Bee Morning

Charlie Bee Morning

To my dad for saving me from such an awful pain.

Bee Morning

I got up and said, “Dad can I go kayaking?”  It was in the morning before it was day when the moon was still up.  I went out of the tent very quietly.  I went to the lake.  I snapped on my tight blue life jacket and got in the cold wet kayak.

I paddled and paddled until I was close to the island.  I saw two turtles. I whispered, “Wow turtles!”  I got close and the tried to pick one up.  But I failed.

After that I continued on to the island.

I stepped on the island and I think I stepped on a huge active bee nest because they all swarmed up on me.  They stong me all over.   I dived straight into the water.  It was warm and there was lots of sea weed.  I stayed under water as long as I could.  I had to eventually come up for air.  They were still there!  I screamed, “Aaaaaaaa!”  They stong me several times again.  I swam back to the island.  I was screaming.

My dad heard me.  Then he ran to the nearest camp site and asked them if he could use their raft.  They said yes because they understud that he really needed it.  He frantically paddled out to me.  He picked me up and ran back to the raft.  He got stung lots of times too.  We went back to shore.  We gave back the raft.

Next we took off our wet shirts because there were bees in them.  They were so wet and stuck to us.  We went back to ower camp site.  My bee stings were still hurting a lot.

After that I wasn’t feeling very well so I went and layed in a hammock.  My cousin Sara read a book to me for a half hour.

Bee sting reading

My dad and I hiked to the showers and I soaked in the shower.  It felt so soothing!  I used cold water.  I had to use cold water because that would help my bee stings heal.

When we were done we drove to the hospital.  I had to go to the emergency room.  I was there for more than 3 hours.  When I was done they gave us some medicine to use for it if it happened again because they thought I might be allergic to bees.

(Charlie’s writing assignment in 3rd grade, 2015)

I wrote about this event shortly after it happened in 2012, click here for that post.

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 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

Week 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

(Completed 9/24/12)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I took a few photos in the garden this week:

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

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

The many uses of mullein:

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

My first handful of raspberries!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV Therapy = $294

Sterile Supply = $74.50

Emergency Room = $332

Pharmacy = $212.75

Professional Fee/ER = $498

Total = $1411.25

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 23 – June 4 -10, 2012

Week 23 – June 4 -10, 2012

Monday, June 4th:  This evening a storm brought us some much-needed rain and great entertainment for the boys.  Our spring was so dry there haven’t been many dams built here in our “pond” area.

During the storm Nola Mae napped in my arms while I read my book.  Next year she’ll be building dams with her brothers.  Or maybe destroying the dams they build.

Tuesday, June 5th:  I have mentioned before how Henry can be very gentle with our job of collecting 20+ eggs into a bucket and not break a single one.  But when it comes to chicks and chickens it seems like he likes to catch them and stick them in places where they don’t belong…a boot or a cooler are the most popular places.   I sprinted for the camera and then saved the chick.

“Look, Mama!  It fits in my Granny boots!”  He calls his boots “Granny boots”  because we left them there once, he forgot he even had them and when we went back to Granny’s he thought she gave them to him.

 Wednesday, June 6th:  Summer vacation started off with a great first day.  I bought the boys the game Battleship.  I loved playing this when I was younger and I thought they were ready for it.  They started playing this game the night before and were eager to finish it this morning.

Charlie and I planted my five hanging baskets around the milk house.  The big job this summer will be to keep them alive.

All three boys picked strawberries for lunch from our little patch.  I am reconsidering my plan to till up our strawberry patch.

I am not sure what the reason for this little bit of cuddling Nola Mae was getting from Robbie.   It is a rare occasion.   All I remember is running for the camera to take this picture.  I am kind of remembering he was icing his foot.

 Thursday, June 7th:  This maple tree by the garden is much bigger since Henry was a baby in the spring of 2009.  He slept under this tree for many hours that first summer while we worked/played in the garden.  Robbie joined Nola Mae under the tree to do some writing and drawing.  I got a little bit of work done in the garden.

Nola Mae’s first nap under the maple tree.

Lately, Charlie has become more interested in Mystique.  Today he spent a lot of time brushing her.

Our first picnic lunch.  The boys were excited.   I set it up and surprised them.  They ate very well and willingly helped with the clean-up.  I may have to do this more often.


 

Friday, June 8th:  We left this morning for a weekend of hiking and camping on the Mississippi River.   We stopped in Black River Falls for one of our breaks.

I wonder how many Lion bubblers are still around.

We arrived at our final destination…Perrot State Park.  Jack and Helen took awesome photos all weekend.  It was very difficult to choose which ones to post here.  If I can find some time this week I may do a post of my favorite photos from our weekend. 

 Saturday, June 9th:  Nola Mae slept very well for her first night in a tent!

The temps were hot during the day and wonderfully cold at night. I didn’t pack many warm blankets and I forgot Henry’s blanket so Jack and Henry covered up with the table-cloth I brought along.

A little bit of tears and dirty hands make for a cute little boy.

   We hiked for an hour up to the top of one of the bluffs.  Jack carried Henry to the top and Henry hiked down.

Sunday, June 10th:  On Sunday our hike was at least two hours.  Henry wasn’t interested in being carried this time.  So he hiked the whole thing!  We met some hikers on the way up the bluff and the lady made some comment doubting that the boys could do the whole thing.  I wish she was at the end of the trail to see they all made it.

Before we left the park we all took showers.  My hope was to wash away any poison ivy that was touched.  It seemed like it was every where I looked and every where the boys stepped.  (I am busy washing EVERYTHING from the weekend – shoes, clothes and bedding.)  So far, knock on wood, there is no sign of poison ivy!

 As I was looking through my photos for this week’s post I found these of  Nola Mae’s first bath in the sink.  She loved it.  Robbie was our photographer.

Project 365 Week 38

Project 365 Week 37

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

9/19/11 (Monday) – Fall is here and our apple tree is loaded with apples.  They are not ripe yet, but are starting to fall.  As they fall to the ground we sort them: a pile for applesauce, a pile to eat and a the worst apples go to the animals (chickens or horse).

Henry practicing his throw.

9/20/11 (Tuesday) – The Best Smoothie EVER!  Click here to see my post and recipe for this smoothie.

9/21/11 (Wednesday) – After school hike to burn off energy!

While on our hike we collected all the corn cobs from the damaged corn.

We walked through the woods on our way back to the house and found the last blackberries of the season.

9/22/11 (Thursday) – I am still getting raspberries and until the frost arrives we will keep picking.

9/23/11 (Friday), 9/24/11 (Saturday) & 9/25/11 (Sunday) – A camping weekend filled with many activities with our extended family on a 169-acre island at Brunet Island State Park.

Cooking and eating delicious food made by our camp cook, Uncle Eddie.

Canoeing.

Making flaming pumpkins.

Sending smoke signals.

Sewing.

Reading.

Face painting. Thanks Aunt Susie!

Biking (I know, no helmets! Shame on us!).

Hiking.

Playing kickball.