Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Life is for the Birds!

Ok, so that is probably the cheeziest title I could have come up with for the topic I have chosen to write about today. It has very little to do with my life and a whole lot to do with birds.
So, back up a few weeks ago, and I began to write a book. One, which sadly, few if any of you will ever get to read when I am finished. It is more of a journey for my heart to write the book, and not something that would make a whole lot of sense to anyone who doesn't know me on a more personal level.
Still, so with that as the background to what has been occupying much of my time, I sit for at least a few hours every day at our little laptop. It is located on our desk that faces the window out the back of our little apartment at the Harrigan Ranch, and so when I am taking a break I look out and watch things.
It is fall, as everyone obviously knows, but never have I had such a beautiful view of all the birds and animals hard at work to prepare for winter. The birds are mostly just passing through, and so I see an array of different kinds everyday, and I must say, they are just gorgeous! I've seen Slate-colored Juncos, Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Blue Jays, Downy Woodpeckers, Flickers, Vireos, and a few Bluebirds. I also watch the squirrels, who's population does very well in our wooded lot, and so they scratch around and on cold mornings, they chase each other around. I can almost give them personalities. Then, yesterday morning I saw a young button buck run past my window, and then later in the day a large doe, just moseying through at a leisurely pace.
A little two leisurely, considering how Lydia and I feel about what those creatures have done to our garden efforts this year, so I ran outside and let the dog chase it off. It was quite funny, and if you want the picture for your mind, here it is, a little black and white dog the size of a cat, running as fast as she can after a dear that is the size of a small pony. It was a no-contest who would win if they were to actually confront one another, yet it was so funny to see Lucy (the dog) get all territorial.
So that is what my days have been like. It has been just a beautiful experience and I wanted to share it with all my friends. Sorry that I don't have any pictures to show you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Today was a good day!

I don't have a whole lot to say, but that today was a good day. The night before I went to bed with a super bad headache. Ken and I had to cancel our date night at the last minute because it got so bad, and I was miserable in bed until around midnight. During that time I laid in bed and prayed, about half of them were about my headache, but the other half were just about things on my heart.
Then this morning I woke up and like most always, the headache was gone, and I felt really refreshed. So I got dressed, drank my coffee and decided to run some errands. Ken watched Kinsey, so I got my errands done super fast.
When I came home I had a light lunch and put Kinsey down for a nap, and then I did my exercises (which I haven't done in a long time). I felt so good after doing them, that I decided to work on my quilt. Kinsey woke up right on time and so she played and snacked while I continued to work on my new quilt.
After a while, Kinsey got fussy and so we went outside to crawl around in the grass and discovered that our friends, the Varners, were on site getting some pictures taken in our lovely yard - well, the Harrigan's lovely yard.
So we visited with them, and then we came in and had some dinner, and I know nothing really profound happened, but I just have this wonderful wholesome feeling inside of my heart.
Like that scripture - Psalm 30:5b 'Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning'
I'm pretty sure that I'm not using it in total context to the rest of the chapter, but that is the verse that came to mind for today. That the Lord watched over me through the night and in His goodness, brought me joy in the morning and for the whole day.
The Lord has been talking to my heart a lot lately, and yesterday was a big day for me and what He has been talking to me about. A turning point, if you will, and so although nothing truly note-worthy happened today, I feel His pleasure and love over me, and it has made it a glorious day to me.
So I just wanted to share that with all my friends and family. Blessings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Racing for the Train

On Tuesday I was scheduled to ride the train to Peoria so that I could launch my Arbonne business there, and I had carefully packed and gotten everything ready the day before. My train was scheduled to arrive in KC Union Station at 7:45 am, so I told Ken to be home from work by 7am so we could leave and get to the station by 7:30am.

The day of, I am feeling so excited and ready to go, and then Ken calls and says he is stuck in traffic and will be a bit late, so be ready to walk out the door when he pulls the van it. No problem, we still have time for cushion.

He comes home, we load up quickly and head out, but immediately we see that the late start has put us in the middle of the morning rush hour traffic, and Ken is tense. I'm not tense, because I have planned in my 15 min. cushion of time.

I try to talk to Ken about stuff since I won't see him for a week, but he is all tense still and not in the mood to talk. He says to me 'we are already late, I'm not in the mood to talk'. I decide then to call Amtrak's automated service to check and see if the train is even running on time, which it frequently isn't. I figure if its a bit late, that might ease Ken's mind.

I call the number and go through all the steps, and it says, 'Train number 4 to Galesburg, IL is running on time and is scheduled to arrive at 7:26am.' I feel sick to my stomach and glance at the clock. It's already 7:28am, and we are still 5 min. from the station.

I tell Ken I feel ill and he says brightly, 'whats the status' I say, 'its running on time and is due to arrive at 7:26am, I must have gotten the time wrong on my schedule at home.'

Then the pressure is on, we speed on in hopes of catching it still at the station and zoom into the Union Station parking lot, me in the back seat with my ID ready and Kinsey unbuckled and in my lap, strapping her into the sling on the front of my body.

As soon as he pulls to a stop, I jump out and run through Union Station to the Amtrak section and I hear the Conductor call out 'last call for Southwest Chief, train number 4 to Chicago' I run up, 'I need to be on that train, but I don't have my ticket yet.'

The Conductor looks at the Amtrak counter and says, 'it's closed' and I ask when it opens, and he says he doesn't know. I say I need to be on the train, and I tell him I have my confirmation number I just need a printed ticket, what can I do. He asks if I have already paid, and I said yes, online.

He says, 'well go then, and get on the train.' I say, 'I have to wait for my husband to bring my bags from the car.' He says, 'You have 9 minutes to get on the train before it leaves.' I see Ken racing toward me, and I get my bags and turn to run down the long walkway, but the Conductor calls me back and says, 'have your husband carry the bags'. I say, 'he isn't riding the train' he says so what he can help you down there. (I have taken the train several times and they never let Ken help me.)

So together we race down the walkway and down the steps and down the length of the train, but don't see anyone around to help us load or find a seat, so I just climb in an open door, and Ken comes on too and brings my ginormous bag on and we kiss and he is gone.

Then a woman Amtrak employee comes down the stairs and says, 'did you just get on' I say 'yes, I didn't know where to get on, so I just picked this car' She then tells me this car is full and there isn't even any room for my bags. My face falls and she tells me she will leave my bag hear, by the door and take me to the next car to find a seat.

She then finds me two empty seats and I collapse into them with Kinsey still strapped on the front of me. Another Amtrak man comes by to find out where I'm going to write it on my seat and I tell him and then he leaves. (that is always the point that they ask to see your ticket, but this time they didn't, and I didn't have it) I sit back amazed and proceed to unwrap Kinsey. She looks out the window, I relax and then she spits up on me.

Too much running and bouncing I guess for her, but that was the end of the drama for that trip, so thank you Lord!

the end.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What is on my mind....

Well, we were just in a prophesy room at the House of Prayer in KC, and it was great as usual, and Kinsey was with us, and I liked what they had to speak to me, but I loved hearing what they had to speak over Kinsey.

As a parent it is our right to think that our child is spectacularly special, that somehow our babies are above average in most things, and absolutely gifted in other areas. So it is always extra reassuring to hear someone else say so, and to speak over your baby some of the very things that you have thought yourself.

Just a bit of what they had to say was that the Lord had put joy in Kinsey and that she would be a hope and joy for others, and that she is full of compassion. Also, that she is ready now for us to pour into wisdom, love, and the scripture Truth.

I admit that I haven't been super diligent at reading to her, and especially from the Bible, but after hearing that word, I think I will try a lot harder now. Also, from what I see at home when we are all alone, I can see that she is going to have a strong personality, just like her mommy and daddy. So I should start trying to shape that even now to get a head start on the teenage years.

It seems like that time is a long way off, teenage years, yet she was just born yesterday in my mind, when actually it has been almost a year, so it confirms what I keep hearing, that I will blink and she will be graduating high school. I'm not ready, I confess it already. I love her little silly baby faces and her rolls of chub, and her little toothless grins.

God give me more grace to lead and raise this child in Your ways and that when the time comes for her to follow You on her own, to fulfill her destiny, that You would give me the grace to let go.

Concerning Apple Farms

Well, Kinsey and I had a very fun and interesting outing this past Friday with our friends the Kempers. They took us to historic Lexington, MO to buy apples at one of the many apple orchards in that area. I didn't even need any apples, but from many of my childhood memories, buying apples isn't even the point of going to the apple orchard.

So that day I dressed Kinsey up in some cute clothes and packed my life into a diaper bag for the day, and we headed out mid morning. The drive was very scenic and beautiful. If it weren't for all the hills, I would have thought I was back in Illinois with all the corn and bean fields.

Then we get to the apple orchard. Note: this is my second apple orchard experience since moving to Kansas City two years ago. The first was a major disappointment, nothing but a tiny building on the edge of an apple orchard. We didn't even go into the orchard, they already had all the apples picked right there for you to buy.

And this new orchard was no different. It was again, just a small building where there were stacks and stacks of apples and apple products. I was so bummed out. No pony ride, no playground with a sand pit complete with mini tractors to dig with, no goats and livestock to feed, no corn maze, no pumpkin patch, no gift shop that smells like cinnamon and sugar.

There are two apple orchards in my home town of Peoria, IL, one is called Apple Blossom and is the newer of the two, and the other is an icon of fall in our area, Tanner's Orchard. I will soon be traveling home, and I have requested a trip to Tanner's with the Grandmas, so you will be sure to see pictures of a real apple orchard experience, but let me tell you a bit of what it is like.

First off, you walk into Tanner's and you are met by a two big barrels mounted in the wall, with spigots that you can taste test fresh made cider that is ice cold. Then the smell of Cinnamon apples and candles and popcorn hits you, and you see all the fine crafts and knickknacks. Lots of dried flower arrangements, pumpkins and gourds painted and dried, and candles, lots of candles - all for sale, of course. Then you moved down through the building and come to the actual apple section, where you can buy pre-picked apples, then as you move further down the building you come to the bakery, where they have fresh apple doughnuts that are still warm, and apple pies and all other things that you can make from apples and fruits and honey.

Then you head out the other end of the building and you come to the fun part. There are barns that have goats and other animals, and you feed them and they are as friendly as can be. Beyond that is the pony ride and the playground. In the playground is a sand pit (at least there use to be) that has mini tractors you sit on and can dig in the sand with. Then on further you can enter the corn maze. They also have a pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin, and a spot where you load up into a truck to go out in the apple orchard and pick your own apples.

It is quite the experience! So you can see now why these Kansas City ones are such a drag comparatively. Still, it was quite enjoyable to be with our friends the Kempers. We did see the site of the Civil War Battle of Lexington, and we ate at a Mexican restaurant and toured a local antique shop.

So overall, it was a good trip, but still, I think someone needs to tell these orchards that there is more that can be done to draw in the crowds. If they changed, I would go back, but as it is, I doubt I will make the trip to Lexington again just to buy apples.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Very Own Adventure!

Ok, so life in our house is pretty interesting these days. Now that Kinsey is crawling, everyday is a new adventure for her, which means an adventure for me to. She is finally learning where she can and can't go in the house, but not all of these boundaries she agrees with. She still propels herself as fast as she can toward the open bathroom door whenever anyone goes in or out, and cries her little 'crocodile' tears when the door closes before she gets there.

She also works furiously at getting the dog's kennel door open when the dog is inside of it eating her breakfast, or she squeals in delight when she sees Mommy lowering the dog's water bowl to the floor for the dog to take a drink, and cries in dismay when she is held back from said water bowl.

Oh the life of a 10 month old. I am loving this stage so much. I can't wait to share all this fun with the Grandmas in a weeks time. They miss her so much, but wait until they encounter this new little blooming personality who is even now, sitting on the floor next to me shredding a scrap of paper I unknowingly dropped.

I suggest they borrow someones new puppy, and let it crawl around their house for a day or two to find all the unsafe areas, and all the breakable objects within reach. Because its sure that Kinsey will find them. She is also so fond of electronics and things with buttons in general. Books, beware, she loves to eat your thin, crackly pages - especially the Bible, those pages are just made for tiny little hands to rip apart.

I also warn that she is very found of all animals, so Belle and Maggie (Grandma Jody's doggies) need to prepare themselves for an unrelenting stalker. No matter where they are, no matter how high they climb, she will try to get to them and try to take their toys, and play in their water bowl, and eat their food.

You are going to love it Grandmas, she is smart as a whip, and is always cracking me up with her little faces and responses to different situations. Just now I took away the shredded piece of paper that she was attempting to eat and made a silly face at her, and she started clapping her hands and grinning as big as she could. Now she is standing against my leg talking to me in her grunts and goos.

You grandmas just wait.

And get ready for the kisses, she is really getting good at giving kisses. She also loves to grab noses, and slap faces, all out of love and excitement. Almost every morning when Ken comes home from work, she crawls as fast as she can to him and he picks her up and hugs her and she proceeds to squeal and clap and slap his face with her tiny flailing arms. He loves it, but sometimes she does clock him pretty good.

Ok, so I guess this entry doesn't have much of a point except to entice the grandmas with our coming visit and all the fun Kinsey things to look forward to.

Love you - Katrina

Monday, October 6, 2008

God Had a Plan

So, anyone who read last night's blog about my overwhelming craving for cookies and sugar will be pleased to know that God used that craving to make sure I had the energy to stay up all night with a sick baby.

That's right, even as I was finishing up that blog entry, Kinsey woke up two or three times screaming and was hard to put back to sleep. I thought it a bit strange, but I thought maybe she could see the lights from out here and just wasn't tired because she had gotten that late nap.

But, so, then, when I finished the blog and went to bed, she cried more, and I went in and tried to comfort her, and she would lay back down, but then in a few minutes she would be crying again and rolling over to get back up. I held her and that seemed to calm her, but she was still really agitated, and if I even hinted at putting her back in her crib, it put her in immediate panic and crying.

Long story short, I held her for most of the evening and layed in bed with her on my chest, and we did pretty ok that way. I thought maybe she had gotten water in her ear from bath time, but then, when she was laying on my chest I noticed that she would be really still, and then suddenly I would feel her back end tense up, and she would wimper and start to get upset, and then I would feel her push.

Poor baby, she had gas, or so I thought to myself, so I got her some infant gas drops, and she didn't like them as well as she had when she was an infant, but pretty soon she was asleep, and I put her in bed and she slept in there on her own. So I finally got to lay down at 2am, and she woke again at 3:40am and then 7am, at which I gave her more gas drops.
All that said, I had a lot of energy to deal with a wakeful baby most the night with the sugar high I had from those cookies. I was able to be fairly patient and loving, and not a sleep deprived grouch. I wish I could say the same for poor Ken, who was not on a sugar high and yet was awakened and even drawn into the dilemma. He is currently out on the tractor doing something this morning. I don't know how that man does it.

Oh, and plus I wanted to tell you all the dear reward I got this morning from little one. Well, she was awake and ready to go at 7am, so Ken got up with her and I slept 'til almost eight, but when I got up, she was all smiles and 'mamamamas' to me. Then, later when I went over to see what she was crying about, she crawled to the chair ottoman, and was standing against it, and I held out my hands for her to come to me, and she took a few steps toward me (still holding on to the ottoman, mind you), but then she reached out and took my hands and while balancing on my hands, she took the 5 or 6 steps it took to make it the rest of the way to me! I was so excited!

She took assisted steps forward, which for the most part she hasn't done, ever, her cruising on the couch is mostly stepping side to side. I'm loving it! For anyone who has had small babies, you understand my excitement at this seemingly small milestone, but she is only 10 months. Not even 10 months yet, actually, so the thought of her walking is barely on my radar yet.

That little kiss of a blessing this morning makes all my midnight wakings worth it last night. Did I mention that I have the sweetest baby in the whole world? Oh, I did already.... imagine that.

I'm out.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Midnight Cookie Making

So, ok, it isn't exactly midnight, but it feels like it to me, who is usually in bed by 9pm, and as I look at the clock next to me, it is actually only 6 minutes past nine o'clock, so I must be really tired. Yet I am still up and at 'em so that I can finish my double batch of peanut butter/white chocolate chip cookies that I just had to make since there wasn't nothing sweet in my house to satisfy my sudden craving for sugar!

The craving started around 5pm when I had to go in and wake Kinsey up, because when we came home from our small group meeting she was practically passed out from exhaustion, so I thought to myself, 'self, she can take a little nap', and so she did. It was only suppose to be 20 minutes, I left Ken in charge and went up to the garden to get what was worth getting before our friend Brian tilled everything under for the fall, and figured he would remember and wake her up.

Well, at 5pm I come down to find my husband on the computer totally oblivious to what time it is, and a Kinsey baby still fast asleep. So I go and get her and she is a total crab for the first 10 minutes, and I almost regret getting her up, but then I think logically, and logically I'm going to enjoy those extra two hours of sleep tomorrow morning if I wake her up now, and keep her up until 7pm.

But now she is awake, and hungry, so I feed her Avacados, one of her favorites, and she eats about half of the bowl when she decides she is going to start pushing them back out of her mouth.

Note, the picture at the top is not Avacados, and this is a picture from when Ken was feeding her, typically this is not typical, but i think it is so funny. She looks like she has sweet potato eyebrows.

Anyways, back to the story -to keep her highly entertained so that she was too distracted to think about pushing them out of her mouth, I start making up a song about Kinsey and her Avacados, and so then she was all eyes on Mommy. In fact, she starts to clap along with my little tune. She is eating again so well that I whip out the prunes. She eats all her prunes, but it's only half a container. So when they are gone, she gets all upset. And then I proceed to take off her bib and accidentally pull some of her little hairs, and she starts to really get mad and upset.

So we get out of our chair and go outside. I let her crawl around on the porch and get all dirty and eat leaves and play with the dog, and chase around a ball. She is happy, that is all that matters and I am able to stand and talk to our friend, Brian, who tilled our garden.

Pretty soon, though, Brian needs to help do something else and I decide it is time to go inside. We come in, and the craving for sugar that has been growing all this time is now screaming in my head...... 'Sugar, sugar, sugar, if you think you are going to finish the laundry today, you need some sugar....', I look around for something easy to eat, but nothing is what I want. I start working on cleaning up the house instead and Kinsey is cruising on the couch, back and forth, a new skill she is so proud of.

She does it over and over. She walks from one end of the couch, hanging on with both hands, and then back to the other end. Sometimes she walks all the way to the dog kennel, and bangs the door open and closed a couple dozen times. I don't care, she is happy, and I can finish cleaning.

Then I go check on the laundry and she hears me walk down the stairs and open the door to the garage and loses it. Screaming and crying. I can hear her thumping toward the gate at the top of the stairs, screaming all the way. Once she reaches the gate she starts her sobbing 'mamamamamas'. I get my laundry and come back up, and then I have to move her out from in front of the gate to get in, that only ticks her off more, to be moved, but not picked up.

So I pick her up and play with her and take her over to her toy box and she is quiet and playing and happy again. So I fold laundry, and then I hear it again.... 'sugar, you need sugar, it's only 6:15, still 45 minutes to go, you need sugar to last that long', but I resist and continue with my cleaning and laundry. Kinsey is still playing and is happy and content.

Then she falls and bumps her head on something and that is the end of independent happiness for the night. After that, she has to have Mommy or she isn't going to survive. So I decide its time for a bath, it is the fun-est thing I can think of that will wear her out more, make her happy, and take up more time before bed.

So I take her in, get her in, and she is splashing and splashing and splashing, and she is happy, and I make her hair stand up on her head with soap, and she kicks and splashes and chews on her rubber duckie's head.

Out of the bath, she gets in her jammies and I start to comb her hair to get the rest of the dried Avacado out of her bangs. She screams a bit, but then when I'm done, she colapses on my chest in exhaustion. Finally the end is in sight, and so I make her a bottle and lay her on the floor next to my chair as I check my email. She finishes quickly, which she announces by throwing the bottle away from herself.

So I pick her up and carry her to bed, she is so tired she lays on my chest the whole way, she has her bink, and she is in her near sleep euphoric state. I lay her in bed and she is gone in minutes. But as I walk out of the bedroom I hear, 'you made it, you deserve a reward, how about some sugar' and I fold. I think, I did survive all that, I do deserve some sugar.

