Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Kickapoo Country Fair & Stella in the Highchair

This year we took a Sunday off and went to the Kickapoo Country Fair at the Organic Valley Headquarters in La Farge, WI (about 45 miles from us). It is probably the coolest fair we've ever been food, organic coffee, maple syrup cotton candy, excellent speakers, cool vendors, great music,Wisconsin made was awesome!
Stella was enamored with 2 things at this fair...#1 was the "Ladies on Stilts" walking around the fair all weekend
and in the children's parade...
#2 was carrying around Shannon Hayes book Radical Homemakers...I bought the book and got to have Shannon personally sign my copy and Stella did not want to let go of the book. My favorite parts about the fair: The feeling that I knew most of the people I saw...even though I might not have ever met them; the great food; being able to let the kids run around and do as they pleased; AND, most of all, meeting Shannon Hayes and listening to her talk about her book. I'm almost halfway through the book now, and I LOVE it. I agree wholeheartedly with every word she has written. In my opinion this is a MUST READ book! Tommy had fun talking to folks about raw food and tasting some DELICIOUS pro-biotic, raw fermented, foods like Sauerkraut made locally.
Reeve and Kyle's favorite part was running around with their friends AND building the most AMAZING sandcastle ever.
It was very strategically placed under a couple of awesome shade the kids weren't baking in the sun.
All the kids worked so well together! They were all busy creating, digging, building...together. It was wonderful to see.
and what blog post would be complete without a set of Stella pictures? Stella pretty much keeps us all laughing and giggling all the time. We all get a kick out of watching her eat. She has such enthusiasm for the food I make, that it's hard not to smile. Can you believe she's never had a jar of baby food? Neither did Reeve or Kyle...we had a baby food grinder in the beginning, but now she doesn't need it.
Yum! Yum!
Look at that smile!
Breeze Break...(that's when it's very hot, and you feel a breeze blowing by, and you lift your arms up and stop what you're doing, and say Breeze Break!)
Now she's ready for her bath, and saying, "will someone get me out of here?"

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Solar Hot Water System Progress, Pool pics, & Stella Cleaning

Our 10 panel Solar Hot Water System is coming together nicely in the backyard.
Kyle has really enjoyed being a helper on this system, and we've enjoyed his focus on it. We've also enjoyed the help from BEC Solar's intern Jeff. What's that huge tarp doing hanging from the deck? It was the only place for shade during the day on this east side of the house.
Tom designed the racking system...we're pretty proud of it.
Panels in place...ready to be mounted on the rack.
Up they go! Two up...10 more to go.
Our daily hot day pool routine...can't get enough of that backyard pool.
Happy Baby!
Kiss for ducky!
Mmmmwahh! Ducky blows a kiss to you!
After a refreshing dip in the pool Stella is ready to Stella the Cleaning Toddler!
What can she clean? Oh, Papa that fridge is dirty...let me in there...
All done...time to move on to the next cleaning task...
Kyle & Reeve's room...

Monday, August 02, 2010

New Solar Hot Water System, Stella & Flowers, Backyard Pool & Rainbows

Home project #1: New 10 panel Solar Hot Water System to heat all of our domestic hot water and provide radiant floor heating in the cooler Wisconsin months...or about 9 months out of the year!

This system will be placed on the east side of the house...facing South of course :)
First step...stake it out, and then auger 14 holes for the concrete pillars.
Next goofiness...I was cooking chick peas the other night (aka garbonzo beans) for our weekly batch of hummus and I think I "get" why they are called chick it because they look like a mini cooked chicken?
Don't you see it? Doesn't this look like a mini-cooked chicken...hence the name "chick peas"...what do you think?
The echinacea flowers that my folks brought up from Indiana are thriving here. Stella loves to go out and see all the flowers.
She still doesn't understand why she can't have the camera...
If there is anything that Stella will climb...she will! The following is Stella climbing up to the printer and working in our home office...
Dangerous? Probably! Supervised? Definitely! Now here she is signing a book...
Need anything copied? scanned?
I'm here to help!
More pool fun...
I love this dress on her...
More rainbows at the Rayes...
Tommy and the kids holding up the end of the rainbow...Stella showing that the pot of gold is on Reeve's head.
The sun was bright and in their eyes, but we all love a good rainbow...there was a double rainbow here briefly...the whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes.