Camping, Cars, and Community Helpers

We’ve been busy this August filling up our weeks with many fun activities.  My co-worker Jane, did a fun camping unit with the kids a few weeks ago.  She brought in a tent,  sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and some greenery to decorate the outside.  It looked and felt like a real campground in our room.  I loved the fire pit…she had real rocks and a pretend fire made out of tissue paper.  She used sticks with cotton balls on them to look like the kids were roasting marshmallows.  Very cute.

IMG_5940

She was teaching them about safety around a fire, things to do at a campground, and animals you may see out in nature.  They had lots to tell us and enjoyed pretending to be outside.  At nap time, we let them have a flashlight on and pretend to look up at the stars.  They loved it.

My favorite part of the camping unit was when we made s’mores.  We made them the microwave, but watching them eat them was priceless.  First step was to show them the ingredients and have a little sniff of marshmallow.  Next Jane put them in the microwave then handed them off to me.  I gave the kids a graham cracker and had them give their s’more a “hat”.  They loved squishing the hat onto the marshmallow.  Mmm…made us all hungry.

It was a gooey mess, but they all had smiles in the end.

This week the grandparents are celebrating the county fair.  As a special celebration, Ebenezer had a car show this past Friday.  We got to attend and look at some pretty neat, old cars.

I didn’t get to see very many Grandparents out here that day, because I think they wanted the kids to go first and get “out of the way”, but I bet seeing these, brought back many good memories for them.

I wasn’t sure how the kids would react to these cars, but I was super surprised and how excited they were and how interested in them they really were.  They even wanted to see this inside and asked me to lift them up, so they could take a peek.  That Pink car was called, “Pink Panther.”  The lady who owns it came over and told the kids to look in the back seat.  She had a Pink Panther stuffed animal back there.  Of course…they have no idea who the Pink Panther is, but I laughed.  Very cute~

It was such a delight to see them interacting with the grandma’s & grandpa’s that drove these cars here today.  One of the boys’ favorites, was the jeep.  Boy did they love this and wanted so many turns in the driver’s seat.  I finally told them we needed to move on.

We thanked the man who drove the jeep here and one of my little guys crawled up into his lap for a hug.  Made me smile and the grandpa absolutely loved it.  So sweet~

IMG_6272

This week we are talking about Community Helpers, so when they pulled in the firetruck and police car, my kids yelled out to me, “Ms Cathy…look, community helpers!”  Proud moment for me…they really do listen and absorb so much.

We also saw an old tractor and the farmer who still uses it today…but he told me he mainly uses it to plow snow.  (haha)  Love that he had on a John Deere hat.  Classic~

Who knew looking at cars could be so much fun.  When we got back to our class, I asked the kids which car they liked best…all the girls told me the pink car, boys liked the jeep, and one little guy like the red one best.  I think the shiny parts were a big hit as well.  I caught one of my guys always checking out the tires.  ha!

When we were done looking at cars, the kids all got a summery treat and a little entertainment from a local clown that was walking around.  She was teaching the kids how to spin a plate.  It was a fun way to end our morning.

I was hoping to see my old car from high school.  A ’64 Chevy Impala, but it was nowhere to be found.  It was a great car, kept me safe, and has given me many fond memories as I’m sure all of these cars we saw today have done for these people here.  It’s funny how a car can do that.  I guess we really do get attached to them.

Its Been a Zoo Around Here!

 

IMG_6063Literally, it has been a zoo.  Nate and I and friends went there on Friday night for their Adult Night at the Zoo promotion.  We found out it was a very popular event when we were stuck in traffic leading up to the zoo entrance.  Took us about 45 minutes to get in and another 45 to get out of the parking lot when we left.  Other than that, we really did enjoy ourselves and had a fun night.  We met up with some friends, co-workers and my sister Terry and her fiancé Paul.  We found out that this was Paul’s first time ever being at the zoo.  Wow!   We had to make sure he had a good time and enjoyed himself.

20429817_10212761700631668_3663533560046646614_n

IMG_6065

The big attraction this year at the zoo is the kangaroo exhibit.  So once we stood in line for 15 minutes to get a beer, we headed out to the trail that lead us to these fun animals.  Nate and Terry couldn’t resist having their pictures taken at on of these “stick your head in” boards (not sure what to call them), so I played along and we got everyone to laugh.  It turned out pretty cute, don’t you think!

Once we arrived at the kangaroos, we were amazed that there were no fences along our path, only fences way in the back that surrounded their exhibit.  These things could’ve just walked right up to you if they wanted (which would’ve been cool).  Most of them were back by the fences, probably because there were so many people watching them.  We saw some cute babies, or “Joey’s” as their called, boxing each other as they played.

IMG_6058

They are such fun animals to watch, especially how they hop around on those hind legs while the front ones dangle.  Very strange how they stay balanced.  ha~

We continued our night just walking around, laughing, sharing stories,  and finding out what animals we all like best.  The guys seem to really like the tigers, because we stopped quite a a few times to watch them.  We also saw the large grizzly bears, which are a huge attraction out here.  When we exited that area, we ran into my niece Courtney and her husband Mike.  You never know who your going to see at the zoo!

IMG_6048

Always good to see family, no matter where you’re at.

School has been a “zoo” as well.  We’ve had two visitors this week that brought in reptiles to share.  The first gal had tortoises, gecko’s, and a cool bearded dragon lizard.  After she shared with us, the kids got to pet any and all of these creatures.  She needed some adult helpers to hold them, but I wasn’t quite sure about that, so I let my co-workers handle that job.

She did bring along some cuter varieties…a guinea pig and bunny.  Now those I would hold, but the Grandma’s & Grandpa’s wanted that job, so of course, we let them have the honors.

My favorite animal was the hedgehog that she had along.  He was adorable but very squirmy, so she had to hold onto that little thing.

IMG_5996

The kids and grandparents loved it all.

Our next guest was the “snake” guy.  He had many types of snakes in all different colors and sizes.  I was surprised at how brave all the kids were as they wanted to hold and pet them.  (this is the part of my blog that Sheri leaves and jumps down to the beer night)…hehe

He started out showing us a turtle that he’s had for 30 years now, then quickly pulled out his 5 foot python snake that he’s also had for quite sometime.  All the boys said…”cool!”  I guess turtles are boring and we needed to get on to the good stuff.

He also brought along this really neat lizard.  He was a fat one, but another oldie that luckily is tame around people.  The kids were a little scared of this one (me too), because it uses it’s tongue to smell, so that thing was coming out all the time.  Ick!

IMG_6014

I loved this picture.  Brave lady!

Next he took out a colorful snake from Arizona (can’t remember the name) and it was all curled up like a pretzel.  I asked him why he does this, and he said he’s not sure.  His tail was actually in a knot!  The kids wanted to hold this one…maybe because he was so colorful and smaller all wrapped up like that.

The last one he brought out was the Boa Constrictor.  Now these, I really don’t like.  So big and that head and tongue was sniffing all over us.  No thank you!  But again, my kids were braver than me (and they wanted their picture taken)  haha.    Even our Toddlers got involved.

IMG_6036

I ended my zoo week on a little more tamer note with no animals around.  A group of us met at a local brewery last night in Shakopee to have some beer and pizza.  It’s called Badger Hill Brewery.  It’s owned by three local brothers who wanted to give brewing a try.  Many of their beers are now served at local establishments, so they are doing well.

They have a really neat tap-room and do tours as well.  We didn’t get to tour tho, since they only do them on the first Saturday of the month.  Oh well…maybe next time we’ll plan for this.

I did like this note on their website when I was looking the place up and knew I’d have to include this in my blog for my in-laws to my East.  They say…

“Not that Badger
We are not a Wisconsin brewery. A bunch of Minnesotans through and through. Although we like our neighbors to the East, our name was derived from the Old English meaning of Broc and Brent’s names. Plus, Badgers are tenacious, and so are our brewers.”

We had a great time and they have very good beer.  We all agreed, we’d come back again.

Loving summertime!

 

Back to the Vineyard~

IMG_5919

This past weekend, a group of us headed over to Stillwater for an afternoon of wine tastings at the St. Croix Vineyards.  This vineyard was founded in 1992 and is also connected with Aamodt’s apple orchard.  They have nice bright red umbrellas that match the bright red barn.  These were perfect for shading the patio so you can hang out and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine after the tastings.  They also had a man serenading the guests throughout the afternoon.  He was a lot of fun to listen to and got everyone to join in and sing along with him for some of his favorite songs.

IMG_5926

This patio was so pretty.  It also had gorgeous vines growing up and over the walkway as  you enter into the front door.  Sheri and I just thought it was the perfect decor for a vineyard.

They have a rustic tasting room in a restored century-old barn.  When we walked inside, it was very beautiful and picturesque.  They did a great job of keeping the “barn” feel to this room and it’s old age feel.  The ceiling was very high and you could get a sense of how this barn look back in the day when it was actually being used.

We picked a hot, steamy day for a vineyard trip, buy hey…it’s summer in Minnesota, so that didn’t stop us.  We had a very nice gal named Beth who came out to our table, poured our samples, and explained what we were about to taste.  She was very knowledgeable about their wines and we thanked her for keeping us hydrated.

We sampled six different wines and surprisingly, we all agreed that we like the whites best.  Most of us are red wine drinkers, but loved these whites at this winery.  Maybe the heat had something to do with it, but they were delicious and refreshing.

In between tastings, we wandered around the room looking at the fun things to buy.  They have their cork cages, bottle stoppers, etc…the usual things, but this caught our eye.  It is a wine bottle puzzle.  We all agreed that this looks like it would take a lot of patience to put together.   Do not try this after you’ve had a few drinks.  haha!

IMG_5893

Can you say…frustrating!

Once we finished our tastings, we took our glasses outside for some fresh air and just relaxed with our friends and take in the surroundings.  Sheri, Jean, Claire and I then took a walk in the vineyards while the guys hung out at the picnic table and probably talked about the British Open Golf tournament.

It was a very fun day and sadly, most likely our last vineyard trip with Claire and Leo.  They will be moving to Pittsburgh at the end of the summer and we will miss them for sure on our outings.  I guess they will need to seek out wineries near their new home and invite us all out for a nice get together amongst their east coast vineyards.   Cheers~

IMG_5899

Historic Fieldtrip to Church

IMG_5728

Today Megan, Sheri and I took a fun little ride to Mendota Heights to see St. Peter’s Catholic Church.   It is the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in the state of Minnesota.  It was founded in 1840 and was declared a Historic Site by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1935.

Before even going in, we walked around the outskirts where there is a pretty garden with neat little stones adorning the gardens.  They do a wonderful job with all their flowers & greenery.  Very inviting!

My friend Beth, is a parishioner of this church and donates her time once a month from Memorial day to Labor Day, to give tours of this beautiful church.   She was a great guide and knows her history of the church.  She says she just has a “thing” for churches and history.  The bottom picture is her at the largest Catholic church in the U.S, in Washington, DC.  She also does many faith-based 5K walk/runs at churches all over Minnesota.  Kind of a fun thing for her.

IMG_5751

She greeted us at the doors and explained a little of how this church got it start.  We then continued inside and were amazed by this quaint little structure.   It reminded me a little of Holy Spirit, where Nate and I were married…only much smaller.

IMG_5735

As I said, this church was built in 1853 and Beth had a picture of this displayed.  It started  being built in 1840 as a log cabin church.  Later they used limestone from local quarries which made it much stronger.  Today the church has the same outside, but the interior has been restored.

IMG_5737

The Steeple:    The first, a shorter and bell-less steeple with a wooden cross, was destroyed in a wind storm in 1881.  The second was built taller and with a bronze bell, but again was destroyed in 1951.  While the third was being built, they hung the bell in a tree so that it could still be used to call people to mass.  This steeple we saw today is the 5th one that has topped this church.  They still have the original bell, but it hangs inside a cupola and we couldn’t see it.  There is a rope that hangs down inside the front door.  Beth says she lets kids ring the bell when they are touring and she often rings it at the start of her open tours to let people know she is in there.  Pretty cool!

Inside the church:  Many changes have taken place throughout the years.   At one time, this church could seat over 400 people!  They had put in opera-type seats, a balcony, and even eliminated the middle aisle.  I can’t imagine that many people in here!  Beth said during the restoration period, they eliminated that balcony because it just didn’t seem safe.

Restoration:  By 1975, the church was in very bad condition and had to be closed for repairs.  The entire interior was restored to the state that it was in at about the 1890’s.  The altar, statues, pews, center aisle, two wooden kneelers (on the altar), candlesticks, and the Stations of the Cross are all just about as they were at that time.  In the sacristy, the cabinet for the vestments dates back to 1865.  We weren’t allowed to go on the altar, so I couldn’t get a good picture of that.  It was very antique looking and neat and still used today.

When you walk into this lovely church on a sunny day, you can’t help but notice the gorgeous stained glass windows.  They are all around you and really bring out the beauty of this church.  The stained glass windows were installed in 1904.  The window opening over the main door was rediscovered during the renovation in the 1970’s and a new glass was put in when the new steeple was added in 1978, the year that the church was rededicated.

IMG_5733

Love that window~

The original church cost $4,425.80.  The renovation in the 70’s cost over $280,000.  Quite a difference but I’d say worth it.   Another ironic thing about this church, it was completed on the same day that Nate and I were married, September 24th, but a few years before us.

IMG_5738

What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Thank you Beth for inviting us.  We are hoping to go back at Christmas time and see it decorated for the holidays and hear the choir singing carols.  I bet that will be amazing to be a part of.

IMG_5731

June = Summer Fun!

IMG_5473

My favorite month of the year, is of course…June.  The sun has been shining, we’ve had some pretty warm weather, and it was my birthday yesterday.  We did a lot of fun things  this month.   I’ll start from the beginning.

On the 4th day of June, it was super warm and Megs and I needed to find water.  We took a short afternoon drive to Eagan to hang out at the beach.  Megan had been here before and said she likes this one because no boats are allowed, so it’s a little quieter.  She was right.  Very pretty surroundings and we had a nice relaxing time just chilling out for the day and having some ‘Megan & Mom’ time.

A few weeks ago, Nate & I, our friends Sheri, Kevin and Catherine all went to the horse track for a night of wine and racing.  This was such a fun event and we kind of felt a little like royalty.  The event was held up in the suites of Canterbury Downs race track, which none of us have ever been to.

We put our wristbands on and off we went.  Our tickets got us wine, appetizers, and gorgeous views of the racetrack all night long.

Catherine had never been to the track before.  Luckily she was sitting next to Nate and he filled her in on how it works.  Let’s just say…she caught the bug and was betting all night long and telling us…”This is so much fun!”  haha   I had to take a picture of her making her first bet.

Nate and Kevin love to do the betting and Nate likes doing the trifecta’s..which is betting on which horse will come in first, second, and third.  He feels it’s a little more interesting,  and of course, much harder.  He likes the challenge and it paid off for him on one race.  He was the big winner for the night.

IMG_5266

An $84.50 ticket!

Halfway through our evening, we decided it was time to go outside and watch the races from there.  Always more fun that watching on a tv screen and we needed to give Catherine the full tour and feeling of the race track.  We walked around to see which horses were racing next and made our bets based on what they looked like.  They are incredibly large animals and so muscular when you are standing right next to them.

We placed a few more bets and enjoyed the evening racing user the lights.  It was a perfect night to be outside and enjoy the horses and our good friends.  We all agreed that we will put this on our list again for next summer.

Next event this June was Father’s Day.  As we age…it gets harder to come up with gift ideas.  However, we managed to surprise Nate again this year by giving him Twins tickets.  It was a surprise because he opened this gift on Father’s Day and we told him…”Now go shower cause the game starts in a few hours!”  ha!     He was wondering why we girls got up early and showered…not a usual happening around our house on a Sunday morning.    heehee

IMG_5285

Hanging out with Harmon Killebrew

When I bought the tickets for this game, I didn’t know that they had a special gift for Dad’s when they walked in the gate.  Nate was given a pair of Twin’s socks!  He loved them and put them on when we got to our seats.  How great are these!  Now that’s being a fan!

We always enjoy going to Target Field (as long as its not raining) and spending the day relaxing, eating, and watching our Twins.  It’s such a beautiful stadium with a gorgeous view of Minneapolis across the way.

IMG_5290

IMG_5292

After the game, we headed home and grilled some pork chops for dinner.  Once again, a terrific Father’s Day for Nate from his house full of girls.

Now comes the birthday girl.  Friday was my birthday and for the first time in over 19 years, I actually worked on my birthday.  I have to say, it was one of my favorite birthdays that I can remember.  I’ve been talking about my special day to the kids since June 1st at calendar time every day, so it’s been so much fun building to this day.  We have been counting days until we get to that darn birthday cake on the calendar.  For them, that’s been a lot of counting and waiting!  ha!

I walked into my classroom and was greeted with loud “Happy Birthday Ms Cathy!” and “It’s your birthday Cathy!”  It was so incredibly cute and one little guy brought me a bouquet of balloons.  They made a card with their little handprints all over it.  Absolutely adorable and each one wanted to show me their hand or had to ask which one was their hand.   They were just as excited for my birthday as I was.

The day only got better.  We had a bouncy house rented for the day for the kids to play in.  Well I couldn’t pass up this opportunity on my 52nd birthday, so yeah, in I went!  The kids’ eyes grew so big when they saw me coming in.  They were yelling, “You’re too big Ms Cathy!”  Sorry kiddos…here I come!   They were giggling at me and we had some fun jumping and bouncing around.    I was thankful I didn’t land on any of them.

IMG_5470

Our theme this week was ice cream, so for my treat I brought ice cream and we enjoyed these after nap-time.  And yes, I did need a nap after all that jumping and excitement.

IMG_5509

Once work was over, I headed home to my family for a much quieter evening.  Nate was busy getting steaks ready for the grill and Jazz was trying very hard to help.

IMG_5510

That tail was wagging at top speed~

It had rained about an hour before I got home, but the sun came out so Nate was able to go out an grill but we had to eat inside rather than on the deck.  This was okay, I was just very happy that it stopped raining.  Dinner was amazing and the perfect ending to my birthday on a Friday night.

IMG_5512

I opened a few gifts after dinner and was pleasantly surprised to get a new iPad.  I have the old version and it’s running pretty slow these days, so this upgrade will be nice.

You can’t have a birthday in this house without cake.  Kelly had sent me a pin back in April from Pinterest, of a cake and I told her that I want that for my birthday.  It was a Lemon Blueberry cake with Lemon Buttercream frosting.  They adapted it a little rather than making it homemade, and it was delicious and looked just like the picture.  That’s always a good thing.  I loved it!

51 has been a good year with some positive changes in my life and I’m looking forward to 52 being just as good.

Last night we started our Fourth of July weekend by heading out to the Lake Harriet Bandshell and listening to the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra.  It was a perfect night for outdoor dining and music.

Nate had a great idea for picnic food…sushi!  We picked some up at our local HyVee and paired a nice French Rosé with it.  We couldn’t find our plastic wine goblets, so we substituted purple Solo cups leftover from Megan’s grad party.  Aren’t we classy! Summer food at its best.

That’s it for June.  We will soon be on to 4th of July and keep our summer activities going.   I will keep my “Mom bag” close at hand, ready to pack at any time so we can whisk off to our next outing.  Just have to remember to add hand wipes, right Kel?  haha

IMG_5547

Enjoy summer!  It goes by quickly.

IMG_5190

Cheers to June!

The Barnyard Round-up

This week at school was our VBS week, also known as Vacation Bible School.  Vacation Bible School is a specialized form of religious education which focuses on children.   Churches usually hold the week-long events during the summer.  The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois, in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public school teacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children.  So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer.  The first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess.

Today, many churches run their own Vacation Bible School programs without being under the umbrella of a national organization. Some churches opt to use themed curriculum programs from their respective denominations or independent publishing houses which provide easy preparation and include marketing tools.  Modern programs usually consist of a week-long program of religious education which may employ Bible stories, religious song, arts and crafts, skits, or puppet shows which cater toward preschool and elementary school-aged children.

Our theme this year was Barnyard Roundup!  Each day the kids would meet in the Adult-Day Center (with the Grandparents) and have worship time with Chaplain Chris leading the class, dressed in his farmer attire.   All week long he would emphasize how Jesus is kind of like the shepherd and we are his sheep.  He will keep everyone in the barnyard safe.  The idea is to keep it very simple and repetitive all week long, so the kids grasp this meaning.  Chris is a very good storyteller and really knows how to keep the kid’s attention while making the adults giggle a little every now and then.

Our job as teachers, was to keep the theme going in the classroom, so we did many art projects that related to a barn or farm.  My co-teacher grew up on a farm, so I told her to plan the group lessons and I would help out with art.  She went in to a lot of detail about farm life and that is truly not my thing.  But I did think our art projects were the best in the school.

IMG_5339

IMG_5340

My crazy chickens.

The Toddlers made sheep, pigs, and corn on their wall and I did like the school-ager’s boots.  They were unique and colorful with all the bling added.

The one lesson that I did do this week was “Loaves & Fishes.”  The Feeding of the 5,000 is also known as the “miracle of the five loaves and two fish”, because the Gospel of John  reports that five barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy were used by Jesus to feed a multitude.  So I played Jesus on this day and took my class out and had a “picnic” of sorts and I told this story to them. I then passed out a little piece of bread to each one and rather than fish…we had goldfish crackers as our ‘fish’.  This was much more appealing to them.  They learned how to share the food, that we only needed a small amount to feed ourselves, and there was plenty for all.  It was very successful and they enjoyed it.   I even heard a couple of them telling their parents about it when they got picked up.  Yay!

On Friday, we all gathered in the chapel for our final day.  Chaplain Chris was dressed as a farmer, once again and this time he has a shepherd’s hook along with him.  He had on striped overalls and some of the grandma’s & grandpa’s told him he looked more like a train conductor than a farmer.  This made me laugh…but he assured them that his grandfather wore stripes on his overalls and that is why he chose them.

Before we headed over to the chapel, our director handed each class a bag full of bandanas that we could wear to look like farmers.  I wasn’t sure if our kids would like this, but they surprised me and all wanted to wear one.  So I too, needed to put one on.  Yee-haw!   They all looked adorable.

IMG_5318

Off we go!

The chapel was decorated so cute!  They had farm animals on the piano, decorations on all the walls, and even a barn banner hanging down with rooster in the front.  It was very festive and the kids loved it!

Once we arrived, we sang three songs that we’d been practicing all week to sing to the grandparents.  The older Preschoolers, even did sign language while singing.  Very impressive.  Most of our kids just knew the refrain…”Amen!” to the second song and shouted it out very loudly and they loved the jumping up and down sections.  ha-ha…  Oh well, it was good participation on our part I thought, and it made the grandparents laugh.

We ended our celebration with a prayer, like always and I captured my little Eva praying very hard that Jesus will keep her safe.   I love all my little “sheep” in my class.

IMG_5328

Amen~

The Merry Merry Month Of May

IMG_4872

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.

IMG_4830

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~

IMG_4990

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~

IMG_5072

Our grill is getting a workout!