Project 365 Week 8

Project 365 Week 8

Project 365:  Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

2/21/11 (Monday) – Today was a snow day for Robbie.  The two older boys spent a lot of time outside playing in the snow making forts and sledding.  Henry spent time out there too but he never lasted very long.

Here is one time when Henry wanted to go outside.  He got himself dressed and stepped out the door after one of the boys.  He almost has it figured out.

2/22/11 (Tuesday) – Fresh snow every where!  I had to ski today!   This is one of my favorite spots on the IWSC trails.  The skiing was slow on the fresh snow and a lot of work.  My friends’ son was tired of riding in the sled so he ran part of the way.


2/23/11 (Wednesday) – Another awesome morning skiing with friends.  My friend Lynn took this photo for me.

Our friends were on a tight schedule this morning.  We skied for about an hour with them.   After our friends left, I reminded Charlie how important it is for us to give Henry a turn to ski and that Henry would love to ski with his big brother, off they went.

An after school snowball fight.  I allowed this to happen because all the snow chunks were still light and fluffy from the fresh snow we got the day before.  See more photos in Snow ball fights.



2/24/11 (Thursday) – This afternoon we skied with my friend, Mary (who took these photos for me).  Henry got his turn to ski as we headed out.  He asked for my poles.  I think he noticed all my double poling that I did last week.  I think he has that technique figured out.


2/25/11 (Friday) – Henry likes zippers.  I found him trying to get zipped into this lunch box,signing “help!” and trying to get into the lunch box from another angle,

and finally zipped in and ready for lunch.


2/26/11 (Saturday) – On our last day of the IWSC Youth Ski Program we re-enact The Race of the Birkebeiners.  All the skiers carry their Norwegian Prince to safety and  get a medal.

2/27/11 (Sunday) – Photo taken by Jack.  We snowshoed  in our woods before our company had to leave.

Snowball fights

I dislike snowball fights for many reasons…

  • I’m a Mom and I know the usual outcome.
  • I don’t like to get hit with a snowball on any part of my body.
  • Someone always gets hurt. 
  • In the heat of the moment the boys don’t think about where their snowball is going to land if they miss the target.
  • I don’t want a broken window in the middle of winter.
  • I don’t like throwing of any kind of object.
  • I have one boy who has an incredible throwing arm.
  • Snow balls usually aren’t soft.

Today the snowballs  were soft.  I didn’t stop the snowball fight and everyone involved had a blast. 

Two little boys against one big boy seemed almost even to me.

Robbie would fall down with every throw of Henry’s and

Henry would laugh so hard I thought he would fall over.

There was so much giggling how could I put a stop to that?

Project 365 Week 7

Project 365 Week 6

Project 365:  Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

2/13/11 (Sunday) –  My wake-up crew took pictures of me sleeping, the flash was my wake up call.  I won’t scare you with those photos.  Instead here are two of the four handsome faces I wake up for every day. 


2/14/11 (Monday) Charlie’s farm.


2/15/11 (Tuesday) – I picked this apron pattern from The Apron Book  Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllynAnne Geisel and vowed to myself to follow the pattern’s directions to a ‘T’!  


I wanted to prove to myself that I can follow directions,  I FAILED!    

Early in the directions I learned the pattern isn’t making this exact apron (matching waist-line fabric and bottom of apron fabric).  The directions were for the apron skirt to be in one piece – no bottom border.  I wanted my apron to look similar to the photo!  I already had my  fabric picked out and my vision was set.  I modified the design. 

My apron:


2/16/11 (Wednesday) – Playing outside in the first meltdown puddles.

Henry found brown grass to feed Vanilla.


2/17/11 (Thursday) – Busy day: skiing with friends in the fog,


Gym class with Robbie for Jump Rope for Heart,


and a visit to the emergency room.


 2/18/11 (Friday) – Dominos at nap-time.


2/19/11 (Saturday) – Iola Winter Sports Club Youth Ski Program – roasting hot dogs on the trail and reading The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen. 

