January 2014

January 2014

When the weather is very cold outside and the boys still need to get out, the barn is one of those places.

Basketball in the barn 3

After Christmas was over I started trimming branches off the tree to burn in the wood stove.  I slowly trimmed the branches and when it was time to take the ornaments off I continued to burn branches in the wood stove until it was a manageable size for a big boy to carry outside.

Christmas tree bare

Charlie carried it down to the burn pit and I started it on fire.

Christmas tree fire

Nola Mae carrying a box down to the burn pit to burn.

Christmas tree bonfire

Sledding hill boys

My Dad and Lynn came to visit us for a weekend.

Dad & Lynn visit skiing field Dad & lynn visit skiing hill

Piggy back

 

Almost every day Nola Mae puts on someone’s ski boots and tells me “skiing!”

Skiing girl always

I bought 40 pounds of grapefruit this winter.  This was the biggest one.

huge grapefriut

 

The boys went away for a weekend with Jack.  Jack took these (and many more) great photos, these are my favorites.

Ice fishing Robbie

Ice fishing Charlie

Ice Fishing Henry

I got this idea from my friend Sarah.  I filled these balloons with colored water,

ice ballons

and decorated our igloo with the ice balls.

Ice balls

Nola Mae photos:

She enjoyed playing with my cake decorating tips by making towers with them.

Future cake decorator

Henry did this to Nola Mae while I was doing some laundry.

Marker head

Nola Mae just reading (warms my heart).

Nola Mae reading

Another “heart warming” photo, when one sibling sweetly kisses the other.

playhouse window kiss

Playhouse steering wheel

I told Nola Mae to watch me out the window while I fed the dogs, started the car and checked the skid steer’s hydraulic fluids.  This is where she was when I came in.  Usually, she stands on the shortened chair so I was a little surprised she found this good seat in the window.

watching out the window

We had a great month of skiing. 

                Ski family Charlie crash Ski family pulling Henry

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

Ski Henry leaves us

ski snow eater

This winter two kids in the sled is a heavy load!  I got a good work-out and a nap out of both of them.

 ski sled double load sleepers

Breaking a new snow shoe trail  during a snow storm…Nola Mae wasn’t happy when the sled tipped over because the trail wasn’t wide enough for the sled. Eventually she fell asleep and she didn’t notice when it happened.

   sled tipping on snowshoe trail

  Upcycle projects:

This upcycled trivet made with denim and scraps of yellow and orange fabrics., inside lining is fleece from an old baby blanket and the backing is two pieces of corduroy that were given to me.  This was my contribution to the Art Exchange for the Vater family Christmas.

upcycle denim trivet

Jack’s Art exchange item:

cigar box guitar canoe paddle

Jack made two other cigar box guitars.  If you have facebook you may be able to view a video he made  click here to see  the video.

In my research for a upcycle project I found a denim rug that I wanted to make for my kitchen.  I have used this wool rug, weaved by Jack’s aunt.  I like a rug under the sink area and have always thought that I needed a rug that had an angle for that spot.

kitchen rug

So I made this…

kitchen rug upcycle denim rug

Inspired by this design – http://lieslmade.com/2013/08/15/parquet-inspired-denim-rug-tutorial/

Upcycled elephant from a felted wool sweater.  The cutest thing I have made in a long time!

Upcycle wool sweater elephant

Ring slings that I made this month:

I made this one for a friend who just had her first baby.  This was a table-cloth that was used at her wedding.

Ring sling Upcycle from table cloth

This ring sling went to a first time mama.  These two mamas are smart – baby wearing with their first baby!

Ring sling turquoise chevron

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

Week 42 – October 15 – 21, 2012

   Week 42 – October 15 – 21, 2012

(Completed on 12-16-12)

I saved most of the pumpkin seeds from the birthday party to make pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds 2012

Nola Mae (6 months) has been sucking/chewing on our soft apples and loving them.

Nola Mae apple

Henry’s job is to refill my small coffee canister that is stored in the cupboard with my coffee cups.

Jobs Henry's coffee

Kayak photos…

kayak boys inside

Kayak inside

Jack left us for a few days to go pheasant hunting in North Dakota.  Helen came to stay with us.

Hanna dino puzzles

I have mentioned before about basketball being played in my kitchen.  I have never gotten a picture because it always happens when I am trying to cook.  Thanks to Helen she got a great action shot.

basketball in the kitchen

Henry seems to love playing the piano.  He gets a 5 minute lesson from Miss Inne after the boys are done with their lessons.

Piano Henry

Robbie built these Lego robots – his own idea/design.

Legos Robbie' robots

Nola Mae at 6 months old has started to move around faster than ever before.

Nola Mae crawling almost

We took Helen out to the fort in the woods.

wrap hike

Robbie was climbing and swinging on this wild grapevine.  A little scary for me to watch.

Robbie vine swing

Nola Mae eating peas for the first time.

Nola Mae peas

I found directions for a Jedi robe on-line – so easy!  I googled “How to make a Jedi Robe” and found an incredibly easy pattern!  Robbie’s request was that it be made out of fleece (really easy – no hemming needed).  I went to Hancock Fabric during their 50% off  sale.  All three boys wanted at Jedi Robe.  Charlie didn’t care that Jedi Robes are brown, he wanted a blue one.  They all helped me make the robes.

jedi robe measure 1

jedi robe measure 2

jedi robe cutting

We took Helen to Iverson Park.  She took many photos (195 photos to be exact).   It was difficult to choose what photos to share.

Iverson Park

Iverson Park leaves

Iverson Park nest

Muscles made with leaves.  This made me itchy just watching them fill their shirts.

Iverson Park leaf muscles

“Hunt until you drop!” is Shadow’s motto.

North Dakota hunt tired dog