"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

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I have fallen into a mild post-party weekend fuuuuuunk.  This always happens to me, and I'm beginning to wonder if I should pre-medicate myself somehow in anticipation for the crashing out that occurs after a high-on-life event.  Blah!  

Praise the good Lord, the girls' birthdays are coming, I need cakes to decorate and party favor boxes to assemble.  I need all of our friends and family to come and celebrate my girls making it another year in my care :) 

I might try and squeeze in a pedicure.  The last one I had wasn't the best...

It was probably the most FUN pedicure I've ever had, but my heels need one-on-one attention, and they didn't get it this time, if you know what I'm saying.

Gosh, they are so fun. 

We're definitely grilling kabobs this weekend, which is sort of tradition for Memorial day.  I'm determined to try a new bread recipe from my friend Robyn to go with them this year.  I've got cake bites to dip, and a big daycare day on Tuesday to get ready for.  I've gotta pull myself out of this funk, first!  :)  

Happy extra long weekend,

Friday, May 27, 2011

For them.

When we were growing up, my mom had my brother, sister, and I sing the "special music" for a few nursing homes' chapel services.  One of the numbers we did was a medley involving "Count Your Blessings".  Our kids 3yrs and older actually did really well during rehearsals (including Rowen, who had a hard time even facing forward during the actual performance!).  It was fun, and while we won't be taking them on the road any time soon, I hope my parents enjoyed it :) 

{When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed}

{When you are discouraged thinking all is lost}

{Count your many blessings}

{Name them one by one}

{And it will surprise you what the LORD has done}

{Count your blessings}

{Name them one by one}

{Count your blessings}

{See what GOD has done}

{Count your blessings}

{Name them one by one}

{Count your many blessings}

{See what GOD has done}

Happy 35th anniversary to my parents, even tho it wasn't a surprise, it was a great party!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For her.

Another garage sale under our belts, another few hundred dollars raised for Juvenile Diabetes.  We've been doing this for several years, all the items we sell have been donated, and all the money we make is donated to JDRF.  This year, I hardly did a thing.  Thanks to Mitch's awesome family, I basically just showed up and hung out all day, thankyouverymuch. :)  It was wonderful.  There was no way I could have done much more than send out emails and collect donations.  We were in the throws of planning my parents' 35th anniversary party, and our garage is completely stuffed with the contents of our house. 

My kids love the garage sale, because they get to drink pop.  This year we let them choose some flavored water instead, but somehow they all ended up with pop eventually...

Reise wasn't super excited about wearing matching clothes and she hated the shorts I picked out for her.  So, I agreed that she could wear her boots.  Guess who's feet were bare because they were so sore, by 11am? 

Mitch's brother hosted the sale at his house this year, and I think the kids would vote to do it this way every year.  They love playing with their cousin's old toys, and running around without shoes on.  Heaven help me, some day our yard will be acceptable for bare feet.  Right after we move and return the contents of the garage to the inside of the house! :)

We found Geo Trax at a sale around the corner, what a deal! 

I'm pretty sure they don't get it, the real reason we support JDRF.  I hope as they grow up they'll remember this stuff, and continue to do things to support their family.  Even if it's a lot of work and doesn't involve a fun day of playing with cousins ;)

This kid cracks me up.  What a boy.  Love him!

I hope Ryleigh grows up feeling like her family made it a priority to help find a cure for her disease.  Thanks again, to Mike and Lynnette for hosting the sale. To Misty and Sue for helping to coordinate, set up, tear down, and haul donations.  Thanks to everyone who donated items for the sale!  We really appreciate having such a supportive network of family and friends!

A few weekends ago I got dressed up, took the kids to Grandma's for the night, and drove downtown to help out at the JDRF Gala.  I've been helping to coordinate the item pick-up for several years now, and it's always a really fun night.  

Individuals and businesses donate some really great items for the Gala guests to bid on.  It's super fun to walk around beforehand and check out all the goodies.


When it was all said and done, over $225,000 was raised to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes.  One lady there received a medal to commemorate her living 50 years with the disease.  The moms and dads volunteering spoke with her afterward and she said "tell your little kids this is possible for them, some day they'll have this medal for living with diabetes for half a century!  They need to take care of themselves..."

I couldn't stop myself before I said, "Heck no lady, my kid will not have diabetes in 50 years."  50 years!?  No freakin' way.  We've got to be closer than that.  She laughed, and said I was probably right...  The moms and dads and I all looked at each other nervously like oh no, really? there's no way.  Is there?

Choosing to love,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Irons on the fire.

The JDRF garage sale is this Saturday, and it feels weird to me that it hasn't completely consumed my life the last few weeks.  Mitch's sister-in-law generously agreed to host it, and I think she's probably stressed (which is why I'm not!).  I have too many irons on the fire this week, and really feel great about not worrying over what we have donated, who will show up to shop, and how much money we'll end up raising.  Don't get me wrong, I hope we raise a lot. :)

After some inspiration, lots of tips from my friend Robyn, and a late-night stop at the grocery store last night for pectin, we made strawberry jam this morning.  Ryleigh loved mashing the fruit.  The same girl who said "why don't you just send me to school" yesterday, in a fit of frustration.  She leisurely rolled out of bed at 8:45am, had some breakfast, got herself dressed (self-painted shirt, grey skirt, cowgirl boots), and was delighted to do some work in the kitchen.  She measured out strawberries and sugar, and I casually said, "soooo, do you really want me to enroll you in school this fall?"  She looked semi-horrified, and acted like she had no idea why I'd even suggest such a thing.

I feel like such a pioneer boiling stuff to sterilize it, and waiting to see if my lids sealed.  Mitch's mom tried to sell her canner at the JDRF garage sale last year, but it didn't go.  I kept it, thinking there was a really slight chance I'd want to preserve something :)  So glad I did!

The kids lost interest after a few batches, which was really fine with me.  However, at one point I turned around and an entire bowl of strawberries had disappeared.  Found it, empty, in the fort.   Mid-morning snack, anyone?

It's really hard for me to leave them alone, I just want to open one to see if it's any good!  I did have a jar 1/2 full I put in the fridge, can't wait to see if it jelled.  Thank the Lord for good friends with unlimited texting.  Any time I try something new, my phone keyboard gets abused by my frantic sent messages.

Rugger has been interested in robots for a few months now, ever since we saw a really awesome one at our homeschool co-op.  I decided that after this long, he probably really was interested enough to do something about it, so we went to the library and checked out "Robot Building for Dummies".  The first thing we read when we opened it was something about a "mother board" and there was a whole section on soldering safety.  ALERT...not designed for the 6 yr old or his really technologically un-savvy parents.  We found a nice little kit at Hobby Town USA, for 8+ which required no soldering (PTL).  It took us two days' naptimes, but it's done!

Turns out all those afternoons of building Legos were great for preparing us for this day.  Rugger is amazing at fitting pieces together, even itty bitty pieces.  He had to pop every single tiny piece out of the plastic molding, and follow the instructions.   It was a blast, and he's so proud of himself.

It's solar powered, which is great because we won't have to replace batteries all the time.  Not so great because it won't run on a cloudy day (like today).  It's a great lesson in patience and delayed gratification :)  We do know that it works though, we put it under the light bulb in the bathroom and it ran.  Success!  Pretty impressive to me!

Ryleigh's been interested in the solar system all year.  We've checked out books, played games online, and we have plans to visit the planetarium this summer.  We found a cool mobile at Hobby Lobby, which she painted and is putting together this week.  She thinks she'll hang it above her bed.

The weather was glorious the first two days this week.  Like, make you giddy about life, glorious.  We met some friends at a beautiful park (Stransky, the one we couldn't get into a few weeks ago), to play and eat lunch.

 Titus, still eating.  He'll sit for an hour, munching the whole time.  

So very thankful for my village of good friends and great family this week, don't know what I'd do without them.  Thankful for our flexible homeschool schedule that allows for extra kitchen work, and play dates.  Looking forward to a very fun and busy weekend!  Ryleigh will be selling treats and pop at the sale, come see us :)  Here's a link to our craigslist ad, for more info!

Choosing to love,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The boys received a sweet gift card to a fun place in town, and we used it last week in conjunction with one of our daycare buddy's birthday.  So fun!!  Mitch took the morning off, and came with us, which only made it better.

We loved it so much we're having the girls' birthday party there in a few weeks. 

Planning birthday parties for my little chickens makes me {over the moon} happy.  With so many of them, there aren't too many occasions to make it all about them.  Which, I am very thankful for.  I don't want my babies to be spoiled rotten and grow up unable to think outside of themselves.  Letting them have one day every year where it's all about them is about all they get.   

Really, they don't even get that.  The little boys share their party, and the girls share their party, and Rugger's birthday is overshadowed by Jesus's.  I don't feel even one bit guilty about making birthdays a big deal, do you hear me, Dr. Rosemond?!

We've sent the invites, planned the dessert, and I was up way too late last night trying to find cheap cupcake boxes online.  Which, shouldn't have been that hard.  No, I don't need 200.  No, I won't pay $12 for shipping.  I finally found them (50, with $6 shipping), jumped through a few hoops with paypal (verify my location by calling my landline at midnight!? OK, FINE!), and now they should be on their way!  

Happy Birthday, Isaac! 

I {heart} Ryleigh.  Love, Mom.

Yes, they were catching the bubbles in their mouths. So gross! 

No, Reise wasn't drunk.  I'm not sure what she was doing ;)  I love them! 

Photo Caption Contest...
So fun!  I'm already preparing myself for the post-party blues I'm sure will set in.  Maybe I should start now, planning a 4th of July bash...