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Since most of my updating is done via Instagram these days I thought I'd add a section that links to my feed. Click on any of the pictures to get an enlarged version. I hope you enjoy the pics:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The New Boys' Room

For those of you who might not have heard, my cousin Elizabeth is going to bless us this summer by coming and staying with us for several months for the latter part of the pregnancy.  We are desperately praying she is still here when Baby S decides to arrive. But that is another post...

Anyway, since we need to have a place for Elizabeth to stay, and eventually a place for Baby S to move upstairs, we decided to get a couple new beds and make what used to be the nursery (years ago...back when we first started having kids) into the BOYS ROOM!

Now, Nathan and Jonny have already been in this room for years, but now there is ONE MORE BOY!  

Yes, we do have the play room, and yes, we could use that as a bedroom instead, but for now, I like the idea of having a bunk room and a play room.  So, here is E on his new bed:

This is actually one of the bunk beds in single form that I grew up with.
 At the end of his bed, we have a little 'cove' for the boys to play in...or store their bean bags in...anyway, it gives them some breathing room.

Bean Bag storage - hang out space
 Then we have the new beds...we got full size bunk beds so that the older boys have growing space.  I saw these at the Ashley Furniture store in Kearney when I was there with my sister...and when I went to the local furniture store they only sell Ashley I got them!

Jonny on the bottom...Nate on top!
They will actually work great for singluar beds too if and when we decide to use the play room or some other room for the boys.

And yes, the beds are in front of the closet but we really don't use the closet in the boys room for much other than storage and the second closet is still accessible if they truly need it...and to be honest, we can still get into the closets via Jonny's bed if we desperately need to get into the closet space.  AND, Nathan has a great little space up on the top bunk where he can put his sippy cup or other 'private' items that he wants to keep for himself.  It truly worked out great!

Now we will take Ethan's room and start working at getting it cleaned out and the twin bed set up in there for Elizabeth's stay.  I think we will plan to take the crib down, though I'm not totally sure yet. At first I thought we might need to for Ethan's sake...easier transition for him if his old bed wasn't around...but he seems to be adjusting just fine to having a new bed.  So, we'll see.  We might just put both beds in there for now. I'll have to see how much room we have once I get it cleaned out!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, March 30, 2012

Piano Recital

After last year, several people indicated they would like to know when Abigail's next recital was.

The 2012 End of the Year Piano Recital will be April 22, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Downs Music Room.

Abi will be playing two songs this year, one on her own and a round with her teacher, Mrs. Lynn Koops.

I will again try to get pictures and a video of the event like I did last year to post for you all to share with us in.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Growth Around the Farm

Spring has sprung here in Kansas (and I'm told in many other areas too).  Though it is so early for all the flowers and trees to be blooming and turning green, we have been so blessed by the changes in weather and surroundings.

The kids have been thoroughly enjoying the nice weather and spend much of the days outside.  

Because everything is so beautiful, I just had to share some of the things going on around the farm house.  First off, we have a new tree. 

A few years ago, we had to have our locus tree cut down on the corner due to interference with the electrical lines going to the house.  We had the stump removed and nothing has been growing in that area for some time, but when we were driving through Salina the other day, we stopped off to get another apple tree for Marion's growing orchard and I saw this:

A Magnolia Tree
 Marion isn't sure if it will really survive in our area or not, but I'm told that the climates have changed enough that they are now adapted to our area.  We will see.  We have one year to see if it will live.  If it dies in that year, we can take the dead part back and replace it with a red bud.

The Magnolia Tree is only to get 10' high so it should be safe from the electrical lines and bring a bit of beauty to the property!  I am just so excited about it...I really hope it lives.

Second off, we have our renewed flower bed:

Newly planted flower bed
Do you remember what it looked like last year?  I dug up all those bulbs and tubers and divided and replanted.  It was quite the project, but I'm very pleased with how the bed is much more diverse and less clumped together.  You can't really see the iris yet but they are JUST coming up along the left side of the flower bed.

The tulips are just now starting to bloom and are gorgeous!

pink tulip

Tulip grouping with daffodills

red tulips
 And the last thing that is new to the yard are two blueberry bushes.

We tried to plant blueberries a few years ago, but they were purchased and brought back from Michigan.  They didn't survive.  I found some locally and thought I'd see if they were better climated to our area.

We added them into the end of the Strawberry bed so they had good drainage and then added peat moss to help with the acidity around them.  If you look close you can see the two little plants at the end of the strawberry patch.

blueberry bushes
Marion did take his McIntosh Apple Tree out to the Brooks Place Dam where he transplanted his Apple Trees and is going to try for a small orchard. Of course it will be YEARS away from actually producing any apples, but our peach trees are doing good.  I should try to get a picture of the blooming trees for you and post that too...but these are at least the new things we've added!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Around the Farm

Okay, so my Mother-in-law asked me to take a few pictures of the boys feeding the bucket calf for a project she is doing.  Oh yes...we have a bucket calf right now.  Our calving comes and goes, so when we have a bucket calf, the kids really get excited.  

So, out we went this evening to feed the bucket calf...and play with the chickens.

Ethan playing with the Chickens

Jonny trying to get the calf to drink it's bottle.

laughing so hard he could hardly hold it.

Nathan getting the job done.

Almost done...trying to hold it still
I love that my kids have these opportunities to be apart of the farm.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A visit with Heidi and an update

Well, we had a visit today with our Midwife Heidi!

We had a really good report and we were so excited to get a good listen to the baby's heartbeat (at the rate of 156).  I was also measuring right where I was supposed to be at 19 weeks and my blood pressure was good.

Next time we meet, we'll go to Wichita and have our sonogram done.  That is scheduled for May 8th.  We are excited about that.  I don't know yet if Marion will want to find out what the sex of the baby we will have to see what he thinks by May!

We absolutely LOVE Heidi and look forward to visiting with her each time we see her.  I've gotten some great helps from her like Papaya Enzymes for heart burn...GREAT STUFF!  And since it seems that I am getting everything that I'm even remotely exposed to...we've now started on a Probiotic and I'll be getting a Vitamin D supplement as well.  Hey...I'm so sick of being sick...I'll try almost anything right!

Speaking of that...I think we are all - almost healed.  I hear Marion cough every once in awhile, and Ethan still has a runny nose, but I think everyone's temps are normal and Abigail is her usual self, doing school and activities around the house again.

I think tomorrow is our last day of antibiotics and I have to say that other than a bit of a cough myself and low energy, I think I'm doing just as well as the rest of the family.  I do think it will take some time to build my endurance up again as I tried to go for a walk the other day and by 1/4 of a mile my lungs hurt!  But I'm sure as we continue to get better and work on the exercise we'll be doing better before we know it.

It has been so amazing outside with all the flowers and trees blooming that I spent most of the day yesterday outside and it was SO nice.  I've got several small projects I am going to try to get done of the next few days...I'll see if I can get some pictures and post them for you.  Of course, I still have A TON to do in the house with the kitchen renovation still needing the second coat of yellow in a few areas and all the trim done, but I just can't refuse being outside when it is so amazing!

Well, I'm pretty exhausted after a day away so I'm headed to bed...see you again soon!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, March 19, 2012

Update on us...

MORE UPDATE: We took Abi in to the doctor this afternoon and he discovered both ears infected and some respiratory concerns. She is now on an antibiotic. With Abi having a secondary bacterial infection, I asked the doctor if I could as well and upon looking at me gave me an antibiotic too! So, hopefully we will all be on the road to recovery with no more complications! Thanks again for all the prayers.

Well, it has been almost a week since Abi was diagnosed with influenza a, and we have had quite the week.

Abi is still struggling. She still has a fever though it is in the lower numbers 101-102s. Her cough is still very active and she says her head hurts when she stands which makes her nauseated. We have been seeing some improvements and today may be a more normal day than most...let's pray!

I was the second to get sick and for the first few days it wasn't so bad. Mostly a hard cough and headache. On Saturday though, I started with an ear ache and as you know...that is not good! We praise God that it only lasted about a day though. I still don't have full hearing, but the ache is gone. My biggest issue now is the headache and exhaustion.

Nate was the next to get it and he was down for a day! The next day, he still had a fever and cough, but he didn't want to be laying around so he got up and played around. By the next day, he was his normal self with a cough. He has now had two days of no fever, and I think his cough is only bothersome at night.

Marion got it about the same time as Nate and had fever, cough, aches, etc...but not the real headache stuff. He mostly took DayQuil and Motrin and was able to stay on top of it. He had one really bad night that was his turning point, but is now doing a lot better. I hear him cough every now and then, and he said he still gets tired, but feels like he is recovering.

Ethan was the next to get it with a 103 fever in the middle of the night. He had a tough 24 hours but walked away with only a runny nose left. I rarely hear him cough, and I'm so thankful he didn't hang on to the fever long.

Jonny is our marathon avoider. With all of us sick for the past week, he JUST got a fever yesterday and doesn't seem to be bothered at all. He is still just as active as he was before, maybe a bit more testy, but acting perfectly fine. I think I saw a runny nose too.

We can't express our appreciation for the prayers and support we have received. The few meals brought to us we're a huge help and we truly believe your prayers helped avoid a more serious trip to the doctor for me.

Well, I better go, I'm getting tired again. I think we might have a ways to go for recovery still!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ethan's 2nd Birthday Party

Due to the flu, Ethan had a very small birthday party this year.  

Marion said that it was probably the saddest birthday we'd ever had, but as you can see...there were still smiles too!

You can see Abi made it for the blowing out of candles and singing,
but then she retreated right back to her bed!

The boys enjoying the cake!

Presents came next:
I just didn't have it in me to wrap the presents...sorry E!
So he got to open the BOX!

A Melissa and Doug Train set....he loves to hitch things up and put things together
this toy offers him both things in one!

He also got his own dump truck since the big boys don't like to share!
Though it was a small affair, I think he still enjoyed his birthday.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Our baby boy is TWO today!

Can you imagine that!  I know...he's not our baby anymore, but it is a hard habit to break - calling him baby!

Still, it was two years ago today that Ethan William Schlatter joined the M&M family.

We can't imagine what life would be like without his rambunctious little self as a part of our family.

Though we will be having a small family celebration this year because of the flu and wanting to keep it isolated to our family, I will try to get some pictures of him enjoying his cake and opening his presents.

Blessings to all - I need to go rest now!  :0)

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Birthday Cake & the FLU

So, I was having a hard time figuring out what to do for Ethan's 2nd Birthday cake...I went through all the options and finally decided on Monday to do the Spiked Dinosaur from Wilton's, using the Bear Pan I already have.  But since Monday was laundry day, I didn't get it started.  

Then Tuesday, Abigail came in after lunch and was complaining of a 'heat headache' because she had been outside playing and it was I told her to go lay down and try to cool off.  She ended up falling asleep.  And when she awoke...she had a 102.9 fever!  I gave her some medicine and checked back in half an went UP to 103.4!  We did a sponge bath and pushed the fluids but she just didn't want to move.

By evening we had it down to 100.1 and she was doing much better.  But during the night, her cough started up again - she would cough when her fever was high and quit when it came down. I gave  her some Motrin at 11 pm and she slept until around 4 - coughing again.  When I checked her temp at 5 am, she was at 104.6!  Needless to say, we were headed to the doctor as soon as we could.

But, the doctor didn't really see anything wrong - I mean save the fever and cough - nose, throat, chest, all clear and she was acting alot better.  So we headed back home...only to get home and have the shakes set in with a 103.3 that a climbed to a 104.3 after I gave her the Tylenol!  So I called back in per the doctor's orders.  And we ended up waiting until about 3pm before going back in...after we saw that her temp wouldn't respond to the Motrin again.  

After a chest x-ray and some blood work, it was determined that she has Influenza A - I don't know which strand - but the whole family is now exposed to it!  And of course, I'm the most at risk being pregnant!  I had started coughing around 1:30 that afternoon and I could tell I was starting to get something...YUCK!

Well, at least now we knew what we were dealing with and how to proceed - its viral so treat the symptoms and wait it out!  By the time I got home, my head hurt, so I took some tylenol and looked at the bear cake that had been baked but nothing else done with it.  Could I get that done still tonight since Ethan's birthday was the next day?

I sat down and rested a bit, and the tylenol helped my head so I decided to give the cake a shot!  My Sister-in-law tried to encourage me that if he didn't get a perfect cake this year - he wouldn't remember and it was okay to miss a birthday - especially under the circumstances.  But I really WANTED to do it and since my headache let up, I decided to give it a shot.  

It isn't as NICE as I would have done had it been under normal circumstances, but he has a spiked dinosaur cake nonetheless...don't look too closely or you'll see the cake showing through in!

If I had been doing it earlier, I would have had the two different tones of green and made the arms and stuff more defined with frosting instead of outlining them.  And I wouldn't have just smeared the frosting on...I would have done the stars and other piping to make it really stand out...but I'm grateful for a dinosaur cake to share with my TWO year old tomorrow...that is what was important to me.

Now if we can just keep everyone else from getting the flu and keep Abi and I on our feet!  :0)

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, March 09, 2012

Great Weekend - Great Savings

So, on Thursday I headed out to Gothenburg to kidnap my sister!

I had been working with my brother-in-law (BIL) for a few months to find a time when I could come whisk my sister away to spend a few moments just her and I.  We see each other on holidays, and occasionally here and there, but usually there is so much going on that we don't get to just BE together.  So that was the purpose of this two day trip...just spend time with my sister!

So I arrived on Thursday morning around 10:30 am and told her she had 10 minutes to pack an overnight bag...she asked for 15 and I said sure...but I honestly never timed her!  It wasn't long and we were headed to Kearney.

I actually had debated on where to take her.  Her family was going to come pick her up and go to the State Basketball games on Saturday, so I thought about going all the way to Lincoln, but when I couldn't find a place to stay that I thought suitable, I changed my plans to Kearney.  I actually looked at several places, but one thing I wanted to do was get a massage.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

So, I booked us a spa day at the Bang in Kearney....GREAT PLACE!  Highly recommend it for all kinds of spa and salon stuff!  We got massages, manicures, pedicures...the works...and just had a great time visiting and relaxing.

Then we went to the movies...I had researched what they had playing and thought THE VOW would work the best for what we were trying to fit into our schedule and all.  She was ecstatic because she'd been wanting to see it and my BIL hadn't taken her it was doubly fun!

After the movie, we just hung out at the hotel and talked and talked...we had some GREAT conversation and I really felt like we reconnected.  I could see her face not just hear her voice and that was very meaningful to me.  We stayed up WAY too late for a 4 month pregnant woman...but it still well worth it!  Then we got to sleep in in the morning...though I think we were both up by like 8!

We ate our free breakfast, and hung out some more talking until we had to check out of our hotel.  Then we went and ran some errands and I got to help her pick out her BRAND NEW BED!  The first one since they'd been married...going on 18 years now! That was fun!

Then I got swangled into doing some shopping for myself too.  Anyone who knows me knows I don't like shopping, but it was fun with my sister...our tastes are WAY different that is for sure :0).  But I got some cute new things to help along with baby...the most amazing thing was that when I got home, I  looked at my receipt and I noticed that I spent around $140 BUT I SAVED $130! Now THAT was fun! One item on the ticket was originally $41 and I got it for $8!!!!!!!

By the time we were done with all that, I was pretty WHOOPED!  We managed to make a mad dash to the Bath and Body Shop where my sister blessed me with a new scented body spray that I really like.  Then we went to meet up with my sister's family and we said our good-byes.

It was a GREAT time...and though I was pretty tuckered out...I wouldn't have traded it for anything!

A huge THANK YOU to all who made it happen...from my husband who agreed to let me my Mother-in-law who helped with the my BIL who allowed me to steal his wife away!  Truly, we can't thank you all enough!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Who Am I ?

Today as I was out walking I was listening to some new music I got. One of the songs was by Jason Gray - Remind Me Who I Am. Here are the lyrics:

When I lose my way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.

When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can't receive Your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
If I'm Your beloved,
Can You help me believe it.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You, whoa.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You.
That I belong to You.
To You.

I'm the one you love,
I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You, oh.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.

So...who are you? Who am I?

I'm the one HE loves,
I'm HIS beloved,
I'm a child of the Most High God,
I'm saved by grace - HIS grace,
I'm special - unique - created by the Master Craftsman,

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter