July 2014

 July 2014

This month started out pretty horrible.  I had strep throat.  Once I was feeling better, I hurt my back while pulling weeds in the garden.  I literally spent over a week sleeping and lying around.  I feel fortunate to have independent children, a hubby who is able to take a day of vacation anytime and a wonderful doctor friend who will see me in her office on her day off and again on the weekend.  I wouldn’t have been able to get better as quickly without  her!   That week did a number on my brain too.  I haven’t recovered from that lost week yet!

If you come to our house, Nola Mae will want to show you the big hole in the garden.  There once was a large rock there.

garden hole get ready

This hole keeps her busy and entertained.

garden hole jump

Another source of entertainment in our yard.

Nola Mae Tractor

Waiting for fireworks.

Henry & Nola Mae fireworks

Mr. Ernst baling his hay in our field.

Mr. Ernst marshmallows

Counting Mr. Ernst’s marshmallows.

counting bales

I love this smile!

Henry smile

Our big boys went to North Dakota with Grandma, Grandpa, uncle and cousins.

ND July 4 2014 cousins

ND July 4 2014 bluff

When they called me from North Dakota they told me they could spend all summer there because they were having so much fun.

ND July 4 2014 swimming

All four kids together after the big boys came back from their trip to North Dakota.

four kids on rocks

Henry has this great friend, Micheala, who he sat next to in school, they played together, helped each other with projects and giggled a lot together.  Micheala invited Henry to her birthday party at the pool.  Every day we counted down the days until the day before the party.  Henry helped me pick out the fabric for this bag to give to her, because she LOVES pink!

bag pink batman

The weekend came…Eddie came to help Jack cut down the huge oak tree that was leaning towards the house.

Oak tree standing

Oak tree plan

Helen counted about 120 to 130 years for the age of the tree.

Oak tree down

Oak tree sawing

  Jack and Eddie did a fabulous job dropping the tree away from the house and garage.  Jack put his chain saw in a “safe” place.  The tree landed perfectly on our wood pile and did not damage the chainsaw!

Oak tree chainsaw

 The video on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202381381878986&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

We have an awesome firewood pile.  Charlie thinks we won’t have to make firewood for a couple more years.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him we make firewood for future years, not the coming winter.  This wood is what we will burn, not this winter, next winter (2015-16) and hopefully some will be left for the following winter (2016-17).

Oak Tree firewood

The weekend was over…On Sunday night, after reading our bedtime story, Henry asked me again, “How many days until Micheala’s party?”  At that moment I realized we missed the party, it was yesterday.   The poor boy cried himself to sleep.  I called the mom and made an ice cream date with Micheala.  We picked her up and while we were in the car Henry had a whoopee cushion and kept  blowing it up and squashing it.  They were giggling so hard it just melted my heart to see them having such a great time.  While at the ice cream shop they talked and talked while just sitting on the riding toys.

birthday ice cream 2

birthday ice cream

Fifty-five pounds of blush and bing cherries ($1.66/pound).  We ate almost all of them except for a quart size bag of them went into the freezer.

cherries 2014

Five days later, eighty pounds of blueberries arrived.  I paid $2.25/pound.  The kids were slacking this year and only ate about fifteen pounds before we made one pie and froze the rest.

Blueberries 2014

 There are wonderful times in my life when all four kids will play nicely together, not often, but it does happen.  They went down the path to the edge of the field and played for a very long time.  I can’t remember how long but long enough for me to keep wondering “What in the world are they doing?”  Finally, this is what I saw coming up the hill.

Best big Brother Robbie

And then something like this happens…Henry and I picked raspberries one hot afternoon. While we picked Henry and Nola Mae weren’t getting along.  They were mostly fighting about who would get my next handful. I sent Nola Mae to a shady part to eat her raspberries. Henry was still kind of mad at her so he said, “Nola Mae I hope you eat ALL your raspberries! And then you poop, raspberry poop, on your head!”

 Henry & Nola Mae

Our lotion girl:  Thankfully this mess was outside.

lots of lotion

 My sewing projects:

I made this wet bag for a friend who uses cloth diapers.

diaper wet bag butterflies

And this Didymos Winter Lillies wrap was made into a ring sling for another friend.

Didymos winter lilies ring sling convert

 I dyed this in June and sewed it into a ring sling this month.

dye ice Navy over Intense violet ring sling

and this one.

ring sling green july 14

My first minecraft creeper inspired pillowcase.

pillowcase minecraft creeper

My dyeing projects:

Charlie designed the glue resist on this cloth to cover his desk.  He wanted rainbow colors, which I used to ice dye it, but it doesn’t look very rainbow-ish to me.  When he saw it for the first time he said, “Awesome!”  I was holding my breath because it didn’t turn out like I expected.

dye glue resist ice Charlie

I made this ring sling for a friend who loved the ring sling I made last month in the same colors.   This one turned out a little darker and just as beautiful.  We traded this ring sling for a new bike for Robbie.

dye ice cerulean blue & better blue green 2nd time ring sling

Robbie with his new bike.  I think we got the better end of the deal!

Robbie bike traded for ring sling

 This is a picture of “testing my patience”.  I have learned that dyeing stuff takes a lot of patience.    All of those items in the bags first sat under ice for over 24 hours, then I gently put them into these plastic bags for 12 hours.

dye ice rainbow swirl batching

Then they needed rinsing with the hose, and then rinsed in the washer for many rinse cycles.

dye ice rainbow swirl rinse

 Once I dried everything in the dryer I hung them on the line to get a good look!

dye ice rainbow swirl on line dye ice rainbow swirl osnaburg

dye ice rainbow swirl ring sling 2

This was a white sheet that I will make into a quilt for Robbie.

  dye ice rainbow swirl sheet dye ice rainbow swirl Tank

This was a white table-cloth.

Dye LWI rainbow table clothe

with matching napkins that I dyed.dyed rainbow napkins set 1

  We have a trombone player!  He is very happy to be done playing the piano.

  Robbie Trombone 1 Robbie Trombone 2

I have had this sign on my fridge for many months.  I was reminded this month how very important this is for everyone to follow (adults and children)!  I hope you follow this advice too.

THINK

October 2013 – Month 10

October 2013 – Month 10

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

Fall trees

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

apples in garage 2013

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

empty apple

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

Olive oil 2013

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

bent glasses

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

garlic to plant

My garlic space, before picture.

Garlic 1

After tilling and raking those nasty weeds.

garlic 3 spot chicken

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

garlic 2 helper

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

scrub w dirt

Almost done!

garlic 3

My best helpers!

planting garlic

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

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

Charlie's note to Kris

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

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

Diapers last load of the season

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

Boo-ed to us

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

  Boo-ed

Nola Mae’s way of playing Legos with Robbie.

lego table

Nola Mae at 18 months:

Nola Mae Smiles 1

Aunt Carol made this beautiful dress for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae turquosie dress

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

Nola Mae hiding

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

Nola Mae face kale chips

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

Nola Mae face applesauce

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

chicken hug

Henry went with Jack pheasant hunting in North Dakota:

ND Jack & Henry

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

ND Breakfast

ND exercises

ND napping

ND reading

ND Henry Sky 1

ND skidsteer

ND Henry w birds

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

ND Charlie unpacking

Baby wearing:

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

Nola Mae dishes

Wrap scarf Nola Mae pumpkin     Wrap scarf bees

wrap scarf gate 2

  wrap scarf grass

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

Wrap DIY Coral funny face

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

   Wrap back Nola Mae

I have sold two ring slings this month.

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

ring sling colorful stripes

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

ring sling green w owls

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

ringsling ice dye mirror

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

Other posts for this month:

Robbie’s Favorites, age 10

This Moment – Planting Garlic

This Moment – Long Bike Ride

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/13)

My recent weeks have not been very productive.   A friend asked me to make her some diaper liners.  It was what I needed to get motivated to get back into my sewing room.

sewing cloth liners

I played around and made these for my jars that I like to drink tea out of.

sewing jar covers

I wrapped and labeled some of my soap.

Soap

Jack completed his “container” for the Vaters’ art exchange.  One of the most beautiful things he has made (in my opinion).

Cabinet Jack built

I worked on my “container” and came up with this cloth bowl.  Since it seemed lame to me, comparing it to what Jack was contributing.  I filled my cloth bowl with extra goodies, like honey, tea, my homemade soap and body balm.

sewing clothes bowls

Nola Mae is getting close to joining us at the table in her own chair.

Nola Mae eats at table

Snow shoeing has been fun with the boys.  Robbie is the super snow shoer!  We have been working hard at packing our trails so we can ski on them too.

snow shoe path

It was too cold and too late in the afternoon for Nola Mae to ride on my back so I packed her in the sled so she would be warmer.

skiing sled Nola Mae

Henry had his preschool Christmas program this week.  He (like all our kids) is not a performer.  He just stood in the front row with a smile on his face.  In the days before and after the program he has proven to me that he can sing the songs, just not in front of all the parents.

Henry pre school

I learned of breast milk popsicle for teething babies.  I bought some little plastic shot glasses, pumped some of my milk and froze it with a Q-tip for the stick.  Nola Mae was a little crabby one day and I just couldn’t tell what was going on with her.  I remembered the popsicle that I made and gave her one.  It did the trick because she was very busy working on the popsicle until it was gone.

breastmilk popcicle

Henry thought it was cute to put Nola Mae in the basket.  She liked it only for a short time.

basket baby

Once in a while Henry wants to wear one of his stuffed animals.  I made this Mei Tai for him after I made mine.

Mei Tai kid size

A Christmas tree cake I made for someone who wanted to take a dessert to a Christmas gathering.

Cake x-mas tree

Week 43 – October 22 – 28, 2012

Week 43 – October 22 – 28, 2012

(Completed on 12-17-12)

Biking in PJs.  When you are ready to go and the timing is just right, just get on your bike and GO!

Biking Henry in PJs

And since you are outside you better do the chicken chores.

Wrap chicken chores

Helen captured this big squeeze and kiss.  Nola Mae has gotten use to Henry’s loving, most of the time he gives her sweet little kisses on her head as he is walking by (even harder to get those kissing on the camera).

Henry big kiss

Charlie’s Jedi robe in progress.

Jedi robe Charlie

Nola Mae’s new mobility has gotten her “stuck” in a few places.  If I am remembering this is the week where I “lost” her in the house for the first time.  I went to the bathroom and when I came out she wasn’t anywhere close to where she was when I went in.  That was a little scary, I thought maybe Henry took her somewhere, but realized that she is indeed getting around the house by herself at record speeds for an almost seven month old!

Nola Mae crawling

Piano lessons from Robbie.

Piano Henry & Robbie

Robbie Cards

Nola Mae’s last nap in this rocking chair.

Nola Mae Napping

I took this cute photo of her in her ruffle diaper.  I think Henry thought I was taking a picture of her chewing on this toy ring,

Nola Mae diaper ruffles

because he found his own ring to play with.

Henry silly

Robbie’s new kind of airplane.

paper airplane Robbie

Henry helps me make bread crumbs.  When all of the boys turned three years old the “I hate crust” switch turned on.  Charlie takes a sandwich every day to school.  I cut the crust off, because if you let a kid take it off half the sandwich is wasted.  I feed the curst to the chickens or save it and then dry them out for bread crumbs.

jobs Henry bread crumbs

Jack came home on the 22nd and went right to work on the kayak.

Kayak clamps

We have a “nest” in our room and lately all three boys have been sleeping in our room.  This night I nursed Nola Mae to sleep and Robbie was still awake.  I was able to put her next to him while I took a shower.  When I was done with my shower they were all sleeping.

Nest sleeping kids

A birthday gift for one of Robbie’s friends.  I think I have made a pillowcase for all of his friends.  Now what do I make for gifts next year?  What homemade thing will 10-year-old boys like?

pillow case Brock

The boys had a day off from school.  I took them to the ski hill to see the new trail and to pick up sticks and rocks.

ski hill new trail

Robbie wanted a hood on his Jedi robe.  I didn’t have time to put one on Henry’s.  Charlie didn’t want to be a Jedi, instead he was a wizard with the mask Grandma Helen made last Christmas for the “mask” gift exchange.

Halloween customes 2012

Week 12 – March 19 – March 25, 2012

Week 12 – March 19 – March 25, 2012

Monday, March 19th:  My first load of laundry on the line this spring: diapers! I was so happy for them to see the sun for a couple of days.  They seem whiter and smelled good!

 First day outside for the chickens.  Henry the chicken catcher was busy harassing them.

 Tuesday, March 20th:  Brothers hiking and having a serious conversation.

 Wednesday, March 21st :  Henry wanted to ride this bike.  The big boys were helping him.  Later that night Jack put the training wheels on a bike for him.

We have had this wasted space in our upstairs bathroom since the remodeling project, six years ago.  Jack made these shelves this week.

 

Thursday, March 22nd:  A special birthday activity (an 8 year old’s idea of fun)…

 We went for a walk/bike on Sleepy Hollow.

 Wipe out on purpose.

Friday, March 23rd:  The first sign of my garlic.  I should have about 213 of these little green stems growing.  Remember they were planted a second time because Robbie cultivated the area up after I planted?  He didn’t know that I planted the garlic and he thought he was helping me work the ground.

Grilling his own sandwich.

Saturday, March 24th:  We went to visit our family for the weekend and to celebrate Grandma Elma’s 93rd birthday.

Sunday, March 25th:  Here are some of the items I have ready for the birth and the baby. 

 

Project 365 Week 44

Project 365 Week 44

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

10/31/11 (Monday) – Charlie put these pants on in North Dakota and the waist was too big for him.  He was disappointed that I didn’t pack his belt.   I didn’t know those pants were too big for him!   About five minutes later he solved the problem..  Who would have thought that masking tape makes a perfect belt for a six-year-old boy?  (Nose injury is a rug burn from wrestling with his cousins in North Dakota).

11/1/11 (Tuesday) –  Charlie loves Lego’s.  This morning he wanted to be woken up early so he would have time to play with Lego’s before school.  This has been wonderful for us because we talk at night about trying to fall asleep right away so that he isn’t so sleepy in the morning.  And when morning arrives he is almost jumping out of bed and rarely tells me he doesn’t want to go to school.  I don’t think he will start telling me he doesn’t want to go to school because he wants to stay home to play with Lego’s.  Thankfully, his teacher has a huge box of Lego’s in her classroom.

Henry loves Charlie and loves everything Charlie loves… especially Lego’s!  Henry built this and asked me to take a picture so we can show Granny and Hanna (Grandma Helen).  He is telling me about the bridge that the grandmas are suppose to notice.

This creation is important because it has wheels.  It can fly and drive!  Check out his cute hair!  He gets his hair combed only on days that he is awake when I am getting the other boys ready for school.

11/2/11 (Wednesday) –  My chicks that I bought in May have started laying eggs.  We have had an explosion of eggs this week.  I collected 30 eggs today!  I think I need a few more egg customers!

11/3/11 (Thursday) –  I posted this photo of Henry sleeping in Week 39.  I was afraid that someone would think Jack wasn’t paying attention to him when he was getting sleepy.   Now I know how this can happen!

On a night I was home and Henry wasn’t interested in cuddling to sleep with me. He fell asleep on the love seat.  And then later went into this position right in front of my eyes.

11/4/11 (Friday) –  This morning we woke up to a very heavy frost on the ground.  It just happened to be a morning we were going to the ski hill to do some work.  Henry looked out the window and told me “SNOW!”  When we went out there he started skiing in the grass and seemed very happy.  This Mama and little boy are going to be very happy once we get our skis on snow this winter!

After skiing in the frost we headed to Iola Winter Sports Club to do an inventory of ski boots for the youth program.  Then we went to the Hostel Shoppe in Stevens Point where they were having an amazing sale on their “old” rental ski boots.   The didn’t look one bit “old” or “used” to me!  Iola Winter Sports Club purchased 13 pairs of kids cross-country ski boots for $265!

 I bought a pair for me, Robbie and Charlie and for my sister, Danna!  (my friend picked up Danna’s boots so they aren’t in this photo)

11/5/11 (Saturday) –  My Dad has a hunting cabin about 45 minutes away from my house.  Waupaca is about half way between our place and his cabin.  This weekend we met Grandpa Bob and my oldest nephew, Devin, for lunch.  I have such wonderful boys in my life and I love them with all my heart!

11/6/11 (Sunday) –  My weekend project of rebuilding my cloth diapers is turning into a great success.   Click here to read the post I wrote “Rebuilding My Cloth Diapers”.

Rebuilding My Cloth Diapers

Rebuilding My Cloth Diapers

I still have one child, Henry (2.5 years old), in cloth diapers and my  fourth child arriving in the spring. I am getting nervous about the condition my mother-ease cloth diapers. They have been getting thinner and thinner by the year. I am impressed with how these diapers have held up since they have been used on six children.   Henry is the sixth child to wear some of these diapers.

Before Henry’s 2nd birthday he was showing signs of interest to be potty trained and wanting to pee like his big brothers in the toilet and outside (a benefit to living in the country).  He hasn’t made much progress in the last seven months.

I was introduced to the mother-ease cloth diaper by a friend six or seven years ago. She wanted to sell some.  I was tired of folding the flat-fold diapers I was using and wanted to give them a try.  I actually never heard of any other kind of diaper than the flat-fold and pre-fold diapers that you use baby pins with, until I met this friend.  I started out by purchasing 10 diapers from her. I loved them and when she was done with the rest of her diapers I bought more from her.

One of the many things I love about the mother-ease diapers is how awesome they are to hang on the line to dry.  They don’t take up much space when snapped together.

I hang dry them in the winter months to gvie my bedroom more moisture.

Sadly, I have had to put some of the really thin mother-ease diapers away.  No,  I didn’t throw them away!  I put them away in the basement and out in the open so I could see them and always think about what I could do with these awesome diapers.  Something inside me wouldn’t let me throw the diapers away. They still had great snaps and the elastic was still good!

A few months ago I decided that I could rebuild these diapers with the “good” parts.  I consulted with a friend who does a lot of sewing and has made some of her own diapers.  She helped me brainstorm some ideas on fabrics to use and how to get it done.

I purchased some terry cloth this week and started making liners and rebuilding my diapers.  I only worked on a few and will put them to the test with Henry before I do more sewing.

Here is a thin and almost see through liner:

I cut out terry cloth for the liner:

I used the serger to put the two layers together for one liner and three layers for another liner:

I cut the snaps off the old liner:

I sewed the new liner to the snaps:

Thin and almost see through diaper that has been in a box for many months:

Then I took two layers of the terry cloth, serged them together and sewed them to the padded area of the mother-ease diaper that has thinned:

The diaper with the new liner snapped on:

Another experiment was to add to the padding of the actual diaper with one layer of terry cloth and then add a second layer to the whole inside of the diaper.  This method was very time-consuming.  I am not sure I will attempt this one again.  I was having trouble with my thread breaking.  Maybe it was because of the multiple layers or a little of the stretching of the fabric I was doing?

The diaper:

The pattern:

The finished diaper, not much extra surface area was covered with this method:

The test on this last diaper with the 3-layered liner was done last night.  Henry didn’t soak the entire thing!

As I post this Henry is wearing the diaper with just the new padded area and no liner.  And going to the bathroom more often today!  Maybe all this talk about making these diaper for the new baby is making him think more about saving diapers for the baby.