Childcare Chronicles


Each week when the kids leave on Friday, I always hope that they come back on Monday healthy.  We have been so plagued with coughs and colds this week.  I have NEVER had anything like this before.  NEVER.  I keep being amazed that I’m not getting more bugs than I am.  When a blog reader, Ila, said I live in a petri dish, she was SO right.

Last weekend was same…runny nosed, coughing kids left on Friday and prayed for a good Monday with healthy kiddos, then realized I had President’s Day off so prayed for healthy kids to return on Tuesday.  It didn’t happen.

As of Thursday I three kids on antibiotics.  The cough and colds have been terrible.  The baby even got RSV.  It just doesn’t end…and as proof of that, Friday morning one of the school aged kids started puking and Friday I sent another home complaining of a tummy ache…and one with an ear infection.  UGH.

Even with the “yuck” we did a few fun things.

We made these trains one day.  The 2-3 year olds are learning the letters in their names.  The engine has the kids name on it and the box cars all have the letters of their name.

The trains are staying here and the kiddos are going to practice recognizing the letters in their name and putting them in order.  The kids love doing this.

I know of a fer of you who read the blog are teachers, grandparents who provide childcare or are involved with kiddos in some way.  It anyone want the programmable train print off to make this, drop me an email to and I’ll send it your way.  The request can only come to that email or I can’t get it to you.

Remember my little girl who wants me to make her a quilt?  For a long time she was stuck on Zuckerwaite from Bonnie Hunter’s String Fling book.  Well I almost had a little problem.  She started paging through Bonnie’s newest book, Addicted to Scraps and found the quilt Twirl Around.  Well…now she’s not sure which quilt I should make.  At this point I have two of Zucherwaite cut out and partially sewn so I’m REALLY hoping she stick with Zuckerwaite.  She’s observant enough to know if I “made the wrong one”.


She’s a real quilt lover.

Friday school was cancelled so Neighbor Girl was here all day.  She love babies.  She played with Carver for a long time.  Here they are playing “So Big”. [Read more...]

What a Week!


I had a crazy week this week.

First off on Monday three of my families were going to be gone for the day because of President’s Day.  I ended up taking the day off and thought I would get lot done…I didn’t.  I did enjoy the day and I did get a few things done but lots?  Nope.  That’s okay.  I had fun and that’s important too.

The weather here had been fascinating.  Honest.  Completely fascinating.  When in February in Iowa do parents let their kids outside with short sleeves and no coat at all??  NEVER.  Well that’s what we did most of the beginning of the week.  The weather was amazing.  Which is what is going to make this snow storm/blizzard we are experiencing now so much worse.  We got teased into believing spring was around the corner.

Here’s Carver outside with no coat in February.


Just before we were going to take him in I thought I better snap a picture quick and mark the weather history.

Today…it’s more like this…We’re expecting LOTS of snow….high winds.  We are just on the edge of the blizzard area…

…but got only two inches of snow and then rain.  There was freezing rain so school was cancelled.

From summer to winter all in a day or two…that’s Iowa for you!

Neighbor Girl has been coming every day before and after school now….usually one day on the weekend too.  We’re still hanging out and having fun.  She ends up eating here often as Mom works late a couple days a week.
Here I was teaching her how to make baking powder biscuits from scratch. [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: Damaged


I just finished up listening to the audio book Damaged: A Novel (A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel) by Lisa Scottoline.  I have read other books by this author and have very much enjoyed them so this was an easy book to pick…but was it an easy listen?

All of the books that I’ve read to date by Scottoline have a similar premise.  Some is done wrong-often times a child-and someone needs to advocate for the child and it typically ends up with a court case.  It’s a great premise for me.  I love children…I love who-dun-its and I love justice.

This book has all of that.  My main disappointment was that I jumped in and started with book four verses book one…UGH.  So if you decide you want to give the book a try, I’m warning you. Start with Accused: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel first.

Here’s what Amazon had to say,  [Read more...]

On the Farm


Every night while it’s cold, Hubby needs to make sure the tractor that he uses at the farm for feeding is plugged in.  Over the weekend we were going out but did a quick swing into the farm to make sure he had remembered to plug it in.

For those of you who are farm or mechanical savvy, there is a heater on the tractor motor that is ran via electricity.  In the really cold, the motor won’t start unless the tractor is warm.  To warm the motor, the tractor has to be plugged in.  Recently we’ve had a warmer stretch of weather but it’s still below freezing every night.

If the tractor doesn’t start, he can’t feed the cattle.

Anyway, we stopped by to make sure it was plugged in.  While there I snapped a few photos and asked a few questions thinking I’d write a blog post about the farm.

Typically when I write about the bunker of silage, I write about it in the summer when they are filling it and Hubby is doing this…Packing down the silage during harvest.

I’ve never shown a picture of what the bunker looks like at this time of year.  It’s emptying out.


There is more feed in the silo so there’s no worry that there isn’t enough feed for the cattle, but the bunker is emptying out.

Growing up on the farm, our kids loved an empty bunker.  They would roller skate or play tennis against the high walls.

The cattle are doing pretty good.  The struggle when temperatures fluctuate from going above freezing to below freezing.  They actually do best when temperatures stay in the teens above zero.  This batch will be going to market soon.


This is a pen that’s been at the farm about two months.  I talked with Hubby about rate of gain and what they like to see.  He said that they like to see them gain just over 3 pounds a day or at least 100 pounds a month.  These came in as 300 pound calves and have worked their way up to about 500 pounds.


Cattle are ready for market at about 1300 pounds.  Previously they liked higher weights…they’ve gotten so they like lighter weights now.

The majority of these will eventually end up at the packing house in Green Bay Wisconsin.   That’s about the best place in the area for Holstein cattle for the best prices.

At this time of year, most of Hubby’s time is spent with the cattle.  There is some time working on equipment and getting ready for spring planting but a lot of time is spent scraping manure and cleaning the pens.

I like this time of year…I see Hubby a whole lot more.  I need to treasure this next six weeks because after that…He’ll be back to working lots of overtime again.