Monday, January 30, 2012


Right now My camera is sitting in the living room on my coffee table. waiting to be picked up and save any little memory that it will capture. I am continually reminded about how fast time goes when I look at my kids. They grow up in a blink of an eye. I don't want to forget anything! I want to cherish them while they are little. in my mind if I do that maybe when they do grown up it wont be so hard. chances are it will be but it makes me feel better knowing I have tons of pictures to look back on.

I noticed after making lunch the difference between a boy and a girl. My sweet daughter genitally dips her chicken nuggets into her ketchup. making sure not to get any on her clothes or fingers. she daps a little and then lets the extra drop back onto the tray. Then enjoys her lunch. I want to remember those little dippings. so I took a picture: Then I turned around at Mr. JP. saw his chubby little fingers covered in ketchup. moving his hand back and forth like he was creating an art project. He was laughing and licking his hand. then he looked up at me and waved as more ketchup oozed between his fingers. He then went
right back to creating his master piece. I snapped a picture of him too.
These are little moments that will pass and my Jp will learn the mature and proper way to dip ketchup. Belle will not look as cute dipping her nugget it will be the "normal" thing to do but for now I am glad to have taken the pictures.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

more important than a bird

I hate not posting a picture with a post but I don't really have one for this kind of topic.

I know what your thinking, Where has Kassondra been? Well let me tell you this past week has been a CRAZY one!!!!
I spent most of the week in the hospital for a really bad kidney infection. I am doing much better and at home now! the new baby is fine also!

Now that you know where I have been this week I wanted to tell you what I did today:


I have nothing against that job or the people I worked with. I just never thought I would be there as long as I have been. I wasn't making enough money to justify the time I was there or the effort I put into the job. I was getting tired of dreading the weekends because I would not be doing what I loved!
I took a break from my photography to try and save up for a car and enjoy the holidays. But I wasn't happy. I missed taking pictures. I knew if my photography was something I wanted to be serious about I needed to spend more time investing into it.
I also am making some changes to the prices. I purchased some new things to help me take better pictures and I plan on joining a group to learn more about the new techniques.

I am very excited about this decision but also nervous. I want to put all my trust into God and believe that he will take care of my family and I. My favorite verse in the bible is :

Mathew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

I keep repeating this verse to myself to remind myself that God wants me to be happy and do what he sent me on this earth to do. I feel photography is apart of why I am here. I will do that and God will take care of the rest. because I am more important than a bird!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

watching babies fall

I did A LOT of painting while I was in Uganda. and I will talk more about that soon. but one of my favorite paintings I did was of this chicken. (maybe it's a rooster?) In this class room we wanted to show the circle of life and how things change. The chicken's case it started out as an egg and then a chick and now a grown chicken.I got the idea for this particular chicken from one that we saw everyday just walking around the grounds of school with it's little baby chicks. I'm not sure why this has become such a sweet memory for me to think about but it goes like this:

momma jumps up the steps and babies fallow
littlest one has trouble
falls back down. momma waits. watching her little one fall over and over and over. momma still waits.
Finally the little one had a running start and made it! sorry i didn't get a picture of that. once little one made it they all took off to fast!

Maybe it's the fact that momma stood there overlooking her baby struggling all the while knowing her baby would eventually make it. but wanting it to do it on it's own. That is what I have learned being a parent is about. It reminds me of Miss Belle. She is still not walking! She's 17 months old and we thought she was getting brave and taking a few steps but no. I know she can do it! she walks along walls and with her toys all the time but she wont let go. I have to just sit back and let her do it at her own pace. Trust she will eventually catch on and do it! She might get hurt and she might fall down but if i don't sit back and watch she will never build her confidence up and do it herself.

Something tells me that chicken watching her baby is something I will have to do a lot through out my children's lives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Props for trying

We again had extra children at our house on Monday. It's funny how even though there's more people to play with those 2 words seem to still get said by someone... "I'm bored!"
So I knew I should plan something fun for us to do.

We sat at the table and got out all the craft supplies:
I let them cut out any fun photo prop they wanted and glue them to Popsicle sticks
We then placed them under a blanket and each person picked one
Then I set up our photo booth and we took silly pictures.

Kayla's sucker
Julia's I had a dream that Justin Bieber is going to marry me thought bubble (something tells me she cheated and knew she was picking her own prop out)
Jeri lynn's I had a dream bubble (there were some copy cats in our bunch) :)
Austin's big eyes
and yes even I had to get in on the fun with my pipe
Korben has a clown nose
Belle got the uni-brow
There were tons of other props they made and we took pictures for about an hour!

