Exciting Things!

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Disclaimer: This post is meant in jest. We have been oh so grateful for the roofs that have been over our heads and we know we have more than many. <3

Almost two years ago to the date, I had to move out of the house that had been my home for 7 years. It was the first house I lived in as an adult and the house I lived in when the four children I had at the time were born.IMG_4107

Me and my four kids moved into my grandmother’s house- a two bedroom, one bathroom, second floor home. When David and the girls moved here to be with us, they stayed with us to save money. David stayed downstairs in the one bedroom in the garage that was separated from the rest of the house (which is why I had been unable to use it when it was just me and my kids) and the girls moved in upstairs with us. We were now all sharing 1 bathroom and the 8 of us upstairs were sharing two bedrooms.

This house ended up selling before we got married and we had to find another place. As it turned out, some members of my extended family had a house we could rent in the same neighborhood, but asbestos had been found in it so we had a 2 week limbo time. Friends lent us a place we affectionately refer to as the farm. That was a fun experience, but also not ideal for our big family.IMG_0300

Since then, we have all been staying in an older three bedroom, two bath (but there is only one shower we all share). We were laughing the other night about the things we are most excited about in the new house. All the amazing things it holds and it is the little things that have us most excited. As I said, we are so grateful for the roofs that have been over our heads, but we have compiled a list of the things we are most looking forward to about our new home that we will finally be moving into in less than two weeks!!

  • BathroomS! We have known what it is like to share one bathroom. We have known what it is like to share two bathrooms and only one shower. We have had enough of that fun. I will say though that we have gotten it down to an art! The youngest 5 get cycled through like a car wash. David is on water and I am on washing. We rotate them through: one gets pre-rinsed and then comes to me to get shampoo and soap while he pre-rinses another. After shampoo and soap they go back to Dad’s side for rinsing. Girls go back to mom’s side for conditioner and then back to Dad for rinsing again. As they finish they get a towel and sent to their room to get dressed. Once all the kids are out, Dad helps the littles finish getting dressed for bed and mom starts the hair brushing. The whole thing moves quite quickly now! The 10 year old is sent to the shower during the dressing and hair brushing and the 13 year old jumps in as soon as the 10 year old is out. Mom and Dad….well they grab showers when they can! If you are wondering why we can’t use the bathtub in the other bathroom, it is because when you fill it, you can see little black specks floating in the water. We assume it is due to the pipes being old, but short time span means: make it work!
  • City Water! If you have ever been on well water then you understand this one without another word. If you do not know the joy, allow me to enlighten you a little.  Well water might not be for you if you do not prefer the color orange. We replaced the shower head when we moved in 5 months ago-it is already orange with hard water stains and the water doesn’t come out right anymore. This stuff works fast.

    My washing machine has turned orange on the inside and clothes sometimes come out with orange stains that look like rust.image2 (10) Let’s not even talk about the inside of the toilet bowls! We tried filtering the water for drinking-ewwie. So instead, we refill 17 gallons of water a week at the grocery store for drinking (so fun with littles in tow!). And oh my hair. I have been on well water since I moved two years ago and it has taken a toll on my hair. Straw just really isn’t the feel I am going for.

  • Toilets that flush. Y’all. Our toilets.image1 (11)We are on septic and it’s an old system. I am sure it needs maintenance or replacement, but we were here such a short time we thought we could deal. It has gotten progressively worse. The kids were forbidden from flushing after the third overflowed toilet I had to clean up. After teaching them all to flush after they go, we had to unteach them (Sorry Daniel Tiger). We can no longer flush without simultaneously plunging. (I have included a picture showing the flusher on the left. If you look to the right, you will see the flusher. Use together.) And when everything finally does go down, your success is marked with loud bubbling water coming from the shower drains (which scared the younger kids for a while). I am so excited to flush the toilets in our new house! *Update-Since starting this post, a horrible smell has started coming from the toilet in the hall bathroom. I have cleaned and cleaned and it only gets worse which leads me to believe it is coming from within. I told David we need to just pray it makes it till the 9th!
  • A dishwasher! I grew up without a dishwasher so you’d think I would be used to it, but nope! (PS-sorry, mom, for all the dishes you have done your entire life. I get you.) Two years I have been without a dishwasher. You are probably thinking I am being a baby now, but remember, we are a 9 people strong family. I want you to imagine the number of dishes we go through in a day. Spoiler alert-It’s a lot. We bought paper plates for a while and then realized how much money we were throwing away (20-27 plates a day!) Few will appreciate a dishwasher as much as we will.

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    Our torture chamber

  • Counters that are not white.IMG_4421 We have granite counters in the new kitchen. I have never had granite counters before. As much as I am excited to have them, I am most excited that they are not white! Who came up with white counter tops?? Such a bad idea. They are impossible to keep clean. We have tried every product imaginable (one concerned friend even gifted us a tried and true cleaner!), but the counters have had the victory. No matter how much you clean, it still looks like you need to wipe down the counters-annoying!
  • Garbage Disposal. I know I know-first world probs, but I so look forward to not having to make sure the chunky parts of soups, stews and sauces go in the trash and liquid parts go down the drain. And not having to do the continuous walk back and forth to the trash can because kids left food on their plates and I can’t let it just wash down the drain.
  • Two words: Split Plan! This is our hallway. The door on the right is ours. The two on the left are the two kid bedrooms. We are so easily accessible. And so they access…a lot.IMG_4422 “It’s 2:20am, I just went pee, and look! There is mom and dad’s door. I should just knock and make sure they know I peed.” “It’s 4:43am and I have to pee. Oh look! Mom and Dad’s door is so much closer than the bathroom. I’ll just go in here and use theirs.” “It’s 4:59am and my blankets fell off. Mom and Dad are right across the hall so if I yell loud enough they will hear me and come help. Mom! Mooooom!….” And let’s not even talk about traveling sound.
  • FIVE Bedrooms. Currently we have the twins and the practically twins in one room and the two older girls and Josiah in another. It has worked okay and the kids have been champs about it, but there are complications. The older girls have a hard time getting privacy to change. Grace has a hard time finding a quiet place to do homework. Josiah really needs his own space sometimes (so many sisters!) and he thrives when he gets it, but that is impossible at the moment. And the stuff! The kids have all gone without their stuff since we moved here. There wasn’t room to unpack their bedrooms so the only toys and things are what they have gotten for birthdays since we moved here and a few select things we chose to bring along to the inbetween house. It will be like Christmas when they all get their stuff back and have room to keep it! We get asked all the time what the bedroom situation will look like: Josiah will have the smallest room, but his OWN room. Charlotte (3) and Faith (3) will share a room. Hope (10) and Meredith (6) will share a room. And Grace (13) and Madalyn (6) will share a room (Madalyn asked her last month if she could share with her because she “likes her sleep” and Grace of course said yes. It will probably be temporary but they are excited.).
  • Being fully unpacked.

    This is me, scaling Mt Karaffa because we needed something that was packed.

    We have all been moving around with boxes that have been packed up for years. Both families had to downsize when the hard parts of our stories began so we couldn’t bring everything. We at least got it all in one place now, but we have a 10′ by 20′ storage unit filled with boxes that have been packed up for over two years. There are even more boxes in the garage here we never unpacked because it didn’t seem worth it for 5-6 months. I sense a ginormous garage sale in our future!

  • Master Closet. In the house before this, I shared a closet with the girls. In this house, I share with David, and it just doesn’t all fit. But that isn’t even what bothers me. I can deal with a small space. What bothers me is that our closet doesn’t allow the clothes to slide! Gah! So we are already dealing with everything squished in but then I can’t squish it all together to fit the clean clothes back in! I have to find a small space and cram it in. Then to get the clothes off, you have to unwedge the hangers from under the stuff on the shelf above. No. Just no. I can safely say that space will not be an issue in the new house!
  • Electricity and A/C up to current codes. If you vacuum in this house, the lights flicker. And there is no perfect thermostat setting. It is either hot or freezing-there is no inbetween. I can’t stand to be hot, so freezing it is. I think everyone is over mommy freezing them.
  • Normal sink water pressure. Because of the age of the pipes and the pump, the water pressure is crazy in the sinks. Try teaching 3 and 4 year olds to only turn the knob a little. The result is water everywhere!IMG_4423
  • Normal Color Bothrooms. 60s and 70s be gone!
  • One key. I know-little thing to be excited about, but it takes two keys to unlock the front door and they are identical. When it’s raining, and kids are trying to stand in it, and your hands are full, and someone is having a meltdown, you don’t want to be fidgeting with which key unlocks which lock. Hellooooo garage door opener! And one key to rule them all.
  • Dat double oven! Okay, so this one is just plain selfish, but I have never had a double oven before. In fact, there are a lot of things in this house I have never had before. It is the kind of house I have only ever dreamt about and thought I would never have. I am so excited and thankful to be getting such a beautiful home to raise my new, big, beautiful blended family in with my new amazing blessing of a husband!
  • It will be ours. We are so thankful to all the people over the last few years who have helped to make sure that we all always had a roof over our heads. We never spent a day homeless and our kids always had a bed to sleep in. But we are excited to no longer be in anyone’s space, no longer live around someone else’s stuff, no longer have to deliver the bad news of something being broken to a homeowner, no longer feel like a burden on anyone else. We will finally have a space, a home, that is ours.image5 (5)


I am saving pictures of the completed house until it is 100% done, but we are in the final stages! We did our initial walk through last week with the building manager and marked all the things we saw that needed attention before the closing. We will have our final walk through this week and we close on September 6! Moving day is set for September 9, which is also David’s birthday! His birthday will be our first night sleeping in our new, perfect for our family, home. God is good. God is faithful. We are so thankful.


Ashley Karaffa

Ashley is mother to a blended family of 10 and appreciating the beautiful chaos of it all. She enjoys creating systems - because how can you survive a family with 8 kids without systems - and spending time celebrating her family.


  1. Mandy on August 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I’m so happy for you guys! The new house looks beautiful!

  2. Shelley on August 31, 2017 at 12:12 am

    What a wonderful (hilarious) summary of your housing journey! I have a visual of the “littles” shower march and can’t help giggling.. I love it! I’m so completely happy for you guys!

  3. blueandthebeenblog on August 31, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Love this!

  4. Christine Norris on September 1, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Little Blessings, Big Blessings, Medium Blessings…All the glory goes to God!

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