I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. I Samuel 1:27

Monday, August 10, 2009

I know....Long Time...No Post

So much stuff going on - I haven't had time to blog! But, I'm coming out of my hiatus to post this important information.

Global Orphan Team is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. I went with them in March on a mission trip - and had an amazing time!

They are currently holding a raffle to raise money for the organization. Raffle tickets are ONLY $5.00!! There are some great prizes. Please click here for details.

But wait - there's more!!

I will match every donation that my friends make. That's right - you can double your money. Just post a comment here, or send me an email at kimhartz@hotmail.com and let me know how much you donated and I'll match it.

Thanks in advance for helping the orphans in Guatemala!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


After coming back from Guatemala in July and again in March (I went to Guatemala for a week on a mission trip with Global Orphan Team ) I vowed to come back and make a difference. The poverty I saw - the need - the waste that we have in the US - and how it could be put to good use down there. I was determined to change my ways.

And then - life sets back in.

On Friday, I went and got a full body massage. It was wonderful - I hadn't had one in about a year. I then bought some product (some great foot relief lotion from Aveda and makes my feet happy and smells heavenly!). I spent about $100. That $100 could have fed baby Alex's family for about 2 weeks.


Jay and I are planning a mini-vacation in July to Detroit (yes, I know, you are all VERY jealous). We've decided to go ahead and spend the money and stay at the MGM Grand. It's more expensive then the other places we were looking at, but it just works out better for our trip. The extra money we are spending could help pay for a month of support for all of the kids at Los Gozosos


Jay and I went to IKEA on Saturday to pick out new furniture for our basement that we are finishing off. We picked out a couch (sleeper), ottoman, storage unit for Alex's toys (with baskets), desk, and shelving unit for the wall. We spent about $3,500 on paper. Do you have any idea what that money could do in Guatemala????


I'm trying to figure out how I live my life - this is all I think about.

I think it was easier when I didn't know.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Easter 2009

I finally got all of the pictures downloaded off of my camera from March - May. I'm going to try to get caught back up. (hope this makes you happy, Mom!)

My grandmother had a tradition of making Easter Bread every year. It's a yeast bread with icing decorated to look like eggs in a nest. I LOVED Easter Bread and have missed it since her death.

Every year I tell myself I'm going to try to make it and every year I don't attempt it. This year was going to be different.

I got the recipe from my mom - called her AT LEAST 100 times during the process.

BUT - I DID IT!!!!! It turned out - it rose - it looked good - and it tasted pretty good as well. I think I overbaked it just a bit, but I was so pleased with my first attempt at yeast bread.

Here's what the final product looked like.

I had the cutest outfit for Alex for Easter. And, in true Alex fashion - he wouldn't wear it. The best Jay could do was the shoes and pants. He refused to wear the shirt, tie or jacket. So, if anyone wants a 3T madras jacket from Children's Place, let me know, since I don't think I'll ever get him in it.
Here are some pictures from the Easter Egg hunt at our church. I realized that most of the pictures I have I can't post as there are too many other kids in them.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Picture Catch Up

These are pictures that were on my camera from late December-March.

Alex decorating his first Christmas cookies.

Opening presents on Christmas morning. I LOVE these pjs!!!!!

Just some of his loot. I think I went overboard....just a little. :)

Alex was begging me to take pictures of him this day.

He wanted a picture of the cat.

He then went through a period of time where he wanted me to take pictures of him making faces. These pictures just crack me up.

Seriously.....could he be any more cute??????

Pictures Soon...I Promise

I finally got a new cord to my camera, so I'm working on a picture post right now. I have a lot of catching up to do.

In the meantime:

1. Baby Alex's great-grandfather (yes, it ended up being his great grandfather) was able to get surgery and he is doing really good!! I got pictures which I will post soon.

2. My Alex celebrated his 3rd birthday a week ago. I still can't believe that he is 3. How is that possible??????

3. My friend, Melissa, sent home with me some puzzles that her daughter M. had outgrown. M. has given Alex a lot of things over the years so he knows who she is. When I told him that M. gave him these puzzles he said, "Is M. brown?" I said, "No, she isn't." He said, "Is she white?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Oh, ok!" He's really starting to notice skin color. I just pray that I continue to answer his questions appropriately!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Need Your Help

One of the things I haven't blogged about yet is my recent trip to Guatemala. While I was there, I got to go see Baby Alex again. It was wonderful! But, I found out that his whole family had been very sick.

I just got this email from Sharon with Mayan Families:

Alex's grandmother is very , very ill. She is urinating and defecating blood. Apparently, she went to some healer, I am not sure if it was a real doctor or not and he inserted something inside her, I really can't understand what exactly it was but it has really exacerbated the problem that she was already having.

Juan Pablo says that it cannot be cured with medication, she is in urgent need of an operation as quickly as possible. It will have to be done by a specialist and the cost is $1,000 US.

This is obviously a lot of money.

Juan Pablo is the doctor that Mayan Families uses. I don't have $1,000 that I can send - as much as I want to. But, I am going to send some money.

I know that times are tough right now for everyone - but - do you think you could give just a little to Mayan Families to help cover this operation? Even $5.00 would help get us to raising enough money to help this family.

You can donate directly to Mayan Families through PayPal and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

To donate - click on this link - Donate to Mayan Families Put your dollar amount under Healthy Families and then make a note in the Extra Notes section that this is for Baby Alex's grandma's surgery.

Please don't feel obligated to give - but I feel the need to do something.

UPDATED: Information was incorrect - it's actually Baby Alex's GRANDFATHER that is having the problems. He needs to have his prostate removed and it may be cancer. Thanks so much to everyone that has helped so far!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Anyone Still Here?

I hope everyone has had a great couple of months.

I think I've gotten past my funk and am about ready to start blogging again.

I have so much to catch everyone up on - from Christmas - to how much Alex has grown up - to my trip to Guatemala that I was on last week with Global Orphan Team - to my thoughts on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. (I know - you guys probably can't wait to hear about that!!)

In the meantime I would like to wish you and your families a very Blessed Easter.

He Is Risen!!!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

I think I'm going to take an official blogging break. (even though it sure has seemed like I've been on an unofficial one)

I've been having a rough couple of weeks - and really a rough six months.

I don't know what it is - maybe a mid-life crisis - but I'm really trying to figure out where I am and where I want to go.

Poor Jay has been having to deal with my mood swings, breakdowns, and general moodiness.

I'll still be reading blogs and commenting when I can.

I'll still be on Facebook.

And, I will be back. I'm just not ready to write about what I'm feeling and what I'm going through.

Love you all!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Recap

I'm going to steal an idea from Sarah and do a 2008 recap post.

Unlike some of my friends, 2008 was a very good year for my family. Nothing too exciting, but nothing horrible either. 2008 also marked a year that I got to know my blogger friends even better. I can't even begin to explain how happy I am that I have been able to "meet" so many of you. I don't consider myself to be a very good writer - I'm a much better talker (just ask anyone who knows me in real life!!) but I can't imagine what my life would be like without all of you in it.


January continued my bout with being sick constantly. This was also the month that we decided that I would have surgery. Alex went pee pee on the potty for the first time and he started his love of all things pink and princess.


February was practically consumed with getting ready for surgery - having surgery - and recovering from surgery. This is the month that Alex's language EXPLODED as well as his imaginative play. I also started my new job as our church's music director.


This had to be the most pivotal month of the year for us. March was when Jay and I learned about Baby Alex and decided to be his foster parents. What a month!!! We also got a big, late snow storm and had a fun Latin Family Connection event.


April brought on some complications with getting Baby Alex to the United States. I also got my new car and enjoyed a visit from my parents as they were one their way back to Ohio from their three month stay in Florida. Alex said his second and third full sentences (Mama, I like Dora and Mama, I like Geigo). We took a long weekend trip to St. Louis where we were going to buy a horse but ended up just bringing one home for Jay to train. I also got to spend some time with my former boss who now lives in St. Louis. We also discovered that Alex could count to 11 and was starting to learn his colors.


What a BIG month!!! Alex turned two. His language, play and independence started to blossom. This is also the month that Baby Alex came to our house. What a life changing month for us.


June brought Baby Alex's surgery being delayed because of his illness and then finally happening on my 13th wedding anniversary. Big Alex really blossomed as a "big" brother. And I discovered that I don't handle little sleep and high stress very well.


We had fun with both boys this month. Jay took them both to a Day out with Thomas, I took Big Alex to my aunt and uncle's Fourth of July party and we took the boys to a petting zoo. Baby Alex also started healing really well and crawling. We also started getting more and more attached to this little guy. This is also the month that I traveled back to Guatemala to take Baby Alex back to his parents. Words can not express how much I changed during June and July. What a lucky person I am to have experienced everything I did this summer. Life changing - never the same again - and so grateful for it.


August was a hard month and mostly a blur. Looking back on it now, I think I may have been in a slight depression for most of the month. Jay and I also took a mini-vacation with just the two of us. Alex got to spend a few days with my parents and it was the first time that we left him overnight like that. Jay and I had a great time in Chicago, and it was a much needed trip for both of us. (I actually just spend some time re-reading my trip posts from August.)


Still a blur. Alex was going through a stage in August and September. I now see it was a stage - but I was worried at the time. He was just horrible most of the time - but I think he was just trying out more of his independence. I was also changing blood pressure medicine - and not successfully, so I wasn't feeling well for much of September


What a great month - Guatoberfest, 2nd Forever Family Day, Jay's Birthday, hayrides and Halloween. Alex was still a handful this month, but it was getting better. He also went pee pee on the potty for the first time in a LONG time.


We had a great November. Alex's behavior started improving and we had our annual vacation to Sanibel Island. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it there, and I'm already looking forward to next year's (or I guess this year's!!) trip.


Christmas was so much fun with Alex this year (and yes, I know I haven't blogged about it yet). Potty training really started taking off this month, and Alex is becoming more and more like a little man.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Would Chocolate Be Worth It?

It's cold here - really cold - as is most of the country (except for you Florida and Arizona types - and I don't want to hear about it) :)

As I was walking to the parking garage after work, I saw a group of workers huddled outside smoking. They looked miserable.

I couldn't help thinking that NOTHING would be that important to me to stand out in this cold.

But, what if I could only eat chocolate outside. Would I give it up? Would I stand out in below zero with sub-zero windchill to eat chocolate.

I'm thinking no.....what about you?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

OK God - I Got It

Our pastor really wanted our church choir to go to the local nursing home to go Christmas caroling.

Now, I don't have anything against this - but I just couldn't find a time that I thought would work.

She asked again at church, so I talked to the choir. We decided to meet at the nursing home at 6:30 tonight to do some caroling.

I was kind of dreading it. It's kind of cold here - and I really didn't want to get back out. My leg is finally feeling a little better (nothing is broken - which is good) and I didn't want to be out and about. I really just wanted to stay home, bake cookies and watch football.

But, I went - after all - I am the choir director.

We decided to just sing in the common room. We did some songs with guitar and some with piano. We were even able to take some requests from the residents.

What a great night we had. I'm so glad I went - and I'm so glad my little choir was willing to go with me.

So, God, I hear you - it's not all about me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Got Cast!!!! (and hopefully won't be in a cast)

I'm so excited to be getting back on the stage!!!!
I just found out tonight that I have been cast in our local community theater's production of Working.
This little known musical is based on the book "Working" by Studs Terkel who chronicled the day in the life of 26 average American workers. The music was written by Steven Schwartz (LOVE HIM!! - he's the Wicked dude!) and James Taylor to name a few.
I got cast as the Grocery Check out Girl - Babe Secoli - She has a GREAT song and I'm very excited to get a chance to do this.
This will be the second Steven Schwartz show I've been in - I was in Pippin in college.
So, my life has just gotten very interesting with rehearsals 4 times a week, but since this is a vignette show, it shouldn't be too bad.
I get my x-rays tomorrow afternoon so I'll find out if I actually broke anything in my leg.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Klutz Girl - Reporting In

Alex pooped on the potty tonight!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!! The Miralax is starting to work. He got his Percy - but I have a feeling he won't do it again until we come up with a new bribe :) I'm still going to enjoy this tonight!!!!!

First on my klutziness.

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving I fell down my friend's steps at her house and landed on my left elbow. It hurt pretty bad, and I think I bruised the bone, but nothing too serious. It's been slowly healing since then.

Last night, I was on my way into our local community theater for an audition. As I was coming around the corner outside the theater, I tripped on a brick and wiped out - BIG TIME!!!!

I landed on my right knee, left elbow and hands. I had a small cut on my hand, scraped my elbow pretty bad (yes, the same elbow I hurt a few weeks ago) but the worst was my knee. In fact, the cobblestone is imprinted on my knee. I can barely walk, it's very swollen and it's starting to bruise.

Amazing - I seriously could trip over a flat surface.

Luckily the show I was auditioning for doesn't have any dancing, so I didn't have to learn a dance for my audition!


I LOVE theater, and BA (before Alex) I was involved with our local community theater. This winter they are doing the musical "Working." Working is based on the book by Studs Turkel. We did this show when I was helping the theater department at the school I taught. You can learn more about the musical here I will find out later this week if I get cast. I'm excited to get back into the theater and back on stage so we will see what happens.


Back in the late summer/early fall I was so concerned about Alex. His behavior was horrible and I really questioned my parenting. I just realized last week that he's gotten MUCH better. He's listening better, he's been much more pleasant, and he is tantruming less. He still has his moments, but boy is it better.


I have signed up to go with Global Orphan Team on their first mission trip. We are going to be in Guatemala for a week at the end of March/beginning of April. I'm so excited about this trip. We are going to be going to a couple of orphanages to love on babies. We are also going to spend one day in Panajachel. And you KNOW I'll be getting a ride to Tierra Linda to visit Baby Alex and his family.


Alex is really getting excited about Christmas. It's a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see how he handles everything. I have all of my shopping done. I still need to wrap everything and finish the baking.


Am I the only one with this problem? I'll be going through my day, something will happen, and I'll make a mental note that this would make good blog material. I usually even "write" the post in my head. Then, when I finally get time to sit down and try to blog - I forget what I was going to write about. I think I'm losing my mind.

Friday, December 12, 2008


So busy with Christmas stuff, I just don't have time to post like I want to.

But, I had to post this. In case you didn't know, some of my blogger (and IRL) friends are in Panajachel right now doing work with Mayan Families.

Yesterday, they went to Tierra Linda and got to spend some time with Alex and his family. Click here to see pictures of Alex.

He is getting SOOOOO big and his lip looks amazing. I just can't believe that it's him.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Catch Up Post

Why does it seem like all of my posts lately are catch up posts?

These pictures are from the past month with vacation and a trip to see Santa thrown in.

I just love this picture - I know the lighting isn't very good, but I just think he is so precious. He climbed up on the back of our couch and I just had to get a picture of him.

And, generally speaking, this is why I don't have pictures of him anymore. He is always wanting to come see the picture on the camera before I get a chance to take it.

As I was packing for vacation, he rediscovered his sunglasses and just had to wear them around the house.

Look at that cutie!!!

This is the only "outside" picture I got of Alex on vacation. My mom and sis-in-law were sitting outside on the balcony reading and Alex had to be just like them.

Our days consisted of the following: Getting up, getting breakfast, playing in the condo until it got warm, going out to the pool (usually around 10:00), swimming until lunchtime, having lunch, then nap, then up to play some more before dinner. Because of this, have no pictures. I know - I'm a horrible mom. What I really need to do is have one of you come with us on our next vacation just to take pictures for me. :)

One Wednesday, we took Alex to a Children's Museum in Ft. Myers. Here Alex and I are waiting for the hands on animal demonstration. They took out an alligator, snapping turtle, some type of snake and frog for the kids. Alex loved it, but wouldn't touch any of them.

We then went into the Toddler Town. Alex could have staid here for hours and hours and hours. He LOVED it. They had these fruits and vegetables set up with shopping carts. He spent about 2 hours putting fruits/vegetables in his cart and then taking them back out.

Yeah!! I love my fruit!!!

As we were trying to leave, he found the Art area. They had musical instruments for them to play, and mom can't say no to music!!

We literally had to pull him out kicking and screaming.

On Friday, Jay and left Alex with my parents and we headed to Miami. We went to Little Havana and ate at this DIVINE Cuban restaurant. We then headed over to Culder Racetrack to bet on some ponies.

We took the "long" way there (with the hopes of seeing some alligators)

This next sign cracked me up - this is something we just don't see in Kentucky.

Although I was kind of disappointed we didn't see any panthers, we did see LOTS of alligators.

On the way back home the sun was setting just as we were crossing the bridge to the island. This picture was taken from our moving car. :)

We did have a great time on vacation this year. Alex slept REALLY well (which he didn't do last year) He had a lot of fun in the pool (and even got as far as blowing bubbles and jumping off the side and going under with my mom on Friday). Mom was even able to get him to go on the beach and make sand castles. I just love Sanibel Island and I'm already looking forward to next year.

We did take Alex to see Santa yesterday. I still can't believe that this is the third year for us to be doing things.
So, for a trip down memory lane. Here is Alex's picture with Santa from three years ago.

From last year:

I wasn't sure how he was going to do this year. He is excited about Santa and talks about him, but has also told Jay and I that he doesn't want Santa to come into his house. We have had to reassure him that Daddy and Mommy will meet Santa out in the driveway to get his presents. We've also been practicing asking Santa for presents. He decided he was going to ask Santa for princesses and cars. He also wanted to ask Santa for presents for the cat. (food and new toys in case you were wondering). When we got to the feed store, and he saw Santa, his eyes got SO big. He stood at the door and yelled his wish at Santa. It was so funny.
He wouldn't go sit on Santa's lap, so I had to hold him, but here's the picture from this year.

We also started a tradition of getting his picture taken on a saddle at the store. So again, for reference, three years ago:
Last year

And this year.

I'm so sad that my little guy is growing up. :(