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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, May 31, 2012

Renovation - Kitchen LIGHTS!

Marion got the lights installed!  


long view

I know this one is dark, but you can still see how 'light' the new
fixtures are...They actually give off a pure 'outside' light that we love!

Side - you can see the nickle molding!
I am SO excited!  This means that bascially the kitchen is DONE!  I will need to do a bit of touch up where Jonny scrapped the door quite a bit with his wheel chair and I have the file cabinet that could be painted sometime too...but EVERYTHING ELSE IS DONE!


Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jonny can WALK!

We took Jonny to the Orthopedic doctor in Salina today for his 6 week check up.  He received a full release - meaning he has no restrictions on him as to what kind of activities he can do!  Well, except climb out windows! :0)  

Anyway, we were able to take the wheel chair back and when we got home we shot this short video!

As you can see, he has a funny gait in his walk and the doctor said he could even limp for up to a year, but that is all within normal ranges for this type of a break. It doesn't stop him from getting around, trying to run, and even riding his bike!

We have no more check ups or follow ups until October 9th, when he is scheduled to get the nails taken out of his leg!  We are so very THANKFUL!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Dirty Little Boy - Enjoying Summer!

So, I couldn't refuse taking these pictures the other day!  

Ethan had THOROUGHLY enjoyed the spaghetti dinner that was delivered to our family that night 


He had THOROUGHLY enjoyed escaping the house and playing outside!

Gotta love those boys!!!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Motherhood Necessity - How to Remove OLD spit up stains!

Okay - so we dug out the baby girl clothes from under Abigail's bed - you know - the ones that have been there for 7 years!  Well, as you can imagine, even though Abi was not a very spitty baby some of the cutest outfits that we put her in ALL the time were terribly stained!  So I began the task of trying to get those stains out. I remember that I've had this dilemma before but never have the clothes sat for 7 YEARS! And honestly, the boys either didn't wear the clothes, or wore the onesies stained! (sorry boys!)

And I'll confess, some of you Mommy's might already know this trick, but I was so blown away with it, I just had to blog it!

I wish I would have taken pictures of what the clothes looked like before so you could see the comparison, but here is a picture of what one outfit looks like now:

The top portion up by the pink ruffle was completely yellowed.

You can see it is now sparkly white!
I was utterly amazed at how well they turned out.  We had about a dozen shirts/outfits that we treated in an attempt to save some of our favorites!

Before I tell you what DID work...let me tell you what I tried that didn't:  Oxiclean soak, lemon juice - a HUGE  no-no, bleach wash, peroxide, and plain line drying!

What did work was Baking Soda and Vinegar with a Sun Dry!

I thought all hope was lost - especially after the lemon juice fiasco that made the dress pictured below turn completely ORANGE! (again - so sorry I don't have a picture of that to show you but I won't repeat it to prove I was so sad :0( - it was one of my favorites and Abi wore it ALL the time!  But then I tried the baking soda/vinegar and was stunned at how well it worked.  (I did have to do the baking soda/vinegar TWICE on the dress below to get it as 'clean' as it is now.)

The lemon juice reacted terribly and even the little flowers at the top
were orange!  I was so sad!

But as you can is all white and pink again!
Sorry about the shadows.
What you do:  Generously sprinkle baking soda over stained area and rub it in. Liberally pour vinegar over stain and let it bubble.  Lay a blanket on the grass outside and place clothes stain side up on a sunny day. When dry - or stain has disappeared - bring inside and wash normally.

I tried to hang the clothes on the line, but they need more DIRECT sunlight, so it worked better to have them laying on a blanket than hanging on the line.

I'm not sure if this method would work with other stains, but I am seriously going to try it on a few of our other clothes that I'd like to salvage.  I'm thinking this is a protein stain remover though, but I might be wrong.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Pool Setup!

Well, after a week of begging, I finally caved and set up the pool!  Two years ago when we set up the pool in May, everyone told me I had done it too early and we wouldn't use it...etc!  However, I think with 100 degree days scheduled for this next week, we are probably okay with the pool set up!

Nathan has GOT to remember (and so does mommy) to put sunscreen on though because he is burnt to a crisp tonight!  But the kids all had a GREAT time.  Abi had been in the pool too, but after getting too cold, she had gotten out before I remembered to take pictures.  So the she's not in them.

This year we decided to try the set up on the rocks outside the back door.  It worked PERFECTLY for leveling out the pool.  We did have to do some manipulation of the rocks and the bottom of the pool has a few 'bumps' but the kids didn't seem to mind and we were able to get a fairly level pool this time around.

We are having some cloudy water issues that we will have to resolve, but the kids didn't seem to mind it and all the 'levels' are normal.  Here are a few pictures of the boys playing in the pool (please forgive all the pool stuff in the foreground, I hadn't gotten a chance to get it all cleaned up before I took the pictures).

Abi sneaking in front of me to get the ball Nathan threw at me!
Jonny was riding his inflatable noodle like a horse - staying off his leg!

Nate had a GREAT time shooting these water balls at me...
thankfully he would squeeze them out first...
on occasion he forgot and I got pretty wet!
I wasn't overly fond of the pool location at first...but now I LOVE it!  I think it will be great to sit in the shade of the house and watch the kids play or even relax myself in the later afternoon after the sun has warmed it all day!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feeling Baby Sarah

The kids are SO excited today…Sarah was very active and they each got to feel her kick at least once!


It is amazing to see how Abigail has grown in her awareness since even Ethan was on the way.  She is much more attuned to what is happening and how Mommy is feeling.


We tried to get Sarah to give them a good kick yesterday, but even after a bit of sugar enticement, she just wasn’t in the kicking mood.  However today, after eating some homemade baked beans, she just went wild!  She was kicking every few seconds and hard enough for the kids to really get a ‘kick’ out of it!


If the kids are getting excited about these kicks…I can’t wait to see how they will feel about the ones that will come later when my whole tummy will move…awe…the amazement kids bring to life!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

How is Jonny doing?

We've been asked how Jonny is doing.  So I thought I'd give you a photo explanation.  

Standing on one foot.
He is doing really well with this and can do all kinds of things standing now.

Doing tricks.
He has learned to do several tricks using his arms. 

Holding himself up.
This one is helpful in getting dressed...that is when he doesn't have his leg off to the side.

Getting on the stairs.

Going UP the stairs.
Though it is blurry, you can see his left leg is being held out.
He doesn't even try to put weight on it.

Proudly posing for a picture.

Scooting down the hall.
He just drags himself.  We tried to get him to crawl one legged
 like his friend Isaac, but he won't do that.

Getting up on his bed.
He just uses his arms and hops.
Posing again...he was really liking the attention!

He can pull himself into the playroom now.

And he uses the rocking chair to play with the trains.
As we were leaving, he decided to show me this stunt!
He pulled himself up using the bars at the end of the bed,
and then before I could stay stop...

He did this.!

Then he rolled out and stood by the ladder!
Crazy boy...and none of it hurt!

Getting ready to go back down stairs.
He often tries to go as fast as he can!

And sometimes, he has to grab on quick to keep from slipping.
The other day I saw him holding onto the rail and HOPPING down the stairs!

Once at the bottom, he just hops into the chair.

All done!
What an excursion that was!
As you can see, he gets around very well and does crazy things.  He is doing GREAT! And though we thought we'd have to try to keep him off his leg, we are now wondering if we will have a hard time getting him to USE his leg.  We will see in time.

Besides now doing the stairs and pretty much getting around normally, he can now also get himself in and out of the van.  This is a huge relief on Mommy and he likes having that freedom too!  One thing is for certain, he will have very strong arms!!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Sarah Grace - An Ultrasound

We got to see the Baby today!  

We found out we are having A GIRL!  

Sarah Grace Schlatter

Unfortunately, we did not get very many good shots of Sarah to share with you, but I did get a few from the video they gave us.  I tried to label them to make it easier for those who are not familiar with ultrasound pictures to hopefully see our little girl.

This is the ONLY 3D picture we got!
It's not the best, but we are thankful we got at least this one!

We were there for about a half hour, but the lady spent a tremendous amount of time doing diagnostic measurements, so we only got a few 'baby shots' work putting into a video.  Here is our short version!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, May 07, 2012

A New School Year!

In the realm of homeschooling, we are trying to get things arranged for a more year round approach.  Our goal is to be able to take advantage of the nice days and be inside doing school when we'd rather not be outside.

With this in mind, I was seriously looking into next year's curriculum in April - needing to order it before school ended in May.  We now have things arranged so that our school year will actually run from May 2012 - April 2013; May 2013 - April 2014; etc.  Why May through April?

Mostly because that is how it worked for this year - we didn't want to have too big of a break right now because the kids will have a bigger break come September when the baby comes.  But we also chose this because the kids can remain in the same 'year' as if they were in public school. (They will only be a month off.) That way, if we decide to send them to public school sometime down the road, we will just finish their current year in April and they'll have a nice long vacation before they start public school the following August.

For the 2012-2013 school year, Abi will be in THIRD grade and Nathan started FIRST!  We decided that with age, baby, and everything else, we weren't starting Jonny on any formal schooling until he turned 5 in January.  Then he'll do a shortened preschool/kindergarten prep course and start Kindergarten in May of 2013.

I totally believe it was a Divine appointment that I started looking at curriculum when I did because when I got it in, Nathan was at the PERFECT spot in his Reading/Language Arts courses.  We use Christian Light Education's (CLE) Light Units (LU) and their Learning to Read program doubles as a Kindergarten and First Grade Starter Reading program.  They mix their Reading programs with their Language Arts program so the children get a double introduction to many key issues.

During Nathan's Kindergarten year, he completed LU 1-5.  He was actually finishing 5 when I got the new curriculum and noticed that the First Grade Language Arts starts with LU 5 Learning to Read.  They also offer Review Sheets for the Learning to Read program and so it worked perfectly to start him on FIRST grade right then, use the review sheets and follow their Course Outline.

The bottom line to that whole story is that Nathan has actually been in First Grade for a few weeks. But since Abigail's SECOND grade courses didn't finish until May 4th, we had to do a bit of juggling this first year.  But next year, they will hopefully both be starting the same week.

From what I have quickly calculated, we will have 205 'available' days of school.  That is taking off birthdays, general holidays, and September for the baby.  Since Kansas Law states an equivalent of 186 days, we should be well within our requirements.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Renovation - Kitchen

It is FINISHED...well...almost..does one every truly finish a remodel?!  

I tried to have it finished today but unfortunately we hit a huge snag in the new light fixture department and it looks like we will have to have an electrician come to rewire the kitchen lights for the new fixtures.  At the very least I will have to wait until we go to Wichita on the 8th in order to get the light bulbs for the new fixture because no one around here carries the new T5 florescent bulbs.  Fortunately, we can get them in Salina and Hastings so it won't be too much of a bother to get replacements when we need them.

But, besides the new light fixtures, IT IS FINISHED! Here is a new look-see at the kitchen.  I admit that I did not take a WHOLE kitchen picture because it is rather difficult in such a long narrow space but between the views of the new desk area here and the area snapshots below I think you can get an idea.

Oh...and we did get the hole in the floor fixed where the cabinet used to be under the desk.  But I did forget to paint the file cabinet, so sometime I will get the paint back out and do that plus a few touch ups - but that will be after Jonny is done with the wheelchair - he is very hard on my new door:

My New Door!'s the old door painted new...but it looks new!
And we do actually have the face plates back on the switches - they are painted red - I just didn't get a picture of that!

Trim detail above the desk.

Trim detail above the kitchen table.
We painted the paneling up there - it wasn't painted before.
In the next picture, you will notice the chairs now have washable covers over them to aide in cleaning as well as to match the old blue chairs with the new kitchen scheme.  We previously had the chairs reupholstered but it didn't last long and they were already showing some terrible wear and tear.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find roller chairs anywhere that are even close to these to replace them, so we are trying to 'make them stretch' as long as we can!

My attempt at a more longer kitchen view.
Now we get into the new curtains and rods. I took the old rod from the girl's bathroom that really isn't needed and found a new rod and some hold-backs that matched to add to the kitchen.  Considering the old rod was well over 10 years old, I felt very fortunate indeed to find matching new rods.

Long tie back curtains above Dad's Sink Area. can see the new light too...I've got a close up coming.

Here are the hold-back rods in the middle of the window above.
I had to stagger them in order for them to fit in such a small space.
You can also see the pattern of the curtains better. They have a sage color instead of the chocolate, but really you don't notice it much.  The other colors match very well considering I bought them off the computer!  :0)

Here is a close up of the new light fixture above Dad's Sink.
This is the same style of fixture that we put in the hall going up the stairs,
and the same lamp shade style that is in the Sitting Room Chandelier.

Kinda blurry, but you can see the rod and hold-backs.

Here is the chocolate Roman Shade and Swag that is now on the window by the kitchen table.

I took the two signs that were in the Coffee Christmas Package and sat them
up on the two rings above the kids' clothes boxes.
They have all the colors that match the kitchen and add a little something - I do like my Coffee!.

Kitchen Sink Window.
You can't really see the curtains much for the light, but you can at least tell they are a shorter tier with valance.
Also, note that I put the decorative hanging that was above the kids' tubs above the sink now.
We LOVE the changes.  It makes the room much more cozy and Marion has commented on it several times. The yellow really ties the cabinets into the room and I am beginning to think they won't need to be redone afterall.  I may still do something with the handles though...but until Marion decides if this will be my kitchen for the rest of my life, I am happy with waiting on the handles.

Again, we will need to wait for the new light fixtures, but I'll post a picture of them when we get that done. Who knows how long it will be before we get a chance to empty the closet leading to the crawl space, Marion checks the crawl space to see if he can do anything or if we will indeed need an electrician, and then how long the wait will be before we can get an electrician here, and then get the lights installed - at least until the 8th!  LOL!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter