"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, October 31, 2011


Guess this squirrel was a Rangers fan. 

{Before it was made into lunch for our furry outdoor friend...}

These two gorgeous ladies went to see Beauty and The Beast at the Lied Center on Friday night.  When they returned Ryleigh said, "it was magical!".  So fun.  Thanks Lao, for being her date.  Thanks Pao, for being the chauffeur.  Thanks Jay, for the tickets!  :)  Random, last minute fun is the best. 

Rugger, Reise and I stayed up 'til Ryleigh got home and watched the Cardinals make winning the World Series look easy.  Mitch promised the kids a big party if the Cards won it all, waaaaay back when there wasn't a chance in you-know-where.  Stay tuned on those party developments...I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

We spent the better part of Saturday working on our yard.  The kids found lots of things to keep busy, when they weren't helping stuff leaves into bags.

This was the collection pile after two hours' work in the morning.  Looks pretty normal, I think.

15 yard bags later, we're calling it "done".  It's as done as it's going to get, anyway!

I finished the shower, PRAISE THE LORD, and Ryleigh had a friend sleep over Saturday night.  It felt like a fun, full, long weekend by Sunday afternoon after church and groceries.  Just how we like it!

Fair warning: you will get sick of seeing these costumes ;)

We made a quick trip to Omaha Sunday afternoon for Trunk or Treating at my brother's church. 

Reise rocked out Fancy Nancy, with a few additional accessories thanks to my Aunt Nan.  She loved that parasol!  It was so windy, she didn't carry it very long and I'm not sure I even got a picture of it.  Thankfully we'll have another chance tonight to take pics.

Each trunk had a theme and did a short presentation covering a Bible story.  It was pretty cute, and the kids had fun.   The parents who didn't have coats were freezing.  It was 60* with a -10* wind, I promise you.  That's an official temp, by the way.  (ha!)

Shooting down Goliath, with marshmallows.

Moses parting the Red Sea.  Very clever, folks.

Daniel and the Lion's den...with an orange cat on a leash as the lion.  Adorable!  What a mellow cat.  I'm fairly certain Diddy would never go for that gig.

Marching around the walls of Jericho...


We celebrated the November/December birthdays at my parents' house afterward.  Ryleigh collected some Best Choice labels :)

Mother of the Year forgot to pack the kids' coats (and forgot her own, too), so they raided Gma's hall closet and made it work.

Happy Birthday to Dave, Stef, G'pa, Rugger, Brandon, Dominick, baby Rowe, and of course, Jesus.  

Happy Halloween, and Happy Monday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Phone Photo Friday

My handsome husband was up way too late, watching the Cardinals last night.  I fell asleep somewhere around the bottom of the 7th.  Woke up at 1am and he practically shouted, "WALK OFF HOMER IN THE 11th INNING!" when I asked how it ended up.  Oh, Cards.  I can't take another day of anxiety.  And, that "lucky" shirt Mitch has been wearing for almost two months is about to disintegrate.  

::Phone Photo Friday::
After we got home from this birthday party for Rowen's future wife at Lost in Fun, Rugger decided he wants his party there in December.  Monday, a Groupon came out for punch cards.  Glory!  Feels great knowing it's half-way planned already, and feels great to know it'll be relatively cheap. 

Sorry, Robyn, your eyes don't normally look like that. But, look at your arm muscles! 

My three "bigs" are doing Kids' Live Christmas again this year, and practice started in mid September.  My two "littles" love watching, and running around the gym while I go thru emails at work for an hour on Sunday evenings.

DJ Steele did two youth group barn parties last week, and took a few kids with him.  They've been looking forward to going since last year.  The highlight?  Stopping at U-Stop beforehand to get Hog Wash.  {The bigs have gotten Chipotle for dinner the last two years, too...don't tell Reise!}  The little boys and I just ran out there to check things out and say hi, before the high school kids showed up. 

We have the best dentist, and the kids actually look forward to going.  Reise would lay there all day as long as she got to watch cartoons with headphones. 

Wednesday morning I left the house exactly when I needed to (4:48am) and got stuck about 3 blocks from the gym by a "wide load coming down the wrong side of the street" (per the guy in the middle of the road I almost struck with my minivan...excuse me sir, why aren't you wearing a reflective vest or carrying a flashlight?). 

I sat there waiting for 7 minutes, and I was totally late for bootcamp.  Luckily, the four vehicles stuck behind me were bootcampers as well, and we all ran in late together.  It was  a very wide, impressive load.  I'll say that. 

These have been sitting in the kitchen at church and taunt me every time I'm at work.  I love cheeseballs!  That's why I can't buy them.  I have a problem.

Praise the Lord, the weather has cooperated with our showings this week.  Whatever will we do if this house doesn't sell and we're doing this when it's really cold outside?  Please, pray with us that this house sells!  

I will say, it's been a fun week.  If not for these (*#@!) showings I would never have napped the kids early and headed out from 2:30-3:30 to the park twice.  

We are almost always at the park in the mornings, which is when a lot of other people with little kids go, too.  It's kinda nice to go in the afternoons, who knew!? 

Reise made a friend (Phoebe was her name but Reise called her BeeBee the whole time), and I didn't take a picture of her because I thought that would make me look really weird.  Her mom said, "These are such nice kids!  Thank you for bringing them out to play in public.  I swear, I think only the mean kids come out in public anymore.  Where are the nice kids?  Hiding out at home?  We always run into the mean kids!"  Hahahaha, I laughed.  She was pretty funny, and I kind of wanted to ask for her phone number, but again didn't want to appear really weird.  

I think lots of people assume if you have more than 2 or 3 kids out, they're automatically going to be wild, crazy, beasts who have no manners.  My kids were super wild that day, but they know not to plow down the babies and don't use bad language or spit on the equipment.  They might argue, but they usually know how to work it out.  

I love this "job" I have, of raising kids and watching them grow up and figure out how to manage themselves in society.  Just when I think there's no hope for the lot of them to ever turn out "normal" they get a compliment at the park, and my hope is restored.  Merciful heavens!

Are you saving your Best Choice labels?  After another matching donation pledge from my Grandma, we're up to the labels being worth $.12 each...that's better than a box top!  Let's do this! :)
Happy Weekending,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fun

:::Pumpkin Painting:::

I am telling you, we could do a different craft every hour this time of year and not run out of ideas. 

Painting pumpkins is simple, classic, creative, not super messy, and relatively cheap.  I like all of those.

Of course, our pest control lady showed up in the middle of all of this (and I was feeding the baby her breakfast).  It didn't seem quite as simple in that very moment, and I'm sure she was half horrified :)  It's all relative, people!

The kids had fun, the pumpkins turned out cute, and no one ruined their clothes or my table.  Success!

:::Trunk or Treat!:::

I love a little practice run with our costumes before Halloween :)  I opted to go the easy route this year and didn't do any sewing, which was a huge relief.  We already owned Vader, borrowed Yoda and Obi Wan (we think Obi needs a hood, we'll do that before Monday!).  We threw Leia together in a flash on Tuesday night with stuff we already had, then borrowed a gun from G'ma Sue. 

Of course, Reise would not participate in the theme, which was fine and honestly 100% expected :) Ha!  Mitch found a Padame costume on Tuesday night, and almost convinced her to change her mind, but she was definitely set on Fancy Nancy!






All of my favorites...!  Such fun kids. 

I told them when we got home that I really appreciated how fun they were.  I bet not everyone gets to have such fun kids, and that's too bad, because fun kids are really a blast.  {Much more fun than the un-fun kids out there.}  Rugger didn't think that was possible, but I assured him he might run into an un-fun kid sometime, then he'd know what I was talking about. 

We have fun friends, too.  Fun.  And Funny. 

We are looking forward to Trunk or Treat #2 this weekend in Omaha, and then the final hoorah on Monday night.

These are the best times...

Choosing to love,