Butts. butts. butts. butts. Yummy butts. butts. butts!


Hey, guys. It’s Chad. And it’s time to bring you up-to-date on Alyssa’s adoption.
Raef and I (and our attorney) met with Ms. Evelyn and her attorney last Monday morning. It was an excellent meeting. Essentially, she said she was ready to go forward with the adoption if we were. We told her we were. She said as far as she’s concerned, the adoption will be final. She wasn’t asking for joint custody or mandatory visitations. She said she would “love to be involved in our family – in some small way – but only if Alyssa, Matty, Raef and I want her to be.” She said she hoped we might invite her to our house for a birthday party or Holiday sometime.
Her attorney told us that Ms. Evelyn had set up “irrevocable trusts” for both Alyssa and Matty “that will be sufficient to pay their education expenses through college… and provide money to get them started in life.” Raef and I were stunned – and simply said “Thank you.”
Evelyn asked us if we had discussed the adoption with Alyssa. We told her we had talked about it briefly but had told her it would all depend on the lawyers and the Court. Evelyn smiled and said “Then, I think you’d better ask her if she’d like to become part of your family.”
After the meeting, Raef and I stopped at Pandora Jewelers and bought a bracelet with four engraved charms. One each saying “Raef”, “Chad”, “Alyssa”, and “Matty”. Then, after school, the four of us got together at our house. Raef, Matty and I all got on one knee in front of Alyssa and Raef said “Alyssa, will you be my daughter?” She smiled and said “YES”! Then I said “Alyssa, will you be my daughter?” She squealed and said “YES”! Then Matty said “Alyssa, will you be my sister?” At that, a tear ran down her cheek and she said “Yes. Matty. I’ll be your sister.” It was a moment none of us will ever forget.
With our attorney at our side, we went before the Juvenile Court on Friday morning. The Judge reviewed the paperwork and asked Alyssa if she understood what adoption meant – and if she wanted to become a permanent part of our family. She said “Yes. Your honor. I want that very much.” The whole thing took about ten minutes and afterward we picked up food at “Sugar Leaf Bakery” and took it home for our first lunch together as a family.
We’ll get with David, Ben and the gang and plan a big celebration in the near future. Right now, we’re just grateful for our good fortune – and happy to be a family.
Love you guys. Chad, Raef, Matty and Alyssa.

Dude. Sock it to me!

We mentioned a while back that Cal had suggested we do a post for each of the families in our “family” – and let you guys know what’s going on with the kids. This is the first of those posts – this one from Cal and Alex. We thought “socks” seemed like an appropriate photo topic 🙂


Hey, guys… it’s Cal. I told David and Ben I thought we needed to bring you up-to-date on the kids (or “ankle biters” as my Dad calls them), and I guess Alex and I get to go first. I should probably say up front you shouldn’t expect “fair and balanced” information about our kids because… well, they’re our kids 🙂
First, there’s our amazing daughter Bella. She’s the only female among the Northland “littles” and she’s a joy. Since they’re on school break, she’s been spending most of her time over at Koala Cove with Alex and her grandmother. She loves working with colors and Alex let her pick all the colors and textures (carpets, countertops, wood trims, etc.) on the first of the villas. He says her selections are “tasteful, yet venturesome.” Something obviously worked because Mum sold the first villa to a friend from K.C. for “a million-four and change.” Not bad for a remodeled fishing cabin 🙂
Bella’s birthday is August 28th (she doesn’t know it, of course, but she shares it with Tim and Beto). She’s been very specific about what she wants. She’s getting a “Nintendo Switch” video game system from Alex and me – and Chance is giving her a “Unicorn Princess” game. Did I mention… she’s a Joy!
Chance is growing like a weed. He took another hearing test last week (they’re doing them on Zoom now) and his progress is excellent. He wears his implant most of the time but takes it off when swimming, or rough housing with the other kids. When he’s not wearing it, he sometimes says “Look at me. Look at me,” so we’ll know he’s lip-reading. Alex was laughing last week and said “I wonder if he’s the only kid in the World who lip-reads in English, Spanish, French and Australian.”
About three weeks ago, Ben texted all the adults in the gang and asked if anyone wanted a “Boxer puppy.” The story was that the retired dentist who rents our “school building” to Ben’s school has a daughter who raises pure-bred boxers. It seems she had a litter of seven puppies and when she cropped their ears, one of them ended up with a “gimpy, or floppy” ear. She said she wouldn’t be able to sell it because of the ear and wanted her dad to “put it down” for her. He took the dog and said he couldn’t bring himself to kill it. So, he called Jim… who called Ben and asked if he thought any of us would be interested in a boxer puppy with one floppy ear. Ben called me and asked if we’d be interested. The thing is, Chance absolutely loves “Cookie” but she is – and always has been- Bella’s dog. So Alex and I talked it over and asked Chance if he’d like his own dog. His face lit up like a Christmas tree and we headed over to meet the pup (wearing masks, gloves and goggles). We met the pup and the connection between Chance and him was immediate. Of course, we brought him home and he’s Chance’s dog now (although Bella – being Bella – thinks she’s in charge of raising and house training him). We told Chance the pup needed a name and he said “His name is Goliath.” We have no idea where that came from – but we all call him “Go.”
So, that’s what’s been happening with us and the kids. We’re all tired of Covid and being quarantined, but Ben is starting school on Wednesday, September 9th and that’ll keep the kids busy.
We hope you and yours are happy, healthy and being kind to one another. Be of good cheer… it’s only 79 days till election day! xoxo Cal and Alex

Barefoot boys with cheeks of…

We’ve done tons of “holes ‘n soles” posts over the years, but maybe not one where all the dudes still had all the natural hair “God gave ’em”. So, here are a bunch of boys who either don’t own razors – or at least don’t use them on their butt hair. YUM!


Hey, guys. It’s Chad. I saw on the “sneakers” post, that “bw,” “Denny” and “Kent” all mentioned Matty and wanted to know how he’s doing. The short answer is he’s doing fine. It’s been a little over three months since Rafe and I started “fostering” him and it’s been a whirlwind. The wedding… and moving to Table Rock… and the pandemic… and leasing a new house… and getting a new “schoolhouse”… and learning new languages…and so much more. If you think about how all this has impacted out little guy, it’s mind-blowing. We’re so proud of him and the way he’s adapted and he always has one of the greatest smiles God ever put on a kid’s face.
Last week, our attorney called and asked if we wanted to adopt “Mateo.” We said, “Of course” but we haven’t been fostering him all that long and don’t know how the State people would feel about that. Our attorney said she thought this might be the perfect time to file for adoption. She said Covid-19 has resulted in a “real mess” in the Department of Social Services and she thinks they’re trying to “work through foster cases” as rapidly as possible. So, we filed all the paperwork and we’re waiting to hear from the DSS. Our attorney says it may be several weeks before we get an answer, but she’ll stay on top of it. Raef and I are excited about the possibility of being “real parents” – and maybe a little scared too. We’d really appreciate your thoughts and prayers! xoxo Chad and Raef