Poject 365 Week 25

Project 365  Week 25

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

6/20/11 (Monday) –  Our first strawberries from our garden.

Sharing with his little brother who is trying to be “a pig” about it.

6/21/11 (Tuesday) –  Chili and Shadow got hair cuts at a great place close to us called Dog and Cat Grooming by Crystal.  Crystal doesn’t mind hair – her business is in her home, she is a wonderful lady, and loves English Springer Spaniels.


 (sorry it was raining and I forgot to take a better picture at home):



(they each got a bow for their collars)

6/22/11 (Wednesday) – Two milestones today:

 1st, Charlie lost his frist tooth while eating an apple, really lost it because he swallowed it. 

2nd, Henry said his first 3-word sentence while we were watching The Human Planet (click here for the 1.5 minute clip on YouTube).  If you haven’t seen this series the BBC put together, you should!  We were able to rent the four disc set from our library.

6/23/11 (Thursday) –  I shipped homemade items I sewed and some of my soap to my Aunt who is having a craft/art sale next weekend at her campground in the WI Dells.


We have had a ton of rain this week and no days at the beach.  The boys played outside a lot (click here to see my slideshow of “Fun in the rain”)   in the rain.  Swimming and playing in the water is one of the best ways to burn off energy, so I took them to the awesome pool we have in our town.

6/24/11 (Friday) – It stopped raining, finally.  I was able to spend time in the garden attacking the monster weeds, while Henry attacked my blueberry bushes – picking handfuls of green berries.  I think/hope that I have him convinced that we just look at the berries.  I snapped this photo of him telling me, “Looking!”

6/25/11 (Saturday) – Visiting Aunt Susie and making funny faces.

6/26/11 (Sunday) – It was hot today!  Jack played kickball with the boys in the shade with the sprinkler on 2nd base.  I let the boys in on my secret stash of freeze-pops.

This evening we made some firewood.

It was still hot this evening and we forgot to pack water.  So the big boys headed back to the house to bring us water.

Project 365 Week 24

Project 365 Week 24

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

6/13/11 (Monday) – I am not one to purchase an item because I want it.  The majority of my purchases are because I need them, like socks, underwear, food and gas for my car.  My purchases of socks and underwear don’t happen very often. I love to get socks as a gift because that means I didn’t have to buy them!    I have been admiring these Gerbera Daisies ever since I started going to the best greenhouse around for the last four years.  This year was the year I splurged and paid $3 for this plant that will die once fall arrives.

6/14/11 (Tuesday) – We met friends for a hike and then went to the beach.  The kids worked together to make a pool.  Why do they need a pool when we have a 61.2 acre lake to swim and play in?

6/15/11 (Wednesday) – Last week Jack bought the boys reading lamps.  They have been using them every night to read before going to bed.  This sight warms my heart!

6/16/11 (Thursday) – We have had a fair amount of rain lately.  Thankfully, I don’t have to water my garden.  But the lawn still needs mowing.

6/17/11 (Friday) – Another pillowcase.

6/18/11 (Saturday) –  I made this cake for a friend.  Her daughter asked for a marble cake, shaped like a cat, vanilla frosting, light purple cat with blue eyes.  I baked and frosted a 9″ x 13″ for the base and 9″ x 9″ for the cat.  After I cut out the cat shape I put my heavy layer of crumb coat on the cat before putting it on the base, something I should have done with the dinosaur cake (from my Week 17 post).


I went to bed after getting this far on the cake and feeling like it needed something more.

This is what I came up with…

The best part is when Lydia saw the cake she said, “Oh Miss Jenny, I love it!”  My favorite part of cake decorating is seeing/hearing the reaction of the person who is getting the cake.

6/19/11 (Sunday) – Father’s Day.  These photos were taken earlier in the week.  I mixed up my photos because I didn’t take any photos today. 

I believe these photos fit well for Father’s Day, since we have a great Papa who includes our boys in all of his interests and teaches them amazing things.  

Project 365 Week 23

Project 365 Week 23

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

6/6/11 (Monday) – Charlie went fishing alone with Papa over the weekend.  I didn’t take any pictures today I thought I could cheat a little and include Jack’s photos.



6/7/11 (Tuesday) – Last day of school – After Robbie got off the bus we did our regular rounds of hugs, talked about his day and I went back to what I was working on.  I walked into the kitchen to find two boys standing next to each other in tears!  I asked them why they look so sad.  They both told me they were sad because school was finished.  I thought this was very sad and very sweet.  I want them to love school for as long as possible!  I was able to sneak the camera and take a shot of one sad boy.  I NEED to remember this sadness. Charlie ran away to hide when he saw me with the camera.


6/8/11 (Wednesday) – First day of summer vacation – we went to our favorite beach.


6/9/11 (Thursday) – Our second day of summer vacation – a friend came over to play.  No more sadness. 

Today, we also had our first accident and trip to the doctor’s office.  Charlie got pushed off a box in the barn and fell on his knees.  He punctured a hole into his leg (just below his knee) with something that was in the pile of hay.  I can only find a dried stick in the hay pile that could have done that.  No stitches!


6/10/11 (Friday) – Henry tries to be sneaky.  I know something is up when Henry is quiet and disappears to the living room.  I usually find him behind the chair eating some kind of candy that was left out.  Today, I found him on the chair pretending to be resting and hiding the item he was being sneaky about and looking very guilty.

He is smart and resourceful, notice the scissors he knew he needed to open the bag.

I was thankful for the cooler temps later in the week.  Because I needed to bake a cake for the anniversary party this weekend.

This is what happened when I tried to decorate a cake during the day when Henry was awake.  I left my cake on the counter while we all went outside.  I got distracted outside in the garden and Henry went into the house with the big boys.  The big boys came running outside, “Mom, come quick!  Henry did something horrible to your cake!”  Can you imagine what was going through my head?  I forgot that I left the cake uncovered and on the counter, silly me!  Thankfully, the damage was minor.

The 70th Wedding Anniversary cake!

6/11/11 (Saturday) – We went home for the weekend to visit our families and for the anniversary party. 

Highlights at Granny’s house…

4-wheeler ride to the other farm for chores, 

A walk to the pond for fishing, 

taking the row-boat to the island,

fishing from the island

and collecting pretty rocks on the walk back to the house.

 The treasures we found…

6/12/11 (Sunday) – We celebrated Jack’s grandparents 70th Wedding Anniversary.

They had four sons, seven grandchildren, and for now, they have six great-grandchildren.

The Plan for Summer

Last week I posted Getting Ready for Summer Vacation (click here to read that post), and I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning since then.

When I worked for Head Start, many years ago, I got tired of my supervisor always saying, “What is your ‘Plan’?” or “What is the ‘Plan’?” or “Here is the ‘Plan’.”  Even though I got tired of that phrase I did learn that it always worked to have “A Plan”.  I have learned to use this method of problem solving in my parenting.

Now, back to THE PLAN for Summer!!

Today is our first day of summer vacation!  Let the fun begin!

I talked to each of the boys and asked them what they wanted us to do this summer this is the list we came up with…

Each day we will try to accomplish:

  1. Practice piano.
  2. Read books.
  3. Play outside.
  4. Keep the kitchen clean.
  5. Get exercise – 30-60 minutes.
  6. Eat healthy snacks.
  7. Henry will take a nap.
  8. Work in the garden.
  9. Pick up dirty socks and dirty clothes.

Each week we will try to accomplish:

  1. Keep up with our daily list.
  2. Write a letter to a family or a friend.
  3. Go to the library.
  4. Go to the beach.
  5. Go hiking with friends.
  6. Go fishing.
  7. Sew.
  8. Make a load of firewood.

Each month we will try to:

  1.  Invite friends over for a fun activity.
  2. Take a weekend trip to visit family.

We haven’t scheduled any dates for our family vacations.  The dates are still being worked out.

Locations we will visit this summer:

  1. Bay Beach – http://baybeach.org/
  2. Pictured Rocks National Park – http://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm
  3. Liver Life Walk Milwaukee – http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/TR/LiverLifeWalk2011/LiverLifeWalk?pg=entry&fr_id=2490

The boys will continue taking piano lessons through the summer months, attend summer school for two weeks and take swimming lessons for two weeks.

I’m not feeling so frazzled and nervous about our transition into summer now that we have “A Plan” and our first date for meeting friends at the beach day and a play date for Robbie!

Related articles:


Worms are to chickens like chocolate is to me

One of my favorite things I do for entertainment on our farm is watch the chickens when they are outside.  I LOVE to watch them eat the worms we dig for them.

We sit in the chicken pasture with our hands full of worms.  And lure them in by holding one worm out at a time.  And say, “Here, chicky-chicky-chicky!”

The bravest hen slowly walks up to the dangling worm,

and snatches it out of our hand and runs away.

If another hen is close by and sees this she will chase after that chicken and try to steal the worm away from her.  Or she will come running back to us looking for her own worm.


Every time we do this I imagine that if there was a giant standing over me and my sisters dangling a piece of chocolate; I would act the same way our hens do when we feed them worms.

Project 365 Week 22

Project 365 Week 22

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

5/31/11 (Monday) –  Memorial day.

6/1/11 (Tuesday) – Henry loves to help me with the chicken chores.  He collects the eggs and puts them into the bucket.  Recently I got this amazing act of a two-year old being very gentle with eggs on video.  Today he helped me with the chickens and I carried the bucket up the barn stairs and set them down to do something else before taking them into the house.

I found Henry in the garden like this.

He got up to show me an egg and this time he wasn’t so gentle.

I see this every day we meet the boys at the end of the driveway, finally today I remembered my camera.

