September 2012 – Month 9

September 2012 – Month 9

Robbie found this cool stick (he is always finding cool sticks to swing around) at Iola Winter Sports Club on the day we were doing some trail clean up after a big storm.  It made him think of deer antlers.

robbie cool stick IWSC

Charlie made this wooden car in the workshop with Papa.

Nola Mae w Charlie's wooden car

I scored this Nordic Ware bundt pan at a rummage sale for $1.  We needed a reason to try it out, Susie’s birthday cake!

cake castle susie

And the boys decorated it.

cake castle susie decorated

Nola Mae has decided that she can go down the stairs forward.

Nola Mae stairs

She often gets comfortable in the upside down stool.  I wonder how long this will last.

stool nola mae

Something gross…someone opened a gogurt in my sewing room and it squirted on the wall.  I didn’t notice it until the yogurt was dried up and Nola Mae was scrapping it off and eating it.

yogurt on wall Nola Mae

The weekend of my birthday we met some of our family for a picnic, playing on the rocks and hiking at Eau Claire Dells.

Eau Claire Dells Boys log 2013

Eau Claire Dells Boys 2013

My beautiful sister, Becca.

Eau Claire Dells Becca  2013

We were here five years ago.  We took this photo inside this tree trunk (Henry was in my belly and Charlie and Henry were so little and so cute). 

Eau Claire Dells tree trunk 2008

 This year we did the same pose, notice the difference in the tree trunk.

Eau Claire Dells Family 2013

On my birthday (because I wanted to sleep in) I took the boys to school.  When I came home I notice one of the power lines in front of our house was down.   Thankfully it was a wire that was not “live”.  I called the electric company to tell them and secretly hoped my favorite linemen would show up.  I have a couple of favorites because I use to work there many years ago.  Did they know it was my birthday?  My two favorite guys showed up!

linemen Dick

linemen Alie

I went to my 25th class reunion and made the cake for the dinner.

cake 25th class reunion

My mom and Helen helped take care of the kids while Jack and I went to dinner and stayed late for visiting.  Robbie and Charlie slept over at Helen’s house.  We left Nola Mae and Henry at my mom’s at 4:30 and came home at 12:30.  This was the longest amount of time I have ever been away from Nola Mae.  She woke up looking for me just as we were coming down the road.

 We went to our favorite park, Keller Lake, as usual we had the park to ourselves!

keller lake Robbie

keller lake Charlie

keller lake Nola Mae slide

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

keller lake four kids

My Favorite pictures from this month:

Charlie & Nola Mae sad girl

Henry serious face

Mystique

Nola Mae Watermelon

Nola Mae

From my garden:

I didn’t get to braiding my garlic this year before it really dried out.  So the stems got chopped and I put a notice on Facebook that I had garlic for sale and 11.5 pounds sold within six hours.  Thank you to all my friends, enjoy!

garlic 2013

September 7th I picked my first batch of tomatoes, two of these boxes came from Susie’s garden.  I have already canned 21 quarts of tomato paste and have a gallon bag of dried tomatoes.

tomatoes first picking 2013

By September 12th my raspberries were ripening like crazy and still going strong at the end of the month.   I have about two gallon sized bags in the freezer, so far.

garden raspberries 2013

The mullein has gone crazy in my garden where the garlic was this year.  I am thinking I will be planting the garlic for next year around these plants because there is no way I am tilling them up!

garden mullein 2013

On September 20th we picked all our Honey Crisp apples.  I wanted them to stay on the trees a little longer but with every windy day many would fall off the tree.  Our other tree is still loaded and I will be  picking those later in October to make applesauce.

apples Honey Crisp 2013

Sunflowers

garden sunflowers

garden sunflower autumn mix

We have seen this little frog on the house, on our window and on the door at night.  I found him in my Autumn Joy Sedum during the day.

Garden sedum frog

We have let the chickens roam the yard this fall, Henry took this photo.

chicken barred rock

Climbing the rocks in my flower garden.

garden rocks Henry and Nola Mae

Charlie is a great big brother and very helpful, he loves to wear Nola Mae.

wrap DIY Charlie & Nola Mae

I got out my baby wearing vest for one of our hikes.  It was chilly but not chilly enough for me.  It was perfect for keeping Nola Mae warm.

wrap Mei Tai w vest sept walk

My friend Sara and I with our matching Zara Velvet wraps.

wrap two Zara Velvets w Sara

I washed my light rainbow wrap, it looked so pretty on the line I had to take a photo.

wrap light rainbow diamond weave clothes line

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May 2013 – Month 5

May 2013 – Month 5

We have been canoeing in the bowl at the ski hill for the past four years (I think).  Click here for better photos from April 12, 2011.  This year was the latest date, May 1st, we have ever paddled and March 16, 2012 was the earliest.

canoe in the bowl boys

canoe in the bowl

Jack took a video of Henry being cute pushing Nola Mae around on the upside down kitchen stool.  While doing that he captured some crazy stuff.  He put this movie together and titled it FourKidChaos:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhjH403j_j4

I was putting Nola Mae down for a nap and I found Henry getting the boys’ after school snack ready.  Henry is always so thoughtful and helpful.

Henry & fruit

Nola Mae has figured out how to climb on top of the piano to play music with her feet.  I am not sure if this link will work from Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4867423086535&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

Nola Mae musical feet

Grandma Helen came to visit us.  We had a busy weekend with activities around our house and farm.  Nola Mae watching a kickball game in the front yard.

Nola Mae bench

henry kick ball

This is the tree that fell down or we cut down the week Nola Mae was born.   That year on Saturday of Easter weekend we spent the morning making firewood.  I went into labor that night and had Nola Mae in the morning.  I will always remember this spot and refer to it as Nola Mae’s firewood.

family in the woods

Forging

Jack & Nola Mae

barn basketball CB

barn basketball RW

At some point during basketball Robbie found a soft spot in the floor.  Jack decided it was time to replace that part of the floor.  He put the boys to work and had this done before the end of the weekend. 

barn floor repair sweep

barn floor repair boys hammer

We got these stilts from Jack’s Aunt Corky.  Charlie was the one that was interested in them when Jack showed them how to use them.  I was surprised because he seems easily discouraged when trying new things.  Now that I think more about this…He wasn’t discouraged because Robbie wasn’t trying them and if Robbie did and was good at it Charlie would have quit.  (Something we have to be thoughtful of all the time!)  Charlie practiced every day for many days and is able to take many steps.

stilts Charlie

A couple of years ago we had to replace the south stone wall of our barn.  In order to minimize our cost with this repair we had the workers move the rock just outside the barn door into the pasture.  I didn’t think through this when it was happening.  This huge rock and dirt pile blocks my path to the north pasture and my access to the north side of the basement of the barn.  Plus it is an eye sore to me.  Last year, when I had a new baby, I wanted to work on moving the rocks.    It never happened!  So this spring, my plan was to move a bucket load a day.  It worked for about two weeks and the progress was slow.  I will get this path opened by the end of summer!

rock pile clean up

I started running this month and decided I needed to buy new shoes, more pink than I like, but they were the best for comfort and price!

new shoes

Once the snow melted and skiing was done I would walk/run around town for an hour, while Henry was in preschool, pushing Nola Mae in a single child jogging stroller.  My first run from home – pushing two kids loaded with water, snacks & a tablet (I didn’t want to have a restless Henry) in my bike trailer/stroller.  This load is a lot harder to push compared to pulling them in the ski sled while skiing!  It took me many runs to realize that I am out of shape but not terribly out of shape, I am just pushing a big load.  My 4.5 mile loop that I do from home was taking me 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.  One weekend morning I went for a run, all by myself, and ran that loop in 50 minutes.

stroller 1st ride

Nola Mae napped in the stroller during my run.  This photo is from later in the afternoon when my neighbor came over.  She helped load up some rocks into my tractor bucket and watched Henry and Nola Mae while I delivered the rocks to her yard for her landscaping project.

stroller 1st ride nap

Our sweet Nola Mae loves the phone.  The same day we went for our first run, loaded and delivered rocks, I was working in the kitchen and I needed Nola Mae to be happy for just a little bit longer.  I gave her the phone to play with.  That was the last time I thought I saw phone for three days!  I back tracked all my steps that day and all the places I was outside and in the house.  I could not find the phone.   I had Henry push the “find” button once I was in the garden, garage and barn.   For three days I cleaned under furniture, cleaned closets and cleaned the mud room, sort of cleaned the toy room, and walked all over the yard looking for that darn phone.  While I was walking around the yard I was reminded that I lost our phone last year, forever!   I thought maybe I would find that phone instead of the current lost one.  I will laugh so hard and probably pee my pants when I am 60 years old and working outside in the yard and I find a phone!

Since I was on a cleaning spree and the temps were dropping outside I decided I should clean out the ashes in the wood stove and wash the door window before I started a fire.  I laughed pretty hard (didn’t pee my pants) when I opened the stove door and found the phone!

missing phone

Iola has a city-wide rummage sale every year on the weekend of Mother’s day.  Last year I missed out because I was really sick.  This year, Henry and I hit a few jack-pots!  I had to take a photo of our goodies from just one sale.  All this for around $50.  (bike $5, lawn mower $20, two plug in heaters for chicken waters $10, buckets $1 each, pretty denim fabric $3 for 5 yards, swimming stuff $2, buttons $2 and glass wares $6)

rummage sale jack pot

Charlie bought this chess, checkers, backgammon, domino set from his teacher’s rummage sale for $1.  For as much as he loves to play chess this was his jack-pot!  I think that boy now owns three chess boards.

rummage sale Charlie's chess

Charlie has not been wanting to sleep in his bed lately.  So he will fall asleep in the door way of his room or on the couch while watching a movie.

Charlie sleeping floor  Charlie sleeping tie

I haven’t had a flat tire in a long time.  I got this one on my way to the ski hill to help my friend prepare for a bike race  IWSC was hosting.  I was thankful my Mom and Step-Dad made me take off and put back on all four tires on our family car before I could drive it.  A good reminder to do that with our kids.

flat tire

I discovered Nola Mae likes mud puddles.

Nola Mae puddle

Henry finished preschool and will go to 4K in the fall.  His preschool was two days/week for 2.5 hours each day.  4K will be two full days/week and he will ride the bus.  He loved school, enjoyed playing with most of the kids, loved his teachers and rarely gave me kisses good-bye.  I was reminded every school day that he is independent, very confident and my 3rd child when he would tell me, “Mama, just drop me off at the sidewalk. You don’t have to walk me in.”

Henry's preschool

When the older boys went to preschool this is what I remember:  Robbie didn’t want me to leave him, I always left quickly, he didn’t cry but was sad, and always gave me the biggest hugs and five kisses (that was the number of kisses he picked for our good-bye routine).   Charlie cried when Robbie went to school.  Charlie always gave me a quick kiss and hug when I dropped him off at preschool.

This soccer season was over so quickly.  And was a lot of fun for me to watch them play.

soccer team Charlie

Charlie is also in Robbie’s team photo because a few times Robbie’s team was short players.

soccer team Robbie

Nola Mae soccer ball

My dream of having a track star to cheer on may come true.  Robbie is showing signs of being a strong runner and he sure is a speedy boy.  Nola Mae loves running on the track.

Nola Mae Track

Jack took this photo.  I love it because Henry looks so peaceful and angelic.  I also find this photo to be funny because it looks like aliens are sucking his brain while he is rotting his brain while playing on the tablet. 

Henry tablet sunshine

Jack took all three boys for a camping trip with his brother’s family.  Our boys adore their older cousins.  I love these two pictures because you can see their happiness.

camping gravel pit CB & Erik

camping gravel pit RW & Michael

I met Jack and the boys at the nursing home to visit the Vater grandparents.  I spent a little bit of time outside with Nola Mae taking these pictures.  I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best so I had to include my four favorites.

Nola Mae outside 1  Nola Mae outside 2

Nola Mae outside 3 Nola Mae outside

Henry discovered these morels in my flower beds and strawberry patch.  This is about a quarter of what we picked and I ate.

mushrooms

Robbie brought this note home.  I was shocked only because he never gets in trouble at school!  I was not surprised because this is the kind of stuff he would do at home!

bad behavior art.IMG

Nola Mae rarely lets me feed her anything with a spoon.  She has to pick up her food with her fingers by herself!  Recently, I tried to give her some of my homemade applesauce but she has refused it because I was serving it to her on a spoon.  I had applesauce on the table for everyone, she grabbed Robbie’s bowl and started eating it and loved it!  She made a horrible mess.  And now eats it off a spoon from me.

applesauce Nola Mae

We have been getting some good rains this month.  Our rain gauge is broken so I never know how much.  The boys played outside in the last rain we got.

rain robbie

rain henry

rain charlies

Baby wearing photos:

Mother’s Day hike at Keller Lake, wearing Nola Mae in my Ergo.

mother's day w kids

Hiking in our woods, wearing my Zara Velvet wrap.

zara velvet wap I carry because I care

zara velvet wrap holding hands with Charlie

Mother’s Day 2012

This year’s Mother’s Day was the best so far. I think I say this every year.

I slept in and needed to because I was recovering from the flu that started early Friday morning and lasted into the night on Saturday. Nothing like having two days wasted that you can’t get back. I shouldn’t complain too much about this because I just learned that a friend has been recovering from pneumonia and after 5 weeks she was able to go for her daily run on Mother’s day for the first time.  Nola Mae is five weeks old already!  Some days it feels like just yesterday she was born and some days it seems much longer.

When I finally woke up I found a very clean house, pancakes, eggs and bacon for breakfast. Jack and the boys did all the cooking and cleaning for the whole day.

Henry helped me plant three rows of onions. Robbie told me stories of inventions he wants to make and plans he has with his cousin Michael. Charlie had wonderful manners and behavior, he pointed out to me in the afternoon that he hasn’t been sent to his room all day long.

At school Charlie wrote this:

And Robbie wrote this:

In the afternoon we went to Keller Lake, one of my favorite spots. Usually we have this entire park all to ourselves. There were at least 20 other people there. I guess this park really isn’t our little secret.

The boys climbed on these rocks, watched the fish and tried to catch them with their hands.

I look at this picture and I am still having a hard time believing that I am a Mama to four children.  Could I still be dreaming?