My favorite things, 46 yeas old.

b-day-bike-1

My favorite things, 46 yeas old:

Chocolate

Caramel Cashew Custard from Kopp’s Frozen Custard

Beer

Coffee

Making applesauce

applesauce w H

Picking berries

raspberries

Cross Country Skiing

skiing family

 

Running

Biking

bike train

Tie Dyeingdye towels blue (2)

Fall and Winter

fall-leaves-nola-mae-henry

Watching my kids play sports (and playing with them).

charlie skateboard  Charlie & Nola Mae soccer

My favorite place, Iola Winter Sport Club

skiing Nola Mae & Henry 2014

 

A few people inspire and motivate me:

Inspiration vs. Motivation:  Jillian Micheals made me realized these are two different things.  I can be inspired by people and their activities but it is motivation that gets me outside exercising and being active.

I am motivated by my triplet sisters who are 18 years younger than me.  All three of them are active and do fun things.  I want to be able to keep up with them in their adventures and do fun things with them.  Wait, maybe not keep up at their speed, maybe just do fun things with them.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 13 end

  • My sister, Kayla, is fit and a fast runner.

IMG_4842

  • My sister, Becca, is an Ironman (TWO TIMES!).

becca-ben-ironman

 

Most importantly, my kids motivate me.  I want to be thinner so I look awesome, but that isn’t what gets my butt going.  My motivator is my kids.   I want to be able to ski, run, bike, hike, play soccer, bowl, and play with them for many years.   I am one of those “older moms” and I am NOT getting any younger.  I will be 60 years old when my last child goes off to college.

Robbie is now a faster skier and runner than me.  I thought I would be  faster than him for a little longer.  Oh well, I think I could out last him in a long distance ski race or running race, right now.  But not for long.

kids-running-biking-1   kids-running-biking-2

 

To celebrate my 46th birthday I decided to do 46 miles. I wanted it to be a birthday triathlon, inspired by Becca’s Ironman.  I have this awesome road bike.

b-day-bike-2

b-day-bike-4-mile-15      b-day-bike-3

 Arrived at Sunset Lake for a swim.  It was so refreshing.

b-day-bike-5-mile-30  b-day-bike-5

 Final miles when I arrived home 48.5 miles in less than four hours.

I decided not to run because I got my 46 miles done and  I needed to have energy to finish the day as the mom of the house (making dinner, driving for cross-country practice and to Point for soccer practice).

I picked raspberries while I waited for the bus to drop off the kids and then had one of my favorite snacks, fresh raspberries with rice pudding.

b-day-snack

My adventures aren’t over with, in November I will participate in Rails to Trails Marathon with my whole family.  This winter I hope to ski more days than I did last year and possibly complete at least one ski marathon.

I would love to hear what motivates you.

What adventures do you have planned for the next year?

What birthday activity will you do for your next birthday?

Happy Birthday, Charlie Boy!

Charlie’s favorites, age 11

Happy Birthday!

Charlie

favorite color –  Neon yellow, then I like blue and green.

favorite animal – dog

favorite book – Diary of a Wimpy Kid

favorite movie – Scorch Trials 1 or Yogi Bear

favorite song –  “Firework” and “Fight Song”

favorite sport – basketball

Stilts Charlie road

favorite food – pizza

favorite breakfast – bacon

favorite snack – cherry slush from Shivers

favorite drink – kiddie cocktail

favorite restaurant – Pizza Ranch

charlie skateboard

favorite toy – scooter

favorite friends – Brock, Gavin, Weston & Hunter

Skiing Charlie's friends group

favorite thing to do – snowboard

favorite thing to do outside – downhill skiing

Ice fishing Charlie

favorite thing about school – seeing friends

favorite job – taking groceries to the basement pantry

least favorite job – folding clothes

Laundry charlie & Nola Mae

Legos Charlie a

favorite thing to do with Papa – go snowboarding

favorite thing to do with Mama – going to rummage sales and talking

favorite thing to do with Nola Mae – build forts

favorite thing to do with Henry – bowl

favorite thing to do with Robbie – sports, sometimes we bowl, play soccer, &  basketball

favorite holiday – Christmas

favorite place to go – Uncle Eddie’s housecrab apple Charlie

Where do you want to go on vacation?  –  XtremeAir

What do you want to do when you get older? – gym teacher

If you could have any super power what would it be? –  to be able to fly

 

Here are more of my favorite pictures of Charlie:

 

Photos Charlie

Charlie holding Nola Mae

4-4-09 making firewood Charlie

Skis Charlie 1st time

 

The Frugal Sisters’ Half Marathon

I got this sister (one of many) who is very smart, busy, fun to hang out with, and active.  Both of us want to be fit, strong and runners.  We are too cheap to be motivated by an organized race such as a marathon or half marathon.  Our goal for early summer was to run a half marathon, on our own schedule, in our own chosen location, without a ton of people,  and no race fees!

We picked a date – June 4th.  The forecast was calling for high humidity, 80+ degrees and 80%  chance of scattered thunderstorms, so we changed the date to June 5th.  The date was beautiful with a light breeze, with temps in the mid-70s, sunny, and 0% chance of rain.

I was the host for our half marathon.  I picked the location – The Green Circle Trail in Stevens Point, WI.

 

Our last-minute plans included inviting our mom to bike along with us and a picnic lunch at the finish, we each brought food and snacks to share.

frugal sisters selfie a

Inviting our mom to the day worked out fabulous, she carried our water and snacks and took photos.  I wouldn’t have these awesome photos to share if it wasn’t for her!

The route we ran:

We started at Roger’s Park on the Plover River Trail -3.6 miles, crushed granite trail.
Follows the meandering Plover River through woods near the airport.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 1 start

 

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 3 wooded trail

Moses Creek Trail – 2.3 miles, crushed granite trail and boardwalks.
Travels through wet woodlands, sedge meadows, and forested areas for great wildlife viewing.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 4 boardwalk

University Trail – 2.6 miles, crushed granite trail and boardwalks in Reserve, paved road.
Trail through Schmeeckle Reserve, a 280-acre nature reserve on the UW-Stevens Point campus.  Woods, prairie, wetlands, and oak savanna.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 5 medow

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 6 trail

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 8 woods

Brickyard Trail – 1.1 miles, crushed granite trail and sidewalks.
Adjacent to a historic brickyard, this wooded trail winds past frog ponds and a creek.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 9 boardwalk in woods

Stagecoach Trail – 2.2 miles, paved roads with shoulders.
Follows Old Wausau Road, a historic stagecoach line. Stunning vistas of the Wisconsin River.

Riverfront Trail – 1.3 miles, asphalt paved trail.
Popular trail near historic downtown Stevens Point. Views of the Wisconsin River and waterfowl. Travels through Bukolt and Pfiffner Pioneer Parks.

 

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 13 end

I love race bling.  I have been know to do a race for a cool medal, so I thought we needed a cool medal for this one.   Jack and I made the medals for our race.

 

 

Kombucha Lover

I love Kombucha. I know a couple kids that love kombucha. I know a couple of kids that should drink kombucha, but don’t. They don’t know what they are missing!

I am too cheap to buy this stuff in the store.  I had heard about it and did some research.  So when a friend that I respect encouraged me and offered me starter tea and a SCOBY, I jumped on it.

I know a certain sweet girl who loves this stuff and could drink it all day long! The deal is that we have a small glass  after lunch. Today, I realized I am on my last bottle.  I have a sweet boy who likes to sneak some, the reason for my low supply.  I needed to work on the next step and needed a helper.

First we tasted the tea before adding the fruit. This is when I take a small teaspoon and taste a tiny bit to know if it is ready for the flavoring step. It is usually yucky tasting to me. (That is why I add fruit.)

My little helper tasted it and loved it. She is one tough cookie!

kombucha tasting

She added raspberries.

Kombucha making 1  Kombucha making 2

She smashed blueberries and then added them. (If the skin of the blueberry isn’t broken before adding to the tea they don’t give any flavor to the tea)

Kombucha making 3

Nola Mae was more interested in eating frozen blueberries.

Then we let it sit. Taste testing in two days.

kombucha fruit

kombucha fruit tasting

 

We like fizz, so we bottle ours in swing top bottles.

kombucha bottled

 

Drinking…

 kombucha henry drinking kombucha Henry

The recipe I follow:

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-173858

An article with the history of Kombucha, benefits and recipe:

Kombucha – “Tea Of Immortality” (Recipe)

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.”