 We took the long way back to the chalet with Aunt Becca.


2/20/11 (Sunday) – Our sledding date was cancelled due to the lack of snow.  Instead we went bowling with our friends.  Jack was the photographer, not a bowler!   (The rest of the photos were taken by Jack)

 Later in the day a snow storm arrived.  Our drive home from bowling was a little scary.  Playing in the snow was a lot of fun!

Emergency Room Visit – Robbie

Last week Robbie needed to go the emergency room to get stitches on his hand.

Robbie got off the school bus and went straight to the garden to play with Charlie. Apparently, Charlie was throwing snow balls at him and he wanted a stick so he could hit the snow balls. Robbie grabbed a milo stalk (a.k.a. broom corn), broke it and then pulled on it to detach it from the rest of the stalk.   The stalk sliced the skin in between his forefinger and thumb.   He told me pulling on it worked but then he realized his hand hurt, then he looked at it and saw A LOT of blood and that is when he started running for the house.

I was in the house waiting for Robbie and Charlie to come in after getting off the bus. (I watch them periodically through the windows while I am making dinner or trying to get my last-minute jobs done before they finally reach the house.)  I saw Robbie sprinting to the house. I didn’t think much of his sprinting to the house today.  The day before he was playing in the haymow and I saw him sprinting to the house because he had to go to the bathroom. It wasn’t until he was closer that I could see the expression on his face wasn’t “I’m pooping my pants!” It was more like “I’M HURT!”  That is when I noticed his bloody hand.

We washed it and put pressure on it. I peaked at it and it was REALLY BAD! I used my Screamfree Parenting techniques  and stayed very calm. I got him comfortable on the couch and made phone calls to Jack, Marlene (our neighbor) and the clinic. Since it was close to the end of the day there were no openings in the clinic so we had to go the ER.  Jack was able to leave work early, but it was going to take him a long time to get home because of the fog. I didn’t want to wait because Robbie was in a lot of pain.  Thankfully, Marlene was able to come over and stay with Charlie and Henry.

Seven stitches.

Robbie in the garden by the milo with bandage on his hand.

The stalk that cut his hand.

Milo in August.

I learned while working for Aurora Community Services NEVER to go to the hospital or ER without a book and snacks.  Because you never know how long you will wait.  Our wait wasn’t too long.   The books were a great distraction in the waiting room  and during the time the stitches were being put in.  I just happened to have one of Robbie’s favorite books along, Souper Chicken by Mary Jane Auch.    I read that book many times!

The nurse, Susan, was wonderful!  So was the doctor.  Susan told Robbie that he did an awesome job and she has seen many adults who couldn’t handle that kind of situation as well as he did.  I think that compliment really stuck with him because he talked about that a few more times that night and the next day.

Before leaving our room Robbie left this note.  Later he told me it was supposed to be for the nurse.

I feel fortunate that this is only his second visit to the ER.  Because Robbie told me just days before this incident, “I look for dangerous things.”

The first ER visit was when he was almost 4 years old.  He got bit by this bat that was stuck in a burdock plant behind our garage.

Project 365 Week 6

Project 365 Week 6

Project 365:  Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

2/7/11 (Monday) – Robbie is the only Green Bay Packer fan in our house.  Charlie is becoming one only because of Robbie.   On Monday, after learning that the Packers won the Superbowl (because we didn’t watch or listen to the game) Robbie composed a Packer song.


2/8/11 (Tuesday) – Today the older boys got on the bus with our thermometer saying -3 degrees.  When it is cold outside I have a difficult time keeping the house warm with the wood stove so I want to bake.   I made Honey-Wheat Bread.  This is the first time Henry helped me make bread.  He loved the kneading and

throwing the dough.

Later…my homemade Pesto on homemade toasted bread, YUMMY!


2/9/11  (Wednesday) – Another cold day…blueberry scones.


2/10/11 (Thursday) – It was a little warmer today.  Henry and I skied with a friend, sorry no photo of this event of the day. 

But here is one of our night-time snack…blueberry & raspberry smoothies.


2/11/11 (Friday) – I have been avoiding this sewing project after learning that Charlie wants to turn the shirt that he has designed and sewn into a Packer shirt.  Since Charlie does have some Schroeder blood in him I had to give in to his desire to be a Packer fan.  Grandpa Schroeder would be proud of our boys.   During Henry’s nap-time we made progress on Charlie’s Packer shirt.


2/12/11 (Saturday) –   I like bowling but don’t go very often.  Jack hates bowling so we rarely go as a family.  Bowling is in my blood.  Both my grandfathers were very good bowlers, I have many other relatives that are good bowlers too.   My Grandpa that is still alive is almost 82 years old and is still bowling on four leagues.

This is how the Vater Boys bowl.




I’m not normal (& neither are my friends)

Recently I was told that the way I parent doesn’t fit in the norms of this society.  Our parenting  isn’t normal in our society; it’s better!

Our boys are being raised in a farm environment, we do many activities with our boys (camping, snowshoeing, x-c skiing, making firewood, sewing and woodworking – just to name a few).  We take time to teach them skills and expose them to different experiences.   Show me a  5 and 7-year-old that can cut veggies for soup, or split a piece of wood with a splitting mall, sew on a sewing machine or make something on the lathe.


I have learned many things from the parenting books I have read,  from my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister and many other mothers in my life who I admire.

Below are some statistics that my Mom found on just a few topics relating to my parenting.  I was curious to see how my friends and I (22 of us) matched up to the “Norms”.  I have included our statistics.  If I went deeper it would only show more areas where I am not normal.  


99.38% of births are in Hospitals or are unplanned out of hospital
.62% are planned home births  (

 My friends and I:  Planned Home Births – 36%  &  Hospital Births – 64%


64% of mothers initiated Breastfeeding
29% at still breastfeeding at 6 mos
6% were still breastfeeding at 12 mos

 My friends and I: Were still breastfeeding at 12 months + – 100%


68% of mothers with college degrees and with children under 6 yrs are in the workforce.(’t_we_get_along.htm)

 My friends and I: Stay-at-home Moms  – 73% & Working Moms – 27%


99% of households have TV and on average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console.
90% households have cable TV or the equivalent
1% don’t have a TV  (

 My friends and I:  0% of my friends’ kids spend anywhere close to 32 hours in front of the TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console!


My friends and I: No TV – 55% & Have TVs  – 45%


94% of parents spank their child by the time the child is 4 yrs (Psychology Today)
25% of those use an object to spank a child
6% never spank   (

 My friends and I: Never Spank – 77% &  Spank – 23%.

I’m Not too NORMAL, are you?

Project 365 Week 5

Project 365:  Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

2/2/11 – (Wednesday) One of my weekly jobs is to throw hay down.   My supply of small square bales is low.  I am saving those for last, mainly because the small bales are stacked above my chicken coop and is great insulation.  I still have a good supply of the large round bales and so that is what I am feeding Vanilla (cow) and Mystique (horse).  This process is a lot more work, but a lot of fun for boys.

Once the hay is thrown down the hay shoot, the fun begins! 


2/3/11 – (Thursday) A necklace (made by my Aunt Anita) for me to wear while breastfeeding, it helps keep Henry’s busy hands occupied.


2/4/11 – (Friday) Tooth fairy pillows I made for my nephew

and for a friend.


2/5/11 – (Saturday) This is an unusal sight…Henry angry and crying! 

Henry rarely cries and never is angry.   His expression of anger or frustration is something I haven’t see before.   Today he was very hungry!  I often offer him food in hopes that he will eat something.  Apparently I didn’t offer him enough food today.  He climbed onto his chair and started crying and grunting and signing “eat”.


2/6/11 – (Sunday) Peace: a quiet house (and very clean), a cup of hot tea and good books to read.