Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Lord Builds Our Family

When Richard and I married 22 years ago, we dreamed of having a large family.  We thought that family would be children from our genetics but the Lord had other plans.  For employment, we worked at a temporary shelter that housed teenagers in need of state care.  It was in this line of work that I first met our daughter Addison's birthmother (Julie).  It was also at this shelter that I miscarried and lost our only pregnancy through donor insemination.  My heart was broken, my life seemed doomed to be childless and I had lost all hope of ever being a mother.  I remember praying for the Lord to hear my cries and answer my need to be a mother.  I desired it so deeply.  Shortly after losing our pregnancy, we changed jobs and became primary house parents for a group home of state kids.  This home was currently empty and we were able to sort through different files of children needing placement and pick our kids to live and work with.  Peggy was one of these kids.  She was nine years old, called me mom, spunky as all get out, and turned out to be one of my most challenging; yet bonding experiences of my life.
This kid simply grabbed my heart.  

So who is she today?

Today, she still calls me mom, still has my heart as a daughter, is the biological aunt to our daughter Addison..although she will say "No, I rather prefer to think of myself as Addi's older sister.", has three beautiful children who call me Grandma, and is married to a wonderful young man named Richard. 

Yes, we still get a kick out of his name being the same as my husband's.  We tease her that when we told her to find a man to marry like Dad, we didn't exactly mean he had to be named Richard. LOL 
(just a side note... it doesn't help that I call my husband "hun...or honey"  because,  they both still look up at me and answer! LOL   Too funny!)

The Lord has been building my family from the moment I said "I do" to my husband and He's been doing it in ways I couldn't see or understand at the time.  
I'm so thankful that His hand has been upon us and He's placed such beautiful people within my life.  I never thought I would be so blessed to have adopted three such wonderful children (Bailey, Addison and Levi) but what I really didn't see coming was the unique way He would fill my heart and complete my desire for family by also adding to my life the bonds of love I have with their birthparents, birthparents-spouses, birthsiblings, birthaunts, cousins, birthgrandparents, and so much more.  

Here are some photos my sister Janene took of their family.
(Thanks Janene...You are very talented!)

My Beloved Darr Family

Richard and Peggy
My of the heart Son-In-Law, Richard, and Daughter, Peg

Peggy with their girls (Brandi & Tiffany)


Richard with their son (Austin)





And spunky like her Mom, Tiffany


My of the heart, precious three grandchildren 

God is so GOOD and His love for me is far beyond what I can see or understand.

Lord Jesus, soften my heart and continue to open my life to the family You've chosen for me.  Fulfill my desires and complete me as You see best.  Take me past myself and mold me to be not only, the perfect match for my husband but the open hearted mother my children need. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Addison, Our Daughter and Our 3 Grandchildren's Baptizm

Tonight the Bible study was held out at the lake and Addison, Austin, Brandi, and Tiff all got baptized by Grandpa.  It was wonderful!


Thank You Jesus :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Change In The Making (w. lyrics) - Addison Road


 Oh man, ... this one's got me all over it! 

What Do I Know of Holy

This song was humbling today for me.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strenghtens Me

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been gone for a while but now have a few minutes to update what’s been going on with our family.

On the 5th of July, my husband Richard climbed a ladder to fix a leak in our roof. As soon as he stepped onto the roof, he slipped, fell backwards, and landed very hard on our deck. We are praising Jesus that the deck helped to cushion his fall because things could have been much worse. As it was though, Richard hit his head pretty hard and suffered a seizure. Everything was pretty scary for our family and loved ones as they watched the Life Star helicopter take off and fly him to the hospital that best deals with head traumas. Every day we see improvements with him and he is now walking with a cane and regaining his balance and motor skills and working towards a general feeling of himself.

I have cried buckets of tears and walked through some of my deepest fears only to find that the Lord has Never …Not even for a moment, left my side. I feel like this experience is taking me through a boot-camp training to trust the Lord in and for EVERYTHING! Through this, I am being humbled, stripped of hidden pride, and strengthened in areas I had no idea needed changing. I am finding too that I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME even when I don’t want to. And… That He’s making of me a stronger person then I ever thought possible.

We have been blessed by the many prayers and kindnesses shown our family and I can’t even express how deep many of these acts have touched us.

  • Someone fixed our leaks on the roof 

  • Many have brought meals and groceries to feed our family 

  • Stood by my side and waited, prayed, cried, supported, and cared for me at the hospital

  • People have loved and cared for my children and helped keep a sense of peace and normalcy in their daily lives..as we've worked through this

  • A person has built a beautiful porch railing to assure Richard will not get hurt if he gets off balance going in the front door 

  • Others have cleaned, done laundry, tackled my dirty kitchen, allowed me to take naps, and filled my gas tank 

  • A couple bought plants and planted our garden, taken down our dog run, cleaned up the yard of weeds, unwanted shrubbery, fixed our stairs door to always spring shut assuring safety  

  • And…others have stayed with my household and allowed me time alone to do shopping, run errands, and helped me fill out the endless amounts of paperwork , and even fixed my vacuum and weed eater 

  • There was even a wonderfully kind person who twice fixed my computer when it crashed with a nasty virus while we were at the hospital

  • Oh… and yes, there are others who have touched my heart and sent funds to help cover the unpaid bills as Richard is not able to work during his recovery
 For all of these things… and so much more, our family would like to thank you. With each of your acts of kindness, love and thoughtfulness, we have truly been touched and have seen Jesus working through you.
Lord Jesus,
thank You for All You have brought us through, thank You for protecting our Daddy from being hurt worse and thank You, so much, for the continued recovery he’s having. Thank You for never leaving me and keeping me strong when I felt so weak and scared. Thank You for giving me my best friend back a little more each day and showing me that NOTHING is outside of Your hands. You truly are an AMAZING God and although my flesh wars against the things You are walking me through, I trust You with my life and family and welcome the change You are bringing about in our lives.

We love You, Lord Jesus…
With Everything!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Senior Pictures

Bailey just had her senior pictures taken this past week and I thought I'd share them here with everyone.  The only problem I'm having with them is I don't know what ones I like the most.  LOL 
What do you think?
I will number them and you tell me what one is your favorite or favorites.



  It's hard huh!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Is Off And Running... Boy Are We Busy!!

The last few days of school were jammed-pack full of end of the year activities.  Here are a few pictures of Addison's school market.  She made Creative Clips that hold pictures and papers from paperclips.  Each child made some sort of item to sell and then they held a market and sold their items.  I love market day...it's so fun. 

Here are some of the items from market that I purchased with the fake money the teacher gave all of the parents. 

As many of my friends and fellow bloggers know, I've been MIA for several weeks.  We've been projecting in our yard trying to get things cleaned up and ready for summer. 
As many of you remember not too many weeks ago Levi talked me into some baby chicks.  They are still alive, happy and growing like crazy.  They've out-grown the two larger boxes we've been keeping them in so it was time to revamp the old dog run for them.  They are thrilled and love this new ...and temporary space we made for them.  Having them in the dog run will buy us a few more weeks before we have to rebuild and revamp the old chicken yard that will be their permanent home.
Levi just loves the chickens and I've caught him twice inside this dog run terrorizing them for fun.  LOL 
Now these chickens are strong and I know they can survive my sweet little boy who loves to play with them....but Perdy is a different story... Just looking at my sweet boy napping on the floor, you would have no idea what shenanigans he's been up to.
Poor, Poor, Perdy....Perdy is the little chicken that my family begged me to buy weeks after the other chickens.  They argued that we needed a full dozen and not just the 10 we already had.  Well, I argued that if the chicks are not the same size and age, they older ones will pick on the babies and kill them.  I even looked to the sales man for him to back me up...But did he? ...NOPE!!   So we bought two little babies and within a few days, one was dead and the other was pecked so bad on the top of the head, her skin was gone and she was almost completely life-less.  I brought her inside and put her under the heat lamps.  Within a few days she was recovered but still very ugly so we decided to call her Perdy.  

"Warning for the squeamish" 
(She looks a bit like the skekies from the movie "The Dark Crystal".
I'm not so sure that feathers will ever grow back on her bald head...poor baby!

So... poor Perdy is doing her best to survive her traumatized little life when... wouldn't you know, I couldn't find her in her pen one afternoon.  We searched EVERYWHERE!!  I thought, did the cat get her? ... Maybe she somehow got out and is hiding.  ... Maybe she's been eaten or mangled by Bob. I had the whole family calling for her and looking everywhere for any sign of her.  Levi on the other hand kept getting under my feet and mumbling about something.  I finally asked..."Levi, do you know where Perdy is?"  He said ... "She's sleeping and walked me to his closet.  I said..."No Levi, not now... We're looking for Perdy."  I thought he just wanted me to play with him in his room.  Then, it hit me what he was really saying.... "Levi, where's Perdy?"  I opened his closet and he handed me a netted bag with a box in it. 
I again thought he must just think we're playing a game and handed the netted bag to Addison as I said... "No Levi, we are REALLY looking for Perdy, she's gone."  Addison then tossed the netted bag back to me and said... "I don't want this...Why are you giving it to me?"  LOL
I caught the bag and held it dangling from my hands when all of the sudden...it hit me, what Levi was saying... "She sleeping!"  I gasped!!!  "Levi, is Perdy in here?"... He just smiled..."She's sleeping!"
I ran to the table and opened the netted bag...opened the box and what do you think I saw.. Perdy?
There was another little box inside it.

And what do you suppose was in the little box?

