Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 2010

Uh, yeah, so it's been a while. Gonna try to catch up a little and add some more frequent posts, if anyone really cares to read (doubt it, but here's to you!!!).



















Quick updates:

Dave/Mike: Nothing exciting happenin' with him right now. Still working swing shift as a local cop and getting his kicks out of it. We love the dinnertime stories about suicide, drug abuse, runaways, and domestic violence. When he's home, our house is full of laughter and fun. I must be the boring parent, because when he's not around, it's pretty dull around here.























Audra: FINALLY (and this is why I haven't written much lately) sent in my final edits to my book to the publisher whose response was very positive. She said she'll send it to her editor the first of the year, so it should be out, hopefully, in a few months. I'm pretty proud of it. It was a LOT of work, this one. Lots of research and organizational changes and all that. Little crazy and stressful, but I'm very happy it's done. Work is going great. I have great staff, a nice office space, and such wonderful families I get to work with. I really enjoy what I do. On my off time, I mostly hang out with the fam or friends. No exciting hobbies to speak of!

Isaak: Doing really well right now. He has been taken off his special education plan at school and is "flying solo" and doing fine so far. He is also off all medication, and any lingering "issues" that the meds used to help with, he's learning to navigate on his own. He's getting straight A's which include AP Calculus II and Physics at the high school. He's also in chess club and competes with the high school math club, plays piano, and is signing up to play basketball at school next.


Lil' Audra/Maggie: Turned 12 today! Can't believe my "baby" is 12. It was really fun to go get her out of Primary today, with the Young Women, and escort her into Young Women's with us! She was so excited and ready to be out of the "kids" class. Maggie still loves to read and eat sunflower seeds more than anything. She is in two drama clubs, one community and one for school. She saved her moo-lah and contributed half to get a new puppy a couple months ago who has proven to be the CUTEST DOG EVER!

















Lil' Audra with all her birthday "loot"

Katie: Was a little unsure of the puppy when she came home, but she has turned into quite the adopted mother. She lets Ellie climb all over her, bite her ankles, jowls, and stomach, and eat her food with hardly a growl. Our little anxiety scaredy-cat shepherd has become quite the guard dog (finally!). Oh, she still runs away if someone challenges her, but I think she would actually scare off a would-be thief if they tried to break in now!




















Ellie's favorite hideout. Katie only tolerates it for a few minutes.

Ellie: Is half Pomeranian, half Chihuahua (Pomchi) and is now about 6 months old. She is one funny ball of energy! Puppies are hilarious, anyway, but to see her wrestle around with this huge shepherd is quite the thing to witness. She's a good, obedient dog who has been easy to train so far. And yes, she is dang cute!


















All in all, it's been a good year for us. I'll try to keep everyone posted on any new antics in the near future!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From Dave

Dave wrote the nicest e-mail to my family, unbeknownst to me, about my new office...
(I can't get the text to wrap right, but you get the idea)


As you may/not have heard, Audra moved out of her broom closet to an actual office building that treats her like a business. The building is a nice little place. First of all, it’s named after a local guy who was a Navy pilot and Blue Angels team member who was shot down over Vietnam, taken prisoner, then subsequently “disappeared.” He is still considered MIA. The lobby has a nice little display about him. For me, this alone makes the location respectable.












She has an actual sign, visible from the street. Whoa.













She’s on the building directory…













A sign pointing to her office!












Another little sign outside her door.












Sure, come in, take a look around… That back room there is her own office space.
She’s got a big therapy room. For big therapy I guess.
Additionally, there is a good size storage closet for all her cabinets full of supplies, strait jackets, chair restraints, whips, and whatnot. This keeps young easily distracted minds and hands relatively un-tempted. It’s nice that her business is brisk, and that she was literally out-growing her original office. In 2 years she has gone from using our spare bedroom (ugh) to this. She’s got employees, payroll, billing, and occasional sleep. Anyway, she’ll probably blog about this when she gets time. So, don’t hold your breath. She’s got a lot of clients. She helping a lot of kids, and doing much good. She’s helping provide our living while also providing it for the people working for her. Much respect to my wife. ~dave

February 9, 2010

Dave's gone for most of the month on military duty. I'm trying to do one small thing for him each day (he's staying at his mom's, so she's my "proxy"). I asked the kids to write something to him to get one of the days. This is what they wrote:



Isaak: "Please come home now! *COUGH HACK* We're dying without you! *uuuugggh*"



Maggie: You are the best dad ever. I love you. You serve our country. For all of us. Even if your gone for a day or a month or a year I know you will always come back. You are the best cook in the world. Happy Anniversary and Valentines.

Love, aUdr4M49913

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I have proof!

They used to adore each other. /sigh

I suspect it will return someday.

http://picasaweb.google.com/audra3141/OldFotos#

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2010

Dave: I waited a long time, many years, to get him. It was well worth the wait. We were talking the other day how it must have been designed that way, that it just never worked out before it did, on purpose because we probably would have screwed it up when we were younger. We had to wait for each other to grow and prepare. I can't believe what a perfect match we are. He is everything I ever wanted. He is so dang smart. I love talking to him about really serious topics (although we steer away from some political topics since we don't agree on them all :)). He can give me all the historical facts about some religious topic or who said what about what topic when or just some obscure, random fact that you'd only hear on Jeopardy. I love and respect him for that. He is also a civil servant to the heart. I'm glad he found a career that gives him a chance to "give back" because that is what fulfills him. He needs to feel like he's doing something meaningful in the world. Amazing. He has always been an involved, hands-on father. I have never, ever hesitated to drop the kids and run with him in charge. I knew that he'd know what they needed to do and where they needed to go, and do so probably in a more efficient and "fun" way than I would. He always pushed me out the door when I needed it (and often when I didn't know I did) and has never begrudged me my "girl time." He makes me feel loved and adored and sexy everyday. That's a real feat!

Isaak: He has had some real challenges to conquer in this life. He'll never be "free" of them, but I've come to accept him for who he is today and what he has to offer the world. He is an amazing young man. He is kind and patient. He is the guy I want to use as a model in my social groups for other kids because he is so flexible and patient and a good example to follow. He is so dang smart. It hurts my brain to think about the stuff that he learns so easily. Yeah, he may have to work on the normal social ins and outs that come easy for the rest of us, but I guess the trade off is we have to work at the other stuff he gets so easy! And the social stuff is coming. He'll make it. I love how cooperative he is at home. He may not always think of it on his own, but whenever I ask him to do something to help out, he never complains or rolls his eyes or tells me "later." He just says "K" and stops what he's doing (or finds a good stopping point) and goes and does it. He doesn't complain about picking up dog poop or doing dishes or laundry. He doesn't complain when he's reminded to practice piano. He, of course, rarely has homework, but if I ask him to get *something* done, he'll work on something. He loves little kids. I wish he could babysit (not possible for him) because he just loves little kids. He coos and smiles and follows them around, and they love him for it. He'll make a good dad one day. Despite his challenges, he has deep connections to his family. He loves us very much. He feels it; it's obvious. If he finds the right girl, I have no doubt he will be able to make it work. She'll just have to tell him what to do and he'll do it! He just may not know instinctively!

Audra Maggie: She has always been just this little bundle of joyful energy. That has never gone away. I expect the teenage moodiness to creep in one of these days, but no sign yet. Even when she gets down, it doesn't last long. She bounces right back with a little love. She loves people. All people. She seeks interaction. She will be a fun mother. She is so naturally talented in almost anything she tries. Her artsy brain works really well. You should see these little clay sculptures she makes. She is artistic and creative, none of which she got from me. She has her grandma to thank for that. She loves to cook, which she didn't get from me. She has her dad to thank for that. Some might says she got her energy from me, but who knows. I know that I have a really good time hanging out with her. She's at the age where I can just say, "Let's go see a movie" and it's not like a mom taking a child out to a movie, it's more like two friends hanging out. It was really cool to have her join us for the midnight release of New Moon. I love that she loves to read so much. She will devour a full-size book in a day. She bleeds me dry. I can't keep up with her. I love how passionate she is about whatever she's doing. Whatever she chooses to do in life, she will be passionate about it.

Katie: I call her "idiot" all the time, but I really do love her. I don't love how she still pees in submission if we act too dominate over her (not intentionally). I love how she knows her pack, and she is only truly happy when we are all here. When any one of us is gone, she sulks. I love how obedient she is. Such an easy dog to discipline and train. No work, really. She goes to the bathroom when and where we tell her (no poop on the grass; yea!), we can go out front and give her permission to come out, but she won't run off. She is forgiving that we don't take her on walks cuz we're too lazy (or busy). I love that I have absolutely no worries when any of my friends have their little kids over. They can crawl on her, pull her hair, stick their hands in her mouth, and she just loves it all. I hear that she has growled when a kid took food or something, but that is rare and I suppose normal dog behavior.

I love my family. Each and every one of them.

Recent fotos:




















video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Card 2009






December 16, 2009

Maggie had a big business project at school where part of it was they had to apply and interview for actual jobs they were going to do in the faux town that was created. Here are her interview questions and answers. I thought they were cute.

1. In what school activities are you involved?

I'm in choir, patrol, and I was in track last year. Choir helps me work with others. Patrol helps me be safe and know and respect the rules.

2. What skills do you have that would make you a good employee?

I work good with others. I'm responsible and trustworthy.

3. Do you like working alone or with other people?

I can do both. I like to work with other people when I'm having fun.

4. How would your friends describe you?

Spunky and hard-working. I make new friends a lot.

5. Who is someone you admire? What is it about this person that you admire most?

I don't really admire anyone. I want to be my own person.