Once upon a time....

Flash back to 1999, we were a family of four. Happy in our new roomy house and comfortable in our ways. A few years later, the Lord blessed us with an additional little package, little boy #3. Now we were a family of five and sure that would be the end. As time moved on, so did we. The Lord used the time that passed to open our eyes to His will. Several years ago, Bob and I individually heard the call to adoption. It has been a long "pregnancy", but during this incubation time, the Lord has brought us to where He wants us to be. Spring 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia where two little angels were waiting for the Lord's timing - to become our children. Now we are home and can't imagine life any differently! What a blessing to be in His will.

Galatians 4:5 says "God sent Christ to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." We are just following his model. A Perfect picture of salvation.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More Branson Photos

Here are some pictures of the Go-carting fun and Levi asleep on the bench.

Such sweet memories.


Living it up in Branson, Missouri

We had a great time in Branson. We spent three days flip-flopping back and forth between Silver Dollar City and Celebration City....and fireworks shows....and then there was also the go-carting! One picture really sums it all up...the one of Levi fast asleep on a bench in Silver Dollar City. We really wore ourselves out. Our campsite was literally a place to park the camper, but as it turns out we really weren't there much. As a result, I feel the need to find a campground to park the camper and relax for a weekend. We found out that the boys really were all talk when it came to the roller coaster style rides. Marshall didn't mind the heights, but didn't like being shaken to pieces. Alex had to know that he was in control - not many rides offered that! He really got into the water play items at Silver Dollar City. Unfortunately that resulted in throwing away three pairs of tennis shoes and shopping for new ones when we got home. It did rain on us some, but that just kept the numbers down at the parks and the weather somewhat cool. What a blessing since we were sleeping in the camper (no a/c). Our campground did have really nice bathrooms in a clubhouse (for those of you who can't imagine being away from running water). A tip for those of you who may go down to Branson someday, the "Track" go-carts have a place online that you can pay for "credit" in advance for almost half-price. Also, if you go right when they open, the lines are almost non-existent. They even had some for Levi's size/age. Anyway, we had such a good time. The kids are already talking about when we will go again!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

More House!

We finally have a hard top! Today they put the "plywood" top on the rafters. We are expecting some light rain early tomorrow morning, but the roofers are scheduled to come tomorrow and then we will be water tight! Please pray that the rain misses us! I know that is what we will be asking for! This project has really been fun so far (minus the waterfall in the basement), and we are looking forward to a finished space!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Boys of Summer

Yes, Marshall and Levi are both playing for the Durham Bulls, but on different teams. Levi is on a t-ball team and Marshall is on a machine-pitch team. Both are having such fun. In the picture of Levi at bat, well, he saw me taking his picture and was kind enough to stop and smile, but then kept smiling and wouldn't hit the ball. I had to put the camera down to let him get back to baseball! Marshall is quite a player and prefers to be in the infield. However, even when he does his time in the outfield, he manages to keep his head in the game! Don't they look cute?!

Coming along slowly!

Well - despite rain and more rain, we are finally on the road to the "dry" state of building. A few weekends ago, Bob and I went down to the basement to get some wrapping paper and found Niagara Falls coming in the back wall of our existing house. It was quite distressing. Bob ran to Wal-mart at midnight to buy a very large tarp which we spent three additional hours attaching to the house and out over the new portion. As it turns out, when you cut the siding to attach the new floor, it really lets the water in! Since this picture, we now have doors and windows in the openings and rafters on the top! We are told that in about a day and a half, we will have a water tight roof. We obviously have some work to do to bring the old and new together and it will get a little messy, but we are hopeful that we will be all moved in and settled by the end of July. Yes, we are naive and ambitious. Check back for updates!

Friday, May 4, 2007

This not-so-old house

Many of you know that we are adding a little space to our house. Originally, it was to accommodate the two children we were hoping to adopt. Well, now it is to accommodate an unknown additional member - or two - to our family that the Lord will, in time, bring to our door. So, the project goes on. Having the floor poured included tearing up the patio that we have only had for four years. That was sad. It was a big one and we have enjoyed it tremendously. A good friend of ours from church did the concrete work. He even left his bobcat here overnight for the boys (all four! Bob, Alex, Marshall, and Levi) to play with. I just have to say, whoever thought it was a good idea to let a 5-year-old drive a bobcat by himself, didn't foresee a five-year-old's ability to dream up doing doughnuts with a bobcat! The video is quite funny! All four boys got to drive the bobcat and we have the pictures to prove it! What fun! So, we now frost footings and a floor poured AND we wait for the framer. We have had a lot of rain this week, so I am sure that puts us farther down the road on getting the framing going. Bob is the General Contractor for this project and has been pleased that so far the budget is going quite well. Check back for more photos.

Found a Peanut!

Let me introduce you to our puppy, Peanut. He is half shis-tzu and half bichon. We received some really good advice about kenneling the puppy whenever he was not being played with or watched. This has proved to be quite beneficial as he is very comfortable with hanging out in his kennel and does not cry when directed to go there. What a blessing. We acquired him December 27th and have been loving him ever since. He really is a good puppy. He does great pottying outside. The only problem is that he is pretty good at pottying inside also! With the addition going on the house and new carpet in our future, we are eager to get this issue settled. Any suggestions? Levi successfully took Peanut to "Pet Day" at preschool. That was fun (sarcasm!). Anyway, enjoy the pictures. ~Audra

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Change of plans

Most of you are aware of the journey my family and I have been traveling over the past months as we moved towards fostering, and then eventually adopting, two sweet children from the Jackson County Family Services Division. Yesterday was the scheduled court date for the change in foster placement, moving these kids from their current foster placement to our home. Unfortunately, it was decided that this placement was not a match for all parties involved; these kids will not be coming to live with us. I apologize for the vague explanation; however, for the sake of the foster children and our family, this is as much information that I can divulge at this time.

My wife and I thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers throughout the past months. We ask for your continued prayers for the two foster children -- that they would heal from this disappointment, and that a forever family would be found for them; and prayers for our family, as we grieve this loss and look forward to what God has in store for us in the coming days.


Friday, April 20, 2007

"Adding" to the confusion!

We are in the midst of an overnight visit with our kids. We have been on one long bike ride and two short walks. We have played basketball and made cookies. The current challenge is to settle them down and head towards bed. Let's just say it is a bit loud right now. There is some kind of game of chase going on around the "racetrack" that passes through our entryway, dining room, and tv room. It appears as a short break is being taken in the tv room. I hope they will sleep well after all of this! This will be the first of several crazy nights I am sure!

The title of this posting uses the word "adding"... We have successfully obtained our building permit (to add 1100 square feet to the house), had the frost footings and newest foundation floor poured. Now we wait for the framer to become available (about two weeks they say). Bob took the day off to "supervise". It was hard to just watch. In fact Bob and I got sunburned "watching". The guy that was in charge of the foundation work goes to our church and left the bobcat here overnight for us to "play" with. I have included pictures of that event. Let's just say, letting a 5 year old drive the bobcat alone....crazy idea!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

TaeKwonDo Testing

Bob, Alex and Marshall recently completed testing for their yellow belt in TaeKwonDo. They all performed quite well. At one point, Bob and Alex had to demonstrate "no-contact sparing" as shown in one of the pictures above. Marshall was the most focused I have seen in a long time!

Just getting started

Hello web-family! We have been recently introduced to the "blog" world. I suppose that means we are getting old. With so many changes coming our way, we wanted to find a common place that you all can visit when you are wondering how we are doing. Well, this is our attempt to keep you informed without loading up your email folder. We will still send you an occasional email, but for the most part, we will update this blog site and try to include pictures when we can. I am sure this will become my new distraction!