Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No Training Wheels!

Since the weather has finally turned nice, Justin has been begging Dad to take the training wheels off his bike.  Yesterday, Dad gave in and took them off.  Dad told Justin to wait a minute while he put his tools away and he would help Justin get started and hold on to the back.  Justin didn't want to wait and took off.  Less than 30 seconds later and the photo above shows that he didn't need Dad's help.  Two minutes later, Justin was riding around the block by himself.  Now, it looks like Justin needs a new bike! 

Take care,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ashlin's First Communion

 On Sunday, April 21st, our Ashlin received her First Holy Communion at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Norfolk.  On this afternoon, 88 second graders were blessed.  The weekend started with practice at church on Saturday morning.  Each student had to be dressed and ready for pictures at 8 a.m. sharp!  Ashlin slept the night before in sponge rollers so that her hair would be curly.
Ashlin with her teacher, Mrs. Pfeiefer
 Ashlin was very excited for her big event, but also a little nervous.  The students had practiced earlier in the week receiving some unblessed wafers and wine.  Some students thought it tasted very bad.
Ashlin with Fr. Andrews
 After the Mass celebration was over, we hosted a lunch at our home for family.  Ashlin chose to serve nachos and sloppy joes.  We then filled in with salads, cake, baked beans, and hotdogs to complete the lunch.
Grandpa and Grandma Leader with Ashlin

Grandpa and Grandma Korth with Ashlin

Ashlin with Mom and Dad
It was a great day for our Ashlin!  We were all very tired the next day. 

There are not very many days left in our school year.  We have something going on about every day or every other day until the end of school.  We have told the kids to just hold on and try to get everything done.  The last day of school is May 15th.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kindergarten Here We Come!

Justin and his friend, Andy, playing with the counting bears.
 Justin has been waiting for Kindergarten for what seems forever!  He has been counting the months and days until he gets to go to Kindergarten.  Finally, last Friday afternoon Justin's wait was over and he got to attend Kindergarten Round-Up.  He was so excited to go to round-up. 
 Right now there are 60 children registered for next fall's Kindergarten class at Sacred Heart.  The three Kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Hammond, Mrs. Simon and Mrs. Bowder are excited for the next group of students.  For many of these students it will be an easy transition from Preschool to Kindergarten because most of them attend Preschool at Sacred Heart.
 Since all of the afternoon preschoolers are going to Kindergarten next fall, I had the opportunity to help with round-up.  I picked Mrs. Bowder's room where Justin was.  First, Mrs. Bowder read the children a Bible story about Noah's Ark.  Then each student colored an animal mask and colored a Noah's Ark picture that they attached animal stickers to. Then they got to have a cookie for a snack. 
 Next, the students learned a song about Noah's Ark to sing with actions to their parents wearing their animal masks that they colored.  It was a cute song, but long for the kids to learn.  They each knew the chorus of the song though.
Justin had a great time!  Afterwards he said, "Know I'm really in Kindergarten!".  On the way home, Justin and Dad stopped at McDonalds to pick up some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies as a treat.

It was a downer yesterday when I told Justin that he still had to go to Preschool for a few more weeks.  I can't believe that he has grown up this fast and will really be heading off to Kindergarten in the fall.  He really is growing up!

Take care,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Family Fun Night - Zumba

 The Home & School Association sponsored a Family Fun Night.  The activity this month was Zumba with healthy snacks and water.  The kids were ready to go and do some exercise at school with friends.  Kristi Heng, a mom and Zumba instructor, did a wonderful job of explaining fitness and Zumba to the students and parents.
 After not attending Zumba classes for about a year and a half, I went back to Zumba classes about a month ago.  I am getting back into the routine of Zumba and burning many calories while at class. 
My kids enjoy attending kid's Zumba classes at the YMCA over the summer months.  Kristi keeps them moving the whole class time.  Plus the healthy snack of homemade granola bars were delicious.

Take care,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week

 Last week was Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week at school.  The theme this year was Candyland.  The school was decorated accordingly with many colorful decorations.
 Each day there was something planned for the staff to enjoy and feel appreciated.  This candy bar was set up in a side room and staff could choose candy whenever they wanted.
 On Monday, the staff was treated to birthday treats for the staff members celebrating birthdays during the month of April.  Thursday the staff received a lunch brought in by the Home & School Association.  Friday, there was a dessert bar in the workroom.  The food was overwhelming throughout the week.
 Each staff member has a bucket outside the classroom for students to put treats, cards, flowers, etc. for the staff member of their choosing.  I received many treats and gift cards throughout the week from students.
 These two ladies, Kim Sullivan and Helen Snodgrass planned the whole week and did a wonderful job. 
 On Friday at the end of the day, the students and staff all gathered in the gym for the final festivities of the week.  The staff and students were picked to play "Minute to Win it" games.  First up for a game were Mrs. Arens, 4th grade teacher, and Mr. Berryman, principal.  Each staff member chosen also picked two students to help in the game.  The first game was attempting to stack 7 snack cakes on the head.  The scoreboard served as the stop watch and was set for 1 minute.
 Next up were Mrs. Pfeifer, 2nd grade, and Mrs. Bowder, Kindergarten.  Their game was to bounce a ping pong ball up onto a table and land on a piece of bread spread with peanut butter.
 Mrs. Pfeifer was successful in landing a ping pong ball on a piece of peanut butter bread.
 The next game involved trying to get a cookie from the forehead down into the mouth and to eat the cookie.  Mr. Wilcox, janitor, and Mrs. McCormick, 1st Grade, were the staff participants.  Mr. Wilcox was successful in eating a cookie.
 Another game pitted the two 6th Grade teachers, Mrs. Wolf and Mr. Korth, against each other in a frantic race to separate a cup of M&M's by color in one minute.
 The last game involved a two pieces of string placed behind the ears.  In the middle of the string were two pencils taped together.  Five M&M's were placed on the pencils and the teachers had to raise the pencils by pulling on the string and eating the M&M's.  Mrs. Miller, 1st Grade, and Ms. Freese, PE, were chosen to give the game a try.
Off and on between games, staff members were drawn for a chance to do a punch on a board to win prizes.  In this photo, I am getting to pick a color to punch.  I did not win a prize, but I did get a chocolate candy bar out of it.  The week was so much fun for the staff and the students.  Helen and Kim did an outstanding job again at putting the week together.

Take care,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Wizard of Oz

 Last weekend the Norfolk Catholic Players presented "The Wizard of Oz" on Friday and Saturday night for the public's enjoyment.  The play was packed both nights with people, especially parents with their children.  The high school students did a wonderful job. The sets were truly outstanding.
Justin with the Lion, Alex Maguire.
 Kids were invited to dress up as their favorite character from the movie.  Afterwards, kids were invited up on stage to get their photos taken with characters and to get autographs.  Justin was all ready to get his photo taken with many of the actors.  First, Justin wanted to get his photo taken with the Lion.  When he approached the Lion, he then got scared until Lynne, Justin's daycare provider, reminded Justin that the Lion was just Alex, Lynne's son.
 Next, Justin found Preston Eisenmenger.  Preston played a munchkin and a person of Oz.  Preston and three of his brothers were in the play.  The Eisenmenger family lives directly on the block over from us. 
 Justin with Elliot Eisenmenger.
 Justin with the Tin Man, Hunter Eisenmenger.
 Justin and Keaton Eisenmenger
 The Scarecrow, Wade Ronspies, with Justin.
Justin with Brittany Kelberlau
 Justin insisted on getting his photo with one of the flying monkeys.  He thought they were funny when they went out into the audience and searched for Dorothy.
 Justin was scared of the Wicked Witch until he realized that it was just Geena Piper.  Then, he was ready for a photo.
 He was definitely not scared of Glinda, the good witch.  Therese Lux played the perfect good witch.
This group of 6th graders showed up to watch Elliot and Raymond perform in the play on Friday night.  We told them this photo will probably show up someday on their Senior Class video at graduation.  They just laughed.

