The Merry Merry Month Of May

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May was a very busy month at school.  We celebrated “Older American’s week”, which included: hat day, pajama day, back to the 50’s day, mixed up day, scarf day and Ebenezer day.  We also celebrated Mother’s Day & just yesterday, we had Preschool Graduation.  Throughout our days, we also managed to take a walk to see our Young Preschool garden which we will be in charge of taking care of this summer, along with some of our grandparents.  We also did a unit on birds for a week and have been having lots of fun continuing that throughout our May days.  Let’s go back to to the start…

Older American’s Week was a lot of fun for the kids and included many intergenerational activities throughout the week.  To kick it off, we had hat day and met up with the grandparents for a cute photo-op which included some fun props.

The kids and teachers had a good time wearing their hats all day.

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Its the best shot we could get~

One of the other days was more for the Grandparents…Back to the 50’s!   I was surprised at how well some of our parents did with dressing up their kids for this.  We had a poodle skirt, greased hair, and the classic white t-shirt with jeans rolled up.  In the morning, we went to the chapel and listened to a wonderful group sing all the oldies.  I felt a little old myself, cause I knew all the words to most of the songs.  It was great fun and the grandparents had a ball!

On Ebenezer Day, we went upstairs and did an art project with some grandma’s.  When we walked in and saw paint, I immediately wanted to turn around and head back.  What were they thinking!  They wanted the kids to make a handprint on the paper, then the grandma’s were to put their handprint next to the child’s and a heart would be stamped in-between.  Okay, this sounds cute…but  it was a messy one for both kids and grandma’s and I had no idea what they were going to do with these.  We tried our best (and thankfully the grandma’s had good attitudes) and we kept the paint to mainly the tabletops and not the windows nearby.  A week later, I found this beautiful, colorful quilt displayed outside in the hallway.      Okay, it was worth it.   It made me smile~

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A paper quilt~

One of my most favorite days at this job so far, was the day we walked up to our garden out in the back of Ebenezer.  Each summer, the Young Preschool room plants a garden out back and takes care of it all summer, then hopefully get to eat the “fruits of the their labor” by fall.  We haven’t decided what vegetables we will be planting yet, but it should be a lot of fun watching them grow all summer long and learning what it takes to care for a garden.  I’ve also asked for some flower seeds so we can add some pretty color around it.  I like zinnias, so hopefully they will be a nice attraction to our garden.

The day we went out for the walk, it was absolutely the most prettiest spring day you could ask for.  The temperature was about 70, the sun was shining, and the crabapple trees were in full bloom!  What a gorgeous backyard that I didn’t even know was back here.  I will be taking more walks here this summer for sure.

The kids were having such a good time walking through all the crabapple blossoms that were on the ground.  It looked like a snowy day!  We couldn’t help but reach down, pick some up, and throw them into the air.

It smelled wonderful out there and I loved how colorful everyone looked amongst the green grass and white petals.  I could’ve hung out there all afternoon.  Truly a perfect spring day~

Since it is the month of May, we had to learn about birds.  Back in the classroom we had a week of listening to bird calls, playing with feathers, making birds out of shapes, pretending we had beaks, and learned how to peel a hard-boiled egg.

The kids really enjoyed this week and are now aware of bird sounds all the time and if they see them outside, they always yell to me, “Ms. Cathy…I see a bird! or Ms. Cathy, I hear a bird!”  It’s fun and I love that they are using what we learned and following through even after the week has gone by.   The best part of the week was when we pretended what it might be like to be a baby bird hatching out of its egg.  I brought in hard-boiled eggs and we talked about how a baby uses its beak to “break out” of the egg.  So they each got an egg and had to break the shell and see if it was easy or hard to do.

They found that it wasn’t that easy to peel the egg, but I was so proud of them.  Not one kid asked for help.  They were determined to do this all by themselves.  Eva was the first one to blast through to the egg.  When she broke it in half and saw the yellow yoke, she was so excited and yelled out, “it hatched!!”  I started to laugh and giggle and then we all did.  Once the laughing was done, she quickly ate it.  So much for the baby chick being hungry.

The other kids took a little longer but finally cracked all their shells and got to eat their eggs as well.   Everyone like their eggs except for one.  See if you can tell which friend didn’t care for it, but was a trooper for trying.  (haha)

The last event before our Memorial Day break was Preschool Graduation.  I have the younger preschooler class, but we also have the older preschool group in our school and  nine of them will move on to Kindergarten next year.  Chaplain Chris did a very nice Baccalaureate service the day before and we got to attend this with the grandparents as well.   He talked about how you can be happy and sad at the same time.  Happy that they are moving on to Kindergarten, sad that they will no longer be at our school.  It was a really nice service that made the teacher’s cry a little, especially our infant teacher who has known some of these kids since they were six weeks old!

Now we are to Memorial Day weekend and enjoying some time off.  It’s a time to clean the house, get some of those awful chores out of the way that you promised yourself you’d get done over spring break and never did, and enjoy some grilled food.  We also want to remember those people who have died serving our country and thank those who are currently serving as well.

Happy May to you and I hope you get a chance to relax with your family and friends over this holiday weekend~

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Our grill is getting a workout!

 

We Need More ‘Hairspray’!

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If you live around here, you’d see that our neighborhoods are filled with signs that say, “Hairspray”.  This is because the High School is currently performing this musical and it is fantastic!  Kelly auditioned for the show and was selected as a Corny Collins dancer.  This is perfect for her as she gets to use all of her swing dance moves that she has learned from being on that team.

If you’re not familiar with Hairspray, I did a little Google search for you…

Hairspray is an American musical based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray.   The songs include 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues.  In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland,  plump teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show.   Our Tracy is played by a senior this year…Abby Herzog.  She has a wonderful voice and is actually a tiny little girl.  They had her wear a fat suit to bulk her up.

When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight, and meets a colorful array of characters, leading to social change as Tracy becomes an activist for integration, mimicking the activism that contributed to the integration of its real-life counterpart.  Furthermore, the line “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” was a widely-used anti-integration slogan.    Here she is dancing with Seaweed, played by our friend Daniel.  Daniel was Alladin back in the junior high musical.  He has an amazing voice and has been cast in every musical since.

By using historical events and setting the musical during the social unrest that led to the  ‘Civil Rights Act’,  Hairspray is made highly empowering through nostalgia for older audiences, and via realization of shocking historical reality for younger audiences. Amidst this historical landscape, Tracy succeeds despite her figure, inter-racial relationships flourish, and hetero-normativity is challenged;  their believable success empowers anyone who feels ostracized because they are different.

This was one of my favorite musicals so far in this school district.  They took on a difficult subject matter, and really did a fantastic job.   All these kids were so professional about their “roles” and worked so hard to master this performance.  The cast included 61 students, an orchestra, and the lights & tech crew as well…and a large can of Ultra Clutch Hairspray.

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One of Kelly’s favorite parts in the musical was when she and the other dancers get to do the Ultra Clutch Hairspray commercial.   Ultra Clutch was the sponsor for the Cory Collins Show, so of course, they needed a commercial break during the taping.  She got to dance around the stage with a can of hairspray and they used “stage fog” for the spray.  It was hilarious to see all this spray and it hung in the air for a bit.  So funny and brings back memories of how much aerosol we used to use.  haha

Once again, Kelly had so many wonderful friends and family come to see her.  It always makes me smile to see her so happy and grateful for all these people to come enjoy their shows.  I know how much she appreciates it and they all work so hard to make it their best show, every night for us.

Kelly’s Aunt Terry and Godmother Shelly also attended the show and she got flowers from both.  So nice~  I think Terry would like her headshot next to Kelly’s for the next show.

Some of the fun things that you don’t get to see during these productions are backstage and during the “off times.”  These kids really enjoy being together 24-7, if they could.  They organize activities and get-togethers to relieve stress and to just relax and have some fun outside of the theater.  It’s good to walk away and think about other things, get some fresh air, and grab some food.   No matter where they are, they make each other laugh and really care for one another.

I went to a costume fitting with Kelly and had some fun on my own (because I lost her backstage) but I had my camera with me, so I wandered around and dreamed my own little dream when I found the costume shop.  What girl wouldn’t want a closet like this!

Then I came across the makeup room.  Yes please…fix me up all pretty!

Finally found Kelly and watched her get a few pins here and there, to make it all fit just right, thanks to Ian the costume designer and seamstress.

Last night was the final show and another sell-out.  They sold out 7 of the 8 shows and had to turn people away the last two nights.  That’s incredible and goes to show you how impressive this High School theater group really is.  So much talent and worth seeing every show.

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The Corny Collin’s girls~

Kelly with Link, Daniel as Seaweed, her partner Andre, and Corny Collins.   Kelly’s name is Becky in the show and Andre is Brad.  Andre is also her swing partner, so they enjoy dancing together and practice a lot, even at our house in the basement.  He’s pretty tall and really gets Kelly up in the air on some of their moves.  She has to really trust him.  They love to goof around and have a good time.

I saw this show twice and loved them both.  Nate and I are so proud of Kelly and her passion for theater.  It’s all she dreams about and hopefully her dreams will take her far onto a famous stage one day.  If so, we will be in the front row!

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Kelly’s biggest fans!

Let’s Celebrate Mom!

Mother’s Day is always a fun day for me at this house.  My family is alway too kind, but I secretly love that.  The girls were so sweet and bought me flowers this year and made personalized cards that I always love over a Hallmark one any day.  No disrespect to Nate’s Hallmark ones…he picks some good ones too.  hehe

The weather was amazing today.  It was sunny and 86 degrees, which is not typical for our Minnesota springs, but wow did we enjoy it.  We took advantage of it and had brunch out on the deck this morning.  I had found a Breakfast Pizza that sounded so good and Nate was able to make it with no problems.  He has gotten this pizza stuff mastered.  Megan contributed the drinks for us.  She found a recipe for a delicious Raspberry Moscato.  It was the perfect compliment to the pizza with a little fizz on top and berries delicately dropped in.  Yummy!

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.  In the United States, celebration of Mother’s Day began in the early 20th century.

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.   St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.   Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”  In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Today I wanted to go get a few more flower pots for the yard so we headed out to Sailer’s Greenhouse.  Nikki had posted that they were going to have an Ice Cream truck out there on Mother’s Day.  Flowers and ice cream…what a perfect combination on a hot, sunny day.   yes please!

The name of the food truck was Minnesota Nice Cream.   I had to look them up and see what they were all about.  Food trucks are so fun and we love how creative the names are.  Plus, they have a similar name as my blog.  🙂  Here’s what they say about this fun ice cream truck…

“These friendly Midwesterners are riding around town in style, and all the while twisting out delicious soft serve ice cream with a bounty of the best and tastiest toppings; fruit, cookies, cereals, and more. They’ve also formed the dream team with Dogwood Coffee, and will be serving up incredibly refreshing Cold Press Coffee Shakes.  For sugar, spice, and everything nice, come out and try the delectable desserts from this super cute truck.”  Nate tried the coffee shake, I had a vanilla chocolate twist cone, and Megan got a sprinkle cone.  They were all so good and hit the spot.

We got our flowers then Mark said we could go tour his new home.  Nate & Megan hadn’t seen it yet, so they were excited to go take a look.  I took some photos so you could see their gorgeous place.  So many windows in the home that show off Spring Lake.  They will be able to move in on June 12th and are super excited.

Lets just say….it’s kind of a pretty place.  I can’t wait till they get all the landscaping in and we can go out back and relax by the lake.  I’m assuming I’ll have an invite this summer.  ha~  These two deserve a home like this, that they can someday retire and relax.

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Pegg is one hard working Mom~

It was time to head home and put my flowers into my planter, do a little watering and then relax until dinner.  Nate is going to grill some spanish kebobs with spanish rice.  Should be a tasty way to end Mother’s Day.

I want to wish my mom, my mother-in-law, and all my mom friends a fantastic Mother’s Day.  I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine.

#Ilovebeingamom

 

Belle Of The Prom

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Yesterday was an exciting day for Kelly.  It was her Junior Prom and she couldn’t have had a more gorgeous day.   I used the title “Belle” because Kelly’s dress was the color of Belle’s from Beauty and the Beast.   An absolutely beautiful color on her with her dark hair and pretty sky-blue accents on her shoes, wrist and clutch.   Now let’s back up and I’ll show you how she got to this day.

Kelly and her friend Greg, have been good friends since 7th grade.  They ride share together to school, study and help each other out with homework, hang out at the theater (Greg is the lights guy), and they just enjoy each other’s company with no strings attached.  Neither had a date for Prom, so Kelly said, “Lets go together”.  This messed with Greg a little because he then asked…”Okay, so do I need to ask you still?” Kelly responds…”you don’t have to.”  This makes Greg nervous…he’s wondering if he should make it official, so of course, he surprised her one rainy night by coming over with a sign and asked her properly.  He’s such a good guy and we love him for that.  He was brought up in that old fashion way that still works today.

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He’s still making fun of her chopsticks she wore in her hair in Jr. High.

Kelly found her dress online for around $20 back in February.  I believe it shipped from China, so you never know how long it will take to get here, so she shopped early.  She called our local seamstress gal that has been altering both girls’ dresses for years now, and she did her magic and made the dress fit perfectly.  It took about five fittings, but worth it.    Next, Kelly was hoping to find burgundy shoes as her accent color but had no luck.  She came across some pretty sky blue ones and decided to change the color scheme to make those work.   We found some nail polish to match and she got lucky and found a clutch as well. It all worked out and looked so springy.  Some of the other girls had interesting shoes under their dresses…

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That gal did match the purple to her floral dress anyway~

Now the last piece of the puzzle, is the hair.  Kelly wanted an updo for this special occasion and thought it would look best.  I told her I’d pay for her hair and she quickly got on the phone and made herself and appointment (imagine that).  After finding a few ideas on Pinterest yesterday morning, I drove her to the salon and the stylist did a wonderful job of doing exactly what Kelly wanted.

Next I dropped her at her friend Natalie’s house, who was in charge of makeup.  She is another drama kid who does a great job with the makeup, so many girls go to her for these special days.  She charges $10.  By the time she’s done will all these ladies, she has her dress paid for and some extra spending money.  Thank you Natalie, Kelly looks fabulous!

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The time came to head out to the venue where the parents start clicking their cameras non-stop for about two hours to make sure we get the perfect pictures…because our kids will say, “send me that please” and we will spend hours trying to send the right one and in the end, they will say….”just text them all to me and I’ll delete the ones I don’t want” ugh….okay.

So off we go to Minneapolis to the Stone Arch Bridge.  What a beautiful bridge, but a crowded place on a summer evening.  Lots of walkers and bikers all along the bridge, so we needed to be respectful of the bike paths and they of us trying to take pictures.  Lots of bells were dinging on the bikes as they approached.  This was actually a good thing to get our attention and not get rolled over.  I was jumping out of the way whenever I heard the “ting-ting”.  ha~

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What a gorgeous landmark~

This bridge has a lot of history to it.   The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in downtown  Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire length of Mississippi River, and also the second oldest next to Eads Bridge.

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The Eads Bridge from St. Louis, stretching over the Mississippi River toward Illinois

The bridge was built to connect the railway system to the new Union Depot, which at that time was planned to be built between Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue. The bridge was completed on 1883, costing an amazing sum of $650,000 during the time ($16.7 million today).

Positioned between the 3rd Avenue Bridge and the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, the Stone Arch Bridge was built in 1883 by railroad tycoon James J. Hill for his Great Northern Railway,  and accessed the former passenger station located about a mile to the west, on the west bank of the river. The structure is now used as a pedestrian and bicycle  bridge. It is an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as a part of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District.

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Bridge at night with Minneapolis in the background.

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When we first arrived, we met up with her date, Greg.  He was with his mom and her good friend Sue.   We got to see Greg in his tie that Kelly picked out to match her dress.  It was perfect and he looked terrific.   He bought her a corsage and the boutonnière that they would wear to the dinner and dance.  The easy part was putting on the wrist corsage, but not so easy to get that flower on Greg.  As always, Nate comes to the rescue.  He has done this in the past with Megan and her dates as well.  Kelly gave him the thumbs up, once it was in place.   Good thing Greg has a good sense of humor and can laugh at Kelly.

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Stylish looking couple~

We took some picture of the two of them, then it was off to the bridge and catch up with their friends for the group shots.   These are all kids in the theater group, so they are very outgoing and willing to be goofy and take many pictures.  Lets just say, they are not camera shy.    We started out on the bridge with the buildings as a backdrop.

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Fantastic group 

Then moved around and had the Guthrie Theater in our background.   I was surprised that they didn’t choose this as their picture taking place in the first place…being theater kids.

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Having some fun~

We couldn’t leave without getting some photos of those stunning arches.  I tried my best to capture them.  Nate took the picture on the bottom left and did some nice editing and enhancing to show off the bricks.

After pictures were done, Kelly and the group headed to a restaurant called The Crooked Pint for some dinner before heading off to the dance at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. She didn’t have her camera out during either of those, so I have no pictures of that.  They all had a great time then afterward, about 8 of them came over to our house for a late-night bonfire before calling it a night.   It was a very successful Prom.

One of my fondest memories of yesterday was when Kelly was at home getting ready and she says…”Mom, I just love getting all dressed up.  It’s so much fun and makes me happy!”  What girl doesn’t like being treated as the Belle of the Ball…or in this case…the Prom.

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We love our Kel Belle~

A “Fairy” Tale Week

Once Upon A Time…there was a preschool class whose theme was Fairytales.  Fairy tales are stories that range from those originating in folk lore to more modern stories defined as literary fairy tales.  My co-teacher chose three well known fairytales that kids enjoy reading and acting out.  The Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Jack and the Beanstalk.  She created a cute sensory table with straw, hay, and legos (for the bricks) and they could create the little pigs houses.  She had a little art project that went along with it as well, using yarn and paper scraps.

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Cute idea~

Throughout the week, she had them painting the princess’s castle, coloring & glittering their own castle, and making magic wands to surround the princess’s palace.  Our wall was “enchanted”.

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The last of the fairytales is still in progress.  They made beanstalks but still need to plant their “magic beans” this week.  I love the clouds she added.  Sometimes we run out of time and can’t get to all of our activities.  It was a busy week.

My favorite event so far this year happened on Monday this week.  More “fairy” activities…we planted Fairy Gardens with the grandma’s and grandpa’s.  This was such a fun and relaxing activity that everyone enjoyed.  They had wonderful background music playing while we planted and I was in my happy place.   We “planted” the kids around the room to be next to a grandparent so they could work together at their tables.  As I wondered around helping, I had some laughs along the way.   One grandma was complaining to me that her “helper” keeps burying the pretty pebbles she keeps adding.  I had to explain to my Charlie that those are decorative and not seeds.   ha~

Sometimes the term fairy is used to describe any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes.  We had many gnomes for planting in our gardens.  I always think of my father-in-law and his wood carvings of gnomes…but his are about 8 feet tall!   I had to Google them and get a little history behind the Garden Gnome.  Here’s what I found…

After World War II,  the diminutive figurines introduced as lawn ornaments during the 19th century came to be known as garden gnomes. The image of the gnome changed further during the 1960s to 1970s, when the first plastic garden gnomes were manufactured. These gnomes followed the style of the 1937 depiction of the seven dwarves in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Disney.  This “Disneyfied” image of the gnome was built upon by the illustrated children’s book classic The Secret Book of Gnomes (1976), in the original Dutch Leven en werken van de Kabouter.  Garden gnomes share a resemblance to the Scandinavian tomte and nisse, and the Swedish term “tomte” can be translated to “gnome” in English.

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This little friend just wanted to play with his gnome, not plant it. 

As I wondered about helping out my friends…I heard a “Oh no, Ms. Cathy come over here!”  When I got to my friend Victor, he had accidentally dumped his container of dirt. Of course you did…”No problem, lets just pick it up and pile it back in Victor.”  His table was a complete disaster by the end, but very typical and made me laugh every time I walked past.  Luckily his grandma was very patient and smiled all the same.  They worked very well together.

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This is my favorite picture of the day.  So sweet~

I was so amazed at how well the kids sat and worked.  I guess playing in dirt really is therapeutic for all.

Here are a couple of planters up close.  The kids & grandparents were very proud of their gardens and being creative together.  Win-win for all today!

This summer we will planting a vegetable and flower garden outside with our class and having some grandparents helping us out all summer long with that as well.  I am looking forward to that, now that I’ve seen how much fun planting can be with everyone involved.

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Beautiful displays which will be put around the campus for all to enjoy~

The last of our fairytales this week…was a special bridal fashion show…kind of a “fairytale” wedding day for most of us.   Anyone could donate their wedding and bridesmaids dresses for this show.  We had gorgeous dresses from very old, to the modern day styles.  Many of the grandma’s gowns were hung up around the chapel which made for a beautiful backdrop.

Before we left for the show, we were given some top hats for our boys and pretty headbands for the girls to wear, if they wanted…after all, this is a fancy event.   My girls didn’t want to participate but my boys were all over it.  The girls from older preschool room loved it.

Some of the teachers and other staff modeled the dresses on the “runway” in our chapel.  Chaplain Chris was the emcee who did his best at narrating and describing the dresses that he obviously knew nothing about.  It was very funny.

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As I was taking pictures at this event, I loved hearing the grandma’s oohing & aahing over some of the lacy gowns and the ones with the long trains.

There was a local bridal shop that brought dresses along to show off as well.  Their model took the microphone and described her dresses and gave us the current prices…most were around $2000.00!  I better learn how to sew.

Of course what really made everyone laugh are those dreaded bridesmaids dresses!  We all at some time in our lives, have probably worn one and they are usually not that pretty or flattering on us, but you wear it out of love for your girlfriend.  oh my~

We had to have our little ones be part of the show as well.  You always need that ring bearer and flower girl to start the show.  We had a couple cuties that volunteered to dress up and play the part.

Our event ended with three couples renewing their wedding vows.  This was a simple little ceremony that Champlain Chris resided over.  They had a pretty table with candles lit, and he read a simple verse from the bible, then they said their “I Do’s” once again.  It was very sweet to watch this and some of the staff that know these people, had tears in their eyes.   I only wish they would’ve said how many years these couples were married.  I bet it’s a lot!

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The wedding party witnessed the renewal of vows.

So as in all fairytales…I will end my blog with….And they all lived happily ever after!

A Floral Easter Birthday

My blog title has three different events in it.  It’s been a busy weekend.  I will start with the Floral

Saturday was my annual Ladies Night at the Greenhouse, only this year we tried a Saturday afternoon outing, for something different.   It was a pretty, sunny day with the temperature reaching 72 degrees!  In the greenhouse, it felt about 80.   Most of us were still wearing double layers and shedding them as we went along.   Murphy was the smart one…we found him under the plants in a nice, cool & shady spot.  Perfect for a dog.

As always, Nikki gave us the instructions on how to get started (they are getting shorter each year) and we got underway.

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We had four “newbies” this year that joined us…Tracy and Shelly, both neighbors of mine.   Shelly moved away years ago, but we still see each other quite often and Karen, who is a friend of Elizabeth’s, and Julie who used to work with us at Hidden Valley, but retired a couple years ago.  I love it when we have new people join us, it’s fun to see how much fun they have and they always tell me they want to come back next year.

I am usually taking pictures while everyone is planting, but this year I decided to get started on my planting and then take pictures after.  Sheri noticed this change and immediately grabbed my camera and started shooting.  So I have her to thank for some of my photos while my hands were in the dirt.

 

I decided to go with an orange theme this year in my planter.  I wish I would’ve kept the little tags of what flowers I planted, but I was too busy talking and threw everything away when I was done.  I know I have pansies in there and some green vines of sort, and I love my cute addition of a pinwheel, butterfly & wooden flower.  Anyway, it’s all planted and now we pray that it grows into some wonderful, glorious looking planter that we can enjoy on our deck all summer.  (fingers crossed)

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It’s what we’re all thinking~

Catherine was working across from me, so I kept taking pictures of her working.  That’s probably not the spot she’ll take next year.  hehe

My other friends worked hard on their pots, planters, and even terrariums.  Here are some of their beautiful floral displays.

Such a fantastic day and probably my favorite “friends” day of the year.  We all look forward to this day because it’s so much fun and so relaxing.  It’s what all girlfriends need at least one time a year.   I polled them afterward and turns out, they like the Saturday afternoon over the Friday night.  So next year, it’ll be wine, flowers and food at the Greenhouse on a Saturday.  Whatever works ladies!

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Next on the title is Easter…last weekend, Kelly and I volunteered at my work for their Easter “Egg”-stravaganza!   It is an annual event that brings in around 300 families coming through our childcare center.  They have games, a petting zoo, face painting, and of course, the Easter Bunny.

Neither of these were the real Easter Bunny, but I thought the one on the right was a cutie.

Kelly and I were in charge of the Egg & Spoon Race.  We had so much fun with this and the kids were adorable.  They all tried their best and won a prize once they got their egg into the bucket.  They were so excited to get an egg from us, then open it to find a stamp inside.  It was great.

Another game they had was “Pin the Tail on the Bunny”.  That was nearby us, so we watched a few of those kids, when we had a lull at the beginning.

The petting zoo had llama’s, goats, sheep, horses, and a dog for the kids to come in and pet and even brush their fur, if they’d like.  It was cute and the whole day was a family friendly event that was really enjoyable for all.    The little guy in the bunny ears is one of my kids in my class.  He looked adorable.

On Wednesday, we had a visitor “hop” into our classroom.  This was a fun surprise for all of our kids.  They got such big smiles and hopped around the room with the bunny.  Then when it was time for him to leave, they all got a chance to hug the bunny, if they wanted.

Today is Easter, but it’s also Nate’s Birthday, the third item in the title.  His birthday actually started last night as we went out for dinner.  He picked a restaurant called Pizzeria Lola.  It is ranked one of the best pizza places in the country, so we had to get on this fast.  They make their pizza’s in a wood-fire oven and have an original menu with what we call…”not your typical” pizza’s (our favorite kind).

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That’s one hot oven!

We ordered three different pizza’s to share.  One was a Korean with a Thai vinagrette, a “Sunny-side up” which had two eggs on top with leeks & creamy cheese sauce, and the third was called, “Beautiful Country” which was a prosciutto and asparagus with a truffle oil & honey glaze on top.  They were all amazing!  We all agreed that we ranked the “Sunny-side up” as the favorite, but really did enjoy them all.

While we were waiting for our table, we saw that they have a photo booth and a wall with tons of pictures hanging up.  We wanted to add to that wall, so in we went and had a little fun before dinner.

We got filled up, but of course, we did mention to our waitress that it was Nate’s birthday and she surprised him with a cute little vanilla sundae with olive oil and sea salt and a candle on top.  Such a neat little treat and that too, was spectacular tasting.  The perfect sweet ending to our night.

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A little b-day kiss~

Today is actually Easter and Birthday.  We went to church, then came home to make a nice birthday/easter brunch.  Megan took over the kitchen this weekend while home from college.  She misses her baking when at school and enjoys helping out whenever she can.  She found a recipe for an Egg Ring.  It was crescent rolls with bacon, scrambled eggs, red pepper, and cheese.  It was very tasty and great brunch idea and looked so pretty.  We served lemon poppy seed and blueberry scones to go along with it.  (Sheri…your scones are still #1)

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She also made Nate’s birthday cake this year.  He wanted to try something new and chose a chocolate cake with a peanut butter frosting.  It was delicious and light tasting.  Because it’s also Easter, Megan decided to add peanut butter eggs as a decorative topping to incorporate the two holidays.  Loved it!!

Next it was time to open a few gifts.  It’s gets harder to think of things as the years go on, but I managed to surprise him pretty good this year.  Nate always talks to us about how he loves the hot dogs at the gas station.  We hear about it all the time and just giggle.  So I went online and found a hot dog roller machine that they use in the gas stations.   We had him open a package of hot dogs first and he was very confused as to why we’d give him just hot dogs for a present.  Then he opened the big box…that got a good laugh!  We’re going to have a lot of fun with that this summer.

His other gift, was one that Megan had suggested and it’s a good one.  He’s such a “techy” guy that we thought the Apple Watch would be perfect for him.  It’s got lots of fun gadgets that he can use and it syncs with his iPhone, so we knew he’d enjoy this.  He’ll drive me crazy for while as he plays with it, but once the newness wears off, it’ll all be good and we think its something fun for him to have.

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Our weekend is coming to an end and so are the holidays that we’ve been enjoying all week.  It’s a gorgeous, sunny day out today and warm.  Nate has planned to grill some chicken and have a nice bottle of wine to end his birthday.  I’ll drink to that!

Happy Birthday Hon!  We love you~IMG_4429

 

Spring Has Sprung!

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This is no April Fools joke, spring in Minnesota is really here…and it’s kind of early for us, but we’ll take it.  We sure had a mild winter and of course, enjoyed that as well.  We always brace for the worst, so it’s nice when we start to see these warmer days and know that the winter season has come to an end.  We can’t complain here in Minnesota, when there really was not much shoveling happening this past winter.

Spring started happening in my classroom about two weeks ago.  I did a unit on seeds and plants and we really had some fun with this.  My brother Mark is the green thumb guy in our family, so some people think that I should know what I’m doing as well.  Doesn’t really happen that way…Let me give you an example.

Long ago when I first started teaching preschool, we did a project called “Grassheads”.  Basically, they are “chia-pets” in a styrofoam cup, but back when I was doing this, Chia-pets weren’t even invented yet.  Anyway, I always get nervous doing this project because you tell the kids how a seed works, but you never know if your seeds will grow.  Lots of prayers are said for a week or so, until you see that first shoot popping up through the soil.  Then you yell out…”Thank you God!”  then proceed to tell the kids…”See, this is how it happens”, as if you knew all along it would work out.  (then wipe the sweat from your forehead).

This was so much fun to do with my group of preschoolers.  I glued on googly eyes and had the kids draw on smiles and color their cups however they’d like.  Next we added some soil about 3/4 of the way up, then they put grass seeds in and covered up the seeds with more soil.  I watered them and put them in the sun in our classroom and crossed my fingers and toes.

We started our plantings on Monday and finished up on Tuesday afternoon.  At times, I can be impatient, so I was checking constantly and starting to worry by Friday afternoon when all I saw were a few brown sticks poking through.  In my mind I was thinking I’d have to distract them and redo the grass if this doesn’t work.  They just looked creepy to me in this “dirt form.”  ha~

It took about a week for us to start seeing some growth…which made me nervous, but on Monday morning, I walked in and wow, did I get a nice surprise of green shooting out of their cups.  Hallelujah!!

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I didn’t want the kids to be disappointed and it was so fun to see their smiley faces when we saw all that grass coming up.   The week went on and the grass kept growing like it was on steroids!   We teachers were cracking up and one of them said to me, “How much grass seed did you put in there?”  I just responded with….”A lot.”    I think I will recommend this seed to Nate for our backyard, which seems to have issues ever year.  hehe

I love the concentration they had when pouring the dirt and seeds into their cups.  Yes, I had quite a bit of dirt & seeds on the tray, but they tried.  Love how this little guy had his tongue out the entire time.   Super sweet~  Proud little gardeners!

Another part of spring in our classroom was the addition of the Flower Shop.  I had gone shopping at the dollar store and found a bunch of plastic flowers, gardening gloves, and planters and we set up shop.  Our center has a cute stand that we can turn into anything we want, and this month its our Flower Shop.

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I turned one of shelves into the store which held the flowers, planters, gloves, accessories  and added flower magazines that they could look through.   They really enjoyed this and it was fun to see them use their imaginations.

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One day, I took the planters, added some flowers to them and put them on their tables as  centerpieces at lunch.  They giggled and thought this was so neat.   I love how something so simple can make these kids happy.  I have forgotten that.

To continue our theme for the week, we made some flower projects.  One of their favorites was making flowers out of muffin cups.  We worked all week on the parts of the  flower, then made our own.  What a wonderful job they did and every one of my kids knew the parts: roots, stem, leaves, flower,  by the end of the week.  Proud Teacher!!!!

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We ended our week by spelling their names in seeds.  I used bird seed for this project.  I wrote their name in glue, let them toss some seed on to the glue, then shake the paper a bit and surprise….their name appears in seed.  It was like a magic show.  They loved this activity and wanted to repeat it many times.  I guess I call that successful.  They looked pretty cool too.

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My co-teacher Jane is continuing with our “outdoor” theme this week and made this fantastic tree for our classroom door.  She is an art major, so her projects put mine to shame…but I’m okay with that.  I absolutely love this and she gets complimented on it all the time.  She took brown butcher paper and twisted it into the shape of a tree (okay, already lost me there), then had the kids paint paper plates for nests, added spoons with googly eyes to make birds in a nest and then added feathers to the plates and we rolled tissue paper to make blossoms.  So adorable!  I think we win for best spring door decor.

Our last bit of spring, is talking about eggs and how things hatch.  Jane (my co-teacher) did a lesson on this and it really got their attention.  She had me do the art project she found on Pinterest and it turned out really cute.  They had to make a chick inside an egg, we covered it, then had it “hatch” by ripping the outer paper to make it look like the egg was breaking and the chick was hatching.  Another project that made them laugh as they “uncovered” the chick.  ha!   I had fun with this, even though I was stressed that they would rip the paper completely off.   I had to work fast to block them as they ripped.

Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.   This will then leads us into our Easter unit.

We will continue to do springtime and Easter themed projects for the next couple of weeks as we enjoy this warm sunny spring-like weather as well.  It feels good outside, we love the longer days, and look forward to washing away the brown, and bringing in the tulips and green grass that tells us its spring.  So be brave, and put away those boots, shovels, heavy coats, and even that scraper you keep in your car.  Its time for light jackets, capri’s, and grilled food.

Happy Spring everyone!

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