Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I really thought the Ravens were going to do it last night. I was jumping up and down screaming at the top of my lungs, cheering them on, but alas, the Patriots...I can't bring myself to type it...OK, fine...they won. I was literally depressed for the rest of the night. If the Steelers don't beat them next Sunday, I'm checking myself into the nuthouse. I can't take it anymore!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 9:20 AM
Monday, December 3, 2007
I just read the most wonderful blog. Stop whatever you are doing immediately and follow this link to see what I'm talking about. But first, a teaser.
Ok, here's the link: http://dailycoyote.blogspot.com/
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 8:43 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I saw this trailer while watching the Sundance Channel last night! I am simply aching to see this movie!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:11 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 4:23 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
As we quickly approach my favorite holiday of the year, I thought I would take just a small moment to reflect on all of the things (or at least the things I can think of right now) that I am thankful for. So here it is in all it's glory and in no particular order...My Thankful List:
1. Chloe Amarise & Corban Timothy- I never wanted to have children. But when I look into Chloe and Corban's adorable cherubic faces (when they are not spouting sassy back-talk) I realize that God in his infinite wisdom did the right thing to foil my life's ambitions!
2. My job- I had the opportunity to go back to work at a very large company and make quite a bit more money, but I decided to stick a little closer to home and work with my best friend. I have never regretted this choice. I have had the privilege of making new friends here and strengthening my bond with Monica a hundred-fold.
3. My home- Anyone who knows me knows how long and how much I have wanted a place to call our own. We've been in our house for a year now and it truly feels like home.
4. My friends- I have the best friends anyone could ask for! They make my life so enjoyable. They truly love me. Not everyone can say that of the people in their lives. I know that in the good times, the bad times and the confusing "where is my life headed" times, these girls have my back.
5. My Nannies- What a lifesaver these girls have been to me! Annie and Patrice are incredible with the kids! Not only do they invest their lives in enriching and teaching my children, but they do it with a genuine love for them. My kids are so blessed and incredibly lucky to have such wonderful care-givers while their parents have to work.
6. My amazing rental car, A 2007 Volvo S40- A lady hit my jeep a while back and I am getting to drive this lovely car throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. It's so nice, I just couldn't omit it from the list!
7. The anticipation of Christmas- The looking forward to the season is so much better (to me) than the actual day itself. I am so excited about the trees, the lights, the making of lists, and the shopping!
8. My Love- (Don't run to the bathroom to throw up just yet!) I'm not a very romantic person by nature, but...I am thankful for the best man I have ever known. He loves me and does everything possible to prove it everyday. He's not perfect, but never expects me to be either. He is quick to apologize and quick to forgive. He is the best father to our children. He dances with our daughter to Disney Princess songs and lifts her in the air like she is a prima-ballerina . He plays hot wheels on the floor with our son in his little room and teaches him to dribble his tiny Spider-man soccer ball and "Take it to the goal!" He tucks the children in to bed every night and prays for them and reassures each of them of his love for them. He is the kind of dad that every child should have had.
9. Chloe's new found love of reading- She will start kindergarten next year, but she is already reading! She has read four books all on her own now. Nothing can compare to the pride in her face when she finishes a page all by herself. She is an incredibly smart girl. I'm very proud of her.
10. The men and women who serve our country- No matter what your stance is on the war, these men and women bravely head out to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted. They are away from their husbands and wives, miss the births of their own children, miss holidays, and rarely get time off. I would personally like to thank my good friend Mike Murphy for doing his job in Iraq and doing it well. We miss you and pray for your safe return soon.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, eats lots of turkey and green bean casserole, takes a moment to tell someone "Thank you", and remembers to watch the Cowboys whoop the Jets! Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:38 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
A conversation with my 5-year old daughter:
Chloe: I have to tell you a secret.
Me: OK, what is it?
Chloe: I'm in love.
Me: (awkward silence.) Oh really? With who?
Chloe: With that handsome boy at school. Devin.
Me: I thought his name was Jonathan.
Chloe: Right! I mean Jonathan.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 3:55 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:58 PM
Monday, September 10, 2007
I read Pollyanna three times and watched the movie about 78,000 times as a little girl, but still turned out to be a cynic. Go figure.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 1:38 PM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The high point of my day yesterday: an email from Heath...
When I woke Corban up this morning I was wearing my hat. He took it off and played with it while I was changing his diaper.
When I was done I took the hat back and put it on. He said "Hat weese." I said, "Do you want to wear a hat today?" "Hat yes!!" he said.
