Friday, January 30, 2009

We're outta here....

leaving for the weekend.
no contact until sunday! :)
have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

breathe in....breathe out

just got off the phone with our realtor.
she is coming tonight with paperwork in hand for us to sign to get this house listed.
i've said it before and i'll say it again...we really do love this house.
we have put all of our blood, sweat and tears into making it our home over the past 5 years.
and i am beginning to panic.
our realtor asked if we wanted the papers dated today so we could get the sign in the yard and get it online tomorrow.
i answered with a very quick, "NO!"
it is difficult to make a 100 year old home look just right.
there is 100 years of wear and tear.
and then there are the 3 children running around my feet as i try to get things prepared.
the kids and i are leaving town tomorrow night to leave paul so he can get some final projects finished up in peace.
then it will be posted online first thing on Monday morning.
so i keep reminding myself to breathe in...and breathe out.
it will be fine.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What if you didn't have a choice?

Would you stand in line to get a bucket of this?
Would you walk miles and miles to get a bucket of this?
This is real. And scary. And unnecessary in today's world.
Please, be a voice.
We can make a difference together.

“When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all
we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined.”
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Last night was "Math Night" and Brigg's school.
Paul had a meeting in Cedar Rapids, so I piled all the kids in the car and took them myself.
We went last year, too, and I remember Lani sticking close by me the whole time.
I think she was overwhelmed by all the people and activity and she just wanted her mommy.
Not this year.
This year all I saw most of the night was the back of her head.
She wanted to be involved in every single activity Brigg was in.
She didn't hold my hand.
She walked around with confidence.
I can honestly say that this is the first time I have looked at her and thought, "She is ready to head off to school next year."
And as I started thinking about it, I have seen it in other things, too.
She is becoming ever so confident in gymnastics.

She will try any stunt the teachers want her to do.
She loves going and having an activity that is all her own.

She's spending less and less time on my lap and more time playing with Brigg,
or "taking care" of Ayla.
She is growing up. And I'm happy about that.
I have been worried about her heading off to school a lot lately.
But I think she is getting ready. It may not be as traumatic as I once thought!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's spreading

I can see water spreading through blogland and hopefully trickling out into our own communities and families and social networks.
It's so exciting.
I see these women that I love linking eachother and encouraging eachother and their hearts bleeding for the same things.
I see compassion and hope and determination and love.
I see Jesus working.
Regular people becoming His hands and feet.
I have no doubt that these little ripples will soon become waves and we are going to come crashing in on Liberia. A group of mothers, sisters, daughter, fathers, sons, brothers, friends providing essential water to a little country in West Africa.
I wish I could be there.
I wish we could all be there.
To look them in the eyes and tell them why.
Wouldn't that be incredible?!?
300 voices traveling across the ocean to tell them that we love them. That Jesus loves them. That they have changed us. That they have made us better. That we are all connected.
Wouldn't that be something.
Join us today.
Be part of the change.
Even if you have never thought about water before today, consider it. Start linking through some of these blogs and reading how it is changing these people in their own ways.
You will be inspired.
I promise.
Just to name a few. Start linking. You'll find more.
And you will want to be a part of this.
And this comes directly from Scott Harrison, the founder of charity: water. You can read more about him HERE.

For me, charity is practical. Sometimes easy, sometimes
inconvenient, always necessary. It is the ability to use one's position of
influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.

There's a biblical parable about a man beaten near
death by robbers. Stripped naked, lying roadside - people pass him by, but one man stops. He picks him up and bandages his wounds. He puts him on his horse and walks alongside until they reach an inn. Checks him in and throws down his Amex.
"Whatever he needs until he gets better."

Because he could.

The dictionary
defines charity as simply the act of voluntarily giving to those in need. The word comes from the latin "caritas," or simply, love.

In Colossians 3, the Bible instructs readers to "put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Although i'm still not sure what that means, i love the idea. To wear charity.
Join us as we explore living differently.

– Scott Harrison


Smacked in the face with reality this morning.
We are listing our house.
It will be for sale as of Monday.
Realtors tour on Tuesday.
I'm torn. And starting to panic a bit.
But I'm going to try and somewhat "stage" this place...
if that is even possible with 3 children living in it.
So if you come here and see no photos of yourself, it's probably because they are tucked away in a box.
With this market we are not getting our hopes up for a quick sale, but it doesn't hurt to try.
So if you are in the market for a 4 bedroom house in a great neighborhood, you know where to find me!!
Off to continue "staging".