They had fun but a couple hours later the words "I'm bored" did get spoken and I just rolled my eyes and threw in the towel, at least I tried!

Monday, January 16, 2012

lessons from a 1st grader

I pray my daughter will treat everyone with respect and fairness. I pray for her to use her strong will and confidence for the good of others. I pray others with do the same with her.
I try to introduce her to other people that are "different" than her. If she ask me a question about why is that child in a wheel chair or have a tube in his neck I try to explain the best way I can that other kids were given more difficult challenges in life than she did. It doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. I talk to her about the kids in Africa that don't have families or food to eat but that doesn't mean God doesn't love them. These are lessons I feel very strong about to teach my child not to judge or make fun of others.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I woke up today with tons of plans to explain in a way she would understand that there was a day when people treated others badly just because their skin was a different color. I wanted to really talk about how M.L.K was a great man that was just one person that helped open everyone's eyes to see that we are the same and should treat everyone the same.
We were sitting at the breakfast table and I thought here is my perfect opportunity to start the conversation.
"do you know why you are off school today?"
"Because today is Martin Luther King Jr. day"
She took a bite of her cereal and said with her mouth full, "yeah! I know him!"
"What do you know?"

Little did I know the answer she would give me would make me realize that she was going to be the one teaching today.

"He wanted black people and white people to hold hands."

How can I top that? What better way to describe today!


Thursday, January 12, 2012


While in Uganda we were busy working on getting everything done that we wanted to during our trip. We had so many plans we had to accomplish, painting 3 buildings, building a playground, visiting other schools and families, clearing fields for soccer games and gardens, and teaching. We almost felt overwhelmed with everything we felt had to be done but our departure day was getting close. Kim, our trip organizer/leader, told us "we need to take breaks to spend with time with the kids, Or we will feel like all we did was work. The kids were the real reason we are here."
So one day a few of us got some nail polish and walked over to the children's boarding house.

We asked all the girls to line up and pick a color. They surrounded us!!

Then I noticed as I was painting nails that the child I was painting was a boy!!! I laughed and I tried to explain finger nail polish was only for pretty girls. but the boys just smiled and held out their hands to me. so what was I supposed to do?
Then after what felt like an hour of painting 50 or so children's fingers, the line was not getting smaller! Where were all these children coming from? Then I saw a little girl running over to the bathroom and wiping off her nail polish and the turning right back around to get back in line for more!!!
I realized the children didn't care what color they had or if it was not something boys do. They just wanted attention. they wanted to have that one on one interaction with us.

I remembered my daughter Julia and all the times she asked me to paint her nails and how there were times I told her I was to busy. There was housework to get done or dinner to cook, phone calls to make, pictures to edit. I could probably think of a million other reasons I couldn't stop for five minutes and give my daughter that one on one attention. make her feel important and special. Then I thought about Kim's words again:
"we need to take breaks to spend with time with the kids, Or we will feel like all we did was work. The kids were the real reason we are here."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Our old light fixture was just bla! I wanted a fancy Chandelier for my master bedroom but those cost A LOT OF MONEY! so again I looked on my new favorite website and found this.
had to try it out!
my circles are made of wax paper
my base of the chandelier is an old lamp shade.
flip it upside down and hang

I need a better picture of it while the light is one because its really pretty!
how simple it that? seriously!
this month I have been working on my daughter Julia's room. and I am actually almost done with her mural I am painting on her wall. I am in this crazy decorating mood and am working everyday to get something else crossed off my list!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

diy wall-paper

I wanted something different for the wall behind our bed so I looked on pinterest for some ideas and found this room! I went to the book store and bough three copies of this book:

I picked this one because I talked Brian into watching it with me one time and he actually really liked it.

All I did to make it stick to the wall was use adhesive spray. (all the windows were open and this was before I knew I was pregnant)
I wanted to add something else more personal to the wall so I dug through old boxes of letters me and Brian used to write to each other. on his side of the bed I put a letter I wrote to him:
On my side is one he wrote to me:
It's nice to wake up and that be one of the first things I see in the morning.

I then used and old door we had in our closet as our head board and added shelves to each side. The curtains I made with burlap because I loved the color and wanted something other than fabric.

This is the fished product:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grown up Room

One of my goals for this year is to redecorate my house. I wanted to start with my bedroom first becasue it's the place that i will rest and relax the most so i thought it would be a good start. My theme for this room was Love Story. more spacifically my love story. I mean it is my husbands and my bed room. Here were a few rules I felt had to be fallowed when decorating this room
1. NO TV! I feel really strongly about only having 1 TV in my house and the master bedroom is not that place!
2. No kids pictures: I feel like that strange to have pictures of your kids in your master bed room. It's the only room I have this rule in though.
3. make it about a good time in your relationship. I wanted it to have the colors of the ocean and beach because we went to the Bahama's on our honey moon. so there's a lot of blues and tans in this room.

This dresser was passed down to me by my great grandma then to my grandma and then my mom and now I have it. It's old! needs a few repairs but works fine and i liked the color so i just kept it. all the pictures on top are of me and Brian at our wedding, our marriage licenses and the tall black and white is just my all time favorite photograph ever! (Brian bought it for me one valentines day a while ago.) The stuffed animals were a price Biran won me at our fist trip to Kings Island. All great memories!

I will write more details about everything in the next coming days. I love it. and I say I'm only 95% done because I'm still working on a rug that is going to take me a WHOLE lot longer than I thought it would. plus I am going to get a Glider to sit by the window.

I love this room!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

sneak peek

I am sooo excited!!!!! my first room makeover is (95%) complete!!!!!!! I love how it turned out!!!!! i couldn't wait till monday to share with you a sneak peek:more tomorrow! I think honestly the whole room cost me maybe $50-$75!!!! I will share with you all the details so be sure to check back!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mary Ellen

I would like to introduce one of the strongest women I know, My Grandma, Mary Ellen. I have always been told I look like her. I love hearing that! She is a beautiful person! With great taste in clothes! Seriously if she still had this skirt I would totally steal it and wear it all the time!!!! That's my grandpa with her. They are the definition of soul mates! The number one thing I will always remember about my grandpa was that he was head over heals in love with her! even after so many years he made sure she was treated like a queen! he would take her out to eat, go on trips and just showered her with gifts. I can still see him dancing in the kitchen while she was doing the dishes and him grab her by the hand and make her join him. I remember my grandma always shaking her head and acting shy but Grandpa didn't care. He loved her and wanted to make sure she knew it.After he pasted away she was heart broken and we tried to be her support system but She ended up being ours! If ever I need anyone to talk to I know she will drop everything shes doing and listen. Even if I am being a crazy hormonal pregnant women that needs a break Grandma is right there.

This past summer my grandma got some very bad news that she had cancer. Being the strong person we know she is, she made the decision to fight it head on! the doctors took her into surgery to remove the cancer. they told us it had spread and she would need to do Chemo Therapy. This picture was taken after about three rounds of treatment. Her hair started falling out and she got really weak and tired. We all knew she wasn't feeling good but she still came to Belle's first birthday party and had her annual Bengals Sunday get together. She still attended Thanksgiving dinner and held Christmas at her house. she took me out to lunch a couple of times and we went shopping together. I admire her because once again she became our support system threw all this. She never stopped living she reassured us she was fighting and she will survive!
This week was huge for my grandma! She was told by her doctor at her checkup after her last chemo treatment that she is in REMISSION!!! CANCER FREE!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS GRANDMA!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baby book

That sweet little newborn smile is from The Julia! When she was born Brian and I had only been dating for a couple of months and I was not completely sure I wanted to take on everything that comes with being in a relationship with a man that just became a new father. I was terrified! The only thing I kept thinking was I am to young to step in and be a mommy. I haven't even had my own life yet. I will break up with him today, just walk away, be done, tell him I can't do it.

But every time I thought I was ready to say the words something would stop me. maybe it was his good looks. j/k I think it was the way he just reassured me that he was going to take care of Julia and I wasn't expected to do anything. Or maybe it was the way he was with Julia. He loved her completely and dropped everything to make sure she was happy. He fought so hard to give her the life she deserves. He knew if he didn't step up no one else would. and as much as I wanted to turn away, I just couldn't. right here in front of me is the man I always dreamed of. A loving kind funny guy but more importantly an amazing father! So I stayed. (best decision of my life!)

because of my back and forth about staying or going I don't have a lot of pictures of Julia when she was a baby. I regret that but at the time I didn't want any confusion about "who is that girl holding me?" questions if in fact me and Brian didn't work out. So I didn't record any facts about her first tooth or first words. Soon that confusion was all clear and I fully took on the rold of being Julia's mommy.

