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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:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Little Outside Project

I can't tell you how long ago, but quite awhile ago I had told the Farmer that I wanted to use some of the ground hay to mulch the front flower bed.  Unfortunately, when I finally got around to wanting to do it, the hay pile was long gone.

Well, this morning, the Farmer informed me that he had ground hay on the feed wagon and was 'spreading' it on the flower bed so I might want to go and 'work it around'.  WOW...did I ever have alot of hay to mulch with.  Which was actually really good for the grass that had started growing in the bed.

Anyway, I spent most of the morning outside working on it and even was able to bring Jonny outside with me for awhile.  Ethan had a great time too.

When it was all said and down, this is sort of what it looked like:

my photos aren't the best but you get the drift.

We ended up covering all of the stone boarder going around the edges to help cut down on grasses growing through them, and now honestly I'm thinking maybe we don't need all that stone border.  We will see...I definitely can't do anything about it this year, but I've got some plans working in my head and we'll see what ends up coming of those stones in the years ahead.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Water in the Well

No, I'm sorry to say this isn't some great spiritual insight that should be labeled as a Moment by is actually about the water in our well.  


Around the time our family came down with the Influenza A and Abi and I both got a secondary bacterial infection, we noticed the water was tasting a bit 'different'.  So we decided to have it tested. 

Honestly, I don't know what spurred the Farmer on in that decision, but it became a huge priority for him, so we got a test kit from Culligan Water in Downs and sent in the sample.  It came back contaminated with Coli-form. Fortunately, there was no E Coli, but it was also high in Nitrate (still within the limits, but just barely).

So, we treated our well and waited the week necessary to test again.  Meanwhile, we were getting Reverse Osmosis Water from the store.  


At least, that is what it seemed like.  We would use around 5 gallons every 3 days!  And that was just for drinking.  If I could boil the water for cooking I would and of course we just used regular water under sanitary clean in the dishwasher and laundry.

Anyway, after Jonny's accident, we decided that something needed to change.  Even if our water came back normal after the treatment, it wasn't so good for me to be drinking the nitrates with Baby S on the way nor was it good for E!  The older kids could probably handle it but why if it isn't necessary.

So, after looking at all the options and thinking it through, we decided to go with a temporary set up to start with.  Something that wasn't a huge investment but would get us through until we were absolutely certain where we stood with the water and what we wanted to do.  

This is what we got:

We cut a piece from a stump we had to get the crock up high enough
to get our glasses under. 
It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but it works and I don't have to be trucking around five 1-gallon jugs every few days.  I had thought we were getting a counter top dispenser like this:

Bottle Free or Bottleless Water Coolers for Business
see the little one there...that is what I THOUGHT I was getting
Anyway, the crock works and fills our needs so I won't complain.  It was a shock though when it first arrived...not knowing how we were going to exactly make that work with the kids and all.  We couldn't have the crock sitting on the edge of the counter waiting for Ethan to pull it over on top of himself ... so we had to go with option B!

We still go through one of those 5 gallon jugs every 3 days but now we have SIX of them sitting on our porch and the Culligan Man comes to replace them for me!  YAY...much easier!

PS...The Farmer also likes having the drinking water right by his sink too...he can step inside and access the good water so easily.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Abi's Piano Rectial 2012

Abi had her 2nd piano recital today.  Here is a picture of the kids in the recital.  

they were all looking at Mrs. Hennes who put the picture in the newspaper,
but you can still see most of the faces.
Again this year I didn't get the first part of her standing up and introducing herself.  But then again, this year she fell apart and totally forgot what she was supposed to say so maybe it was a good thing I didn't get it.  

for those of you who get e-mail notifications - you may have to actually log onto the blog to get the video!

Marion talked to her piano teacher later in the day, and Mrs. Koops was very pleased with how Abi did.  Yes, she struggled with the second song quite a bit, but Mrs. Koops knew that song was going to be difficult and was proud of her for trying it and doing as well as she did - especially considering what our previous week entailed!

We are proud of you ABI!  Keep working on it!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatte

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New on the Farm

We now have a blue DISK!

Just in time for all the field work to start.  

After just a few turns in the field, it didn't look quite so new, but it works amazing well - so my Farmer says!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nathan Got GLASSES!

We are now 2 for 2!  Two kids went in for Eye Exams...Two kids came away with glasses!

Here is a 'before Mommy cut my hair' picture:

Nathan's glasses have a slight magnification and small correction in them.  The hope with these glasses is that they will help him to track better when he reads or moves his eyes from side to side.  Fortunately both his eyes DO track together, but they do have a tendency to jump and skip.  We are going to try these glasses for 2 months, and then revisit the eye doctor.  If we've seen improvement with his reading, we'll just stick with the glasses.  However, if he is still struggling with the tracking, then we will have to consult a Pediatric specialist to see if something more needs to be done.

This is now what Nathan looks like (since I finally got his summer hair cut done!):

Again, I think the glasses really make him look more mature!  The tips of his ear pieces are blue, but I think the bronze frames really accent his redish looks!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Going Home

I will try to post a picture when we actually get dismissed, but we are going home today.

Jonny still has a bit of a fever, but the doctor is not overly concerned at this time as just the fracture itself could cause a fever as his body tries to heal. And, he responds well to Tylenol. He has had to take nothing but tylenol for fever and pain since surgery yesterday.

When the doctor came by this morning, he confirmed that we can see our local doctor for follow up in 2 weeks to check incisions and remove the splint. Then, in 6 weeks, we will come back to Salina to see Dr. Daily. Jonny will be in the wheelchair for those 6 weeks without any pressure on his leg. Then at the 6 week appointment, we will find out if he can start transitioning to adding pressure. We have been authorized to have the wheelchair for 3 months, but we hope we get to check it in earlier than that.

We are all vey exited to get back home and to some semblance of normalcy, but we know we will have some challenges as e try to figure out how to use the bathroom, get in the van, sleep comfortably, and just be at home. We greatly appreciate all the prayers, and wanted to say thanks to Marvin for going to the farm to help Jim get the cattle situated in Marion's absence.

So, until we get the dismissal picture....

Our New Ride

Jonny got his wheelchair!

We had a few issues with the wheelchair at first, but eventually my Farmer came to the rescue and got out his pliers so we could adjust the leg support!  

At first, Jonny was scared of it, but we told him it was his personal wagon and that they brought him the CASE IH version (it has red on it).  Then he began to warm up to the idea!  Once he got in, he was NOT going to get back in that bed!  He loved the freedom and mobility it provided him.

It didn't take him long before he was learning to wheel himself, turn, and even park it.  

It was a bit challenging to figure out how to use the bathroom, but once we got home, things got much easier!  

While at the hospital waiting to be dismissed, we took MANY turns around the pediatric unit.  It was a rather small area concerning how many times we circled it.  

Marion and I were both very proud of Jonny as while on one of his turns around the unit, he met a little boy who had to spend alot of time in the hospital and didn't have any toys of his own.  Jonny willingly gave him one of his bears so he wouldn't be so lonely!

Doing a bit better

Jonny is doing MUCH better this morning!  He ate a great breakfast and immediately wanted to start playing. Fortunately we had some legos in the van and Uncle M and Aunt K had given him some animals and a new tractor!

He only played for about an hour and then he was tuckered out and ready for a nap.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jonny's New Look

Here Jonny is recovering from the anesthesia after the surgery!  It took him a LONG time to come out of it and was VERY sick from either the anesthesia or the morphine...or maybe both!  He was finally able to eat and keep things down about 9 pm that night!

Made it Through Surgery

Jonny made it through Surgery just fine. Dr. Daily did have to make a small third incision in his thigh to help stabilize and align the bones while inserting the flexi screws. His leg will be further stabilized with a splint, which is basically a plaster form with ace bandage around it.

They will be trying to find us a pediatric wheelchair for him to use until he can bear weight on his leg. Marion and I have heard different time frames as to when that will be. But we know for us that in 4-6 months we will be back for out surgery to remove the flexi-nails.

At this time, Jonny is struggling with the morphine/anesthesia and has spiked a fever. He is not in pain, but can't keep even the basic ice chips in his stomach. For a boy who constantly asks for food and says he is hungry ALL the time, this is very disconcerting.

As for the rest of the family, we are so VERY grateful and could never truly express the appreciation and love we have felt. From Grandma Schlatter stepping in to take charge of the other kids when I just disappeared, to Mark and Karla opening their home and helping with snacks, forgotten items, and a place to crash, to the numerous texts, e-mails, and phone calls of support!

We truly could not have made it through this time without our family and our friends praying. And of course, the protection and provision of our God! His hand has ever been present, and we know He has been with us all the way...from Dr. Overmiller praying with us in the ER to the numous prayer chains who have given their support!

We truly are blessed.

We know we have some trying times ahead still, but are encouraged by all that has been revealed thus far.

Ps...I will post a pick of Jonny's new look when I figure out how!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jonny's Big Fall

Today, Jonny took a fall from Abigail's second story window!

We will probably never know what exactly took place, but it is common consensus that he crawled out the window and fell. We are so very grateful to God for the provision in His care. Jonny broke his femur, but had no other serious injuries.

Due to the nature of the break, we were transferred to Salina Regional Hospital to be seen by a Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow they will put what they call flexi nails to stabilize his leg for healing.

We will keep you all posted as things develop.

Ps...I have a few photos but I'll have to wait until I get home to post some of them. Those that I can, I will.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Diaper Bag

My friend Marla made this amazing diaper bag that was HUGE and stayed on her arm as she was carrying things around.  I borrowed her pattern and made my own.  

I made a few mistakes in the process, but the overall product is usable and we like it (even if I misread a few

So, here is the new diaper bag:

I did not add on the outside pockets but we have six pockets on the inside that are large and useful.  I can even put the iPad in one of the pockets perfectly!

Now we just need to fill!
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A New Skirt

In an effort to try to get a few smaller projects knocked off the list and to provide Abigail with a few more skirt options to wear, I dove into a quick conversion from dress to skirt:

Here is what the dress looked like:

I cut off the top white part.

 Then I ironed a hem line and turned the skirt right side out.

Because I was using shirring, the right side had to be up!
Confession time.

I forgot to take any pictures after this.  LOL.

What I ended up doing was shirring the waistline down about 6 inches so it hugs and gathers around her waist/tummy area but will allow her to grow with the dress too.  Maybe sometime when she wears it I'll remember to get a picture and post it as an update here:

Bottom line...I got one more thing off the list and Abi does have a new skirt!  :0)

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Boys' Fence

The boys decided they needed a fence to help keep their calf in, so they raided the chicken coop and grainery for supplies.  This was their result:

They used the bat as a hammer until they found one in the pickup!

Jonny checking his fence...he literally would ride back and forth,
get off - check the posts, and ride the other way!

Nathan getting ready to feed the bucket calf...he crosses the fence and then feeds him through the slats.

my feeble attempt to get a close up.
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, April 09, 2012

Family Pictures

UPDATE:  I kept looking at all the pictures and just wasn't I went in, picked the best pick for each family member and 'made' my is the picture that I ended up with:  I can see one area that needs a bit of touch up...but can you tell with the 'untrained eye' that this isn't originally shot this way? isn't perfect, but I think I like it better than the one below???
Here are a few of the Family Pictures we took.  The first one is a bit doctored, but you tell me if you notice what was done.  

Option 2...everyone in their natural states.
 These next few are of the kids only.  Nathan was mad at me and wouldn't smile for half of them.  But I still think all the personalities that show up are amazing.

I should get my signatures on these, but I didn't want to take the time to do it.  I'm just glad we got some cute pictures for Easter again!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sunrise Service

First View when we Arrived.

Helping set out the hay bales
(I had to use my flash to get anything to show up!)

The contrast as the sun began to rise.

More Sunrise!

Nathan coming back from his exploration of the Crosses!

Pastor Pat reading the text.

The Sun Peaking Above the Horizon.

Abi and Nate with their Cinnamon Rolls after the Service.
This year since my Mom was visiting and didn't feel up to coming to the Sunrise Service, we allowed Jonathan and Ethan to stay home while the rest of us headed out.

After Cinnamon Rolls, we headed back home to change for the normal service and family pictures...

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

With the Cousins

Cousins P, W, and T came to the farm on Friday, but unfortunately, I was not around as I went to get my mother from Gothenburg, so I didn't get any pictures of their visit...however, Abigail did get to spend the night over at Grandma's with her girl cousins and had a great time!

These pictures are from the Saturday afternoon/evening time with Cousins B, E, C and MS!

Cousin MS

The boys and their toys!

E and Cousin C playing farm...

Cousin MS having fun

Coloring Easter Eggs at Grandma Schlatters!

Using a whisk to help get the eggs in and out of the dye!

Abi doing a purple egg...Jonny looking on.

Abi and Cowboy MS...

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Family Egg Hunt 2012

According to tradition, we had our Family Egg Hunt with the Cousins at Grandma's House on Easter Sunday after lunch.  This year, we had the two little ones...E and Cousin C...go first, then the older kids came a running.  

(I'm not going to narrate much...I figure the pictures explain it best anyway)

Get Ready...

I just have to explain this pic...Jonny picked up 6 eggs and then went and hid behind the house to open them and see what was inside before he went hunting for anymore!  

Each kid got 20 eggs, their contents ranged from M&Ms, Jelly Beans, Squinkies, Robins Eggs, and Ink Stamps!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter