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

How does your garden grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

How does your garden grow?

If we compared our garden to last year’s garden (with a new baby in our family) this year’s garden is awesome!  Last year’s garden I had no expectations, whatever got planted, harvested and eaten was a bonus.

This year I expected a huge garlic crop, lots of sweet corn, lots of broccoli and a small amount of tomatoes. Our planting was a little late due to the long cold spring we had.  I had great helpers this year, mainly Henry.  We were rushed at times and had many interruptions because of Nola Mae needing a nap or taking a nap or her wandering around in the garden going under or over the roped off rows and pulling out what we planted.

First the not so awesome stuff…

Two 10 foot rows of sweet corn, with tassels when it is as tall as Henry.  I had 3 1/2 other rows of corn planted and those seeds didn’t grow.

Corn 2013

Behind Henry are pumpkin plants gone wild!  I didn’t want pumpkins, we didn’t really have room for them and I didn’t want to weed them.  Henry added a few seeds to a little rotting manure pile that I had in the garden that I was slowly tilling in.

pumpkin plants 2013

Too many huge tomato plants.  I only wanted four plants.  Jack wanted one plant at work, but needed to buy a 4 pack.  I went to a green house and they had some discounted plants so I bought another 4 pack.

Tomatoes plants 2013

We have a pine snake in my flower beds under the apple trees.   That means I am not weeding!   My flower beds aren’t so awesome!  I know there is one in there, maybe even multiple snakes.   The weeds are horrible!  Snakes are yucky!  Snake story:  Last week when we were playing kickball, Robbie kicked the ball right in the flowers/weeds.  I took a deep breath and said to myself, “What are the chances that darn snake is right where the ball landed?  Just pick it up!”  I put one foot on the edge of the weeds and the other foot on a big rock.  As I was reaching down to grab the ball, then a snake slithered out from underneath the ball!  That is when I decided I am mowing the weeds and flowers down when it is time to pick apples.

Front garden weeds under apples 2013

The awesome stuff…

The first sunflower to bloom is a volunteer seed from last year’s sunflowers.

Sunflower 1st bloom 2013

Awesome broccoli!

I have 12 plants!  The chickens got out a few times in the early spring and ate the leaves off two of them.  Those plants are making a come back.

broccoli 2013

Our apple trees are loaded!

apple trees 2013

Our raspberry patch is awesome!  I am hoping for a very late frost so that we can get the second batch of raspberries this fall.

Raspberry patch 2013

Our blueberry patch is awesome!

blueberry patch 2013

My phlox free garden is doing well.  I have my own comfrey plant, so I can dry my own leaves for my healing balm.

Front garden 2013

My friend, Kat, introduced me to mullein when I was pregnant with Henry.  My midwives reminded me of mullein when I was pregnant with Nola Mae.  I decided this year we were going to get serious about drying some mullein.  My sweet husband has been mowing around my mullein all around our property this summer.  Thanks to Henry riding on the tractor with Papa, pointing out all of “Mama’s Mullein” and insisting on Papa mowing around it.  This week we picked leaves from three plants.  They are drying nicely in my living room!

Mullein drying

July is the month for harvesting garlic.  This year was great for growing garlic.  I haven’t found my notes from last year to know how many cloves I actually planted.  I have about 260 bulbs of garlic.  I am almost done harvesting with about 60 more to dig up.

Nola Mae woke up from her nap and Charlie brought her out to the garden to me.  It was time to stop digging!  I don’t need her kind of help this year.

garlic harvest 2013

My second digging.

Garlic harvest 2013 2nd time

Most of the garlic is drying in the garage, this is 191 bulbs so far.

Garlic harvest drying

How is your garden this year?  What is your favorite thing to grow?

Week 41 – October 8 – 14, 2012

Week 41 – October 8 – 14, 2012

(Completed on 12/16/12)

We went to The Paine Art Center for the Ansel Adams’ exhibit.  In the children’s area the activity was to make a Frankenstein head.  They had the blank green heads already made out of milk jugs.

frankenstein heads

Here is one last photo of “yours mullein” with the leaves harvested.  I needed to explain to Henry that I don’t want it cut down because I want the seeds to fall on the ground and plant more mullein.  I was able to redirect his attention to job we were in the garden for…cutting broccoli.

mullein w Henry

My awesome broccoli that wouldn’t stop growing!

