"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, November 26, 2012

Etc. {Thankful 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.

Evidently I need to accept the fact that I have zero extra minutes to blog regularly this school year.  The weekdays are packed, the evenings are short, and my body is requiring more sleep than it's ever needed before.  Gone are the days of late nights and early mornings, for me.  I ordered supplements, bought orange juice, and have high hopes we will all be on a healthy streak for a while now.  While I may not be as creative about it, I'm maybe even more hyper aware that time flies, ya know?  I don't want to forget all these little fun things that filled up our days this school year!  Catch-all posts it is, then!

A few things I'm thankful for...

The opportunity to teach my kids how important it is to give their time and resources to others.

We are still collecting Best Choice labels for Jacob's Well. 

Go to Ryleigh's blog to see her video, if you haven't already! :)  She also meant to tell everyone and forgot: we think everything Best Choice is just as good as the name brand EXCEPT tomato soup and ranch dressing.  Just go with Campbell's and Hidden Valley for those two items, but everything else has been tested and approved by the Sallingers! 

My little art lover.

No matter what the other options are, Maeson will always choose to cut, color, draw, glue, glitter, sticker, cut, cut, glitter, glue, cut...  Love those little pigs.

Rowen's BFF.  

Black cat on my white bed.

Kids who are creative and play well together an overwhelming majority of the time. 

Circus show in the back yard.  The 'clowns on bikes' portion had me laughing too hard to photograph, and now I'm sad I missed capturing that. 

Once in a while I take a picture with the kids' senior scrapbook in mind.  This was one of those times.

Rugger, reading Captain Underpants to his little brother. 

Bathed, jammied, and watching Christmas specials in the big bed.

Friends and family to raise my kids with.

"Friend" Thanksgiving at my sister's house.

Seriously, this is what Rowen put on his plate: one huge piece of turkey and a cake ball.

Ryleigh got to go to a Husker game with my friends a few weeks ago.  She and I share a low appreciation for football, but she definitely had a great time.  The energy at the stadium is always so fun, and she had amazing seats!

Tailgating with a former Husker, before the game.  Ryleigh says hi, Cory Ross (aka, Pork Chop).

Such fun friends, I have.  My kids are so lucky.

Tiny, itty bitty things that make me love my home.

I finally stained those little wooden clips, and I thought it was worth a before and after picture.  Haha!!  It's the little things in life that bring me the most happiness, and I really love the difference.  The clips match the frame!  I spend a lot of time in this house; it makes sense for me to love what's on my walls!

Awesome in-laws.

Thanksgiving with Mitch's family (just missing two!).

Big kids playing cards.

 Little kids playing cards.

A day off with my five favorites.

We spent Black Friday at the Children's Museum.  I may have been the only mom there.  I promise you, the place was full of grandparents.  I'm guessing they had kid duties because the moms and dads were shopping.  Or, working.  Most likely, shopping.  HA!

Having a job that I love, which allows me to teach my kids at home.

The boys, in a rare-ish moment, all at the same time sitting down doing some coloring while I cleaned up breakfast before the library last week. 

We got to attend a really cool homeschool event at the library last week.  We spent the week before learning about World War II which actually wasn't on the agenda at all this year, but that's the great thing about homeschool.  Turns out, Ryleigh had read a fiction book my mom had given her a while back, and the story took place during that time period.  ("Don't you remember that book Grandma gave me? It was literally *this* thick?! It's all about the Nazis killing the Jews...")  So, she already had a clue which was great.

The authors of Curious George (H.A. and Margret Reys, originally from Germany) fled France on bicycles when the Nazis invaded, and came to America.  The library had a traveling exhibit about their life displayed all month, and then hosted this event for homeschool families to take a tour. 


They had a separate event for preschoolers.

How cute are these little monkeys?  They are taped to clothespins, which are clipped to their shirts so they can "sit" on the kids' shoulders.  

I can't remember ever having been in Bennet Martin library, and I know I had never been in its elevator!  That circle window was a big hit. :)

So much about this etc. post sums up what I'm so thankful for all year 'round, and it is definitely not an exhaustive list :)  God has blessed me with everything I need, an amazing family, and incredible friends.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Etc. Phone Photo Friday Version

A bit of the random goings on over here.  I'm pretty sure I forgot to post a link to my post about our BMX fun last weekend, so you can click HERE to see that.

Reise, Maeson and Rowen doing puzzles in PJs after baths by the Christmas tree before bed one weeknight last week.  During moments like these it just feels like all is right in the world.

Working on a quilt that Gramma Rowe gave us the fabric for over a year ago.  Finally, we have a place to leave the sewing machine out for extended periods of time.  Related: love our new house!

Poor Rowen missed his cousin's birthday party the other night because he was taking his turn with the crud we've been passing from one person to another one at a time.  I still don't know what's worse-everyone sick at once, or everyone having it one after another and it stretching on for a month.  Gag!  I feel like I haven't had a decent stretch of wellness myself for months, now.  I'm in the market for a good vitamin D supplement to boost my immune system.  My poor immune system has never performed so poorly in my entire life.  I am almost positive the last time I had a fever before the big West Nile Virus was almost eight years ago right after I had Rugger and got mastitis.  Since the beginning of August, I've run fevers every other week!  So annoying.

Stuck at home while everyone else is partying?  Nothing a pint of ice cream for dinner can't solve.  That bed head is so cute, it has me over the moon with happiness I can't even describe.

We sent some special Veterans a few notes this week. 

Rowen is mildly obsessed with freedom, presidents, kings, queens, slavery, etc since the election and all this discussion around Veteran's Day.  The morning after the election he woke up and first thing asked, "who is in charge of this time that we are living in?"  Seriously.  Then later, before bed one night, "do the bad kings and queens of the other lands know where we live?"  No.  "Do they know where Grandma lives?"  No.  It doesn't matter if they know where we live, because our country is free so we don't have to obey those bad kings or queens anyway.  "Do they know where the oldest Grandma lives?"  No.  Goodnight!!  :) :) :)  I love my life.   

Reise is learning about capacity this week, so we busted out the beans.  The beans are a big hit with those big enough not to eat them.  Poor baby Tasia is spending a lot of time on my lap, watching. :)

Rowen is in a napping phase right now.  I love it.  It started when he was sick and napping in the afternoons, which usually caused him to stay up a bit later than usual at night, which made him tired enough the next day to nap again...  Even though it won't be a permanent schedule, it's kind of fun and practical at the same time.  We get more school done in the afternoons, and he gets some one on one time in the evenings.  One night we stayed up until 10 watching a special on ducks on PBS.  He thought it was so awesome to have done something the other kids didn't know about, he whispered to me several times the next day, "remember that duck show?" *wink* *wink* ha!

"Just learning to read, no big deal!"  If Kindergarten isn't the best, I don't know what is.  Lucky me, it's been so fun to watch this girl progress over the last few months.

Speaking of school, we are coming up on the halfway mark of the school year which always throws me for a bit of a loop.  First of all I can't ever believe it's gone so fast, and once I realize it I scramble around trying to figure out if we've done enough so far and if we're on the right track.  I spent an evening this week ordering new books, and revamping our schedule a bit to fit in some extra practice on things I think we are struggling with.

Reise, practicing her new skills on her most captive audience.

Reise has taken over library story time name tag duty.  She's also take over diaper bag carrying duty.

Aaaaaand, toddler wrangling duty!

These two raced us on their bikes to the library, and actually made it inside before we did by the time we unloaded and got babies into the stroller, etc.  They were pretty proud.  I've been letting them ride their bikes to the library in the afternoons to browse for books or check on DVD holds.  Rugger loooooooves to put his name on lists for movies.  I think he is #128 in line for Brave, currently.  Oh my worrrrd.  He absolutely kills me.  I love that he's gotten so comfortable at the library and knows some of the staff.  Sometimes I will send them with a short list of books to find, or tell them to ask the librarian for suggestions for this or that.  They are getting to be very independent.

Happy Weekending out there!  It's the weekend before a holiday week, which basically means the holiday starts now, right!??

Sunday, November 11, 2012


We've kept the kids' bikes stored in the back of the white van for over a week now, just in case we end up with an extra 30 minutes here or there and can stop to do some BMXing.  The weather turned cold today, so our bike riding days might be over for a while!

Since Rowen just learned to ride his tiny bike without training wheels, it shocks me that he can keep himself upright on those dirt hills.  He hasn't wrecked yet!  I think the key is that he can hop off the back if he needs to and still keep both hands on the handlebar.  So, if he gets to a hill that's too steep to get all the way up by pedaling, he just hops off and runs the bike the rest of the way up.  It's way too hysterical.  The Donald Duck bike helmet is killing me. 

Ryleigh can now officially ride the entire track without stopping.  She's not one to throw caution to the wind, and it took her a long time to attempt those bigger hills.  Loved watching her accomplish that one on her own!

Reise is absolutely fearless.  She is the biggest Diva/Princess/Tomboy I've ever seen.  I actually didn't realize one girl could have such diverse interests.  It makes Ryleigh crazy.  She likes things neat and tidy, predictable, simple...and that just does not describe her sister in any way. I LOVE IT.

Maeson might be using training wheels, but he isn't about to be left out of the action ;)

We might leave those bikes in the van for another week or two, you just never know when a random nice day will show up in good ol' Nebraska!