Friday, March 31, 2017

Meet Z & Curly Interviews

I asked the kids a list of questions and am writing the exact response they gave me.  This will give you a good idea of their personality.  I think it fits them to a T.

What is something I always say to you?
I love you.

What makes me happy?
When I do the right thing.

What makes me sad?
When I don't follow directions.

Who makes you laugh?
You, sometimes.  Dad, mostly.

How old am I?

How tall am I?
7 foot

What is my favorite thing to do?
A lot of stuff.  Play with me.

What is your favorite food?
Potted meat sandwiches with mayo. (Huh?  This was totally new to me... is that like, SPAM?)

Where would you most like to go on vacation?
Mt. Rushmore

What is your favorite school activity?
Recess and lunch

What is your favorite sport?

If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?
Bananas (????)

Who is your best friend?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
That, I'll have to come back to.............. A scientist

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
This is a tough one!  Superman powers!  No, Aqua Man powers!  Wait!  I would pick speedy fast like the Flash.  No!  Aqua Man.  My final pick is breathing under water.

What is the best thing you like about yourself?
That I do wrestling (he's had 1 day of wrestling camp so far.  That was the night I asked these questions)

If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
To have everything I wanted, everything didn't cost anything, and I could catch my own leprechaun so I could have 3 more wishes.

What is something that scares you?
The dark.

Who is someone you look up to?
You guys.

What does Heaven look like?
It's a beautiful place with big mansions, streets made out of gold, and very beautiful.  That's all I can think of right now.

What is one quality you look for in a friend?
Someone that lets me pick the games (I told you this would let you get to know their personality...)

What is the worst food in the world?
It's a tie between tomatoes and avocados!

If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?
Aqua Man or Super Man

What are 3 things you learned today?
Math, Reading, and wrestling moves

What is something I always say to you?
That you love me.

What makes me happy?
Me following directions, or just me in general.

What makes me sad?
When I don't do the right things.  It's just the opposite of the last one.  Wait, what really does make you sad?

Who makes you laugh?
This is one of the funniest things I've ever heard.  "I farted, it tickled.  My butt cheeks giggled!" It's the funniest thing!  (giggle, giggle, giggle- it took awhile before I could ask the next question)

How old am I?
I already know!  30!

How tall am I?
8 inches or more.

What is my favorite thing to do?
Playing with somebody

What is your favorite food?
Tomatoes and Avocados!  Exactly what Z doesn't like!  Or guacamole.

Where would you most like to go on vacation?
That's a very hard question.  Because I want to go to a lot of places!  To my cousins in Iowa and that place with Kelsey, Kaley, and Kinsey.  Where was that again? (Minnesota)  Yeah, there.  Except I hope they have snow next time.  And then back to Illinois to my friend Nora's.

What is your favorite school activity?
Umm... Recess.  Duh!

What is your favorite sport?
Racing.  Like, running.  I've been practicing that a lot lately.

If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?
Tomatoes (????)

Who is your best friend?
Too many!  Should I just blurt out one?  Can it be a grown-up?  There's too many grown-ups and kids that are my friend.  I can't pick!  And that's mean to pick just one.  They're all my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A scientist and be in the same lab as Z.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Why would you say that?  That's silly.  Too many.  I don't know.  Maybe be able to eat as much candy as I wanted and not get sick.

What is the best thing you like about yourself?
Just a second.  I will get that answer down. (She disappears for awhile and comes back with a whale she made out of a blue cup that has Jonah attached to it like the whale is swallowing Jonah.)  That I'm good at making things.

If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
That everything was made out of candy, that candy was good for you, and that their was 1 million jars of candy.

What is something that scares you?
Spiders and snakes.  Both of them.  And dark places.

Who is someone you look up to?
You and Dad, but mostly you.

What does Heaven look like?
Very, very, very, very, very beautiful!  Too beautiful.

What is one quality you look for in a friend?
Someone who is nice.

What is the worst food in the world?
Kiwi and BBQ stuff.

If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?
God and Jesus.  One of them because they are the most important.

What are 3 things you learned today?
Mathematics, well... getting in trouble can be a very worse thing to do, and that my brother CAN be fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How's it going?