Broccoli 2012

tomatoes & broccoli

My light rainbow wrap with a fancy twist.

wrap light rainbow twist

I made pumpkin cheesecake for my book club meeting.  Because I hosted I got to pick the book for us to read and discuss – Her Mother’s Hope.

cheesecake pumpkin

Charlie reading to Nola Mae!  Melts my heart!

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

Henry’s preschool went to a local pumpkin patch for a field trip.

field trip Henry's class

field trip Henry

field trip Henry rides

We got our first egg from the hens that we hatched this spring at home and with Charlie’s kindergarten class.

first egg our hatch

On Robbie’s birthday weekend we had his friends over and also a couple of Charlie’s for a combined b-day party.  This is the cake Robbie designed after for the Elemental Warrior stuff he plays.

Cake RW 9th b-day

This is the second year in a row we carved pumpkins.

B-day party combined pumpkins

Jack helped all the boys make a step stool.  It was a huge hit.

B-day combined stools

B-day combined group

Thankfully we have photos of when Robbie was a baby because I would have told you that he had no hair when he was a baby!  Happy Birthday, Robbie!

RW baby

Week 35 – August 27 – September 2, 2012

Week 35 – August 27 – September 2, 2012

(Completed on 10/6/12)

Nola Mae found her toes.

And loves them!

This week we went to Sunset Lake one last time before school started.  “It was so boring!” according to Charlie.  I thought it was a beautiful day!  The boys hardly swam and we stayed half the normal amount of time.

We made two cakes this week:

I was inspired by the bakery at the new Copps in Stevens Point.  I made this for the Rotary dinner meeting.

We met friends over Labor Day weekend and took dessert to share with them.  Robbie wanted to be the cake decorator this time.  This cake was inspired by the Ninjago Elemental Warriors:

Charlie has wanted to make a sparkling bottle for a long time.  I was feeling a little guilty for wishing for school to start and not doing many fun project this summer with the boys so I agreed to letting him making this.   I think they turned out pretty cool.

I tried to get Henry to stand in the sun for a picture so we could see how the bottles sparkled.  He was not interested.

I was in the shade taking photos of Nola Mae in her baptismal gown that I made:

Then Henry got a great idea to give me a heart attack.  This reminded me of the post I wrote called Heart-Attack-Henry!

Charlie loves Nola Mae!  He kisses her, holds her, carries her around and tries to get her to do tricks.  Here he thought it was cool that he could get her to stand up without holding her.

This is what my bed looked like when I crawled out one morning:

Nola Mae can fall asleep on her own (sometimes) and sleep through just about anything.  We were setting up bunk beds in the boys’ room.  In the process the futon mattress and a twin mattress were at the bottom of the stairs.  The big boys were sliding down the stairs on the twin mattress, having a blast, and Nola Mae was waiting for me here on the futon mattress where she fell asleep.

We got out the cozy coop car.  Charlie helped Nola Mae get her first ride.

Jack took these photos of Nola Mae.  I have a few favorites. I couldn’t pick just one!

Photos of the garden:

The raspberries are ripening and need picking almost every day.

My morning glories seem to be at their best.

This sunflower was a volunteer from last year.  I love the puffy look.

“Yours mullein” is still growing.

Jack’s progress on the kayak:

Robbie always has huge ideas.  I am a visual person and have taught him to draw his plans/ideas out for his inventions.  He took his paper and ideas out to the garage to be closer to Jack.  Robbie is working on plans for a Staff.  The original plan was some kind of electric, fire throwing, wind generating sword for the Vater Cousin Christmas Exchange.

Measuring his drawing.

We went to the Big Falls Corn Roast.  Charlie was happy to have corn on the cob.  The last of the season and definitely not as yummy as Granny’s corn.

When we got home from Big Falls we took some silly photos: