Nola Mae – 4 years old!

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae!

nola mae fall blog

 

Nola Mae is special to us for  many reasons…

She is named after my Grandma Nola.

Grandma Nola  Nola Mae

She is smart and a great problem solver.  (She didn’t have a bag along, so she stored her notebook in her hat.)

Nola Mae tablet in hat

She will be able to  say that she has skied every year of her life, as long as she doesn’t move away from our winter wonderland.

1st year on skis

Skiing Nola Mae

2nd year on skis

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

3rd year on skis (this was on her 3rd birthday)

Nola Mae skiing 2

4th year on skis

Ski Norseman Nola Mae

She is very flexible (she loves to eat snow while skiing).

ski nola Mae 1 yoga pose

I uploaded my video on youtube of Nola Mae going down a fairly steep hill:  https://youtu.be/m05E79MrrFY

She has three older brothers who adore her.

skiing family

She loves being outside.

sledding

 

sledding Nola Mae

 

snowboarding Nola Mae

She loves her babies.

baby doll Nola Mae kisses wrap scarf grass  babywearing nola mae

She loves to help others and do jobs.

cleaning with Bailey & Nola Mae

Because she has no sisters, she has a special friend who she adores and often plays “sisters” with.

  Nola Mae & Bailey

My favorite blog post I wrote about Nola Mae is “With No Mom”:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/with-no-mom/

She hasn’t changed much in many of the areas of her personality since her last birthday post:

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/nola-mae-3-years-old/

Henry’s Birthday – 7 years old

 Henry’s birthday is tomorrow or today depending on when I finish this and post it.  I have struggled with my blog for a few months now.  I don’t make time to post or have anything pressing to blog about.  Well, I do, but I don’t make the time to do it.

So, I sit here with a blank screen and don’t know what to write.    I started rambling on and on and a couple of hours later, this is what I have to say.  (Edit:  one of my ramblings was starting Henry’s birth story.  Wow, I  don’t want to write about that now.  I will save that for another time!)

 

Henry skiing

What can I say about my sweet Henry?

Some days he is not so sweet.

Some days he is not so nice to Nola Mae and some days he is unbelievably the most awesome big brother any sister could ask for.

henry and Nola Mae in yellow weeds

Some days he can be rotten.

Some days he can be the most kind and loving little boy.

Henry

Some days he can have closed ears and is unwilling to do the jobs he is expected to do.

Henry w chickens

Some days he can be willing to help with every  job  on his list and extra.

Some days he is funny and cute.

A story from this past fall:

I sent an email to Henry’s teacher and his math teacher…”I wanted to share this story with the two of you.  I am not sure which teacher Henry was talking about when he was telling my mom (Granny) about why the teachers were at school and he wasn’t on the professional development day.

Granny and Henry were talking about why he had off school that day and he said the teachers still had to go.  Granny said it was probably one of those days where the teachers learn new things to help them be better teachers.  He told her his math teacher had to go to learn math because she didn’t know what 200 + 200 was.  Henry said, ‘She asked the class and I knew, it’s 400, but she didn’t know so she has to go learn math’.

One more story that will make you giggle:   Henry told me, ‘Mrs. Honken doesn’t have enough apples to make apple pie for the field trip next week, she needs one more apple! Can I pick the biggest apple off our Big Apple Tree?’   I can’t express how excited Henry is for the up coming field trip to your apple orchard (His teacher has a huge apple orchard!).  So excited that he doesn’t believe me that you probably have enough apples to make many apple pies!

Here is her response…”Oh Jenny, he’s so precious!!! His giant apple caused me to totally redo my writing lesson plans for the day…we are going to practice descriptive writing about the giant apple. It has to go in the hall (along with the picture you sent!!). Thanks.”

Henry biggest apple

Some days he can be thoughtful.

Recently, Henry was on a roll talking about nurses.  Henry’s facts about nurses:

“Nurses love kids.
People who love to make kids feel better go to school to be a nurse.
Nurses love to take care of kids that is why they want to be a nurse.
Nurses are kind to everyone.

I wish I was a grown up and could be a nurse, so I could take care of Granny.  Maybe even be the one to help her with her surgery, like her doctor.  I could be like Aunt Karen and take care of Granny.”

This week my cousin, Andrew, emailed me and mentioned in his email that Henry has a very high EQ (emotional intelligence quotient).  I appreciate his insight and kind words because when my patience is low from the wildness, the chaos of our life and the naughtiness.   I need to remember the kind, loving, respectful and wonderful boys we have.  And let the handsome eyes and beautiful smiles melt my heart.

Henry smiles

My sweet Henry has given me lots of stories to write about.  In all his sweetness he isn’t giving me many heart attacks anymore.  One of my favorites:

Heart-Attack-Henry – https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/heart-attack-henry/

Okay,  I have more than one:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/my-empty-nest/

If you want to check out Henry’s past birthday blog posts:

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/henrys-favorites-age-5/

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/henry-6-years-old/

A Successful Ski Day!

A Successful Ski Day!

Today Henry, Nola Mae and I hit the cross-country ski trails at Iola Winter Sports Club for the first time this winter.

When we started out I was thinking it was going to be the worst day of skiing.

Then I reminded myself of a few facts:

  • We are on the trails for the first time this winter,
  • I am trying to ski with a 3.5 year old and a 6.5 year old,
  • It is normal for a 3.5 year old child to flop on the ground screaming after  only 10 minutes on skis,
  • I ski with kids to teach them a life sport,
  • We just had a snack and it is almost lunch time,
  • It could be nap time for Nola Mae,
  • It is 24 degrees and the wind feels cold, and
  • Once I get Nola Mae in the sled I can actually get my workout in, so BE PATIENT!

 

ski hill first 10 minutes

Not far on skis for the first time before the body flopping began.

ski hill first 10 minutes fall

Things started looking better:

with a little bribe of a snack once she got into the sled,

ski hill first 10 minutes snack

a boy who wanted to do all the black trails,

ski hill going on the black

a boy insisting on going down Nose Dive.  My kind of boy!

ski hill blue hill

A napping girl!

ski hill sled nap

A bit of sunshine on the trails!

ski hill blue trail

A real workout!

ski hill pulling sled

Henry and I skied on the blue and black trails for an hour.

We went in the chalet for lunch and ended the day with Nola Mae skiing almost one mile, giggling on the downhills and she was loving it.   I had to beg her to go home.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera with me for our second time out.  There is always tomorrow!

 

Snow!

Twelve to fifteen inches of snow was predicted to hit our town on Monday, December 28th.  The snow fall was heavy and the winds were blowing.   We filled the mudroom with firewood, ate dinner and settled by the cozy fire for the evening.

blizzard 2015

In the morning the local news station said that we got 9 inches of snow, it didn’t seem like that much.   The wind made a few big drifts in our yard and left some bare spots too.  I am thankful for what we have!

I plowed the driveway, loaded more firewood into the skid steer, sent Henry out to ski around the yard.   Nola Mae was feeling sick and napped most of the morning.  In between her cat naps she told me she was going skiing after lunch!

  It didn’t take much convincing her to ride in the sled.  I snowshoed, pulled her in the sled and Henry skied behind us, until he ran into the sled a few times.

1st ski 2015 1

1st ski 2015 2

I asked Henry to ski ahead of me.

1st ski 2015 3

When you are skiing so fast and you drop your pole you have to keep going!

1st ski 2015 4

When we came out into our field Henry noticed the nicely groomed trail.  He asked, “Who did this for us?”  I wish it was for us and we had our own groomer!

1st ski 2015 5

1st ski 2015 6

Finally, the snow has arrived!

 

 

December 2015

We have had a crazy start of winter.

The first snowfall was pretty lame.  Nola Mae was excited with the dusting of snow, so much, that she wanted to harvest all the snow so she could eat it.

1st snow harvest on rocks

1st snow harvest

Then it disappeared.

We hiked at Iola Winter Sports Club.

ski hill hike shelter

ski hill hike

ski hill hike babywearing

The boys wanted to walk to school, so I dropped them off at the high school when I dropped Robbie off for band.

walking to school

I started the school year caring for Bailey while her parents work.  Occasionally, my friend Jack comes.  In December, temporarily, I started caring for a 23 month old.  My house was full when the three of them were here to play with me and Nola Mae.  It was a wonderful day and I had so much fun!

reading daycare

The next day, I spent on the couch.  They whipped me good!

day after daycare

A little flexible!

flexible

Gifts for Christmas:

Henry made zombie guys for his siblings.

henry's zombies

Robbie made a fleece soccer blanket for Charlie.

soccer fleece blanket

Cookies for Christmas.     christmas cookies 2015

christmas stockings 2015

christmas tree 2015

My Frozen inspired cape.  I made one for Nola Mae and Bailey.

frozen cape snowflakes

Nola Mae tells me it is supposed to drag on the floor.  I may attempt to make some adjustments.

    frozen cape snowflakes Nola Mae

Our annual family profile.

2015 Family Profile

With No Mom

 Nola Mae is growing up!  A little too fast!

nola mae fall blog

Often, Nola Mae tells me or points out to me things or events that mark that she is getting bigger and will end her sentence “…with no mom.”

She started preschool this fall.  On the first day,  the parents had to stay for the class period.  As we were walking to the school, she wasn’t thrilled that I was staying and told me “The next day I go to school with no mom.”

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can cross the street, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can get chicken eggs, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can take a walk on Sleepy Hollow to visit Anna, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can go bowling, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can drive a car, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can make cookies and eat them all, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Some day, I can go skiing, with no mom.

Nola Mae:  Last winter when I was three, I skied up and down the big hills, with no mom!

Nola Mae skiing 1

These pictures were taken on her 3rd birthday.

Nola Mae skiing 2

A phrase she likes to use when I am offering to help her do some thing:   “I got this!”  I had no idea where she learned this  until recently I heard Henry using it.

Today she wanted to cross the little street from the parking lot to preschool with no mom and said,

“I GOT THIS!”

nola mae pheasant

As I was collecting all the comments for this post over a period of a few months,  I arrived home late one night and she was still awake:

“I brushed my teeth.  With no father.”

My Friend

I have this friend, she encouraged me to be a better mother, wife and person.

She is my best friend.

My Mentor.

My coffee drinking and chocolate eating partner.

We talked on the phone, just about every other day, had coffee together once a week. She would always remember to check back with me when I was having a rough day or week, encouraging me and showing me love.

We talked about life, God, religion, parenting, marriage, family, caregiving, authors, books, rummage sales, antique stores, crafting, dogs, flowers, gardening, rocks and my clothes line.

We laughed and we cried together.

She showed love to my kids as if they were her grandchildren.

We went for walks. I convinced her to go snow shoeing with me, twice.

Anna Snow shoe

She had a huge heart and a beautiful smile that I will never forget.

 

 

 

My Dream Come True

Updated.

life with three boys and a splash of purple!

I never imagined my life to be as good as it is today.  Well, some days I have to remind myself that my life could have turned out worse.  Especially on days when I have a  head ache, two boys playing basketball in my kitchen and one screaming because he wants the ball all the time.  Or when all three are running around in circles or playing ball tag in the house or tooting and giggling non-stop.  Believe it or not, they could be doing all these activities at the same time! Here is how it all started: When I was 19 years old I was beginning to realize that a healthy and loving relationship is possible.  These kinds of relationships really do exist in this world.   I was in college, trying to get out of a horrible relationship and trying to figure out what my major should be and what I wanted in life. I wanted a…

View original post 1,150 more words

Car Ride with a 3-year old.

blog Nola Mae Nola Mae and I have put on a lot of miles during the last five days, having fun visiting some of my family, even though Jack is having a blast with our boys on the vacation they are on. I have admired the photos Jack is sending me and I have wished I was a long for the trip he his on. I got to visit my Mom for two days,  biked with my mom, I had a short visit with my mother-in-law, lunch with my aunt and 24+ hours with my cousin and her three girls, including a little dye party and mulberry tree shaking with them.

 blog bike ride Henry  blog bike ride Nola Mae

Today, I ended my travels with the car ride from HELL. It was time to leave our cousins. Nola Mae referred to them as “my sisters”, so cute. I put a crabby, tired and almost crying three-year old in the car. She was sad to leave, so sad she was sobbing when the oldest cousin told her it was time to go. She didn’t want to give hugs or wave good-bye.

My fingers were crossed and I was hopeful that she would be sleeping within 10 minutes and I could enjoy my audio book for our 2.5 hour car ride. Within five minutes she was crying and screaming about everything.

Nola Mae: My eyes hurt!

Me: Wear my sunglasses.

Nola Mae: They still hurt! (sobbing)

Me: Close your eyes and rest.

Nola Mae: NOOOOO! Then me will miss seeing a train if we go past one.

I told her I didn’t think there was a train until we got closer to home. She insisted that she saw a train track by a bridge on the way to our cousins’ house.

Crying and screaming at me every time I tried to start my audio book – “NO MUSIC! NO STORIES!”

At the Madison exit…

Nola Mae: That looks like Aunt Danna’s house (she meant work because the buildings look a little like the university, but I wasn’t going to correct her).

Me: Yes, this is Aunt Danna’s town.

Nola Mae: I KNOW! I SAID HERS NAME!

More crying and screaming.

She broke my sunglasses (2nd pair this summer). I told her I was sad about that. I can’t remember what she said, but she sounded more like our 11-year-old, “They weren’t broken. They were twisted apart.” I wasn’t going to argue with her. I just told her that she could try to fix them for me when we got home.

Thirty minutes from home with non-stop screaming and crying up to this point, I remembered I had Smarties in my bag. It was a great distraction and turned her mood around.

Nola Mae fell asleep exactly five miles from home. I at least got five minutes of peace.

I came home to find this blog post from our cousin: http://behindthewillows.com/2015/07/22/the-sign-of-a-great-visit/

Birthday Treat for School

dirt cake in jelly jars 3

 

Charlie has a summer birthday, during the school year he gets to bring a birthday treat to school during the last weeks of school.

Charlie  was inspired by a classmate who brought dirt cake for his birthday treat.  He tells me everyone loves it, even the teacher.

The tricky thing about taking a special birthday treat to school is figuring out how to transport from home to school on the bus.

I want to save this recipe I used for future use, because it really is yummy!

This recipe was easy enough that Charlie did most of it.

Worm Dirt Cake
(Cooks.com modified for Charlie)

2 packages Oreo cookies, crushed

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C + a couple of T powder sugar

3 C milk
2 (3 1/2 oz.) packages of instant vanilla pudding (can use chocolate)

Gummy worms and gummy butterflies.
17 – 1/2 pint jelly jars with lids.

Directions:
1.  Crush Oreos, set aside.  Charlie used our food processor.

2.  Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Slowly add the powder sugar. If it is getting too dry/thick, add a drop or two of milk.

3.  Combine milk and pudding mix.

4.  Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.

5.  Fold together the butter/cream cheese mixture and the pudding mixture.

6.  Add approximately 1-2 T of the Oreo crumbs into each jelly jar. Place one gummy worm on top of the crumbs.

7.  Add about 3-4 T of the pudding mixture to the jar, leaving about 1 – 1.5 inch space at the top of the jar.

dirt cake in jelly jars 2

We stopped here and put them in the fridge over night and finished the last steps in the morning.

8.  Cover the pudding with the rest of the Oreo crumbs and top with a gummy worm or butterfly.

 

dirt cake in jelly jars 4