Sunday, July 20, 2014


Today was real.

God is showing us outright.  It's blatant that, yes, we are following His will for our lives and He is giving us affirmation by clearing the path for us. 

This has been the story since the moment we started praying for a house.  We didn't even know we were praying for a tiny house!  We basically told God that we would trust Him to take care of our needs.  He has unlimited resources, forever, ever-reaching love for us.  He tells us that all you have to do is ask.  Ask with eagerness, trust, fervor, sincerity, and Glorify God in your asking and receiving.

So we did.  And you know what He provided?

Blueprints. To a tiny house.
Amazing, supportive parents...
who helped us get a truck, to tow a tiny house.
A need, excitement, and desire to minimize.
Bible verses and sermons that confirmed and reassured.
The exact amount of equity we need to finance the build.
People to design and build a tiny house FOR us!

There was one point in the process of being accepted for the show where we were told that we needed a bigger budget in order to move on and lock in.  We knew we could get a handle on the amount required but we had reserved that money to repair the roof of our house.  The roof is in terrible condition.  The shingles are curling and it looks trashy.  We need to get a new roof and the estimate was $5,000.  Without a new roof there would be no selling the house; if we were stuck with the house we would have a major debt issue on our hands. 
We oppose debt at all times.  But God told us to trust. 
He had brought us this far!  Keep moving.  Say yes to every opportunity He provides.

Okay!  So we did it; we were all in.  And passionately trusting.  We had no plan but to follow God's.
And do you know what happened?
God sent the perfect storm.  And a man who told us he thought he could get us a new roof.  All we could do was pray that the insurance would agree that our roof, which was so very obviously ruined by the sun and time, should be covered by insurance because of storm damage.

The insurance guy came today and gave us a check for $11,000.
We're getting a new roof for our house and the barn!

My jaw just hangs open. 

But seriously.
Why am I so surprised?  We trusted!  We prayed!  We asked!
Thank you God!  I praise You, God!  You ROCK!
God is providing and we are just engulfed in gratefulness!

Oh, that you would bless us indeed!  And enlarge our territory!  And that your hand would be with us and that you would guide us!  And that you would keep us safe!  And that when we make good decisions that follow Your will for our lives You would bless us so abundantly that blessings would overflow onto the people around us! In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Counting Blessings. One.

My husband Ryan.
Sometimes I feel like we're so different.
I'm very everything.  Jumping up and down excited!  Seriously frrrustrated!  Starving!  Exhausted! Soooo late!  Absolutely determined!  Or I gotta pee soooo bad! (Ryan recently told me that he doesn't understand that one, I guess I say it alllll the time.)
This is Ryan:  .
He is so stinkin' calm.  The visual I always think of is this:  Ryan's emotional expression is like a heart monitor flat line (okay, this is coming out all wrong already) making the littlest movement on the readout appear to be of great importance! Which evokes a huge reaction out of me.
Say, if Ryan opened the door right now and said, "I ((oh my goodness, I seriously can't think of an example! ummm)) will you come read this information?"  ((Geez, that's the best I can think of!?))  I would jump up from whatever I was doing, wondering "What in the World could this Possibly be about!?  It must be drastic news that has great affect on our life goals, financial situation, or health of a family member!"  It sounds like I'm exaggerating.  I'm not.  Ryan never says, "Come here, I want to show you something."  So, yes, it would have to actually be very, very important.
So this is where I feel blessed. Ryan is so accommodating.  So considerate.  He puts my needs first.  And I often don't even notice.  I don't realize what's happening because he is so subtle. 
Here's an example.  I eat seconds.  Doesn't matter if I'm full, I go back for more. (But really, I always start with a little because I know I'll go back around -besides the point.)  The point is!  There always is more!  And I only just realized it.  Ryan always makes sure to leave something for me so when I come back to dish up seconds, yum! more food for me!  He's been doing that for me for years!  Am I crazy?  Or is that better than jewelry on Valentine's Day? 

Ryan takes such good care of me.  He supported me when I ended my wedding photography business to stay home with our kids, he happily agrees and follows through on all the crazy things like homeschooling, eating 100% organic, moving into a tiny house, and even being on a reality show.  All while spending a lifetime in grad-school, moving up in his career, and providing for his family.
Okay, forget all that stuff about flat lining and eating seconds.  The point!   Of all the blessings God has for me in this life, so, so many of them come straight through the man He put at my side. 
Some of the biggest, best blessings are the ones walking this path right alongside us--- so subtle until we realize how cared for we are because of them.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


The kids inspired a  new goal yesterday.  Goal #10.

Take more pictures and PRINT THEM!

Sully and Story found THREE 4x6 family pictures and fought over who gets which one!  You'd think I could end the mayhem just by handing them another pic.  Nope.  That's all I have.  

Oy, as a photographer and a mother, I feel so guilty.  I hit burnout on the whole taking and editing pictures thing.  So I haven't downloaded anything in ages.  I'm in the stage where you have to delete pics off the CF card in order to fit more.  And prints?  Pleh.  Bottom of the list. 

Here's the goal.  Order 50+ prints this month.  (I'd like excess so they can do whatever they please with their copies.) AND continue to put an order in monthly.  They're dirt cheap.  We should fill a wall or something.  

Also, in an effort to preserve memories, I'm going record interview videos with the kids every three months.  The interviews have been my favorites of all the videos!  I want more.  

Look out! I'll be taping today!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Awesome Free Stuff!

The Craigslist Free Section. Goal #10


Yes, you'll find a thousand vintage (read old and gross) couches, used toilets, ancient televisions, dirt, rocks, and firewood that is actually a tree needing to be chopped down.

If you can just hold out long enough.  It's a hunt!  AND a race!  Your favorite!

A brand new perfect condition something or other! Open your email as quickly as you can!  Send the friendliest, most gracious message riddled with details about your muscular husband who doesn't need help loading and is available at any time day or night at the speediest speed your fingers can click!

and BAM!

Your house is filled with rockin' stuff that you didn't pay for and didn't steal.

Vintage Couches (actually cool and not gross)
30 years of Architectural Digest (one year is worth $30 on ebay = fun find!)
Junior size tandem bike
Brand new huge picture window (for the tiny house!)
Kids outdoor toys: water table, play house
Huge white board (I just have to figure out how to erase it)

I almost snagged a four wheeler once.  Saw a real mechanical bull.  And there have even been a few old cars.  If you ever need a piano you just have to pay for the movers!

The goal here is to find more materials for the Tiny House.  One window so far.  Almost had another!  Looking for tools and anything useful.
I'm on a mission.

The Vision

All the ideas are culminating, one huge volcanic goal, which could erupt any time.  ;)  (Start building in a year; it'll take 1-2 years to finish.)  Simply blurting "we're going to live in a Tiny house" isn't enough.  This life plan is about how we want to raise our kids, teach values, handle our finances, and glorify God.  

The Tiny Kasl (haha) is just the beginning. The first of what will eventually be a handful of small dwellings.  It will be built here while we're living in our current MN single family home and it will be built on wheels.  So when we kick off it will be our insta-house. Built, paid for, and landing wherever we put it. 

Location will be about climate, job location for Ryan, and supportive of our lifestyle.  This will include a great homeschooling and church community. I would love to have a few acres for gardening.  I want to land in California.  Within an hour or closer to the ocean-yes! 

My checklist used to top with a dishwasher and laundry!   Now knocked so far down the list of priorities I'm wondering if I'm still the same person!  God is changing me.  He made me a wife, a mother, and is continuing to transform and use me.  He has used our church, prayer fasts, and our children to show us the path he has for our lives and each reveal is just so crazy.  We could have never planned for ourselves such an amazing life!  He is preparing us.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Hit the Ditch.

Goal #2 *Homeschooling* is perfect. 

Today I attended a Carole Joy Seid seminar. She speaks on homeschooling and it was 6 hours of WONDERFUL! Everything I needed at exactly this point in our journey. Tools, info, quotes, stats, more book lists, assurance, yes! Inspired!

Having only found out about it yesterday I didn't have a ticket. I was pretty late. (That's expected.)  As I walked in my glass water bottle fell and broke in the parking lot. Then I had to leave to find a bank for cash since they couldn't take my debit card. On my way back I hit the ditch on an exit ramp! Argh! Engulfed with thoughts that I shouldn't even go; I was an hour late already and now I need a tow truck. Yelled "God, help me!" and the defeat was immediately replaced with vindictive determination! He rocked and rolled me right out! Yeehaw! Thank you, GOD! When I finally sat down I found out they had had mic issues the whole time I was gone and I'd only missed out on a few minutes. Yea!

Following the path God has for you will be challenging. Some terribleness out there will make sure of it. But! But, but, BUT!!! (I try to never use that word, it totally fits here though!) That's where the goood stuff is and He will certainly prove to you that it's worth it. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dishes in Dishwasher

As you know, our biggest current goal is to build and live in a tiny house.  Although the timeline for that extends two to three years, the transition starts now.  We're minimizing everything.

We've held two garage sales, I cleaned out the linen closet and threw a huge garbage bag of "just in case" blankets and sheets we'll never use (too worn and stained for donation).  I've gone through everyone's clothes numerous times.  The barn is filled with stuff for another garage sale in the spring.  And I pulled out a huge tote of excess dishes from the kitchen.  That was about a year ago.

I'm ready to do it again.

Goal #  is for all of the dishes we own to fit into the dishwasher.

If we have more dishes than we can use we have too many.  I'm still deciding if we want two or four extra place settings for when Grandparents are here. ! Ha! We'll see what fits in the dishwasher!  :)

Of course, there I'll leave out a couple favorite mixing bowls, a few things that are not often used but still necessity.  There will be no "just in case" items.  I will not be hosting a dinner party.  If the kids have a birthday party, we'll make an exception and get fun paper plates!

Having minimal "stuff" in the kitchen will make everything function and flow much easier and preps us for a tiny kitchen.

Ryan is all for it!  He brought up a big tote and I found another one.  The goal is to fill both.

Mission Accomplished.
Well, the part about packing two big totes full of dishes!  I still need to be sure the all fit in the dishwasher at once!