Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sacred Heart Singers

Cara is a member of the Sacred Heart Singers at school. This choir is made up of students from Grades 3-6 that choose to participate. They practice every Tuesday morning from 7:30-8:00.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to walk with the group to sing at The Meadows (a retirement/assisted living facility). The walk is only a few blocks and the residents LOVE it when the kids come over to sing for them. The Kindergarten class usually walks over once a month, but this winter with it being so cold they haven't been able to go.

Cara singing some Irish folk songs.

The other half of the group singing. Mrs. Nissen's, the director, mother is a resident of The Meadows. They sang a few Irish folk songs and then a few religious songs. The performance was very enjoyable.

Take care,

Monday, March 29, 2010


I really did attempt to post yesterday, but after two failed attempts (problems with blogger) I just didn't have the time to mess with it anymore. So, today I am back to blogland and posting about our trip to Cancun, Mexico. We left for Mexico on Thursday, March 18th and returned home to Nebraska on Sunday, March 21st. I know it was a short trip, but I love to go and just relax for a few days with no clocks, no kids, and no commitments.

Upon arrival in Mexico, Keith and I flew through immigration, retrieved our luggage, flew through customs and arrived at our hotel, GR Solaris, all in one hour. That is the fastest we have ever gotten through immigration. Usually the lines are endless and it takes at least one hour to get through immigration alone.

The first night we hung out in the hotel's lounge area. The entertainment staff had karaoke going on first and then their was live music for people to listen to or even dance. We just sat around and people watched and had a few drinks before calling it a night. We could not believe the number of families on spring break together (parents on spring break with their college age kids). Who goes on spring break with their parents when they are in college?

The next morning we were up bright and early (shortly after 6:00). Mexico does not observe Daylight Savings Time, so the sun was peeking in through our shades bright and early. We showered fast, ate breakfast, put out our towels to reserve chairs by the pool, and then took a long walk on the beach. The beach at our hotel was beautiful and we had a lot of beach. Then we found our pool loungers and hung out by the pool relaxing for the rest of the day. Keith ventures into the ocean, but not me. I lay on my lounger and read while people watching. Needless to say, our evening out did not happen that night because I had too many fruity cocktails and too much sun by the pool that afternoon.

A view of the upper pool with the swim up bar.
The front of our hotel GR Solaris.

A view from the balcony off our room.

This is the lower pool. I am standing on the bridge dividing the two pools.

The next day we did the same things, but at night we ventured out. We went to a mall and bought presents to bring home. We walked around the bar area and ventured in for a drink. The next morning we had to gt ready to go home. We thought our transportation was picking us up too early for the airport, but upon arrival at the airport it was a nightmare with everyone trying to fly home from spring break. The line to check-in took us at least an hour and then at the gate they were asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take a later flight home because of overbooking.

We had a fun and relaxing vacation. I cannot wait to go back again. I love sitting on my lounge chair and just doing nothing but soaking up the sun and reading a good book.

Take care,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shoot Me! 12 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is Week 12 of 52 in the Shoot Me! challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. Every Thursday you step out from behind the camera and post a photo of yourself. It can be a photo of just yourself, or with your kids, or with your husband. Just make sure that you are in the photo.

This week's photo was taken last weekend when my husband and I were in Cancun, Mexico for a vacation. This photo was taken from the balcony of our room.

I know I haven't been blogging for the last week. Since getting back from vacation I have just been tired and I am trying to catch up with a few other things. I will be back on Monday with a renewed effort for blogland. Today is the first day that I have even logged on to blogland, so I am way behind. I will try to catch up this weekend.

Take care,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shoot Me! 11 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is Week 11 of 52 of the Shoot Me! Challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans

This is the one day a week where you post a picture of yourself. Too often we are the ones taking the pictures and are not in the photos. Check out other moms photos on Carin's site.

This week I am posting a photo of my husband and I from February 2009 when we took a vacation to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Today we are leaving for a short vacation back to Cancun. We will be back late Sunday night. I cannot wait to step off the plane and it be 85 degrees and sunny. Tomorrow I will be found on my lounge chair by the pool with a fruity drink soaking up the sun and just relaxing.

Take care,


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Thing/Bad Thing

Keith and I are getting ready to leave for a long weekend away. Just the two of us. This is a GOOD thing! We have been talking all winter about going somewhere warm, but we just couldn't figure out when, where, how and all of the other details (BAD thing). But, two weeks ago we booked a nice, but short vacation for us and we leave tomorrow morning (GOOD thing). Grandma Leader is coming tomorrow morning to stay with our children until Friday afternoon when Paige will take over until late Sunday night when Keith and I will return.

Getting ready to go on vacation is exhausting (BAD thing). I have crammed more appointments, meetings, etc. into the last few days to last me weeks (BAD thing). But, it will all be worth it when I step off the plane and it is 85 degrees and sunny (GOOD thing).

In our preparations for this warm sunny vacation, Keith and I needed to try on our summer clothes. We found out that since we both have been exercising and watching what we eat that our summer clothes do not fit (both GOOD & BAD things). Keith had basically no shorts that fit and all of the new shorts that I purchased last summer for myself do not fit (GOOD thing). Therefore, last weekend I went shopping and bought Keith three new pair of shorts and a new pair of jeans all a size smaller than what he usually wears (GOOD thing). I looked for new summer shorts for myself, but there were NO women's shorts out in any of the stores here yet. I asked one employee at Herberger's why there were men's shorts and no women's shorts. She told me that the men's shorts had just came in last week and the women's shorts were not in yet. Every store had lots of capris and even swimsuits, but NO shorts (BAD thing).

Isn't it ironic how a GOOD thing of losing weight and getting to go on vacation leads to a BAD thing of wanting to buy new shorts only to find there are none to be purchased? But I was so happy to find that my shorts from last summer did not fit! Tune in tomorrow to find out where we are going on vacation.

Take care,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ashlin's Dance Class Parents Night

Last night was Parents Night during Ashlin's dance class. This is the one time during the year when parents may go in the room and watch the progress of their little dancer. You may take pictures and video tape during the class. Also the dance studio owners, Barb and Kim, talk to the parents about recital. Each dancer is given a dance recital folder. Your folder includes the following: a picture showing how your dancer will wear her hair for recital, a picture of how makeup should be applied and what colors to use for eyes, cheeks and lips, a registration form for dance next year, a recital t-shirt order form, a recital DVD order form, a photo order form along with the date and time of your classes group photo shoot, and the ABC's of dance recital. This is my 7th year of having a daughter in dance recital so I have the recital routine down pat. I almost jumped up and down when I looked through all three folders and found out that only one child this year will be having curls in her hair for recital. This will drastically cut down on the time needed at this house for recital hair. This year Cara and Erica will both have straight hair and Ashlin will have curls in her hair. Cara and Erica were as excited as me that they won't be sleeping in sponge rollers three nights in a row.

At Parents Night the students perform their recital pieces for the parents. This is Ashlin's first year to perform a ballet piece and a tap piece. Last year she just performed one ballet number.

Waiting for class to begin.

This is Ashlin's teacher Paige.

Ashlin practicing her ballet kicks.

Justin and I enjoyed watching the class very much. Their pieces for recital are going to be very cute.

Take care,

Monday, March 15, 2010

March Make 'n Take

Make 'n Take craft day at the local museum was this past Saturday. The theme this month was Easter and St. Patrick's Day. Ashlin chose not to attend this month, but Cara and Erica went to complete some crafts.

Cara and Erica making an Easter lily out two handprints. The volunteer helping is our next door neighbor Alice. She is in charge of the crafts at the museum and coming up with all of the ideas. She does a marvelous job.

The finished "handprint" Easter lily.

Erica making a paper plate bunny.

Cara making a picture frame with crushed dyed eggshells.

Cara and Erica making necklaces with cut up straws and bunnies.
Take care,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shoot Me: 10 of 52 - 3rd Grade Skit/Presentation

Forever In Blue Jeans

Today is week 10 of 52 of the Shoot Me Challenge sponsored by Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans. It is your chance to step out from behind the camera and get a photo of yourself. Go on over and check out other moms stepping out from behind the camera in a photo.

This morning Cara's Literary Circle gave a presentation and skit about Abraham Lincoln. There are six students in the group - three boys and three girls. We learned some interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln and the skit was cute and even had jokes at the end. This was a great way for these 3rd Graders to learn about presentations and also learn about a president outside of their regular reading books.

