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!

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Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

Another version of our family profile photo.  My favorite.

FamilyProfile5

Jack’s work shut down for the week of Thanksgiving.  So after the big hunting weekend he was able to be home and take his kayak out a few times.

Kayak w car

Kayak 1st time out

I love this picture of Henry so much I want a life-sized one in my house.

Kayak 1st time out w Henry

After the older boys were done with school we went back for a paddle with everyone.  It looks like we are having fun. I was not.  I was afraid we were going to tip.  I had a lot of fun paddling with one boy at a time.  The kayak is a very smooth and fast ride.  For now the only kayak paddles we have are kid sizes.  I can’t wait to see how fast we can go when I have an adult paddle.

Kayak w all four kids

A napping baby!  I will definitely miss these days,

Wrap Zara Velvet snoozing 1

We spent Thanksgiving with my mom and my siblings (minus my brother & his family).

Family Thanksgiving 2012

Our boys had some fun climbing Granny’s pine tree.

Granny's pine Robbie

Granny's pine Joey

Granny's pine Charlie

Nola Mae had fun climbing all over Granny’s counter.

Nola Mae Granny's counter

Jack and his brother took these boys to the Northwoods for hiking and a little hunting.

Northwoods Vater cousin

During Robbie’s time in the Northwoods with the Vater cousins he got a thorn stuck in his calf muscle.  It was sticking out a little.  It hurt him too much for us to pick at it.  He wanted to soak in the bath and get it out himself.  And he did and it was huge!

Northwood thorn in RW's leg

We were able to visit with both sets of Jack’s grandparents, but only took photos at Grandma Siggie’s.

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae's hands

Week 46 – November 12 – 18, 2012

Week 46 – November 12 – 18, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

I couldn’t find Henry in the house and the last time I heard him he was upstairs.  I expected to find him in my night stand playing with my reading light, or eating my vitamin C drops, playing in the boys’ room with the things he isn’t suppose to touch.  Instead I caught him reading on my bed.  He got some really big hugs and kisses from me after I was sneaky about taking this photo.

Reading caught Henry

I made two batches of soap last week, in order to have them ready for my Christmas gifts this year.  I used two different boxes and learned that the newest box seemed to work the best (an old drawer).  The soap on the left is my favorite soap.  It is similar to “Earth Child” a kind that I have seen on the internet.  The essential oils are Patchouli, Orange and Lemon and I add oatmeal for exfoliation.  The soap on the right has the essential oils Lavender and Lemon grass.  Everyone seems to love this kind!

soap nov 2012

Nola Mae enjoyed feeding herself some steamed broccoli.

Nola Mae broccoli

We got this adorable hat from my friend, Jan.  The little blue ribbon on the hat brings out her blue eyes.

Wrap Light Rainbow DW Jan's hat

Nola Mae is working on pulling herself up to a standing position.

Nola Mae balls of fabric

Henry’s turn to bring snack to preschool was coming up.  He of course wanted to help.  Here he was telling me he was ready before I was ready.   He got out the measuring spoons and the flour.Henry ready for baking We made a triple batch of banana bread and muffins.  I shared some loaves and put some in the freezer. banana bread & muffins

Jack took photos of each of us and put our profile shot in one photo.    I love it!  And soon this photo will be on our wall.

ProfileCollage

Jack took the two big boys home to his mom’s for deer hunting.  I love this smile!

Charlie tree stand

While they were gone hunting and every hunter I know on Facebook was posting dead deer photos I decided I needed to take a picture of my dead animals.  I butchered six aggressive, horny, and too much feed eating roosters.

horny rooster dead

Since the majority of Wisconsinites were dressed in blaze orange this weekend I decided to put Nola Mae in one of my favorite outfits.

my girl in orange

The kayak:

kayak gloss

was finished this week!

kayak tall

Week 45 – November 5 – 11, 2012

Week 45 – November 5 – 11, 2012

(Completed 1/13/2012)

There was snow in the forecast this week, which means that we have hurry up and get a load of firewood in to the house.

firewood boys

The kayak building project helped Jack realize that he isn’t going to fit up old vehicles for use on our farm.  I am happy to have him woodworking than working on old trucks.  So off to the junk yard they went!

Jack bought this truck in 1998, moved his belongings to Iola from Platteville when he graduated and we moved in together.  I have looked at this truck for many years!  I was kind of sad to see it go.

truck for junk Samson

The recyling man came back for the second truck that was taking up my space in the garage.  I was happy to see this one go.

truck for junk

I bought apples this fall, since our tree didn’t have any, the boys weren’t eating them fast enough so I made them into apple sauce.  I love my mehu maija because we get the extra apple juice that would normally be cooked down in the apple sauce making process.

Henry stealing a little juice.  Thankfully it was cold.

applesauce juice

Nola Mae on my back.  Because if I didn’t “babywear” I would never get anything done!

wrap Zara Velvet making applesauce

applesauce juice 2012

Henry played in our first snow a little bit before going to school.

first snow 2012

I was able to walk to the voting polls while Henry was in preschool.  (There really was more snow at home than in town)

ergo off to vote

Nola Mae was very warm under her fleece body suit because I dress her in many colorful layers.  This is good practice for when the real snow arrives.

Nola Mae stripes

One of the things I love most…is walking into a room and finding one of our boys reading.

Robbie reading on floor

Two boys in one night!

Charlie reading at table

I had fun making and eating some homemade bread.

homemade bread

The boys spent a good amount of time standing all the Lincoln logs up.  I reminded them that Nola Mae or Henry may crash them down.

Linclon log towers

That gave them the idea to do it on purpose with Nola Mae

Lincoln log towers push

The kayak this week:

kayak front

One more round of sanding.  I don’t have the patience for sanding.

kayak sanded

Week 44 – October 29 – November 4, 2012

    Week 44 – October 29 – November 4, 2012

(Completed on 1/13/2013)

I froze my tomatoes earlier and finally had time to do something with them.  My mom inspired me to make tomato soup.  Robbie (the super nose in our family) helped with the onions.  It was his idea to get my sunglasses.

robbie chopping onions

Tomato soup 2012

 Nola Mae is almost getting into a sitting position all by herself (almost 7 months old).  Notice those two bottom teeth!

Nola Mae almost sitting

Henry likes to sneak for goodies while I am busy, usually when I am breastfeeding Nola Mae, Jack caught him this time.

Henry sneaking

One of the views I have had out my kitchen window from July to November.  (I took this photo from the deck at night)

kayak garage window

The kayak this week:

kayak thwart

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 42 – October 15 – 21, 2012

   Week 42 – October 15 – 21, 2012

(Completed on 12-16-12)

I saved most of the pumpkin seeds from the birthday party to make pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds 2012

Nola Mae (6 months) has been sucking/chewing on our soft apples and loving them.

Nola Mae apple

Henry’s job is to refill my small coffee canister that is stored in the cupboard with my coffee cups.

Jobs Henry's coffee

Kayak photos…

kayak boys inside

Kayak inside

Jack left us for a few days to go pheasant hunting in North Dakota.  Helen came to stay with us.

Hanna dino puzzles

I have mentioned before about basketball being played in my kitchen.  I have never gotten a picture because it always happens when I am trying to cook.  Thanks to Helen she got a great action shot.

basketball in the kitchen

Henry seems to love playing the piano.  He gets a 5 minute lesson from Miss Inne after the boys are done with their lessons.

Piano Henry

Robbie built these Lego robots – his own idea/design.

Legos Robbie' robots

Nola Mae at 6 months old has started to move around faster than ever before.

Nola Mae crawling almost

We took Helen out to the fort in the woods.

wrap hike

Robbie was climbing and swinging on this wild grapevine.  A little scary for me to watch.

Robbie vine swing

Nola Mae eating peas for the first time.

Nola Mae peas

I found directions for a Jedi robe on-line – so easy!  I googled “How to make a Jedi Robe” and found an incredibly easy pattern!  Robbie’s request was that it be made out of fleece (really easy – no hemming needed).  I went to Hancock Fabric during their 50% off  sale.  All three boys wanted at Jedi Robe.  Charlie didn’t care that Jedi Robes are brown, he wanted a blue one.  They all helped me make the robes.

jedi robe measure 1

jedi robe measure 2

jedi robe cutting

We took Helen to Iverson Park.  She took many photos (195 photos to be exact).   It was difficult to choose what photos to share.

Iverson Park

Iverson Park leaves

Iverson Park nest

Muscles made with leaves.  This made me itchy just watching them fill their shirts.

Iverson Park leaf muscles

“Hunt until you drop!” is Shadow’s motto.

North Dakota hunt tired dog

Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

(completed on 12/14/12)

After school the boys would stop at the apple tree to eat.  Today I caught them using some teamwork to get their apples.

boys teamwork apples

Sometimes Henry wakes up when the boys are getting ready for school.  He fell back to sleep in his chair.

Henry sleeping

I trimmed our raspberries last winter so I wouldn’t have a crop to pick in June/July with a new baby.  I thought I would be ready for picking by the time the fall berries were ready.  It was hard for me to keep up.

raspberries

If you look closely you can see Nola Mae’s sad face.  She wasn’t happy with picking raspberries because I wasn’t moving around enough.   She squirmed around and tried to escape.  By the time I got to the house my wrap job had gone bad!

wrap gone bad

I was a little discouraged with my wrap so I dug out my Ergo this week.  It fits her perfectly!

Ergo

  I love to make applesauce.  I love feeding applesauce to our boys.  I love sharing it with friends and my nephew.  Our apple tree blossoms were damaged during a frost this year.  We had very few apples so I bought four bushels of apples from Country Corner Sales.

apples

Photos of our apples from last year:  Click here.

Photos of Henry helping me make applesauce last year.  Click here.

After my stop to pick up the apples I went to the Amish greenhouse, Sunset Acres, for squash and pumpkins.  Perry is a good salesman and talked me into a huge mum plant.  I bought it with my birthday money that I got from my mom.  If I didn’t have that money burning a hole in my pocket I never would have bought it.  I hope that I planted it soon enough that it will come back next year!  Thank you, Mom!

mums b-day

I follow The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  I found these Slice-and-Bake Cookies.

I made a few changes…instead of nuts I chopped up garbanzo beans and I made a double batch and put these in the freezer.  If I were to do this again I wouldn’t chop the M &Ms. We have been enjoying a small amount of cookies every once in a while for a treat.

cookie dough for freezer

Charlie and his friends on the curb waiting for the Homecoming parade to start.

homecoming parade 2012

Once in a while I get Mystique out and give the boys a ride.

zara velvet wrap w horse (2)

The progress on the kayak…

Kayak glue

Kayak glued

Week 38 – September 17 – 23, 2012

 Week 38 – September 17 – 23, 2012

 (completed on 12-11-12)

Charlie thinks it is cool that he can help Nola Mae walk.  I am not interested in rushing into the walking stage!

 Charlie & Nola Mae walking

Yucky sucker.

 charlie blue tongue

Last week was my birthday.  I purchased this brand new Girasol Light Rainbow Diamond Weave (LRDW) for a great price from overseas.

wrap light rainbow arrived

 In order to break a wrap in you can braid it, and

wrap light rainbow braid

wrap with them.

 wrap light rainbow hike

Henry is a great helper in the kitchen.   I have taught all our boys how to use a knife safely at an early age (compared to normal families).

Henry cutting potatoes

I love garlic.  I love to plant it.  I love to grow it.  I love to eat it.

My deadline for planting my garlic is around my birthday.  Well, that never happens.  The latest I have planted garlic was late October.  This year I am feeling pretty good about getting it in the ground on September 23rd!  I planted 260 cloves this year (a record high).

 garlic planting 2

Henry helped me pick all our tomatoes and clean up the garden.

 garden work Henry

Progress on the kayak.

kayak top 1

kayak top 3

kayak top 4

kayak top 5 glass

Week 37 – September 10 – 16, 2012

Week 37 – September 10 – 16, 2012

(Completed on 11/27/12)

Henry’s first day of pre-school.  He goes to school every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.   His smile does show his excitement because he has been waiting to go to school like the big boys for over a year!

Charlie reading to Robbie after school.

We had some dry days for my mullein to dry quickly.

 Reading on the deck.

  I peeled and froze my tomatoes until I could can them at a later date.  This is one of my favorite jobs.

 Entertainment in the parking lot while Papa went into the store.

We tested Nola Mae in my jogging stroller/bike trailer.  She is still too small.

Since I am behind in my blogging this is old news…the progress of the kayak as of mid-September the top of the kayak was started.

We had one last chance to go to our favorite place before the water started to get too cold for swimming.

(Charlie)

(Robbie)