Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkins--Garden to Carvin'

We planted pumpkin seeds this spring on a whim, with very low expectations. Much to our surprise, we harvested 4 pumpkins! It was fun for the kids to watch the pumpkins grow, and also fun to carve our OWN pumpkins for Halloween.

This was taken after church this morning. No one was much in the mood for pictures.

Papa working on pumpkin #3. By this time, kids found the pumpkins less exciting than dinner.

Nora and her Cat Pumpkin.

William was very specific about how he wanted his pumpkin to look: circle eyes, square nose, rectangle mouth with lots of teeth!

Isn't this winking pumpkin cute with this little princess (Audrey insisted on trying on her costume to make sure it was ready for Halloween)?!

Pumpkin #4's destiny was a PIRATE!

A little pre-Halloween treat. The neighbors are so generous!!!

2011 Pumpkins

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All About the Kids....

MEA weekend is coming to a close (if you don't live in MN, you would not know about MEA, a break kids get each October from school for teachers to attend meetings). Because both Darin and William were going to be off, I briefly considered a little trip somewhere warm. Too little time and too many autumn chores put the nix on that idea. Maybe a trip this winter, when we REALLY need a break from the frozen tundra. ANYWAY----It was a fun 'staycation' here in the northwoods. We enjoyed lots of time together and lots of time outside. Here is a little ditty about each child---
My eldest child has spent the week pretending....about everything....It is so entertaining! I listen and get a glimpse into his inquisitive and expansive mind. This kid is a thinker. He has been a train engineer and a construction worker this week, complete with appropriate outfits and equipment. But most of his time has been spent talking about hunting, getting ready for hunting, getting Martha ready to 'get my ducks out of the water' and 'chase the deer to come to me so I can shoot them for meat.' Darin's family hunts, so I think he has picked this up from them. William understands that you hunt for meat to eat. He has been sighting-in his pretend gun (2 pieces of wood he put together with a string because we don't have toy guns), and telling everyone he is 'Papa's hunting buddy.'
This kid cannot get enough of being outdoors. Here he was climbing rocks in our field.

Running. Always running.

King of the Rock.

A family portrait by William. The extra family members are the neighbors who are at their cabin this weekend. And Martha is also in the picture.

Sweet Audrey Bea is busy dancing, singing, and playing in her dollhouse. She has deemed herself a princess. She won't wear pants unless she has a dress on too. She wears glasses 'to see better' which is so entertaining because her vision was perfect at her 3 year well check, and her glasses are really sunglasses! Maybe too much influence from Daddy, and all 4 grandparents who use cheater glasses to read?! Audrey and Nora have been enjoying each other's company a great deal this week.
Princess Audrey.

Doing a jig on the hay?

Skaudis Women!


The glasses mentioned above!

'CHEESE!' This girl is hilarious! I am always surprised at what she comes up with!

Nora is about 19 months old. She has made huge progress socially in the past 2 weeks. For the first time in months-literally---8 months, she did not cry the whole time at childcare at the Y, and actually enjoyed herself. Same thing at church, she happily played with the other children in Nursery. This new independence has me so happy! Nora enjoys playing with both her brother and sister, and is always up to the challenge of keeping up with the big ones.
Playing mittens and hats with Sister.

Pure joy!

Norrie in her glory!

'Look at me!'

This girl loves to carry a baby and a bag. Wonder who she learned that from?!

How can I not mention my handsome husband?
Climbing the rocks with the GIRLS.

Pretending the Pilot is a 4-wheeler.

Playing in the woods---one of his favorite things to do!

And I leave you with a beautiful sunset from last week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When we found salamanders in Martha's dog dish last weekend, I did not expect them to become pets. William and Nora were so excited about them (Audrey seems to share her mother's enthusiasm for creatures) I figured a few days would be ok. Darin educated himself on the ideal habitat and diet of this particular salamander, and the boys went to work gathering moss, rocks, grasshoppers, and ants, and placed it all into a covered ice cream pail and put it in the garage.
The next night I was shutting the lights off, getting the house ready for bed, while my dear husband slept on the couch. Just as I am turning off the last light, I see something black crawling across the living room rug. I screamed a mighty loud scream, and that shot the snoring husband off the couch and to my rescue and put that escapee outside. Yup, I am totally a girl about crawly things, and this has just gotten worse since the snake in the house earlier this fall. You see, it was 1 a.m. and I was checking on the baby one last time before bed and there was a SNAKE outside of her door. Of course, the husband was not home, and he told me to "get the vacuum and suck it up." Ha! Not a chance. My dear neighbors came to the rescue. Ever since then, I have been a bit jumpy.
The goal was to keep the salamanders alive and well long enough to take them to William's preschool class. It was his turn for sharing today. He and Dad created another ideal environment for a few of the salamanders in a big jar and he brought it to school. Tonight was their big release. They served their purpose.

The 'home' of the salamanders for the past few days.

This bucket was LOADED with salamanders. Look closely.

Loving on one of the little guys one more time.

Goodbye...until they hatch again next fall.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Week of Pictures.....

Shhhh....everyone in the house is taking an afternoon nap. It's the perfect time for me to sit down and review a fun week.

We enjoyed the warm autumn sun, climbing trees and exploring--

One afternoon was warm enough for one last swim!

We went to a pumpkin patch with some friends. This venue allowed an up close look at their animals, both in the barn and in the field!

We got to take a wagon ride into a field of cows. We were instructed to feed the cows the hay we were sitting on. What a unique opportunity to be so close to cows! They were so friendly!

My Grandma Iris and Aunt Nancy spent the afternoon with us. It was nice to catch up and spend time together!
Nora could not get enough of her Great Grandma!

We finally got some rain last night. I went to get Martha's dish to feed her breakfast, and SURPRISE----it was full of baby salamanders. Nora and William were intrigued.