Monday, August 27, 2012

1st Grade!!

We are officially one week into First Grade! Last week we had a friend with us who hadn't started school yet so the week was a little more relaxed than our normal weeks will be. But that's OK, it helped us ease into the school year - especially with all the other transitions going on!  

So, today was our first "real" day. Cadence's teacher is Miss Weiler and we are using the Abeka curriculum again. It worked for us last year so we're hoping that this year will be equally as successful. 

The days will be longer (last year we could do it all during naptime) so we're starting around 8:30 and even with lunch and brother interruptions, we're should be finished by the time the boys get up from their naps (around 2). So, that's not awful! 

The fun of this year is that some subjects Cadence will do on the iPad! Her teaching videos stream already and to cut some of the cost, we found used teacher manuals, scanned all the pages in, took the answers out thru photoshop, and are using the now-blank pages on the iPad with a stylus for Cadence to do the work. We're actually kind of impressed with ourselves and how crafty/thrifty we are! and I am grateful for a Daddy who knew how to figure all that out so that we could be thrifty :)

Here is a video from last week of Cadence and her friend working (kind of) on their bible verses.  She's actually much better at it than the video shows...
John 3:14-19  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Caleb's First Day of Preschool

Yet another transition this week was Cadence beginning First grade at home and Caleb going to preschool at First Pres. Mooresville. Craziness! The first week of school for everyone has been a huge success - which makes this mama pretty happy!

 Caleb Shaun,

      How is it that you are big enough to go to preschool?!?!?  When did you grow up? Because, you, our little man, are HUGE!! From your little half-hearted, no vocal cord self to a big man who has all kinds of words AND pee pees on the potty. You are a walking miracle!  and we certainly can't keep miracles this big to ourselves. So, off you go into a world of people that don't know us so well, but will know you in big ways! My prayer is that your little life lived out in BIG ways will always scream of just how much our God is capable of - especially when it's not expected :)

Your teachers, Mrs. Lisa and Mrs. Kim are in for a big treat as they get to have you in their class!  When you got home today you talked about your snack, playing potato head with your new friends, and singing songs. I was so proud that you made it the entire morning in one pair of pants :)  and you even said "I no hit, I no push, I a good friend"  and that makes me even more proud than your dry pants!

Daddy and I love you so much and can't wait to see how much you grow over this coming year.

One last sword fight with Creed just to remind him who's in charge :)

and he's all ready to go!

Changes Changes Everywhere!!

It seems as if we Andersens live in a constant state of flux. Which is OK and definitely not boring!  
The latest change to come to fruition has been with our foster kids. For all 3 of you who read this blog, you know we've had Tink in our home since February. We have loved having her around and watching her thrive, and get beat up, and beat up other people, and learn to eat, and eat everything, etc....

A few weeks ago we were told that the judge had ordered that Tink and her biological sister needed to be in the same house. So, conversations started about what that would look like. We thought that maybe the girls would both be in our home, or they would go somewhere together, or to her sister's foster home. We hoped they would stay in our circle of people because we love Tink and didn't want her to not be around!  

However, the Lord, and the social workers were working 
something much different for everyone involved! 

One day the social worker called and said they had come up with a plan if everyone was in agreement. and this is the gist of the plan....

Tink and her sister would go to a different foster family but that foster family already had another foster child who just "happened" to be Caleb's biological brother. So, they were wondering if we would be interested in trading Tink for Caleb's brother, Shaun Travolta Blackwood Jr. (the second - our Caleb being the first). Well, of course we said YES!!  We had known that Shaun was born and in foster care but that was all we knew until this plan came around. 
So, in what was a ver bittersweet season for us, we began to excitedly prepare for a new precious baby to come in while at the same time soaking up every precious moment with Tink that we could. 

We had lots of help in moving rooms around and getting enough space together for our boys to play and sleep in. :)

Man Cave turned into the Boys room! 
(don't worry we just moved Chris' man cave downstairs)

and then yesterday came and we got the call that the move was happening. So, we squeezed Tink extra tight and prayed lots of last minute prayers over her, and handed her over to a social worker who, in turn, handed us Shaun. 

We are so excited to have another Shaun in the house!!

The only biologically connected siblings in the house!

and so today - our first real day with Shaun, we've seen quite a bit of the boys trying out all the new baby stuff ;)

Everyone has had turns holding "baby Shaun" as he has been named around here. Cadence is a HUGE help and the boys do what they can :)

 We are so thankful for the way the Lord has worked to bring this precious baby into our home - and for the time we had with Tink. One of my favorite things about fostering is that we get the opportunity to fall in love with different children for all kinds of reasons - even on their hard days. And it reminds me of how much MORE God loves me for all kinds of reasons - even on the hard days. and I'm so grateful I don't even know how else to respond except to live this crazy life we live where we take every opportunity we are given to be the hands and feet of Jesus to kids who desperately need to see Jesus. 

Dress Up

We spend lots of time in costume around the Andersen House. Mostly Pirates and Princesses but sometimes other stuff comes into the mix as well. Here are some pictures I've taken over the past few weeks of everyone in the dress up clothes. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

At the Car Wash

When it's too hot to do anything else, desperation causes us to pull out a bucket and some soap and sponges and let the kids "wash" the car. It's wet, cheap, and provides at least 30 minutes of entertainment. So, those are all wins in our world!!  Everyone gets in on the action and for the most part they get along. More wins for the parents :)

We could only find one sponge so Cadence claimed it. Leaving the littles to use their hands....

 Creed doesn't love car washing because he has the potential to get splashed without warning - which he really doesn't love. 

Supervising from afar :)

sometimes it's just better to get in the bucket - much cooler that way!

Thank God for mop buckets and Dawn. Some days it's the perfect combination.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


with our shared birthdays on August 3rd, we went into full birthday mode this week. Cadence was very set on her Rapunzel birthday while Caleb had a harder time because he wanted SpiderMan, Batman, Woody and Buzz all on his cake. We settled on Woody and Buzz and were off with the preparations! 

Cadence was supervising while I finished up Rapunzel. :)

We wanted to combine their parties this year (for the first time) and so while Daddy and I wanted to go bowling we settled on the skating rink. And it was a good choice because we had lots of fun!

Everything set up at the skating rink. 
Not too shabby for my first Barbie Doll cake!

Caleb was happy with cupcakes and sprinkles. Which I was grateful for!
 Plates and cups for pizza and Lemonade

Instead of presents we asked our friends to bring school supplies for a village school in Ethiopa. Everyone got on board and it was so fun to see chalk, colored pencils, and paper come in! 
 and the skating/falling began!  We had skated one other time this year and Cadence did such a great job picking it back up. She's a pro :)

This might be my favorite birthday picture!
 We are so grateful for all our friends who came out to skate with us. It was lots of fun!

 and after skating, pizza is definitely needed to refuel....

 and probably some cake too!!

 Happy Birthday to Cadence and Caleb!
 All the presents with presents for other kids. This makes me so happy as a mom. 
 The Andersen littles preferred the arcade to more skating....

 more skating fun!

 and once we got home and took naps, the present carnage began! They were both so excited for all their stuff. and we are so grateful for all the out-of -town people who send packages!

 and Chris and I got them this new Geo Dome. We're figuring it will grow with the littles and Cadence already loves it and can climb to the top, hang upside down, and flip off!

Happy Birthday Cadence and Caleb!!  We are so glad that you are part of our family and have so much fun being your parents. We are so excited about this next year of your lives and can't wait to see how you grow and change. We love you!!