Friday, March 30, 2012


When we were looking at houses to buy, last summer, I was very stressed out and almost having a breakdown. My wonderful husband took over all the phone calls paperwork and house hunting for me. (He's so wonderful!) 
One day he said he had already talked to the owners and agreed on a price and we were ready to move in as soon as I got back from my mission trip. I was a little afraid. I asked "does it have a front porch?"
"no. but there is a perfect place to build one someday! Kassondra once you see the front door you will love it!"

He was right!
My front door is bright pretty Green! This big beautiful white house with a bright Green door! it was so me! just a touch of oddness :) 

We still  have plans for a front porch but life has a funny way of putting plans on hold. So I had to figure out a way to make my front yard a little more pretty.

So I built a Bird bath!

And planted some pretty pink flowers! I think the white green and pink go so perfect together! My flowers are just now starting to bloom and I feel like an old lady. I am so excited to just sit on my  steps and look at them grow! I am so proud! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Everyone remember my sweet wonderful friend Richard? I can not say enough great things about him! he was like our big brother through out the whole trip to Uganda! watching over and taking such good care of us. He has a heart of gold and absolutely loves his job, the children and God!

 He has the greatest laugh I have ever herd! He is a very hard worker and takes his job serious but he also is just a big kid at heart.
On our last night in Cove Richard really wanted to show us his apartment. He was so proud as we all crammed into his two room space. he had it very clean and organized. he always sleeps with a net over his bed. (it is advised everyone sleep with nets but most locals do not.) He has a TV and movies. I cant remember which movies but I do know a lot of them had Tom Cruise.

 Before we left Richard wanted to give us all gifts for coming to meet him and being his friends. We all looked at each other and started crying. This man works so hard, long hours, gives 110% of himself to Cove. He gets little money compared to our standards. we looked around his apartment. He had very little possessions but he insisted we take these gifts.
I got a basket! Richard told us they were Birthday presents given to him last year but he wanted us to have them. I cherish that basket. It sits on my kitchen table holding our fruit. I see it every day and everyday I wonder what very important work Richard is doing at that moment.
Richard has dreamed of coming to America and visiting all the people that help make Cove possible.  I am not exactly sure but I believe he has attempted to get his Visa approved 4 times. only to be turned down by the Ugandan Government. They fear Richard would not come home since he is not married or has any children of his own. I always laugh at that, they obviously don't know Richard that well.
Last night as all of us over here were sound asleep, Richard was back at the Embassy. waiting for the final verdict on his visa. I know he was praying hard and I hope he knows We had hundreds of people praying for him too.

I woke up this morning checking my email, Facebook,text messages over and over! waiting.... waiting for some kind of word..................



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

class party


The Julia is on Spring Break this week! which means last Friday we had another class party to throw! We played Easter Bingo and watched Cat in the Hat. I also passed around little kits to make Dirt pudding!
(I am not sure why the pictures are not in the right order!?)
I gave each child a gummy worm and an Oreo cookie,

We smashed the Oreo Cookie in a baggie:

 Then came the pudding

We arranged the "dirt" added the worms and topped it off with an Easter bunny!
The 25 first graders LOVED it! 
I have loved planing these parties for my daughter's class, but there's a lot of pressure. Each time there's a party I get a little nervous and my mind goes blank about what we will play, craft, or eat!
I panic a little and go Google crazy about all the ideas out there.I probably stress over it a little too much. I mean they are first graders. Gosh I can't even remember every class party I had growing up so I am sure they wont either.  But I just want Julia to have a good time and feel special because she knows how hard her mommy works to put the party together for her and her friends. 
I know a time will come when She will be embarrassed about the thought of me coming to her school. She will beg me to drop her off a block away so she wont be seen with her MOM! She will roll her eyes when I ask if I can be the chaperone to her field trips. So I want to soak in ever smile, every hug, every excited cheer of my name as I walk into that classroom with all the goodies in hand for another class party!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

sisters weekend

On top of the surprise it was sisters weekend! Two of my sisters live a good drive away. I try to see them when I can but it never seems like enough! So I had McKenzie and Jeri Lynn stay at my house! it's been a long time since I had a slumber party! movies, snacks, makeovers, laughing until we cried, late nights and early mornings!

On Sunday The Julia had a birthday party to attend to. There was just enough time to do a little photo shoot with my sisters before we had to pick Julia back up. so we headed downtown Cincinnati at fountain square.

Add Image
My sisters are gorgeous!

We acted a little goofy but all the stares and crazy looks from strangers was worth it to be able to spend time with my sisters!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Making grandma cry

Remember my Grandma, Mary Ellen? Well this past weekend we had a huge surprise for her! My mom told her she was taking her shopping for the day but when she picked her up she realized she forgot her check book!! O-NO! So they had to stop by the house to pick it up. when my mom walked into the house we were all there waiting. we sent out two blonde little boys ages 5 and 4 from Omaha Nebraska! (i have pictures but not on my camera so I cant post those yet) Then walked out their mom Crystal!

You see Crystal is my grandma's third grandchild that because of distance we don't see very often at all! in fact we never met her boys only seen them grow up threw pictures she sends us.
The first thing my Grandma said after she gave them hugs was "this is way better than a day of shopping!" The last time Crystal was in town was over 5 years ago! here she is pregnant with her oldest M.J.
and now I am the one pregnant!
There are 15 grandchildren but some were not able to come to the surprise get together. one day we will get that picture with all of us!

But all the Great-grand kids were there! one you just can't quite see her face yet :)

We love making my grandma cry for good reasons! and this surprise was probably the best one!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

bath time

Mr. Korben's First birthday is right around the corner! I wanted to take him and everyone else out side to take some pictures.

His mommy gave me this tub last year for a picture idea but I never got time to do it until now!

Just because he's a goof ball I wanted to post this one :)
when Korben was done with his bath, we decided not to waste the water and gave Jerky a much needed bath!
2 OUT OF 3 babies wanted to play instead so Julia and JP took over washing duties.

afterwards I got everyone inside and cleaned up I went to let Jerky in.............he was rolling around in the grass!

Small Things with Love

Thursday, March 22, 2012

it's complete!

Have you ever gotten an E-mail that changed your whole day? Made you so excited for someone or many people? Made you wish so desperately that you were there in person to share in their joy?

Let me start at the beginning......

I signed Julia up for Preschool back in 2009-2010. We felt like it would be good for her to meet other kids her age, to learn and get her ready for school. She loved it! but surprisingly her favorite part was every Friday the kids would go to mass. It's not your typical Sunday morning mass. It was designed for the kids with songs and lessons they would understand. plus it was a lot shorter in length giving the fact that 4 year olds can't sit for an hour. I would go with them and every time Father Tom would walk in the Julia would jump up and down shouting
"Hi Father God! Father God hi! do you see me?! Hi!" (kids say the darnedest things) He would always crack a smile and give her a little wave. I knew in those moments Julia was this little sponge and she would hang on every word he would say. She was excited about church and Jesus and what could be better than that?

On our mission trip I saw the same enthusiasm in the kids at Cove as I did in Julia's eyes! They were so excited to learn from Father Tom. They wanted to spend every waking second with him. They flocked to him just like I imagine children did with Jesus. Father Tom is a great Priest and teacher and friend.

(my favorite picture)
One of Father Tom's goals while we were there in Uganda was to teach the children how to play basketball. They love sports but Basketball is not one of the top sports they play. So Father Tom was determined to get them a basketball court built. He drew out the plans and we all decided to put a portion of the money we raised before our trip toward building the court. The local people were so excited to start working. this is what it looked like when we left:

They don't have cement trucks like we do in America. they have piles of rocks! someone has to grind the rocks adding water to make cement! I was in awe!! my dad is a cement construction worker and I thought about all the hard physical work he does and the cement is already made for him! I couldn't even guess how long this would take the locals to complete the floor of the basketball court.
But the other day I got my answer! In that E-mail that changed my day! made me so excited to the kids, the teachers, and the families. The E-mail that made me want to put on my UK wildcats gear and head over to Uganda and teach the kids how to dribble, block, and shoot free throws! The basketball court is COMPLETE!

Father Tom has since been transferred to another church that really needs him. but we get to see him at times and this summer we are planing a luncheon when Father Hilary and the ladies from Chicago come to visit. I can't wait to hear Father Tom's excitement over the basketball court! I know that will be one of his top things to do when we go back; Shoot some hoops!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

senior pictures

I finally got to get back to taking pictures!!!! I am so excited about my photography this year! I have a feeling this is going to be a huge year for my Chachi's memories business and I am so ready for it!!!

This is Jacob. He is a senior at Lawrenceburg High school. He plays football and wrestling, and has plans of joining the military next year. He recently became a big brother and wanted a picture 0f the two of them. (you might recognize the little guy, it's Korben!)

I had so much fun getting back into the swing of things and I couldn't have asked for a better model :) Thanks Jacob!
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