Week 41 – October 8 – 14, 2012

Week 41 – October 8 – 14, 2012

(Completed on 12/16/12)

We went to The Paine Art Center for the Ansel Adams’ exhibit.  In the children’s area the activity was to make a Frankenstein head.  They had the blank green heads already made out of milk jugs.

frankenstein heads

Here is one last photo of “yours mullein” with the leaves harvested.  I needed to explain to Henry that I don’t want it cut down because I want the seeds to fall on the ground and plant more mullein.  I was able to redirect his attention to job we were in the garden for…cutting broccoli.

mullein w Henry

My awesome broccoli that wouldn’t stop growing!

Broccoli 2012

tomatoes & broccoli

My light rainbow wrap with a fancy twist.

wrap light rainbow twist

I made pumpkin cheesecake for my book club meeting.  Because I hosted I got to pick the book for us to read and discuss – Her Mother’s Hope.

cheesecake pumpkin

Charlie reading to Nola Mae!  Melts my heart!

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

Henry’s preschool went to a local pumpkin patch for a field trip.

field trip Henry's class

field trip Henry

field trip Henry rides

We got our first egg from the hens that we hatched this spring at home and with Charlie’s kindergarten class.

first egg our hatch

On Robbie’s birthday weekend we had his friends over and also a couple of Charlie’s for a combined b-day party.  This is the cake Robbie designed after for the Elemental Warrior stuff he plays.

Cake RW 9th b-day

This is the second year in a row we carved pumpkins.

B-day party combined pumpkins

Jack helped all the boys make a step stool.  It was a huge hit.

B-day combined stools

B-day combined group

Thankfully we have photos of when Robbie was a baby because I would have told you that he had no hair when he was a baby!  Happy Birthday, Robbie!

RW baby

Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

(completed on 12/14/12)

After school the boys would stop at the apple tree to eat.  Today I caught them using some teamwork to get their apples.

boys teamwork apples

Sometimes Henry wakes up when the boys are getting ready for school.  He fell back to sleep in his chair.

Henry sleeping

I trimmed our raspberries last winter so I wouldn’t have a crop to pick in June/July with a new baby.  I thought I would be ready for picking by the time the fall berries were ready.  It was hard for me to keep up.

raspberries

If you look closely you can see Nola Mae’s sad face.  She wasn’t happy with picking raspberries because I wasn’t moving around enough.   She squirmed around and tried to escape.  By the time I got to the house my wrap job had gone bad!

wrap gone bad

I was a little discouraged with my wrap so I dug out my Ergo this week.  It fits her perfectly!

Ergo

  I love to make applesauce.  I love feeding applesauce to our boys.  I love sharing it with friends and my nephew.  Our apple tree blossoms were damaged during a frost this year.  We had very few apples so I bought four bushels of apples from Country Corner Sales.

apples

Photos of our apples from last year:  Click here.

Photos of Henry helping me make applesauce last year.  Click here.

After my stop to pick up the apples I went to the Amish greenhouse, Sunset Acres, for squash and pumpkins.  Perry is a good salesman and talked me into a huge mum plant.  I bought it with my birthday money that I got from my mom.  If I didn’t have that money burning a hole in my pocket I never would have bought it.  I hope that I planted it soon enough that it will come back next year!  Thank you, Mom!

mums b-day

I follow The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  I found these Slice-and-Bake Cookies.

I made a few changes…instead of nuts I chopped up garbanzo beans and I made a double batch and put these in the freezer.  If I were to do this again I wouldn’t chop the M &Ms. We have been enjoying a small amount of cookies every once in a while for a treat.

cookie dough for freezer

Charlie and his friends on the curb waiting for the Homecoming parade to start.

homecoming parade 2012

Once in a while I get Mystique out and give the boys a ride.

zara velvet wrap w horse (2)

The progress on the kayak…

Kayak glue

Kayak glued

Week 39 – September 24 – 30, 2012

     Week 39 – September 24 – 30, 2012

(completed on 12-11-12)

I was inspired to encourage Henry to bike more after seeing how well Kale (my nephew) rides his bike.  I remember Charlie was riding without training wheels by this age.   All summer Henry was content running along while the older boys biked, “because I am a fast runner!”

