Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Hi Everyone!!!!! As you can see by the pictures, things are starting to move along a little. (You should be able to click on the first picture and then view them all, one by one). Last Monday, August 18th, they started framing our house. By Friday, five days later, it was totally framed, the OSB board was up, the roof was closed, and the shingles were put on!!! Wow, now if the rest will go that smoothly, we'll be in good shape. Logan and Cayden were so excited to see the progress. Now that we have a fourth bedroom upstairs, Logan thinks he will move into that one "to make things a little different." Cayden has informed us that he may want Logan's old room.

In addition to taking the house from a 1 1/2 story to a full 2 story, we added on a little room on each side of the house, changed the front room into a den, enlarged our pantry, changed the extra space we had added on two years ago in the back of the garage to an exercise room, we now have a larger "loft" area for the boys to play in upstairs, and both our upstairs bathrooms are a little larger.

In the process, we had to have a huge Pear tree cut down, because it was too close to the house now and the trunk was starting to split. We'll have to pretty much start all new with the landscaping.

Tomorrow night (Sept. 27th), we will be meeting with the builder to pick out cabinets, countertops, hardware, and to start thinking about appliances and paint colors.

Logan and Cayden are doing well in school, and we are very pleased with the teachers they got. We all miss being at the bus stop and chatting with our friends, but it's just a short distance to their school.

God has truly blessed us with all of you, and all your love and kindness is what keeps us going. God is gracious and He's with us every step of the way. Hope you're feeling His love now.

Take Care,

Love from all of us,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hello Everyone!!!! Can you believe the kids are going back to school already!! Wow, the summer break has flown by.

Good News: Construction on our new house will begin this week. The builder will be pouring the new concrete on the sides of the house (we are expanding a little). John and I have had a meeting to pick out the exterior materials for the house, the faucet fixtures, the windows, the doors and door handles, and sinks. We met with the flooring specialist, and we now have carpet and tile samples in our apartment. We are pretty much decided on what we want with those. Next we'll be picking out kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and appliance style and color. We are so excited to get things rolling!!!!

Apartment life can be somewhat cramped at times, but thank goodness we've been able to enjoy summer weather and activities a lot. Speaking of activities, the pictures above are from our awesome trip to see our close friends Kristen, JP, Kai, and Jacob Snyder in Smithville, MO. We went the week of the 4th of July and had a great time. We were so glad to see them and get to spend some much needed time away from Fort Wayne. On the way to their house, we also spent a few days in St. Louis. We went to the zoo, a Mets/Cardinals game at the Busch Stadium, visited the Arch, and the kids enjoyed a go-cart/fun spot Nascar place.

Logan will be in third grade this year, and he is very happy with the teacher he got. Logan just finished his soccer program with the Parks and Recreation and will start the Mini Dons soccer at IPFW in September.

Cayden will be starting kindergarten this year. We are very happy with the teacher he got. Cayden's a little disappointed he won't be able to start off the year riding the bus. Since we are in the apartment, close by Lima Road, it's quicker and closer to drive them to school.

We pray for a good school year and that the house will come along with little or no problems!!
We hope you all are doing well and are blessed with a safe and healthy start to the school year.

Love and Peace,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden

Monday, July 14, 2008


Hi everyone!! It's been awhile since we've updated our blog, and we wanted to let you know what was happening.

Since our last update, Cayden and Logan have gotten an awesome, dark tan, they've gone to Vacation Bible School at The Chapel, as a family, we went on a trip to St. Louis, MO to visit the zoo there, to see the Arch, we saw a Mets/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, went to a Nascar entertainment spot (Logan got to drive his own go cart!! He was all smiles!!), and best of all, we drove 3 hours further West to Smithville, MO to visit and stay with our good friends Kristen, JP, Kai, and Jacob Snyder!!!! It was such an awesome trip!! A much needed relaxing, low stress trip. We laughed so much----It was great!!!

As you can tell from the pictures above, our house has been torn down. It was a beautiful day, just a tad of wind, but a wonderful day to symbolize our "new start". Many neighbors, mostly from our cul de sac and surrounding streets, came to watch and support us as our house was taken down. I had planned ahead of time to try to make the morning a positive one. I bought about twenty different brightly colored balloons on brightly colored ribbon, roses for each of the families/neighbors/family that were our strength on April 14th, cookies, and water and juice boxes for everyone to join us and celebrate the new beginning John, the boys, and I were about to make. I said a little prayer , before we let the balloons float into the sky. We did have a good morning, and I think we will be able to remember it in a positive way.

Although there was a hint of sadness while remembering the memories we had in our house, we were also bathed in the warm sunshine and God's love that was present in all our neighbors and family.

This week, we will be finalizing the changes and floor plan for the new house, the builder will draw up new prints, and hopefully, we will be signing a contract very soon. We are all excited to get everything moving, so it won't be too late in the winter when we get into the house.

Before the builder can begin the frame work, he will first be cleaning and repairing the foundation where the fire damaged it.

Logan and I were over at the yard today to mow and clean up a little. Our four seasons room still stands just behind the foundation----a reminder that, with God, we can move on and stand tall in any situation.

We hope you all are doing well. God has blessed us richly with all of your friendships and love.

We will keep updates coming, so you can keep up with all the changes.

Take Care, and we hope God is blessing you now.

Lots of Love,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden

Monday, June 9, 2008


Hi everyone!!! Sorry I haven't been back to the blog for awhile. With the boys out of school now, I had to get used to the new schedule!!! The pool has opened here at the apartment, so we have been spending some time there. Logan and Cayden love it!!! I think we'll have two little fish by the end of summer.

GOOD NEWS!!!! John and I decided on a builder. We decided to go with Bruce Stopher out of Harlan, Indiana. He is a smaller builder, and we feel we will get excellent customer service and a more personal touch. He was referred to us by my cousin, who knows of a couple people that Bruce built for. Also, we called a reference who had their house built about a year or so ago. They gave us a hour and a half tour of their home and told us a lot of positive things about Bruce and his crew. John and I felt like it was an answered prayer, because up until now, we just haven't felt without a doubt that we had found the "right" builder for us.

We are waiting for the excavataion crew to have an open slot to come and take down our house. Hopefully, within a week or two. This will be a sad time, because it's the only house the boys know and it's John's and my first home after we got married. A lot of memories took place within those walls. But, again, God has blessed us by saving some of the pictures and home videos we had. There are so many emotions involved. We know God is and will continue to be with us during all these changes, and He will comfort us during the times that are difficult. We are so thankful for His kindness in giving us so many loving and compassionate friends and family.

Once the excavation takes place, the foundation will be assessed to make sure there is no damage, it will be cleaned, the pipes and plumbing will be looked at for problems, and then when Bruce and his guys are ready, they will begin building. At this time, we are planning on keeping the foundation/slab, and building on that the same perimeter of the house. We are planning on making some changes within, depending on measurements and space.

We are trying to look at this experience as a chance for our family to grow closer together, for us to learn to receive, to feel God's love from Him and others, and for us to go forward and serve others as God wants us to.

This year in my Bible Study Fellowship class, we studied Matthew. One of the main points that struck me was when Jesus was calling His disciples to drop everything and follow Him. They did not question, they did not worry, they did not try to grab anything they could before they followed. No, they stopped what they were doing, left their families, left their conveniences, left their life as they knew it, and followed Jesus and trusted Him for all their bodily, spiritual, and emotional needs. I want to be like that. I have a ways to go, but Jesus is worth it!!!! This experience since the fire has been kind of like that with the disciples. God is asking us to leave the life, the home, and the stuff we had to follow Him. To trust Him. To put Him as our focus, and look to Him for our needs, our comfort, and our peace. I know we may trip and stumble along this journey, but God's strong hand will be there to grab onto, to right ourselves, and continue down the road.

Thank you all for how you have touched and blessed our lives. Have a great day!!!

Walk in Love,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden Lew

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Hi everyone!! It's nice to have a three day weekend this week, isn't it? Today has been a beautiful day so far, and John, the boys, Zoey, and I have enjoyed being outside more.

I have been spending a lot of time going over the personal property list to make sure that the insurance company remembered everything we had in our house and the approximate worth of those things. I have come across (remembered) many things that had sentimental value that are gone, and it is very sad. I had a couple little tubs of things I wanted to keep of Logan and Cayden's in the attic off of our room, and that was one of the hardest hit areas---totally burned. Logan's favorite Pooh and Tigger blanket that he had since he was born, holes and all, clay handprints, and special, original pictures the kids had made at their schools are just a few things that I will miss!

John and some of our friends (Sam, Bryan, Jason, Dave, Mike) and my mom (Emily) came to the house yesterday to help take out some of the furniture items that could be cleaned up a little and donated to The Mustard Seed. We appreciate everyone's help and time, as this was very important to John and I. We hope that someone will be able to get some use out of the furniture.
I was also at the house yesterday to deweed our mulched areas. It was really starting to look unkempt. It was kind of theraputic to do something "normal" at the house, and to put my time toward making it look nicer. Next, I'd like to trim the bushes----Depending on how long it takes to get the quotes back, I just might have time to do it!

John took me out for an awesome Birthday supper at Cork n Cleaver on Wednesday night. It was really great to have some time alone. I felt all grown up again! Thanks to my friend, Krisit, for watching the boys on my birthday and on Saturday while John and I were at the house. You have been such a great help. Thanks also for the birthday presents.

Thanks to Ray and Vivian for the Vera Bradley purse and the weekly planner for my birthday. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

We are still waiting on quotes for rebuilding the house. We want things to keep moving, but it feels like it's just not moving fast enough, ya know what we mean? We are trying to stay focused on God and letting His plan unfold. It's tough some times, though.

Cayden has t-ball on Tuesday and Thursday this week, and Friday will be Logan's last day of school.

Hope you all are doing well. Stay safe.

Love you all,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Hi everyone!! It's almost been five weeks since the fire----Some days it seems like it was just yesterday and others it seems like it was a long time ago. We are still adjusting to apartment life, but we can't complain. It has been nice and quiet here. No noisy neighbors to speak of. The pool should open in about a week. The kids will love that! Not me so much, though, because that means I have to put on a bathing suit!!! Not a fun thought. Oh well.

Right now, John and I have been meeting with builders and contractors and deciding on our next step. If costs permit, we want to start over. Tear down what is left of the house to the slab and rebuild new. We would probably have to keep the same outline of the house, but we would be able to change some things within. The estimate still is around five months to complete the rebuild---We'll get a better idea once they get started. We are praying for a quote and a builder that will be honest, of good quality, and a reasonable price.

We continue to have so much support and love from all of you!! Our neighbors on Lonesome Oak Court and Trail and Ridge Gap Run are a constant source of encouragement and strength, and we thank you all for that. Thank you to Mike Trump for mowing our grass while we are away. Even though the house doesn't look so good, it's nice to see the yard and flowers greening and growing with Spring's new life.

Thank you to all the Bunco Babes (Karen, Kathy, Lisa, Beth, Katie, Diana, Michelle, Jodi, and Heather) for all the kind cards, best wishes, and gift cards!! It was great to get together last night---Everyone needs to share their recipes!!!

Cayden is having fun in his Huntertown t-ball league. His first game is this Tuesday at 7:15pm.

Logan will start soccer through Parks and Rec. the second week of June. He will practice at the Robinson Chapel on Union Chapel/Tonkel Road.

John and I are trying to get back to exercising and getting into shape.

Zoey still loves playing with her tennis ball and enjoys running after the frisbee when we play in the grassy yard by the apartment. She's our miracle dog, and she's made her way into our bed at night. How can you deny such a cute, lovable face?

We hope you all are doing well. Have a safe, fun Spring!!

God Bless,

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Good Morning everyone. Three weeks have passed, and we all are doing pretty well. This weekend, John and I purchased a used Toyota Rav4 to replace the mini van. John did lots of research and the Rav4 is supposed to be a safe, reliable, and fuel efficient vehicle. We are totally indebted to Kristen and JP Snyder for the use of their car while we have been going through this challenging transition. Their kindness and compassion has made life a whole lot easier!! (On a funny note, Cayden has made sure that everyone knows that we are NOT Pittsburg Steelers fans. JP's car has two Pittsburg Steelers stickers in the windows. GO COLTS!!!)

Speaking of Kristen and JP, they left for Missouri on Saturday where JP will have a job as Head Coach of the 8th grade football team. Congratulations, JP!!!! We know you will have a strong, positive impact on those boys. We will miss Kristen (and already do)---She has been a great source of strength, love, and friendship!! Even though they are miles away, we still have them in our hearts and always will. We pray their transition will be smooth, and that they will be blessed in all they do!!

Cayden only has two more days of preschool---graduation will be on Friday at Covenant United Methodist Church on Coldwater Rd. Logan's school goes until the 30th of this month.

Again, I cannot even begin to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of you!!! Your kindness and giving has surpassed anything that John and I would've ever thought possible. It has meant so much to feel your genuine concern. We have felt God's love through all of you.

A couple thanks for now:

*Thank you to Imagine Master Academy for their monetary donations and gift card. (Thanks Allyson for your help!)

*Thank you to Tonja Werling (my cousin and hair stylist) who replaced all our hair products that were lost in the fire. I needed product bad!!

*Thank you to Kelly and Ryan Dear for the gift card, the hot meal, the clothes, and toys for the boys.

*Thank you to Mike & Linda McNeal (Kelly's parents) for their thoughtful monetary donation.

*Thank you to Dawn Thoma for the shirts for Cayden and Logan.

*Thank you to Cedar Canyon school (parents, students, and staff) for all their generous donations of gift cards, monetary donations, and books. We are proud to be part of the Cedar Canyon family!

*Thank you to John's long time friends, Lester and Sue Woo, from New York for the beautiful (and very soft) monogrammed blankets for the boys---they love them!! Also for the gift cards which will be used to replenish some games and toys the boys no longer have.

*Thank you to John's friend, Randy Zimmerman, for the Walmart gift card.

*Thank you to my long time friend, Jodie Fackler, for her friendship and offers for assistance.

*Thank you to John's brother, Ray, and sister-in-law, Vivian, for the Kohl's gift card and emails of encouragement. We miss you guys and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Next on the agenda is deciding on a contractor and getting the process going for restoring/rebuilding the house. At this time we don't know whether it will be a total rebuild or if they will gut the inside and use the existing frame work. Please pray for us to find the perfect and right contractor that will be honest and do great work. The estimate, at this time, is that we may be able to get back into the house within about 5 months. Thank goodness summer is almost here, so we can keep busy with the boys' activities and be outside.

We hope you all are doing well and are as blessed as we feel we are.

Take Care.

Jennifer, John, Logan, and Cayden