Week 49 & Week 50 – December 2 – 16, 2012

Week 49 & Week 50 – December 2 – 16, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/13)

I have combined these two weeks because I had two photos for Week 49 (pretty lame!).

We hosted Aunt Vlasty’s St. Nick party at our house because it fell on the same day as Robbie and Charlie’s piano recital.  I made a cake and it was the only picture I took all week.

cake Christmas tree

We got a good start of snow on the weekend.

Tractor snow

Week 50 was a better week for photos:

Henry and I went out for our first ski of the winter around our property.  Getting ready…

First ski - getting ready

Waiting patiently…

 First ski - waiting

Documenting with a photo…

First ski - ready

Henry not waiting any longer…

First ski - going

My book club met for an ugly sweater themed meeting and I made this cake for us.  Each of us read one or two books by Donna VanLiere ( I think Michelle read all of them).

  Cake Ugly Sweater

Charlie wanted to wear a tie to his school Christmas program.  He is always wanting to dress up to look handsome.  We don’t have any boy sized ties so he picked out one of Jack’s ties to wear.

Charlie wearing a tie

Someone (I don’t care who) thought it would be a good idea to celebrate 12-12-12 as Aaron Rogers Day.   Thanks to Grandpa Bob our boys were able to participate in these kinds of days at school.

Aaron Rogers Day

Winter fruit came in.

Fruit 2012

Nola Mae in my favorite outfit.

Nola Mae favorite outfit

Nola Mae has learned that once the boys come in from outside there are snow chunks on the rug.  Believe me, she is very good at picking up those little yucky chunks of snow.

Nola Mae snow eater

Week 5 – January 30 – February 5, 2012

 Week 5 – January 30 – February 5, 2012

Monday, January 30:  We have had some very warm temperatures lately.  The boys’ Green Bay Packer Snowman may end up melting much sooner than we thought.  Henry was the one that noticed that his number was gone and that he was melting.


Tuesday, January 31:  We went skiing with friends today.  Henry had the motivation to try to keep up with a very fast 5-year-old boy and an almost 4-year-old.


Henry skied for over a half hour following those two boys and then it was time for a sled ride and a snack.

I tucked the camera in the sled with Henry.  Later I found many photos on the camera from the view of inside the sled.   My butt being one of them!


Wednesday, February 1: We met friends in Point today at the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum


Thursday, February 2:   I needed some rest after the last two days’ activities.  I had my book club book on CD (The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon) and some quilting to do.   Henry seems to enjoy it also because he asks me “turn your music on.” 

Henry thinks he should take photos of my activities too.


I guess our Green Bay Packer snowman lost his status of “The Mater Piece” after a lot of melting.  Because the boys decided to destroy him with their swords.


Friday, February 3:  My friend Kat and our two little boys took a hike and planted some candy canes on the trail for my Saturday ski class.  On our way back to the chalet the groomer caught up with us in the Piston Bully.  He was kind enough to give the boys a ride.  Once Henry saw a ride was in his future he ran as fast as he could!


Saturday, February 4:  The treasure hunt for the kids wasn’t too exciting.  The skiing conditions are so poor.  We have so little snow and what we have is very icy.  So everyone hiked in their winter boots. 

In the evening the boys participated in the Iola Twilight Snowshoe race with a couple of friends.


Sunday, February 5:  I was experiencing contractions on Wednesday and a little bit on Thursday (the reasons for me not cooking dinner and the dishes, not sweeping the floor, not doing laundry, going to bed by 7:30, sitting around quilting, and listening to my book on CD).   When I hiked around to plant the candy canes on Friday morning the contractions came back.  I was nervous about this and hopped that they were just Braxton Hicks contractions (practice contractions). 

I never really experienced the Braxton Hicks contractions with the other boys so I wasn’t sure.  It seemed odd that I would have many in a day when I did the littlest tasks.   I called Jane, my midwife, after our short hike.  She was able to see me within five minutes of my call.  She confirmed they were only Braxton Hicks contractions and that nothing was progressing on the inside.  

 Jane sent me home with Black Haw and instructions to take 15-20 drops three times a day.  The purpose is to relax my uterus and stop or minimize the contractions.  And it worked!  I went from at least two Braxton Hick contractions every hour to two per day. 

 Jane also told me to “not over do it.”  If she would have come to my house she would know that I am not over doing it!


Week 4 – January 23 – 29, 2012

Week 4 – January 23 – 29, 2012

Monday, January 23:  The older boys had a day off today.  It was snowing and the snow was idea for making a snowman.  Our first snowman turned into a Green Bay Packer snowman.  Robbie’s idea was to build the master piece on the north side of the house that gets zero sun so it will last until spring and it will be one they won’t destroy.

These two snowmen in the front yard were built for target shooting.

Tuesday, January 24:  I made the mistake of going back to bed at 7:00 after the boys were on the bus.  Henry woke up without me knowing and brought us breakfast in bed.  He also brought the camera and took this photo.  If I am remembering correctly the flash is what woke me up.

Then I had to take this one of him eating our (his) breakfast.

All three boys reading before bed.  This was the night that Robbie wanted to stay up and finish his book.  It was getting too late and he had one more chapter left.  He finished his first chapter book, reading it from start to finish all by himself, on the bus the next day.

Wednesday, January 25:  We met friends to ski this morning.

Thursday, January 26:  I finally finished this zipper bag with a water-proof liner so I can transport wet diapers home after a day out or a weekend away.

This evening I met my book club friends at the ski hill for a little night skiing.  On my way home I was driving very slowly on one of the side roads that is narrow, snow-covered and icy and a deer decided to come on the road and run in front of me.  Because of the narrow road there wasn’t a way for me to go around her (or slam on my breaks).  So I hit her with the car.

Friday, January 27:  Tonight Jack left with all three boys to visit his mom and grandparents for the weekend.  This was the first time for all three boys to be gone!   It was a much-needed break for me.   I expected to be very happy as they were driving out of the driveway and was surprised by my sadness.   I had a very rough week with the boys and that is all I will say about it.

After they were gone I cleaned the kitchen and downstairs area for a couple of hours and came upstairs to go to bed and found Charlie’s clothes bag that I packed earlier that afternoon at the top of the stairs and Robbie’s packed bag still in his room. 

 Usually I fold clothes for packing and I just lay out clothes on their bed and they do the packing with my instructions to “pick out three shirts, three pants, four underwear, four socks, and PJs.”   This way they know what is in there and they are happy with the choices.  And then they carry their bags down to the door ready for the car, along with their special blanket and pillow.  Since I did all the packing I wasn’t thinking about the rest of the steps. 

Saturday, January 28:  During our ski lessons I had the kids practicing their downhill and uphill.  I was surprised at how excited they were to keep working on the hills.  There has been a huge improvement and I am hoping they are ready to hit the trails this Saturday.  Some kids took turns kicking the soccer ball into our soccer nets, which is a very good activity for them to practice their balance without them even knowing it.

Sunday, January 29:  I spent the morning working at the registration table for the Norseman Challenge ski race.  I took my ski clothes just in case I felt like skiing.  After eating something I did feel like skiing and did for 1 hour & 40 minutes with my friend, Phil.  He is a good skiing partner because he stops to pick up all the leaves and sticks on the trail.  These delays helped me keep up with him.  I almost skied the whole outside blue and black loops, and falling two times while at very low speeds.  I am thankful that I was listening to my body and cut out one of my favorite downhills because of the .4 mile uphill climb. 

My weekend with Robbie

My weekend with Robbie

This may have been the first weekend I have spent with just Robbie since before Charlie was born (over 6 years ago)!

Jack must have been feeling brave taking Charlie and Henry for a weekend with his college friends and a trip to visit his mom and grandparents. I say that “Jack must have felt brave” because Henry was still in diapers and was breastfeeding before the weekend. When they got home he was still in diapers and still wanted to “nuk”.  Nothing has changed!   I don’t know how much money Jack paid out for someone else to change the poopy diapers that happened while they were away, my sister Emily wasn’t there to rescue him. 

This post isn’t about them it is about the wonderful time I had with Robbie.

We were left alone at 4:00 on Friday afternoon. We were waving good-bye from the kitchen to Jack and the two younger boys and there were no tears in the car or in the house.

After Jack, Charlie and Henry were out of sight we started to make our plan for the weekend.

Homemade pizza Friday night, I was missing Jack because his pizza is so much better than mine!  Robbie said my pizza was just as good as Papa’s.

Robbie helped me feed the dogs and take care of the chickens. We sat around playing with the Legos before bed. At bedtime we cuddled in my bed and read a Junie B book (my least favorite book). Just before we got started Robbie thanked me for reading with him.

Saturday morning we had a quick breakfast and went to the ski hill for our first youth ski of the year.  I worked with the new and very young kids while Robbie went off with other parents to play on a downhill.  I have a little anxiety when I am not with Robbie during these lessons.  If he is bored he tends to tease the girls, and not follow directions from the other parents.  The worst thing he did this morning was take the snow shoe trail back to the chalet with his friend.  The rest of the morning Robbie played and skied with his friends, we cleaned up the chalet a little and I did a few other jobs before leaving.

Aunt Susie stopped for lunch with us on her way home. She showed us her recent fabric purchases which involved a lot of pheasants.

Robbie was willing to spend time in the sewing room with me. He had a project in mind while I continued my sewing on this baby quilt that I am working on. Thankfully I have a couple of sewing machines set up for this very reason! Robbie thanked me for sewing with him, because “if Henry was here we would have to take a break for a nap and snacks!”

Robbie wanted to make this sign for his bedroom door.  He used my sewing machine for his name and picked out a variegated thread that matches this fabric perfectly.   This is as far as we got this weekend.  I am trying to talk him into something that is a little more functional.

Evening was approaching and we were starting to get hungry. How did the time go by so quickly? That is what happens to me when I work in the sewing room!  We went to Subway for dinner (a rare event) and Robbie thanked me for buying a sub for him.

Since we were in town we went to the IGA for some groceries on full bellies! I still agreed to buy Robbie a package of those cinnamon rolls that come in that round cardboard box. That is what he wanted for breakfast in the morning.

Saturday night we unloaded the groceries, took care of the dogs and chickens. Before bed we made our list of things to do on Sunday.

Robbie’s list:

Then we cuddled up to read a couple more chapters of Junie B.  I need to find boyish chapter books that we would like to read.  Junie B is so naughty and sassy!!

Sunday morning we went to Sunday school.  Not an activity on Robbie’s list, but it was on mine!   I packed food for us to eat at the ski hill so we wouldn’t have to go home after church.  We played Candyland while snacking on our food and then we went out to ski!  Robbie whispered a sweet little “thank you” while we were sitting there.

I have always intended to be faster than our boys until they hit the teenage years and joked about them chasing me until then.  Well, not today!  I was chasing this boy all morning.  Towards the end of our ski we were racing up and down the hills. And there were times I thought I was in a roller derby – this boy wanted to use me to go faster and tried cutting me off a few times.

Reading for 20+ minutes!

We got some jobs done quickly and headed to Northern Lights to watch the Packer game and have dinner (two very rare events).  Robbie and I played darts during half-time.  I got a few hugs and “thank you”s during the Packer game.  When the games started to get really bad we decided to go home.  I don’t think I could have lasted much longer!  We were hoping Jack and the younger boys would be home by this time.  They weren’t.  

Robbie and I read a few more chapters of that dreaded Junie B book and I tucked him into his own bed.  He was tired and missing Charlie.  Robbie fell asleep within 10 minutes!  We had a great weekend (51.5 hours) at home together!

Project 365 Week 46

Project 365 Week 46

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

11/14/11 (Monday) – My feet were sticking to the floor in many places that is one of my cues to get the mop out.  The second one is when company is coming.  All our boys love to mop, this is Henry’s first time helping.  One might think with the help I have I should have a clean floor more often.

Henry figured out how to use the brush on the other side of the mop.  Sometimes I think a window scraper that we use on our icy car windows would work better.

11/15/11 (Tuesday) – My fridge full of eggs.  This is the most eggs we have ever had in our fridge.  I have begun to panic now.  I use to get worried when we had seven extra dozen in the fridge until I talked to Jessie, Jack’s cousin.  Her panic number is something like twenty-two dozen.  I delivered some this week and have been able to add a few more egg customers.

11/16/11 (Wednesday) –  Henry collecting eggs with his new basket that he found at Donna’s rummage sale.  Five eggs fit perfectly in his basket, now “five” is his favorite number.

I can’t afford to lose seven eggs if he trips on the way to the house, so we talked about five being a good fit for his basket.  (Thanks Donna!  He loves his new basket!)

11/17/11 (Thursday) – Granny spent two days with us this week.  Today she made dinner rolls with Henry.  The two of them read a lot of books.  I think Henry’s favorite time with Granny was when she was pretending to sleep and he would put a stuffed chicken by her head and she would wake up and try to eat the chicken out of his hands.

11/18/11 (Friday) – When the house is quiet I have learned to go searching for boys.  I am not always sure what I will find; naughtiness or sweetness.   Tonight it was sweetness!

This is the start of a quilt that I am making out of Grandma Hamm’s fabric.  She had strips sewn together and I am not sure what her plan was.  My mom helped me come up with this design by cutting Grandma’s squares of strips into four blocks and sewing them into these new blocks.  My mom is brilliant!

11/19/11 (Saturday) –  We were making plans to go to Big Falls this morning to check to see if there was any ice in the waterfalls.  Henry disappeared upstairs and came down with his swimming clothes on.  He told me he wanted to go swimming at Big Falls.

We only found ice in the puddles on the big rock.

The boys had popcorn and watched a movie while I did some sewing.  I lost track of time, like I usually do, in the sewing room.  I came upstairs and found them sleeping.

11/20/11(Sunday) –  Today Charlie had a playdate with his friend, Mollie.  They went to a movie and to her house for cake (this should have been a clue to me).  He came home with a bag of candy and a party hat.  I said, “Was it a birthday party? We didn’t have a gift for her!”  His response was, “That is okay, Mom, we didn’t know!”

While Charlie was at the movie theatre in Waupaca.  Robbie and I were brainstorming fun things to do.  One of Robbie’s ideas was to go to Northern Lights in Iola to watch the Green Bay Packer game.   So that is what we did.  He sat at the bar with his mug of root beer watching the game.


Henry and I sat away from the eight other people at the bar so we wouldn’t disturb them.  Henry colored and played with the balls on the pool table.


These photos are missing because I took my camera but forgot to put the card in the camera after downloading photos this morning.

I decided that I wasn’t being a bad mother for taking my kids to a bar to watch the Packer game.  Because it wasn’t for my enjoyment, there isn’t smoking allowed in the bars anymore and it is our choice that we don’t have a TV in our house.

This weekend I started a project for myself, a bag to haul my quilting project or books around.  I stayed up way too late last night for a 41-year-old mama who is growing a baby in her belly and has to keep up with these precious boys!

(one of my favorite photos taken in August 2010)

The start of my bag…

Robbie helped with some of the ironing.  He asked,  “Why are you starting another project when you have that one and that one started and none are finished?”  How do I explain my love for sewing, making things for others, my desire to finally make something for myself and my urgent rush to get as much sewing done before this baby arrives?

Project 365 Week 45

Project 365 Week 45

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

We went for a hike in the woods.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Henry after playing all morning with our friends.

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


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


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

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

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

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


Project 365 Week 41

Project 365 Week 41

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

10/10/11 (Monday) –  This morning Henry was awake to meet the bus with the big boys.  On our way out the door he insisted on wearing his backpack.

When the bus arrived he started walking with the boys to the bus.  I had to grab him and that is when he started sobbing and telling me he wanted to go to school.  This breaks my heart, I don’t want him to rush this school thing.  I am keeping him home as long as I can!

10/11/11 (Tuesday) –  After many months of dreading the job of installing a full zipper into this pull-over fleece for Jack’s co-worker.  I finally did it!  With the confidence of a new sewing machine, a zipper lesson from my mother-in-law and watching a few YouTube videos it was breeze!  Since this fleece I have had four broken zippers on my favorite pair of pants, a skirt, and two of my favorite coats.

10/12/11 (Wednesday) –  I finally had the time and energy to take care of my tomatoes.  It turns out I didn’t need much time to process them because they were moldy and starting to rot or really rotten.   In order process them meant pitching practice for Henry and a good treat for the chickens.   This season I got six quarts of tomato puree and one huge bowl of fresh salsa out of my sixteen tomato plants.  Thankfully I shared some with friends.

10/13/11 (Thursday) –  The biggest Packer fan in our house finally got his own Green Bay Packer pillowcase.

Here is one of the fancy stitches my new sewing machine can do.

10/14/11 (Friday) – Today was Robbie’s birthday.  His “cake” request was for an apple pie.   It was so easy to make with my homemade canned apple pie filling!   Click here to see my post of his first eight years.

10/15/11 (Saturday) –  We drove to Beloit, WI for our cousin Ruth’s wedding.  We had extra time to play before the wedding.  We found this awesome park called Turtle Island.

A huge log to climb and run through.  This was my favorite part in the park.

We had a few moments of quiet during the wedding ceremony.  After about five minutes of this sweetness, Henry was done and ran up and down the wheel chair ramp.

The bride got a few hits on the piñata.

10/16/11 (Sunday) –  We arrived home from the wedding late Saturday night.  The late night driving was worth it.  The boys slept all the way home and then waking up in our own beds and having all day at home was the best!

The start of breakfast with lots of dirty dishes!

We have had many windy days lately and this may be the last shot I get of our pretty fall colors.

Project 365 Week 33

Project 365 Week 33

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

8/15/11 (Monday) –  I guess this is what our boys do when they find a pile of clean underwear (thankfully) and access to the camera.

8/16/11 (Tuesday) – While I was laying down with Henry for his nap Robbie thought it would be a good idea to make jello.  I was surprised to see a pan full of jello in the fridge and no sign of it being made in my kitchen.  I told him how proud I was that he followed the recipe and cleaned up after himself.  Robbie told me he made it from memory.  And it turned out!

The extra balloons from our piñata project.  Which is going very poorly!  There won’t be any piñata at our birthday parties.   I may be able to make one of the two piñatas that we started work for a family wedding that is planned for this fall.

Falling asleep while reading is one of my favorite things to do!  I love seeing our boys doing that too.

8/17/11 (Wednesday) –  This evening I had my book club meeting and Jack and the boys put up this tent.  Robbie and Charlie slept in the tent one night by themselves and one night with Jack.

I think this is my favorite picture of Henry this week.  I am guessing that he is trying to open the door.  Look at that determination!

8/18/11 (Thursday) – I picked my first tomatoes.  They surprised me and while picking them I found three very ripe ones that the chickens enjoyed eating.

My garlic is dry, cleaned and I started braiding them.

The morning glories that we planted earlier this summer are blooming now.  Next year we will have to tie the climbing string a lot higher.

8/19/11 (Friday) – Our first real blackberry picking and still not many ripe ones.  Robbie spent more time “blazing a trail” for us than picking berries.

Blueberry milk mustache.

8/20/11 (Saturday) –  Henry loves to feed the chickens and my cow, Vanilla.  Vanilla loves sweet corn stalks, cobs, and husks.

8/21/11 (Sunday) – Charlie’s birthday cake was baked today and Henry was my clean-up helper.  (He must have gotten some kind of bite on his left eyebrow)

Robbie made this pillowcase for Charlie’s present.

Project 365 Week 21

Project 365 Week 21

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

5/23/11 (Monday) – One of our flowering crab tree, may favorite one.  I took the middle photo and Jack took the other two.

5/24/11 (Tuesday) – The last week of soccer – team photos.

5/25/11 (Wednesday) –   I brought down the kittens from the upstairs of the garage.

  Henry thinks they like my stinky shoes.


Other things Henry was up to today.


5/26/11 (Thursday) –  Today, Charlie celebrated his upcoming summer birthday at school.  Reality hit me and I did a double take when I saw “Happy 6th Birthday, Charlie!” on his crown.  Really, is my sweet Charlie going to be six years old?

His first choice for his birthday treat was chocolate chip muffins and my homemade applesauce.  I made the muffins, doubled the recipe, while Henry was trying to help, Robbie and Charlie were playing basketball in the dinning area and I was also working on making dinner.

Guess what happened…I used 6 tablespoons of baking powder instead of 6 teaspoons!  As I was measuring I thought it seemed like a lot and I double checked the recipe book and still screwed it up!

The final treat was chocolate cup cakes with left over frosting from the previous two cakes I made.  Green Bay Packer colors was the request!

5/27/11 (Friday) – Extending a flower bed and minimizing the lawn mowing!

5/28/11 ( Saturday) – We were able to go to Big Falls for a little fishing this afternoon.

We tried to fish out Charlie’s fishing pole that Henry threw into the water.

5/29/11 (Sunday) –  I collected this tiny green egg this afternoon.

The boys and I did some gardening today.  They helped me put up this trellis.  They planted cucumbers and some climbing flower, I can’t remember the name of, at the base.

Project 365 Week 20

Project 365 Week 20

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

5/16/11 (Monday) –  I finished sewing 50 of these flags for my brother-in-law’s company, Keepers Goals, click here to see their website.


5/17/11 (Tuesday) –  Soccer games.

Charlie was serious tonight.  During this game he only asked me once when his game was going to be over (in previous games he has asked at least four times).

This is Robbie kicking the ball.  We have gotten a couple of shots of him in this position.  It must be a very powerful kick.   I laugh every time I see this photo!

More action shots of Robbie…

5/18/11 (Wednesday) – I baked and decorated this cake for my book club, my second attempt at the hydrangea flower.


5/19/11 (Thursday) – Our chicks arrived today, click here to see my post and photos  on the chicks.

The pillow case I made for Robbie’s friend’s birthday party.  Robbie told me that Will loves the Green Bay Packers.  This was as close as I could get for green and gold material.  The fabric store was sold out.  As much as it may kill me I am thinking I need to have some Packer fabric in my stash for future projects.


5/20/11 (Friday) – Charlie’s class had a field trip to a large dairy farm in our area.  Henry likes to climb.  He didn’t like the calf licking him.  Henry kept saying, “bite!”

5/21/11 (Saturday) – My sister, Danna graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

My siblings (Kayla is in Peru).

The cake I made for our two graduates.

 Robbie lost his first tooth today!

5/22/11 (Sunday) – My first harvest of asparagus!  I have waited three years for this.