Friday, August 27, 2010

Cara's 10th Birthday

The first day of school was also Cara's 10th birthday! The first day always fall around her birthday, so she took birthday treats on the first day. Ashlin woke up that morning and wished Cara a happy birthday. Then Ashlin said to Justin, "Do you know how old Cara is today?" Justin looked at her funny and said, "No". Ashlin then replied, "Cara is all of her fingers today. She is 10 years old". Then she held up all of her fingers for Justin to see how old that was.

Cara standing outside of school on the first day.

The girls were picked up at school on the first day by Deb, one of the neighbors. Deb took her two youngest boys and our three girls out to lunch on the first day at Burger King. Preston, her youngest, thought that everyone should get crowns at Burger King in honor of Cara's birthday, but only Erica, Preston and Ashlin would wear the crowns. Then Preston thought that they all should sing "Happy Birthday" to Cara. Cara did not think that was a good idea, but Preston proceeded to start singing "Happy Birthday" anyway at the top of his lungs. How's that for a birthday lunch?

Cara opening her present. She got a new i-pod shuffle for her birthday. We went out to eat for supper and Cara picked that we eat at Valentino's. It was a great place to pick that way everyone could pick what they wanted.

Blowing out the candles on her cake.

Take care,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shoot Me! 31 of 52

Another week has zipped by and it is Thursday again and time for the Shoot Me! challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. This is your chance to post a picture with you in the photo. This week's photo is from the first day of school.

Forever In Blue Jeans

Mrs. Hammond, Ashlin's teacher, insisted on taking a photo of Ashlin and me on our first day of school. Ashlin's first day of Kindergarten and my official first day of being a teacher's aide. I helped in Ashlin's Kindergarten classroom all morning. I helped take the students to Mass, helped get everyone arranged for the all school photo, helped pass out papers and snack, etc. I got to sing Nursery Rhymes, and do a cowboy dance to go with the day's theme, and help with dismissal outside. Ashlin thought it was very nice that her Mom got to help in her classroom.

I also got to have a nice laugh on my first day of helping in the classroom. One little boy in Kindergarten kept asking, "When do we get to play?". The students colored a picture of a bear and after making two lines on his paper he told Mrs. Hammond that he was done and asked if he could play with the toys. She told him to keep coloring. Later Mrs. Hammond let the children play games found on tables, but they could only play with items on a table. After a few minutes the little boy said again, "I don't want to play with the things on the tables. I want to play with the toys." Again, Mrs. Hammond said, "No." Every few minutes the little boy would ask again, and the response was always the same.

Take care,


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day of School 2010

The first day of school was on Wednesday, August 18th. The girls had a half day of school on the first day as a way to ease into the new school year. The theme this year was western. Each year the principal, Mr. Berryman, dresses up for the first day in a different theme. The teachers and staff also participate in the theme for the year.

I always take the girls' pictures on the first day with Mr. Berryman upon arriving at school. Each student was given a deputy badge that was pinned on their collar. The badge said, "Wanted by God". Mr. Berryman in an assembly that morning told the students how he was the sheriff, but each on of them was a deputy and was responsible for themselves, responsible for helping classmates, responsible for keeping the school clean, etc. The first day also consisted of attending an all school Mass and having an all school (PreK-12th Grade) photo taken outside the school.

A photo of everyone before leaving for school. It was an exciting and great first day.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Street Repair

For the last two weeks, a city crew of workers have been repairing the street in front of the house next door. I never knew that the repair of a street could provide so much entertainment for my children and the other children in the neighborhood. All playing ceased and lawn chairs were set up in the drive way next door to watch every movement made by the trucks and crew. It was free entertainment for the kids on the block. Although we did have to remind them to not get too close and to stay behind the barricades for their protection.

Justin, Ashlin and Tyler got as close to the action as possible. Justin and Tyler discussed all of the tools and trucks being used to remove the concrete, haul the concrete away, and to pour new concrete.

The city crew tearing up the old broken concrete.

Loading up the broken up concrete.

Now the project is complete, so our free entertainment is gone until the next repair project.

Take care,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet the Teacher Night

Last Monday night was Meet the Teacher Night at school for the girls. This is the night that you get to take all of your school supplies to school, meet your teacher for the year, pick out a desk or a place to sit, and see fellow classmates.

