Our family has added two additions since starting this blog: Caleb Louis who is almost three and Genesis Faith who is not quite one and a half. How I treasure their snuggles and giggles but I often feel so inept at the same time. It seems like by child eight and nine, I should feel like I know what I'm doing and to some degree I do but they certainly stretch me.
We've, also, seen two kids try their wings. I am so happy for them and all that they are doing but how I miss their everyday presence. Joshua is living in his own apartment and enjoys the quiet, while Jared is at college about 3 hours away. Jared has been doing ministry at OSU and hopes to go on a missions trip to France this summer in order to work with current missionaries and record footage to bring awareness of what their needs are.
We've also added another puppy named Henry. He gets his name from Cinderella's prince. Can you tell he's Kristin's dog? She is looking into dog training and breeding, so Asa could be a mommy someday soon. Kristin would especially like to train service dogs. In the meantime, she works at Chick-fil-A with Matthew and Victoria. Victoria is a manager at Chick-fil-A even though she is only a senior in high school this year. She is taking all her classes at college though and it kind of feels like she already graduated. She is deciding what her next step will be after graduation.
Noah and Eli have healed from the whole Puppy incident and they are happy healthy kids. They love sports and friends and JBQ. Noah's JBQ team has been to Nationals the past two years. The first year they took 27th place out of 80 teams and last year they were in ninth place. They have high hopes for this their final year. Noah and Eli have a paper route that they share but Noah is really the manager of it. He certainly has a way with leading and running things. Eli would rather jump on the trampoline with the neighbors or act in a musical. Both are doing great in school.
Matthew is taking electrical at Penta and excelling which is no surprise. He could have been named Bob the Builder. "Can he fix it? Yes, he can." He bought a car and is always tinkering to fix something. He put radios in all his siblings cars as well as his own. He has kept a basically dead lawn mower running for about three summers now. But most notably, he was absolutely crucial to finishing our second bathroom. We were working on it when Puppy was shot and a series of events occurred that pretty much brought it's completion to a halt for a couple years. Jared decided to change that and Matthew was going to help, however, Jared ended up working 12 hour days or more that summer and couldn't really keep it going. Matthew wasn't deterred and by fall we had a beautiful new and complete second bathroom. I loved watching this quiet boy grow up and become a very competent and responsible young man. Working next to him was a true joy.
I pray this summer will be a joy for all of us as we are about to embark on an adventure that seems quite overwhelming. Marty has finally found a job that he enjoys and it pays the bills. What a freeing feeling it is to not dread each new month because it means a new payment is due yet again. God has been kind but it does put Marty on the road A LOT, so the rest of us are going to have to really pull together to make this happen. But none of it could happen without the income that Marty is bringing in.
We are finally going to fix this house. We have tried to find any other way but after talking to several contractors and researching and trying to think creatively we've determined that the best most efficient way to do all the work that needs to be done is to tear out all the walls, run new electrical, insulate and put up new walls. We cannot live here in that kind of mess, so for a little bit we will be moving out and sleeping at several different homes but coming to the house daily armed with dust masks to complete the work so we can be moved back in before school starts again in the fall. Yeah, even just typing that causes me to break out in a sweat. We have to be nuts! But we are spending most of our resources hiring out the roof, siding and windows because we have to make sure the outside is done right. If we get an inside wall a little crooked at least that won't let the rain in. So we have to put a lot of sweat equity into the rest and pray that things are as easy as they look on YouTube videos.
We are currently purging and packing so we can get started as soon as school is out this summer. I'm hoping to buy a bunch of food and fill a freezer with premade meals so I don't have to worry about food while we focus on the house. We are even trying to figure out as best we can what supplies we will need. This allows us to shop together when Marty is home, so that when it comes time to needing those supplies we've already discussed and decided what we want, just in case he's traveling at the time we need to get them. I have a feeling Kristin will be the little mother watching the little ones and running errands to get those supplies. I worry that I won't be able to give the little ones the time they need because of the house and the older kids all have jobs, besides trying to help build a house but we will give it our very best. We've already decided that one day a week is our day of rest. We want to honor God in this and allow room for him to do what He does best plus it gives us a day to focus on just being a family. I'm so excited to think of what the end result could be but I feel so so so incompetent.
It is with confidence in God that we are going forward. We have tried so many different ways to restore this once beautiful home back to what it was. We've had so many broken promises along the way that have hurt and had to be worked through. But God has made a way where there seemed to be no way and we are ready to face yet another adventure. I'll do my best to keep you up to date.
Many Blessings to you,