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…

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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

Bee Morning

Charlie Bee Morning

To my dad for saving me from such an awful pain.

Bee Morning

I got up and said, “Dad can I go kayaking?”  It was in the morning before it was day when the moon was still up.  I went out of the tent very quietly.  I went to the lake.  I snapped on my tight blue life jacket and got in the cold wet kayak.

I paddled and paddled until I was close to the island.  I saw two turtles. I whispered, “Wow turtles!”  I got close and the tried to pick one up.  But I failed.

After that I continued on to the island.

I stepped on the island and I think I stepped on a huge active bee nest because they all swarmed up on me.  They stong me all over.   I dived straight into the water.  It was warm and there was lots of sea weed.  I stayed under water as long as I could.  I had to eventually come up for air.  They were still there!  I screamed, “Aaaaaaaa!”  They stong me several times again.  I swam back to the island.  I was screaming.

My dad heard me.  Then he ran to the nearest camp site and asked them if he could use their raft.  They said yes because they understud that he really needed it.  He frantically paddled out to me.  He picked me up and ran back to the raft.  He got stung lots of times too.  We went back to shore.  We gave back the raft.

Next we took off our wet shirts because there were bees in them.  They were so wet and stuck to us.  We went back to ower camp site.  My bee stings were still hurting a lot.

After that I wasn’t feeling very well so I went and layed in a hammock.  My cousin Sara read a book to me for a half hour.

Bee sting reading

My dad and I hiked to the showers and I soaked in the shower.  It felt so soothing!  I used cold water.  I had to use cold water because that would help my bee stings heal.

When we were done we drove to the hospital.  I had to go to the emergency room.  I was there for more than 3 hours.  When I was done they gave us some medicine to use for it if it happened again because they thought I might be allergic to bees.

(Charlie’s writing assignment in 3rd grade, 2015)

I wrote about this event shortly after it happened in 2012, click here for that post.

Spring is here!

Spring is here!

We celebrated two birthdays last week.

Henry birthday cake 6 birthday cake Nola Mae

dyed birthday shirts

Nola Mae loved her Peppa Pig.

peppa pig love

First paddle of the year, Lake Iola, on a very windy day, April 12th.

first paddle 2015

My paddle with three kids in the canoe didn’t last very long.

We paddled into the windy part of the lake and got blown to the shoreline.  My strategy of paddling in this wind was:  paddle really hard for as long as you can, get blown to a shoreline, aim the canoe to where you want to go, paddle really hard for as long as you can, get blown to a shoreline, aim the canoe to where you want to go.  Repeat until you get back to where you started!  Charlie and I aren’t ready to paddle to a campsite in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage this year.

Our first hike on the River Walk Trail in town.

spring first river walk

Snake Watching:

(There are NO snake pictures on this post!)

We have seen the first snakes of the year. One the other day by the garden woodpile and today by the deck. I try my hardest to not show fear and disgust when seeing snakes.  I have accepted the fact that we have to live on the same planet as each other and I still dislike them very much!   I must be doing well at this because Nola Mae has no fear of them. She is curious and knows to give them space. Today the sun is shining, it is warm outside with a slight breeze and the deck is a nice place to snake watch. snake watching 1

snake watching 2

I was amazed how long this kept Nola Mae occupied.

snake watching 3

Henry's letter

This doesn’t have much to do with springtime, just a cute photo I took of Nola Mae, who fell asleep in my room waiting for me.