Project 365 Week 12

Project 365 Week 12

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

3/21/11 (Monday) – My new mixer!  One of our friends didn’t use this mixer very often, so she gave it to me!  Thank you, Theresa!!!  I used it for the first time today to make a cake for Jack.  

 A half sheet cake pan that takes four batches of cake batter.   I made a divider in order to split the cake into two different flavors.


  When are you too old to take a b-day treat to school or work?

Nothing fancy, spring green frosting.


3/22/11 (Tuesday) – Happy Birthday, Jack!  We took some family photos this evening.  (click here to see my post on family photos)


3/23/11 (Wednesday) – A snow day,  school was closed and Jack was unable to get to work.  Today felt like a Saturday to me.  It threw the rest of my week off.

Henry and I played with Lego guys, dressing them in different hats and adding funny attachments.  So much better than playing with Barbies!


3/24/11 (Thursday) – Hello again, skis!


Mother Nature changed her mind and gave us a ton of snow yesterday.  Phil “The Groomer” and Mary, my Thursday skiing partners, both called me this morning to tell me the trails at IWSC are groomed and beautiful.  How could I say no to that?  I have vowed to ski every day until this winter is finally over. 


3/25/11 (Friday) – This move on the hills is called, “the dog.”  You kneel on your skis and put your hands close to the ski tips.  This is good for kids who have trouble going down small hills while standing.  Also, very good for really big hills and kids and mamas who love the thrill of going really fast!

Henry had a great nap!

3/26/11 (Saturday) –  Soap is cut and drying.

3/25/11 (Sunday) – Skiing with friends.  Taking a snack break on the trail.

My Favorite Children’s Books

I was going to add this list to My Favorite Books post but that list was getting too long. 

Children’s books deserved their own post.

(these are my favorite books, not necessarily the boys’ favorites)

Children’s books:

All the Places to Love by Patricia Maclachlan – this is a beautiful book recommended to us by our midwife, Jane Peterson.

A Quilt for Baby by Kim Lewis

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

The Snow Angel by Christine Leeson

Piggies by Audrey Wood

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Rude Giants by Audrey Wood

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau

The Shoe Box by Francine Rivers

Mammals and Their Milk by Lucia Anderson ; illustrated by Jennifer Dewey – this link will take you to my library system because’s link was bad.

Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel – this one chokes me up every time I read it.

The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Luhge-Larsen – same with this one, chokes me up!

Favorite Authors: Audrey Wood and Jan Brett – any book written by these two authors I love!

I would love to hear your favorites, your kids’ favorites and who is your favorite author! 

My Favorite Books – 9/15/13

I love to read and talk about books with people.  I started a book club about 14 years ago to hang out with friends, open my eyes to new authors and to talk about books.  

I have linked each book on my lists below (yes, there is more than one list) to in case you would like to look at the book yourself.  I wouldn’t recommend purchasing any of these books, just check them out from your local library!

Favorite Non-Fiction:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (I listened to this on CD)

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (I listened to this on CD)

Lucky Man: A Memoir by Michael J. Fox (I listened to this on CD)

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (I listened to this on CD)

A Slave No More : Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom: Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation by David W. Blight

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley and Ron Powers

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Favorite Fiction:

Prodigal Summer: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver (I listened to this on CD – twice! Beautiful book! My number one favorite book)

Giants in the Earth : A Saga of the Prairie by O.E. Rölvaag ; translated from the Norwegian by Lincoln Colcord & the author

The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective. by Andy Andrews

Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright

Year of Wonders : A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

Skeletons at the Feast: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity by Francine Rivers

Mark of the Lion : A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure As the Dawn (Vol 1-3) by Francine Rivers

Favorite authors:  Barbara Kingsolver, Francine Rivers,  Mitch Albom, & Chris Bohjalian – I could read any book written by these authors and love it.

Favorite Birth and Midwifery books:

The midwife of Hope River:  A novel of an American Midwife by Patricia Harman

The Birth House: A Novel by Ami McKay

Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway; Consulting Editor John Bidwell

The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark

A Midwife’s Story by Penny Armstrong and Sheryl Feldman

Parenting books:

Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel (I listened to this on CD)

Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy

 Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child  by Katie Allison Granju, Betsy Kennedy, & William Sears

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, and Elaine Mazlish

Currently I am reading:

The Animorphs #2 The Visitor by K.A. Applegate

Slammed: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

I would love to hear your favorites, what  you’re reading and who is your favorite author! 

Project 365 Week 11

Project 365 Week 11

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

3/14/11 (Monday) –  Jack took many photos of each boy while the other boy was in piano lessons.  I was home sick.  I think he should take them every  week for photo shoots.  These are my favorite shots of two handsome boys.


3/15/11 (Tuesday) – Henry loves showers.  He took two showers today.


3/16/11 (Wednesday) –  Spring dancing  on the deck. 


3/17/11 (Thursday) – A leprechaun treat for each boy.