6/2/11 (Wednesday) –  We spent a lot of time inside today because of the wind.  I was able to dry four loads of laundry on the line very quickly and we baked a triple batch of banana bread (13 mini loaves).  Henry was my helper.


Charlie finished planting their flowers around the play set.   I am very pleased that our boys like to plant flowers, veggies and work in the garden.

6/3/11 (Thursday) –  When I went outside this morning I saw this tree in our pasture with a large broken limb.

Jack started sawing up the tree tonight.  After we got caught up with picking up the brush Henry and I played with Vanilla.

6/4/11 (Friday) –  Today was hot!  I hope my summer loving friends are happy that the 90+ degree temperatures have arrived.

We met friends this evening at our favorite county park.  There was swimming, drinking from the artesian well, jump roping, kickball and PIG was played on the basket ball court.

6/5/11 (Saturday) – Perfect day for flying a kite!

6/7/11 (Sunday) – Robbie and Charlie’s piano recital was this afternoon. This is the only photo I took of them today.  I should learn how to add videos to my post.

Getting ready for Summer Vacation

Yesterday after school was kind of wild and crazy.  Now that I think about it the whole evening was!  I am concerned this may be what our summer days will be like.

Milk was spilled at least three times onto the floor and a lot of spitting milk with encouragement from bigger brothers.

One boy went to his room until the rest of us finished dinner because of talking about inappropriate things at the table (poop & toots) and burping on purpose with his mouth open.

Henry was screaming because someone took something away from him.

Henry was screaming because he wanted something another boy had.

Henry was screaming because someone left the house and closed the door without letting him out.

Henry peed on the floor at least two times and once on a  bed he was playing on.  He takes off his diaper without any warning, there is no  pattern of this – sometimes it happens after his diaper is wet or before he pees.  I am sure these are signs that he is ready to be potty trained,  but I am not ready.

Maybe it is because:

  1. I don’t like change,
  2. I can’t stay focused on a task that isn’t fun,
  3. It means my baby is turning into a big boy.

I have got to get out of this funk and just focus on his bodily fluids!

After dinner one of the boys said something about “wanting” something.  By now I had enough and lost it.  I said  something  like “no one around here cares what I want.”  This got their attention and they asked “What do you want?”

My answer:

  • No spitting,
  • No milk on the floor,
  • No talk of poop and tooting (especially at dinner time),
  • No burping with your mouth open,
  • No silliness at  the table,
  • No teasing,
  • No egging Henry on, and
  • boys that listen to the rules!

Real positive, right?  Totally negative!   I know, the results of me “losing it”!

Then I went on to ramble about summer time and doing fun things.  I would like to think I don’t threaten to get what I want out of the boys, but I came very close.  I explained that I won’t take boys who are rude and naughty to the lake, park, let them have friends over or let them go to a friend’s house.  We can stay home and get a lot of work done because I have tons of jobs for us to do!  How do you think they want to spend their summer?  I know, I want to go to the lake!

There was still wildness at teeth brushing time, a huge drop of toothpaste was on the floor and I didn’t find it until I stepped in it!

I was busy from for four straight hours cleaning, cooking, doing my animal chores, taking clothes of the line and getting started on the night-time routine.  This list of things to do at night isn’t any different from other nights, I even got some help with cleaning the kitchen and part of the animal chores.  Tonight everything seemed to take longer.  I would have loved to sit down for longer than it took me to eat my dinner, or had time to weed in my garden, go for a walk/run or play kickball.

After the boys were sleeping, it didn’t end…Robbie woke up many times with night terrors and tossed and turned the rest of the night.  Charlie woke up in the middle of the night and came to sleep with us because he was having bad dreams.

I think these events are breaking me in for next week.  Summer vacation!  Whose vacation is it anyway?  It is ours!  I plan to have lots of fun with the boys this summer.  In a matter of just a few years we may not have a full summer together.  There will be summer jobs, I might have a job to go to and how many 15 year old boys are going to want to go to the beach with their mom?

Last night was a reminder to me that I don’t handle change and transitions very well.   And next week will be rough for me if I don’t have a plan!  Because at the moment I don’t have a plan!

Our upcoming transition from the school year to summer vacation is coming and I need to get my sh__ together and have some kind of plan by the start of our summer vacation!

I am looking for ideas, advice and suggestions, anyone?

Springtime and Flowering Trees

Everyone knows my favorite season is winter.  I am unhappy when the snow starts melting.  During this transition from winter to spring I usually go into a state of depression where I get nothing accomplished.  I am in this gloomy state of mind for 1-2 weeks.  Because of where we live the transition to spring isn’t pretty outside!  Or inside my house!


We have slush, mud, warm days, cold days, rain, snow, more rain and some times more snow.

When spring has finally arrived, I forget a little bit about the snow that I love and enjoy the beauty around me and have a little fun.  Click here to see my post on Springtime Biking.

One of my favorite springtime sights is my mother-in-law’s daffodils, absolutely breathtaking in person…

Another favorite spring time sight is of our  flowering crab trees: