Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Josiah got mail...from the White House

So, in our mail today we received this envelope addressed to "Josiah D. Audi." The return address said, "The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500."

Inside was this letter to Josiah:
In case you can't read it well, it says,

"Welcome! We are delighted to join your family in celebrating your arrival. You have already brought much happiness to those around you, and you've just gotten started!

We are glad you are now part of the wonderful American story. Our Nation holds great opportunities for you. May you make the most of your unique gifts, and may happiness and love surround you always."

President George Bush's and First Lady Laura Bush's signatures were stamped at the bottom. What a cool souvenir for Josiah's scrapbook.

I called my sister to see if Brannon had received a letter from President Bush when he was born, but he didn't. Daniel and I are wondering if he only sends it to babies born in his home state of Texas. Nonetheless, we were honored to have our son's birth recognized by the President! So cool!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"what happened to us?" - volume one.

Well, it's 8:45 p.m. and...we're ready to go to bed.
What happened to us?!?!?!

Oh, we're now parents who get up twice in the night with a hungry little boy! The joys of being 'mommy' and 'daddy'!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

a couple of 'firsts'...


My mom and dad came Friday, November 7th, when my contractions started being regular, and they got to be here for Josiah's birth on the 8th! Mom stayed with us all week and was such a sweet servant to our new family - she cooked so many meals and things to freeze for us. She went to the grocery store and ran other errands, she rocked Josiah to sleep so I could get some rest, she treated me to an outing at Old Navy, she helped us clean the house, she videoed Josiah's arrival home and first bath. She was a great blessing to us. Thank you, Mama! And, Daddy, thank you for making 2 trips 2 weekends in a row to Fort Worth - to meet your newest grandchild and to see him again and come get Mama to take her back to Ruston. Daniel and I are very thankful for you and we love you! ...and, Josiah loves you too!!


Rebecca and I have been friends for a few years and she has been my faithful workout buddy throughout my pregnancy. We worked out together 2-3 times per week since right before we got pregnant. She and her daughter, Caroline, came to meet Josiah the day we came home from the hospital. Caroline will have a baby brother or sister at her house in April which means Josiah will have another little friend to play with! Thanks, Rebecca and Caroline, for coming to meet Josiah!! You are special friends to us.


5 days after Josiah was born, he went on his first outing - he came with us to our small group! We stayed a couple of hours for "oooooo-ing"' and "aaahhh-ing" time over him and then for a really sweet time of worship. Some in the group prayed over him and Nikki spoke words of life and truth into him, declaring that he has been marked by the Lord through the unmistakable fire in his red hair and declaring that he will be a man of God who will walk in the rich anointing of his daddy, Daniel, as Elisha walked in the double anointing of his father, Elijah. It was a really holy time together. Josh, Elizabeth, Caleb, Michelle, Craig, Nikki, and Brendon...we are truly blessed to walk with you through this season of our lives. And we pray the Lord will allow this to be a long season in our lives - we are richly blessed by your friendship. And we're so glad Josiah is now being covered by that blessing as well!

Josiah turned one week old on November 15 at 2:53 p.m. so....we celebrated! Daddy had driven in town that morning and we all blew up balloons and sang, "Happy one week to you..." to Josiah. (For those of you concerned that we have balloons in the bed with our son, thinking it's a safety hazard, don't worry, he was never left alone in the crib. We just thought he needed 7 balloons for his 7 days of life. And, you must admit, it makes for terribly cute pictures!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Isn't he precious??? We're absolutely smitten...

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Unveiling...

After 9 months of anticipation, the Lord unveiled His miracle to us this weekend! And, after a few months of anticipating our son's name, we will now unveil "Baba Ganoush/Tommy Chuck's" official name to you!

Drum roll please......

Announcing the arrival of

Josiah Daniel Audi.

After a 19 hour delivery that started at 7:30 p.m. on Friday the 7th of November, Josiah was born on Saturday, November 8 at 2:53 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mommy, Daddy, and Josiah are all doing fine – a little tired, but fine! God’s hand was all over this pregnancy and delivery and post-delivery. We are truly grateful and so incredibly blessed. We are humbled that the Lord has entrusted us with this little life – can’t tell you the number of tears of joy I’ve already cried just looking at him and holding him near. A miracle, indeed!!

“Josiah” means “fire of the Lord” and…what a sweet reminder the Lord has given us of His “FIRE” in Josiah – he was born with flaming bright red hair. Our prayer is that Josiah would live to be his name sake – that he would possess the all-consuming fire of the Lord and that his life would burn for Jesus. (You can read about King Josiah in 2 Kings chapters 22-23. Here are a couple of verses about him that we really love! 2 Kings 22:2 “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” And 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” We pray that our son would be known as a man who turns to the Lord like King Josiah of the past - with all his heart, soul, and strength.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

out of town guests.

Well, it's 2 days past the little one's due date and we're still playing the waiting game - no consistent contractions or anything. The midwives have scheduled me to be induced on Wednesday night, November 12, with cervidil and will start pitocin Thursday morning, November 13, if the cervidil doesn't put me into labor. However, I'm hoping that neither of those things are necessary and that the little one will wiggle and squirm and send me into natural labor before having to be induced.

I know God has a perfect plan. Well, I know that in my head, and I'm trying to believe that in my heart. Sometimes it's hard to do that when I feel frustrated and just want to see his little face and hold him and know everything is okay.

In the meantime, I thought I'd blog! :-)

We've been blessed by some out-of-town visitors over the past month.

Andy and Laura came down for the TX-OU weekend and stayed with us after the game. Andy was Daniel's roommate when Daniel first moved to DFW from Maryland over 5 years ago! Now Andy lives in Oklahoma City. We had a fun night of being lazy on the couch, watching "Planet Earth," and eating quesadillas!

Us, Laura, & Andy after a yummy Sunday morning breakfast at IHOP!

Ryan and Adriane are also from OKC and came to DFW to celebrate their 4 year anniversary. And, even chose to have dinner with us on their anniversary weekend. We're always so blessed by them and their love for Jesus and just good conversation.

Ryan, Adriane, and us after a HUGE meal at Joe T. Garcia's.

Chris, Zahra, Brendon, and Zoey were driving through Fort Worth from Ohio...on their way to the Austin area. Chris and Daniel have been friends since high school. They stopped by for just an hour or two yesterday for a little road trip break. We haven't seen them since our wedding, over 2 years ago. It was good to catch up!

Us, Zahra holding Zoey, and Chris holding Brendon.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Elections 2008

I was encouraged to watch these today and I hope you will too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

us...when we were babies.

Well, as I sit here twiddling my thumbs waiting for our little one to decide to make his debut, I'm feeling pretty bored - his room is ready, all the errands have been run, I've even frozen some soup for us to have available after his arrival. I play Tetris on the computer and check Facebook regularly these days. It's all getting a bit old! :-)

Although our official due date isn't until Monday, I've been hoping all week that he would come a little early. To our dismay, he's still not wanting to reveal his little face. I feel like there's absolutely NO MORE ROOM for him in my belly, though. My skin feels so tight and when I wake up in the mornings, it is hard as a rock! I'm feeling sorry for his cramped environment.

My boredom has brought me to this post today. What to post? Nothing better than a preview of what's to come - a mixture of these two photos!! Wonder who he will look like? My theory is that first born children almost always look like the father, so...I'm thinking our little Baba Ganoush/Tommy Chuck will look more like an Audi than a Hood. But, we'll see!

baby Daniel James Audi & baby Kimberly Ann Hood

Daniel and I went for a walk this morning and have plans to go walking every day until the big arrival with hopes that it will encourage him to come! I've posted 'still waiting for our son's arrival. Pray with us for a weekend delivery,' on my Facebook, and have already had a couple of comments about others' success stories in speeding up the arrival of their little one. It's always so fun to hear what has 'worked' for some. One of our friends said, "Just go eat a big meal at Cracker Barrel - it worked for us!" I mean, what's the harm in trying??? And, who wouldn't want to eat at Cracker Barrel, whether it helped or not.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Every Thursday night these folks come to our home and we spend about 2 1/2 - 3 hours together. Who are these great people??? Our SMALL GROUP! And, like I've said before, we are so blessed to be in community with them. God is growing all of us and has been doing so since we began meeting a little over a year ago.

Caleb & Michelle Dulock, Nikki & Craig Comolli, us, Brendon Hollingsworth, Josh & Elizabeth Audi

When I think back on my walk with Jesus, I know that it's been in the past 2 years that I've grown the most. The influence?

One of the biggest influences has been Daniel. God has used him in so many ways to grow me into a better woman of Him. I was told several months ago that when I married Daniel, he became a 'spiritual covering' and protection over me in the heavenlies. And, I very much believe that. God blessed me with this incredible man of Him and I am regularly reminded that Daniel is my gift of grace from Jesus, defining 'grace' as "getting what we don't deserve." I know that I didn't deserve the man that Daniel is, but I am so thankful that God saw it fit to give him to me - to point me to Jesus, to grow me in godliness.

Another big influence has been this small group - intentionally challenging one another to search our hearts and be set free in areas where we've allowed the enemy to hold us in bondage. God has been so merciful to all of as He has highlighted different areas in our lives where He wants to bring healing, to make us completely His. Of course, we're all a work in progress. None of us has arrived. He is our Potter. We are the clay. It's so great to be on this journey with these friends, though, and to be molded together in His image.

Celebrating the goodness of the friends we've been given today....

homecoming week at Dunbar

Daniel is teaching Spanish at Dunbar High School this year and this week is Homecoming week. They have themes for each day and today's theme is "the 70s & the 80s", here's my husband, right before leaving for school today. And yes, he actually had these 2 items in his closet. Nice, huh???!! He "said" he bought the pants a while back for occasions such as this.

His students love him! ...who wouldn't?

38 weeks

The little one is ripe and ready - if he comes any time now, he's considered to be 'full term'. So, we're just playing the waiting game now. We're ready to welcome him into the world whenever he's ready to make his grand entrance!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Daniel and I went to the matinee yesterday to see FIREPROOF. Wow. Granted, I'm female, pregnant, and emotional on a regular basis, but this movie was so touching. If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend it. The storyline is of a couple who don't know Jesus and whose marriage is absolutely falling apart. I walked away from the movie thinking, "I know this must be a reality for some marriages - yelling and arguing and thoughts of divorce. I am so incredibly thankful that my Daniel has never once raised his voice at me. And that the dynamics of the marriage in the movie is very foreign to us. But, I'm sobered by the fact that it is a reality for some, maybe even for some of my friends. God, have mercy!"

The movie is really a beautiful story. There is so much in its content. And the message of Jesus - His redemption and His plan for marriage - is clear. The movie is blatently evangelistic without seeming awkward. Fighting over every little thing, Caleb (Kirk Cameron) and his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea), are on the verge of signing divorce papers when Caleb's father and coworkers urge him to approach his marriage in the same way he fights vicious flames. When Caleb's father gives him the "Love Dare," a 40-day guide to religiously motivated marriage help, Caleb begins a difficult journey to reclaim his wife, and in the process, his faith in God. The film examines both the ups and inevitable downs of married life, offering faith as a prescription for saving what may at first glance appears to have already failed. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it. You will be touched.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baba Ganoush can come now...

This week the nursery was finished! We were waiting for "Baba Ganoush's" baby bedding and Monday I got a phone call from the lady at my church who has been working on it asking if she could deliver his bedding and pillow that morning. Of course I said, "YES!" Thanks to my parents we have a super comfy glider and a beautiful crib for his bedroom. With the other gifts we received from family and friends at showers and 'just because' we now feel ready for the little one's arrival. And, I am so pleased with the way everything turned out. Now, all we need is a healthy baby to put in his beautiful crib.

Pray with us as we have been asking the Lord for the baby's arrival to be in His timing and in His way. I'd love an easy, quick labor and delivery...who wouldn't? I know I have a great husband who will coach me and encourage me through it all, no matter how long or short labor may be. And I have great friends and family who will be there with me as well...well, up until a certain point! ;-) And, most importantly, I have a loving Father who already knows how the day (or night) will finish. And Who has it all planned out for us! Thank You, Jesus!

Jesus, would you bring a healthy son into this world. We commit to raise him as best as we can to love and fear You and follow hard after You!

Okay, Little Man, we're waiting for you...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 13, 2005

Three years ago, Daniel and I were both working for Catholic Charities and I was teaching an ESL class in Arlington. Daniel had invited me to meet him at Central Market after my ESL class that evening. "Is this a date," I wondered. I wasn't sure. But, after teaching in a Somali apartment for 2 hours, I decided I'd at least stop by the house and change shirts - nothing fancy, just didn't want to smell like the strong scent of the Somali apartment. I arrived at Central Market to find Daniel sitting at a table outside of Central Market, having jsut finished a little dinner. He asked if I wanted to walk over to Starbucks for some coffee. I agreed. We sat outside in the nice evening fresh air. He excused himself to the bathroom, and the sweet girl working that night came out and handed me this letter (of course, without the check mark...I added that as my reply):

That night, Daniel and I became an 'official' couple. And here we are, three years later, married and having our first child in just a few weeks....very exciting! And very much a reason to reminisce...

So... we went back to that Central Market on Hulen Street in Fort Worth last night....

We had dinner together...

We drove over to that same Starbucks (driving this time instead of walking. I mean, I am 37 weeks preggo!)

And enjoyed a white chocolate mocha and mocha with a shot of peppermint together!



I've mentioned before the blessing that our small group is to us. Or, if I haven't, I've meant to. :-) For Daniel and me, small group = our family here in Fort Worth. These are folks who love us in spite of us. Folks with whom we can share the ugliest parts of ourselves and know that the repsponse will be love, love, love. And much prayer. Folks with whom we can share our accomplishments and know that they will celebrate with us. Folks who challenge us. Folks who point us to Jesus!

my very best friends in Fort Worth

The ladies of our small group hostessed a baby shower for me and our little Baba Ganoush this past weekend. I don't know all that they did behind the scenes, but the shower was lovely and, if you girls are reading this, THANK YOU!!! They asked the moms at the shower to give me mommy advice. They spoke words of blessing over our son, they prayed over us, they spoke scriptures over us. They gave us a 'treasure chest' in which to put words the Lord gives us for our son, fun memories with him, and whatever else. They also blessed us with our baby crib mattress. Their generosity humbles me. I have great friends, wouldn't you say? It was such a sweet time, not only for me, but for my Mama who drove in with my Daddy from Ruston to stay less than 24 hours with us just to be at the shower.

super cute decor, wouldn't you agree?

the 'diaper cake' center piece

I opened many fun gifts - from practical things like the mattress and pacifiers and wipes and a diaper bag to fun things like outfits and books and more. Here I am showing off a monkey card from my Mama and my sister - so cute!

"Love the monkey card, Mama and Jenny!"

mommies and daughters

Monday, October 13, 2008

Olive Garden and Andes Mints

Last week Daniel and I had dinner at Olive Garden. I'm sure many of you agree that the salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden are the best part of any meal there. And, the fact that you get Andes mints with your bill is an extra bonus for dining at Olive Garden.

