Friday, December 6

Our first (owned) home.

  We have waited 8.5 years into our marriage for when we felt was the right time & right place to purchase our first home. We felt that time has come and a few weeks ago we purchased this little gem. We couldn't be more excited and anticipate moving in January. (we'll see who our real friends are, right?!) Kindly, people have already began offering to help, we'll pray it's not too frigid!
This house was custom built by a couple who have been the only previous owners. You can tell that everything they put in the house was extremely well thought out and even a neighbor told us they kept it in impeccable shape. It's also a good sign when your inspector tells us how amazing it is and extremely well built.
While we looked at quite a few houses (and I believe Andrew looked at least a thousand on Zillow!), this was the only house that really had everything we were hoping for. One of the aspects we are most excited about is that it is across the street from a patch of woods and we are only 3 houses away from the dead end. My kids may finally be able to ride bikes, bless their patient hearts. :)
And an attached, heated garage. Blessing upon blessing. Andrew has worked on our cars in far from stellar conditions in the streets & cold, so thankful for a safe & warm place for this to happen now. And after walking kids across the street for the last 2.5 years and hoping no one dies, I can't even comprehend the joy of loading/unloading with no one's life in danger. :)
 We looked for a home that would be comfortable in hosting large groups & would allow us to serve others in whatever ways we could. Something that would allow us to accommodate our family, foster kids & overnight guests comfortably. God met these needs completely.
 A large living room.
 A large finished basement. Fireplace. Brick.
Gameroom/tv room, kids space during small group, extra guest many possibilities!
While a lot of things need an updated look, so exciting to be able to do whatever we want!
Great outdoor space. A custom built grill? Love.
It's not a huge kitchen, but so much more functional that what we have now. Can't wait!
What? What? A dedicated play room. Ahhhh.....!
We were looking for 4 BR and this one has 3 + this mini office, so a first project will be to take down the wall dividing these 2 spaces and create an office for Andrew/guest room.  
A couple basic rooms.
3 bathrooms, including one off the master? Yes please!
So thankful for the blessing it is to be able to purchase a house.
Can't wait to make this our home sweet home!


Sunday, December 1

Happy Birthday Hijacking Post

This is the first time that I, Andrew, have ever written on our family blog after 7 years and over close to 500 posts from Kelly. So, I’m basically hijacking the page. But I wanted to hijack it to honor Kelly, who, today, is celebrating her _____rd  birthday (I’ll let you guess the blank ;) and list out some things I’m thankful for and love about her.


I’m thankful for a wife who thinks outside of herself and her needs, always eager to serve another person even at the cost of her own convenience and ease.

I’m thankful for a wife that is generous. She has taught me to not be so stingy in many areas of life.

I’m thankful for a wife that is like a rock emotionally, not emotionless, but strong and confident in God.

I love the fact that she rarely cries and laughs at me when I tear up at the end of Undercover Boss.

I’m thankful for a wife that is willing to care for 4 very young children full time, 24/7 when she could easily be out doing many other things.

I’m thankful that she’s always planning ahead, thinking of important details.

I’m thankful for a wife who is one of the hardest-working people I have ever met, working up to 3 jobs at once during our seminary days at the beginning of our marriage so I could work part-time, go to school full-time, and finish school debt-free....and she still runs non-stop today, mothering full-time, teaching piano, running a mom's group, and a gazillion other things.

I love that she started the Pittsburgh Momtourage which represents both her industrious nature and care for others.

I’m thankful for a wife who is an extremely gifted pianist but serves in a self-effacing manner in our local church.

I’m thankful for a wife that is different than me and for the way she has taught me that my ideas aren’t always the best.

I thankful for her hospitable spirit, caring more that her home serves others well than it serves her well.

I love her creativity in the kitchen…even when the result is kale chips. :\

I’m thankful for a wife who is realistic about life, parenting, and marriage, not expecting things to always be perfect and full of warm fuzzies.

I’m thankful for a wife that respects me but isn't necessarily impressed with me, being willing to tell me when I'm wrong or being stupid.

I’m thankful for her incredible patience with me, putting up with my inconsistencies and extending grace over my sin.

I love that it's hard to articulate all the things I love. I love you, Kelly. Happy Birthday.