Henry keeps me on my toes. He has added something very special to our family of all boys. He tests the condition of my heart and keeps me running!  Recently, I have referred to him as “Heart-Attack-Henry.”

I am not sure why we have toys for a two-year old when a hammer works as a teething toy.

Our wood shed, my arbor in the garden and many other places on our farm have proven to be more exciting than our wonderful playhouse.

The wood shed…

wood shed2

The arbor in the garden…

Rock walls (17 months old)…

Ladders (17 months old)…

Tractors (18 months old) …

Our fun playhouse…

Who needs a diving board when you have a rock cliff to jump off into the lake?

jumping H 0

Henry has always been “cage free” (no crib for this boy!) until today!

He decided to crawl into a tomato cage.  This didn’t really give me a heart attack.  It goes to show what this little boy can get into right in front of me.

I couldn’t stop laughing.  Laughing is good for your heart too!

Project 365 Week 29

Project 365 Week 29

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

7/18/11 (Monday) –  A very hot day!  The house was the place to be and it was quiet. This is what I found…

three boys watching a movie.

warm boys watching movie2

Robbie reading in bed to the brothers.

Reading How to be a cow


7/19/11 (Tuesday) – We went to Keller Lake for swimming and crayfishing. 

boys crayfish

Check out “Heart-Attack Henry” for exciting photos of Henry standing on the edge telling me he was going to jump. 

7/20/11 (Wednesday) –  The boys had a friend over on one of the hottest days.  They played kickball.  The raft was second base and filled with water and third base had the sprinkler on.  I sat in the shade (dripping in sweat) taking pictures and did some sewing.


Ice cream for dinner.

ice cream for dinner


7/21/11 (Thursday) –  It has been over a week since we have been to Sunset Lake, so we had to go today!

sunset H run

sunset H dive

sunset H swim

sunset bury1


Look at that ear!  I love the lake but not the sand!

sunset ear

7/22/11 (Friday) –  Charlie hand sewing in the morning. 

charlie sewing

Robbie had a b-day party to go to and I made this pillow case for the gift.  Pillow cases are so easy and a great gift for kids that have all the toys in the world (and all the toys in our price range are junk)!

pillowcase brock

7/23/11 (Saturday) – It has been so hot we have been camping out in the living room all week!

Sleeping LR B&W

7/24/11 (Sunday) – For over a year the two older boys have wanted to sell lemonade at the end of our driveway.  I have been telling them for over a year, “That would be fun!  But no one will stop because they are going too fast on our road.”

Finally, I let them go through with their plan to learn for themselves.    They could only find frozen apple juice in the freezer.

apple juice stand sign

apple juice stand

The highlight of my weekend was harvesting my garlic.  I had great helpers.

 Robbie handed Henry the garlic.  Henry would say, “Thank you much!” and put them in the bucket.

garlic dig 2011

garlic bucket 2011

One of two buckets.

garlic harvest 2011

I am not sure how many bulbs of garlic I have.  If my memory is correct I planted 176 cloves last September.  Once I get them all laid out to dry I will count them.

garlic 2011

Green Smoothies



Smoothie Green

Green smoothies may look unappetizing to some people. When I first saw my frist green smoothie I was very curious about what it was, but didn’t really want to know. Then another friend of mine was drinking one and I got up enough nerve to ask for a taste. It was yummy! Then I asked what was in there.

These are the ingredients to my favorite Green Smoothie:

smoothie ingredients

Apple juice or water, greens, bananas and an apple. 

(Recipe and directions are at the end of this post).

Apple juice or water…

smoothie apple juice

Add greens and blend…

smootie blending

Here is a photo of a “weed” from my garden that I just learned is good for smoothies, lamb’s quarters.

smoothie lamb's quarter

Continue to blend until liquid is smooth looking.

Add fruit and blend until completely blended.

smoothie apples

Green Smoothie

1 cup of apple juice or water.

2-3 handfuls of spinach  or a variety of greens (spinach, beet greens – no stems, lamb’s quarter).

1-2 apples peeled.

1-2 bananas peeled.

Directions:  Add juice or water to blender.  Add greens one handful at a time, blending after each handful.  Once it is smooth add a little bit of fruit while the blender is on.  Yields: 1 quart

Jenny’s notes: I like my Green Smoothies very cold and usually make them at night so they are chilled in the morning.  My other favorite fruit combos are pears and bananas.

Other recipes from the website Green for Life:

Basic Balance
Victoria Boutenko

1 mango
1 cup kale
1 cup water
Yields 1 quart

Victoria’s Favorite Dark Green
Victoria Boutenko

1 bunch dandelion greens
4 Roma tomatoes
3 cups water
Yields 2 quarts

The Laughing Gorilla
Valya Boutenko

½ head romaine lettuce
2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
2 oranges, peeled, seeds removed
1 mango
2 cups water
Yields 2 quarts
Warning: consumption of smoothie may
result in spontaneously occurring, extremely
contagious gorilla laughter

Benefits of Green Smoothies:  http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/green-smoothies/green-smoothie-health-benefits/

Thanks Kat and Jackie for introducing me to Green Smoothies!

Project 365 Week 28

Project 365 Week 28

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

7/11/11 (Monday) –  Mondays are difficult days for me.  Henry went downstairs to get me a cup of coffee.  The cup he brought to me was half full, cold and very chunky.  I wondered how he managed to find coffee leftover from the day before.  When I went downstairs found my french press opened and on the floor.  I think if he watches me make coffee every day it won’t be long before he can make a yummy cup of coffee for me.

7/12/11 (Tuesday) –  Tuesday morning library program.  We are lucky to have our favorite librarian  also be Aunt Susie.  I was waiting for Henry to climb onto her lap like he does at home. 

My first ripe blueberries!


7/13/11 (Wednesday) –  I have been trying to run this summer and it hasn’t been going as well as I would like.  I am registered to do a trail run in September and I may just die that day.  One of the ways for me to get a run in is by putting Henry in the stroller and the older boys on their bikes.  Well, as you can see here they are way too fast for me.

Today, I tried to slow them down and lighten my load.  I attached our bike trailer onto Charlie’s bike (it doesn’t fit on Robbie’s bike).  Robbie pulls Henry and Charlie rides Robbie’s bike, which makes them both much slower.  

Henry reads his books.  And yells, “Mama!”  If Robbie gets too far away from me.

I try to run close behind Robbie and the bike trailer.  He is weighted down enough that he rides at my pace and I just need to give him a few pushes up the hills.  This view of the boys while I run is much better! 

7/14/11 (Thursday) –  Thursday Night On Main is in its second year in our town.  There is great entertainment every week, you can click here to see the schedule for the rest of the summer.

This week Tom Pease came to Iola!  We had so much fun dancing and singing to our favorite songs!  If you don’t know who Tom Pease is you should! 

The Belly Button song was a huge hit with my boys and I think it is the most popular song with all children.  Especially this time, he warned everyone not to stick their finger in their belly button because that would cause illegal tooting.  Imagine the giggles.


Here is Tom Pease’s website:  http://tompease.com/

Click here to see a YouTube video of Tom Pease in Madison performing the Belly Button song.

7/15/11 (Friday) –  Robbie has started to mow certain areas of our lawn.   He mowed this area and wanted me to take picture of the liver shape in the lawn.  I have mowed this area many times and ended up with this same shape.  I never thought it looked like a liver, but it does.   He seems to always be thinking of Auntie Emmy and livers.  Where ever he looks he sees them. 

More progress on the wood shed this week.

7/16/11 (Saturday) – Our first bowl of blueberries!  Henry seems to have forgotten about them, thankfully.  That is why we have a handful and a bowl full this week.  This morning  I snuck out there to pick them and Henry came looking for me.  I hid in the blueberry patch so he wouldn’t find me while I was picking them.  I heard him at the edge of the garden calling, “are you, Mama?” for “where are you, Mama?” 

Later in the day I gathered from the garden my greens for my green smoothie.  Here are my ingredients.

Click here to read more about the benefits of green smoothies.    Oh so yummy!

Click here to see my post on Green Smoothies.

7/17/11 (Sunday) – My latest aprons were finished today.  I had some lace that I wanted to try on an apron and when one of my friends asked for two aprons for her granddaughters I thought this would be perfect use for my lace.  I may need to find out if there is an easier way to put lace on things.  I am very pleased with how they turned out. 

Project 365 Week 27

Project 365 Week 27

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

7/4/11 (Monday) –  I like to consider myself a Free-Range Parent.  On the last night of our weekend up north the boys asked me to set the alarm clock so they could get up early to go fishing, by themselves!   I was a little nervous about this idea, my Free Range thoughts reassured me that it would be okay! Click here to read more about the Free Range Parenting philosophy.    The boys were so hyped-up about fishing and wanted to fish every minute possible before we left.  The dock they would fish off of was about 1/8 of a mile walk from the cabin we were staying in.   In the morning we let them sleep in a little and let them go fishing.  

Here they are after their own fishing trip.

7/5/11 (Tuesday) – Over the weekend Charlie’s fish “Tank” died.  Just last week I was telling Tank, that if he died we wouldn’t be replacing him because I was tired of feeding him and cleaning the fish bowl.  I waited until today to break the news to Charlie.  Charlie wanted to dig a hole for Tank and put him in Bear Country (their fort in the woods).  Robbie and Charlie went outside to take care of Tank and about five minutes later Robbie came into the house.  He told me Charlie wanted to be alone for a little while.  Oh man, this darn fish was breaking his heart and mine on top of it!  Charlie came back into the house and made this sign and a new “Tank” for the fish bowl.  Charlie amazes me all the time with his creations with paper (a topic for a blog post).

7/6/11 (Wednesday) – On hot beautiful days we love to go to the beach.  Our second favorite activity is reading in the shade.  We gather blankets, books, my iced coffee and lemonade usually during Henry’s nap time and read for as long as possible.

7/7/11 (Thursday) – I went strawberry picking with our neighbor while Jack played with the boys on his lunch hour.  I picked 19.5 lbs of strawberries for $23!  We have eaten most of them.  I still have a lot of strawberries in the freezer from last year.  I need to make strawberry smoothies more often!

7/8/11 (Friday) –  Strawberries were on my mind when I wanted to bake a cake for my book club meeting and use up the leftover frosting from last week’s Spiderman cake.  This is what I came up with my heart-shaped cake pan.

strawberry cake

7/8/11 (Saturday) –  Our town is known for The Old Car Show, which was this weekend.  It is an amazing event, especially for people who love old cars.  http://www.iolaoldcarshow.com/index.asp

Over a hundred thousand people come to our little town for this event.  In order to pull this event off all of the organizations in the surrounding communinties volunteer their time.  Each group has their own job. Jack worked for the Lions on Saturday morning cooking 1,300 chicken halves.

When Jack’s shift was done we walked around looking at a few of the old cars.

7/9/11 (Sunday) – This wood shed was started earlier in the week.

I wanted to include these two photos of Charlie this week because I love how he dresses  – shirt tucked in, shorts and his skiing socks.  Every morning I encourage him to put on shorts and a short sleeve shirt, BECAUSE it is summertime!  I recenlty found out from him that he likes his legs covered and when he is wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt and it is 80 degrees he tells me, “only my top gets hot, so I can still wear pants.”


A little progress was made every night this week.  Quick Papa!  Henry is climbing!

Project 365 Week 26

Project 365 Week 26

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

6/27/11 (Monday) –  This Hungry Caterpillar cake I made last weekend and forgot to include it in my Week 25 post.

Today, Charlie showed me that he has learned how to pump his legs to keep the swing going.

6/28/11 (Tuesday) – This week was the second & last week of summer school for the older boys.  I have been enjoying the few hours that they are in summer school doing the things Henry likes and at his pace.  I have also had a chance to get things done that are easier with just one boy!  One big job was vacuuming the car at the gas station.   Henry was happy while I cleaned and vacuumed the entire car.

Later in the day I caught Henry reading!

6/28/11 (Wednesday) –  Early this morning I finally completed my blog post about my sister, Emily and her liver disease.  Click here to read Emily’s story.  I have been overwhelmed with the amount of readers of my blog, comments about my post and the generous donations people have made to the American Liver Foundation.  In four days I had almost 550 hits on my blog and reached my goal for fund raising.   Thank you!

Today the big boys had summer school in the morning and in the afternoon Aunt Susie took them to the movie theatre.  Henry was focused on reading books and made this pile for us to read.


Today, I finally learned how my kitchen windows get so dirty.  I found Henry kissing, licking and smashing his face against the window.


6/29/11 (Thursday) – This Spiderman cake was made for a party this weekend.

spiderman cake


6/30/11 to 7/3/11 – We left Thursday night for an extended weekend.  I have had a difficult time finding photos for each day.  Our weekend involved hanging out with friends, biking, playing kickball, campfires,

roasting marshmallows,


shooting the bb gun (Charlie),

a lot of fishing,


canoeing and kayaking,

swimming and playing in the water.





(Charlie – Superman!)

We visited a total of seven beautiful lakes in the area which were incredibly quiet, clean and clear.