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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:

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Practice Run

Sunday evening at church I started having contractions about 15 minutes apart.  They weren't very painful, but kinda crampy and definitely coming in waves.  The Farmer and I talked about it and decided to go to bed and see what happened.

My night was very restless and uncomfortable.  About 2 a.m. the Farmer asked how things were going and when we timed the contractions they were 7 minutes apart.  Progress! I tried to go back to sleep.

When I woke up, I didn't really notice any contractions so I got up and figured they had stopped, but as I moved around they became stronger and I began having to sway or move to be 'comfortable'.  It was then that we decided to call Bethany.  (Heidi was out of town...actually out of country as they had gone to see their family in Canada.  This was all planned ahead of time and we knew we had Bethany.)  Well, since we were still only 36 weeks and Heidi was gone, we decided to try to stop the contractions and wait  it out.

All day we worked at stopping them.  We even went and got some wine to try to relax me and get them to stop.  They did stall at around 3 minutes, but they just didn't stop. At about 7 p.m. we decided that just in case this was the big event, we'd better get closer to Bethany so we started getting the jeep packed up, and things settled around the house and headed south.

We were so very blessed to have Bethany offer us a room near her so that we didn't have to do the hotel thing and could remain close to where she was.  We arrived in Partridge around 12:30 a.m. and the contractions had settled down a bit with the vibrations of the drive.  I still couldn't settle into a good sleep so I was up and down, pacing, moving, walking most of the night.

When the Farmer woke up in the morning he said, "So, inquiring minds want to know."  I told him I wasn't sure but I was uncomfortable and they seemed to be coming very close together.  When we timed them, I was feeling peeks about every 2 minutes apart.  The Farmer couldn't believe that but that was what I was feeling.

As we got up and started moving around, I began having to sway again and the Farmer got me the ball so bounce on.  When Bethany came to check on us, we talked about how this wasn't really our plan but we'd see how far I was.  Unfortunately, when Bethany checked me I was barely 1 cm.  NO PROGRESS!

Ugh.  I was so frustrated.  We talked about how I should probably just ignore these lighter ones and wait until they get stronger.  I was pretty uncomfortable on the ride home but there was nothing more I could really do.  By Thursday the contractions were pretty slow and life was back to 'normal'.

The Farmer was great...very supportive...though he did tease me a little.  At least we got in a good practice run!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Abi-girl's Return from the Hospital

This year for Abigail's birthday, she requested to have her My Twinn doll sent in to the Hospital to have her adjusted to look more like Abigail does now. 

When Abi-girl made her first appearance with our family, she had short dark (almost black) hair and did look alot like Abigail.  But over the years, Abi has changed.  Her hair is longer and lighter, she has glasses, and she really wanted her birth mark to match. 

So, off to the Hospital Abi-girl went and we just got her back home.  And how did it turn out:

Abi and Abi-girl!
You can't see the birth mark, but they did a remarkable job of actually locating it in the almost exact location on the forehead!  The glasses aren't the same, but I think they match pretty well considering the limited options we had.  Overall, Abigail is pleased and that is all that matters.

Last night I stopped in to say good night and found Abi and Abi-girl both posed reading books together.  And, this morning she asked, "Since I'm changing my hair style today, can I change Abi-girl's too?"  I told her of course, I'm just so glad she is excited about her birthday present and the changes we made.

(Now she wants to have matching outfits! - maybe for Christmas)

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Ethan Mess

Why is it I never remember to take pictures of blog worthy messes....oh, maybe because in the moment I'm trying to clean up the mess!

Well, we had a doozy of a mess today. Ethan decided to get into the finger nail polish that was in the bathroom above the toilet. Not only did he try to paint his own nails but he managed to dump the entire bottle of my favorite color all over the toilet!

Yes indeed! I surely should have taken a picture to share with you all, but it didn't happen.

As Elizabeth attempted to clean him up, I attempted the toilet. How do you clean finger nail polish out of the water in the doesn't dilute or flush. I ended up flushing and then before the water got high enough I was able to wipe up most of it. I had to use quite a bit of my polish remover to get it off the seat and surrounding walls. But, even though it was a dark maroon, I think I got it all so the next time you visit, hopefully you won't notice the pink undertones :0)

I did get a few pictures of Ethan after we got him cleaned up as much as we could.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 Fair Results - Nathan

Nathan did extremely well at the fair this year.  His Pullet (a chicken that hasn't yet started laying eggs) got First Place and Best of Show.

Proudly standing by his pullet.

Nathan's biggest project at the fair was the bucket calf he named Lightning Chocolate Chip.  Here is a recap video taken by Abi for your enjoyment:

The judge only gave out participation ribbons for his class, but as you heard in the video, he was impressed with Nathan's knowledge about his calf.

One of the Open class Signs with Nathan's name.

Nathan with his calf in front of the picture thing.
The Farmer was proud of how well Nathan did with his first bucket calf.  He took his job very seriously and did great taking care of of the calf, learning about it, and even picking up after it!

Nathan's final activity in the fair was the Pedal Pull.  This was Nathan's second year of participating as you might remember last year's postings: county and state. This year he again won first place in his division and qualified for State.  (Unfortunately, one state experience was enough for our family, so we doubt he'll actually go to state, but it is still fun for him to qualify!)

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

2012 Fair Results - Abigail

Well, the 2012 Smith County Fair is coming to a close.  Abigail has now received all her ribbons/rewards and below is a listing of what she got:

Top two photos received 1st place ribbons.
The rest received a participation award!

Abi's banana bread recipe received a First and Best of Show.

Abi's no bake cookie granola bars got Second Place!

Abi's Morning Glory Muffins got 3rd Place.

Can you see her pot holder?
It got a 2nd place!
Here are a few pictures of Abi at the kitty showing.  She did a great job keeping her kitty calm and on the table.

Talking to the judge.

She got 1st and Best of Show!
From a quick calculation, I would say that Abi will receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 from her first fair participation!  It was a lot of fun and I think they learned alot!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

2012 Fair - Misc Pictures

Here are a few miscellaneous pictures that were taken at the fair and an update on how my entries did:

Nathan taking his calf for a drink.

the kids with the calf

We let Nathan take the calf over to the 'winners' board to take a picture.

Abi wanted a turn holding the calf.
the kitties napping while waiting for the results of the cat show.
 Now, several have asked for an update on the items that I took to the fair, so here it is:

Winner's board - I circled my pictures but because
you have indicated you wanted to SEE the pictures...I'll add them below:
1st Place
People, color
1st Place
Building, B&W
2nd Place
People, B&W
2nd Place
Computer Manipulation
3rd Place
Animals, B&W
The rest of the pictures received a participation award: 
Animal, color
Building, color

Landscape, color

Landscape, B&W

Still Life, color

The only other thing that I entered was my baby booties that I made for Sarah.  They got a second place with a note on the back to adjust my tension and I would have gotten a first.  I'm still happy with how they turned out!

For our first year of 'really' participating in the fair, I think we had a great time and really enjoyed it.  We will have to wait and see what next year brings!!!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

2012 Fair Results - Jonathan & Ethan I'm going to put Ethan and Jonny together in the same post because well...I'm just gonna ;0).

I have one more fair post of just miscellaneous pictures that I'll get to shortly but here is what Jonny and Ethan were up to at the fair:


Big brother showing him how it's done!

helping keep the hay in its place
Jonny had one entry in the fair - Cuddles Lightning Schlatter - the kitty!

Waiting to show his kitty
We have NO idea what he is actually telling her....
It might be a very LARGE tale!
our charming Jonny!
Obviously the judge was smitten with our charmer, because Jonny got Second place with his kitten!  We can't imaging that it was because he was the most informed and capable showman there!  If we heard him right, at one time he told the judge that he never brushed his kitty, only fed it once a day, and when she asked about a litter box he responded "no, they just poop in their cage".

Nevertheless, the kitten must have earned some credits of its own.  It was a very nice looking kitty!

Ethan did not have any entries at the fair, but he was enamored with going with the Farmer and Nathan to tend to the bucket calf.

Walking through the beef barn.

keeping track of the calf while Nathan went to find something!
(the Farmer was 'right' there to step in)
The funniest thing that happened while at the fair was when Ethan decided he wanted to take the calf for a drink.  He got the lead chain that the Farmer uses to help Nathan, and went up to the calf to untie it from the rail.  Then he tried and tried and tried to figure out how to get the calf loose.

Here is is getting ready to hook up the calf.

Look at that expression!
He was trying VERY hard.
I managed to get a little video clip before he gave up:

Can you hear the Farmer..."Are you getting this?"  He asked me that like six times before I actually videoed E's efforts.  And yes...the calf next door was RIGHT there to give Ethan a kiss when he gave up!  A most adorable video clip!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Smith County Fair 2012

Today starts the beginning of the Smith County Fair Activities!

As some of you may know, this is our first year of really being active in the fair as far as exhibits go.  I think the first year I was here in Smith County we might have entered a couple of pictures and some wheat.  Then we started having kids and fair exhibits just didn't seem to be all that important, but now the kids are growing up and the Farmer was very enthusiastic about fair projects this year.

Here is the break down of what the rest of our week will look like.

Take Abi's sewing project in - we only got the pot holder done; 
(Mommy might take her second pair of booties as an exhibit...I haven't decided yet); 
get the kittens their last vaccination with certificate

check in photography and baked goods with Abi in the morning; 
take pullet in for blood testing in afternoon with Nathan

check in calf with Nathan in the morning; 
bucket calf showing with Nathan in the evening

Kitten show with Abi and Jonny in the early afternoon; 
pedal pull in the evening

a day of REST!

pick up all exhibits and animals!

At the end of the week, I'll try to post a few pictures/videos from the week if I can and I'll definitely let you know what if any ribbons the kids earned.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, July 16, 2012

Look Who is EIGHT!

 Sure enough...can you believe it?  My oldest is EIGHT YEARS OLD!  Wow...where has the time gone!

This year, she picked a cake from a Disney Princess Cake Book she received for Christmas.  We made it a bit different, but basically she wanted a round layer cake with a tiara on top.  She chose to have a Strawberry cake with Strawberry filling.

The original cake had coconut pressed into the sides, but Abi didn't want coconut and I wanted to 'fancy' it up a bit, so I tried to do a strawberry drizzle.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out exactly like I'd like it, but she has a Strawberry layer cake with a pretty tiara on top!

We had our second 'private' family birthday party...and it was nice!  (If you remember, at Ethan's birthday we were all sick so we had just a private family party.)  Here is a video of singing Happy Birthday to our girl!

Along with the tiara, she got earrings, necklace, and ring.  Here is a picture of her all decked out:
She ended up getting several phone calls to wish her a Happy Birthday and at the end of her day I asked her if she had a good day and she said, "Yep. Sure Did."
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nathan's Latest...

This week, Nathan decided that he wanted to ride his bike to Grandma and Grandpa Schlatter's house!

Coming down the hill into G&G Schlatter's place.

This occurred after he and Daddy talked about the 5K run that took place in Downs at the town celebration last week.  So, one morning, he and Daddy headed off on the 5 mile trek.  The Farmer was not at all confident that they would actually go that far, but it wasn't long before he realized they just might make it and called for a ride back home!  The Farmer was very proud of his eldest son's accomplishment!


Nathan's other big accomplishment this week was the loss of another tooth!

I don't know what it is about this boy and his loose teeth, but he has lost 3 of his 4 now while eating.  There we were last night eating supper when he announces, "'s on my plate!"  I guess the really good thing about this is that there is no screaming or crying over pulled teeth...they just fall out...with little blood loss or pain! (Crazy thing was...I didn't even know he had a loose tooth!)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Update on Baby Sarah

As some of you may know, we had an exciting weekend. I started having contractions on Wednesday, but totally thought they were just the Braxton Hicks like I had been having.

By the time we were headed home from the Eakin's late on the 4th, I was beginning to realize they were different. My first clue was the pain in my back and the second was the timing of them.

However, after going to bed, they stopped, so I didn't say anything. On Thursday I just didn't feel well but didn't notice any real contractions like the night before - just the Braxton Hicks kind. By the time Friday rolled around, I started talking to Marion and eventually my midwife, Heidi, because they were back in my back again.

I took a shower, drank tons of water, and rested, but by Saturday morning I was still having the wrap around contractions mixed with the non-wrap around ones so Heidi thought it best to see me. So, off we went to Partridge as my sister made her way here to help with the kids!

By the time we got to Heidi I was very uncomfortable and had had three breathing contractions in the last hour. When Heidi first checked me, I was thinning and dilated a fingertip. Because I was showing even these small signs of progression, she felt it necessary to get me on some stuff to relax the uterus and stop any progression since we are only 33 weeks along.

We were so very blessed by Heidi and her husband as they opened their home to us so that I could rest and wait to see if the supplements would work. If they didn't, we would have to go into the hospital at Wichita.

After about four hours, Heidi checked me again and I had had no progression but she was still uncomfortable with the amount of tightening I was having and the fact that my nights are my worst time for contractions. Therefore, we decided to stay down there to see if I could make it through a night without progression as well (up to this time, I had been taking medicine every half hour and she wanted to know that if I quit that to sleep they would not start up again).

Again, Heidi and Vincent overwhelmed us with their hospitality and we stayed right there so if I needed Heidi in the night we had easy access. In the morning I was checked again and there was little progress so she allowed us to come home with the medicine and orders to rest. I am not on bed rest but just orders to rest more than be on my feet and to take my medicine as well as progesterone and magnesium.

So, here we are. I haven't had any wrap around contractions since Saturday when I first started the medicine and I have been taking it real easy since we got home. Even though I am not on bed rest Marion has indicated his desire for me to stay more home bound for the next few weeks. So we are all the more grateful to have Elizabeth back with us!

And just for the record, Sarah's heart rate was excellent. My blood pressure was good. And I am measuring a few weeks big. But all our regular check up stuff was great and we got a good report!

Thanks to everyone who was praying. We know they made a big difference. When we got home we found out about another lady (someone we know of) who was due the same time as we are and they are now in Hastings in the NICU because she went into preterm labor and had her baby early! Very strange that we were both going through the same thing around the same time!!!

We will keep you posted as we go on.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

3-4-3 A 4th Fruit Salad the whole meal wasn't red, white and blue, but I did manage to make a beautiful fruit salad for the food sharing at the Eakin's 4th of July party!

We didn't actually have 'supper' because I knew that the kids would want to eat the snackies and fun food at the we gave them a hot dog or two before we left and then let them eat pretty much all they wanted at the picnic.  (I think Jonny had at least three plates of goodies with some ice cream on top of they definitely did not starve!)

Anyway, I'm really sad to report that I didn't get any pictures of my fruit salad.  We were cutting it down to the wire as I finished it up so I took the camera with me but forgot to snap a quick photo before everyone dug into it.  Before I knew it, the salad was basically gone and I had no photo!

However, here is the linked photo of where I go the recipe:

Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Salad
Recipe Page
Mine was a bit more 'pink' as the strawberries were thawed and juicy.  But it was still pretty.

It was also very funny because as we were sitting at the party eating, the Farmer asks, "Did Abigail help with the prepping of the Strawberries for this salad?"

"No." I replied, "She just cut up the apples and mixed them in the lemon juice. Why?"

"I was just wondering, there seems to be bits of the strawberry leaves left in it, so I thought maybe she missed some."

I shake my head.  "Those aren't strawberry leaves, they are fresh mint from our garden and they are supposed to be in there silly! Like I would bring a fruit salad with strawberries leaves for people to eat."  Still shaking my head.

The reply, "Mint.  Really?  We have mint in our garden? Well, that changes my perspective.  It's good."

I just HAD to laugh...then shortly later we were back inside and he asked one of our friends, "Would you guess that this green stuff is 'supposed' to be in's mint!" 

I just walked away laughing!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Alternate Firework Activities

Okay, so we have a fire ban on right now.  

Even the firework sellers have closed down and moved to other areas that are allowing the sale of fireworks, because you can't even sell them in Smith Center. 

Needless to say, we didn't have any fireworks for the kids this 4th of July (on a side note though, we could buy them in Osborne County and light them in the city limits of Osborne, so we did stop off and get a few for the kids to enjoy at the Eakin's party).

So was trying to come up with alternative ideas to help the kids still feel like it was a day of celebration.  One idea I had came from Pinterest and Aunt K.  Baking Soda and Vinegar:

We had red and blue with white baking soda.
The kids took droppers and made designs or just a mess...either was fun!

Abi and Nate did it first as they were the first up from naps.

Loading up!

Trying to make purple...
it was all an experiment.
After this, I sent them outside to play with the exploding fizzy poppers we got from VBS Sky this year.  We again had to do some experimenting as the we were out of the actual fizzy tablets so we used the fizzy drink mix I had previously purchased.  It takes almost a whole packet to get the pop and it isn't as spectacular as the fizzy I think I'll be trying to find some more fizzy tablets!

Loading up the first go...water and a tablet.

Abi taking her turn on the launch pad.
See the orange bottle in the tree about half way up...
The kids LOVE the fizzy poppers and they are 'fire safe'.  A very good alternative to fireworks on a HOT, HOT 4th of July!

NOTE:  Jonny did get a chance to do the Baking Soda/Vinegar thing and made quite the volcano with it. But by that time I was busy making party food and didn't get the camera out.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter