"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, April 29, 2011

Rainy Zoo Day

The Zoo, also known as one of my favorite places in Lincoln, opened April 15.  We haven't exactly had the most amazing weather around here.  

The weather wasn't great on Monday, but we were sick of waiting and went anyway.  It wasn't the most fun zoo trip we've ever been on, that's for sure.  The fact that it was just the first of many, many, many zoo trips over the next six months for us, made that OK.

The train ride was most definitely the hit of the trip.  Rowen is still talking about how he rode on the back with no parent.  Gosh, he's so big!

I am determined to remember my quarters this year, because feeding the goats is kind of a big deal.  Reise knows exactly what to do, opens her palm flat, lets the goat take it from her.  She's not scared of them either, but then she's not really scared of anything.

Maeson holds out one piece of food at a time, and yells at the big ones for bullying the little guys out of their way.  Misty reminded her kids not to eat the goat food, which I said was smart.  I hadn't ever thought to do that, and I could just see Titus trying to shove handfuls into his mouth!  Altho, you'd think that would only happen once ;)

This was the only dry spot we could find for lunch.  I was really glad we opted to take the train at the beginning of our trip.  By the end, we were wet, cold and some of us had really just had it.

We are definitely looking forward to nicer weather, and visiting at least every other week this summer.  So excited!

Choosing to love,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hazel Able

I love it when people think of me and my crew.  It takes a village, you know?  And for us, a really large village with super generous members.  My very generous and resourceful sister-in-law is great about filling my inbox with places to go, things to do, stuff to make, articles to read.  Yesterday she reminded me about Lincoln Safari, and I think we owe our summer to her ;)  Yea!!  I have seen bits and pieces of this program, but never really looked into it.  I think it will be a perfect activity for our family and daycare buddies.  It's a scavenger hunt with 27 locations to visit around town (some right outside of town).  Most places have a post with a rubbing plate, which you use to mark your visit in your book.  

We picked up our guide books and maps today at the library.  It turned out to be quite the ordeal.  I had registered last night, online.  With 8 kids in carseats in my van today, I thought it would be quicker to send my 3 biggest kids into the library to fetch our gear.  Plus, after delivering insulin to my handsome husband at work, I had driven my huge white van through Koepelli and was sipping on a caramel mochachinno waiting for the library to open.  Obviously at this point, it makes a lot more sense for me to sit, sip, and enjoy the other five kids strapped into their carseats singing The Star Spangled Banner.  A few minutes later, the kids walk out empty handed, followed by a librarian!  I thought, Oh great, I'm in trouble for sending them in there alone.  Ha!  Actually, she just needed my email address to look up our registration, and Ryleigh couldn't remember it.  She said, "I figured you had a van load of kids out here and didn't want to haul them in for a booklet.  I wouldn't either, in fact, I can't believe you loaded them up and hauled them here period!"  Right on, lady!  Thanks, I feel 100% pampered in this moment! :)

We went home to decide which location to visit first, and then loaded back up (this time with jackets, matching shoes, and the camera!).  Ryleigh asked the librarian if we could have two sets of books, so we could have a boys' team and a girls' team.  She was happy to make that happen, and I think it will add some excitement and competition to our adventures!

We probably never would have taken a trip to Hazel Able park, and that would have been a shame.  It's beautiful, and there's a fence...  :)  

Eli wiped out hard thanks to a loose shoe string.  Ryleigh and Rugger told him they'd fix those strings into double knots.  They crack me up!

If any of our Lincoln friends want to join us, let me know.  


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

E. Ster

Last year, the Easter bunny brought donuts and chocolate milk for breakfast.  He just loves unhealthy traditions for the kids to anticipate all year!

He left a note, saying he'd be back later with the goods.  Since we didn't pick Maeson up until the evening and we didn't want him to miss out, Ryleigh suggested we ask God to tell the Easter Bunny to wait and bring our stuff late.  So, we did.

I know for a fact I saw glow-in-the-dark easter eggs at Target a few years ago.  They exsist!  Or, at least they used to.  I couldn't even find them online this year.  So, I used 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back applying glow-in-the-dark paint to 84 eggs.  168 halves.  I let them dry on a flattened box in the Big Black Hole in the basement, which the kids have no reason to enter.  Of course, Saturday morning I overheard Rugger nonchalantly mention to Ryleigh, "there are like one thousand eggs in the closet downstairs".  For real?!!

It felt like a thousand.

With the candy we acquired earlier in the week, the sugarfest at breakfast, and the chocolate overload I figured we'd have at Grandma's...we decided to fill our eggs with money.  Remember my week at the laundry mat last fall?  Still packing plenty of quarters from back then!  I carried them around in my purse for months, having completely forgotten about them.  When I switched to my new bag a few weeks ago I realized why it felt like I was carrying around $20 in change!

Vitamin water and silly string.  Two things they l.o.v.e. and we never buy.  I love that they get so excited over simple things.  And no, I don't think that means they're neglected.

Turns out, all of that work was for nothing.  That bleepin' paint wasn't very glowyish.  I left them under five 75-watt bulbs all day to "charge".  By the time I hid them, drove 4 minutes to pick up Maeson, and 4 minutes back, those eggs were deader than a doornail.  So very unfortunate!

The way our wild beasts tore around the house, it was probably best we had the lights on anyway.

I was so proud of their color coordinated buckets and items, but then I didn't even get a picture.  It's nice when there's no fighting because everyone knows who's is who's.  What am I saying?  It's nice when there's no fighting (period).

E. Ster wasn't very specific about when he'd return.  Does that mean later, in the middle of the night?  Or just later in the evening?  What if we're home, or how will he know we're gone?  It must just mean the middle of the night.

Tricky little bunny.

Another Easter, in the books.  Time flies painfully fast when you're having fun.


Monday, April 25, 2011


We have a pretty good system worked out for holidays in our family.  Every year we switch back and forth between my parents and Mitch's.  It's nice to know ahead of time what we're doing, and not have to make any real decisions about where we're going!  Easter Sunday was at my parents' this year, so we celebrated with Mitch's family a few days early.

"I've wanted these for my WHOLE LIFE!"  No kidding, that's what he said.  That Grandma Sue, she knows what's she's doing, ya know??

Maeson tripped and flung his bucket of eggs twice, and wasn't phased in the least.  It made me laugh so hard!  He kills me.

Rowen was really pumped about his tractor.  And the chocolate.  Boy loves loves loves his chocolate.


It seemed like it took a month to get from Grandma Sue's on Monday, to Grandma Rowe's on Sunday.  A whole, long month.  "What day is it? When are we going to Omaha?  How many days?"  I got so very tired of counting days that I finally just told Rugger he was in charge of keeping track.  "You know what day today is, and you know when Sunday is.  You count them out, and then tell Reise!"  

Worth the wait, I'd say.  

Are you kidding me right now, Chase?  Get out of here with all that cuteness. 

I do like deviled eggs.  My mom asked me if she should make them, and I said I'd eat them if she did.  She said, "you know your dad will mock me for making them and using my Deviled egg ceramic tray".  Deviled eggs are a completely legitimate Easter food, so I'm not sure why my dad would mock her for making them.  And, the tray was adorable.  Just for the record ;)

Speaking of mocking...

 That's the Don Rowe signature stance.  Nice work, Stef.  Perfectly executed.

Dekker. Couldn't. Quite. Reach.

Rugger is seriously the sweetest kid.  Andrew discovered an egg that was up too high for him to grab.

Rugger got up on his tip toes to reach it...

Then, handed it off to it's rightful owner.  Adorable!  Love him.

Rowen collected what he decided was a sufficient number of eggs, then ditched his bag and headed over to do some fishing netting.  He just can not figure out why all the fishies disappear when he starts violently dragging that net through the water!

Someone threw an egg into the pond, which was bound to happen!  No biggie, Ryleigh recovered it!

That's a lot of boy.  So far there are eight boy grandkids, all 6yrs and under.  Give them another 7-8 years and my mom will probably finally ask for some help with the meal.  At this point we just show up and eat, which is amazing.

After the kids hunted their eggs, they emptied them and then re-hid them for the adults.  We were all assigned a color to look for.  Half way through the hunt for empty plastic eggs, more and more eggs started showing up out of "nowhere".  Rugger was behind a tree chucking them into the yard.  It was pretty hilarious.

I didn't get any pictures of my brother and Mitch trying to land empty plastic eggs in the middle of a 4-foot tree stump.  They just create fake games like that.  Last time I believe it was, who can cast the kids' Nemo fishing pole the furthest.  Most of the time we ladies end up inside, and an hour later they'll come in all sweaty and proud of themselves for winning the game that they just made up.

Reise and Grandpa bonded over Angry Birds.  I had no idea she knew how to play.

They collected a few more players.

We had a great week spending some extra time with some of our favorite people, and we ended the weekend feeling really blessed.  Family.  

Choosing to love,