My favorite things, 46 yeas old.

b-day-bike-1

My favorite things, 46 yeas old:

Chocolate

Caramel Cashew Custard from Kopp’s Frozen Custard

Beer

Coffee

Making applesauce

applesauce w H

Picking berries

raspberries

Cross Country Skiing

skiing family

 

Running

Biking

bike train

Tie Dyeingdye towels blue (2)

Fall and Winter

fall-leaves-nola-mae-henry

Watching my kids play sports (and playing with them).

charlie skateboard  Charlie & Nola Mae soccer

My favorite place, Iola Winter Sport Club

skiing Nola Mae & Henry 2014

 

A few people inspire and motivate me:

Inspiration vs. Motivation:  Jillian Micheals made me realized these are two different things.  I can be inspired by people and their activities but it is motivation that gets me outside exercising and being active.

I am motivated by my triplet sisters who are 18 years younger than me.  All three of them are active and do fun things.  I want to be able to keep up with them in their adventures and do fun things with them.  Wait, maybe not keep up at their speed, maybe just do fun things with them.

Frugal Sisters' Half Marathon 13 end

  • My sister, Kayla, is fit and a fast runner.

IMG_4842

  • My sister, Becca, is an Ironman (TWO TIMES!).

becca-ben-ironman

 

Most importantly, my kids motivate me.  I want to be thinner so I look awesome, but that isn’t what gets my butt going.  My motivator is my kids.   I want to be able to ski, run, bike, hike, play soccer, bowl, and play with them for many years.   I am one of those “older moms” and I am NOT getting any younger.  I will be 60 years old when my last child goes off to college.

Robbie is now a faster skier and runner than me.  I thought I would be  faster than him for a little longer.  Oh well, I think I could out last him in a long distance ski race or running race, right now.  But not for long.

kids-running-biking-1   kids-running-biking-2

 

To celebrate my 46th birthday I decided to do 46 miles. I wanted it to be a birthday triathlon, inspired by Becca’s Ironman.  I have this awesome road bike.

b-day-bike-2

b-day-bike-4-mile-15      b-day-bike-3

 Arrived at Sunset Lake for a swim.  It was so refreshing.

b-day-bike-5-mile-30  b-day-bike-5

 Final miles when I arrived home 48.5 miles in less than four hours.

I decided not to run because I got my 46 miles done and  I needed to have energy to finish the day as the mom of the house (making dinner, driving for cross-country practice and to Point for soccer practice).

I picked raspberries while I waited for the bus to drop off the kids and then had one of my favorite snacks, fresh raspberries with rice pudding.

b-day-snack

My adventures aren’t over with, in November I will participate in Rails to Trails Marathon with my whole family.  This winter I hope to ski more days than I did last year and possibly complete at least one ski marathon.

I would love to hear what motivates you.

What adventures do you have planned for the next year?

What birthday activity will you do for your next birthday?

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Nola Mae – 4 years old!

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae!

nola mae fall blog

 

Nola Mae is special to us for  many reasons…

She is named after my Grandma Nola.

Grandma Nola  Nola Mae

She is smart and a great problem solver.  (She didn’t have a bag along, so she stored her notebook in her hat.)

Nola Mae tablet in hat

She will be able to  say that she has skied every year of her life, as long as she doesn’t move away from our winter wonderland.

1st year on skis

Skiing Nola Mae

2nd year on skis

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

3rd year on skis (this was on her 3rd birthday)

Nola Mae skiing 2

4th year on skis

Ski Norseman Nola Mae

She is very flexible (she loves to eat snow while skiing).

ski nola Mae 1 yoga pose

I uploaded my video on youtube of Nola Mae going down a fairly steep hill:  https://youtu.be/m05E79MrrFY

She has three older brothers who adore her.

skiing family

She loves being outside.

sledding

 

sledding Nola Mae

 

snowboarding Nola Mae

She loves her babies.

baby doll Nola Mae kisses wrap scarf grass  babywearing nola mae

She loves to help others and do jobs.

cleaning with Bailey & Nola Mae

Because she has no sisters, she has a special friend who she adores and often plays “sisters” with.

  Nola Mae & Bailey

My favorite blog post I wrote about Nola Mae is “With No Mom”:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/with-no-mom/

She hasn’t changed much in many of the areas of her personality since her last birthday post:

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/nola-mae-3-years-old/

Henry’s Birthday – 7 years old

 Henry’s birthday is tomorrow or today depending on when I finish this and post it.  I have struggled with my blog for a few months now.  I don’t make time to post or have anything pressing to blog about.  Well, I do, but I don’t make the time to do it.

So, I sit here with a blank screen and don’t know what to write.    I started rambling on and on and a couple of hours later, this is what I have to say.  (Edit:  one of my ramblings was starting Henry’s birth story.  Wow, I  don’t want to write about that now.  I will save that for another time!)

 

Henry skiing

What can I say about my sweet Henry?

Some days he is not so sweet.

Some days he is not so nice to Nola Mae and some days he is unbelievably the most awesome big brother any sister could ask for.

henry and Nola Mae in yellow weeds

Some days he can be rotten.

Some days he can be the most kind and loving little boy.

Henry

Some days he can have closed ears and is unwilling to do the jobs he is expected to do.

Henry w chickens

Some days he can be willing to help with every  job  on his list and extra.

Some days he is funny and cute.

A story from this past fall:

I sent an email to Henry’s teacher and his math teacher…”I wanted to share this story with the two of you.  I am not sure which teacher Henry was talking about when he was telling my mom (Granny) about why the teachers were at school and he wasn’t on the professional development day.

Granny and Henry were talking about why he had off school that day and he said the teachers still had to go.  Granny said it was probably one of those days where the teachers learn new things to help them be better teachers.  He told her his math teacher had to go to learn math because she didn’t know what 200 + 200 was.  Henry said, ‘She asked the class and I knew, it’s 400, but she didn’t know so she has to go learn math’.

One more story that will make you giggle:   Henry told me, ‘Mrs. Honken doesn’t have enough apples to make apple pie for the field trip next week, she needs one more apple! Can I pick the biggest apple off our Big Apple Tree?’   I can’t express how excited Henry is for the up coming field trip to your apple orchard (His teacher has a huge apple orchard!).  So excited that he doesn’t believe me that you probably have enough apples to make many apple pies!

Here is her response…”Oh Jenny, he’s so precious!!! His giant apple caused me to totally redo my writing lesson plans for the day…we are going to practice descriptive writing about the giant apple. It has to go in the hall (along with the picture you sent!!). Thanks.”

Henry biggest apple

Some days he can be thoughtful.

Recently, Henry was on a roll talking about nurses.  Henry’s facts about nurses:

“Nurses love kids.
People who love to make kids feel better go to school to be a nurse.
Nurses love to take care of kids that is why they want to be a nurse.
Nurses are kind to everyone.

I wish I was a grown up and could be a nurse, so I could take care of Granny.  Maybe even be the one to help her with her surgery, like her doctor.  I could be like Aunt Karen and take care of Granny.”

This week my cousin, Andrew, emailed me and mentioned in his email that Henry has a very high EQ (emotional intelligence quotient).  I appreciate his insight and kind words because when my patience is low from the wildness, the chaos of our life and the naughtiness.   I need to remember the kind, loving, respectful and wonderful boys we have.  And let the handsome eyes and beautiful smiles melt my heart.

Henry smiles

My sweet Henry has given me lots of stories to write about.  In all his sweetness he isn’t giving me many heart attacks anymore.  One of my favorites:

Heart-Attack-Henry – https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/heart-attack-henry/

Okay,  I have more than one:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/my-empty-nest/

If you want to check out Henry’s past birthday blog posts:

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/henrys-favorites-age-5/

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/henry-6-years-old/

Birthday Treat for School

dirt cake in jelly jars 3

 

Charlie has a summer birthday, during the school year he gets to bring a birthday treat to school during the last weeks of school.

Charlie  was inspired by a classmate who brought dirt cake for his birthday treat.  He tells me everyone loves it, even the teacher.

The tricky thing about taking a special birthday treat to school is figuring out how to transport from home to school on the bus.

I want to save this recipe I used for future use, because it really is yummy!

This recipe was easy enough that Charlie did most of it.

Worm Dirt Cake
(Cooks.com modified for Charlie)

2 packages Oreo cookies, crushed

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C + a couple of T powder sugar

3 C milk
2 (3 1/2 oz.) packages of instant vanilla pudding (can use chocolate)

Gummy worms and gummy butterflies.
17 – 1/2 pint jelly jars with lids.

Directions:
1.  Crush Oreos, set aside.  Charlie used our food processor.

2.  Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Slowly add the powder sugar. If it is getting too dry/thick, add a drop or two of milk.

3.  Combine milk and pudding mix.

4.  Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.

5.  Fold together the butter/cream cheese mixture and the pudding mixture.

6.  Add approximately 1-2 T of the Oreo crumbs into each jelly jar. Place one gummy worm on top of the crumbs.

7.  Add about 3-4 T of the pudding mixture to the jar, leaving about 1 – 1.5 inch space at the top of the jar.

dirt cake in jelly jars 2

We stopped here and put them in the fridge over night and finished the last steps in the morning.

8.  Cover the pudding with the rest of the Oreo crumbs and top with a gummy worm or butterfly.

 

dirt cake in jelly jars 4

Nola Mae – 3 years old!

Nola Mae black hat

Happy Birthday! Nola Mae – 3 years old!

I dyed this shirt for Nola Mae’s birthday. I found this shirt at a thrift store early this month and thought that it needed a little more rainbow to it. Nola Mae Birthday   Nola Mae wasn’t interested in getting interviewed, this is how our conversation went before I gave up:

Me:  I want to know what some of your favorite things are, like your favorite movie?

Silence!

Me:  Is it Peppa Pig?

Nola Mae:  NO, me not watch it. You take it back to the library.

Me:  How about your favorite color?

Nola Mae: Me not telling you.

Me:  How about your favorite snack?  What do you like to eat when you are hungry?

Nola Mae:  Me not telling you.

Me:  Where do you like to go?

Nola Mae:  ME NOT TELLING YOU!

Silence.

Nola Mae: Me want to go to that restaurant. Me want to go a playground. Me want to go to school. WAIT, NOT school, a playground!

Me:  What do you like to play outside?

Nola Mae:  Don’t know, something else.

Silence.

Nola Mae: What do you want to play?

Me: I want to play, “You tell me what you like.”

Me: So Henry, what do you think Nola Mae’s favorite food is?

Henry: I don’t know.

Nola Mae: CANDY! Nola Mae Ellevill wrap Me:  Henry, what do you think Nola Mae’s favorite game is?

Henry: Maybe hide-and-seek?

Nola Mae: YEP!

Me:  Henry, What do you think Nola Mae’s favorite color is?

Henry: Nola Mae, is your favorite color blue?

Nola Mae: NO, blue AND purple! AND RED!

Me:  Henry, what do you think Nola Mae likes to do outside?

Henry: What do you like to do outside, sledding?

Nola Mae: Yes.

Nola Mae:  Playing games. Sledding.  Games. Nola Mae's sled I have given up on her favorites, she loves to talk about what she wants to talk about.  And if I word my questions or statements differently I could get more answers from her.

I want to remember our 2-year-old Nola Mae…

Nola Mae called Henry “Henny” until two days before her birthday.  Now she is saying “Henree”.  Sometimes she would think I was calling her Henny when I would say Honey to her.  In my sleep deprived/fried brain sometimes I think I did call her Henny and she wasn’t very happy with me about that.

Henry and Nola Mae

Nola Mae isn’t keen on nicknames and is very vocal about that now that she knows they are out there.  The first time someone referred to her as a little peanut is when she learned this.  Later she asked me “what a peanut?”  After I explained to her what people sometimes say, she told me in a very clear and loud voice “ME NOT A PEANUT!”

Nola Mae is friendly and very talkative to everyone.  Every day at the ski hill we would see people getting ready to ski and she would want to know their name and sometimes tell them something about what happened that day.  I appreciated all the grown-ups who gave her a few minutes of their time.   And it was fun to see them again and they would talk to her (not me) and make sure she remembered their name from the last time.

Nola Mae has a friend, Lily.  She talks about her almost every day.  Lily is an imaginary friend.  Lily has been at Nola Mae’s school, rides Nola Mae’s bus, is nice and sometimes mean to Nola Mae.  Sometimes Lily is sick.  Sometimes Lily helps Nola Mae.  One day I was sick and accidentally fell asleep, while I was sleeping Lily came over to play.  I think Lily is avoiding me.  Recently, Nola Mae told us that Lily died.  I wasn’t sure if Lily dyed or died, since both words are talked about in our house.  I haven’t noticed much talk of Lily, lately.  So maybe she did die.

Nola Mae was an awesome skier this winter.  She loved the downhills and groomed trails.  At the end of the winter she was flying down the hills in the tracks all by herself.  After a nose-dive into the snow she wasn’t afraid to do it again!

Nola Mae skiing 1

Nola Mae skiing 2

The things I know Nola Mae loves…

  • to paint. “Painting with Pappa!”
  • to cross-country ski.
  • to play our memory game and her version of Blokus and Spot It.
  • to read books with someone and by herself.
  • candy but not enough to motivate her to use the potty.
  • to play outside.
  • to follow her brothers anywhere.
  • to push the kid sized shopping cart around the grocery store.
  • to help with any project.
  • to show any guest to our house her jumping on the bed tricks.

Nola  Mae Painting 2 I know she loves Peppa Pig, so I made this stuffed Peppa Pig out of fleece. peppa pig 1   Click here to read last year’s birthday post for Nola Mae.  

Henry – 6 years old!

  Happy Birthday!

Henry – 6 years old!

I dyed this shirt for Henry to wear on his birthday, unfortunately he is sick today and can’t wear it to school:

 Henry's rainbow shirt(Henry asked that I wash it tonight so he can wear it again tomorrow)

He picked brownies for his birthday treat to take to school.

We have been on spring break, Friday – Monday.  I made a big deal yesterday with Henry about his last day of being five years old.   There is something special to me about being five. You are only five once!  When you are five you are cute, innocent, funny, happy, full of energy, a philosopher, smart, polite, kind, honest and caring.  Henry has been all these things and more!

Henry smile

 

I learned at Henry’s parent teacher conference, that Henry does get grumpy, Mrs. Fechter share this with me:

Henry grumpy

 

When I interviewed him on his last day of being five years old he told me these things:

Favorite color:  Blue.

Favorite animal – Baby cub lion.

Favorite food – Fried chicken.

Favorite fruit – Pear.

Henry's missing teeth

Favorite restaurant – Hibachi Grill.

Favorite thing about school – Gym.

Henry skiing

Favorite movie:  Batman.

Favorite job:  NO JOB!

Favorite thing to do at home – Ride my bike outside and play on the tablet.

sledding Henry air

Friends at school – Alex H, Micheala, Sophie, Landan, Addy, Michael, Emmett, Lewis, Gwen & Jocelyn.

Favorite holiday:  Christmas and Halloween, cause there is candy.

Henry's kite

I asked him, “What do you want to do when you are six years old?

  1. “Just eat, so I can grow even more!” and
  2. “Play outside!”

cards Henry smile

 

Click here to see Henry’s favorites from last year.

 

Happy Birthday, Charlie! Age 9

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

charlie golf cart

Charlie wanted to decorate his cake.   It is a little hard for me to let this go since I love to decorate cakes.

charlie bday cake

I hope he had a fun birthday weekend.  We invited Granny to come spend the day with us.  I made his favorite meal for dinner.  And he didn’t have to do any firewood until the day after his birthday.

I thought the best gift was an awesome flash light – inspired by Grandpa Bob’s collection of flash lights.

 

 

charlie bday cake 9 yr

Charlie told me today that his best birthday gift was the Legos and the pillow.

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Two years ago you started out as the biggest surprise of my life. When you were a few minutes old I still thought you were my fourth son. I saw your little bottom and thought, “Where is the penis?”  Still, thinking you were my fourth boy.  My midwife, Jane, asked “Jenny, Do you know?” Reality hit me and  I said, “Yes, but I don’t believe it.” Everyone else in the room knew you were a girl before I did.

Nola Mae new

3 generations with Nola Mae copy

 

Other surprises you have given me in your first year of life:

You can be so easy-going, not mind meals being interrupted by older brothers, and not put up a fuss when there isn’t any milk, and you were a baby that loved to sleep.

You learned quickly how to go up and down the stairs with very little practice and guidance.

You were happy and smiling 99% of your first year of life.

You loved to be held, wrapped, and carried.

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

You were a mama’s girl and would be a papa’s girl once Papa came home – diving into your papa’s arms when he would walk in the door.

Jack & Nola Mae

You adored your big brothers.

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

You were more adventurous and more of a climber than Henry.

In your second year of life your personality is shining:

You are fast.

You are strong.

You are smart and absorb everything around you.

You love to be high up.

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

You love to cross-country ski.

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

You love to be outside.

You love to play with cars and just started playing with babies.

You make “motor” sounds with your mouth.

You like to wear your babies on your back, “wrap”.

wrap scarf grass

You like to breastfeed your babies, “milkies”.

You just started to love taking a bath.

You can get yourself dressed and have preferences of what you want to wear.

You still love to be held, wrapped, and carried.

You love to sleep next to someone during every sleeping moment.

Henry & Nola Mae napping

You still adore your brothers and show great love and affection – my favorite thing is when you are on my lap and Henry comes to give us a hug you make sure to kiss him and pat his back.

hugs

You miss the boys and Papa when they are at school/work and often mention them.

Kitchen stool Nola Mae w Robbie

You love to color on your skin with markers more than on paper.

Marker head

You love to read and look at books.

Nola Mae book

I love it when you want to do something yourself, you say “self” or “SELF!!!!!”

My favorite thing you copy what I do is when I yell “I love you!” out the door to the boys when they are walking to the bus. You say, “love you!”

My favorite word  you say  is “Zata” for pizza.

You are constantly saying multiple words to tell me something and that started just the week before your birthday.  Your vocabulary is growing so quickly I can hardly keep track.

I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises you have for us in your little heart and head.  I know there is a lot of beauty inside you and I wish there was a magic potion I could rub on your head to help you see that you are going to grow up to be a smart and loving person who is glowing with beauty from the inside out.

Happy birthday, Nola Mae!

Nola Mae 2nd birthday

Henry’s Favorites – Age 5

Henry’s Favorites – Age 5

Happy Birthday!

Family4-10-09

 

CharlieRobbieHoldHenry

favorite color – red, blue, yellow and green. All the colors no black and no brown.

HenryBellyTimeBWblog

favorite animal – bull

favorite book – Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Henry w chickens

favorite movie – Ninja Turtles

teenage mutant ninja turtle mask

favorite song – Twinkle Little Star

favorite food – corn and the orange stuff that is Macoroni Cheese

favorite drink – juice

favorite breakfast – pancakes and pizza for supper

favorite snack – M&Ms and rice pudding

favorite healthy snack – apple

henry bucket

favorite restaurant – Kabatchi Grill

favorite toy – my robot

Who are your friends?  Charlotte, Gus, Emmett, Michael, Lewis, Sophie, Gwen, Kaylie and Ryan

favorite thing to do – go to the pool

favorite thing to do outside – jumping off trees into the leaves, feet first NOT head first.

Iverson Park leaves

What would you like to do with Papa? – work in the workshop.

What would you like to do with Mama? – sew elephants in the sewing room.

favorite thing to do with Robbie and Charlie – join them on minecraft

favorite thing to do with Nola Mae – play with her in the toy room, build a farm and play animals.

favorite thing about school – Nothing, I’m always tired at school! (in the past he has expressed great excitement about going to school and how he loves Mrs. Fredy, recess, (voice gets louder) GYM, ART and MUSIC! YES! TOMORROW IS MUSIC!)

favorite job – I like to mop!

Week 46 H Mopping4

favorite holiday – at Granny’s

favorite sister –  Nola Mae.

favorite place to go – playground

If you could go anywhere to drive far and sleep over, where would you go? Granny’s. I always want to go Granny’s.   And I want to meet Grandma Hanna and Grandpa Rob there.

What do you want to do when you are a grown up?  I want to be taller than Papa.

It took me about three days to get all these questions answered and when I asked him if there was anything else I could add…

Henry:  My favorite things I am waiting to do is go fishing and that watermelon stuff, that is green and red on the inside.

Henry:  Mom, can I just write what I want to write?

Me:  You don’t know how to spell words

Henry:  Yes I do.

Henry’s typing:

hkjuytv xdews mk,. burq   htrdvc xzfred dcdcffewqaszvbnm,kiut hrrtr5dgcccxswws         tbvgffdehjnmbcvcdewqaassloiujkmnbvcxz gjytgc6nvxfbbbnbfbcghmjjn,mbnbcxxzsawq jhgtrfdedewsqazxcvbnm,kiuybhhg hgdngnvm bcvncvf vhgkfhvgjhvgrogy gurgt rtufjug           y r7fry7fr5wd6dy5deeyyqyw7yqwq77rhkhuytfcvgdgggesnkuiopl,mnb

 

Read about Henry at four-years-old.

 

HenrySits7Months2