Friday, November 2, 2012

Double shot: Trip to the farm stand / Halloween

Well.  Since I've clearly been neglecting my assigned duty to keep you all up-to-date with our doings, probably should get going on that.  Here is a little fall gallery for your viewing pleasure.  The first section is from a little trip we took to a local farm stand in Dexter back in the beginning of October.  Oopsie, I've had this one in the works for a while.  Also oopsie, I forgot the camera at home and so was forced to document our visit using the camera phone (tough world we live in, isn't it?); the pictures actually turned out pretty good except for the ones where I zoomed in.

Feeding the horses.

Julia and Mama hangin' out.

Mary, getting ready to go into the straw maze, and Luke, doin his thing.

This thing was pretty cool...about fifteen feet high, with tunnels and rooms inside the giant pile of straw.  I didn't go in, except at the end to extract the kidlets; just looking at it made me claustrophobic.

 And finally, two things that are ubiquitous in Michigan in the fall:

1. Pumpkins, and

2. Pumpkin donuts, because apparently donuts themselves are not amazing enough.

There's usually cider, too, but it was really expensive this year since we lost all the apple crop because of the spring frost.  Donuts and cider in the fall are everywhere in Michigan.  I was talking to Sarah about this the other day...I don't remember having that be such a big thing in Minnesota this time of year.  I mean, we went apple-picking, and I'm sure that they had those for sale on a small scale at the orchards, but here, it's like a requirement of life.  Every year, September comes, and they get out the donuts.  And they eat them for two solid months.  I'm not objecting to this, mind you.

Next up: obligatory Halloween photos.  As is our tradition, Grandma came to visit this year for the week after a one-year hiatus.  It was pretty darn cold so we conned Mary into wearing the marshmallow suit instead of her ballerina costume.  As it was she still got too cold after about half an hour.
I think the other two could have kept it up all night.

Moosie had a cold coming on and so was pretty gorked through much of the process.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saline Community Fair

Growing up, I went to the Benton County Fair every year, faithfully working at the Tri County Humane Society booth, and watching the nightly talent shows.  I went because I was supposed to work there, and it was kind of fun to talk to people all day. We never ate fair food (except for ice cream) and never went on rides.  Husband, on the other hand, sees things differently. He has never missed a State Fair.  His family has fair in their blood.  It's like the Sprengelers need a dose of fair food at least once a year or they will wither up and die.  Thus, the second we heard wind that the Saline County Fair had dollar kid's rides, the kids were fastened up in the Honda and waiting in the driveway for Mom.  Off we went.  It was a blast.  Even I rode a ride called the Carmina Bob, which is basically an electric bobsled ride that whips around....kind of like The Scrambler, only on an incline.   I loved every minute of it.

Julia and Mary on the kiddie roller coaster

Luke rides a Monster Truck

Sharing water in the Wagon

fair faces!

I wanted to ride this one but Mike wouldn't come with me.  And Julia, who begged to ride The Zipper, is 47 1/2 inches tall....half an inch too short for big kid rides.  Next year, my year.......

dirty, dirty boy and a fast whippy ride.  Joy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

back in the saddle?

Hi folks,

Back in the saddle, again?  Well, maybe.  I used to be a faithful blogger.  I think that stemmed from my addiction to the breast pump and how it was conveniently located right next to the computer up in the bedroom where no one could find me....

The Alpaca Ranch is back. (That's our family blog, for you who have forgotten) Only this time, there is no pumping and the kids are no longer babies.  So our posts may be written in haste or by little fingers who don't know how to type so well...or by an exhausted yet still patient stay-at-home daddy, or by myself, in a rare moment where both hands are available to type.  We'll see how that goes.  Also, notably, it's been so long and I have so much hippocampal atrophy, I forgot my blogger username.  So I used Mike's.  That's why it will tell you this post was written by Mike.  But he is sleeping.  It's 1am and I am in the middle of a week of night float.

To catch you up, we are no longer in the Frozen Tundra of The North.  Nope.  We are now in the land of Maize and Blue.  The *other* U of M.  Detroit is a half hour away, but my kids don't really know that because I'd never take them there.  I'm sure it's pretty, but I would probably smile at the wrong person and get turned into meatloaf.  And not the delicious kind from back home.

What have we been doing for two years?  I am working about 80 hours a week.  Mike is staying home, lying and lounging around all day while the kids do all the cooking and cleaning, yard work, laundry, shopping, homework, bill paying, and car maintenance.  They harvest the garden and can the produce.  They keep papa quiet when mom comes home post-call and needs to sleep.  They never take their toys out and leave them all over the house and yard, they always clean up one thing before they move to the next, and Mary gets up early and walks the dog before the sun comes up.  Mary just loves mornings.

We moved out here a little more than two years ago when I switched residency programs.*  Let's just say it was not a lateral move for me.  I've always had this love for obstetrics and a curious, gingerly bold fascination with surgery.  Delivering babies is loud and messy and rich and glorious.  And it's never at 9:00 on Monday morning.  There are no three piece suits and no power point presentations.  You actually NEED to wear scrubs.  And bring an extra pair of shoes and clean socks...and underwear, too.  It's a team sport.  And there is always, always, always food at the nurses' station.  If you are ever stuck in a dark lonely hospital at 3am and you are ketotic with starvation, just find labor and delivery.  There will probably be seven crock pots full of delicious steaming creations and a half-eaten sheet cake.  And fresh coffee.  Labor and Delivery is its own universe, rotating while the rest of the world sleeps.  And I get to go into orbit an awful lot.

So, here in Michigan we are and here we will be for the next two years while I finish residency and Mike does everything else.  We look forward to sharing in the blogosphere again.  The challenge of balancing a marriage, a ridiculous work schedule, and three delightful kids.  And being loved by our Savior every minute of it.  

*Surgeon's warning: switching residency programs is tumultuous s to one's inner peace, but can be remedied through a series of firing sqauads, meat grinders, and 3am c-sections. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two visits

A couple weeks ago Grandma Ruth was in town to visit for a few days.  We went to visit Great-Grandma Sprengeler for an afternoon.  The weather turned out to be beautiful and the children had a fun afternoon with a grandma, great-grandma, and great-aunt Becky. 

Puddles.  The BEST part.

Moosie is still learning to smile on command.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Happy Easter from our family to yours!  Luke was ready for his afternoon nap by the time we took this picture, as you can see.  It's the thought that counts.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Luke is 1

The number of changes we have undergone as a family over the past year is almost unimaginable. One year ago this month we lived in a house (which we owned) in a town 750 miles from where I sit this morning. I was working full-time at a hospital pharmacy, while Sarah was a full-time mom. Most of our extended family lived within a 2 1/2 hour drive from our home. And our little family was just the four of us: Mama, Papa, Julia, and Mary.

Sarah and I have gotten in the habit of saving our kitchen calendars. It gives us something to use to cue memories (both good and bad!) and also can make us laugh quite frequently. Although March seems like the longest and most tedious month of the year, the page for March in last year's calendar is filled with more things than probably any other three months. One of us was taking Omnicef for the first 2 weeks of the month. A wedding reception. Some friends visiting from out of town. Multiple overnight ER shifts for Sarah. "Did You Match" day (coincidentally on the Ides of March), followed by Residency Scramble, and then actual Match Day three days later. On March 31 I see an entry that says "List house by this day (meet w/Julie before".

And last, but certainly most life-changing and important, on March 26: "DUE DATE. Ed comes to stay."

Fast-forward to today. "Ed," in the person of Luke, is now 1. Can you believe it? Chattering, crawling, munching fuzzballs off the floor, and providing comic relief, he has become an adorable blond attention-stealer. He's one change we wouldn't exchange for anything.

Sarah invited over a couple families from church who have children the same age as ours for Moosie's birthday.


Is it OK if I eat this?