Ashlin has Mrs. Hammond for Kindergarten this year. As you can see in the photo, Ashlin is in the graduating class of 2023. That year seems so far away, but I know the years will go by fast. Ashlin is very excited to be in Mrs. Hammond's class. Cara also had Mrs. Hammond for Kindergarten. There are 18 students in Ashlin's class - 5 girls and 13 boys. Mrs. Hammond has been teaching Kindergarten at Sacred Heart for many years and she calls each student one of her "Kindergarten kids".

Erica has Mrs. Johnson for 2nd Grade this year. We knew that Erica would be placed in Mrs. Johnson's 2nd Grade classroom because the other 2nd Grade teacher is our neighbor, Mrs. Pfeifer (Nicole). Erica was not ready for school to start, but she was ready to see all of her friends after summer vacation. Erica has a big year coming up in 2nd Grade with First Reconciliation in November and First Communion in April.

Cara is starting 4th Grade this year in Mrs. Claussen's room. Cara's class did pick up a new student this year, but they also lost a student. Therefore, her class is still the smallest class in school with 33 students. In 4th Grade, Cara gets to start experiencing switching of classrooms. Cara was ready for school to start.

I have been really behind in reading blogs the last few weeks and I do apologize. I have to get used to the new schedule that the household is on. I must find a new balance between work and home. Everyone keeps asking me about my new job and I can't really say yet. So far all I have done is sit in meetings, assist the Kindergarten class on the first day, and meet the new afternoon preschoolers at open house last week. Today is my first day of having kids in the preschool room for the afternoon, so, I will let you know in a few days how it is going.

Take care,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shoot Me! 30 of 52

Another week has zipped by and it is Thursday again and time for the Shoot Me! challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. This is your chance to post a picture with you in the photo. This week's photo is from our trip to the zoo during vacation.

Forever In Blue Jeans

During our week of vacation, one day we went to visit the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. At the very end of the day, we rode the train. Cara snapped this photo of Erica and I waiting for the train ride to begin.

Take care,


Monday, August 16, 2010

Visiting the Zoo

After the three nights of camping during vacation, we took a day off to recover and then on Saturday we went to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha for the day. We hadn't been to the zoo for a couple years and the kids were ready to go. I would hate to guess how many pictures the girls snapped at the zoo of the animals. It was a very hot day at the zoo for the animals and us.

Erica posing in front of the rhino pen.

We always take a photo in front of the bears.

This bear was looking right at the kids.

Justin enjoyed looking at all of the animals, but the whole time he kept talking about the train. We kept telling him that we would ride the train before we went home. The zoo only had one train running that day because the second train was broke, so we had to wait in line for 40 minutes to get our train ride. The wait was worth it when we finally got on and Justin smiled the entire ride.

Justin kept calling the train, Thomas, all day.

Take care,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Vacation: Part 3

While vacationing, we spent two afternoons at the some of the beaches. The first day the beach that we went to the bugs were awful unless you were in the water, but the second day we went to a different beach and the bugs were not as bad.

We took along this inflatable boat to play with in the water.

Keith would push the kids around in it.

Justin cooling off in the water.

We took along Justin's sand toys. He loved digging in the sand at the beach.

Camping was a fun adventure. It would have been a better experience if the mayflies and mosquitoes had not have been so bad. We will probably go camping again. When Keith and I returned the camper, we did look at a few new campers. We'll see what the future holds.

Take care,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shoot Me! 29 0f 52

Another week has zipped by and it is Thursday again and time for the Shoot Me! challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. This is your chance to post a picture with you in the photo. This week's photos are from vacation last week.

Forever In Blue Jeans

What camping trip isn't complete with some s'mores? I haven't had s'mores in years and let me tell you that they tasted as good as I remembered.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Family Vacation: Part 2

This was our first camping adventure as a family and it was definitely an adventure. We took along everyone's bikes and the bike trailer so that we could explore the numerous bike trails around the park. Each morning either before or after breakfast we would head out for a long ride and every evening after supper we would ride our bikes again. Justin and Ashlin would ride in the bike trailer and sometimes Justin would even happen to fall asleep. Ashlin would even ride her bike to the restroom which was only two campsites away. You would see numerous people riding their bikes around the park. The ages of the people bike riding ranged from 3 to 60 plus years. I have not been on a bike that much in years and it was great exercise and a fun experience. The photos today are of things you could see on the trail.

