"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, April 23, 2012

Double Dog Dare

This happened Sunday.

I laughed more than I've ever laughed through Target and Super Saver.  Ryleigh earned $7.50, which I then rounded up to $8.00 because I was so impressed and proud of her for adding an "adios!" in at the end, completely unprompted. 

She really knows how to rock out a dare.

On the way home she said she thought she probably brought a lot of joy into people's lives this morning.  I said, judging by the smiles and chuckles and hey, nice hat 's she got all morning, I'd go ahead and assume she was right.

In unrelated news, we would really appreciate your prayers for our loan.  It turns out no news is certainly not always good news, and bad news is really bad when you've only got four days to rustle up a Plan B.  We've prayed our way through this entire process and the timing has turned out to be perfect all along.  I do trust it will all work out like it should in the end, just pray that we stay sane (and married) to see the day when we look back and can say that it all makes sense!


Friday, April 20, 2012

For the Love of the Land

I saw a response to a tweet yesterday that reminded me of a saying I am going to try and incorporate into my everyday vocabulary.

For the love of the land!

We move in one week.  Lord willing.  Our loan still hasn't made it through underwriting, (no news is good news right now?? Um, not in my opinion!  That's just no news.  That just means it's sitting in a pile somewhere where it's been for three weeks and needs to be looked at.  "Approved!" would be good news!).  Oh, for the love of the land, I'll be so happy when we're done with this process! 

Reise's Jr. Drama class at the homeschool co-op put on a little performance last week.  The script was written by the kids in a circle; so each person added a little to the story as they went around.  It was very interesting!

Chickens, Yoda, snow people, a Popsicle woman...??   Her teacher told me in an email that Reise was delightful, and very kind to her friends.  For the love of the land, I love that girl.  I really couldn't care less if she ends up on Broadway, as long as she continues to be delightful and kind!

Be still my heart!  I could do sit for however long they'll keep reading to me.  Add an interested preschooler who's content to sit on my lap and listen the entire time...hello, paradise.  

For the love of the land.  Seriously, those snuggled up brother feet are too incredible!

You better believe I'm continuing my Fountain Pop Friday routine today.  For the love of the land, I've been looking forward to it all week.  I tried to quit sugar and white flour on Monday.  Felt pretty good through Tuesday.  By Wednesday after some S.O.S. texts to my cousin regarding my life in general, she replied, "this is no time for you to be starting any ridiculous diets".  For the love of the land, she's so right.  See how it works in so many ways?  It's fun for me! 

Happy Weekending!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It's been on my mind lately, how fast these babies are growing up.  Ryleigh will be NINE in June.  I realized this while driving a few weekends ago, and just about went off the road.

Nine is halfway to adult.

It seems like just yesterday, she was a tiny little baby who fit into her daddy's Husker baseball cap.  In an instant she's going to be nine, and in another blink or two she'll be registering to vote.  I'll be 40.  My baby boys will be 13.  Teenagers!  Un. Be. Lieveable.

I remember a Christmas just over three years ago-we had 2 babies in high chairs, Reise was 2, Rugger just turning 4, Ryleigh was 5.  I actually said out loud to Mitch's brother after my third trip up the stairs during the meal to get someone something, "it won't always be this much work, right?  It certainly has to get easier from here."  We have finally arrived in the land of easier.

It is amazing.

We have reached this tiny little window-right now this very instant-of golden time.  These kids are old enough to wipe their own bums, and young enough to still like us.  All of them.  At the same time.  And, it's not going to last forever.

I am aware. 

I am determined not to waste it. 

Maybe we'll have a few teenagers who don't roll their eyes or slam bedroom doors.  We might get lucky enough to never have LPD on our doorstep at 1am with one of our naughty children in tow.

Who knows, we might even discover that teens are our favorite

I can't imagine it.  All I know is right now, this very instant, is absolutely precious.  If I could freeze this period of time and keep them 8,7,5,4 and 4 forever and ever amen, I would do it. 

And, it's not that I'm dreading the teen years or an empty nest.  I think we both anticipate a sense of sweet freedom will come at that point; when we're able to leave the house at 10pm for Dairy Queen if we want to, or just because we can.  And, it's not that I didn't enjoy having babies.  I loved having babies.  It's just that I'm suddenly very conscious of the fact that these years are screaming by us, and they will probably go down as the best of our child rearing years.  I was so busy when my kids were newborn, newborn, 1, 3, 4...it didn't feel like it was flying by at the time.  The physical work required to keep those kids alive every single day was really incredible.  I imagine the emotionally draining teen years might feel equally exhausting, in a different way.  I could be wrong.  

All I know is, this golden time right now is pretty awesome.

We spent the weekend watching the weather and packing boxes.  In case you hadn't heard...we move in 11 days.  Mercy!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Extras

So many pictures, so much fun, so little time to blog.  Here are a bunch of extras from our last weekend of birthday/baby/Easterpalooza.

Baby Owen, just over 12 hours old.  

Ryleigh, at Mahoney state park, patiently waiting for cousins to arrive.  She actually said, "if only I had a book..."  That girl is a crack up.  We went to the library today and Mitch just sent me a text saying, "Everyone's watching the bald eagles on the computer.  Except Ryleigh.  NEW BOOKS."

They are such hams, and they've obviously learned that if they sit still and smile cute it'll be over quicker ;)

Spring is here.  For sure.

That'a girl, Reise.  Show 'em how it's done!

Mitch's sister-in-law mentioned she'd heard of people roasting peeps.  We are officially fans.  Thanks, Lynnette!

I got one picture of my cousin before wild madness broke out in the backyard and human ring toss was happening.  The next morning, no kidding, every single kid asked when he could come back.  Must be nice, being so popular.

Silly string battles.

Silly string battle injury.

That's right.  We may be allowing them to dig to China.  What else were they going to do with that bare spot where their fort used to be?  We took advantage of a nice weather weekend and took it down so we could move it.  They are keeping the dirt they dig out in a very nice pile and will fill it back in before we move.  None of the dirt will have gotten spread out into the yard or anything, and there will be enough to make it level again so the new owners don't get mad about a big hole in their (giant) bare dirt spot.  I'm super certain of this!

Happy weekending out there!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Easter morning with my little chickens.  They were excited. I wish I had taken a picture of the little pink heart cards Ryleigh made everyone.  She is such a sweet and thoughtful child.  Loved it!

I felt like I was purposeful with the "baskets" this year-which isn't super unusual.  I'm not the type to just buy a bunch of junk.  For some reason I felt extra good about them getting stuff they needed (sand buckets- last year's pails all suffered quick deaths at the spray park) or items that could be consumed: art supplies, gum, bubbles (no candy-vitamin water with no artificial dyes or sweeteners, "fancy" yogurt, etc.).  Nothing hanging around the house for months being transferred from stuffed-to-the-brim toy bin to overflowing drawer to overcrowded shelf.  Amen. 

The whoopie cushions were an exception to the banned useless junk rule.  They are hilarious (especially to 2nd graders), and the two oldest kids have been wanting them for months.  I saw them at the Dollar Tree and they jumped out at me.  They were much appreciated ;)

Our church had an egg hunt for the first year ever, and the kids loved. it.  

Small victory here again, no new clothes purchased.  Their closets are full.  I think they all looked appropriate, we saved money, and didn't add to the already stuffed drawers we have going on over here!

Easter dinner at the Sallingers was everything we expected it to be ;)  Lots of food and an awesome weather day for playing outside and hanging with family!

Adorable moment here-Aunts Michelle and Mindy keeping the kids occupied in the basement while the Easter bunny did her thing outside.

Rugger said the prayer for dinner, "Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross to forgiven our sins."  He says "forgiven" every single time, instead of "forgive"...and I'm not going to correct him.  I love the tiny bits of him that are still "little"!!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I love birthdays.  I really do.  Of all the good excuses to use gift cards, take days off work, and hang out in a booth at Chuck E. Cheese's to kick off a long weekend of celebrating life, a birthday is as good as any.

I would just like to state, for the record, that I usually catch these kinds of things before they leave the house.  These denim-capris-with-cowboy-boots kinds of things.  Also for the record, she won't give that shirt up to the winter bins.  Clearly, I have my hands full with this one.  Carry on, my little independent one.

We have reached this golden stage in life (emotional post brewing).  I've mentioned it before.  Our kids are young enough to like us and have fun playing ski ball and whack-a-mole, but old enough to not need our direct supervision.  If we choose to, we can sip fountain pop in the booth mid-restaurant, and require them to check in with us every 3rd token.  It's pretty beautiful.  (Cue hysterical bawling and previously mentioned emotional blog post in edit.)

I bought a "deal" a few months ago for a family art class, and we used it Saturday morning as part of the boys' birthday weekend fun.  Maeson loves art.  It's really all he ever wants to do, if he has a choice.  All the kids thought it was fun, and we made some new decorations for our new house!

No, Mitch doesn't drive a bus on his days off.  (Oh, wait.  He doesn't have any days off!)  The studio owner had a bunch of old uniforms to use as smocks, which was pretty fun.

Saturday evening, we met my sister's family and my parents at Mahoney state park's indoor playground.  The kids ran themselves into the ground.

They also ran Uncle Brandon into the ground.

With this many siblings, plus cousins in the mix, everyone nearly always has a buddy.

I know I'm so biased, but they are so adorable!  I love their matchy matchy shirts.  I'm going to go cry now at the thought of them waking up one day and not wanting to wear coordinating outfits.

Monday night-waffles with sausage was Rowen's birthday dinner request.  {Complete with a hard boiled egg.}  He's so dang sweet (and he has a sweet tooth!). 

Tuesday night-spaghetti with meatballs was Maeson's birthday dinner request.  He's our savory guy-he likes candy and gum, but he'll ditch a piece of cake for a second plate of spaghetti!

Behold, the 2nd ugliest birthday cake I've ever made.  Mitch: "second?? ugliest?!..."  Apparently he couldn't recall anything uglier!  Hahahaha!  "The boys will love it, and it will taste great."  I'm not sure if that was supposed to make me feel better, or what.  I ran out of powdered sugar, so I substituted with blended Splenda and cornstarch.  This all transpired between 1:30pm and 3pm-the entire cake process start to finish, including the idea.  I am not beating myself up over here-there will be years for my cake decorating skills to shine in the future, Lord willing.

And, it did taste fantastic.

Happy Birthday to my absolute favorite four-year-olds on the planet, I can't believe how much I love you!

We celebrated the daylights out of those boys this weekend.  Throw in Easter and we were all basically stumbling around party-drunk by last night.  It might be rough coming down, but it's already Wednesday, and we move in just over two week.  Two.  Weeks.  It's probably officially time to let my "works best under pressure" system do it's thing. (Don't judge my system on the cake, that was a fluke.)