Thus began my cookie making mode which I find myself in now, and as soon as the dough was made, I ate at least two cookies worth in raw dough, then as the process progressed further, I had three more, hot off the baking pans. I am a sad, sad, sugar craving creature, but what a reward for my day of hard work!

The end..... for now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello my beloved friends and family.

I have had a deep desire to blog again, and yet I just hate all those sites like MySpace and FaceBook. I wanted a place where I could pour out my daily thoughts on life, where my loved ones could read it and know how I am, how I really am, and not just what I have time to share in our brief phone calls and reunions. So I ran across this site from a friend of mine who uses it, and she is a mother of two, so I figure if she finds time to blog, then I can do it too.

She is my inspiration for lots of things. I see her do it with two kids and I say to myself, I can do it too then, with only one kid! For those of you who have visited us here in Kansas City in the past year or so, it is our very dear neighbor, Lydia Harrigan. She lives right across the driveway from us and she, on an average week, gets at least 4 visits from me and Kinsey, if not more.

I keep telling her she can shooo me away if she wants to, but she insists I don't bother her, so I take her at her word and take full advantage of the hours of free entertainment for Kinsey. Her two boys are so active, usually Kinsey just sits and watches them and all their antics, while I sit and chat and strategize our next Arbonne exploits.

Yes, that's right, she is my dear friend as well as my Arbonne sponoring consultant. Again, if she can do it with two kids and make money, then I can do it too! And for those of you who haven't heard about Arbonne from me or someone else, well you just wait 'til I see you next, it is my newest pursuit, and I'm loving it!

So enough of the 'why' I'm blogging and how I came about with this spot, and on to the sharing of my life. Nothing earth-shattering has happened, yet I think what is happening is very grand indeed for me. I have a 9 month old and I feel like I have been in a slump for about 9 months. Yet this past weekend, September 27th to be exact, I had a revelation. I went to a teaching at IHOP on 'healing and deliverance' taught by Steven Beauchamp, and it was amazing for me.

I won't go into all of it right here because it would take more time than I have, but I felt like the Holy Spirit pierced my heart with the truth of my situtation. He (Steven Beauchamp) talked about reasons why Christians feel 'oppression' from the enemy, but that most times they are not 'oppressed' at all, but lack spiritual discipline and are lazy in their pursuit of God. Therefore, they do not have the revelation or encounters with Jesus that they so desire, or see others enjoying.

Well, I haven't spent hardly any time with the Lord since a little while before Kinsey was born, and it has really been bothering me for a while, and so I have tried to schedule in specific time with the Lord, but making the time seems so hard, and so I never end up sticking to my schedule. In fact, I probably only follow my well planned out schedule about 45% of the time.

So in that teaching on Saturday I felt like the Lord said to do my schedule, and do it to the fullest for two weeks, and if it really is too hard to keep, then modify it based on what I've learned from the experience. Up until now I have looked at my schedule as a set of goals I could never keep, and so never really tried, and was rather half-hazard in the way I did plan out my days.

Having said all that, on to the action plan! So, I am now keeping to my schedule as much as possible with a 9 month old, and I'm not overwhelm so far. It is actually doable and I had a great day yesterday! Amazing in fact. I exercised which has been on my schedule for months, and I worked on Arbonne, and cleaned and balanced my checkbook, and felt so great afterwards. I also started taking my multi-vitamins again, and I think that has aready helped too. I have more energy than I have had in, like, probably over a year!

Yesterday I also had a little bit of time with the Lord and it was like gold to me. It was just a few little snippets of time, but it was so sweet and wonderful, and it has given me even more resolve to keep to my schedule, because if I keep to it, I can spend more sweet moments with Him daily.

My struggle to find even a few seconds with the Lord most days has been a silent struggle that I have kept hidden from most people, out of shame. Now the Lord has spoken to me and reminded me that shame is never from Him, and He has taken it away now. Even if I stumble in my new goals to spend more time with Him, He is just so pleased that my heart wants to spend more time with Him, and He promises to be my strength when I am weak.

Well, what an awesome God we serve! That is all for today. Welcome to my blog.