Monday, April 30, 2012

I have a dream and it takes patience

I am yearning, longing, aching for a new home. It's no secret here, I've talked about it many times before and if I had no control, I would talk about it every single day on here. I realize it's a rather boring topic for some and if I want to maintain any sort of readership, (I truly appreciate my readers!!!) I have to stay focused on bringing inspiring, hope filled, optimistic posts. That's my goal anyway, that I am delivering useful words that speak to your heart in a sunshine type of way!

At the beginning of the year, I chose one word to be my theme for the year. That word is:

Boy, is my patience being tested this year! I am working inside of myself at a motivated speed to maintain composure and be a patient person. This is incredibly hard for me, I am a more impulsive, strive to get what I want type of a person. Truth is, I am learning that without patience in my life, I may not truly ever feel content. If I am always rushing to the next step in life, I won't sit back and just revel in what we "have". The here and now. That is something I struggle with not only because I am not naturally a patient, wait for the reward type of person. I am hoping the journey through this year with patience, will teach me a few things. We are almost 5 months into the year, and I can say that word has popped into my head to convict my impulsive self many times. I am thankful for the moments where I am brought back to reality. As hard as it is to be in reality sometimes, it's a necessary step of my journey. God works so hard in me, I can actually feel the tugs and pulls on my life on a regular basis!

The "wait" game is opening my eyes too. I couldn't possibly give much thought to what I want if I don't spend time yearning for it. Seeing things, dreaming of them, figuring out what we want in a home, in our life.

I keep a close eye on the market in my area, newly listed homes come to my inbox almost daily. I enjoy seeing what's out there, what we are in for when we are infact a part of the housing market, the day our home has a "For Sale" sign in the yard. I can see it, I can feel it, it's not time yet, but the day that it is time, will be a beautiful day for my soul! 

Yesterday, a home came into my inbox, it's newly listed, it's a little bit higher than our projected budget, but Lord have mercy, it's my dream home! 

My dream home would have an open floor plan:

It will have an eat in kitchen:

It will have lot's of windows for a light and bright feel:

 Some "depth" & character:

 It will have a well established landscape with room for us to be outside to enjoy nature:

It must have a garage that is acceptable for Al to run his business, a potential for enlarging the garage to fit a bucket truck and shop in there:

This home has it all! I drove past today, just to tickle my dreams a little bit and prayed while I drove past. Lord knows exactly what is right for us and when, but I believe it's important to ask anyway. Logically speaking, there is a great possibility that this home will NOT be available a year from now. There is also a great possibility that the sellers would not be willing to cut the price of their home by about $70,000 so it is within our budget, but my heart was relieved once I came home and found that the websites that state "current value" are showing this home very much in our budget, therefore, the sellers could have what I call a case of the "hope it sells for more than it's worth, even in a bad economy" syndrome. That could work in our favor :)

Waiting is hard. But dreaming and believing keeps my spirit happy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I made my own laundry detergent...Here is how it's going!

About a month ago, I got the "itch" one day to make some laundry detergent. There is a plethora of possibilities online; many ideas for how to make it, I found myself drawn to what I believe is the simplest of them all! Ingredients are: Fels Naptha, Borax and Arm and Hammer super washing soda. I collected my ingredients, instead of "fels naptha" soap, I opted for Toms bar soap, simply because it's natural (along with fels naptha) but it's scented too! Natural lavender scent anyone? Yes I am a sucker for lavender! I did my grating of the bar soap and mixed the other two ingredients, I bought a cute little jar from Hobby Lobby to "prettify" the project and I was all set. I believe it took a few loads to really get a feel for the "experiment". My jar was nearing empty this past weekend, exactly 4 Saturdays after my first batch was made, I grated the second bar of soap that came in the 2 pack and added some more of the mix and I now have a full jar again!. (I did pour some of the borax and super washing soda in throughout the 4 weeks to "stretch" my bar soap a little bit.) Overall, I am happy with my new detergent and will be sticking with this atleast for a while. After doing a rough estimate of how much we will save, I used to buy the Target brand detergent which is about $9 for a bottle that states it fills 64 loads. My original investment for homemade detergent was about $10. I will have to buy bar soap to make another batch, but I have plenty of Borax and Super washing soda to make atleast 1 maybe 2 more batches. By my calculations that's about $14 for 3-4 months of detergent vs. $10 for 1 month. Not bad for a small switch! Hubby is pleased too which always makes me feel good ;)

Here is the blog that I used as my guide for making the deterrent Yellow Brick Home when I got started.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kid pleasing dinners are hard to come by!

When I find a meal my whole family loves I practically dance! It's soooo hard to think of things that my whole family likes and have enough creativity to still try new things. Here is my recipe for what I like to call "Confetti dinner"!
It's a fun and colorful mix of food that turns out as "The Crowd Pleaser"

Tri color rotini noodles
ham (for easy peasy you can buy it cubed)
soy beans
olive oil

1. Cook  the tri color rotini as directed.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet drizzle olive oil. Over medium heat add ham, corn and soy beans.

"pre noodles"

3. Once the noodles have cooked, drain and pour the noodles into the skillet.

Ready to serve

Easy, tasty, GO get the ingredients and try it! :) Let me know if you like it!

The other side

As I sit here today rejoicing for Giuliana and Bill Rancic I am thinking about how often people travel a really rough road. One that seems to give never ending "hits", the bad news keeps coming, you feel discouraged and hopeless, but something in you says "keep holding on" there is light at the end of the tunnel, keep moving forward, that drive is a blessing. We have all had experiences that have felt like the toughest trial in our lives. I have my own experiences too, coming to terms with a surprise, out of wedlock, pregnancy (my first child), buying and then renovating a home with my fiance while caring for an infant turned toddler and planning a wedding, more serious things like dealing with the trials of having a husband on dialysis and going through a kidney transplant, going through some major and serious trials in my can be incredibly hard. Holding on and getting through it though is what is the reward. Relying on hope and believing that you will get through the tough times and to be able to look back in hindsight. It's a true blessing. All of your experiences in life are what bring you to who you are today, and the cool part is, grace from our Father in Heaven allows you to get up and start fresh each and every day. This applies to everyone. The tough times are made manageable by having faith in Our Father, that he will take care of you and in a way that no one else could. To know that you can find that deep in your heart, that you are truly never alone, it's something that I find so very comforting.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Silver lining

We have a commute each morning to get Acilia to school. On a good day it's 20 minutes, on a busy day it's more like 25. Every part of me dislikes this commute, but her school is fabulous and it's worth it. I've decided to stop "dreading" the drive everyday, afterall, it's a part of our life, so I feel like it's time to just embrace it and make the best of it. I am glad I have. I've been able to discover that I have built in quality time in the confines of our vehicle with my kids 5 days a week (6 if you include Sundays, we go to church there too!) !! How cool is that? Acilia most of the time spends the time reading, which gives her major points for her reading log at school. She's "required" (I say required because it's for a grade...) to spend atleast 15 minutes a day with her nose in a book. Due to our long commute, she gets about double that. There are times when Acilia would like to stop for a bagel on the way to school, the bagel shop is near our house so she can leisurely eat the bagel with plenty of time before we arrive at school and even sip on her coffee. (That is not a typo, she is 8 and she likes coffee, we do decaf of course) Miles enjoys the ride too, he usually grabs something for the ride, whether it be a book, a puzzle, a few little toy cars, he's rather content looking out the window looking for all types of trucks and just conversing with us too. It's a great set up really. To add to the fun, Acilia has memory work each week. A pretty common thing in private schools, you are to memorize verses from the Bible, or prayers, etc. This month it's been Luther's Morning Prayer and Luther's Evening Prayer broken up into parts. I've been memorizing it with Acilia and it's been fun to say it together in the morning. I think we will continue that even after she knows them. Who am I kidding, she knows them just fine, I still need the paper to remember the words! Ha!

This morning on the way to school, after a forecast of 66 degrees and rain all day, I was thrilled to see breaks in the clouds where sun was sneaking through and the rays were making their way down to Earth. I was struck by the sheer beauty of the rays and shared my amazement with the kids. We started talking about how it looked like Heaven. Of course that always leads to talks about what we think Heaven will be like and Miles asked me if Heaven is the sun. I told him in mommy's world it is, I love the sun! :) Heaven is like everything we love and then even more beautiful! As the morning progressed, the skies opened up even more! I started thinking again how we can plan for things, the forecasters can predict rain, but God is so much bigger than all of us and He chooses to bless us in many little ways throughout the day. Sun for me is a huge blessing and I got the message loud and clear. The message is, no matter how dark the sky or what's "predicted" we must always have faith that finding the "good" in each moment is something that could bring the simplest joy. My hope for you is you are able to find your blessings in each moment!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

God speaks again

I've had adoption/fostering on my heart in the past. It's something I push back and then it comes back a stronger feeling than before. I have never spoken to Al about this "calling" (not sure yet if it's a calling, but it seems that way) and to be honest, I am fearful. I don't want him to think it's another one of my "Karrie" type things. I have a reputation in my house for being impulsive and at times come up with what others may seem to think are "crazy" ideas. Read a bit into my past: An egg donation at the age of 21. An attempt to change my name to better suit my identity. Giving a kidney to my husband. Considering surrogacy. and the list goes heart is giving. I find creative ways to be as giving as I can be, if I were only responsible for myself, I would be a lot more giving, but I have a family and my husband doesn't quite "get" my heart the way it likes to give. He thinks I am crazy most times, and that's ok with me, however it does stifle my desires a bit because when someone tells me an idea is a little bit crazy, the logical side of me second guesses things. So, now that that's been explained, back to adoption. As you know from my last post, I cleaned out the diaper bag, I am feeling done with having children of my own, but that doesn't necessarily change my thoughts on adoption and how I feel for the many children that need homes. I don't have a heart for "baby" adoption, I have a heart for the older kids. The ones who have a history and could possibly want nothing more than to be in a stable, loving family. A place they can call home. I stumbled upon a website that fueled my curiosity even more. I was able to view profiles of children that are up for adoption right here in the US. My dream would be to adopt a girl about the same age as Acilia, who loves horses, they could share a room together and grow up together. Does that seem crazy? In a sense it's like adopting a playmate for my oldest child. How would that even work?! What about the natural "birth order" in the home, how would Miles feel, would he "want a playmate" too?! What type of baggage would come with adopting a child that is older, a child that has a possible history of trauma or who knows what else. What if the girls didn't "mesh"? What if the adopted child didn't "mesh" with us, the parents? Would it be like a "step parent" situation? Would that child always feel like an outsider in my home? Would I be able to love an older child as I love my own children? The questions are endless, however my heart has once again been awakened to this path and only God knows if this would be a path that should work into our life at some point, and only God can tell me when that time is. The website happened to have a girl listed, who is 13 years old. She was noted as "LOVING HORSES" and it just sparked my interest. I could look into her eyes in her profile and picture her as part of our family. Could we give her a life that's better than she has now? I had already started dreaming of the possibilities when the reality hit, that I have not even spoken to my husband. The man I am married to, the man that would most definitely have to be 100% on board with this for it to even come close to something we pursue. If I could only get over my fears and "Step out in faith" as God often asks us to do. Al is the master of telling me "NO" so I guess that's the worst that could happen, but what if he somehow had the same calling in his heart? Amazing to think about.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Diaper Bag

Today I was putting something in the back of my car and I spotted it. The diaper bag. I haven't used it in likely well over a year, I've noted it sitting there before, many times considering for a split second removing it from the car, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. Today was the day. I mustered the strength to take it out. The physical act was not difficult. It was the emotion that came with it. I looked through it, found little rattle books that I kept in there, diapers, a nunu (pacifier), two taggie blankets that I had made for Miles. Perhaps the most heart puddling was the teeny, tiny but no doubt cool dude shades I came across. I remember putting them on Miles and he looked so cute! These glasses were tiny. My baby was tiny (well not really, he was born almost 9 pounds!!) now he's growing. He's growing so fast. I also found a little firetruck in there, Miles was THRILLED by my discovery, he wanted to sleep with it tonight. It *almost* made the task of removing the diaper bag from the car a little sweeter. I emptied it out, saved the glasses and the truck. The rest went into recycling. The bag is still in the garage, I guess I am making baby steps towards the house :)

I am not used to this feeling of being content with 2 children. If this continues, I very well may be done with having babies in my house and though part of me is fully ready for that, there is a part that yearns for more babies, I always planned to have 3 children. Another one could possibly be in our future, but for now, we are indeed content with two, until times like this, when I have a reminder of what it's like to have a baby in the house. The anticipation of a new birth, the stay in the hospital as you bond with your newest bundle, the nursing, the excitement from loved ones, watching your child become a "big brother/sister", all of it, it's all just so sweet.

Miles said something recently along the lines of "when I am a brother" I started to explain to him that he IS a "brother", then I realized, he was referring to the day that he is the BIG brother. Not just the LITTLE brother. He was dreaming of the day another baby comes into the family even though he truly has no idea what that really means. It was so innocent and made me think of how great he would be as a big brother. Just like how Acilia is great as a big sister. She was 4 years old when we got pregnant with Miles. Miles is 4 now and I can't help but reminisce the joys. Memories. Maybe that's all they will ever be. Maybe we will have another baby someday, I'm saving the diaper bag just in case!

Friday, April 13, 2012


I am fascinated by the countless ways God speaks to me throughout each day. It's like a thought or feeling crosses through me, I don't give it much thought until later suddenly something that is completely relevant to the previous thought or feeling has a purpose.

Lately, I am not sure why, I have been feeling sort of down on myself for how I feel I am measuring up as "mom". It's disheartening because I've always wanted to be a mom, I was born to be a mom, but sometimes I just feel sort of like a "lazy" mom. I spend more time on the computer than I probably should, I don't *always* jump at the chance to get on the floor and play pretend with the kids when they ask, I don't feel like we have enough traditions around this house, because for many years I was sort of "anti tradition" and now that it's come to my attention through my own revelations, I've been more aware of how I am mothering and overall, I always feel like I could improve. The truth is I think it's good for my kids to have "independent" time in their day, and I also like the "break" when I sit down and just "veg" for a few moments.

