Janie and Brian Mauter's web site

The Ferris Wheel

By Brian on June 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm without comments

My dad built a Ferris wheel out of mainly scrap metal for his grand kids.  It’s about 12 feet tall and painted to match other playground equipment that his father made.  It looks awesome and Samantha and Ellie will tell you it’s the highlight of the trip home to visit Nana and Papa.

One of the tricks was finding an oven large enough to hold it.  He disassembled it and after three or four trips to the powder coating shop, it was done.  The wheel only had about half an inch of space on each side of the oven.

For now, he’s using a Milwaukee Drill with a 50:1 gear box to turn the wheel.  Dad’s thinking about changing it to a hydraulic motor for smoother and quieter operation.

My kids have got it so good.

Front of the Ferris Wheel Side of the Ferris Wheel with Dad

Here’s a video of it running.  Sorry it’s a bit loud.

Oh, and here’s a video of it before it was painted.  We had to test with live grand kids.

Painted Ladies Round 2

By Janie on June 12th, 2014 at 6:21 pm without comments

Samantha received a butterfly kit for her birthday last fall. I chose not to redeem the coupon for the mail order caterpillars because I was afraid that by the time they turned into butterflies, it would be too cold. Instead, we waited until spring. (Also, I wanted to hear about why we couldn’t order the caterpillars every. day. during the winter.)

When the caterpillars arrived, we thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and turn into Painted Lady butterflies. We released them in the front yard, but I don’t think we’ve seen them since.

Samantha was determined to get more, so she saved and saved her money so she could order more. She continued to loose teeth at such a rate that it wasn’t long before she had enough money.

We are enjoying the caterpillars once again. I hope we have the same success with the butterflies.


My Mother’s Day

By Janie on May 12th, 2014 at 8:40 pm without comments

I had a great Mother’s Day hiking around Mt Cheaha.  I didn’t really know what to expect since we had never been before, but it turned out to be a great day.  The hikes were all pretty short, with some decent views, so we got to enjoy most of the park.  Thankfully, the girls love to hike.  Climbing up the Observation Tower was another story though.  Samantha was very nervous.  I think she might be afraid of heights (like some unnamed father of hers…).  We stumbled upon the best view while on the Rock Garden Trail, so we decided to have our picnic lunch looking out towards the lake and the waterfall.  It was lovely.  Thanks Brian and girls for making my day special.


Mother’s Day by Ellie

By Janie on May 11th, 2014 at 8:02 am without comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mother readers today!  I hope you have a lovely day.

Ellie answered some questions about me during school one day.  They are good for a laugh.  (Click for full size.)


Samantha answered these questions too.  Here they are, if you would like a refresher.

Social Media from a 6 year old

By Janie on April 15th, 2014 at 9:05 pm without comments

Samantha’s teacher had a baby last week. She asked me if I could go to Facebook to find a pic. I replied “No,” without getting into why. Immediately, she said “What about Twitter or YouTube?”

I was shocked that she knew about those social media outlets, and that she lumped them together as a group.