Thursday, December 1, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Riedl's

Merry Christmas!

Kylie: Kylie started 1st grade this fall and is doing great. She is in a multiage class which consists of both 1st and 2nd grade students and is eating it up. She is our little book worm and always has a book or two going at at time. Her report card was excellent to say the least and she is apparently a little social butterfly! At home, she loves dancing and doing many different arts and crafts. She is one little creative girl! Being the "big sister" suits her well as she loves playing and helping out with her siblings. This summer she was a huge help with the baby and continues to step in when mommy and daddy need some assistance. Kylie is such a kind hearted girl and we love watching her grow into the beautiful young lady God created her to be.

Cooper: Cooper started preschool two days a week this year and loves it. Every morning he asks if it is a preschool day. Although he has LOTS of energy, he is very well behaved at school and we have only heard positive things about him. He loves to write books and has a creative side as well. Overnight he decided to start writing his name and letters to everyone in the family. His new love is for building. Almost daily he asks to go over "to the shop" and build something. It is too cute to watch some days. And for all of you who know Cooper, he continues to melt our heart with his big blue eyes and sweet little voice. God has truly blessed us with a handsomely sweet little man (or big guy if you are talking with him).

Addison: Addy has grown up so much over the past year. We have entered the stage of "terrible twos" and they seemed to hit right around her birthday. She is one strong cookie and makes sure everyone knows what she wants. Even so, we have discovered a goofy side to her. Out of all of our kids, she seems to be the comedian. She likes to dance and sing in silly voices while making goofy faces. It is too cute to watch. She loves her baby dolls and has taken on a little mommy roll. You can usually find her feeding, changing or putting her baby to bed. At the end of the day, she just wants to cuddle and give kisses. What more could we ask for?

Kallen: We welcomed Kallen into our family this July! What an awesome addition he has been. He is such a happy baby and is always smiling. Just the mention of his name and he will flash a famous Kallen smile! We could just eat him up. His newest accomplishments are eating rice cereal and rolling over. He also started sleeping a lot better (which is more of an accomplishment for mommy). God blessed us with this little handsome man and we couldn't be more grateful!

Zach: Zach is still working at the bank which has worked out great for our family. He is right in town and able to bring Kylie to school each morning along with attend a lot of school functions. It's ideal to say the least. He has also started building furniture! Our house has been blessed with many new pieces and let me tell you, they are AWESOME. He would love to start selling some of his work and I am sure he will be pretty successful with this! That being said, golf wasn't a priority this summer and he didn't get to go out much. Being a family man has defiantly

put a dent in his golf game. He is hoping to get Cooper into golf so he can have a little golfing buddy!

Kara: Still staying home and loving that God has allowed us to live on one income. Each day, I think of how blessed we are and how God continues to bless us daily. To say the least, he surprised us with Mr. Kallen this year to add to our already large family. Wow...I am thankful! In my spare time (hahahahaha) I like to run, cook, and sew. This past November I was finally able to run in my first post baby 5K again. Hopefully this spring I will be able to get back into running more! I have dealt with a lot of illness over the past year as well and it looks as though my tonsils will be coming out the first of the year. Not looking forward to being down and out for a few weeks but am very grateful for family who will be helping out.

“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-2, 14


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas is in the air

The decorations are out. The kids are crazy. The tree will be up this weekend and baking will begin on Monday....Yes, it's Christmas!

My kids need a countdown. We always try to do the Christmas chain but there are way too many arguments over who gets to take down a ring. So this year we decided to do a book a day.

I got this fabulous idea from pintrest! Oh my gosh...I am addicted! We wrapped (or shall I say "I") 24 books. Most of the books were from our personal collection while my friend, Sarah, picked up a few new ones for me. Seriously, the kids will have no idea we had these...we have A LOT. Anyways, each night they can open a new book for us to read . How fun! Wish I would have thought of this one on my own.

Next on the list....Christmas email/picture!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We try so hard as parents to instill a thankful attitude in our children. "Now Kylie (Cooper, Addison), did you say thank you for...", is something that is said at least 3 times a day in our house. The older kids get it. They say thank you almost all the time...but Addy...she still needs a little help. When they come home from playdates, I hear, "your kids have the best manners", and it makes me feel great as a parent...I DID IT. Yes, I instilled "thankfulness" in my children.

Then it's 5:00...

They are hungry...

They are sleepy....

They are just grumpy and irritated and the "I wants" and "give me" starts! As a parent, you should correct your child's statements with a, "Mommy can I please have..." and "mommy, thank you for...". But sometimes that just doesn't happen. As a mom, that 5:00 hour is just a painful for us as it is for them. How many times have I neglected to say thank you? How have I shown a thankful heart when I just don't feel like it? be honest, I don't all the time. So today I decided to start living in a "thankful" home. To be thankful all the time. Of course we are commanded in the Bible to be thankful. Colossians 3:15 says, " Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your hearts. As parts of one body, you were appointed to live in peace. And be thankful.".

Being that it is the season of "thankfulness". I decided to instill this in our home...starting today. Although we have done this in the past, we will start again. At dinner each person will say one thing they are thankful for. We will change it up nightly to be someTHING or someONE or something about someone know what I mean. I decided to bring out the "thankful bowl". As a teenager we had a bowl that sat our our table with a pad of paper and a pen. We would write down something we were thankful for and throw it in the cup at the top. It would then "overflow" and we would pick some of the papers out and read them. Anyone who came to our house was allowed to add to the bowl and it was great! Seriously, it was great...even if there were a few funny ones in there:) But now that I have 2 kids who can write and express their thankfulness, I figured it was time. Cannot wait to start this tonight!!

And yes, I NEED TO START MODELING thankfulness. As a mom, it is crucial that our children know what a gift they are to us. Psalm 127:3 says, "Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from him.". So why don't we always treat them as such? I never want my kids to feel like they were a burden or that I did not value them. Each day I think of how thankful I am to have 4 beautiful children. 4 children who daily surprise me. 4 children who tell me how much they love me. 4 children who make me laugh more times than I can count on a daily basis. They need to know these things. So...because I am such a visual person, I am going to start leaving notes in their Christmas trees (yes, I said Christmas tree...we put them up last week in their rooms), telling them how thankful I am for them.

And my am I thankful for him. He married an imperfect person for sure! But guess what, he still loves me! He works so that I can stay home with the kids. He showers me with love! He is a Godly example of what a daddy should be to our children as well. This morning Cooper said to me, "when I grow up, I want to be a daddy....and a paleontologist" . He said he loves his daddy so much and he will be a good daddy just like his! How sweet (and one for the thankful bowl...).

Anyways, just a thought for today. Who/What are you thankful for and how do you instill a thankful heart in your children?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zach's creations

So my awesomely talented husband has been playing around in the wood shop for a while now. He has organized our house more than I could ever imagine and is finally starting to sell his creations. They are VERY sturdy and well built! Let me know if you are interested!!

2x3 goes for $80

2x4 goes for $100

3x3 goes for $100

I love this table! It has a "secret" shelf to hide my ipad/laptop.

And the sofa table! This is GREAT for those of us who need a place to work while relaxing! They come in all sizes to fit all sofas.

Look for more creations in the near future!!

Oh and just in case you wanted to see my cute little babies face again...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The best gluten free apple cookies!

I wanted to make some apple cookies...


I also wanted Cooper to be able to enjoy them...

The recipes for GF apple cookies were just weird. Really, really, really weird.

So I made it up...

And to my surprise, they were great!

Here it is folks. The best ever gluten free apple cookies.

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped apples

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream the coconut oil and brown sugar together. Mix in the egg and milk. Stir in the apples. Add the oats, corn starch, rice flour, baking soda,cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet Bake for 13 minutes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Growing up...

Cooper is officially a preschooler...
*and Addy thinks she is too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Snack time!

I don't know about your kids but mine are snackers. Now don't get me wrong, they like to eat meals (at least 3 out of the 4) but they also LOVE snacks. That being said, I try to (or course) make them healthy snacks.

Milkshakes AKA Smooties are our favorite snack. I enjoy them as well and they serve as a good protein boost for this nursing around the clock mama. I have honestly NEVER followed a "recipe" for smoothies and just put random delicious things in them. BUT recently I have found my favorite so I figured I would share with you.

Banana Elderberry Kefir Smoothie

1 large banana
1 cup of plain kefir
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup elderberries (or other fruit of choice)
handful of ice
1 teaspoon ground flax seed

Combine them all in a blender until smooth and enjoy! This recipe feeds all three children plus me.

Looking for other delicious smoothie recipes! Please share!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Such love....

Proof that my kids actually love one another! They are too sweet!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mothering 4??!!

Yes, I blog has been neglected! It probably has something to do with this little one!
Because seriously, all he does is EAT! He is off to the docs on Tuesday and I am anxious to see how much weight my little man has put on because it is way to obvious that those little cheeks are filling right out!

But I am writing to assure you that one day I WILL in fact figure out how to manage 4 children under 6 (most likely in September when one will be a school full time and the other at preschool two days a week). Then and only then will I have time to write about all the fun things we are doing...or not doing! For now, you will get lots of pictures of my little one...just because he is pretty cute and growing so fast. AND lots of pictures of the other ones...when they stand still long enough for me to take a picture of them!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our newest arrival

Welcome to the world Kallen Zachary
7/1/11 at 12:42 pm
6 pounds 14 ounces
19 inches long

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

She's 2!!

Addy turned two on May 28th! To celebrate, we had a "cupcake/candy" party this weekend! She was super cute and loved every minute of it! My baby girl is growing up...and fast.

New accomplishments:
~counts to 12
~sleeping in a big girl bed
~sings her a,b,c's
~tries to be just like her sister...
~loves her dollies
~and will be a big sister any day now!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly menu

We have lots of eggs...lots and lots of eggs right now. Unfortunately, we don't have our own chickens but FORTUNATELY we have a great egg source. We get a dozen to two dozen a week and we L-O-V-E us some eggs....therefore, there are lots of eggs involved in our menu plan this week!

B: Eggs, toast (GF for Coop) and sausage
L: PB&J with cucumber and watermelon
D: Beer lime grilled chicken with lime rice

B: Yogurt, granola, strawberries
L: Egg salad sandwich with fresh veggies/fruit
D: Apple pancakes with bacon, sausage, strawberries and blueberries

B: Oatmeal
L: Ham and Cheese rolls with fresh veggies/fruit
D: Bacon wrapped hamburgers with corn on the cob

B: cereal with fresh fruit and hard boiled eggs
L: Apples with peanut butter, cheese slices with crackers and fresh veggies
D: Grilled chicken salad with fresh bread

B: Scrambled eggs, sausage, toast
L: Ham and Cheese rolls with veggies/apple slices
D: Pasta with any leftover veggies from week

*And yes, later I will post pictures from Addy's second birthday...just need to get to the other computer:)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

a few more dresses

I have been busy, busy, BUSY sewing these past few weeks. I finished up the flower girl baskets/ring bearer pillows for my sisters wedding (pics to follow) and made Kylie a few dresses. My most favorite is called the Bubblegum jumper. Of course she wasn't in the mood for modeling all three dress patterns but I did manage to get her to try two on.

Just a few I made from old stained shirts and left over fabric...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekly menu

In the past, I have talked about how much we spend per month on groceries and ways to save. Even so, I am finding it much more challenging to stay within the budget with a growing family, gas prices, and the ridiculous price of groceries.

