Thursday, April 26, 2018

National Infertility Awareness Week

It's that time of year again to bring awareness to those couples struggling with infertility.  I have written several posts in the past years; you can see them HEREHERE, and HERE.  I have had several people ask me if the struggle has gotten easier since we adopted.  I hesitate to answer, for fear of sounding ungrateful for our two beautiful kiddos that we have.  I think the struggle is a little different, but not easier.  Infertility will affect me for my lifetime.  I still haven't had the opportunity to experience pregnancy, baby giggles, using the names we have picked out, first words, etc.  All those firsts that we dreamed of when we got married.  There are still very hard moments when it makes my heart hurt so much.
However, I totally believe it is possible for joy & grief to co-exist.  Zak & Kate have brought so much joy into our lives.  They are truly a blessing and I feel a blessing and a great trial can both be present simultaneously in our lives.  Yes, infertility still hurts and always will, but along side that, we have joy in our son & daughter.

This was the first family picture that we took about a week after they came to us. Nov 2016
 Fall 2017
Fall 2017
 Fall 2017
 February 2018- Our beautiful and handsome Valentines

 March 2018

  Officially a family
March 2018

Infertility will always be a part of my life story.  It is a disease that will never go away.  But we can use it to glorify God and to help others.  If there is anyone struggling with infertility that feels alone, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I understand.  I have a great support system and several other infertility sisters reached out to me.  And that has made a huge difference in how I processed my struggles.  I hope I can be that kind of blessing to others that are on the same path.  

To those of you that haven't experienced infertility- we appreciate your prayers and encouragement.  I wrote a post on how you can help HERE.  
To those of you still in the trenches- I am here for you.  I am praying for you.  You hold a special place in my heart.  Because I know the tears, the sadness, the feeling of failure, the grief, the anxiety.  But I also know the joy that can co-exist with that.  Life's challenges can make you bitter or it can make you better and I believe infertility made me better.  I believe it made me a better mom than I would have been had I not been through the trenches.  Live beyond "what if" and find joy in "what is".  Blessings and peace to you all! xoxo Krystal

Monday, April 2, 2018

Knobloch Party of 4

Meet Curly & Z-Man!!
We had a wonderful day full of happiness and a few tears.  We were humbled by the amount of family and friends that showed up at the courthouse in support of us.  May God richly bless each of you!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Finalization Date!!

We have a finalization date for Z-Man & Curly!!  We are so excited to change their last name to Knobloch on March 29th.  They are super excited to not have so many social workers and case workers and therapists and adoption workers and appointments, but to replace that with so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, church family, and normal everyday kid life.  Thank you all for your prayers over the last year and a half.  We couldn't have done it without them.  I am looking forward to sharing pictures with you after we are officially a family!  Happy spring to you all!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Adoption Update

I finally had a day off with a clean house.  So lucky for you... that means a blog post.  We are getting so close that we can finally say we see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We are currently just waiting for a finalization date from our lawyer!  Curly and Z-Man are so excited.  They are constantly asking how much longer until they are adopted.  Whether it has to do with jumping on a trampoline, getting a pool, traveling out of state, or being able to change their name- they CAN NOT WAIT!

I would say we are at a good spot where things are now normal.  We are dealing with "normal" behaviors, they know our house guidelines, they know what their family contributions are (chores- but we learned that by calling them family contributions they responded so much better because they wanted to be a part of a family), we know what to expect when schedules are not kept, what they really did not know before they came here, and what their favorite foods are.  We know what their needs are and how to meet them.  There was always a need behind the behavior that was not being met- whether they didn't feel safe, were hungry and afraid their wasn't food, or scared.  It has gotten so much better around here we when understand one another!  We definitely still have our challenges and always will- just like all of you. 

Things are starting to slow down now from the holiday rush.  They both enjoy school for the most part and are learning how to be a friend.  That is something I never really thought about having to teach a child.  But when they are constantly thinking they have to fight for themselves for everything- it did become a challenge for them to realize not everyone is out to hurt them.  Curly loves math the most and is a social butterfly.  The only time she gets in trouble in school is for talking when she's not supposed to be.  I remember Mrs. McCarty (8th grade) teacher telling me I would talk to the wall if there was no one else in the room.  Z-Man's least favorite subject is math, but he LOVES science and history.  Jake is a history buff and it's so neat to watch him teach Z about different things that he enjoys. 

Here's a few pictures that I can show that doesn't reveal their identity just yet.

Jake was honored to be on a farm tour this fall and teaching a group about no-till farming and using cover crops.  He also gave a presentation to a group of men on area watershed district members.  I was so proud of him.  I get queasy at the mention of talking in front of a group of people.

The kids had fun growing Big Max pumpkins this fall.  Then they got to break them open and get a lesson from Dad on harvesting seeds.  Curly wasn't too sure about digging in the gooey mess, but got brave and loved it!  She really needs encouraged to try anything "new", so we were super proud of her!
Family picture time.  The bond these 2 have, warms my heart.

He came grocery shopping with me and spread some Christmas cheer!

We went shopping so the kids could spend some of their money they got for Christmas and both of them decided all on their own that they were going to donate some of it.  I teared up a little.  It's things like this that are the joys of parenting.

We started a tradition the first Christmas they were with us to camp out in the living room under the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  This was their 2nd year here.  And I LOVE that they LOVE to read! 

Dad was the one behind the bow and arrows for Christmas gifts.  They really enjoyed shooting into a hay hale for practice. 




 We finally got some snow overnight!  It wasn't good snowball snow, but we tried!


Wishing each of you faithful readers a very happy new year.  Blessings in 2018!
Jake & Krystal, Z-Man & Curly



Friday, December 8, 2017

Practicing Spelling Words While Keeping Your Sanity


Spelling words are always a challenge with Z-Man.  And I don't feel like I'm a very good teacher.  So I have found ways to make it fun while also still learning. Education.com has been a great resource for me.  You can make your own word search, word scrambles, and spelling tests with your child's spelling words.  



Continue learning for the holiday season with this fun Winter Word Find worksheet. For more spelling fun, go to Education.com!

And they even supply you with the answers!

They also have math worksheets you can create, as well as mazes, sudoku, matching lists, and crossword puzzles.  Go check it out!  Worksheet Generator


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Creative Learning

I have a post brought to you by education.com today. They reached out to me to publish an article with an activity that they had given me. I have been contacted before by others, but had always ignored their e-mails as I feel like I am such an amateur in the blogging world. Ha! This offer felt different to me. It's right where we are at in life. School. Math. Making learning fun! I will take all the help I can get! Curly and Z-Man really enjoyed this game. I made separate ones for Z-Man and we practiced multiplication with him. Math is something that is challenging for him, so I look forward to checking out more ideas on education.com.

Activity: 

Play Popsicle Math


First Grade Math Activities: Play Popsicle Math

What You Need:

  • 23 popsicle sticks
  • kitchen timer
  • crayons or markers
  • construction paper
  • child safety scissors
  • 2 Ziploc bags

What You Do:

Label Sticks. Have your child hold each stick vertically and label it with one number, going from 1-20. Use the remaining three sticks to write a plus, minus, and equals sign (+, -, =) using crayons or markers.
Build an equation. Start with addition. Help your child make problems by using the popsicle sticks and having her hold up the answers. ( Ex. 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 1+3=4, etc.) Later, using the same popsicle sticks she already labeled, you can have your child practice making subtraction facts and holding up the answers.
If you like, add a challenge. Set a kitchen timer, for example, and see if your child can answer each problem correctly in three seconds or less. Or have your child write a list of problems and keep a “scorecard” of correct equations which you can mark with a happy face or star.
Moving forward, you can also extend the activity by having your child make flashcards using construction paper, child safety scissors, and crayons or markers. She should write one number per card, and make separate cards for plus, minus, and equals signs. Then, she can make addition and subtraction problems using the cards and holding up the answers the same way she did with the popsicle sticks. When you’re done, you can save both the popsicle sticks and the flashcards in ziploc bags—they’re a great game to pull out over snacks, in the car, or even when you’re sitting in the dentist office.
Math is all around us; and with your help, it will be safely inside your kid’s head for the long haul, too.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Summer & School

It has been a busy summer and we are really excited that school has started!  This is just a very edited version of our summer.
We got to go on a train ride at the zoo, courtesy of Grandpa & Grandma.


We had a birthday for Z-Man.  He got enough money to buy his very own drone.  It was good practice to count out the correct amount of money.

The kids wanted to donate some money to the Children's Miracle Network.

Flying the drone in their p.j.'s


We went to the fair and they got to ride on some nausea inducing rides.  Parents must give an arm & a leg in order for their children to voluntarily get sick.

Grandpa & Uncle giving them some sympathy and helping with their summer school worksheets.  Psst... Z-Man & Curly are wrapped around their fingers.

Lots of hay bale hopping

We got to be the first ones through the door at the Grand Opening for the new Hobby Lobby.  My husband fears he is going to have to start eating pb&j now because that's all he's going to be able to afford.

Leaving  for their first day of school

One is super excited about school, one is not.

And this one is over the moon excited!!

We had another birthday for Curly.  She wanted Frozen theme.



We went to a real PRCA Rodeo.  They really enjoyed it.  Z-Man liked the bucking broncos and Curly liked the clowns the best.


I just finished a few custom orders for customers.

Things continue to progress (ever so slowly!) and we are hoping by the end of the school year to have everything done and finalized for adoption.  We are looking forward to a trip to Iowa and having family coming to visit us soon!  We are excited for another school year around here! (Well... everything except math, according to Z-Man.)