All winter this was Henry’s sign in baby sign language for “I’m done skiing.”  I think if he understood that today was our last day of skiing he would have skied longer than 15 minutes.  He was happy to have his skis off and to ride in my Ergo for a quick loop on the Green trail so I could say my final “good-bye” to the ski trails and

“good-bye” to my skis, until next winter!  Only 9 months away!


3/18/11 (Friday) –  No photo. Too busy packing and cleaning for our trip home.

3/19/11 (Saturday) – There is nothing more fun than a huge stack of hay and two wild boys in a haymow.


3/20/11 (Sunday) – No photo for today.    I’m glad to be home!

This Moment – Last Ski

March 17, 2011

This Moment:  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

last ski March 2011

Project 365 Week 10

Project 365 Week 10

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

3/7/11 (Monday) – A beautiful day for snowshoeing with our neighbor, Marlene.


3/8/11 (Tuesday) –  Henry is starting to like riding in sleds and now winter is almost over.


3/9/11 (Wednesday) – We got about four inches that was great packing snow.  Charlie’s wheels kept getting bigger and bigger.


3/10/11 (Thursday) – Soccer will start at the end of April.  I dug out the shin guards and shoes today.  Henry wanted to wear Charlie’s shin guards to the ski hill.

One of the smiles I love to see every  day!

3/11/11 (Friday) – Charlie and I made a pillow case for his friend’s birthday.   Easiest pillow case pattern, watch video ever!

Charlie thought we needed a picture of me sewing.The necklace and stool Charlie recently made.

my soap making…

essential oils (Patchouli, Lemon & Orange) and grapefruit seed extract,

stirring the pot.


3/12/11 (Saturday) – Sledding with six boys!


3/13/11 (Sunday) – Charlie has been waiting for a very long time to be invited to a friend’s birthday party.  Today was the day of the very frist friend birthday party for Charlie !  I didn’t get a picture of the happiest boy because I was too sick , see my post on Waiting.

My Patchouli, Lemon & Orange soap with an oatmeal exfoliant…it will sit in my living room to cure for a few more days before I cut it into bars.  Once they are in bar form they will sit for another four to five weeks.  During this time my living room smells really good!


Waiting takes a lot of patience.
Late last week I started feeling sick like I was getting strep throat. It didn’t seem possible because when strep hits me it usually comes on quickly. So I waited for it to continue to get worse or better.

Sunday I called the on-call nurse and scheduled an appointment for Monday morning.  I waited for the appointment time to arrive and prayed that if I indeed had strep the doctor would be able to see it and give me meds.

Because of today’s “late start” day  for Robbie it meant that all three boys were home this morning and I had to take all three boys to my appointment. It actually went well, with a little threatening that I would take Robbie to school early to wait in the lunch room until school started. I don’t like threatening but didn’t have the energy to be creative and positive.

The doctor looked at my throat and right away said, “Yes that is strep throat!”  THANK YOU!  Now please give me meds!  He emailed the prescription to the pharmacy in our home town.  So I had to wait until we could get back to our town to start the meds.

I drove very slowly waiting for the time to get a little closer to the start of school so Robbie could go directly to his classroom.

I am home now cuddling looking at pictures in books (because it hurts to talk) with my two little monkeys and watching them play with their dominos waiting for the meds to start working.

While sitting on the recliner in front of the fire, that Charlie is managing for me, I am staring at cookbooks that we don’t use very often.  I picked up the home-made ice cream book and had to put it down because it makes me want to eat and is making me more hungry.  My last meal was on Saturday night.  And I want to make home-made ice cream!

I am waiting for Henry to be ready for his nap so I can take one with him.

I am waiting for Jack to get home so he can cook dinner and clean up our mess from today.

I am waiting for my throat to be better so I can eat and drink something.

I am waiting to have more energy so I can take care of my chickens and animals, cook for my family, do some laundry and finish my blog entry for last week.

I am waiting for more energy so I can be back to normal.

I am…

I am… (Not Just a Mother)

I love my job as a SAHM, and my interest are driven by that love.

But at the same time, I am able to hold onto many interests, and realize that there are still many things that make me ME, even if most of my focus is still on parenting my children.

I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Jenny. I’m a mom, but I am also many other things:

I am a gardener – I love flowers, apple orchards, raspberry and blueberry patches and vegetable gardens.  I love to grow milo (A.K.A. broom corn) and garlic.  The less lawn to mow the better!

I am a farmer – I should probably say “a-wanna-be-farmer.”  Currently I have a horse and a pet cow named Vanilla and 25 chickens.  I want less cows, but can’t part with my sweet Vanilla, and I want more chickens.  Maybe a steer or two this spring?  I love red meat but can’t buy it from the store!

I am a-wanna-be-soap maker – I have been making soap for over two years.  I completed my ninth batch tonight.  My success rate is 50%, kind of stinks!  I should clarify – 50% success means that the quality of my soaps were good enough for gifts or to be sold.  The other 50% was still usable for us.

I am a quilter – I love making quilts and hand quilting them.  Since I don’t have much time for that right now I sew  things that can be completed during nap-time or in the early evening hours.

