Our Last: 4-year-old Henry

Our Last:   4-year-old Henry

Today is Henry’s last day being four years old.  He is the funniest and cutest four-year old I know.  I love four-year olds!

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Have you ever read the series of books by Louise Bates Ames, PH.D., & Frances LIlg, M.D., from Gesell Institute of Human Development?  I own the set of ten books (Your One-Year-Old to Your Ten-to Fourteen-Year-Old) and recommend them to every parent.  There is always a “rough” or “frustrating” time with every age of child.  These books have helped me to understand my child at the age they are, helped me to appreciate all the things I love about them, helped with ideas of how to handle situations and reminded me that this “rough” time will be over soon.

In the book Your Four-Year-Old  Wild and Wonderful one paragraph in the book says this:

“For the most part, we have found the boy or girl of this age to be joyous, exuberant, energetic, ridiculous, untrammeled-ready for anything.  What a change he offers as compared to his more difficult, demanding, Three-and-a-half-year-old, just-earlier self!  If at times he seems somewhat voluble, boastful, and bossy, it is because it is so exciting for him to enter the fresh field of self-expression that open up at this wonderful age.”

henry kick ball

Another one of my favorite paragraphs:

“The child of Four loves language.  He loves to talk, to rhyme, to whisper, to sing.  Or even to shout.  He is his own self-appointed commentator and often his own audience.  He loves words, likes to try them out, likes to play with them.  He likes new and different words.”

There are many things in this book that apply and don’t apply to Henry because every Four-year-old is different.  The authors do a fabulous job describing many characteristics and behaviors you would find in any four-year-old child. 

Now, let’s talk about my sweet four-year-old Henry, so I never forget what a fun four-year-old he was.

 

Henry is a great helper! 

Jobs Henry's coffee

 Henry can put away the silverware from the dishwasher, set the table, sweep, mop, fold and put away his own clothes, feed the dogs, collect chicken eggs, vacuum, get the mail, bring in firewood, load the washer, make a bed, make his own toast/bagel, flip a pancake, follow directions while baking/cooking with me, reach in any of the high places where I hide our candy treats, get himself dressed, answer the phone better than some kids twice his age, play independently for long periods of time, and do many jobs in the garden with me.

We were getting ready to make a smoothie.  He disappeared and came back with hearing protection.

Henry hearing protection blender  Henry hearing protection

And always ready to help as batman with rotten teeth.

Henry batman rotten teeth

 

This day he started helping me get the boys’ after school snack ready, before I was ready, by cutting the strawberries.

Henry & fruit

Often I will say, “I’m going to change Nola Mae’s diaper, then I will be ready to go outside to feed the dogs.”  A minute later, I hear Henry leave the house.  When I look outside he is feeding the dogs!

One day, Nola Mae was carrying around a glass (with water in it) a glass that Jack uses for his “Papa drink” (bourbon and coke) and said, “Nola Mae, you can’t drink that it has coffinee in it!”

Another day:

Me:  Java’s back from our walk.  (Because she wondered off and didn’t come home with us).

Henry: I’ll go put her away.

Me:  No, I’ll do it.

Henry:  I have shoes on, you stay in!

 

I am always entertained and impressed with the things that he tells me or the things that he does.

Henry has taken a small amount of piano lessons (5-10 minutes, once a week) for about 6 months and had his first recital in December 2013, although his song was not recognizable he still amazed me by going on the stage to perform and is very excited about practicing his piano, almost every day!

Piano Henry & Robbie

Last summer we had not one single bluebird nesting on our property, usually we have at least six out of ten bluebird houses full.  While we were out for a run, Henry and I saw a bluebird.  Henry said, “Maybe I could sneak up on her and whisper ‘come live at our house!'”

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Often he draws pictures of me with one of my babies in my belly and goes on to tell me what order they all came out explaining, “Robbie is the biggest, Charlie is bigger and I am bigger than Nola Mae.”

   henry drawing w baby in belly

 henry drawing of mama

Henry copied Robbie’s melted crayon artwork by taping his crayons to the paper after he made the marks, very clever!

Melted crayons art

 

 

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“Chocolate Treating”  instead of “Trick-or-Treating”

I love the way his mind works.

We rent our field to a neighbor who bales large bales wrapped in white plastic.  First thing Henry said one morning, “Yep, Mr. Ernst put marshmallows in the field last night.  BIG MARSHMALLOWS!”

hay marshmallows

One time he came to me…

Henry:  Does my face look sad?

Me:  Yes.

Henry: I can’t get the sadness off.  (Rubbing his eyes)  Now do I look happy?

Me:  Yes.

Henry:  I can’t make it happier.

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One of the many times I found evidence that someone was snacking on a sugary treat, I found a chocolate chip bag in the garbage.

Me:  What is this?  What about eating healthy stuff?

Henry:  I don’t have room in my tummy for stuff!  Like oranges, apples and pears.  Just yummy stuff!”

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“I love my blanket because it catches my blueberries and doesn’t make foot prints.”

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“I wish we had a more better potty.  Like a potty dryer next to Papa’s bathroom drawer.  So it sucks up the potties.”

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When we are in the car he talks non-stop and many times I wish I had the video camera mounted on the dash.  I just might do that one of these days.

One day he told me while we were driving he noticed a car going faster than us.  And said, “they better slow down because they may get policed for driving too fast!”

Another time in the car we had this conversation…

Henry:  There is a stinky girl on the bus.

Me: Is she a pretty stinky or a yucky stinky? (holding my breath because I was afraid he told her this fact, that she is stinky)

Henry:  A pretty stinky.  When mamas go dancing with papas, they smell stinky like that.

 Side note:  I don’t wear perfume and sadly, Jack and I don’t go dancing.

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This winter when it was too cold for the dogs to be outside in the kennel they stayed in the mudroom.  Henry went in there and told the dogs, “No eating Nola Mae because she is my sister.  NO HURTING HER!”

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“It is a good thing I have boogers, so I don’t smell anything when you toot.”

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Henry’s teacher told me that during “share time” the question was “what did you do this weekend?” Some kids said stuff like “went swimming”, “played outside”, “went to my grandma’s”, Henry said, “I peed on the couch.”

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About our wedding photo…  Henry:  Why do you have a big one and a little picture like this?  Me:  Because it is my favorite.  Henry:   It’s my favorite too because papa looks different.

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I have saved funny Henry stories forever (in emails and on scraps of paper)  and now seems like the time to put them all in one place…

Henry was playing outside, came running into the house to ask if he could go to Marlene’s because “I know she is home. I hear her in her yard.”   I said yes and reminded him to ask her if she has time to visit when he gets there.  A few minutes later he came back because Marlene wasn’t home.   I asked, “What did you hear then?”   His response, “I think it was just my echo.  I even knocked on two doors.  Or maybe she was sleeping.”

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A few weeks after Nola Mae was born…

Henry:  Do all babies have blood on thems head?

Me:  After they are born, yes.

Henry:  Why was Papa holding my shoulders , so I don’t fall in?

Me: Fall in what?

Henry:  In the bucket.  He was holding me close to him so I didn’t fall in!

Side note:  Henry was in the room when Nola Mae was born.  He retold the story to Korina and Christie (two of our three midwives) and me a couple of hours later.  I wish I had that conversation recorded or written down.  His recount of the birth was amazing for a 3-year-old.  I only remember bits and pieces.  And one of my memories is that the bucket was a key object in the birth.  He told us that Christie didn’t let the baby fall in the bucket, but he thought the baby was going to fall in the bucket.  I have this picture from our birth photographer, Brianna.  This is as close to “holding me close” that I could find in our photos. 

Nola Mae's birth blog

B Pure Photography

 

 Henry retold the story of Nola Mae’s birth to Robbie and Charlie when they woke up to meet our new baby.  Another moment, where he was so darn cute and said some cute things that I will never remember.

Nola Mae's birth boys blog

B Pure Photography

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“Oh Mom!  Nola Mae is done nukking. Her mouth is off a nuker. Now put her in your room!”

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“Nola Mae woke up from a nap crying…Henry:  Nuk her!  Or I will nuk all the milk!”

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3-year-old-Henry was getting tired and crabby while shopping today and asked to “Nuk here!” and went to a bench to sit down. I explained that we could nuk at home because we are almost done. Surprisingly, in his frustrated and tired emotions he said to me “for privacy?” I am sad to say “yes.”  I didn’t have the courage/energy today to do it in public today.

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“You should put some hair on Nola Mae.”

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Nola Mae was chewing on the end of my braid…Henry:  Oh NO! She is eating your tail!

 

Henry’s first “selfie” that he took.

Henry first selfie

 

Please feel free to share any funny stories about Henry in the comments.

I am looking forward to falling in love with our 5-year-old-Henry.

 

Books:

Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful http://www.amazon.com/Your-Four-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506751/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396734050&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+four+year+old

Your Five-Year-Old: Sunny and Serenehttp://www.amazon.com/Your-Five-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396733952&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+five+year+old

 

 

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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

February 2013 – Month 2

February 2013 – Month 2

In late January the boys had a two-hour delay for school due to bad weather and then a snow day.

The morning of the two-hour delay caused some craziness.  Every morning if Nola Mae and Henry are still sleeping when it is time to go out to the end of the driveway I walk out there with the boys.  I take care of the dogs.  This morning I turned on the water to fill the horse’s water tank.

I didn’t know there was a two-hour delay until we were outside waiting for the bus by 6:30 and we were waiting for about 10 minutes.  I saw the county bus go by very slowly, usually this bus is going pretty fast.  I realized then that maybe the wasn’t any school because the roads were probably too bad.  I went into the house to check the school’s website.  In all this craziness I forgot about the running water in the barn.  The nice thing about our old barn and the placement of my water tank is when it overflows most of the water goes to the stairs.

flooded barn

After the two big boys were off to school I scooped the water out with the 5 gallon bucket and the grain shovel.  If I didn’t wear my baby I am not sure when or how I would have gotten this cleaned up.  I was concerned about it freezing and needed it to get cleaned up right away!

flooded barn clean up

flooded barn clean

When we had a snow day I was thinking ahead so we made Valentine cards for school.  I refuse to buy the crap that is in the stores.  I cut hearts of all sizes and all three boys glued and colored whatever they wanted, signed their name and we taped a small package of Smarties or a sucker on each card. Thanks to Granny we had a good supply of Smarties!  Henry signed all of his with one big “H”, up until this time I didn’t know he could write an H.  He saw the boys writing their names and he told me he could do his.

Valentine making

The innocent playing on the kitchen stool has turned dangerous.  Remember last month’s cute photos?  Now, I put the stool away and only bring it out when we need it.

stool Nola Mae 1  stool Nola Mae2

Henry’s preschool does a cake raffle at four high school basketball games as a fundraiser.  These are two of the three cakes I made.  The preschool raised a total of over $400.

Basketball cake   cake heart cake

Henry has watched us play Battle Ship.  On this day he was set on filling every spot and not interested in getting up until he was done.

Henry battleship

I heard the piano keys being played.  I stopped what I was doing in the kitchen to tell Henry how beautiful and gentle his fingers were playing and found Nola Mae standing at the piano.

piano Nola Mae reaching

Henry thinks she needs to sit down to play and put her on a chair.  Nola Mae likes it.

Piano Nola Mae

My friend, Asherrie’s mom made this little hair hat for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae w hair

During some cold temps this month we were unable to start the tractor to bring firewood into the house.  Robbie and I brought this load of wood into the house.

Robbie firewood load

We have had excellent skiing this month.

A snowy day made it a lot more work to ski and pull the sled.  It is a good thing Nola Mae sleeps the whole time because on this day she wouldn’t have been able to see out of the sled.

ski sled w snow

Henry’s skiing skills improved drastically in a week’s time.  He went from me skiing next to him while going down hill, and skiing behind him doing the “duck walk” up the hill to him climbing up hills and zooming down hills all by himself.  He has also gotten stronger during the month of February.  We always went on the green loop.  By the end of this month we going out on the blue loop.  One day he skied for over 1.5 miles.  And another day he skied the entire blue loop (distance?) in 1 hour 45 minutes.

skiing Henry down

I had a few days where Henry would ski as far as he could and when he would get tired I put him in the sled with Nola Mae.  They would both fall asleep within 10 minutes and I could ski as long as I was able to.  On this day I didn’t bring any water with me and had to go back after 1.5 hours.  They could have napped longer and I could have skied longer!

Skiing sled b&w

Aunt Becca came to ski with us during one of our Saturday morning lessons.  The youth ski group skied to the shelter on the green trail for hot dogs, hot chocolate and the reading of  the book called The Race of the Birkebeiners.

skis at shelter

skiing w Becca

Skiing w Becca 1

Three of my sisters met at my house for skiing and visiting.  While they were here it was too beautiful to be inside.  I got the boys out to try to do some sledding.  Kayla and Skyler came outside to play with us and they had an idea to make a snow fort.

Kayla & Nola Mae  Henry and Skylar

Snow fort building

The snow fort started to lean when the temps warmed up.  Notice the leaning sides of the fort.

Snow fort melt down 1

snow fort meltdown 3

The day before it fell to the ground.

snow fort meltdown 5

During this same weekend the youth ski group skied our re-enactment of The Race of the Birkebeiners where the kids brought their babies or stuffed animals and carried them on a special trail that I had groomed for them.

Birkie ski

I had someone interested in buying my Ellaroo wrap.  This was my first wrap.  I haven’t been using it very often so I considered parting with it.  We wrapped with it and I decided I couldn’t sell it just yet.

Ellaroo Ysabel wrap smiles

Nola Mae doing “The Big C” and still staying in the wrap!

Ellaroo Ysabel wrap back arch

I made this ring sling for myself after finding out that I like the ease of getting Nola Mae in and out when going places.

Ring Sling DIY Plum

I got this wrap hammock idea from my friend, Brianna, the one who got me into wrapping.  She has made forts, swings and hammocks with her wraps.  Charlie’s friend rode the bus after school to work on her science project with Mystique (Click here to see her mom’s blog post).

Wrap hammock G

Charlie and Robbie took turns sleeping in the hammock.

Wrap hammock sleeping Charlie

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

Project 365 Week 49

Project 365 Week 49

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

12/5/11(Monday) – I did a test pattern on my embroidery machine of a poppy. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go or even how long it would take. My machine told me that this pattern was for 64,000 stitches and failed to mention that it would take almost five hours. Thankfully, I don’t have to sit there for all of those five hours. My only requirement once the machine is set up and started is to change the color of thread at the designated times.

The threads for the poppy design.

My machine in action.

The flower turned out much prettier than I expected so I decided to make a bag with it.

I also made a small zipper bag with an awesome rooster embroidered on it.  I don’t have a photo because I lost the bag!

I finally cut my last batch of soap.  I hope it will be dry for Christmas gifts.

12/6/11 (Tuesday) –   A friend wanted aprons for her daughters and daughter-in-law.  The daugther aprons match the granddaughter aprons I made in July.

   

This week I had my bible study on Monday night and came home to this on the table.   (This is an Origami Christmas Tree design.  Robbie used that design to make a sign for me to notice the note that he left me.)

Tuesday night I had a board meeting at the ski hill and came home to find this note.

12/7/11 (Wednesday) –  A friend asked me to make tooth pillows for her two girls.

 

12/8/11 (Thursday) –  While walking out to the barn to take care of the chickens, collect eggs and insulate the chicken coop window Henry said, “Wind in my face!  Is winter time?”

 You can see that huge gap where the snow blows in, what you can’t see is all the little holes all around the window.

Before insulation.

  While fixing the chicken coop window Henry told me, “My face needs gloves!”

I stuffed straw in the window and covered it with plastic.  I was almost done and we were both freezing and Henry was crying, “ME DONE!”

He was happier once we got into the house and needed to put the eggs away.

12/9/11 (Friday) –  Jack’s early Christmas present arrived today.  It is a TV with a built in DVD player for his exercise area.  He was using an old laptop for his exercise videos.  We have always used our computers to watch movies since we don’t have a TV in our house, until now, I think we will refer to it as a DVD player.

12/10/11 (Saturday) – Robbie and Charlie had their piano recital today.  Henry thought he should be able to go up on the stage to play piano too.

We took a family photo since everyone was in nice clothes this afternoon.

12/11/11 (Sunday) –  We cut down our Christmas tree from behind the garage.  These were some of the first spruce trees I planted during our first couple years here.  It is amazing how fast they have grown.  This one was slightly bent/damaged from the heavy snow we had in November.

Each boy got a turn to trim the trunk for easy sawing.

This is our smallest Christmas tree. I think it is my favorite mainly because I love Colorado blue spruce trees!

Project 365 Week 22

Project 365 Week 22

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

5/31/11 (Monday) –  Memorial day.

6/1/11 (Tuesday) – Henry loves to help me with the chicken chores.  He collects the eggs and puts them into the bucket.  Recently I got this amazing act of a two-year old being very gentle with eggs on video.  Today he helped me with the chickens and I carried the bucket up the barn stairs and set them down to do something else before taking them into the house.

I found Henry in the garden like this.

He got up to show me an egg and this time he wasn’t so gentle.

I see this every day we meet the boys at the end of the driveway, finally today I remembered my camera.

6/2/11 (Wednesday) –  We spent a lot of time inside today because of the wind.  I was able to dry four loads of laundry on the line very quickly and we baked a triple batch of banana bread (13 mini loaves).  Henry was my helper.

   

Charlie finished planting their flowers around the play set.   I am very pleased that our boys like to plant flowers, veggies and work in the garden.

6/3/11 (Thursday) –  When I went outside this morning I saw this tree in our pasture with a large broken limb.

Jack started sawing up the tree tonight.  After we got caught up with picking up the brush Henry and I played with Vanilla.

6/4/11 (Friday) –  Today was hot!  I hope my summer loving friends are happy that the 90+ degree temperatures have arrived.

We met friends this evening at our favorite county park.  There was swimming, drinking from the artesian well, jump roping, kickball and PIG was played on the basket ball court.

6/5/11 (Saturday) – Perfect day for flying a kite!

6/7/11 (Sunday) – Robbie and Charlie’s piano recital was this afternoon. This is the only photo I took of them today.  I should learn how to add videos to my post.

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 9

Project 365 Week 9

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

Last week (Week 8) I skied almost every day.  It was the most consecutive days of skiing in one week for me all winter.  In Week 9 I wasn’t so fortunate.   The skiing has been  AWESOME! 

I know spring is coming soon, but I need to drag this winter out as long as I can.  I am going to try to ski as often as I can until the snow is gone.  I will join my friends in their excitement for spring, planting seeds inside, mapping out gardens and dreaming about the beach when the snow has melted. 

2/28/11 (Monday) – An early morning ski with friends.  Another favorite view of mine of the IWSC trails with the 60 meter ski jump in view.  The trail and weather conditions were great this morning and I felt like I could have skied all day today!

This afternoon, waiting for Blair the P.A. to take out Robbie’s stitches. 

 

3/1/11 (Tuesday) – Charlie loves puzzles.  This dinosaur was fun to put together.

 

3/2/11 (Wednesday) –  Glasses…

 

3/3/11 (Thursday) – Our washing machine has been leaking once in a while.  Today it leaked two loads in a row.  It was time for me to take it apart and find the leak.  When Jack came home from work and saw the washer apart he asked if I left Henry upstairs alone with the tool box.  Did it really look like the work of  a two-year old or an experienced appliance repairing housewife?

 My part is ordered and should arrive next week!  Thankfully, we still have our old washer hooked up in the basement. 

 On top of taking the washer apart I brought in two tractor loads of firewood.  Henry was happy most of the time because he was pretending to drive.

Another skiing picture (sorry)…we also had time to ski today!  Having a snack in the sled.

 

3/4/11 (Friday) –  The Packer shirt is finally finished!  Charlie’s own idea, design and work.  The only thing I sewed on the shirt is the hems.

 

3/5/11 (Saturday) – Charlie is a good checkers player.  Jack started teaching Charlie how to play chess.

 

3/6/11 (Sunday) – Piano homework.

Project 365 Week 6

Project 365 Week 6

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

2/7/11 (Monday) – Robbie is the only Green Bay Packer fan in our house.  Charlie is becoming one only because of Robbie.   On Monday, after learning that the Packers won the Superbowl (because we didn’t watch or listen to the game) Robbie composed a Packer song.

 

2/8/11 (Tuesday) – Today the older boys got on the bus with our thermometer saying -3 degrees.  When it is cold outside I have a difficult time keeping the house warm with the wood stove so I want to bake.   I made Honey-Wheat Bread.  This is the first time Henry helped me make bread.  He loved the kneading and

throwing the dough.

Later…my homemade Pesto on homemade toasted bread, YUMMY!

 

2/9/11  (Wednesday) – Another cold day…blueberry scones.

 

2/10/11 (Thursday) – It was a little warmer today.  Henry and I skied with a friend, sorry no photo of this event of the day. 

But here is one of our night-time snack…blueberry & raspberry smoothies.

 

2/11/11 (Friday) – I have been avoiding this sewing project after learning that Charlie wants to turn the shirt that he has designed and sewn into a Packer shirt.  Since Charlie does have some Schroeder blood in him I had to give in to his desire to be a Packer fan.  Grandpa Schroeder would be proud of our boys.   During Henry’s nap-time we made progress on Charlie’s Packer shirt.

 

2/12/11 (Saturday) –   I like bowling but don’t go very often.  Jack hates bowling so we rarely go as a family.  Bowling is in my blood.  Both my grandfathers were very good bowlers, I have many other relatives that are good bowlers too.   My Grandpa that is still alive is almost 82 years old and is still bowling on four leagues.

This is how the Vater Boys bowl.

 

 

STRIKE!