Green Thumb

When my parents asked me what I thought Sarah would like for her birthday I immediately knew the answer. Our girls love all things outdoors. While outside Sarah LOVES to water and take care of plants. She helped me change out our front walkway when I switched out it’s contents, has always asked to help water my parents tomato’s and flower pots. Like most kids, water brings her immediate happiness. Recently my sister and I have been talking about how nice it is when some gifts are not necessarily an item, but a memory made. With this thought in mind I knew I had been wanting to teach Sarah more about gardening, and figured my mom, the green thumb queen, could be an even better teacher. Mom always asks and encourages Sarah to help her with her outdoor planting adventures. Whether it be watering pots, picking tomatoes or plucking figs off a tree and eating them there in the yard, I knew there was no better gift than bringing those memories into our own home.

I had found some gardening tools recommended by KingGREEN that I wanted to get Sarah so I told my mom about it and let them go from there. They not only got her the garden tools, but a watering can, bag of fertilizer and a box of flowers.

I love gifts that are used to make and create memories. Gifts that get your hands dirty and teach kids about new things.

Here are the goods, before relocation





The beginning of growth


Memory in the Making


Getting her hands, and everything else, dirty





Their finished products


Getting use of her very own watering can


Elanor watching from the coupe

20140313-161828.jpg —

Goofy Love


Later that day, after a much needed bath, Sarah insisted on continually checking on her flowers. She went out and reported back that the yellow one was growing. Looks like she has her Nana’s green thumb!


March[ing] Forward

One of the easiest ways to motivate Sarah to do things she isn’t fond of (ex: going inside, leaving the park, switching activities, etc.) is by singing a song. One that works 98% of the time is “Follow Me”.

My mom discovered this successful technique with some sweet and simple lyrics;
‘Follow me, Follow me, Wherever you may go, Follow me”.
Incorporating foot marching raises the success rate from 98 to 100%.

It’s funny how magical songs can be. I suppose they motivate me to clean when I don’t care to, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.

All that to say, the month of March tends to be a busy one for our family. Lots of activities, lots of movement, and if we are lucky, a lot of get togethers.

It usually starts with Sarah’s birthday. Then mine a week later, and my brother in law Jeff a few days after that.

Aging is an exciting thing. Getting to experience another year of making memories and watching relationships grow. Four years ago we didn’t have any children. We now have a 3 and 1 year old. It’s amazing how much can change in such a short time.

Oh how the months fly by…


Sarah is 3


They have grown so much since last March:


Alright, now where’s the pause button?!

Icy Fun

That’s definitely not a title I thought I’d write, in relation to our normal day to day at least.

All this crazy cold weather has taught me something I never thought I’d say – bring on the heat! Guys, it is so much more work getting kids dressed, comfortable, potty-trained, diaper changed, bags packed, and carseats buckled when it’s freezing outside. Not to mention all the mismatched shoes and socks tossed about in the back floorboards of the car. Why do kids hate shoes so much?!

This past week the temperature dropped nice and freezing. It seems no matter how many blankets and shirts I wear my temperature does not rise. Our poor heater hasn’t stopped running in almost 2 days. Not looking forward to that electric bill. Yikes.

Stephen’s office closed early on Tuesday so people could get home before the roads iced over and/or closed. Crazy thankful for that foresight because all of Stephens paths home closed later that day. Before we put Sarah to bed that night Stephen took her outside to play with icicles. She loved it. The only way we could get her to go to bed after all the excitement was telling her about how fun it would be to play in it in the morning with Elanor.


The next morning we made plans to meet our neighbors out front. I was surprised and excited to see they had real sleds! We pulled the girls up and down the driveway and they loved it. I quickly had to go back inside and search the house for gloves. I don’t think my hands have ever been that cold. Thankfully Sarah was recently gifted a pair from friends at church, so one kiddo was covered. Elanors tiny hands were still gloveless so I found some fuzzy warm socks and she never knew the difference.

Our long driveway was perfect for sledding. All the rain made for a super long iced slippery slide.


Elanor had a BLAST!
sock-gloves are where it’s at


Sarah pulling her sister


Playing with icicles in the backyard




Sarah has such an adventurous and curious spirit


Love my little E


who also has gotten very curious and adventurous

(click here if video isn’t working)





This last clip was pretty much how our day in the snow and ice concluded. Sarah told me she wanted to pull me on the sled so I got in. She pulled me about 10 feet and pronounced “Mommy, you’re too heavy” and then headed for the front door.

(If the video isn’t working, click here to watch )

After this we headed in, got Elanor down for her nap and Sarah and Stephen cuddled on the couch while watching Tangled and drinking hot cocoa.

It was a great day at the Ringl house.

Almost 3

In a little over a month Sarah is going to be 3 years old. 3. Years. How in the world did time go so quickly? I blame sleep regression, and time travel. Mostly the lack of sleep though. What did I do with my time before I had children? Did I nap all the time? If not I should have.

It’s incredible how much Sarah has learned lately. Her brain is absorbing things quicker than I can spew good information out.
Hearing her have real adult conversations blows my mind. She may be small but she talks just like we do. Hearing her spout out entire, and correctly ordered, sentences with full recognition of what she’s saying. Asking questions about everything. Wanting to know how I’m feeling and what words mean. We’ve always spoken to her the same way we talk to everyone else and I think that shows itself in her conversational skills. #mombragmoment

She is almost completely potty trained. Keyword: almost.
The other day she was asking for a diaper while wearing panties (she does this when she needs to poop). I was doing dishes and the next thing I know she comes back into the kitchen, wearing a pull-up and tells me she needs to be changed. That’s a clear picture of a kid that should be out of diapers. Changing herself INTO a diaper. Crazy child. For some reason, although she’s done it several times before, Sarah will have nothing to do with using the bathroom for her #2 business. I’m really hoping she will have the realization that it’s the way to go, because as much as we want her too, you can’t make a kid go in the potty (trust me, I’ve tried!)

We are really pleased that Sarah is still good at taking an afternoon nap. While she doesn’t get one daily, which is more of a scheduling problem than lack of need, she is great at sleeping for 2-3 hours. ::Everyone please hold while I go knock on wood::

In the past month or two Sarah has started finding her way into our bed during the night. She has been having issues with nightmares and while we used to go into her room when she woke upset, she has decided to just come into our room and crawl in the middle between Stephen and I. Thankfully she has learned to stay still so I’m not getting kicked and shoved, and she doesn’t do it nightly, but it is something I never expected and haven’t figured out how to handle yet. My sister recently gave Sarah a new light pillow. She just has to push a button and stars come on that light up the ceiling. She loves it and I think it has helped some, since she has been staying in her room a few more times than recently before. That’s parenthood though, a continual learning process. If nothing else, having 2 little ones has taught us that every child is different. You gotta keep trying til you figure out what works.

Now, for our normally broadcasted photo dump.


Playing at the park near the water is a favorite


Sarah has become a puzzle pro. She loves for us to watch her put them together


Dress up in the car with a scarf one of the youth at church, Eli, made her


She has become a big cuddler lately, which she never was as a baby


She talked me into donuts during a quick trip to Target


Digging her hole


She loves painting. LOVES all art. That makes me a happy mom


Cuddling with cousin Addison’s blanket during sunday school at church


Guys, we go through so much peanut butter. Not kidding. Buckets upon buckets.


She wanted to pull the wagon, so we let her.


Dry erase markers are awesome! Makes coloring cleanup super easy


Bubbles at Grandma & Grandpas


Playing outside at Nana & Papaws House


Visiting parks are so enjoyable for them AND me


Playing dress-up
(she moves quick, hence the iPhone blur)


Again, we love parks


Being a goofball


Swinging outside and showing off her lollipop


Sarah has started asking to eat cereal


Cereal? Out of a bowl? With milk AND an adult size spoon? Time, stop it! Stop it I say. Going way too fast.

It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks we will have a 3 year old. I don’t notice how big she is getting until I look at pictures and see it right in front of my eyes. It’s like a before-after with people and weight-loss. You don’t notice the gradual changes if you are around it everyday. I am so thankful for pictures. For being able to see her growth over just a few days, weeks, and months. They change so quickly.

Sarah Elizabeth Ringl. Almost 3. I remember finding out we were pregnant, for the third time. Being afraid to get excited. Praying so earnestly for a healthy baby. Waiting and hoping anxiously for each new day, week, and month. Finding out we were having a girl. Picking out her name. The crazy experience of bringing her into this world. And now she is a full-fledged toddler. Very quickly developing her personality. Choosing to be hard headed at times and tender at others. Deciding if she wants mommy to get up and get her breakfast, or daddy to sit with her to share animal crackers. Each day she makes her own decisions. We are showing her that some things are up to her parents to decide, and she’s the one that has to choose to be obedient and listen. Shaping her to be a leader, and to know when and whom to follow. Praying that she will come to know the Lord at an early age. That she can know His love and grace and skip out on a lot of mistakes and instead have the opportunities to honor Christ and be His disciple.

She hears every word. See’s every action and reaction. Watches our responses and body language. Everything we do she is observing. When we laugh. Cry. Snap. Hold our tongue. Raise our eyebrows. Roll our eyes. Getting angry and short tempered. Use sarcasm. Children are a wonderful vessel to remind us to keep our minds, actions, and words in check. She is learning every moment of everyday based on the people she is around. I have no doubt that when she says “shoot”, “oh my goodness” or “Elanor, it’s okay, don’t cry sweetie.” That she has heard each of those statements straight from my mouth. I’m just thankful she has picked up on more of the good than bad.

When did this start turning sentimental… whoops. There’s proof for you that she brings out every side of me. From humor to education then back to humor again. If you made it this far in, you win 3500 awesome points. Congrats! Now it’s back to the other tabs you have opened in your browser.

Tea & Teeth

Earl grey tea. That’s been my evenings. Every evening. For two weeks now. Why you ask?

This girl

and this girl

They are both teething.

Sarah’s two-year molars and Elanors front 4. It has been a whole new parenting experience. My patience has been tested and I’ve failed. Failed miserably. Failed on more occasions than I want to recall or ever admit. Short to no naps, only one lap for two crying & attention craving wee ones, teeth clinching orajel-avoidance at it’s highest level, and lots (and lots) of curious george episodes.

Guys, parenting is hard. So hard. The most difficult and rewarding thing I have ever done.

It’s awesome. Awesome. Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. Awesome, again, and then Hard again. Teething however, not so awesome.


Worm to Your Mother

With cooperative weather on my side, we spent some solid time outside this week. On Monday my mom was over and helped watch the girls so I could mow the backyard and get some other yard work done.

While we were outside Sarah decided to venture from the pool and came across one of her favorite outdoor dwellers.

Friends, meet one of our yards many dirt swimmers.

I love how daring toddlers are. No hesitation to get slimy and dirty fingers.

A classic Sarah face

Big Cheesin’

There ya have it. Another day at the Ringl house, outside edition.

I think Stephen is going to threaten to disown me soon with all my catchy post titles over the past few years. What can I say, I’m 29 years old and I’ve embraced my naturally corny nature. I think he’s gonna grow to accept it more and more because Sarah is growing into a mini-me more everyday.

Some Recent Firsts

This summer has been one crazy, awesome, fast paced and packed time! With chasing two kiddos around (since one runs and the other now CRAWLS!), I have been more exhausted than I knew possible. Each night, after the girls are both in bed, I pretty much just want to lay on the couch and drift off to sleep. Which I do pretty often, Stephen can attest to it. We have been watching through the show ‘Community’ (thanks for the tip, Jeff & Ri) and I have had to rewatch far too many episodes alone due to dozing. What was this post about? Oh ya, summer.

Over the past few weeks we were able to do two particular things that Sarah went absolutely gaga over! The first was when we visited the airport.

My parents went to Kazakhstan and I decided to surprise them with Sarah there to pick them up. Sarah, Miriah, and I were there to greet them and THEN we went to mom and dads to surprise dad with a birthday cake. They arrived home on his birthday.


Here we are passing time in the gift shop

She is getting SO big!

Watching planes land and take off

Surprising Papaw & Nana

Our second exciting excursion was going to the movie theater. It turned out to be an all girls day, and to top it off the theatre had 2 for 1 and kids were free!

Sarah & Elanors first movie: Monsters University
Sarah LOVED it (& E slept, which was perfect)!

Aunt Kelley

There you have it, our two newest memorable moments. Sarah had so much fun and I am so thankful that I’m able to be there with her during these exciting times.

Here’s to a great finish to the last few months of “summer”, because let’s admit it, it doesn’t cool down enough to feel like any other season until after thanksgiving.

Some Backyard Fun

Can you believe it is already time for school to start again?! Where did the summer go? Actually, since I don’t have children yet in school and it is still 95+ degrees outside it is technically still summer in my book. The new season doesn’t come around until Halloween, and most years a month of so after.

Florida is hot people. While living near the coast is great because of the wonderful gulf winds, that doesn’t stop the humidity and sticky skin factor.

Due to the massive amount of rain we have had lately we haven’t had many chances to go outside. The girls have been going bonkers being cooped up inside, so I was really excited when we were able to have an afternoon outside. We had a great time while Sarah played in her little pool and Elanor watched in the swing. Sarah loves being outside, and pools, and water, and the hose… actually, anything outdoors and involving water. She’s a toddler, it’s what they do.

I decided to finally grab a few pictures that capture our girls growing personalities really well.

One of her many faces

Seriously?! Girl has some spunk.

Proof that she does sit still, even if it’s ever so briefly.

Elanor is so peaceful and chill. She just sat and watched Sarah play in the water

Leftover Easter eggs are great for all sorts of play

It wouldn’t be an honest photo session if there wasn’t some nose picking involved

Elanor watching

Smiling at Papaw & Nana

Our little tan girl

At one point Sarah decided to share the water with Elanor and it quickly escalated from just putting it on her feet to throwing it in the air. Thankfully she’s a good listener and quickly stopped. I’m glad Elanor is used to having water splashed in her face from their bath experiences. It seems there isn’t much Sarah can do that doesn’t make her laugh and grin. Now if only I can bottle and/or channel that joy to last in their teen years… A mom can hope!

A Years Difference

While cleaning out my iPhoto folders I came across this picture of our eldest daughter.

This was her one year ago.

This is her a week ago.

It’s weird that I remember that moment 1 year ago, but not how she looked. It seems like I always think she looks and speaks the same way she does at that current moment in time.

Her vocabulary has gotten huge and she has become such a little girl in the past few months.

She loves to play “mommy” with her dolls. She has a great imagination and watching her play with us, or independently, is so much fun. She loves to be outside getting dirty and exploring while searching for frogs, lizards, and bugs. Her favorite toy is her mini mouse doll. She loves to sing and dance, especially when her daddy plays guitar. She is a mini-Stephen with her love for musical instruments. She plays air guitar and drums on anything within reach.

Twinkle Twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, the Alphabet Song, Pat-a-cake & Itsy Bitsy Spider are sung multiple times a day. She learned Pat-a-Cake in one day after one of our youth sang it to her at church. She is a huge helper when it comes to cleaning. The clean-up song that my sis in law Kelly taught her has been a HUGE help. She always wants to help me cook and do dishes, most recently she has learned to make some awesome cornbread (thanks, Jiffy)! If I am doing laundry she puts the clothes in the washer and then later into the dryer.

She takes one nap in the afternoon, from 12:30-2:30. She has a toddler bed and goes to sleep between 7-7:30 and wakes up at 6:30 each morning by coming into our room and saying “Too early, mommy?” due to me telling her “It’s too early Sarah” for a few weeks after she first learned to open her door. She now goes to her daddy’s side of the bed and he gets up with her to eat breakfast and cuddle on the couch before he has to get ready for work.

We drink a TON of play tea that she makes me in her singing teapot. She makes delicious food by sprinkling it into my hands and on plates straight out of thin air. She has recently learned how to take off her clothes AND diaper. Since we started potty training this was useful, until she started bringing us her already poop-filled diapers. Our carpet and tile have never been cleaner!

She has the sweetest little spirit and is a wonderful big sister. She likes to “help” when Elanor needs her diaper changed, and is my little pacifier hunter. Most times she will get upset if Elanor is crying. She hates for her sister to be sad. In the morning, when Elanor wakes up she runs into their room and says “Good Mowning, Elanowr!” and then shows her how fun it is to jump on her bed. We go through more bananas than a zoo and she loves my [secretly filled with vegetables] smoothies.

We could not hope for a sweeter and more loving toddler. While she is hard headed, independent, and stubborn sometimes (no idea where she got that), her compassionate heart and sweet smile make every day brighter.

Parenthood is everything and nothing like I thought it would be. I can’t begin to imagine all the things she will learn and how much more she will grow by next summer!

All I know for sure is, while the days may seem long the years are flying by!

That Time Sarah Turned 2

Wow. 4 months. Yep, that’s right, it’s been 4 months since Sarah turned 2. 4 months since we had a sweet little party. 4 months that I never shard a single picture of said birthday party. Well today that is going to change. Here you go friends, a liiiiiittle late, but here it is

Sarah turns Two

Her favorite toy is her Minnie Mouse doll, so we used that as a decorating tool


I made her a matching dress, which was a fun quick project

We had the #1 ingredient for a great toddler birthday party – Bubbles!


Grandpa & Grandma


Aunt Kelley & Uncle Jason


Grandma’s and the grandbabes


Aunt RiRi


Guys, doing guy things


Our friend Ashley & our little Elanor


Swinging with Uncle Jason


Singing Happy Birthday


I love this picture because of moms face. Yep, Sarah got drums!


Yummy Birthday Cookie


Family Photo

This sweet little girl just melts our hearts more and more everyday.