Spring is here!

Spring is here!

We celebrated two birthdays last week.

Henry birthday cake 6 birthday cake Nola Mae

dyed birthday shirts

Nola Mae loved her Peppa Pig.

peppa pig love

First paddle of the year, Lake Iola, on a very windy day, April 12th.

first paddle 2015

My paddle with three kids in the canoe didn’t last very long.

We paddled into the windy part of the lake and got blown to the shoreline.  My strategy of paddling in this wind was:  paddle really hard for as long as you can, get blown to a shoreline, aim the canoe to where you want to go, paddle really hard for as long as you can, get blown to a shoreline, aim the canoe to where you want to go.  Repeat until you get back to where you started!  Charlie and I aren’t ready to paddle to a campsite in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage this year.

Our first hike on the River Walk Trail in town.

spring first river walk

Snake Watching:

(There are NO snake pictures on this post!)

We have seen the first snakes of the year. One the other day by the garden woodpile and today by the deck. I try my hardest to not show fear and disgust when seeing snakes.  I have accepted the fact that we have to live on the same planet as each other and I still dislike them very much!   I must be doing well at this because Nola Mae has no fear of them. She is curious and knows to give them space. Today the sun is shining, it is warm outside with a slight breeze and the deck is a nice place to snake watch. snake watching 1

snake watching 2

I was amazed how long this kept Nola Mae occupied.

snake watching 3

Henry's letter

This doesn’t have much to do with springtime, just a cute photo I took of Nola Mae, who fell asleep in my room waiting for me.

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September 2014

September 2014

First day of school photo:

First day of school 2014

On the first day of school, Nola Mae and I took a bike ride to town to run errands.  I needed to do lots of things this day, grocery shopping, library, bank, post office, drop something off at school and most importantly get exercise and get away from the house so I wasn’t thinking about missing my boys.  Our way home was a lot of work for me…27 pound child, 15 pound bike trailer, 75 pounds of groceries and library books.

Bike errands

I have planned to dye my hair a non-traditional color (purple) for many months.  I finally got around to doing it and it faded to pink (not one of my favorite colors).  In the last month I have considered chopping my hair just twice to get rid of it.  When my mom first saw me after I dyed my hair, she joked with me that my fabric dyes got in my hair.   Now, I am feeling like I will keep it for a while.  Next, I will attempt purple and maybe more colors.

 hair dye pink

Jack has made many cigar box guitars in the last year.  This month Charlie finished a two string cigar box guitar.

 cigarbox guitar in progress

Jack made a video of Charlie and shared it on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202628856665701&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

cigarbox guitar Charlie's

I have an amazing husband, he deserves a blog post all to himself.   He is talented in many areas, he is intelligent, he is teaching our kids many skills, he creates beautiful wooden furniture and boxes.

I was a little skeptical about these ugly pieces of wood when he loaded these into our car.

wooden burrow

One day he handed this beautiful bowl to me and told me he made it from the wooden burrows that we brought home.

wooden burrow bowl

Charlie turned a bowl with Jack.  He took his unfinished bowl to school to show his teacher.  Charlie was eager to finish it and then took it back to school.  One day I was looking for Charlie’s bowl to take a photo.  He told me he gave it to his teacher.

We got together with all the Vater cousins this month, unfortunately because Grandpa Neil passed away.  It was wonderful to see our kids having a blast with their cousins, and visit with the cousins we don’t see very much.  Nola Mae and I missed out on the last family gathering because she was sick.   I am not interested in doing the math on when I last saw Jack’s cousins from CA, it was sometime when Ben was still a little boy.  When Ben opened his mouth I just about died, because he had a man’s voice, not a little boy anymore!  Ben is the tallest man in the Vater family.

vater cousins and family

I have many sisters, four of them, all of them are amazing in their own way!  Early this month, Becca completed her first Ironman in Madison,  2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.

I wasn’t able to make it to Madison to cheer her on.  I was able to watch her finish from the comforts of my home, 130+ miles away on my computer through the live-feed video on Ironman’s website.

I have my very own finish line photo of her.

IronMan Madison Becca

 Nola Mae loves to put clothes on, take them off, and put extra layers of clothing.  While I was taking a shower  Nola Mae climbed   on the counter and was putting socks on and taking them off.  I took this picture with the intention of doing a blog post with all the photos I have collected of her in her many outfits.

Nola Mae socks happy

Everything was going great.  You can see all the socks on the floor that she had on and took off.  Then she got stuck in these blue socks, that is when things started to get UGLY!  Exactly, one minute later…

Nola Mae socks sad  Nola Mae socks sadder

Two days later…there was an outfit that included many layers and many tears – three shirts, one dress and one pair of tights – she wanted more clothes on and I wouldn’t help her.

Nola Mae flopping

The above photos aren’t so pretty ones of Nola Mae, but this one is!

Nola Mae

When you co-sleep and put your child to bed before yourself they claim their spot.

Yours spot

I knew Henry was outside on the deck.  I heard sounds of a trombone.  I was afraid he snuck Robbie’s  trombone upstairs and outside.  I was relieved, happy and very excited to see him making music with the vacuum cleaner hose, rather than the $754 trombone!

Henry hose trombone

Four days before my birthday a wonderful gift arrived at our house – a spiral ham and caramel popcorn!  I was delighted, ham is one of our favorite things.  Especially, mine because one ham goes a long way here.  If I am remembering correctly this ham gave us  at least four meals, fillings for additional meals, made awesome snacks and were added to cold lunches for boys.  The very last of this ham will be eaten sometime this fall when I make my favorite soup!

bday ham

On September 11th, Nola Mae and I drove to Milwaukee to see my sister, Emily.  Earlier in the week she was admitted to the hospital for liver failure and the talk was “she isn’t going home until she gets a new liver”.  Her MELD Score was so high, she was on the top of the liver transplant list for the Midwest.  As the week progressed and she got more fluids and antibiotics she was feeling and looking better.  I was thankful to see her in better spirits and health later in the week so that when and if a new liver came to her she would be strong enough to make it through a transplant.

Emily hospital 9-11

On Monday, September 15th, around 4:30 AM Emily was told that there is an organ donor who is a perfect match for her.   I am pretty sure this was the longest day in her entire life.  It sure was for me!   The staff took her to surgery for the liver transplant at 5:30 PM.  If I am remembering correctly, I got the call at 12:21 AM, on the 16th, telling me that her surgery was done and she will be heading to ICU.

Click here to read my thoughts on the day of Emily’s transplant, “A Sister’s Emotions”.

I spent the day before my birthday glued to my computer and close to the phone waiting for any news on Emily’s transplant.  I didn’t get much sleep that night and woke up for my birthday in a zombie-like state.  I knew Emily was sedated, well cared for in ICU and I needed to get the heck out of my house!  IT was MY birthday and I wanted my special coffee and I wanted to use my 60% & 50% off coupons at JoAnn Fabrics!  So Nola Mae and I went to town!

I made a trip to my favorite thrift store and found a bunch of dye blanks!

  I bought these fabrics.  The birds and butterflies were on the $4/yard rack.  The bottom white fabrics I bought for making dyed scarves.

bday fabric

A close up of one of the white fabrics.

dye blank for scarf

I made two scarves from this fabric – one for my step-mom and one to sell or give away as a gift (or maybe keep for myself).

Dyed Scarf Rainbow colors

My last stop in town was Starbucks, thanks to my sister Danna and her boyfriend, I purchased a yummy coffee and this beautiful coffee mug.

bday coffee cup

The boys (& Jack) gave me a package of socks, these awesome rubber boots and something else.  I can’t remember what the third thing was.   I love my new boots and wear them every day!

bday boots

Usually my garlic gets planted in October.  The planting window for garlic in Wisconsin is mid-September to November.  I remember this because my birthday is the beginning of this planting window and my brother’s birthday, which is at the end of October, is my absolute last day for planting garlic.   This fall, I started planting my garlic before my birthday and then finished planting 200+ cloves of garlic the day after my birthday.

garlic planting 2014

We are were still picking raspberries into October.

Raspberries 8-31-12

 Every year I find a pair of Walking Sticks in my raspberry patch.  They are always attached to each other every time I see them.  This time I happened to have the camera with me and when I bumped them, they came apart and I took this photo.

walking stick

I have accumulated many dye blanks, I am always looking for more.  Recently, I  had some time to organize and prioritize my dyeing projects

dye thirft store blanks

I also had some time to set up a little dyeing space in my basement and got busy.  In one week I dyed 20 pieces.

dye table

We paddled up the river from Big Falls when the leaves were beautiful.  It was a great way to end the month.

paddle car fall 2014

paddle big falls 2014  paddle rocking 2014

I am making and selling soap again this year.  I started early for Christmas by making four batches.

“Cleansing Calendula”, with essential oils: Lavender & Tea Tree and ground Calendula flowers for a great exfoliation.    Aroma:  Soft, floral.  Benefits:  Renewing, cleansing, stimulating.

soap calendula flowers & lavender & tea tree  

“Cinnamon Swirl”  with essential oils:  Orange & Cinnamon and ground cinnamon, which gives it the dark color.   Aroma:  Warm, spicy   Benefits:  Warming, comforting, energizing

 soap cinn & organe

(these are the same soap, just different batch and different method of coloring with the ground cinnamon)

“Jumping Juniper”  essential oils:  Juniper, Lavender & Rosemary   Aroma: Floral   Benefits: Restoring, empowering, balancing, purifying, &  uplifting.

  soap juniper, lavender & rosemary

I have about twelve pounds of garlic to sell.

garlic for sale 2014

It was a good birthday month for me!

August 2014

August 2014

A moment when everyone was getting along nicely!

4 kids talking

Charlie is thrilled about his candy DNA he made in summer school.  I had to take this photo for Aunt Danna who is studying Bio-Chemistry at UW-Madison.

Charlie Science

Charlie celebrated his 9th birthday.

charlie bday cake 9 yr

Mask making:

 

blue tape mask

blue tape mask 4 kids

 

We biked to Big Falls this summer for the first time.  Round trip was 16.5 miles.

We went to the Sweet Shoppe for some games and ice cream.

 

 

big falls sweet shop

 

big falls playground

big falls waterfall

 

Charlie’s new hair cut – trim at the beauty solon.

 

 

charlie long hair

 

Then a buzz cut from Papa:

charlie short hair

 

This hen has always acted “broody” so I decided to give it a try to let her hatch some eggs.  I expect chicks any day.

 

chicken coop hatching eggs

Nola Mae loves to come to the chicken coop with me.  She has figured out how to climb so she can collect eggs.

chicken coop Nola Mae

My garden is doing well:

Garlic crop was a success.  I am not sure how many pounds I grew this year.

 

garden garlic 2014

I was able to recruit some helpers for the peeling and trimming jobs.

garden garlic cleaning

garden garlic trim

We got a lot of rain this month.  I didn’t get out to the garden to pick my green beans for a few days.  I was surprised with an 11.5 inch long green bean.

  garden forgotten green bean

We found this cute frog in my purple cone flowers.

garden frog purple coneflower

I have lots of corn in the freezer, about 120 cups.

garden corn

I did some dyeing this month, check out my post Dye Projects – August.

These dyed items found new homes this month:

dye clothes

 

Granny visited us for Charlie’s birthday.  Nola Mae put her glasses on.

   Nola Mae Granny glasses

Napping Nola Mae.

Nola Mae sleeping

A common scene at our house.

Play house swing

I made a new soap this month:

Tea tree and lavender essential oils with ground Calendula flowers.

soap calendula lavender & tea tree

My very popular soap:

Orange and cinnamon, swirled this time.

soap cinnamon orange

Playing on the sinking canoe is always a lot of fun!

sunset sunk canoe

I made this wrap for someone, 100% linen, color is honeysuckle and beautiful!

wrap 100% linen honeysuckle

I had to try it out!

wrap 100% linen honeysuckle action

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.”

Project 365 Week 39

Project 365 Week 39

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

9/26/11 (Monday) –  I went to my bible study tonight.  Which meant Henry had to fall asleep without my cuddling.

9/27/11 (Tuesday) – Today was the day the beef was ready.  Henry and I loaded 425 pounds of meat into coolers.   I was expecting about 250 more pounds from the hanging weight of 904 pounds!  Which resulted in $500 less to cover my butchering costs.  My customers got a pretty good deal and hopefully good hamburger.

9/28/11 (Wednesday) – I picked up my new sewing machine today!  Thanks to Grandma Hamm and all my customers who bought decorated cakes, aprons and homemade soap, my brother-in-law, John’s company (Keeper Goals) and to my Mom who taught me to save my money.

9/29/11 (Thursday) – Pure  cuteness!  Waiting patiently for me to come downstairs.

 

This is a sign Robbie made for me for my birthday last year.  A list of food that is good to him.  There is another sign some where in our house that has healthy foods that he likes.  I am sorry to say it was time to put it in the fire.  Only because there are many many gifts like this that are made for me in the wood shop.  I have been thinking I need to dedicate a whole wall in our garage for these kinds of creations.

9/30/11 (Friday) – Homecoming for our school was this week.  There is a parade through town and all kids are encouraged to wear orange and black to school.  This year there was face painting in art class.

10/1/11 (Saturday) – Our weekend was full of many activities.  The older boys were in a Fall Fun Run in the morning.  After the run we went to the Lost Arts Fair in the historical section of our town especially for the Norwegian pastries. (Sorry no photos because I forgot my camera).

We had a windy week and a lot of apples fell off my tree.  We collected them and I started making applesauce and apple juice.

I have my very own Mehu-Maija (Finnish Juicer/Steamer) that makes making applesauce a breeze.

In the evening was Jack’s annual Redneck Bonfire with his college buddies.

10/2/11 (Sunday) – Here is one of Robbie’s great ideas.  He wanted to make a Tee Pee.  How he starts his ideas…”Mom I need some string.”  I have learned to ask “What is your plan?”  Sometimes I get, “It is a surprise.”  Or no response and he goes to Jack for some help.  Today it was, “I just have an idea.”

 

After Henry’s nap we spent the late afternoon/evening fulfilling one of my dream days…biking and canoeing on a beautiful fall day.

We dropped off the canoe at the County Road J bridge on the Little Wolf River.  We parked the car down river on McNitch Road, unloaded the bikes and biked back to the canoe, about 2 miles.

There were a few exciting spots on the river with trees across the river and a rapids that Jack didn’t remember very well.  We hit a few rocks and got hung up on a couple big ones.  Henry didn’t like the rapids when we were hitting rocks, but said he liked the rapids later after we were through them.  I felt the same way.  A huge high light of our trip was seeing a bald eagle very close.

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.

Project 365 Week 26

Project 365 Week 26

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

6/27/11 (Monday) –  This Hungry Caterpillar cake I made last weekend and forgot to include it in my Week 25 post.

Today, Charlie showed me that he has learned how to pump his legs to keep the swing going.

6/28/11 (Tuesday) – This week was the second & last week of summer school for the older boys.  I have been enjoying the few hours that they are in summer school doing the things Henry likes and at his pace.  I have also had a chance to get things done that are easier with just one boy!  One big job was vacuuming the car at the gas station.   Henry was happy while I cleaned and vacuumed the entire car.

Later in the day I caught Henry reading!

6/28/11 (Wednesday) –  Early this morning I finally completed my blog post about my sister, Emily and her liver disease.  Click here to read Emily’s story.  I have been overwhelmed with the amount of readers of my blog, comments about my post and the generous donations people have made to the American Liver Foundation.  In four days I had almost 550 hits on my blog and reached my goal for fund raising.   Thank you!

Today the big boys had summer school in the morning and in the afternoon Aunt Susie took them to the movie theatre.  Henry was focused on reading books and made this pile for us to read.

 

Today, I finally learned how my kitchen windows get so dirty.  I found Henry kissing, licking and smashing his face against the window.

 

6/29/11 (Thursday) – This Spiderman cake was made for a party this weekend.

spiderman cake

 

6/30/11 to 7/3/11 – We left Thursday night for an extended weekend.  I have had a difficult time finding photos for each day.  Our weekend involved hanging out with friends, biking, playing kickball, campfires,

roasting marshmallows,

 

shooting the bb gun (Charlie),

a lot of fishing,

 

canoeing and kayaking,

swimming and playing in the water.

(Robbie)

(Robbie)

(Robbie)

 

(Charlie – Superman!)

We visited a total of seven beautiful lakes in the area which were incredibly quiet, clean and clear.

Project 365 Week 18

 Project 365 Week 18

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

5/2/11 (Monday) – Our new (new to us) play house.

 

5/3/11 (Tuesday) – Skunk Lake and the Ice Age Trail – hiking while it snowed a little.  We found this great tree to walk across. (My friend, Kat was the photographer for the hike.)

Then it was the Moms turn to have a little fun.  You can see the snow in this photo!

 

5/4/11 (Wednesday) –  I don’t have any photos for today.  It was a productive day for me and good progress was made in the garden. I dug up : 54 bags of flowers for a few more of my friends.

5/5/11 (Thursday) – It rained today, no pictures.

5/6/11 (Friday) – Mother’s Day Tea at Charlie’s school.

The finished project:

  

 

5/7/11 (Saturday) – Jack planted 77 trees. I joined him after cleaning up after breakfast.    

 

5/8/11 (Sunday) – Mother’s Day (these are all Jack’s photos)

The handsome boys that made me a mother!

We started out the morning by having quality family time in the woods making a truck load of firewood.  Really, I like making firewood!

We ate lunch, went to Keller Lake for some fun in the afternoon and went out for dinner. Keller Lake is one of my favorite places.  A very peaceful and beautiful park.  In my opinion it is one of the best kept secrets in Waupaca County.

  

The playground at Keller Lake.

Henry doesn’t need a fancy playground set!

During our paddle Charlie and I found a mother goose sitting on a nest on one of the rock islands.

Cheers!  Happy Mother’s Day!