September 2014

September 2014

First day of school photo:

First day of school 2014

On the first day of school, Nola Mae and I took a bike ride to town to run errands.  I needed to do lots of things this day, grocery shopping, library, bank, post office, drop something off at school and most importantly get exercise and get away from the house so I wasn’t thinking about missing my boys.  Our way home was a lot of work for me…27 pound child, 15 pound bike trailer, 75 pounds of groceries and library books.

Bike errands

I have planned to dye my hair a non-traditional color (purple) for many months.  I finally got around to doing it and it faded to pink (not one of my favorite colors).  In the last month I have considered chopping my hair just twice to get rid of it.  When my mom first saw me after I dyed my hair, she joked with me that my fabric dyes got in my hair.   Now, I am feeling like I will keep it for a while.  Next, I will attempt purple and maybe more colors.

 hair dye pink

Jack has made many cigar box guitars in the last year.  This month Charlie finished a two string cigar box guitar.

 cigarbox guitar in progress

Jack made a video of Charlie and shared it on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202628856665701&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

cigarbox guitar Charlie's

I have an amazing husband, he deserves a blog post all to himself.   He is talented in many areas, he is intelligent, he is teaching our kids many skills, he creates beautiful wooden furniture and boxes.

I was a little skeptical about these ugly pieces of wood when he loaded these into our car.

wooden burrow

One day he handed this beautiful bowl to me and told me he made it from the wooden burrows that we brought home.

wooden burrow bowl

Charlie turned a bowl with Jack.  He took his unfinished bowl to school to show his teacher.  Charlie was eager to finish it and then took it back to school.  One day I was looking for Charlie’s bowl to take a photo.  He told me he gave it to his teacher.

We got together with all the Vater cousins this month, unfortunately because Grandpa Neil passed away.  It was wonderful to see our kids having a blast with their cousins, and visit with the cousins we don’t see very much.  Nola Mae and I missed out on the last family gathering because she was sick.   I am not interested in doing the math on when I last saw Jack’s cousins from CA, it was sometime when Ben was still a little boy.  When Ben opened his mouth I just about died, because he had a man’s voice, not a little boy anymore!  Ben is the tallest man in the Vater family.

vater cousins and family

I have many sisters, four of them, all of them are amazing in their own way!  Early this month, Becca completed her first Ironman in Madison,  2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.

I wasn’t able to make it to Madison to cheer her on.  I was able to watch her finish from the comforts of my home, 130+ miles away on my computer through the live-feed video on Ironman’s website.

I have my very own finish line photo of her.

IronMan Madison Becca

 Nola Mae loves to put clothes on, take them off, and put extra layers of clothing.  While I was taking a shower  Nola Mae climbed   on the counter and was putting socks on and taking them off.  I took this picture with the intention of doing a blog post with all the photos I have collected of her in her many outfits.

Nola Mae socks happy

Everything was going great.  You can see all the socks on the floor that she had on and took off.  Then she got stuck in these blue socks, that is when things started to get UGLY!  Exactly, one minute later…

Nola Mae socks sad  Nola Mae socks sadder

Two days later…there was an outfit that included many layers and many tears – three shirts, one dress and one pair of tights – she wanted more clothes on and I wouldn’t help her.

Nola Mae flopping

The above photos aren’t so pretty ones of Nola Mae, but this one is!

Nola Mae

When you co-sleep and put your child to bed before yourself they claim their spot.

Yours spot

I knew Henry was outside on the deck.  I heard sounds of a trombone.  I was afraid he snuck Robbie’s  trombone upstairs and outside.  I was relieved, happy and very excited to see him making music with the vacuum cleaner hose, rather than the $754 trombone!

Henry hose trombone

Four days before my birthday a wonderful gift arrived at our house – a spiral ham and caramel popcorn!  I was delighted, ham is one of our favorite things.  Especially, mine because one ham goes a long way here.  If I am remembering correctly this ham gave us  at least four meals, fillings for additional meals, made awesome snacks and were added to cold lunches for boys.  The very last of this ham will be eaten sometime this fall when I make my favorite soup!

bday ham

On September 11th, Nola Mae and I drove to Milwaukee to see my sister, Emily.  Earlier in the week she was admitted to the hospital for liver failure and the talk was “she isn’t going home until she gets a new liver”.  Her MELD Score was so high, she was on the top of the liver transplant list for the Midwest.  As the week progressed and she got more fluids and antibiotics she was feeling and looking better.  I was thankful to see her in better spirits and health later in the week so that when and if a new liver came to her she would be strong enough to make it through a transplant.