I am a runner and cross-country skier – I have completed only two running marathons in my life and five skiing marathons.  I have plans to run every marathon in the state of Wisconsin and some in the bordering states before I die.  My skiing goals are to complete the American Birkie on my classical skis and to travel to Norway to ski the Birkebeinerrennet.

I am a reader – I read every night before going to sleep. I will read most books recommended to me by my friends.  I learned to love reading in my late teens, in my opinion, way too late!   I started a book club twelve years ago that meets every month.  I love my library.  I don’t have to purchase books because I can find just about any book I have ever wanted to read in our library system.  People who say they “don’t read” freak me out. It is as foreign to me as telling me you don’t like chocolate.

I am a grocery shopper – the only kind of shopping I love is for groceries.  When I go to a new town I love to find their local grocery store.  I love stores that sell bulk foods.  I love huge grocery stores and I love little ones.

I am a stockpiler of food and supplies – when something that I always buy is on sale I buy a lot of it (I learned this one from my mom).  Since I live in a small town and don’t get to the store or a larger town very often I make sure I never run out of the main staples for our meals and needs.  I can’t just run to the store for of a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread or toilet paper.

I am a cake decorator – I love to bake and decorate cakes for all occasions.  I love any excuse to decorate a cake even for silly occasions, like an ice fishing weekend with the hubby’s college buddies.

I am organized and my house is always trashed – cleaning is for the birds!

So there, ten things about me that are true, current, and have nothing to do with my children. Sometimes when I feel like all I do is take care of them, I remind myself that I have many things that make me ME.  Things that are true ALL the time.  I’m still ME, no matter what happens, and I don’t have to wait until my children are grown to remember that I still have my own unique personality.

Now that I’ve talked about me, how about you?  Feel free to leave a comment using “I am”, tell me a few things about yourself that have nothing to do with your kids.

How many push-ups can you do?

A few years ago Jack’s cousin, Ruth shared with me the benefits of push-ups. The thought of falling and breaking my wrist or not being able to lift myself up off the ground in my old age because I don’t have the strength scared me. I guess not enough for me to keep doing push-ups back then. 

I started this push-up workout about a month ago.  I guess I am attracted to challenges (Project 365 and now ).    Each workout takes just a few minutes and only three times a week.   The website has workouts based on your ability. My inspiration came from Jack’s cousin, Jessie. If you like you can peak at Jessie’s blog:

During my initial test I could only do five!  By the end of my second day of my workouts  I was able to do six, consecutively!  Four weeks into this program I am able to do fourteen consecutive push-ups (after 12 work-outs).

Have you heard about the benefits of push-ups as we age?

After reading part of this article that I cut and pasted below, that is if I haven’t bored you already, maybe you would like to join in the fun?

In a 2001 study, researchers at East Carolina University administered push-up tests to about 70 students ages 10 to 13. Almost half the boys and three-quarters of the girls didn’t pass.
Push-ups are important for older people, too. The ability to do them more than once and with proper form is an important indicator of the capacity to withstand the rigors of aging.

Researchers who study the biomechanics of aging, for instance, note that push-ups can provide the strength and muscle memory to reach out and break a fall. When people fall forward, they typically reach out to catch themselves, ending in a move that mimics the push-up. The hands hit the ground, the wrists and arms absorb much of the impact, and the elbows bend slightly to reduce the force.

In studies of falling, researchers have shown that the wrist alone is subjected to an impact force equal to about one body weight, says James Ashton-Miller, director of the biomechanics research laboratory at the University of Michigan.

“What so many people really need to do is develop enough strength so they can break a fall safely without hitting their head on the ground,” Dr. Ashton-Miller said. “If you can’t do a single push-up, it’s going to be difficult to resist that kind of loading on your wrists in a fall.”

And people who can’t do a push-up may not be able to help themselves up if they do fall.

“To get up, you’ve got to have upper-body strength,” said Peter M. McGinnis, professor of kinesiology at State University of New York College at Cortland who consults on pole-vaulting biomechanics for U.S.A. Track and Field, the national governing body for track.

Natural aging causes nerves to die off and muscles to weaken. People lose as much as 30 percent of their strength between 20 and 70. But regular exercise enlarges muscle fibers and can stave off the decline by increasing the strength of the muscle you have left.

Women are at a particular disadvantage because they start off with about 20 percent less muscle than men. Many women bend their knees to lower the amount of weight they must support. And while anybody can do a push-up, the exercise has typically been part of the male fitness culture. “It’s sort of a gender-specific symbol of vitality,” said R. Scott Kretchmar, a professor of exercise and sports science at Penn State. “I don’t see women saying: ‘I’m in good health. Watch me drop down and do some push-ups.’ ”

Based on national averages, a 40-year-old woman should be able to do 16 push-ups and a man the same age should be able to do 27. By the age of 60, those numbers drop to 17 for men and 6 for women. Those numbers are just slightly less than what is required of Army soldiers who are subjected to regular push-up tests.

If the floor-based push-up is too difficult, start by leaning against a countertop at a 45-degree angle and pressing up and down. Eventually move to stairs and then the floor.

Are you still with me?  Anyone want to start doing push-ups?