Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hayden and his sisters...

The girls were invited to a birthday party at the local school of cosmetology. They had so much fun! They got their hair done, their finger nails and toe nails done too. They each thought it was so cool. I think they walked around the rest of the day feeling like Hannah Montana (a pop star/average girl series on Disney channel). You know, there are some really expensive places to have the same thing done, but this was by far the best. They even included the goody bag for each girl.

Kate Turns 12

Wow, can you believe she is 12? We can't either. She has started babysitting and usually has more money than I do in her purse. She wanted one thing only for her birthday and that was a green ipod. We did have her put some of her own money in towards getting it. She 'sacrificed' some of her allowance for 4 months in order to get it. Boy was she excited to finally get it.

Tammy came to visit

Audra and Tammy

Hayden, Rachel and Kara

When we lived in Florida, we met some great friends there. The Leech family are some of those friends. Scott and Tammy stopped to visit us recently on their way to Pittsburgh to see family. Tammy and I became friends through our neighbor at the time. We have seen them both give their life to Christ, have two more children they didn't think they would have, and become the AWANA commander and secretary in the short time we have known them. It is such a blessing to see God grow your friends closer to Him and to see how He calls them to serve. This visit was such a fun time of reflection and looking forward at what God is going to do in our lives.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A new chapter in our lives...

We have some news to share with you and ask you to pray with us during this transition. The Air Force has been undergoing a Reduction In Forces and cutting many jobs. We have been on the list this year and just got word that John will not be retained. His last active duty date is January 29, 2008. As we found out that our name was on this list months ago, we prayed that God would guide us and direct our paths and we acknowledged that He was in control. Certainly, we thought that His will would be for us to stay in the Air Force. We feel that we have been kind of like missionaries moving from place to place serving Him in different capacities. We trust that God has orchestrated these events because He has more in store for us. This will be a new chapter in our lives and we have no answers right now; it is too fresh to have some kind of plan or direction. Pray with us that God will give us wisdom and discernment as job offers come in and that He would guide us to where He wants us to be.

We have many positive things to look at in leaving. John will be able to get his Master’s degree completed free of charge. He will already be enrolled in his last semester before his separation date and they will allow him to complete the semester. We can stay in base housing even after he is out. He has many marketable experiences and trainings and certificates…that we think will be helpful in finding a good job. We do get a sum of money as “compensation” for being cut; it is not a large amount, but will get us completely out of debt and leave some for a down payment on a home.

We are not used to having no limits on where we can go. The Air Force has been our life for the last 12 ½ years. We are used to limits and restrictions on everything. The door is open wide and we look forward with eager anticipation to see what God has in store for us. We have enjoyed being a part of the Air Force family and have met many of you along our journey. We are thankful for the friends we have made and count it a blessing to know each of you.

You may be wondering how our children are handling this. They are all four wanting to move to Lubbock, TX. They are excited and seem very eager to find a new home and school that they will go to for longer than two years. They don’t understand that concept yet. They have moved every two years or less since starting school. Sarah said,” you mean we won’t have to move again”. Of course we told them that any job can decide to move you, but that where ever we go, they should all be able to stay in the same school until they graduate from High School. I think that is mind boggling to them.

We know that you are all scattered across the U.S. and that some of you have already transitioned out of the military either through retirement or by choice. If you have any words of wisdom for us, please share those. We know that this will be a big adjustment and know that some of you may have some insight that you would like to share.

We have a family blog that is updated with photos and the things that we are doing. It is by invitation only. We’d be happy to send you an invitation to join. You just have to create a user name and password to be able to view the blog. Let me know if you’re interested in keeping in touch that way.

Audra and family

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mommas don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys...

Hayden loves my Pa Pa's old hat. My dad sent this to me last year and it sits on top of our entertainment center. When Hayden really wants to get all decked out in his cowboy attire, he asks to wear Pa Pa's hat. Well, Hayden and his sisters were invited to Hallie's cowgirl birthday party and just after breakfast, he was ready to go. I took him outside to take a few pictures. He did end up changing his outfit before the party; afterall, they were going to play on the slip 'n slide. I love that he was so serious, like he was a real cowboy!

Gran and Poppy came to visit!

We just had a great visit with John's parents. They came out for a week and we really enjoyed our time together. We had fun playing the Wii, having a water gun fight, and creating some crafty clay creations! We try to do something crafty every time we get together and this time was no different. Carol, Rachel and I went to Michael's to get some ideas. We ended up buying sculpey clay and had a ball playing and creating different things. The kids were not the only ones that had fun. We all had a great time. We are sure to get creative again with our clay!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

4th of July

"Abe Lincoln" was in town.

Emilie and Hayden

the parade

Rachel and her flags!

Patriotic Toes: Me, Hallie, Rachel, Jesica and Dawn (Kate and Sarah were too busy)

It doesn't get more patriotic than a parade and a picnic on the 4th of July. We were invited to join some friends for a picnic and to see the Centerville parade come down the street in front of their home. It reminded me of Clarendon's parade (my home town). I used to go every year when I was young. This year, our kids got to experience that same small town America feeling of celebrating the 4th of July. They were front row for a great view and prime targets for candy throwing. Although in Clarendon, they didn't throw t-shirts and bags of chips. (They also didn't have boys with shovels going along behind the horses to scoop the poop.) The kids got to shake hands with "Abe Lincoln" and see Darth Vader. Hayden sat with Emilie and she got him a high school musical shirt and lots of candy. You may recognize Emilie from our Superchick concert night. Hayden loves her! We had a great time and hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July...

Clifton Mill

We recently went to Clifton Mill for breakfast. We'd heard they had a breakfast that could feed an entire family the size of ours with only 3 pancakes. Well, they do and it is $24.99. The pancakes were so big they didn't fit on the plates. It was a neat place and we would like to go back during Christmas to see the light display. I just wanted to share a couple of photos.