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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Organizing and Crafting

Over Christmas break I have been being creative and trying to organize some things that have gotten out of control.  Instead of a million little papers on my bulletin board strips, I made some hanging folder pockets from manila folders that I scored from Marc's earlier this year.   I also decided to decorate them with some craft paper so they look prettier.  I can store all the kids school papers that I need to refer to from time to time in these pockets.  

I also made a to do list pocket and a pocket for seminary ideas.

Jacob moved his desk (well I kicked him out) and Maggie and I are making a sewing / craft area.  It is pretty basic but it will do.  It will be nice to have a place to do a quick project with everything in one spot instead of spread all over the house.

We are doing some decorating of the craft area and Maggie is already working a some little curtains to hide the cords.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Date Day!

Enjoying Date day and our Great Nieces Birthday Party!  So much fun!!!!  It is the end of 2013 and 2014 is on the way in an hour.  What are your resolutions?  I'm always afraid to share because I know I will most likely fall on my face.  I hope you have a wonderful New Year!  Here is to 2014!  May it be good to us all.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Assignment / Homework Punch Card Creation

Working on home schooling stuff over the Christmas break.  Hopefully this will help keep them motivated.  They can punch out with a hole punch on each of the circles when they finish a subject.  I will add some incentive, such as when they complete 10 cards they get a surprise or activity?  I haven't decided yet.  I plan on using it for homework with Doug who is going to high school away from home.  I am going to print this out on card stock and cut them apart.  I also might get a jar and have them put in the cards when they are completed and each Friday draw a card for an incentive.  The possibilities are endless.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Family Picture

The Rohal's.  Steve has lost lots of weight this year.  He is doing great.  Jacob is 17.  Doug is 14, Maggie is 12, Curt is 10.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Many Faces of Steve

The Many Faces of Steve

Day of Surgery 6/18/2013





8/6/2013 Slightly mug shot ish.  No he wasn't arrested. :)




It has really been a whirlwind since his surgery.  The weight has come off so fast.  He is like a different person on the outside.  I am so proud of him for being brave and doing the work to be healthy.  He has done an amazing job.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Another Couple looking to adopt for the first time. Please share.

Todd and Kirsten (Ohio)

Profile ID: 28965172
We are so excited to begin our adoption journey, and to share it with you!  Come learn more about us here, and you can also visit our blog (
Dear Friends,
Our names are Todd and Kirsten and we are grateful for your taking the time to get to know us! We can only imagine the tough decisions that are ahead of you and admire your strength and obvious love for your baby that brings you to consider adoption. Know that we share the fears, hopes, and dreams you have for your child. If you choose us to be your baby’s adoptive family, he or she will be our first child – so special! We believe that we can provide the types of things that you might dream of for your baby: a stable and loving home, financial security, education, and other opportunities.
We truly are excited to become parents, and know that adoption is the path that our Heavenly Father wants for us. It wasn’t an easy road to get to the point where we are writing you this letter (years of failed fertility treatments), but we have been blessed all along our journey. We have so many friends whose lives have been blessed by open adoptions of all kinds, and we look forward to sharing this experience. In our small congregation at church there are several adoptive families and we feel as if we have a built-in support system! Admittedly, we are not quite sure what our open adoption will be like, but we are looking forward to experiencing it together with your child's birth family. We want your child to grow up knowing who you are, and how much you love them!
Here is a little about us:
We have been married since 2005, and lived in Florida before moving to Ohio. Todd has his Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning and spent several years working in Florida. Kirsten has a degree in Wildlife Biology, and moved to Florida from Canada for work (yep, she’s Canadian!). Would you believe we met at a City zoning meeting of all places? The story of how we first met has actually been published in a book about the project we worked on – we’ll tell you all about it if you want to know more! Todd grew up and attended college in Ohio, so it was an easy choice to move here when we decided we wanted to live closer to our families. Todd works for the county planning agency where he helps the cities and towns in our county grow in responsible ways, and he is very involved in the community. Kirsten works for the county park district and spends her time managing nature preserves and parks. Kirsten plans on staying home with a new baby, possibly transitioning into part time employment when the time is right for both the baby and her.
What kinds of things do we like?
We share many interests and love spending time together, laughing, having fun, and doing things like travelling, hiking, visiting zoos and parks, and of course going to Cedar Point! We also just like hanging out at home or with friends. Todd’s interests include sports (mainly football – he is basically a Fantasy Football pro – but he also enjoys running, golf, softball, and snow skiing), as well as cooking, grilling, and gardening. Kirsten enjoys nature and wildlife, particularly birds, and has created a “certified wildlife habitat” in our backyard. She also likes being crafty (Pinterest is very inspiring!), creating art, and of course shopping! We can’t wait to include a child in our activities!
We also share a love of animals and have 2 cats: Brutus (named after the Ohio State University mascot), and Nibbler (named after a favorite cartoon character). They are both very playful and gentle cats who love people. Kirsten enjoys dressing them up in various fun kitty costumes, which they tolerate just long enough for a cute photo to be taken.
And a bit about our families:
Our families are excited about our adoption journey! Everyone is looking forward to a new grandchild, niece/nephew, and cousin! Todd is the oldest of 3 (with a younger brother and sister), and Kirsten is the youngest of 2 (with an older sister). Although many in our families are located throughout the U.S. and Canada, we see them as often as we can. Thankfully we love to travel and always look forward to our trips visiting family and friends. Much of Todd's family lives here in Ohio so we get to see them often.
Once again, thank you for considering adoption and for taking the time to read our letter. Whatever your decision, we hope that you will feel a sense of peace knowing that you made this decision in your child’s best interest.
Much love to you and your families,
Todd & Kirsten
Please visit our blog at

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Couple looking to adopt...please share

Here is a wonderful family looking to adopt again.  Please pass this information along to anyone and everyone.  They are a wonderful couple and love there little guy Harley so much.

Josh and Kenna (Ohio)

Profile ID: 28991941
We are a family of three that has already been blessed by adoption. It has been such a beautiful experience having an open adoption with our son's birth parents. We are excited to grow our family and our son can't wait for his, 'baby bruver or sister!'
Our Dear Friends,
First off, thank you for taking time to read this letter. Thank you for considering adoption. It is because of your brave decision that we have hope and the opportunity to become parents to a sweet little one. We recognize the sacrifice you are making for your unborn child. We are filled with so much emotion for you. We pray that you will be blessed with guidance, inspiration and peace as you make these decisions. There truly can’t be a harder choice to make than the one you are faced with. We know of the love you have for your child and we hope that we may be the family you are looking for. Thank you for being so brave and so full of courage.
We were married on July 29, 2006. Talk of children has always been communicated, but our journey was not meant to be short, easy, or traditional. We want nothing more than to give a child a safe, secure home. It’s been a dream of ours to be parents, and while our path to parenthood isn’t necessarily going as we thought, we couldn’t be more excited about adoption. We have seen it bless our life with the gift of our son Harley, and we are hoping to be blessed again.
Hi there, this is Josh and I'm going to take over for a moment to tell you more about myself. I come from a family of six children and two very loving parents. I'm the fourth and have three brothers and two sisters. I have always enjoyed being with my family. First and foremost I love being a dad. Harley has brought such happiness to my life. Even though there is always so much going on, Harley always brings me to my center. At the end of every day, after he has put on his jammies, brushed his teeth, and said prayers, we read as a family. It is such a calming way to wrap up the day. Right now we are reading Peter Pan and I love seeing Harley get into the book. He loves hearing about Captain Hook! Currently I am attending Northeast Ohio Medical University and am in my second year of their Pharmacy program. I chose this career path for a few reasons. First, it's a good career to provide for my family and I'll get to work comfortable hours so I have time to spend at home. Second, I'll get to help others improve their lives through the research and development of new medications. While I work hard, I love to let loose and play. I am a very active person and love sports, with football & basketball topping the list. The best part of all this is that I get to share it with Harley. I love being with Harley man. Every day, when I get home from school, he asks to go outside and play. We play soccer, we golf and let our two dogs fetch the golf balls, we race, ride bikes, ride the longboard, anything and everything. Lately I have been trying to teach him how to throw a football and he’s getting pretty good! I truly love to live life and get all I can from each day.
Enough about me, let me tell you about my wife, Kenna. She is a wonderful person to be around. One of my favorite attributes about her is her sense of humor. There isn’t a sharper witted lady out there. She is a very generous person and is very aware of other people. She often takes time to write thoughtful notes to friends, family, and even people we've never met. She’ll offer them words of encouragement and let them know that she is their friend. Kenna always makes time to be the friend that everyone wishes they had. Kenna also has a special gift with infants. She’ll never admit to it but she can get pretty much any baby to be calm and at ease. This gift holds true with Harley. When Kenna holds him close and sings to him, he calms right down, his breathing evens, and soon enough he is snoozing. Kenna loves to read and is extremely talented when it comes to writing. When she writes it’s so articulate and graceful. She also loves music and loves to sing (her voice is amazing). Her first love is Harley, her second is the beach. (I believe I am her third love!) Her love for the beach has worn off on me and now I love making memories with her and her family. We took Harley to the beach the summer after his placement and never have we had such a great time there. Kenna has a deep love for her son, and that deep and fierce love will be granted to the next little one who comes into our lives. How lucky this little one will be.
This is Kenna, and I want to shed a little more light on who I am. My family has four kids and two awesome parents. I am the eldest, followed by two sisters and one brother. I am lucky to have an adoptive mother who has changed my life in more ways that I could ever express. My dad is my biological dad, and married my adoptive mom when I was three. When I was 8 I was legally adopted and was sealed to them in the Salt Lake Temple. It is one of my most vivid and cherished memories. June 29th is a very special day for us, not only was it the day Harley was sealed to us, but on the same day many years before I was sealed to my family. There wasn’t a dry eye that day. I am so grateful for adoption and for the gifts it has given me. My family is very close and love spending time together. Our favorite pastime is our yearly vacation to the beach. My love for the beach and ocean was instilled in me at a young age. Right now I study psychology and social work at Kent State University. When I’m not reading textbooks or playing a game of hide and seek with Harley, I’m reading, writing, or out with my camera. I own a photography business and I love it! Always awesome when you can follow your passion. Harley is my favorite model and puts up with his snap happy mama. I always try to take time each day to refocus myself and remember all the good, because there is SO much good.
Now Josh is, truly, one of the most amazing individuals I’ve come across in my lifetime. He offers such a calm presence to my life and to our home. Josh has a sense of humor that compliments my own, so we are always playing off each other. It sounds cliché, but we mean it when we say we love to laugh, and we do it often. Josh is a kind and caring man. Stuck in a parking lot with a dead battery? He’ll stop to give you a jump. Need help moving, or maybe a lift? Josh will oblige. He is innately selfless. All these qualities and more are what make Josh the most amazing father. There are moments every day where I watch Josh and Harley and it causes tears to well up in my eyes. Josh was meant to be a father, and it shows in the way he is with our little Harley man. From the moment Josh saw Harley, he has loved him deeply. Everything Josh does is to make our lives better. As Josh studies in Pharmacy school I see a whole new side of him. I didn’t know he could be more focused on a goal but in two years’ time he will have his degree and will be Dr. Josh. Harley couldn’t have a better dad, and I couldn’t have a better husband.
Harley is the happiest four year old on the planet. He has the clearest blue eyes, and red hair to match his determination and zest for life. He is constantly making us laugh and has been such a special gift to our family. Harley was placed with us when he was 14 months old, which isn’t the norm, but we know it happened that way for a reason. Harley’s current obsessions are monster trucks, his doggies, cars, any type of outdoor sport, doing yard work with his tools, and fixing everything in sight, broken or not. We have an amazing open adoption with Harley’s birth parents. We post to a special blog, send photos, and skype often with them. When we lived in Utah, we visited at least once a month. We have loved having them in our lives, and know it’s important for Harley to know he is loved by us and his birth parents and their families.
We know that Harley is a sacred gift and his birth parents entrusted him to us. He doesn’t need Kenna’s grey eyes. He doesn’t need Josh’s dusty blonde hair. He is an eternal part of our family, and our hearts are ready to bring another little one into our family.
We have spent many years making our home beautiful and comfortable. This is not only in aesthetic appeal, but also with a calm spirit. There is nothing that means more to us than each other, and we work daily on treating one another with respect and love. We have grown as a couple through our struggles and know that we are better prepared for the blessing of parenthood. We love each other fiercely and that will, indeed, be the same case for the little one who joins our family.
We believe there is a plan for each of us, tailored individually to what we need to become more of the person Heavenly Father needs us to be. We believe ownership is not a prerequisite for love. Our plan is to search for the child that belongs in our family, yours is to find that family for your own little one. We know that through faith and hope these decisions can be made through the spirit, and can enrich our lives more than we understand in this moment.
We look forward to getting to know you and continuing our relationship through letters, pictures, and visits. We feel the utmost respect for you and for what you are going through. You have our love and prayers.
Stay strong and take care.
Josh & Kenna Shumway
Click here to read our blog

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Making Liahona's

The Liahona is:
  1. Liahona
    Web definitions
    1. According to the Book of Mormon and other Latter Day Saint movement sources, the Liahona is a brass ball that operated as a type of compass with two spindles. One of the spindles was said to point the direction Lehi and his party should travel after their escape from Jerusalem. ...

Here is our attempt at making a Liahona.  I scoured the internet for help.  Found the elaborate to the simple...Here is what we came up with for our Seminary Room.  We used two clear bowls from the dollar store, some tape, some cardboard, spray paint and nuts and bolts.  Here is how it came out.

I also created mini Liahona's for each kid with fishing bobbers.  I hung them and spray painted them.  I had the kids decorate them with sharpies and then write a direction they wanted to go with their life.  ie: goal.

In the pic they are upside down.  I didn't take a pic of them decorated but they came out cute.  I loved reading the goals the kids had thought of for themselves.

Here is the color spray paint I used if anyone is interested.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Football Season!

Curtis is playing his first year of football.  He is having fun.  Here are some pictures of his game.  He is one of the biggest on his team.  He is number 62.  As you can see in the group shots he is about a helmet above the other boys.  They won this game 19-6.  Yippee!

Monday, September 9, 2013

4-H Pictures 2013

 Curtis's First Year Project.  Really cool Robot/Alien thing.  Has a zipper for a mouth.  
 Maggie's Loungewear project.  It came out super cute.  
 Maggie's robe.  She learned how to do a crocheted edge.  It is so fuzzy but lightweight.

 Jacob's Wool coat.  He did a great job.  

Doug's Biking outfit.  
 Doug's First Day of High School.  Love that he has to wear a uniform!  Bio-Med Science Academy Ready or not here he comes!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

One Month

Well it has been one month of my "new uniform".  I have to say I did deviate I think two or maybe three times.  One time we were going to the fair in the heat of the day and I really didn't want to wear black, standing on pavement, in the sun for hours, while the kids rode the rides.

It has been much easier to keep up with my laundry at least.  Limiting myself and only wearing from those few items, it is easy to see when you need to do the wash. Also I can do everything of mine in one load.  That is awesome.  If I could get the kids to follow suit.  That is another post.

 This is more clothing that I have stuffed everywhere on shelves.  Need to clean it out and put it away.

 Picture of some of the ribbons the kids earned at the fair this year and in years past.
 Even Maggie's little bunny is into the black look!
 Sometimes at my house you never know what you are going to find when you come down the stairs.
 Doug and the kids playing dungeons and dragons.  Lots of Laughing around here.  I am not sure D&D is suppose to be comical. 

"Uniform" one month.  Time spent standing in front of closet trying to figure out what to wear. 0 minutes. I love that!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The New Seminary Teacher

Guess what.  I am our Ward's new Seminary Teacher.  For those of you who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Ward is like a congregation and the Seminary Teacher is responsible for teaching the 9th grade to 12th grade youth every morning.  We are having early morning seminary which means we will start at 5:55 am and end at 6:40 am.  We will all gather at our church building and have hymns, prayer and a spiritual lesson to start our day.

I am a convert to the church, I did not go to seminary as a youth.  Maybe that is good, maybe not?  I know I have a lot to learn and I know that being the seminary teacher, I will have to learn it!

Tomorrow is our first day.  It is 3:04 am here and I cannot sleep.  I am a bit nervous and at the same time pretty calm. (I think)   I am worried about the "grind" of having to do this every morning for the entire school year.  I just hope I can have the stamina to not only serve in this way, but to serve well.  I guess I will just have to take one day at a time.

I am sure I will have good lessons and lessons that fall flat.  That is the nature of teaching.  I just hope that the spirit can help me to know what I need to say and what I need to do to help the youth.  They are so bombarded in this world with craziness and unpleasantness.  I feel like I am going to the front line to help protect them from the war.

Anyhow.  I am wide awake with a million thoughts.  I am sure about 4:30 am I am going to be really tired, just in time to get up and get ready.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Minimalist Wardrobe

I have never been a fashionista, not even close.  Last time I really cared about clothes was in high school.  That is when neon shirts, mini skirts, stirrup pants, parachute pants and china flats were in style.  Oh and don't forget the huge earrings.

Those days are long past for this chick.  I stopped wearing earrings when I taught at Head Start.  I stopped buying expensive clothes when babies came into our family.  I think everything I wore for 10 years had a spit up stain or worse on its shoulder.  Couple that with being a stay at home mom with one income and the days of mall shopping were over.

Enter in Minimalism...I have been chucking stuff my whole life, but with a family things get messy.  You hate to throw stuff away that belongs to someone else.  How long do you wait for someone to pick up their "junk" even when you have asked time and time and time again?  Well...fed up mom.  I just started chucking stuff that obviously they didn't care about.  No complaints yet.  Amazing.

We have cleaned out closets, drawers, bathroom supplies...almost everything has had a round of tossing. It is amazing, but believe it or not...the house is still a mess.  I removed furniture, simplified the kitchen, organized the all needs another round of decluttering.

 I think it was last year I quietly did the 33 items of clothing challenge.  No one noticed. Not one person.  I wore things for three months from a closet full of only 33 items.

Anyway.  Add some extra stress, new demanding church calling, homeschooling, football, piano, flute, and a million other things I have to accomplish each week and I decided spending time peering into my closet to figure out what to wear was a huge waste of time.

So I found some pants and shirts I like. They are comfy.  Oprah would have a fit.  I am not the stylish "yuppy mom" oh well.  I am sure she would deem me worthy of a makeover.   I bought 4 black shirts, 4 black pants, added them to the other black items in my wardrobe.  I am done.  Finished.  My new "uniform" has emerged.  If I want color, I can add a scarf.  I can add accessories, change shoes etc.

Here is my new "uniform"  I of course am the one in the black.  I will see how long I can hold out with wearing the same thing day in and day out.  So far I like it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

It is only the beginning of August, but it is time to start getting our classroom ready for the new year.  We have 24 days and counting until our first day with OHVA aka Ohio Virtual Academy.  It will be our 3rd year.  This year Jacob will be in 11th grade, Maggie in 7th and Curtis in 4th.  Doug is starting high school at Bio Med Science Academy, so he won't be home with us.    Here are some pictures of the classroom so far.  I still have a long way to go.

I think I saw this idea on Pinterest.  It is a shoe holder that I got cheap at a store called Marc's. I used paperclips and note cards to label each section.  It holds lots of little things that get scattered around the house.  Hopefully this will save us time finding supplies for a project or lesson.

It is doing double duty. It is hiding this shelf from my view.  I just see the organized beauty from the front.  On the side you can see all the "extras" that I have waiting to use throughout the school year.  Such as, notebooks, loose leaf paper, composition notebooks, folders, and file folders.

I found these at Marc's also.  They were $1.49 for 100 file folders. I thought I would have the kids use them to make lap books to go along with lessons.  I think I saw a box of these at Staples for about $30.  So that is a huge savings!  

Books and Supplies.

Curtis's Books from OHVA.  I have found keeping all the books in one location helps to keep things organized. I also put all the 2nd semester things away for the time being.  Otherwise it looks very overwhelming.

These are the teacher manuals for Maggie and Curtis.  I also need them in one spot.  Then when I need to refer to something, they are easily accessible.  

Maggie's books for the year.

This is something new I am working on for this year.  Writing anything in our house is equal to torture!   Since Doug is at school this year, I am taking over his space to create a writing center.  It will get them away from the computer when they have to write.  

I am finding things on the internet to put on the board.  For example:  words to use instead of bad, good, happy, sad, asked, and very.  Hopefully this will lead to more interesting and  creative writing.

This is more for Curt.  Some of those words that can be confusing to use. 

Commonly misspelled words and some spelling rules.  

Hopefully the writing center will help.  I am sure it will not take away the torture, but it might help.  I hope it helps.    Cross your fingers!

Well this is it so far.  I still have to deep clean.  Get rid of tons of boxes and junk.  Hang a bulletin board and clean the carpet.  Oh and try and keep it clean...  Wish me luck.

See you later!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Come back anytime.