So, how's it going?  That's a question we have gotten frequently in the past almost 2 months.  I can't believe it's been almost 2 months already!  Here's the real deal.  It's hard.  It's one of the hardest things we have ever done.  We are gaining.  We are praying. We are crying.  We are praying.  We are smiling.  We are praying.  Do you see the theme here?  We have relied on God for our strength.  And that is why we are able to continue.
We are so thankful for each of your prayers- they have been felt.  Thank you to those of you who sent us kind words of encouragement, clothes, food, and other forms of support.  They have been such a blessing to us.
Here's a day in our life- to give you an idea.
6:00 Jacob & I get up, read & pray, get dressed
6:15 Curly gets up- she has a harder time getting going in the morning- so we get her up a little earlier
6:30 Z-Man gets up
They both have a visual chart that I made that shows what tasks they are supposed to do in what order.  They are not very familiar with structure and it's hard for them to focus on what they are supposed to be doing to get ready for school.
6:45- we are supposed to be eating breakfast.  I admit... my father would not be proud of how many times we have had cold cereal.  He always claimed cereal wasn't truly food- but I think it will do for now.  I am trying to get organized and have eggs more often since we have chickens now, but haven't quite found the time to accomplish that.  I am learning how some things are just going to have to slide for now... like eggs for breakfast.  Sorry, Dad!
7:15- we should be finished with breakfast, but Curly likes to be reminded when to take a bite every. single. time.  So this doesn't always happen.  They brush their teeth, get their back pack ready, oops! realized Z-Man had homework that he didn't remember last night, quick do that, wait!  your outfit does not match... go change into something so you don't look like you are not well taken care.  I'm thinking of letting this one slide sooner or later too.  They are clothed, right?
Jake also leaves at this time.
7:40- We leave for school.  I take them to school, otherwise they would have to get on the bus at 6:45 am.  I don't want to have to get up any earlier.  It is on my way to work, but it also means that I get to work an hour early.
8:00- I get to work and relax in the quiet, dark bank.  This has probably become one of my favorite times of the day.
9:00-3:00- I am actually working at the bank.
3:20- the kids are involved in an after school program that is called Kansas Reading Roadmap for extra learning.  They are adjusting to a new school and friends and this has been really good for them!
3:30- I get home and start on laundry, supper, cleaning, or in my Creative Touch office.
5:30- Jake usually gets home.
5:45- The kiddos get home and we eat supper.
6:30- We spend time reading or playing games with them.
7:30- We start getting ready for bed- showers, brush teeth, pajamas, story time
8:00-8:15- Kids are in bed and lights are off.  Who am I kidding?  Sometimes I am also in bed with the lights off...  The first 2 weeks Jake was also in bed by this time.  He has adjusted well... I have not.
If I am not in bed we try to spend time together whether its cleaning up or just chatting.
Things we have learned:

*We really don't know much about parenting.
*I need at least 9 hours of sleep.
*We like quiet time.
*I didn't know there were so many cute things for a 6 yr. old girl to wear!
*It is very important to compliment other parents and tell them they are doing an awesome job.  Most days I haven't felt like I was a very good mom.  So encouragement is something I'm trying to do to other moms.
*Z-Man is a typical 8 year old boy.  Seriously.  I grew up with 7 boys and I don't remember it being this... challenging.  He definitely  is more challenging because of the trauma he endured, but most of the things I was concerned about- other boy moms have told me it was normal.
*Our patience level gets maxed out too frequently.  We are working on that.
*Apparently I never feed Z-Man.  He is ALWAYS starving!
*I can't imagine being a single parent.  Seriously.  I don't know how they do it.
*We both NEED coffee.
*It is super tough working full time and taking care of everything and everybody at home.  I didn't think it would be that bad, but I'm seeing more and more things get dropped because I don't have time to do them.  Then I get mom guilt when I'm doing something that needs done and the kids just want me to spend time with them.
*I am not a good multitasker
*We are the best cooks ever!  (Good thing they are not picky!)
*I am not good at remembering the camera.
*Prayer means so much more.  We can't get through the day without it.
*How important it is to take care of ourselves.  Focusing solely on the kids does not make us good parents.
*Simplicity.  In order to become better parents, we have had to let go of some non-essentials in life.  I have learned that I love simple.  Simple meals, simple schedules, simple decorating= simple cleaning, etc.  We have learned how to say no and not let it bother us.
*Kid's are so forgiving.  Thankfully!
*Routines are essential.  Consistency is key.
*I can't go anywhere without my Simplified Planner.  It keeps me focused on daily life and tasks at hand.  I put everything in there, from birthdays to appointments to LAUNDRY MUST GET DONE TODAY OR ELSE! to meal planning or prep work that needs done.
*Parenting is humbling.
*Parenting is rewarding.

I'm sure there is more.  But if you lasted this long through this post, kudos to you.
New Foster Parents

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


So many changes... only by His grace are we able.
We have been working towards our foster care license since June.  There are so many rules and regulations, some make sense, some not so much.  It has not been easy, but we pray it will be rewarding.
On Monday, I got a phone call at work asking if we could take a placement.  I asked if we could even do that yet because we didn't have a license.  She said you should have gotten it in the mail today!  Sure enough, we had and we did take the placement of a sibling set of 2.  We won't be able to post pictures or anything online- so if I find my sanity and update this blog more often, I will refer to them as Z-Man and Curly.  Brother and Sister.  Please pray for them.  And us.  It brings tears to my eyes the amount of pain they have endured in their short years of life.
We got enrolled in school yesterday.  I am experiencing some firsts myself.

These bedrooms are now well inhabited :)

Text me if you have questions! 620.437.6577. I would be glad to answer if I can.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hello, Fall!

 Well hello there, fall.  I have been waiting for this time of year for, oh, about 10 months.  It is my favorite time of year when I can sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee or hot apple cider and enjoy the smells and sounds of autumn.  It was a great year for my fall flowers and I added a few new things this year.
Jacob made this cute little pumpkin for me out of horse shoes.  Isn't it adorable?!

My front porch decor

Isn't the flowers just beautiful this year?

 I added this sign this year.  I created the design using the Silhouette software.  I used the bottom of a whiskey barrel, cut our vinyl on my Silhouette to use as a stencil, and brushed a layer of mod podge over before my paint.  I mixed my own color of paint from left over paint I had (if anyone knows my hubby, he has put me on a paint ban until we use up some of our 40 partial gallons downstairs :) ).  Then I dabbed the paint on with an almost dry brush, waited until almost dry and peeled the stencil off.

 In front of our garage.  I got 2 cedar planter boxes for dirt cheap (no pun intended) and stained them to match our porch swing.

And... I've been putting off buying candy corn for quite awhile now, because J is addicted to the stuff, but decided on a way to make it last a little longer.  The napkin in the picture is so you can tell how big the dish really is.  It is a tealight candle holder.  I believe his words when he came home and saw this were, "I love you, but that's just mean!"
The guys got in a couple days of corn harvest before it rained again, so Jacob has been working on some side jobs cleaning seed.  Today we finished up some more rye.

Could you all do us a favor and pray for a good week of dry weather so we can get the corn out and some rye in?  Thank ya!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Random Pictures and Sentences

My nieces and nephew sure know how to help make turning 30 less painful.

 Skipper has claimed the porch swing as his throne.
 We have really enjoyed the picnic table we got from Grandpa Luthi.
 Relaxing grilling out nights are the best.
 These two have a special bond.
 Roasted okra for the win!
 We took these two to the county fair rodeo and had to try fried oreos.  Gavin doesn't look like he's too sure of this combination.
 We had fun with these two cowboys.
 The National Anthem brings tears to my eyes every time.
 We have been getting in some good days of fishing these last couple weeks.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Creative Touch Designs

Creative Touch Designs is the part of my business that focuses solely on digital designing.  I have been playing with digital design for several years now and have had so much fun creating custom party invitations, birth announcements, wedding invitations, graduation announcements, and anything else that someone might want.  I most recently worked on a logo for my sister-in-law's bakery business.  Check out her new website below!

Here are just a few things I have designed in the past.

Click HERE for the free fall printable.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather we have been having!  We have been busy, busy, BUSY!  As you can tell, I wasn't going to win any blogging awards this summer :)  

Friday, April 29, 2016

How You Can Help

I wanted to share a little bit about some needs that I, and other couples struggling with infertility may have.  These are not inclusive and may not be for each couple.  I realize that I may struggle differently than some other couples.  It can vary depending on their situation and how far along on the path they are.  What I am about to write is what has helped me in the healing/coping process.  I say that because I am not sure you can consider infertility ever "healed".  We just learn what works best for us to move forward in life.

