"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Friday, September 17, 2010


Because, there's not really much going on around here...but so much going on at the same time.  Etc.: additional odds and ends; extras.

The girls started dance class this month.  Ryleigh goes to Beginner Hip Hop.  Emphasis on the beginner part.  I love her.  She's got some serious moves, and I just hope the teacher can manage all she's got goin' on!  Reise started Creative Movement.  Emphasis on the creative AND the movement.  I've taken her twice and each time I look in she's running.  Sometimes her arms are involved :)  They are having a blast, and I love it that they have something that's just theirs.

Then we come home from dance class to spontaneously try and fly the smallest kite ever...with the longest tails ever...

And it's bedtime, and the little dancer is tired.  And the mommy isn't doing it right, so the big sister steps in...Love them so much I can't stand it.

Rowen has been surprisingly even tempered all week.  I am fairly certain he slept all night last night, which is pretty incredible.  And, he didn't wake up crying this morning.  Or begging for Daddy.  Or a bagel.  Come to think of it, he didn't wake up crying from his nap this afternoon, either.  Praise God, maybe he's turned the corner.  The Daddy has been gone all week....hmmm...I wonder if there's something to that?  Maybe he's got a Daddy addiction, and once he's off the Daddy for a few days he stabilizes!  HA!  He comes home tonight, so we'll just have to see.  Or, maybe the molars came in and we'll be good from here on out. 

The JDRF Walk Team Sallinger t-shirts have been designed and ordered.  All 75 of them!  It always feels good to get that checked off my list, and now I can't wait to see how they turn out. 

Rugger LOVES math.

Who knew?  I love watching things come together for him...I can literally see it happening when the light turns on in his head.  It's. So. Fun.  It's totally worth giving up my nap time "break" every day to do "school".  Totally worth it.  The rest of my day is pleasantly full...not crazy, maxed out, pull-my-hair-out full.

Just comfortably full...

 I made them all squish together for this picture, Rowen looks like he's close to falling off the edge.

I wish I could broadcast an audio feed from my kitchen to the entire world at lunch time on most days.  Those silly straws made today's smoothies even better than usual!  But, the slurping noise was something I wish I could have shared.  :)  I love those little chickens, we have so much fun during the day.  There was a time in my life when Ryleigh was a baby and I was actually bored the majority of the day.  Bored!  I can't even wrap my mind around that anymore.  I would count down the minutes, which dragged on and on, until Mitch got home.  So weird!  Now my days just fly by.  Fly, I tell you.  Really, really fast.  And it's always, always, always entertaining.

Our conversation at lunch today (abridged version!):

Me: Reise, tell me one thing you saw on our walk today.
Reise: A worm.
Me: What color was it?
Reise: Purple.
Me: Rugger, tell me one thing you actually saw on our walk today.
Rugger: A purple worm. It was THIS long.
Me: Isaac, what did you see on our walk?
Isaac: Reise wooking at a yong pupple wohm.
Me: Rowen, did you see anything ELSE on our walk today?
Rowen: A wuuurm. It purple, like Reise. Reise like worms.
Me:...Truman? Did you see a purple worm today?
Truman: No. I didn't see any worms.
Ryleigh: Me neither.

Bored?  That sounds so bizarre. 

And, Rugger lost his first tooth!  That incident really deserves it's own post, but this will have to do.  The longer I wait to do it, the greater the chance it won't happen at all.

Turns out the Tooth Fairy couldn't find the gosh darn bleepity-bleep tooth in the middle of the night.  This is because Rugger is a 5-year-old hoarder.  It's ridiculous.  He has 33% of his bed, which is the top bunk, devoted to toys and various collectibles.  Valuable items that he doesn't want anyone to mess with.  Papers, books, legos, light sabers, yarn...really, yarn!  The tooth was in a little plastic baggie somewhere in there.  Anyway, the Fairy left a dollar in a cup on the kitchen counter, and then came back for the tooth while we were at church.  It was kind of amazing.  But, Tooth Fairies are kind of amazing like that.

These kids are evidently ready for winter.

That, or they just love to play pretend.  Or, pee-tend.  Or, pit-tend.  Depends on who's saying it.  Pretend it's snowing.  Pretend we're going on a trip.  Pack your bathing suits!  (Which always end up in the dirty laundry pile.  Seriously Reise, they aren't dirty if you pretended to wear them.)  And I love: "No, YOU be the doggie, and I'll walk you."  Then, Rowen asks Rugger if they can play "Time Out".  "Time Out" involves Rowen putting his big brother in time out over and over and over, and laughing just as hard the 10th time as he does the first.  Very entertaining. 

And this girl just reads and reads and reads.

She got a giant bag of books from my boss (who I really love and only jokingly refer to as "Boss" in pretty much every email I write him!) and we haven't really seen her since.  She's also booked her next speaking gig in October.  Four presentations in one day, this time for Millard Lumber's United Way campaign.  She told me she thinks she might need to get a calendar, to keep all this stuff straight.


Choosing to love,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting It Together (aka: boring post!)

I don't know how many times in the last few weeks I've said something like "I need to get it together" or "one of these days I'll get it together"...  This is a crazy life I'm leading!   

The months of August and September are always crazy for me.  I love our busy life, and we have a lot of fun.  One of the best times of the year is JDRF time.  Our family comes together, and we raise a good chunk of money, and it all feels so awesome in the end.  It's for a good cause, and it reminds us that our family and friends really care about us and are willing to put in some time and effort on our behalf.  But, it's still crazy.  I just seem to forget how crazy until I'm in the middle of it.

And, this August/September we started homeschooling...so multiply that crazy by about 10.  Holy freakin' cow.

The first thing to "go" when things get crazy, is my house.  I put off laundry, meal planning and general cleaning.  Which, is all good and fine for a while.  It's necessary now and then.  And, it doesn't take that long to get the laundry rolling again, and the dishes cleared out, and the playroom picked up.  But in the back of my mind I'm making another list: windows, refrigerator, ceiling fans, bathrooms...and it goes on and on, and by the time I've got the laundry caught up and the dishwasher emptied (for the second time that day), I'm too tired to think about starting that other long, daunting list. 

I want my kids to live in a clean, organized, orderly home.  I'm happier when I know my house is clean.  But, I have better things to do than spend entire days or weekends playing catch-up, trying to get it all done at once.  I can think of FIVE better, sweet, little things...

So, I've been unsettled.  I know being organized helps me.  I feel more productive when I have a plan.  When I have a plan, I can say "I am not easily overwhelmed and I work best under pressure".  I just need a plan.

Today I finally got it.  I think.  I'm pretty sure.

I found this list that I've had for a while, maybe even close to two years???  So sad when I think this little gem has been sitting unused for all this time.  Anyway, I tried to find it online so I could link to it, but it's been removed.  Too bad, too...it's a good one.  So, I'll sum it up:

These things done weekly:
Dust, Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedding, Vacuum

These things done monthly:
Vacuum upholstery, Wash Wastebaskets, Doorknobs, Ceiling fans, Stove top, Kitchen cabinets

These things done every 3-6 months:
Curtains, Mattresses, Refrigerator, Stove hood, Windows

These things done every 6-12 months:
Pillows, Pantry/Cabinets, Oven, Defrost freezer

These things done every year or so:
Walls, Carpet

So, when I spread all those tasks over an entire YEAR (vacuum upholstry 12 times, wash pillows 4 times, wash walls once, ETC.) ... it doesn't seem like that big of a deal at all.  Instead, it seems like something I can totally handle.  All I have to think about is one week at a time...and I can put the rest out of my mind because I know it'll get done regularly, on a schedule!  Can you hear the angels singing?  This is an epic moment for me! :)

I made my house's schedule into a google document, click HERE to see it.  It's color coded! 

So, there you go.  Probably the most boring post of all time, but shoot, it feels so good!

Choosing to love,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silver Hydrosol

I've been meaning to post about this for a few weeks, and just haven't gotten it done.  Crazy life!

The short version: I'm pretty sure silver hydrosol worked to clear up three ear infections at my house in the last few weeks.

The long version:

A few weeks ago Rowen's teething mess, combined with a cold mess, turned into an ear infection mess.  I am not a doctor, and I don't have an ear looker inner (otoscope).  But, the child had a fever, was crying, and said his ear hurt.  In fact he was crying/yelling "ME SICK, ME GO DOCTORS, ME SIIIICK, ME GO DOCTORRRRRS!!!"  It was pathetic, sad, and ridiculous, all at the same time.  I was just about to run him over to urgent care to get him an antibiotic, when I realized that Mitch was leaving for the night to work.  There was no way I was hauling FIVE little kids (one who was crying and yelling) to urgent care.  No freakin' way.

So, I did what any responsible, well educated, level headed mother would do.  I googled home remedies for ear infections.

An hour later I returned, with all five kids (including the crying/yelling one, who I was tempted to leave there) from Akins Natural Food Store with my $20 bottle of Sovereign Silver. Here goes nothin'.

I read (during my extensive google search!!  I know, it's ridiculous!) that "less is more"...so I did two drops in the ear I thought was infected, at 9pm.  At 12:30am he woke up, still feverish, but not hysterical...and did two more drops.  I promise you-8am the next morning, he was totally normal.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Coincidence!!  Me, too.  And Mitch, too.  In fact, he said "You are kidding me about putting that stuff you have never used before into his EAR and then putting him to bed...right? You're lucky he didn't wake up deaf or with his ear blown off his head."  He's super supportive like that :)

Anyway, we just went about our business thinking "all's well that ends well"!!  We enjoyed the air show that day, with no crying, fever, or ear problems.  He still had the cold/teething mess tho.  4 days later, he was running a temp again, lower than before, like 100ish.  He complained about his other ear hurting, pulling on it, whining, etc.  So, again, with the drops.  Two in the other ear.  A few hours later, I did two more, and then put him to bed still a little on the warm side.

Guess who woke up the next morning with nothing??  No fever, no earache, no crying (besides wanting DADDY and a BAGEL, which are totally normal for this kid).  I am not kidding, he was totally fine.  But...really?  If this stuff works so well, why isn't every doctor on earth prescribing it??

So, again, we just said "who cares, it worked, or something worked, and he's not sick!".  But, I still wondered.  I mean, maybe that sweet little angel is just faking.  Well, you can't fake a fever.  Maybe it's a coincidence?  Likely!

So, (I know, this long version is getting really long...) a week later, Ryleigh started complaining about a headache.  It started on a Friday, and by Sunday she was really starting to slow down because of it.  I finally asked her if it was her whole head, or one side, or her neck...and she said it was just the left side.  **Click** a little light turned on in my overly crowded brain (I kicked myself for two days over being too busy to really dig into this headache, ok? There! Get off my back!  Oh, wait.  No one's on my back I'm just still feeling guilty!), and I thought "maybe she has an ear infection!"

Then, we went back and forth "Does your ear hurt when I pull/push on it? Can you hear out of this ear?  Is it worse when you lay down?"  Praise the Lord for a kid who can carry on a conversation!  Two drops into the ear, which she said was cold at first and then got warm...and then a few hours later two more drops, and a few hours after that she said she was headache free. I assume there was still fluid in there, because she said she couldn't hear as well still.  But, the pain was gone. 

Um, hello??  Is anyone still with me?  There is no doubt in my mind, at this point.  The silver has proven itself to me.  I put my scientist mother on the case, and she said she was going to research it.  I don't know if she means "google" research, or for real look in her scientific books or whatever she has going on over there :)

Then this weekend, Maeson came home with ear infections.  Duh, I'm going to try it!!  Hard to tell with him, because Mitch gave him his first dose of antibiotic at the exact same time as I did the silver drops.  But, he did sleep great with no Motrin or Tylenol, which in my opinion would suggest that his ears weren't bothering him anymore.  Who knows? 

And, there you have it.  If anyone has any experience with this particular kind of silver, let me know!

And, just because these boys crack me up...

...don't tell Reise they played Monster Truck with her little carousel thing while she was in the bath tub :)

Choosing to love,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Outdoor Movie Night

The Capitol building, Lincoln, Nebraska.

The kids think my cousin Mark lives here.  In the Capitol building.

Even though we hang out at Mark's actual house now and then, most definitely enough for them to realize it's not the same place.  So funny.

Like tonight.  Outdoor movie night at Mark's actual house.  Awesome.

With movie popcorn and a rare night with DJ Steele not working, making it even more awesome.

Projected onto the house.  So fun! 

I hope we get to go again!

On the way home, I decided...it might be time to put the pig "down", if you know what I mean.  I'm actually a little afraid that Rowen will choke on a piece in the night.

I think the molars have something to do with the recent frantic chewing.  Poor piggy.  Poor Rowen :)  It won't last forever.  Right?  It better not.  Heaven help me!

Choosing to love,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

JDRF Garage Sale

Every year, a few days before when we're pulling box after box out of my garage, we say "why do we do this to ourselves?".  The Thursday before the sale it seems like a ridiculous idea.  There is so much stuff, and it's packed into my garage so tight you can't walk through it.  

"Many hands make light work". 

Next thing I know, it's 6:30 on Saturday morning.  The stuff is all lined up, organized and tagged.  Well, most of it.  The kids are up, dressed, and munching on donuts.

There are three things my kids remember about "the garage sale" every year.  #1 They get to eat donuts for breakfast.  #2 They get to drink pop.  #3 Their family and friends come to hang out for a full day.  Who wouldn't look forward to that?!

This year our nephew Drew brought his little popcorn machine.  It was a hit!

Fairies ride bikes across the street.

Daredevils learn how to stand up on bike pegs.

Blink twice, and it's lunch time already.

My husband has an amazing family, and I've been blessed to be a part of it for almost 15 years.  Crazy how time flies!  They always make me feel like I ended up doing nothing.  Basically, I just sit and watch the garage sale go down!  Lunch-taken care of.  Signs-taken care of.  Sorting, tagging-done.  Kids-occupied all day long. 

 And, when it was all said and done we'd raised over $500 to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  This year we donated a lot of leftovers to the Salvation Army.  We're listing a lot of it on craigslist.  (**Update-total more than $1000 with craigslist sales!)  I love craigslist!  I'll love it more when I have reclaimed my garage again :)

Thank you to everyone who donated items for us to sell.  It's crazy how all those little bits and pieces add up to a few hundred dollars in a day.  

And, a huge thank you to my garage sale team, we couldn't have done it without you.  See you next year? :)

Now, I'm moving on to the t-shirts.  I think we're going CAMOUFLAGE this year...stay tuned.
Choosing to love,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Proud Mama Moment

I love all my kids.  Equally.  Most of the time.  I joke that I have a favorite.  Some days I do have a favorite :)  Not really.  Really, it amazes me, but I don't.  Equal.  All the time.

Today I got to love my girl Ry all by herself for an hour, and I could have been persuaded during that hour, that she was my favorite.

That hour had been prepared for carefully.

She was asked to give a presentation about her life with diabetes.  My aunt Roxy works for a big law firm in Lincoln, and the lawyers she works with donate generously to JDRF every year.  They wanted to put a face to diabetes, and a cuter face could not have been found :)

So, we wrote a 3-page presentation.  We practiced, practiced, practiced.  We condensed it to note cards, which made her so mad she said I was the worst mom ever, and she wished they had never picked her.  She cried, moaned, groaned, gnashed her teeth...it got fairly ugly at one point. 

In the end, a sweeter child with a more tender heart could not have been found.  She went off the script, she got so comfortable.  Her sweet, confident, steady voice was music to my ears.

She said things like "if you have diabetes, you better have a really good mom, because they have to do a lot of stuff...", which made me cry.

And, "if you want to walk with us this year, you should give my mom your t-shirt size...", which made me laugh.

And she was so articulate.  And poised.  And mature.  "I can eat anything, really, as long as I know how many carbohydrates the food has", which made me so so so very proud.  

Thank you for inviting us, Roxy, what a great experience! 

"Well, it was really nice being here, thank you for having me!"  Seriously?  I'm pretty sure everyone in the room melted a little bit when she pulled that out.  I. Love. Her.

She was so proud of herself, and it was such a good learning experience.  I know she's not used to being pushed, and this was hard for her.  Being successful in the end is so much more rewarding when it requires some sweat, blood and tears.  For this girl, that's exactly what it felt like, and she got a taste of that success today.   

With our first "official" week of home schooling almost behind us, I know we're doing the right thing.  For now, for us, this is so very right.

Choosing to LOVE,