Category Archives: Random Ramblings

Starting 2016

Where does time go?  We are in our second month of the new year and last week, I started to write the year 2014 on a check. Apparently, my brain hasn’t caught up to our calendar quite yet.  My boys are now ages 3, 5, and 7.  I think they’re the reason my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders.  Do you know how many brain cells it takes to keep up with three little boys?  It’s a constant, head spinning game of “Who left this here for me to step on?” and “Who spilled this?” and “What is that smell?” and then, “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”  Fortunately, my anxiety about their physical well-being has reduced some since my Dad got the boys football helmets for Christmas. What he may not have anticipated is that I make them wear the helmets all of the time. There’s less crying this way. 

Boys in Helmets
Safer competition. And yes, Greyson does own pants…he just never wears them. I can’t wait to hear from his teachers and principal one day.










We’ve had our share of sickness this winter, too, and that never helps my ability to think clearly.  When kids are up during the night coughing, gagging, and crying, we all suffer.  It can be frustrating in the wee hours of the morning, but then when they look like this…

Sick G
Poor Buddy…







…it’s hard not to just lay around all day and snuggle.  So, Jon and I took turns staying home from work and doing just that. Watching movies and snuggling with our boys.  It was tough, but someone had to do it.

In other news, Jon and I are building a house in the country.  We have lived in town or on a campus for all of our married years, but we both decided it was time to return to our roots and give our boys the opportunity to grow up on a farm like we did.  The process is ongoing, but we do have a driveway now and we’ve been spending a lot of time on the computer and on the phone planning out some of the details. 

The new driveway…we can’t wait until there’s a house on the other side of it!





With the few brain cells I have left, I’ve been reading this book:

Relevant for work and home…









We have drastically reduced the amount of time our boys spend playing video games and on interactive screens such as ipads and cell phones. We found that their innocent racing games and competitive sports games were turning them into monsters who couldn’t deal with questions, problems, or decisions without throwing giant tantrums. It was exhausting and frankly, very tempting to walk away from them while yelling, “Whose kid is that?!  GET.SOME.CONTROL!” 

And last, but not least, I’ll leave you with some artwork created and named by our youngest artist, Greyson. 

Exhibit A: “Mommy Eating Corn on the Cob”

Corn on the cob
Eating corn on the cob without hands is a true gift.







Exhibit B: “Daddy Holding his Pants Up with his Mouth”

Holding up Pants
He had to hold them up with his mouth because, again, he had no hands.









So, life moves forward whether you have all brain cells firing or not. Fortunately, in my circle of friends and family, having brain cells that function is completely optional.  It’s all part of this exhausting beautiful stage of parenting little boys.  


What We’re Up To

Life has calmed down for us, in many ways, as we have settled into a routine here in our little farmhouse in Michigan.  Conrad took a full-time teaching position in the local high school, and I am working part time in the high school and part time in an optometry practice.  Even though we are both working full-time, life somehow feels slower than it has in many years.  We aren’t running our kids to extra-curricular events, we don’t have meetings taking up our evenings, and our social life remains pretty quiet.  This has been a good season of rest and recovery for us as we’ve worked through our grief and confusion surrounding our change of plans regarding Thailand.

So, what have we been up to? 

We’ve enjoyed warmer temperatures and plenty of outdoor time:


Over Spring Break we traveled to Northern Indiana and toured the beautiful campus of Notre Dame: 2-022

We held a family meeting in Starbucks where we were each given the opportunity to express our thoughts, interruption free! 3-023

We enjoyed a leisurely Easter Sunday, hiding Easter eggs and counting the loot (money inside of Easter eggs!!). 4-047-001

We are still uncertain about what the next steps are for our family.  As much as we’re enjoying our time in Michigan, we’re not sure that this is where we’ll stay long term.  We have a couple of conversations going on behind the scenes that have us feeling hopeful and excited.  Perhaps I’ll have some good news to share with you soon.

In the meantime, thanks for reading our very sporadic writings, and thanks for caring for our family through this time of transition.

Catching Up

It’s hard to know what to write as a follow up to Vicki’s last two posts.  Clearly, there has been weariness, confusion, and sadness as they have journeyed through the process of planning their future. On the other hand, there has been relief, hope, and joy as well.  Or maybe that’s just me.  But, in all seriousness, it has been very difficult to see Conrad and Vicki (and their three beautiful daughters) hurt and experience the uncertainty and tension they have experienced.  It’s never easy to see loved ones hurt, but the intensity of the past several weeks and months surprised all of us.  

I’m sure there was surprise for many of you as well.  And following the surprise, I’m sure the very first question that came to your mind was, “But, what about their blog?  How can they be global sisters when one lives in Michigan and one lives in Ohio?”  Good question. It’s a question we haven’t yet answered.  

Because so much time has passed since my last post, I shall resort to bullet points in order to hit the highlights of the last two months. 

  • In early November, all three of our boys had surgery to put tubes in their ears.  It worked out well that all three needed them at the same time because having three separate surgery appointments was too much for me to handle logistically.  We are old pros at the tube thing (this was Conner’s 4th surgery and the 2nd surgeries for both Rylan and Greyson), so we knew the drill and the morning went very well.  It helped tremendously that Jon’s parents, Jake and Grace, were able to assist.  The boys loved having them there and it meant each boy had someone to snuggle with post-surgery. 
Boys in Beds
Jake with Rylan, Jon with Conner, and Grace with Greyson.


  • Over Thanksgiving weekend, we went to Goshen, IN to have our family Christmas with my mom.  We had such a nice time.  I don’t know if you all are aware of the fact that my mom is an artist when it comes to sewing/crocheting.  This is something I did not inherit – Jon is the one in our family who sews on buttons.  I find it confusing and tedious.  Regardless, here are some of her creations that were wrapped for Greyson under the tree:
The twin-size quilt she made for Greyson. Each piece is appliqued onto the fabric. I know so little about quilting that I’m not even sure I described it correctly. It is so detailed and amazing no matter how she did it.


Monkey Hat
A sock monkey hat for my monkey.


  • The month of December was busy. We baked. 
Monster Cookies
A HUGE batch of monster cookies…


Grandma Gascho’s Peanut Butter Blossoms and my soft molasses cookies (my Dad and father-in-law’s favorite cookie)…


Grandma Gascho’s thumbprints…


  • We had Christmas with our boys.  It has been so fun to see Conner grow and mature to the point where he can’t wait for us to open the presents he purchased through his school’s Santa Shop.  I made him keep everything a secret from me, too. I told him I wanted to be surprised by everything he got, not just my gift.  Imagine my delight when Jon opened his gift.  In Conner’s words, “Dad, I knew you didn’t have any Christmas socks, so I knew these were for you!” 
Jon's Socks
Be still my heart…and then laugh until you cry.  Because that’s what I did. 


  • We had Christmas with the Leichty family.  Greyson got some great toys, but he was most fascinated with the baby doll set his cousin, Elin, got.  He loved nurturing the little thing.
G with babies
“Aw, drink your bottle, baby…”


  • On the Monday after Christmas, I got a phone call from Jon that I wasn’t expecting. “Hey – Darrin (his brother) just called to say that Dad fell and he’s on his way to the ER by squad.”  We were terrified to learn only an hour later that there was bleeding on his brain and he was being flown to OSU for emergency surgery.  We were told he may not make it all the way there because the bleeding was so significant. You can imagine our relief and joy when he not only made it to OSU, but the surgery was successful and all signs are pointing toward a good recovery.  We have been back and forth to OSU many times over the last month.  We are so thankful that Jake is doing as well as he is. You can read the full story here. 
He was attached to so many machines.


Jake EEG
Hooked up to wires that monitor brain activity.


G and J
Greyson making sure Grandpa’s head is healing okay.


  • Because we knew that Jake was stable and moving forward with his recovery, we were able to enjoy a weekend with my Dad and Teresa at Splash Village for our family Christmas.  The kids loved being at the water park and as always, they were thrilled with the gifts they received.
Ninja Turtle
My Dad and our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.


Jon and G
Jon shielding Greyson from the huge bucket of water.


3 boys
The boys loved the frog tongue slide…


G down the slide
…as evidenced by the fact that they went down it approximately 1,113 times.


As you can tell, it was a full season of our lives with many ups and some downs.  However, God’s faithfulness through the difficult times and the laughter we experienced through the good times helped us stay grounded and grateful.  

Vicki and I are going to have a talk at some point to decide what to do with this blog.  For now, we’ll assume some people still want to check in even though our journey may be less exciting with both of us stateside.  But, something tells me we’ll still find stuff to write about.  Let us know if you come up with a more fitting title.  Sisters Gone Global just doesn’t fit anymore.  And, for admittedly selfish reasons, that realization may or may not have led me into a happy dance.