There's something about Pam...

It's true.
Everyone loves her.
You can't help it.

As we talked this weekend, we all came to the same conclusion.
There is something about Pam that you cannot help but love.
She is an amazing friend who would give the shirt off her back for you.

She is an encourager and has a huge heart after Jesus.
It's nearly impossible for her to speak a bad word about anyone.

And she loves me kids and wears matching pjs with Lani...
which is exceptionally special! :)

We miss her and she only left a few hours ago.
And I consider it a special gift that I got to spend 3 late nights with her, sharing our hearts and catching up.
I can't put my finger on it because it's not just one specific thing,
But there is just something about Pam.
And we love it.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Full steam ahead.

I have been distracted for about the last 10 days.
Which happened to fall right over the launch of 300 voices.
So I don't really feel like I have given it's due attention.
But I am back. And ready to recruit those 300 voices!! :)
Currently we are at 82...which really is incredible for only 3 days.
Really amazing. People committing to a full year of keeping water in front of them.
People no longer just talking about making a difference. People acting.
There are going to be some pretty exciting crafting projects popping up here soon.
We had a full 36 hours to discuss and brainstorm and dream.
It's going to be good!
So this is the deal...
If you believe that when 300 people band together a difference can be made, you need to consider this. We have seen what can happen with just $10 donations...$59,000 in about 8 weeks. That's incredible.
The idea is that we reach out to our family and friends and spread the passion. If I can personally get 3 people to sign up and those 3 people get 3 people, and on and on, we can be a light to a world of darkness and despair. Where water can be life-saving and then deadly in one gulp.
We have been given much. And we are responsible to turn around and use it to bless others.
So sign up.
And spread the word.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The hotel

We finally made it to the hotel after much driving in circles and a little bit of yelling at eachother.
We are lucky to still be friends.
Really, this town is confusing to small town Iowans.
We found it cute that Jody matched the room...

Pam and Jody immediately got to work.

And well, so did Amy and I...

We are on the 18th floor....with a very cool view.

Off to dinner...more later.
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Surprise #2

So even though Pam was here, we still needed to keep another secret until today.
We had planned to take Jody away for the night to Chicago.
We had 30 gifts for Jody to open on the way to our destination.
And obviously we were all fairly excited about this (thanks mom!)

Although we planned on being very trendy in the big city, the fact remained that Jody is still a mother.
Of 6.
And she needed to zip coats and get them home.

Really, Amy is just photogenic.

And I never realized I had such a long pointy nose.
It's weird to see this. I swear I have never seen a profile shot of myself before.
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The reason for the lack of blog...

It's been a long week.
We have been trying to keep a secret from Jody and it has not been easy!
On Friday she turned 30...which is actually very old.
And she thought we really were not doing anything special for her.
But we had other plans.

Pam flew in from Kansas.
Amy and I walked in Jody's house to pick her up to go to dinner.
She was opening our gifts when in snuck Pam.

It was very exciting.
And I think I was crying...
Ok...I was.

And because Pam and I rarely sleep, she stayed at my house.
So it was kind of like MY birthday, too! :)
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Friday, January 23, 2009


Ayla has it.
Took her in this morning at 8:45 and just got home.
She's acting pretty good and they just put her on an antibiotic for right now.
Not the best time for her to be coming down with this...but when IS the best time for a baby to get pneumonia?

300 Voices

I do realize that Water for Christmas was supposed to be over after....well...CHRISTMAS.
But I'm sorry...I can't stop.
It is literally keeping me up at night. And that is not by my own doing.
The fact of the matter is, there is still work to be done. Water to be tapped.
And there are people willing to give.
Lots of people have asked if this was it. Or if this was going to be a reoccuring event. And really we didn't know.
But it has become apparent to many that we can't stop here. If we do want to do this again, we need to keep water at the front of our minds....right in front of our faces.
So how?
We've been discussing and tossing around ideas and something big has come of it.
I remember about halfway through the Water for Christmas campaign, Jody called me. She sounded frustrated. She said she had been thinking. She thought maybe if we raised $50,000 we could make a dent. She was thinking that maybe we could raise $50,ooo every year. And she wondered how long it would take to wipe out the water crisis if we did just that....$50,000/year.
300 years.
It would take 300 years.
Yeah, that was a bit discouraging.
And we decided that it was also unacceptable. We needed to see this happen in our life time.
So ideas started flowing.
And the 300 voices campaign was born.
Jody has been obsessed. And working very very hard...along with her sister-in-law, Kari, to get this thing up and running.
If we can get 300 people to catch the vision, to care about water, then maybe, just maybe, it won't take 300 years to eliminate this problem.
And seriously, this is DOABLE!
The goal is to bring water front in center in the minds of 300 people. To let water flood the lives of 300 people. We have felt our hearts change over the course of the water for christmas campaign partially because of it being in our faces every single day. So we figure that if 300 people commit to caring about water this year, by Christmas time next year, the campaign will grow 300 times!
So we are looking for 300 voices. We need 300 people to step up and commit to giving $5 a week for the whole 2009 year.
A small sacrifice to most of us.
If we can get 300 to commit to this, we will raise $72,000 this year.
15 wells.
That is insane.
There is a blog right now.
Go read Jody's post.
Then, if you feel the prompting, join us.
Sign up here.
BE the change.
Let's prove that actions speak far louder and reach much further than words.
Thank you for listening. And thank you for caring.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How they carry her

This is how Brigg and Lani both carry Ayla.
I think she may be getting too big for it.
Brigg's hands look like they may drop her at any moment.
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Ayla has really been into giving hugs lately.
And they are so sweet.
I love when I feel her hands on the back of my neck.
I think she knows we are putty in her hands after a hug.
She's smart.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Have you heard of
If not, you should look into it.
My sister-in-law, Lisa, introduced me to it.
You can list things that you are just going to toss out and other people respond and come pick them up. There are hundreds of members in our area.
We listed our carpet that we ripped out from our living room last night and I've already had 3 inquiries on it!
Super exciting.
One man's trash is another man's treasure!
Go check it out...

a word i used often

i used it all the time on this blog.
i have tried to find a new one, but this one fits the bill most of the time.
and when i feel overwhelmed, often times i just freeze.
there's too much to do, so i think i'll just do nothing.
that's what i FEEL like doing today.
but the world keeps spinning and life keeps moving forward, so must i.
decluttering is the task for the day.
trust me, that is an OVERWHELMING task around here.
there you have it.
yet another pointless post by cassie.

History in the making

Truly, I am not a super political person.
I have opinions.
I vote.
I definitely care.
But I can't sit around and talk politics all day like some.
Either way, no matter who you voted for, no matter what you believe in, today is history.
I am sitting here watching it on TV and am tearing up as I watch the Obamas and the Bushs greeting eachother.
It's incredible that we can witness such a peaceful transition of power. Truly amazing when we look around the world right now.
Just full of emotion watching this. Wanting to make sure I make note of it. Someday my kids may want to know what I was doing when Obama was sworn in! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today Brigg asked me if I had gotten batteries for the Air Hog he got at Christmas.
I had not.
I said, "I'll get them when I go to the store."
He said, "Are you going to the store today?"
I said, "Actually, I am."
He ran into the kitchen and came back with a sheet of paper and a pencil.
He said, "I'll put in on your list. What else are you getting?"
I had kind of a weird list because I was in charge of food for our small group tonight.
So I dictated my grocery list to him.
I always tell him to do the best he can at spelling and I never spell anything for him.
Must be the reading teacher in me.
So when he finished he said, "I just did the best I could. Hope you can read it!"
Here it is.
Do you know what it says?
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this is good...

Brigg just said,
"I am TOTALLY ready to go back to school!"
They're beginning to bicker nonstop.
It's time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've decided

the best thing to do when you're losing your mind because you've been couped up with with 3 kids for several days is....
to invite more people over.
We decided a sleepover was in order last night.
So we had Max over after church.
It worked out perfectly.
They kids were all entertained and Paul and I played cards with Mom and Dad.
It was fun for all!

And this morning we got up and headed over to the Coralville Ice Arena to skate.
This was the first (and possibly last according to Jody) time that Max had been ice skating.
Brigg and Lani acted like pros because, well, they have been 3 times before.

And Paul was in charge of all of them while I snapped photos,
watched Ayla,
gave Jody a play-by-play on the phone,
and got snacks for the kids.
At this point Max was still a little wobbly.

But he got much better.
And the kids burnt off a ton of energy.
The house was quiet by 8:00 tonight.
Everyone asleep.
And happy.

And quite obviously, very very cute.
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