Nola Mae – 4 years old!

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae!

nola mae fall blog

 

Nola Mae is special to us for  many reasons…

She is named after my Grandma Nola.

Grandma Nola  Nola Mae

She is smart and a great problem solver.  (She didn’t have a bag along, so she stored her notebook in her hat.)

Nola Mae tablet in hat

She will be able to  say that she has skied every year of her life, as long as she doesn’t move away from our winter wonderland.

1st year on skis

Skiing Nola Mae

2nd year on skis

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

3rd year on skis (this was on her 3rd birthday)

Nola Mae skiing 2

4th year on skis

Ski Norseman Nola Mae

She is very flexible (she loves to eat snow while skiing).

ski nola Mae 1 yoga pose

I uploaded my video on youtube of Nola Mae going down a fairly steep hill:  https://youtu.be/m05E79MrrFY

She has three older brothers who adore her.

skiing family

She loves being outside.

sledding

 

sledding Nola Mae

 

snowboarding Nola Mae

She loves her babies.

baby doll Nola Mae kisses wrap scarf grass  babywearing nola mae

She loves to help others and do jobs.

cleaning with Bailey & Nola Mae

Because she has no sisters, she has a special friend who she adores and often plays “sisters” with.

  Nola Mae & Bailey

My favorite blog post I wrote about Nola Mae is “With No Mom”:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/with-no-mom/

She hasn’t changed much in many of the areas of her personality since her last birthday post:

https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/nola-mae-3-years-old/

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Nola Mae – 3 years old!

Nola Mae black hat

Happy Birthday! Nola Mae – 3 years old!

I dyed this shirt for Nola Mae’s birthday. I found this shirt at a thrift store early this month and thought that it needed a little more rainbow to it. Nola Mae Birthday   Nola Mae wasn’t interested in getting interviewed, this is how our conversation went before I gave up:

Me:  I want to know what some of your favorite things are, like your favorite movie?

Silence!

Me:  Is it Peppa Pig?

Nola Mae:  NO, me not watch it. You take it back to the library.

Me:  How about your favorite color?

Nola Mae: Me not telling you.

Me:  How about your favorite snack?  What do you like to eat when you are hungry?

Nola Mae:  Me not telling you.

Me:  Where do you like to go?

Nola Mae:  ME NOT TELLING YOU!

Silence.

Nola Mae: Me want to go to that restaurant. Me want to go a playground. Me want to go to school. WAIT, NOT school, a playground!

Me:  What do you like to play outside?

Nola Mae:  Don’t know, something else.

Silence.

Nola Mae: What do you want to play?

Me: I want to play, “You tell me what you like.”

Me: So Henry, what do you think Nola Mae’s favorite food is?

Henry: I don’t know.

Nola Mae: CANDY! Nola Mae Ellevill wrap Me:  Henry, what do you think Nola Mae’s favorite game is?

Henry: Maybe hide-and-seek?

Nola Mae: YEP!

Me:  Henry, What do you think Nola Mae’s favorite color is?

Henry: Nola Mae, is your favorite color blue?

Nola Mae: NO, blue AND purple! AND RED!

Me:  Henry, what do you think Nola Mae likes to do outside?

Henry: What do you like to do outside, sledding?

Nola Mae: Yes.

Nola Mae:  Playing games. Sledding.  Games. Nola Mae's sled I have given up on her favorites, she loves to talk about what she wants to talk about.  And if I word my questions or statements differently I could get more answers from her.

I want to remember our 2-year-old Nola Mae…

Nola Mae called Henry “Henny” until two days before her birthday.  Now she is saying “Henree”.  Sometimes she would think I was calling her Henny when I would say Honey to her.  In my sleep deprived/fried brain sometimes I think I did call her Henny and she wasn’t very happy with me about that.

Henry and Nola Mae

Nola Mae isn’t keen on nicknames and is very vocal about that now that she knows they are out there.  The first time someone referred to her as a little peanut is when she learned this.  Later she asked me “what a peanut?”  After I explained to her what people sometimes say, she told me in a very clear and loud voice “ME NOT A PEANUT!”

Nola Mae is friendly and very talkative to everyone.  Every day at the ski hill we would see people getting ready to ski and she would want to know their name and sometimes tell them something about what happened that day.  I appreciated all the grown-ups who gave her a few minutes of their time.   And it was fun to see them again and they would talk to her (not me) and make sure she remembered their name from the last time.

Nola Mae has a friend, Lily.  She talks about her almost every day.  Lily is an imaginary friend.  Lily has been at Nola Mae’s school, rides Nola Mae’s bus, is nice and sometimes mean to Nola Mae.  Sometimes Lily is sick.  Sometimes Lily helps Nola Mae.  One day I was sick and accidentally fell asleep, while I was sleeping Lily came over to play.  I think Lily is avoiding me.  Recently, Nola Mae told us that Lily died.  I wasn’t sure if Lily dyed or died, since both words are talked about in our house.  I haven’t noticed much talk of Lily, lately.  So maybe she did die.

Nola Mae was an awesome skier this winter.  She loved the downhills and groomed trails.  At the end of the winter she was flying down the hills in the tracks all by herself.  After a nose-dive into the snow she wasn’t afraid to do it again!

Nola Mae skiing 1

Nola Mae skiing 2

The things I know Nola Mae loves…

  • to paint. “Painting with Pappa!”
  • to cross-country ski.
  • to play our memory game and her version of Blokus and Spot It.
  • to read books with someone and by herself.
  • candy but not enough to motivate her to use the potty.
  • to play outside.
  • to follow her brothers anywhere.
  • to push the kid sized shopping cart around the grocery store.
  • to help with any project.
  • to show any guest to our house her jumping on the bed tricks.

Nola  Mae Painting 2 I know she loves Peppa Pig, so I made this stuffed Peppa Pig out of fleece. peppa pig 1   Click here to read last year’s birthday post for Nola Mae.  

Henry – 6 years old!

  Happy Birthday!

Henry – 6 years old!

I dyed this shirt for Henry to wear on his birthday, unfortunately he is sick today and can’t wear it to school:

 Henry's rainbow shirt(Henry asked that I wash it tonight so he can wear it again tomorrow)

He picked brownies for his birthday treat to take to school.

We have been on spring break, Friday – Monday.  I made a big deal yesterday with Henry about his last day of being five years old.   There is something special to me about being five. You are only five once!  When you are five you are cute, innocent, funny, happy, full of energy, a philosopher, smart, polite, kind, honest and caring.  Henry has been all these things and more!

Henry smile

 

I learned at Henry’s parent teacher conference, that Henry does get grumpy, Mrs. Fechter share this with me:

Henry grumpy

 

When I interviewed him on his last day of being five years old he told me these things:

Favorite color:  Blue.

Favorite animal – Baby cub lion.

Favorite food – Fried chicken.

Favorite fruit – Pear.

Henry's missing teeth

Favorite restaurant – Hibachi Grill.

Favorite thing about school – Gym.

Henry skiing

Favorite movie:  Batman.

Favorite job:  NO JOB!

Favorite thing to do at home – Ride my bike outside and play on the tablet.

sledding Henry air

Friends at school – Alex H, Micheala, Sophie, Landan, Addy, Michael, Emmett, Lewis, Gwen & Jocelyn.

Favorite holiday:  Christmas and Halloween, cause there is candy.

Henry's kite

I asked him, “What do you want to do when you are six years old?

  1. “Just eat, so I can grow even more!” and
  2. “Play outside!”

cards Henry smile

 

Click here to see Henry’s favorites from last year.

 

December 2014

December 2014

Jack took our annual family photos:

Family Profile 2014

Family 2014

Aunt Carol brought us the trees behind us in the spring of 2000 (our first spring).  This batch of trees never got cut for a Christmas tree because they were too big when we started having a tree.

We had good snow and great skiing early in the month.  After our first night of skiing Henry wrote a note to his teacher.

Letter from Henry

We had good sledding in our field.   Henry would get a running start and get some serious air before hitting the snow!

sledding Henry air

Nola Mae ran up and down the hill many times.

Nola Mae

The best hats!

Henry black hat  Nola Mae black hat

Early in the month I had two more kinds of soaps that were ready for the holiday: 

  soap vanilla & patchouli soap lavender & lemon grass

The first photo is Lavender, Vanilla & Patchouli.  The second photo is Lavender & Lemon Grass with ground lemon powder.

Charlie dyed a pair of bamboo socks for his teacher.  We did a test pair last month because I wanted him to have a feel for the syringe and working with the dye.  He was easily frustrated with his own socks and it seemed like he hated the whole process.  So I figured we would have to find a different gift for his teacher.  About a week before the last day of school he asked, “When are we going to dye my teacher’s socks?”  I just assumed he hated it and would never want to do it again.  Charlie promised me he would have extra patience for this project.  And he did while he got help from Nola Mae.

dyeing Charlie 3

Mrs. Johnson’s socks:

dyed socks Charlie

The color in this photo is so off from the actual color.  He used a purple and a teal color called Kingfisher Blue.

Charlie and Nola Mae messing around with a backpack:

Charlie & Nola Mae babywearing

We cut our Christmas tree from our property:

I remember planting this tree very well, even what clothes I was wearing, and the pair of gloves I had on. It was one of the first days I accomplished something significant after feeling like crap for months with morning sickness (my pregnancy with Robbie).  I planted a total of 15 trees, only three trees made it this long.  I tried to imagine when we would be cutting this tree down for our Christmas tree.  I didn’t imagine we would have four children around this tree, 11 1/2 years later.

christmas tree 2014

Nola Mae strawberry hat

One of my sisters got engaged this month:

Becca & Ben

Here is some kind of Elemental Warrior equation Robbie made with  some calligraphy pens that I had.

Elemental warrior equation

Dyeing and sewing projects (I have a post all for my December dyeing projects, click here to see them):

My friend, Michelle, gave me some curtains she had in her daughter’s room.  I dyed them, because they were white!

dye ice curtain

Nola Mae and three of her cousins got pretty snow dyed skirts.

dyed ice curtain skirt

My first Maxi skirt for one of my sisters:

sewing maxi skirt becca

Two bags made of dyed fabrics:

bag dyed red mandala

Front of bag:

bag dyed & embrodiery

Back of bag:

bag dyed Aunt Karen

Robbie and I went Christmas shopping and he had the idea that I dye the kids matching shirts.

dyed family shirts 1 dyed family shirts 2

It was my idea to do a “V” for our last name.  Jack helped me with the colors.

dyed family shirts

Jack has been busy in his workshop:

A book shelf for Robbie.

Robbie's book shelf

A tool box for Henry.

Henry's tool box

A bench for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae's bench

We set up the ping-pong table for Christmas break, this could become a tradition I could get use to.

ping pong

More of my favorite photos from this month:

Trombone Robbie

   Robbie Runs

Nola Mae's sled

Monopoly Grandmas

Mama santa hat

Charlie computer

cards Henry

cards Henry smile

January 2014

January 2014

When the weather is very cold outside and the boys still need to get out, the barn is one of those places.

Basketball in the barn 3

After Christmas was over I started trimming branches off the tree to burn in the wood stove.  I slowly trimmed the branches and when it was time to take the ornaments off I continued to burn branches in the wood stove until it was a manageable size for a big boy to carry outside.

Christmas tree bare

Charlie carried it down to the burn pit and I started it on fire.

Christmas tree fire

Nola Mae carrying a box down to the burn pit to burn.

Christmas tree bonfire

Sledding hill boys

My Dad and Lynn came to visit us for a weekend.

Dad & Lynn visit skiing field Dad & lynn visit skiing hill

Piggy back

 

Almost every day Nola Mae puts on someone’s ski boots and tells me “skiing!”

Skiing girl always

I bought 40 pounds of grapefruit this winter.  This was the biggest one.

huge grapefriut

 

The boys went away for a weekend with Jack.  Jack took these (and many more) great photos, these are my favorites.

Ice fishing Robbie

Ice fishing Charlie

Ice Fishing Henry

I got this idea from my friend Sarah.  I filled these balloons with colored water,

ice ballons

and decorated our igloo with the ice balls.

Ice balls

Nola Mae photos:

She enjoyed playing with my cake decorating tips by making towers with them.

Future cake decorator

Henry did this to Nola Mae while I was doing some laundry.

Marker head

Nola Mae just reading (warms my heart).

Nola Mae reading

Another “heart warming” photo, when one sibling sweetly kisses the other.

playhouse window kiss

Playhouse steering wheel

I told Nola Mae to watch me out the window while I fed the dogs, started the car and checked the skid steer’s hydraulic fluids.  This is where she was when I came in.  Usually, she stands on the shortened chair so I was a little surprised she found this good seat in the window.

watching out the window

We had a great month of skiing. 

                Ski family Charlie crash Ski family pulling Henry

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

Ski Henry leaves us

ski snow eater

This winter two kids in the sled is a heavy load!  I got a good work-out and a nap out of both of them.

 ski sled double load sleepers

Breaking a new snow shoe trail  during a snow storm…Nola Mae wasn’t happy when the sled tipped over because the trail wasn’t wide enough for the sled. Eventually she fell asleep and she didn’t notice when it happened.

   sled tipping on snowshoe trail

  Upcycle projects:

This upcycled trivet made with denim and scraps of yellow and orange fabrics., inside lining is fleece from an old baby blanket and the backing is two pieces of corduroy that were given to me.  This was my contribution to the Art Exchange for the Vater family Christmas.

upcycle denim trivet

Jack’s Art exchange item:

cigar box guitar canoe paddle

Jack made two other cigar box guitars.  If you have facebook you may be able to view a video he made  click here to see  the video.

In my research for a upcycle project I found a denim rug that I wanted to make for my kitchen.  I have used this wool rug, weaved by Jack’s aunt.  I like a rug under the sink area and have always thought that I needed a rug that had an angle for that spot.

kitchen rug

So I made this…

kitchen rug upcycle denim rug

Inspired by this design – http://lieslmade.com/2013/08/15/parquet-inspired-denim-rug-tutorial/

Upcycled elephant from a felted wool sweater.  The cutest thing I have made in a long time!

Upcycle wool sweater elephant

Ring slings that I made this month:

I made this one for a friend who just had her first baby.  This was a table-cloth that was used at her wedding.

Ring sling Upcycle from table cloth

This ring sling went to a first time mama.  These two mamas are smart – baby wearing with their first baby!

Ring sling turquoise chevron

January 2013 – Month 1

January 2013

(Completed on 2/17/13)

This month I was hoping to ski as often as we could.  One week I thought I would focus on sewing, but didn’t get much done because the snow was good and we went skiing instead.

My week of sewing was a flop.  It took me all month and then some, to get done what I was hoping to in that week.  I am planning on writing a blog post about my January sewing (maybe it will turn into a post about my winter sewing).

One memorable beautiful and warm day I headed out to ski with Henry on skis and Nola Mae in the sled.  Henry skied for 45 minutes on the blue trail!

My plan was to do the whole blue loop with them.  Once Henry got tired I would put him in the sled and carry Nola Mae on my back and finish the loop.  We got pretty far in 45 minutes!  After Henry was “done” I put him in the sled.   Henry held Nola Mae on his lap while I got out the Ergo.  The two of them looked comfortable and fit nicely together.  Henry said he was warm and comfortable with Nola Mae.  I shoved the Ergo back into the sled, made some adjustments to them and the blankets and quickly put on my skis.  They both were sleeping within 10 minutes.  I decided that since they were happy and sleeping I would do the black loop instead!  They got a 1.5 hour nap while I got one of my best skiing in this winter.  When we finally stopped I got out the camera to take a photo of them.  Of course as soon as I stopped Nola Mae woke up and started crying.  I guarantee you these are the only tears.

Henry skiing Jan 7th  ski sled Henry & Nola Mae

The boys had a day off from school.  We went skiing!

A little bit of gummy bribes got them to ski farther.  Since that day Henry thinks we should take a gummy break at the shelter every time we pass it.

Henry skiing Jan 25th  Skiing Jan 25th

Jack took the boys to the top of our hill in the field for sledding.

Henry sledding

Charlie was home sick for a week.   Charlie did a lot of reading while he was resting during his sick days. The day before he went back to school he seemed well.  I kept him one more day because I felt like he needed one more day to rest.  Thankfully because that morning after Jack went off to work and Robbie off on the bus I was not feeling well.  Charlie was a huge helper with Henry and Nola Mae for the first half of the day.  By 12:30 I was ready for a nap.  All four of us went to my room and slept for four hours!

Charlie reading

Nola Mae received this beautiful sweet pea sweater from my friend Meredith.

Sweet Pea sweater Nola Mae

We had a few really cold days this month and one day I felt like baking and made cinnamon rolls.  These were my best cinnamon rolls ever!

cold morning cinnamon buns

Nola Mae is not close to helping with the dishes.  She, like her brothers, goes for the knives first.  Maybe we can call that helping because I put away the silverware as fast as I can.

Dishwasher Nola Mae

Nola Mae has been drawn to this end table since the day she “disappeared” on me when she started scouting around the house.   Her Grandpa Neil P. Vater made this end table many years ago.  She loves the drawers.

end table drawer 1

We stored Legos in the drawers. The Legos had to be moved.  Sometimes I put her toys in the drawers when she isn’t looking.  Or I have played a game with her by putting a book/toy in one of the drawers when she is looking and then she finds it.end table drawer 2  end table drawer 3

My Aunt Chris has made a blanket for each of our kids.  Nola Mae’s blanket arrived this month.

Aunt Chris blankets

By the end of the month these drawers in the end table aren’t so exciting anymore.   She may be stealing Henry’s baby nickname of “Heart Attack Henry” (click here to see my post on Henry).  When I saw her like this I grabbed the camera and sprinted into the living room to get these photos and to take her down.

Nola Mae end table 1    Nola Mae end table 2

 Nola Mae has been innocently standing at this stool we have in the kitchen for a couple of months now.  Now that she is looking for more excitement she has been having fun.  (Notice this crazy girl holding on with one hand in the last picture.)

Kitchen stool Nola Mae 1 Kitchen stool Nola Mae 2 Kitchen stool Nola Mae 3 Kitchen stool Nola Mae w Robbie

Nola Mae has joined us at the table.  From the beginning of her eating foods she has fed herself.  I learned later in my motherhood about Baby Led Weaning – “no purees, no ice-cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veggie combos… just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family.” (http://www.babyledweaning.com/)

Nola Mae joins the table

I visited my Dad just before Christmas and he gave us a box of store-bought wipes that he had left over from his fall hunting.  I took this picture to show him how much she loved the wipes.  If I am remembering correctly, this is the third time she almost emptied the box.

Nola Mae wipes

When you see this in the kitchen window, you wonder “what in the world is going on?”

Robbie icicles 1

You then peek out the door to see if he is standing on the deck’s railing or the table (the table that should have been put in the garage before it snowed) and hope that he is standing on the table.

Robbie icicles 3

What was that monkey boy after?

Robbie icicles 2
I have been running the youth ski program for the last 5 years.  The youngest kids are 3 years old and the oldest kids are 9 years old.  Not all the kids were here the day we needed to do a group photo.  I have 45 kids on my list, most Saturdays we have 20-25 kids participating in the activities I have planned.

Ski class 2013

I have been trying to master the Double Hammock carry and this is the closest I have gotten.  We were very comfortable for over two hours and I got a little nap out of Nola Mae.  She loves to be carried in the wrap and lately isn’t falling asleep as often as before.  I think she is curious to see everything that is happening.

DIY purple linen wrap

DIY purple linen wrap

 This is a hip carry I use when we are going in a store.  It isn’t a helpful carry for me when I am in the house trying to get things done.  I prefer back carries at home.

Zara Velvet

Zara Velvet

I also tried this Ruck Tied under bum carry for the first time.   I believe this is usually done with a short wrap (I don’t have any shorties).  It was comfortable but we didn’t last long in this one.

Zara Velvet

Zara Velvet

Project 365 Week 10

Project 365 Week 10

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

3/7/11 (Monday) – A beautiful day for snowshoeing with our neighbor, Marlene.

 

3/8/11 (Tuesday) –  Henry is starting to like riding in sleds and now winter is almost over.

 

3/9/11 (Wednesday) – We got about four inches that was great packing snow.  Charlie’s wheels kept getting bigger and bigger.

 

3/10/11 (Thursday) – Soccer will start at the end of April.  I dug out the shin guards and shoes today.  Henry wanted to wear Charlie’s shin guards to the ski hill.

One of the smiles I love to see every  day!

3/11/11 (Friday) – Charlie and I made a pillow case for his friend’s birthday.   Easiest pillow case pattern, watch video ever!

Charlie thought we needed a picture of me sewing.The necklace and stool Charlie recently made.

my soap making…

essential oils (Patchouli, Lemon & Orange) and grapefruit seed extract,

stirring the pot.

 

3/12/11 (Saturday) – Sledding with six boys!

 

3/13/11 (Sunday) – Charlie has been waiting for a very long time to be invited to a friend’s birthday party.  Today was the day of the very frist friend birthday party for Charlie !  I didn’t get a picture of the happiest boy because I was too sick , see my post on Waiting.

My Patchouli, Lemon & Orange soap with an oatmeal exfoliant…it will sit in my living room to cure for a few more days before I cut it into bars.  Once they are in bar form they will sit for another four to five weeks.  During this time my living room smells really good!