Emily hospital 9-11

On Monday, September 15th, around 4:30 AM Emily was told that there is an organ donor who is a perfect match for her.   I am pretty sure this was the longest day in her entire life.  It sure was for me!   The staff took her to surgery for the liver transplant at 5:30 PM.  If I am remembering correctly, I got the call at 12:21 AM, on the 16th, telling me that her surgery was done and she will be heading to ICU.

Click here to read my thoughts on the day of Emily’s transplant, “A Sister’s Emotions”.

I spent the day before my birthday glued to my computer and close to the phone waiting for any news on Emily’s transplant.  I didn’t get much sleep that night and woke up for my birthday in a zombie-like state.  I knew Emily was sedated, well cared for in ICU and I needed to get the heck out of my house!  IT was MY birthday and I wanted my special coffee and I wanted to use my 60% & 50% off coupons at JoAnn Fabrics!  So Nola Mae and I went to town!

I made a trip to my favorite thrift store and found a bunch of dye blanks!

  I bought these fabrics.  The birds and butterflies were on the $4/yard rack.  The bottom white fabrics I bought for making dyed scarves.

bday fabric

A close up of one of the white fabrics.

dye blank for scarf

I made two scarves from this fabric – one for my step-mom and one to sell or give away as a gift (or maybe keep for myself).

Dyed Scarf Rainbow colors

My last stop in town was Starbucks, thanks to my sister Danna and her boyfriend, I purchased a yummy coffee and this beautiful coffee mug.

bday coffee cup

The boys (& Jack) gave me a package of socks, these awesome rubber boots and something else.  I can’t remember what the third thing was.   I love my new boots and wear them every day!

bday boots

Usually my garlic gets planted in October.  The planting window for garlic in Wisconsin is mid-September to November.  I remember this because my birthday is the beginning of this planting window and my brother’s birthday, which is at the end of October, is my absolute last day for planting garlic.   This fall, I started planting my garlic before my birthday and then finished planting 200+ cloves of garlic the day after my birthday.

garlic planting 2014

We are were still picking raspberries into October.

Raspberries 8-31-12

 Every year I find a pair of Walking Sticks in my raspberry patch.  They are always attached to each other every time I see them.  This time I happened to have the camera with me and when I bumped them, they came apart and I took this photo.

walking stick

I have accumulated many dye blanks, I am always looking for more.  Recently, I  had some time to organize and prioritize my dyeing projects

dye thirft store blanks

I also had some time to set up a little dyeing space in my basement and got busy.  In one week I dyed 20 pieces.

dye table

We paddled up the river from Big Falls when the leaves were beautiful.  It was a great way to end the month.

paddle car fall 2014

paddle big falls 2014  paddle rocking 2014

I am making and selling soap again this year.  I started early for Christmas by making four batches.

“Cleansing Calendula”, with essential oils: Lavender & Tea Tree and ground Calendula flowers for a great exfoliation.    Aroma:  Soft, floral.  Benefits:  Renewing, cleansing, stimulating.

soap calendula flowers & lavender & tea tree  

“Cinnamon Swirl”  with essential oils:  Orange & Cinnamon and ground cinnamon, which gives it the dark color.   Aroma:  Warm, spicy   Benefits:  Warming, comforting, energizing

 soap cinn & organe

(these are the same soap, just different batch and different method of coloring with the ground cinnamon)

“Jumping Juniper”  essential oils:  Juniper, Lavender & Rosemary   Aroma: Floral   Benefits: Restoring, empowering, balancing, purifying, &  uplifting.

  soap juniper, lavender & rosemary

I have about twelve pounds of garlic to sell.

garlic for sale 2014

It was a good birthday month for me!

