"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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stream of consciousness.

It's the last day of November, and I can hardly stand it.  Time is such a strange thing.  It really does fly when you're having fun, and it really does go faster the older you get.  I'd also suggest it goes faster the more children you have.  #4 and #5 really threw me over the edge as far as the time thing goes.  They have grown up faster than I could have ever imagined. 

I haven't packed the kids' clothes (costumes) for tonight's first dress rehearsal, but I know what I'm packing and it's all clean.  That's good enough for me right now.  I've got six kids napping, and the one who's awake is occupied, so I'm taking 15 minutes to post these pictures and crack open an ice cold DMD.  All feels right with the world!

Ryleigh checked out a book about Vietnam today, in addition to several craft-making books.  She's making Christmas cards at this very moment.  The library story time theme today was "giants", and I absolutely died when all five of my preschoolers whipped their heads around at the same time to holler to me, "Goliath was a GIANT!!"  Died, I tell you.  It was so funny and amazing, and they're so dang smart.  If only every week our lessons at home matched the lessons at the library-they would be so impressed! :)

I feel old.  Like, officially.  I go to bed at 8:30pm every week night and miss texts from my younger siblings on a regular basis.  The next morning I'm all, "sorry, missed your text, was already asleep."  Lame.  I used to function just fine on a good 4hr stretch. 

I finally made Reise a dr's appt. to get some allergy testing done.  I say finally,  because she's had a seemingly random but fairly persistent stomach ache for years (gasp).  I know.  When I say that I feel totally neglectful.  It's certainly not debilitating, and it's always very short-lived.  We've done Culturelle (a probiotic, which worked) and kicked around eliminating dairy, or gluten to see if that helped.  I feel like the whole food allergy thing is so gigantic and slightly overwhelming.  There are so many things it could be...and it will be great to hopefully get it figured out.  Even tho there's absolutely nothing wrong with using Culturelle daily, I feel like we should know what is causing the problem in the first place.

We had a very rare night with everyone home and no plans, last night.  It felt so good.  We sat around trying to think of ways to produce nights like that more often.  I could quit my job, and we could drop out of our small group.  Neither of those sound like good ideas to me...even though it would free up two evenings per week. 

Our contract with our Realtor expires tonight (Hi, Jason!).  I had completely forgotten we were in a contract, to be honest.  Kind of depressing that this beast hasn't sold yet.  Now we need to decide if we're going to just keep plugging along, or take it off the market for a while, or lower the price, or just forget moving altogether and decide to stay here forever.  I promise you I will not survive much longer sharing a bathroom with five kids and a daycare.  Mmmmmkay?  So, staying here forever is most definitely not an option.  I was just throwing that out there to make myself laugh.

My DMD is gone, and Rugger is up after a little power nap, and ready to work on some math.  Unfortunately, the new math book I ordered for him a month ago (feeling SO on top of it for planning ahead!) was actually a text book (which I already had) and not a workbook.  It's hard being in charge, you know?  :)

Later gators,

Monday, November 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.

We had a Thanksgiving Eve Carnival in the basement last week.  The kids dug out all kinds of stuff to use, and they continue to amaze me with the creative ways they utilize the toys that aren't packed up in boxes stored under the stairs, in the garage, and in the shed.  It's slim pickins' up in here, as far as toys go.  Oddly enough, I don't think I've heard anyone say, "I'm bored".  Ever.  

Have we discussed Shakeology?  I recently discovered that my blender's blade attachment thingy (technical term) fits on my mason jars.  This has saved me washing one cup every day.  Plus, it's kind of fun to drink that green smoothie out of a mason jar.  I'm praying my Oster dies soon, because I really want a Magic Bullet but I can't justify buying one when my beast of a blender still works.  I was very skeptical, but I actually l.o.v.e. the Shakeology.  It's pricey, and I'm super cheap, so for me to spend the $$ on it is kind of shocking :)

Randomly, things happen around here that cause me to think I'm the luckiest person alive to get to watch these kids grow up.  For instance: "To Narnia, and the North!"  What the heck, these kids are straight-up hilarious, and I am so proud of them.  A little C. S. Lewis never hurt anyone! 

On the other hand, randomly, things happen around here that cause me to think I've gone a little nuts.  Crazy.  The beans always sound like a good idea.  They keep the boys entertained for literally hours.  The same is true for all things craft-glue, scissors, glitter, tape, paper, paper, paper, paper...  But by good golly, the mess.  It's just indescribable.  It wears a person down, ya know?

Nothing more relaxing on a Saturday after DJ Steele has left for the night.  They will stay in there for an hour.  Ryleigh and Rugger are typically creating some paper and glue mess in the basement, and I can just sit in the hallway with my phone and check my tweets, read blogs, browse facebook.  It's pretty awesome.  Probably worth the inch or so of water I'm required to clean up off the floor afterward.

Speaking of craftastic...Thank you for the giant can of buttons, G'ma Buss!  Honestly, you can't imagine the gasping in excitement that happened over here when the lid came off that coffee can and "thousands, maybe millions" of buttons were discovered.  They are so dang easy to entertain!  New kitchen wall art, thank you!  I  kind of love that it's on lined notebook paper.  Mostly because it just sums up on so many levels what is going on here.  For them to move on to devouring my sister-in-law's half used notebooks from high school (thank you for that donation, Stef!), it means we were out of copy paper.  Again.  I promise you we go through at least a ream of copy paper every other week.  Is there a cheaper way to do this?  The paper consumption is just insane!

I love the elevator pics at the Children's Museum.  These kids are so fun, lucky me.

It's kind of usual for me to not have lunch pre-made on days that we go out somewhere.  These guys didn't seem to mind waiting a few extra minutes.  What would I do without all these little helpers?  P.S. 18 english muffin pizzas didn't do it, I had to make another pan full.  Beasts! 

Maeson showed up last weekened with a big chunk of hair missing from the side of his head.  Hello?  No problem, we just took the opportunity to give him the mohawk he's been begging for.  He looks pretty rad if you ask me :)

Reise typically dresses herself.  Then, dresses herself again, and again...usually several times per day.  This was one of her more creative ensembles. 


Our Mexico trip is officially paid for in full, sweet freedom!  In 5 weeks from this very moment we'll be in the air, headed toward warmth and laziness.  Can you hear the angels singing??!!  

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Up next: Christmas

Love a good holiday gathering with some of my favorite people, great food, sweet babies, lots of laughs...

I'm kicking myself for not stealing the contract Ryleigh made up for my dad to sign after they struck a deal regarding payment for raking his lawn.  Let's just say there was $4 and "32 ounces chocolate milk" involved...and Ryleigh came home with some cash and an "IOU".  Hmmm.... Grandpa!! 

My brother took this picture of our mom and his new baby boy...love it.

My mom kept the kids and our minivan, while we returned to Lincoln with her car for a full night of kid-free Black Friday shopping.  Best memory of the night (morning?), right here: 

By 3am I was cold, done with the lines, and couldn't handle the thought of standing for an entire hour outside waiting for Sears to open.  Mitch decided we had passed the point of no return, and refused to call it a night.  He convinced me to go wait in the car, but I couldn't even get comfortable in the back seat because I felt such guilt.  I checked the trunk, assuming correctly that there would be a couple of blankets in there.  Glory, glory, hallelujah...what else did I see?  Two camping chairs!!  Mitch about fell over, he was laughing so hard when I strutted up to the line with my gear.  Warm, relaxing seats, and a great deal on an air hockey table for Santa to give the kids.  Score!!  Not bad for first-timers.

We've turned our twinkly lights on, the tree has been located and dragged out from the back of the shed, and with all our shopping done we have nothing left on the list this month but "Do Christmas".  Programs, wrapping, baking, decorating, gathering...29 days!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Yes.  As a matter of fact, I sure did make the kids go around and tell everyone what they were thankful for at lunch.  "The baby, our rat, mom and dad, this jello, my tutu.."  I love them.

By 4pm yesterday, I was not feeling thankful for much of anything.  I am so sick of trying to sell this house, I could cry.  I did, actually.  Bawled my head off to my sister over the phone.  

Daycare Thanksgiving was so fun, but I totally forgot at 2:25pm when our showing showed 20 minutes early.  No, I wasn't quite ready.  Yes, I have a lot of kids to get out the door during naptime.  No, I don't think I forgot anyone.  Yes, I have to pee and had planned to do that at some point between 2:25 and 2:45...but, I'll just hold it.  Really, it's no problem.  So.  Over.  It.

Thankfully.  I did take pictures, and now I can recall that we did have fun, the kids were adorable, the turkey was pretty awesome...and the pumpkin pie was outright amazing.  And yeah, even tho I ended up having a semi-meltdown on 1st street, I did get that kitchen and the rest of the house all cleaned up and everyone out the door with coats and shoes on by 2:27.  *Toot Toooooot* (that's me, tooting my own horn, thankyouverymuch)

Everyone got to pick an item to add to the menu.  Rugger doesn't think he got to pick something, but I'm pretty sure he and I discussed pickles...or maybe Ryleigh picked two...the details are a little fuzzy.  I'm making cherry/cinnamon/applesauce Jello for real Thanksgiving, just to make it up to him. 

Who loves a big eater?  This gal!  This guy is so fun to feed, because he eats with such enthusiasm, it makes me feel like I served a really great meal every single time.

Rugger did some great handwriting practice with those place cards.  Love that kid.

We have so much fun messing with this baby :)  I promise we did not feed her any pie, but the kids and I had fun staging this pic.  "There mom! She looks guilty...did you get that!!?"  So fun. 

Katie, no joke, Rowen just walked up to the computer, saw this pic and started going, "aaahhh boo!"  

#16 Awesome daycare families!
#17 Kids who sleep through the night.
#18 Vehicles that run reliably.
#19 Food in my refrigerator.
#20 Laundry machines that work :)
#21 Sleeping in. (Tomorrow.  It's happening.)

I fell asleep at 8:40pm last night, had a great workout this morning, and I'm feeling much better now (besides fearing that body might seize up at any moment, yowsa!).  So thankful for a new day!  I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving with my family, holding a brand new baby, and leaving my kids with G'ma for a day so I can knock out my Christmas shopping in one wild 24 hour money-spending spree.


Friday, November 18, 2011


It has begun, the season of way too much life to live and not enough time.

Fair warning to anyone that sees me today: there will be no makup, hair has air-dried, and I'm wearing the oldest yoga pants I own.

Fair warning to my little homeschoolers:  today is an Unschool Friday.  You're welcome.

We're making our own Angry Birds game, leaving the entire day's dishes for tomorrow, and considering how we can go one more day without doing laundry.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


#12 family to do birthdays, holidays and life with

#13 gorgeous fall weather, still!

#14 opportunities for our family to be involved in serving God through our church

#15 sleeping toddlers

Choosing to love,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Etc. {Phone Photo Friday version}

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.

Our Thankful Tree is gaining new "leaves" every day, it's so adorable!  The kids are excited to think of new things to write down..."mom and dad" is very popular, "house" is right up there, too.

My daycare buddy, Isaac says, "cookies" every single time.  The bigger kids are pretty offended by it, which obviously makes me laugh pretty hard.  He loves cookies there is no doubt, and who doesn't?

Rugger continues to love on The Baby, and he's probably the best at keeping her entertained on days that she requires extra attention.  She's getting so big, and has a super fun personality, which does nothing for my baby fever.  Thankfully she's really normal and has a fussy day here and there, which make me thankful for my current kids' ages and temperaments.

Big kids are fun, too.  Mitch and Rugger got last minute tickets to the Husker game last weekend.  The other four kids and I were feeling a tiny bit bitter about being left behind.  Just a tiny bit.  Teeny, tiny, itty, bitty.  

So, we spent 90 minutes blitzing through the house, picking up laundry, mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, and organizing the dreaded shoe bins.  Then, we picked up two cousins, and spent an hour at Chuck E. Cheese's.

I didn't even bother bringing my camera.  Chuck's on a Saturday, even during a game, is r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. 

I didn't even have a spare hand for a fountain diet coke, which was the greatest disappointment for me :)  I was very busy keeping tokens and tickets separate and not lost.  Oh, and keeping track of the toddlers.  Which brings me back to my big kids...  Love them!  They can manage themselves so well these days and even do the whole restroom thing unassisted.  It's pretty sweet. 

We saw one of Mitch's coworkers afterward in the parking lot, which I am still laughing about.  I'm sure I looked totally cool and calm, ushering six kids out of that nut house and making them pose for this picture! 

 I hope JDRF continues to have a hockey game fundraiser each year.  What an absolute hoot.  We got discounted tickets, two free, and a portion of the sales went to JDRF.  They also sent us home with official hockey pucks, which haven't caused any damage to walls or light fixtures in our basement throughout the last week, so don't worry. 

"Dancin' Guy" was there again, showing the kids (and me) some new moves, which were highly inappropriate and extremely hilarious.  Reise and I entertained an older gentleman near us with our synchronized (and family friendly!) moves.  We are so good, we may actually decide to put a full routine together before next year.

I snuck some Halloween candy in for the kids (don't judge me, we have so much candy there's no way I'm buying more at a concession stand!).  Reise's glow-stick sucker exploded in her mouth and tasted so bad, I thought she was going to get sick.  She's so highly dramatic, I wasn't sure how bad it was, so I (like an idiot) stuck it in my own mouth to see what we were dealing with.  Holy numb mouth!  It was bitter bitter bitter, and my mouth was literally numb afterward.  So gross!  

Last year, Maeson fell asleep during the game...which the other kids all remember well.  I was by myself with five kids, and had him laying in my lap or shlepped over my shoulder nearly the entire time.  Good times!  Soooo thankful my handsome husband got to join us this year.  It was very relaxing :)

We had a showing scheduled last night, and planned to use some free kids' meal coupons at Applebees to kill an hour over dinner time.  Seriously, why are they always scheduled over meals?

The showing got canceled (total bummer), but we went out to eat anyway.  The house was clean, I was already on meal-vacation mode, and it just sounded like the right thing to do.  Ya know?

It cracks me up that Ryleigh is the only one in the house that drinks apple juice (for low blood sugars), and given the option of soda, chocolate milk, etc...she chooses apple juice.  She's not one for taking much risk.  She knows apple juice, likes it, and sees no need to mess around with trying something new.  Love her!

Reise found several words all by herself, on the kids' menu word search.  She was pretty proud (and so was I). 

Happy Weekend, all.  We are ready to weekend it up with nothing in particular.  Maybe a little school, a little laundry, some light cleaning and meal planning...gosh it sounds so boring and wonderful :)

If you haven't checked out Ryleigh's latest blog post, you can click HERE to get to it.  She's pretty funny, I'm pretty happy she's mine.  She's working on another post about BEST CHOICE labels, stay tuned for that ;)

#9 weird remedies (hydrogen peroxide in the ears to zap a cold...worked this week!)
#10 medicine (insulin and steroids that keep my diabetics and asthma-boy up and running)
#11 health insurance

Thank you to all the Veterans!
A “Veteran” — whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve — is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to, and including his life.” (author unknown)

Choosing to love,