It has been my experience that when there are 2 guests, the server brings 2 or 4 Andes mints with the bill. This particular night, our server returned to our table with 8 Andes mints inside of that black leather bill holder. When he came to take our credit card, I said to him, "Thanks so much for the extra Andes candies - I love them!" Little did I know that he would return to our table with our credit card in one hand and this to-go coffee cup FILLED with Andes mints!!

Cheers to Angel, our new favorite server in all of the DFW metroplex. My face lit up even more as I said thank you to him and he replied, "You've got to make the pregnant lady happy." ....You know, there are a lot of kindesses that have come to me as a result of being pregnant. Will I still have the same treatment when the little one no longer makes me look like I've stuffed a basketball in my shirt and he's screaming as we are dining???? ....I doubt it!!! :-) But, I'll enjoy it for now and smile and say, "Thank you!"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jesus Storybook Bible

My walking buddy and friend, Rebecca, told me about this book, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. And, I thought it was blog-worthy - for any of our blog readers. The author's intended audience is children, but it is a fascinating book, one that has even been a suggested read to pastors because of the way the book is written. It causes the reader to look at all the characters and events in Scripture in light of their place in redemptive history. It's a book telling the stories of the bible, but strewn in to each story is the underlying theme that points each story to Jesus. You can read a sample from this book of the story of The Fall by clicking on this link.
Sally Lloyd-Jones received The Moonbeam Award Gold Medal Winner in the religion category for this book. Zondervan's description of the book quotes, "At the center for the Story is a baby, the child upon whome everything will depend. Every story whispers His name. From Noah to Moses to the great King Dave - every story points to Him. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up on the clues and and piece together the puzzle. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation - at the cent of their Story too."
The book can be ordered on as well as several other websites and in Christian Stores. I hope you'll decide to add it to your book collection.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sundays and coke ICEEs

Do you remember the post about our niece Meredith and her love for ICEEs?

Well, Baby Audi may come out with a love for ICEEs as well, namely coke ICEEs.


Well, I love coke ICEEs, and Daniel and I discovered a while back that the RACE TRAC next to our church sells coke ICEEs!! And this summer, there was a special on 32 oz. ICEEs - 32 oz. for 69 cents!! Can't beat that!!! And all summer we didn't pass up a single Sunday without splitting a 32 oz. ICEE. Going to Race Trac after church became a weekly routine for us. So much so, that the lady who works there on Sunday mornings has become quite friendly with us - asking about our baby, telling us about her family, and today she said, "It's on the house!!"

Since the fall has arrived, the great deal on the 32 oz. ICEEs disappeared. A 22 oz. ICEE is now 99 cents. And the 32 oz. ICEE is $1.09. So, we share a 22 oz. ICEE every Sunday after church now. "Share" in the sense of the word that I hold the ICEE and drink from it most of the way back home from church and offer it to Daniel every once-in-a-while. Maybe I should go back to my nursery school days and re-learn how to "share." :-)

We're back home and well, the ICEE is all gone - just a cup with some trash from the car inside of it!

table top.

I'm sure you moms have experienced the 'table top belly'. And, I'm not sure exactly when it happened that my belly began making a good table top, but I find myself regularly setting things on it - my glass of water, my salad bowl, my cereal bowl, etc. I'm thinking I might miss it's convenience once it's no longer around. We're at 36 weeks in the pregnancy, so we have 4 weeks to go until the little one's due date. I guess that means I only have about 4 weeks left to enjoy my built-in table! Hopefully, it will be gone soon after he arrives!

brannon's arrival...continued

More pictures from Brannon's birth:

This is Meredith's "oooooohhhh!" face! She was so happy to meet her brother!

Proud grandparents!

Meredith kisses her new baby!

The double-chin is only a result of the angle of the camera...I mean, he weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces for cryin' out loud!

Daddy, his girls, and his first grandson!


