Janie and Brian Mauter's web site

Lemonade $tand

By Janie on August 24th, 2014 at 9:57 pm with one comment

All summer, Samantha has been dreaming of operating a lemonade stand. I think she got the idea from one of her Highlights magazines. But, there is a young girl who lives a few streets down from us who has a lemonade stand once or twice per summer. I always stop on my way to/from the pool when her stand is open. The girls find it hilarious to stop and get lemonade.

This began her dream.

First, she had to draw it out and get it just so.


Then she had to make sure she had enough money for the supplies. Next, she had to find a free afternoon when someone could take her to the store for said supplies. She decided to splurge and get some helium balloons.  I told her they might cost a lot of money, but she assured me that “Sometimes, you have to spend some money to make some money.”  Yes, dear.  When supplies were got, she got to work.


And she got so excited that she got the rest of us to join in.


The little venture was much more profitable than I would have imagined: maybe because we were under a heat advisory and it was literally 100 degrees outside, or maybe we just have really nice neighbors. Either way, she had a blast.  And I hope she learned a little too.

And We’re Off!

By Janie on August 11th, 2014 at 2:57 pm with one comment

First Day of First Grade!


Today was only a half day, so she came home hungry and grumpy.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.  I’ll be sure to pack more in her snack too.

The Final Countdown

By Janie on August 5th, 2014 at 6:43 pm without comments

We started out the last week of summer excited to finally get to the beach. Unfortunately, Brian came home on Friday afternoon late, and told us that he didn’t think he could come with us. Work gets in the way of life. Can I get an Amen? I attempted to get a few others to join us at the little apartment, but just decided to go on my own. I am so glad we came.

all e es s seastar

When we were at the beach, the best way I know to describe it is occupied. The girls were just busy doing beachy things: digging for coquina clams, searching for crabs, riding waves, building sand castles, filling buckets, emptying buckets, looking for fish, watching the dolphins, the list goes on.  The girls loved going out to the sand bar, so we went out at least every day. Once while we were out there, we were watching some fishermen in kayaks and their wild success.  Then, some dolphins decided to join in the frenzy.  We were close enough to hear the water come out of their blowholes!  It was really cool.  We weren’t close enough to see them underwater, so Samantha continued to ask why we couldn’t get closer.  They are her all time favorite animal, I think.  They certainly are now, at least.

Then, on the last night we were at the beach, I was doing the final packing up and was ready to start walking up.  Samantha yells that she found a sea star!  I happened to have a net in my hand, so I walked down to the shore, not really knowing what I would find.  She was right!  It had lost an arm, but we picked it up long enough to watch it for a few minutes.  It was still alive, so I didn’t want to keep it.  Otherwise, what a cool find!

As soon as our feet hit the sand, they were content, which made me content. I even got to read a little while we were there!! They didn’t need me to join in the play, or worse, be the referee. It was lovely. I wish Brian could have joined us in this little bit of bliss.  The weather was great, a little cloudy all day (which is perfect in my book!) and even a little thunderstorm one afternoon.

This was the first time we had gone to Perdido Key, and based on our great trip, maybe we’ll be back!  We found so many great shells and animals.  I’m not sure if it was the season, weather, or the area.  It was nice.  I’ll pass along the house info too.

The rest of the week promises the finishing touches on our summer book reports, buying some new shoes, new school haircuts… Do you see a theme? We start back to school on Monday!!

Summer 2014

By Janie on August 5th, 2014 at 12:14 pm without comments

On Friday, August 1st, I thought to myself, “Whew.  I made it.”  Months in advance, I have to plan out the summer, arranging for camps and activities for the kids.  We are on the home stretch now, as the last week of summer is Mom Camp.  More on that later.

We started the summer with the Balloon Glow.


And some dress up from the favorite new movie.



We’ve done A LOT of this:


In fact, Samantha learned how to jump off the diving board this summer.  It’s about time.

This one, on the other hand, has been doing it (with her float) for a while:


She has had a few lessons this summer, and might be a fish, just like Samantha.


We haven’t done enough of this:


We’ve also seen most of the children’s shows at the library.  Samantha got picked to be a volunteer in every show that made requests. This one was Billy Jonas.  It was a new show for the library, and what a wonderful surprise!


And we couldn’t miss Roger Day!


The girls have spent lots of time on this:



And even got to ride on one of these:



And because we didn’t already have enough going on, we scraped the popcorn ceiling off in 4 rooms.



I think that about sums it up.  I didn’t intend to let the whole summer go by and not post.  Hopefully, this summer in pictures captures it all.  School starts next week!

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.