Later after Justin was finished with getting his picture taken with the cast, I realized that many of the leads in the play have been to our house to babysit.  These teens did an awesome job acting, singing and babysitting my kids: Keaton, Hunter, Therese, Geena, and Alex.  So proud of the whole cast for a wonderful performance.

On a side note, Justin would not get his photo taken with Dorothy.  But, he wanted to get his photo taken with Toto.  Toto was played by a real dog and did a great performance.  Toto had left after the performance to rest.

Take care,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Refrigerator Chaos

How many refrigerator fronts look like this one? Our refrigerator door is filled with many flyers and notices that I'm not sure what to do.  

Currently on our refrigerator front we have:
 * a few photos
* a flyer for Muffins with Mom which is next Wednesday
* an flyer inviting Justin to Kindergarten Round-up on Friday
* 2 flyers regarding the 4th Grade field trip to Lincoln which is next Thursday.  I am one of the lucky parents going on the trip with the students.
* Ashlin's list of spelling words for the week
* Erica's list of spelling words for the week
* a YMCA group fitness schedule
* two wedding invitations
* Justin's youth track practice schedule
* Justin's baseball practice and game schedule
* Ashlin's schedule for First Communion this weekend and a photo order form for pictures
* numerous magnets
* a phone number that I can't lose
* a paper for a shopping list

Seriously, I can't get rid of anything.  Some of these flyers will be gone this week, but they will be replaced by new ones I'm sure.  I didn't take a photo of the side of the refrigerator which has a school calendar of events for the month, the lunch menu, preschool snack schedule, school phone numbers, and a list of class parties for each child.  I'm not sure how else to organize this mess!  After an event is over, the flyer comes down.  We often run out of magnets to hold everything.  Someday, in the distant future, we will have a clean front of the refrigerator when all of the children are gone.

How do you organize all of the flyers for activities?

Take care,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Children's Health Education Carnival

The nursing students at the college sponsored a Children's Health Education Carnival a few weeks ago.  I signed up Erica, Ashlin and Justin to attend.  They received goody bags and t-shirts for pre-registering. 
First, I took Ashlin and Justin to the health carnival because Erica had volleyball.  We arrived at the start of the carnival because I wasn't for sure how long it would take to complete.
Erica learning about water safety at the YMCA booth.
  The carnival had 15 booths set up and ran by businesses or students from the college.  Some of the booths promoted: water safety, pet safety, proper hand washing, fire safety, eating healthy foods, first aid, calling 911, etc.
 The kids got to listen to a baby's heart beat and to the baby breathing from a nursing student.
 Ashlin getting her back checked for scoliosis from a physical therapist.
 After completing a game or activity at each booth, you received a ticket and they also marked your map with a star.  After stopping at all 15 booths, you then got to enter for prizes.  At the end, two clowns were making balloon hats, dogs, and swords.  Each child received: a prize, a healthy snack, and a bottle of water for participating.  There were also bouncy houses for the kids to enjoy.
Justin practicing bicycle safety and navigating the course.
We didn't win any big prizes, but the kids learned quite a bit about different kinds of safety.

Take care,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Conner's First Communion

Conner after Mass standing by his sign outside of church.
 Last Sunday, our nephew, Conner received his First Holy Communion during Mass at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Bloomfield.
Conner's class of First Communicants.
 Conner's class was made up of 12 second and third graders in the parish.
Conner and Father
 We were very proud of Conner.  He did a great job processing in, holding his lit candle, renewing his baptismal vows and receiving his first communion.  Keith and I had to stand up at the end and receive a blessing from Father for all of the godparents present for the twelve first communicants.
Conner with big brother Andrew
 After Mass, a dinner was held in the church basement in Conner's honor.  Many photos were taken.  We ate a delicious ham dinner followed by cupcakes for dessert.  Do not ask our children how many cupcakes they ate that afternoon?  I think Justin had three cupcakes himself and that is not counting how many his sisters ate.
Conner with Grandpa and Grandma Sternberg

Conner with Grandpa and Grandma Leader

Conner with Mom & Dad

Conner with his godparents, Keith and me

Conner with Mom and Andrew
We wish God's blessings on Conner!

Take care,