"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, March 30, 2012


The Baby: "um, could someone please fetch my sunglasses?"
This weather!

This particular park trip was super last minute, which is usually the best kind.  We stayed way too long and napped way too late...all things summer.  Loved it so much. 

Rugger: "um, can I have another dose of Zyrtec?"

A little Phone Photo Friday action:

Rugger sent this with me last week when I went to visit my grandpa Rod for the last time.  Sweet boy.  The inside said, "I hope you feel better tomorrow".   This was my mom's facebook status on Wednesday:  "Off to Bismarck, North Dakota to bury my dad. Roderick Monroe, born Feb 27,1927 - died March 25, 2012. He is survived by 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren - quite a legacy."  Gpa Rod always had a jar of peanuts in his van, could fix anything, installed a lock on our deep freezer (safety first!), and always took our family out to eat at Valentino's when he was in town.  He was a part of some really good memories from my youngest years.

If I do say so myself, I'm getting pretty good on the Heelys.  I leave them in the van and practice at the grocery store, Target, etc.  Home Depot has a prerecorded message that plays overhead reminding customers that skate shoes aren't allowed.  While I understand the liability issue, it just seems wrong to waste all that wide open smooth surface!

"Oh, *that's* how you keep them so quiet at Super Saver."

I feel like I have a lot of words left, but no time, which is usually how it goes over here :)  

It's Fountain Pop Friday, and coconut rum 8pm bedtime tonight, something I may or may not start looking forward to starting Wednesday each week!  I swear I love my life, and I'm not in need of an intervention.  "Calling in the PACT"-I love you, T and D :)

Happy Weekending!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I love catching this kind of stuff. 

These kids make me insanely happy.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So, it's my handsome husband's birthday.  We'll just say he's turning 38.  For over a year I've been messing with the kids, telling them that their dad is 37...then as his birthday got closer it was "37, going on 38".  It's been going on so long that I actually forgot how old he was.  Then, I started to forget how old I was.  Hello!  A sane person might decide this has clearly gone too far. 

38 things about him that make me happy:
  1. He only acts mildly annoyed when the kids bring up his (fake) age
  2. He'll make those horrible phone calls (insurance, billing errors, etc.)
  3. He knows how to use a coupon 
  4. And, price match
  5. I can count on one hand the number of times I've pumped my own gas in 10 years
  6. I can count to zero, and that's the number of times I've mowed the lawn
  7. Same is true for scooping snow
  8. He does dishes
  9. And, takes care of the cat's litter box
  10. When I leave for an evening, he doesn't call staying home with his own children "babysitting"
  11. I can leave for an evening (or 3 in a row) and not get any hassle about it
  12. He's learned to say, "I don't know how you do it..." before he complains about something when I get home
  13. If I send him an "SOS" text during the day, he always offers to bring me a fountain pop
  14. He doesn't judge me if I drink pop, even though I "gave it up" months ago
  15. He lets me fall asleep first
  16. He works so hard
  17. His good looks have been passed to my children
  18. His dad skills are off the chain
  19. If he happens to be the first responder to a midnight hurler, he handles it
  20. Same is true regarding the discovery of cat puke
  21. He's a great gift giver
  22. He understands that I'm a terrible gift giver, and loves me anyway
  23. He's one of those guys who saves his change, then cashes it in every few years to make a "quick" $100
  24. He's kind to telemarketers
  25. He always remembers to take the trash to the curb on Fridays
  26. And, the recycling to the curb on Mondays
  27. He makes sure my vehicle has a decent ice scraper in it
  28. He's supportive of all my weird-ish whims in life
  29. He tells me I'm the best mom on the planet
  30. He calls his dad to discuss sports
  31. (And doesn't seem to mind that I couldn't care less)
  32. He throws a mean dance party for the kids in our basement
  33. Without him, our kids would not be exposed to the classics, like Charlie Brown
  34. He can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime at "name that tune"
  35. He can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime in an eating contest
  36. He overreacts when the kids are sick, which is the only way they'd ever get to the dr. He's usually right.
  37. He doesn't think flowers are a waste of money
  38. He quietly, but confidently leads our family 
Happy Birthday, to the love of my life!


    Monday, March 26, 2012

    ...and you know what they say about that!

    This weather!  Seems too good to be true, and you know what they say about that.  I probably jinxed the entire state of Nebraska by switching out my kids' closets and drawers from winter clothes to shorts and t-shirts.  {I'm sorry.}

    It feels so good to fire up the grill and get out our marshmallow roasting skewers.  Everything tastes better when you can eat it outside.  Even better when you have cousins to play with.  Those are just facts.

    "Yes, we'll move the fire pit to our new house.  And the roasting sticks.  And all our food.  And everything else in our house.  Everything.  Yes, even your bed." 

    I had no idea there would be so much anxiety over what items we'd be bringing with us.  Once again, I tell you, everything.  

    So happy to spend an evening with some of my favorites.  We don't have people over often enough.  Now that we're done having showings and looking for a house, we're doing it.  At the end of the night no one will care that we couldn't find any grill tools (packed up), or that half the homemade hamburger buns looked malformed (got stuck to the towel while they were rising). 

    The kids got to run around with their cousins, and the adults had some good face time.  There's only so much catching up we can do via unlimited text plans and blog reading :) 

    Might have shaved a few years off my brother's life letting Dekker drive.  Maybe a few more by letting Dekker sit shotgun while Rowen drove!  Those two just look like trouble. 

    {Or maybe Rowen looks like trouble and Dekker looks sweet.}  So fun.
    I won't be shocked if we get slammed with some snow before we settle into summer for good.  I'm just putting that out there.  It just seems too good to be true, and you know what they say about that!


    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Phone Photo Friday

    Our week in very random pictures...

    She's getting pretty good, but she's a terrible loser.  I have no idea where she gets that.  (By the way, I beat my mom at Words with Friends again this week. I may or may not have called her to gloat.)

    Ryleigh is directing a movie about two teenagers who get lost in the jungle and encounter a large snake.  Her cast members are practicing very hard.  My lap buddy has incredible cheeks.

    That's a Webster's dictionary, and yes, she's just browsing through it.

    My computer when I got to work on Thursday.  Blue screen of death!

    Tried making bread in the actual bread maker, as opposed to using it to make the dough and baking it in the oven (which I may just continue doing).  I'd love to throw a batch in and let it bake over night, but I can't get it right.  The crust turns out too crispy and the top and bottom of the loaf don't slice well.  

    An incomplete list of things that make me happy right now: four 5am boot camps done this week, it's Fountain Pop Friday today, we are headed to co-op classes this morning, we have very little planned this weekend, no one is sick, I finally got in to cut and color my hair this week after way too long, I see a coconut rum/Coke Zero and 8pm bedtime in my very near future.  Oh, yes.  The kind stuff dreams are made of, folks.

    Happy Weekending!

    Thursday, March 22, 2012


    It feels so good to have an ordinary day.  Everyone's healthy, well rested, and we're finally able to get out of the house.  And, speaking of the house.  We have a new one to move into, praise the Lord! 

    Library story time is honestly one of our favorite weekday destinations. 

    The Baby is on the move.  She and I started out way in the back of the room, but she eventually scooted herself clear over to Reise, pulled on her jacket to get her attention, and then scored a spot in her adopted big sister's lap.

    My middle child is such a funny girl.  

    When the story time leader announced it was time for the "silly dance party", she made sure to move the baby all the way back again, so she wouldn't get trampled.  She will make such a good mommy someday! 

    A few minutes into the story, our Realtor sent me a text saying the offer we'd made on our new house had been accepted.  Obviously many texts followed that, and a few minutes later I realized Miss Susan was glaring at me from behind In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb Ahem.  Seriously sorry, but it was kind of a big deal.

    I'm so happy we don't have to rent.  SO.  HAPPY.  And, I really like the house.  Everyone but Ryleigh is really excited; she usually takes longer to warm up to anticipated change. 

    Yay.  Thank you, God.  Our prayers have changed again, now including, "please help our loan go through smoothly."  Rowen is still adding, "thank you for our house to sale and for our despections".  Doing taxes when you're self employed is pretty fun (hello, tax return!).  Getting approved for a loan isn't so fun. 

    Now that we feel like we can breathe again, the really exciting stuff starts.  Packing, planning, organizing, picking out paint colors, counting down the days...  So.  Thankful. 


    P.S. If you're buying or selling, I would confidently recommend our Realtor.  He always very quickly responds to texts/emails/calls.  (Even crazed, irrational requests at the last minute.  I mean, I've heard this about him.  Luckily we're not prone to wild freakouts or semi-meltdowns.)  Hey, this process can get stressful, and getting questions answered right away, or being able to see houses with very little notice really helps the sanity levels.  Plus, he's pretty funny. 

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    Sometimes staying up a good two hours past my bedtime on a weeknight laughing my face off over long island iced tea and non-"shred" foods is just what I need to keep my sanity. 

    So thankful for people who speak my language fluently. 

    Happy Wednesday!


    Monday, March 19, 2012

    When the week is a blur...

    So, Friday after the week had passed in a fog, I got three texts in an hour asking me if I'd go ahead and blog again sometime soon.  Then, another text mentioning said blog.  My blog?  Oh, shoot!  My blog!  Poor, sweet, neglected baby.  I had real (sick) babies to tend to all week, and evidently I don't sleep through the night anymore (??) So, my blogging mojo took a hit.  

    Thankfully, I feel like maybe the sleep thing was a phase and most of my chickens are on the mend.  Plus, I beat my mom at Words with Friends today.  I mean, come on.  Get outta here and shut the front door.  {It's kind of a big deal.}  Evidence:

    From two weeks ago...

    The bigs are moving right along with their piano lessons.  A certain middle child may or may not have decided to pursue other interests for now.  We are not 100% sure what's going on there. 

    Whoever isn't practicing the piano can usually be found doing something like this.  {I think that's a train.}

    Sometimes we do science during the day (as opposed to at bedtime), because everyone likes it.  They think it's especially fun when I make things explode.  {Like, 2ltr bottles of Fresca, for instance.}  Even better if it's pajama day.  Who doesn't like pajama day!?

    From last week...

    I feel like I lost a good week of my life to a virus, which attacked all five of our kids and held on for dear life.  Good Lord almighty, I thought it would never end.  We sure made up for being healthy all winter, I'll say that much.  There must be a lot going around, my week included daily check-ins with my sister whose boys were also really sick (and we haven't seen them in weeks, so we couldn't have passed germs).

    I can't get enough of kids who fall asleep with their toes sticking out of their blankets.  Bonus if they're hanging off the couch.

    Double bonus if they're near an empty barf bucket.  Poor diabetic kids, really don't do well when they're sick.

    You know your kids have been laid up in PJs for 9 days when they start wearing their wedge heels around the house to liven up their outfit.  Oh, Reise.  {Tiff, you really hit it out of the park last year for birthdays, just sayin'.}

    {Aunt D, do you recognize that Scooby Doo blanket?}

    I bought this giraffe blanket for Rugger before he was born, and he still loves it.  So happy to see him not looking like death.  {Not looking like death is a great thing.}  He and Ryleigh took a step back yesterday, and went to bed feeling rotten again last night.  Will you pray that they kick it for good sooner than later?  Rugger is going on day 10.

    {I love my husband.}

    Words with First & Second Graders {a lot less interesting...what's "ZA" anyway, mom?}...

    Here's to a new week!  Here's to finding the right house, sleeping through the night (two issues that could be related?), and having all the kids healthy at the same time. 


    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Project Groundhog Week Five

    You can find links to the rest of our Project Groundhog posts HERE.

    For our assignment this week, we spent some time talking about all the things we're noticing lately, that let us know spring is coming! We also added some things we're looking forward to doing over the next few months leading into summer.  Ryleigh typed them out here:
    • green grass
    • flowers
    • birds
    • birds nesting
    • worms
    • bugs
    • bees
    • frogs
    • trees
    • rain instead of snow
    • park play dates
    • swimming
    • boating
    • fishing
    • butterflies
    • water fountains

    We cant wait!!!

    Here are a few pictures the kids made of spring:

    I hate to burst their bubble, but I don't think winter is over here in Nebraska.  It's been too mild, I predict we get some snow in March!  We'll see :)

    HERE is the weather data we submitted for this week.