Friday, June 19, 2009

Making a splash

Instead of going to the pool at the Y today, we decided to stay home and play outside. I bought this little pool for an activity at school this spring. I wasn't planning on having the kids use it because it's REALLY small. But since it was so hot out today, I thought I would fill it up and at least let them splash their feet in it for a while. That wasn't good enough for them, though. They needed to be completely soaked!
Here they are-minus Dakota who has decided that she's too old for things like sprinklers and baby pools-getting totally soaked and having a blast.

(Just so you know, the pool has an inflatable floor so the poor little babies don't have to sit on the hard ground. I thought this was silly at first and almost didn't blow that part up. Now, I'm really glad I did!)

We also went to the splash pad yesterday again. This time, it was packed with kids. It was so funny to see the differences in my kids' personalities while we were there. Landon had fun for a while with the other kids, but we had taken some toys and he just couldn't stand to see the other kids using "his" toys-getting them in the mud, etc-so he finally just left the splash pad and went to play on the playground instead. Sierra LOVED having so many kids around. She ran around and around just laughing and saying "this is so much fun! I love you mommy!" Cheyenne found some kids her age and made up a game where you fill up the bucket with water and then dump it on each others' heads. And Dakota-well, she was Dakota. She spent the entire time sitting next to me at the picnic table, reading. Didn't get one drop of water on her.

It's still so strange to me that these four children have the same parents, live in the same house, and are still so DIFFERENT.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quote of the day

We have been working on getting Landon and Sierra to stay dry at night. They both wear pull-ups for bedtime right now and do pretty well for a few days, and then go back to accidents at night. I decided to try a new strategy this week to motivate them. For every day that they wake up dry, I put a smiley face on the calendar (red for Sierra and green for Landon). When they have 5 in a row, they can try sleeping without a pull-up. Well, that worked pretty well-for about a day. They both got one on the first day. Sierra got one on the second day. No one has gotten one the last two days.
Landon was really not happy that Sierra got one and he didn't on the second day, so yesterday he got up and changed his pull-up before I got up. He came and told me his pull up was dry and I said "is that the same pull-up you put on last night?" He said "No, but my pull-up is dry." So I told him that it has to be the same pull-up that he put on at bedtime and it has to stay dry all night. No happy face if you have to change your pull-up.
So, this morning, he came in to my room and said "I sleeped in my big boy bed all night (another thing we are working on). And my pull-up is dry!" I said "Is that the same pull-up you put on at bedtime?"
His reply? "Yes, I put on two pull-ups so my pee couldn't reach."

I think he gets a smiley face for that one!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


We took the kids to see the movie Up tonight. It was really cute. This was the kids' first time to watch a movie in 3D, so that made it extra special. Here is a picture of them in their super cool 3D glasses (please ignore the windows in the background that desperately need to be cleaned-or if it really bothers you, feel free to come and clean them for me :-P). If you haven't seen UP, you should go! I'll even loan you my kids to distract you during the sad parts so you don't cry!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A short post for Monday...

I don't have much to say today. It's been a lazy couple of days since the girls got back from camp Friday afternoon (you know, except for Dakota's swim meet on Saturday and church x2 yesterday). We did venture out to the splash pad for about an hour today. We had the whole place to ourselves for the first 20 minutes or so. Then who should show up but one of Cheyenne's school friends! And right before we left, a little girl from Landon's daycare was there. The kids had fun. It's definitely worth the drive to Perkins to have some fun in the water for a while.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


***Update June 12,2009***I, along with countless others, am saddened and confused by the turn of events in the April Rose story. How someone could so convincingly make up such a tragic and touching story is beyond my understanding. However, the information that I have received about Beccah, the author of this story, is that she has (obviously) emotional and mental health issues that contributed to her actions. I along with many others I know, will continue to be in prayer for her that she will receive the help that she needs.

There is a baby girl that I (along with thousands of others in blogland) have been praying for over the last few months. She wasn't supposed to make it...and now SHE IS HERE! They are still taking things minute by minute as things are very uncertain about her condition, but for now, she is here. More proof that HE is here!

You can get updates on her at her mother's blog Embracing the Life of Little April Rose.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

visit to the zoo #2

While Dakota and Cheyenne have been gone to camp, I've been in charge of entertaining Landon and Sierra. Since the weather was supposed to be cool on Wednesday, I thought it would be a fun day to visit the zoo.

It turned out to be a really good day for the zoo. It had rained a little in the morning and was kind of overcast most of the day. The animals were pretty active, so that was exciting. We had a pretty good time. The kids ran through the zoo so fast they probably can't tell you a single thing they saw, but it got us out of our house and let us be outside for a while. I think their favorite thing at the zoo was the playground.
They also liked this "baby elephant". The elephants are all visiting Tulsa right now, so it's the only one we got to see this visit.

And this water fountain. It was too hard for either of them to push the button and get a drink at the same time, so they each took turns pushing the button while the other got a drink. Very sweet.
Fianlly, we got to see some animals, Here is Sierra with the kangaroos.

Landon looking at the black bear. (He was asleep the last time we were at the zoo)
They also found some ducks they liked.

Here is Sierra "reading" one of the signs to Landon.
Here are some of the other animals that were out and about. I'm not sure the kids even knew they were there, but I enjoyed seeing them.
There was a badger,

a cougar,
a prairie dog,
a grizzly bear
and some other things.
But even more than the real live animals, Landon and Sierra loved the animal statues. We had to take pictures with every one that we passed.

And Landon's twin was still there waiting for us. : )

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

splash park fun

Yesterday was our first day to be without Dakota and Cheyenne (they are at camp) so we decided to head over and check out the new splash park in Perkins. It is not very big, but it is perfect for the little ones. They played in the water-and the mud, of course-for over an hour. When we got there, one of Sierra's friends from school was there with her mom, who is a teacher in our building. It was nice for Sierra to have someone she knew to play with and nice for me to have an adult to talk to for a few minutes.

Looks like rain today so we probably won't get to go back this afternoon, but I know we will be going there many times this summer.

Our "garden"

If you know us, you know how much our family LOVES to eat vegetables, :-P So, this year we had the brilliant idea that maybe we-okay, mostly the kids, but Daniel and I too-would eat more veggies if we grew them in our own garden. So, Daniel borrowed a tiller and got the ground all ready. Then, it was the kids' job to finish picking out all the leftover grass, etc. They worked really hard on it Thursday morning.

Landon, on the other hand, would rather play with the cat. (Who, by the way, suddenly came home after being gone for over a month!)
Thursday evening, we all got out there and planted the seeds.

Once all the seeds were planted, the garden had to be watered. I can't imagine why it took so long for the garden to get enough water...

...or maybe I can!

Make sure your sound is turned up for this video so you can hear Sierra laughing. I love her laugh!

Ryker Family Reunion

This weekend was super busy for us (when is it not?). We spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning with Pawpaw and Grandma Debbie, then went on to Grandpa and Grandma Phyllis' house for a reunion with Grandma Phyllis' family, then stopped by the camp grounds to drop the oldest two off for a week of church camp. It was lots of fun, but I was definitely thankful for a more restful day with no schedule today.

Before I share some of the fun pictures of the reunion, I have to tell you Dakota's definition of a cousin. She said, "A cousin is someone who you are related to, but don't know very well." : ) I can always count on Dakota for a unique perspective on things. She definitely got to see a lot of her "cousins" this weekend. If I counted right, there were 50+ people at the reunion on Sunday. It had been 5-6 years since we had seen some of them. I can't believe how much all the kids have grown! It's funny how in my mind everyone else's kids stay the same even though I am watching my own kids grow up.

The kids had a blast playing on the inflatables Sunday!

Dakota and Cheyenne liked getting stuck to the velcro wall.
Landon and Sierra wore themselves out on the giant slide.
And Cheyenne showed off her gymnastics skills on the moon bounce castle.

Sierra and Emily took a break in the sandbox.

Landon and Danny hung out on the porch swing.

And Sierra, Landon, and Danny talked one of their cousins into giving them a ride on the firetruck. (He is one strong kid to push all three of them!)

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures when we dropped the kids off at camp (so unlike me). I know my friend, Krista, had her camera on hand, so I'm hoping I can talk her into passing some of her shots from this week along to me (please, please Krista :-P). I did hear from Krista this afternoon-okay, well, I texted her and asked-and she said that the girls were fine last night and that today was going well too. So, they have one night down and only 4 more to go.