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!

 

We Need More ‘Hairspray’!

18403675_10208924319887517_4848300071517699631_n

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.

18403517_10208924320887542_5076044271293275663_n

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.

IMG_4926

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!

IMG_5045

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.

IMG_4957

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

IMG_4691

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.

IMG_4345

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…

IMG_4781

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!

IMG_4819

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~

IMG_4699

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.

300px-Eads_Bridge_from_Laclede's_Landing,_Sep_2012

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.

Wayne Moran Photography

Bridge at night with Minneapolis in the background.

stone_arch_bridge_biker

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.

IMG_4698

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.

IMG_4761

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.

IMG_4774

 

IMG_4789

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.

IMG_4713

We love our Kel Belle~