December 2013 – Month 12

 December 2013 – Month 12

I forgot to add this one photo from our Thanksgiving meal at my mom’s.  I have no idea what Henry is so excited about, it was very difficult for Jack to get all the boys looking at the same time.  We are missing the two oldest grandsons in this photo.

Thanksgiving 2013

A couple of us got sick in early December.  Charlie came home sick from school one day and the next day he wasn’t 100%, so he stayed home, slept in, made four snowmen in our yard and shoveled the steps for me.

Sick Charlie day after snowman

When Nola Mae was sick she walked into the boys’ room, laid down and fell asleep for a couple of hours.  When Robbie and Henry came home from school they saw her like this and knew this was a very unusual sleeping spot for Nola Mae.

Sick Nola Mae

She was back to her old self again the next day, coloring on her legs with markers and getting into everything.

Nola Mae cooking

 I went back to my mom’s for our cousin’s cancer benefit.  All of my siblings were there.  Kayla and Becca worked on Christmas candies.

Candy making cremes Candy making Becca  Candy making snowflake oreos

My oldest nephew, Devin, came along and Nola Mae warmed up to him very quickly.  He has always been wonderful with little kids, since most of his childhood, Emily had an in-home daycare.

Devin & Nola Mae

 Nola Mae missed Henry.  My mom has an answering machine message saved on her machine from Henry.  Nola Mae listened to it often.

Nola Mae phone

I am in search of the recipe for this Chocolate Peanut Butter cookie.  Anyone know this recipe?

Cookie Chocolate Peanut butter

Santa came to Henry’s school for the parent outreach activity.  He told Santa he wanted a robot.

Santa w Henry

We traveled to my Mom’s for Christmas.  We also celebrated my triplet sisters’ birthday.  All three are intelligent, kind, loving, hardworking and beautiful inside and outside!

Siblings Danna  siblings Kayla  Siblings Becca

I decorated this rainbow cake for them.

Cake rainbow Sisters

I built a fort for the little ones to play in.

Fort at Granny's

We introduced my nephew to skiing.  He was a natural!

Kale skiing

Robbie loves Grandma Hanna’s raspberry jello. Granny made it for our Christmas dinner and Robbie got to clean the bowl.

Jello Robbie

For the last few years my siblings haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts.  This year I suggested we do an ornament exchange.  They could be homemade or bought and we needed 7 ornaments (one for each sibling, mom and self).  All my siblings participated and made their ornaments for the exchange.  I think they all had fun and I hope that we can do it again next year.

Ornaments Sibling exchange 2013

A long and late drive home.

Sleeping in the car Henry

cuddling

Our Christmas Day family photo.  (Notice the size of the tree behind Jack.)

      Family photo outside Dec 13

I was looking for photos of Java and found this family photo, taken in early January 2004.  We are standing where our wooden fence is now.  Same tree behind Jack.

Family photo outside Jan 04

Nola Mae has her own cape.

cape Nola Mae

All of our kids got a wooden vehicle for their 2nd Christmas from Papa.

   hovercraft

 Jack’s homemade Quarto game.

          Quarto Homemade

I was in the kitchen cleaning and noticed it was quiet.  I grabbed the camera and found all these kids playing nicely and quietly.

Quiet children 1

 

Quiet Children 2

 

Quiet Children 3

 

Quiet Children 4

 Santa found this brand new snowboard for Henry at St. Vinnie’s.

snowboard Henry

The older boys got a bigger snowboard to share from Santa.

snowboard Robbie & Charlie

The boys were outside playing and I was upstairs at the computer and heard this conversation:

Charlie:  Do you think Santa really watches us?
Robbie:  Yes!
Charlie: He knew our snow board broke.  He knew we loved it.  And then he gave us a new one.
Robbie:  I know.
Charlie: Yeah, he is totally real!

Our family went skiing the day after Christmas.

skiing

My dog, Java, who was almost 12 years old started looking pretty old this past year.  She died on January 30th.   I posted a “This Moment” post with a photo of our first two dogs who are both gone now.

java puppy

This is Robbie when he was a baby.

Java w Jenny RW

It will be a long time until I have another dog that I will love as much as I loved those two dogs.

On a happier note, the rest of my December…

A cold morning at breakfast.

Cold at breakfast

My sewing projects this month:

Upcylcled elephants for a friend that is having a baby this winter, made from table cloths from her wedding.  I am planning on making her a ring sling from one of those table cloths.

table cloth elephants

I made these two child size Mei Tai for a friend.

Mei Tai butterflies Henry  Mei Tai Nola Mae

I made these two sweater owls for my youngest nephews for Christmas, upcylced from wool sweaters.

 Owl Kale  Owl Brooks

I also made one for each of our kids.

Owls sweaters w kids

One of the best gifts anyone can give me is time in my sewing room.  Jack and the kids stayed busy upstairs, eventually Nola Mae found her way down to the sewing room and sat nicely on my lap while I sewed the binding on the denim Rail Fence quilt that I made for Jack many years ago.

Quilt denim binding

Quilt denim Jack's

I label all my quilts and when this quilt was close to being finished I anticipated finishing it in 2005.  In case you don’t remember in 2002 we had no kids, just two dogs.  Robbie came in 2003 and in the summer of 2005 we moved to the garage, gutted our old farm-house for remodeling, lived in the garage and Charlie was born two months before the house was finished.  This quilt got worked on off and on over the years.  My mom inspired me to finish this one.  She has made some very beautiful quilts over the last few years and I felt like I needed to finish this one before starting any big projects.

Quilt denim  label Jack's

November 2013 – Month 11

November 2013 – Month 11

I missed adding this photo to my October blog post.  We had a good time walking around town trick-or-treating with friends.

Halloween friends 2013

Halloween costumes 2013

We started a program with Aunt Susie’s library where we will read 1,00 books before kindergarten.   Check out this link to find a library near you or to see other websites like, “Books your child should hear before kindergarten”. 

Reading to Henry

Nola Mae likes to read too and be cute.

Nola Mae book

Nola Mae eager to get at the after school snack.

After school snack

Nola Mae likes wearing boots and she doesn’t seem to care if they are on backwards.

boots Nola Mae

We took a walk to meet our new neighbors.  Charlie wore his stilts down the hill.

Stilts Charlie

And for most of the walk to the neighbor’s.

Stilts Charlie road

I took this picture on November 22nd after one of our first snowfalls.  Nola Mae discovered that snow is yummy.

Nola Mae eating snow

She likes to wear backpacks.

Nola Mae back pack

Even when they are too heavy for her and she tips over.

Nola Mae backpack fall

Nola Mae has been showing signs of understanding the potty.  After helping her take off the back pack I told her we should change her diaper soon.  I came into the living room and found her waiting for a new diaper.  Once her diaper is off she wants to sit on the potty.

    diaper change

 Batman with rotten teeth has started to put away the silverware from the dishwasher on a regular basis.

Henry Batman Helper

Sometimes bedtime is a little challenging with Henry.  Jack usually reads one book to him and he can have a pile of books to read himself until he gets tired.  Sometimes he comes out to tell me he isn’t sleepy.   I can’t remember how bedtime went this time.  I thought it was hilarious when I found his body in the pillow case and his head on the book that he was reading.

Henry sleeping on book in pillow case

I was laying out my wraps to take photos of them for when I am ready to sell.  Nola Mae climbed on the table for a pose.

Snowflake girl

Our family photo shoot.

Family Photo Shoot 2013

Family photo shoot Robbie & Charlie 2013

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Family Photo shoot Nola Mae 2013

Hunting with cousins in the north woods.

Hunting cousins

Napping in the north woods.

Hunting Charlie Naps

Peek-a-boo cousins.

Peek a Boo Kale

Sewing projects this fall:

A pillow case for Charlie’s friend.

Pillow case Alek

I made this bag for Cousin Jessie.

Bag Jessie's

I made this bag for myself out of an old curtain.  I bought the brown and the turquoise for the inside.

bag old curtain  bag old curtain inside

A cloth tray made out of a curtain fabric and scraps from my bag.

tray old curtain

A zipper bag for Robbie’s friend, Brock, who is a Duke fan.

Bag zipper Brock O

A large cloth box for stuff, I still need to add handles.

cloth box flowers

Ring sling for friends.

ring sling pink w elephants  Ring sling w stripes

I sold my Ellaroo Ysable woven wrap.  This was the first wrap I bought.  It wasn’t getting much use so it was time for it to find a new home.

wrap ellaroo good bye

October 2013 – Month 10

October 2013 – Month 10

Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  For many reasons…cooler temps, beautiful colors, yummy apples, my fall projects are so much fun, and winter is almost here.

Fall trees

We (mostly I) picked all the apples off our trees.  One of my biggest fall projects is to make applesauce.  I am hoping a lot of these apples will get eaten!

apples in garage 2013

I waited to pick the last batch of apples after a few good frosts.  I needed to wait until most of the hornets were dead.  The hornets were horrible around the apples.   If I didn’t pick up the windfall apples every day they would be covered with hornets.  I found a few of these apples still on the tree where the hornets ate everything but the skin.

empty apple

This fall I placed an olive oil order for my friends and family.   I bottled up about 12 gallons.

Olive oil 2013

Toddlers in our house are hard on glasses.  When Henry was two he flushed my glasses down the toilet.  Nola Mae recently did this.

bent glasses

My second favorite fall project is planting garlic.  This year I planted 3 1/2 pounds of garlic = 340 cloves.  I expect to get more than 11 pounds of garlic next summer.

garlic to plant

My garlic space, before picture.

Garlic 1

After tilling and raking those nasty weeds.

garlic 3 spot chicken

Since garlic planting takes me about three days to get done because of the distractions I have.  Nola Mae watched the chickens taking dirt baths in the garden and she would copy them

garlic 2 helper

And so did Henry.  He came into the house to show me how clean he was after his dirt bath.

scrub w dirt

Almost done!

garlic 3

My best helpers!

planting garlic

Charlie has had some trouble with a boy in his class not being nice to him.  It has gone on since last year.  The first time I was aware of him was last year in 1st grade.  On morning I walked Charlie to his locker and was hanging out.  This little boy arrived and as they were taking off their coats he  called Charlie some horrible name I think it was “stupid idiot”, right in front of me.  I was shocked and told him what I thought about it in the nicest way I could come up with.

This month this boy drew a very nice picture of a dragon and gave it to Charlie.  The nicest thing he has ever done to Charlie.  I was excited about that.  Charlie said he just wanted to throw the picture away because Kris isn’t nice and why would he want to keep anything from him.  I explained to Charlie that if he did something nice back, like draw him a picture or write him a thank you note maybe Kris would feel some love and try being more kind.  Charlie was not excited about that at all!    He wrote this:

Charlie's note to Kris

Kris has been more kind to Charlie but not 100% of the time.   Charlie is watching him, calling him on his behavior and is making sure the teachers are aware of the times Kris hurts someone.

This month was the last time I hung the diapers on the line to dry.  My last load took three days to dry.  And the sun is definitely not strong enough to do any bleaching!

Diapers last load of the season

One of our kind neighbors gave us a basket full of goodies with directions and a note to pass the Boo-ed on to another neighbor.

Boo-ed to us

I asked the boys what neighbor we should do this back to, they suggested the newest neighbors that we haven’t met yet.  We waited until it was dark and dropped this basket of goodies off on their door step.

  Boo-ed

Nola Mae’s way of playing Legos with Robbie.

lego table

Nola Mae at 18 months:

Nola Mae Smiles 1

Aunt Carol made this beautiful dress for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae turquosie dress

Nola Mae hiding the deodorant container that she is playing with.

Nola Mae hiding

I have made kale chips for me and Nola Mae to eat.  One batch was a little oily.  She must have felt the need for some moisturizer.

Nola Mae face kale chips

I am not sure how the bowl of applesauce got on her head and face, well and everywhere else.

Nola Mae face applesauce

Nola Mae likes to put on the boys’ underwear and likes to try to catch chickens to hug them.

chicken hug

Henry went with Jack pheasant hunting in North Dakota:

ND Jack & Henry

They were gone for eight days.  Henry had a wonderful time.  I am not surprised because he didn’t have to share Papa, Grandma Hanna and Grandpa Rob with any other kids.

ND Breakfast

ND exercises

ND napping

ND reading

ND Henry Sky 1

ND skidsteer

ND Henry w birds

Charlie actually missed Henry.  When they came home Charlie ran out to greet them and carried all their bags into the house.

ND Charlie unpacking

Baby wearing:

Nola Mae has learned to multi-task like me.  Dishes while wearing her baby.

Nola Mae dishes

Wrap scarf Nola Mae pumpkin     Wrap scarf bees

wrap scarf gate 2

  wrap scarf grass

Henry came home from school sad and tired.  He brought me a wrap and asked me to put him on my back. I told him I wanted a picture of us so I could remember this because he is getting really big.  As soon as I got the camera out his sadness turned to silliness.

Wrap DIY Coral funny face

  How can I bottle up this sweet little girl who loves it up on my back?

   Wrap back Nola Mae

I have sold two ring slings this month.

A friend bought this one for Robbie and Charlie’s past gym teacher who they adored.  Even though I made this before I knew who it was going to I packaged it up with a little love and sleepy dust for Mrs. Bourget and her son.

ring sling colorful stripes

I sold this ring sling  to my first “stranger” customer that I met on Facebook and it went far away, Arizona.

ring sling green w owls

I made this ring sling for myself by ice dyeing it.  I have only worn it a couple of times – once for this photo and one day while running errands in Waupaca.  I have more ideas and wouldn’t mind selling this one so I can make a new one.

ringsling ice dye mirror

Do you know someone who is having a baby and wants to enjoy the benefits of wearing their baby?  I can help!

Other posts for this month:

Robbie’s Favorites, age 10

This Moment – Planting Garlic

This Moment – Long Bike Ride

September 2012 – Month 9

September 2012 – Month 9

Robbie found this cool stick (he is always finding cool sticks to swing around) at Iola Winter Sports Club on the day we were doing some trail clean up after a big storm.  It made him think of deer antlers.

robbie cool stick IWSC

Charlie made this wooden car in the workshop with Papa.

Nola Mae w Charlie's wooden car

I scored this Nordic Ware bundt pan at a rummage sale for $1.  We needed a reason to try it out, Susie’s birthday cake!

cake castle susie

And the boys decorated it.

cake castle susie decorated

Nola Mae has decided that she can go down the stairs forward.

Nola Mae stairs

She often gets comfortable in the upside down stool.  I wonder how long this will last.

stool nola mae

Something gross…someone opened a gogurt in my sewing room and it squirted on the wall.  I didn’t notice it until the yogurt was dried up and Nola Mae was scrapping it off and eating it.

yogurt on wall Nola Mae

The weekend of my birthday we met some of our family for a picnic, playing on the rocks and hiking at Eau Claire Dells.

Eau Claire Dells Boys log 2013

Eau Claire Dells Boys 2013

My beautiful sister, Becca.

Eau Claire Dells Becca  2013

We were here five years ago.  We took this photo inside this tree trunk (Henry was in my belly and Charlie and Henry were so little and so cute). 

Eau Claire Dells tree trunk 2008

 This year we did the same pose, notice the difference in the tree trunk.

Eau Claire Dells Family 2013

On my birthday (because I wanted to sleep in) I took the boys to school.  When I came home I notice one of the power lines in front of our house was down.   Thankfully it was a wire that was not “live”.  I called the electric company to tell them and secretly hoped my favorite linemen would show up.  I have a couple of favorites because I use to work there many years ago.  Did they know it was my birthday?  My two favorite guys showed up!

linemen Dick

linemen Alie

I went to my 25th class reunion and made the cake for the dinner.

cake 25th class reunion

My mom and Helen helped take care of the kids while Jack and I went to dinner and stayed late for visiting.  Robbie and Charlie slept over at Helen’s house.  We left Nola Mae and Henry at my mom’s at 4:30 and came home at 12:30.  This was the longest amount of time I have ever been away from Nola Mae.  She woke up looking for me just as we were coming down the road.

 We went to our favorite park, Keller Lake, as usual we had the park to ourselves!

keller lake Robbie

keller lake Charlie

keller lake Nola Mae slide

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

keller lake four kids

My Favorite pictures from this month:

Charlie & Nola Mae sad girl

Henry serious face

Mystique

Nola Mae Watermelon

Nola Mae

From my garden:

I didn’t get to braiding my garlic this year before it really dried out.  So the stems got chopped and I put a notice on Facebook that I had garlic for sale and 11.5 pounds sold within six hours.  Thank you to all my friends, enjoy!

garlic 2013

September 7th I picked my first batch of tomatoes, two of these boxes came from Susie’s garden.  I have already canned 21 quarts of tomato paste and have a gallon bag of dried tomatoes.

tomatoes first picking 2013

By September 12th my raspberries were ripening like crazy and still going strong at the end of the month.   I have about two gallon sized bags in the freezer, so far.

garden raspberries 2013

The mullein has gone crazy in my garden where the garlic was this year.  I am thinking I will be planting the garlic for next year around these plants because there is no way I am tilling them up!

garden mullein 2013

On September 20th we picked all our Honey Crisp apples.  I wanted them to stay on the trees a little longer but with every windy day many would fall off the tree.  Our other tree is still loaded and I will be  picking those later in October to make applesauce.

apples Honey Crisp 2013

Sunflowers

garden sunflowers

garden sunflower autumn mix

We have seen this little frog on the house, on our window and on the door at night.  I found him in my Autumn Joy Sedum during the day.

Garden sedum frog

We have let the chickens roam the yard this fall, Henry took this photo.

chicken barred rock

Climbing the rocks in my flower garden.

garden rocks Henry and Nola Mae

Charlie is a great big brother and very helpful, he loves to wear Nola Mae.

wrap DIY Charlie & Nola Mae

I got out my baby wearing vest for one of our hikes.  It was chilly but not chilly enough for me.  It was perfect for keeping Nola Mae warm.

wrap Mei Tai w vest sept walk

My friend Sara and I with our matching Zara Velvet wraps.

wrap two Zara Velvets w Sara

I washed my light rainbow wrap, it looked so pretty on the line I had to take a photo.

wrap light rainbow diamond weave clothes line

August 2012 – Month 8

August 2012 – Month 8

August started out awesome with a Tom Pease concert in Iola!  And spending our wedding anniversary with family at my cousin, Annie’s wedding.   This was our 16th  anniversary.

Wedding thumbs up

We had a little entertainment with our napkins while waiting for the dinner to start.

napkin Robbie

napkin charlie

napkin Henry

napkin Nola Mae

The broccoli, green beans and lettuce are ready for eating.

broccoli bean & lettuce

The cherry and grape tomatoes are just starting.  I needed to do a little lesson on colors and ripeness with my helper.

tomatoes Henry

We took photos in all my favorite spots in the yard for my post announcing my new name for my blog.  This is one that didn’t make the cut.

four kids on rocks

The Waupaca Foundry sponsored an artist who does metal moldings for a community art project that will be put up after South Park’s remodeling.  The two big artists in our family designed our family square.

family plate

We visited friends who have a lot of humming birds.  I mean a lot!  At one time there were 10-20 birds around these feeders at one time.  How many can you count?

humming birds

I took this picture coming into the barn one day.  I like how clear the reflection of the house is on Jack’s new door.

