"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, February 29, 2012

Project Groundhog Week Four

All Project Groundhog posts can be found HERE.

During week four we shared some creative writing and research about groundhogs.

Two short stories about a family of groundhogs, a combined effort of our kids ages 4-8 (organized by the 8yr old).


Hi.  I'm Texnut!  I'm 5 years old.  In my family are one mom, one dad, and me!  Today, my family and I finished our burrow.  Now, all we have to do is haul in the leaves.  That's hard work.  This morning we set out to find the most leaves possible.  I found a good leafy spot and I worked 'til the afternoon trying to cover the floor of the whole house.  Finally, it was done!  We celebrated with all the good treats, like nuts and seeds.


Today we had a baby, named Texi.  She has no fur.  My mom has to take care of her a lot.  She is in the baby room of our burrow, now.  I mostly just wander around most of the day, trying to find something to eat.  Our dad is out of the house now, because we have a baby.  Our family now includes one mom, one dad, me (Texnut) and my little brother.

Today, a snake came into our burrow!  We ran for the escape exit.  I got out first, Texi came out second, and my mom came out last.  In one hour, we went back into our home.  The snake was gone!

Groundhog Facts
By Ryleigh

Thanks for following along ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Phone Photo Friday

I've taken maybe four pictures with my camera this week.  It's just been a weird stretch of days, and that's all there is to it!  I did get a few phone pictures, and I'm kind of counting down the days until I am eligible for a new phone.  My next phone will have a great camera.

Moving backward (because that's how the pictures came into the blog) and going back a few weeks (because that's how long it's been since I got the pictures off my phone)...

Thursday-such a fun, fun, fun morning.  We had a 9am showing (thank you to the agent who agreed to move it from 8:30am to 9).  We left the house at 8:50, met a couple daycare cuties on the street, picked up Maeson, and had front row Rock Star parking by 9:13am.  Holla!!!

This isn't the most flattering picture of Reise, but she was really excited about her tower.  A staff member at the museum took her picture, so she'll be on the wall of fame with her big sister. 

The kids played for a few hours, the moms talked for a few hours, we had lunch, played some more, and got home for 1pm naps.  It was really blissful.  The house was clean, the kids were worn out, and it was quiet for the rest of the afternoon.  Totally worth all the work it was to pack lunch, get the house ready, and get the kids out the door early.  

My three "bigs" are taking piano lessons from their Great Grandma (Lao Lao).  Rugger asked about a month ago, and Lao was all over it.  We have a really old, beat-up piano in the basement, and I'm glad it's getting some use.  So many good things come from music, I will love it if they catch on and stick with it.

Two weeks ago on Friday, we had a super rare afternoon off.  After our co-op classes, we stopped in to see my Grandpa.  He happened to be awake and chipper as ever.  The kids told him all about their morning, and asked him about the pictures on his wall.  He couldn't remember what year he was born-so I sent my mom a text, got and answer, and reminded him that his birthday was just two days prior.  "Oh, YES.  I ate some cake."  Ha!  His memory must be somewhat selective.  Chocolate cake, yes, that is ringing a bell.

After that, we stopped at Cherry On Top to use up a $5 gift card Rugger has been hanging on to since the summer.  We hadn't ever been to this self-serve frozen yogurt place before, so we didn't really know how to do it.  On our way up to the counter, I told a friend we ran into there, "this is going to cost me $40".  Those bowls are just huge and the topping bar is kid-level, so you can imagine what was happening there!

So.  Much.  Fun. 

Turns out, it didn't even cost me a dime.  The gal at the counter didn't know how to ring up a gift card, so she just kind of waved her hands and said, "I think we're good here."  AND, handed me back the gift card.  Hello!  Employee of the Month, I'm sure.  What a riot.  

I think rare afternoons off are so fun because they're rare.  If we did it all the time, it wouldn't feel as awesome.  At least, that's what I keep telling the kids every time they ask when we get to do it again :)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


These kids were driving me crazy.  Like, for real.  Sunday night, I told Mitch I thought I was probably ready for a break.  Monday at noon I sent him a text saying I needed a donut immediately or I'd just go ahead and lose the will to live.  By Tuesday at noon, let's just say it wasn't any better.  Lord, have mercy!  Days like these are so few and far between for us, I don't even know what to do.  Is it me, or is it them?  Do I need a break, or are they trying to get my attention?  Are they not getting enough sleep?  Too much sugar?  Not enough time to themselves?  Please, what IS it!??  Make it stop!  They were wild, whiny, argumentative, and sassy-mouthed.  All of them.  All day long.  For more than one day.  Not normal.

Then, like a switch flipped at 1pm on Tuesday...it was over.  Rowen and I folded laundry while Reise got herself settled on the basement couch for a little rest.  The big kids started in on their school work, all by themselves.  I had time to choose almonds over frozen cookies (blasted girl scouts!) and start some bread dough.


I like it better when I don't need to put myself in time out just to stay sane.

My little laundry folding buddy.  I love that face!

During our days of mayhem, we did set up a few new systems for following directions.  Let's just say this mom wants things done immediately and cheerfully.  I know my kids' eye rolling and foot stomping is a direct Godsmack for my behaviors as a child.  I'll just go ahead and give my parents this full circle moment: it's all come back to bite me in the you-know-what. 

My big reader and his big sister, who helps him when he gets stuck on the hard words. 

All the, "I alwaysssss have to..." and the, "I neverrrrr get to...".  Oh. My. Word.  It just has to stop, before I go and lose muh dang mind.  The back-talking is on my list, too.  Especially the mumbling, under-the-breath variety.  Again, a real Godsmack.  I'm sure my mom is rolling.

My little napper, I wonder if she'll ever give up naps?

Days like these make me wonder if I really know what the heck I'm doing.  I should probably just send them to school.  We need a John Rosemond intervention.  Someone find me a mental health professional with the license to dispense meds.  Then, suddenly something shifts and all is right once again.  Kids obey the first time, I have more patience, and there's more laughing than whining.  All the stars align, and we live to see another day.  I need to remind myself that these phases, ups and downs, don't define us.  I'm not a perfect mom with angelic kids.  I'm not a failure mom with little demons running around unchecked.  I'm learning as I go, and they are really good kids. 

My responsible, self-motivated child.  

Somewhat unrelated but not completely: Rowen's been carrying around this brown rope for days.  He trains the cat with it, ties stuff up, pretends it's a lasso, and has been warned that if he puts it anywhere near anyone's neck it will disappear immediately.  I hear you when you say it's not as fun to play Doggie when the dog has to hold the rope in his paw, but that's the only safe way to do it.  When it comes to strangulation hazards, it's my job to be the fun hater.

And, even tho everything seems to have mostly righted itself by now, I'm still going to take that break.  Clearly, if Rowen dragging a rope around for three days is grating on my nerves, I need a minute.  Who's with me? :)


Monday, February 20, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Phone Photo Friday

This weekend will feel completely earned.  After our Valentine's celebrations were over, we spent two evenings doing a little spare bedroom/school room/computer room/craft storage/pop fridge room makeover.  It looks so much better. 


I'm so glad I took a picture right before we started moving stuff out.  I mean, come on.  After going so long seeing the same piles of junk, I didn't even notice it.  The filing cabinets were just stuffed (to the max) with papers...some important, some not.  LES bills from 2002?  I'm guessing I can safely shred those. 

We moved the fridge to a different closet in the basement, sewing and cake decorating supplies each got toted and moved there, too.  The 42lbs of papers I shredded left space in the filing cabinet drawers for cords, cameras, craft supplies...so that entire mess is gone.

I spent $21 and put up curtains.  I'm not in love with them, but they do make the room look more homey.  Mitch spent $68 on carpet and paint.  Then, he carpeted and painted.  God bless him, he had such a great attitude about the whole thing, when this is truly not his passion.  The whole shebang took close to 10 hours and less than $100.  As always I'm left saying, "we should have done this sooner".


The filing cabinets are now stacked and in the corner to the right of the computer (which you can't see in this picture).  Trust me, it looks a lot better in that corner!  The chair in the middle (which folds out into a cot, should you ever need to spend the night, haha!) came from the play room, and so did the small bookshelf you can barely see opposite the computer.  We moved a desk and an art easel out of the playroom, so hopefully it won't feel as crowded in there.

Next up, our bedroom.  We haven't done a thing in there for over 10 years; it's time!

With extra kids today and two showings, this will be a "go big or go home" kind of Friday.  I. Can. Do. It.  ;) 

Happy Weekending!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Our Valentine's Day(s) in pictures.

Mitch gets the kids each a new book for V-day every year, they look forward to it!  I heart stuff like this :)

Heart-shaped hard boiled eggs...can you see it?  Yeah, it's a stretch.

Homemade heart-shaped pop tarts.  {pie crust, cherry pie filling, powdered sugar glaze}

After the quartet left, I put on some makeup, straightened and sprayed my hair, and swapped my warmup pants for clean jeans.  I will just pretend that's how I looked when they showed up.  (Ahem!)

Happy Valentine's Day!  
Love, The Sallingers