The worst thing about the camping trip was the bugs. The mosquitoes and the mayflies were awful. You know the bugs are bad when you need bug spray on at 10:00 in the morning. The closer that you camped to the river the worse the bugs were. The mayflies were awful on parts of the trail. The mayflies would cover whole sides of campers.

The first night on the trails two deer ran right in front of Erica and I as we were biking along. Every night there after the girls would search for deer as we rode.

We stayed on the South Dakota side of the river. This photo is of the Nebraska side of the river.

These small cabins are available to rent for $40 a night if you don't have a camper. They are small, but they have air conditioning and beds to sleep in. They were all rented when we were there, but I was amazed at how families would make their cabin appear just like a camper site.

Take care,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Family Vacation: Part 1

Our family vacation started last Monday and we had a household of excited kids on our hands. Last fall at the school's big fundraiser I purchased a camper rental on the silent auction and we decided to put it to good use on our vacation. The camper rental could either be a pull behind camper for 3 nights or a fold-down camper for 7 days. So, Monday afternoon, Keith picked up the pull behind camper and headed home for us to start loading the camper and head out. We decided to go camping at the Lewis and Clark Recreation Park by Yankton for three nights.

Ashlin too excited to sleep on her bunk bed.

Justin sitting on his bunk bed. He loved to turn the light on and off.

Erica watching a movie on the portable DVD player. We took this along just in case it rained.

Packed and ready to go. Keith and I were still loading all of the stuff and these three were already in their seats and buckled up.

Yankton is only an hour from our house so we didn't camp that far from home. Upon arrival at the park, we checked in and found our campsite #70E. Keith and I set the camper up and we ate supper (hotdogs and chips). Then we went on a bike ride to explore the park and the bike trails.

Take care,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shoot Me! 28 of 52

Another week has zipped by and it is Thursday again and time for the Shoot Me! challenge sponsored by Carin over at Forever in Blue Jeans. This is your chance to post a picture with you in the photo. This week's photos are from freezing sweet corn.

Forever In Blue JeansGrandma Leader came down to help us freeze 3 bushels of sweet corn to eat during all of the months when we can't get it fresh from the field.

Ashlin was a trooper and helped through the entire process. Poor Daddy got stuck cleaning corn the entire time.

After the corn is husked, then the corn is washed, then the corn is cooked, then Grandma and I cut the corn off the cob and finally the corn is placed in freezer bags for the deep freeze.

Some of the finished product. Grandma Leader took some home, Grandma Korth got some, and some stayed in our freezer. I am always glad when this summer job is over and the mess is cleaned up. Now to enjoy the corn for the rest of the year.

Take care,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Girl Scout Swim Party

Cara's Brownie Girl Scout Troop had a family hot dog feed and swim party at the Carlson's house a week ago. They have a pool in their back yard, a play set, and a trampoline. My kids were in heaven with so much to do. Justin had a runny nose so he didn't get to go swimming, but he played with the toys instead. It was a lovely evening for swimming and just visiting with friends.

Erica with the green goggles on peeking over the pool's edge.

Cara with the hot pink goggles on swimming in the pool.

Some of the parents just talking and enjoying the evening.

Ashlin jumping on the trampoline.

Take care,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Countdown to School

Since it is now August, the number of summer vacation days are being counted down at our house. We have been busy already purchasing school supplies, school uniforms, getting hair cuts, etc. The girls will start school on August 18th. Cara will be in 4th grade, Erica will be in 2nd grade, and Ashlin will be in Kindergarten. I will be heading back to work and Justin will be going to daycare, so our summer is almost at the end. This week Keith is on vacation and we are heading out for a few days. Today's photos are from the last day of school in May at the family sock hop at school.

Erica with her friends McKayla and Lacey.

Justin watching the dancing. There were too many kids for him.

Kids could dress up as rock star if they wanted. Rylan was one student that dressed up. He is in Cara's class.

Some of the students dancing the night away.

Take care,