Red door

One night we hiked in the field to see how close we could get to the coyote that has been hunting in our field.

boy searching

Jack took this photo from the top of our hill.

farm from hill

I have recently learned how to hula hoop.  Never in my life could I do it, until now with these homemade ones.  I have been dreaming of making them for years when I first saw them at the Iola Fitness and Aquatic Center.  These were a upcycling project because we used these pipes to get water to our trees that were far from the house.  I only had to pay $0.17 for the connector.  Jack was cleaning them up and going to throw all the pipes away.   Hula hooping  is a good workout!  Have you hula hooped lately?

hula hoops

I had enough to decorate and give some to my nephew for his birthday.  One for him, each of his parents and his aunt that also has a birthday in August.

hula hoops taped

I guess Nola Mae was thirsty.  In the process she spilled milk inside my fridge and got stuck.  I didn’t realize how filthy it was until the spilled milk, thanks Nola Mae!

Nola Mae in fridge

Nola Mae got her first taste of the beaters.

Nola Mae beaters

I love that Charlie likes to decorate cakes.  Takes all the pressure off me.  He wanted a Minecraft golden apple.  So easy!

Charlie's cake Golden apple

For Charlie’s birthday I asked him many questions about his favorite things and blogged about it here.

Charlie's b-day cake

Nola Mae at 16 months old:

Nola Mae cutie

Nola Mae GPS

nola mae in purple

wrap DIY coral woven Nola Mae

Many people have commented how adorable Nola Mae is when she gets comfortable or sleepy when she puts her hands behind her head.  I started taken photos to really see how often she does it.  I won’t bore you or use up all my space on this blog with her in the exact same pose.   She is adorable.

Nola Mae Sleeping 1

Nola Mae sleeping 2

In the month of August I finally finished my post about my homemade soaps.

soap March flakes

Baby wearing:

Or not.  I went for a run one night and Jack took Nola Mae out to the wood shop.   He should really learn to put her in the Ergo by himself to be able to get things done.

babywearing not

I had some creative thoughts about a new Stash Shot of all my baby carriers and the best one was putting them on the clothes line.

wraps stash shot on clothes line folded

Nola Mae trying to wrap herself.

wrap Zara velvet Nola Mae (2)

wrap Zara velvet Nola Mae

My favorite wrap right now, a DIY woven wrap.  It cost me $2 at a rummage sale.  I found a box of fabrics and bought three pieces for $6 – this woven fabric, a wool piece for my neighbor and a dark blue woven piece that seems too stiff for baby wearing.

wrap DIY coral woven Nola Mae and Mama

I am stealing Jack’s phrase for this photo, “Beat in the front.  Beets in the back.”

beat and beets

I saw this dog carrier at a local arts festival.  I never knew they had actual carriers for pets, Outward Hounddog is the brand.

wrap dog wearer

Sewing projects:

A skiing friend ordered this one for a friend

ring sling Ann

and this one for a co-worker.

This is a darker turquoise color in real life.  It is so beautiful I wish I would have seen this color when I was picking out fabric for my ring sling.

ring sling turquosie 1

I feel very blessed to have friends wanting to share the love of baby wearing and for all my amazing friends supporting my little side jobs that give me a little spending money.

One of my first ring sling sales has come back for a second one for her cousin.

ring sling turquosie 2

This ring sling doesn’t have a home yet.ring sling flower print

Neither does this one. 

ring sling narrow stripes

This one is more narrow than the ones I have made.  The shoulder is a gathered shoulder, instead of pleats.  It would be great for a newborn baby.

Or maybe not because it seems to fit us.

ring sling stripes w baby

July 2013 – Month 7

July 2013 – Month 7

My Uncle Carl from California came to visit this month.  He was able to spend an afternoon/evening at our house.  Nola Mae warmed up to him very quickly.

uncle carl & Nola Mae

Our family went to Big Falls to play in the rapids on a really hot day.  It was the busiest I have ever seen the place.  There were about 30 other people there, usually we are the only ones.  There is a zip-line there where most of the people were.  I would love for the boys to try it some day.

big falls four kids

Just so you know, when Jack went down these rapids his butt dragged the whole time.

big falls Charlie

Nola Mae enjoyed the refreshing feel of the water.

big falls Nola Mae

Good things come in threes:

1)  Jack installed my new clothes line.

clothes line on silo

2)  Jack built a gate for us (my request).  For some reason our road is a toddler magnet.  Every one of our kids loved sprinting to the road.  Maybe it is the thrill of Mama or Papa chasing after them.

Gate for Nola Mae

We have had the W-9 since our first year living here.  It was a tractor of Jack’s dad’s.  We used it to break ground for our veggie garden and that is about it.  It is a big tractor.

Tractor W-9 & kids

We also owned a Farmall H that was useful to us for moving firewood and cleaning the barn.  We decided to sell them both.  It was sad for me to see them go.

Tractor W-9 & H loaded up

3)  I have been trying to convince Jack for at least the last five years to buy me a skid steer.

skid steer

I found some hay!  I am thinking this will be the last winter I buy hay for my horse.  She may need to die or find a new home.  I have fond memories of all the sweat and dust of baling hay on my Step-Dad’s farm.  I had a fun time with Robbie and Charlie going to get this hay.  I pulled them away from the computer to help me one evening.  We drove to the field where the hay was baled and loaded up two loads of 25 bales each.   And then they helped unload it.  In the truck on the way to get our second load Charlie said, “This is fun!”

bales boys unloading

Henry helped unload the second load in the morning.  And helped with stacking it in the basement of the barn.

 bales Henry

My friends and I ordered a total of 170 pounds of blueberries from Country Corner Sales for $2.05/lb.  Last year I paid $2.53/lb.   Not very often can you say, “The price went down this year!”   The pick-you-own blueberry farm is charging $2.50/lb ($0.25 more than what they charged last year).

Blueberry boxes 2013

Nola Mae thought she had her own box.

Blueberry Nola Mae 2013

I harvested my garlic this month and wrote about our garden.

garlic harvest 2013

I boiled eggs one day and went outside before they were ready to be taken off the heat.  I got this exploded egg.  It looks like a chicken head to me.  What do you see?

egg boiled oozing

Charlie has been wanting to bike to town (a round trip is 10 miles) all summer.  We have only done a 4.5 mile loop in our neighborhood a few times.  With complaints and many water stops most of the way.   On this day I added a 2 mile loop, totaling 6.5 miles, to test them out for a trip to town.  I hooked up the train for a bike ride.  Henry on the tag-along attached to my bike and Nola Mae in the Burley attached to the tag-along.  Robbie couldn’t find his shoes so he biked in socks.  Charlie was just plain crabby about the whole idea.

bike train

The 6.5 miles wasn’t that bad after we were done.

A few days later, we went to town on our bikes.  Charlie was pumped.  Robbie was tired before we started.  They raced almost the whole way and I had a hard time keeping up with them.  It took us 36 minutes to go the 5 miles.

bike to town picnic

We had a picnic at the park, then dropped off some of my healing balm at a friend’s house and at the pharmacy.  The pharmacist is testing it to see if they want to stock it on their shelves.   We went to the library for some books on CD for our trip to Milwaukee and then to the ice cream shop.

bike to town ice cream shop

On the way home Charlie was so tired I considered dropping his bike off at my friend’s house (3 miles from our house), putting Henry in the trailer with Nola Mae and having Charlie ride on the tag-along.   Nola Mae was sleeping and Charlie seemed better after more water.  When we were two miles from home Charlie figured out a way to hold onto the bike trailer/stroller’s handle bars with one hand and his handle bars with the other.  He peddled while holding on and there were times I could feel him pushing me and other times when I was pulling him.  He said he would let go when a car was coming and while going up and down the hills.  I could have sworn he was holding on when we were climbing that last hill to our house and I looked back and he wasn’t.   Henry is a good peddler on the tag-along.  It took us 48 minutes to get home.

Often I find Nola Mae walking around with a pen ( or whatever writing utensil she can find) and paper.  Maybe she will be a writer.  She sat with Java for a long time as if she was interviewing her.

Nola Mae & Java

My friend, Lynn, gave me this cute dress for Nola Mae.  I have been wanting to take a cute picture of her in the dress for Lynn.  Nola Mae has been getting the dress dirty before I could get a photo taken.  This is an example of how quick I can be with the camera.  I was in the kitchen, my camera is usually there, I turned around and saw Nola Mae doing this…

Nola Mae on chair

I was admiring how well Nola Mae was playing with this car,

Nola Mae drives tractor

and the next thing she did was take a drink out of this little puddle on the deck.

Nola Mae thirsty

Nola Mae comes out the chicken coop with me often, she is usually on my back, this time she was walking with me.  I feed them and then collect the eggs, so I am not tripping over them or getting pecked when I am stealing eggs.  Nola Mae decided to eat with the chickens.

Nola Mae eating w chickens

Henry is teaching her how to climb ladders.

Nola Mae ladder

I have a friend who got married the same weekend as the Liver Walk.  Earlier this year she asked me if I was interested in making her wedding cake.   I seriously considered it.  I knew she was having a small wedding and she would be the kind of bride I could work with.  My only concern was having the time to make the cake.   During the week of her wedding I was sad to not be making her wedding cake.  I started making a triple layered 9 inch round cake for my nephew’s graduation party.  I needed Nola Mae to be busy for a little while so I could mix the cake by letting her play with the water on a chair AT the sink.  NOT in the sink!

  Nola Mae in sink

Henry was doing a great job reading to Nola Mae.  I was impressed with how well he knew the right sounds and words to Mr. Brown can MOO, can you?

Henry reading

Nola Mae wanted to hold the book and Henry didn’t like that idea.  They both were happier once Nola Mae had her own book to hold.

Henry reading 2

Jack made this beautiful box for Nola Mae.

box Nola Mae

We went to the Liver Walk and had a graduation party for my nephew afterwards. 

Liver walk 2013

I made snake bubbles and they were a hit with all the little kids and even the big kids. 

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles K

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Ali

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Kayla & Ali

How to make snake bubbles: 

  • Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle (soda or water bottle).
  • Cut an old sock just before the heel, so you are using the toe and foot part of the sock to cover the bottom of your bottle.
  • Secure the sock on the bottle with a rubber band.  Since I was traveling and making these a head of time, I also put duct tape over the rubber band.
  • Soap mixture was 1 parts Dawn dish soap and 2 parts water.
  • Dip the bottom of the bottle in the soap mixture and blow.

Note:  Smaller kids may suck in while blowing and swallow or breath in bubbles.  Henry will tell you that is YUCKY!

For colored snake bubbles click here.

Since the skid steer has arrived a lot of projects have been getting done around our yard.

Rock wall 1

Rock Wall 2

Rock wall Nola Mae

skid steer Nola Mae

I have gotten braver with my soaps.  I purchased more essential oils this spring and made this soap in early June.  It turned out beautiful, this has cinnamon and orange essential oils with ground cinnamon.  If you like cinnamon smelling things you would love this!

soap cinnamon orange

Sewing projects this month:

Tooth pillows for a sister and brother.

tooth pillow maddie  tooth pillow alek

A TNT pillow case inspired by Minecraft for one of Robbie’s friends.

pillow case TNT Landon

I made a Mei Tai for a friend’s sister.

Mei Tai kid size

Three beautiful ring slings.

ring sling brown w green steph  ring sling green w br steph  ring sling plum Pam

I bought this fabric at a rummage sale.  It is the perfect weave for a wrap.  I serged the edges and used it for weeks until I finally hemmed it.

Wrap DIY shorty Ruck Under Bum (RUB)  wrap DIY woven naptime

It is shorter than my other wraps and there is only enough room for me to do a Rucksack carry tied under the bum (A.K.A. RUB).  I have learned that I love it for very fast ups and downs and escaping out from the fabric when laying down Nola Mae.

Wrap DIY shorty I escaped

I have another picture of her sweetness in my light rainbow wrap.

wrap light rainbow naptime

I am in a babywearing group on facebook.  Each week they do a “carry of the week”.   A great way to learn a new carry or in this case a new tie off.  This is a double hammock carry with a salt water tie with my Zara Velvet wrap.

Wrap Zara Velevet Salt Water double hammock

My favorite pictures of the month:

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie woods

Robbie fancy moves

Nola Mae wheel

Nola Mae fence

June 2013 – Month 6

June 2013 – Month 6

We started our summer off with the boys signing up for the summer reading program at our local libraries.  We may not attend many activities or hand in our reading logs into the Iola library because we visit the library where our favorite librarian works.   I put up the little pockets for each child on the door for their reading logs.  They can check off their 20 minutes of reading and we never forget to grab them when we are heading to the library!

summer reading logs

The sales of  my beeswax body balms and healing balm have been a huge hit with many of my family, friends and friends of my friends.  Thank you for supporting me and the things I love to make!

balms for sale

Charlie went to a friend’s birthday party and I made this cute bag for his gift.

bag Xzavor

I found some dried grass and some of my broom corn in the grill one day and blamed it on Henry.  I talked to him about leaving the grill alone.   We cleaned it out.  Then a few days later we opened the grill to make dinner and found this awesome nest built out of things that came from all over our yard – leaves, dried grass, broom corn from inside the garage and a lot of the dried stems from my last year’s morning glories that were in the compost pile.  This mama was busy!

nest in grill

When Henry woke up the morning after Mr. Ernst baled the hay field during the night Henry said, “Yep, Mr. Ernst put marshmallows in the field last night.  BIG MARSHMALLOWS!”

marshmallow bales

Jack was cleaning out the gutters and left the ladder up.   I saw Henry heading for the ladder and asked him to not climb it because Nola Mae might follow him.  I grabbed the camera because I wanted to take a picture of the boy who hasn’t been listening.  I was going to do a blog post about this, because I needed to find some humor in our incredibly independent 4-year-old, who has his own way of doing everything.  I never got it done because I couldn’t find the time to do it. 

ladder

A dear friend of the family passed away un-expectantly this month.  After hearing the news I decided we needed to do something that we don’t do very often, fly Charlie’s dragon kite.

kite in field

We had an afternoon of kickball with me being the “all time pitcher” and the kids kicking the ball and running bases for as long as I can keep up.  I was talking about quitting soon and they were not even close to wanting to stop.  My idea to slow them down so I could maybe catch them once in a while was for them to give Nola Mae a kiss when they passed her.

Kick ball kisses R  kickball kisses Charlie    kick ball kisses H

We have been having a little drama here lately.  I heard some whimpering from that same independent 4-year-old that I mentioned earlier, while I was in the living room nursing Nola Mae.  I knew there wasn’t an injury (no screaming or sound of a thump) and I knew that there weren’t any older brothers around teasing him, so I tried to get him to talk to me from the other room.   When I finally came into the room this is what I found…all I could think of is the Wicked Witch of West under Dorothy’s house (maybe because my book club recently read Wicked).

Henry under chair

What is wrong with this picture?/What is good about this picture?

Baby is on the table./Baby is after fruit.

Big brothers not noticing baby on the table./Brothers sharing a chair and not fighting.

Door is wide open./Extra sunlight is coming into the house, no electricity needed.

Nola Mae table

Nola Mae in June, at 14 months old.

Nola Mae blue dress  Nola Mae at window

Nola Mae bench 3       Nola Mae bench 1

 Nola Mae bench 2

It is hard to capture Nola Mae in one place so behind the camera I need brothers to make her smile.  They agreed to have their picture taken with her.

four kids on bench

I started a jobs list for the boys, mostly paid jobs for them of jobs that I hate to do.  Vacuuming is one of the top 5 jobs I hate.  Vacuuming the stairs rarely gets done.  I showed Robbie and Charlie how I expect the stairs to be vacuumed and Charlie wasn’t interested in listening how I do it, but Robbie was.   I asked Robbie to wrap up the cord and put the vacuum away when he was done.  This is what I got…

boy vacuum

My sister, Danna, came to visit us this month.  We took her to our favorite place, but the water was too high for us to play.

Big Falls w Danna

Another weekend, Jack’s brother Eddie came to visit with his extra-large chainsaw.  Our oak tree in the pasture died within the last two years.  This summer is when we are finally getting to that job.

Before:

oak tree

During:

oak tree Eddie

After:

oak tree down

A couple of days later we took the kids down in the pasture so I could see the tree.  Jack took these great photos of them.

photos Robbie

Photos Charlie

Photos Henry

photos Nola Mae

photos all kids

Our first picking of strawberries from our patch.

2013 first strawberries

There was one day (yes, just one day!) that I actually sat down with a cup of coffee and my book.  If I remember correctly it wasn’t for very long, I will appreciate that little bit of time I had on the deck.  My book now stays on my night stand for my late night reading.

reading time

I am thankful for a sweet husband who is handy and can fix my breaks as soon as he realizes they are going bad.

Jack fixing breaks

I don’t know what to say about this one.   You may think I am a bad parent for letting my kid fall asleep like this, but at least I know his teeth were brushed at bedtime.

sleeping toothbrush

I have been busy sewing this month.  I took on a sewing job for a friend who does event planning and decorating.  I don’t know that she has a webpage, but she does have a Facebook page.  These are the beautiful fabrics I am working with:

wedding fabric

The ring slings I made this month:

This one is for me and Nola Mae while at the beach.ring sling pink gauze fabric

I walked into a restaurant in Stevens Point with Nola Mae in my plum-colored ring sling and a mom of a new baby asked me where she could get one of those.  I told her about the ring sling, Maya Wrap and also mentioned that she could make one because I made mine.  She asked me to make one for her.  We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers.

ring sling blue

Then I got orders to make two more.

ring sling green

ring sling plum w pink

May 2013 – Month 5

May 2013 – Month 5

We have been canoeing in the bowl at the ski hill for the past four years (I think).  Click here for better photos from April 12, 2011.  This year was the latest date, May 1st, we have ever paddled and March 16, 2012 was the earliest.

canoe in the bowl boys

canoe in the bowl

Jack took a video of Henry being cute pushing Nola Mae around on the upside down kitchen stool.  While doing that he captured some crazy stuff.  He put this movie together and titled it FourKidChaos:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhjH403j_j4

I was putting Nola Mae down for a nap and I found Henry getting the boys’ after school snack ready.  Henry is always so thoughtful and helpful.

Henry & fruit

Nola Mae has figured out how to climb on top of the piano to play music with her feet.  I am not sure if this link will work from Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4867423086535&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

Nola Mae musical feet

Grandma Helen came to visit us.  We had a busy weekend with activities around our house and farm.  Nola Mae watching a kickball game in the front yard.

Nola Mae bench

henry kick ball

This is the tree that fell down or we cut down the week Nola Mae was born.   That year on Saturday of Easter weekend we spent the morning making firewood.  I went into labor that night and had Nola Mae in the morning.  I will always remember this spot and refer to it as Nola Mae’s firewood.

family in the woods

Forging

Jack & Nola Mae

barn basketball CB

barn basketball RW

At some point during basketball Robbie found a soft spot in the floor.  Jack decided it was time to replace that part of the floor.  He put the boys to work and had this done before the end of the weekend. 

barn floor repair sweep

barn floor repair boys hammer

We got these stilts from Jack’s Aunt Corky.  Charlie was the one that was interested in them when Jack showed them how to use them.  I was surprised because he seems easily discouraged when trying new things.  Now that I think more about this…He wasn’t discouraged because Robbie wasn’t trying them and if Robbie did and was good at it Charlie would have quit.  (Something we have to be thoughtful of all the time!)  Charlie practiced every day for many days and is able to take many steps.

stilts Charlie

A couple of years ago we had to replace the south stone wall of our barn.  In order to minimize our cost with this repair we had the workers move the rock just outside the barn door into the pasture.  I didn’t think through this when it was happening.  This huge rock and dirt pile blocks my path to the north pasture and my access to the north side of the basement of the barn.  Plus it is an eye sore to me.  Last year, when I had a new baby, I wanted to work on moving the rocks.    It never happened!  So this spring, my plan was to move a bucket load a day.  It worked for about two weeks and the progress was slow.  I will get this path opened by the end of summer!

rock pile clean up

I started running this month and decided I needed to buy new shoes, more pink than I like, but they were the best for comfort and price!

new shoes

Once the snow melted and skiing was done I would walk/run around town for an hour, while Henry was in preschool, pushing Nola Mae in a single child jogging stroller.  My first run from home – pushing two kids loaded with water, snacks & a tablet (I didn’t want to have a restless Henry) in my bike trailer/stroller.  This load is a lot harder to push compared to pulling them in the ski sled while skiing!  It took me many runs to realize that I am out of shape but not terribly out of shape, I am just pushing a big load.  My 4.5 mile loop that I do from home was taking me 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.  One weekend morning I went for a run, all by myself, and ran that loop in 50 minutes.

stroller 1st ride

Nola Mae napped in the stroller during my run.  This photo is from later in the afternoon when my neighbor came over.  She helped load up some rocks into my tractor bucket and watched Henry and Nola Mae while I delivered the rocks to her yard for her landscaping project.

stroller 1st ride nap

Our sweet Nola Mae loves the phone.  The same day we went for our first run, loaded and delivered rocks, I was working in the kitchen and I needed Nola Mae to be happy for just a little bit longer.  I gave her the phone to play with.  That was the last time I thought I saw phone for three days!  I back tracked all my steps that day and all the places I was outside and in the house.  I could not find the phone.   I had Henry push the “find” button once I was in the garden, garage and barn.   For three days I cleaned under furniture, cleaned closets and cleaned the mud room, sort of cleaned the toy room, and walked all over the yard looking for that darn phone.  While I was walking around the yard I was reminded that I lost our phone last year, forever!   I thought maybe I would find that phone instead of the current lost one.  I will laugh so hard and probably pee my pants when I am 60 years old and working outside in the yard and I find a phone!

Since I was on a cleaning spree and the temps were dropping outside I decided I should clean out the ashes in the wood stove and wash the door window before I started a fire.  I laughed pretty hard (didn’t pee my pants) when I opened the stove door and found the phone!

missing phone

Iola has a city-wide rummage sale every year on the weekend of Mother’s day.  Last year I missed out because I was really sick.  This year, Henry and I hit a few jack-pots!  I had to take a photo of our goodies from just one sale.  All this for around $50.  (bike $5, lawn mower $20, two plug in heaters for chicken waters $10, buckets $1 each, pretty denim fabric $3 for 5 yards, swimming stuff $2, buttons $2 and glass wares $6)

rummage sale jack pot

Charlie bought this chess, checkers, backgammon, domino set from his teacher’s rummage sale for $1.  For as much as he loves to play chess this was his jack-pot!  I think that boy now owns three chess boards.

rummage sale Charlie's chess

Charlie has not been wanting to sleep in his bed lately.  So he will fall asleep in the door way of his room or on the couch while watching a movie.

Charlie sleeping floor  Charlie sleeping tie

I haven’t had a flat tire in a long time.  I got this one on my way to the ski hill to help my friend prepare for a bike race  IWSC was hosting.  I was thankful my Mom and Step-Dad made me take off and put back on all four tires on our family car before I could drive it.  A good reminder to do that with our kids.

flat tire

I discovered Nola Mae likes mud puddles.

Nola Mae puddle

Henry finished preschool and will go to 4K in the fall.  His preschool was two days/week for 2.5 hours each day.  4K will be two full days/week and he will ride the bus.  He loved school, enjoyed playing with most of the kids, loved his teachers and rarely gave me kisses good-bye.  I was reminded every school day that he is independent, very confident and my 3rd child when he would tell me, “Mama, just drop me off at the sidewalk. You don’t have to walk me in.”

Henry's preschool

When the older boys went to preschool this is what I remember:  Robbie didn’t want me to leave him, I always left quickly, he didn’t cry but was sad, and always gave me the biggest hugs and five kisses (that was the number of kisses he picked for our good-bye routine).   Charlie cried when Robbie went to school.  Charlie always gave me a quick kiss and hug when I dropped him off at preschool.

This soccer season was over so quickly.  And was a lot of fun for me to watch them play.

soccer team Charlie

Charlie is also in Robbie’s team photo because a few times Robbie’s team was short players.

soccer team Robbie

Nola Mae soccer ball

My dream of having a track star to cheer on may come true.  Robbie is showing signs of being a strong runner and he sure is a speedy boy.  Nola Mae loves running on the track.

Nola Mae Track

Jack took this photo.  I love it because Henry looks so peaceful and angelic.  I also find this photo to be funny because it looks like aliens are sucking his brain while he is rotting his brain while playing on the tablet. 

Henry tablet sunshine

Jack took all three boys for a camping trip with his brother’s family.  Our boys adore their older cousins.  I love these two pictures because you can see their happiness.

camping gravel pit CB & Erik

camping gravel pit RW & Michael

I met Jack and the boys at the nursing home to visit the Vater grandparents.  I spent a little bit of time outside with Nola Mae taking these pictures.  I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best so I had to include my four favorites.

Nola Mae outside 1  Nola Mae outside 2

Nola Mae outside 3 Nola Mae outside

Henry discovered these morels in my flower beds and strawberry patch.  This is about a quarter of what we picked and I ate.

mushrooms

Robbie brought this note home.  I was shocked only because he never gets in trouble at school!  I was not surprised because this is the kind of stuff he would do at home!

bad behavior art.IMG

Nola Mae rarely lets me feed her anything with a spoon.  She has to pick up her food with her fingers by herself!  Recently, I tried to give her some of my homemade applesauce but she has refused it because I was serving it to her on a spoon.  I had applesauce on the table for everyone, she grabbed Robbie’s bowl and started eating it and loved it!  She made a horrible mess.  And now eats it off a spoon from me.

applesauce Nola Mae

We have been getting some good rains this month.  Our rain gauge is broken so I never know how much.  The boys played outside in the last rain we got.

rain robbie

rain henry

rain charlies

Baby wearing photos:

Mother’s Day hike at Keller Lake, wearing Nola Mae in my Ergo.

mother's day w kids

Hiking in our woods, wearing my Zara Velvet wrap.

zara velvet wap I carry because I care

zara velvet wrap holding hands with Charlie

April 2013 – Month 4

April 2013 – Month 4

Our last day of skiing was April 3rd!  A beautiful day for us, except both of us were low on patience and energy.  More pictures and the story are in my post Winter of Skiing.

last ski

Henry had a great wipe-out and was not happy that I was taking photos.  He went down the hill and around the corner first.  When I went down the hill I came to this pile of a boy.

last ski 2013 a Last ski b

last ski c

Grandma Hanna was here for her birthday.  Jack got the boys up earlier to have a birthday pancake with her before going to school on the bus.

B-day Helen

And then a few days later it was Henry’s birthday.

cake Henry birthday

Grandpa Rob brought a lantern for us to send off.  We watched it slowly blow over the barn (I held my breath until it was over the barn), slowly go higher and we saw where it went down about a half mile from our house.  The two older boys rode their bikes and found the darn thing.  Which meant they had to send it off again with a few minor repairs.

lantern send off

And then the next day it was Nola Mae’s birthday.  My three favorite photos of her this month.

Nola Mae born at home 1  Nola Mae in window Nola Mae door way

I made a few cupcakes from the batter of Henry’s cake so Nola Mae could have her own cake on her birthday.

cake Nola Mae cupcake

Around her birthday, Nola Mae, was taking about four steps at a time and two weeks later she was doing about 8 – 10 and almost a month later she is taking more steps than you can count.  Every time she would take a few steps Henry would say, “SHE TOOK FOUR STEPS!” in the most excited voice you ever heard.  I hope that he continues to be her encouraging brother.

b-day cupcake boys

Henry stopped nursing a week before his birthday and one of the things we started doing in the mornings to replace our nursing times is cuddle and read books.  On this morning he waited very patiently for me with his pile of books.  I always say, “Get your books ready while I get my coffee.”  This day I got distracted and he was quietly waiting and waiting.

Reading Henry waiting

Charlie and Robbie had long hair over the winter months.  Charlie came home one day from school and said he was ready for a hair cut and wanted it to be like his friend, Gavin’s.  I don’t go to school very often and didn’t really know what kind of hair-do Gavin had so I asked Charlie to draw a picture of him.  Just to be sure we were clear on what he wanted done.  Pretty simple hair cut!  And he is just as handsome as Gavin.

Charlie before  Charlie after

We had ice and snow come in April that caused a two-hour delay of school.  I went outside to take care of my animals and heard an odd sound coming from the woods.  Then I realized it was the ice coated branches clanking.

April ice & snow

My friend Kristin who is a runner and a skier told me about the Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition 5K run in Marshfield.  I took Nola Mae and pushed her in the stroller.  It was a great morning for a run and it felt good to be running after a long winter of skiing.   I was hanging out after the race getting us packed up and Nola Mae fed before we left so she could sleep in the car all the way home.  I was listening to the awards being announced expecting Kristin to have placed in her age group and to my great surprise I placed 3rd in my age group and got this awesome medal!

medal 5K

Iola Winter Sport Club had a trail run on April 14th, run by Great Lake Endurance which benefits my youth ski program.  There was a great turn out considering the weather was terrible for trail running, they should have worn snow shoes!  I made two nescos of Black Bean Veggie Soup for the race and had to take a photo of my ingredients and the veggies cooking in my big pot.

Black Bean soup ingredients  Black Bean soup veggies

Since I am talking about food this is a perfect place for me to put these egg photos.  I was frying some eggs for breakfast and grabbed the two biggest ones.

In this photo one of the yokes looked like it was supposed to be a shell.

egg double yolk w shell

Here is what a normal double yoke should look like!

egg double yolk healthy

These snow pictures are from the afternoon of April 14th.  Making a snowman!

Snowman Window  snowman Nola Mae wants to help

Actually three of them.

Snowman & boys

It is unbeliveable…Nola Mae is a crazy climber!  One morning I was in the kitchen and heard her laughing and giggling all by herself in the living room.  I grabbed the camera and ran in there to find her on top of the table with her legs dangling down.  At first I accused Henry of putting her up there and he denied it, whole heartedly.  Then I realized that he was playing in the toy room.

Game table Nola Mae

I put her back down on the floor and watched her.  She climbed onto the chair and then onto the table in a matter of three seconds.

Game table Nola Mae tops

Five days after the snowmen Nola Mae found icicles to eat.

Nola Mae icycles

Lately, I have been sewing a lot and Henry has been wanting to make a skeleton.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  We were in the sewing room and he started talking about a skeleton and finally I asked him if he could draw it for me.  He told me, “I ALREADY DID!” and ran upstairs to get his paper.  He picked out the right colors from my bag of felt pieces.  I cut out all the parts, the left legs are suppose to be shorter (just like the picture!) and they must have feet (not in the picture).  He helped me pin it together.  I called this thing a bug many times and was corrected that it is a skeleton.   I was confused and I have learned you don’t argue with a four-year old!   Now that I am writing this story I think he might be talking about a centipede.  I’ll have to ask him in the morning.

Henry's skelaton drawing  Henry's skelaton created

April 26th – crocuses blooming in my ditch.

Crocus in the ditch

We took a walk around town while Robbie was in piano lessons.

Zara Velvet Wrap walk around town

Nola Mae watching and learning or watching and thinking “my brothers do silly things”?

Nola Mae watching brothers

 Play house train

 I love this photo of Nola Mae’s blue eyes.

Nola Mae Blue eyes

I made these capes this month.  Charlie’s cape is made out of some fabric I found at a thrift store and Robbie’s is from a curtain from a thrift store (sneak peak at one of my upcycled sewing projects).

capes

I am starting to move out of my comfort zone in my soap making.  I was inspired to try something new when my friend Rhonda asked to purchase a variety of my soaps.  My newest soap has dried enough to be packaged up.  The cinnamon bars are pretty nice!  They have a little cinnamon smell to them and I can feel the cinnamon particles doing some scrubbing.

 soap small bars

I have used alpaca wool felted soap, my friend who is an awesome soap maker introduced me to her felted soap.  The bar that I got from her I used in the shower on my face.  The wool was soft and felt like it was a gentle scrubbie that cleaned my face very well.  It also lasted forever.  I have searched YouTube and read a few books on felting.  Originally, I wanted to felt some toys for Henry.  The toys never were made and I had some felting wool.   I used the wool for my little bars of soap.  I love it.

Soap felted

soap in basket

Thanks for reading my blog and putting up with some of my rambling!   I get a lot of pleasure out of putting these photos and stories together.  It helps me appreciate the good days, helps me feel like I do get things accomplished and helps me remember what we have done.

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