Red Shoes

(This is a continuation of the post from 6/3/17 titled Meet Lorisa.)

They are Lorisa’s favorite– her red high top tennis shoes. You see them somewhere on almost every page of the book. When they are on her feet — always untied.
There is a the back story about red shoes. Lori’s oldest boy played little league baseball like many boys do when they are seven and eight years old, but you will not hear of his name in the MLB because it was soon discovered that his gift was numbers and baseball stats. He is a successful financial consultant today. Oh, but he did have a pair of coveted red baseball shoes that he passed down to my oldest boy two years younger. My oldest wore the flashy red shoes for one year of little league. He soon realized that baseball was not for him the day the coach had to yell out to him in the outfield “take the glove off your head!” Today he volunteers his attention and time to young kids through the Big Brother program who are also at times are being told “to take the glove off your head.”

Next, the red shoes were handed down to my middle child. They were actually a size too big and flopped on his feet the first year he wore them. However, the minute he put them on and a teammate said “cool,” it was like those shoes were magic. He wore them for the next two years until the rubber cleats were completely worn down. You will not find his name in the MLB either. He traded his passion for baseball for a career as a sales analyst. Lori and I share cherished stories of a little boy who looked up to his older brother and older family friend so much and insisted on wearing red shoes a size too big for him. He was even nicknamed “Red Shoes” for a few years.

So as you read the pages of NOT YET and see a cute little girl proudly wearing her high top tennis shoes, you now know the precious memories that Lori and I share of “red shoes.”

Why are Lorisa’s shoes always untied …… because “she’s not quite there yet. She’ll get there. You bet!”

NOT YET….. coming soon!

By:  Lisa Cox & Lori Hockema



More Than Running Up the Score


img_5374.pngWhat can you say about a dad who has shown you such unconditional love all your life? How do you express your gratitude for a man who has pointed you to the way of faith by his leadership of his family? What can you do for a man who gives and gives and gives to his grandchildren, children, community? It’s hard to give him gifts because he is content with a simple pair of khaki pants, blue v-neck sweater, and always the brown leather loafers on his feet– a man of well-groomed, simple tastes.

My dad’s best attribute and funniest to share is his constant giving. He is a giver.

When my middle son was in 2nd Grade, the class went on a field trip to see The Nutcracker. My Tyler was intrigued by nutcrackers and asked for one at Christmas. I could not find a cheap one, so I asked my dad to look for one at a sale. My dad is a avid antique collector. Well, he found one. In fact, in line with how he does things, he found 40. Tyler got 40 nutcrackers for Christmas that year.

When I started co-writing music a few years ago, I asked him to look for a cheap guitar or piano keyboard. I got one. I got two. The girl with little musical sense who really only needs a pen and paper to co-write music, now owns 5 guitars, a mandolin, 2 keyboards, a French horn, a trombone, and an accordion that is bigger than me. I stopped him from buying the clarinet!

I could go on and on with these stories of giving that make me laugh and warm my heart. It’s how he loves us, and he does it well.

My dad grew up poor. I’ve heard the story countless times. “When I went to college, all I had with me was a paper sack on my lap with all I owned.” He had a passion and talent that got him to college. He could shoot the lights out of a basketball. And that is the life I have always known– basketball. From his college’s Hall of Fame and All Century Team to To His induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, my dad found his way “running up the score.”

However, that’s not my dad. He may be a fierce competitor on the court, but off the court you will see a gentle man walking a little fluff white dog that he adores. His love for animals is a part of his charm.

So, in the only way I know how to express my love for my dad, “Dad, here are your song lyrics. You have taught me that life is ‘more Than Running Up the score!'”

More Than Running Up the Score

Old rusted hoop Nailed to a pole
In a dirt backyard court so long ago
hours rehearsing for that final scene
The last second shot that goes in clean
He battles the neighbors living next door
Bring it shooting hoops 4 on 4
This is how he thought life would be
Always Fighting for victory

Teenage years brought lots of praise
In College his records still stand today
he coached his own high school team for years
Each Friday night the crowd went wild with cheers
the trophies came and the small town fame
Everybody knew his name
But he found victory in a different place
Through the years relied on grace

On Sundays he hears the church bells ring
The hymns of old he loves to sing
Faith is the victory he was searching for
So much more than running up the score

what he learned outside that gym floor
Life was so much more
so much score
Than running up the score
so much more
Than running up that score

It’s a Boy!


When I was pregnant with my third, after having two boys, I was deeply sure it was going to be a girl. I don’t know why. I just did. My mother was in another state on vacation when I went into labor. She waited anxiously with a pink outfit in her hand because she had a hunch, too. Unlike what is popular now, we wanted the words “It’s a girl!” to be a surprise to us when we first heard them.

I wasn’t desperate for a girl. In fact, part of raising a girl scared me a little because as a school counselor I have sat with many brooding girls with arms crossed claiming, “She’s not my friend anymore!” The world of girls is complicated.

When the doctor lifted up my baby to see and said, “It’s a boy!” I remember not feeling one ounce of disappointment. I took one look at my third boy and thought, “Oh, it’s you. It’s always been you!” Through this pregnancy, I have always been in love with you.” The pink was put away without the least little disappointment.

Now, I do recall the teasing of the older brothers, when boy number three was older. I can still hear them saying, “Mom, I wish we had a sister. Oh wait, we do!” They would point at their youngest brother, and ¬†another brotherly battle made the house shake once more.

No I have no regrets being the mom of all boys.
However, every once in a while, I will spend time with a girl with whom I will form a bond, and get a hint of what it would be like to have a girl. Mostly, they are the girls of my good friends. There are many — Erin, Grace, Hannah, Lauren, Rachie, and many, many others. It’s funny, instead of feeling regret, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be a part of their lives….. and a little sense of relief that I do not have the girl drama and wedding expense! Just kidding.

I was with a little 5 year old girl that touched my heart in this way again today. Her name is Sophia. Her mom and I talked for a long time at Starbucks while she waited patiently. When we parted, she hugged me and said, “I will love you forever 100 times.” Thank you, Sophia. Only a 5 year old girl knows how to love forever 100 times. Thank you to all of my friends for sharing your very special girls with me.