It is very important to me that my children know I love them all equally. I don't want them to ever think well so and so is her biological child so they got special treatment. So when Belle was born I felt like it was only fair that I didn't keep a baby book of her 'firsts' either. The only thing I am guilty of is taking more baby pictures of Belle. But in my defense the pictures of Julia are in the 1000's and I am not going to stop any time soon :)

A couple of months ago I read on one of my favorite Blogs by Ashley Ann.
She writes in a journal (one for each of her kids) about their life. how she feels, silly things they do or say. their talents and favorite things. her hopes and dreams for them. I loved this idea because I feel like those things are more important than the date of their first hair cut.

I have four books so far, Julia, Belle, new baby, and the last one is for the child we will adopt someday. I feel like when they move out of our house might not be the best time because they might think I'm just the crazy mom that can't let her kids go (which will probably be true) so I think I will save their books for when they each are expecting their first child. Then they might appreciate my feelings and stories more. So when their little ones come along they will know the joy their child brings to them is the same joy they brought to me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Karen Sue is a wonderful person! There is really no other way to describe her! I remember one point during our trip Karen Sue told me I reminder her of herself when she was younger. I took this as a great compliment because I strive to be the kind of person she is. I love her!
While on our trip in Uganda I knew it was so important to Karen Sue to meet her sponsor child, Teddy. everyday she would ask if that was the day. Then it finally came we were all piled into our trucks and heading down deep into the jungle to Teddy's families house. Karen Sue was beyond excited to meet the little girl she had been writing to for over a year.
When we got there the family had made us hard boiled eggs (my favorite)! I sat in the corner with egg in my hand and a little naked butt baby in the other! Heaven!

This Karen Sue and Teddy:

Then Teddy's father told us they had a gift to give us. Teddy went outside and walked in with this LIVE chicken! she sat it down on Karen Sue's lap and said "Thank you for sending me to school."
Karen Sue was speechless! But really what can you say? We were told it was a great honor to be given a chicken. It is the biggest gift someone could give you.
in the car Karen sue tried to talk Father Hilary into letting us build a chicken coop at the Cove center for the other children to eat the eggs. but Father Hilary said no. he said Teddy's family would take great offence if we did not eat the chicken. so after much resistance from Karen Sue she finally agreed.
That night we carried our table outside and ate our delicious dinner under the African stars! the whole dinner I kept pinching myself saying is this real?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Educational conversations

For out last day of Holiday Break I wanted o do something fun with the family! so we wernt to the Cincinnati Museum!

And of course being the mom that thinks she remembers everything forgot that my camera battery was dead!!!! So that is another new years goal to add to my list: ALWAYS CHARGE THE BATTERY!

we didn't get any pictures but We still had so much fun! The girls loved it! I admit that I had visions of melt downs and impatient children. but my girls were so good! made me extra proud of them! They let Daddy read about space and astronauts (his dream job) they let mommy learn about what life was like in the 50's (my dream era) and then we headed down to the children's part of the Museum. Where there was SOO much fun to be had! I watched as daddy crawled threw the net tunnles with Miss Belle. then Me and Julia banged on the drums from Africa!! We were laughing and having such a good time!

But probably the funniest thing from our trip was when Julia asked me about the Indian statue standing next to his Tepee. I explained to her how they were the first people to arrive in America and they taught the pilgrims a lot about how to cook and live off of the plants and animals. Julia looked at me and said
"Mom, I don't care! I can see his privates!"
~the joys of having a child~

Sunday, January 1, 2012


My new years resolution for 2012 is just to continue to do what makes me happy!

I love crafting and photography so much!!! I want to spend this year really working on projects. anything from sewing, scrapbooks, home decor, my photography, and anything else that I feel like trying out.
My babies:
I love my week job of being a stay at home mommy/babysitter! These three make me smile everyday! I would love to add one more to our little bunch. I know you can call me crazy but my ideal life would be to quit my weekend job and hang out with little ones.
My Uganda family is planning on another trip to Africa for the summer of 2013! I so desperately want to join them. I honestly feel like a huge part of my heart is still over there. The people I met have changed my life and the way I think about things. I feel like there is so much work I could do and I didn't even come close to finishing it in my short 2 week stay. I don't know what the next year and a half has in store for me but I do know that no matter what I want to continue to spread the word and give back to the people of St. Jerome Cove Center. I plan on spending this year collecting things for them. My basement is already filling up with clothes!
Mommy and Wife:
One of the most important things Uganda taught me was that I am right were I am supposed to be in my life. I am so blessed to be the wife of a wonderful man and the mother of two (soon to be 3) beautiful children. They need me to teach and guide them to become the people God wants them to be. I will spend the next year working on not loosing my patients, letting little things go, and doing what is best for my kids.

~Happy 2012~
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