Cara, Justin and I in the classroom.

Justin and I waiting for the presentation to begin.

Cara and McKinzie presenting some facts about Abraham Lincoln.

McKinzie, Cara, Audrey, Ethan, David and Christian presenting jokes about Honest Abe.

Take care,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bon Jovi Concert

Last night Keith and I went to the Bon Jovi Concert at the Qwest Center in Omaha. We left for the concert when school got out. The girls' dance teacher, Paige, was our overnight babysitter and she did a marvelous job. This is the second time that we have seen Bon Jovi in concert and they ROCK!!! Their concerts are great! They played for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Everyone was standing up dancing, singing, swaying, waving their arms. We had such a good time. Sorry I don't have pictures, but I was afraid that my camera would get confiscated at the security checkpoint and I would never get it back again. You can checkout YouTube for video feed I'm sure of the concert. Jon Bon Jovi had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

Before the concert, we ate at Old Chicago in the Old Market. The food and drinks were delicious. After the concert, we went back to the motel. We were glad that we chose to spend the night because it would have been a long drive home in the rain and severe fog. We got up early this morning, ate breakfast, and got home in time for Ashlin to get home from preschool.

Take care,


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jump Rope for Heart

On Sunday afternoon, Cara and Erica participated in Jump Rope for Heart at their school. Their P.E. teacher, Ms. Freese, does an excellent job of organizing and hosting the event at the school. Ms. Freese gets businesses to donate prizes for the three hours of jumping rope. Each participant received a candy bar, a bottle of water and a bookmark. Erica also won a prize in the drawings that were held every 15 minutes. She received a small stuffed animal. It was a fun afternoon of exercising with friends for a good cause.

Cara and Audrey turning the rope for Emily.

Erica jumping rope.

The team of Cara, Audrey, Erica, Cece and Emily.
Take care,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ashlin's Birthday Party

Ashlin's 5th birthday was on Saturday and she got to have a party to celebrate. There are 24 students in her preschool class, but only six of the 24 are girls. Ashlin invited all of the girls to her party. Two of the little girls could not come, but the other little girls had fun playing games, eating cake and then just playing. We played musical chairs, a balloon relay race, London Bridges and freeze dance. Ashlin picked all of the games. Then after the party she got her present from her family - a brand new princess bike. For supper, we went out to eat at Pizza Hut to conclude the day of birthday celebrating.

Ashlin on her new princess bike.

Ashlin and Saylor.

Ashlin and Josy.

Ashlin and Kiki.

Ready to blow out the candles.

Ashlin's Hannah Montana birthday cake.

Take care,


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Ashlin!!!

Five years ago this morning at 5:53 a.m. Ashlin Michelle Leader joined our family. She was born after only an hour of labor and as Dr. Davis said "she was a big little girl". Ashlin weighed 9 lbs. 0 oz. and was 22 inches long. The nurses weren't for sure if the newborn diapers were going to fit her. She was born with red hair and blue eyes.

Ashlin's two big sisters were so proud of her.

Ashlin's first birthday.

Ashlin putting together a puzzle. She is a whiz at putting puzzles together.

Ashlin has always been an independent child. I became a stay-at-home mom when Ashlin was born. Ashlin would sit in her bouncy seat and watch me do housework. I would talk to her and she was content for long spans of time. Ashlin is also a little girl that does not need someone to entertain her. She will go off and play all by herself.

Turning 5 years old today was huge for Ashlin because she knows that you have to be 5 to go to Kindergarten. She wants to go to school every day all day just like her sisters.

The last five years of staying home with her have flown by quickly and I will miss her when she goes to Kindergarten in the fall.

Take care,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shoot Me! Week 9 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Yes, it is that time of the week when I post a photo of myself. Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans is the host of the Shoot Me Challenge. Head on over to her blog for pictures of other Moms posting a picture of themselves instead of their children.

This week's photo was taken last Friday after I had my hair cut and highlighted. I have blond streaks put in to cover up my grey. I also had my hair cut shorter and stacked higher in the back. I almost had it totally cut off into a pixie cut, but then I chickened out. Maybe next time when I go in for a cut I will get that done.

Take care,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MOPS morning

This morning was my monthly MOPS meeting. This month each small group was in charge of decorating their table with a country theme for a contest. There were seven tables all decorated. The countries used were United States, Canada, Holland, Haiti, South Africa and Mexico (two tables used United States). I took a few photos of the tables. The winning table was the Mexican themed table.

Each place setting had a pot with a cactus shaped cookie sticking in it. They had salsa in their margarita glasses and each lady wore a sombrero.

This is Janice standing by the winning table.

I loved this Holland themed table. I think I liked it so much because it reminds me of Spring. I love it when the tulips bloom in the Spring. Vanessa, one of the ladies in this group, was dressed up like the Swiss Miss Cocoa lady. She looked so cute.

This is my small group's table. We decorated using the United States as a theme.

Another photo of our table showing the flag hanging from the ceiling.

Today we had two new ladies join our small group. It is always nice to meet new moms with preschool children like myself. It was my groups turn to also take food this morning to share. I made some scrambled egg muffins that were very easy to make and also really delicious. I will post the recipe later.

Take care,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weekend Recap

Today's post is going to be a recap of last weekend. The weekend started on Friday with the luau at school for Staff Appreciation Week. Ashlin, Justin and I had great time helping with a game and then wondering around the gym taking pictures and watching the kids all have a great time. Ashlin and Justin especially loved getting candy from the pinatas that were broken. Everyone was supposed to get only one piece, but Justin had a few extras stuffed in his pockets.

Then after school, we stayed loaded in the van and headed north to Bloomfield for Grandpa Leader's annual fish fry. Grandpa Leader is a member of the Knights of Columbus and every year during Lent they have a fish fry. Grandpa works very hard all week getting ready for the big fish fry. We picked up Grandma Leader when we got into town and then headed to the community building because we were all just starving. The fish as always was just delicious. You have a choice of either baked or fried fish (all the fish you can eat), baked potato, baked beans, dinner roll and macaroni salad. Then afterwards we all head back to Grandpa and Grandma's house for dessert. Grandma did not disappoint in the dessert department either. Grandma had apple crisp with ice cream or brownies with chocolate frosting. I had to pass on dessert since I gave up sweets for Lent, but Grandma gave me a banana instead.

On Saturday, the kids went to Grandpa and Grandma Korth's house to play and have a tea party. Keith and I had a free afternoon to do whatever. We headed to the Y for a workout, then grocery shopping and out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Then Keith and I went next door to visit with the neighbors about their vacation to Cancun that they had just returned home from.

Sunday, we went to Mass and then the Music Boosters sponsored a pancake feed at the school. Who doesn't love pancakes and it meant that we didn't have to cook! Then the afternoon was spent with the kids playing Wii Fit Plus that Keith had just purchased.

Sorry I don't have pictures to share today. My camera battery was running low after the luau on Friday afternoon, so I had to recharge it.

Take care,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week at school. The theme this year was Hawaiian. On Monday all of the students were given leis to wear. On Tuesday and Wednesday there were hula dances hidden throughout the school. The student who found a hula dancer could award the teacher of his choice with a gift of $5. On Thursday all of the staff was given $25 gift cards from the Home & School Association. Then on Friday afternoon, fun and games were held in the gym. There were seven games in the gym for everyone to participate in. The whistle would blow when it was time to move on to the next game. The kids were divided by grade level. First the lower grades were brought to the gym and then the upper grades were brought to the gym. Teachers participated in games of their choosing.

Mrs. Bowder trying to break one of the pinatas. The kids are all seated and anxiously awaiting for the candy to start to fall. Mrs. Bowder is one of the Kindergarten teachers.

Another game was a hula hoop relay race. This is a group of 4th grade girls trying to beat a group of 4th grade boys. Naturally, the prize for winning was a piece of candy.
This game was called "Hot Coconut" which is just like Hot Potato.

The Limbo.

Potato sack races. You can see Cara in the middle ready for the signal to go.

Some of the other games included: a ball toss into big tubs, musical sea shells, and a photo taken by some wood cutouts. The kids had so much fun. It was a Friday afternoon of fun for both the teachers and the students. It was also a great way to end the fun filled week. The girls took homemade brownie treats for all of their homeroom teachers, special teachers and the principal.

Take care,