I need you to try to understand.  Try to understand that I may bow out of a conversation if it turns to pregnancy symptoms, birthing plans, or who the baby looks like.  It will depend on how I am doing that day.  Sometimes it won't bother me, but please don't feel bad when you look up and notice I am gone.  I get it.  I will try to leave silently and gracefully to not draw attention to myself.  Try to understand that I may decline a baby shower.  Try to understand when I invite you over and the kids are not invited.  I just need to feel like I fit in somewhere.  I need to not feel like the odd couple out.

I need encouragement.  I need to hear you say that you are praying for us.  That you know it must be hard for us, but that God knows our hurt and He has the perfect child for us.  Encourage us to keep our chin up and that you support us.  

I need friends that make an effort to include us in their life.  Satan is really good at making us feel so alone.  He makes it seem as if everyone else is too busy for us.  And their lives are passing us by as we are standing still.  I am thankful that I do have friends that do this and it means so much.

I need randomness.  I need random texts from friends, parents, brothers, sisters.  I need to know that they are randomly praying for me.  Not only when we have a transfer or blood test coming up.  Because we struggle daily.  Not just when there is a step being taken.

I need you to remember us on Mother's Day.  I have already struggled with this holiday for many years, but I know I have a bit more anxiety about it this year because of our miscarriage.  Sunday's are already one of the toughest days to get through and this just adds on top of it.  The sermon focuses on Mother's (as it should- it's just hard to sit and hear while you try to put on your brave face.)  Mother's out there reading this, we do not begrudge you of the blessings you have.  There should be a day dedicated to you and we are thankful for our own Mother's.  Please don't take this wrong.  We just hurt for us.  That we haven't heard those words "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I love you!"  That we haven't had the chance to get a hand made construction paper card with flowers and hearts all over it made by our super proud children.  

I need support.  There are so many different ways to support us.  Cards, phone calls, texts.  But the most important way is by prayer.  Prayer is so powerful and we can certainly feel it.  God has been so good to us and we are thankful for each one that has shown us support in many different ways.  

We need you to want to learn more.  Learn about our adoption process.  Learn about how you can support a friend during this process.  Google is a great place to go if you are not comfortable just flat out asking your friend.  There are many articles that you can read to help you gain understanding.  I know far more than I ever thought I wanted to about the reproductive system, IVF, HCG, FSH, home studies, and background checks, and where you really should store your cleaning products, and what temperature your hot water should be set at.  I always encourage my friends and family to ask me questions or educate themselves.  

I need you to tell me about your pregnancy.  Please.  Before it shows up on social media, or before I'm standing in the middle of a group at church.  I have several close friends that have sent me a text, card, or called to tell me they were expecting, but knew how hard it was for us and that they were praying for us.  It means so much than you probably can imagine.  I need time to process my sadness for myself so that I can focus on my happiness for them.  All I need is a little time to make the shift :)  I understand that it is very hard to tell me something like that.  I honestly try to make it as painless as possible! :)

It is kind of like a grave that keeps following you around day after day as it swallows your hope and buries more of your dreams.
-Waiting For Baby Bird (blog)

It is loving your child you have never met.
It is mourning your child that you have never had.
It is the phone call that says, "I'm sorry, but your numbers are dropping and is not a viable for sustaining a pregnancy.  You will miscarry soon."
It is a constant battle between your head and your heart.  A daily challenge in putting ALL at Jesus' feet.

But what it will not do is:
Cripple my marriage
Shatter my hope
Destroy my peace
Kill my friendships
Silence my courage
Invade my soul
Conquer my spirit
Steal my dreams
It will not overcome me.
Because while I might bend, I won't break.
While I might fall down, I will get back up.
While I might lose my way for a bit, I'll find it again.
And while my wave of emotions might sometimes overwhelm me and take me under, I'll always kick back up to the surface.
Everything that infertility is... which is heartbreaking, dream shattering, and soul crushing... has made me fight for what it is not.  And it is not going to win.

Again, these are my personal feelings and not meant to say that everyone that struggles with infertility feels the same.  Please chime in if I have forgotten anything or if you have more topics you want me to cover about infertility.  After re-reading this I hope I don't come across as "too needy", but wanted to share some ways you can support your friends walking this path in life.  Blessings, friends. xoxo