"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

Monday, February 28, 2011


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. 

First of all, I just have to say, I'm giddy with excitement to be blogging in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday.  The one thing I've missed so much since starting homeschooling the kids, is nap time.  It's been the hardest thing to get used to, the not having even a single moment to myself all day.  Of course, every mom has those days, and I'd had my fair share prior to this school year.  The constant never having those few precious hours in the afternoon to clean, bake, call my sister, browse facebook, do laundry, make grocery lists, get supper started...has been a major adjustment.  That said, I wouldn't trade teaching my kids for that time to myself.  It's been completely worth it, and I don't regret taking the plunge.  I'm just saying, this rare afternoon "off" has been very refreshing.  

Ryleigh and Rugger both have checkups (Ry-diabetes, Rugger-epilepsy) today in Omaha at Children's, and my handsome husband took the day off to get them there.  Rugger has been on meds and seizure-free for two years!  He's going to be weaned off his anti-seizure medication over the next five weeks, and we'll just "see how it goes"!  I'm pretty excited to see what happens.  Excited?  Kind of an odd way to put it.  Statistically, he has a 70% chance of never having seizures again, Praise the Good Lord.  Ryleigh was so nervous about getting her blood drawn today that she said she felt sick.  Poor, sweet, thing!  I completely understand the anxiety, I absolutely hate having my arms stuck!  We prayed about it, and I told her I'd ask Lao Lao to pray today, too.  She just sent me a text "Hi mom, I love you sooooo much. The blood draw wasn't that bad."  :)  Thanks, Lao...Thanks, God!!

P.S. I put music back on my blog because I like it, I think other people like it, and my brother who doesn't like it can just turn off his dang speakers! ;)

In other news...we had a dance party over the weekend.

The great thing about having a DJ for a dad is, you've got awesome slumber party activities!  He set up right next to the dress-up clothes and toy bins...quite a change from the usually scenery I'm sure.

He got the lights out and everything, oh my!  At 5:30pm on Friday night, our basement was rocking!  

We took seven kids to Ivanna Cone after dinner, thankful once again for my big white van!  She's a little hard to park in the Haymarket, but hey, we made it!  The guy behind the counter jokingly said "ha, all those kids yours?", then dropped his jaw almost to his chest when I said "oh, heavens NO, just five of them".

There was fresh snow on the ground and it was 10 degrees out, which helps explain why we had the place to ourselves :) 

The big kids slept in a tent downstairs, which went surprisingly well.  I was certain they'd be up all night messing around, but all that dancing must have worn them out. 


Rowen loves chocolate.   Reise loves to do Easy Bake.  Match made in heaven.

I'm shocked that you can bake a little miniature cake with nothing more than an insulated 100watt light bulb!  

Mix in a little Sonic happy hour for maximum enjoyment...

Last week we had a bit of snow, nothing major, but the roads were pretty slick.  Not slick enough for public schools to cancel, just slick enough for our homeschool co-op to cancel.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to check on that before I had gotten our lunch prepared and packed (40 minutes), and everyone  fed and dressed with shoes and coats on.  Don't get me wrong, I was pleased as punch to not have to drive that beast of a van on the ice and snow, but dangit!  

We switched gears, slowly but surely, and ended up with this.  Play-doh turned volcano-making. 

Rugger threw the dinosaurs in for effect.  I thought it really added to the whole experience.  Ryleigh suggested red food coloring for the lava.  Of course, I was fresh out...so we had yellow lava, which worked fine.  

Tru-bitty-du-man was actually really scared that the lava would explode all the way up to the ceiling fan.  Thankfully, that did not happen :)

We probably needed new play-doh anyway.

We rushed our buns out the door on Saturday morning to get in line for a kids' movie...and it turned out we were the very first to arrive.  With seven people, you can't just show up late and expect to sit together.  No problem this time! 

I purposely left my camera at home, thinking I'd take a break from being that mom who's flash is going off constantly in the dark theater before the movie starts.  Of course, it was empty and I could have flashed to my heart's content.  Oh, well! 

Come to think of it, my phone camera actually has a flash.  Why didn't I use it?  

Rowen loves chocolate, and he also loves pop.  He was sure loving this situation he had going right here!  His momma didn't raise no dummy, he sat himself right next to the lady with the snacks.  Hello!