So I put the red Bass Pro hat on him, and he hasn't taken it off yet. Every time anyone walks through the room, he says "Hat" and smiles.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 11:27 AM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:58 PM
Monday, August 6, 2007
In Nigeria they use a name, Baba which means father to address an older man they respect. He may or may not be related to you. Shown above is Baba on the left and David on the right in our kitchen. They cooked three meals a day for our team. We were able to try some traditional Nigerian dishes such as pounded yam, egusi soup and jollof rice.
We had a chance to visit the Plateau State orphanage on our trip. I was expecting a sad, overcrowded nursery, but was pleasantly surprised to see that there were only four infants there. And even more encouraging, was the news that these four babies would most likely be adopted as soon as they turned 6 months old. At 6 months of age they can be tested for HIV. It is very probable that all four of these children are positive, but even so, they will be adopted into loving Nigerian families. Here I am holding Amanda, only 2 weeks old. You can see she is wearing a wash cloth as a diaper, because the state doesn't provide diapers or formula for the orphans. The children rely on the workers to buy these items or people to donate them.
The children were amazing. They were so happy to see us. Many of them see only a few Americans each year, so they were very intrigued. We very quickly learned the Idu word for white person, which is Oibo (pronounced O-wee-bo). It became music to my ears to hear the children call out to us when we were walking in the city. Aren't they so beautiful?
All the women on our team had Nigerian dresses made by two of the graduates (Esther and Blessing) of Faith Alive's sewing school. The school is wonderful, because it gives women who are HIV positive a chance to make a new life for themselves. Blessing had been cast out of her family and had her two sons taken away from her once her family found out she was HIV positive. She came to the clinic for help, got better thanks to the free drugs they gave her, went through the sewing school and was given a sewing machine when she completed the one year course. Then she set up her own shop making clothes and bags. She now makes enough money to support herself and her two boys. She is an amazing woman-probably my favorite friend I made in Jos.
Hands down, my favorite moment of the trip! This is how Nigerian women carry their babies. One of the patients taught me how to "wrap a baby" during her appointment. She had twins so she gave me the one who wasn't on her back. The other patients got a kick out of seeing me with baby Joy on my back. I bought some fabric to wrap Corban when I got home, but for some reason he wasn't as excited about it as I was.
Nigerian Public Transportation System! You see entire families on these, traveling here and there. We saw a mom, dad, kid and a goat all on one bike during our stay. No Joke! Not very many people own their own cars so they pay these drivers to take them where they need to go. It would cost you approximately 30 cents to run your daily errands.
Here's the story behind this photo... It was not uncommon to be having a conversation with a Nigerian and right in the middle of their sentence, whoosh! their finger disappears into their nose. I guess nose-picking isn't taboo in Nigeria like it is in the US. Gotta love those cultural differences!
It was amazing to be surrounded by such beauty and such poverty all in the same moment. I've heard it said, "Once you drink from the waters of Africa, you are sure to return." I believe it.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 10:21 AM
Monday, July 23, 2007
On May 10th, Heath and I (along with 6 others from Mosaic) headed out of DFW Int'l Airport to begin a 3 week adventure volunteering in an AIDS clinic in Jos, Nigeria. Here are some pictures of our 15 hour layover in London! Jolly good fun, guvnuh! Pictures of Nigeria to come soon!
freezing our tails off in front of Westminster Abbey.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
1. Sushi - This was actually the inspiration for this entry. Monica wanted sushi for lunch, but Luther was coming, and I just wasn't comfortable with the thought of eating sushi (I'm chopstick challenged) in front of him.
2. Spaghetti - too saucy and way to noodly!
3. Corn on the Cob - Have you ever squirted the person sitting across the table from you right in the eye with your corn juice? And don't even get me started on corn stuck in the teeth!
4. Ribs - Forget it! Unless you are Heath or Tim, my brother-in-law, it's just not gonna happen!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 12:16 PM
Monday, July 16, 2007
I really want to be a blogger! But sitting down to write about my life is hard. Not because my life is so full that I just can't find the time, but because there's really never much to report.
I actually have things to say though. So this entry is just to let you know that posts are coming soon!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 1:05 PM
Monday, May 7, 2007
This Thursday Heath and I will get on a plane and begin a 24 hour journey from the great state of Texas to Jos, Nigeria. We are leading a mission trip there to work with an organization called Faith Alive, a free hospital that offers HIV testing, counseling, and job training to Nigerians.
We will be gone for 18 days. That's a pretty long time, especially considering we have two very young children whom we are leaving here with two amazing friends. I am so thankful to them as they have offered this amazing service of watching our home, our kids and Gus the Wonder Beagle and have given generously to make this trip even possible.
It's been very interesting to me to see how God has provided financially for this trip. Since Heath and I are both going, we had to multiply every cost incurred by two, making our final amount to be raised a whopping $4400. And that doesn't include things like vaccinations, medications, passports, essential supplies or spending money. To help with the expenses, we sent out about 60 letters asking for financial support to our family and friends. (We have an incredibly large family.) We just knew our family, being the close-knit, supportive, ultra-Southern family they are, would come through in a big way. They have always been so proud of the work we have done in our church and our community in the past. Now was the time to show it and support a great cause. I mean, who wouldn't want to help real, live people in a country so devastated by disease, poverty and malnutrition?
Almost immediately, we began receiving voicemail messages on our cell phones from aunts and cousins, grandmas and grandpas. They wanted us to call them back because they had questions about our trip. "Great!" I thought. "They want to know how much we need to raise, so they can help in the most effective way possible!" Ummmm.....Not so much. What they really wanted to say was that we were crazy, foolish and reckless. "How on Earth can you even think of leaving your babies with total strangers to go to a country so corrupt and dangerous?" Have you thought of what will happen to your kids if something happens to you?" Why can't you just send money and let someone else do the dangerous work?" "Are you crazy to be going to work in an AIDS hospital? What if you come back with AIDS yourselves?" "Well I hope the crazy natives don't capture you and shrink your heads!"
Not exactly the response we were expecting. But on the flip side, we did begin receiving letters in the mail from friends whom we have shared our lives with and our faith with over the past years. I don't mean just $10 here and there either. I'm talking about checks for hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Through this, God began to show me that while family is so important and the love and devotion they show you is priceless, the people that He connects you with throughout your journey with Him is absolutely amazing. Someone told me once, "Show me a man's checkbook and his calendar, and I'll show his heart." You really can tell a lot about the passions of a person by what they invest their money into.
I know our family loves us and some of them genuinely love God too, but there is this overwhelming sense of fear in most of them. A deception that says if you play it safe, everything will turn out OK in the end. Just fly under the radar, Don't push your luck, Better safe than sorry. I just don't see things that way. I can't believe my God, the God who made the entire universe and everything in it wants us to live lives that small.
So needless to say, we are going to Nigeria. We ended up raising $1000 more than we needed which will roll over to help the rest of our team. God is so good.
I leave in 4 days, which means I have a gazillion items on my to do list. And every time I check something off, I think of two more things that must be done. I've been compiling a list of things about my house and about my kids for our friends who are staying here. You know, things like what days trash is picked up, where the vacuum is, how much Tylenol to give Chloe. It's all color-coded and organized in a cute binder so everything is at your fingertips. They came over last night to pray for us and the kids before we head out and were less than impressed with my efforts to make their stay here in our home easier. They are pretty much Super-Parents, so in their defense they probably do have a mystic 6th sense that just knows the where, when and how of most homes in America. But you know as a mom, there are things about your kids that seem meaningless to most people, but if they don't get done exactly the right way the cosmos come crashing down in the mind of your four-year-old. And it isn't like I'm just a phone call away, or I can make it right before bedtime. Not that I'm expecting our friends to do everything our way. On the contrary, I hope my children mesh into their family's way of life beautifully. It just makes me feel more at ease if they know which stuffed animals Chloe is used to sleeping with every night and what foods she likes in her school lunch, or what is Corban's newest amazing trick, (which by the way is clicking his tongue on the roof of his mouth whenever you say, "Clever Boy!") Sure, my kids probably won't die if they get turkey instead of PB&J or take a break from the Amazing Tongue-Clicking-Baby trick, but it would really ease my mind and my heart while I'm 6,758 miles away to know that they know these things.
I've also been faced with the reality of death through this process. I mean everyone knows in some sense that they could die any day, but somehow it has become very real to me lately. Maybe it's been the overly-dramatic worries of my outspoken family or the fact that I have to decide who will raise my children if the plane goes down, or maybe that thought-provoking movie Premonition. Or maybe it's God Himself asking me if I know that it's Him who decides anyway and that I really have no control over it at all. If I believe God, and I do, I must believe His Word which says:
Man's days are determined;And when I think of it realistically, I'll probably make it home in one piece because even though I'm not SuperMom myself, I'm still the only one that knows all the information in that useless book without ever even having to look at it.
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 2:23 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Yesterday was my birthday, the big 26. Yahoo. I hate my birthday. Every year. It has nothing to do with age. Obviously I'm not over the hill yet or anything. But every year I am so depressed on my birthday. I have this major inner struggle going on. One part of me, the idealistic part, which honestly rarely rears its ugly head, perks up and begins singing about how great the day will be. It looks forward to countless phone calls from well-wishers, a towering birthday cake, loads of presents, the whole shebang. And the other side, the side that I know much better, the realistic side, tells Miss Idealistic, "Shut up already!" "Don't you know there are still children starving in third world countries today?!" "Today is not about you." And usually the day goes accordingly. A few people will call which is always appreciated, but basically the day comes and goes just like any other. I lay my head on my pillow at night and Miss Realistic and I are happy enough knowing that we were right. The day really wasn't about me.
But yesterday was a little different than usual. Heath (my husband for anyone who doesn't know, although I know Monica is the only one who actually reads this!) took my birthday into his own hands. I was completely satisfied and cynically looking forward to a day of glorious uneventfulness. I knew I was having a party on Friday anyway so if I wanted any consolation, there it was. On our way to pick up our daughter Chloe from school, Heath pulled into an expensive salon and day spa and just dropped me off. Oh wait. Before he left me there he hands me a wad of cash and says "Here. You'll need all of this." I was...well, I don't know if there are words to tell how I was feeling, no perfect words at least. I felt shocked, confused, undeserving, frustrated, unprepared. All good words, but as you can see none of them are good feelings. So I go to check in and the lady tells me what I'm in for...gourmet lunch, a massage, a facial and a pedicure.
Now don't judge me just yet. I, like any other sane woman on earth, love to be pampered and all those treatments on your birthday sound like a good plan. But let me let you in on a little background. My husband is in the process of starting a new business, and if anyone has ever started a business before, you know what this means - Poverty.
I must be honest and tell you, I really enjoyed the spa treatments. During the process, I actually thought "This should be an annual tradition." I felt pampered and relaxed. It was great. But then it was over.
I had to pay. Pay...that is such a small little word for such a huge amount of money that I handed over to the smug woman behind the counter. $230 to be exact. It pains me to type it. I immediately began a running list of sensible things I could have bought for the same amount. Here's what I've come up with so far:
1. a new couch (sure, it would have to be cheap, but we're part of that home club and it could be done)
2. a new haircut and color ( In my own cheapness I ruined my color recently)
3. 25 movie tickets (That's a date every month for a year)
4. Bills! (Don't even get me started here)
I'll show restraint and stop here on the list. So fast forward to today. I obviously am not over the spa experience. It's pretty ironic isn't it? My husband sends me away to be pampered so I will be able to relax and 24 hours later I am stressed beyond anything I've felt in a long time. It's not that I don't appreciate the thought, I do...mostly. It's just so much money for something so intangible, so un-returnable. I wish I had a conclusion. A tidy way to tie it all up. A smiley face thought at the end of the story, but I don't. Here's the best I can come up with...
My husband loves me and wants to give me good things and hey, it's just money after all, right?! If it isn't for spending what good is it anyway?
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 3:58 PM
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
But I just got a new job. A job I can do at home. I don't even need to hire a babysitter! If I want to, I can work in pajamas! Amazing! There's just one catch...it's computer work. Now don't mistake my hatred for technology for computer illiteracy.
I can handle a computer well enough, I just don't like to.
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 4:20 PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
So I just finished making 14.5 dozen valentine cookies and arranging them into 21 bouquets! What started out as a small money-making idea turned into the beginning of a seasonal business.
It's funny how God can show up when you decide to do something good and totally
A few weeks ago, we heard about a fire in an apt. complex where some of our friends live. Our life group (basically a Bible study that meets in our house weekly) decided to make a cookie bouquet for the management and staff of the apartment complex. We figured they were probably under tons of stress, and hey, when your stressed cookies always help. Am I right?! So my friend Tracy and I made the bouquet and it turned out awesome! Then my mom came by, saw it and ordered one for a friend at her work. She told me "Hey you should make up a few business cards and an order form and send it to work with me. Maybe some of the other teachers would like to order a bouquet for Valentine's Day."
My mom works at an elementary school and I thought maybe I would get a couple orders. I took the business cards and an order form up to the school the next afternoon. With only 30 minutes left in the school day, I got tons of orders. Long story short, I had to pull the order forms by the next day at lunch because if I left them any longer, I would never get the cookies made!
I baked and baked and iced and decorated and wrapped and arranged for three days.
But now I am finished and I must say it was fun. So fun in fact that I think I'll do it again at Easter!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 1:30 PM
Monday, February 12, 2007
I will be blogging so be prepared, World!
Posted by Hello...My name is Kareah... at 10:05 PM