Wednesday, January 28, 2009


You guys have to check out their blog post on redneck wedding cakes today. I'm still laughing.

Basement Modeling...Need Opinions!!

So, we're modeling up our basement, right? After the second coat of paint gets on the wall downstairs I'll take another picture for y'all. Mr. Bill came this morning to view our plans and lead us in the next direction. He will be caring for the plumbing and heat duct needs in the basement, so we don't freeze our tushes like we are now.

For the bathroom area we need Opinions...would it be a good idea to use the upstairs countertop and sink from our master bath downstairs and put in a double sink in the master bath?

Or leave our bath the way it is and get a single sink vanity for downstairs?

Hmmmm....decisions, decisions!

Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Adalynn's Turn 2 - What I Wuf

Hey, my peeps. I wanna tell you what I wuf today.
(you know, wuf? sowwy, i can't say my Lllllls yet.)

I wuf my stroller.

I wuf my baby.

She's funny.
(except when she is a bad baby and won't sit up straight in the stroller. then i get upset. or when her shoe falls off. weawwy!)

I wuf my music box.

All I have to do is knock it over and out pours a really cool song. Or I just hit it. Both work.
I especially like singing "E I E I O" at the top of my lungs. Over and over and over again.

Oh, and I wuf my mommy. I wuf her awot.

Adalynn's Turn - LTFD

I'm talking today, Mom's been talking Waaaaay too much. Yup. So, Come Along y'all.

"Oh, Hey! Boys! Over Here!"

"Yup, You, Homeboys. I want a ball. NoW."

"All right Chica, don't get your Huggies in a bunch."

At Daddy's Fire Dept Christmas Party I played ball and with my friend, Lacey. She's learning to walk.

But then Santa came.

I no like Santa.

I really no like Santa.

But he gave me a book. And that was cool.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Ethical Dilemna

Since returning to Grand Rapids, I have been faced many times with a problem...issue...HUGE FRUSTRATION about the lack of pediatric based therapy available. I cringe when I speak with parents who share frustrations and guilt about their children who either don't qualify for school-based therapy or who aren't getting enough from just school based therapy. And after working with the schools and at on an outpatient basis with pediatrics, I can vouch that the schools are too overloaded to provide one-on-one therapy to kids who are performing at an academically average level, even though they may demonstrate severe behavior or inattention or lack of coordination or social awkwardness. I think that the school system does a great job, but when it comes to Sensory Integration issues, the therapist's don't have the time to sit down with the parents and provide education, tailor a sensory diet that will carryover at home and at school, and conduct sensory integration treatment with the child in a setting where the child is normally pulled out into a small closet...or treated in the school room. (There may be exceptions, and I'm sure that there are, but the role of a School-based therapist is just that...that they work with the child at school to support their academic achievement. Just like it is my belief that teachers shouldn't have to teach children manners and social skills that their parents should be teaching at home. Reinforcing, yes. Teaching, no.).
I really get fired up about this, can you tell? *wink* Most of my frustration stems from knowing that I am skilled in outpatient occupational therapy, and I really want to help these families. Because I can. Because I know that it makes a difference. Because these kids are so awesome and are so at risk to fall through the cracks. And that's not ok.
I just don't know what to do about it. I get this urgency, nervousness and butterflies in my stomach when I think about it. Excited. But then, today, when we got home from church I had a little talk with God. It went like this: "God, I'm so concerned about these children and families." and God said, "Cara, I have a plan. Just rest. It will be revealed in My time."
And so I'm going to listen. and wait. and pray for these children and their families. and i will act if, when, and in whatever order that God leads me to.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So...How are WE doing?

All right, I suppose. It's been another busy week. And I might just be posting Random Archived pictures throughout this, because I'm imagining right now that I'm in the tropics. Or at least MI in the summer. Or somewhere warm, like in my oven.

So, this week, Travis put a fabulous coat of paint downstairs. It's currently waiting for one more, but that'll get done soon.

Oh, if anyone knows of anyone who has a couple of extra cupboards they want to get rid of? We want 2-4 of them for bottoms of built-in cabinet/shelves downstairs. We'll pick up. And we'll paint if needed (we want them to eventually be white).

k, classifieds time over.

On top of the paint job, Travis attended school Monday, basketball Tuesday, and then he got sick. And now he's sniffling and sneezing and snotty. Poor guy.

And Adalynn got it, so she's sniffly too. Ugh. When she's sick, she doesn't sleep well. I'm SO tired! I must have been hallucinating last night, because I was SURE I heard her plod into our room at 4am. But then heard some plods out the door and this morning she was in her bed. But, so far she hasn't been able to climb into bed on her own, it's too high. So, our super talented child must be able to do some awesomely talented sleep climbing. I'm so proud.
Or I'm delirious.

I worked, actually, this week. And met Alison to give her the 3 choices of necklaces and earrings that Aunt Jo made for her to wear with her wedding dress. I think they're divine. Just wait till you see them.

On Wednesday, Adalynn and I drove to the Big town to Amy's church, Monroe Community Church for their MOPS group. It was great to see Julie and Myrna again (they were faithful attendees at my Infant Massage group last October. it's crazy to see how big their kids are!), as well as Kristin and her new babe Connor. He is so adorable! Makes me hope this one is a boy.
And then Thursday I worked. We did go shopping yesterday and found a more-organic-than-normal crib mattress at Target on clearance. Rock On!
So that's been our Highly Exciting week, how's yours?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Com'On Vandy

Just a shout out to support Vandy. Watch ESPN, STAT...they're gonna beat big ole' bad TN. They've gotta.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Life on a Budget.

If I had my way, I'd hire a house cleaner. And then a dog walker. And then a part-time cook.

But as our bank account is more often on the low side than the high and we are more often running out of time then relishing in extra hours, I try to watch it when it comes to things that some people consider necessities...such as haircuts, dog grooming, etc and attempt to use our time and resources wisely.

Here's a synopsis of things we've tried.

There have been some positives:

Exhibit A:

Rocky, for example... I do not try to humiliate my children without reason. BuT, when they SHED EXCESSIVELY ALL OVER the carpet, and at the very moment I wrap up the vacuum cord and put it away they deposit more bold black hair covering our off-white carpet, I will cut it off. (who puts off-white carpet in a house anyway?)

And really, I can't tell the difference too much. After a shave, a once over with the vacuum cleaner fluffs up his hair and makes it look...fuller...more volumous. It's like a doggy mousse. And much cheaper than the puppy salon.

Exhibit B:

My discovery of Heffron Farms. We feed Adalynn as much organic as possible, and Milk was high on the list of importance for me. But, Hello!! it is super expensive...I just can't pay over $3.00 for a half gallon of milk. And around our house, a half gallon lasts for what, a day? So, as I waited to pick up a closet organizer that I purchased off craigslist, I found myself in this little store. And I was delighted to find antibiotic free, no growth hormones Creamline Whole Milk. At $4.09 a Gallon. That, I can do. And it tastes super good. And I no longer have to scour the pathetic Sunday Ads for sales on organic Milk.

Exhibit C:

Our do-it-yourself Basement Modeling. (is it re-modeling when there is nothing there in the first place?). Since the Masselink Christmas party, Travis and Jeff have worked hard to get the drywall spackled and primed. And this is where it's at right now: The large room is spackled and primed, the laundry room has a couple of coats of spackling and sanding. It looks great, so far.

Exhibit D:

I had taken Jen to Hopscotch, a local Children's Store, to see cloth diapers and some slings for baby-wearing before her baby shower. She really liked the Mei-Tei's, so I thought I'd try my hand at sewing one. I *think* it worked. We'll see when Junior is born!

Exhibit E:

Boarding Kelsey with Owner Labor. We pay a small amount (compared to what the barn next door charges) for a stall, electric, and water. Then we travel 2-3 times daily to feed Patches and Kels, let them out, clean their stall, and provide other manual labor as needed. For the price of full board, I wouldn't change a thing. And I *love* seeing her everyday, it's a great excuse to get out of the house and make sure she's alive and well.

What has NOT worked:

Adalynn and I LOVE cheese. And the price has risen crazily. In light of this, I tried this morning to make my own cheese. With a little kit from Sicliano's, a gallon of Milk (see above), a pot and a colander I thought I was on my way to cheese heaven. Oh, how I do love cheese. However, I looked over the fine print in my excitement and used the only large pot I have...which I suppose has aluminum in it...a big No-No. So my cheese didn't curd.
I will conquer you, cheese. I'll be back.

Exhibit B:

I tried to work more this week, honest I did. I don't normally work on Wednesdays, but this past Wed I headed out bright and early to feed Kels, then see a couple of patients before Travis left for work. But. After feeding Kelsey I hurried back to the nice, warm, running Jeep...only to find that the door had locked. Or I locked the door. I don't know. Not only did it cost us 2 hours, wet socks, almost frostbite, $12 for a new key to unlock the door, and frustration, but I also ran out of time to work. Grrrrr.
Moral of the story? Overachievement is Overrated.

Exhibit C:

The most frustrating for me are the mundane, everyday, gotta-clean-it-cause-it-don't-clean-itself, gotta-buy-it-even-though-it's-expensive-cause-we-can't-live-without-it. Not meaning that Adalynn is a mundane "thing", but she is one of the most frequently cleaned items around here. This one landed her in the bath. Talk about a messy lunch! Beyond wrapping her and our whole house in plastic wrap, then not eating/sleeping/breathing, I don't know of any good solutions to these problems.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Are YOU smarter than a 5th grader?

On Wednesday nights I teach the 5th and 6th grade girls Calvary Kids Connection class. It really brings me back. Remember Calvinettes and Cadets? Or Gems? (that was beyond my time). At our church it is called Calvary Kids Connection, for Kindergarteners through 6th grade. They ALL of the songs have motions, restlessly sit through a story, break into small groups (cue me), and then run around like mad kids and play games. These girls are great, I really enjoy it. And every once in a while I use my imagination to make the sure the story hit home.
So, tonight I am going to give each girl a slip of paper and force them to work together to tell the same story (I hope) that Pastor Chuck tells. And, lucky you, you can try it too.

Here's the blurbs:
1. Jesus tells the centurion to go and that his servant will be healed just as he believed he would.
2. The centurion told Jesus that his soldiers listen to his orders and follow him.
3. The centurion comes to Jesus to request that he heals his paralyzed servant.
4. The centurion's servant was healed at that very hour.
5. Jesus tells the centurion that he has not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
6. The centurion tells Jesus that he does not deserve to have him under his roof.
7. Jesus tells the centurion that he will go and heal his servant.

This passage is from Matthew 8:5-13.

Is anyone skilled enough to answer the bonus question?!?
*What other passage in the gospels tells the same story?

Com'on, I have faith in you people. Show me your skillz.....put them in order, ThEn leave me a comment.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My 'Lil Peanut

For This Year...

New years are about resolutions, right? Well, I'm ditchin' them. Throwing 'em out the window. Tossing 'em on the highway.

I prefer a "New Year Outline". A Guideline, loosely written, to train myself into being productive in this new year. Which I guess could slip into the "Resolution" category if I'm not careful.
So I will be careful.

Here's my plan...
Jan and Feb: Freeze my tushie feeding the horse and traveling to work, but mainly hibernate inside under mounds of blankets. Finish crafties that I started including The Dog Quilt, Jerilynn's birthday present (can't tell, that would defeat the purpose), Adalynn's pillow. Oh, and strongly encourage Travis to work on the basement. Yes, this falls under my "Guidelines". Put down chips and dust in the horse's pasture to link the 2' gap between concrete and dirt...preferably before the ground thaws. Look at garlic (planted in November) and hope it grows.
March: Pray for warmth to come over this sad, sad state. And CheeR as Alison walks down the aisle.
April: Throw a party for Travis' graduation from the Fire Academy. Pray for the ground to dry out around the horse pasture and RIDE! Plant brocolli.
May: Plant my garden!!! I've already started a list...we're going for tomatoes, jalepenos, green beans, snap peas, lettuce, green peppers, red peppers. I think we'll nix the eggplant this year.
June: Maintain the garden. Tell Travis what to weed when I'm too pregnant to bend over.
July: Have this child, recoup, and maintain the household to whatever extent I'm able.
August: Regatta!
The rest of the year is fuzzy....but....
by next December:
I want the basement painted, bathroom and bar area roughed in, and basically ready for the bathroom and bar area to be finished and for flooring. Then we'll sit and wait for a large sum of money to pay for flooring and to have the bathroom finished. Or work hard for it, either way.
I want to have tomatoes, peaches, applesauce, some pickles and some jellies canned. And any other random fruit or vegetable that I can find to stick safely in a can.
I want to have more peppers frozen for the winter.
I want to have more herbs preserved.
I want to return to my pre-pregnancy weight.
I want to have Kelsey ridden, out on trails, and fit.
I want to learn how to make cheese.

I think that's the bulk of it right now. I'm spittin' it out to hold me accountable. Guess I will have to wait and see if God and I have the same ideas...

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Very quickly I want to introduce the newest member of our extended family, Ginger. She is our new neice, acquired by my sister, Amy, and her family on Saturday. I was honored to meet her today and am smitten already with this little 8-week-old Labradoodle.
Although sleepy and resting quietly when I arrived, she quickly perked up and displayed her immerging "fetch" skills. She can't quite fit the tennis ball in her mouth yet, but she can carry it by a stringy-string-string.

Leash-walking is not a strength yet, but hey, she's still getting used to people in general. And she is very cute when she rebels.

Welcome to the family, Ginger. Love your human Uncle, Aunt and Cousin and your 2 furry ones.

Al's Wedding Shower

This is Alison. Everyone, say "Hi, Alison". Good. She is one of my very best friends, and is getting married in March. She honored me greatly by asking me to be a bridesmaid and Adalynn to be her Flower Girl. We both said "Yes", and then I prayed that Adalynn would be walking by then.
Thank God she is.

This is Hilary, Alison's bestest friend and her Maid of Honor. Today, Hilary and Molly (they are sisters, Molly is also a bridesmaid) hosted a Bridal Shower in Alison's honor. Hilary graciously opened up her very cute house to Alison's girls and put out a delicious spread of food.

Hilary and Molly introduced a new "game". We all wrote down a precious memory of Alison, and then they read them in intervals throughout the shower. Alison then had to guess who wrote that particular memory.
I couldn't think of one....except the time she visited me in Nashville. Guess the time she introduced me to my husband didn't stand out. I blame the pregnancy brain.
Alison opened her gifts. Many kitchen supplies. A KitchenAid Stand Mixer that she will LoVe. A lot of placemats, napkins, and flexible cutting boards (for cutting or kitty placemats?). And other fun stuff.
For being a good sport with the game, she recieved trendy, bright red, and very useful passport holders for her and her fiance, Jesse that they can use when they go on their honeymoon to the tropics.
Soon and very soon, Al!

Adalynn... +1?

Walking into Adalynn's room used to be somewhat chaotic.

Chaotic. And messy. And pieced together. And the wrapping paper that I hide under the crib is showing. Hmm. Just noticed that. ANYWAY...

Ok, really, enough of that. I can't look at it anymore.

So, which a lot of you now know if you got (and READ) our Christmas card, we are expecting little "Nubby" Masselink in July. (So when he's older I'm sure he'll be upset we called him that, but later I'll post the first ultrasound...and really, he was nubby. And cute. But still nubby.) Because of Adalynn's brother/sister joining us, we decided that we are going to make them bunk together for a little while. Hahaha, poor kids.

To prepare Adalynn we decided to try to transition her into a toddler bed. So she helped me put it up.
And then got stuck.

And then got upset, and made the cutest "I'm upset, MooooooooM! Help Me!" face.

So I did. And this is how the room turned out:

I've got to say, I feel a lot more comfortable with this room then I did with the way it was before. It's somewhat decluttered and more kid friendly.

And Adalynn really does love her bed.
Unfortunately, the first night didn't go so hot. Aunt Amy, who so kindly let us borrow this bed, initally neglected to pass along the siderails. Adalynn is a very wild sleeper. By 10pm Travis had readjusted her once. By 12am Travis checked on her, and she was on the floor, about 3 feet away from the bed, and facing the opposite direction...still sleeping very soundly.
So I called Aunt Amy and asked what she did, and lo and behold, she dug up her siderails and ever since Adalynn has been a happy little camper, snuggled deeply under her covers. Last night I think she even slept with her head on the pillow all night. Diagonal, but still on the right side of the bed.

Oh baby, stop growing up so fast!