What a perfectly relaxing afternoon I've just had, but you know what?  I'm itching to get going, I've got laundry to switch over, my kitchen floor needs mopped, and my little chickens will be waking up soon.  My big chickens are on their way home, I just got a text from Rugger: "Mom.  You. R. The. Best. Bekus. Ur. The. Best.  Rugger. Sallinger." 

Choosing to love,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love Day

Seems like a month ago already, where does the time go?  I love Valentine's day.  I love hearts, red, sugar, flowers, and planning a special day for the people I love the most.  

Rugger, in his PJ's the night before (Valentine's Day Eve, thank you Ryleigh), distributing his Valentines. 

My handsome husband buys me grocery store roses almost every time he does the shopping.  He usually lets one of the kids carry them in anymore, and I love that they think that's so normal.  Honestly, I wouldn't care if it was roses, or a Snickers, or a handwritten note.  But really, I sure don't hate having roses around, especially on Valentine's day.  

The kids absolutely love and look forward to new books from Daddy before breakfast.  I write their name and the year on them, and they remember which ones are theirs and love asking "how many Valentine's days ago was that?"  Good memories :)  This year instead of a book, he got Ryleigh a little planner for her purse, which was totally my idea, thankyouverymuch.  She loves it, and she doesn't know it was my idea ;)  She writes lists in there, and has a few addresses collected already.  Love it.

We had my sister and her (four) boys over for a little par-tay...and spent the morning getting ready.  

Names on paper cups, check.

Decorations, courtesy of my friend, Cindy.  Check. 

Frost cupcakes, check.

Make last minute Valentines, check.

Keep the little boys busy with the messiest, but most loved activity around here lately, check. 

Valentine opening frenzy, check.

 Valentine's Day craft, check.

My 1yr old nephew choked on a stolen conversation heart and barfed repeatedly into my cupped hands while I waited for my sister to hand her newborn off to Ryleigh so she could take over.  What a hilarious memory... now... since Chase didn't die, and Ryleigh handled her baby-holding responsibilities so well.  Who knew crafting could be so dangerous!?  For goodness' sake.  "There is absolutely no choking on holidays!!!"

We really had a fun time.  A dozen kids, 10 of them boys, made for a pretty noisy morning.  The love of my life brought me cashew chicken from my favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch...score!

The kids helped me make a fun V-day dinner of heart-shaped pizza, yogurt parfaits (because they're so fancy), and Rugger's favorite cinnamon/cherry/applesauce jello (because it's red!).  

I know we should make the loves of our lives feel like it's Valentine's day, every day of the year.  I get it when people say they don't celebrate it, and that Hallmark has ruined it...etc.  But.  I don't see any reason not to use February 14th as an excuse to create a special day to celebrate love for the people I love the mostIt sure doesn't mean I love them any less the other 364 days of the year ;)   

Who knows, maybe I'll start making my pizzas heart-shaped all the time from now on.

Choosing to love,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Girls' Night

Ryleigh got a gift card to Paint Yourself Silly for Christmas.  Both of my ladies automatically thought it was meant for a girls' night out.  Love that!  We decided to invite our friend, Karen along.  She and her husband, Dave, love our kids, and our kids love them.  We had a blast, just us girls!

There were only a few other customers in the store, and I'm pretty sure they were super impressed with the girls' knowledge of Michael Jackson.  Especially Reise's.  Doesn't every 4yr old girl shriek and yell "MICHAEL JACKSON!!" within the first two bars of the song?  Maybe not, judging by these folks' reaction! 

Love Ivanna Cone!

Love the way our pieces turned out!

Love a good Girls' Night!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sing Fling

While the little kids were doing this...

We took the three littlest kids to Rocket Fizz on Friday night.  What a cool store! 

Pretty sure they were in shock for a few minutes...then they totally got the hang of it.

All those candy choices, and of course we walked out with suckers you can buy at any gas station! Ha, super fun.

The big kids were practicing for this...

They spent a few hours learning the song, eating pizza (and Little Debbie snacks...Rugger claims he ate FOUR), playing in the gym, and then sang for two worship services on Sunday.

I took pictures during the rehearsal, and Rugger smiled the whole time.  Of course, once the big lights came on, he glared his way through the entire thing...haha, his facial expressions crack me up!

A few more years, and these three will join them up there.  Can't wait!

Thanks Kelley, for the video!

02.13.11 Children of God from Kelley Beyer on Vimeo.