Sunday, February 23, 2014


Eventually winter of 2013/2014 will be a memory. But for now we're doing our best to enjoy a few days that aren't so bitterly cold. We've also had fun doing things in the warmth of home as well. Here's a few pictures from our month so far. 

We enjoyed a sledding party with cousins and friends last week. Everyone piles in the calf sled for a ride to the top of the hill. A calf sled is on my Christmas list for next year, it was a blast!

Those that didn't fit in the sled crammed in one of the Rangers. It was just as much fun riding to the top as it was sledding down. 

 Beware of the voles!!! If you veered off the beaten path with your sled, you were likely to stir up one of these little guys. They are very fat and slow compared to mice. Added bonus: The next day the kids were watching Wild Kratts on PBS and it happened to be about voles. It was fun to see how they tunnel under the snow and survive the cold winter. It also makes me wonder just how many of these little guys were out there with us. :)

Hanging out near the fire was the place to be by the end of the evening. 

The next day we ended up getting several inches of snow and had the day off from school. The temps made it into the 40's so we hooked up the sled and made our way around the yard.

I "taught" Ethan how to make bread for his Cadet baking badge. I really don't know how to make bread very well, but it turned out pretty good for his first time.  We enjoyed it hot out of the oven with homemade strawberry jam.

 We entered a yield contest this fall and got second place for our soybean entry. We had fun visiting with other farmers at the awards banquet and we even played a little Black Jack at the casino. We came home $5 richer. :)

Anton turned 4! For some reason I just can't believe he's four already. He loves to run around the house pushing a dump truck or track-hoe. He likes making Lego creations and playing little games on the tablet too. I asked him what his birthday wish was when he blew out his candles and he said he wished for a dirt bike. 

Mark and I took a quick trip to NW Iowa to visit some friends we hadn't seen in a while. In this picture Mark is singing Karaoke in front of their wine cellar entrance. It happens to be made out of an old cistern. If you look closely you can see the ceiling is made from slats from their old turkey shed and the walls are textured with straw. They have the most creative house I've ever seen, I absolutely loved it and loved hanging out with them again!

We made it to a couple fundraisers, this particular one was a dessert auction. Our table had the winning bid on this, a Red Velvet Cheesecake. Yes it was as good as it looks! 

 Amelia and I decided to see if we could get some 2 year old pictures of Allison. It was fun to try and figure out my camera settings and use a new lens but my little model was quite challenging. :) (This is one of the better pictures.)

Generally this is what I got. :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

January 2014

 2014 is in full swing we've had a fun start. Here's a few pictures from the past month.

Allison turned two! She's growing up so fast. She's already potty trained, talks like crazy and does everything she can to keep up with the rest of the kids! What a blessing she's been to our family the last two years!

Amelia, Allison & I spent a little time on Pinterest and found a cute cake similar to this. I had everything in the house to make it and we had a birthday Owl for Allison in no time!

Anton likes me to take pictures of him. This is him smiling nice. :)

Like last year, we didn't waste any time dipping into the health savings account. This kids were doing a race around the house with a few obstacles. Elijah didn't make it on one and fell off our bed hitting his eye on the way down. We decided to have it glued instead of stitched so he would have less of a scar. This did bring back memories of the same eye being glued shut by the doctor a couple years ago. :) 

Staying warm this looong winter? We are, with a little extra heat from our wood burning stove. The kids and I helped Mark a few times to restock our wood supply. They love watching the wood splitter work.

Mark & I are entering a new phase in life - Out of Baby Phase/Middle Age. :) In the last couple months I've really noticed this. First Allison potty trained herself, woohoo no more diapers in our house, at least during awake hours. Then we attended our last Young Farmer Conference, after 35 your not considered "young farmers" anymore.  ;( Finally we moved Allison into a bunk beds with Amelia. No more crib. This is the first time we haven't had someone in a crib for 11 years! Now if we can get rid of diapers all together we'll be in business!

Amelia has a summer birthday but they celebrate half-birthdays in school. She is my "high-maintenance" treat girl. The boys are happy with a box of fruit snacks but Amelia enjoys something homemade and cute. Last year was little hedge hog cookies and this year we copied tractor cookies from a friends Facebook page. They turned out pretty good!

Elijah is really enjoying preschool this year. One evening this month we had Family Reading Night with the preschool students. Elijah was given an army hat to wear during this activity. He is in the brown track-hoe jammies second from the left.