Saturday, June 30, 2012

Logan asks

Five year old Logan asked: Isaac, do you want any more brothers or sisters?

 (Isaac would like it to be noted that he wasn't so much in the mood to write today.) 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sissy asks

Isaac, We have a Mastiff- like your dogs. He is huge, and playful, but can also be destructive. (He chewed a hole in our bumper!) Do you have any good Mastiff training hints to pass along? We want him to protect our house well, but still be gentle with our girls and their friends who visit. Thanks- Sissy
Here are some crazily helpful mastiff tips. Mastiffs love food right? So what I do is I get a loaf of bread and teach how to do that trick. Since we have 2 dogs I have to train em separately. If that does not work Noah helps me and that's how my dogs learned - sit, shake, stay, lay, speak.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kim C. asks ..

Hi Issac my name is Kim. I am a missionary photographer and have been to Haiti a few times, before and after the earthquake. I briefly met your dad and sister at a Wednesday prayer meeting at the school. What is the best way to help children in Haiti? Especially the ones who may still be afraid because of the earthquake. What do you think is the best way to tell kids about Jesus?

Isaac's rough draft:

Isaac's edit:
Dear Kim,
I think the best way to help kids who are still frightened because of the earthquake is to try to get them to know that God will take care of them.  For example, you could tell them some stuff about how you were once scared of something and how God auspiciously fixed it and helped you with your fear. It is good for kids to know that grown-ups have had God's help. I think the best way to tell kids about Jesus is to comfort them in a way that YOU would want to be comforted.  I also think you could read the Bible to them to share Jesus. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nick asks ...

Hi Isaac, My name is Nick, I'm 29 years old and live in America, (though I'm writing this letter to you from Papua, Indonesia). I'm currently travelling all the way around the world... but I've also visited Haiti twice before. I'm considering moving to Haiti! So I have a question for you about language. I know Creole is spoken the most, and so I know I will need to learn Creole first. But what about French? Will I need to learn French too in order to live and function in your country?
Thank you! ~nick
 Isaac said - "Oops, my last sentence doesn't really make sense.  Sorry about that. I just meant that you can stick to Creole/Kreyol for most of the kinds of things you need to do in Haiti."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trish asks ...

Hi Isaac! My name is Trish and I really enjoy your writing, and your insights. My question for you is: What is one thing that you wish that adults would better understand?

Rough draft:

Corrected/edited by Isaac:

Dear Trish,
The one thing I wish adults would fathom is "energy".
Kids are very energetic but at times adults say we can't be and sometimes adults want their kids to be LESS energetic and want them to calm down. How is that not tedious for adults to hold still and talk?  It seems very tedious to me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gwenn Asks ...

Hello Isaac. I have a parenting question for you. I know you're not a parent, but, since you have so many brothers and sisters, you might be able to offer advice. Like you, we have a big family that lives in Haiti. Our five-year-old son, Josiah, is a great kid. We love him like crazy, but he can be very naughty at times. He has a tendency to hit his brothers and sisters, and he doesn't respect one of our staff members well-- he'll say ugly things and yell at her. What kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for these situations? Really looking forward to your advice!

It's imperative that you get your child to respect his elders. So I will list some stuff corresponding to the appropriate offense. When he hits his siblings you should probably slap him (I mean his hand) if that doesn't work you should try a spanking or a "Dobson", which is pinching him on the shoulder.  When he says rude stuff or bites, you should put soap in his mouth.  The thing is, I've never had soap in my mouth and I never plan to. It's inevitable to keep happening. Good luck.  I don't have any experience so you might wanna ask someone else or ask God.

a note from Isaac's parents:
The "Dobson" (our name for it) used to be a Livesay family go-to maneuver. It comes from the ancient libraries at some totally obscure place called focus on the family. It was found in the controversial book "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson. (We've changed a bit since then and we'd maybe choose a different book now.)

We have never been very good at knowing what is appropriate punishment and we FOR SURE know we have failed and both under reacted and over reacted many times during our long and undistinguished parenting career   ....  But "the Dobson" sends the spanking message   - without spanking - It only became popular with us in public places on occasion because nobody wants to make a scene but a little pinch on the shoulder muscle can send a strong message and still be discreet. Most of the time we could just whisper  "Do you need a Dobson?" and that alone did the trick.

Our kids think "Dobsons" are a universally known form of correction. :-) Phoebe used to think shoulders were called Dobsons.  
Don't judge us.

Also - What Isaac said ... don't ask us - ask God.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Virginia asks

Hi Isaac, What a great summer project! I’ve been to Haiti 3 times and riding in a vehicle is a bit frightening because of all the honking and crazy driving. Do you ever get nervous or afraid while riding? How do you stay busy while riding? Do you think some day you will be brave enough to drive in Haiti? Blessings from Virginia A.  A Fan From Indiana
A fan from Indiana,
Yes, it's true the driving in Haiti is pretty pandemonium. Sometimes I do get nervous while riding. For example, people may throw rocks at cars for a specific reason. I stay busy while riding when I talk to my siblings or bring some stuff to color on or draw. My Dad drives with gravity - meaning seriousness. Yes, I think I'll be able to drive in Haiti. The traffic problems are very incessant. 

Saintly Nurse asks

Isaac, it is so fun to read your answers to everyone's questions! You are a smart fella! We have a question: If you could invite one person (anyone who has ever lived) to eat dinner at your house, who would you invite and why?

"The best news ever is that my Aunt TINA is coming to see me in Haiti in 7 days!!!!! I really cannot wait! It will be awesome and it will be a total blast and she will be here for a long time but it will go too fast I think. We're going to have a ton of stuff to do when she is here and I hope to have all the energy that I need to do everything fun when she comes here." -Isaac

Friday, June 22, 2012

Elizabeth asks ...

Hi Isaac, If you could do one thing for every person in Haiti, what would that be? Also, What would you like to be doing ten years from now? From Elizabeth C., a long time Livesay blog reader
Isaac's verbal correction to this note after he realized that this is not super clear: (exact quote)
"I'd probably just be in college learning how to be a vet, maybe I will be at Baylor? I think in ten years when I am 20 I might also start dating someone and maybe I'll be making friends at college."

Additionally - Noah would like to add what he thinks he will be doing in ten years -
"I will be trying to work at a restaurant and I might be dating when I am 18. I will want to date a girl that speaks English. Um. Wellll. If I am in college when I am 18 I'd be at Baylor and meeting people and trying to get used to that college. Maybe I will play baseball then, but maybe not because I'm not so good at it yet. I will have to keep thinking about this." 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SophieSara asks

Isaac, Thanks for sharing all of your fabulous insight! I had sent a question awhile back regarding what you think makes a great teacher. It would be helpful to have your answer this week if possible since I will be training teachers in Haiti this weekend. Blessings to you young man! 

Quoting Isaac - "Hmmmm. So Sophie Sara is going to train teachers. That sounds like it might be hard."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Patty asks

Hi Issac, I have 3 questions: 1) I would like to be an adoptive parent one day. What do you want current and future adoptive parents to know about adoption? 2) When I was growing up, computers, iPhones, Facebook, and Twitter did not exist. What do you think about technology and social media (Facebook and Twitter)? 3) What questions do you have for your readers? Thanks for your insights, Issac! I have learned a lot from you already! Patty

Quoting Isaac:
"Hi Patty- Here are some questions I have for the readers.  How old were you when you got your first job before you went to college?  I ask that question because my Mom was asking me and Hope and Noah what we would like to do for a first job? Also I would like to know where people that read my column live and how many kids they have if they have any kids." 

Becky asks

Isaac, with Paige gone you're the oldest sibling. What do you think about being the oldest?
For sure with Paige going to college soon the place will not be the same as usual. We won't have Paige-sized parties such as dance parties and outside parties. It will be hard being the oldest sibling at home. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Andy asks ...

Hey Isaac, my name is Andy and I'm fifteen and we just got matched with a 3 year old girl from Haiti. I was just wondering if you had any good tips so I can be a good brother. Thanks.

Hi Andy your older than me so you may know a lot more tips then me. Here are some tips that I try doing to be a good brother. Sometimes my little sisters Phoebe (5) and Lydia (4) may wanna do stuff I don't want to do like swim or color but I do it with them to be loving. Another is include them in stuff you are doing like when I play video games like Mario Kart or SuperSmash Bros. and Pokemon battling. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Angia asks

Hi, Isaac! You're doing a great job on your blog. I've really enjoyed reading it. I have a question for you: Your parents talk a lot about your sister Paige and how awesome she is as a daughter. Would you please describe what it is that makes her an awesome sister? (Maybe your siblings would like to weigh in on this with you.) I'm sure you're all missing Paige very much, now that she has gone to California for the summer. Thanks (in advance) for answering! ~Angia

By Noah

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brazenlilly asks

Your vocabulary is very impressive, Mr. Isaac. I'm extremely eager to read your future posts--even if they don't have big words. Here's a quick question: what do you watch on TV in Haiti? Do you get channels in English or Creole? Or do you mostly watch DVD's? Thanks!

(Junk drive is commonly known as a jump drive. When he says "In Haiti it's probably not the best place to have channels", he means that the programming on local channels can be pretty risque and a lot of it is MTV type programming. He's repeating what he has been told about why we don't bother getting reception of the Haiti channels at our house.) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chapter Two asks

Chapter Two said:  Hi Isaac! I love Haitian food and American food. My favorites are Griyot and pizza. Do you have favorites, too? You are a very smart young man.
 Love, Kristie, mommy to three children all born in Haiti (by adoption)

casadia = quesadilla 

Bec and Baz & Christine ask

Rebecca and Barry (Bec and Baz to us) asked: Isaac if you could have a super power what would you choose?

(Photo cut off)
Hi you guys I really miss you and I can't wait for you to come back to Haiti. It has been so long. Back to the question. I fI could have a super power it would be to wish anything I wanted. So if I wished a power I would have to stick with that power for a month.


Christine has left a new comment on your post: 

Dear Isaac, 

I live in Haiti (just like you), and when I'm having a bad day, I like to read your blog because it makes me smile. My question is: "If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and what would you call your superhero alter ego?" 

HI Christine -
Where do you live in Haiti?  I answered that I want to have the power to make any wish and change the wish after a month. My superhero alter ego name is "WISH BOY".  Thanks for asking me this.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anne & Shari Ask

Isaac my friend! I am so excited about your column on the blog and like the questions you're being asked. I think mine is - What is your favorite part of Haiti and what's your favorite part of America? Because Texas misses you! Sending a hug - Anne M.


What do you think is the very best thing about living in Haiti? Do you think you could find that 'very best thing' in America somewhere?
Shari R 

(He loves people. His favorite things are people.)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

curt/stephanie & tim/amie ask

Curt & Stephane T. said: Hi Isaac! I enjoy reading all of the nice things your family says about you. My question is - what do you think makes you so optimistic and what can I do to help my own kids be more optimistic?

Similar question ... 

Amie and Tim said: I have a question for Isaac. The world can be a hard place (you should know, living in Haiti). How do you stay happy? Looking forward to your answer. We're big fans! Tim and Amie

Note from Isaac's parental unit - These questions about how he is the way he is are entertaining to watch him answer. He so wants to give you the "right" answer.  Nine of us in this family, only one with this bouncy, happy, upbeat, curious, extroverted, glass mostly full personality.

After he read his answers to these two questions back to me he said, "Well. It's probably just the way God made me but I will still tell them this answer I wrote."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jon asks

Plane or Boat? Isaac, if you could own and be the pilot of your own plane...or captain of your own boat, which would you pick? And why would you pick it? Jon
I'd be the pilot of neither of them. Because piloting a boat could be dangerous, you could run into a storm our at sea or you could crash. Pioloting a plane would take a lot of practice and would be fun but still dangerous to me.  What if the plane ran into a thunderstorm - that would be disasterous.

(Hi Jon and family! - Isaac is the most literal person we know.  So he assumes you mean that right this minute with zero training or education he would need to choose to do one of those.  He is also one of the more cautious people we know ... in case you didn't pick up on that. :) Thanks for writing him!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keight asks

keight dukes has left a new comment on your post:
My questions: who reminds you the most of Jesus in your life? What is the most surprising thing that has ever happened to you? What is one thing that you like much more about Haiti than the US? How do you achieve such a bright smile? Would it be more fun to watch your mom play the guitar and sing or watch your dad run 13 miles?

(Keight - Isaac took a bit of time considering all of this. He struggled with "How do you achieve such a bright smile?" because he seemed to think he needed to actually *know* HOW he does that?!?!?  I finally told him he was making it too hard and to just go for it.  :-)   Enjoy!

1) The person who reminds me the most of Jesus is probably Joanna T. She is very generous, kind and loving just like Jesus is. 2) The most suprising thing that happened to me was being in a destructively devastating earthquake that demolished a ton of builds. Another surprising thing was we had to eat unpleasent tasting M.R.Es and like two hours later we had to leave our parents and go to this dark black fan. The van took us to the airport, which is where we boarded an enourmous military plane and we ended up in NewJersey air force base. None of us knew we were going there not even my parents that were in Haiti knew. Then we flew to Texas which is where Brittany and Chris picked us up.

3) The things I like more about Haiti than America is probably the food and land including the beaches. I really love Haitian food so much, it's probably because I'm Haitian.
4) I have a lot of white teeth and my smile could have been passed on from my first mom.
5) I think watching my mom play guitar would be funny because she never plays instruments. So it would be fun watching (her) play guitar and sing. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jaime & Jean ask

Hi Isaac! This is a really cool summer project!! You probably don't remember me, but I've known your grandpa & grandma Porter along with your mom and aunt Tina for many years. My Question: What is your favorite Bible verse and why? Thanks and have a great day! Jean Jackson - from Minnesota


 GREAT IDEA! Isaac, I have two questions. 1) What is your favorite bible verse? 2) I have two little kids (2 and 3). Do you have any advice for them about being a kid and growing up? Can't wait to read your posts!

Tricia asks

Hi Isaac! I used to live in Haiti (and had many good meals at Beth's house!) My question is this: I'm coming back to Haiti in June for a visit. Since it's been so long since I lived there, can you tell me three fun things to do or places to see while I'm there??
Thanks so much! Tricia

Tricia -
Isaac said to tell you, "Maybe you know all of these and if you do then please tell me some more."  He also might need to hear about the hiking opportunities in Canada. He's imagining a flat country. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Britt asks

Britt has left a new comment on your post:
Oh my goodness, I am so excited to read your column! My question is what are some of your favorite memories of our family's experiences in Haiti? And also, do you know how much I love you?! -britty

Monday, June 4, 2012

June asks

june has left a new comment on your post " Beautiful handwriting Isaac! I have a nine year old son and he would like to know, "What is your most favourite and least favourite subject at school?"

My favorite subjects are vocab and spelling. I am a formidable opponent when it comes to those 2 subjects. Here are some words and definitions. Amiable - friendly, agreeable - Adept - skilled expert - Vehemently - strongly violently intesely - Tedious - long tiring - Auspicious - favorable pointing to a good result - Adverse - unfavorable dircted against a person or a thing.  My leaset favorite subject is Math. here's 2 examples ... 

Linda asks

Linda has left a new comment:  Hi Isaac. I am a teacher and wondered what your favorite thing about school is and what is your least favorite thing? How long does it usually take for you to do your homework?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Noah asks

Isaac with Peanut, our six and a half year old Mastiff

"Hi! My name is Noah Freng. I live in South Dakota. My mom reads your parents blog a lot and I like watching your christmas videos. I have a big family too-there are 7 of us. A funny fact about my family and your family is that we both have a Noah and an Isaac. Isaac is my little brother. I am wondering about your pets. What kind do you have? What kind do you wish you had? What do you like MOST about living in Haiti? I look forward to hearing from you!"

Isaac took a break for the weekend, Noah (8) answered this:

Isaac wanted some help today so Noah answered this for him.

Isaac said: "Our two dogs are Mastiffs, that is a very large breed. One of our dogs (Peanut) is about 125 pounds and the other one is not full grown yet and weighs about 115 pounds.  The other funny thing is that next week we are getting a turtle from another missionary that doesn't want it anymore. Soon we will have two dogs and one turtle. Also, we used to have a hermit crab but we accidentally killed him."  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Karen Asks

Isaac - I love your new blog and will be adding it to the list I read daily. Here's my question for you: Our 10 year old daughter would like to come to Haiti with us when we pick up her little sister (age 2). We get to stay in Cap-Haitien for a week before we can bring her home. Do you think she should come along with us? I know she will love all of the other kids. I just worry about the heat. She's not a fan of beans and rice either. What do you think? xoxo - Karen

"It's way more different compared to america."    

Lori Asks

Lori said: I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada and one of my family's favorite places to vacation is in the Dominican Republic. Your mom wrote about the vacation you and your family took there earlier this year. Would you write a post about your vacation there and tell us the good--and bad--about your time there?