Week 25 – June 18 – 24, 2012

Week 25 – June 18 – 24, 2012

Monday, June 18th:  We rented our field out this year to a neighbor who planted clover, peas and wheat.  His bales look like this and the boys call them marshmallows (Henry calls them Mr Ernst’s hashmallows).

My peas are blooming and producing

and our strawberries are coming to an end.

Tuesday, June 19th:  We got to see our favorite singer/song writer/performer, Tom Pease, at our favorite library today.   I fell in love with him when I saw him for the first time eight years ago.  He is very special to everyone that knows him, look at the handsome smiles he can produce:


If you haven’t seen him in person, you should!  You can check out his summer schedule on his website (click here) or watch a YouTube video of him (click here).  Warning:  most YouTube videos of him are not as great as seeing him in person.  He is awesome in person! And you MUST see him if he is in your area!  (BJ – notice the schedule for June 27th and the end of July – you too, Jessie).  A few of my favorite songs are:  “Love Grows” and “What does your mama do?”  Robbie’s favorite song is “Everybody started out small”  I think because of these words in the song:  “Your mom and dad, seem so giant   they seem so strong and self reliant   but they used to wear diapers and they used to crawl   but everybody everybody everybody everybody   everybody started out small.”

 Wednesday, June 20th: Vacation Bible School was this week in the evenings.  The boys loved it.  Especially on the night they did the slip-n-slide in the cemetery.

They decorated a bucket for the campfire service on Friday night.

 Thursday, June 21st:  The two big boys went to Noah’s Ark for the day with Vacation Bible School.  Henry and I went to the baby support group for a weight check for Nola Mae.  She lost weight in the last week.  The picture I would post here for that would be of a very sad, frustrated and disappointed mama.  My friends were going to be at Sunset Lake today and I wanted/needed to see them after the news of Nola Mae’s weight loss.   Henry and I went to Sunset Lake in the afternoon.  This was our first day at the beach.  Nola Mae got her toes wet, she didn’t like it at first.

Henry was very excited to see friends and spent more time in the sand than in the water.

 Friday, June 22nd:   The temps were a little cooler today and I decided to bake.  I had high hopes of getting a lot done.  (I must have forgotten that four children live here!)  I baked a double batch of these chocolate chip cookies that have garbanzo beans and quinoa in them.  And then a batch of these strawberry mini-cupcakes with strawberry frosting.  I have a good stash of these cookies in the freezer and all the cupcakes were eaten at church!

 

 Saturday, June 23rd:  Jack and Robbie went to Owen to spend the rest of the weekend with Jack’s grandparents.  Charlie sobbed for many minutes because he was missing Robbie.  I thought this was the perfect time to get out the modeling clay I bought.

I bought some wool at the local art store and attempted to felt it on some of my soap.  I have a few other projects in mind and needed to experiment with my soaps first.

It wasn’t bedtime yet and I needed Charlie and Henry to burn some energy.  I suggested they check some of the blue bird houses while I finished the outside chores.  They were down in the field and I heard Henry screaming.  Which usually means that someone (Charlie) is teasing him.  When I looked down the hill I saw that Charlie was a head of Henry and stopped and gave Henry a piggyback ride.

 Sunday, June 24th:  We went to the pond in Big Falls for some fishing, which didn’t last long.  I wasn’t ready to go home so I suggested we go to the hydro dam to check out the water falls.  The water was low enough that we could play around on the rocks.

And the big boys could play in the current.  Robbie was sliding down this rock and floating into the little pond.  I would love to do this someday when everyone is old enough to do it.  I’m afraid by the time Nola Mae is old enough I have a feeling this will be BORING for Robbie and Charlie.

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Week 24 – June 11 – 17, 2012

Week 24 – June 11 – 17, 2012

Monday, June 11th: Today we started doing push-ups.  A long time ago I started the 100 push-ups challenge (http://hundredpushups.com/).  I blogged about the benefits of push-ups in March 2011, click here to read that post.  For some reason I stopped, if I am remembering correctly I had to repeat a certain week three times and was a little frustrated.  Now I am determined to try again.  Our total of push-ups for the three days we did them was 112.

Tuesday, June 12th:  Charlie wanted to carry Nola Mae.  He didn’t last long with her on his back because it took me a while to wrap them together.


Wednesday, June 13th:  Today one of our chickens laid this tiny egg. 

I am finally getting back to using my clothes line.  I had a few items that needed bleaching in the sun.  Most importantly, the reason why I took this picture is because girls’ clothes are so cute on Nola Mae and even on the clothes line!

Thursday, June 14th:  After the morning of summer school we went to the park for a picnic lunch and then to our favorite library.  Henry and I made egg salad for us.

After the library I made these chocolate chip cookies that everyone loved!  Secret ingredient…garbanzo beans!  This recipe came from the Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food  cookbook.  They were much better than the brownies that we made for Charlie to take to school.

Friday, June 15th:  This morning we went to Waupaca to run errands and met with my lactation consultant.  We have concerns that Nola Mae hasn’t been gaining weight at the normal rate a baby should.  I wasn’t too worried about this because I have been feeling like she is breastfeeding enough, even though I think she sleeps a lot, and was probably gaining weight.  I was wrong!  She hasn’t even gained the bare minimum in the last week and a half.  I left there with different things to try and plans to get another weight done in a week and a heavy weight of stress on my shoulders.

By the afternoon Nola Mae was crying, screaming, gassy, pooping and making whimpering/little moaning sounds during her sleepy times.  Henry seemed very concerned and was trying to make her happy here after a diaper change.

I nursed her often and wrapped her up and carried her around and this seemed to keep her happy.  During the night she had a fever.

Saturday, June 16th:  The only thing I accomplished today was finishing this Mei Tai that I made for my friend Sarah.

Sunday, June 17th:  What do Vater Boys do for Father’s Day?  Jack took the boys to the woods to make firewood.  His brother called to wish him a “Happy Father’s Day” and told me that he was building a wood shed with his kids.  I wasn’t surprised Eddie had news of a project to work on.  There is no sitting around in this family!

After Henry’s nap time we went to Little Falls.

Sometime I wish this cage was in our yard.

While I cooked Jack’s favorite dinner, Jack downloaded photos from the day and the boys surprised Jack by unloading the firewood from this morning.

Happy Father’s Day to the best Papa!

Week 23 – June 4 -10, 2012

Week 23 – June 4 -10, 2012

Monday, June 4th:  This evening a storm brought us some much-needed rain and great entertainment for the boys.  Our spring was so dry there haven’t been many dams built here in our “pond” area.

During the storm Nola Mae napped in my arms while I read my book.  Next year she’ll be building dams with her brothers.  Or maybe destroying the dams they build.

Tuesday, June 5th:  I have mentioned before how Henry can be very gentle with our job of collecting 20+ eggs into a bucket and not break a single one.  But when it comes to chicks and chickens it seems like he likes to catch them and stick them in places where they don’t belong…a boot or a cooler are the most popular places.   I sprinted for the camera and then saved the chick.

“Look, Mama!  It fits in my Granny boots!”  He calls his boots “Granny boots”  because we left them there once, he forgot he even had them and when we went back to Granny’s he thought she gave them to him.

 Wednesday, June 6th:  Summer vacation started off with a great first day.  I bought the boys the game Battleship.  I loved playing this when I was younger and I thought they were ready for it.  They started playing this game the night before and were eager to finish it this morning.

Charlie and I planted my five hanging baskets around the milk house.  The big job this summer will be to keep them alive.

All three boys picked strawberries for lunch from our little patch.  I am reconsidering my plan to till up our strawberry patch.

I am not sure what the reason for this little bit of cuddling Nola Mae was getting from Robbie.   It is a rare occasion.   All I remember is running for the camera to take this picture.  I am kind of remembering he was icing his foot.

 Thursday, June 7th:  This maple tree by the garden is much bigger since Henry was a baby in the spring of 2009.  He slept under this tree for many hours that first summer while we worked/played in the garden.  Robbie joined Nola Mae under the tree to do some writing and drawing.  I got a little bit of work done in the garden.

Nola Mae’s first nap under the maple tree.

Lately, Charlie has become more interested in Mystique.  Today he spent a lot of time brushing her.

Our first picnic lunch.  The boys were excited.   I set it up and surprised them.  They ate very well and willingly helped with the clean-up.  I may have to do this more often.


 

Friday, June 8th:  We left this morning for a weekend of hiking and camping on the Mississippi River.   We stopped in Black River Falls for one of our breaks.

I wonder how many Lion bubblers are still around.

We arrived at our final destination…Perrot State Park.  Jack and Helen took awesome photos all weekend.  It was very difficult to choose which ones to post here.  If I can find some time this week I may do a post of my favorite photos from our weekend. 

 Saturday, June 9th:  Nola Mae slept very well for her first night in a tent!

The temps were hot during the day and wonderfully cold at night. I didn’t pack many warm blankets and I forgot Henry’s blanket so Jack and Henry covered up with the table-cloth I brought along.

A little bit of tears and dirty hands make for a cute little boy.

   We hiked for an hour up to the top of one of the bluffs.  Jack carried Henry to the top and Henry hiked down.

Sunday, June 10th:  On Sunday our hike was at least two hours.  Henry wasn’t interested in being carried this time.  So he hiked the whole thing!  We met some hikers on the way up the bluff and the lady made some comment doubting that the boys could do the whole thing.  I wish she was at the end of the trail to see they all made it.

Before we left the park we all took showers.  My hope was to wash away any poison ivy that was touched.  It seemed like it was every where I looked and every where the boys stepped.  (I am busy washing EVERYTHING from the weekend – shoes, clothes and bedding.)  So far, knock on wood, there is no sign of poison ivy!

 As I was looking through my photos for this week’s post I found these of  Nola Mae’s first bath in the sink.  She loved it.  Robbie was our photographer.

Week 22 – May 28 – June 3, 2012

Week 22 – May 28 – June 3, 2012

Monday, May 28th: We had friends over for a picnic today.  Robbie wrote this note and put it on the outside door for them to read when they arrived.

Tuesday, May 29th: Since Charlie has a summer birthday he celebrates his birthday at school in the spring.  Tonight he made brownies with secret ingredients (beets & carrots) from the book Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food .  We tested the brownies and they were good, Charlie liked them and still wanted to take them to school.  Our back up plan was a brownie box mix.  Nine out of the fourteen kids liked the brownies.

Wednesday, May 30th: This morning was very cold.  Henry waiting for breakfast.

Planting pepper plants.  It was cold but still warm enough for bare feet.

Thursday, May 31st: Every spring I wait patiently for my favorite flowers (lupines) to bloom.

My garlic is growing like crazy.  I planted 213 cloves last fall.  After the cultivating Robbie did to my already planted garlic patch, not much damage was done.  I counted 203 plants coming up.

Jack was traveling for work all week.  One thing that saved my sanity was taking the boys to the dead-end road for some biking.  Charlie can be such a sweet big brother, sometimes!

  Friday, June 1st:  Charlie had his kindergarten graduation.

After graduation and the PTO picnic we could take our kids home if we wanted to.  Robbie’s class had two kids left for the rest of the afternoon.  When Charlie went back to his class to get his things he saw that a lot of  his friends were staying and he wanted to stay.

I thought we could do something fun so we went to our favorite library.  Nola Mae comes from a family of many librarians, I think she is considering it.

 Our favorite librarian showed Robbie where the Star Wars section was.

Saturday, June 2nd:  Charlie’s creations have already started!  He wanted to make a shield today.  This is all his own design.

  

Then Robbie made his own with his own ideas.

               

Of course, Henry needed one too.  So we just copied Charlie’s design.  And they decorated them.

 

I wanted pictures and they wanted to pose.  How does a 3-year old know what to do?  He even has his own sound effects!

I had to include this one too.

Sunday, June 3rd:   I spent the weekend focusing on chickens.  I cleaned the chicken coop out completely.  It took me two days with Jack helping me with the kids and our meals.  Our little chicks that Charlie’s class and we hatched spent the day outside.  I am hoping this will help tame them a little.  I put them next to our reading blanket in the shade for a little while.

My poppies are starting to bloom!

Jack took the boys down to the woods to cut, split and stack firewood.  I joined them a little later.  I was impressed with the boys focus and hard work at stacking the firewood.

There was one minor distraction…a salamander.

 

 Charlie stacked over 140 pieces and Robbie stacked over 160 pieces of firewood.  All the piles you see in this photo were stacked today.

Heading home.