Mini Fly on the Wall

Hey there! My Fly on the Wall friends just posted yesterday, but I wasn’t organized to sign-up in advance to participate.  After reading the group’s posts, I thought I would join in with my own post.  Better late than never, right?

For more Fly on the Wall, hop on over to this writing challenge founder’s blog: Baking in a Tornado.

South Dakota Vacation

We ventured to South Dakota during summer, and had an awesome time! It was a great family destination for our 5 and 7 year old kids. Before we went, my 5 year old son asked, “Do they speak English in South Dakota?”

On our drive from Sioux Falls to Desmet, our kids decided to make a honking sound whenever they saw an animal. This continued throughout the entire week. Sigh. Fortunately, there are open fields for long stretches where you don’t see much at all, like this:

Desmet Ingalls Homestead

View of the prairie from the Ingalls Homestead in Desmet, SD.

The drive up to Desmet from Sioux Falls though beautiful, went through a quite rural part of the state.  The population density is quite low in much of South Dakota, so I told Daddy O., “If we ever want to live off the grid, we can move out here!”

When driving past the many farms and lush green fields, my son observed, “I bet that farmer has 5 green thumbs.”

We could almost picture what it must have been like for the first settlers in the 1800’s who arrived here.  The Ingalls Visitor Center consists of the Ingalls homestead, a sod house, shanty, church, barn and one-room classroom. We even rode on a covered wagon and learned about what life was like for the Ingalls family. We were struck by the extreme quiet of the land: no sounds of planes or cars zooming by on nearby roads, simply the sounds of the wind rushing through the prairie grasses. Beautiful.

Wildlife Watching

We were excited to see bison, but just saw a lot of cattle, especially on the eastern part of the state. My daughter explained, “The cows are all black, and the bison are chocolate colored.” Can you tell we like desserts?

bison Custer State Park.jpg

See, they are chocolate colored! Bison at Custer State Park

We drove the wildlife loop road at Custer State Park, and having been in the car for at least an hour, our kids asked, “Can we watch a show (on our portable DVD player)?”

“No!” I said, “Nature is your show. Look out your window!” So many amazing views:

Custer State Park collage.jpg

Top left: a baby burro paid us a visit on the Wildlife Loop, top right: view of the Cathedral Spires, Bottom left: Stockade Lake, bottom right: bison along the road out of Custer State Park

The Black Hills

When we arrived in Rapid City, I said, “Look, kids, the Black Hills. Aren’t they pretty?”

My son’s response, “They look gray.”

black hills view from Mt. Rushmore

View of the Black (gray) Hills from Mt. Rushmore

In Rapid City, we enjoyed an awesome meal and beverages at Firehouse Brewery. We sat in a covered outdoor area (fortunately) and watched a major rain and hail storm come down. The food and beer were delicious – a welcome change from the fast food we had on the trip out to Rapid City.  The company was nice too with everyone getting along, and I remarked to Daddy O., “This feels like a date night, except we have our kids along.”  He replied, “It’s like our marriage is one long date-night.” Awh….

Hitting the Road

I have memories of my own family vacations as a kid, and we would wake up EARLY, maybe around 5am to get a jump on a day of long driving. I have not been able to replicate this timing for my family much to my dismay.

One morning after sleeping in, my daughter said, “Waking up early for me was unsuccessful.”

This happened on most days, and I just had to go with it. Oh well…

Best for Last

I was talking about the errands I ran during the week, talking about the things I picked up at a grocery store in a quick stop.

My son chimed in and said, “Wow, Mom, you work hard.”

“Yes, dear, why yes I do! Thank you!” He got a big hug for saying that!

Hope you all are hearing sweet things like that in your home too!

Have a great day all! Thanks for stopping by.

Now check out more Fly on the Wall posts, starting with Baking in a Tornado.

 

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Fly on the Wall – Holiday Sentiments

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

I love this challenge so much that I even have my own page for it on my blog HERE.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

Southern Belle Charm                   http://www.southernbellecharm.com

A Little Piece of Peace                   http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com

Thanksgiving Leftovers

My 5 and 7 year old kids had some silly thoughts on what to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Here’s what they shared as we were driving to Grandma and Grandpa’s house:

Big sister: I’m thankful I’m not an ant, so I won’t get squished.

Little brother: I’m thankful I’m not a tree, then I won’t get cut down. (He was thinking of the evergreen trees that we cut down for our Christmas tree)

Little Brother: I’m thankful that God made candy.

Many of Little Brother’s religious ed classmates also were thankful for candy, though some did say things like, “family, friends, our house.”

Decorating our Home

Little brother: Do you know that this stocking is a sock for a giant?

The kids went crazy decorating the tree. They wanted to put ornaments on so quickly. I just listened as I was nearby:

Big sister: Let’s put the cross next to the angel.

Little brother: Yeah, it’s like God is watching over us.

It was too sweet! I guess he is learning something from church / religious ed besides being thankful for God making candy.

 A New Rule

It was a frightfully frigid day with a high of five degrees, so I felt motivated (finally) to make something. We had shredded zucchini in the freezer, so I made zucchini bread. When it came time to eat it, I helped myself to the crust and an inside piece. Little Brother said, “No fair! You got two pieces.” I replied, “Yes, the baker gets two!”

Our Affordable Art Gallery

We have been coloring and painting (as usual), and I wanted to finally clean up our creations. Little Brother and I decided to hang up some of our favorites in an “art gallery” in our home.  We have two display areas. Here they are:

art-gallery-go-mama-o

I overheard Little Brother talking to Daddy O. about the gallery, and he said, “Yeah, I think we should charge 299 for some pictures.”  Then he paused, “or maybe 199.”  I am not sure if he meant $299 and $199 or $2.99 and $1.99. Either way, some of his priceless works are saved in a storage bin under his bed.

Santa, You are the Best

FINALLY  after five and seven years, respectively, the kids are okay with visiting Santa this year. Here they were with him earlier this month:

go-mama-o-santa-pic-2016

Little brother and Big sister hanging with Santa

Big sister has been consistent in asking Santa and writing about what she wants: “I want a puppy that eats its own poop.”

Santa’s response, “We’ll try.”

Bless your heart Santa! This ACTUALLY is a real toy. See Target, FurReal Friends Pax, My Poopin’ Pup.  The food that you can feed it is actually then pooped out, and I believe you then feed the same pellets to the dog. Sigh.

She has been so consistent in asking for this toy, writing a letter to Santa over the weekend and asking for the same thing. I told her today that I emailed her letter to Santa, since it wouldn’t reach the North Pole in time via the postal service.

Santa’s response was cute –

“I see you’d like a special friend for Christmas. Now one thing about a puppy, real, or even pretend, is that flying in my sleigh can be a bit scary for them….. Now you know I will try my best for you, but I will have to check with your family if that’s ok. Will you check too? “

Santa, you are the best!!

I hope Santa is good to you and yours this holiday too! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Fly on the Wall – Getting Older!

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 10 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on the links at the end of this post for a peek into some other homes.

As I re-read my quotes for this month’s Fly Post, I see a similar theme of everyone getting older, and not just my kids, me too! My 6 year old thinks I will age very quickly…read on for the gory details of what I have been hearing lately.

Observations of my 6 year old    

So we have this sign hanging up in our kitchen:

Sign in our kitchen - family rules

Big sister (looking at the sign): Did you know it doesn’t  have a period. And it would go on and on.

Me: So you’d read it really fast like that?

Big sister: yeah.

Me: Should it have a period  or exclamation  point?

Big sister: a period.

Me: You are too funny! You’ve really  learned a lot in kindergarten. You’ve had some great teachers!

On Growing Up

On Little Brother’s last day of daycare, the owner said, “I knew this day would come.” It also coincided with Big Sister’s last day of Kindergarten. There were tears for my four and six year old “babies” who are not really babies anymore! You can read more about my thoughts on that here.

Another sign of Little Brother growing up is that I don’t always get my daily snuggles at breakfast. Big sister commented one morning: Morning snuggle is fading.

Sigh…so it is! But I’ll gladly take it when I can get it.

Making Envelopes?

Both kids: Watch me make an envelope
Me: Licking paper does not make an envelope.  (Oh well, it kept them busy…and I guess there are worse things that they could be licking besides paper.)

Licking paper

Showing off his envelope

Aging Quickly

Me to Big sister: We are similar. We have similar personalities. We look alike.
Big sister: but my hair is longer.
Me: And I will always look older.
Big sister: Maybe When I’m 7, you’ll probably have white hair! (She turns 7 this November! Fortunately I don’t have gray hairs yet!)

The Summer Struggle is Real

Me to kids: Don’t let mom’s car be a garbage dump!

I wrote “You Might be Home with your Kids for Summer If…” with the garbage dump as one of the main signs.

Randomness

I made a great overnight crockpot breakfast casserole recently, and it received mixed reviews.

Little Brother on my egg casserole: I don’t want any yuck-a-role / gross-a-role
Big sister: No, it’s yum-a-role!

Little Brother: It’s not sea weed, it’s lake weed! (on swimming and catching a lot of sea weed while camping).

Here they are before fishing (so excited!).

getting ready to fish

My two little fishers – ready to go! Only Big Sister caught one.

I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying summer as much as we are! Thanks for stopping by. Now be sure to check out these links below:

Baking in a Tornado              http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Juicebox Confession                    http://www.juiceboxconfession.com

Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

Searching for Sanity

singlemumplusone.blogspot.com/

Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

Southern Belle Charm                   http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Molly Ritterbeck          

http://mollyritterbeck.com.com 

Fly on the Wall: C is for…

It’s that time of the month again! Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post.  I’ve written these posts before, and you can find past posts on this page of my blog.

Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 6
  • Little Brother, age 4

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links at the bottom of my post for a peek into some other homes:

What We’ve Been Up to Lately…

So this happened –

20160314_153908-1.jpg

And it’s been a stressful process! After working hard and staging our home for pictures, Daddy O. asked me what I wanted to do that weekend.  My reply was, “Nothing! Let the house get a little messy before our listing goes live.”

Fortunately, our home had an accepted offer in about three weeks, so now we’re onto packing.

Here’s how another conversation went:

Me: Ugh, we have 12 teacups in this set of china from my grandma. How do I pack all of this?

Daddy O: Well, if you get rid of it, you’re ruining our kids’ chances of being on Antiques Roadshow.

We are keeping the teacups.

C is for…

We stayed overnight at Grandma & Grandpa’s for Easter and had the kids take a bath / shower before Easter Sunday. I set out the travel toiletries for Big Sister’s turn to clean up, giving her my small shampoo and conditioner bottles to use. Daddy O. came down and said, “Big sister just conditioned her entire body. Her explanation was that she thought the ‘c'(on top of the bottle) was for clean.”

Touchy Stomachs

Me: My stomach feels touchy.

Big sister: What happens when you touch it?

magic shell flavors

Daddy O. remarked, “Nothing natural comes out that way or in that color.”

Doesn’t it look pretty though?  Tastes good too when your stomach isn’t touchy!

Best of my Fly on the Wall Posts

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been part of these post for the past two years!

Big sister, Mama O, Daddy O, and Little Brother

US in Summer 2013 – one of my favorite family pictures

April 2014 was my first post and I’ve kept on participating regularly.  I’ve enjoyed looking back through the posts to share some of my favorites:

The Golden Rule

We’ve been talking about the Golden Rule, after reading the Berenstain Bear’s book and big sister went to vacation bible school for the first time this summer.  I was a bit surprised when big sister said, “Mom, remember the golden rule: You get what you get, and don’t throw a fit.”

An interesting interpretation of a rule by little bro:

Not eating your boogers is the golden rule.

I guess we need to review the Golden Rule a few more times!

On Getting Tired

Little brother: I took a yawn.  (or in other cases, when he’s not tired, he says, “I didn’t take a yawn.”

Me: yawning with exaggeration

Little brother: That’s a Thunder Yawn!

Daddy O.: What’s a thunder yawn?

Little brother: A really big yawn.

I hope this post hasn’t generated too many yawns – be them tiny or thunder yawns!

Difficult Words to Pronounce

We were just sitting outside in our backyard on a beautiful, though windy summer day. Big sister says, “Look the leaves on the tree are wrestling.”  “Oh you mean rustling. The leaves on the tree are rustling,” I explained. She was so close to the right word!  It IS hard to pronounce and remember so many words as a kid!

While we were driving somewhere, he asked in his sweet little voice, “Do leaping willows jump?” I had to explain that they are called weeping willows, and no, they did not jump.

Do Books Take Baths?

My mom gave me some old books from my own childhood and even some from when my dad was a kid.  My son especially loves Grandpa’s train book! When talking about the books, I said, “It’s an old book from when mom was little. It has old book smell.” Big sister replied, “Pweh! Do books take baths?”

Random

Big sister said she had a “knick knack name” from a friend at school.

Big sister: Mom, I have a big brain like you. I have all sorts of things in my brain this morning.

Big sister shares, “Guess what Mom? Sometimes my brain goes crazy.”

Love

At the end of a long, busy day with the kids, I was tired and just sitting down to read a magazine.  My son scooted up on my lap, saying, “Can I come up?” I’m sure I grumbled something, but then he said one of the sweetest phrases that I have ever heard:

I love you more than anything!

On my birthday last year big sister gave me a hug and said:

I love you all around the universe.

I certainly love these posts to help me remember and record such sweetness! And it’s great to be part of such a fun group of bloggers – for more Fly fun, be sure to click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado

Juicebox Confession

Menopausal Mother

Someone Else’s Genius

Spatulas on Parade

Searching for Sanity

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Southern Belle Charm

My Brain on Kids

The Angrivated Mom

Fly on the Wall: Infinity Thumbs Up

It’s that time of the month again! Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post.  I’ve written these posts before, and you can find past posts on this page of my blog.

Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 6
  • Little Brother, age 4

Quips from Vacation

We were fortunate to be able to escape Wisconsin and spend some time in sunny Arizona as a family. We brought our GPS along, and it gave us the very helpful direction of, “Turn left onto road.”  We missed said “road” and had to circle back to find it. I don’t believe the road had a name, but this was a prime example of unhelpful directions. Gotta love technology!

While at the Sonora Desert Museum (more on that HERE), we were at a touch pool and learned about a sea creature that “poops out its stomach as a defense mechanism.” Our kids LOVED this, and kept on saying a lot of potty talk, including, “I’m going to diarrhea on your face.” So. Gross. Here’s a picture of us shortly after that comment.

Visiting the Sonara Desert Museum

Daddy and Mama O at the Sonora Desert Museum

While listening to the radio in the rental care, Daddy O. commented, “Ugh, Bulldog.” I just laughed, guessing, “Oh, you mean Pittbull?” And he did.

Early in the morning, we would see the sun rising just as the moon was setting. It was so beautiful. My son called it a sunset, but we explained that sunsets only happen in the evening. “I mix up my sunsets and moon-sets,” was his cute comment, though it IS not often that we see a moon set. Too bad I don’t have a picture to go along with it…

One day in Tucson we decided to hike on some trails in Sabino Canyon with Daddy O.’s youngest brother. The kids took off running, so I had to stop them, explaining, “You won’t see the rattlesnakes or their homes if you run by them.” Fortunately, this worked.

At this time of year, snow melt coming off the top of the mountain made the rivers and streams rather high. Some trails were blocked or required fording the river. I told Daddy O. that I had no interest in getting wet, especially since the kids only had one pair of shoes along. He agreed. Big sister had other ideas though. As we ate our snack by a small creek, she suggested, “I know how we can cross the river. We can take off our shoes and socks, roll up our pants, and go across. We can put everything back on when we are on the other side.” Well thought out…but we told her no. She POUTED her way along, lagging behind and being generally grumpy.  Finally, when we saw this dam, we told her that she could put her feet in the water.  Check out her reaction:

 

Hiking Sabino Canyon

From top: starting our hike, me at the dam area, Big Sister finally putting her feet in.

She screamed, “It’s too cold!!” (the adults were thinking, yeah, damn cold), but her mood improved greatly after she had the chance to see for herself.  At the end of our hike, which ended up being over 4 miles, Daddy O.’s brother declared, “That was the slowest I’ve ever hiked 4 miles.” Yes, welcome to our lives with kids!!

On our last morning as we packed everything up and left the hotel to get into our rental car, Little Brother exclaimed, “that was a long trip!”  And we were just getting started for about 9 hours of travel. Fortunately, the kids were troopers and traveled very well! YAY!

Back Home Again

Little Brother has kept saying, “I want to go back to Arizona.” And “I want a LONG break from the snow,” in response to me saying, “wasn’t it nice to have a short break from the snow?!”

These comments were made when we went for a little walk on a nearby trail.  Look what Big Sister found!

snake in the snow

Do you see what we see? That’s NOT a stick!

I didn’t realize snakes would venture out in the snow! Big Sister explained, “Yeah, the groundhog said it would be an early spring,” (which partly explained why she wasn’t surprised to see the snake).  Let’s HOPE he’s right!

Thumbs Up

I’m trying to get my kids to eat more veggies, so I was so happy when Little Brother declared, “infinity thumbs up for cooked broccoli.”  Another time it was only 60 thumbs up for cooked cauliflower, but I’ll take it because he ate it. I love it when I make meals that get thumbs up from my kids!

I’m sure there was more crazy things that I overheard, but that’s all I’ve managed to record for this post! For more Fly fun, be sure to click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                         Baking In A Tornado

http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                            Juicebox Confession

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                            Someone Else’s Genius

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                      Spatulas on Parade

http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                      Searching for Sanity

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                         Never Ever Give Up Hope

http://dinoheromommy.com/                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com          Not That Sarah Michelle

http://www.southernbellecharm.com                   Southern Belle Charm

http://mybrainonkids.net                                      My Brain on Kids