Let me start by saying, I love Aldi! BUT...the closest one is a good 15/20 minute drive and with gas sometimes it just isn't worth it. Even so, I try to make an Aldi run at least 2x a month. Now...what do I do on the off weeks? TOPS...barf! It is right in town (3 miles from our house to be exact) and very convenient. For a while, it wasn't too bad. Yes, their produce isn't much to talk about about the the price of many products was at least 50 cents more than those at Aldi. But just insane! Today I did my weekly shopping at Tops and could barely (actually I went a dollar over) stay within my weekly budget. I didn't buy anything special and if you have read some of my former posts, you will see we really don't buy much.

I just need to let it go...I know. Food is a necessity and my kids would not be happy campers if mommy boycotted grocery stores. But I figured this is a time to bring back an old post on saving money on groceries. Stop by and revisit it and see if it helps. I believe the most important part to saving money is weekly menus....SOOOOO I included mine for this week so you could get a glimpse of meals at the Riedl household.

B: Eggs, sourdough bread (or GF bread), with sausage
L: Yogurt, PB&J, and carrot sticks*
D: Stew with baked potatoes, GF brownies

B: Pancakes with strawberries
L: Tuna, celery with peanut butter
D: Chicken Parm with ziti and baked broccoli

B: Yogurt and granola
L: MOPS get leftovers
D: Pork chops with corn bread and mixed veggies

B: Eggs, toast, fresh fruit
L: PB&J with cucumber
D: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and corn

B: Oatmeal with fruit
L: Playdate lunch (Cooper get a GF sandwich)
D: Ballet recital...Leftovers

*lunches are different for everyone due to work/school schedules but we try to stick to one basic main course. I tend to eat leftovers...

So there it is folks...our weekly meals. I only buy what I need for these meals and a few snack items for the kids. Just and FYI....I don't actually plan weekend meals because we are in and out so much. We usually just fly by the seat of our pants for those meals.

Looking for more ways to save on groceries...any ideas???

Saturday, May 7, 2011

skirt (dress) making adventures part II

Oh how fun it is to make skirts! After making the dress above, Kylie stated, "I am really trying hard to not tell you I don't like it". is up for grabs. No need to have it sitting around here if she will never wear it. It is a size 6x or 7....let me know:) *and it is my first attempt at this made up pattern.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Awesome giveaway

To go along with the modesty I spoke about in my previous post, here is an awesome giveaway....

I have other books by Shelia Walsh and they are all fantastic! Love her!

Anyways...go on over and enter a chance to win this book.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Skirt making adventures

For those of you who follow me on facebook, this is old news. I DISPISE a lot of the clothes out there for little girls right now. Not so much the under 5T clothes but the over 5T clothes. They are just plain old trashy! Many of them are form fitting and trendy. Why do we want our 6 year olds to look like 15 year olds? Seriously, I love my little free spirited 6 year old who just wants to wear skirts. Well guess guessed it, a lot of skirts in her size are either $100's of dollars or short and trendy. Not my style! Nor is it hers. She really likes longer skirts with lots of little girls, birds, pink, pink, and more pink. And modesty! Yes, modesty is something I believe in teaching her. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 says, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

After talking to my hubby about my frustrations, he said, "why don't you just make her a bunch". Yes, I can...I have...but did I really want to? Do I want her going to school looking like all her clothes are handmade?? Well, no, but if I am careful and meticulous, I can get them to look pretty nice (at least in my mind). So yesterday, Kylie and I headed off to Joann's to find some fabrics. SHE picked out most of them (with some guidance from her momma) and I went to town. Two skirts are made and they both took me under 45 minutes to make.

Did I follow a tutorial? Not necessarily. I have made just plain old skirts in the past so that wasn't hard. The only tool I used was one my SIL gave me a few years ago. You just put in the measurements and number of tears you want and it tells you want to cut. It's great.

So here are the first two....

She wasn't into modeling today so I wasn't going to force her...but she DID wear the first one to church this morning. I love it! I am going to make me a few once I can get a true waist measurement on myself (in about 2 months or so).

I figured I would share them as I make them with you all in hopes that you too will be inspired to make some of your own clothes. I am always happy to make some for you or teach you how to do it yourself. I have a few more designed I have made in the past and will hopefully take a few pictures of those shortly.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's official...

We have lost our first tooth!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

clothing your kids for less

Before I had kids, I swore I would have the most styling baby on the block! He or she would always be dressed for success and everyone would comment on his/her adorableness. Well, I will say that Kylie had a larger wardrobe than I as an infant. Being that she was the first grandchild, everyone bought her clothes and being that I was working at the time, I enjoyed a trip or two to the mall with my little diva. Needless to say, I decided to stay home and we had another and then another and know the rest and life got a little more expensive. That being said, I had to learn to cloth my kids for less.

Here are my suggestions...

1. Welcome and enjoy clothes from others. It came as a shock to me to find out that many mom's are leery of seconds. They use excuses such as, "they are out of style" or "my kid will only wear new". Well guess what...that is all a bunch of hogwash if you ask me. Lets be real for a minute. A) Your kids don't really care all that much what they wear (especially the boys). B) They will get them dirty. So why not enjoy clothes from a friend. Fortunate, my best friend and I have had our kids within months of each other. We keep a bin per size of clothes for boys and girls and swap back and forth what we need. It has been a huge help in eliminating the need to buy new clothes.

2. Only keep what you need and share the rest. I don't know about you but I get overwhelmed when I cannot fit anything in my kids dresser. You know, once you have done all the laundry and you realize they have 7 pairs of dress pants/ 10 pairs of jeans/15 shirts/ and 1,000 pairs of underwear and mismatched socks. It makes me scream just thinking about it. So get real and only keep what you need. Realistically we do our kids laundry once a week. That means they only really need 7 pairs of pants/shorts/shirts/socks etc. BUT we also like a little variety...right? So I keep different items...for example (I just cleaned out my sons drawers) 4 pairs of sweat pants 3 pairs of play pants 3 or 4 pairs of jeans and 2 or 3 pairs of dress pants, 7 pairs of PJ's, 10 play shirts, 7 nice shirts, and a few polo's or button down shirts, also 3 sweatshirts and 3 or 4 sweaters. Now I am not saying this is for everyone and it may vary by season but this is more than we really need right. So go sort through your kids drawers and only keep the best of what you have. Donate the rest to someone else who may need it more than you!! By the way...I still am not sure on how many socks and underwear one really needs. We tend to go through quite a few these days...not sure why.

3. Use online swapping sites I have never participating in one, but if you don't have anyone who can pass items down to you, this may be helpful. For example, ThredUP is a site where you pass on some of your old items in exchange for ones in the right size. They send you boxes and you do the rest. There is a small fee for shipping but it beats actually buying clothes.

4. Participate in a clothing drive.
Luckly, I am part of a mom's group that LOVES to trade clothes. We meet twice a month and always have a table where people can bring in their old clothes and pick up ones they need. It is awesome. I also know a lot of local organizations will host clothing drives where you can either drop off clothes and/or buy used clothes at an extremely reduced price. Most of these happen in the late spring or late summer so make sure you keep your ears open for one.

5. Shop at second hand stores.
Why not? In my town, there is a little second hand store which is pretty particular about what it carries. I have found SO many useful items there over the years. BUT, it is a hit or miss thing. They carry a lot of nice, designer named clothes but maybe not all the ones you were looking for. But remember, don't just look for the kids, look for yourself as well:)

If you do need something particular (like a yellow shirt for your sons team sport) then shop sale racks. You will be surprised. Recently, I was browsing at target and came across a boys spring jacket for $2.00 and totally grabbed it! Cooper needed one and there it was! YEAH. I know a lot of people shop at the end of the season for the next year. That is another way to save money.

6. Pray!
Matthew 21:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” God knows what we need so why not take it to him. True story, a friend of mine was in need of some mud boots for her son. She asked around and looked everywhere for it. She then talked with her children about asking God to provide for these items (at the time her daughter wanted some footy pj's). They spend some time in prayer over these items and after a few weeks they went to a church rummage sale. While there, they found ONE pair of mud boots in the exact size they needed (and I believe they found the PJ's too). God know! If we bring our request to Him, he will provide. Maybe not with what we have in mind, but he will provide!

Okay so you ask if I buy clothes for my kids...truthfully, very rarely. I am pretty good about only buying what they need. Right now, we are in need of some rain boots for my 6 year old and I am doing some extensive browsing and praying about it right now. This may be an item I need to purchase in the near future and I am okay with that. It is more about living with less so that others can just live!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We have been a little busy

But aren't they cute...

Monday, March 7, 2011

In case you wanted to see Addy's dress

And yes...that is a cell phone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Riedl Ramblings

We have been pretty busy finishing up the winter months here at the Riedl household.

For starters, we have had to do A LOT of hand washing! Lots of germs this season so with a little bit of bribing, our hands have been very clean.

Since it has been very, very, VERY cold out, our learning time has been done indoors. Kylie is our little reader. She has entered the era of chapter books. Sometimes, I have to tell her to put it down because she just loves to read. Right now, she is reading the Magic School Bus series. It has kind of brought the desire to homeschool to the forefront again. Kylie just loves to learn...and loves to be challenged but isn't REALLY challenged at school. hmmmmmm....I guess this is an area of prayer and a whole other discussion.

Cooper is my eager learner right now. He has 'mastered' his name and is in love with anything with a pattern. He is convinced we are having another boy since we have girl, boy, girl...

We have also done a fair amount of 'cooking'. They absolutely LOVE their kitchen set and are now into making mommy soup so she feels better (refer to the hand washing statement). Kylie likes to have picnics in the living room in preparation for the real deal in a few months.

*My soup!!

Addy loves most anything anyone else is playing with. She loves to feed her babies and we are in the process of attempting to explain to a 21 month old that there is a baby in mommy's tummy. Yeah...not going so well. We are starting the process of moving her into Kylie's room and have some big plans for some super cool bunk beds in the near future.

And me...well...I have been doing a lot of this... (great book by the way...again..another blog post)

and this...

and this...

Love my life as a mommy. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have been blessed with some pretty amazing kids :-)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Most simple dress EVA...

Tell me this dress isn't cute (and the model of course)!!??

It took me about an hour TOTAL to make.

Go down to your basement/attic/garage and pull out an old bin of clothes (preferably last years). Find the stain shirts and one without a stained top.

Cut them in stripes...and sew them together...


By the way. I made this one into a shirt for Kylie because she is into leggings and such right now!

Here is the tutorial in case you really want step by step instructions.

Like a said...great way to reuse old stained clothes AND it is just super cute.

Now on to making Addy's!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

6 already??

It's hard to believe I have a 6 year old! I don't feel like I should be the mommy of a 6 year old...but I am!

Anyways..she had a fantastic "winter" party this past weekend. It is so much fun to watch 8 Kindergartners interact! They were little, silly grown ups. So cute!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Entertaining the troops

I don't know about you, but some days I find it difficult to keep everyone happy. This snow and cold has kept us indoors for a while now and the kids are getting antsy.

So this mama has had to be creative....

A few ideas for those days when entertainment is NECESSARY!

Painting with pudding. Although I wish this was my idea, I can take no credit for it. I did it with Kylie back in the day but kinda forgot about this nifty craft idea. Recently, I read about it in a magazine and knew I had to let Addy get her turn with the pudding. Just give you kiddo some chocolate pudding, a silicone baster and some paper and watch what happens! It took her a while to figure out it was pudding (the other kids were painting with real paint) but once she did, she was entertained for a whole 30 minutes!

I picked up these really neat cookie cutters a while back on a free table at church and I have to say, they have been the best free thing I have every received! They came with the whole alphabet and number!! Since Cooper is learning how to spell his name, we had a playdough date with the letters. It was so much fun for the kids. Addy loved it just as much...even though she had NO idea what she was spelling.

Cooper was VERY proud of himself!