Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Letter

Dear Friends & Family,

Let's just say it's been a big year.

For the ninth year in a row, Shane planned, organized, and led a whole bunch of faith-building gatherings, activities, and trips for the youth at our church. After lots of meetings to upgrade this job, he is now running a young adult ministry and occasionally preaching. In search of an additional new job, he filled out applications, revised his resume, acquired his teaching certificate, went to interviews, put in lots of training days, and took tests. Long story short, he's now also working for the US Postal Service part time as a mail carrier. Shane played on a basketball team and a softball team. We mentored some kids and I led a small group for high school girls. I continue to write and design publications for the World Mission Prayer League. We celebrated some birthdays and holidays with our families and our first anniversary. I got pregnant and then both of our sisters got pregnant. We settled into our apartment and are learning how to live together. I do the laundry and Shane does the dishes a lot. I cook more now than I ever have before. We pay for rent and utilities and health insurance for the first time in our lives. We did financial planning and organized our assets and giving commitments. We participated in a financial small group. I got many new kinds of ID. Many of you traveled to visit us, and we traveled to visit you. Our cars quit on us a few times. We went to Ames a lot to run errands, go disc golfing, go to the dollar theatre and as many dates as possible, go to the chiropractor, and to the hospital for toe stitches, foot issues, a kidney stone, OB appointments, baby classes, baby delivery, pediatrician visits, and post-partum problems. We have never been to the hospital so much in our lives. We went skiing, golfing, horseback riding, bowling, to yoga class, to garage sales, to the rec center, to a Martina McBride concert, dog-sat and house-sat and babysat, to a water park, made pottery, to a musical, and had grill-outs and surprise parties with our friends. We voted. My Grandma died, and it will be strange not having her with us. We watched The Office and a lot of sports. We made a lot of new friends. We went to Florida where Shane officiated a wedding and went to some wedding receptions. We went to Tony's graduation. We went to bridal and baby showers and an anniversary picnic, a Sara Groves concert, a drum corps show, July Jubilee, baseball games, football games, disc golf tournaments, and played disc golf in random towns. We stayed in several hotels. Shane and the youth raised money all year and did a mission trip in South Carolina for a week. We went up north with my family and to Lake of the Ozarks with Shane's family. Shane took the junior high kids to Kansas City. Now we have a son and he fills our days with wonder and joy. If you are blessed like we are, know that every good and perfect gift comes from your Father because of what Jesus did to make us his children.


Kati, Shane & Ezekiel

Monday, December 8, 2008


It makes my heart feel like this

...all the time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grandma Myrna

Myrna Kay Bosacker, 73, of Owatonna, died Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008, at her home...

Some things I'll always remember about Grandma:

Being Pictionary partners, all the delicious food she cooked, her gentle touch when she "tickled" my back, her smile and laugh, playing cards, cleaning up after us grandkids, the little grocery cart, not letting us have suckers because we might choke, her strong opinions, the mischievous twinkle in her eyes, her e-mails, "Bossy Bessie," spoiling Rocky, her inquisitiveness, cleaning my room, the time she declared me "the favorite grandkid," the time she dressed up with Grandpa as Sonny and Cher and sang "I Got You Babe," curlers, being in charge, singing "In The Garden," old-time country music, dancing with Grandpa, scolding Joe for being mean to the girls, "oh, honestly!," Tupperware, "...and that," her sense of humor.

I will miss her very much.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Anniversary

Our first year of marriage has been a year of newness for Shane and me... from a new home, to new emotions, to new families, to traveling new places, to new health problems, to new job possibilities, to new possessions, to new babies.

Neither of us are very good at getting new things. We tend to hold onto old things for as long as possible, and use them until they have holes in them or fall apart. We like to think of ourselves as "resourceful" and "good stewards." So at times, all this newness has felt overwhelming! It is hard, when you have a familiar way of life, to make new changes.

But God has been reminding us that by trusting Jesus, we are new people. And that means that some of our "old" ways of life just don't fit us anymore. It's like pregnancy: You are still yourself, but you can't keep wearing your old jeans. If you insist on wearing them, you will burst out of them, which would ruin your jeans and also hurt your belly. You have to get something new.

"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into NEW wineskins, and both are preserved."
Matthew 9:16-17

So yesterday was our first anniversary. After breakfast I gave Shane a new wallet as his old one is falling apart (even though he says it's not that bad, there is duct tape holding it together). We played some games in a coffee shop, then he surprised me by taking me to a butterfly garden!!

First we saw butterflies emerging from their chrysalises...

Moth from Madagascar

Atlas (the biggest butterfly species in the world)

And then we entered the conservatory, where the butterflies were set free after emerging from their "old jeans."

Butterflies were everywhere, fluttering all around us... and reminding us that they, too, are new creations!

Here are some of my favorites.

They only live two weeks! Just long enough to make some babies.

After that we bought a fig tree and then some peaches at the fruit market,

and then had dinner at Open Flame, where Shane grilled his own steak!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

For Charity

There are a few little girls who live in our apartment building and play together a lot. We often greet each other as we are coming and going, because the girls like to play out on the sidewalk or in the parking lot.

Chantelle lives below us. Her parents are from Germany and run the Old Hamburg restaurant here in town. She is maybe five years old, and a little shy, but loves it when we talk or listen to her. Stefanie, the older one (maybe 10?), also speaks German and her parents work at Old Hamburg as well. She is very chatty. Recently, two more have joined them – six- or seven-year-old sisters. They just moved in.

Last time Chantelle came up and rang the doorbell, she asked me if she could talk to me. I said, "Sure." (But I figured I shouldn't invite her in since her parents don't really know me and didn't know where she was, so we just stood in the doorway.) After telling me that her friend was away and there was no one to play with, she realized she didn't have much else to talk about, so she said, "Well, bye." – and left.

The time before that, the girls came up and said, "Can we do Ding-Dong Dash to you?"

"You mean, you want to ring my doorbell and then run away and hide?"


"Even though I know you're doing it?"

"Yeah. Just take as long as you normally do when you come to the door!" Many giggles as they scurried back down the stairs – I suppose so they could sneak up on me when I least expected it.

So I went back to what I was doing, and no more than ten seconds later, the doorbell rang. I smiled, and went to the door. "Who is it?" I called out to no one in particular. "Hmmm," I said loudly. "Must not be anyone here. That was strange."

They did this repeatedly, until finally I didn't answer the door.

The time before that, they came up and asked if we had any games they could play. Shane gave them Pictionary (ages 12 to adult). I wonder what they did with that...

This last time, though, was definitely the funniest encounter. Tonight the doorbell rang, and there they were. They looked up at me, holding a brown paper sack that said For Charity in red crayon. "Do you want to give some money to charity?" Stefanie asked.

Remembering how my sister and I once collected rocks from our neighbor's landscaping, piled them in our wagon, and tried to sell them door-to-door... I was a bit skeptical. "What kind of charity?"

"It's for Bethany Manor."

"Really?" Bethany Manor is the nursing home in town. I think they might be non-profit, but I've never heard they were sending kids out with brown paper sacks to collect money. "Well, um, I don't think we can do that right now. Sorry. I hope you get some money, anyway!"

"Okay!" Then they hurried away.

Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang again.

"Congratulations!" All four girls showed up this time. "We collected money for charity, and then drew a number, one through ten, and it was your number! You win the charity money!"

This was hysterical. "Wow!" I said. "I can't believe I won!"

Then Stefanie dropped 24 cents into my hand. One dime, one nickel, and nine pennies. "Yeah! And you're the one who needs it most! Because you're having a baby, so this is really for charity. You'll need it for her college, and high school, and everything."

"Yeah... Where did you get all this money?"

"We found it in the parking lot. Bye Kati!" And back down the stairs they went.

Chantelle went down last and whispered, "Kati, we think it's a girl. Bye!"

So Shane and I are now 24 cents richer. And I didn't even put any money in the pot, skeptic that I am! Next time I'll know better.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Irish Twins

My sister Kelly is 359 days younger than me. Someone told me if you are less than a year apart you are "Irish twins." After doing some reading about Irish twins, I found out that Irish twins are usually very close and end up doing the same kinds of things around the same times in their lives.

At times this has been frustrating for us. When we were kids, we always received the same gifts for Christmas and our birthdays (Kelly, Jan 12 and me, Jan 18). If Kelly opened a gift and it was a My Little Pony, it always spoiled the surprise for me. Getting ready for school in the mornings, Kelly would come into the bathroom only to discover me wearing the exact same shirt. These situations were not conducive to finding our own autonomies.

But as we got older, we suddenly saw less of each other and really missed each other. It was almost a relief when we found out we could work together and be roommates for two summers at Riverside Bible Camp. The first summer we were wranglers and the second we were on the discipleship team. We discovered that not only were we sisters, but we grew in our faith together and became sisters in Christ. We learned to bear each other's burdens and help each other when we struggled.

On March 17, 2007, Dave Sherman asked Kelly to marry him.
On March 23, 2007, (one week later) Shane Potratz asked me to marry him.

On August 18, 2007, Kelly and Dave got married.
On September 8, 2007, (three weeks later) Shane and I got married.

Kelly gave the most beautiful speech at my wedding. I will always treasure it. She describes our relationship very well:
To Kati and Shane on your wedding day.

Getting to know the Potratz family a bit… Kati & Shane’s shower – The Limbo!

We can all see that Shane and Kati make a great pair. You complement each other well:

Shane: great listener, asks questions; extremely patient; willing to do whatever it takes and work hard to make sure that Kati is taken care of, and yet still remembers to initiate time to spend alone and to bring Kati a flower the day before your wedding.

Kati: helps Shane to express himself – no matter what he is feeling. You help Shane to think about things in ways he hasn’t before (faith, Christ, life); Shane, you probably thought of yourself as a pretty fun-loving, silly guy, but Kati lives in a freedom in Christ that challenges you.

I think you were both surprised to find people who could make you see things and think about things in a way you hadn’t before.

Kati and I have always been there for each other. God timed it so that we were less than a year apart in age. I have so many memories from every season of life, and you are a part of all of them: of growing up, of friends and family, of being a kid (like riding bikes (or horses) all over town, making our basement into a roller rink, a library, a haunted house, or a movie theatre), of new experiences (like skiing in the mountains for the first time and going on our first mission trip), of the hard stuff (like fights with each other and parents, losing loved ones, tough transitions, and broken hearts), of traditions (like walking to school together, going Up North for vacation, and Christmases), of new adventures (like college, job hunting, moving, and now marriage). We are not just a part of each other’s lives; we are a part of each other’s hearts.

I was telling someone the other day that it didn’t completely hit me on my wedding day until I was coming down the aisle and I looked at you. In a way that I can’t explain, the moment and the event all of a sudden became completely real – because you were there. We have gone through all of the seasons of life together, so it makes sense that God would have us stepping into marriage at the same time too.

Looking back through almost 26 years, the greatest thing that you have given me is courage. No matter what I was going through, no matter what YOU were going through, you were always willing to say to me, “Kelly, you can do it, everything is going to be fine, and I think you are going to be the best at (fill in the blank).” …whatever it was that I was facing.

Shane, I am so excited for you to get to experience this courage that Kati will give you over the next MANY years of your marriage. I am excited for you both to find even more ways that God will reveal how you complement each other. I love you both very much.

~Kelly Sherman, Hand Matron of Honor

So, it shouldn't surprise anyone to find out that Kelly is also now pregnant with her first child! All unplanned by any of us, of course! You might think this is getting a little out of hand. But it is still so, so sweet and wonderful. Their baby will arrive just 3 months after ours.

I think our husbands are even becoming Irish twins by marriage. In all the new experiences of having wives, expecting babies, and career discovery, they often find themselves saying, "Dave is the only one who understands!"...and vice versa.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Road Trippin'

Clear Lake/Bash on the Farm. It's not everyday you get to hear Sara Groves live!! Yeah!!!
Stillwater/St Croix River
At Stillwater's annual DCI show we saw the likes of Carolina Crown, Phantom Regiment, Blue Stars, The Colts, Madison Scouts, and Blue Knights. It was fantastic! Colts took 3rd.
We found an excellent disc golf course in Stewartville. This is Shane in his element...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Want to know a Secret?

I’m pregnant!

It’s true. In fact, last week we heard something incredible – a heartbeat coming from my lower abdomen! It was strange yet unmistakable... They tell us to expect it around October 28th.

We learned the news on February 26th, and it was a big surprise. I’ve had many thoughts and emotions since then. We aren’t quite finished being newlyweds yet (but I’m not so sure we ever will be!). And we are just waking up to the fact that we are grown-ups with responsibilities. So now we’re considering some practical, grown-up things, like where will we come up with the money for a little Potratz?

But generally, we are just happy and excited to share with you. It seems like Spring is bringing new life in a whole new way this year…

I was thinking about the way God orchestrates the course of a person’s life, once entrusted to him. He doesn’t usually make all of one’s dreams come true at the same time, though much of the time that’s what our greedy little discontented hearts expect to suck out of him.

“Why can’t my best friend live closer?”
“If only we had more money.”
“When will I meet Prince Charming?”
“I hate my job.”

I’m beginning to see that it won’t all come together simultaneously until I reach the Promised Land. I have never had everything I ever wanted all at the same time. But along the way, God does bless me – one blessing at a time. When I lived in Vermont, for example, two of my wildest dreams came true: living in the mountains and training dogs. Last fall, I married the man of my dreams. At the moment, the blessing is a baby.

He is giving us a baby!!!

It’s actually quite brilliant on God’s part because each time it happens, you know exactly where it's coming from.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I hear this word all the time, lately.

"I hate drama."
"She's so dramatic."
"Spare me the drama."
"I don't like dramatic people."
"I'm looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend who won't give me any drama."

What I want to know is, What are you drama-haters so afraid of? If you don't want any drama, you might as well just fall over and die right now, because life is full of it! If you ask me, people are just looking for a way to make life easier and relationships more convenient for themselves.

Drama is all around us. It's in our families, the late-night talks, and the strangers we encounter. Deep down inside we crave it. We watch TV and movies so we can get some of it without having to deal with it in real life. But I say it's time we TURN OFF THE TV and rip off those earphones and cut the small talk... and start jumping into the depths of the drama of Life. We only live once, after all.

Marry a job?

On Wednesday night as I was plopping sausages onto a man's plate, he said, "What did you do? Marry a job?"

Most of the time I enjoy the job of my husband (youth director) and helping him with it. But I found it interesting that the man said something about it as I've been thinking about that very thing lately. When you get married, you do have to clearly communicate the word "no" and not feel guilty about it once in a while. At the same time, if you make a commitment, you have to follow through and do what you promised. I am learning how to do both.

We are still eating those sausages, and we probably will be eating them out of the freezer for a while.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hope of the Moose Chasing Sort

I wrote this on October 24, 2006, and saved it from MySpace, as I am still currently being chased by a ferocious bull moose (whom I love very much):

When one meets Jesus Christ, one's hopes start changing. He has that effect on people... Have you noticed?

You start hoping for these crazy things you never gave much thought to before, like... "I hope I can make it to that interesting worship gathering again next Sunday" ...and "I hope my sister/brother/parents/boyfriend/second cousin/boss finds out about Jesus too" ...and "I hope God will speak to me again SOON!"

It's like your hopes start becoming what God hopes for... which are really solid things that God wants... certain things that are sure to happen if God has anything to say about it... and you know he has a lot of say in it, being in control of the universe and all...

So you start wondering and hoping in these things the Bible talks about, lasting things, like people reconciling in the name of Jesus, and the fact that your sin has been removed from you as far as the east is from the west... You are less and less disappointed when temporal things don't turn out as you wished or planned.

Sometimes, though, I forget the certainty and eternity of my Jesus-hopes and go back to hoping (wishing, really) that I won't be allergic to someone's cat. Who cares about the stupid cat. Jesus is coming back - soon!

What are we hoping for? A new car? Guidance for our life here? A nice day with our cats??

Last week I was being chased down a mountain by a moose, and I could do nothing but run for my life and scream at the top of my lungs. I was scared out of my mind and probably looked like a ridiculous fool. But for some reason I was screaming words of hope, and I know that it was God who saved my life, and that changes everything.