Week 52 – December 24 – 31, 2012

Week 52 – December 24 – 31, 2012

(Completed on 1/29/13)

This is my last weekly post of photos for my second year of blogging.  I am hoping to continue this on a monthly basis with other posts in between.  With this change I hope to share more of our funny stories and events with shorter posts and only one monthly overview of what is happening at our house.

We spent the weekend before Christmas in multiple places. Jack went to his mom’s with the three boys.   Nola Mae and I drove to Milwaukee to visit my dad, step-mom and step-grandma and to attend a family wedding.  Nola Mae and I spent 9 1/2 hours in the car and put on approximately 426 miles from Friday night to Sunday morning.

Sunday we spent with Jack’s family (Vaters during the day and Elorantas in the evening)and late that night we went to sleep at my mom’s.  Monday AM we visited with my mom and after lunch we visited Jack’s grandparents in the nursing home.  We were home by 6:30pm on Christmas Eve.  My grand total of miles traveled from Friday night to Monday night – 525 miles!

Christmas 2012, the gang

Snowshoe hike at Helen’s.

 Christmas elf Henry Vater

Christmas walk, 12-23-2012

The most handsome photo of Henry.

Handsome Henry

The older boys got a survival kit from my mom for Christmas with a flint and steel in the kit, we tried it out by the fire when we got home.  I was very impressed with the spark they were able to make.

flint & steel

Christmas morning’s family photo.  Our “always wanting to be handsome boy” insisted on wearing a tie-dye shirt.  Not a battle I wanted to take on, at least most of us were coordinating.  Oh wait, Jack has an orange shirt under his green sweater!

Family Dec 2012

The only homemade thing I made for our boys was Henry’s cape.  I saved the final sewing for after they were in bed on Christmas Eve.  When will I learn not to do that?

Henry's cape

The fabric was found at St. Vinny’s for about $2 and is reversible.  I have been waiting for the perfect project for this piece of fabric.  He can fly!  Henry tells me he is going to wear it skiing one of these days.  I will be sure to have my camera.

Henry's cape flying

A favorite photo of mine (almost 9 months old).

Nola Mae toy barn

Christmas day we went out with our snowshoes to try our sledding hill.

snow shoeing boys

snowshoeing mama

snowshoe Charlie in sled

During Christmas break we went skiing with one of Robbie’s friends.

skiing Brock

Snack break.

skiing snack break

This week we had a beautiful snow fall.  The snowflakes were huge and the details could be seen with the naked eye and my camera.


My neighbor (and dear friend) has a granddaughter (13 yrs old) fighting cancer this winter.  I invited the 11-year-old sister to come to my house to sew a quilt for her sister.  The timing was perfect for us to get together – Anika was visiting her grandparents and the boys were in school.  We had so much fun together I am hoping to work on another sewing project with Anika.  I think she already has some fabric purchased and ready.

Anika sewing

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/13)

My recent weeks have not been very productive.   A friend asked me to make her some diaper liners.  It was what I needed to get motivated to get back into my sewing room.

sewing cloth liners

I played around and made these for my jars that I like to drink tea out of.

sewing jar covers

I wrapped and labeled some of my soap.


Jack completed his “container” for the Vaters’ art exchange.  One of the most beautiful things he has made (in my opinion).

Cabinet Jack built

I worked on my “container” and came up with this cloth bowl.  Since it seemed lame to me, comparing it to what Jack was contributing.  I filled my cloth bowl with extra goodies, like honey, tea, my homemade soap and body balm.

sewing clothes bowls

Nola Mae is getting close to joining us at the table in her own chair.

Nola Mae eats at table

Snow shoeing has been fun with the boys.  Robbie is the super snow shoer!  We have been working hard at packing our trails so we can ski on them too.

snow shoe path

It was too cold and too late in the afternoon for Nola Mae to ride on my back so I packed her in the sled so she would be warmer.

skiing sled Nola Mae

Henry had his preschool Christmas program this week.  He (like all our kids) is not a performer.  He just stood in the front row with a smile on his face.  In the days before and after the program he has proven to me that he can sing the songs, just not in front of all the parents.

Henry pre school

I learned of breast milk popsicle for teething babies.  I bought some little plastic shot glasses, pumped some of my milk and froze it with a Q-tip for the stick.  Nola Mae was a little crabby one day and I just couldn’t tell what was going on with her.  I remembered the popsicle that I made and gave her one.  It did the trick because she was very busy working on the popsicle until it was gone.

breastmilk popcicle

Henry thought it was cute to put Nola Mae in the basket.  She liked it only for a short time.

basket baby

Once in a while Henry wants to wear one of his stuffed animals.  I made this Mei Tai for him after I made mine.

Mei Tai kid size

A Christmas tree cake I made for someone who wanted to take a dessert to a Christmas gathering.

Cake x-mas tree

Week 49 & Week 50 – December 2 – 16, 2012

Week 49 & Week 50 – December 2 – 16, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/13)

I have combined these two weeks because I had two photos for Week 49 (pretty lame!).

We hosted Aunt Vlasty’s St. Nick party at our house because it fell on the same day as Robbie and Charlie’s piano recital.  I made a cake and it was the only picture I took all week.

cake Christmas tree

We got a good start of snow on the weekend.

Tractor snow

Week 50 was a better week for photos:

Henry and I went out for our first ski of the winter around our property.  Getting ready…

First ski - getting ready

Waiting patiently…

 First ski - waiting

Documenting with a photo…

First ski - ready

Henry not waiting any longer…

First ski - going

My book club met for an ugly sweater themed meeting and I made this cake for us.  Each of us read one or two books by Donna VanLiere ( I think Michelle read all of them).

  Cake Ugly Sweater

Charlie wanted to wear a tie to his school Christmas program.  He is always wanting to dress up to look handsome.  We don’t have any boy sized ties so he picked out one of Jack’s ties to wear.

Charlie wearing a tie

Someone (I don’t care who) thought it would be a good idea to celebrate 12-12-12 as Aaron Rogers Day.   Thanks to Grandpa Bob our boys were able to participate in these kinds of days at school.

Aaron Rogers Day

Winter fruit came in.

Fruit 2012

Nola Mae in my favorite outfit.

Nola Mae favorite outfit

Nola Mae has learned that once the boys come in from outside there are snow chunks on the rug.  Believe me, she is very good at picking up those little yucky chunks of snow.

Nola Mae snow eater

Week 48 – November 26 – December 2, 2012

      Week 48 – November 26 – December 2, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/2013)

Charlie loves Origami and he is very good at it.  I am not.  I have a difficult time following the written instructions (I would do better if someone showed me how).

Charlie brought home the book Making Origami Christmas Decorations Step by Step.  He didn’t have any homework to do while we waited for Robbie to have his piano lesson, so I went out of my comfort zone and tried really hard to complete this wreath that Charlie wanted to do.  We did it!  His teacher loved it.  The art teacher loved it.  Charlie taught both of them and his whole class how to make this wreath.

Charlie Origami wreath

This was a good week for me feeling like I got some one-on-one time with the boys.  Robbie and I played Dominos.  He didn’t want Henry to play, but like any three year old, he didn’t last long.  Henry proved to Robbie that yes indeed his attention span is short but that he can also play this game of matching the dots.

Domino matching

Nola Mae is almost 8 months here and moving very quickly around the house.

Nola Mae end table

She is very interested in the stairs.  The safest thing is for us to teach her how to go up and down the stairs safely.

Nola Mae bottom stair

This is my second year that I have helped my friend, Phil, peal potatoes for his Lefse making party.  Henry helped a little.

Lefse making pealing

Then he moved onto watching a movie while Phil and I peeled 100 pounds of potatoes.

Lefse making taking a break

Phil and Aunt Susie at the Lefse making party.

Lefse making Phil & Sue

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

Another version of our family profile photo.  My favorite.


Jack’s work shut down for the week of Thanksgiving.  So after the big hunting weekend he was able to be home and take his kayak out a few times.

Kayak w car

Kayak 1st time out

I love this picture of Henry so much I want a life-sized one in my house.

Kayak 1st time out w Henry

After the older boys were done with school we went back for a paddle with everyone.  It looks like we are having fun. I was not.  I was afraid we were going to tip.  I had a lot of fun paddling with one boy at a time.  The kayak is a very smooth and fast ride.  For now the only kayak paddles we have are kid sizes.  I can’t wait to see how fast we can go when I have an adult paddle.

Kayak w all four kids

A napping baby!  I will definitely miss these days,

Wrap Zara Velvet snoozing 1

We spent Thanksgiving with my mom and my siblings (minus my brother & his family).

Family Thanksgiving 2012

Our boys had some fun climbing Granny’s pine tree.

Granny's pine Robbie

Granny's pine Joey

Granny's pine Charlie

Nola Mae had fun climbing all over Granny’s counter.

Nola Mae Granny's counter

Jack and his brother took these boys to the Northwoods for hiking and a little hunting.

Northwoods Vater cousin

During Robbie’s time in the Northwoods with the Vater cousins he got a thorn stuck in his calf muscle.  It was sticking out a little.  It hurt him too much for us to pick at it.  He wanted to soak in the bath and get it out himself.  And he did and it was huge!

Northwood thorn in RW's leg

We were able to visit with both sets of Jack’s grandparents, but only took photos at Grandma Siggie’s.

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae's hands

Week 46 – November 12 – 18, 2012

Week 46 – November 12 – 18, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

I couldn’t find Henry in the house and the last time I heard him he was upstairs.  I expected to find him in my night stand playing with my reading light, or eating my vitamin C drops, playing in the boys’ room with the things he isn’t suppose to touch.  Instead I caught him reading on my bed.  He got some really big hugs and kisses from me after I was sneaky about taking this photo.

Reading caught Henry

I made two batches of soap last week, in order to have them ready for my Christmas gifts this year.  I used two different boxes and learned that the newest box seemed to work the best (an old drawer).  The soap on the left is my favorite soap.  It is similar to “Earth Child” a kind that I have seen on the internet.  The essential oils are Patchouli, Orange and Lemon and I add oatmeal for exfoliation.  The soap on the right has the essential oils Lavender and Lemon grass.  Everyone seems to love this kind!

soap nov 2012

Nola Mae enjoyed feeding herself some steamed broccoli.

Nola Mae broccoli

We got this adorable hat from my friend, Jan.  The little blue ribbon on the hat brings out her blue eyes.

Wrap Light Rainbow DW Jan's hat

Nola Mae is working on pulling herself up to a standing position.

Nola Mae balls of fabric

Henry’s turn to bring snack to preschool was coming up.  He of course wanted to help.  Here he was telling me he was ready before I was ready.   He got out the measuring spoons and the flour.Henry ready for baking We made a triple batch of banana bread and muffins.  I shared some loaves and put some in the freezer. banana bread & muffins

Jack took photos of each of us and put our profile shot in one photo.    I love it!  And soon this photo will be on our wall.


Jack took the two big boys home to his mom’s for deer hunting.  I love this smile!

Charlie tree stand

While they were gone hunting and every hunter I know on Facebook was posting dead deer photos I decided I needed to take a picture of my dead animals.  I butchered six aggressive, horny, and too much feed eating roosters.

horny rooster dead

Since the majority of Wisconsinites were dressed in blaze orange this weekend I decided to put Nola Mae in one of my favorite outfits.

my girl in orange

The kayak:

kayak gloss

was finished this week!

kayak tall

Week 45 – November 5 – 11, 2012

Week 45 – November 5 – 11, 2012

(Completed 1/13/2012)

There was snow in the forecast this week, which means that we have hurry up and get a load of firewood in to the house.

firewood boys

The kayak building project helped Jack realize that he isn’t going to fit up old vehicles for use on our farm.  I am happy to have him woodworking than working on old trucks.  So off to the junk yard they went!

Jack bought this truck in 1998, moved his belongings to Iola from Platteville when he graduated and we moved in together.  I have looked at this truck for many years!  I was kind of sad to see it go.

truck for junk Samson

The recyling man came back for the second truck that was taking up my space in the garage.  I was happy to see this one go.

truck for junk

I bought apples this fall, since our tree didn’t have any, the boys weren’t eating them fast enough so I made them into apple sauce.  I love my mehu maija because we get the extra apple juice that would normally be cooked down in the apple sauce making process.

Henry stealing a little juice.  Thankfully it was cold.

applesauce juice

Nola Mae on my back.  Because if I didn’t “babywear” I would never get anything done!

wrap Zara Velvet making applesauce

applesauce juice 2012

Henry played in our first snow a little bit before going to school.

first snow 2012

I was able to walk to the voting polls while Henry was in preschool.  (There really was more snow at home than in town)

ergo off to vote

Nola Mae was very warm under her fleece body suit because I dress her in many colorful layers.  This is good practice for when the real snow arrives.

Nola Mae stripes

One of the things I love most…is walking into a room and finding one of our boys reading.

Robbie reading on floor

Two boys in one night!

Charlie reading at table

I had fun making and eating some homemade bread.

homemade bread

The boys spent a good amount of time standing all the Lincoln logs up.  I reminded them that Nola Mae or Henry may crash them down.

Linclon log towers

That gave them the idea to do it on purpose with Nola Mae

Lincoln log towers push

The kayak this week:

kayak front

One more round of sanding.  I don’t have the patience for sanding.

kayak sanded

Week 44 – October 29 – November 4, 2012

    Week 44 – October 29 – November 4, 2012

(Completed on 1/13/2013)

I froze my tomatoes earlier and finally had time to do something with them.  My mom inspired me to make tomato soup.  Robbie (the super nose in our family) helped with the onions.  It was his idea to get my sunglasses.

robbie chopping onions

Tomato soup 2012

 Nola Mae is almost getting into a sitting position all by herself (almost 7 months old).  Notice those two bottom teeth!

Nola Mae almost sitting

Henry likes to sneak for goodies while I am busy, usually when I am breastfeeding Nola Mae, Jack caught him this time.

Henry sneaking

One of the views I have had out my kitchen window from July to November.  (I took this photo from the deck at night)

kayak garage window

The kayak this week:

kayak thwart