Look what she can do

And she is so stinkin' proud of herself. Now if we could just work on that brushing her hair thing...

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Next stop, Hollywood

Last Wednesday as I was getting Sydney ready for preschool she informed me: "Mom, I really need to be in Hollywood."

That was the same day she got her company dance bag in at dance class. The girl was excited. Who wouldn't be - a huge bag that she can easily fit inside of with her name embroidered in pink. How fancy is that?


Hershey Kisses

Seems we have a sweets lover amongst us.

She is also a digger. Her favorite place to dig is in the pantry, and naturally she is drawn to the candy stash. So, when I found a mix of Hershey Kiss and Jolly Rancher wrappers in my bedroom floor, I got on to Elle. This went on for a week or two.

One Sunday after church I was cooking lunch and out from the pantry came Grizzly, carrying a Jolly Rancher in her mouth and trotting quickly towards the bedroom. Sorry Elle. 


Star Gazing (By Daddy)

There is a long-standing Rieske tradition of going outside in the spring or fall and star gazing.  We go out after all the lights are out and lay out blankets and pillows and enjoy God's creation.  We watch planes and helicopters go by, look at the occasional satellite, and identify our favorite stars.

Lately Sydney has become a very good counter.  She tried to count stars and Sydney decided that she couldn't.  She promptly declared: "Well, I can't count them, but I'm sure Abbey could!"  Abbey is her cousin who she absolutely idolizes.


Me V. Mr. Armadillo

The other night Grizzly started barking. David was teaching, and it was close to time for him to be home, so I opened the door to let Grizzly run out and meet him (and not wake up the girls.) But, it wasn't David on my doorstep, but an ugly ARMADILLO!!! The stupid, nasty thing tried to run in my house. In MY HOUSE I tell ya! I had no shoes on, therefore in my opinion, no defense. (No way was I going to touch that thing with my bare feet.) So, I slammed the door in his face, which made him really mad. He started hissing (I had no idea they could hiss) and poor Grizzly is left outside with Mr. Armadillo. He is bigger than her and I'm just thinking rabies. Thankfully, David was on his way home, but by the time he got here the nasty creature had peed on my doorstep and left. Uggh. Not an experience I care to repeat.


My week of education

Here is what I have learned this week:

When challenged by an equally bossy four year old, my dear one does not back down. No sir, she throws a cup in his face (thankfully empty.)

When my hand is tired of giving spankings after an abnormally disobedient weekend, planks are an effective alternative. Yes, ab planks. Actually, they may even be more dreaded. I think a hard head has lead to a calloused rear end.

Apparently, in the world of four, if someone spits in your face, you should spit back in theirs- even that gets your color changed to yellow.

Spankings, however worn out for sassing, are still effective for bad school behavior. If one happens to find their color on red at school,(think stoplight) they will also find mama's hand on their backside once we make our way to the car - and fear can be a very powerful thing.

If you don't like a person (same receiver of the cup and spit) you should put your hand on your head with your fingers in the shape of an "L" and tell them they are a "lo-ser" (here we go with that pesky color change again.)

During chapel, they will gear the lesson towards certain somebodies and being "kind to one another." Never shy, my dear one will inform the pastor "yeah, like when Logan is mean to me, I should be nice to him even if I don't like him and I'm not his friend."

And, I have learned that the third time is a charm. Day three she was on green ALL DAY!!! She even talked to Mr. Logan and was nice without spitting, name calling or cup throwing, even if they aren't friends. Miracles do occasionally happen.



Three weeks ago Sydney started preschool. She was pretty pumped. We started out by going to open house (which Dad took off of work to attend with us.)

She found her spot at her table and filled out her about me sheet:

Of course, her self portrait included a crown. (Now, are you really surprised?)

She colored a bag that she will take with her to school every day. She got acquainted with the toys. I'm thinking that maybe Dad had more than a little fun. Elle was staying with Nanny, so afterwards we took her out for pizza at Mad Pizza. (And she even got to splurge and play a few games while we were there.)

Now she was ready for her first day of school. Her only demands were that she wear a dress and that her hair was not (insert snotty voice here) in her face.

Bring on the first day of school breakfast out. She chose Einstein Bagels. But, only if we could sit outside. Fine by me -until Elle fell out of the chair and on to the concrete. Oops. Nothing like a blueberry bagel to fix a bumped head. Cinnamon sugar for Sydney.


With a full tummy, she was ready for school.

She was most excited about seeing these furry little guys.  "Mom, Rats!!!" "No, honey. Hamsters."

With one final hug, we we left.

She was busy playing with Play Doh.

 Elle and I walked out into the hall where the kids hang their bags. When she realized Syd wasn't coming with us, it began. "No bye-bye. No bye-bye!" And, that is what I heard, alll of the way home.

Sorry kid, it is just you, me, and  a house full of dirty floors begging for some attention.


When we got back to pick Sydney up, PURE JOY! Seriously girls, it was three hours.



M: Don't scream at your sister.
S: I wasn't. I was yelling.


Energizer Bunny

The other day we were driving in the car. From the backseat-

E: Daddy. Daddy. Daddeee.
D: What.
E: Don't know.

Of course this got a laugh. So she starts again.

E: Daddy. Daddy. Daddeee.
D: What.
E: Don't know.

Another round of laughs. She starts again.

E: Daddy. Daddy. Daddeee.
D: What.
E: Don't know.

15 minutes later, she was still going.


Heart Health

I like to slip lots of extra things into our food. Today, for instance, I fixed oatmeal for breakfast. In it I put flax seed and walnuts - nothing like a good dose of Omega 3's to start your day! (Plus, I figure it helps offset our Sonic Happy Hour addiction.)

M: Girls, do you like having oatmeal for breakfast?

S: Yeah, but it has nuts in it. Can we have it without nuts next time?

M: They are good for your heart and help it be healthy and strong.

S: Oh, so when someone is mean to you it won't break?


Miss Roboto

Meet Sydney humor at 7 a.m.


Goodbye Summer.

September is always a confusing month for me. Is it summer? Technically, yes. But it starts to feel like Fall. There is Labor Day and one last swim, but then there is God's gift to all : RAZORBACK FOOTBALL. We are back in school, so I guess our little jaunts to who knows where are over. Now I'm ready to throw the girls' shorts in the summer box and pull out the sweaters, but we aren't quite there yet. Today when I was picking Sydney up from preschool I looked up and saw this:

So, I thought I should blog about what we did this summer before I forgot about all of the fun we had. Our mini-trips will be in a separate post soon, but this is just the fun everyday stuff. So, in a nutshell:

We spent a lot of time at the library. Sydney was excited because she got to go to preschool story time "by herself" while I went with Elle to the baby story time. I checked in on Sydney every once in a while and was assured she was good and listened (and even shushed one of the parents who was trying to talk to her and told them that you aren't allowed to talk during story time.) Both girls enjoyed the crafts afterward, although Elle really enjoyed dumping the crayons best. 
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David replaced the fuel line on his truck because it was leaking. He had to take the bed off to figure this out. I'm sure you are wondering why this is blog worthy. Stick with me. It gets better. 
Thanks to our neighbor, it only took about an hour to remove the truck bed.Locally he could get the part for $200. Online he could get it for $60. Well, I guess you know what we did. Yes, ordered it online. It took about a week for it to come in. Until then, David's truck looked like this: 

Yes, you are seeing right. That is Duck Tape holding on his taillight. EMBARRASSING! I even offered (begged) to drive him to work, but he wouldn't take me up on it.

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We spent a lot of time cooking. The girls loved it, and I loved that it gave us something to do. Sydney has already told me that she gets my recipes (meaning my binder) when I die. Hello- I'm only 28!
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We made every possible Home Depot first Saturday workshop. Things we learned:
  1. Avoid naptime.
  2. Watch out for thumbs.
  3. Always choose Dad to be your helper, not Mom.

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Our favorite: Blue Coconut Slush with a lime. (A Sydney concoction, but quite tasty!)

Oh, and Elle learned how to make that really annoying squeaking sound with straw.

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We painted our door! Now, instead of being a "weathered white"  (Ok, so it really just needed a new paint job) it is black! I haven't taken an after picture, but it is raining, so use your imagination. My Mom and Dad came up to help out - Thanks!!!
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Sydney taught Dad the correct way to mow the lawn. You know, because, he needed help.

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After many pieces of gum (although I am proud to report, none in the hair!) Sydney learned to blow a bubble!

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I spent a good chunk of my time at the gym in order to get rid of some of the chunk and hopefully lessen my migraines. I also tried to do as many fun things as possible with the kids and in the procces, I think I learned to lighten up a bit. 



Elle Belle, the Little Ellepeno. You are getting so big so fast!
Well, what can I say. She loves being in things: boxes, baskets, cabinets. You name it, she is there. Oh, and the pantry. She likes hiding in there (and finding candy, crackers, any snack will do.)

She loves her friends. She and Caleb have been buddies for, well, almost a year now. Her best friend is definitely her big sister. She loves playing and is pretty nice to others (most of the time.)

She is big enough to have play dates and play tea party and dress up. So sad for Mommy, so exciting for her. In this picture, she was less excited about posing and more excited about getting to the actual tea party.

She loves dogs. This is Elle laying in Kip's cage WITH Kip. I'm not sure who was more excited, Elle or Kip.
This kid LOVES to clean. (She must get it from her Dad.) She even stole a little bitty broom from the neighbors next door. Sydney had one, but apparently Elle needed her own. We don't really condone stealing, but the neighbor Dad said it was ok. (I think he was just glad to see one more toy vanish.) Maybe we'll work on the whole right/wrong thing later.

Except, maybe we kind of are. Yes, this is Elle. In time out. She is getting to be quite familiar with this little spot on the wall (and Mom and Dad are getting quite familiar with one pouty little lip.)