"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Peaceful Autumn (aka Ryley Stories)

So the days are getting shorter, and the fall colors are getting brighter. We are settling into a peaceful routine, and things are 93.2% better than they were the last time I wrote. Yay for fall! Yay for peace! Yay for God! He is soooo good.


I received the most wonderful call today from Ryley’s school. Given that the last call I received was when she was in the principal’s office, the school’s name  showing up on my caller ID made me feel immediately sick to my stomach. But it was just her teacher calling to tell me that they have seen a marked difference in Ryley and that her behavior has been wonderful these last couple of weeks…that she has been a good and helpful friend to all. Oh, thank You, Jesus!

We’ve been enjoying her as well. :-)




Here are some recent Ryley Stories:

Ryley is addicted to collecting box tops to support her school. I don’t buy a ton of name brand items, so we don’t have a lot of box tops that we can donate. (If we did, knowing Ryley, she would raid our pantry and cut up all our boxes before we were done with the food). Anyhow, there’s a contest to see which classroom can collect  the most box tops, so when her great-grandma sent her some from Nebraska, she was absolutely thrilled! She took them with her one morning but accidentally left them in the van when I dropped her off. As she told me about it later, she used the following phrase:

“I was walking up to the school when I noticed I didn’t have my box tops, and I said to myself, ‘Dang!’”

I thought it was so funny, but it was one of those things you don’t laugh at! I think I must say “dang” too much….?


Ryley is constantly trying to define herself. Recently, she’s decided that she wants to grow her hair out to be fairly long.

“Mommy, long hair is my thing. Short hair is your thing.”

I don’t mind if her hair is long as long as she takes good care of it and it stays out of her eyes. She has tried barrettes, pony tails, pig tails, etc., but she hasn’t liked any of them. In the last few weeks, however, she’s settled on headbands. They’re actually pretty cute!



Ryley and I attended “The Sound of Music Sing-along” on Tuesday night with a friend. This movie is iconic for me. When I was 9, I bought my first vinyl record of the movie soundtrack, and I broke my ankle while dancing to it in our living room. Ryley loves the movie too, so when I saw the sing-along event advertised, I knew we just had to do it!



It was a blast! Ryley was the only kid there, and she just belted out all the tunes. She is so fearless and brave that way, and I love her for it!

But I just want to say that singing along to Julie Andrews’s voice is extremely difficult. All the songs are written in such high keys, so it’s hard to reach those notes. And if you sing an octave lower, you just sound dumb. Her voice is matchless, and a  theater full of older women who aren’t Julie Andrews? Well, it was fun! :-)

And seeing “The Sound of Music” on the big screen is absolutely amazing.


Ryan and I went to the Broncos game with my aunt and uncle this weekend. We had so much fun!


This is who we sit behind. Yep. He calls himself the “Mile High Jester.” Nice guy.


I love the color orange.





I love the colors pink and purple, too :-)





Happy fall to you!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Growing Pains

I haven’t felt like the most amazing mom recently. Not that I’ve ever felt like I’m an amazing mom….But I think that I would like for Ryley to think that I am. :-)

Either way, we’ve been dealing with some behavioral issues, and we’ve had to crack the whip. Ryley’s got quite  a temper. She’s not a bad kid; she just struggles with self control.

So it’s been a bad week. She ended up in the principal’s office twice, Ryan has been working 10 straight closes, and I am stressed out of my skull with the balancing act of work, home, and freelance editing. Sometimes I wonder how working moms with more than one child manage to balance everything. Especially single working moms.

All I have to say is that God’s grace is sufficient for us.

  • Ryan got a new job. The countdown until his last day at Panera is ON. Oh, we are grateful.
  • God multiplied my time on Friday, and I miraculously got 12 hours of work done in the allotted 7-hour work day. No weekend hours for me. Yay!
  • Ryley and I had a snuggly, rainy weekend where good behavior was rewarded and there were plenty of hugs, cuddly times, and sweet (needed!) mommy/daughter moments.
  • We got the house pretty clean, AND I did five hours of editing, which is a weekend record.
  • Jesus is responsible for all of the above.


And now, pictures of our girl with accompanying Ryley Stories:


Ryley and I went to Payless to go boot shopping on Saturday. Oh my, she had fun in Mommy’s shoe aisle! She even had the clerks dropping by to comment on her shoe choices every few minutes.


We also autumnized our house with mini pumpkins and gourds from our local nursery. But it also happened to be the nursery’s pumpkin weigh-off contest day:




So we are starting Ryley’s sticker chart again as an incentive for good behavior. We told her we were going to do it, but we had not yet filled it out. So she took it upon herself to add chores to the list, one of which was “I Closed My Closet Door.” And as a reward for the week she wrote, “An American Girl Doll or $2.00.” 

Hmmm, since American Girl Dolls are roughly $110, I wonder which one Mommy and Daddy will go with….


Ryley loves to hear stories from our childhood. I don’t know how it came up, but Ryan was telling Ryley how her Aunt Rhonda used to believe that the moon was made of cheese. Ryley laughed out loud at the preposterousness of it all. After she had been genuinely laughing for a good 30 seconds, Ryan asked her, “Well, what do you think the moon is made of?”

Without missing a beat, Ryley answered, “The moon is made of moon!”


Ryley came to me with this nice little bit of info:

“Mommy, it’s great. Everybody in the school office knows me so well because I’ve been late so many times. So every time I go to the office for a late pass, all I have to do is just stand there, and they know my name by the way I look, so they write my name, give me my late slip, and I’m off!”

Awesome. That’s just awesome.