July 2013 – Month 7

July 2013 – Month 7

My Uncle Carl from California came to visit this month.  He was able to spend an afternoon/evening at our house.  Nola Mae warmed up to him very quickly.

uncle carl & Nola Mae

Our family went to Big Falls to play in the rapids on a really hot day.  It was the busiest I have ever seen the place.  There were about 30 other people there, usually we are the only ones.  There is a zip-line there where most of the people were.  I would love for the boys to try it some day.

big falls four kids

Just so you know, when Jack went down these rapids his butt dragged the whole time.

big falls Charlie

Nola Mae enjoyed the refreshing feel of the water.

big falls Nola Mae

Good things come in threes:

1)  Jack installed my new clothes line.

clothes line on silo

2)  Jack built a gate for us (my request).  For some reason our road is a toddler magnet.  Every one of our kids loved sprinting to the road.  Maybe it is the thrill of Mama or Papa chasing after them.

Gate for Nola Mae

We have had the W-9 since our first year living here.  It was a tractor of Jack’s dad’s.  We used it to break ground for our veggie garden and that is about it.  It is a big tractor.

Tractor W-9 & kids

We also owned a Farmall H that was useful to us for moving firewood and cleaning the barn.  We decided to sell them both.  It was sad for me to see them go.

Tractor W-9 & H loaded up

3)  I have been trying to convince Jack for at least the last five years to buy me a skid steer.

skid steer

I found some hay!  I am thinking this will be the last winter I buy hay for my horse.  She may need to die or find a new home.  I have fond memories of all the sweat and dust of baling hay on my Step-Dad’s farm.  I had a fun time with Robbie and Charlie going to get this hay.  I pulled them away from the computer to help me one evening.  We drove to the field where the hay was baled and loaded up two loads of 25 bales each.   And then they helped unload it.  In the truck on the way to get our second load Charlie said, “This is fun!”

bales boys unloading

Henry helped unload the second load in the morning.  And helped with stacking it in the basement of the barn.

 bales Henry

My friends and I ordered a total of 170 pounds of blueberries from Country Corner Sales for $2.05/lb.  Last year I paid $2.53/lb.   Not very often can you say, “The price went down this year!”   The pick-you-own blueberry farm is charging $2.50/lb ($0.25 more than what they charged last year).

Blueberry boxes 2013

Nola Mae thought she had her own box.

Blueberry Nola Mae 2013

I harvested my garlic this month and wrote about our garden.

garlic harvest 2013

I boiled eggs one day and went outside before they were ready to be taken off the heat.  I got this exploded egg.  It looks like a chicken head to me.  What do you see?

egg boiled oozing

Charlie has been wanting to bike to town (a round trip is 10 miles) all summer.  We have only done a 4.5 mile loop in our neighborhood a few times.  With complaints and many water stops most of the way.   On this day I added a 2 mile loop, totaling 6.5 miles, to test them out for a trip to town.  I hooked up the train for a bike ride.  Henry on the tag-along attached to my bike and Nola Mae in the Burley attached to the tag-along.  Robbie couldn’t find his shoes so he biked in socks.  Charlie was just plain crabby about the whole idea.

bike train

The 6.5 miles wasn’t that bad after we were done.

A few days later, we went to town on our bikes.  Charlie was pumped.  Robbie was tired before we started.  They raced almost the whole way and I had a hard time keeping up with them.  It took us 36 minutes to go the 5 miles.

bike to town picnic

We had a picnic at the park, then dropped off some of my healing balm at a friend’s house and at the pharmacy.  The pharmacist is testing it to see if they want to stock it on their shelves.   We went to the library for some books on CD for our trip to Milwaukee and then to the ice cream shop.

bike to town ice cream shop

On the way home Charlie was so tired I considered dropping his bike off at my friend’s house (3 miles from our house), putting Henry in the trailer with Nola Mae and having Charlie ride on the tag-along.   Nola Mae was sleeping and Charlie seemed better after more water.  When we were two miles from home Charlie figured out a way to hold onto the bike trailer/stroller’s handle bars with one hand and his handle bars with the other.  He peddled while holding on and there were times I could feel him pushing me and other times when I was pulling him.  He said he would let go when a car was coming and while going up and down the hills.  I could have sworn he was holding on when we were climbing that last hill to our house and I looked back and he wasn’t.   Henry is a good peddler on the tag-along.  It took us 48 minutes to get home.

Often I find Nola Mae walking around with a pen ( or whatever writing utensil she can find) and paper.  Maybe she will be a writer.  She sat with Java for a long time as if she was interviewing her.

Nola Mae & Java

My friend, Lynn, gave me this cute dress for Nola Mae.  I have been wanting to take a cute picture of her in the dress for Lynn.  Nola Mae has been getting the dress dirty before I could get a photo taken.  This is an example of how quick I can be with the camera.  I was in the kitchen, my camera is usually there, I turned around and saw Nola Mae doing this…

Nola Mae on chair

I was admiring how well Nola Mae was playing with this car,

Nola Mae drives tractor

and the next thing she did was take a drink out of this little puddle on the deck.

Nola Mae thirsty

Nola Mae comes out the chicken coop with me often, she is usually on my back, this time she was walking with me.  I feed them and then collect the eggs, so I am not tripping over them or getting pecked when I am stealing eggs.  Nola Mae decided to eat with the chickens.

Nola Mae eating w chickens

Henry is teaching her how to climb ladders.

Nola Mae ladder

I have a friend who got married the same weekend as the Liver Walk.  Earlier this year she asked me if I was interested in making her wedding cake.   I seriously considered it.  I knew she was having a small wedding and she would be the kind of bride I could work with.  My only concern was having the time to make the cake.   During the week of her wedding I was sad to not be making her wedding cake.  I started making a triple layered 9 inch round cake for my nephew’s graduation party.  I needed Nola Mae to be busy for a little while so I could mix the cake by letting her play with the water on a chair AT the sink.  NOT in the sink!

  Nola Mae in sink

Henry was doing a great job reading to Nola Mae.  I was impressed with how well he knew the right sounds and words to Mr. Brown can MOO, can you?

Henry reading

Nola Mae wanted to hold the book and Henry didn’t like that idea.  They both were happier once Nola Mae had her own book to hold.

Henry reading 2

Jack made this beautiful box for Nola Mae.

box Nola Mae

We went to the Liver Walk and had a graduation party for my nephew afterwards. 

Liver walk 2013

I made snake bubbles and they were a hit with all the little kids and even the big kids. 

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles K

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Ali

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Kayla & Ali

How to make snake bubbles: 

  • Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle (soda or water bottle).
  • Cut an old sock just before the heel, so you are using the toe and foot part of the sock to cover the bottom of your bottle.
  • Secure the sock on the bottle with a rubber band.  Since I was traveling and making these a head of time, I also put duct tape over the rubber band.
  • Soap mixture was 1 parts Dawn dish soap and 2 parts water.
  • Dip the bottom of the bottle in the soap mixture and blow.

Note:  Smaller kids may suck in while blowing and swallow or breath in bubbles.  Henry will tell you that is YUCKY!

For colored snake bubbles click here.

Since the skid steer has arrived a lot of projects have been getting done around our yard.

Rock wall 1

Rock Wall 2

Rock wall Nola Mae

skid steer Nola Mae

I have gotten braver with my soaps.  I purchased more essential oils this spring and made this soap in early June.  It turned out beautiful, this has cinnamon and orange essential oils with ground cinnamon.  If you like cinnamon smelling things you would love this!

soap cinnamon orange

Sewing projects this month:

Tooth pillows for a sister and brother.

tooth pillow maddie  tooth pillow alek

A TNT pillow case inspired by Minecraft for one of Robbie’s friends.

pillow case TNT Landon

I made a Mei Tai for a friend’s sister.

Mei Tai kid size

Three beautiful ring slings.

ring sling brown w green steph  ring sling green w br steph  ring sling plum Pam

I bought this fabric at a rummage sale.  It is the perfect weave for a wrap.  I serged the edges and used it for weeks until I finally hemmed it.

Wrap DIY shorty Ruck Under Bum (RUB)  wrap DIY woven naptime

It is shorter than my other wraps and there is only enough room for me to do a Rucksack carry tied under the bum (A.K.A. RUB).  I have learned that I love it for very fast ups and downs and escaping out from the fabric when laying down Nola Mae.

Wrap DIY shorty I escaped

I have another picture of her sweetness in my light rainbow wrap.

wrap light rainbow naptime

I am in a babywearing group on facebook.  Each week they do a “carry of the week”.   A great way to learn a new carry or in this case a new tie off.  This is a double hammock carry with a salt water tie with my Zara Velvet wrap.

Wrap Zara Velevet Salt Water double hammock

My favorite pictures of the month:

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie woods

Robbie fancy moves

Nola Mae wheel

Nola Mae fence

Week 10 – March 5 – March 11, 2012

Week 10 – March 5 – March 11, 2012

Monday, March 5th:  Henry found some of my skiing and running medals.  He jumped and danced around making them “make music”. 


Tuesday, March 6th:  Robbie had his VIP day this week.  He picked out almost 60 photos to share with his class. 

We baked cupcakes for his class to decorate during his VIP time when we came into his class for a special activity.

His classmates seemed to enjoy decorating their cupcake and were very creative.  Here is a volcano cupcake.   Later the boys measured it and this cupcake was 4 inches tall.


Wednesday, March 7th:  We had a friend over and the two boys played a little basketball from the back of the truck in the barn.


Thursday, March 8th:  Breakfast in front of the fire.


Friday, March 9th:  I had my home visit with my midwives, Jane and Christie, this morning.  Many times during our visit Henry told stories of what is going to happen when “the next boy” comes.  During the last couple of days Henry keeps saying and insisting “the next boy.”

Jack finished this wardrobe for his sister.

 I think I have a new favorite photo of Henry…


Saturday, March 10th:  We met friends in Shawano for bowling, lunch, cake eating and kite flying.

Leftover frosting from Robbie’s VIP day provided the kids with some entertainment.

Charlie won this dragon kite last summer from the Scandinavia library’s reading program.  It is 45 feet long.


Sunday, March 11th:  The boys have earned a lot of money from reading.  I guess that money was burning a hole in their pocket.  Charlie bought these two lightsabers.  I included three photos of this crazy stuff because their facial expressions are so funny!

Project 365 Week 47

Project 365 Week 47

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

11/21/11 (Monday) –  I finally made something for myself.   This bag accidentally became a reversible bag.   I made a pocket for it from one of the embroidery designs on my sewing machine.  I liked the way the Baltic fabric looked and I didn’t want  to disturb that with a pocket on the outside.   I made the bag big enough to carry my quilt hoop and a quilt project.  I believe it is 22″ x  21″.

This bag was inspried by a design I saw in the book Sew Wild by Alisa Burke that I picked up from my library.

My pocket with a variegated purple thread.

While I was trying to figure out what fabric to use for the inside I realized that the pocket looked pretty on the plain cream fabric and together they would make a pretty bag.  That is how I got the idea for the reversible bag.

11/22/11 (Tuesday) –  Henry warming his baby’s fingers because they were cold.

I found a wonderful deal on Honey Crisp apples and had to buy 45 pounds of them ($19)!  This was a wonderful after school surprise for the big boys.

11/23/11 (Wednesday) – The boys’ Thanksgiving weekend started today.  Since Jack had to work we invited Aunt Susie to join us for lunch at the boys’ favorite place in Stevens Point.   There was cotton candy!


11/24/11 (Thursday) –  Remember the birthday party Charlie attended last weekend and I didn’t realize that it was a birthday party until he came home?  Charlie picked out this fabric for Mollie’s apron.

11/25/11 (Friday) –  We were fortunate to have three family Thanksgiving meals over the weekend.  The Vater family was our first meal and was the only one we got a group photo.

11/26/11 (Saturday) –  I spent the day at my mom’s house visiting, looking at her quilting projects, and eating leftovers.  Our last Thanksgiving meal was this evening with wonderful food and great company.  We drove one and a half hours home in order to sleep in our own bed.

11/27/11 (Sunday) –  Robbie and Henry helped me unload the straw that I bought last week.  Robbie dropped the bales onto the truck bed for Henry to push them off.  I stacked the bales perfectly, the way I like my bales stacked, without any interference!

My neighbor called to tell me they are going to take the corn to the feed mill on Monday.   So we unloaded some corn to buy from them to feed the chickens.  We figured out how many pounds of corn fit in our bucket, Robbie kept a tally of how many buckets we loaded, then we went into the house to add up our pounds of corn and figured out how much we have to pay.

Jack took photos of the boys this afternoon.

This isn’t a perfect picture of all three boys but it is my favorite one.


Project 365 Week 23

Project 365 Week 23

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

6/6/11 (Monday) – Charlie went fishing alone with Papa over the weekend.  I didn’t take any pictures today I thought I could cheat a little and include Jack’s photos.



6/7/11 (Tuesday) – Last day of school – After Robbie got off the bus we did our regular rounds of hugs, talked about his day and I went back to what I was working on.  I walked into the kitchen to find two boys standing next to each other in tears!  I asked them why they look so sad.  They both told me they were sad because school was finished.  I thought this was very sad and very sweet.  I want them to love school for as long as possible!  I was able to sneak the camera and take a shot of one sad boy.  I NEED to remember this sadness. Charlie ran away to hide when he saw me with the camera.


6/8/11 (Wednesday) – First day of summer vacation – we went to our favorite beach.


6/9/11 (Thursday) – Our second day of summer vacation – a friend came over to play.  No more sadness. 

Today, we also had our first accident and trip to the doctor’s office.  Charlie got pushed off a box in the barn and fell on his knees.  He punctured a hole into his leg (just below his knee) with something that was in the pile of hay.  I can only find a dried stick in the hay pile that could have done that.  No stitches!


6/10/11 (Friday) – Henry tries to be sneaky.  I know something is up when Henry is quiet and disappears to the living room.  I usually find him behind the chair eating some kind of candy that was left out.  Today, I found him on the chair pretending to be resting and hiding the item he was being sneaky about and looking very guilty.

He is smart and resourceful, notice the scissors he knew he needed to open the bag.

I was thankful for the cooler temps later in the week.  Because I needed to bake a cake for the anniversary party this weekend.

This is what happened when I tried to decorate a cake during the day when Henry was awake.  I left my cake on the counter while we all went outside.  I got distracted outside in the garden and Henry went into the house with the big boys.  The big boys came running outside, “Mom, come quick!  Henry did something horrible to your cake!”  Can you imagine what was going through my head?  I forgot that I left the cake uncovered and on the counter, silly me!  Thankfully, the damage was minor.

The 70th Wedding Anniversary cake!

6/11/11 (Saturday) – We went home for the weekend to visit our families and for the anniversary party. 

Highlights at Granny’s house…

4-wheeler ride to the other farm for chores, 

A walk to the pond for fishing, 

taking the row-boat to the island,

fishing from the island

and collecting pretty rocks on the walk back to the house.

 The treasures we found…

6/12/11 (Sunday) – We celebrated Jack’s grandparents 70th Wedding Anniversary.

They had four sons, seven grandchildren, and for now, they have six great-grandchildren.

Project 365 Week 16

Project 365 Week 16

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

4/18/11 (Monday) – We had a rough start this morning.  We were headed to a play group this morning in Waupaca and on the way home we had to buy some hay.  I needed to take the truck to bring home the hay.  I got the boys and all our stuff loaded and the truck’s battery was dead.

It turns out the battery wasn’t holding a charge, so when it was time to leave the play group I needed a jump and when the hay was loaded I needed a jump!  A little embarrassing!  It was an exciting adventure, since we were also running close to “Empty”.  I considered stopping to get gas while in Waupaca, but had enough embarrassment and decided to try to get home.  I had to decide what would be more embarrassing “asking for a jump at the gas station or running out of gas on the way home”.

 I was feeling lucky and we made it home!

4/19/11 (Tuesday) –  Off to school.


4/20/11 (Wednesday) – We skied today in our woods.


My garlic.

Robbie’s bike was left outside before the snow arrived.


4/21/11 (Thursday) – I pulled the milo stems out of the garden with Henry’s help.


4/22/11 (Friday) –  Spring break.  Coloring Easter eggs with friends.


4/23/11 (Saturday) –  Charlie showing Henry how to play with one finger.

4/24/11 (Sunday) – Henry’s quilt top is done.  Boarder is the Crazy Cut design.  I love this design I may be making some more Crazy Cut quilts in the near future!

Project 365 Week 14

Project 365 Week 14

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

4/4/11 (Monday) – It was a little chilly today.  We went to the barn to scope out the location for our slackline.  My ideas for the slackline require Jack to rig something up without damaging our barn beams.

For now, we have a rope swing which took some scary climbing on my part.  When it was all done and I was back on the floor, I decided that I don’t want to do any high slacklining.  I will leave that to my sister Becca and my cousin Libby(click here to see a story on Libby’s slacklining).  The beam I walked on was not wide enough!


4/5/11 (Tuesday) –  The beach is going to be fun this year with a two year-old!

  Maybe not!!!!


4/6/11 (Wednesday) – This is the start of a quilt I am making for Henry.


4/7/11 (Thursday)  – Happy Birthday, Henry!  We skied today, for the very last time!         I mean it this time!

If you haven’t seen a picture of Henry’s birthday cake Click here to see my post on A Two-Year Old’s Birthday  it is the cutest cake I have ever decorated for one of the cutest boys around! (Jack took this photo)


4/8/11 (Friday) –  Charlie loves to play with legos and is constantly creating something.  Charlie asked me to take a picture of these ships that he made so they can be on Facebook.  Instead I am putting them here and I think he will be pleased. 


4/9/11 (Saturday) – I was able to get some projects done today!  I turned these socks into leggings.  My model wasn’t too happy about modeling.


I finished stuffing and closing up these tooth fairy pillows


and made some progress on Henry’s quilt.


4/10/11 (Sunday) –  More progress on Henry’s quilt.

Henry playing hide-and-seek. Hiding in the changing table.


Project 365 Week 11

Project 365 Week 11

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

3/14/11 (Monday) –  Jack took many photos of each boy while the other boy was in piano lessons.  I was home sick.  I think he should take them every  week for photo shoots.  These are my favorite shots of two handsome boys.


3/15/11 (Tuesday) – Henry loves showers.  He took two showers today.


3/16/11 (Wednesday) –  Spring dancing  on the deck. 


3/17/11 (Thursday) – A leprechaun treat for each boy.

All winter this was Henry’s sign in baby sign language for “I’m done skiing.”  I think if he understood that today was our last day of skiing he would have skied longer than 15 minutes.  He was happy to have his skis off and to ride in my Ergo for a quick loop on the Green trail so I could say my final “good-bye” to the ski trails and

“good-bye” to my skis, until next winter!  Only 9 months away!


3/18/11 (Friday) –  No photo. Too busy packing and cleaning for our trip home.

3/19/11 (Saturday) – There is nothing more fun than a huge stack of hay and two wild boys in a haymow.


3/20/11 (Sunday) – No photo for today.    I’m glad to be home!

Project 365 Week 5

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

2/2/11 – (Wednesday) One of my weekly jobs is to throw hay down.   My supply of small square bales is low.  I am saving those for last, mainly because the small bales are stacked above my chicken coop and is great insulation.  I still have a good supply of the large round bales and so that is what I am feeding Vanilla (cow) and Mystique (horse).  This process is a lot more work, but a lot of fun for boys.

Once the hay is thrown down the hay shoot, the fun begins! 


2/3/11 – (Thursday) A necklace (made by my Aunt Anita) for me to wear while breastfeeding, it helps keep Henry’s busy hands occupied.


2/4/11 – (Friday) Tooth fairy pillows I made for my nephew

and for a friend.


2/5/11 – (Saturday) This is an unusal sight…Henry angry and crying! 

Henry rarely cries and never is angry.   His expression of anger or frustration is something I haven’t see before.   Today he was very hungry!  I often offer him food in hopes that he will eat something.  Apparently I didn’t offer him enough food today.  He climbed onto his chair and started crying and grunting and signing “eat”.


2/6/11 – (Sunday) Peace: a quiet house (and very clean), a cup of hot tea and good books to read.