I believe it's  fairly normal to feel like you fall short in a few places in your life, but to dwell on the downfalls instead of the good is where I have a bit of an issue. God reminds me ever so gently that I am the mom he meant for me to be. My kid's have the mom he chose for them and that needs to be good enough. The last few weeks I've been finding myself drawn to a few blogs that are doing a sort of "boost the mom ego" posts. I was reading through one tonight and the light bulb moment occurred. God is sending a message to me. I am a GOOD MOM. I need to see my efforts and the love I have for my children as a blessing to them and I must say I am truly thankful for God's ever present reminders to just "BE". Be in the moment, be who I am. Be the woman he has called me to be. Just BE :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

She knows! :)

Well, tonight will go down in my memory bank for many years to come! I picked Acilia up from cheer tumbling, it was just the two of us in the car and I took that as my opportunity to share with her the news I had been waiting to tell. Who hid the eggs? I turned the radio off and told her I had something very serious to talk to her about. I started with, "you remember last night you asked me who hid the eggs?" she said "yes" I replied "What would you think if I said I hid them every year?" A shriek from the back seat "MOM!" :::deep breathing:::: :::::eyes bulging::: "You are the EASTER BUNNY!?!?" her adorable and dramatic reaction which I can't possibly portray through words, had me cracking up with tears down my face. She was taking it all in, I dropped another bomb... "There's another one"...."what mom!? MOM! You are SSS..." "I'm what? Cya, what were you going to say" YOUR SANTA TOOO!?!?!?! MOOOOMMMM!" She couldn't believe it, but she was entertained, her little body shaking with thrill, what to do with this news?!?!?! "Cya, there is one more..."  a pause..."What other holidays are there ?" asked Cya, I said it wasn't a holiday, then if I recall correctly I said something along the lines of "do you think I might be the one that puts money under your pillow when you lose a tooth?" "MOM!!!!!" her little voice as she was piecing all of this together was just too much for my mom heart. The moment was bursting with cuteness!! I then followed up with, but there is one that is REAL and there is no denying it and that will always be the case and she replied "GOD". "Yes honey, God is real!" We then conversed about how special it is that she now knows what only older kids and adults know, and how important it is to never ever talk to another child about it (especially one that's younger than her, namely her brother) and how she got to experience the "magic" for a full 8 years. I also explained to her how this is part of holidays and that will never change and it's just the way America embraces these stories that makes it so cool. How my grandma talked to me about holiday characters and her grandma probably talked to her about it and generations beyond. She was bursting at the seams, wanted to tell someone about her new knowledge. I allowed her to call my mom, she is always the first one we call with news :) When she hung up the phone, I shared a story with her about how my cousins were always so great about keeping the magic alive for me for as long as possible because I was the youngest one in the family and they knew how important it was to keep it a secret until I was old enough! So it is Acilia's new found responsibility to be respectful with this information and with that, she is part of the "club"... the club that knows that there is magic in Christmas and Easter yet she knows the inside scoop to the magic :)
My little girl is growing up and she is embracing it that and I love to see it!

Who hid the eggs?

"Mom, who hid the Easter eggs, you or the Easter Bunny" asks my 8 year old Acilia. Last week I had a strong feeling on my heart that I want to be the one to share with the kids that the story of "characters" like Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy, are just that...stories. I struggle with answering the "logical" questions that come out of the kids (Acilia is the one asking, Miles hasn't given it much thought yet) yesterday Acilia asked me the question about who hid the eggs...I stumbled, I had told Al that I wanted to share with Acilia that we are the "Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy" in her life, he suggested it would be a good idea to wait until AFTER Easter passes. I can't say I disagree, but I am just ready to have this talk! So last night when she asked about the eggs, I had an internal struggle as I tried to figure out how not to lie to her, yet honor my husband's wishes. I turned it around and asked her "Who do you think hid them?" That didn't I just answered her, feeling a bit defeated "I did honey" I went on to tell her I think Easter bunny got confused because we had talked about having an egg hunt on "Easter's Eve" (as Acilia calls it). I think that bought me a little bit of time. I have my heart set on talking to Acilia about all the "truths" behind holidays, probably this week, I just am not quite sure how to start the conversation or exactly what to say. I do want to share with her the reason I am telling her is because we feel she is old enough to be "in on the secret" and how magical it is to be "in the know" while younger children still believe and enjoy the joys these characters bring! Lord help me! Parenthood is hard!