What is Cultivating Us?
Hi! I’m Karin, and I’m passionate about helping families becoming connected and compassionate by sharing ideas on all things related to families!
- having fun together,
- learning through the use of educationally sound strategies for both traditional and homeschooling families,
- honest and straight forward book & product reviews, and
- transparent reflections about my family’s foster care journey.
Based on Biblical values and with the belief that we don’t all have to be the same, the purpose of Cultivating Us is to create a community of families who learn from and encourage each other in the midst of a world that can be critical, hectic, and hard. My vision is to intentionally create fun and strong family units, so our families can in turn positively impact others in our communities.
Why the Words Cultivating Us?
When I started thinking about what I hoped to do in this space, I just kept thinking that I wanted to encourage families so they would be stronger together, and so they could use that to make a positive difference for those around them.
As I researched I came across the word “cultivate,” which means things like: to prepare, to promote growth, to develop or improve, to refine, to devote, to foster. These are all words that summarize my passion for family and for community…which leads me to the word “us.” For me, “us” includes all the various communities that my family and I are a part of- my immediate family, our group of friends, our church community, and the larger community around us.
It is my hope that together we can cultivate our families in such a way that we will have a positive difference on each other and those around us.
Who is Karin?
I’m a Daughter, Mom, Wife, Educator, and friend. My husband of over 20 years and I have to two amazing kids, and together we have fostered seven sweet babies we have loved deeply and let go. My husband is a fireman who used to be a youth pastor. I’ve worked with kids of all ages in a variety of settings, taught both middle school and graduate education, homeschooled my daughter, and volunteered a zillion hours at my kids’ schools (both public and private). For a while a colleague and I spoke at various mom’s groups about using play to help kids learn- it was great fun and we only stopped because she moved and life got too crazy to keep doing it. We wrote a book we used while doing those seminars called Play on Purpose. It is still available on Amazon, and while the content is amazing, its probably time to update it a bit to reflect some changes in technology… My family loves being together- we play games, play outside, take walks, go to the beach, camp and water ski/wakeboard, go skiing/snowboarding, and visit my family. My kids are involved in sports and so we spend lots of time at the field or an the court. No matter what we are doing, we genuinely desire to glorify God though the things we do. I’m sure we don’t always get it right, but we try and He has been good to us!
Karin’s answers to a few fun questions:
Favorite Childhood Books: As a young child, it was “Good Night, Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. In elementary school, it was the Little House on the Prairie books. I have always loved reading!
Fun Childhood Memory: Taking family vacations together and laughing as a family. My dad kept us cracking up even when things got crazy. Helping dad in the yard- I can fix a sprinkler thanks to my time helping him as a kid. Shopping with mom, and her taking us swimming at my grandma’s house. Playing in the backyard with my brother, on our swing set and in the mud!
Best Parenting Advice I’ve Been Given: Enjoy every moment because time goes by so quickly! Sometimes I stop myself and take a deep breath, trying to capture the moment in my mind… Its true, that the days are long sometimes, but being a mom is my most favorite job! I tell my kids that all the time, and I mean it.
What I Do With My Kids When I’m Totally Exhausted: I take them outside to play. That way we don’t make a mess inside, and we all do better with a little fresh air! I can sip coffee and sit in a beach chair while they burn off energy. I usually try to run around with them in hopes it will rejuvenate me, but if it doesn’t work, at least they are having fun. And if we run into trouble and the outside play doesn’t work, I’ll bring them in and we will play a game inside (picking something fun, that doesn’t require too much of my brain power!).
My Role Model Or Inspirations: I think the story of Esther in the Bible is really inspiring. I like how her faith compelled her to take a difficult risk and do because it was the right thing, even though it was hard. Her faithfulness is inspiring…“For such a time as this” My parents are my role models. I don’t do everything like them, and that doesn’t bug them at all, but so much of how I live my life is deeply impacted in a positive way by them. And, many of my friends- though in the same stage of life, I am so fortunate to have a wonderful group of Godly and amazing women who inspire me greatly.
Favorite Food as a Child: Mexican. Some things never change. I’d still have it every day!!!
The #1 Most Played Song On Your iPod: It changes… Right now its “Trust” by Lauren Daigle. I love the words. My kids love that song…I love listening to them sing it.
Favorite Indoor/Outdoor Activity: Inside I enjoy sitting with my coffee (which I mix with chocolate and milk and sweet stuff so it hardly tastes like coffee!) and reading a relaxing book. Outside I love playing with my kids, going to the beach, and talking walks with my husband/family. I also enjoy gardening. There’s something relaxing about getting my hands dirty. But I don’t like the worms. I know…I must not be a real gardener then!
Least Favorite Chore: Dusting. No, make that laundry-it never ends. Ever! Maybe its both 😉
Favorite Time Of Day/Day Of The Week/Month Of The Year: Summer evenings are my favorite! Especially if there’s the smell of freshly mowed grass and the sound of my kids playing happily nearby!
Favorite Sound: The waves crashing on the sand at the beach. Best sound ever. Unless its my kids laughing…that’s pretty awesome too!