Winter of Skiing (2013)

Winter of Skiing 2013

This winter was one of the best winters for cross-country skiing.  Maybe because  last year’s winter stunk for a number of reasons – we had very little snow and I had a baby in my belly.  The baby in the belly shouldn’t really be an excuse.  The winter of 2008-2009 I was pregnant with Henry and I skied almost every day we had snow on the ground.

One of the reasons for my wonderful winters of skiing is because I live seven miles from Iola Winter Sports Club.

Iola Winter Sport Club Sign  IWSC Trails

There are over 20K of trails, over 7K of lit trails for night skiing and one of the best groomers in the midwest.

pistenbully small

A portion of the Ice Age Trail runs through the property.

 IWSC stick hiker

skiing green

IWSC snowy trail


Iola Winter Sports Club has a youth ski program which has been going on for many years.  This year I had 48 children signed up for our program.   Every Saturday there was about 20-25 kids that came.

Ski class 2013

skiing to shelter

skis at shelter

Birkie ski

I had a great skiing partner this year while the two bigger boys were in school.

skiing Henry

There were weekends I was able to ski with all of our kids.  And twice with our whole family.

Skiing family day

I was fortunate to have this sled available to me to use when Henry was a baby.  I eventually purchased it and have gotten a lot of good use out of it.

Skiing Jan 25th  ski sled w snow

The days I would ski with Henry we would start out skiing together.  When he would get tired I would pack him and his skis in the sled with Nola Mae.

Nola Mae Jenny  Henry Vater

skiing sled

The two of them would nap and I could ski as long as they slept.  Most of the time I would get an hour and a half nap out of them.  One morning I had them sleeping nicely in the sled and took a chance that they would keep sleeping for a longer than normal loop.  I turned off onto a freshly groomed trail that I haven’t skied on in a couple of years to get in an extra loop.  I was on that trail going down hill for one minute, really one minute, and they both woke up screaming.  At the bottom of the hill we had a snack and I had to pull them up the hill to head back.  The rest of the winter I didn’t take any more chances on a longer loop.

skiing sled (2)

I have many highlights from this season with one amazing ski day with my friend Mary, her eight year old daughter and I met a new person that day who joined us.  We skied all of the trails in one day.  Another time Jack’s Aunt Mary and her friend Donna (they were a couple of my skiing partners before I had kids) spent the night one weekend Jack took the boys away.  We had a wonderful ski on a very cold day.  Aunt Mary pulled the sled for me while I skied really fast in the tracks.  It was one out of two days I skied this winter without pulling the sled.   Another memoriable ski was during the full moon in March when I met a friend on the trails for a night ski.

The kids had spring break the week before Easter.  With Phil and Mary we planned an egg hunt on the trails.  It pays to be friends with the groomer and to make plans to ski with his wife.  He will groom in the early morning hours when he knows you have plans to ski and he plants Easter eggs for his and my kids.

egg hunt on skis

Grandma Hanna (Helen) was visiting us when we had the egg hunt.

skiing with grandma

Springtime skiing is the best.  I don’t know why, maybe because I know it is ending soon and I appreciate every day there is skiable snow.  I love skiing without gloves.  The sun on my face feels wonderful (getting a little tan on my face).

Springtime skiing is very exciting too.   There are times when going down hills the brakes get put on.  That happens in places where there is shade on the trail from the trees and spots where the sun is shining on the snow.  The sun is slowly melting the snow and warming it up.  You are going really fast down hill in the shade and as soon as your skis hit the sunny spot your skis slow down.  It is so fun trying to prepare for when your skis hit the sunny spots.  If you have ever skied with me in the spring time I do a lot of screaming, laughing and swearing.

Henry and I skied for the last time on April 3rd.  We could have skied longer into April because my friend Phil skied with his family on April 20th.

The rest of these photos are from our last day of skiing.  Henry was crabby and low on energy that day.  He needed to be pulled a few times, bribed a little and then we just ended up turning around before finishing the blue loop.  He insisted that he could do the whole thing, but I just knew he didn’t have it in him that day.

ski pulling

The other exciting part of springtime skiing is dodging the dirt and mud.  I forgot to tell Henry what to do when the track runs out and there are bare spots.

last ski wipe out

At this point in our ski we were almost back to the chalet.  My treats were gone, Henry was really crabby and my patience was gone.  I was behind Henry when he went down this little hill and hit the mud.  I was laughing and taking pictures and that made him very mad!  I don’t remember exactly what he said, something about him hating skiing, hating mud,  that he was done skiing forever and would never go skiing with me again.

last ski wipe out tears

I know…not a good way to end the winter.  I am counting on him forgetting this day.  I need him to be my skiing partner next winter on the days that he isn’t in 4 Year old Kindergarten.

March 2013 – Month 3

March 2013 – Month 3

March was a busy month for us and a good month for photos.  We took a lot of photos which made it difficult to decide what to share and put in this month’s blog post.  I was able to post six different blog posts in the month of March to share photos and events instead of putting them all here.

Charlie is very good about getting his reading homework done.  Nola Mae was interested in sitting on his lap for about two of the four books he needed to read.

Charlie reads to Nola Mae

Since we got serious about co-sleeping 3+ years ago we have made our bedroom more co-sleeping friendly. The best improvement was to throw out the bed frame and put the box spring and mattress on the floor. For many months Nola Mae has been able to crawl off the bed. Now she can get onto the bed.  One day I was working on the computer (just outside my room) and Nola Mae was in my room. I heard the sound of tissue being pulled out of the box.  She was so excited, laughing and smiling and trying to roll in the pile.

Tissue Nola Mae 1  Tissue Nola Mae 2

We spent a weekend in the Chicago area (click here to see that post).  Robbie designed and built these vehicles with the Legos we bought from the Lego store.

Robbie's lego design

If you read my Chicago Trip post you learned about my use of bad words.  Which resulted in more bad words being said at home.    I have always had a fowl mouth and having kids has helped me (a little), but not cured me.  The boys like to talk about many “P” words at the dinner table.  Jack started a bad word jar that week.  We all agreed that the money in the bad word jar would go to his Rotary Club.  Money motivates everyone in our family.  We may not have much to give the Rotary Club, after the first few days the bad words drastically decreased.

Bad word jar

A few of my mom friends have taken pregnant belly photos of themselves and then when the baby is nine months old they take a photo of them holding the baby.  My version is on cross-country skis.

  Nine Months In.                      Nine Months Out.

Shadow Baby Belly 2012  Shadow  Baby on back 2013

Jack’s  birthday is this month.

Jack w Nola Mae

March was the best month for skiing, snow shoeing and playing outside.  I have been working on a winter skiing post.  My excuse for not having it completed is that the skiing just kept on going, our last day on skis was April 3rd.  I have many favorite days of skiing this year – one that I will always remember is the day I skied for 4+ hours with friends, our mission was to ski on every trail at Iola Winter Sports Club.

Henry and I invited ourselves over to our neighbor, Anna’s, to go snow shoeing with her.

Anna Snow shoe

We had an ice rink in our field.  Jack took multiple photos of Charlie and made it into one.

Charlie on pond

Henry and I went snow shoeing on our property.  I took the orange sled in case he got tired and then I could pull him.  It turns out he was tired before we even hit our woods.  I got a great workout that day.  (I think he is trying to catch the big snow flakes on his tongue.)

snowshoe 7 sled

Nola Mae is easily entertained watching her brothers play outside.  Lately she has been not happy about being on this side of the window.  She will watch them for a few minutes laughing and squealing with excitement and then flop her body on the floor crying.

Nola Mae window

I was able to drag our whole family to the ski hill two or three times this year.

Family ski

Nola Mae loves the snow (loves to eat it) and tries to escape out of the house every time the door opens.

Nola Mae loves snow

Our school had a few days off around Easter weekend.   We had an egg hunt on the ski trails with my friends Mary and Phil and all of our kids.  It was a blast!

egg hunt on skis

More outside photos are in my First Spring Walks post.

 This Moment – My Skiing Partner.

Nola Mae’s activity around the house has been a lot of fun (for her).  March was the month she has taken her furniture climbing to a new level.

Nola Mae Climbs 2 Nola Mae Climbs 3

Nola Mae climbs 4    Nola Mae climbs 5

And she has gotten into some messy things.

Nola Mae black mouth

Nola Mae Nutella

Jack finished his game table, a very nice addition to the beautiful furniture he has made for our home.

Game table Jack

Coloring eggs is always fun for the boys.

eggs coloring 2013

eggs colored 2013

I am getting a little more brave in my soap making.  I have always wanted to try to naturally color a batch of soap.   My first attempt was with cinnamon.  When I first cut the soap after 24 hours it looked like this, to my chocolate loving eyes, I thought it looked like peanut butter cups.

soap cutting coloring

After the inside was exposed to air for about 15 minutes it darkened to a very pretty dark brown.

Soap bars cut

Jack bought lights and backdrops for his photography.  He took many pictures of us with the black backdrop.

Three brothers  Nola Mae in purple

I seem to have different wrapping photos each month and this seems like a good place to put them.  These are my favorites.

wrap Zara velvet ruck w Jenny wrap Zara velvet ruck wrap Zara velvet eyes

Robbie wrapped himself up in the long brown packing paper that came in the box with Jack’s photography equipment.  Henry wanted to wear his deer with his Mei Tai.

wrap paper  Henry's Mei Tai

In the wrapping world mamas often share a “stash shot”.  If you don’t believe me, google “stash shot” in Google images!  My little stash won’t look so big either.

wrap stash

Henry’s fish DIY Mei Tai, black Ergo, DIY green Mei Tai, top of pile – Zara Velvet 6, Light Rainbow diamond weave 7, DIY lavender linen 7,  Ellaroo Ysable Medium, and DIY plum Ring Sling.

My two favorite wraps are my Zara and my Girasol Light Rainbow.

wrap ligth rainbow DHTT 2 wrap light rainbow DHTT 1

On Easter Henry stopped breastfeeding. I made a cake to celebrate the day.  He went to school and told his class that he has a nuking birthday party on Easter.  The teachers didn’t understand what he was explaining and thought that he had his story mixed up with his upcoming birthday.   This Moment – Tandem Breastfeeding

Cake nuking

Frist Spring Walks

We have started our spring time walks since the sun is setting a little later in the day.   Our first evening walk was on snow shoes earlier in March.

 Dusk snow shoe 1 Dusk snow shoe 3 Dusk snow shoe 2

Dusk snow shoe 6 Dusk snow shoe 5 Dusk snow shoe 4

Lately the snow is too deep and wet for us to walk around our property.  Maybe snow shoes would still work on the very wet snow.

We tried just walking on the snow in the afternoon on Easter. There was lots of tears because the snow was getting inside our boots and for the 15 minutes we were out there the wind picked up and we got a 10 minute blizzard.  These two photos were taken within minutes of each other.

Easter blizzard boys on melting pond

On one of our most recent walks Robbie took a stick along.  I don’t understand the need to carry a stick.

I took these photos of him attacking the big snow chunks that were left by the snow plow.  These walks are a good time to expel some energy outside. Robbie has the most energy!

 spring walk RW jumps 1

spring walk RW jumps 2

spring walk RW jumps 3

spring walk RW jumps 4

Other shots of him in the air:

spring walk RW jumps air 1

spring walk RW jumps air

Nola Mae was cozy in the jogging stroller.  I am planning on doing a 5k run on April 13th in Marshfield with my friend Kristin.  Kristin is letting us use her stroller until then so I can make sure Nola Mae is okay riding in it.

spring walk Nola Mae

I don’t understand the need to walk in puddles

spring walk H

or the need to drive your bike into a snow bank.

spring walk CB bike

spring walk CB & H bike

This sign was put up in the fall of 2012.

spring walk school bus stop