Monday, March 29, 2010



Love this post by one of my absolute favorite bloggers and authors, Angie Smith.

Is it Thursday yet?

I am SO excited for Thursday! We have our big ultrasound and hopefully find out if we are having a boy or a girl! I am stoked! I will be totally thrilled either way! But, I am excited to find out and pick a name and do all those fun things!

We had kind of a nice lazy weekend this weekend. We NEEDED it! It was so great to just spend time together as a family. On Saturday morning we had these!...

I made homemade cinnoman rolls for the first time! On Facebook one of my friends from high school mentioned making homemade cinnoman rolls and it occured to me that I had never even THOUGHT of anything but canned or store bought cinnoman rolls! Oh my goodness these little things are worth the extra work!! Heaven on a plate I tell you! I am really trying to make more things from scratch these days. I like knowing EXACTLY what is in the foods I give to my children as I learn more about nutrition and the dangers of the processed foods we eat in huge quantities everyday. I am actually finding that most things are not that hard to make from scratch and just take a little extra time. Things like pizza crust, pancakes, etc. are so easy to make from scratch. And you can make them so much healthier and yummier. I am so excited!

My other recent project was rearranging our bedroom. Silly me didn't take a before picture. But this is the after. Now as a disclaimer the room is not decorated yet. I still need to paint and merchandise. But, since moving into the new house I have focused a lot more on the downstairs since that is what people see! But, the master bedroom is on my list of things to do before the new baby gets here so I wanted to get the furniture just right!

Ugh! I know! It looks SO boring! I am planning on painting the walls a bluish/gray color and doing lots of white accents. I am debating painting the dresser white.... I think paint will make a BIG difference as far as making this room look warm and comfortable. Anyway, I DO like the furniture placement better!

And I have to show this picture because my kids NEVER do this! Sophie Nichole fell asleep while I was rocking her on Saturday afternoon. She had been so tired all morning and it was almost nap time...

Oh how I love that sweet girl!

Happy Monday! Is it Thursday yet???

Thursday, March 25, 2010

10 things that make me REALLY happy!

Just in case you are wondering! 10 things that make me really happy are...

  1.  Diet Coke, especially the kind from a fountain and especially when it is from a gas station. It is perfection in a cup.
  2. A bowl of fruit... eating it... just looking at it... either way it always makes me happy!
  3. My kids, especially when they are being really happy and cute. Becuase let's be honest, tantrums are just not happy.
  4. Being inside my house on a rainy day with a candle or two lit. It makes me feel all homey and I just love that feeling.
  5. A bed that is made. While the process of making a bed does not make me happy I hate the way an un-made bed looks.
  6. Hearing a song on the radio right when I "need" it.
  7. Hearing something that makes a light bulb go off in my head. Yesterday at Bible study one of the wise ladies in our group said to us with young kiddos, "raise your kids now or you will be raising them for the rest of their lives". Wow... so true and so perfectly put.
  8. Rainboots. I have NEVER owned a pair but whenever I see someone in them it makes me really happy and makes me wish I was cool enough to pull them off.
  9. A completed to do list. It makes me so happy to feel like I have accomplished something. Even if it is just putting the laundry away and sweeping the kitchen floor.
  10. When my husband calls or e-mails out of the blue. That makes me REALLY happy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday in pictures!

Except for a quick Wal-Mart run it has been a quiet day at home with the Little R's. My favorite kind of day.

I have recently discovered the trick to get Brother Bear to eat pretty much any kind of sandwich... make it in the shape of a dolphin. A dinosaur works too... but a dolphin is prefered. Peanut butter and honey is his sandwich of choice. I am just happy he is getting whole grains and a little protein so you won't hear me complain!
For myself today I made this beautiful looking little treat. I sometimes wonder if I make salads so much because I just like the way they look? Either way I get the benefits so who cares? This one was made of spinach, strawberries, dried cranberries, almonds, and white cheddar cheese topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Delish and oh so healthy! This is probably one of the few healthy things that I really do LOVE!
Oh, but I have to be honest... just so you don't think I am a total health nut, this is what I had on the side...
A Pepsi. Perfection!

I really appreciated Brother Bear's outfit combo today. Superman t-shirt and Spiderman mask. Love it!
And THIS came in the mail today! I am SO excited!
Do I know how to use it? Nope! But, my friend Heather and I are taking a sewing class at the community college next month.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 22, 2010


I have read a few awesome blog posts lately surrounding a similar theme: obedience to Christ. I love that theme as I feel it has been kind of the theme of our lives the past few years! So, I am writing my own little struggle in that area right now!

Nick and I have recently started the very important "school" discussion in our household. When we discussed schooling a few years ago the discussion was private vs. public school. However, with the extreme cost of private school x3 or more I feel that it is just not an option for us. Not to mention that we are yet to see the real benefits of a private education vs. a public one. However, the past few weeks the discussion has changed from private vs. public to homeschool vs. public.

I had really convinced myself the past few years that I would send my children to public school. However, I have constantly felt God tugging at my heart in this area and homeschool just keeps being brought to my attention again and again. If I have learned anything over the past few years it has been that being obedient to God brings the most blessing and freedom that exists.

My friend Amy who I only wish I had gotten the opportunity to know better during our years in Springfield recently wrote a blog post about learning with her young children, Amy is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and I must say her quiet spirit and love for the Lord are quite contagious. Amy suggested a book called, The Early Years: A Charlotte Mason Preschool Handbook (if you click on the link you can download the first 4 chapters for free) and I am really enjoying it.

Like Amy said in her post it goes along with many things I already believed about educating preschoolers. I have never been the kind of mom that gets out worksheets and craft projects all day and does reading drills. Instead, I love to just experience life and learning with my little ones. We read book after book, sing songs, sit on the floor talking about a rock we found outside, play pretend, do household tasks together, etc. I love the concept of children's first 6 years of life being about growing and learning and exploring instead of "formal education". I am sure there are teachers who disagree but it was my own experience and I have talked with many older very edcuated people whose opinions I really respect who would agree.

All of this to say I am starting to feel excited about the prospect of homeschooling our children. I am still seeking God's will in this area but I absolutely love the idea of having more "control" over what my children are learning. I know most of my education was spent sitting around waiting for other students to finish their work or for the teacher to explain a basic concept to them. Which, in a classroom of 25+ children what choice did anyone have?

Obviously, like any mom I just want to do what is best for my kids! It is not my goal or intention to put them in a bubble. However, I do want to protect them while they are so young and impressionable. I see many pros and cons to both sides of the issue. Growing up I didn't know anyone who was homeschooled and I definitily bought into the homeschool stereotypes (which let's be honest, are there for a reason sometimes!). But, as an adult, some of the nicest, most successful, well adjusted people I know were homeschooled. So, needless to say it has me thinking.

The biggest barrier standing in my way is that, honestly, I think it would be really hard. Part of me likes the idea of sending my kids off to school everyday and having the days to myself. I know it would be a ton of work! I also feel very unequipped. However, I know that if this is infact God's will for our family that He will equip me. I KNOW that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. And He is the only way I can even begin to consider such a huge undertaking.

I am in no way saying that I think homeschooling is the only way to go. I still am unsure! But, one thing I am absolutely sure about is that I want to be obedient to God's will for OUR family. We have been criticized before for the decisons we make for our family and I am sure whatever type of schooling we choose the critics will let me know how they feel! But, as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. And that starts with obedience to Him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I am sitting in a quiet house.. so weird! Sophie is taking a nap and Max and Nick ran to Wal-Mart. I am just feeling so blessed right now that I just had to stop and write! Nothing huge or really in particular but sometimes God's grace and faithfulness can just be overwhelming!

My biggest praise right now is that we bought a new (used) car this morning! It was so hard to be patient and look but I feel like my husband's diligence has really paid off! We got a Honda Accord with about 80,000 miles on it for less than we got for our Alero after the accident. I feel like this is such a blessing because the Alero probably would have lasted us a few more years and then we would have had to replace it but there is a good chance this car will last us for quite awhile. And we got a great deal on it! We bough it from a professor at UMSL whose wife was making him upgrade. He was totally bummed but you could tell who wore the pants in that family, ha! I am just so proud of my husband for being so wise and humble and just making the best decision for our family. Although the new car is nice it is nothing to brag about. And I love that my husband doesn't get ANY of his self worth from what kind of car he drives. I just admire him so much in that way! I think even if we were loaded he would have bought something very similar because he wouldn't want to waste money buying something fancy to get him to and from work. He really puts giving and our family first and I really admire that. (okay, enough gushing...)

I am so glad it is the weekend and with the car stuff out of the way we can spend some time as a family. It was a crazy week with Nick looking at cars most evenings and I am looking forward to "us" time. I think tonight we are going to make homemade fried chicken for dinner with sweet potato fries and fruit salad and a really yummy desert. Then I think Nick and I are going to watch New Moon after the kids go to bed. I am so excited!

Well, I am off to enjoy the silence. Maybe I will take a bubble bath? We will see... :-) Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top 5 Reasons It's Tough Being Dave Ramsey's Kid - Parents and Teachers -

Top 5 Reasons It's Tough Being Dave Ramsey's Kid - Parents and Teachers -

I thought this post was too cute! It made me excited about teaching our children the RIGHT way to handle money!

The last few weeks we have caught a little opposition from a few people after our car was totaled. Some people think it is really silly that we are going to buy a "cheap" car with cash to replace our old one instead of taking out a loan to buy something more "reliable". Maybe a few years ago I would have said the same thing. But, a car is just something to get you from point A to point B and as long as it is safe and not going to require putting a ton of money into it I am happy about it! Having no car debt frees our family up so much and I do not want to go back there! There really is so much peace in not having debts to pay off every month. Now if we can get our house paid off we will know what true financial freedom is! I am so grateful for God's lessons in the Bible about money and I am grateful for Dave Ramsey's plan using God's principles and helping people experience financial peace! I pray that my children will grow up not knowing any different!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raising kids to be healthy eaters

So, I am in no way an expert on this subject! I have so much to learn! But, I had a few people ask about how I get my kids to eat fruits and veggies so I thought I would share the few things I have learned and hope that everyone will share their wisdom with me!

One of my goals with my kids was to make healthy eating easy for them. It does not come easy to me so I would love if they entered adulthood enjoying the foods that are good for them. I HATE drinking water and veggies outside of salads are kind of a struggle for me. But, I feel like my kids are already way ahead of me on both of these things!

Basically, the way I got them to this point was pretty easy because they are so little. So, the main things I do that I think have made the biggest impact have been...

- Snacks around here are pretty much always either fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, or cheese. Unless we are out and about nutritional zeros like crackers, fruit snacks, and other carbs are just not an option. Since if my kids are eating a snack they are usually pretty hungry they will usually eat whatever I put in front of them.

- When we use the word "special treat" around here it is usually fruits or vegetables or something healthy like a smoothie or celery and peanut butter. Since they are little and gullable they get really excited and eat it all up. Desert around here a lot of nights is a cut up apple we all share. They get so excited.

- I try to make the real "treats" not a big deal. They do get ice-cream or cookies sometimes but I don't really make a big deal about them. So, they don't get as excited about them. (It is all about mind control... haha! That sounds so terrible!)

- For the most part, water is the only beverage option around here. I offer them milk at about 2 meals during the day but the rest of the time it is water. Especially in between meals. I used to give them juice or milk for snacks but I found that it made them less hungry for meals and then much more picky about what they eat. And it is awesome! After several months they are the best water drinkers! We had a little leftover orange juice (which used to be Max's all-time favorite drink of choice) so I offered it to Max for breakfast. He said "yes" but I put his water on the table too. He didn't touch the juice and gulped down the water.

So, I guess my biggest tips are to offer what you want them to eat and get excited about the healthy stuff. I discovered that they really won't let themselves starve... although I thought they might a few days into it! Now if I could just be as disciplined with myself!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finished Office

Here are the pictures of our "finished" office. You know me... no room is ever really finished. But, this is what it will look like for awhile. Nick and I LOVE the extra space and I think it looks much nicer when you first walk in the house!
We left the little TV so occassionally we can turn a movie on in here for the kids if we have company or something.
And of course we still have lots of fun in this room! Here we are first thing this morning... still in p.j.s doing some puzzles!

Monday, March 8, 2010

All Girl

One thing that really suprised me about both my children is how totally "all boy/all girl" they are. Sophie is such a girly girl despite the fact that she spends almost all day every day with her rough and tumble older brother. But, the girl plays dress-up all day long and she loves all things girly. So, of course, our little 18 month old was thrilled when she found out Daddy was painting her room PINK! She loves it and has been telling me all day about her "pink room"!
On Mondays Max goes to Moms Day Out at our chuch so Sophie and I get a little girl time in. Here is a picture of her eating her yogurt at lunch. This girl will be a size 2 her entire life if she keeps up her current diet. About all she eats is fruit, vegetables, and yogurt. I wish I had her discipline! Ha!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sick Day

(I am a little grumpy now... this is take 2 of this post. Somehow the first one got deleted! Bummer!!)

I am home with these little sweet sickys today. Actually, this pic is from yesterday morning but same thing today. The just have coughs and runny noses. No fun! And since I think it is so very rude to take sick people in public I am going to practice what I preach and keep them home not spreading the love!
On a more fun note. We did a little rearranging at the R House this weekend. We converted the kids playroom into an office. Now, before you think we are the MEANEST parents ever I would like to say that the kids hadn't really played in there for months. Even when they have friends over they prefer to be upstairs or in the living room. I was also inspired by one of my friends who only gives her kids 3small bins of toys to play with and rotates them out from time to time. Now, I am not going to go totally that way because frankly, we kind of like a lot of their toys too. But, I did come to the conclusion that if I can't fit all of their toys in their bedrooms/closets plus a few toys in the living room (we have a storage ottoman) that they probably have more toys than they can really enjoy. So we weeded through the toys and picked out their favorites and now Mr. R. and I have a room to work in.
I haven't decorated yet, we just moved the furniture in so I will post the finished product later!

I already love my house so much more! It is SO nice to feel like I am not living in a daycare center and I feel SO much less annoyed now when there are toys on the living room floor! Clean up is also SO easy. We just fill a basket with any toys that have wandered downstairs and take them up and then it takes about 5 minutes to clean up each kids bedroom and then Mommy gets to go to bed in a clean house! Plus, they are playing so much more with their toys now that they have fewer. I think the big room filled with toys was overwhelming. They spent all day just dumping toys out and not really playing. So, everyone is happy!! Especially Mommy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I am really enjoying a new blog I found. It is called "Home Sanctuary". If you want to check it out here is the link! I LOVE finding new blogs that are uplifting and encouraging because honestly, it is hard to be encouraged and uplifted in the "real world" sometimes. I know that life isn't all daffodils and rainbows but sometimes the constant negativity of the world just gets me down. To be honest, I have hard days like everyone else. But, most of the time I feel content and joyful. Although, I find myself grumbling and complaing when I talk to people because it just feels like the way we are supposed to talk to each other. I am really going to try to be more positive in my speech because I want to be more uplifting. My biggest pet peeve when I was pregnant with Sophie was when people would tell me how hard it is to have two kids. What was I supposed to do? Honestly, for me, two kids have not been "harder" than one. I have had some different challenges than I had with one but overall for ME two kids was easier. I know that three kids will bring with it it's own set of challenges and will maybe even be hard for me. But, I want to try to have the best attitude I can about it. God has been teaching me a HUGE lesson during this season in my life and it is that children are a BLESSING and not a BURDEN he gives to us. I think the day after I found out I was expecting #3 I just felt the Lord constantly whispering to me, "this is a blessing from me". And I really believe that now. It makes me a little sad now to listen to people who constantly complain how hard having kids is, would you really prefer the alternative? Or how expensive kids are, God gives us the money we need to take care of them, what else would you rather be spending it on? I have been a complainer, but I just feel my heart changing. I was thinking about children compared to other blessings we recieve. What if God blessed us with a lot of money and we spent all of our time complaining to our friends how hard it is to manage the huge sums of money God unexpectedly threw at us? They would be pretty annoyed! And I am pretty sure our words sting even more to women who aren't able to have children or who have lost children. I am NOT saying that having children is not a huge challenge! But, I am saying that I personally want to be an encouragement to other moms and women who have been BLESSED with children. So, I am currently reading books and blogs and trying to surround myself with people who are encouragers! If you have any other great blog suggestions that are uplifiting on raising children, being a wife, and homemaking I would LOVE to hear about them! Being a wife, mom, and homemaker has been my heart's desire since I was a little girl and I feel so blessed to be living my dream! I thank all of you girls for being encouragers and for writing great blogs that make me HAPPY to be a mom!