Henry biking home

Henry biking

One of the reasons I was drawn to purchase a rainbow wrap is because I love rainbows (plus I got an awesome deal on this size 7 wrap).  I recently learned the term “rainbow baby.”  Then I decided I needed a photo of my “rainbow baby” (Robbie) wearing my last baby who I have waited a long time to have.  I love all four of my babies equally.  They each have a special place in my heart.  Robbie is the baby that healed my sadness and fulfilled my dream of becoming a mother.  And Nola Mae is the daughter I have always dreamed of having.

light rainbow wrap w Robbie

Nola Mae slept in this baby rocking chair for some of her naps and sometimes when I just needed to put her down.  And yes, I didn’t always put the straps on her.  Because most of the time I was putting her in there for a few minutes and I was right there.  At 5 months old she started to scoot out of it.

And once she would be in this position she would just hang out there.  She would smile at me and jabber away.

Nola Mae rocker 5

Nola Mae rocker 1

Nola Mae rocker 2

Then Henry would come along and “rescue” her,

Nola Mae rocker 3

and bring her to me.

Nola Mae rocker 4

The next stage of the kayak.

kayak top & bottom glass

Week 38 – September 17 – 23, 2012

 Week 38 – September 17 – 23, 2012

 (completed on 12-11-12)

Charlie thinks it is cool that he can help Nola Mae walk.  I am not interested in rushing into the walking stage!

 Charlie & Nola Mae walking

Yucky sucker.

 charlie blue tongue

Last week was my birthday.  I purchased this brand new Girasol Light Rainbow Diamond Weave (LRDW) for a great price from overseas.

wrap light rainbow arrived

 In order to break a wrap in you can braid it, and

wrap light rainbow braid

wrap with them.

 wrap light rainbow hike

Henry is a great helper in the kitchen.   I have taught all our boys how to use a knife safely at an early age (compared to normal families).

Henry cutting potatoes

I love garlic.  I love to plant it.  I love to grow it.  I love to eat it.

My deadline for planting my garlic is around my birthday.  Well, that never happens.  The latest I have planted garlic was late October.  This year I am feeling pretty good about getting it in the ground on September 23rd!  I planted 260 cloves this year (a record high).

 garlic planting 2

Henry helped me pick all our tomatoes and clean up the garden.

 garden work Henry

Progress on the kayak.

kayak top 1

kayak top 3

kayak top 4

kayak top 5 glass

Week 37 – September 10 – 16, 2012

Week 37 – September 10 – 16, 2012

(Completed on 11/27/12)

Henry’s first day of pre-school.  He goes to school every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.   His smile does show his excitement because he has been waiting to go to school like the big boys for over a year!

Charlie reading to Robbie after school.

We had some dry days for my mullein to dry quickly.

 Reading on the deck.

  I peeled and froze my tomatoes until I could can them at a later date.  This is one of my favorite jobs.

 Entertainment in the parking lot while Papa went into the store.

We tested Nola Mae in my jogging stroller/bike trailer.  She is still too small.

Since I am behind in my blogging this is old news…the progress of the kayak as of mid-September the top of the kayak was started.

We had one last chance to go to our favorite place before the water started to get too cold for swimming.

(Charlie)

(Robbie)

Week 36 – September 3 – 9, 2012

 Week 36 – September 3 – 9, 2012

(Completed on 11/13/2012)

The first week of school!

Robbie 3rd grade (8 years old)

  Charlie 1st grade (7 years old)

 

The dew was heavy while we waited for the bus.  We could spot all the spider webs in the trees, on the grass and on the fence.

 Off to school on the bus…

 For the last four years the boys have had to cross the road to get on and get off the bus.  This made me nervous since the bus is stopped on the down hill-side of the hill we live on.  There hasn’t been anything I could do about it because the bus heads north.  This year our bus turns around on the next road to the north of us and comes back passed our house.  I called the bus garage and asked him to change the pick up and drop off to our side of the road.  I feel a lot safer this way.   Also “school bus stopping” signs were put up on our road to the south and north of our house.  I doubt that will slow any of the cars down!

 

We waited outside under the apple tree for the boys to come home.

 

My new-to-me DIY purple linen wrap that came in the mail this week.  One of these days I may make my own.

 

 Henry dressing up as a cow for fun.  We also have a pig costume and every time he mentions that Kale could come play animals with us.

 

This is where the kayak was at during the first week in September.  I need to get caught up with my blog posts.  Jack will be done with the kayak soon!  I would love it if Jack did a “guest” blog post with the progress of his kayak, maybe it could be just a slide show to make it easy.

The bottom half is done.

Getting ready for the top.

 

We met some of my friends at the Amherst River Festival where they had kayaks to paddle, fishing for kids, arts & craft vendors and a kids area sponsored by the Tomorrow River Community Charter School.

Week 35 – August 27 – September 2, 2012

Week 35 – August 27 – September 2, 2012

(Completed on 10/6/12)

Nola Mae found her toes.

And loves them!

This week we went to Sunset Lake one last time before school started.  “It was so boring!” according to Charlie.  I thought it was a beautiful day!  The boys hardly swam and we stayed half the normal amount of time.

We made two cakes this week:

I was inspired by the bakery at the new Copps in Stevens Point.  I made this for the Rotary dinner meeting.

We met friends over Labor Day weekend and took dessert to share with them.  Robbie wanted to be the cake decorator this time.  This cake was inspired by the Ninjago Elemental Warriors:

Charlie has wanted to make a sparkling bottle for a long time.  I was feeling a little guilty for wishing for school to start and not doing many fun project this summer with the boys so I agreed to letting him making this.   I think they turned out pretty cool.

I tried to get Henry to stand in the sun for a picture so we could see how the bottles sparkled.  He was not interested.

I was in the shade taking photos of Nola Mae in her baptismal gown that I made:

Then Henry got a great idea to give me a heart attack.  This reminded me of the post I wrote called Heart-Attack-Henry!

Charlie loves Nola Mae!  He kisses her, holds her, carries her around and tries to get her to do tricks.  Here he thought it was cool that he could get her to stand up without holding her.

This is what my bed looked like when I crawled out one morning:

Nola Mae can fall asleep on her own (sometimes) and sleep through just about anything.  We were setting up bunk beds in the boys’ room.  In the process the futon mattress and a twin mattress were at the bottom of the stairs.  The big boys were sliding down the stairs on the twin mattress, having a blast, and Nola Mae was waiting for me here on the futon mattress where she fell asleep.

We got out the cozy coop car.  Charlie helped Nola Mae get her first ride.

Jack took these photos of Nola Mae.  I have a few favorites. I couldn’t pick just one!

Photos of the garden:

The raspberries are ripening and need picking almost every day.

My morning glories seem to be at their best.

This sunflower was a volunteer from last year.  I love the puffy look.

“Yours mullein” is still growing.

Jack’s progress on the kayak:

Robbie always has huge ideas.  I am a visual person and have taught him to draw his plans/ideas out for his inventions.  He took his paper and ideas out to the garage to be closer to Jack.  Robbie is working on plans for a Staff.  The original plan was some kind of electric, fire throwing, wind generating sword for the Vater Cousin Christmas Exchange.

Measuring his drawing.

We went to the Big Falls Corn Roast.  Charlie was happy to have corn on the cob.  The last of the season and definitely not as yummy as Granny’s corn.

When we got home from Big Falls we took some silly photos:

Week 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

Week 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

(Completed 9/24/12)

Henry is the best helper.  And such a cute one too!

Henry and I picked more broccoli this week.  I have been picking broccoli by sneaking in the garden so Henry wouldn’t see what I was doing.  I didn’t want him to do it without me and do it wrong.  I wasn’t able to be sneaky today.

I was impressed how well he cut the broccoli with the scissors.  Yes, I let my 3-year-old use adult scissors!  He did it so well I bet I could send him to the garden to pick some for a meal.  I was reminded again that he can do so many things, and he can do it “my way”, I mean the right way, if and when I show him how to do things correctly and safely.

This has been the best year for our broccoli.  I have eight plants and they have produced tons of broccoli for us.  I am thinking I want more plants next year.

Then I turn my back and my awesome helper (Henry) cuts 25 stalks of my milo and corn!  When I asked him why, “Me don’t like them being tall!”  Here is a milo stalk he cut that is actually growing back.  The corn stalks didn’t grow back.

Henry must have been encouraged to do more jobs for me today after doing so well at cutting broccoli and feeling badly about cutting my milo and corn. Because he collected eggs without me.  He carried them in his shirt and unloaded them on to my junk table.  No broken eggs this time!

I had an evening meeting and this is what I came home to…

These boys are getting too big for me to carry them out of my bed.

I took a few photos in the garden this week:

This one is of the biggest mullein plants (Verbascum Thapsus) I have ever seen.    I have been saving these weeds all over our property for drying and making tea with the leaves.  I learned of this from a friend and was reminded about mullein from my midwives when I had a horrible cold during my pregnancy with Nola Mae.  Henry can spot it anywhere.  We went for a walk to our neighbors and walked through her yard rather than up her driveway.  Henry ran past a tiny mullein plant and said, “there is yours mullein!”

Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbascum_thapsus

The many uses of mullein:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033990_mullein_medicinal_herbs.html

My first handful of raspberries!

I did not grow basil this year.  I was given some from a friend and my sister-in-law.  Henry and I are the only ones that eat pesto.

Nola Mae has started to do the Superman/airplane pose.

And now that she is rolling over.  I find her sleeping on her belly, which is cute but also makes me nervous.  This girl always has her hand in her face, something I will never forget!  Giving birth to a baby with her hand on her face is quite painful and unforgettable!

Charlie turned seven years old this week!  He wanted to decorate his own cake with Star Wars ships on it.

Charlie wanted to go camping for his birthday.  Jack took all three boys to Brunette Island State Park.  They met other family members there.

On Sunday morning Charlie got stung many times by hornets when he stepped onto a nest on an island they had been playing on all weekend.  We will never know how many times. He wouldn’t let me count the marks.

I can count 32 sting marks in the photo of his back.

The best cousin, Sarah, read to him to help him feel better.

Charlie did not have an allergic reaction to the stings.  Jack did take him to an ER where he got an IV of fluids and we got the bill:

IV Therapy = $294

Sterile Supply = $74.50

Emergency Room = $332

Pharmacy = $212.75

Professional Fee/ER = $498

Total = $1411.25

(A month later and I don’t know what our insurance will pay)

Uncle Eddie took these photos in the ER.  When Charlie saw them he remembered more things to tell me about this experience.

“I was soooo tired I couldn’t fall asleep.”

“I remember those blankets.  They were REALLY warm!  And it felt good when they put it on top of me.”

“I’m never going camping for my birthday EVER again!”

Jack said it was helpful that his brother went along with him and that he had the GPS in the car, so all he had to do was to touch the arrow on the screen to see where the closest hospital was and hit “Go.”

Week 33 – August 12 – 19, 2012

Week 33 – August 12 – 19, 2012

(completed 9/23/12)

Sunday, August 12th:  For some reason I forgot to include these photos in Week 32’s post.  We picked Robbie up from his sleepover in the morning on our way to Stevens Point.  He was the only boy out of many to get an injury – a banged up knee.

This looks like she is pouting, but really she is trying to copy me doing “raspberries” with my lips.

We met Grandpa Rob in Stevens Point with the bikes.  Henry, Nola Mae and I did the shuttling for their bike trip on the Green Circle trail.  Grandpa Rob, Jack and the two older boys biked 5 miles from one park to another.  Henry was sad that they were leaving without him, so I took him to the south side of the park they were departing.  I loved his excitement when he first spotted them.

Then he ran with them for a little while.

Then they left us.

This is the snake we found at the park in Whiting while waiting for the bikers to meet us for our picnic lunch.  An Eastern Hognose. This gives me the willies looking at it again.  I really do not like snakes.  I asked Jack to try to find out what kind of snake it was.  He found this website .   I was horrified to see the many different kinds of snakes in WI.  Mom, you shouldn’t go to that link!

Monday, August 13th: Veggies picked today.

Tuesday, August 15th:  My worm factory that I got for a Mother’s Day gift is three months old.  I added a second box this month.

 Wednesday, August 15th:  Nola Mae has always been a good baby.   I changed her diaper, then let her hang out on the floor while I did something and noticed she was quiet and this is what I found.

We have been letting the boys sleep in our room this summer.  They have a nest on the floor at the foot of our bed.  When it is hard for them to settle down to fall asleep they (usually Robbie) they are separated and one boy is sent to their room.  Tonight it was Robbie who was sent to a different room.   Robbie wanted a second chance so he must have written this note to Charlie.  I found this paper airplane in my room in the morning.

The paper airplane opened with the full message.

Thursday, August 16th:  I finished making Nola Mae’s baptismal gown.  I copied a few dresses that we had for the design.

Saturday, August 18th:  A progress shot of the kayak.

Sunday, August 19th:  Nola Mae was baptised.  Here are a few photos from this day…

The cake was decorated by my sister, Danna.

After the party, cup stacking contests…

Granny brought lots of sweet corn to share with everyone.  Henry and I worked on freezing the corn after the party.

Week 32 – August 6 – 12, 2012

Week 32 – August 6 – 12, 2012

Henry and I took a road trip this week.  He complained that the sun was in his eyes and “looking at Nola Mae isn’t working.”  I usually suggest that he look at Nola Mae, who is to the left of him,  when the sun is in his eyes because it isn’t too long until we change directions on the road.   My suggestion really wasn’t working because we were driving north for a long time and the sun wasn’t moving.  I gave him one of Nola Mae’s hats to cover his eyes.

When we got home he put one of his hats in my bag so it is with us next time.

We picked the older boys up from summer school and went to the Big Falls hydro dam for a picnic lunch and some adventures.  The water is so low we can walk on the rocks everywhere.  You can see the water lines on the rocks in this picture of Henry to get a feel for the low water level.

The dam was turned off so I let them swim over by the rope swing.  There were people going off the rope swing.  It was very entertaining and I may be brave enough to do it if I can talk Jack into coming with us.

While the boys played in the rapids and on the rocks I was able to find a big indent in a one of the boulders and make a nest for Nola Mae.  And it was shady!

While we were there playing in our normal spot where I think it is safe a grandma and grandpa showed up with two grandkids.  They were letting them slide down this big rock into the swirly waters that make me nervous.   I guess with the water being so low this spot makes for an awesome slide.

And the water is about chest deep for Charlie.  They had so much fun!  Unfortunately this is a sunny spot.   We didn’t stay long but I promised we would come back as long as we didn’t get any rain.

The reason for my road trip…to pick up my newest wrap.  This woven wrap is designed in Norway by a company called Ellevill Wraps of Norway.  My wrap is a Zara Velvet.   I purchased  this wrap from a mama in the UK and split the shipping cost with someone else who was also buying a wrap from the same person.

I didn’t love it at first because it seemed to have more pink in the weaves than what I saw in the photo!  It is growing on me and has sort of satisfied my craving for more purple in my life.

My dream purple wrap is a Zara Tri Purple or a Zara Aubergin (if you have a minute you can search Google Images for those two).

Aunt Danna is finally home!  She was gone for a year living in MT working for AmeriCorps.  In my opinion this was the best time to meet Nola Mae.  She was awake and full of smiles for Aunt Danna!

Robbie loves experiments.  He has lots of plans for many different inventions and experiments.  I don’t like them because there is a mess and usually wasted food.  I let them do just about anything in the kitchen.  They learn so much and they are expected to clean up after themselves.  The boys wanted to make jello for dinner.  So I let them pick the flavor and they each made their own dish.  Robbie mixed two tablespoons of every jello flavor I have.  I don’t buy the boxed jello, I buy it in a bag – the directions are 1/3 heaping cup to 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of cold water.  He said it turned out pretty yummy.  I have about 7 different flavors and his turned out dark green and sort of brownish looking.  I didn’t try it.  I probably should have.

Robbie had a friend’s birthday party, his first sleepover.  I am almost through all of their friends for giving a pillow case with their name on it.  I don’t know what I will do for gifts next year.

Robbie has been wanting to make a parachute all summer.  I am not sure if he was imagining one for his body or a toy.   We searched the internet for parachute ideas and directions.  While I made the pillow case he made his parachute.  It turned out so nice he made one for his friend and we wrapped a package of gum to the parachute.

I am not sure if everyone knows that Jack started a big project this summer.  (Now everyone will know.)  He is making a cedar strip kayak for our family.  If he doesn’t mind I will share more progress photos of the kayak.

Henry and Nola Mae sleeping while I work on the computer in the wee hours of the morning.