July 2014

 July 2014

This month started out pretty horrible.  I had strep throat.  Once I was feeling better, I hurt my back while pulling weeds in the garden.  I literally spent over a week sleeping and lying around.  I feel fortunate to have independent children, a hubby who is able to take a day of vacation anytime and a wonderful doctor friend who will see me in her office on her day off and again on the weekend.  I wouldn’t have been able to get better as quickly without  her!   That week did a number on my brain too.  I haven’t recovered from that lost week yet!

If you come to our house, Nola Mae will want to show you the big hole in the garden.  There once was a large rock there.

garden hole get ready

This hole keeps her busy and entertained.

garden hole jump

Another source of entertainment in our yard.

Nola Mae Tractor

Waiting for fireworks.

Henry & Nola Mae fireworks

Mr. Ernst baling his hay in our field.

Mr. Ernst marshmallows

Counting Mr. Ernst’s marshmallows.

counting bales

I love this smile!

Henry smile

Our big boys went to North Dakota with Grandma, Grandpa, uncle and cousins.

ND July 4 2014 cousins

ND July 4 2014 bluff

When they called me from North Dakota they told me they could spend all summer there because they were having so much fun.

ND July 4 2014 swimming

All four kids together after the big boys came back from their trip to North Dakota.

four kids on rocks

Henry has this great friend, Micheala, who he sat next to in school, they played together, helped each other with projects and giggled a lot together.  Micheala invited Henry to her birthday party at the pool.  Every day we counted down the days until the day before the party.  Henry helped me pick out the fabric for this bag to give to her, because she LOVES pink!

bag pink batman

The weekend came…Eddie came to help Jack cut down the huge oak tree that was leaning towards the house.

Oak tree standing

Oak tree plan

Helen counted about 120 to 130 years for the age of the tree.

Oak tree down

Oak tree sawing

  Jack and Eddie did a fabulous job dropping the tree away from the house and garage.  Jack put his chain saw in a “safe” place.  The tree landed perfectly on our wood pile and did not damage the chainsaw!

Oak tree chainsaw

 The video on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202381381878986&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

We have an awesome firewood pile.  Charlie thinks we won’t have to make firewood for a couple more years.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him we make firewood for future years, not the coming winter.  This wood is what we will burn, not this winter, next winter (2015-16) and hopefully some will be left for the following winter (2016-17).

Oak Tree firewood

The weekend was over…On Sunday night, after reading our bedtime story, Henry asked me again, “How many days until Micheala’s party?”  At that moment I realized we missed the party, it was yesterday.   The poor boy cried himself to sleep.  I called the mom and made an ice cream date with Micheala.  We picked her up and while we were in the car Henry had a whoopee cushion and kept  blowing it up and squashing it.  They were giggling so hard it just melted my heart to see them having such a great time.  While at the ice cream shop they talked and talked while just sitting on the riding toys.

birthday ice cream 2

birthday ice cream

Fifty-five pounds of blush and bing cherries ($1.66/pound).  We ate almost all of them except for a quart size bag of them went into the freezer.

cherries 2014

Five days later, eighty pounds of blueberries arrived.  I paid $2.25/pound.  The kids were slacking this year and only ate about fifteen pounds before we made one pie and froze the rest.

Blueberries 2014

 There are wonderful times in my life when all four kids will play nicely together, not often, but it does happen.  They went down the path to the edge of the field and played for a very long time.  I can’t remember how long but long enough for me to keep wondering “What in the world are they doing?”  Finally, this is what I saw coming up the hill.

Best big Brother Robbie

And then something like this happens…Henry and I picked raspberries one hot afternoon. While we picked Henry and Nola Mae weren’t getting along.  They were mostly fighting about who would get my next handful. I sent Nola Mae to a shady part to eat her raspberries. Henry was still kind of mad at her so he said, “Nola Mae I hope you eat ALL your raspberries! And then you poop, raspberry poop, on your head!”

 Henry & Nola Mae

Our lotion girl:  Thankfully this mess was outside.

lots of lotion

 My sewing projects:

I made this wet bag for a friend who uses cloth diapers.

diaper wet bag butterflies

And this Didymos Winter Lillies wrap was made into a ring sling for another friend.

Didymos winter lilies ring sling convert

 I dyed this in June and sewed it into a ring sling this month.

dye ice Navy over Intense violet ring sling

and this one.

ring sling green july 14

My first minecraft creeper inspired pillowcase.

pillowcase minecraft creeper

My dyeing projects:

Charlie designed the glue resist on this cloth to cover his desk.  He wanted rainbow colors, which I used to ice dye it, but it doesn’t look very rainbow-ish to me.  When he saw it for the first time he said, “Awesome!”  I was holding my breath because it didn’t turn out like I expected.

dye glue resist ice Charlie

I made this ring sling for a friend who loved the ring sling I made last month in the same colors.   This one turned out a little darker and just as beautiful.  We traded this ring sling for a new bike for Robbie.

dye ice cerulean blue & better blue green 2nd time ring sling

Robbie with his new bike.  I think we got the better end of the deal!

Robbie bike traded for ring sling

 This is a picture of “testing my patience”.  I have learned that dyeing stuff takes a lot of patience.    All of those items in the bags first sat under ice for over 24 hours, then I gently put them into these plastic bags for 12 hours.

dye ice rainbow swirl batching

Then they needed rinsing with the hose, and then rinsed in the washer for many rinse cycles.

dye ice rainbow swirl rinse

 Once I dried everything in the dryer I hung them on the line to get a good look!

dye ice rainbow swirl on line dye ice rainbow swirl osnaburg

dye ice rainbow swirl ring sling 2

This was a white sheet that I will make into a quilt for Robbie.

  dye ice rainbow swirl sheet dye ice rainbow swirl Tank

This was a white table-cloth.

Dye LWI rainbow table clothe

with matching napkins that I dyed.dyed rainbow napkins set 1

  We have a trombone player!  He is very happy to be done playing the piano.

  Robbie Trombone 1 Robbie Trombone 2

I have had this sign on my fridge for many months.  I was reminded this month how very important this is for everyone to follow (adults and children)!  I hope you follow this advice too.

THINK

November 2013 – Month 11

November 2013 – Month 11

I missed adding this photo to my October blog post.  We had a good time walking around town trick-or-treating with friends.

Halloween friends 2013

Halloween costumes 2013

We started a program with Aunt Susie’s library where we will read 1,00 books before kindergarten.   Check out this link to find a library near you or to see other websites like, “Books your child should hear before kindergarten”. 

Reading to Henry

Nola Mae likes to read too and be cute.

Nola Mae book

Nola Mae eager to get at the after school snack.

After school snack

Nola Mae likes wearing boots and she doesn’t seem to care if they are on backwards.

boots Nola Mae

We took a walk to meet our new neighbors.  Charlie wore his stilts down the hill.

Stilts Charlie

And for most of the walk to the neighbor’s.

Stilts Charlie road

I took this picture on November 22nd after one of our first snowfalls.  Nola Mae discovered that snow is yummy.

Nola Mae eating snow

She likes to wear backpacks.

Nola Mae back pack

Even when they are too heavy for her and she tips over.

Nola Mae backpack fall

Nola Mae has been showing signs of understanding the potty.  After helping her take off the back pack I told her we should change her diaper soon.  I came into the living room and found her waiting for a new diaper.  Once her diaper is off she wants to sit on the potty.

    diaper change

 Batman with rotten teeth has started to put away the silverware from the dishwasher on a regular basis.

Henry Batman Helper

Sometimes bedtime is a little challenging with Henry.  Jack usually reads one book to him and he can have a pile of books to read himself until he gets tired.  Sometimes he comes out to tell me he isn’t sleepy.   I can’t remember how bedtime went this time.  I thought it was hilarious when I found his body in the pillow case and his head on the book that he was reading.

Henry sleeping on book in pillow case

I was laying out my wraps to take photos of them for when I am ready to sell.  Nola Mae climbed on the table for a pose.

Snowflake girl

Our family photo shoot.

Family Photo Shoot 2013

Family photo shoot Robbie & Charlie 2013

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Family Photo shoot Nola Mae 2013

Hunting with cousins in the north woods.

Hunting cousins

Napping in the north woods.

Hunting Charlie Naps

Peek-a-boo cousins.

Peek a Boo Kale

Sewing projects this fall:

A pillow case for Charlie’s friend.

Pillow case Alek

I made this bag for Cousin Jessie.

Bag Jessie's

I made this bag for myself out of an old curtain.  I bought the brown and the turquoise for the inside.

bag old curtain  bag old curtain inside

A cloth tray made out of a curtain fabric and scraps from my bag.

tray old curtain

A zipper bag for Robbie’s friend, Brock, who is a Duke fan.

Bag zipper Brock O

A large cloth box for stuff, I still need to add handles.

cloth box flowers

Ring sling for friends.

ring sling pink w elephants  Ring sling w stripes

I sold my Ellaroo Ysable woven wrap.  This was the first wrap I bought.  It wasn’t getting much use so it was time for it to find a new home.

wrap ellaroo good bye

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

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

Week 47 – November 19 – 25, 2012

(Completed on 1/14/13)

Another version of our family profile photo.  My favorite.

FamilyProfile5

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

Kayak w car

Kayak 1st time out

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

Kayak 1st time out w Henry

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

Kayak w all four kids

A napping baby!  I will definitely miss these days,

Wrap Zara Velvet snoozing 1

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

Family Thanksgiving 2012

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

Granny's pine Robbie

Granny's pine Joey

Granny's pine Charlie

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

Nola Mae Granny's counter

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

Northwoods Vater cousin

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

Northwood thorn in RW's leg

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

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae

Gma Siggie w Nola Mae's hands

Week 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

Week 34 – August 20 – 26, 2012

(Completed 9/24/12)

Henry is the best helper.  And such a cute one too!

Henry and I picked more broccoli this week.  I have been picking broccoli by sneaking in the garden so Henry wouldn’t see what I was doing.  I didn’t want him to do it without me and do it wrong.  I wasn’t able to be sneaky today.

I was impressed how well he cut the broccoli with the scissors.  Yes, I let my 3-year-old use adult scissors!  He did it so well I bet I could send him to the garden to pick some for a meal.  I was reminded again that he can do so many things, and he can do it “my way”, I mean the right way, if and when I show him how to do things correctly and safely.

This has been the best year for our broccoli.  I have eight plants and they have produced tons of broccoli for us.  I am thinking I want more plants next year.

Then I turn my back and my awesome helper (Henry) cuts 25 stalks of my milo and corn!  When I asked him why, “Me don’t like them being tall!”  Here is a milo stalk he cut that is actually growing back.  The corn stalks didn’t grow back.

Henry must have been encouraged to do more jobs for me today after doing so well at cutting broccoli and feeling badly about cutting my milo and corn. Because he collected eggs without me.  He carried them in his shirt and unloaded them on to my junk table.  No broken eggs this time!

I had an evening meeting and this is what I came home to…

These boys are getting too big for me to carry them out of my bed.

I took a few photos in the garden this week:

This one is of the biggest mullein plants (Verbascum Thapsus) I have ever seen.    I have been saving these weeds all over our property for drying and making tea with the leaves.  I learned of this from a friend and was reminded about mullein from my midwives when I had a horrible cold during my pregnancy with Nola Mae.  Henry can spot it anywhere.  We went for a walk to our neighbors and walked through her yard rather than up her driveway.  Henry ran past a tiny mullein plant and said, “there is yours mullein!”

Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbascum_thapsus

The many uses of mullein:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033990_mullein_medicinal_herbs.html

My first handful of raspberries!

I did not grow basil this year.  I was given some from a friend and my sister-in-law.  Henry and I are the only ones that eat pesto.

Nola Mae has started to do the Superman/airplane pose.

And now that she is rolling over.  I find her sleeping on her belly, which is cute but also makes me nervous.  This girl always has her hand in her face, something I will never forget!  Giving birth to a baby with her hand on her face is quite painful and unforgettable!

Charlie turned seven years old this week!  He wanted to decorate his own cake with Star Wars ships on it.

Charlie wanted to go camping for his birthday.  Jack took all three boys to Brunette Island State Park.  They met other family members there.

On Sunday morning Charlie got stung many times by hornets when he stepped onto a nest on an island they had been playing on all weekend.  We will never know how many times. He wouldn’t let me count the marks.

I can count 32 sting marks in the photo of his back.

The best cousin, Sarah, read to him to help him feel better.

Charlie did not have an allergic reaction to the stings.  Jack did take him to an ER where he got an IV of fluids and we got the bill:

IV Therapy = $294

Sterile Supply = $74.50

Emergency Room = $332

Pharmacy = $212.75

Professional Fee/ER = $498

Total = $1411.25

(A month later and I don’t know what our insurance will pay)

Uncle Eddie took these photos in the ER.  When Charlie saw them he remembered more things to tell me about this experience.

“I was soooo tired I couldn’t fall asleep.”

“I remember those blankets.  They were REALLY warm!  And it felt good when they put it on top of me.”

“I’m never going camping for my birthday EVER again!”

Jack said it was helpful that his brother went along with him and that he had the GPS in the car, so all he had to do was to touch the arrow on the screen to see where the closest hospital was and hit “Go.”

Project 365 Week 43

Project 365 Week 43

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

10/24/11 (Monday) – I don’t have a single photo for today!

10/25/11 (Tuesday) – This is the final touches on my garlic patch.  The planting took much longer than I expected with all the wonderful help I got from the boys.  Henry helped me weed the spot, till it, rake it and then we were able to plant about 150 cloves.  This process took us about two weeks.  After it was planted it rained for many days and the wind blew like crazy.  So I was unable to spread the straw over my patch.  In that short period of time from after it was planted to the time I was ready to spread the straw the patch needed a little re-planting…Robbie, my biggest gardener, noticed that the patch was clean of weeds, tilled and raked.  He figured I didn’t get to the planting yet.  So he took his cultivator through my planted garlic patch to loosen the ground so it would be ready for planting.   We walked through it we found many cloves dug up and some cut and damaged.   We re-planted as many as we could find.

Spreading the straw was the best job for Henry.

All done!

I am praying that I will have a good garlic crop next year!

The last of the brocoli for us and the rest of the plants and brocoli flowers went to the chickens.

10/26/11 (Wednesday) – Henry and I packed the car for our trip to North Dakota.  Henry wasn’t interested in carrying anything out to the car for me.  He wanted to get strapped in and leave “NOW! Kota!” is all he would say until he was screaming and crying because we weren’t leaving yet.  (This was about four hours before our scheduled departure.)  I called Jack at work to talk to Henry.  Henry seemed to understand more after talking to Jack that we couldn’t leave until Papa came home from work.

10/27/11 (Thursday) to 10/31/11 (Monday) –  We arrived at the Russian Slough in the middle of the night.   The boys and I finished our night sleep in the car and woke up at sunset.  When Robbie woke up he told me he was going to catch a pheasant with his hands and eat it for lunch.

Our first hunt was around Grandpa Rob’s farm, The Russian Slough.

Robbie did indeed catch a pheasant with his hands after Grandpa Rob injured it.  Robbie fell in love with the rooster and didn’t want anything to do with eating him for lunch.  He carried him around wrapped in a sweat shirt.  Robbie stayed at the house for the afternoon hunt because he didn’t want to find another bird that he would love.

We had other exciting “boy” activities throughout the weekend…smashing soda cans with water in them with the splitting mall.

 I don’t have any photos of them playing with fire, exploring the land, getting kite strings tangled and stuck in the power lines or the big boys (adults) shooting other things that explode.

I took Henry’s baby blanket along and made progress on basting it and quilting.

Kite flying is a must when we are at the Russian Slough the wind is perfect almost every day!  Cousin Eric was the King of Kites!

Our boys missed one day of school to make this trip.  Uncle Eddie’s kids missed two.  We made time for homework.

A lot of cooking and baking went on…Sarah made these donuts, pumpkin and apple pies,

dinner rolls,

and homemade ice cream (two nights in a row).

One very important tradition is that Sarah publishes “The Sunflower” newspaper everyday.

I believe this is after a couple of days of hunting.  Our hunting was amazing with birds everywhere!

I couldn’t resist breaking one of my blogging rules – Do not post photos of dead animals.   Not once but twice in this week’s post, can you find the second photo?

Henry and I are “sneaking” up on the birds at the Cedar Creek property.  This is one of my favorite places to hunt out of all of Grandpa Rob’s land.

Minor trailer troubles on the way home.

Finally we arrived home on Monday evening.  The start of our unpacking…

900 photos were taking between Jack and my mother-in-law during our trip to North Dakota.  Thanks to them I had many photos to choose from and to share on my blog.