"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Monday, April 25, 2011

He Lives!

“Hear the bells ringing; they’re singing that you can be born again!

Hear the bells ringing; they’re singing Christ is risen from the dead!”

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard my childhood pastor sing that song on an Easter morning, so instead, I’ve taken to singing it myself, annoying Ryan and Ryley by taking my soprano abilities to new heights. :-) I love that song. I love Easter. What a beautiful Love Story we are a part of!

We had a wonderful Easter weekend as a family. Ryan had three days off in a row, which was a real treat. It was somewhat chilly and rainy, but that’s ok.


Ryley and her “BFF” Amirah had so much fun at the church’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday morning!


There were 10,000 eggs and 700 kids….


Reviewing their winnings….


For seven years, Ryan and I have been an active part of the egg decorating. But let me tell you what we learned this year: it is so much more fun to have a friend involved. More fun for everyone! All we did was set them up, and then they had a blast.






The Easter Bunny was very crafty in where he hid the eggs in our family room. It took Ryley much longer to find them than it has in past years.…


Ryley in her Easter dress…



At church, I have to mention that a guest pianist played “The Hallelujah Chorus,” and when he did, I stood up (like you’re supposed to). It was just me and the old folks standing. I whispered to Ryan, “You’re supposed to stand up during the Hallelujah Chorus.” I knew he knew that. But alas, Ryan (being a tad on the rebellious side like usual), stayed seated until the song was almost over. This led to a lively and teasing discussion after service  about whether or not we are still obliged to follow the rules of the King of England, whom Ryan says his forefathers fought hard to break free of. Ha ha. My mom entered into the conversation via text saying that I was a good girl to stand and, after all, doesn’t Ryan love Jesus? It was pretty funny. :-)

After a delicious dinner of grilled BBQ chicken, Ryley and Ryan peeled all those decorated eggs from the day before and made deviled eggs!


We hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating Jesus and all that He has done for us!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”   1 Corinthians 15:55

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11

Have a great week! :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy Days

I’ve been trying to get a blog out for the last three days, but everything I have to say seems boring or sounds like I’m trying too hard. So we’re just going to do a picture post of our lives over the last few weeks.


Ryley’s school has a roller-skating night a few times each year, and it is always a huge hit. Poor Ryley is an awful skater, but she sure doesn’t mind going out and trying! Her tailbone hurt for several days after this. :-)


We released the sixth edition of SHINE Magazine about a month ago. It’s our best yet. I enjoy being a part of the production team, however, this particular edition took a lot out of me.  I invested 105 hours in it between August and February, thus the reason I don’t find much time to blog. :-)


Ryley’s Brownies troop sold enough Girl Scout cookies that not only were they able to fund some outreach projects, but they were also able to have a little fun at Build-a-Bear, making their own animal dressed in a Brownie uniform!


Ryley and I are different people and thus make different choices. I repeat that to myself at least five times a day. :-) I would have chosen a teddy bear or a fluffy bunny. But Ryley chose a dog.


It did turn out pretty cute, but the sundress helps a lot. :-)


Ok, this seems a little weird to post this, I know, but at work we have been upping our marketing efforts big-time. I am so excited about it, and I am really enjoying this part of my job. We have a new web marketing initiative, and I was also given a small budget to order the above swag for a tradeshow we’re doing next Friday. I was also allowed to get business cards. Yay! It’s funny how happy this stuff makes us….Leahh, John, and I have been rejoicing any time we see the UPS truck drive into our parking lot. :-) We are a silly bunch, often giving in to our love for song and dance by belting out the “Laverne and Shirley” theme song or Rebecca Black’s viral “Friday” at will.


Ryley’s best friend Amirah came over last weekend, but her visit was cut short by sickness. So we’re trying again tomorrow night and Saturday. We will take the girls to the church’s egg hunt on Saturday morning, so that should be fun.


We did some spring cleaning last weekend, but of course Ryley can’t do anything “normally.” :-) So this is my “blind” spring cleaning princess. Such a big help, stumbling from room to room. ;-)


My friend Kathy and I had coffee last week, so Ryley got to play American Girl dolls with Kathy’s daughter Emma, who is a few years older. Ryley really looks up to her, and it was so cute because she said, “Yeah, we didn’t really ‘play’ with our dolls, but we did talk a lot, which was so fun!” So funny – that bridge between wanting to pretend/imagine and just wanting to do the dolls’ hair and hang out. 

Ryley is getting to that age where it is so fun to converse with her; she gets our jokes and is such a delightful companion. Tonight, for instance, we were at an old Walmart, and it is in the middle of a massive renovation project, so everything is in a different spot, and we found ourselves walking around in circles. I muttered under  my breath, “Remind me not to come back to this Walmart for a very long time!” Ryley just looked up at me and giggled and said, “Ok!”

After much convincing on my part, she finally picked up “Little House in the Big Woods” and read it cover to cover in two days. I have told her for months that she would love it, but she hadn’t believed me. Finally she decided to try it. “Mom, you were right! I love this book! Are there more??” Oh. My. Goodness. :-) The fun is just beginning.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We Are Pioneers

I would say that Spring Break came right on time this year, bringing with it needed brakes breaks for both our vehicles all of us. It makes me sad that Ryley is a mere seven weeks from finishing 2nd grade, which means she will soon be a 3rd grader, which means that we are only a year away from her being a 4th grader! She seems so much smarter and wittier and put-together than I ever felt at that age.

Last week she spent one day with me at my office, and she sat across the desk from me, typing a story on my laptop. That’s her new thing…typing a story about a princess and begging me to edit it and then saying, “Ok! Let’s publish it!” (Like it’s that easy….I wish!! :-))


So anyway, suddenly she groaned and complained that the capital R wasn’t working anymore.

“And I plan to have so many capital R’s throughout my story!” she moaned.

I told her I would look at it when I finished the project I was working on. In the meantime, however, she became impatient and started trying different things to try and fix it on her own.

“Oh, ok….Mom, look,” she began, turning the laptop to face me. “You’re just going to have to remember this. Whenever you want a capital letter, you just push the key by itself. But if you want it lowercase, you have to push SHIFT with the key. So it’s opposite of normal.”

I could have eaten her cheek right then. Ryley has never taken a typing course, so of course, CAPS LOCK is a foreign idea. She was so relieved when I pointed it out!


The next day Ryan had his day off, so Ryley stayed home with Daddy while I worked. I was in the middle of something when I missed a call from “home” on my cell phone. I called back the first second I got.


“Hi, sweetie. Did Daddy call me?”

“No, I did. Daddy’s in the shower.”

“Oh, ok. Did you need something? Is everything ok?”

“I have a question for you. Do you think there could be a piano that could have Braille on the keys so that blind people know which keys they’re playing?”

“Oh, Ryley, that’s a good idea! But I think most blind people can tell where they’re at on the piano by feeling for the black keys…you know what I mean?”

“Ohhhhhhh, yeah.”

“But it’s a good idea, and it’s very sweet of you to think of it!”

“But…how do they read music?” She was very concerned.

“Well, they can’t. They have to play by ear.”

I love that she called me at work just to talk about blind people and the piano.


I took several days off during Spring Break, one of which was Ryan’s birthday! We had a wonderful family day together. Ryan would prefer cookies to cake any day, so Ryley and I baked up a huge, delicious chocolate chip cookie. Well, we just took that cookie and a jug of milk down to our coffee table and ate off of it all afternoon while we watched Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean. Bliss!


It was so relaxing, and it was a wonderful way to celebrate my amazing husband’s birth!!


Ryley is such a daddy’s girl. :-)


Speaking of, Ryley and Ryan had a reading competition with each other over Spring Break. She buzzed through at least 20 chapter books and “won.” :-) We went to the library three times, and for one thing, she discovered Nancy Drew. She is reading faster than I do. She’s gone through many of my favorite series, and it’s hard for me because I kind of want to hold some favorites back for later. I don’t want to show her all my cards when she’s only seven! I am so glad that she likes to read, though. :-) I always considered myself a bookworm, but Ryley takes the term to a whole new level.


The highlight of our week was Ryley’s and my trip to visit Honey, my grandma in Nebraska! Honey took us on a tour of her childhood, which was definitely a treat!

We explored the one-room schoolhouse where my grandpa and mom both attended:


My mom’s desk was in the back left corner of this room, according to her memory. Crazy! It’s very Little House on the Prairie! I love it!


We heard stories about church picnics, outhouses, etc.

Then we came upon this treasure of a house where Honey lived as a five-year-old, more than 75 years ago!!!


Of course we had to go inside.


That heater thingie replaces the wood stove that was there when Honey was a little girl (because there was no electricity or running water), and Honey remembers that Santa left her a baby buggy behind that wood stove one Christmas!


The house has been updated, but honestly, it probably hasn’t been lived in for decades. And Honey hadn’t been there since she moved out!

Looking back, I realize we could have come across anything in that house….raccoons, a dead body, a homeless person. We could have fallen through the stairs…because of course we had to explore the upstairs!

This was the room Honey shared with her two brothers….Her bed was in the corner to the right. The mattress there on the floor had thousands of mouse poopies all over it.



The living room….


It was amazing to imagine my great-grandparents raising their little family in that house…working the land, sending their kids to the one-room schoolhouse, surviving harsh Nebraska summers and winters…. And to think that Honey had memories there! Very, very cool. :-)

We went on to take Ryley by the Oregon Trail, which greatly interested her….



Chimney Rock…


Ryley Ingalls


Scottsbluff Monument:





We also watched Gone with the Wind with Honey, which was so much fun! Honey hadn’t seen it since she was on a date with my Grandpa when she was 16!!!


And we did pedicures. :-)

The entire trip was SO much fun!!!!!!!


And here are a few more pics of March….swimming lessons and Ryley’s trip to the Denver Zoo with Aunt Coleen and Uncle Paul:





And that’s all she wrote. For tonight anyway. :-)