Henry’s Pumpkin

On Monday, Henry came home from school with his pumpkin from the field trip he went on that morning. He was very eager to carve it. I asked him to wait until the other boys have pumpkins and we can do them all together. He was not interested.

I didn’t really care that he wasn’t listening to my idea or want to discuss it any further because in the next 45 minutes we had to make and eat dinner, clean up and do homework in order to leave the house for flag football. I had an over tired 2-year-old who was sporadically crying over everything, one boy doing homework and I am not sure what the other boy was doing, maybe running around outside bare footed in 45 degrees and very windy!

Henry's pumpkin

Henry:  I bet my friends haven’t cut their pumpkins out yet.

My response:  You are right because their moms probably didn’t let them.

Henry:  I bet Landon’s mom did, because she is REALLY nice!

It was all fine and wonderful until…

He cut the top all the way around and it fell inside the pumpkin = tears. I kissed him and helped him get the top out.

He continued to carve the eyes, and then the mouth wasn’t working like he envisioned = tears. I suggested he draw the mouth on the pumpkin with a marker so he could follow the lines.

The whole face of his pumpkin caved in = sobbing, serious tears and almost inconsolable.

Henry's pumpkin no face

I am a mean mom because I was kind of laughing inside, considered taking a photo of him crying with the pile of pumpkin chunks on the table and wanted to suggest we throw the stupid pumpkin to the chickens.  Instead, I hunted for a little candle (relieved that I actually had one and found it within seconds), I carved a heart on the back side and showed him how pretty the heart glows. And promised I will buy him another pumpkin when we get pumpkins for the big boys.

Henry's pumpkin glowing

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

Another version of our family profile photo.  My favorite.


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

Kayak w car

Kayak 1st time out

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

Kayak 1st time out w Henry

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

Kayak w all four kids

A napping baby!  I will definitely miss these days,

Wrap Zara Velvet snoozing 1

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

Family Thanksgiving 2012

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

Granny's pine Robbie

Granny's pine Joey

Granny's pine Charlie

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

Nola Mae Granny's counter

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

Northwoods Vater cousin

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

Northwood thorn in RW's leg

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

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae's hands

Week 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.


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!


  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.


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 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.



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 19– May 7 – 13, 2012

Week 19 – May 7 – 13, 2012

Monday, May 7th:  Last week Sunday when I was working on the last details of my blog post Charlie asked to hold Nola Mae.  They were quiet and I looked over at them and found both of them sleeping.

Now onto our exciting Monday morning…we picked up red worms for a composting bin from Central WI Environmental Station.  The most exciting part was that they weren’t prepared for us to arrive on Monday morning so we were able to help pick out our worms from their composting bin.

Tuesday, May 8th:  Nola Mae is ready for the chicken chores.

My book club meeting was tonight.  We read (attempted to read) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  Our host had the great idea to dress up as if we were going to a ball.  (I don’t have a breastfeeding friendly ball gown)

 Wednesday, May 9th:  Nola Mae made her first trip into the play house with the brothers.

My flowers and veggie plants that we purchased from our favorite greenhouse.

Thursday, May 10th:  Some exciting after school activities.

Friday, May 11th:  In the early morning hours I woke up freezing.  I thought it was cold in our house and asked Jack to cuddle with me to warm me up.  He told me I was burning hot, what a great husband!  I also had a head ache and aches throughout my body, these were clues to me that Jack wasn’t being sweet he was just telling it like it is.   Jack offered to get the boys ready for school and on the bus.  I declined because I didn’t feel too badly and I promised to drive them to school this morning.   I was able to get an extra hour of sleep by driving them.  It took all the energy I had to get them to school.  I was hoping to hit some rummage sales (our city-wide rummage sale) this morning after dropping them off at school, didn’t happen!   I dropped them off and went straight home and right to the couch in the living room.

  I felt like I would die on the couch it was so bad.  I was thankful that Henry is independent enough to make food for himself.  He made a bagel, ate some fruit from the counter and filled the rest of his belly with the candy that he could reach, like my last four caramels I had hidden in the pantry.  Jack called me around 9:00 to see how I was doing and offered to come home.  At that point I was feeling bad but not too badly.  I was up once and warmed up the chicken noodle soup that my mom sent home with Jack last Sunday.   Henry and I ate that before I got really sick.

  I called Jack back around 10:30 to tell him I was worse and that he should cancel our plans for the night and told him that I could still handle things with Henry until he got home.  Henry was staying close to me or playing nicely in the toy room.  After that I got worse and couldn’t think straight to call anyone, just thought about it and wished that my mom or mother-in-law or step-mom lived close.  I could hear everything Henry was doing/getting into, the only dangerous thing was the hatchet in the mudroom.  I was able to stop him from chopping firewood without getting off the couch, because I really couldn’t get up.

I asked Henry to bring me the camera because I wanted a picture of Nola Mae.  It was one of my tricks to get him to come see me and distract him from getting into whatever I thought he was doing at the time.  He snapped this horrible picture of me and this one of Nola Mae.


I was thankful and hated the fact that I have such an independent three-year old.  He brought me water, the Tylenol bottle, diapers and got into many things that wouldn’t happen if I was able to follow him around.  I was thankful I had a 5 week old baby that needed to nurse and sleep the day away.

When Jack came home he found a horrible mess everywhere.  I wish I had photos of all Henry’s messes.  They would show what I prevent every day from happening.  The first and only question Jack asked when he walked in the door, “Who was working on an art project in the kitchen?”  I think after that he realized that Henry was the one to blame for the rest of the messes.

Saturday, May 12th:  I was still sick today.  I was feeling well enough to walk around for short periods of time and was done with the chills but still had the sweats.

Sunday, May 13th:  I was feeling well by this morning.  I put Nola Mae on my back and we planted onions in the garden.  She slept for about two hours when I woke her up to nurse.

We went for a walk in the woods to get out of the sun.  Robbie made these leaf belts.

Jack made this shelf/frame that hangs on the wall.  The pictures are sitting on the shelf and can be changed easily.

Click here to see photos from our afternoon.

Week 16 – April 16 – 22, 2012

Week 16 – April 16 – 22, 2012

Monday, April 16th:  I have wanted to take a photo of my children in this basket around Easter time every year.  I thought it was perfect timing to do it this year with our Easter baby.

Nola Mae had her one week visit from our midwife, Christie.  Here she is getting weighed.

Checkers after school.

Tuesday, April 17th:  I put these orange peels in vinegar the day we came down with the flu.  We ate a lot of oranges that day (and I haven’t eaten any oranges since getting sick) this is a half gallon jar.  Once the peels have soaked for a couple of weeks I will save the liquid in a spray bottle for a cleaning solution.  Click here for the directions I followed. 

Henry “making somefin” for me.  Just a mess for me and a little fun for him.

Wednesday, April 18th:  I was feeling anxious to get out of the house (actually off our property) so we loaded up in the car and went to my friend’s house for a playdate.  It was wonderful for me to hang out with a few wonderful moms and wonderful for Henry to play with other kids.


Thursday, April 19th:  I have been taking these supplements for over a week.  They have been helping me.

We tried out my pouch sling today because I needed her to breastfeed secretly.  Henry has been wanting to “nuk” every time Nola Mae “nuks”.

Friday, April 20th:  It snowed over night.  I wished I had the energy to get out our skis to ski around the yard!  The latest we have ever skied was the 27th of April (2008).

I made this pillowcase for Charlie’s friend.

Saturday, April 21st:  I had Jack take this pose of me with the intentions of a second photo with the baby on the outside.  Two weeks later we got the shot of the baby on the outside.  I am disappointed that I didn’t have my long sleeves on for the second photo so it would look similar to the first photo.


Sunday, April 22nd:  My Step-Mom, Lynn, came for the weekend.  I had a wonderful visit with her.   She spent quality time with each boy and did many jobs for me around the house.   On her last day we took her to my favorite spot, the Big Falls Hydro Dam.

Project 365 Week 45

Project 365 Week 45

Project 365: Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

11/7/11 (Monday) –  Today was a very productive day…

Henry and I made a double batch of waffles for breakfast, this way the boys can eat the leftovers all week.

Daylight savings started yesterday – we are back to meeting the bus during daylight hours.  Now 6:45 AM doesn’t seem so early to get on the bus.

After we got the older boys off to school Henry and I smashed pumpkins on the stairs to break them open, I cleaned out the insides and steamed them in my Mehu-Maija.


Jack told me there was a snow storm coming, I said “I’ll believe when it arrives”,  he asked us to bring in a load of firewood.  Henry and I were able to bring in two loads this morning!

11/8/11 (Tuesday) –  I made a batch of Lemon grass and Lavender soap.  This is how I wrap it for the first 24 hours.

We went for a hike in the woods.

Henry is turning into my “chicken boy”.  He is always reminding me to feed the chickens and tells me many times a day that we should go out to the chicken coop to collect eggs by saying, “IS eggs chicken coop!” or “Chickens hungry!”


11/9/11 (Wednesday) –  The snow storm started in the early morning hours.  This was before school.  The boys were excited to see the snow.  Even this morning I was still in denial that it was really snowing on November 9th.  I was one of the terrible parents that didn’t send snow pants, and boots to school with the boys.  They came home telling me how they were disappointed about having indoor recess.

This was the snow by noon.  Henry didn’t like the snow falling on his face and head when we were outside earlier.  His solution was to take the umbrella outside when we planned to ski around the yard.

We stayed behind the house and the garage so the wind wouldn’t bother us.

My clothes line stretched with the heavy snow.  This was also happening to the electric wires all over the county.  When the snow was falling off the lines some of the lines would snap and break which led to many families being out of electricity for many hours.  One friend was without electricity for 60 hours.

11/10/11 (Thursday) –  Henry drawing eggs.

Henry after playing all morning with our friends.

Henry loves to wait for the big boys to get off the bus.  Today I convinced him to wait on the front step.


Henry is always excited to see the older boys when they come home from school.


11/11/11 (Friday) – After school reading.

The pillowcase I made for Robbie’s friend’s birthday.

11/12/11 (Saturday) –  The dogs’ moved to their new location.

11/13/11 (Sunday) –  My laundry helper.


Project 365 Week 42

Project 365 Week 42

Project 365: Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

10/17/11 (Monday) –  Henry helped me pick the last of our apples off our tree today.  I think he liked being “up high” more than picking apples.

The last of the apples off our tree.  It is time to get eating and making more applesauce.

Have you ever had an apple as big as your head?  Or as big as a two-year old’s head?  Unfortunately this isn’t one of our apples.  It is a Honey Crisp (my favorite apple) that I bought at the store.  We have two Honey Crisp trees in our yard that are too young to produce many apples.

10/18/11 (Tuesday) –  I have been waiting for this moment…Robbie reading to his brothers.

Last week I posted this picture of boys getting on the bus.  Notice the sunlight!

Bus boys

A week in a half later they are now getting on the bus when it is really dark outside.  This will change when daylight savings comes.   I was shocked by the difference in light.  The other difference you can’t see is that they are now wearing pants and winter coats.

10/19/11 (Wednesday) –  Henry wanted to hike with his baby in his coat.

10/20/11 (Thursday) –  Last week Friday I posted three cute photos of Henry telling me he has a baby in his belly.  Click here to read that post.

10/21/11 (Friday) – Robbie had seven boys over for his after school birthday party.  Here they are getting off the bus.

The boys carved pumpkins, played kickball, catch, tag, chased each other through the woods and into the field, caught chickens, collected eggs and tackled and wrestled each other.

I asked them if their parents let them use knives at home and many said no.  I was impressed with how careful they were with the knives.  We had no cuts or close calls!

I also enjoyed this time while they were all in one spot for many minutes.  I was able to get to know them better and see their personalities.  I loved how one boy NEEDED every string and seed out of his pumpkin before he started carving.   This experience also showed me that the energy level of our boys is very normal.

I had to drag them away from a great game of kickball to eat and have cupcakes.

10/22/11 (Saturday) – The last of our broccoli and carrots from the garden.

10/23/11 (Sunday) –  My latest cake was delivered this morning.  The gap in the writing is where the baby’s last name is.  I didn’t ask permission to post a photo of the cake, so I thought it would work out okay if I took the last name out of the photo.

Project 365 Week 40

Project 365 Week 40

Project 365: Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

10/3/11 (Monday) – Henry and I worked on finishing our applesauce after this last batch of steamed apples cooled down.

The apple juice from the  Mehu-Maija.

I got 18 pint jars of applesauce, so far!  I have a ton of apples still on the tree.  The more apples we eat the less I need to make into applesauce.

Here is half of them in the hot bath.

10/4/11 (Tuesday) – Henry’s new way of doing dishes.

After school energy…balancing in the wheel barrel full of pumpkins while your brothers shake the wheel barrel, causes a lot of giggling!

10/5/11 (Wednesday) – Slowly I am cleaning out the garden.  I found these treasures this week.

10/6/11 (Thursday) –  Robbie has this idea that he is going to rake the leaves off the path in the woods.  His main plan is to dry the leaves under the lean-to of the garage and then burn the leaves once they are dry.  The next day when he went back to the trail to admire his work.   He came to find me to tell me that it looked like he did nothing.  Someday he may understand that is how I feel about house cleaning.

10/7/11 (Friday) –  We will always need animals around for Henry to feed.

10/8/11 (Saturday) – Charlie recently spent his birthday money from Granny on these Lego’s.

10/9/11 (Sunday) – We aren’t saying good-bye to Mystique!  I just thought it was a beautiful day for a ride.  She needs more attention from us now that Vanilla is gone.  Each of the older boys got a turn by themselves and then a turn with Henry in the saddle with them.  This is Henry’s first time on a horse.  I think he loved it.