Trey is now super into “walking taco’s.”

27.  Our entry way leaked again after 4 dry years.

28.  Trey has finagled a “nachos” snack into the pool going experience.  They always get to buy a piece of candy or treat at the end of a pool visit but he was somehow made the chips/nachos (which was a one time because he wouldn’t get in and the “monkeys” were having a great time so I did what I could to keep him satiated while Rachel was painting at home thing) into a regular expectation.  Well played boy…well played.

29.  Again, a two night getaway for Rachel and me would be an absolute dream.  To be able to sleep in and not have to check out for another whole day would be miraculous.  Given our current state, it ain’t happening anytime soon.

30.  Seven to ten days would be better but being greedy even in dreams is never a good thing.

31.  Grilling with pecan wood chips (progane grill, smoker box w/wood chips just for flavor) is delightful.

32. I’m very excited about where things are with the church (I’m Pastoring Faith Community Church).  I’m more excited about where things will be and the lives that are and will be changed.

Thank you for continuing to be there with and for us.

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