Poor girl, who knows exactly how long she'd been in there and then being tossed all around by Addison and I.  Addi took her back to her pen and I lectured Levi as to why it was not okay to play with Perdy and take her out of her pen. 
So, do you think this lecture was affective?
Humm....Well, a few days later... You guessed it, Perdy was gone again. 
It was late and everyone was sleeping when Richard and I discovered her missing.  We looked everywhere...I tried endlessly to wake Levi from his dead sleep, asking him..."Where's Perdy?" 
I never could wake the boy, he was way too tired and his eyes just rolled back in his head, as he turned over in his bed.  LOL 
Richard went down stairs to wake the girls to help find her.  While searching, my eye saw an, ever so slight, movement across the room... within the CD cabinet. 
(Tap, tap, tap on the glass was all she could do)
I was horrified to see her predicament.  The last time We'd known of her, in her pen, was the day before...had the poor thing been locked away in this situation for a full night and day?  I think so.  She drank  water until I thought she'd drowned herself. 
Again...Poor Perdy! 
This time Levi got a little more then a talk'in to.  LOL 
So, what other things have we been up to? 
Let me see...
We've been working on setting up our swimming pool (not an easy task..let me tell you!"
Around the pool is a weedy patch that drives me crazy all the time.  So, I searched Craigslist and found a person wanting a rock wall torn down in exchange for the rock given free.   Sounded perfect for our hard working family.  The girls and I spend two days digging, hauling and salvaging enough rock to fix our weed problem and keep the garden dirt from washing down.  I sprayed the ground first and put really thick black trash bags under the rock to keep it weed free.  It looks so good around our pool... (This is the pool that was given to us one summer from a job site of Richards.  The owner thought our kids would enjoy it and man, was she right.)
(I'm so loving Craigslist... It's perfect for our family)
Aside for working hard to get the pool ready...
We've also had an unfortunate miss-hap with Levi and our back patio.  Our back patio has been a disaster for far too long...
(Here is the horrid before pictures that I would never want to show anyone but for some reason decided to post here on my blog.) lol
Several summers ago we had the nifty idea to make a brick patio.  We leveled the area and spent weeks mixing, coloring and pouring cement to make this huge patio.  It looked nice for about one summer and then it started to sink..shift...grow horrid weeds and sunk way too low to easily step off of the cement step.

We've not had the funding to fix this problem and have had to live with it for several summers.  Anyway, a few weeks ago Levi tripped trying to climb in and bit the concrete with his teeth.  Poor baby had a bloody lip and rattled his front tooth.  He was so hurt that he couldn't even eat ice cream without pain.  The dentist said he had trauma but that the x-ray said his teeth are fine for now.  I was so upset at what had happened I started praying and searching for a solution.
Hubby and I talked about laying a new patio, building a new deck... something...anything!  But, everything just was way too costly and not possible. 
So, I started searching Craigslist
I typed in deck wood and would you believe, I found a person wanting their old deck torn down and was willing to lower their asking price so that we could afford to buy it for $200.00. I was so excited and we made a family outing of it. We took the entire deck apart, loaded it into our two minivans, and hauled it home.  :))
Then, within a week or so later, another opportunity arose to have another deck as well.  So, the family again worked like dogs and took it apart leaving us with tons of really great wood to reassemble in our own back yard. 
(Thank You Jesus!)
My wonderful parents came to help get us started.
...and before we knew it, my brother-in-law joined in.

The process has been huge but so worth it.

I just couldn't believe how nice the wood really was from these decks and we didn't have to purchase any new brackets or anything.  It was all there.

I've had the fun job of de-screwing the top boards

We've all been doing our part.
Addi and Levi were watering the flowers that have already found their home on the deck.

Addison was helpful with the rock moving but with the deck, she's been grounded. 
This past week when she was spending the night with a friend, tripped on a rock and broke her toe.  Snapped a clean break on the tip of it.  OUCH!

I've pretty much grounded her to the chair or light activities until it has a chance to heal a bit. 

We've had a great time teasing her about doing something so silly as tripping on a little rock and breaking her toe.
Oh the joy of razzing your children :))
And finally...
Today is Richard's birthday
He's 44  and still as handsome as ever...
Yep, that's my man! (and my dad)
So for his birthday, he and I got up early and enjoyed a yummy breakfast and coffee on the part of the deck that is semi finished. 
Such a sweet morning together  :)) 
(Cool fountain, huh... Yep, Craigslist LOL)
Tonight we will have a family bbq with just our family on hopefully the other part of the deck if it gets finished.  lol
Happy Birthday Sweetie...
We love you!!
Well, that's about it for now...Next week we have a whole new schedule of work planned.  After my parents saw the deck deal we found on Craigslist, and how great the wood really was, they had me find them one too.  Who would have figured so many used decks were available?  LoL
Yep, next Monday we are doing it again...This family never stops.  I think of us like worker ants.  We just go and go and go...always doing something! :))