I have tutored and taught ESL to every member of this family throughout the past year since they moved to America. There are 12 people living in the home together - mom, dad, grandmother, and 9 children! They are a super sweet family and have been such a blessing to me. A few weeks ago, one of the girls approached me while I was at her school tutoring and said, "Miss, Musa baptize. You come?" "Come," I thought, "Of course I'd come!" And I was honored to be invited!

I attended their Tumaini International Church service and was blessed to see that so many of the African refugee families we serve are a part of this church. The service was similar to an American Baptist Church service - which in some ways, was disappointing. I could imagine missionaries going into Africa and recreating a Western church among these people. None the less, they love Jesus!

And, Musa, decided to follow Jesus a few weeks ago and get baptized! What a sweet memory to have with this family!! Thank You, Jesus.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

aunt kim & uncle daniel - part dos

My sister had a little boy today - Brannon David Cohn. She was a champ!

I made the road trip to Ruston yesterday (Thanks to Meg for riding with me)! And then hopped in the car with Mom and Dad to go to Baton Rouge. Jenny & Brian left for the hospital early this morning and we played with Meredith, took her to school, and met them at the hospital around 11:00. Jenny was dilated to 6 cm when we got there and within 3ish hours, she delivered a beautiful baby boy!

came at 2:18 p.m.
5 pounds, 12 ounces
19 1/2 inches long.

He has beautiful thick, black hair and a beautiful complexion. He looks great. And Jenny looks great too! Thank you to those who have been praying for her and for Brannon's safe arrival today!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby's Room

This past week I was off of work, so I got to dive into some creativity that has been buried for over 10 years - I painted a couple of canvases for our son!

me, exercising my buried artsy side

Since I was a child, I wanted to have my own pet monkey. That never happened, but I did sleep with a stuffed monkey until our wedding day. Daniel asked ever-so-politely if he could replace the monkey. It was a sad day, but 'monkey' got retired to sit on the pillows in the guest bedroom. And, that's been his residence for the past two years. However, he's now moving into a new room in our home - the baby's room! And, along with the stuffed monkey, there had to be some other monkey decor. So, I saw some great paintings on a website, and did my best to duplicate them.

the small canvas on the shelf in the picture below

We're getting his bedding made. The stripe is his bed skirt and the paisley is the outside of his bumper. He'll have a chenille fabric that is off-white on the inside of the bumper. I love his fabric! We're hoping to have it sometime in October, so pardon the incomplete crib. Here is his bedding and his bedroom so far!

fabric for his bedding

crib and canvases

the wall opposite the crib

Stories of the monkeys:

The monkey on the shelf above the crib is one that we saw in the boutique store at the hospital on one of our visits to the midwife. Daniel bought it for his little boy. This monkey comes complete with a diaper and a pacifier!

The monkey on the shelf above the couch was my monkey growing up.

The monkey on the couch is a gift from the baby's aunt and uncle who live here in Fort Worth - they made it at "Build-a-Bear."

We will get a big mirror to put above the bookshelf and I also painted 5"x5" canvases for each letter of his name that will go on top of the bookshelf.

We'll announce his name on his birth date! Until then, there are a couple of names we refer to him as...."Tommy Chuck" or "Baba-Ganoush". "Tommy Chuck" comes from our Hispanic neighbors who came over to meet my parents and my sister and niece one weekend they were in town. Mom asked Remon, a 2nd grader, what he thought the baby's name should be. "Tommy," Remon replied. And she asked Giovani for his opinion. He replied, "Chuck." So, for the remainder of the weekend, my dad referred to our son as "Tommy Chuck." "Baba ganoush," well, Daniel named him that. :-) We must have been eating some Arab food when someone asked what his name would be. And, since Daniel is always quick on his toes, he replied, "We'll refer to him as Baba Ganoush until he's born." Baba-Ganoush is a dip Arabs dip fresh bread in. It's really good! Why our son is nick-named after a dip is beyond me...but, I like it! And Daneil came up with it. You can feel free to refer to our little one by those names as well.